I received a phone call today. It was from a friend that I have known for years. We used to work together, back in the day. We have both moved on to different agencies although we see each other occasionally on large incidents.
Apparently, my friend is in a bit of a jam. He did something that his chief didn't like and his chief seems to be making an issue of it. The behavior in question wouldn't be considered a big deal by most of the district commanders and division chiefs in my agency, but it might be a cause of concern for a few.
After listening to my friends explanation of the event, it wouldn't be a concern of mine either. Obviously, his chief feels different and that feeling is likely made worse by the fact that my friend had a similar episode with this officer a few years ago.
Now, my friend's presence has been requested at a sit-down with his chief. Needless to say, he is a little nervous.He called to see what my opinion was on the matter and to ask how I felt he should handle the meeting.
Here's the funny thing. I actually know his chief. In fact, I know him pretty well. We took Fire Officer certification classes together and attended a company officer's academy together about 15 years ago. He also lives not too far from me and I run into him all of the time.
As a result, I know some of this chiefs pet peeves and I know that he doesn't care for my friend all that much. Keeping that information in mind, I presented a few ideas for my friend to mull over.
I told my friend that his chief probably wants to exert a little chiefly authority and have a little con-fab about the undesirable behavior. I advised him that this was appropriate and that the chief has a right to do it.
I also told him to ask the chief whether the findings of the meeting could result in discipline.
Should the chief waffle on that one or admit that it could result in discipline, then my friend should pause the meeting and request representation from his union local.. You see, as far as I know, the transgression is not a violation of policy, but merely an act which this officer finds objectionable. Thus, the chief can offer opinion as much as he wants to and even suggest that my friend change his behavior, but formal discipline would likely be overturned.
I told my friend that he should listen to what the chief has to say and not be confrontational, even when presenting his position. Any mention of discipline will have to be handled through the grievance procedure and the disciplinary process. I hope my friend can follow my advice.
Having once worked with him and having known him for years, I know that he is a good employee who is a "giver" rather than a "taker". I also know he can be a little abrasive at times and that he can rub folks the wrong way. I hope the latter trait was not the real reason behind the meeting.
Hopefully, the meeting will be a simple affair and the matter will be closed. Hopefully, blood from either side will not be shed. Hopefully, my advice was sound.
Thanks for reading,
MUST SEE VIDEO
4 hours ago