I normally like to take Fridays off from my blog.
Then Juan Williams goes and gets himself fired and my plans are screwed up.
You can read about the incident everywhere — but from a Human Resources standpoint, I want to offer my sympathies to the NPR Human Resources team.
- Problem #1: you have a guy who says something incredibly stupid and offensive under the guise of being an “analyst” and then gets fired over the phone without having the right to explain himself.
- Problem #2: the CEO of NPR then goes and says something stupid and offensive.
- Problem #3: if NPR is like any other organization, there are thirty other people in the company who deserve to be fired — but some jerky internal employment lawyer is holding up the process because he doesn’t respect and trust HR. Documentation! There must be documentation before legal signs off! And a tremendous amount of resources are wasted on underperforming and/or pervy employees while someone like Juan Williams — who represents a complex employee relations issue and an opportunity to turn a stupid story into something greater — is fired.
You couldn’t pay me to do Human Resources at NPR, right now.
That poor team. Awful situation. Awful leadership. Awful story.
Those HR people are saints over there.