30 March 2007


The organization that I work for is proud to refer to itself as a "liberal institution." It is proud of being "progressive" and "inclusive." However, the fact is that this liberal institution is one of the most intolerant organizations that I know.

I just overheard my boss talking on a conference call. -Before I get much farther, let me say that he is the embodiment of the place that I work for. He's from within the system, and is considered an excellent manager by the organization's administration. Why? Because he is a yes man. There is something that I like to call the "Cult of [institution's name]" and he completely buys into it. That is, he blindly embraces EVERYTHING that his bosses tell him to do...

So back to the story: My boss was on the conference call talking about a group of employees. The group had been asked to attend a town meeting-style event about how to make our organization more effective. Well, at this meeting they expressed their ideas on the topic. Some of their ideas indicated a dislike of current policies, and my boss was not happy about this. His reaction? "They showed a complete lack of professionalism." Later he said that "they [the employees] need to keep their opinions to themselves." I couldn't believe my ears. Hadn't he requested that these employees come? Wasn't a critique of practices the point of the meeting? The bottom line is that my organization, even though it claims to welcome constructive criticism, does not want criticism for any reason. They demand complete submission from their employees. Ironically, my employer is an educational organization that lists free thinking, creativity, and personal expression among its most important goals.

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