Vicz's Random Thought Generator 2.0

The Problem with Being Fair

Designing policy that everyone agrees with in an enterprise is definitely a tough cookie, more so when co-workers, and even executives, misunderstand it.  This winter Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fall on a Thursday, hence Friday everyone has to go back to work.  This event has caused a dilemma at my workplace because authorities decided to award a day off to all employees, be it Dec. 26 or Jan. 2, provided no work areas are left abandoned.

 

In many cases (as is my own) employees program vacation in either the last days of December or the first days of January, especially in this occasion since this decision yields long weekends.  At first, everyone understood that this day off would be a privilege for all, regardless of vacation.  My vacations are set for the first couple of days in January, including the 2nd, so I expected to select Dec. 26 as my day off.  New information revealed that if someone already had vacation on either day, that person would not be entitled to a day off.  This is where it all starts.

 

All of a sudden, this general policy awards a day off only to those people who have no programmed vacation on these days.  These employees would in a way be rewarded with an extra day off, since they have either used up their vacation or set them up for later.  The rest would not benefit from the rule.

 

In no time, complaints rained about the unfairness of the rule, and many heated discussions occurred between employees who benefited from it and those who did not.  I argued about the fairness of the policy, as it was not equal to everyone.  Soon enough, the people from HR clarified the situation stating specifically that ALL EMPLOYEES would get a day off, regardless of their vacation on either day, again, provided no areas are left alone.  This being so, I get to enjoy the December 26 (it just happens to be my birthday) and January 2 (I have vacation).

 

However, no tailor can craft a one-size-fits-all shirt in this case.  One of my closest friends called me enraged.  “Because of people like you [who complained against the rule] I don’t get to spend a day off”. Unfortunately, she is a division head, and for the time being is the only one there, so if she has a day off, her area would be left alone.  The way I see it, anyhow, her case is one of the loopholes, but is not caused by the rule (which now should benefit anyone) but because personnel in her area have not been replaced and she is alone.

 

She is extremely mad at this result, but I believe it’s a kink in the system that should have been resolved months ago.  I’m deeply sorry this happened, and I hope that she can negotiate a day off (she deserves it more than anyone I can think of).  It’s unfair for her, as it was before for people who would get no benefit from the infamous day off policy.

 

To conclude, sometimes policymakers should be clear and careful in expressing the way rules will be put in effect so everyone understands.  If policy is to be general, it should benefit everyone; sometimes it just isn’t possible.  Anyhow, I believe conversation is key; her situation can be solved if she talks to our department head, who I’m sure will see she takes her day off, and can spend it with her family.

diciembre 17, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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