16 August 2011

The Money Quote

“When I look at a guy who has to report to drill every month, as a manager and as a hirer, I have to think about that,” he said. “I know he’s gonna be asking for a lot of days off, and that isn’t easy to give. Some guys come back from the war with all sorts of issues, which is understandable, but I have to deal with that. Honestly, I think about it twice before I hire them.”

No one will admit this. They can't. It is as socially acceptable as admitting you like to fart in church to have the pew to yourself. But the truth is that guys in uniform see this every single day. It's just taken Jonathan Raab to write down and tell the story of what everyone's been thinking inside. His story is compelling, and hardly unique. But it's a story that needs to be told - has to be told - again and again and again, until the rest of America 'gets it'.

“Everybody wants to support the troops until they have to share in the hardship and sacrifice,” I said. “Then all of a sudden that bumper sticker or that flag pin doesn’t mean anything anymore.”

By: Brant


Anonymous said...

This has been true of every war the United States has fought, and most wars that practically every other country has fought: the war is over, put the troops back in the box, do as little as possible for the returning maimed and shattered. There have been exceptions but this is the general rule.
(captcha word = "yelly"! I am feelign a bit yelly today, thank you.)

RangerX3X said...

It depends on the type of job that the person would have with the company. If it requires them to work weekends, then of course this would be an issue. But if the person would work Monday-Friday, no matter what hours, then this is a non-issue and any manager making that statement would solely be discriminating on the potential hire based on their military background.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably going to get flamed into oblivion for this...but this article really shows the infinite number of slippery slopes that face not only returning vets, but also the organizations / groups to whom they return. And IMHO it is not just the "fault" of those who didn't serve...
One on side, a potential employer needs to look at the very real economics of running a company. This includes things like staffing, utilization, skillset and development. Since companies are NOT not-for-profit or charitable organizations, being in the black is an absolute necessity. As a result, hiring choices have to be based on economic reality. An employer may want to "do the right thing" and support the troops by hiring vets, but if that company becomes uneconomical (for whatever reason) then everyone loses.
So what is an employer supposed to do? If they say "oh..you poor, suffering veteran...life must be very hard for you" then they are patronizing vets and hardly doing them a service. If they say "we need you to do this job and sorry about your other commitments" then they are accused (at best) of being insensitive. How can ANYONE win in this situation?
IMHO (and the thing that I didn't like about Raab's approach)is that there has to be open and genuine communication, and it has to involve veterans "opening up". How is anyone who hasn't served supposed to react / respond to a vet if we don't have any idea of what they went through, or how they feel? Smiling through gritted teeth does nothing for the vet or the manager...except make it more likely to happen again and again.
I think what the military should be doing for it's returning service men is to teach them how to individually re-intergrate into a society that "doesn't get it". It certainly seems like this would be more effective than trying to educate the entire spectrum of society that vets may (or may not) need special treatment (but don't expect them to disclose anything about what and how).

With respect,

Jack Nastyface