Conditional Friends And Situational Promises

Stormy weather is moving in to our neck of the woods. The temperature is a pleasant 72 degrees and wet. I sit reflecting on leadership, which I often do, and the meaning of consistency in what they say and subsequently do. When I left the University over 10 years ago…I feared that I should have remained for January and February of 2011 as I had attained 78.5% of my maximum retirement benefit and felt that I was being imprudent in leaving the other 1.5 % on the table. However since my departure I have earned significantly more than if I had stayed with my employer. There have been almost no raises in pay for SIUC since my departure 10 years and 4 months ago. The first significant thing that comes to mind is that the staff have lost money due to the cost of living. The second concern is that the civil service staff have been consistently asked to cover the work of more and more jobs that were left unfilled due to budgetary shortfalls. The third concern is that these wonderful and hardworking and dedicated people are being pushed to the breaking point by an apparent blindness to their condition.

MJ often tells me that my feelings regarding the University are not held by all who have retired from there. I had some wonderful experiences with Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale during my 32 years and 2 months and 3 weeks. However I have witnessed wrongs that should have been righted and the buddy system for promotion and job assignment…in some areas of the Campus. I have watched, with some sadness, as people work their fingers to the bone…and only received…’Bony Fingers.’ I also have been the recipient of promises that were never kept and friendships by administrators that were conditional on what I could do for them. Most of the time I was able to take these things in my stride as I had enjoyed some success at advocacy for those who had no voice. Sadly…all too often…the people who keep the train running…are the nameless and the faceless…the unseen…and the forgotten.

I was encouraged to hear that Chancellor Lane is developing a training program for staff that will enable them to increase their skills and make them elegible for additional steps on the Career Ladder. The recognition by the Chancellor of the value that his civil service staff bring to the success of SIUC is of vital importance. There is an abundance and a plethora of hidden skills in the civil service community that could so benefit Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…and until Chancellor Lane’s insightful innovative…the value of this community has heard the words off their value…but not seen the substance…

One response

  1. Learning new skills whether for work or pleasure is part of the evolution of life, I know I will never stop learning – even if it only by reading a new book – keep up the good work.

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