Sunday, September 25, 2005

Constructive Discharge

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

To whom it may concern:

As of May 28, 2004 I, MY NAME hereby resign due to Constructive Discharge: Claudia Lambourne (not innocent, so real name is published!), Salt Lake City, Call Center Director had a meeting with me and my manager, *Gary in the last week of April 2004. Claudia told me that I had a week to decide if I was going to support her and traditional management (MBO – manage by objective) or I had to leave.

When I accepted my position as Coordinator January 10, 2003 I was promised an environment where I could continue to lead with Quality Theory techniques. I have used Quality Theory Leadership for the duration of my Harland management career. Almost two weeks following our initial discussion (the beginning of May) Claudia approached me and I told her that I had decided to stay. For the next week I realized that no matter how hard I worked or how much I would accomplish, Claudia was never going to respect, trust, or support me. She would eventually fire me, coerce my resignation or concoct a reason for termination, as she has with two prior senior members of Harland leadership staff; *Jenny, HR manager and *Emily, Inbound Manager.

During our initial meeting, I was also put on a written warning because Human Resources had lost three signed copies of my agent's written warnings. I was never told to keep a copy of the signed warnings in the agent's files at my desk. At the time of the warnings, we had no HR representative and we were told to give them to *Olivia Administration. To my knowledge there was no investigation of HR or support staff to determine true ownership of the loss. The blame was solely assigned to me. I suggested they contact the employees involved to witness that I had executed the warning process. They refused to contact *Jessica who no longer works for Harland to verify that she had signed her written warning. *Donna claims she never signed one, but does remember the conversation. *Grace also remembers signing her written warning. During this meeting I told (my manager) *Gary that I was worried that more signed documents would suddenly "go missing". *Gary said I had a valid concern and we agreed that if any more documents went missing that I would not be put on a final warning. Since our meeting, there has been another warning that has gone missing from December, *Johanna also remembers signing it.

After a couple weeks of realizing that I had no future at Harland because my director does not support that I lead my team using Quality Theory, of which our call center was established; I decided to give my two weeks notice. I had already scheduled vacation, so I advised *Gary that I would be taking the rest of my vacation and sick time during the two weeks. I planned to return to work Thursday May 27, 2004. I advised my last day would be Friday, May 28.
Personal health concerns also led to my decision to resign. I'm on my 5th month of fertility drugs and my doctor advised me that I needed to reduce the amount of stress in my life. The hostile work environment created by Claudia’s systematic destruction of Quality and the removal of key Quality leadership, is the primary source of stress in my life. After careful consideration and consultation, it was established that resignation was my only choice for improved health.

On Monday May 24, 2004 I received a voice message from *Barbara, new Human Resources Manager. She advised me that her and Claudia had decided that I did not need to return to work that my personal belongings would be packed in a box and ready for me to come pick up. I immediately called *Barbara back and advised her that I planned on working Thursday and Friday, and wanted to make sure that I would still be paid for those days if they were not going to let me work. *Barbara confirmed that I would be paid for the entire week. I also asked if I could pack my own desk, otherwise it seems that I was being fired. *Barbara agreed and would make sure that no one touches my desk. I also wanted to confirm that I wouldn't have a time limit when I came to pack my desk, as I planned on working those two days to say goodbye to my associates and gain closure. *Barbara confirmed that she would talk to Claudia and tell her that this is what we had agreed upon.

During the last ten months I have been publicly humiliated, harassed and targeted by Claudia. In leadership meetings she has singled me out. My manager had to confront her about dismissing my contributions during a meeting. Claudia has segregated those that worked for her at Starwood (their former employer) from the rest of us.

I know that Claudia had been given feedback indicating that she must meet certain goals within the center to keep her position. It is my opinion, that she cannot meet these goals and in knowing such, has decided to eliminate her support staff in order to claim their incompetence as a reason for her failure.

For example:
*Gary's former counterpart *Emily was fired because she wrote an open and honest email to Leadership asking that we have team meetings instead of Center meetings with a corporate visitor. (We had not had team meetings in several months, bringing moral down on the floor.) We were told that she was let go because she wasn't following Harland's values, one of which is Open and honest communication.

Our former Human Resources Leader, *Jenny left on her own accord because of Claudia's lack of leadership and support. Even my manager, *Gary has been told that if his departments don't meet their goals in 30 days his job is gone. I believe that Claudia is just putting off the inevitable, losing her own job.

I had really enjoyed working for Harland for the first 2 of my almost 3 years! It had been the best job I ever had. I learned so much from all of the coordinators, my managers: *Gary and *Emily, and former director, Chris Glynn.

It's a shame that one person in a position of power can disintegrate the positive attitude and stable foundation of a prosperous career organization that was SLC CCC under the leadership of Chris and his Quality leadership staff.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI, This blog is spot on for what is happening at Extra Space Storage right now. Claudia started a new call center up for them back in October 08´, by following the recipe that you are describing here. I really hope that future employers will google her name before they hire her. History is going to repeat it self at Extra Space Storage and she is going to get fired, she can only cover over her incompetency for so long.

5/27/2009 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you can pretty much change the setting and the script stays the same.

5/27/2009 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same thing can be said for what is happening at Extra Space Storage.

5/28/2009 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was not my experience at all. I disagree completely. Claudia was the best boss I ever had and I learned a lot from her. She was my boss for 3 years and very successful. Everyone loved her. She definitely wasn't incompetent. I hope anyone who reads those anonymous posts takes them for what they are - sour grapes. I am sure there is another side to this story. It really isn't fair to say things like this about someone on a blog.

9/19/2009 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may not have been the previous poster's experience that Claudia Lambourne is a horrible manager and incompetent, but obviously since she was recently fired from Extra Space Storage it is the general consensus. I would also assume that since there are more "sour grapes" than not that the majority rules on this issue.

Claudia will not be missed here at Extra Space Storage.

10/07/2009 8:02 AM  

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