February 17, 2018

Responses to Experience vs. Performance

By LJ Staff

Last week’s letter about deciding who to fire sparked several alternate responses from readers with different approaches and reactions to the problem.

I think your answer to "Unsure" about having to pick between two people to cut costs – one seasoned and one new – hit on some good points, but didn’t take the entire picture into consideration. It’s easy for a new employee who is fresh out of school with new ideas to come off as "fabulous" while the seasoned worker is admittedly adequate and has "more than paid her dues," but what is the rest of this picture? Does the tenured worker have a family? Does she have responsibilities? Is she eligible for retirement or does she still need to work a few more years to get there? If she were laid off, what are her chances of getting another position as compared to someone younger? Has she been given opportunities to expand her role in her job? Training or workshops to add a new dimension to her work and give her a new outlook?To me this borders on age discrimination. If the senior person was a poor performer and has been kept only because of seniority, then the decision is easy. And I’m betting the older worker gets paid more (after years on the job) and the cost savings would be greater.
– Richard L. Helmes, Press Officer, Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Libraries never fire anyone because of funding cutbacks. That’s why we have an acquisitions budget. Cut your materials budget to the bone, but keep your librarians. As long as we have Google, we need good librarians more than we need new books.
– David Barton, Dean, Library & Information Services, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul Please don’t call any questions asked dumb. (How do you find things out unless you ask?) The word dumb belittles the asker and I for one would be leery of asking you another question.
– Mary K. I think your answers were excellent and very fair. I got fired once and it was the most unpleasant experience of my life. And I was banned from ever going back to the place. I didn’t even know why they did it. And I was a six-month temporary employee and the six months were up. Why couldn’t they have just left it at that? I’ll never know. I would rather have been treated in some manner as you suggested. Thank you for being so compassionate.
– Linda Rose, Manager, Shoalwater Bay Tribal Community Library