June 22, 2008


It's raining so hard in Chicago right now that it's hailing. Dime sized hail is falling, in June! It sounds like my roof is going to fall in on me (a very real fear!), see last June.

At the same time, I can see clear skies to the south. It sort of makes me concerned about a tornado except that there are no gale force winds. Strange. This is probably not going to be good for the region's flooded areas.

Posted by Mendon at 6:29 PM | Comments (3)

June 2, 2008


The BNC is, presently, suffering from a pathology severe enough that is visible to the external world. While I have a deeper understanding because I live in the most proximal community to the national center, I have personally witnessed the shortcomings.

There are a number of things to consider when approaching the BNC. First and foremost, it is a non-profit organization. It is a religious non-profit organization. What this means is that salaries are difficult to make competitive. Furthermore, for the work that they demand, they are grossly underpaid. It is no understatement that the work done at the BNC is 'service'.

Despite not offering a competitive salary, the BNC can be attractive to many people. It is especially beneficial to youth who have recently graduated and are exploring their careers. It gives them the opportunity to earn a living wage while gaining useful experience that they can use to leverage themselves into a better fitting more lucrative position.

The drawback of having an affordable work force is that it suffers from a high turnover rate as individuals find better paying jobs. A high turnover rate requires a fair amount of time invested/wasted in constant training efforts which become a drag on the institution, as a whole, and can drastically reduce the institution's efficiency.

The low pay contributes to a dichotomous corporate structure of the new and the old. The old, bitter about the new that come and go so quickly, perhaps they stayed on out of a sense of noble sacrifice, perhaps they are there because they petered out. The new, bitter that the old do not respect them and unable to appreciate the sacrifices that the old have made. Both attitudes perpetuate the experience of the other. And, as management is usually comprised of members of the old school, it yields poor management techniques that are driven by a belief that the new and young crowd will simply turn over. Management does not have monetary rewards with which to keep talented members of the new crowd and, so, drives them like a herd of animals to an exhausted, frustrated, and premature resignation.

I have witnessed this as a parade of people whom I am privileged to call friends quit or were fired and have moved immediately on and up, all of them members of the new crowd. Yet, it is not this witnessing that I consider to be the sign of pathology.

Rather, it was a phone call that I received from the BNC on friday 5-30-2008. The phone call was in response to an application of mine for employment from the following date: 4-12-2007. Waiting 13.5 months, to me, signals a defeated human resources department that is so depleted of manpower and talented applicants that it must look back to old resumes and cover letters to find a warm body to fill a position. I can only imagine the list of people that they have called prior to me to offer an interview who have already moved on. Now, I am one more person who fills those ranks of people who were once interested in serving at the BNC but will never again consider the option.

The conversation was not encouraging, either. I called back and left a message informing the HR department that I knew that they were viewing an old resume and that it would be an inefficient and inappropriate use of my talent and skills to place me in an entry level position and that I am more qualified for a position in HR. I let them know that if they were interested in considering me for a more skilled position that they could call me at their convenience, which they did (call me at their convenience that is).

The second time I talked to them, it was as though they had not listened to my message. I patiently reiterated my previous statements regarding the old resume, my experience, etc... Then, for the third time I was greeted with the same message about the position for which they wished me to interview. I changed tack and began discussing salary stating that I understood that the BNC could not offer a competitive salary. My statement was denied. So, I moved on asking for a ballpark on my salary. This could not be given to me. I stated that I was interested in a competitive salary and asked if they wanted me to submit a new resume that they could consider for more appropriate jobs. A pause, no response, the voice on the other end of the phone took the discussion back to the job at hand, who I would be working for and what position (thanks, you already told me that). I finally stated that I am happy in my current position and that, in order to get me to consider changing jobs that I would need a meaningful financial incentive. To which I received a statement that working at the BNC is a sacrifice and that they do not have competitive salaries. I was dumbstruck by the self-contradiction. I politely turned down the interview and stated that I hoped that they were able to find a suitable candidate.

While I was frustrated before by the lack of ability to maintain a staff at the BNC, I am now upset that the BNC's pathology has extended to its hiring practices. This is probably because they are strapped for cash or have ineffectual employees in the BNC HR department (as evidenced by the number of times I had to submit my application 14 months ago before they actually acknowledged receiving it), or both. Probably both.

It is unacceptable for this treatment to be extended to the public applying for jobs at the BNC (many of whom have nothing to do with the B part). It is unacceptable for employees who are not be religiously affiliated with the BNC to feel forced out because the environment at the BNC will forever be a representative to the public of how effective and divinely inspired our Faith actually is.

Get it together, now. There is no excuse. The BNC is a representative symbol of the Faith, if it isn't functioning in a way the inspires divinity and piety in its staff, what does that say about the American community? If there isn't money in the budget, create it. There is a large sum of money that is going to projects that can be funded, however more slowly and painfully, by other nations. Shake up and out the bitter old people, increase salaries to attract new and talented people who will get it right instead of creating more work for those who get hired down the line. And, don't call anyone that submitted an application to you last year.

Posted by Mendon at 10:51 PM | Comments (3)