Letter to the editor

A reader asked in the Oct. 11 Ask Milt column, "Is there is any chance Congress will ever improve the ability of federal managers to discipline or fire nonviable employees?" My question is, "Is there any way for an employee to have a nonviable supervisor fired?"

Ask any worker if they know of a bad supervisor, and I'm sure that you'll find that virtually everyone has had or has heard of a supervisor that belittles workers, degrades and insults them and gives them poor performance ratings, thus preventing them from receiving bonuses and/or advancements.

I personally know of at least one supervisor that targets specific workers with insults, put-downs and other forms of degrading remarks and actions.

A study by a professor at Ohio State University suggests that "bad attitudes by workers are six to seven times more likely to be the boss' fault" and that "cynical employees are made...by poor management, bad leadership style, not involving employees, not listening, tending to point the finger of blame at other people."

The study goes on to state that "to get the most out of employees, the best advice for a bad boss is to remember that attitudes in the office are usually formed from the top down."

If this manager is asking how to fire nonviable employees, then my suggestion would be for them to first take a good look in a mirror to determine the "true" source of the problem. I'm not saying that this person is a bad manager, but the study indicates that the chances are about 70 percent that they are — at least to one employee.

Name withheld by request

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