Sunday, June 05, 2011

The page affair

Yes, the girl was wrong to do what she did. It was disrespectful, immature and just plain stupid. I said as much in a comment I made over at BC Blue.

My comment was less about her actions, than Dean's belief that she should never have been hired in the first place because of her *obvious biases*. Our exchange in the comment section is as follows:
canadianna Says:

Her ideas and her biases are no reason to have kept her from working as a page. It isn’t bizarre to assume that adults can have strong opinions and not act on them in such an embarrassing way. The failure is not with the hiring process, but with a woman who has no sense of duty and responsibility upon having been hired. In my reading of her history, her writing, performances and opinions might have been a little out there, but her prior actions gave no indication that she would be unable to fulfill the oath she swore.

  • BC Blue Says:

    That’s why resumes and background checks are kinda important dontcha think? Were either of these done and if they were, you’re saying that with her obvious biases, which should have made her automatically unsuitable for a non-partisan position, are acceptable to you? Please tell me you don’t do any hiring in real life.

    • canadianna Says:

      Automatically unsuitable? Are you telling me that people with biases should never be given a non-partisan job? That’s pretty narrow. People always have biases, and should behave themselves. Being passionate about her politics should not have prevented her from being a page. She should have *behaved* differently, not *thought* differently. There is nothing in her past behaviour that could have predicted that she would be so disrespectful of the position she took. And yes, I have hired people — some of whom disagreed with me. Life is full of divergent opinions but we have to judge people on their actions, not their biases.

      • BC Blue Says:

        That’s right, if the person who hired her had done their job, she would have never been hired based on her activism and bias.

Are we really in a place that we should be vetting people, not based on their credentials and their qualifications, but rather, on their beliefs and value systems? Sure, the job she held is non-partisan, but most people working even on the periphery of the political realm, do so because there is a level of interest. That this girl's interest (bias) would translate into misbehaviour and the disrespect of the institution where she held her position was absolutely unpredictable. I am unabashedly biased in favour of conservatism but if I took a job where I was meant to remain non-partisan while in uniform, I would do so . . . despite the fact that I blog and am politically active in other ways.

Adults can separate their job from their politics when need be. This person has displayed great immaturity, but that immaturity was in no way predictable by her *biases*. There must be many others of her generation, working as pages, who believe heavily in socialism or other non-Conservative ideals who did not pull similar stunts. Should they be removed from their jobs based on their politics because their disagreement with the current government could potentially assert itself in the same stupid manner as this girl?

This girl knows it's a celebrity driven culture. She has a name now and likely, a new job very soon. This was not about politics, but about selfishness --- and there are many, many people with similarly strong opinions who would not put their own notoriety above their self-respect and the respect for the institutions they serve. That doesn't always show up on a resume or in the university papers one writes.