Sunday, August 23, 2009
Respect of a Man
My youngest son will turn twenty one tomorrow. This is a hat tip to Jordan, aka "Mr. Schau" of Mr. Schau.com. He is my webmaster and also the host of a site known as "PureNeeds.com". He is most certainly a rising "bon vivant". He leaves today for Las Vegas and then after he drops his bags at Columbia in New York, where he will be Junior in the Engineering Program at SEAS, he will meet his sister in Nice, France for a quick vacation abroad on Tuesday.
But this entry is not about Jordan, but about the two mediations over which I presided this week. Without revealing any confidential information, the first was the wrongful termination of a young, Hispanic kitchen worker and the second was a contract issue by a well known celebrity. Both cases were resolved, with hugely different results monetarily, but with a single commonality. Each of these men brought their legal claims because they were disrespected in the workplace and the only means to attain the respect to which each knew instinctively they were entitled was to seek legal redress. The kitchen worker was not represented by counsel, but the celebrity could also not get his point across without legal representation. In the end, once I was able to acknowledge and confirm their positions and contributions to the Companies to which they had dedicated years of work, the money part was easily resolved. The Companies they sued were not able or willing to acknowledge or value those contributions without engaging a mediator who could evaluate them with a degree of neutrality. I would conclude it was also a degree of humanity--which often times a corporate culture doesn't bring to the table.
So here's to you, Jordan, and to all good men: may you always act with integrity, work with intelligence and humanity to others and earn the respect of others and to acknowledge the contribution of your friends and colleagues.