Response Essay #4: What About Bob
“What about Bob?” is a question that Clyde Mann really needs to answer. Clyde is the head production supervisor at Bowen Fixtures, a hardware manufacturing company.
Bob Hill is a welding technician who has been with Bowen Fixtures for the past 7 years, and has been generally competent and productive. Bob is popular with his coworkers, although he is known to have a bad temper. Even though has “blown up” on coworkers a few times, he always apologizes afterwards. His absenteeism and tardiness rate has also been higher than average for the last several months, mostly on Mondays. However, due to a shortage of experienced welders and Bob’s willingness to stay late or skip lunch to make up his time, Clyde has lived with Bob’s attendance problems. Clyde was a bit concerned about recent rumors from coworkers that Bob has been staying at the neighborhood bar for several hours after work most nights, and that his spouse recently kicked him out, but Clyde figured Bob’s personal life is his own business as long as the work gets done.
Things really started to go bad yesterday when Bob injured himself and a coworker with an acetylene torch. Both employees were sent to the hospital; the burns were significant but treatable; both were released yesterday night. Both were cleared to return to work, but are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. Clyde is still gathering all the details, and has heard conflicting details from eyewitnesses: one said that Bob was being careless, another said he heard Bob and the other employee arguing, a third reported smelling alcohol on Bob’s breath.
To add another wrinkle, the union steward for the manufacturing employees at Bowen Fixtures must be kept informed of the investigation and any action that is taken toward any employee to ensure that the company follows the union contract. The contract states that employees who are involved in accidents can be terminated if it can be shown that they were under the influence, but otherwise should only receive a written reprimand.
- Describe what actions Clyde should take now.
- After the investigation is complete:
- What should the outcome be if the investigation concludes Bob was intoxicated or high at work?
- What should the outcome be if the investigation concludes Bob wasn’t intoxicated or high?
- Discuss some solutions that Clyde and the company could have used to prevent the issues with Bob from occurring in the first place.