Danny has a very important meeting this morning out there in the real world, the outcome of which has the potential to change his life for ever.
For over 20 years now he’s worked for a company which makes medical equipment, some of which contains radioactive material. We’re talking scanners and the like here, big stuff. Important stuff if you happen to have cancer.
Companies that make this type of machinery have to have very strict quality control procedures when it comes to the parts and materials that go in to those machines, and Danny is involved in part of the Quality Control chain that ensures that everything is checked properly and that no sub-standard parts are used. It is something he feels passionate about, and it is something he believes everyone who works there should feel passionate about.
Just recently he became aware that procedures weren’t being followed… non-qualified people further along the chain were seeing parts that had been flagged as sub-standard by himself and verified as such by qualified engineers and were marking them as fit for use and directing them into the manufacturing process. As a part of his work Danny saw the documentary proof that this was happening, and on more than one occasion.
His obvious concern was not only that it had happened in the cases he had found, but that it could actually be an endemic situation throughout the whole of the business, so he did the right thing… he sent emails to two of the managers detailing what he had found and providing the documentary evidence.
On Thursday, in front of the whole Department that Danny works in, a couple of unidentified guys came barging in to the office unannounced, made a bee-line for Danny, and starting demanding to know what Danny had meant by certain things in “these emails”, and waving them under his nose.
Danny was sat with his back to his desk facing these guys as they became more and more angry and intimidating.
Like me Danny is transgendered…. in physical form he is a 58 year old woman, about 5′ 3″, albeit of somewhat butch appearance and very much “one of the boys” in the factory.
As the guys became more agitated Danny quite rightly considered that it was time to go, as these guys seemed to be on the point of becoming physical. So he left the office, clocked out, informed the HR department that he was leaving for the rest of the day, and then filled them in with the full details from the safety of home.
What is wrong here ?
1) That ANYONE in a major pharmaceutical equipment manufacturing company can override quality control procedures at the stroke of a pen is beyond belief.
2) That it happens and then the people who are closest to the situation become complicit by not reporting it and having it stopped.
3) That managers who receive confidential emails then “act” on those emails not by paraphrasing or quoting parts of the emails or referencing “information received” but by obviously passing the whole email on to the guilty party/parties is appalling.
4) That there are people in that organisation who feel that is ok for them, as men, to intimidate and frighten a female memnber of staff to the point where she feels she has to leave for her own physical safety.
5)… and Danny hasn’t mentioned this himself but… It seems that Danny’s colleagues in the department did nothing to protect him, and from our conversations about this I would surmise that it was because they felt that if they tried to step in then they themselves may become the target of some form of physical abuse, such was the demeanour of the guys involved.
Welcome to Corporate America !!
Well this morning Danny will be having a meeting with his HR representative to dicuss the various aspects of this whole affair, and it is a meeting with the potential to cause major upheaval in his life.
Danny has suffered a lot of pain himself over the years through the loss of people dear to him through cancer, and is very touchy when it comes to seeing the company he works for putting people’s lives at risk. He feels that if nothing is done to correct the situation, if it just swept under the carpet, then he himself becomes complicit… and he is not the sort of person to allow that to happen, his conscience couldn’t take it.
In those circumstances he feels he would have no option but to leave the company for good, to walk away from it.
The way the whole place operates is a complete shambles anyway, all management layers filled by people who have no idea, and never enough workers – even less of the right sort – and all that has been putting a lot of strain on him and his health for a long time now.
So this morning he goes into a meeting which could have a dramatic effect on his life.
He starts work very early in the mornings so I’ve sent him an email there wishing him luck and so he knows I’ll be thinking of him and holding his hand through it all, and whatever the outcome nothing will change for me… he’ll still be my Danny… my hero.