Today a handful of my former staffers at Dallas ISD got told around 3 p.m. that their services to the district were no longer needed; this in the wake of the impending RIF where hundreds are going to be greeted to the same conversation.
I won't name the names, but they were good people. I'm sure there will be those out there who love to talk up the "if they'd just get rid of the dead weight at Central Office" bit, but you'd be in error to say this about these real, live people who have been let go today and even as recently as a few months ago.
Several who were let go today include the switchboard operations. In the days when I was with the district, they were handling up to some 3,000 phone calls a day. So if you need something via phone, I hope you know the number you want. Before 5 p.m. today the 972-925-3700 was being answered by automation saying there wasn't anyone there to answer the phone.
I noticed in the news release that they'll get the "customary" one month pay.
I didn't know there was such a thing, but it won't be easy for my friends. One of them has suffered health issues over the past few years and we all know the cost of COBRA is like giving BC/BS an arm and a leg for each month you continue it. Drawing unemployment until he/she finds another job, you can count on him/her about to be without health insurance.
I talked with a couple of those let go tonight and my heart goes out to them. Over 5.5 years as their department head, we went through a lot of things. We endured sudden deaths of colleagues, births, marriages, separations, divorces, you name it. We were all a pretty close-knit family away from home and it hurt to hear their voices tonight after being hit with this news today.
This is only going to get worse in Dallas. Particularly when we start hearing the stories of the teachers who get RIFed.
Yeah, it's important to stay within the law and not overspend, but we're seeing more and more how this impacts people who get up each morning and go to work, never in their lives expecting that after as many as 8-10 years of dedication to the cause, they're told today at 3 p.m. to get their things and leave and not come back.
Great timing to be sending anyone out on to the streets. Great timing indeed. More people lower on the totem pole paying the price for the errors of the leaders. Great system we have in place there. Just great.
Once again, I implore you today to resist the cliche to say that dead weight got let go from DISD Monday. That's simply not the case.
If you were one of the ones RIFed, or are about to be, I don't mind making phone calls or sending emails, etc on your behalf to help you find a job again soon. We all know the holidays are fast approaching and the markets lost $1.1 trillion yesterday. If you want to contact me, you can do so through Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Or just send me an email to theyRIFed@me.com. Can't make any promises, but I'll do what I am able.