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Don’t Let the Bell Toll for You
By Chuck Mulidore
"Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” These words were written by Ernest Hemingway in his 1940 novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” You may wonder how words from a novel based on the Spanish Civil War can have relevance to your life as an EAS employee in the Postal Service.
I recently attended a NAPS event where one of the issues that came up was EAS falsification of time and scans. In other words, EAS employees changing employee clock rings or entering scanning data that is not accurate. This often is done to meet a mandate from some higher-level entity indicating all carriers must be off the street by a certain time or all scans must be validated prior to the facility closing or meeting a cut-off time.
NAPS preaches that each employee must resist these artificial and often conflicting mandates and that each employee must maintain their personal integrity and not falsify scan data. NAPS further urges all EAS employees to confront these mandates by letting their bosses know the mandate is impossible to attain or simply cannot be done that day.
We understand this can be a difficult task. Is it easy to tell your boss the mandate they are attempting to enforce from their boss and their
bosses’ boss is not possible? No, it is not; we recognize that. Yet, each of us must maintain our honesty and truthfulness because if we cannot do that in the face of an impractical or illogical mandate, then we open ourselves to the risk of a variety of events that may occur, none of which will be good.
In the minutes of the spring 2019 Executive Board meeting published in the June issue of The Postal Supervisor magazine (see page 23), it is noted that, in 2018, 150 cases were processed through the NAPS Disciplinary Defense Fund (DDF). These included adverse action cases appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). One of the leading charges made by the Postal Service against EAS employees is falsification.
While the NAPS DDF is the best in the business and one of the benefits of your membership in NAPS, we do not want to see any EAS employee put themselves in jeopardy of losing their job. You see, the very people who give you an unrealistic directive are the same people who will issue your adverse action for falsifying data to accomplish their absurd instruction.
So, just don’t do it! Push back; send an email that explains you cannot accomplish the order of the day and you need your boss to help you accomplish the mission. You most likely will not receive an email in response, but continue to document your concerns and, at the end of the day, do NOT falsify any data. You will not be fired for having integrity and courage, but you may be fired for falsifying data.
And, by the way, your boss most likely will develop postal amnesia when you plead you only were trying to enforce an impossible order; you will, most likely, suffer all the consequences. Thus, please maintain your personal honesty and integrity because, remember: While today is but only one day in all the days of your life, what will happen in all those other days may depend on what you do today.
Do the right thing—for yourself, your family and the Postal Service.