Friday, April 5, 2013

Career, business, reputation the hands of vindictive colleagues....repeated too often

An ambitious and unscrupulous worker who wants to "take over" and a gaggle of adolescent, immature, co-dependent 'sheep' who follow, or collude to destroy another's reputation, when there is some dissent, possibly over the "target's" insistence on standards with which the 'sheep' do not wish to comply....these are too often the ingredients of a form of "ambush", adult bullying, targetted assassination by gang....and it is not only among the real adolescents that we see it's ugly head.
Humans, especially acting together, can be, and often are, extremely malicious. First, as individuals, they would never take the steps, tell the stories, colour the picture as nefariously as they do when "protected by their 'gang' affiliation; second, their neurosis, perhaps of different varieties, but when combined in one concerted goal and action (the attack on the targetted victim) exaggerates, distorts, misrepresents and outright slays any effort to present a full picture of the situation, because their campaign literally takes over in the minds and perceptions of any bystanders...and third, there is always a 'rush to judgement' given the flegling capacity of the 'gang' to hang together.
I have seen this drama played out in public and private schools, colleges, social service agencies, and even in churches. There is a spark planted by someone, innocently complaining about not being given enough respect or attention, and someone, perhaps also innocently, adds a drop of gas of his or her own 'evidence' or complaint to the spark, and then there is a time when two or three meet for coffee and begin to 'talk' gossipping about the targetted individual, in the hope that other memories will be generated to pour a little more fuel onto the tiny fire...and then, it strikes someone, perhaps the person who ignited the first spark and whose revenge is driving the whole 'drama', that this is someone who has to be "removed"especially if there can be even the slightest shed of evidence that that person has done something "wrong"...
These gangs are highly motivated by a singular, insular and neurotic form of morality...that paints the world black and white; their world view can tolerate no grey, no ambiguities and no uncertainties, for they are, after all, now a vigilante gang working to clean up, to protect and to 'serve' the best interests of the clients of the organization whose leader they are about to destroy.
In some cases, they seek the complicity of the legal system; in others, they merely seek the complicity of weak executives who can only see their own "asses" on the line, should the gang's story become public, and who thereby fall into an easy and glib and weak and impenetrable alliance with the 'gang' seeking the destruction of their target.
And organizations are replete with executives who, themselves, cannot see past their own preservation of their futures, and who have been schooled in the public relations of "keeping the story from going public" and so they complicitly remove the "targetted individual" for the sake of the organization, when, in fact, to confront the ambushing gang on their revenge motive would be messy, time consuming, costly and likely to produce more rolling heads, possibly their own.
The neurotic organization, the viscious and cowardly gang and the often excellent leader, especially in the core skills, (here it is child care) are a potential recipe for disaster....and the drama is being played out in towns and cities across the continent today...and there will be more heads roll from this bullying.
Profound thanks to the judge who not only uncovered the maliciousness of the "gang's evidence but called heir behaviour what it is..."vindictive, abhorrent and egregious and shameful."

False abuse allegations against ‘traumatized’ daycare owner started by ‘abhorrent’ employees’, judge rules

By Jen Gerson, National Post, April 4, 2013 CALGARY — According to several witnesses, Canmore, Alta., daycare owner Susan Preece slammed a child on a mat, jammed a pacifier into a baby’s mouth, roughly picked up another kid and shoved yet another one harshly against a foam Disney chair.

That was three years ago. Ms. Preece was charged with seven counts of child assault, but the case did not come to trial until this week, when she was found not guilty.
Meantime, the stigma was so stiff in the small mountain town the woman had to sell her business, Dragonfly Daycare, and her home at a loss. She moved away and will probably never return. She now runs another business, but has given up on the daycare industry.
“This has traumatized her enough that she doesn’t even want to work with children, which is unfortunate because what I have heard is that she was really good with kids,” said her lawyer, Dale Fedorchuk.
“There’s a propensity for people to think that if there’s allegations of abuse, there must be something behind those allegations. My concern is that she may have been convicted in the court of public opinion well before this came to trial.”
This week, Judge Eugene Creighton found Ms. Preece had been framed by several co-workers in their early 20s and a “ring-leader” who wanted her job.
“I find the conduct of these individuals [the former employees] to be vindictive, abhorrent and egregious. Their conduct is shameful,” the judge said.
“They set out to destroy Mrs. Preece and in so doing destroyed her business, her reputation and her right to life free from this type of harassment. I also find the conduct of these former employees as immature and ignorant while in the gallery and especially while Mrs. Preece was on the stand.”
In his 28 years as a criminal defence lawyer, Mr. Fedorchuk said he has never seen a judge offer such a harsh admonition to witnesses.
When Ms. Preece took the stand to proclaim she was innocent of abusing children at her daycare centre, her accusers sat in the gallery, rolling their eyes and contorting their faces.
“They were making faces, they were doing things like tossing their heads, rolling their eyes, reacting to the evidence in a non-neutral way,” Mr. Fedorchuk said.

“It was disruptive enough that on a couple of occasions we all turned around to look at them.”
Mr. Fedorochuk said many of the accusers had given multiple statements to the police — sometimes with matching language that indicated they were colluding. They went to the children’s parents to warn them about the “abuse,” although no bruises or other evidence were ever found.
He said the case should never have made it to court.
“Most of the cases of child abuse we get are horrendous. This is so far and away from that scale, from even the bottom of that scale, that it was surprising.”
The lawyer believes there was no shortage of personal animosity between Ms. Preece and her employees. But sometime in the spring of 2010, the young daycare workers began to record evidence of abuse.

The first “assault” was witnessed by employee Stacey Bramble who, according to group documents, said Ms. Preece slammed a boy onto the mat in a bid to keep him down for a nap.
Yet the worker saw no injuries, the child seemed okay and she did not file a police report at the time.
On cross examination, her testimony wavered.
Then came the rub: Ms. Bramble, who was considered their leader by the other accusers, wanted to become the daycare centre’s director. After the allegations came to light, she succeeded: Ms. Preece was removed and replaced by Ms. Bramble in an acting capacity.
She quit in April 2010 when someone else was hired for the job permanently.
“Ms. Bramble also admitted that after the accused was charged with these offences she and her co-workers were looking at buying the Dragonfly Daycare Centre,” the judge wrote.
She later went on to open her own daycare.
“When [Ms. Preece’s] charges became public, some of the parents were pulling their children out of Dragonfly and approaching her to provide daycare,” according to court documents.
In his examination of witnesses’ testimony, Judge Creighton also found evidence the women had colluded, organizing their stories to create a case for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“In any circumstance where there’s an allegation of children being abused, or harmed in some way, police must investigate those allegations,” Mr. Fedorchuk said.
“On the other hand, though, at some stage, somebody has to take a cold hard look at the evidence.”
Some of the allegations, he said, did not meet the legal standard of assault. Several of the charges, including one that accused Ms. Preece of shoving a pacifier into a baby’s mouth, were later dropped by the Crown.
Mr. Fedorchuk said that given the exceptional circumstances of the case, he would seek to have the court pay Ms. Preece’s legal costs.
“She’s very happy she was found not guilty, but she was also very emotional. The whole ordeal she’s gone through over the last three years, the accumulation of stress, the accumulation of anxiety and the small amount of fear of what the result might be,” he said.

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