“The police know that only two well, mam. Have a good day.”
Lisa Harrison had risen from her black leather manager’s chair. She was in the process of making coffee when her phone rang. Lisa walked back to her desk to get it.
“Good morning. It’s Bill James from The People’s Voice calling.”
The first thought that crossed Lisa’s mind was, “I wish I had just called in sick this morning.” Yet everyday was much like this in Lisa’s position. There was always some crisis to deal with. Lisa Harrison believed that the best phrase to describe her job description was “intense, daily crisis management.” She always had a bottle of Tylenol Extra-Strength in her desk.
Lisa did not like Bill James. Bill would often come around to The House of Hope to talk to the residents. Bill was not allowed in the facility itself. There was,however, nothing that the administration could do if Bill talked to clients when they went outside the facility to have a smoke. Sometimes Bill would buy a resident a cup of coffee and a doughnut at Tim Horton’s and ask them questions about the goings on at The House of Hope. These conversations would often provide good material for an upcoming article in the People’s Voice.
Lisa had given strict orders to all employees of The House of Hope not to say anything to Bill James or grant him any interviews. The executive director had told the staff that if they were to talk to Bill or answer any of his questions their employment would be terminated. This would be considered “just cause” for firing as the employee would have broken the organization’s
confidentiality agreement. In the past their had been two House of Hope employees who had tested out whether or not the executive director would enforce this policy. To their dismay they found out that Lisa Harrison could and would carry out this disciplinary action. When the two staff contacted their local union for help they were told that the union could do nothing for them as the employees had signed the organization’s confidentiality agreements.
As a people’s advocate Bill James had also been known to attend city council meetings and to voice his concerns about things that were allegedly occurring at The House of Hope. Bill had gone as far as to challenge Lisa Harrison to a debate on a local radio talk show. The executive director continued to ignore his offer. She hoped that the public would see Bill as just a disgruntled communist who was trying to stir up the pot.