Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Entitled to entitlements: Ornge ™ edition

So today, a former exec at Ornge ™ was disputing the idea that her rapid rise from an ex-lifeguard to a top executive position there had nothing to do with her relationship with her boyfriend who ran the company.   Perhaps she is telling the truth, but one can't help but be skeptical -- and wonder if life is imitating art.

Case in point:

The 1985 comedy film Head Office was a farce starring an all star cast led by Judge Reinhold and Edward Albert, about a slacker business college graduate who inexplicably rises in a cross-industry conglomerate to executive vice president in a matter of weeks simply because he is the son of a corrupt US Senator.   His star is partly guided, however, by his simple honesty such as when he tells the people of a town whose plant is closing that it's because his bosses' greed.    It's only when he gets to the top that he discovers the company which is moving the plant to a Latin American country, trying to help get rid of that country's "totalitarian" dictator for an "authoritarian" one more friendly to the United States.

Where have we heard that one before?

Most companies have clearly defined boundaries about intra-office relationships and even ones between corporate employees and those of their suppliers or their delivery providers.   Specifically, if a relationship is getting a bit too serious that could compromise impartiality then both should agreed to report independently to separate bosses with a clear firewall between the two    When it's the head of the company and one of his immediate subordinates, however, it's sexual harassment at its worse and cronyism at its best.   If "best" can actually count as ethical.

The provincial Liberal government has a lot to answer for on how a private contract could have gotten so out of hand like this.   A medical service of this importance should be owned by and run for the public.   If that sounds socialistic, I make no apologies because there are some things private enterprise simply should not be allowed to handle.

For what it's worth, I think it's also unacceptable that the head of this company, whose almost only client was the Government of Ontario, was making $1.4 million per year.    By comparison, the chief coroner -- literally the province's top physician -- made a paltry $405,000 (give or take).   And the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty makes only  $158,000.

And then we get a girlfriend cum communications director cum lifeguard who also rakes in the dough.

What ever happened to accountability, and paying people what they actually deserve, not an amount deliberately concocted to keep key assets from fleeing to the private sector?

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