Hopkins Hospital: Too big to care?

July 15, 2011

Barbara Moseley is spot on with her commentary regarding the treatment of staff members at the Johns Hopkins Hospital ("Hopkins disrespectful to clerical workers," July 12). I was treated in a very similar way as I faced a regime of chemotherapy treatments in 2010.

I was called into my boss' office; he looked right at me and said, "We are eliminating your position. I can cut you a check right now if you like."

I didn't like. I went right to HR, and as Ms. Moseley said, the HR people are just lip service and really don't care at all about staff. At that time I was very close to serving my 25th year and retirement.

Thankfully, I worked with some faculty members who had humanity, and they paid a partial salary to me off their grants, which kept me on until my 65th birthday. Without their help, I would have been out. Who would want to hire a 64-year old heading for chemo?

HR's response was that I didn't have to say anything to prospective bosses. And mine was: But I am starting chemo — don't you think they will notice my hair falling out and my sudden lack of energy? They were of no help.

I ended up writing a letter to the president and the provost of Johns Hopkins University, but I didn't hear anything back. Not a surprise. Hopkins is so big now, and its bottom line, although it's a non-profit, is the dollar.

Hopkins may help millions of people all over the world, but they could care less about the many staff members who work tirelessly to help make Hopkins what it is. How can such a world-renowned institution think so little of its own employees?

Mary-Jo Dale

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