Mother Suspended From Work for Taking Call From U.S. Marine Son in Afghanistan

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 5 months ago

From The Daily Mail:

The mother of a U.S. marine serving in Afghanistan was suspended from her job after answering a phone call from her son during work hours.  Teresea Danford was sent home and docked three days pay for violating a company policy of taking calls phones during work time.  She was also told if she used her cell phone again she would be fired from her job at the Crane Interiors Factory in Woodbury, Tennessee.

Danford said she was aware the company had a no cell phone policy but would have answered the call anyway.

Her son Lance Corporal Mark Ryhne, who has been in Afghanistan seven months, is allowed to make one call a month on a satellite phone.

Danford said: ‘There is nothing in this world that would stop a mother from answering a phone call from her son, and what if it was not my son?

‘What if he’d been hurt and someone was trying to contact me?

‘You don’t want to miss a word, because truthfully that might be the last time you hear from them.’

Danford said her bosses on the production line confronted her immediately after she took the call on Valentine’s Day.

She said: ‘I said “you are aware that my son is serving in Afghanistan and he can only call me when that satellite phone gets to his unit,” and he looked me straight in the eyes and said yes.’

Danford was sent home from work and told she was suspended for three days without pay.

The company bans cell phone use for safety and health reasons.

But after the local media picked up on the story the company was bombarded with calls and hate messages.

The firm, which makes interiors for luxury yachts, did a U-turn and apologised for the suspension.

Company manager Chris Anderson said they had also revised their phone policy for employees.

He said: ‘We have several retired military personnel that currently work for us, and their service along with Ms Danford’s son’s service to our great country is greatly appreciated by all, within the Crane Interiors family.

This is fake repentance.  Apologizing after they are caught in this moral outrage is rather like a child crying from a spanking he got after rummaging through the cookie jar.  He’s sorry he was caught with cookies.  If they were truly broken that they did something like this, they wouldn’t have confronted her with multiple managers (Was one not enough?  Were they afraid of her?) and then sent her home without pay.  There is no question as to the existence of the policy or their actions.

The only question is how a company like this stays in business?  They obviously have no idea how to maintain mentally healthy, happy and fulfilled employees, or even good customer relations (did they consider how this would be perceived by the public?).  And the management of the company hasn’t been completely honest with us concerning the policy (the policy isn’t really in effect for safety reasons, or else the policy could be amended to require an employee to remove himself from production if he had to take a call).  The policy is in place over concerns for losing a minute or two of production time, as if that could ever possibly compare in importance to the genuine joy of seeing a mother talk to her son when he is at war.

I know this feeling well.  I’ve seen my wife take that phone call at odd hours.  And I know what it feels like to stand at the doorway looking out into the front yard at 0200 hours waiting for a visit from a Marine officer and a Chaplain (that thankfully never came), all the while knowing that I had to leave for work in five or six hours.  And I also know about the good, restful sleep when that phone call came and you knew that, at that particular time, your son is alive.  There is nothing like it for the soul.

The management of this company could have allowed her to remove herself from production and then make the time up later, or even dock her pay, or better yet, contribute her income over that five or ten minutes to a patriotic and hurting Marine mother who was sacrificing more than anyone could ever imagine who hasn’t given a son over to war.  Stateside, the management should also consider what it means to prohibit answering of phone calls that might come from the hospital from a loved one who has been involved in an accident.

But they didn’t.  This was thoughtful, intentional, and premeditated.  They meant to do exactly what they did.  That makes me think that there is more to this report than meets the eye.  There may be a political view of some sort that this company is elevating above decency and compassion.  I might have expected this from, say, San Francisco – but Woodbury, Tennessee? And that makes me think that if I were an employee of this company, I would be looking for another job.

  • ArmyMom

    This article brought me to tears-sorry but it really hit home. And I don’t cry easily. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

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  • Burk

    It makes me think that we need more and better unions, which would have given this mother a particle of human rights at work.

  • Herschel Smith

    I have to demur. Doing things like forcing this company to honor dignity only allows the bad companies to stay in business. It’s better to allow the market to weed out the bad actors. This company is better off letting their customers run them out of business by not purchasing anything. I’m sorry to say that with the employees there, but management like this cannot be forced to care. And if they don’t care, then they shouldn’t have employees at all.

  • Sando

    This is on the level of jeering a wounded vet. Even worse, actually. I wish I could afford a yacht so I could give all my business to their direct competitor.

  • Corsair8X

    Shameful. I have a feeling that a company that makes “luxury yacht interiors” will simply never be in a position to appreciate what these military families must endure on a daily basis. I don’t think there is a political angle with them. I think this is simply a case of people and the people they service being so out of touch with the sacrifices that allow them to lead such comfortable lives.

You are currently reading "Mother Suspended From Work for Taking Call From U.S. Marine Son in Afghanistan", entry #6376 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Patriotism and was published February 22nd, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

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