Last October, my friend H., a Compuware employee for 16 years, was called into a conference room along with about 50 co-workers where they were all informed their positions were being eliminated. They had 30 minutes to vacate the premises. H., who at age 62 was looking forward to retirement in about three years, was denied the opportunity to say goodbye to friends or co-workers, or to make any preparations for his future. "Feel free to re-apply for another position within the company," the newly unemployed folks were told. Right.
Yesterday, along with announcing another round of approximately 300 lay-offs, Compuware announced one notable new hire. It's former Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, who was forced to resign from office in the wake of a major scandal involving cheating and lying of every possible sort, a scandal that dragged on for months and left this already beleagured city 9 million dollars poorer. Kilpatrick, recently released from jail after serving a (laughable) 99 day sentence as punishment for his crimes, will transfer to the company's Dallas office, where his job will entail getting governmental health care programs in the south and southeastern United States online.
"Regardless of what you think, regardless of all the stuff that has happened, people should understand this is a very, very talented human being, and frankly, I want to take advantage of that," Peter Karmanos, Compuware CEO, said in this morning's Detroit Free Press.
Talented? At what? Cheating people? Being morally reprehensible? Lying? Mismanagement of city funds? Could one of his "talents" lie in the fact that his mother, Congresswoman Carloyn Kilpatrick, sits on the House Ways and Means Committee?
Frankly, I wouldn't trust this man to take out my garbage.
This is just the sort of disheartening news which lands a sucker punch to this soul-weary state. At a time when thousands of hardworking, honest people in the state of Michigan have lost their jobs, it is nothing short of an outrage to hand over a plum position to a man who abused his power and defrauded an entire city. How about a break for some of us ordinary folks, whose needs are simply taking care of our families, paying our bills on time, and trying to live the best life we possibly can?
Sure, I know we can't all be as "extremely talented" as our vaunted ex-Mayor, but I'm willing to bet there's a few good minds wandering around out here somewhere.