Saturday, October 8, 2011

To Some Coin People: Follow Ted Williams' Classic Advice

What advice?

"If you don't think too good, don't think too much."

I truly love most coin people, but I've got to be brutally honest here. Some aren't very smart. Or rather, many are prone to repeat and live by some old bromides their father or grandfather once told them, and ohh, let's just say their own powers of critical analysis aren't all that sharp. Okay?

I have had the pleasure of hearing from one ANA LIfe Member who insists that so long as no one lies about what exactly led to Larry Shepherd's departure, we are entitled to know exactly what is was, because as long as it's true, no one can be sued.

[sigh] I used to be that naive too, once. Not any more.

Courts and legislatures have been slowly but surely moving the goalposts on Human Resources and Employment law in this country to the point that HR pros now have one type of advice to employers - never say anything bad about an ex-employee to anyone. You can't afford the lawsuit.

Truth is no shield. Why else do you think every firing or resignation comes with bland pablum statements involving "take a different direction" or even the classic "spend more time with my family"? We don't get to know the details. Not any more.

It doesn't matter if you pay dues, pay taxes, whatever. Human Resources Law = Shut Up and Maintain Secrecy. High government officals are fired every week. All we hear is they left to seek other opportunities. Yeah, like the opportunity to get paid again because the government stopped paying him, maybe even because a boss didn't like the way he sent an email or how he parted his hair.

It's called "at will" employment. If you don't have a written contract, union or otherwise, or you work in Montana, you have no protection whatsoever. Courts realize this. They know workers are powerless against an employer in a firing scenario. So to partially compensate, they bend over backwards to protect former employees through allowing them to sue for defamation, often even if the charges aired by the employer are true. It's 2011, people. Do try to keep up. This is the one curse of coin people. They tend to be "paleo-thinkers". They want to believe most things never change over centuries or millenia. If only that were true.

Your grandpappy's old bromides once were useful. Not any more. The world has changed. And it's mostly coin collectors that seem to have problems keeping current. It's the same problem that allows them to have collections of Roosevelt dimes or Washington quarters that end in 1964 and they still call them "complete". Not by a longshot, babycakes, not by a mile.

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