Such is the case of Corrections Corporation of America, a company which on its "careers" site proclaims:
"We need the best people to serve our customers.
CCA is the nation’s largest provider of outsourced corrections management. Every day, our employees keep our private jails and prisons safe and secure, while providing opportunities for offenders to improve themselves.
CCA has achieved its position as the industry leader in private sector corrections primarily because of the high caliber of corrections and business professionals it employs. Whether you are a veteran corrections professional, or just beginning your career, CCA has challenging opportunities for you.
It takes many types of employees to meet these challenges: correctional officers, administrative office personnel, and food service workers, as well as professionals in the educational, social and healthcare fields. "
Professionals? Yeah right! I don't know how corporate is run or how their other facilities are run but there is one in Florida who isn't all it's making itself out to be to the public or to its corporate headquarters.
There was a time when the previous warden was there, when morale was high and people enjoyed working there. Although truth be told, there were inmates out of control, not obeying orders and making the lives of officers difficult, there could have been slightly better leadership. But that warden was a decent guy and personable and cared about his employees. The place had its problems but overall morale was pretty good. And I think that its important in the prison system to maintain good morale among the employees, especially the captains, lieutenants, sergeants, and officers who guard the inmates, not to mention the staff who support them in their mission.
Now there is a warden who bullies employees and treats THEM like the inmates. What purpose does it serve to bully your employees? To make them hate their jobs? I don't know but my common sense tells me that when you treat your employees well and make them feel like they are a valuable asset to the institution you will have increased productivity, less sick days, and higher morale and community among employees, which is really important in a place like that.
Only when the corporate folks are in from Nashville is the place at its best. Only during THAT time does the place run like a well-oiled machine and does everyone have hot coffee and smiles on their faces!
The warden at the facility I speak of does NOT give a shit about his employees morale. All he cares about is how good he looks to corporate. I am sure that his job is difficult. How many people could run a prison? But...when the inmates get better treatment than the employees? It says something when officer turnover is HIGH, when employees call in sick all the time, and when nobody smiles anymore at the workplace, when untrained, uncertified regular STAFF are required to participate in duties that only certified officers are trained to do....it says something serious---the person in charge is not doing his job.
You might ask--why would anyone continue to work under those conditions? Well, there are parts of Florida where there aren't many high-paying jobs. When there is an overabundance of manpower. And when there are more workers than jobs, the pay will always be low. Sometimes you just don't have a choice.
I'm here to tell you there are employees who work at this facility, from top all the way to bottom who hate working there, but have no choice. Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice to take care of your family and your responsibilities. What pisses me off is the f*cking "dog and pony show" that's put on only when Corporate comes to town.
There is an 800 number employees can call to make a complaint about the company. Complaints are investigated by a third party and results given to the location about which the complaint was made. If you give your name you are probably likely to be harassed or fired (Florida is an at-will work state so being fired for no reason is no grounds for appeal). And if you complain anonymously (which you can), how do you even know the complaint will be addressed by CCA?
There are no guarantees.
So, in the end, what do you do? Stand up for yourself and get fired? Or shut up and keep making money to pay your bills?
I don't know the answer to it. I wouldn't work for that place if you paid me $20 per hour to sit there on my ass and watch TV all day. But I know people who do work there and their lives are miserable. Why? Because of ONE man who believes that putting on a "dog and pony show" for corporate is more important than maintaining the morale of his employees which ironically if he actually DID care about them, it would result in a more productive, professional and solidly run facility. And if you had that, you wouldn't need to put on a facade for corporate. The professionalism and smoothness of operations at the facility would be for-real.
But nothing is going to change until this warden gets the hell out of there. And in the meantime there are many employees who have to put up with it because they believe (and I can understand why) that it is more responsible of them to take care of their families than to have to rely on either public assistance, family members or wind up homeless.