In December 2012, I blogged about Metrologist Rhonda A. Lee, who was terminated from KBTS in Shreveport, Louisiana. This blog was housed on the CAREER Magazine website, which is my business blog where I tend to blog more on “HR policy and best practices”. I use my personal blog here on the Stephanieharper.com site to freely share my professional opinions about trending news and more personal things.
After a two year hiatus, that shared I would be bringing CAREER Conversations™ back (a radio show I did for 6 years on BlogTalkRadio which piggy backed off the career tips I provide on Monday mornings as the Employment Expert for Atlanta’s 91.9FM). One of my deciding factors to bring this show back to life is so much is happening with employment and social media. More recently, I really wanted to have the “Rhonda A. Lee Conversation” and soon after, we learned about the Applebees/Pastor saga, which I also blogged about.
One reason, I wanted to have this conversation is so many people have jumped on the “Re-hire Rhonda A. Lee” bandwagon simply because she is stating KBTS fired her because she had short hair and choose to defend it against a viewer who made a comment about it. My co-host, Anetra and I had planned to have a “professional courtesy” discussion on our CAREER Conversations™ show Monday, February 11, 2013 and include Rhonda Lee in the topic. Shortly after Anetra and I decided to include Rhonda’s story, she sent me a message that Rhonda A. Lee would be on The Steve Harvey show later that day.
I watched The Steve Harvey Show hoping that Rhonda A. Lee would say something say that would change my mind about her termination. However she made comments that made me stick to my original opinion (which is KBTS rightly terminated Ms. Lee). Rhonda Lee continues to state that KBTS does not have a “social media policy” , however media outlets have reported that all employees were given the email directive on August 31, 2012 not to respond to negative comments on social media platforms including Facebook. When interviewed by CNN Contributor, Roland Martin, Lee said, “she never saw it!”
When I first heard about this, like many of you, I was outraged – – because I thought it was another woman (and a black woman at that) getting the short end of the stick – – After doing a bit more research, I don’t think this is about Ms. Lee’s hair “at all”. If Rhonda A. Lee was my client, I would advise her that if she is going to be in the public, she needs to grow some thick skin and be mindful that there is a time a place for everything! Everything wont always feel good, put if you are in the public eye, you are also open to the public’s opinion. As a black woman who spent many years in Corporate America, I understand how difficult it can be sometimes to hold your tongue when you feel that you have been wronged. (Did I ever tell you about my previous boss, who told me, “he doesn’t give a damn about my HR Mumbo Jumbo!”) There was a ton that I wanted to say to him, but instead, I tenured my resignation. My point, sometimes Silence is Golden, you can made a larger splash by not saying a word. I also kept my mouth shut when he called my cell phone repeatedly asking me how to access the safe in his office.