Some people got stranded by the hurricane, and some people got shafted. Barbara Roberts’ family managed to do both.
Chris Hardin and Tina Roberts traveled from Missouri to New Orleans on a weekend business trip. Maternal grandma Barbara Roberts was enlisted to babysit for Trisana, her 18-month old granddaughter.
Along came Katrina. The couple was stuck in a New Orleans hotel, with all flights cancelled.
|“There was a Category 5 hurricane with a bull’s-eye on our butts, so we called Barb and said we didn’t know when we would be coming home,” said Hardin, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. “We truly didn’t know what would happen down there.”|
|With no other relatives in the area to take care of the child, Roberts said she had no choice but to call work on Aug. 29, the day the hurricane hit, and tell her boss that she would be missing a few days.|
By the time the couple returned home, Grandma had used up all her time off from work, and then some. When she called in to explain the situation, she was told on the phone that she was fired.
|Hardin said his mother-in-law’s firing was “absolutely unethical.”|
|“People speak of family values, and I don’t see what’s a more central family value than a grandmother stepping up in this sort of situation,” he said.|
|“I sit here trying to imagine what kind of world it would be if grandmothers didn’t make that decision.”|
Barbara Roberts had been employed by Positronic Industries, whose website states that they are “a manufacturer of high performance, high reliability connectors.” Judging by the pictures on their site, they make the back of your computer.
Well, it looks like they’ve learned to make some new connections. Could it be that all the publicity has had a salutary effect on the company? In any case, Ms. Roberts has her job on the assembly line back.
Gates of Vienna has obtained the rough draft of Positronic’s press release:
| The nation has never before experienced a disaster of the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina. The effects of this tragedy
|This event has caused Positronic Industries to recognize that
|We regret the difficulties this has caused
|Positronic Industries is now in the process of
I wonder how much vacation she’ll get next year?