Dr. Vincent Arnold
is the Executive Director of the Pine Ridge Board of Mental Health and Mental
Retardation. He finally has found time to catch up on his correspondence and to
write a few notes to several of his associates. He prefers putting everything
in writing for the record. For him, this is much better than talking with
people directly and a good way to avoid those give-and-take discussions that
sometimes are more like a free-for-all. It keeps things neat and orderly and
allows for little variation from his view of how things should be. He is a
believer in being precise and keeping everything under control.


TO: Jack


FROM: Vincent Arnold, Ph.D.,
Executive Director


RE: Your most recent correspondence


As a manager, I
expect you to follow the system’s policies and procedures completely and
consistently. Based on your most recent report, I find you to be out of
compliance with those policies and procedures.


The problems with
the most recent version of the policies and procedures not withstanding, I
expect you to do what is necessary to bring your unit into compliance. Your
belief that your unit has some differences from other units may have some
validity. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to be in compliance,
regardless of what you may believe to be special circumstances. To make
exceptions would serve only to undermine the efficiency and success of the
system.


TO: Ronda


FROM: Vincent Arnold, Ph.D.,
Executive Director


RE: Your most recent correspondence


Because of my busy
schedule, it will not be possible for me to meet with you and your group on the
topic referenced in your correspondence at the time you suggested. I understand
how important you believe this issue to be. I will have fifteen minutes to
discuss it with you at 7:00 Thursday morning. Please have your comments
organized so we may thoroughly cover the topic within the time allotted.


Specifically, two
points will require complete clarification: What role or part do you expect
me to fill in the process? As Chief Executive Officer, I look to my assistants
for guidance about these types of irregular involvements. Your reference to
“special needs” of your clients and what you call their “unique
interests” are not at issue. These issues may be of clinical importance
but are not matters of specific interest to administration. This is a business
and must be operated as such. Special consideration, if it is to be given, must
be managed at a client/therapist level. The primary responsibility of the
MH&MR system is to be in complete compliance with the requirements of
outside regulatory entities.


Please plan to
address these points when we meet on Thursday.


TO: Staff Support Committee


FROM: Vincent Arnold, Ph.D.,
Executive Director


RE: Your most recent correspondence


I realize
“morale” is always an area of complaint from the staff. Based on my
experience, this is a personnel variable that fluctuates over time. In this
instance, it is a product of necessary system changes and needs simply to be
properly managed. Although it is important to take this into consideration, it
may not interfere with the smooth and productive operation of the system. I
have evaluated the current problem and believe it reflects the problems noted
elsewhere with the managers. Also, many staff seem to be selfishly putting
their feelings and perceptions on a par with or above the goals and interests
of the system. The need is for all involved to put the problem into proper
perspective and do what is necessary to accomplish the mutual objectives.


Please feel free
to query me at any time about matters of concern to the committee.


TO: Malinda


FROM: Vincent Arnold, Ph.D.,
Executive Director


RE: Your most recent correspondence


This is to
acknowledge your receipt of the Psychologist-of- the-Year award from the
Psychological Association. This will be duly noted in your personnel record.


TO: James


FROM: Vincent Arnold, Ph.D.,
Executive Director


RE: Your most recent correspondence


Your request to
have the policies waived in your case must be rejected. It is not good practice
to make exceptions or give individuals special consideration. Although your request
may seem reasonable from your perspective, it is not a concession that could be
evenly applied to all employees.


Your argument that
your years of experience with the MH&MR system should entitle you to
special consideration in this instance is simply a request for favoritism. I am
shocked you would attempt to impose on my position in that way.


I wish you success
in developing a more satisfactory solution to your personal problem.


TO: Norma


FROM: Vincent Arnold, Ph.D.,
Executive Director


RE: Your most recent correspondence


Your
correspondence was problematic on several accounts. First, the abrupt and
threatening approach was inconsistent with the expectations and practices
within the MH&MR system. Your lack of professionalism is unacceptable. A
request must be stated as such and not put in the form of an order. I expect
all employees regardless of rank or position to follow common rules of
courtesy.


Second, your
problems with the system computers are not of concern to me. I expect the data to
be available on demand and expect you to do what is necessary to follow this
policy. It goes without saying this must be done within the budget for your
department.


Finally, your
request for relaxation of the time and other expectations may not be considered.
You seem not to understand the complex nature of the system and the demands
placed on it. Relaxing one area has implications for the entire system. Each
person must do his part as laid out in the ongoing planning process.


TO: Randy


FROM: Vincent Arnold, Ph.D.,
Executive Director


RE: Your most recent correspondence


As I previously
communicated to you, the services of your department are unsatisfactory.
Detailed explanations are not necessary. It is sufficient to inform you the
services in question were transferred to the Emergency Service. This action is
in the best interest of the MH&MR system. Further agitation on your part on
this issue or persistent questioning of the decision will be counterproductive.


You will be
well-advised to attend to the remaining services in your department. Be sure
your staff is fully complying with all rules and regulations applicable to your
operation. Smooth and effective functioning are the only issues of concern to
you and your staff.


One implication of
your correspondence warrants a specific comment. You state, by implication, the
MH&MR Board and I deal with some programs, services, and people differently
than others. We are proud of our record of evenhandedness and treating all programs,
services, and people alike. You may do well to follow the model being set for
you.