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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 1, 2005 / 29 Tishrei, 5766

He goes to war; she fights her own

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This is a story about a job and a soldier and how one Michigan woman had to say goodbye to both.

Suzette and Jerry Boler have been married 22 years. They have children and grandchildren. As a member of the National Guard, Jerry, a mechanic, recently was called up to serve in Iraq. Suzette wanted to be with him before he left. So she notified her employer, Benefit Management Administrators, in Caledonia, Mich. Boler, 40, worked part-time as a receptionist, answering phones and opening mail. She was paid, she says, $9 an hour, to work Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

She was granted three days off, without pay, to accompany Jerry to Indiana, where his unit was stationed, before he left for Fort Dix. She says she told her human resources person that she might not be able to get back on Monday, as her husband's actual departure was sometime on Sunday.

"I promised I would be back on Tuesday morning," she says. And the HR person said, "Do your best."

On Monday, Boler says, she was too exhausted and emotionally spent to go to work. That afternoon, she got a call from the human resources person.

"She told me I was terminated," Boler says. "I was flabbergasted. I said, 'Are you firing me?' And she said, 'Yes, you're fired.'"

The next day, Boler and her father went to the office. They asked to speak with the president of the company, Henry Bledsoe. Things got emotional. Voices were raised. "His comment was, I was supposed to be there three days a week, and if I couldn't handle that, he'd find somebody that would," Boler says. "He said my husband was just going to war. He wasn't dead yet."

He wasn't dead yet? That seemed hard to believe. So I called Bledsoe. And, after a public relations man called me back — he said he'd been hired to deal with the fallout — Bledsoe himself called. Not surprisingly, his story was different.

He claimed Boler was a less-than-ideal employee who used the fax machines, phones and Internet for excessive private use. He claimed that she'd taken "half-days" off before and that "we were going to fire her a couple of times" but decided to "extend her mercy one more time."

But when I asked if he'd actually said "he's not dead yet" about her husband, he did not deny it. He said that Boler was "wailing" and he was trying to calm things down.

It didn't work.

Boler went to the media. And the media came crashing down on Bledsoe and his company. Boler insists she had no idea her job was on the line or she would have made it in no matter what. Bledsoe, who admits "I probably should have picked my words better," still insists "we bent over backwards for Suzette. There comes a time to say we've got a company to run."

In the end, everybody suffers. And it makes you wonder why companies that can handle the most complex transactions in cyberspace can't master common sense down here on earth.

If Bledsoe's company had "endured" Boler for that long, why not let her come back after her husband's departure to see whether things improved? Didn't anyone realize it was cruel to fire someone less than a day after her husband left to fight a war?

Bledsoe told me he and his brothers had all served proudly in the military. He said this as a defense.

But last week I spoke with another military man, a reservist who'd finished a year in Iraq. He said the day his unit moved into its quarters, a friend was killed by a rocket.

The first day. He was stunned. He thought there would be grace period before the killing began.

War knows nothing about grace periods.

But a company should.

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