As I’m sure many of you heard already, Earline Davis, an ObamaCare operator whom Sean Hannity called on the air to quiz her about public reactions to the program, was summarily dismissed from her $25,000/year job after the interview aired.
To be sure, I feel incredibly sorry for Ms. Davis. All she did was answer questions from a caller, who just happened to be Sean Hannity, and who just happened to have put the call on the air. I doubt she meant any harm. She was just telling the truth. She just took a call, as was her job.
According to the transcript at RealClearPolitics.com, here’s what transpired:
DAVIS: Okay, the day I received the call from the radio station, I had to go pick up my best friend that night, and then someone was like, ”someone was looking for you.” But, I don’t know who that person is. So I was like, well I’m going to come back in the morning, because I had to go back to work. So the next day I came back and they had, like, two people escort me upstairs to H.R. And then it was three head people and me, we sat down, and I’m like, “why am I up here?” I figured, okay, they wanna talk about the phone call – the incident.
Then the lady sitting behind the desk; I don’t know what their name is, but the lady that was sitting behind the desk, I guess called up another head lady on her cell phone, so the lady was talking, and I couldn’t really understand what she was saying because she had me on speakerphone. I remember her saying, “We can’t have this type of stuff going on here, so we have to release you.” But they had locked the doors and everything; I guess they didn’t want anybody to come in there.
So when she told me they had to release me, that’s when I put my name tag – my badge – on the desk, and something was going wrong with my cell phone, so that’s when I tried to call my ride to come pick me up, but the lady next to me was just, like, being rude. She had, like, an attitude.
HANNITY: Now, did they give you… You were hired… How long had you been working with this company?
DAVIS: I started September 23.
HANNITY: Okay, so it’s a fairly new job for you. Did they—I assume they put you through some training, right?
DAVIS: Yes sir, they did.
HANNITY: And did they ever tell you that you’re not allowed to take a call from a radio show? Your job was to answer phones.
DAVIS: I did not hear anything about that. There were so many of us in a big group, you can only talk so loud.
HANNITY: Right, and one of the things that struck me. I was really impressed, and I said that to you on Monday. You are patient, you are kind, you answered all our questions. You were totally honest. Wasn’t that what you were hired to do?
DAVIS: Yeah, I’m just out here tryin’ to help everybody. And I know, like, some people have been making bad comments about me. Some people have been making good comments about me. But, some people are like, “Oh, you knew you shouldn’t have said that!” And I’m just like, okay… I kinda felt bad about it. My gosh, I got fired.
HANNITY: And what was the specific reason? When they sat you down, did they give you a specific reason?
DAVIS: They said that no contact with the media. No type of media whatsoever. We’re not allowed to do that at that company.
To be sure, I understand Ms. Davis’ plight. For whatever reason, she was not informed or did not understand the company’s policy regarding media communications. This type of policy isn’t new and it’s not different from any company’s policy. Generally speaking, a company of any significant size will have its own media department. These are people whose job it is to field media inquiries. Generally speaking, that means that any other employee would be stepping out of their lane if they agree to speak to the media.
This should have been made very clear to Ms. Davis during her training, especially since she was a telephone operator, who may get a call from a radio show on the hotline, much like she did from Hannity. This apparently was not made clear. At least from what Ms. Davis said. I would think that if you have telephone operators who could possibly receive a call from the media via the hotline, it would be made expressly clear in both written and verbal form that they are to direct any media calls to the company’s public relations office.
This is certainly the case in the military. When I was a Public Affairs specialist, I conducted training with all troops on how to deal with the media on the battlefield. At my current job, I also received very clear instructions – both verbal and written – on dealing with the media. So the fact that Ms. Davis had not received this training, or at least the policy wasn’t made expressly clear, tells me that the company did not do its job.
Unfortunately, Ms. Davis drew the short straw when she got Hannity on her line, and she got fired for that stroke of bad luck.
I will give Hannity credit for what he did. He gave her $26,000 and promised to help her find another job.
I do hope she finds other employment really soon. She sounds like a nice lady, who was dragged into the deep end of the pool after just a few weeks on the job, without a life jacket.
As for her former employer… Jerks. Just plain jerks.