Monday, January 24, 2005
The hard job of blowing the whistle gets even harder
American culture has glamorized the whistle-blower over they years, from Hollywood’s feature-length films honoring their heroism to Time magazine naming whistle-blowers its 2002 Persons of the Year. But the life of a real whistle-blower is more difficult than the media would have you believe, and is only getting more so. This story from the Christian Science Monitor explains how and why.
By MARK CLAYTON
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
It was never easy to be a whistle-blower - and some say it may be getting tougher. Just ask George Zeliger. Nearly four years ago the quality-control expert warned his employer, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, that the state’s new auto emissions test was grossly inaccurate.
He was ignored. When he objected that the test was harming air quality and public health, he was cut from the program. After he went public, sharing key documents with the state inspector general and news media, the atmosphere at his workplace changed. His schedule was micromanaged; colleagues began sending him sarcastic e-mails and job ads, he recalls.
Finally, this past September, the Russian-trained mathematician and statistics whiz was ordered to spend much of his day photocopying, stapling reports and stuffing envelopes.
“My life here is hardly bearable,” says Zeliger, who came to the U.S. in 1990. “How would you like it if they sent you to the mail room to do copying and stapling? My experience with the Soviet bureaucracy tells me it is a baby compared to this one.”
Posted by Qui Tam Admin on 01/24 at 05:41 PM
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