Sunday, February 07, 2010

A Day (or Two) Late for TEC Communications

Thanks to the Episcopal Café for publishing (in its 3:30 p.m. update today) this statement from TEC’s Office of Public Affairs, on behalf of Linda Watt, whom I must grudgingly recognize is “our” church’s Chief Operating Officer.

The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs

[February 5, 2010] The following information is from Linda Watt, Chief Operating Officer of the Episcopal Church:

Budget constraints have prompted The Episcopal Church to review all contracts and to implement cost-cutting measures where possible.

A major item in our facilities budget is the cleaning/housekeeping service that covers 815 Second Ave. in New York City, including the Ad Council and Episcopal Church associated agencies as well as DFMS offices. This line item was cut substantially in the budget.

A Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued as part of normal business operations. The RFP was issued to both union and non-union firms, including minority and women-owned businesses.

Following a thorough review of the proposals submitted, Benjamin Enterprises, a minority-owned firm, has been awarded a one-year contract for housekeeping services at The Episcopal Church Center effective January 4, 2010.

Business practices for Benjamin Enterprises are in line with the values, practices and priorities of The Episcopal Church, including a comprehensive compensation package, laudable employee relations practices, and the use of eco-friendly supplies. We look forward to working with their management and staff.

Linda Watt
Chief Operating Officer
The Episcopal Church

But note this! The New York Daily News story was posted this morning, February 7. Linda Watt’s statement from our Office of Public Affairs is dated February 5 – two days ago!

Did Watt and Public Affairs actually write that statement two days ago? If so, why did they not release it until today, after the news story broke? I know for a fact they did not share the news with the Executive Council. I'm pretty sure they also did not release it to the diocesan communicators, the media, or anyone else. Were they divinely prescient to realize two days ago that a firestorm would erupt? If so, why did they not release the news to anyone in the Episcopal Church?

Or did they write and distribute it today, and backdate it two days ago?

Or did someone make an honest mistake, dating today's statement two days ago? (I suppose that's a theoretical possibility.)

I want to know.

Frankly, I want to know whether certain senior managers at TEC Church Center can actually say the baptismal covenant without their heads spinning around like Linda Blair's in The Exorcist. Yeah, I know that's a harsh statement. But I've seen too many good people who are also excellent workers get trampled under the hobnailed boots of the current regime at Church Center.

Given the track record of our "Episcopal Communications" office, my hermeneutic of suspicion is operating at full alert, so this visual icon will have to suffice as my characterization of Watt and her management style.


Blogger Suzer said...

The "honest mistake" scenario is entirely possible. It happens all the time in my office (well, not all the time, but enough to make me smack my forehead when I do the filing and see we've misdated something). For offices that don't use the automatic update for date fields, it is a hazard that does occasionally happen.

I'm not certain I would chalk it up to anything more than that, however you know more about church politics than I do. So, as they say, OCICBW. :)

2/08/2010 4:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I suspect you are correct, Suzer. I bet they issued this statement after the New York Daily News story ran on Feb. 7.

BTW, it's really great to hear from you!

2/08/2010 10:35 PM  

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