HSV Community News, Events, Opinions, People, and Places

Andrew Kramek Story – Hot Springs Village

A word of warning if you work for Hot Springs Village POA – Andrew Kramek Story

A word of warning to anyone in the village who is employed by, or is contemplating any form of employment (i.e. full or part-time), with the POA. As I found out yesterday, to my cost, as an employee of the POA you are not allowed to express opinions or make comments which run contrary to the Management Goals and Direction of the organization, as defined by the CEO.

Andrew Kramek posted on social media

Those of you who have read my posts on social media will know that I have, on occasion, been quite critical of the CEO, the Board and the direction in which the village is being taken. However, not all my posts have been negative (a fact acknowledged by the CEO) and I have on several occasions been “thanked” by the CEO herself. After replying to Gene Garner’s post about “Banal Platitudes” on the Nextdoor site on 4/12/19 with, an admittedly sarcastic, comment about the recently reported (in the Village Voice) job description for the new CMEO. I also pointed out the incorrect use of the word “insure” instead of “ensure”, and referred to the text of the advertisement as “meaningless drivel”.

Message from CEO

Within an hour of posting that comment, I received the following Private Message from Lesley Nalley: “Lesley Nalley, East Village Hi Andrew. Don’t you work for the POA at Ponce Pro Shop? Are you aware that golf will report to the CMEO? I hope you will allow Ms. Caperton the opportunity to earn your respect.”

Reply to CEO

I replied to her as follows: Yes Lesley, I do work at Ponce, and yes I know that one of her myriad of responsibilities will be to oversee the operations of our golf department. I don’t know Ms. Caperton, I have not met her, nor have I formed an opinion about her. Furthermore, I have not made any comment about her, or even her appointment, so I am not sure why you would even question me on that. That has nothing to do with my opinion of that job description as meaningless verbiage, or with pointing out the elementary mistake of using “insure” instead of “ensure”.

Andrew Kramek sticks to facts

“Interestingly a number of people coming through the Pro Shop who, obviously read NextDoor, have commented that I must be risking my job posting my opinions under my own name. I always reply that I try to be very careful to stick to facts, and when stating an opinion, make it clear that is it my own personal opinion. As far as I know, I am entitled to post personal opinions – always providing that I stay within the bounds of the rules for NextDoor and do not pretend to represent anyone but myself. Thank you, Andy”

That provoked the following response from CEO

Lesley Nalley: “Andy lets visit next week on this. As an employee, you have a pathway to having your concerns addressed. In reading your social media comments over the course of the last few months, you obviously need that opportunity. I will have Tom set that up for us.”

Visit” with management

This “visit” took place at 1:00 pm on Monday 22 April. I entered the meeting room to be confronted by Ms. Nalley, Tom Heffer (Director of Golf), Sue Lyons (Manager at Ponce Golf Course) and Shawnee Cooper (Director of Human Resource).

Visit was not really a visit

Not quite what I would call a “visit” – more like an appearance before a Military Court Martial Board. I will not attempt to report the visit in detail but the only person, other than myself, who spoke was Ms. Nalley.

Accused of displaying pattern of criticism inconsistent with employment

The crux of the matter appeared to be that, in her judgment, I had displayed a pattern of criticism inconsistent with my position as an employee. She specifically asked why I would want to continue working for an organization with whose mission and direction I disagreed. My response was that as a part-time minimum wage employee of the Golf Department, working behind the counter at a Pro Shop, I was not in any sort of general position in the POA and certainly not privy to anything other than publicly available information. I am, however, a Property Owner and, as far as I knew, I was free to voice my opinions as such.

Only positive comments encouraged

Ms. Nalley stated that positive comments were encouraged but that as an employee I should not be criticizing, publicly, the POA, Board or the CEO. When I asked whether she was saying that only positive comments were allowable, she denied saying that, though the implication was pretty clear.

Arkansas is an “at-will” work state

She then said that the disconnect appeared to be that I did not feel responsible to the POA in general even though it was my employer and asked, again, why I would want to continue to be employed by an organization with whose management I did not agree. After some ten minutes of this sort of back and forth she asked Ms. Cooper if she wanted to add anything. The only question from her was whether I was aware that Arkansas is an “at-will” work state and whether I understood what that meant. (Obviously, the reference was to the fact that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason without incurring legal liability).

Andrew Kramek’s “visit” was over
Andrew Kramek quits HSV POA job
Andrew Kramek quits Hot Springs Village POA job

Ms. Nalley then indicated that the visit was ended, saying that she wished to confer with the team. When I asked what that meant, she simply repeated that she wished to confer with the team. At this point, I just handed my pro shop keys, name badge, and Employee card to my manager and left the building.

Written by Andrew Kramek

Johnny Paycheck – You can take this job and shove it

This article was submitted to us by the author, Andrew Kramek

« »
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial