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  • Brian Goldfeder

HWEN Case Study: The White House

About a week and a half ago, as I kept my eyes glued to CNN and Fox News to get updates on the election situation (and very - and disturbingly, I might add - different viewpoints at that), I found myself intrigued by this news story on CNN about the exodus of White House staffers (who are leaving by January 20, anyway) in which an anonymous senior official said that "the place is becoming more toxic by the day...people turning on each other, trying to settle scores while they can."


So I found myself wondering, how healthy of a work environment can you get with a chief executive officer - in this case, the chief executive officer of the United States of America - who fires people on a whim when they disagree with him, even though they have been doing their job, and who constantly attacks others (who don't work for him) who likewise disagree with him.


(Disclaimer: I'm not trying to start a political post here - I am a registered independent.)


In searching for the above article, I Googled "White House toxic environment" and returned quite a few articles dating back to 2018. One set of articles related to comments made by former Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (who was among those fired by Trump), as well as an anonymous staffer who said this,


"This is the most toxic working environment on the planet. Usually tough times bring people together. But right now this atmosphere is ripping people apart. There's no leadership, no trust, no direction and this point there's very little hope. Would you want to go to work every day not knowing whether your future career was going to be destroyed without explanation?"


Sounds very familiar to me - I spent many years "walking on eggshells" in a toxic environment, both before and after the acquisition. But there's a big difference between a small-to-medium size legal services firm and the WHITE HOUSE!!! It would seem to me that if you manage to get a job working at the office of the President of the United States, you are both lucky and very good at what you do, and everybody who works there should be both excited and motivated at the same time. But to read this, first of all, is not all too shocking given that we are talking about Donald Trump, but remains disappointing.


With 36 days until Joe Biden takes office, we can only hope that the White House will become a great place to work for those fortunate enough to get there.


Be healthy!

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