Employees of City Council member JIM BUERGER’S Travelhost company (it produces a travel magazine and directory) know they’d better keep their desks clean. Big Buerger is watching.
Buerger’s “Facilities-Housekeeping/Appearance” rules, a copy of which recently made its way to D, read like kindergarten class no-no’s: “Items inside drawers should be neat and orderly. .. Desk top should be cleaned during the lunch hour of everything except typewriter, telephone, computer, printer, calculator, and desk pad.” And this one, highlighted in pink, really caught our eye: “Drawers should remain closed except when inserting or removing 5 items.”
NANCY CHAUSSEE, Travelhost’s office administrator, says the “5” is a typo and shouldn’t be there. “But the rest of it’s right. We have some very odd, stringent rules here,” Chaussee says. Her boss, however, sees nothing odd about it. “This is a tremendous, tremendous policy,” Buerger booms. “It makes the work so much smoother, so that you don’t have to handle things too many times.”
No work place is a pure democracy (D allows no more than 233 items on a desktop), but some Buerger employees are steamed about another rule that costs them “Personal Time Off days when they’re called for jury duty. Buerger says his PTO system combines sick days and vacation days; all can be used at the employees’ discretion, thus making it unnecessary to fib about being “sick” in order to get off. “You don’t have to tell us you’re going to jury duty or anything,” he says. “You can do anything you want to, whether it’s going fishing, to the movies, or jury duty.”
Buerger says he won’t try to foist his policies of work place discipline on the city. “That’s the city manager’s job,” he says. “But I think it might be a good idea.”