From The President

 


Sentinels should be highly valued and respected. For more than 150 years, sentinels played an extremely important role in thousands of workplaces, protecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Coal miners working underground used to take Canary birds with them to work to protect against carbon monoxide and other deadly mine gases. Having a high heart rate, the birds die or pass out very quickly in reaction to deteriorating air quality, which gave miners an early warning to get out quickly before they met a similar fate. If returned quickly to fresh air, these sentinels would often recover, but over time many were sacrificed for the greater good.

Today's corporate sentinels, or whistle-blowers, only fare a little better. They're often branded as disgruntled employees by managers eager to discredit their allegations. In more subtle environments they're initially thanked for expressing their concerns, then passed over for promotion or shifted to an unpleasant office, a less attractive assignment, or a facility that's about to be downsized. Ostracized by their bosses and abandoned by all but their most loyal colleagues, they face a psychological nightmare. Rarely is doing good so thoroughly punished.


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