Age Distrusted, Experience Underestimated

After reading the October 18th issue of The Bridgton News I’m thinking this if your last name starts with “T” and you’ve been on the job for a while it is clearly time to take note.

Out the door locally in recent days have gone Bridgton police officer Doug Taft and Harrison town manager Mike Thorne.  Expanding nationally we can add Yankee manager Joe Torre to the unemployed lot.  Let’s face it, if each of them were to take off their shirts we would still see the marks of the handprints on their backs providing visual evidence of how they were “helped” to find the exit.

It can happen to any of us I suppose.  Consider the senior citizen bumper sticker that states, “I was taught to respect my elders but there are none of them left.”  In this day, the chances of getting respect because of advanced age and/or extensive experience are vanishing.

I believe that it is important to remember that everything in life is terminal.  No question in my mind that each of these three men knew at the outset of employment that there would be an ending.  The unfortunate surprise for each of these men was that they weren’t able to choose the ending time – others forced the decision.

What makes me unhappy about what has happened is that those doing the forcing were younger than the victims are and certainly much less experienced. 

I read of the impact of the local twosome in The Bridgton News and I quickly sensed how important they were to their respective communities. 

I overheard someone in the Market Basket in Harrison say this week about Mike Thorne, “They ran him out of town.  Now they’ll find out what he did.” 

Sgt Taft’s contributions on and off duty in Bridgton have been well documented over the past few weeks.  No way that the, “let’s-bring-everything-up-to-the-21st-century,” crowd managing the Bridgton police department will be able to quickly replace a person of Sgt. Taft’s stature.

I look at Joe Torre’s exit with a lot less sympathy.  As a Red Sox fan I am pleased to see Joe Torre forced out because I’m quite sure that the resulting turmoil will keep the Yankees where I want them to be – behind Boston in the standings and struggling to make the playoffs.  No surprise that George Steinbrenner’s two sons, Hank (50) and Hal (38), who are now in charge of the Yankees, masterminded Joe’s exit.  It is just one more example of youth and inexperience messing things up.

I suspect that the forced exits of Doug Taft, Mike Thorne, and Joe Torre  will lead to lingering divisions, especially over the two local guys involved.  No question that the wounds won’t heal very quickly from any of these cases. 

I read somewhere that God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we would listen twice as much as we speak.  Too bad the decision makers forcing the ousters of Doug Taft, Mike Thorne, and Joe Torre got it backwards.

( Appeared in the Bridgton News – October 25, 2007 )

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