Have you ever seen someone who seems perfectly suited for his or her job? My mom is such a person. Mom is 61 years old and has worked hard all her life. She is someone who is very dedicated; she enjoys going to work. She worked as a bank teller for over 13 years, she is an experienced professional who has owned and operated her own business, and until last week my mother was Executive Director of the Grand Bend Chamber of Commerce. Anyone who has stopped by the chamber in the last year would know my mother, Barbara Gare. She is a naturally outgoing, friendly people-person who loves to organize. She just loved working for the chamber. She excelled in this post and worked hard to find ways to make improvements. Mom was one week short of her one-year anniversary when five people walked in to the office, handed her a letter and told her she had 15 minutes to leave the premises. To add insult to injury, the police were called in after she was still gathering her things 20 minutes later. I believe my mother was treated unfairly and unprofessionally. Chamber membership has increased since her hiring, events were well organized and community feedback was extremely supportive. Her six-month performance review was also positive. In my experience, professional organizations inform employees if they are not performing to expectations, thereby allowing them a chance to improve. My mother was never given an explanation for her dismissal. We teach children to try to work out their problems and to treat others as they would like to be treated. Unfortunately, as adults we tend to forget these lessons. My mother deserves, at the very least, an apology from the executive of the Grand Bend Chamber of Commerce.
Belinda Gare Rigaud, QC
Editor’s Note: Barbara Gare’s lawyer sent a letter to the chamber last week, and as a result, the chamber executive is not commenting on this matter.