This might be more Cafe Society but I’m wondering more about how people would respond to a situation presented in the show.
In season 1 of House, Vogler gains control of the hospital board with the 100 million dollar donation (payment). He wants House’s tenure revoked and Wilson votes against it. Then Vogler immediately calls a vote to kick Wilson off the board. Which happens. It works out in the end but it got me thinking…
Suppose you were Wilson, a respected oncologist caught up in what is strikingly obvious politics, and fired. He actually resigned but only because it was obvious he had a target on his back.
You suddenly resign from a major teaching and research hospital with no record of misconduct, well respected by peers and subordinates, very few serious complaints if any, no mention of wanting to persue something else, well paid.
You send out your resume.
Your first interview, knowing Vogler has total power over job reference, you’re asked :
I’d run the following past Vogler: “When I served on the Board of Directors there, Princeton-Plainsboro was a teaching hospital that granted tenure to a number of its physicians — which, in my experience, is the best policy: it’s not to be handed out lightly, and it’s to be revoked for misconduct, but I believe tenure serves a vital purpose in the work that you do here. Still, reasonable people can disagree on that; and so, when my colleagues voted to pursue a different course by revoking tenure, I decided to seek employment at an institution that shares my priorities.”
If lying is off the table, and all of the above is true, then I figure it’s maybe the least bad way to tell the truth when you can’t get hired without answering that question. (I mean, you’ll have to reply with something; and if you lie, and Vogler then contradicts you with a fact, then what the hell is your next move?)
Wilson is in a job category where his references are people he picks: fellow doctors he’s worked with, people like Cuddy, etc. No one would ask or care what the board chairman thinks.
If they call the hospital to verify employment, that’s all they get. “Dr. Wilson worked here from x to y.” Employers are careful to not mention why someone was no longer working there. Lawsuits can result. (There was a nasty lawsuit here when a person at one hospital started calling around to dis a doctor who was looking for work elsewhere. The hospital ate it big time.)
There’s sometimes an attempt to learn more by asking “Is this person eligible to be re-hired.” since fired people generally aren’t. But few places respond to such a question anymore due to the implications.