Ashley Barker, a first-grade teacher in Florida, has been suspended without pay while her employer investigates whether she faked a terminal illness so that she could leave early and take days off.
According to ABC News, Barker's termination letter stated that during the past year the school had reviewed approximately one hundred and twenty email messages sent by Barker—messages in which Barker said that she and her father were ill. As a result, the school principal allowed Barker "days off and flexibility to leave early.”
The school district is keeping mum on what tipped them off that Barker may have been lying. Was it Barker’s Facebook page? (I wouldn’t rule that out). Maybe a jealous coworker? (I definitely wouldn’t rule that out.) Who knows?
The school board informed Barker that she would be recommended for termination. My first thought was, “Oh really? Not for a psychiatric evaluation?” I mean, who does this? Barker is appealing the decision.
(Actually, I do know an employee who lied to his employer about studying for a Master’s degree and the need to take classes during the day. The employer granted the flexible schedule request, and the employee wasn’t taking any classes! He was merely lying his ass off.)
I suppose there are some facts not yet released that would make Barker look like less of a sociopathic schemer (and by the way, isn’t it really, really bad luck to lie about a sick parent?) and I'd like to know had Barker been granted FMLA leave? If so, what medical provider completed her paperwork? Who in the district reviewed the paperwork? Were Barker and her dad ever sick? Was Barker in the middle of some weird psychological study about the lack of humanity in the workplace? You know, workers tell their employers they have a terminal illness and then see how badly employers behave? (Hmmm ... there are plenty of sad but true stories, there. No need to manufacture any.)
I don’t understand these people who carry on such protracted cons for so long. I’d be terrified of being found out. Once I went on a job interview near my place of business during my lunch period, and I was scared to death of “getting caught.”
Well, if the district’s findings from its “Personnel Investigator” turn out to be valid, it’s bye bye for good for Ms. Baker, I’m sure.
Meanwhile, here’s today’s tip. Don’t lie to your employer about having a terminal illness! It’s bad luck, in bad faith, and will get you booted to the unemployment line with a bad rep. Okay? Don’t say I never gave you any good advice.