Dugout Central ran the following letter from “Concerned Red Sox Fan” earlier today, in which a recent part time hire to Fenway Park’s grounds crew describes his rather brief tenure to CEO Larry Lucchino (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
From day one I became aware of a problem with how the grounds crew was treated. Its members are constantly degraded and yelled at during games “ unfortunately by its own œleader. They are expected to work through pain and tolerate the inexcusable hours of operation with no opportunity to ask questions and get answers. In other words, the people that basically put the games on during rain and shine are treated like the dirt they work on. I experienced this treatment firsthand until I was fired for questioning things.
On September 27th, 2008, I was told to work on a project with a new hire while the other 15 grounds crew members went to œget changed. Unbeknownst to me, the other members actually went to the employee cafeteria to have dinner. I was on my 10th hour at the park that day and wasn™t allowed to leave. I wasn™t allowed to get food, or to have any type of break.
You should know that adding to the struggles of the 27th was the fact that I had worked until 2:30 AM the night before. When I asked if I could take a break to get some food, I was told no “ that neither I nor the new hire could take a break because of œtardiness.
I was shocked. Not only was the allegation of tardiness not true, but morally (and legally) that didn™t matter. An organization must still allow breaks, must still allow its employees to eat. When I mentioned this, I was told that it was policy “ that the Boston Red Sox don™t feed employees who are late! Obviously this isn™t true (or at least I hope it™s not), but when I pushed, I was fired on the spot.
It isn™t about food, or getting yelled at for the littlest things. It™s about the lack of respect that the Red Sox have for some of its œunimportant workers. I hope this level of treatment is limited to the grounds crew; I would hate to think it permeates more of the organization and is indicative of an overall cultural program. I would hate that if it were true.
It’s tough to put much stock in an anonymous letter such as this, particularly when the Red Sox are well known for providing terrific perks to junior employees (ie. the keys to Manny Alexander’s Mercedes).