Special Checking Is Handed a Loss
Sammy Benson supervised the Special Check Sorting Unit of the Greater Down-
town Bank and Trust Company for over two years. The Special Check Sorting Unit
processed all the “special” checks that came into the bank, such as odd-sized, for-
eign, or damaged checks. Once the checks were sent to his unit, they were manually
interpreted, recorded, entered into the appropriate account transactions, and filed for
Sammy supervised three check sorting clerks in his department. These jobs were
staffed by relatively untrained, entry-level individuals who had just graduated from
high school. People who did well in this unit were often promoted into other posi-
tions in the bank. As such, turnover tended to be high and there was a fairly steady
stream of employees through this unit.
During the summer, Greater Downtown Bank hired low-income, disadvantaged
young people for various jobs throughout the company as part of its Community
Upbeat campaign. To participate in this effort, representatives from the Human
Resources Department visited selected high schools to interview students. Since the
students were already prescreened by the school, the interviews were little more
than “get-acquainted” discussions. Last summer, Sammy’s unit supplied one of the
jobs in this effort.
Juanita Perez was hired in this context to work as a Special Check clerk. She was
scheduled to begin working in June after graduating from the local vocational high
school, where she maintained a C average. This was her first full-time job.
When Juanita reported to work in June, she was scared. It was not only her first
day on the job, but the first time she had ever been in the bank. Nevertheless, she
kept her courage and reported to the Human Resources Department as planned.
After waiting in the lobby for a while, she was taken to a small meeting room where
she and two other new hires were shown how to fill out and sign various forms and
documents. Next, an administrative assistant read to the new hires a series of per-
sonnel policies about work schedules, breaks, overtime, pay secrecy, attendance,
and benefits. She signed more forms, wondering what all this meant.
As the meeting drew to a close, Sammy Benson arrived after receiving a call
from Human Resources. He and Juanita were introduced for the first time. Sammy
escorted Juanita back to the Human Resources Department, showing her the bank’s
various offices and other departments. He gave her a quick tour of his area, intro-
ducing her to the other clerks as he went. Sammy was careful not to interrupt their
work, however, he did not explain to Juanita what they were doing. It was obvious
by the expressions on their faces that the employees were surprised to see her.
Sammy gave Juanita the job of processing foreign checks. He felt this task was
the easiest job to learn and do correctly. During her first day on the job, Sammy
spent about 15 minutes showing her the procedure: inspect, record, enter, adjust,