Saturday, November 27, 2010
My Powers are Beyond Your Comprehension - Part II
Image via Wikipedia
Following up on the teaser regarding hearing officers and mediators: I have long contended that Rodney Dangerfield is the patron saint of hearing officers. No respect - I tell you! I have been at conferences where when people hear the phrase "hearing officer," they spit on the floor. Our image is a problem. No respect at all!
There were some interesting answers to my question. My favorite involved being bitten by a radioactive spider. Good work readers.
It is difficult to explain what we do in a sound bite. (In today's television world, ya gotta talk fast.) (... and I approve this message because i am incapable of complex thought...)Often when we explain our job duties as hearing officers, people think that we are in the field of audiology or that we are in law enforcement.
What we do is akin to being dropped behind enemy lines where you end up in hostile territory and all you have is your wits, your common sense and your training.
Similarly we are like spies. Spies gather intel; we find facts. Spies assess situations, we determine credibility. Both spies and hos must remain calm and not second guess their instincts. From now on it's Gerl, ...James Gerl.
When I train hearing officers, I tell them that they have all of the responsibilities of a judge (and jury), but very few of the powers. It is a tough job. So if we occasionally pretend that we are touring as a rock band or that we are superheros, please play along.