Gotcha Clause

It’s taken me sometime to find a way to communicate my presence as Chapter President. In that pursuit, I stumbled upon a 2006 California School Employees Association Member manual that gave me the words. One of the unspoken written duties bestowed to chapter presidents is to “perform such other duties as normally pertain to the office of president…

     ” Much like the “other related duties as required” tag-line in many job descriptions, this is the infamous Gotcha Clause.

     “Betty, I’m being bothered by a lot of dust in my office. The air conditioner doesn’t work well and, as you know, the office is very small. What can I do?”

     “Have you talked to the area steward to see about filing a grievance?”

     “I don’t want to cause trouble by filing a grievance and, anyway, you get along with the people here better than the steward does. Can’t you just talk to them about it?”

     “Well, the steward is dealing with a similar issue in another department and needs to know about your problem.”

     “I’d rather not make a formal complaint. I have to work here every day, and I’d prefer that my name not be mentioned. Besides, chapter presidents always handle these kinds of problems…”