US President Biden made it clear to his White House associates on his first day that he will fire them if he finds out they are not treating each other with respect.
The new president wants his employees to have collegiality and respect of paramount importance. He said this during a virtual inauguration ceremony in the State Dining Room.
‘If you work for me and I ever hear you knock a colleague down or treat you disrespectfully, I will fire you immediately,’ said the president, who seems to want to break with that firm stance with the toxic work culture that prevailed in the West Wing among the previous government.
The president said he wanted his employees to treat each other with respect and dignity, something he said was missing for the past four years.
‘History will judge our fellow Americans and us by how decent, honorable, and smart we have been in serving their interests,’ Biden said.
‘We are one team. We have a duty, but also a great privilege. Only occasionally does an individual have the opportunity to do something that can have a fundamentally positive impact on others’ lives, not just here but around the world.’
‘The people don’t work for us, but we work for the people. I work for the population. They pay my salary, they pay your salary. They have put their trust in you, I have put my trust in you, so we have a duty.’
Finally, Biden also asked his staff to point out his mistakes, which he would inevitably make. “I need your help very badly,” said the president. “I’m going to make mistakes. When I make them, I’ll acknowledge them – and I’ll let you know – and I need your help.”