Interesting Times


So Friday was a bit of a strange day. It started with management splitting up my former manager’s team and parceling us out other managers. It continued with me filing an ethics complaint because of my concerns over the legality of his firing. It concluded with them suspending me with pay “pending investigation.” Investigating what? They wouldn’t say. Not to me, and not to the union steward. Why did they suspend me, then? They said they were investigating to find that out. True fucking story. What they appeared to be doing is getting me out of the way while they attempted to find something they could use to intimidate me into silence. That’s certainly how it seemed.

That impression intensified Monday, when they tried to intimidate me with some pretty weak tea. Alas for them, witnesses witnessed, and they have nothing. They ended up returning me to duty after a brief attempt at silencing me about the whole affair, which I nixed by pointing out that such attempt is very possibly illegal and I would have to seek advice, after which the request changed from silence to “discretion” with a quickness. They’re still “investigating.” I have no way to be certain, but it looks very much like a spirited attempt at retaliation, boys and girls. This appearance is creating what we in the business call “a hostile work environment.” This could lead to Very Interesting Times, indeed. I’m certainly finding them fascinating so far.

I’m not ready to tell the whole story just yet. I have certain avenues I’m pursuing, and shall hold my tongue publicly until I have professional legal advice. I will, however, make the observation that both my manager and myself found our jobs threatened or ended just after filing ethics complaints. I believe that fact will prove to be of some interest to various parties going forward.

Thank you, those of you who forwarded the names of attorneys. That will be very helpful to both my former manager and myself, and possibly others.

A few things I want to make sure are crystal clear:

1. I don’t want you to worry about me (this means you, Mom and Dad!).

2. Please don’t die of curiosity. I know this is all rather vague, but depending on certain outcomes, it may not be vague for long.

3. I’m fine. Seriously, fine. I was prepared for this eventuality, and I have time now to prepare even further. So see #1

I may at some point need to hold out the tip jar. You’re under no obligation to fill it if so, but anyone who can help when that time comes will have my undying gratitude and possibly swag. I’ll do me best to make it worth your while. And I beg your patience in advance, because there may be some days when I have to neglect the blog in favor of working on this stuff. Hopefully, it won’t last long.

Wish me luck, my darlings.

The giant gavel of justice at the Ohio Judicial Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Image and caption courtesy Sam Howzit via Wikimedia Commons.

The giant gavel of justice at the Ohio Judicial Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Image and caption courtesy Sam Howzit via Wikimedia Commons.

Comments

  1. says

    As a former Union Steward and Central Body President, document every conversation. When they talk to you, ask to have a recorder. You will be surprised how short the conversation will be, when they say no. Good luck.

    • Dana Hunter says

      Thanks! We’re documenting extensively and will ask to record the next meeting. My union stewards are both firebrands who sometimes make me look meek and mild, so I feel well looked after. I love union stewards! Thank you for your union work. I have so much respect for those who not only joined, but were/are active. You are awesome!

    • Dana Hunter says

      That’s the plan! I’m sure this will turn out well in the end – there are many good people there. And I have you all with me. Nothing beats that!

  2. rq says

    *highfives* and *jackboots* in solidarity! (And *hugs*, should the milder side of you want… ;) )

    • Dana Hunter says

      *highfives* and *hugs* back! I will also accept jackboots because they look dammed awesome. :-)

  3. atheistchaplain says

    I am about to embark on a cruise for 10 days but when I get back I will kick the can if needs be.
    I fear for your employers if this all goes pear shaped :-)

    • Dana Hunter says

      I think my employers fear it, too! LOL. Thank you, and have an excellent cruise!

    • Dana Hunter says

      Thankees! UNION YES!! Our local kicks arse, I tell ya. Proud to be part – and I found out today, I’m gonna be a steward soon. Huzzah!

  4. azportsider says

    Get ‘em, Dana! Between you and the shop stewards it sounds like you’ve got the bastards surrounded.

    • Dana Hunter says

      Indeed we do. Also, I spoke to many people today who have gone from terrified to fighting mad. Solidarity!

  5. machintelligence says

    Kind of reminds me of the line by Rorschach in the movie “Watchmen”: “I’m not trapped in here with you, you are all trapped in here with me!

    • Dana Hunter says

      I read your comment this morning and laughed so hard I almost spat up my stomach. Truth! And they’re feeling it. :-)

    • Dana Hunter says

      Thanks! So am I – I’ve heard of places where the stewards are next to useless. Ours, however, are very useful indeed, and I adore them.

  6. TGAP Dad says

    I am a union member, too. At least I think am. They are actually pretty good at collecting dues from me. I don’t know if we actually have a shop steward; I know I’ve never actually met one. I know that there have been people fired or “reassigned” with impugnity. Not that it really matters, now that my state has become a “right to work” state. Now my department is going through its own reorganization, which will most likely see me kicked to the curb.

    • stanbrooks says

      I was “counseled” over an incident at my workplace a few years ago, and wasn’t sure if it was discipline or could lead to discipline, and so went looking for a shop steward. Didn’t find one close to me, and so I decided to attend the next E-Board meeting, talked with the Chief Shop Steward for our local and became a shop steward. I’ve now recruited another member to be a shop steward in my “cluster” (I work in a public library system) and we now meet regularly to discuss the issues our members face. I’ve always been a believer that if there is a problem and I notice it and ask who is doing something about it, it probably means I have volunteered.

    • Dana Hunter says

      I’m so sorry. Having a useless union is almost worse than having no union at all. :-(

  7. movablebooklady says

    Best of luck and guile to you (and hooray to your shop stewards, too). I wish my right-to-work state (NC) wasn’t so craven and would quit kowtowing to the corporate jackbooted thugs (had to work jackboots in somehow).

    • Dana Hunter says

      Right? I ran into this in Arizona, and it was awful. People too distrustful of unions to form one; management fucking people over without a care; a state that enthusiastically supports businesses in fucking employees over at every opportunity. No bueno. Got to unite, or they crush us – but they make it so hard to unite at all. I’m so grateful to the workers who unionized our workforce. They were heroes.

  8. Trebuchet says

    Damn, Dana, that sucks. Pulling you off work for filing an ethics complaint is probably not even legal, let alone allowed under the contract. And I spend a lot of money with the company I think you work for. That distresses me pretty severely, but it’s pretty difficult to change it.

    I was a union member for 20+ years before I retired. The company’s consistent knee-jerk reactions of doing exactly the wrong thing whenever anything connected with the union is concerned continue to amaze me even after I left.

    Hang in there and don’t let the bastards grind you down!

    • Dana Hunter says

      No worries! The company as a whole isn’t any more evil than the average corporation – I have it on good authority many other departments treat their employees right. And we’re working hard on ensuring our department becomes one of those.

      I love it when companies step wrong with strong unions. It’s adorable watching them squirm when the union gives them a meaningful jab. They try to get away with so much, but a union on the ball ensures they’ve fucked themselves.

      No worries on grinding me down. Believe me. I don’t grind easily. Especially not on Wellbutrin. :-D

    • Dana Hunter says

      I love this liberal state and this union. I’m extremely lucky to have them both. I’ve been in your situation and it sucked. I’m hoping that someday, we can ensure that all Americans will have protections.

  9. stanbrooks says

    Dana I’m so glad that you are in a union, have a shop steward and know who they are, and that they have your back. And know that I will be more that happy to help support a fellow union member if the need arises. Be well with yourself. I’m a regular reader who doesn’t comment often (most have more valuable things to say about your topics than I and I’m not overly fond of my words or voice), but I do chime in when called for, and this is one of those times.
    I might also add that I’m a shop steward myself and an Other-Catagories at Large member of my E-Board, AFSCME Local 1857.

    • Dana Hunter says

      Thank you! I’m grateful you spoke up – the support is very much appreciated. Always happy to hear from a fellow union member! Especially a shop steward. Go, us!