Interlude: Moment of Silence

Memorial to the people killed in the May 18th, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Johnston Ridge Volcano Obervatory, Mount St. Helens, WA.

REID TURNER BLACKBURN

WALLACE NORWOOD BOWERS

JOEL K. COLTEN

RONALD LEE CONNER

TERRY A. CRALL

CLYDE ANDREW CROFT

JOSE A. DIAS

ELLEN DILL

WILLIAM (BILL) DILL

ARLENE H. EDWARDS

JOLENE H. EDWARDS

BRUCE EDWARD FADDIS

JAMES F. FITZGERALD JR.

THOMAS G. GADWA

ALLEN R. HANDY

PAUL HIATT

DAVID A. JOHNSTON

DAY ANDREW KARR

DAY BRADLEY KARR

MICHAEL MURRAY KARR

BOB M. KASEWETER

CHRISTY LIANN KILLIAN

JOHN G. KILLIAN

HAROLD (BUTCH) KIRKPATRICK

ROBERT E. LANDSBURG

ROBERT LYNDS

GERALD O. MARTIN

GERALD LLOYD MOORE

KEITH A. MOORE

SHIRLEY (SAM) MOORE

KEVIN CHRISTOPHER MORRIS

MICHELLE LEA MORRIS

EDWARD JOSEPH MURPHY

ELEANOR JEANNE MURPHY

DONALD R. PARKER

JEAN ISABELL PARKER

NATALIE ALI PARKER

RICHARD A. PARKER

WILLIAM PAUL PARKER

MERLIN JAMES PLUARD

RUTH KATHLEEN PLUARD

FRED D. ROLLINS

MARGERY ELLEN ROLLINS

PAUL F. SCHMIDT

BARBARA LEA SEIBOLD

RONALD DALE SEIBOLD

DONALD JAMES SELBY

EVLANTY V. SHARIPOFF

LEONTY V. SKOROHODOFF

DOUG THAYER

HARRY R. TRUMAN

JAMES S. TUTE

VELVETIA (VELVET) TUTE

KAREN MARIE VARNER

BEVERLY C. WETHERALD

KLAUS ZIMMERMAN

 

Previous: Prelude to a Catastrophe: “The Volcano Could Be Nearing a Major Event.”

Next: The Cataclysm: “Vancouver! Vancouver! This Is It!”

 

Originally published at Scientific American/Rosetta Stones.

Interesting Times II

Here’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: the results of the investigation. Huzzah! After running their cherry-picked* interview statements past Legal and HR, the most that management could manage was a counseling notice for insubordination. As far as punishments go, it’s like a slap on the back of the hand and a giggled, “You naughty girl, stahp!” I’m wondering if that’s because Legal said something like, “WTF? Are you trying to get sued for millions?”

I’m vastly amused. Disappointed, but amused.

Where do we go from here? Well, my two ethics complaints (one for my manager’s legally questionable termination, and one for my legally-questionable suspension) are still in play. They have a counseling notice I refused to sign (politely! Wouldn’t want them to think I was being insubordinate or anything!). I have a disciplinary action against me that gets the union’s foot in the door for a grievance. What they seem to be doing to me is trying to stretch a tripwire across my path, since shutting me up has proved to be such a spectacular failure. What I’m doing is hopping right over it with a grin and a whistle. What do they have? A very weak sauce. What do I have? A heaping helping of wasabi – a documented pattern of behavior that looks for all the world like retaliation. Oh, honey.

I have also got a hostile work environment. I feel ganged up on and targeted. I have coworkers who are either terrified or despairing – but after what happened to me and my manager, the terror and despair have begun to turn into a righteous outrage. People are tired of living in fear. They’re uniting to make things better. And it is beautiful.

Still. It should never have come to this.

Under the microscope, I shall continue on my quest to improve working conditions, with my union and my co-workers at my side. We won’t be stopped.

Meanwhile, my manager has only just begun to sue.

Stay tuned.

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.

*I say this because witnesses who were standing right there who happened to be my peers were, oddly enough, never interviewed. One of them is my friend and a union steward, and lo, she was never called upon. Interesting coinky-dink, that, and leads to the strong impression that this investigation may have failed to meet the minimal qualifications for totally unbiased. Color me shocked.

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.