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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

God Help Them!

Look, I know the rants about my old job are getting old and I should just forget it and move on, and I will...eventually.  I spent more than ten years of my life with those miserable so-and-sos, you know.  And I still have a point of contact there, that is, my best friend still works there, so I have SOME clue what's going on.

As I mentioned about a month ago, they hadn't successfully hired anyone to take my place.


At any rate, they haven't yet hired a replacement.  Oh, they've TRIED.  But apparently the only guy they actually hired spent all morning trying to find a place and time they'd let him dip snuff, looking for breaks, and then just left the premises.

A day or two ago, I texted her, admitting that even I was surprised that they hadn't hired SOMEONE at this point.  After all, it's been almost two months, and it IS the Obamaconomy, after all.  You'd think they could find SOMEONE.

Turns out all the applicants were losers, she said, except one--whom they couldn't actually contact.  

The plus side to this situation, and I kid thee not, I am NOT making this up, is that my former boss is never around the place anymore.  In order to cover my job, he is coming in before anyone else gets there and getting back after they all leave.  And without his insane micromanaging, the place is doing just FINE and everyone is THRILLED that they don't have to put up with him.  And he's actually working a lot of hours for the first time in years, as opposed to pretending to work a lot of hours and getting his superiors to pity his poor, worthless tuchus.

Then she texted me today and said that they had a lot of interviews scheduled today and tomorrow.  Apparently a whole bunch of new applications came in.

So, out of curiousity, I googled the ad.  It didn't take more than one attempt.  I know how the so-and-so thinks.  I thought it was hilarious, knowing what I know.  So here, slightly edited, it is, with my comments.  You may not think it's so funny, but having spent ten years there, to ME, it's a RIOT.


...looking for a full time delivery personnel/technician...

This doorknob couldn't write to save his skin.  "A" full-time "personnel" is a contradiction, that is, PERSONNEL is PLURAL.  Of course, he couldn't just write "person."  He had to try to make himself look better than that, and ended up looking the twit.

...will train candidate that has a positive attitude...

Oh, a positive attitude is a wonderful thing, I grant you, but that's not what shinola-for-brains means.  What he means is that if you notice that he is an unethical so-and-so and that his superiors haven't a clue, you're supposed to ACT AS IF THEY'RE ALL WONDERFUL ANYWAY.  If you catch him in a blatant lie, you're supposed to act as if he was George Washington himself.  If you--God forbid!--catch him in a massive mistake that left you unevaluated for four solid years, you're supposed to act as though that is perfectly normal.  If your company makes serious errors on your paycheck, oh, say, at least ten times in ten years, including one spectacular instance where your pittance of a raise was left off your check for FOUR SOLID MONTHS, you're not supposed to point out that getting payroll correct is not exactly a hot priority for your company.

THAT'S what he means by "positive attitude." 


Note also that they have completely given up on getting someone experienced.  No wonder they suddenly got a lot of new applications.  They might as well have run an ad for a warm body.

...good communication skills...


Maybe someone who knows that "personnel" is plural, perhaps?

...mechanically inclined...


You have to be kidding me.  I had to be able to figure out how to install and repair all kinds of shinola, including, on one occasion, a freaking BIDET that wasn't even ours, wasn't medical equipment, and for the installation of which WE WERE NOT GETTING PAID.  I had to be able to test circuits for continuity, figure out where in the concentrator the tubing had come loose, replace cords, rebuild--at one point--oxygen concentrator compressors, diagnose power wheelchairs, program power wheelchairs...you get the point.  "Mechanically inclined" is kind of mild.

...team player...


Gives up personal life at the boss's whim.  On one occasion, this so-and-so seriously suggested I put a fifteen-year-old in DAYCARE so that I would be available to work late without notice.

Must have a clean driving record and must be able to pass extensive background check (no felonies).


They came within a hair's breadth of hiring someone just outta the pen last Spring.  So take that for what it's worth.

Deliver and set up medical equipment and supplies...

That sounds kind of mild.  You must understand that some of this stuff is darned heavy.  You haven't lived until you've

until you've single-handedly delivered and set up a bariatric home hospital bed--that is, a bed intended for the severely obese.  Or a power wheelchair.  Or picked up a "dead" power chair, one wherein the batteries aren't working, 
and you must get that heavy sonuvagun into the back of your van single-handedly.

And what about counseling the power chair recipient?

What about deciding what the best location for the grab bar is, given the building's structure and the patient's pathology?  Because I guarantee you the PATIENT doesn't know!

What about tiptoeing between endless piles of dog crap (I am NOT making this up) to install a hand-held shower?

What about plunging your hand through a pile of dead roaches and roach droppings in order to replace the handset on an electric lift chair?


I could go on...

...all over the state of ****...

Mostly in the two largest metro areas, though.  What's the deal here?  He had to use "personnel" but couldn't spell out ********?

...using company vehicles, also repairs and home assessments.


As previously noted, this chucklehead can't write.  NO ONE IS USING COMPANY VEHICLES, REPAIRS, AND HOME ASSESSMENTS TO DO THIS JOB.  Instead, repairs and home assessments are PART of the job to be done WITH company vehicles.  

And let me note, "home assessments" are something that you do not have just any yokel do.  You have to know something about equipment, something about pathology, something about physiology, something about kinesiology, something about FREAKING HOUSE FRAMING, ADA regulations, and so forth.  Granted, some of it is fairly elementary, but some of it is not.   It is ridiculous to talk about a trainee doing more than very elementary assessments for at least a year, and more complex stuff would require, in my opinion, a few years of experience plus some specialized training.

For some home assessments--notably those involved with getting a wheelchair funded--you had better know your stuff darned well or you could conceivably...well, there's consequences, let's just say that.


Now: repairs.  Really.  As previously noted, I have rebuilt compressors, diagnosed and fixed oxygen concentrators, power wheelchairs, home hospital beds, wheelchairs, lift chairs, and onlyGodknowswhatelse.  I wonder where they are going to get this paragon.  He's got to be able to drill holes, lift stuff, check electrical continuity, do some plumbing...oh, I know there are people out there who can do it.  No question about THAT.  The QUESTION is where are they going to get one who can do it FOR WHAT THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY.  

Physically demanding at times and must be able to lift up to 50lbs safely...

REALLY.  No shinola, Sherlock, and I never got a lick of appreciation for it.  First, let me note: lifting fifty pounds is not all that physically demanding.  Any normal man ought to be able to do it repeatedly.

But delivering and assembling a bariatric home hospital bed in a room with one-quarter of an inch of spare room at each end of the bed, without air conditioning, in August...THAT'S physically demanding.  And it's a heckuva lot more than fifty pounds, and if you get some poor schmuck that thinks because he can lift fifty pounds, he can do the job, both he and you are in for a surprise.

Vacation, sick pay and health insurance available...


One week after one year, two weeks after two years, three weeks after ten years...and no paid holidays.

Didn't mention that part, did we?  Because the bald-faced reality is that that means you are perpetually behind, that is, after one year, everyone else has one week of vacation and seven or eight paid holidays, after two years, two weeks and paid holidays, and so forth.  YOU, on the other hand, instead of having twelve or thirteen paid days off after a year, have FIVE.  And so on, with the years.

Used to really tick me off around the holidays.  After ten solid years, I think my Christmas bonus before taxes was 175 bucks.  Yes, I am serious.  And they made me take off holidays without pay.  And yes, that means I lost more--far more!--in pay than I got in Christmas bonuses!

Sick pay?  Don't make me laugh.  I accumulated something like forty-five days of sick pay (and didn't get paid a nickel for it when I was forced to resign, by the way) and never used a day of it.  It was effectively impossible unless you were down with cancer or something.  It didn't kick in 'til the third day you were out sick, and unless you had a doctor's release to return to work, you never knew, these turnips just might fire you!  I think I only saw it used twice in ten years.

Health insurance?  Even before the Obamacare days, this was a joke.  You could get a pittance of a policy with benefits so low that you were better off just rat-holing the premium money.  Now that Obamacare's here, they offer a policy that is not too bad--IF you're just insuring yourself and IF you're willing to settle for a "bronze" plan.  If you're insuring yourself AND YOUR FAMILY, forget it, at least on what they pay.  I would have had to fork over more than 700 bucks a month.

So that's pretty much a non-starter.  Might as well not even bring it up.

...some overtime will be required.

Not much--God knows I wanted more--and frequently without any notice whatsoever.

For YEARS, the only way they could make their deliveries "work" in the City area was to operate on the assumption that MOTW could and would work two ten-hour days down there every week.  They never asked me.  Never checked to see if it was okay.  They just assumed I would do it.  And I did, because I wanted the money, but not everyone is going to be that way.  If I didn't do it, their whole system fell apart--unless they wanted to UPS huge amounts of stuff out.

Heh.  Years ago, they had me doing two TWELVE-hour days down there every week, and the boss, shinola-for-brains, actually had the nerve to tell me he was considering sending me home early on Fridays to take away the overtime.  Seriously.  He wanted me to work 24 hours in two days and not get a nickel extra.

He didn't try it.  Darned good thing.

Well, I know I'll get replaced eventually.  I know.  They may even get someone good for the money they're willing to pay.  Obamaconomy, you know.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Just LIVID

I know, I know...you thought, since I was pressured out of my old job--fired, really--that you'd seen the last of my rants about it.

Well, I ran into my other driver today...the other driver from my old job.  We had a chance to talk for a few minutes.

Some of what she told me warmed my heart in a sad way.  My old boss, in my absence, is apparently having to work his tail end off for the first time in years.  Understand: he CLAIMED to be working his rear off for eighty hours a week for a long time, but we knew he falsified time sheets (seen it at least twice with my own eyes, folks, I am NOT making this up!) and God knows we never saw him break a sweat.  So, on the one hand, I was kind of glad to hear that he was having to actually DO SOMETHING.

When I heard that he was having the audacity to rhymes-with-witch about the difficulties involved in doing my old job, that kind of teed me off.

Don't like having to hand carry several cases of nutritional supplement up rickety stairs and around a corner?   Poor baby.  I had to do it every month, and I don't recall you having any sympathy for ME.

I guess it's been more than a month since I was forced to resign.  I mean, I complete my fourth week at my new job (which is going pretty well, thank you) tomorrow, and I was off almost a week before that, so I guess it's been more than a month...

At any rate, they haven't yet hired a replacement.  Oh, they've TRIED.  But apparently the only guy they actually hired spent all morning trying to find a place and time they'd let him dip snuff, looking for breaks, and then just left the premises.

I TOLD them they didn't offer enough starting pay to attract anyone good.  My other driver would never--I mean that, literally, would NEVER--have taken the job had they told her up front what she'd be making.

No paid holidays.  No benefits to speak of.  Crappy starting pay.  Oh, you may eventually REPLACE me, but if you think for an instant that you're going to get someone who can operate for hours, or even days, largely without supervision, relate to clients, handle paperwork, regulations, tools, installations, maintenance, repairs, navigation, and consulting for the pay YOU'RE offering to start...well, good luck with that.

So there's a twisted sense of satisfaction in that.

But I was also told that he'd talked to the 69-year-old now-retired co-worker--you know, the one his best friend's ex-meth-head wife, whom he had hired, had actually physically shaken in a fit of anger?--and told her that I'd been forced to resign because he "just couldn't take it anymore." Presumably he was referring to what he referred to as my "bad attitude," or the fact that I had confronted him with his misdeeds and misjudgments more and more often.

All I could think was, "What in the **** is he doing telling her something like that?"  Leaving aside the fact that she had caught him in lie after lie over the years and KNEW he was full of squeeze, what was he thinking?

This is the man who'd lied repeatedly, had hired a girlfriend, then the same lady as an EX-girlfriend in order to line HIS pockets, who hired the ex(?)-meth-head because of his personal relationship with her and her husband for a job directly under his supervision, who'd fired a perfectly innocent employee because the ex-meth-head couldn't stand her, who'd lied about clients complaining about me, who'd falsified mileage logs to line his own pockets, who'd falsified time sheets to make himself look good, and more other stuff than I care to take the time to re-write here, who had, in short, gone a long way to making life MISERABLE at work for me and several others, who had made us "TAKE IT" for years?

All *I* did was tell him directly that some of what was going wrong was HIS FAULT--and, finally, under provocation, tell him to his face that he was bughouse crazy and acting like an ex-cokehead.  Admittedly, not the smoothest move in terms of job retention, but the man had just come this close to accusing me of having an affair with a co-worker--a co-worker whom HE'D driven to distraction through his behavior over the years.

And he just couldn't "take it."  ****'s Bells, he'd PROVOKED IT.  I think deliberately.  I think he was looking to provoke me into something that he could take to his boss that would get me canned--and he got it.

The other thing I was told that just had me LIVID was this: It seems my other driver had told our--her current, my former--boss's boss that she was "done."  What did she mean?  She meant she was "done."

If you don't know what that means, it means you are on the verge of walking out.

SO WHAT DOES MY OLD BOSS'S BOSS DO?

She goes to my former boss and tells him TO LEAVE MY OTHER DRIVER ALONE, that she is to be allowed to do what she thinks she needs to do the way she thinks she needs to do it!

Now, obviously, I have no objection to THAT.

But note: if I go to my boss's boss and say, more or less, that I am about to quit, and my boss's boss goes to my boss and tells him to leave me alone, does that not say loud and clear that she knows **** well who the problem is?

Let me put it bluntly: that means that my boss's boss--and probably her superiors--KNEW my boss was causing problems and forced me to resign anyway!

Not HIM.

ME.

WHY?

You're going to say, "Because you called him bughouse crazy, MOTW," and yeah...I did that.  After years of repeated  provocation and maltreatment and outright lies.  But I don't think that's why they kept him and got rid of me without ever hearing my side of the story (there were no witnesses, after all--only God knows what he told them).

I think they did THAT  because, as my boss's boss emphasized in the meeting that took place the day they got rid of me, our section, our division, of the company was the only one making a decent profit.  I think they--God knows why, it sure as thunder wasn't HIS brilliance--thought that their profits were at risk if they got rid of him, even though they KNEW he was causing personnel problems and had every reason in the world to suspect him of outright corruption.

I think the dollars mattered more than their integrity, and I say this about an ostensibly Christian organization.

I know it sounds bitter.  But that's what I think.  And I doubt seriously I ever trust anyone in that particular Christian organization ever again.  Their word stinks, as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Well, I Don't Work There Anymore

Those few of you who keep up with this blog know that I'd been having issues with my former boss for some little time.

I have been advised by more than one person to bury this material, to never let it see the light of day, even anonymously. They think that I will come off looking bad to potential employers, that even though they agree with me that I'd been pushed entirely too far, that I will end up looking as though I had one of those legendary and infamous "bad attitudes." One other person heard the story and concluded that I "refuse to be cowed."  You'll have to make up your own mind. I don't want to forget this stuff, and I think the odds of anyone ever figuring out who I am--besides the probably less than five people who actually know, that is--are slim and none, and I don't think I've given enough away for more than one person, who can be trusted to hold his peace, to ever have the proverbial snowball's chance of figuring out where I worked.

At any rate, if you've been reading, you know that...well, let me quote myself from a few posts ago, talking about my boss--my former boss, now:
...is a former cokehead (fool enough not to understand that we know all about it) whom we seriously suspect of ducking out a few times a day for a quick hit on a joint.  Just suspect, mind you. 
...has no serious ability to concentrate, possibly due to the aforementioned little personal quirk. 
...does not understand certain elements of his own job and is now at the point of having to be corrected ON THE LAW by at least one of his employees. 
...has proven himself completely unable to hire and retain employees as we steadily lose them due to the toxic environment he has created. 
....hired his live-in girlfriend for a "temporary" position directly under his supervision, said "temporary" position only being terminated when our then-office manager went to him and threatened to quit over it. 
...hired his now-ex-live-in girlfriend back for a "permanent" position when they broke up and she owed him money and that was the only job she could get that paid enough for her to pay him back. 
...fired his now-ex-live-in girlfriend about a year later, after she had paid him back, because he had since hired an ex-meth head (actually, we're not sure about the "ex") who happened to be his best friend's wife, and the new employee and the old girlfriend mutually despised one another.  No cause.  Just "Your services are no longer needed."  This was in spite of the fact that she was actually doing a good job. 
...ended up firing his best friend's wife when he finally, after more than two years, realized that she was never going to be able to do the job correctly and that she had actually physically shaken a 69-year-old co-worker in a fit of anger, and that no one had confronted him about her behavior because, well, she was the boss's personal friend. 
...has completely failed to make the connection that the previous episode means that his employees are unwilling to be frank with him for fears of his personal reaction. 
...is strongly suspected of stealing gasoline via company credit cards.  
When I say "strongly suspected," I mean that the only possible explanation for the appearance of certain gas receipts was that he was gassing up his own car on the company card at six a.m. with some frequency, until the company credit cards got hidden.  Amazing how that worked.
...has been known to falsify mileage logs so as to get paid for trips he didn't make. 
...and more, but I'm running out of time.  In short, he is a singular mixture of incompetence, veniality, savagery, and selfishness, probably the worst and most unethical boss I have ever had.
Now, knowing all that, and I COULD go on, you can imagine that our workplace relationship has been deteriorating over the years.  It has been flatly impossible to ACTUALLY respect the man, as opposed to PRETENDING to respect him, and let me tell you, the prospect of him leading our little workforce in prayer once a week had more than one of us gagging. It was like being led in prayer by Bill Clinton.

It seems to me that the deterioration really started to accelerate when he was forced to fire his best friend's ex-meth-head wife after it became crystal-clear that she had actually physically shaken a 69-year-old co-worker in a fit of anger. He talked to each of the employees in turn, and when it was my turn, I told him bluntly that the whole situation was HIS fault, that he had no business hiring her in the first place and he had put her in an impossible situation for which she was in no way prepared.  He replied that he "took responsibility," but of course, that meant nothing.  Nothing happened to him.  Nobody, as far as I know, except me, said, ">>>>>>, you shouldn't have done that!"  Saying you "take responsibility" means nothing in practical terms except that you're not going to try to palm the blame off on someone else. It doesn't mean you pay a price for your mistake, or unethical behavior, or whatever it is.

At any rate, after that, it sometimes seemed to me like he was looking for opportunities to confront and aggravate me, and to exaggerate anything I did that was less than perfect.  This wasn't just my impression; other employees also thought that he was "picking on" me.

Eventually there was a blow-up over an episode I detailed in another post, and we hollered at each other over the phone in the course of a conversation wherein he said, among other things, that all his hiring decisions had been "the best decisions at the time."

Sweet.  "The best decisions" seemed to keep putting money in his pocket or putting his personal friends under his direct supervision, resulting in little things we lesser mortals refer to as "conflicts of interest," which would get managers in any other company FIRED.

At any rate, I ended up calling his boss, and sure enough, she came down early the next Monday, had a conference with the boss, which, according to what was overheard through the door by one employee, went rather poorly for him.  Then she had individual conferences with me, my other driver, and at least two other employees that I know about.  Afterwards, we all got copies of her card and we were told not to hesitate to call.

We kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.  After all, even though we all stuck to what we personally had seen and heard, we had established a pretty credible case that the boss was a thief and a liar and serially abusing the business to line his own pockets. And we did see a few things.  His boss dropped in another day and was overheard to say, "*******, I need to see your mileage and time sheets," and we had to make a few small changes to the way we were doing our vehicle mileage records, so we
KNEW they at least recognized the possibility that he really WAS milking the company for personal profit.  And he left us alone more.  We knew he'd been "talked to."

We thought that we were being taken seriously.

We should have known better.

Some few weeks after that, on one of the days when I had to stock up ****** ***** with ****** *****, which was a twice-weekly chore, I made the mistake of forgetting my work order.  Crap.  I did NOT want to go back two miles and get it, I knew I'd never hear the end of it.  So I called my other driver, thinking that, perhaps, she had not yet left.  She had, but said she was still close and would be happy to bring me my work order.  I waited, and after, perhaps, ten minutes or so, MY BOSS DROVE BY.  He had no business on that end of the campus; his only business on the campus that day was to pick up check stubs at the OTHER END of the campus.  He drove past me, through some duplexes, and then headed back toward the offices. Then, perhaps five or six minutes later, he came back, drove right up to me, and asked me, "Are you waiting on someone?"

"Yes.  I'm waiting on ****** to bring me my work order."

"Okay," he said, and drove off.  I found out later that he had probably overheard ****** saying that she was bringing the work order, so it appears that he already knew full well what I was doing and followed my other driver, expecting to catch us...what?  I texted ******, told her that he appeared to be checking up on me, and it turned out she had been in the building a few minutes.  I didn't know.  Worst that anyone could say was that I had wasted ten or fifteen minutes, though.  I got my work order, she completed her business with *******, and that was that.

Back at the warehouse, though, the boss followed me into the storage end and said, "Okay, MOTW, I've got to ask you, why does it take both you and ****** to deliver to *********?" And I told him it didn't; that I had already told him what happened, and did he think I lied to him the first time?

And then, as my temper and the horribly wrong idea that my complaints were being taken seriously got the better of me, it hit me that the only reason to ask the question was because he DID think I had been lying, which in turn implied an attempt to conceal the truth, and next thing I knew, I said, "You're all but saying that ****** and I are meeting in secret!  You know, you're about bughouse crazy!  You're starting to act like an ex-cokehead!"  He just said, "Oh, MOTW," and left the room.

My other driver was as livid as I was when she heard the story.  It had been fairly obvious to both of us for a long time that the man had been jealous--ridiculously--of the closeness of our friendship.  It seemed like a transparently obvious attempt to make our relationship out to be something it wasn't, and it stung: part of the reason that friendship works is because she, as a woman in a committed relationship, would never consider running around with a married man, and I, as a married man, would never consider running around with another woman.  In other words, it works because she knows I'm not trying to get into her pants and we both resented the smallest implication that things might be otherwise.

The other shoe dropped on Monday.  His boss came down for our weekly meeting, and after sharing with us that ours was pretty much the only branch of the company that was making good money (NOTE THAT, THE ONE OR TWO OF YOU WHO KNOW WHO I WORKED FOR: SHE WAS TELLING US THAT WE WERE THE ONLY BRANCH THAT WAS MAKING GOOD MONEY!  IS THAT THE IMPRESSION YOU GOT AT THE...UH...BIG MEETING?) She met on an individual basis with my other driver for a good, long time.  Then she met with my boss and, I believe, my other driver for a good, long time.  Then she met with other employees.  I was in and out much of the day and I NEVER GOT SPOKEN TO until late in the day, after she'd spent some little time on the phone and reviewing her notes.

At that point, I was called in and told that I would be allowed to resign and get paid for my three remaining vacation days.  The alternative was to be fired outright, after almost eleven years and what had been touted just a few months before as a stellar, even legendary career.

For those wondering, the place is organized in such as way that unemployment stuff doesn't apply.  Couldn't get it.

Whilst I was being perp-walked around the place, getting my things, my boss's boss asked me, "If these things were going on all this time, why didn't anyone say anything?"

Seriously.  She asked me that whilst perp-walking me around the building!  Apparently her capacity for "getting it" is extremely limited.  I say that whilst not really blaming her; I think she was doing what she had been told to do.  Apparently it just didn't occur to her that no one said anything because we all thought that corporate leadership would shoot the messenger--and, on the excuse that I had "gone too far," that is exactly what they did.

My other driver told me later that during their time together, my boss's boss had returned more than once to the fact that our branch of the company was the only one making good money, and I am convinced that in the end, corporate leadership decided to turn a blind eye to credible allegations of leadership abuse and outright theft because they naively thought the accused was responsible for the profits.  They don't know enough about our business--or what was "our" business--to know that we have basically been in the right place at the right time, and I'm not sure they really care.

I can't see into their heads, but personally, I think that between their cliquishness, their blindness, and the dollars, they either can't or won't see the truth.

I've already got another job, and, with overtime, the pay cut isn't THAT bad, and I think the future is brighter.  But I couldn't let this fiasco vanish completely down the memory hole.  And I will say that there is not one person in the leadership of either that organization or the parent organization that I will trust on any level, not ever.  Christian organization or not, I don't trust them or their judgment.

Also, while it's not that I wish judgment to fall on them, I think they will have problems soon.  There are a handful of jobs they will simply not be able to take anymore because they no longer have, and will not be able to get, someone with the requisite certification.  There are certain jobs that now, only the boss knows how to do, and it will be by no means easy to get or to train someone else to do them, so that will help keep him busy--or they will start having to turn those jobs down, or delay them.  Considering that some agencies counted on us doing those jobs...well...

My other driver will probably be hitting the road soon after the holidays.  She'll find other work FIRST, and then split.  And then, probably in the space of 45 days, they will have lost two of the most experienced such employees in the state, and the only two such employees they had.  They will almost certainly lose clients, maybe a LOT of clients, over our absence.  We brought in and kept a lot of clients, and we will no longer be there.

I wonder what corporate leadership will say about Fearless Leader at that point?

The senior office lady is exactly that: senior.  Her husband's already retired and six months ago, she almost followed suit.  I speculated then that she might work until past the holidays and then retire.  Even if she goes a bit longer, I am certain that her remaining time there can be measured in months, and, since she functioned as my boss's brain, disaster is sure to strike in her absence.  I am not exaggerating.  Time and again we have heard her telling him how this or that program or regulation ACTUALLY worked, as opposed to the harebrained conception HE had of how it worked.  He hath not a clue.  Without her, he is COOKED.

With the two experienced drivers and the senior office lady gone, the pressure on the remaining staff will be intense.  Only one of them has more than a year of experience, and she is going to school and probably will be there not one second longer than she absolutely has to be.  The other two office people have other irons in the fire, and probably will not hang around if things erupt in flames.  Perhaps the one employee remaining is determined to stay, but that is about it.

In short, I think it is entirely possible that the whole team will go up in flames in less than a year, and I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't take a sense of satisfaction in watching the spectacle.

Wonder if they'll take me seriously then?

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Own Co-Workers Don't Know What the Heck My Certification Does

I  frankly have  seldom been more aggravated.

Now, see, I have a certain certification, one that requires  a certain number of qualifications.  EVERYONE has to pass a test, a fairly demonic test that requires, frankly, a significant level of academic talent and a lot of self-study.  You must also have a four-year degree, or a two-year degree and a certain amount of on-the-job experience, or a high school diploma and six years of on-the-job experience.  I fall into the last category.

When we first thought we needed someone with this certification, I was willing and I was chosen because A) Snotty as it sounds, everyone knew perfectly darn well I was the only one sufficiently academically inclined to pull it off, and B) I had the years of experience necessary.

But as time has gone on, even though I am not often called on for anything seriously related to that certification (we were never seriously in the running for the business it was originally intended for and my possession of the certification is now mostly for bragging rights), occasionally I notice that to this minute, nobody really knows what the heck I am supposed to be able to do with it.

My boss's boss has asked me no less than three separate times what my certification is.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to travel to SmallTown to (as close as I can from memory) "assess item X for whether it is cost-effective to repair or replace."

I got out there and, knowing NOTHING about the patient, saw fairly quickly that the item was serviceable, though, after 17 years of use, it had flaws.  Two major parts were shot, despite overall good care having clearly been given to the item.  A couple of braces had suffered major wear, though in my opinion they were not likely to fail and presented no safety issues.  And the patient clearly DID NOT want to replace the item.  He liked it and wanted it repaired, if possible.

So I called the manufacturer.  They told me MOST parts were no longer available for that item, and that without the serial number (which was totally obliterated, nor was the original paperwork available) it would not be possible to look up the specs for the item--which was semi-custom--as originally ordered.  This last was important information, because as a semi-custom item, my options were LIMITED.

I could eyeball it (I didn't have a protractor, and it would have been of limited utility if I did) and try to guesstimate a certain angle, and take a couple of other critical measurements.  This would have been silly.  That information was 17 years old, and just because the patient liked it didn't mean that mindlessly repeating it was a hot idea.  He may have changed.  His pathology may have changed.  His pathology might have been likely to change. Remember: I had not been told a THING about the patient--and when you're talking about a patient's pathology, you sure as snail snot don't want the patient to be your only source of information.  They've been known to lie, or just not know what the heck's going on, or to indulge in wishful thinking.

I could have tried to measure the PATIENT, which in this case would have meant getting an accurate weight (With what? Did they think I kept a scale in the van?), height, hip width, distance from the floor to the popliteal crease, distance from the popliteal crease to the rearmost adipose tissue, distance from the seat to the armpit, and, most critically, RANGE OF MOTION, which is critical if PELVIC TILT might be an issue.  RANGE OF MOTION is typically determined by a physical therapist, on a raised mat (you have to be able to measure some things in a seated position, too, which means the patient needs to be able to sit with his feet flat on the floor), and involves, among other things, the use of a goniometer, which is a device for measuring the angle formed by joints.

I could have decided, all by myself, that the patient didn't actually need a semi-custom item and just gone with a lightweight item X with a few bells and whistles.  Yeah.  Right.  I'm the doctor. Not.

At NO POINT would I, by myself, have been able to make the determination whether or not a
new item x was even medically necessary!

Well, since (I THOUGHT!) I had been asked just to see if the item was worth fixing or needed to be replaced, and since I do not have a goniometer, and since I sure as **** didn't have a raised mat, and since I thought it was stupid to guess at measurements on 17-year-old equipment, and since the man wanted to remain with his current item x anyway, I just determined that the needed parts were available, had a quote faxed over, and noted that if the cost of the parts exceeded half the cost of a new item x, then and only then would I recommend replacing the item.

I never in a million years thought my task was supposed to extend to getting all the information necessary to getting the man a new item X.  I mean, ****, I didn't have all the equipment for a mat evaluation, and ordinarily a person with my certification is not expected to do them, though I suppose I could stumble through it.

MY FREAKIN' MISTAKE!  A couple of weeks later, the boss informed me and the warehouse guy that we were responsible for getting a quote on a new item X.

Turns out there are like fifteen bajillion options available on the thing.  Most were at no extra charge, but some--including some potentially critical ones--cost money.  And the manufacturer, understandably, needed some specifics before giving us a quote.  But dadgummit, I could only guess at those specifics!  Even measuring the old item X directly would have been an approximation of some things at best, and if it didn't turn out right, the patient might very well end up rejecting a potentially three-thousand-dollar item.  Still, I could have measured the old item if they wanted me to, if I'd known they were willing to do such a thing.  I certainly couldn't have gotten all the necessary measurements of the patient, unless I made certain assumptions (no pelvic tilt!  Full range of motion!) which isn't the hottest idea in the world when you're dealing with complex rehabilitative equipment.

And the place that was apparently using us as a subcontractor wanted us to provide a quote.

Today.

And so I was getting some fairly snotty things said to me about my failure to get the relevant information.  I protested that I'd been sent to see whether the item was worth fixing, not to measure the patient for a new one, only to be told, in a roundabout way, that if measuring the patient for a new item might have been necessary to making the decision, I should have done so.

Maybe I should have.  I know this: I'm asking for a goniometer.  I haven't needed one for the two-and-a-half years I've had this certification, and I may not need one for the next ten, and I sure as snail snot wonder what the heck people who didn't even know I'd need a goniometer to do the job are doing criticizing me for the way I did it, but I'm asking for one.  And the next time I'm asked to do ANYTHING resembling this, I will ask for a detailed list of information that I'm expected to bring back.  And if a mat evaluation is needed, they can by golly expect me to ask for an appropriate surface.

The capper: it occurred to me to look up the contractor that we were working for, and when I did, I found this:

All services are provided after a thorough patient evaluation by a qualified rehab technician.

Really?  I am a "qualified rehab technician"?  Well, that's pretty generic, and I suppose for some things, I am.

A "thorough patient evaluation"?  They sent me out there without any clue as to the patient's medical history and pathology, and without giving me a **** clue that I was supposed to come back with a detailed assessment of his physical capabilities.  I just thought I was looking at a **** item X.

Just remember that, the next time some company is bragging to you about how they do things.  What they mean and what you are hearing may be two different things.

In the meantime, like I say, if I wind up with such instructions again, you can bet your bottom dollar I will know IN DETAIL what they want before I go out there.  They think I'm supposed to do what in almost every circumstance imaginable the law requires a physical therapist to do (I'm serious: if you're dealing with Medicare or Medicaid, or most insurances following their practices, the law says you must have a physical therapist operating under a doctor's supervision--or the doctor himself--conduct that part of the process.  You ordinarily only escape if you're doing the private-pay thing.)

Not that I anticipate being there much longer anyway.  After a certain major issue in life is settled, I'm going to try to be ready to move on early next year anyway.

And lastly...AFTER the snotty comments, people found out that the manufacturer is in hot water with the feds and CANNOT SELL THE ITEM WITHOUT A PHYSICAL THERAPIST CONDUCTING AN EXAM.  PERIOD. Or so I understand the situation.

Wow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Got 'Im! And He Doesn't Even Know It!

Yes, yes, I know: this blog has turned into little but a place to vent about my job.  However, it's FREE, and I do enjoy letting it out.  And I have some material on pipes and tobaccos in the works.  So live with it.

*****

You may remember that my boss has gotten completely weird about my pipe smoking--weird, that is, in that since I generally smoke no more than a bowl-and-a-quarter each day, with the quarter-bowl being smoked on the way to work, he never smells more than a quarter-bowl of smoke on me, if he smells anything at all.  I mean, face it: that's hardly anything.

The man's had me go spray Febreze on myself multiple times over that stupid quarter-bowl of smoke.  And to top matters off, NOBODY else I've asked in the place (and I am fairly sure I've asked everybody) says they can smell anything unusual!  It is JUST HIM.  Literally, JUST HIM.

I told him that recently when I got evaluated and he brought the stupid subject up again.

Well, this morning, a couple of us needed to get fitted for new respirators--just in case we get exposed to someone with, say, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, imported via illegal immigrants.  Part of the process involved establishing a testing baseline, so when a scent was sprayed near us, we could tell if it was getting around the mask.

Either my boss was doing it wrong (wouldn't shock me) or I genuinely couldn't smell/taste a thing, and I will  have to do the whole thing over with a different scent another day.

Five minutes later, it occurred to me that I had just been smoking, and maybe that had messed up the test.  Subtle smells, you know.

AND MY BOSS SAID, "If I'd  known you were smoking, we'd have waited fifteen minutes."

It took about ten minutes, I'm ashamed to say, before I realized that the man had just admitted in front of me and two witnesses that when it came down to it, HE COULDN'T SMELL SMOKE ON ME.  The only time he "smells" smoke on me is when he has SEEN ME SMOKING THE PIPE.

Or so it seems to me.  Got 'im.  He's either lying again (and no, I wouldn't put it past him.  He'll do anything to take me down a peg.), or he's self-deluded.

Oh, by the way, remember how I mentioned the other day that he can't hire and retain people?

Well, apparently yesterday, we had a perfectly qualified applicant come in.  Right experience and everything.

Couldn't pay her.  Guess where she's NOT going to take a job?

Aaaaaaand two people have quit on us  within the last seven days.  Down to ONE full-time office person, and her with less than two years of experience...

Crap.  This could get ugly, and fast.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Attitude is Everything


Short post, just off the top o' me 'ead.

*****

Here in just a very few minutes, I am going to shave and go in to work.  The first thing that will happen is a weekly meeting.  This meeting will be led by a man who...

...is a former cokehead (fool enough not to understand that we know all about it) whom we seriously suspect of ducking out a few times a day for a quick hit on a joint.  Just suspect, mind you.

...has no serious ability to concentrate, possibly due to the aforementioned little personal quirk.

...does not understand certain elements of his own job and is now at the point of having to be corrected ON THE LAW by at least one of his employees.

...has proven himself completely unable to hire and retain employees as we steadily lose them due to the toxic environment he has created.

....hired his live-in girlfriend for a "temporary" position directly under his supervision, said "temporary" position only being terminated when our then-office manager went to him and threatened to quit over it.

...hired his now-ex-live-in girlfriend back for a "permanent" position when they broke up and she owed him money and that was the only job she could get that paid enough for her to pay him back.

...fired his now-ex-live-in girlfriend about a year later, after she had paid him back, because he had since hired an ex-meth head (actually, we're not sure about the "ex") who happened to be his best friend's wife, and the new employee and the old girlfriend mutually despised one another.  No cause.  Just "Your services are no longer needed."  This was in spite of the fact that she was actually doing a good job.

...ended up firing his best friend's wife when he finally, after more than two years, realized that she was never going to be able to do the job correctly and that she had actually physically shaken a 69-year-old co-worker in a fit of anger, and that no one had confronted him about her behavior because, well, she was the boss's personal friend.

...has completely failed to make the connection that the previous episode means that his employees are unwilling to be frank with him for fears of his personal reaction.

...is strongly suspected of stealing gasoline via company credit cards.

...has been known to falsify mileage logs so as to get paid for trips he didn't make.

...and more, but I'm running out of time.  In short, he is a singular mixture of incompetence, veniality, savagery, and selfishness, probably the worst and most unethical boss I have ever had.

This man has been known to lecture me on "attitude" and will almost certainly say something about "attitude" during the meeting this morning.

Welcome to my world.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Just Jaw-Dropping Boss Stuff

If you're interested in this stuff--and God only knows why you might be, I am just venting again--for more complete context, you might want to read the previous post, from which the quoted material has been quoted.

****

Ten days ago--September 2nd:

 ...we passed the inspection handily, with the only real actions to be taken being a couple of administrative actions that he needed to take.
One of these was making sure that we--the employees--had goals recorded.  Can't do anything without goals, you know.
So, today, the so-and-so e-mailed out a form for employee self-evaluation, which concluded with a section for setting goals.
Of course, he hadn't made up the form, and there were a couple of questions on it that frankly, given our situation, didn't make much sense.  For instance, it asked if I thought I had made good progress on the goals set during my last evaluation.
My last evaluation?  I objected to my boss that I couldn't be expected to remember what my last evaluation said, as to the best of my recollection, it was made in 2006!
That made him get huffy, and he averred quite snottily that he had much more recent documents in my file than that, with my signature, if I wanted to inspect them.  And you know, while I was out making a small delivery, I decided that I did want to see the last one, as whenever it was done, I certainly couldn't remember what was on it.He had it waiting for me when I got back.  It was dated--drum roll, please--June 18, 2010.  More than four years ago.  I allowed as how I had been four years off, and the organization was four years behind.
Now, think about this for a minute.  First, it is quite obvious that my boss was utterly without a clue.  The poor, useless spazz clearly thought he'd been evaluating me.  That was both why he snapped at me and why he dug out the last evaluation before I'd asked for it--he thought he was going to shove my comments down my throat!


Well, today, we went over the things.  I'll leave out most of the play-by-play, but, given the foregoing, something stood out to me.  You see, first I pointed out to him that it was clear that he had not done an evaluation on anyone in years.

He objected.  It wasn't true that he hadn't done an evaluation on anyone in years, he said; he'd evaluated everyone this Spring!  


Then he said if I had a problem I could talk to the management person one step up--a person to whom I refer as "Tigger."  And I replied that a fat lot of good that was, as Tigger had obviously allowed him to get away with total inaction for four years.

And then he told me that wasn't true, either--that it was Tigger that had drawn his attention to the fact that I needed to be evaluated!


Before God, I'm not sure whether the man really thinks I'm that stupid or whether his lying has just gotten to the point of being pathological.

First, it wasn't true that he'd evaluated everyone this Spring.  I asked.  Not when he was around, but, really, I mean, what did he think I was going to do?  Take his word for it?  Turns out that the warehouseman suddenly could recall being evaluated; so could our biller.  My other driver didn't recall it, but couldn't swear not to have been.  The only other person who's been there more than a year said she hadn't been.

Second, DID HE SERIOUSLY THINK THAT WAS A DEFENSE?  If he wasn't intentionally lying, it just means that he either deliberately ignored or simply forgot about his senior employee when he did evaluations for the rest of the staff!

Next, you'll see from the quoted material that it was clear that the impetus for these evaluations was the inspection and the actions required by the inspector!  He told us that at the meeting when he told us he was e-mailing out the forms!  But when I called him on that, pointing out that that obviously meant he would not otherwise have been evaluating me at this time,  and that Tigger had let him get away with it, all of a sudden, by the most remarkable stinking coincidence imaginable, it turns out that Tigger had told him to do it!

And THAT was supposed to be a defense?  That Tigger told him to do it instead of the inspector?  Either way, he had no intention of evaluating me until he was made to!  And why bother to defend Tigger?  Even if she had genuinely told him to evaluate me within the last ten days, she's still let him get away without it for years!

If it wasn't the dumbest cusswording thing I've ever heard, it was close.  All of his words and actions on September 2nd completely contradicted the story.   WHY THE SHALE MAKE SUCH A STUPID THING UP?

And to finish off...the man told me to keep a good attitude.

And if you were wondering, the reason I hadn't asked the man for an evaluation every year is because I had just taken it for granted for years he just didn't want to do it and it turns out he certainly didn't have to.  B
elieve it or not, there is no requirement in company policy that any employee be evaluated--EVER.  

As a matter of fact, if he'd just SAID that, I'd have more respect for him.  My objection to the whole thing was him getting huffy with me when I pointed out the truth and when he started all this stupid lying about it.


But I should expect it by  now.  The man lies like fish swim--all the time.