Friday, April 1, 2016

Hostile, intimidating, and bullying workplace

I work for a very hostile and intimidating workplace which as a consequence has a good amount of bullying and mobbing as well.  We are part of a major university, I know that you are thinking a liberal utopia, you would be wrong.  We have some of the poorest managers that I have ever worked for in any field.  Most don't have the skills of a crew chief at McDonald's let alone the ability to manage "professionals".  I use the term "professionals" pretty loosely because in terms of development they are more like a class of middle school students.  I am frequently asked how can it be hostile?  We have managers who act on rumors and innuendo.  We don't deal with personnel conflicts other than "you should work it out", which doesn't work.  We affix blame to targeted individuals for things that are really out their control or where they were actually doing what the supervisor asked for.  We have people who express how we can be open and honest in meetings.  But if you are open and honest in a meeting, by some strange coincidence a day or 2 later you find yourself in a conversation with your supervisor about some baseless charge.  Yep that is how it works.  Those of us on the front lines are constantly told by others that there is no way that happened when we regale others in our misfortune.  Among ourselves the constant refrain is that you can't make this stuff up.

I should take a minute to discuss the lack of trust.  It is not what you would expect between employee and manager.  No we have what we like to call watchers.  They assist in going after the targeted employees.  Some of these people are known, others suspected and still others unknown.  I like to play a little game of whose who by making outlandish statements and seeing if it gets back to my supervisor who will act on hearsay.  Once you become a target you need to be aware of these things otherwise you will be in the meeting with personnel where you get presented with 2 letters one for termination, one for resignation you get to pick.  Which fulfills what manager is fond of saying that we don't fire anyone, which I say no we force them to leave.

I've been told to keep my head down, but literally I can't get low enough.  For example, I have been having few if any problems the last 6 months but it all came crashing down, probably something that I said in a meeting.  Almost immediately the queasiness and desire to self medicate came back.  I know that it will start to build on Sunday night.  As an article in the State Journal said managers need to learn how to turn TGIF into TGIM.  With our leadership there is no way that is going to happen. 

I don't know what the future holds for this particular group but after being targeted off and on for more than 2 years I really don't care.

You might wonder why I am still there?  Well I live in Wisconsin and have worked in a specialized area for a long time (so I'm old).  I know that those of you that listen to Gov. Walker will find this hard to believe, but there are virtually no professional (jobs that you need a degree) jobs open in the State.  Those that are require a boatload of experience in other narrow fields so those companies are hoping to lure someone into the state.  I say good luck.  Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) likes to say that they can't find skilled workers.  That is because salaries in the state are down and people are leaving for states where salaries are higher.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The insurgency

These poor put upon ranchers and other anti-government conservatives who took over a Federal wildlife sanctuary.  Where is the right wing with "America Love it or Leave it" slogans?  This was and still is all the rage when a liberal leaning group protests not to mention if they would take something over.  The right once again shows how they are a bunch of hypocrites.  All you have to do is look at the people hold up in the federal compound.  What I see is a bunch of people who think that they are entitled to more than the rest and who don't want to pay for anything.  Look at the facts.  One of the leaders turned to the Government (which he despises) for a loan after private banks turned him down.  Look at the ranchers who have the privilege of grazing cattle on land that they don't own for $3 per head per month compared to costs of around $20 or more if they actually owned the land.  I agree with the Conservatives who say that this entitlement class needs to end but I think that we start at the top and work our way down to the people who are earning $7.25 per hour and working 2 or more jobs.

How Obama ISN"T responsible for the Divisive Politics

Once again I'm reading how the divisive politics that we currently see is all President Obama's doing.  If only it were that simple.  The author today also tossed in FDR.  Interesting in both cases you had presidents who took over a country whose economy was in shambles and where Congress was controlled by the opposition.  In President Obama's case we know that the leaders of the Republican caucus met on inauguration day to pledge to oppose and obstruct everything that the President wanted to do in order to make him a one term president.  So, the GOP set the stage for divisive politics, but it goes back further.  Who remembers George Bush stating that you are either with us or against us in response to people opposed to the war in Iraq?  Or, Ronald Reagan demonizing anyone who was on public assistance while conveniently not talking about those that receive tax breaks, tax credits, or government loans?  All one has to do is turn on Fox news and listen for the language of divisiveness.  Insurgents against the government are called Patriots if they are carrying guns and are white, whereas people protesting police shootings are called thugs.  Although study after study would show that there is a evidence that they have a point.  The Patriots would appear to be people who think that they are entitled to something.  In this case it is the unrestricted use of Federal land.  Whenever this President issues an executive order it is all about ruling as a King, it is unconstitutional,.... But when Ronald Reagan or  George Bush issued executive orders hardly a peep was heard, although their executive orders expanded the role of the federal government more than Obama has.  At a guess if the next President is a Republican we will not hear a peep when they do the same types of things as President Obama has.  There might be something said when they repeal the ACA but look at the new Governor of Kentucky who is going to replace their version of the ACA with essentially the same plan.  Way to go Kentucky!