There are no bad owners, only bad dogs

2005-12-24

Have a White Noggin!!

It’s hard to know just exactly where to begin, what with the drama and frustration and the holidays. Yes, those are somewhat different concepts, even though there is usually overlap.

I just spent some amount of time looking through my archives for the genesis and denouement of the tragic opera, the nine-hour Leni Riefenstahl film, the ass raping that is the Tale of LaZBoy, my co-non-worker. I can’t find a link, but I’ll do a not-so-quick recap:

LaZBoy and I have been working together for 6 years. He stopped working about 3 years ago, although he continued to be paid. He was coddled and prodded, but just would not work. For a while he came to work but didn’t do anything, then he just stopped coming. Through a series of managerial changes, the thread kept being dropped on the documentation and the following up. Then he married another employee, had yet another baby, and continued not working. I finally snapped and had quite a hissy fit to my boss and threatened to go work at EduTech. People started paying attention to his lack of productivity, then he did the inevitable: He claimed to be depressed. This is the corporate equivalent of calling shenanigans. He went on “leave,” which in his case, was just like “working.” I got in trouble for gossiping about it, as did the greggers. I told the idiots in HR that I didn’t consider it gossip, as it was obvious to anyone who paid attention that he hadn’t been working in years. Blah blah. Here we are now.

In mid-November, all of the leave ran out. He had to come back to work. We had a meeting to “discuss the issues,” since in his absence, I had become his manager. (The best part of this is that it was in an effort to prevent his return – that’s how great a manager I am! Woot!) He spouted a lot of bullshit about how he thought we were friends, blah blah, and I told him that friends don’t dump work on friends. So, he was supposed to come back to work on a Monday. He didn’t show up Monday morning, as he had to go to his doctor’s office to get his permission to return to work statement, which he should have done the week before. So then, the next day, he left early without giving me any reason for his absence. Then on Wednesday, he left early again with no explanation. On Thursday and Friday I was too busy to watch him, so I couldn’t document where he was. The excuses were usually doctor’s appointments, but were sometimes as creative as having to take his college-age son to work, or to drive out to the “college” this son attends because he had accidentally left his employee ID in the truck, which the kid took to school (if you forget your ID, they happily give you a temporary for the day.) This established a pattern, so I began sending a weekly email to my HR representative letting her know what was going on so he could FINALLY be fired. After two weeks of this, she turned the case over to the big cheese of HR, who initially was shocked that this had been going on for so long and who was all over the justice like a van Damme or a Segal. LaZBoy missed several meetings, was assigned work that he didn’t do, and continued the pattern of absence. I had to have that manager talk with him wherein I told him that I expected him to actually come to work. He had the gall to ask who had been looking for him when he was gone. I told him that it didn’t matter, it was his job to be in the office during working hours. He countered with “Well, if people want to get in touch with me, they can send me an email or call my cell phone.” Just a couple of days earlier, I had called his cell phone several times and left messages, which he ignored. I told him that it wasn’t anyone else’s job to find him, it was his job to be there. He parried with “I don’t answer to my co-workers.” “Right,” I said, “you answer to me, and I’m telling you that you have to be here.”

Then, a few days later, our department secretary sent out an email asking everyone about their holiday schedules. He responded that he’d be out the last week in the year for elective surgery. This is someone who had used up all of his sick time and vacation time by April. This is someone who should be paying EduMart back some of the tens of thousands of dollars he was paid for doing nothing. Someone who refused to work, making it necessary for me to hire a consultant to do his job. More thousands of dollars.

So, suddenly, at some point in time, the HR Big Cheese changed his tune. “Can we find another place for him in this organization?” Who else would want to pay someone for not working? “NO.” No no no, I said. This man has defrauded the company, and we want him to move to a different department? NO! So I continued to document and compiled an impressive folio: The man worked a total of 7 days of a month and a half of working days.

But there was some other agenda going on in HR, as there always is. The other employee whom he had married and with whom he had spawned is a self-promoting egoist who has woven a tale of her own value to the company that she has begun to believe. She has sold this bill of goods to plenty of other people, although the fact that she has caused major errors that resulted in the loss of contracts has dimmed her star a bit. But she began throwing around her weight, and HR bought into the whole drama.

So there’s this rhythm happening, this pendulum: he’ll be fired, he won’t. We’ll eliminate his position, we’ll move him to another department. He has broken every rule in the employee handbook, we don’t care. One step forward, two steps back.

Then, and this is really the piece of resistance, LaZBoy was assigned to do two presentations at a big conference. Captain Wacky had signed me up to speak, and herself as well, way back in February when I was still in The Land that Dentistry Forgot. When the conference actually rolled around, we both found ourselves mired deep in shit, actual productive work. She decided that LaZBoy would do her presentation (including writing it) and that PretendsNotToBeBitchy would do mine. Turns out that PNTBB also felt overwhelmed (that’s an opera in itself) and the captain advised her to get LaZBoy to do her/my presentation as well. So this dude had a week to prepare two presentations, an eminently doable task, as he was doing nothing else work-wise. So he pretends to work all week. The presentations were Monday afternoon. Sunday evening I talked to the captain, and we “joked” about how he would most likely not show up for his presentations. Monday morning I waited for the phone call from him with the fake illness, the imaginary family emergency, the event that would necessitate my writing two presentations in three hours and driving to the conference to make them. By noon, I was sure I was wrong and that even this idiot was too smart to blow off this important assignment when he had to KNOW that he was within a hair’s breadth (it’s not a hare’s breath, by the way) of being shitcanned.

The presentation was scheduled to begin at 3. I got the email at 2:59. Really. No kidding.

His story: he blew out two tires and skidded off the road at 1:30, in a town that was still about 40 minutes away from where he was supposed to be at 3 (and really, who shows up for a 3 o’clock presentation any later than 2?). He was LUCKY that he didn’t hit anyone else (no police report, no insurance claims to create a paper trail) and that all he did was smack his own head INTO THE STEERING COLUMN. How anyone can do that unless they’re giving the driver a blow job…? He sent the most ridiculous email I’ve ever read.

It begins this way: Hope this is readable bbut my hands are still shakingg prettuyn badlly.

It adds later: Luckily no property fdamaged and no one else involved.

Gee, that IS lucky!

So, the protocol in conference-type situations is that you email your presentation in early so they can make copies of it and make it available on the interweb.

That was two weeks ago. In spite of frequent (i.e., constant) email and verbal reminders, he has refused to turn the presentations over, cementing my deeply-held belief that he had never lifted a fucking finger to actually write anything at all.

This, this would be the last straw. You can’t just not show up at a professional conference. It’s suicide!! Yes! I won! The people who work hard would get some justice!

Just when I was sure I had won the battle without actually doing anything except keep track of when this idiot was gone, the other shoe dropped. He really was being moved to another department. HR guy lied to me, as he is wont to do, telling me that his history would go with him, this was a very last chance, and if he didn’t perform, that would be that.

Curious as to why any sane person would take on this sack of shit, Captain Wacky called the person running the department that was to take him in, and lo and behold, HR guy had lied to her as well. He had lied to everyone. He had some sort of hidden agenda and was bound and determined to save this lazy asshole’s job.

Captain Wacky is slow to anger, but once the sleeping giant is roused, stand back.

In his first “week” at his new “job,” he has not yet showed up.

How does one even begin to express the frustration? The insult? Well, drinking helps, as does using the internet as a therapist. Do I owe you $125 now?

So that’s the haps. Other stuff happened what with I RAN INTO COOKIE AT THE BOOKSTORE AND I HAVEN’T SEEN HER IN LIKE A YEAR AND IT MADE ME MAD BECAUSE I’VE KNOW HER FOR LIKE 8 YEARS AND SHE STILL LOOKS LIKE SHE’S 23.

So, anyhoo, happy holidays. For those of you who are spending your holidays with loved ones, wallow in your happiness and good fortune. Give them all big hugs. Even if they’re a pain in the ass.

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