Friday, November 23, 2007

My Longest Post Ever !!!

It has been a very busy and stressful couple of weeks for me, not much of it having to do with the holidays. Most of my tension has been coming from work. That is not the norm. I still love what I do, but I do not love working for the guy that I have been working for. I had to do something to end this relationship that was heading for disaster.

This guy gave me a chance in this business when others would have made me wait. Sure, he made me start at the bottom, but he moved me up the ladder very quickly. I am grateful for that. I got a late start in this career and don’t have a bunch of time to burn “paying my dues”.

I became his assistant about a year and a half ago. He got me involved in just about everything there was to do about being a superintendent. A lot of these things I have done for years at previous jobs, so it wasn’t hard to pick up. Payroll, budgets, employee reviews, processing invoices and bills, daily work schedules, overseeing the work on the golf course, I did it all, all in the name of “my training”, that shit only flies so long when then the boss is putting in a 30 hour work week.

I also think he has a personality disorder. I don’t hold that against him, I don’t think he can help a lot of what he does.

I am very much a “ducks in a row” kind of guy. I like things organized, and I think my crew does too. He seems much more comfortable when the crew is spread all over the golf course, trying to get ten things done at once, never completing anything. He likes the chaos. It is also a nightmare for the foreman or assistant to try and be in all these places at once. I love my crew, but that old saying “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”, rings true with even the best of employees.

Then there are the human resource issues. He has made female employees cry. Everyone is afraid to approach him when they would have requests. He actually shook an employee buy the shoulders when she couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell her. She was too afraid that she would lose her job if she reported him, so she didn’t. I didn’t hear about it until after she was no longer an employee. She was very shy and quiet, that must have scared the crap out of her; it really pissed me off when I heard about that.

A few months ago Nelson and I reported him to HR after he had made one of the female employees cry. She didn’t even do anything. She was mowing a green like I had told her to do. He stops her. He gets on his radio and tells me it was a stupid idea to put her on a greens mower, that she can’t handle it, while she was standing there. About 80% of my crew doesn’t speak English; I guess he didn’t realize she was in the other 20%. I came to the green that she was at and drove her to her new job, she cried the entire way there.

I believe he got written up and I believe HR made him take an anger management class. When Nelson and I talked to the general manager, his immediate boss, I told him to look more closely at the maintenance department. He needs to ask more questions. He needs to be more involved. There are other things going on that are not HR issues. I’m sure the GM didn’t like me telling him how to do his job, but my boss did whatever he wanted to do and was held accountable for very little.

Nelson and I have been holding things together for a long time. We have been keeping problems “in house”, but things have been snowballing for a while and it is getting out of hand.

On November 1 a vender came into my office with an invoice for $24,000 worth of 41-0-0 fertilizer. He wanted my signature saying that we had received it. That’s fine we received it, but on October 1. I signed it with great reservation. I confronted the vender about the date change. He said that my boss had arranged for the change of date on the invoice. I asked my boss the next day about the $24,000 invoice with my signature on it, “Hey, who knows about this invoice?” “Just you the vender, and me.” he replied.

October 31 marks the end of our fiscal year. That $24,000 will now appear on the books for 2008 instead 2007 where it belongs. Want to guess who is on a bonus program? It is not me. I have known about this kind of bullshit for a while, but now I’m linked to it. I could loose my job for this. He has put my family in harms way so that he can make a fucking bonus. I’m glad that he thinks I have the same ethics that he does. That playing with the books to make a bonus isn’t stealing. I’m sure my employer isn’t very attached to that 20 or 25 thousand dollars he may get when he makes his numbers.

So a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t sleep. It just hit me that I couldn’t let this go on any more. It was 2:30 in the morning when I got up. Sherri knew what I was going through. I woke her up to tell her that I was fine and that I was going for a walk, I just couldn’t sleep any more. She asked me, “What are going to do?” I answered, “I’m taking down my boss today.”

There was a small problem, who do I tell. I didn’t trust the GM. I’m sure his bonus is contingent with my bosses bonus. For all I know, he knows all about it, or just didn’t care to know. I told someone who didn’t answer directly to the GM. I told the controller our accountant. I told her about the invoice I had signed and gave her a few other venders to look at.

I knew my boss knew what was up. I’m sure the venders gave him a call. He didn’t talk to me much. He spent a lot of time with the bills and on the phone. I think he was trying to clean up his paper trail and get all his buddies on the same page, but I’m sure they all folded when my employer told them they weren’t paying them unless they fessed up to their arrangement with my boss. All I could do was wait and see how this would play out. Oh, did I mention this was all going down 3 days before we reopened from our over seed?

I figured if something was going to happen it would go down on Thursday of that week. The VP of the company that I work for had a scheduled appointment to be in town. He showed up on Monday, unannounced. My boss resigned the next day.

Now I am dealing with the aftermath of my decision. My employers have hired outside consultants to give the facility a deep anal probe with no Vaseline and unclipped fingernails. I’m sure the GM is pissed at me; nobody likes a rat. I’m sure they are not done looking at the GM too. I think he is a “dead man walking”.

I was hoping I could get my boss promoted and that he would recommend me for his old position. Now I have no reference to use on a resume since I basically screwed the two guys that I have worked for in this business. I think I could be the superintendent here, but the VP told me that they really aren’t interested in hiring an assistant for this position. That’s really rich, my boss had a very nice pedigree and look what that got them.

So it looks like I’ve set myself back a couple of years while I reestablish my reputation. I’m sure my old boss is thrashing me. The word is out. I got a call two hours after my boss quit from some guy wanting to know what happened and how he could apply for the job. This call came on my cell phone, I didn’t know who he was or how he got my number.

I will start applying at other courses as the opportunities arise, something I really didn’t want to do until now. Maybe someone will take a chance on me, but that means I will have to leave a course that I take a lot of pride in, and group friends I love to work with.


Hyperher said...

Simply said, this sucks. Especially so when work is actually good. I think you did the right thing. Karma will reward you.

Patty O said...

When you look at what the alternative was, you probably did the right thing, no matter what the cost to your reputation was. And as long as the people close to you know who you are, you'll be fine. Who cares what those pricks think.

As for the Angels, if Cabrera's too pricey, they could always embarrass the White Sox some more and grab Joe Crede. :)

qofd said...

Oh holy fucking crap I am so sorry. Work drama is some of the worst kind since it's attached to your paycheck.

Guinevere said...

Wow! You did the right thing, Tom! Even though it sucks rocks right now. Keep your options open, but don't totally write off your job there just yet. Keep your nose to the wind and your ears open. You never know what's going on behind closed doors. Sorry, buddy!

Miranda said...

So sucky. I'm hoping it all works out and that when all the dust settles you end up even better than before. While some places might not like "whistle blowers" there are lots of places that still *gasp* respect honesty and hard work. THAT's the kind of place you want to work for, anyway.

ventl8r said...

Being the whistle blower is never easy, but you had your family to think about. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in and I commend you.

And yes, the turkey was awesome! Not sure how good for ME it was, but it was a tasty burd nonetheless.

Elizabeth said...

This guy causes this problem and effectively put your job on the line for his transgressions. There is nothing wrong in protecting your family. He brought this on himself with HIS poor choices.

I hope the waters calm soon for you.

Patty O said...

So San Francisco is definitely more expensive than LA? What are rent prices like over there?

Tammie Jean said...

Geez, that sucks. You did the right thing though, especially with your signature on that invoice. You have to look out for yourself and your family. Eventually your hard work will pay off, if not there then somewhere else.

Peter Bangs said...

This makes the crapI'm going through with my boss seem like a walk in park. Senior management are generally arseholes who'll enploy someone who'll make them look good, never mind if they do the job right or not. After 2 years filling in for my previous boss and doing a pretty good job I was replaced with a girl half my age who alienated every supplier we had. What made it feel even worse was the director who employed her told me a dozen reasons why she was the wrong person for the job, then gave her the job anyway.

Work now stinks and every attempt to talk to her line management has been a failure on their part as they've done nothing and she is continuing to damage the business.

All this is by way of saying I feel your pain, but don't expect anything goodto comeout fo it. The higher up the management ladder you look, the more the people you see are spending their time trying tolook good, do nothing and cover their own arses.

Leucantha` said...

I have been thinking about a job and wow you make a convincing argument to stay home again. Ben there done and it sucks. However sometimes you get lucky and it blows over and gets better. I hope that is what happens in your case.