Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?

Subject: Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 16:30:50 -0500

Susan W. Gallagher wrote:

I know it seems hopeless at this point, but I have several
times seen managers without the skills to manage their way
out of a wet paper bag lateraled to a non-management position
just to get them off the employees backs.

Been there, done that, reported it to techwr-l, although I can't for the life of me find the post (I think Google may not be retaining Usenet archives from Day One, the way dejanews did before Google took over; that would be a shame if true).

Briefly--and this was as a contractor, working on a team of contractors, which makes it even harder--what _we_ did (not going to claim sole credit) was this:

A. As others have suggested, those of us who were constitutionally able to do so used body language to stand up to the bully.

B. All of us used verbal (oral and written) language, much as has been outlined by others in this thread, to stand up to the bully.

C. One individual was medically affected (malignant hypertension) and asked the rest of us to support her against our boss after he falsely accused her of incompetence.

D. We notified our respective contracting agencies, who sent representatives to sit with us (individually) as we were interviewed by the HR person assigned to the case.

HR investigated the various allegations we made against the guy, many of which related to stories that had been told to us by others about his past abuses. In the end, three things happened:

1. Our records were cleared of all negative reports the guy had made about us.

2. The contractors he had blackballed over the preceding 20 years, to the extent the company could locate them, received carefully worded, lawyer-written apologies and invitations to reapply.

3. He was transferred to a nonsupervisory position with no duties, where he was happy to continue receiving his paycheck and sit staring at blank cubicle walls every day until his impending retirement. (The company knew he'd file an age discrimination suit, and it was cheaper to keep paying him than to pay lawyers.)

In Cathy's case, it's possible HR doesn't have the spine to do the right thing. But the US EEOC is only a phone call away, and they WILL act. The state Department of Labor may have resources that can assist, too.

The other good resource is the Yellow Pages. There should be a directory in the Attorneys section that lists attorneys by their specialties. Look at the ads for attorneys who specialize in employment law. You can generally tell from the wording whether they tend to prefer working exclusively with employers, exclusively with employees, or with both. Use your judgment on that, or seek references. It's worth the cost of an initial consult with a good employment attorney if the feds won't step up to the plate.


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Re: Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?: From: Susan W . Gallagher

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