January 29, 2019
“We’re going to have to agree to disagree.”- Steven, from the AZ Atty. General’s Office, as he shirked (in my POV) the responsibility he is tasked to carry forth. By the way, he said this four times in lieu of answering the simple question I asked.
“I’m not giving legal counsel.”- Rebekah, (Steven’s boss) when asked to clarify his contradictory non-answer while simultaneously threatening me with legal action..
Today’s screed is all about honesty, integrity, and doing the right thing for the right reasons, and not just when it’s the obviously and only thing to do. I’ll also highlight the new definition of what “public service” entails, courtesy of a by the script desk-drone who literally and metaphorically, serves as the epoxy and amber analog that greases the wheels of progress. As an added bonus, I’ll be discussing beforehand my first official Halloween as a New Mexico suburbanite, and wrap it all up by gleefully capping off a previous dissecting of my former supervisor, (who fired me for being diabetic) in regards to her fabrication of character slurs as a means towards deflecting the discrimination complaint I filed in regards to the same, and my interactions with the hopeless agents tasked to investigate it.
There’s also the tangent arc of celebrating our first Xmas in New Mexico as well, but that’s maybe a topic for the next blog methinks, due to the sheer volume of writers grist. And as usual, all of this will be presented as I stand here, spewing the milk of human kindness that I’m so well-regarded for.
But first… the ol’ abode finally looks like an actual house, now that I’m somewhat mobile and able to hang some of the massive stockpile of art we arrived here with. Seriously. I thought we wouldn’t have enough art, due to our now being in a three bedroom house and all, but as it turns out, we have way more art than walls, and in concurrence, a garage full of artsy stuff, all of which I need to catalogue and then hopefully organize. I don’t know about you, but I love projects of the endless, and this seems as it will be one, given all I have to do. As far as my health goes, I’m still walking with a cane, but in time, I hopefully won’t be, I’ll just have to grit my teeth, and wait and see, no matter how snazzy it makes my overall ensemble look.
Moving on, we now come to the aforementioned past Halloween details, all the way from the beautiful vista that comprises the very heart of my Lair of Snarkitude, this located just outside the magnificent panorama that is Silver City, New Mexico. To start, Ashley and I had 143 trick or treaters at our domicile, the largest grouping we’ve ever happily jazzed up on chocolate and sugar. This was due to our former residence being on the third floor of a way past it’s glory days apartment complex, and since there were very few kids in our particular section of the quad, and for the ones that bravely endeavored to go out and up, it was only the truest of the die-hards that ever took on the challenge of the vertical ascent. And keep in mind, we like to give out the “big” candy… in fistfuls no less, the kind most kids dream about.
So there we were, up to our necks in Batmans, princesses, ninjas, Transformers, a few adorable witches, some sardonic cowboys, and most disturbingly in numbers too large to chart, the Grim Reaper, aka the vision of Death. It seems even the youngest of children were inadvertently projecting the most cynical of auras this now passed year, and I really can’t blame them, given the current socio-political climate, which seems to be an all-out homage to 1930’s Berlin where the Sturmabteilung* of old has been replaced with the abhorrent Cult of the Red Hat, who much in the same manner, would happily throw their perceived “enemies” into an oven if their Mango Mussolini demanded it of them. I truly believe that some form of attempted civil war is coming if Cadet Bone Spurs gets his way, and I think it will be a true test of what America wishes to represent to the world entire, and where it’s citizens are willing to draw a line in the sand in regards to Trump’s inherent (and evident) fascism.
*[The Sturmabteilung, literally Storm Detachment, was the Nazi Party’s original group of paramilitary thugs. They played a noteworthy role in Hitler’s taking control of power in the 1920s and 1930s. Their key purposes were to provide protection for Nazi gatherings, and to disturb the activities of opposing parties. They were also referred to at times as the “Brownshirts” (aka: Braunhemden)]
Sorry. I didn’t mean to bum everybody out with the harsh realities and the crisis of American conviction that we find ourselves currently facing, it was just an off the cuff observation that I needed to get off my chest before I started strangling wayward ferrets
or as a secondary plan, the people behind those Magic Bullet infomercials. Getting back to the spooky cuteness, there we were, up to our overly-candied necks in sugar-crazed children, their laid-back yet attentive, parents, and to a T, all of them were freezing their candy-corns off, since the temperature outside our warm and inviting home was hovering somewhere around the low 40’s.
And to top that off, our neighborhood gets dark as pitch- the minute the sun dips below the horizon, it’s as if the art-worlds largest tube of Vantablack* gets squeezed all over Grant County, I kid you not. You might think you know what the Realm of Morpheus is, but you’ve never seen it like it is out here- vampires would adore it, depressed poets would pen love-sonnets on the subject of it, and the truest of Goths would kidnap the relevant** members of The Cure, and set up shop here ASAP.
*[Vantablack® is a super-black coating that at this time, holds the world record as the darkest man-made substance. It absorbs virtually all incident light- if truth be told, It reflects so little light that it is often described as the safest black hole we’ll ever observe. In fact, it is so black that when applied to 3-D objects, it becomes almost impossible to distinguish any surface features, thereby effectively rendering those objects to appear as two-dimensional to the human eye- science is cool, is it not?
**[The following members are safe from the fear of being kidnapped: Michael Dempsey, Gary X, and Mark Ceccagno. It’s not that they’re bad musicians, they’re just not important enough to break out the name-brand eyeliner, black nail-polish, clove cigarettes, and the good chair with attached handcuffs for.]
After a few hours of ruining children’s appetites for days, we packed up the sweets, hit the sack, and upon rising the next morning I started the process of dealing with a previous issue that had semi-smooshed my good mood some time back on two separate levels- the first being that the AZ. Attorney Generals Office Civil Rights Division (AZAGCRD for short) who while claiming to use all of it’s self-professed wisdom, still puzzlingly denied my valid and disturbingly obvious discrimination claim against my former employer via what could only be charitably described as a form letter larded in sarcasm and saccharine, and the second, that in it’s doing so, it forced me to endure the supreme displeasure of having to interact with their (in my POV) vastly inept, if not wholly odious representative, a truly bloviating bureaucrat who thickly traipses his way through life under the inappropriate name of Steven.
Why is it inappropriate? Well, the name Steven is derived from the Greek name Stephanos, which means “crown”, or to be more precise- “that which surrounds”. The first Christian martyr Saint Stephen, whose death by stoning helped popularize the name, definitely suffered enough to the point he shouldn’t have to hear daily from Jesus how the standing of his good name has been besmirched by this person carrying it, if I were inclined to issue an assessment. The only thing this Steven has ever managed to surround in my humble opinion, is one’s communal sense of optimism with the overriding stench of truly bureaucratic incompetence.
Normally, when I’m faced with a person whom I feel has their ethical and common-sense DNA sadly missing a vital link or two within it’s code, I try not to go full Nazgûl* on them, but in this monotonous drones case, I’m more than happy to make the rare exception for no other reason than the fact he represents exactly what’s wrong with the so-called publicly-funded service sector these days- empty promises, half-assed work, and a stunning dearth of personal responsibility.
*[The Nazgûl are known also as Ring-wraiths, Black Riders, Dark Riders, or more concisely, as the Nine- fictional characters who are first mentioned in J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. As the story goes, they were nine men who had been seduced by the power of the fallen spirit known as Sauron, inadvertently acquiring their hellish immortality as wraiths- servants bound to the power of the One Ring, and utterly under the command of Sauron.]
So what else adds to my personal-opinion-based detriment of character that this suspected amalgamation comprised of hubris and pudding skin possesses? Well…
I’ve stridently noted before both in life and in my screeds, that I utterly despise cowards. Cravens. Yellow-bellies. Chickens. Cats both Scaredy and Fraidy. Those who are faint of heart. The spineless. The lilly-livered. The just plain poltroon. Especially those who for whatever reason, cannot do anything except mouth platitudes off of a prepared script. In other words, the Vogons* of the world.
*[ The Vogons are a fictional alien race from the planet Vogsphere- characters from the most excellent book The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe, written by the late Douglas Adams. They are partially responsible for the destruction of the Earth, in order to assist an intergalactic highway construction project for a hyperspace express route. Vogons are defined as slug-like, and vaguely humanoid, but are far bulkier than your average human.
Described as “one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy, not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous”, and having “as much sex appeal as a road accident” they are also known for being the authors of “the third worst poetry in the universe”. They are employed primarily as the galactic government’s bureaucrats, which in all honesty, shouldn’t really be a shock to anyone who’s ever had to deal with anyone of this ilk and caste.]
I for one, cannot tolerate the stereotypically slavish sock-puppets of the bureaucratic Malebolge* that comprises what passes for state agencies in AZ. which are supposedly there to help it’s most undefended and poorly under-represented citizens against those who would take advantage of them, whether that form takes shape as fate, corporations or lone individuals who abuse their authority.
*[This is the 8th circle referenced in Dante’s Inferno, whose purpose is to hold those who’ve committed the abominable sin of Fraud. It is called Malebolge because it is divided into ten “bolge” [ditches] which are further separated into the following order of sinners: seducers and flatterers, simonists,[sellers of religious offices] diviners, astrologers, and magicians, barrators, [swindlers] hypocrites, thieves, fraudulent counselors, sowers of discord and schism, and finally, falsifiers of metals, persons, coins and words… so it’s just like our modern-day Congress, but way more colorful.]
Now, you might be wondering why I seemingly possess a touch more scorn for this particular descendent of a family tree that allegedly has no branches, versus the truly dishonorable and lying sack of supposed unethical protoplasmic lard that is my former supervisor, but I’m pretty sure I can justify, if not rationalize, my opinion of the moment.
When I filed my legitimate claim of discrimination against my former employer, that being on the day of my illegal firing, I was informed the process could take anywhere from six months to a year, because, and I quote, the “investigation” would be “extensive” and “in-depth”. If you’re a normal person, you might take this at face value to imply that your concerns would be addressed thoroughly and professionally, backed by the full authority of an agency created specifically to protect your rights as an employee and more importantly, as a person who’s been unjustly treated. To that, all I can say is this- when you show your undiluted faith in the government to do the right thing by and for you, I just want to feed you cookies, read you a bedtime story, and pat you on the head as I tuck you into your race-car bed with it’s pink unicorn bed-sheets, because you are one freakingly adorable rugrat.
It’s that kind of optimism and child-like wonder that assures there will always be a market in America for adult-size footed pajamas, cherry-flavored vitamin water, and “yummy” Taco Bell, God willing and all that. In my personal experience, what happens when this agency supposedly gets to moving it’s indolent bulk forward, is that you get to sit on your hands and wait, as a person who’s sole responsibility is to examine the validity of cases wastes your time and the state’s tax revenue as they earn their paycheck by deception, not dedication.
Allegedly, of course. Now, given the law of statistics, I’m sure there has to be at least one person who works there at present and truly deserves their pay and perks, just not the ones I’ve been dealing with. The overworked and underappreciated receptionists for example, who have to play the unfortunate referee as they hand you off to the various malcontents whose singular purpose is to feign sympathy as they shirk accountability and pass the buck. In addition, I had the truly unique pleasure of being lectured by Steven about how his having served in the Air Force somehow made him a much better American than myself, a person he claimed “did the work from a distance“, whatever the frak that means.
To be honest, I wasn’t aware that his possibly not having any options open to him after high school was something he should and could brag about, but far be it from me to shatter his fragile egotism regarding serving in the singular branch of the military whose role is to be a taxicab for the real soldiers doing the hard lifting that they on their best day, cannot. To bolster this outlook, I offer the following from a close family associate who was “in-country” for three tours during the Vietnam war, and said this to me when I was but a small child: “You go into the Air Farce (misspelling intended) when you’re too much of a p***y to be a Marine, and not nearly gay enough to join the Navy.”
Now, I don’t know if that acidic (and definitely homophobic) sentiment is entirely correct, but I do feel I’d have far more to fear from a soldier who actually saw and was directly involved in ground force combat, rather then a cos-player who rode a desk, and fought the so-called fight from behind his whimsically mediocre stack of Post-it notes. To reference another friend who did join the Air Force several years ago: “the basic training here is like ten times easier than when I was in my High School ROTC.”
But then again, should I really be impressed by a guy who’s two M.A. degrees were issued by a college rated 15’th best for veterans, 23’rd best in the Midwest, and 56’th for best value, as ranked* by US News and World Report? Both of these by the way, were in the oversaturated field of Management, which is like saying you got a diploma in breathing oxygen- it’s not really that impressive as far as degrees go, and if you doubt that, go ask any barista what they majored in, and the odds are pretty good it was that.
In fact, one might generate far more respect and goodwill by getting into Mc Donald’s Hamburger University, which as of 2015, had over 300,000 future managers graduate, and in an odd side note, according to a previously issued Bloomberg report, Hamburger University was purportedly harder* to get into than the much better-known and idolized Oxford and Harvard.
But then again, in order to do that type of job, one has to be good with people to begin with, and if my personal experience interacting with Steven has shown me anything, he’s a people person much in the same way I can still wear a five-toed sock on my left foot- we can both believe what we want till the cows come home, but when directly challenged, we’re both going to come up way short of our respective opinion.
See, the reality of my cynical worldview is that I don’t expect much from my fellow human, past the basics of being hopefully decent to their related by biology brethren. And when it comes to those working for any form of government, my standards drop to whether or not they’re borderline sentient. In which case Steven does easily qualify, but in my opinion, just barely. This guy definitely strikes my singular POV as someone who if he does own any books, most likely uses them as beer coasters, and if he doesn’t, my extended gut feeling is that they’re the types of books that involve either pop-ups or lots of colorful pictures… allegedly, of course.
But let’s be fair, I could be wrong. The odds are at least 50/50 anyway, and it’s not like governmental jobs have allowance for any personal creativity, empathy or human decency to begin with, so maybe I’m being a tad bit harsh. Unkind. Perhaps somewhat callous, Even possibly unsympathetic at best. All of these are a distinct option, especially when one factors in the detail that they dismissed my case to begin with, all while not really clarifying why they did so. Along those lines, one might be able to reasonably opine that my take on the situation is just the end product of sour grapes, and nothing more.
But as an applicable side note, does my being diabetic even merit the so-called protection of the law? Well… except for a few key points of discussion such as the mitigating measures of medication use when determining whether an individual is a qualifying person with a disability, a person may have diabetes completely under control through medicine and lifestyle changes, and still have a qualifying disability. That means that for the purpose of defining said disability, the laws look at how the person would be if they stopped treating diabetes in any way, as such, diabetes IS covered under the American Disabilities Act, a provision of the law which I filed my complaint under.
Granted, I don’t consider myself (even with all of my health issues) as even remotely disabled, I tend to refer to the situation on my part as being “physically limited” in what I can and can’t do. Is it annoying and at times, wholly soul crushing? You betcha. But life never has and never will, play fair, and you need to attempt a win with the cards you’ve been unfortunately dealt, no matter what. That’s just how it is, and you have to make peace with it, like it or not. So in order to do that for this case, I’m going to argue my point and I’ll just let my account filter far and wide as it will.
But first… the obligatory back-story. Now, if this were a film, this would be the part where there’s a dissolve, (possibly with a subtitle) to let you know where all of us have wound up regarding the aspects of time, place, and past history, so I’ll just post a version of it here, courtesy of that most excellent film, Wayne’s World:
The whole hot-mess started way back in 2017, near the end of the year, as where I worked underwent a rather abrupt change, both in personnel and management style. Sadly, due to my age, health, and most importantly, my salary expectations, I was no longer considered a valuable asset within the industry to which I had given nearly 25 years of my life and skillsets. So, I was unfortunately strong-armed by Life into having to be a warehouse worker, a job that was both unsatisfying, unchallenging, and underpaid, but it was what it was. As I stated in the nicest terms above, Life is a mother-f***ing bitch sometimes, and even worse- sometimes one comes into your almost bucolic workplace fully girded, ready to prove that maxim as if they’re expecting to win all the prizes for doing so.
At first, my new supervisor came across as somewhat sweet, even with her internal Damocles sword of self-doubt that was fairly and evidently displayed from day one in regards to how she ran our day to day operation. To be fair, there was a good chunk of days where we ran like a fine Swiss watch protected by Saint Joseph* himself, but on a majority of the days, it was akin to trying to swim through molasses with concrete blocks tied around your feet, as you try in vain to settle down a headstrong three year old who’s having a full-on meltdown, as they grab all the candy out of the racks next to the cash register at WalMart.
*[Saint Joseph BTW, is the overextended patron saint of workers.]
And believe it or not, I’m actually being diplomatic here, so you can just imagine how much more room there is to be had if I decided I didn’t want to be. When I originally started working for this family-owned frame molding distributor that established itself back in 1954, I did so with a very heavy heart- being aged out of an industry you’ve loved since you started in it f***ing hurts, and miserably, there were exceedingly few viable options open to me at that point, based solely on the parameters of my age and health.
As I said earlier, Life is a mother-f***ing bitch, and when she’s pissed off, y’all gonna suffer, no matter what you try to stave off her advances. But in all honesty, there were some positives- the Universe does ascribe to the concept of equilibrium for the sake of it all as we well know, and it manifested itself in the aspect of my immediate supervisor and my only other co-worker at the time. I’m not going to name them unless I can do it via aliases, since I still respect the hell out of them, and they deserve at the very least not to be spattered with my saturnly venomous acidity. I do try to pull my punches when the wrong people unfortunately find themselves in my line of sight, so therefore, I really do have nothing bad whatsoever to say about either of them.
Seriously- “Garry” and “Fernando” are great people, and they both deserved better from this company than what they’ve received, hands down. One of the immediate salves concerning my unfortunate employment at this company was the fact that we were a dedicated and cohesive team- we kicked ass, took names, and promptly forgot them- you know, like you do. And the overall dynamic was great. Never in my working life have I ever enjoyed the company of my co-workers like I did with these guys, and I truly miss that, if I have to be brutally honest. However, after “Garry” left for the wilds of Florida, due to some unethical (in my POV) shenanigans that derived from our out-of-state home office, that balance shifted for the worse, with the addition of two fresh faces- the previously referenced replacement supervisor who I’ll name “Tonya” due to legal concerns, and a dense slab of inanity I’m more than comfortable labeling as “Dick”.
And yes, “Dick” IS a truly appropriate name, of which I’ll defend it’s use further along in our story. When “Tonya” and “Dick” came on board, I did expect somewhat of a sea-change, but I didn’t foresee what would eventually happen in regards to my work schedule, my responsibilities, and most importantly, my sense of self-worth. At the time, long before these two would go on to darken my metaphorical doorstep, I had already seen my hours cut way beyond the normal parameters of what constitutes a standard part-time schedule, the excuse being that we “didn’t have enough work”, and yet… “Dick” was given a full 40 hour work-week laboring at most of my previous responsibilities.
More on that in a bit.
Now at that point, I was still grinding along with the shoulder injury I had suffered while in the employ of the company, but as of then, had not yet filed the definitive workmans comp claim in regards to it, as I immediately did after my termination. Why, you ask? Well, I needed the job, and I still maintain that my employer was (previous to the arrival of “Tonya” and “Dick”) trying to get rid of me by attrition. And quite frankly, I wasn’t going to give them any additional ammunition necessary to fire me. Arizona is sadly after all, a right-to-work state, and I’m sure if the head office had been made aware of my limitations, a dire tidbit of knowledge I sense my ex-supervisor “Garry” neglected to inform them of on purpose, they would have fired me on the spot, and of that, I have no doubts whatsoever.
Keep in mind, that working with said injury only aggravated it more, but I had no choice. as there was literally nowhere I could go, and I had been SERIOUSLY looking for a new job since the first week I started there. But from the start of her tenure, besides being in way over her head, “Tonya” also took a highly inappropriate interest in my ongoing health issues past what one might consider to be the normal boundaries concerning the boss/worker relationship.
As regular readers of this blog know, I really don’t have too many filters or fences in relation to the details I’m willing to share using the infrastructure of the Internet- I’m pretty much an open book, no matter what you may or may not, want to know. I’ve shared rather intimate minutiae of my chronic health issues, regaled my readers with the tale of posing nude for a fellow artist, complete with pictures no less, and in what I have been told was the purest distillation of the phrase “TMI”, described what’s it like to have a catheter fitted, complete with all the bells and whistles*. But even given that, I actually do have a few hard and fast rules.
*[I did have the joy of one of my surgical nurses telling me later that was the first time she had ever laughed at reading a description of the process, so I took that as a win.]
First, if you’re not one of my trusted friends and/or inner circle, you don’t get to talk to me as if you are, and that’s pretty much a policy of zero-tolerance, which is not open for debate… ever. Second, while I may be willing to share such details, it’s definitely never been presented as a blank check or two-way mirror for someone (who is a doctor in much the same way that Dr. Pepper is) to give me a consignment of unwanted, unnecessary, and self-righteous “advice”- if I didn’t directly ask you for your opinion stranger, it’s best you keep your yap shut, if you’d not like to make your dentist independently wealthy.
But since we’re on the topic of unwanted advice, let’s talk about the persons I worked with in regards to the issue of their individual health, shall we? After all, since I was fired for mine, I feel it’s only fair to return the favor of over-focused intrusive meddling. What can I say? I’m a big believer in the art of giving. Let’s start with “Dick”, who had been in a horrific car accident some years earlier, and by my observation, was being held together primarily by Monster energy drinks, hyperactivity, and several types of pain medication.
Not to diminish what he amazingly survived, but it’s collective recentness was a detriment in relation to the work environment. as was his innate arrogance, general idiocy, and toxic machismo, which was constantly butting heads daily with both myself and our direct supervisor, in relation to following orders and company protocol. As proof, I’d like to point out that the ratio of damaged and mislabeled goods along with customer returns shot up after he and my supervisor were employed, but I’m sure that’s just a supreme coincidence.
According to my former employer, “Dick” was hired specifically to build additional storage bins in our warehouse, which he sort of did, but upon his hiring, he was given a much wider range of additional duties, as mine were gradually reduced. As I noted earlier, the consistent excuse being that we “didn’t have enough work”, and yet, “Dick” somehow always seemed to be assigned to a 40 hour week. Weird, that. Granted, he wasn’t capable of entering the collected shipping data we and our customers required because it’s hard to use a computer when you don’t possess opposable thumbs, but I digress. And nothing else by the way makes you want to work alongside your co-worker on a commercial saw, then their bragging about engaging in hard drinking before 9 a.m., let me tell you.
Prior to the management shift, I was essentially an assistant manager, in all but name only, and was tasked with product shipping and tracking, material inventory, overseeing the receiving of deliveries, opening/closing the warehouse, and filing the crucial end of day paperwork. However, by the end of my tenure, my daily obligations had been brusquely abridged to sweeping the floor and occasionally doing the most basic data entry that the walking meat slab could not be trusted to do. I was also the lone official
key-holder, but after “Tonya” arrived, that responsibility was, without any form of rational explanation, taken away from me and never returned. Keep in mind, the entire time I was under employ there, I never once received any official rebuke, write-up, or period of suspension- EVER.
And as an aside, now might be a good time to mention that “Dick” on the other hand, seemed to think that screwing up was a daily challenge, along with consistently mansplaining things to our mutual supervisor- that is, when he wasn’t engaging in screaming hissy-fits with the local homeless population that intermittently lived rough in the causeway behind our building. Truly, nothing represents your company better than one of your employees threatening a dispossessed person who’s trying to just get some sleep, with a severe beat-down because they dared to attempt doing so in “your” alley, doesn’t it?
Definitely a paragon of Christian values he is not, to quote Yoda.
To add an extra layer of icing to this Hieronymous Bosch cupcake, there was also the time he both called and then texted me, asking if I could set him up with some of my painkiller medication, because you know, that’s the sort of thing I’d do for a co-worker I don’t like, respect or fear. First off, I’m not in the habit of being the corner man, and second, the pain control meds I do take aren’t opiates- they’re strictly for nerve pain, and are pretty much useless in regards to the pain issues “Dick” faced. What a great work environment to come to three days a week, am I right? I mean, it’s quite bad enough working a low-brain, dead-end job where everyday on the drive there, you have to to pump yourself up in order to face the hellhole you flippantly refer to as your workplace, but when it has to be done in the proximity of an ignorant, hyped-up, arrogant hamster, it becomes ten times worse.
This, after having a dynamic that actually worked for the better part of over a year before he and the new supervisor arrived. Oh well… c’est la vie.
But now, let’s address the staggering self-righteousness of my former supervisor, who in my opinion, is nothing more than a fettleibiger lügnerin* at best, and that’s me being really kind. Basically, having someone with multiple health issues daring to make unwanted and intrusive comments regarding my health as she has done, was both unprofessional and hypocritical, but that never seemed to cause her any mental pause as to doing it in the first place. In order for you to understand what I just declared, I will lay out the specifics for you, in order to clarify just why I despise this verräterischer feige** so much.
*[Go ahead and Google these. They’re not only German, they’re accurate.
**Seriously, German is such a great language for describing peoples flaws.]
I’ve already covered my assertion that not only was she a terrible boss, but a virulent serial liar as well in an earlier blog, so I won’t rehash it in full here, but as an added and final note as to her lack of character, I would like to reiterate that in her official statement to the AZAGCRD, she talks about her not caring one bit about my diabetes, whilst she constantly obsesses about my diabetes throughout it, and then after being questioned, almost immediately quits my former employer- a detail the so-called investigator somehow missed, despite her Jello-sharp instinct for ferreting out the obvious truth.
(That’s heavy sarcasm for those of you in the back. Glad to help.)
The issue of whether I’m still going to seek outside legal satisfaction against my former supervisor remains hanging in the air, mainly due to the fact that the only thing she truly owns is her arrogance and the vast amounts of lard situated around her equatorially large ass, and God knows I already comprise enough of the first, and in reference to the second, I’m not really interested in acquiring anything that’s been deep-fried that excessively. She may not have a pot to piss in, but I’m pretty sure what she does have, she’d sure not like to lose, so we’ll see how it goes.
It’s already exhausting enough that I have to deal daily with the annoyance of having to explain the intimate technicalities of my disease to both friends and total strangers alike, but no one should have to put up with that ignorant s**t at work, especially from the person who has supreme authority over you. My former supervisor, already saddled with an extreme sense of being in over her head to begin with, was (at the time) also morbidly obese, and came to work daily wearing a knee brace, compression gloves, and talked at length about the salves she required for her bad back, so naturally, she was the obvious go-to for asking how I should tackle my various health issues.
Not to mention her penchant for eternally composing (on company time) a never sent e-mail to the company’s owner, basically telling her to go f**k themselves twelve ways to Sunday. That’s definitely an ethical way to justify earning your paycheck, no matter which way you look at it. And as an employee, it definitely boosts morale to have your superior constantly ragging on the top boss as if they dumped you at the Prom. Shockingly, I don’t need to be told by what is essentially a total stranger, to “eat better” or that I “should be at home working on my diabetes” nor am I open to any suggestions that Ashley (my GF) doesn’t know how to take care of me, an implication that if “Tonya” had been a dude, would have been definitely capped off with the shoving of my size 10&1/2 work-boots straight up that mass of extensive cellulite she refers to as her ass.
It’s one thing to comment on my health when I asked directly for your opinion, it’s quite another to start editorializing about it at length when it’s unwarranted or not heralded. And this level of intrusiveness had only been escalating from the day she arrived, until my illegal firing a few months later. Speaking (or writing) of such… there’s many a paragraph I could (and someday may) write about how AZAGCRD fumbled the ball in regards to my discrimination complaint, but for now, I’m only going to address a few fine points within the confines of my discussion of it- the first being the disturbing concern of Steven telling me directly: “we’re not here to serve the public“, and then going on to inform me that there was no way for the general public to find out the number (or if any) complaints had been filed against a specific company.
When firmly pressed regarding this contradiction of charter, Steven seemed almost offended that the thought of ordinary citizens having the right to access this vital information was even indirectly suggested. The nerve of the populace, wanting to be informed and all- how dare they even think that. The next thing you know, they’ll be asking for the right to be treated with respect, and we all know where that’ll lead…they’ll be asking Steven and his incompetent ilk to investigate their complaints objectiv… oh, wait, THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO… or so I’ve been misinformed.
But here’s where an additional slab of WTF gets added to this already steaming mound of bureaucratic baked hot icicles, and it’s a doozy, even by the standards or lack thereof that most governmental agencies barely operate under. There does exist an extensive official transcript regarding the claim I’ve made, and my ex-supervisors retort, which was compiled by the AZAGCRD as a means of recording this data seemingly for no other reason then to claim it was done so, since the public cannot access it anyway.
Why is this waste of pixels labeled as a slab of WTF, you query? Well, I originally wanted to order one as a backup for my extensive pre-writing notes, and to have a solid reference of my ex-supervisors farcical allegations, slurs, and sheer fabrications she comprised out of ether and pure cowardice. You know… like someone who’s interest in accuracy might do in order to defend their virtual position. So I went ahead and asked Steven to send me the particulars of the necessary formalities, which involved signing off on some red tape, and paying a twelve dollar fee, because somehow, this wholly taxpayer supported public entity is getting hit in the shorts by it’s enormous digital duping costs.
Who knew that comprising a CD document was such a costly detriment to the cause of social justice? Now, while my initial dealings with Steven were strained, they were about to get much worse, because when the envelope arrived with all of the paperwork I had to sign before receiving said transcript, I noticed there was a non-disclosure document that had to be signed before anything would be released to me. So why did I have an issue with this, exactly?
Here’s the definition: “A legally binding contract (also known as an NDA or confidentiality agreement) in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper authorization. Nondisclosure agreements are often used when a business discloses a trade secret to another person or business for such purposes as development, marketing, evaluation, or securing financial backing. A nondisclosure agreement will not protect trade secrets if the trade secret owner has not taken reasonable steps to keep the information secret.”
Here’s my issue with these bullshit CYA notes in relation to their use within government investigations: you can’t claim your charter is to protect the public, then aggressively attempt to stop the public seeking out the relevant info it requires to make the best informed decision, so there was no way on this f**ked-up realm of the *Aesir that I was ever going to sign it, short of a serious threat requiring me to eat a combination plate consisting of undercooked **haggis, and ***thousand-year-old-eggs, all covered with a dressing of rancid ****natto- as if anyone could spy the difference to begin with.
[*The Aesir are the principal gods of the pantheon. They include many of the major figures, Odin, Frigg, Thor, etc.
**A Scottish dish consisting of a sheep’s or calf’s “guts”mixed with suet, oatmeal, and seasoning and boiled in a bag, traditionally one made from the animal’s stomach. ***TYOE are a Chinese preserved food product and so-called delicacy made by preserving the eggs of fowl covered in a mixture of ash, clay, lime, salt and the hulls of rice. The process can require several weeks to several months, depending on the method used to create these abominations.
****This is a traditional Japanese breakfast item, made from fermented soybeans and served with soy sauce, karashi mustard, and Japanese bunching onion. The phrase “an acquired taste” definitely comes to mind, given the factors of its overpowering stench, strong flavor, and absolutely revolting sticky and slimy texture.]
Getting back to point, I’m never willingly going to assist any cabal that keeps crucial information out of the reach of those who need to access it. No way. No how. Especially when that information directly involves me, and I’m the one who originally initiated it in the first place. The only reason this bulls**t is swept under the rug, is to maintain the status quo by protecting those who are in a position of power. This opinion of mine was further reinforced when Steven told me rather tersely if not arrogantly, that the AZAGCRD wasn’t there to serve the public.
Let’s think about this for a minute. A taxpayer supported agency created to protect and serve the public (specifically it’s working class) doesn’t actually have to discharge the duties of it’s charter, according to one of it’s representatives.
I’ll also note that at no time during the filing or subsequently dubious “investigation”, of my claim was I ever informed this information was privileged, nor did I sign any form of legal documentation knowingly giving my inherent rights away, so the very thought of Steven threatening me with a Class 1 misdemeanor if I dared write about my case, regardless of whether or not I used the official transcription, incensed me beyond belief.
His pitiable rationalization for this attempt to violate my 1st amendment rights was to claim that this “protected” me from a lawsuit from my former employer and supervisor, a declaration I most assuredly laughed away as neither could possibly be that stupid, given what they both would lose in the end. Not too surprisingly, given his inabilities to answer directly how a state law/policy could override my rights that are granted and protected under the Constitution of these United States, the conversation quickly devolved into a morass of insults (him) and vulgarities (me) after it became fairly obvious I was dealing with a contradictory and progressively buffoonish twit-waffle.
But since I was trying to get a clear answer regarding this censorship and getting nowhere, I climbed further up the ladder of inanity to reach his immediate supervisor Rebekah, who in my humble opinion, has the potential to be the next Simone Biles*, if dodging valid questions were ever to become an Olympic event.
*[Simone Arianne Bile is an American gymnast. She was the 2016 Olympic individual all- vault and floor gold medalist, and balance-beam bronze medalist.]
My personal synopsis aside, according to her publicly posted resume, she has practical experience in the following aspects of the legal profession: Manslaughter, International Extradition, Identity Theft, Homicide, Hit and Run, Grand Jury Practice, Fraud, Forgery, Felonies, Forensic DNA, Federal Criminal Law, Embezzlement, Electronic Surveillance, Extortion, Expungements, Criminal Prosecution, Criminal Investigation, Criminal Fraud, Drivers License Suspension, Domestic Violence, DUI/DWI, Driving While Intoxicated, Criminal Conspiracy, Assault and Battery, Automobile Fraud, Burglary, Bribery, Traffic Violations, Theft, Shoplifting, Stalking, White Collar Crime, Weapons Charges, Victims Rights, Misdemeanors, Parole and Probation, Murder, Money Laundering, Search and Seizure, Sex Crimes, Sexual Assault, Wiretapping, White Collar Fraud, Wire Fraud, Womens Rights, Sex Discrimination, Prisoners Rights Class Actions, Prisoners Rights, Public Interest Law, Race Discrimination, Discrimination, Disabled Rights, Gay and Lesbian Rights, Handicapped Rights, LGBTQIA Rights, Personal Rights, International Human Rights, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Disability Discrimination, Disabled Access, Civil Rights Defense, Civil Rights Section 1983, and finally, Reproductive Rights.
Whew. That’s quite the public cry for attention, so certainly in theory at least, she’s more than qualified on pixels at least, to answer the question I had repeatedly asked of Steven: how does a state law/policy override my constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech and expression?
This by the way, seems like a relatively easy point to either explain or defend for a reasonably intelligent mammal gifted with a law degree, but I’ve noticed as of late that most of my fellow humans are as self-aware as Louis CK at a #metoo rally, and just about as tactful. First, she promptly brushed off my concerns about how my case was handled, my complaints regarding Steven, and when it came to the main issue, that of my being threatened with legal action if I so much as thought to write about all of this, she for whatever private or psychological reason literally could not (or would not) counter my query with a definitive response.
Imagine that. A lawyer who comes across as shady, if not shifty… will wonders never cease. But then again, given the Play-Dough production facilities that pass for law schools in this country, I shouldn’t have expected anything less than someone who’s manipulation of the lexicon would be akin to Neo’s moves during the rooftop fight sequence in the Matrix. Obfuscation as a martial art, as it were.
But as noted, most law schools are in it for the profit, not the outgoing quality, and the school she graduated from was ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2019 as coming in 4th for legal writing programs, 19th for clinical law programs, 27th among part-time law school programs, and placing 128th overall among law schools in the United States. Keep in mind, there’s only 237 law schools in the US, so draw your own conclusions as to the value and solidarity of her education, as I surely did after incredulously listening to her say absolutely nothing of note after almost 20 minutes.
The most gloriously frustrating aspect however, was her unswerving repetition of how she “wasn’t giving legal counsel”, while threatening me with violating my civil rights, as she presented herself as a defender of those very same principles.
Come up with your own snarky observations, boys and girls- Lord knows I have, and if she and Steven are the prime examples of what is recruited for top-notch talent at the ol’ AZAGCRD, I can only imagine what a dyspeptic hummingbird clusterf**k their HR department must be on their best day.
But if I do have one truly dogged trait, it’s that when I smell metaphorical blood in the water, I get even more focused and determined to see things through to the end- especially if you attempt to strong-arm or intimidate me from doing so, and we all saw how well that turned out for the Phoenix New Times, didn’t we?
Applying that one might say, obsessive skill-set of mine, I jumped over Rebekah’s overly swollen ego and went to her supervisor, who in no time whatsoever, revealed herself to be yet another bureaucratic poltroon who couldn’t/wouldn’t answer what by now, had become a question I could dictate in my sleep. So, after telling the entire story (again) she responds by saying she doesn’t have an answer- which to be quite honest, was the only truthful rejoin I have yet to receive from these legal lollygaggers.
Trying to err somewhat on the side of diplomacy, I tell her to get her agency’s collective heads together and inform me of a definitive by the following day which just happens to be Friday, and this comes and goes without any form of retort. The following Monday also bears no answer, and the two messages that I respectively leave on Wednesday and Thursday go unreturned as well. On that Friday, I contact the Tucson office seeing if hopefully someone there can provide any clarity to my weeks long inquiry, and at the time got nowhere, or so I thought.
The following Tuesday (!) an individual calling herself “Kim” and claiming to be from the Phoenix criminal division office contacts me for seemingly the sole purpose of snottily demanding that I “stop calling” (with an implied “or else”) as “no one will ever answer your question”. When I press as to why this is so, she testily states that “we’re done”, and swiftly hangs up after I ask her why a building full of lawyers is so ineptly unable to handle a legal question that relates directly to what they claim to do. I’d suggest incompetence, but that’s only because my eyes and ears work the way that they should.
And these second-handers wonder why people have zero respect for public servants… truly, it’s a mystery to boggle the modern mind for ages, is it not? This petty (if not downright juvenile) behavior does raise the perfectly valid question though, that being: what are these allegedly unprincipled jackasses collecting a paycheck for? Is there some form of government charity where we as taxpayers all agreed to collectively subsidize the adult lifestyle of children who ate far too many lead paint chips as if they were Pringles? In addition, this ham-fisted attempt at subtle intimidation steered by what amounted to a singularly impotent lower associate was as pathetic as it was obvious.
With no due respect, if you’re going to try and foist a bluff directly upon my gambit, at least use a person who presents as ably authoritative to do it. Sending this colorless worker-bee to challenge me without the shelter of name, rank, title, or any form of measurable gravitas to speak of, is akin to sending Jill Masters to go take on Goldfinger, and we all saw how that worked out for her resume, didn’t we? Because I’m pretty sure she didn’t get a reference, considering how much she cost him in gold body paint, if not replacement queen-size high-thread count sheets.
So at this moment, I have no answers to the following: is their intractable stance based on a law or a policy? Why do they believe that if any state provisos do exist, that they nullify my Constitutional rights? And what exactly, makes them think they can refuse to answer the concerns of taxpayers who underwrite their agency, and then feebly attempt to use other agencies as a means to silencing those who might publically dare to hold them accountable?
Well, if the merest of my research into the laws of AZ are any indicator, my voice and opinions cannot be stifled past the point of rationality. While the broadness of what can be considered allowable free speech is open to legal interpretation, the confines of it’s protection really is not.
For instance, if my use of free speech led to civil unrest, physical damages, defamation, and the like, it could be easily argued that it fell far outside the realm of what might be allowable, and the not unforeseen consequences I’d face could be dire. For instance, at any moment on Twitter one can see both the up and down of what is sadly and truly considered the discourse of our age, and it’s stunning in it’s equity of the glorious and the wretched, a mélange of intellect and ignorance, as it were.
But the majority of these uncivil exchanges still fall under the protection of the 1st Amendment, whether you agree with it’s content or not. I cannot threaten you with harm, but I can call you out, and therein lies the crowbar separation.
So why is it so hard, if not downright impossible for the AZAGCRD to answer this question of legalities directly, when it literally falls under their purview? If such a law exists, then why can’t they directly name the statute? My response to that, is to throw out the following thoughts, and let the chips fall where they may, even if their final resting place just happens to be down some pompously craven throats.
The first idea I’m gonna instigate is that no such policy exists, and if it does- it’s strictly in place to intimidate or block anyone who dares to question their alleged incompetence and unprofessional behavior.
This opinion I feel, is backed up strictly by the fact that a no-name, no-power subordinate tried (and failed pathetically) to threaten me for exercising my inherent rights. Their subtle as a Kardashian at an NBA mixer to stifling dissention in my opinion, is nothing more than a slithery, if not unethical, scheme to block the public from discovering information they should have no restrictions against accessing- after all, Steven did tell me that “we don’t work for the public”, so this revelation may be just an unfortunate Freudian slip of the tongue on his part, in regards as to why they don’t want anyone knowing the fact that there is no resource open to the general public that they could utilize strictly for defending themselves from discriminatory and illegal practices.
But remember, this is how they claim that they’re “protecting” the public… by keeping relevant information from them, and then threatening anyone who calls them out for it, by the alleged abuse of their limited authority. Methinks that this collective of cowardly antagonizers needs to be held up to the light, and that right quick, no matter how much they posture and jeer.
So to that end, not only I will be filing a detailed complaint with the ACLU in Phoenix, I’ll also be spending some seriously focused time discovering and then contacting, every significantly appropriate advocacy group that I can think of in regards to this issue.
So AZAGCRD refuses to justify their threat? That’s fine. I’ve been previously stone-walled by this type of charlatan cabal disguised as a public service agency before, as it is their collective stock in trade, but I also get this delightful feeling of imminent schadenfreude that they’re going to be answering a slew of truly uncomfortable questions in the time yet to come, and the majority of them will be asked by someone who they will have to answer to… whether they like it or not.
And when we come back… I continue on with my seemingly endless quest to wear two identical shoes, dip my remaining toes into my local writing and art scene, and discuss how even in a charmingly small town, I still have a huge book-buying problem.
“Lying is the greatest of all sins”- Alfred Nobel
“In any bureaucracy, there’s a natural tendency to let the system become an excuse for inaction.”- Chris Fussell