Friday, January 8, 2010

My Turn

I started my blog over 6 years ago. There's no one particular reason why I write in it but I'd say that more than anything, it's therapy; a way for me to sort through my thoughts. I also like the idea of being able to look back on all that's been written here many years from now and reminisce about my life. There's one other reason though that it's important to me: it allows me to tell my side of the story on that rare occasion where I feel it's necessary and that's where this post is headed.

I had a conversation with one of our facility's managers at work last week. The conversation eventually worked its way to the incident I was written up for in April, '08. It became apparent that he'd only heard one version of the story; he hadn't heard what actually happened. Management wasn't the least bit interested in my side so it only stands to reason that he didn't know the truth. He implied that he was surprised by what he'd heard as what he'd been told was out of character for me. he was right; that wasn't me.

When I was written up for insubordination it was during a time when there was no grievance process in the FAA for people such as me to have their concerns or rebuttals impartially heard. Literally, hundreds of thousands of grievances were ignored. It was during a time of management imposed work rules where our union was all but neutered by an administration that had much disdain for workers and high admiration for management. If you found yourself in my position you were at the mercy of those directly above you and if they wanted, they could trump up whatever charges they desired. And they did.

I'd always had positive dealings with management my entire career up until this episode. The incident you're about to read would leave me distrustful of nearly all of them which is where I remain today. As you read the story of what happened it's important to note that there were witnesses to what went down but management wasn't at all interested in hearing what they had to say. By management, I'm referring to my Area Manager (Pat Sullivan) as it's my opinion that he was the one who could have and should have stepped in and done the right thing but he didn't. He should've reigned in an out-of-control supervisor. Instead, he backed this individual and emboldened him to go after others in a similar way should he desire. That's not leadership and if there are any management skills involved there they're severely lacking.

In the end, it became obvious to me that there was no sense in fighting this because there was no winning on this unfair playing field so I gave up. I had only one request when I threw in the towel and that was for a meeting with my supervisor, my area manager and the supervisor who brought the charges against me so I could hear them tell me why they'd done this to me and be allowed to have my say, face to face. I wasn't even asking for union representation in the meeting. This too I was denied. What could possibly have been their reasoning behind their denial?

This entry was prompted by the recent conversation I had with the manager at work earlier in the week and is long overdue but every bit as important today as it was when I wrote it. I hadn't intended to publish it but I don't particularly like the idea of having my character defined by anybody but myself much less the persons at the center of this who caused me so much grief.  Unfortunately, it appears there are those who've only heard one side of this story.  It's my turn.

The Anatomy of a Lynching

The story doesn't actually end there and in fact, gets even more pitiful given the context of what was going on in our workplace.

No CRM for Me

I care about the place I work and I care about fairness. It's a very frustrating position to find oneself when you're up against those who in my opinion would abuse the 'power/authority' entrusted to them and that is exactly what happened to me.  

And now you know the rest of the story.


John A Hill said...

Those who can--do. Those who can't--get promoted to supervisor!

Kevin Gilmore said...

Truer words were never spoken, John...if you only knew.

Anonymous said...

Those who can--do. Those who can't-teach. Those who can't do either-get promoted to supervisor!

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Praxis Foundation said...

Excellent post - don't ever forget.

Rich said...

You've given these people too much power, Kevin. Seek closure from within, not without.