Sunday, February 26, 2006

Literal minded at one's own convenience

I've been terrible about updating this blog since starting my new job last Fall. Part of the reason has been that I've been so busy at work (uncovering and cleaning up the awful mess my now former boss left behind). The other part I've been on blogger silence is related to the overwhelming sense of disgust and frustration of what that sociopathic cabal otherwise known as the Bush administration has been able to continue doing to this country exacerbated by the fact the Democratic Party is still acting the spineless jellyfish that insists on handing our government over to the ChristoTheocrats on the proverbial silver platter. It's absolutely mind numbing to say the least (mind you, I think my former boss has similar sociopathic tendencies exhibited by our current President but that a committment of Ethics and Integrity managed to win and ultimately push him out; I can only hope for the same to happen to our country in the very near future).

One of my challenges at work is my admin. This is the same Christian admin with whom I worked many years ago at a different company, the one who gave me a NIV Bible as a present despite the fact that I am Jewish. Among her many issues and problems in the work environment was the fact she was not a team-player, she decided the way she thought things were to be done were the right way to be done and she foisted her religion at people at the previous company - she was eventually let go for many of those reasons. Prior to taking the job at the new company I spoke with her about some of the problems she had at the old company. She assured me she was in a better situation and in a position in which she was more comfortable which meant she was able to perform her duties without instigating conflict.

As a matter of fact, she was the admin to my now former boss and the reason there was, according to her, no problem at work was due to the fact he asked her to do very little, let her do it on her own timeline and terms (she could show up to, and leave, work at any time and could even work from home whenever she pleased). Needless to say, shortly after I started, I realized her old pattern of inappropriate and antagonizing behavior had reappeared (though I was the only one she actively engaged in religious matters). I had very little say in being able to address her issues prior to my now former boss becoming, well, my now former boss. After we announced the departure of said former boss and he turned in his badge and company computer, I spoke to the admin about her hours as she always arrived late, generally left early and worked from home on a regular basis as well as whenever her boss was not in the office. Let me explain something about my company: we're really small, most of the admins support a large group of people and, with the exception of my former boss, nobody used her because she is argumentative, unreliable and it takes more time to write out and explain every detail of something to be done (even when it's doing something she's done before) than it would take to do the task yourself
(seriously, she expends more time and energy trying to get out of work & ignores directives as suggestions she doesn't want to take). The company has a very detailed employee manual that explains a FT employee is someone who works at least 40 hours and that as a non-exempt employee she is eligible for two paid ten min. breaks for each 4 hours worked and 30-60 minutes of unpaid time for lunch; we permit flex time to set start and stop times (with manager's approval) provided the employee is in during core hours, works 8 hour days and 40 hour weeks. Non-exempt employees are paid overtime for any time worked over 8 hours in a calendar day and/or over 40 hours in a calendar week. If you're going to be late or need to leave early, you just have call in to your manager to let them know the deal. Let's just say the admin in question abides by none of this. The first time I spoke to her about her hours was when she spontaneously sent an email saying she would be working from home that day (a day I was, ostensibly, on vacation). I made it clear that she needs to get permission ahead of time and that the CEO of our company had specifically asked me to discuss the fact she does not have a position that warrants working from home and that he had noticed that when she's in the office she always comes in late and leaves early. I noted that, from now on, she had to get permission from me to work from home and that she had to abide by core hours and work full days unless she had approval from her line manager (that'd be me) for a different work schedule. She had the audacity to reply with a comment that said until our former boss was officially off the payroll, she would abide by the verbal agreement she had with him. Our CEO took the next crack at her reminding her of her obligations and our policies. In the 2 weeks since then, she had yet to come in by core hours or stay a full day. .. until Thursday, when I announced I was having 1:1's to review our employee manual and policies with my direct reports - she stayed til 5 on Thursday and showed up at 9 on Friday. During our 1:1, she started crying as soon as I brought up her work schedule and the company's policies. She knows I'm a sucker (I think that's pretty much common knowledge) and that I've done some research on a condition she claims to have - a condition for which she has never approached HR about or requested "special consideration" under the ADA.

She has steadfastly refused to utilize any of the physical/office amenities (ergonomically appropriate workstation) as suggested by the advocacy group that lobbies for her condition - as a matter of fact, she got downright nasty when I pointed out that her cube had some of the amentities the rest of us are still waiting for and demanded they be removed (basically, this allows her to more easily hide what she's doing since her body blocks the screen of her laptop). Our flexible schedule w/core hours & break and lunch policies are compliant with the frequent breaks suggested by the advocacy group. The one thing I can not offer her is the ability to work from home on a regular basis due to the nature of her job (and the fact we really have no idea what she's doing since we give her very little to do and have to remind her to do those things mutiple times to get them done). She claims that she does not take breaks or lunch and rarely leaves her workstation (she has, in fact, disappeared for hours at a time in the past two weeks alone) because she can only work if she works straight through without breaksand rarely takes lunch away from her desk and said she leaves early because she tires easily. When I pointed out the mandatory [paid] breaks and the fact that she's supposed to take at least a 30 minute lunch, she scoffed indicating that she can't work an 8 hour day, the breaks would be problematic for her and that taking a 30 minute unpaid lunch would mean she couldn't go home for the day until 8 and a half hours after she arrived. According to the admin, she is incapable of spending such long hours at work, even with breaks. Mind you, she is capable of staying until very late when it comes to spending quiet time with me to discuss religion. No shit: she was capable of staying almost 11 hours by extending our 1:1 time 3 times the orginal length it was scheduled (to discuss personal problems and religion) plus 3 hours after everyone else left to discuss religion with me!

The admin is among those who consider her preferred translation of the bible as the complete, inerrant and literal word of G-d (unlike others, she acknowledges that none of us has the original manuscripts of those who took G-d's dictation of the bible to perform the literal translation and she acknowledges that it's been past down verbally and gone through multiple translations since the original dictation sessions). This bible provides the rules to follow and the rules of Jesus are the rules that must be followed lest one be relegated to Hell for all eternity. These are the only rules that must be followed (never mind the fact there's a lot of stuff G-d failed to address - apparently because we have no right to ask about those things). Unlike other fundamentalists, she also acknowledges that one does not have to believe in G-d to be moral; one just has to publicly accept Jesus as their saviour, be a "good Christian" and receive His forgiveness for their sins to go to heaven after death. Even one who is 100% righteous (does all the right things for all the right reasons, does good works and live a moral life that is beyond reproach) would be relegated to Hell if that person did not whole-heartedly accept Jesus as his/her one and only Saviour. Hell, it seems, is full of good, moral, kind and loving people who are there for no reason other than the fact they didn't accept Jesus as their road to salvation. It is completely lost on her that the Scripture by which she lives render the lives we live and the people we are irrelevant and show the rules of salvation to be, for all intent and purposes, arbitrary. I am doomed to Hell purely by the fact I try to do what's right because it is inherently the right thing to do and not because I'm searching for some great reward when my life here is done. She has a shot of some great reward, one she fears she does not deserve, purely because she has accepted the role of Jesus as the only road to salvation. Now if only she'd show a minimal amount of regard for the rules of the company, she might be able to follow the road to salvation of her gainful employment because without it she may well find she's risked a decent life on earth while having no guarantee of a heavenly reward after punching that final time-card. To be honest, I think I have better odds.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Missing Monday: upcoming anniversary

Almost a year ago, 34-year old Danielle Imbo and 35-year old Richard Petrone vanished into thin air after spending an evening Abilene's bar and restaurant on South Street in Philadelphia. Neither the couple nor Petrone's 2001, black, 4-door Dodge Dakota( PA registration #YFH2319) have been seen since the couple left the club and the police have no evidence to explain the couple's disappearance.

Imbo is 5'5", weighs about 117 pounds and has brown hair, hazel eyes and a tatoo of her zodiac sign (Leo) in a horshoe of flowers on her lower back.

Petrone is 5'9", weighs about 200 pounds and has short brown hair, a beard and blue eyes. He also has two tattoos:on his right arm he has an image of clowns; on his left he has the name "Angela" (the name of his daughter).

If you have any information about the disappearance of Richard Petrone and Danielle Imbo, please contact one of the following:
  • The Citizen's Crime Commission (which is offering a $100,000 reward) at 215-546-TIPS (8477)
  • South Philadelphia Police at 215-686-3013
  • Mt. Laurel Township Police at 856-234-1414
  • NJSP Missing Persons at 800-709-7090
  • Philadelphia Police at 215-686-3013/ 3014

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