Friday, April 13, 2012

Respect Is A Dirty Word

I'm in the midst of an incredibly brutal week family-wise and thus not able to come up with an original blog post. Therefore, I thought I would pull out an old post from 2008 to share with all of you. I must warn you though, that the language is a little bit colorful and thus might be offensive to certain readers. Also, while the sentiment expressed when this was originally written was very true then, some four years later that sentiment has done a tight 180. With that being said, please enjoy this very, very old blast from the past.

Why is it that a seven letter noun/verb that describes 1} a characteristic; 2} esteem; 3} state of being admired and 4} thoughtfulness, such an incredibly hard thing to do?

It's not that hard to give. Once given, the recipient can be eternally grateful for the earning. It signifies that you've noticed that this person is willing to go above and beyond what their job/situation calls for on a consistent basis, and that you truly appreciate the hard work that person did for you.

In every port of call that I've made in my state career, I had earned everyone's respect for the work I did and accomplished. I consistently went above and beyond what my duties were, setting a high standard of excellence and left a major void behind when I moved on to better opportunities.

My current position as a payroll clerk is a thankless one, filled with complete disrespect for what I do. This is directly due to the lack of respect that my job is given by the powers that be in Human Resources (of which my unit is part of), which is directly passed on down to the rank and file in the field. The only respect that was ever given to me (and this goes for my previous stop as a payroll clerk as well), was by my co-workers and my immediate supervisor.

This complete lack of respect has manifested itself in many ways, most recently by two supervisors and a social worker case aide.
Background info: From January '07 to the present, I handle the tuition reimbursement program for my agency. In a nutshell, the state of CT, or rather the labor unions, will reimburse state employees for going to school to further their careers. The way it's done is ridiculously simple. You put an application in prior to starting classes, then you pay for them, get your grades after completing them, send those items in and three months to two years later, get your money.
Other pertinent info: It's quite difficult to enforce rules that are SET FORTH IN UNION CONTRACTS AND ON TUITION APPLICATIONS, when they are either consistently ignored by people higher up than you, or modified because some big baby complained about it.
In this case, the opening salvo was fired by this particular baby this past January, because I wouldn't accept his application due to not handing it in as per THE RULES SET FORTH IN THE UNION CONTRACT. Well, this little boy (and I mean little boy, because this jerk was one of those people who likes to brag about the people higher up that he "knows") didn't like that answer, so he climbed over my head to bitch about it. After pleading his case, an e-mail was sent to me a little while later, telling me to accept his precious little application.

So I did, and this little boy immediately wound up on my shit list. Things were quiet for the next couple of months, until one Tuesday morning when I came into work, I had this wonderful little e-mail waiting for me: "I faxed over my tuition forms for this upcoming semester, can you please confirm that you have received them..."

My response to this was: If you received a confirmation on your end saying "OK", then it was received here. If it makes you feel more comfortable, then send the form through inter-office mail to the following address.... (Note: most people who use tuition reimbursement here are notoriously insecure people. They'll fax something to me, WILL GET A CONFIRMATION SLIP SPAT OUT ON THEIR END, yet will still e-mail me and call me to ask if I got it).

What followed was an e-mail conversation between myself, my supervisor, this dick and this dick's supervisor, that bordered on the stupid, rude, disrespectful in tone and slightly threatening. To show you what kind of idiot this person's supervisor was, let me give a sample sentence from this person's response to me and my boss: "I am asking that the professionalism that we provide to our employees be a shared responsibility."

Are you kidding me? You and your underling with the major attitude problem are acting like a couple of spoiled brats in this entire incident, and you're asking for professionalism to be a shared responsibility? I'm sorry, but when you come off with a holier than thou attitude because you believe everyone is beneath you, you get what you deserve.

One more thing, this person's excuse for his arrogance was that he felt my original answer to him was not acceptable and that my tone was apparently disrespectful. BULL-FUCKING-SHIT!

The one thing that prevented me from going off on his sorry ass, was the fact that I got into trouble for this in '07, by doing what he exactly did. He gets a free pass, while I get a written reprimand shoved into my personal file....

Another thing in this little incident that still bothers me six months later, was that my boss's supervisor basically told me through her, that I deserved what I got. Because I didn't actually go and look to see if we actually got his garbage, I deserved to be yelled at, threatened and treated like shit by this asshole and his bitch of a supervisor (who actually knows what we go through because she used to work in the unit years ago).

And they wonder why morale is fuckin' low in our unit. When you get NO RESPECT from the rank and file, NO RESPECT FROM OTHER UNITS and get told THAT YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE, you certainly aren't going to do your very best for your job.

Seriously, respect is a dirty word within state government. What little respect I get, is from my co-workers, my close friends and the some of the people I do payroll for. Beyond that, everyone else I work with can go fuck themselves.


  1. Sorry to hear you are having a rough personal week, G.

    Praying all will be well for you and yours.



  2. Jannie: Many thanks.

    The week I'm going through is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

    I may say something about it in the future once things calm down, but for now, it's something that is better off being talked about privately.

  3. So sorry to hear you're having such a rough week, G! Hope your situation will improve soon...

  4. Lisa: I'm pretty sure it will long term. However, in the short term, it's still gonna be brutal.

    Right now, I'll be happy with getting a rejection on a short story submission. At least that will tell me something is going on out there in the real world for me.

  5. looks like i'm not the only one having a painful week!

    but at least, everything calms down eventually. i mean, life is like a rollercoaster, a combination of ups and downs and twists and turns and feeling sick and not feeling sick. but to have the ups, you must have the downs. in the end, everything should level up, and the thrills from having the ups should outweigh the dramatic drops.

    woo for metaphorical language!

  6. Catherine: Yes, woo for metaphorical language indeed. :D

    It has been without a doubt, the worst rollercoaster ride I've ever been on, metaphorically or realistically.

    I still wouldn't wish this kind of week on my worst enemy.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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