Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And knowing who your friends aren't

Years ago one of the original Union people, a fellow named Jack S. told me that because of Max Factor (nickname of a former Union driver), I would never drive at Union. I believed him. He's an honest fellow, nice guy, and I'm told a really good pool player. So when I applied at Union I asked if it was true. I know a large number of people in Union, have known them for years, and if it was true I could take it. You can't fight reality, so there's no use in trying. Both the HR director and top manager told me it wasn't the case. I've known that top manager for many years. I took him at his word.

Then they said I lied on my application so I could never be hired and never reapply. No, I didn't. I pointed out that my answer was correct, in the context of the wording on the application. That resulted in the unpulling of my application and an interview. I absolutely told the truth in the interview. I had yet to see all the Union employee materials, so didn't know what my "rights" were, but according to the published policies of Union, that was the way to go. Then I started encountering all this "dark" business. The top manager and a fellow named Jason interviewed me and the top manager told me that Jason thought I was too "dark" to hire, but he'd stuck up for me and I was hired. He then went through a litany of if you do this that or the next thing in your probationary 6 months, "I'll fire you." I sat there wondering if it was worth wasting my time, and said to myself I can behave perfectly for 6 months, is it really possible they'll treat me fairly. No, they weren't going to treat me fairly.

What I believe went on is Jason and the manager discussed being fair. Jason's position was that fair would be to not jerk me around. The manager's position was that I needed to be fired so I could never come back, and they'd find a way to do that. Thus, I was hired. Now, will the cops issue me a permit? They did. On to the next phase of the game, train the new hire, then fire the new hire at the earliest opportunity. I was to get 3 training shifts, 2 if I was good enough at it. I opted for 3 because they have equipment that is different, you mostly bid on calls by using a button on a meter like thing rather than by voice. The trainers from the first 2 days thought I was good. The trainer on the second day would have signed off on me. Then came the 3rd day.

The 3rd and to be last of the training shifts was with the guy referenced in the post 'why the guy doesn't like me'. I'm not sure if it matters all that much, the manager would have probably waited longer to make everything look good, but on that Friday afternoon I knew that fellow had it in for me. The manager said he'd think it through over the weekend, so he called me on Monday and said that it stood, that a fellow who'd held a grudge for 25 years since he was 19 over something silly was allowed to discriminate against me, I was fired.

I need to seek out legal advice on this. If it wasn't legally such a dicey thing, that manager wouldn't have been so guarded about the whole thing. He wouldn't have gone to such lengths to try to convince me it was a fair process. He wouldn't have made the cab driver wisecrack that I wasn't railroaded because railroading required a committee, I was assassinated.

Would I want to drive there? Well, for a 20 year driver, it's a good place to drive. Insurance and all, it's good. You won't get rich. Why didn't I go there years ago? 20 years ago, I could have gotten in, but in more recent times I knew this would happen. Would anybody stick up for me? NO. Why? They don't want to get fired, and objecting on the basis of fundamental right and wrong would be risking getting fired, even if you've got years of clean driving there. I found out that they canned the manager of the garage not too long ago, and I'll bet that stinks too, but it flew.

Bottom line, that manager could have said to me Jack was telling me the truth as he saw it. Then he could have said something like Jack is a real smart guy, and I'd have said ok, thanks for being up front, and I would have let it go. He didn't do that. He saw it as protecting the interests of the company to do what he did. Ok. Since this is a game of chess I should make each move be the best move on the board. Any truly good chess player knows that trappy play assumes your opponent is going to blunder, and that ultimately, if your opponent doesn't blunder will compromise your position. But I doubt that manager plays chess, he plays bridge, and in a bridge game the hand lasts for 3 or 4 minutes, is gone and forgotten, and the next hand is played. When my next move is ready, I'll touch the piece that I will move and place it in it's new square.

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