Friday, April 22, 2005

frustration

Ethan is at the point where he is considering leaving locksmithing behind. This sucks. He loves being a locksmith, and he loves his job, he just can't stand working with someone who is supremely lazy, lies constantly, chatters incessantly about how wonderful he is, and steals from his company. The lockshop is getting a really bad reputation, and Ethan can't stand being a part of it. I am trying to convince him to collect information that shows without a doubt that his boss is stealing, which is the only way to get rid of him. It is getting worse and worse--now, Ethan gets to work, his boss plays on the computer with his ebay business and email and looking at videos, etc, and some work comes in and he tells Ethan to do it, so Ethan goes and does it, and comes back hours later to find his boss in the exact same spot playing on the computer. Or, his boss the other day cut a bunch of keys, took them down and discovered that he had cut them all backwards, so he came back and told Ethan to recut them while he played on the computer. Or, Ethan is helping to train some guy who is looking to get a job elsewhere and the job he wants prefers someone with a tiny bit of locksmith knowledge, so Ethan has been teaching him how to pin a lock, simple things like that, but his boss keeps butting in and telling the guy how much he knows and that pinning a lock is so simple and he is wonderful and basically annoying everyone to the point that the guy leaves all frustrated a few minutes later. He is just so full of himself, and it is beyond irritating when someone who is the worst of the worst thinks they are the best of the best and are CONSTANTLY telling you all about it. And, he is wierd. He lives an alternative lifestyle, to each their own, but is always talking about his home situation and how great it is and basically wierding Ethan out. And then the other day he made the mistake of bringing up ME and questioning MY sexuality (I met this guy once about 2 years ago, but he doesn't remember me or know what I look like--up until the other day he thought I was black), I think he is trying to somehow bring Ethan into his lifestyle and tell him how cool it is, which would require me to enjoy 3-somes and sleeping with women, etc. So I am really glad Ethan didn't hit him. He just told him not to go there, and that was that.
Ethan's concern is that someone at work has two separate counts of sexual harrassment against them, and they have not been fired, just moved around the company, and another guy was seen taking a huge cart load of computers and other Harborview equipment and loading it into his car, and HE wasn't fired, even though it was the director of engineering that saw him. They couldn't prove that he had stolen anything, since public safety didn't see him loading anything, they just saw a car full of things, so they didn't even investigate and the guy still has his job.

Sucks.

So, the guy in the machinist shop would love to have Ethan, and has told him this many times. Ethan works most of his overtime with the head of that shop, and the guy really appreciates Ethan being a hard worker. Like last night, they had to dismantle a huge metal sculpture because some kid climbed up it and fell and was seriously injured. Ethan helped them out, and his boss came to for extra money. It ended up that his boss sucks with the metal cutting thing, and kept getting it stuck, so they had him using it to cut apart the pieces after everyone else removed the bigger pieces from the sculpture, since that was easier. After the guy in charge went somewhere else to work on another part of the project, Ethan's boss sat down and started directing Ethan on what to do and how to do it. There were 2 cutters, and people pointed that out to him, but he said no, lets just use one, and sat on his fat ass telling Ethan what to do. Can I mention that this guy was just supposed to be there as labor and was at that point not in any position of authority? But felt the need to sit on his lazy ass telling Ethan how great he was and not doing any work. And, when they finished the main part at 9pm, went to hang out in the lockshop, even though they were supposed to work until10pm (that was the deal), because there were other small projects that needed help. Lazy, lazy , lazy.

It's just with the history of people NOT getting fired for being bad at what they do, the only way to get rid of this guy is to get him caught with stealing. Ethan is going to start saving incriminating things, like the purchase sheet that shows hundreds of keys the guy had the hospital buy, but they don't use those types of keys ANYWHERE at the hospital--they are for his boss's ebay business, as is the $2500 key machine that he ordered to cut those keys. There is no one who oversees these guys at all--no one who knows what things the hospital uses or does not use, so no one but Ethan can see that he is stealing. I am hoping that we somehow get enough stuff together to make an airtight case and they fire this guy and Ethan can be in the shop and recruit over Karl or Eric from Argens and run this thing right. THe shop can be run so that orders are done quickly, things are fixed ontime and people don't get all irritated at not having their locks fixed/changed, etc.

Worst case scenario has Ethan leaving locksmithing and training in the machinist shop there. Maybe he can get a job up at UW. They don't have a real locksmith at the hospital there, just a carpenter with a little training. Ethan went up therer a week ago t0 teach the guy how to do some simple things. That would be a great place to go, or the UW campus locksmiths, too. He says he does not regret leaving Argens, because the benefits/retirement, etc are all so much better here, but something is going to have to change.

11 comments:

Davinie said...

I think Ethan needs to buck up and turn the guy in. Get his ebay ID to show the higher ups the illegal things the guy is selling on company time. If this guy is guilty like you say he is, then I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't think he'd get fired. It would be a shame for Ethan to chicken out and quit a job he enjoyed simply because he's afraid of his coworker. His not saying anything about what's happening makes him guilty by association. There's keeping to yourself, and then there's overlooking illegal activity. Slacking and taking advantage of the company computer is just as unethical as selling company parts for personal profit. It's all prosecutable. I don't think they'd just transfer him to another department. He isn't benefiting the company in any way. I don't think he can be compared to someone being accused of sexual harrassment. I think it's apples and oranges.

alyca said...

The state system has a long history of allowing slackers to keep their jobs. Like I said--someone was caught with a car load of company equipment by the director, and had no action taken against him. The worst thing that could happen is that Ethan turns this guy in and he doesn't get fired. It is only the two of them in the shop, and that would be extremely uncomfortable. I am going to get him to do it, he knows he should, we are going to gather evidence for a while, and Ethan wants to be there for at least 6 months first--before 6 months as a permanent employee, they can fire you for pretty much any reason. After 6 months, he has union protection. Oh, yeah--there is a union. Harder to fire union people because they have a bunch of protection/firepower/money behind them. We are still going to try, just not until August when his 6 months are up. I think there is also a whistleblower protection clause somewhere that would protect Ethan, but we don't want to take any chances with his job.

Mama-Beans said...

While piling up all this crap on this guy.. keep in mind that Ethan is also being sexually harassed. Those kind of comments/questions are NOT acceptable. Isn't there a personnel dept person he can talk to? have them do an investigation on an anonomous tip... kind of thing? and getting his E-Bay ID is a VERY good idea.. as that is proof right there.. also.. the locks that he's ordering all those keys for... ARE there any locks that use those keys anywhere there? and do the work orders say what kind of lock is getting fixed, or what key is needed? This sucks.. but I totally see the need to gather before turning him in.

Mama-Beans said...

While piling up all this crap on this guy.. keep in mind that Ethan is also being sexually harassed. Those kind of comments/questions are NOT acceptable. Isn't there a personnel dept person he can talk to? have them do an investigation on an anonomous tip... kind of thing? and getting his E-Bay ID is a VERY good idea.. as that is proof right there.. also.. the locks that he's ordering all those keys for... ARE there any locks that use those keys anywhere there? and do the work orders say what kind of lock is getting fixed, or what key is needed? This sucks.. but I totally see the need to gather before turning him in.

Mama-Beans said...

Is EALING from the company and SELLING product on E-Bay... that can all be proved! Plus, he is currently sexually harassing Ethan... this sucks!

Davinie said...

Steve is in a union and it wouldn't offer any protection if he was stealing and not performing at the standards laid out by the policies and procedures of the fire department. No union can protect you if your aren't performing your job duties in a satisfactory manner, and if you are stealing company property, finding another job will be the least of your troubles. One of the other things you'll have to find is a lawyer, or one will be appointed for you.

Davinie said...

Per Steve, wait until your probation is up before you do anything. In the mean time, document everything, time, date, etc., and then you need to do the right thing and turn him in. A union is not foolproof, and isn't going to stand behind an employee that is not valuable. It doesn't sound like this guy is bringing anything of value to the table.

alyca said...

Ethan has discussed this with a lawyer, who is not entirely confident that the guy will get fired, but we are still going to collect info and wait until Ethan's probation is up. ALso, we are going to jazz up Ethan's resume and make a nice cover letter and send it to the UW. Their hospital had a falling out with the school campus locksmiths, so they do not have any at the moment. Ethan went up there a couple weeks ago to do some training with the carpenter who has taken over the locksmithing duties, and said the shop up there is awesome, he has amazing tools etc available, and it would be awesome to be there (same system of retirement, etc), so he is going to get his name out there as available. Also, the UW pays a bit more, so that would be nice. Keeping our options open. ALso, the machinist shop at Harborview is another option. Actually, he would get a $3-4 an hour raise for going over there, and the pay scale goes up a ton. He is currently almost maxed out in the locksmith pay scale, but the machinists make significantly more, so that is nice. And he loves working with electricity, and being a machinist would allow him to get a low voltage license if he wanted. He tried doing that a few years ago, and thought of leaving locksmithing for electronic securite (not far from locksmithing) because he loves working with things like that. So, we are keeping our options open. #1 priority is to keep the job he has now and get rid of the slacker, but if that all falls apart, there are some other possibilities out there too. The problem with this all is that it is the state system. I went to the ethics website for the state of washington, and they list out actual cases that have come up, and what happened to the people. There was a person who got several thousands of dollars of sprinkler system stuff and had state employees even install it at her house, and she was only given a big fine. They tend to NOT fire people for stuff. NOt that that is a given in this case, but even the lawyer says there is no guarantee in this case. So we shall see.

Mama-Beans said...

well sheesh, I say no matter what leave the lock shop there... I mean, if he can get a couple of dollars more per hour in the machinist shop, AND it's doing stuff he likes, why WOULDN'T he leave?? But yeah, stay and get the lay-Z-Boy fired first... plus his probation is almost up, isn't it?

alyca said...

No, option #1 is to stay where he is. Ethan loves being a locksmith, so we are going to do our best to keep him as one. The worst case scenario is going to the machine shop, where the supervisor/lead guy there really likes Ethan and wants him to go there (and he doesn't even know that Ethan is having issues with the other locksmith guy). I am just saying that the worst case scenario is not bad, but money isn't everything. We are going locksmithing #1, then something else. Who knows--maybe Ethan's boss will get whacked over the head with some karma and quit or move or need a heart transplant or something. Not that I would wish anything bad on anyone........

Mama-Beans said...

No worries.. I'll wish the bad for you.