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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/9/2004 8:32:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 8:36:09 PM EST by TheKill]
I am a "regional manager" where I work. A couple months ago, my boss (the head manager of my department) was on vacation. He had assigned all his duties to another person who I will call "Joe". "Joe" is a manager in my department, immediately below my boss and above myself and one other manager. I am the least senior manager. I was out in the field and was involved in a minor human error incident due to talking on a cell phone while operating a machine at the same time (I don't normally operate and was pushed into this by the head manager of another department, so I was trying to do my normal duties at the same time). I immediately dismissed the person I was on the phone with and called "Joe", who was my acting supervisor. I explained to him exactly what happened. Company policy is for a drug test to be done if there is a human error incident. However, I am the guy that would normally do this (I have a company car for this reason). I was in the field, over an hour away from any office, and without a vehicle. "Joe" was tied up in a disciplinary hearing with another manager. There is no taxi service or similiar in the area. I asked "Joe" if I should go for a drug test and advised him that he would need to come and pick up myself and crew. "Joe" stated that he felt that my talking on the cell phone was the cause of the incident, and it was probably not necessary to shut everything down and go for the test. Myself and the crew I had with me fixed the damaged equipment on site in about 10 minutes.

Fast forward to yesterday. I have been on vacation since 8/28 and until 9/12. My boss calls me and asks me to meet him at my office today at 10 am, he wants to go over some things with me because he will be gone on Monday and Tuesday when I am due back to work. I meet him, and he asks me about the above incident. It seems he was not made aware of it until this week. I explained to him in detail exactly what happened. He called "Joe" on the speakerphone, and asked for his recollection. "Joe" stated exactly what I had recollected, except he stated that I "didn't feel it was necessary to go for the test, and asked me if that would be ok". My boss has a reputation from his previous employer (large multinational company) as a headhunter and once he has his mind made up nobody is going to sway him...pick your battles at all times. I decided that attempting to dispute "Joe's" account would simply be taken as trying to avoid responsibility for the incident and kept my trap shut. He asked me why I didn't tell him when he returned. I simply told him that I had figured he would have a meeting or at least some sort of communication with "Joe" regarding what went on while he was gone.

My boss hung up with "Joe" and handed me a test kit and had me go down to the hospital to take a piss test and return. Now, bear in mind, I am on vacation and so theoretically, I could have been partying my ass off! I went and did the test, and returned to the office. My boss made me sit, pointed out to me that the rules apply to everyone, that the only thing keeping me in my job was that I had called his replacement "Joe" immediately. He then took the keys to my company car, gave me a week off work without pay concurrent with my vacation, left my car sitting front and center in front of the office, and dropped me off at my house. On the way, he explained to me that somone had made a comment that the rules don't apply to managers like they do to the workers, and he had to show them that they do.

I look at it this way. The rules do apply to everyone, however, the mitigating circumstance was that I was in a very remote location without transportation and there was nobody in a position to come and get me to fulfill the policy. Also, I called me acting supervisor immediately, reported exactly what I had done, and was governed by his instructions. As far as rules applying to managers, I always have my safety equipment on, wear my seatbelt, and comply with all the rules. This was the only instance where something like this happened, and it was because I am the one that is assigned the task of picking up people and taking them for the tests. I have absolutely no prior disciplinary record. I certainly would agree that I should have insisted with "Joe" that he come get me or arrange for someone to get me to fulfill the policy, and that is where MY error lies. I think a week off without pay was a little harsh, to say the least. Should I be angry?

Edited to add: I have also heard unconfirmed reports of my boss being on company property while under the influence of alcohol. And the HR manager whom this was done in collaboration with, was rumored to have been arrested for DUI in a Company vehicle in January of this year, which got plea bargained down to something else that was not a violation of Company policy...........
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:36:41 PM EST
You are in the right, but sit it out and it ought to slide. He is making an example of you and I doubt he will hold a grudge later on.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:38:01 PM EST
While you were being truthful, you should have been completely truthful - including the full conversation w/Joe.

NMSight
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:38:45 PM EST
Shyte travels downhill, get use to it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:39:16 PM EST
BS, that is what that amounts too. I am in the military and stuff like that could happen but rarely would it lead to suspension or the like. I am not sure what you can do because i dont know where you work. If it for the Gov I would file a harassment suit within the company, the case would prob be dissmissed but at least they would check your boss out and find out what he really is.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:43:39 PM EST
My initial observation is that your company is choking on so-called management. You have managers managing managers that are not really managing, but doing work.

Second, I would appeal your boss's disciplinary action up the ladder. Surely he's got a manager. Is there rigid guidance in place that stipulates the one-week suspension without pay in your circumstance? If so, you're probably going to have to live with it. If not, you should consult your lawyer during your time off.

Part of this disciplinary action seems not that objectionable to me: you can't use the company car during your vacation. If you were on vacation, why did you have the company car?

Time to look for a new job.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:44:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 8:45:44 PM EST by Airwolf]
Sounds like bullshit to me.

"Joe" was your acting manager. He's the one in the hotseat and the one that is responsbile for how things were to be handled. He made the call, you followed his direction and yet you're the one getting docked.



Reason #3,487 why I will NEVER work for "Corporate America" again as long as I live.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:46:35 PM EST
My boss reports directly to the Owner/President/CEO, and as far as he is concerned, he can do no wrong. Further our company policy states that our company reserves the right to apply discipline, from verbal warning up to and including termination. We are a "right to work" state, and employment is at the leisure of the company and the employee.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:47:38 PM EST
I think i posted in the other thread, but wth, I'll post here too.


I think you're getting screwed, but I don't see what the hell you can do about it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:49:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
My initial observation is that your company is choking on so-called management. You have managers managing managers that are not really managing, but doing work.



This happens pretty infrequently. We are very seasonal and specialized. We can't train guys to lay them off during the winter. When we hire enough people to crew all the work when it is busiest, they wind up only working a couple days a week. Then the bitch and cry. I never thought I would be a babysitter, but grown men can be such fucking babies.



Second, I would appeal your boss's disciplinary action up the ladder. Surely he's got a manager. Is there rigid guidance in place that stipulates the one-week suspension without pay in your circumstance? If so, you're probably going to have to live with it. If not, you should consult your lawyer during your time off.



See my above post....



Part of this disciplinary action seems not that objectionable to me: you can't use the company car during your vacation. If you were on vacation, why did you have the company car?

Time to look for a new job.



I drove it home when I left work the last day prior to my vacation. I have my own car and a truck that I drive for personal use.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:50:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
I think i posted in the other thread, but wth, I'll post here too.


I think you're getting screwed, but I don't see what the hell you can do about it.



I can't do anything. I am just trying to figure out how I feel about it and what, if anything, I am going to do about it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:51:14 PM EST
As DzlBenz pointed out, way too many Chiefs trying to run this show. It also sounds like you're drowning in bureaucracy/red tape and the rules don't seem to be applied evenly to all.

I hope you're making a shitload of money, or really love what you do because it reeks from where I'm sitting.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:53:12 PM EST
THANK YOU!

Thank you for reminding me why I dont work for the corporate world. I remember BS like that when I worked in an office and I DONT MISS IT ONE BIT!!!!

Sit tight and ride it out. I dont know how much you love your job or seniority and all that other good stuff... but if they are gonna treat you like a schoolchild... take the week to find a better job or think of starting your own business. Do something you love to do.

dont you just wish that you can get paid to shoot guns all day?
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:53:16 PM EST
WTF type of company do you work for? Doesn't anyone connect with their employees anymore?

I very much doubt that I would survive a week in that kind of environment.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:56:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 8:57:26 PM EST by TheKill]

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
As DzlBenz pointed out, way too many Chiefs trying to run this show. It also sounds like you're drowning in bureaucracy/red tape and the rules don't seem to be applied evenly to all.

I hope you're making a shitload of money, or really love what you do because it reeks from where I'm sitting.



I dunno. One head manager, one assistant, and two regional managers with about 60 people in our department, working three shifts, and spread out across two states. My salary is just a couple thou more than the average worker.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 8:59:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By DrFrige:
THANK YOU!

Thank you for reminding me why I dont work for the corporate world. I remember BS like that when I worked in an office and I DONT MISS IT ONE BIT!!!!

Sit tight and ride it out. I dont know how much you love your job or seniority and all that other good stuff... but if they are gonna treat you like a schoolchild... take the week to find a better job or think of starting your own business. Do something you love to do.

dont you just wish that you can get paid to shoot guns all day?



Yes I do!

I maintain my seniority with the rest of the workers (from whence I came). I am number 7 of 60. I could always go back to being a worker bee. Hours are a little longer, but not much.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:01:58 PM EST
OK, well, here's my advice.

1) Update and widely distribute resume.
2) Contact lawyer, and begin action to get your week's pay back.
3) Never, NEVER, NEVER answer the phone when you're on vacation.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:24:02 PM EST
You got a week off without pay during your vacation with pay, so it is a punishment with no punishment. Your boss addressed the issue so it looks like he did something to the employees but it hurt neither you nor the company. You should not be drunk or stoned and driving the company car to the office anyway, even on vacation, so passing the piss test is a gimme. Did you really think a gutless fuck middle manager like "joe" would back you up to the shithead boss?

I'd make an effort to have whatever paperwork related to this removed from your personel record in six months. Ask about it and explain that you do not want a long term black mark for something that was handled. I would not bother trying to fight it,,,if you make them look to hard they may find something they hate, don't push your luck.

Define "minor incident" a little better, just for those of us with a little doubt in out hearts. Oh, by the way, never use a cell phone when operating dangerous machinery. If you worked at my families business and you were operating dangerous equipment and talking on the phone you stand a good chance of talking on the phone outside the gate.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:36:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By lonegunman:
You got a week off without pay during your vacation with pay, so it is a punishment with no punishment. Your boss addressed the issue so it looks like he did something to the employees but it hurt neither you nor the company. You should not be drunk or stoned and driving the company car to the office anyway, even on vacation, so passing the piss test is a gimme. Did you really think a gutless fuck middle manager like "joe" would back you up to the shithead boss?

I'd make an effort to have whatever paperwork related to this removed from your personel record in six months. Ask about it and explain that you do not want a long term black mark for something that was handled. I would not bother trying to fight it,,,if you make them look to hard they may find something they hate, don't push your luck.

Define "minor incident" a little better, just for those of us with a little doubt in out hearts. Oh, by the way, never use a cell phone when operating dangerous machinery. If you worked at my families business and you were operating dangerous equipment and talking on the phone you stand a good chance of talking on the phone outside the gate.



The suspension is to be served after my vacation. The cell phone issue has been dealt with, I shut it off whenever I am in that position and have since the incident. I would rather not mention exactly what happened because it's very industry specific and I prefer to not be public with who I am and where I work. However we had an employee who did exactly the same thing last winter (broke the same piece of equipment while talking to someone unrelated to what he was doing). He was tested (I got up in the middle of the night and took him for the test, it's my job) and because he had already gotten a written warning for a previous infraction, he was given the next step of discipline (three days off without pay).
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:38:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 9:42:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By brasspile:
Don't worry about it.

I got fired for buyin a shot of Jagermeister for the HR Director chick of my employer at the time. However, this at a bar on a weekend, in a different STATE than the business....

Funny how they are fair, eh? (she fired me)



THAT is unfair. I guess I should just count my blessings. I still have a job. I talked to my buddy that I was camping with over the weekend, he got FIRED from his job today, because he wasn't available on weekends enough for his boss. He worked for a dirtbike shop, and he wasn't available on weekends because he races. His boss wanted him to not race, instead he wanted him to drive a trailer and work it at the races. My buddy is not upset. He is all about the racing. Go figure.

It helps that he is really good. Missed qualifying at Loretta Lynn's amatuer nationals this year by one place, and he rode poorly due to getting hurt a couple weeks before that, not practicing, and riding on a bum knee. Makes me want to do the same thing and just go back to touring with my drums.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 10:01:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2004 10:03:14 PM EST by AZSherman1]
A week off seems a little stiff. . . . . . . .are you sure you didn't leave out the part about getting a little ORAL as being the cause of the "incident??"

PS-If you're a white male, don't even bother trying to sue. You'll get laughed at.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 10:22:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 10:44:10 PM EST
Is there some reason you did not take a urine test when you returned from this remote area where there were no taxis or drug tests? Even several hours later it would be better than taking it two weeks later.

Also why didn't you as a manager contact your manager and inform him you damaged some equipment? Rules apply to everyone and it sounds like you broke policy.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 10:56:51 PM EST
Sorry about that you said "concurrent" , that means at the same time as vacation. I think a week is a bit harsh, but you might inflame it by fighting.

At least you didnt have a problem like Brasspile and get crapped on by a woman employee. I wouldn't date, screw or socialize with any woman from work on a dare. I would be leery of stopping to help them if their car was broken down in the rain.


In 10 years working here, I only ever spoke with one for anything other than work related conversation. She mentioned she and her future husband liked to shoot, she had her own Glock, we used to talk now and then. One day, I stopped by her work area and dropped off a flyer to a Glock shoot and just said "you guys oughta go out it could be fun and you can win a gun if you get lucky." She freaked, got all shitty about getting married and me having the wrong idea. I backed way off and reminded her it was something for the TWO of them, I didn't own a Glock and was NOT going to be there. I just got them in the mail from a fellow shooter and left a few copies in the lunch room. That was 3 or 4 years ago, I have not said so much as Hi since.

My great joy is that I usually work alone and am treated professionally, I see most people at quarterly meetings and training classes. Being a ghost is a good thing.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 11:11:39 PM EST
While your boss seems to have an attitude problem, the real trouble is Joe, who did not take responsibility for not making you take a test. What he did is what we call "transfering authority", and he just admited to you through your boss that he is not strong enough of a manager to take responsibility for making a mistake.

Whether you protest this will depend on the environment you work in. Will Joe admit to this mistake when pressed on it face to face, or will he "not recall" the facts?

That's not an easy situation to be in.

I work in a large facility where I have four assistant managers working for me. One of them is constantly transfering authority to me. So he constantly gets bitched out for not having the balls to do his job. Any time he has to tell an employee something it's always "John said for you to do this...", it gets old.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 11:11:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By sum-rifle:
Is there some reason you did not take a urine test when you returned from this remote area where there were no taxis or drug tests? Even several hours later it would be better than taking it two weeks later.

Also why didn't you as a manager contact your manager and inform him you damaged some equipment? Rules apply to everyone and it sounds like you broke policy.



I did contact my manager. "Joe" was my manager at the time of the incident. I did not take the test because "Joe" told me that he didn't feel it was necessary. In retrospect, I obviously should have.
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 11:16:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
Sounds like bullshit to me.

"Joe" was your acting manager. He's the one in the hotseat and the one that is responsbile for how things were to be handled. He made the call, you followed his direction and yet you're the one getting docked.

hy


+1
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:40:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:59:03 AM EST
I feel for you man. In Corp. America today you are damed if you do and damed if you don't. I am working on starting my own business because I can't see my self working for these companies anymore. It's been a lot of work but I hope to be up and running by mid Oct. I will still have to keep my day job but, I hope in a year or so that I can go full time with my business.

I really think the only way that the average guy will make it in the near future is to start your own business or get into rental real estate.

I was just watching a show on CNN about outsourcing jobs to India and I tell you what, we are in big trouble. They use to just do crap work we did not want to do. They are doing everything now including hihg tech manufacturing and design. If we soon don't get on the ball as a Country we will have no real god jobs left in a few years. If you think because you are a professional MBA/PHD and this will not affect you then wake up because you job is also going over there. The average salary for a professional person over there is $4000 a year.

I wish you luck with your problem at work.

Take Carehug.gif
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 2:23:48 AM EST
Sounds to me like you broke something while doing something you knew you shouldn't have been doing, especially since you had been involved before that with one of the workers in a very similar situation. In otherwords, He feels youknew better, did it anyway, and broke something.

Have no idea what you broke, what the $$ involved was.

You knew the normal test requirements and policy, as soon as Joe made the exception you should have made a memo for the record as to why you didn't follow the policy, or you could have included it in the incident report, and the circumsatnces why you and Joe decided a test wasn't necessary. Granted this is 20/20 hindsight but whenever I make a deviation from policy at the request or direction of a manager I always document it at the time. I have even asked Managers to put a direction in writing. I used to bang heads with a Supervisor periodically, thankfully he got let go, but he in the long run did it to me.

I had a Supervisor who would do favors for folks and try and cut the bureaucracy and red tape, but was poor in his judgement about what was prudent. And about twice a year I'ld ask for a memo for my records or the employees records that not completing something or not doing something or doing something was approved. Suffice it to say everytime it went to our Manager, I got backed up. For example ther were Company Policies and Federal Laws regarding Hiring "Former Military Officers or EC scale Federal Employees" to work at Defense Contractors. He would insist I make the offer and I would refuse without all the approvals in hand. Corporate Legal finally had to come down and made him sign that he had read and understood the Company Policies and applicable Federal Statutes after he browbeat my back-up into making an offer before the approvals were in hand. I was on my two weeks Active Duty and I left the file with my back-up with a big note and a personal explanataion as to why I was waiting. Well my back-up made the offer, the candidate accepted, and the approvals didn't happen. Legal felt that he was too involved inour program while in the service. Which I had felt from the beginning, but oh well. They want to try, fine,just be aware, he aint gonna make it. Company got sued over that one after I got to rescind the offer, never fun.

After 30+ years as a bureaucrat, I have an ironclad rule, if I'm going to bypass the policy or rule, I either document it at the time, if it is a little thing, or get an approval in writing. 99% of the time it isn't a problem an but if any questions come up you're covered.

Later as a consultant, I kept a notebook , document ing or noting all conversations. Came in handy for the "Oh yeah, now I remember, that's why we did that." My Services company insissted on it to be able to 1. Show that I was doing what I and they were getting paid for. and 2. Document in case any problems came up later. 3 record of phone calls and conversations for billing justification. As a Recruiter I was always making long distance callss, nobody else in the company came close to that, I also listed all my express mail and fed-ex package numbers. Usually theoretically Accounting would want the detail for their records and to bill against the right internnal department. Found it was really handy to tell managers that I called them 5 times and left messages that he forgot about.

CYA

Like I said I don't know what you broke, sounds like you knew better. A little stiff , but make sure Joe knows he owes you a big one now.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 3:51:34 AM EST
No job is worth spreading your cheeks for. Not saying that's what happened, but jobs are a dime a dozen.

Some of the stories I hear on this forum about this type of stuff scares the hell out of me. Before I became self-employed, we used to bring our most recent gun show acquisitions to Monday morning staff meetings. My boss used to throw knives at a board in his office, and there were never less than 5 or 6 handguns and rifles in the building at any time. I used to dry fire my Beretta at a target on the wall in the server room while working. That was a fun place to work.....
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:18:01 AM EST
Is there a written policy regarding disciplinary steps for such an infraction? Is there anything stating that the first offense will get a write up and following offenses will get you suspended or fired?

The reason I ask is that if you can show that they failed to follow their own written guidelines, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits for the week you are off on suspension. I ended up going this route once with a former employer when the jackass decided to make an example out of me. He wasn't real happy when he found out I was getting paid the benefits while off on suspension.

Be warned....this option may not be the best one in your situation if you really like your job as it tends to piss off the guy who suspended you.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:28:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
Reason #3,487 why I will NEVER work for "Corporate America" again as long as I live.




A big +1
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:38:23 AM EST
What can you do and not get on the deep shit list ? I think you said to pick your battles. Live to fight another day.

If I was in your position with the limited info you have given. I would take the week and treat it as an extra week of vaction and enjoy.
One day in that week I would make sure all resume is up to date.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 4:44:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 4:44:59 AM EST by Jasba]
First off, don't talk on a cell phone while operating heavy machinery. It sounds like you learned that lesson but thats what you were suspended for, so take it like a man and show them you understand their decisions. Sometimes punishment for managers has to be a little more severe to make sure it is visible to other employees that their is no special treatment. Take it in stride. Now on to the more important matters.

Make sure you always have some kind of inside info or blackmail on your supervisors or their friends!!!! You don't have to be evil about it, but become a part of the club, eventually you will get the call in the middle of the night to pick up your boss drunk after he was mugged by some hooker. THESE are the things that provide job security more than anything else..........
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:08:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 5:09:28 AM EST by neilfj]
The phone is no longer an issue since you've taken corrective action and realize you were wrong in this aspect. You've also accepted the 'punishment' and didn't speak up when the opportunity presented itself, so not much you can do about that at this time. However, once you get back, go talk to the Manager and tell him the truth, exactly what "Joe" said. Tell him that you accepted the punishment as you realized you were in the wrong for using the phone, but make sure he understands the reason you didn't take the drug test, and that you were willing to take it at the time. Don't be confrontational, just tell him you wanted to make sure he understood what really happened.

As a manager, there are many things we have to do, even if we don't want to, especially regarding Personnel issues (I refuse to use the term HR, which really pisses off the Personnel Dept). But, what most managers appreciate is knowledge about who lies to them. Management careers depend on trusting those who work for them and if they can't be trusted they have to know that. If this is the case with your manager, you have to tell him so that he doesn't think you are the one lying or skirting policy. It won't fix anything now, but it may help in the future.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:22:08 AM EST
Joe should have been the one suspended for not following company policy. The problem is that you were aware of the policy also and should have insisted it be followed because as you know people will f**k you to stay out of trouble.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:21:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 6:22:27 AM EST by stator]
You are a manager; you are accountable even if another manager "feels it is unnecessary". Look at it this way, your employer pays your management salary because of your experience and JUDGEMENT. I say that you should enjoy your time-off, learn this lesson (life is full of them), and go back to work without any remorse or attitude.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:28:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By stator:
You are a manager; you are accountable even if another manager "feels it is unnecessary". Look at it this way, your employer pays your management salary because of your experience and JUDGEMENT. I say that you should enjoy your time-off, learn this lesson (life is full of them), and go back to work without any remorse or attitude.



I can agree with that.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 2:11:57 PM EST
If I was treated like that, I'd update my resume and start looking.

That doesn't mean 'Leave', but stick your toes out in the water.

You might be suprised by what you find.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 2:13:22 PM EST
Since they called you in during your vacation, they owe you one vacation day.

I'm also glad to now work for a small company. Now off to our liquor cabinet!
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