Tag Archive | work

Accusations Fly, but I prefer to walk

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The heat in Pic’s offices was non existent. So I went home and brought back a heat dish and my fingerless mittens. I  assumed Pic was fighting with the building manager (BM). But I mentioned it to him, just in case.

The BM was called. He turned up at 5.30, hoping everyone was gone, but was met by some cold stragglers, including myself.  I won’t say things got ugly but . . . .

First he discoursed about the heat, stating that “no one in 201 had complained” and since they were adjoining and shared our HVAC unit, the implication was that we must be the problem.

To which the office manager replied, “Ok, we’ll just bring in space heaters but your electric bill will go through the roof.” (The rent is all inclusive.)

And at that point, the BM admitted he shuts off the building’s HVAC, remotely, between 6 pm and 7 am every night, in order to keep his costs down.

“However,”  he opined,  “the individual timer for your offices could be broken.” Since no one had rented the office in almost 2 years, he just assumed it still functioned.

He promised to have someone look at it the following day.

Then, and here’s where it gets weird, the BM accused Pic’s office workers of  . . . let’s call it unbecoming conduct.

The previous day, two of Pic’s male workers walked into the men’s room to find upon a toilet lid a BM (not a building manager). They had immediately reported this discovery to Pic’s office manager, but she had not reported it to the BM.

Nevertheless, apparently someone, perhaps the building’s cleaning crew, did.

The BM looked at us (all women) and said: “You’re the only new tenants.” In  his mind, since the problem was new, and Pic’s tenancy was new, it must therefore follow that some male at Pic’s office was at fault.

Pic had hired one young man the day “it” happened.  New Guy has worked for him before, twice, and has always been a model employee.

I suppose the BM could accuse the New Guy, since he’s the newest. However, New Guy is the only young, male, African-American in the entire building. So, I’m guessing he won’t.

I get that it’s a locked bathroom and “the offender” had to be someone with a key.

But, really, isn’t the likely explanation that a male worker from another office had an accident, didn’t have the wherewithal needed to clean it up, but was too embarrassed to call the BM about the situation?

Or if you want to reach for “hostile intent,” why not assume one of your white male tenants didn’t like the addition of an African-American male to the building. And I say this because this exact same thing happened previously, under almost the same circumstances.

A man of color was hired and that very same day . . . .

Of course, given Pic’s past history with the BM, I’m actually surprised it took this long for relations to deteriorate. It’s been 6 weeks since Pic moved into the building.

And with 5 months to go, I imagine things will be ridiculously bad by the end.

To be honest, Bad Me can’t wait to see just how bad it goes. And then write about it. That is, of course, if I don’t walk out before then.

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See no evil, hear no evil, say . . . . what?

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My friend, “Piccolo,” called me up. He asked if I wanted to make some extra dosh for six months or so doing some data crunching.

I crunch data like nobody’s business. I like doing it. And I like Pic. I also have a group of friends there. (Luekemia friend was one of them, till she died two days ago, way ahead of the 14 months her doctor promised. The funeral is this weekend. Carpe diem, people. Carpe diem!)

So, why not say yes? Because you  don’t know Piccolo’s business or his business model.

Things start out deceptively normal and friendly, with a small group of people that have known each other forever. As things go on, craigslist becomes the HR department.

Then work escalates to the point one could be working round the clock for weeks straight and finds oneself considering duct taping one’s Monster-chugging totally high coworker to a wall.

It’s not for the faint of heart.

Last time I helped Pic out,  the building manager went ballistic over the number of people smoking (and hotboxing) near the shared entrance with the gym/ health clinic. Among many, many other things.

Things got worse when people began sleeping in their cars so they could work a 72-hour shift (for which they were paid time and a half over 8, but not the legally required double time after 12).

How does a building manager let one know one’s lease is up? By turning off one’s HVAC in a building where none of the windows open.

Some days the office was 40 degrees, others it was 90. Pic didn’t care because OSHA has no rules about temperatures. It was totally psycho.

Because working conditions sucked, lots of people began to fall sick (four people got pneumonia). However, since no one had health insurance . . . and no one could afford to miss work . . .  they came in anyway. And they made other people sick (including me).

In the end, I referred a bunch of people to the local free clinic so no one died (although one guy came very, very close). There were more pills floating around that place than Eli Lilly.

I also took to spraying  the entire office (and any paperwork that touched my desk) with Lysol, twice a day, to keep ahead of the epidemic. And I am the most immune, least germophobic person on earth. So, it was bad.

I could say more, but you get it. I like Pic and I like the work, but I worry about ending end up in court or before the Labour Board having to give damaging testimony about . . . anyone.

But a couple grand a month extra? That won’t hurt the “move” coffers any. So, I said yes.

But I also said, I’m just sitting in a corner office crunching numbers for a few hours a day, while wearing headphones. I don’t want to see or hear anything. That way, I don’t ever have to say anything.

Except on my blog.