Flying By

13 Dec

Flying By.


Flying By

13 Dec

Flying By

Former Boss on Visit from HQ – No “walk in the Park” for an unsuspecting target. Flew by the Beach en route from Bethpage to Babylon.

HALLOWEEN – A Captivating and Amusing Tale of Workplace Horror

13 Oct

HALLOWEEN – A Captivating and Amusing Tale of Workplace Horror.

HALLOWEEN – A Captivating and Amusing Tale of Workplace Horror

15 Sep

HALLOWEEN – A Captivating and Amusing Tale of Workplace Horror.

HALLOWEEN – A Captivating and Amusing Tale of Workplace Horror

15 Sep

A captivating and amusing tale of Workplace Horror

By Alfred P. Thomson

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that
good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke

Elaine doesn’t sound like the name of an evil witch. I still refuse to believe in rumors about her supernatural powers. “Poppycock” I replied each time someone mentioned some silly tale that she was apprehended by police, feasting on the raw flesh of a male superior in a remote parking lot at midnight. Others added that Dave attempted to fight off the attack and even broke Elaine’s nose trying to defend himself, poor man.

Some claimed that higher-ups in Albany promoted her to save Dave’s honor and ward off an impending law suit, but that sounded like nonsense. Surely, a Quid pro Quo accusation couldn’t possibly be a valid argument under such ridiculous circumstances.

“Her powers grow by feasting on the blood of innocent men” they tried to explain. “That’s ridiculous” I responded, even though the rumor had spread throughout the entire Long Island Region.

Dave’s still alive and well – Just saw an article about him in Newsday a few days ago. Management would have to do something about it, if it was true” I said. “But that’s why the Albany Office moved her here!” they whispered hysterically.

Still, I flatly refused to judge anyone based on mere office gossip. “Management told me Elaine’s just a bit unusual. Just drop the subject and get on with our work, okay?” I innocently responded.

Our first meeting with Elaine was nice enough. We’d just “tweak” things a bit to improve a few things here and there. I only see now, that’s where the trouble began, but ever-the-professional, I refused to judge a book by its cover… The red-dyed hair, off-center “devil’s eye”, crooked nose and fingers were just characteristics of an aging office maven to me.

“She smells bad, man. Don’t you get it” said Jeff emphatically. “No, I don’t,” I replied, “It’s probably, because she chain smokes or something to do with her weight problem” I replied.

According to staff, I failed to recognize the power of Y2K “incantations”. Instead of merely turning workers into frogs, Ms. Mansouri began casting what they called “disappearing spells on them and (eventually) me…

Pointing with her crooked index finger and eyes askance, she’d shout repeatedly at me: “YOU are a F#*KING IDIOT!. I’ll send you to the Storehouse forever! That’s what I’ll do!”

Management clearly appeared to be under her power as well. Workers continued to voice valid complaints to them and our Union. They listened nicely, but failed to do anything. Was Elaine Mansouri changing them all into Zombies?

One day, after several workers suddenly vanished. It became my job to inquire, on Elaine’s behalf, if they were “resigning”, and then find a number of qualified replacements, so our department could continue to function. This had to be done at the drop of a hat or it would be my fault we were short staffed.

I then, filed a written complaint at meeting with management and our union representative who agreed that Elaine was creating a “hostile work environment”, but again, nothing was done. Rumors that Elaine’s powers had waxed exponentially after drinking Dave’s blood appeared to be true, but I refused to believe it.

Strange issues suddenly gained paramount importance – the “Ruby Slippers*” in particular, which had been signed out on indefinite loan to Rick at Headquarters. Our department clearly had no use for them, so our previous boss saw no harm in lending them out to a beloved and helpful colleague.

“What does an aging golf-pro need ruby slippers for?” she shrieked, “Get them back!!!”

“He made a deal with management to keep them,” I explained, alluding to the distinctive colors golfers are wont to wear. “He says they add ‘spark’ to his game. – He even plays the Black Course now,” I cheerfully added. It then became an additional task to track down the “idiot” who agreed to this arrangement.

After several days of phone tag with Elaine’s and Rick’s superiors, I learned that Elaine’s boss, Sue, just down the hall from her, arranged it all by email. (I was then supposed to demand a hard copy from her for Elaine’s records.)

Elaine clearly had the authority to pay Rick a visit and just grab the Ruby Slippers back without all this bother and wasted time; however, it was “beneath” her to touch them. She claimed that she heard from a friend of Rick’s daughter-in-law’s late brother’s aunt, that Rick had athlete’s foot, so I had to handle the matter myself.

At this point in time, the “Ruby Slippers”, vanishing staff, and additional nasty-spells regarding “insubordination” and “being too slow” began to affect me in a way no normal day at work ever did. Was Elaine trying to get me fired?

Her so-called “spells”, as others called them, began to cause health problems. My heart pounded heavily on the way to work, and – worst of all – sudden attacks of “the flux” began to overtake me, whenever Elaine was around.

On Halloween night, as I finished writing yet another revised schedule to replace vanished staff, I realized that Elaine’s spells were gradually killing me.

Bridget, who was working late that night in the business office, began to chat about Elaine being a witch, as I photocopied the new schedule. We noted how pleasant it was, that she was off for Halloween.

Was she having a classic witch’s Sabbath? Taking the broom out for a spin? Maybe she’d crash into a tree, we jested.

I called in sick the next day, desperately needing to consult my physician, who realized immediately that I was having panic attacks associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A sick note and referral were provided.

His associate, a psychiatrist, subsequently confirmed the diagnosis. Tranquilizers were prescribed for the first time ever in my life. At last, it appeared that relief was in sight. I filed a Workers’ Compensation Claim soon thereafter. A required Independent Medical Examiner agreed that Elaine was the likely cause of ny PTSD, as did a psychiatrist and two clinical psychologists.

Eventually, Workers’ Compensation scheduled a hearing. Elaine was called to testify and duly sworn in.

Like the good witch, Glinda, Elaine explained how she was trying so hard to help improve my work performance. She was so very frustrated with an alleged “breakdown in communication”. It was a charming and delightful testimony that glossed over issues of abuse, torment, and threats mentioned in my original complaint.

Skipping over the time-consuming tale of the “Ruby Slippers”, Ms. Mansouri related an entirely new tale about the “Magic Money Rack”, a gift from the Revenue Department, which conferred special powers I never knew about.

According to Elaine, anyone could just walk into the office, take whatever cash they wanted from the money rack, and walk off with it, without anyone knowing it was missing! Although it very strongly resembled the tale of the “Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs”, Judge, John Kearney, “disallowed” my case without any further questions.

Later, reflecting on this amazing testimony, I wondered why staff and I wasted so much time every day, counting cash from sales to prepare deposits. Why did we even bother to put anything in the drop safe? We could have taken it home and just left some seed money to re-grow the money rack! No scandal about “theft of funds” in Newsday, the Daily News, or even the Enquirer. Gee, how grateful I am that Ms. Mansouri and John Kearney let me off so easy.

I thought it was good that we made $2.6 million for the State at our facility that year and that it was well-accounted for. Now, it’s so much clearer to see the time could have been better spent writing new schedules, making people resign and replacing them, and of course getting those infamous “Ruby Slippers” back from that dastard, Rick. No wonder, poor Elaine was so frustrated!

Things may appear hopeless at this point in time. Independent Medical Exam, Satisfactory Employee Evaluations from Elaine’s Boss, and other documentation appear to have gone up in smoke.

Nevertheless, I still refuse to believe in evil witches or their rumored powers. Instead, I wonder what happened to “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” that Superman used to talk about.

But now, it’s wonderful to know that Elaine and I are both considered to be no threat to ourselves or to others. In fact, her story-telling abilities have garnered her a Job as Regional Safety Officer at $83K per annum. Rumor has it, they also provided her with a house “rent free”! Not bad – I guess she’s actually found that fabled “Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs”.

We hope to see her in the public eye once again soon, showing off the startling results of her personal weight management program. I can’t help but admire people who set strict goals for themselves and succeed in attaining them.

Out of her reach, I get to cruise about the waterfront, a modern day “Flying Dutchman” so to speak, checking for intruders and potential threats to Homeland Security under cover of night. Sunrise and sunset afford numerous photographic opportunities rarely seen by many, used in various online publications. People still tell me tales about evil witches lurking about, but honestly, I haven’t seen any yet.

*”Ruby Slippers” is merely a nick-name for a ticket printer signed out to HQ, to print bar-coded tickets for special events. (Lower level employees have no authority over its use.)

Copyright MMXII Revised Version of Original Story, published MMVIII by PhatTales. All rights reserved. N.B – All original copies of this story were confiscated by management for reasons not yet clear. It causes some to laugh at the futility of “Mandatory” Workplace Violence Prevention Classes, where Elaine personally “trains the trainer”. Surrealism in the workplace is a source of frustration and despair for some, and a source of inspiration for others.

Open Letter to Charles Parmentier

3 Aug

Charles Parmentier

OPRHP Director of Personnel

Empire State Plaza

Albany, New York

Dear Mr. Parmentier:

I  have to say, “What are you, a fucking asshole???” is now confirmed as an appropriate way to address employees in our Agency, thanks to you.  In fact, other abusive behavior is also allowed, encouraged, and rewarded.  With your help it’s acceptable to punish and embarrass workers who report abuse and portray them as “dangerous to themselves and to others” by requiring them to undergo “mandatory” psychological and physical exams, instead of helping them.

After employees demonstrate that they are utterly harmless, they can also be “put out to pasture” in meaningless, boring jobs from which they will never advance, despite their qualifications.

Abusers, on the other hand, are handsomely rewarded at the tax-payers’ expense with high paying jobs. (Some claim this is a diplomatic way to move them away from workers they abused)

This letter is about workers, in particular, bosses, who demonstrate clear patterns of  abuse, rather than  an occasional rude comment or mistake in judgement. When numerous workers lodge complaints about a particular employee, management needs to acknowledge that something is indeed wrong.  Sadly, this is not the case at OPRHP (New York State Parks) at all.

The case in point involves our Long Island Regional Safety Officer, Elaine Marzoli.  Rumors abound regarding her sudden transfer to Jones Beach and promotion to Assistant Park Director.  “Albany says she has to stay” was a standard response to anyone who complained about her pattern of abusive behavior, which included countless outbursts of obscenities  (as quoted above),  humiliation, threats of firing and demotion.  “Albany” (according to Elaine’s  testimony) is also responsible for her transfer to Long Island State Parks Regional Headquarters after serving less than a year’s probation as Assistant Park Director.

What a humongous effort to keep a badly qualified person employed in a position that reportedly pays over $80 thousand a year!  More incredible than any work of fiction, Ms. Marzoli “trains the trainer” to teach Workplace Violence Prevention. Again, it’s noted, that “Albany” intervened to arrange this transfer.

It appears Ms. Marzoli has personal contacts in Albany who need to  protect and promote her. Several persistent rumors cause one to wonder if our tax monies are being used to purchase her silence:

1) Is she able to reveal  information about certain liaisons rumored to have taken place ala Heidi Fleiss?

2) Is the rumor that a former boss assaulted her kept undercover to protect him and our Agency from scandal?

3) Did he attempt to defend himself from a Lorena Bobbit-like attack?

4) Was the subsequent “transfer”/promotion an effort to protect our Agency from scandal in preparation for the U.S. Open Golf Tournament, as some have explained?

5) Does she still live “rent free” in State owned housing at Bethpage State Park, as some workers claim?

6)  Is it true that she was able to “bump” another high-ranking employee at Jones Beach State Park for his failure to pass a qualifying Civil Service Examination? (She claimed to be “number two” in the park.)

The prevalence of these and other rumors, leads one to conclude that employees, as well as the tax-paying public are justified in wanting to know how their tax money is being spent. Instead of punishing abused workers, it would better serve them and the public to answer these questions once and for all.  It’s tiresome hearing management and others use these rumors to explain why abused workers should just accept their lot in life and not cause any trouble.  I hope this letter clarifies my position on abuse in the workplace and that more appropriate action will soon be taken.  Some of us have waited far too long.

Cordially,  Alfred P. Thomson

Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, NY


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