Visit a Doctor: Actually, this isn’t a tactic, it’s a necessity. You will be undergoing a lot of stress during this whole process. It is likely you will have headaches, insomnia, gastro-intestinal problems, and fatigue. Go and get help. You need to take steps to take care of yourself. At the very least ask for something to help you sleep so your mental acuity does not wane. You will need to be on the top of your game to be free from fear! If you really need it, use the Employee Assistance Program to get things off your chest or go see your pastor. You will be validated as most people who learn about the culture at the District are incredulous. If things get really bad, as a last resort, file a workman’s comp claim for work related stress. Don’t laugh; you make actually have to do this. Use the time to center yourself and focus your energy on what is important.
Lawyer Up: If you have union representation, use it. For those of you without union representation, it is probably worth hiring an attorney. Check out legal aid associations if need be. If the union rep or attorney is poorly prepared, prepare for them. As you can tell from this blog, or have been through a divorce, you know that many lawyers are not that smart. They just have a good vocabulary and have read some law books. You are just as qualified to formulate the gist of your defense and craft the strategy to argument your case. If you truly want to keep your job, YOU need to take control and call the shots. All you need them to do is be your mouthpiece and strike fear in the District to a potential law suit. As an outsider, they can be more eloquent and dispassionate, as they will not have to keep their emotions in check. The key to the game is not to let them “get” to you and con you into believing their side of the story.
Age/Gender/Race/Religion Card: Use it if you have to. The District has paid out dearly in discrimination cases. Check where you are in the age range in your department to see where you fall in comparison to others. Celebrate if you are older than everyone else. If you are pushing 50 or are older, yippee! Make sure you look as old as possible and let that gray show! As for gender, if you are a woman, muster up those tears even if you have to put a nail in your shoe! Point out inequities between treatment of men and women, real and or imagined. Remember, it’s the perceived threat and how they make you feel that is important! And if you have been so blessed with even 1/16th of heritage or have a family religion considered as a minority, be sure to embrace it! Make it your identity. Put a dream catcher above your desk; wear your yarmulke, dashiki or birka.
Postpone/Delay/Cancel: Turn the tables and string them along. Book up your calendar with meetings that directly conflict with your interrogators open time or take a day off to make sure you are not available to meet at any time you know you will not be ready for battle. You want to be ready to rumble, do not go in if you are not at the top of your game. There are sick days, vacation days, personal days, and my favorite, bereavement leave. Search the obituaries for people with names that are identical to yours; that is on both sides of your family. Make sure to check out of state obituaries, as the number of days allotted for an out of state funeral are greater than an in-state affair. It helps if you have name like Nguyen or Smith somewhere in your family.
Conduct: During this time of strife, you need to make sure you do not give them anymore ammunition. So, stay off the internet for personal reasons. Do not check your personal email or order your prescriptions on line. Use it solely for work. Do not come in late or leave early. Do not take an extra five minutes at lunch or at break. Even if it’s going to snow and you want to gas up the car at lunch for your commute home. Stave off the desire if it might make you late. And by all means do not, under any circumstances, work overtime for them. If they are going to squeeze you, why would you help them when they are in a pinch? If they say you cannot keep up with your work load, show them the log of what you do on a daily basis to show you are not goofing off.
Quitting: If you do quit, make sure it is to your advantage. If you haven’t taken all of vacation, sick, or personal days, take them. The District has a problem giving people what they are owed. Also, if you want to minimize the impact of paying for your health insurance on COBRA, make sure to work at least one day of a new month. Your benefits will be paid for the month you quit and the next. If you have to wait for three months for your new coverage to kick in, you will only have to put out one month’s worth of payment!
Step Five: Never forget how to play the game.
Things are cyclical at the District and once bitten; you are more likely to be bit again. When you see the political winds begin to change, prepare yourself. You will get better at predicting when the storm will hit and be ready for another round. You will strike back at them harder, faster, and will be far more clever and fearless as you have become a seasoned player. It is after all, it’s a game that never ends, so you must play to win.
Step Six: Print this Manual
In the spirit of Abbie Hoffman’s Steal this Book, print this manual and keep it and/or share it with your District colleagues. It was written to help you save your job, screw with HR before you leave if you so please, but most of all it was written to confirm your suspicions that the District is the most dysfunctional place you have ever worked so you can survive the berating. The goal here is to reduce the impact any investigation may have on your self esteem and personal life as it will take a negative toll on your psyche. You are not as bad as they paint you out to be. In fact, you are a far better person than they will ever know, because they never give you the chance. That is not what they do. Do not be your own worst enemy and believe the load of crap they shovel out. Do not be afraid. FIGHT BACK and choose not to be their whipping boys and girls. As Abbie Hoffman would say, "POWER TO THE PEOPLE!"
Editor's Note: Thank you to another guest contributor. This is the final part in a series of three.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Employee Guide to Playing Human Resources (3/3)
Posted by ESD15.org at 7:19 PM
Labels: Human Resources
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Agian, thank you for helping the future leaders. life in the trenches is hard on ones life. But I feel that this "WAR" will go down as one of the greatest.
AMEN TO THAT STATEMENT!
The frist duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.
Thank you, ESD15.org
Thank you, Abbie Hoffman
Hello over there Mister middle manager. You forgot to do your job again before you went on vacation. Relaying messages is simply beyond you. Your worth every penny I'm sure. Keep up the good work.
All POWER, yours & theirs,is yours.
So, you control who you give power to.
tHE wISe Learn MaNy things FroM Their ENemies.
FORCE IS NOT A REMeDY.
Excellent suggestions, but it's tough to remain strong when it's such an embarassing ordeal on so many levels.
Oh, please, guest contributor, tell us who you are or at least your background! Thanks for sharing these helpful hints in dealing with the Edmonds School District.
If you choose to play the game. the only way to win is to "get a attorney" & be over 40 helps.
I'm sorry for going down this road because we all lose. Its our money going down some attorneys pocket. But if the district is "not" going to police them self. It is a must do for me. Its all going to come out in the wash anyway.
just do something BL & CP! don't you have anything to do?
To: Lost in the Woods:
Knowledge is power. How to out smart their age-old strategy will undermine their strength.
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