Day by Day cartoon

Monday, November 22, 2004

Checking 6 on the job...

I've had the strangest thing occur on the job since last Friday and it has left me distressed and angry. So this is a rant I suppose...

Last Friday was a hastily devised "Wingman Day" put together on short notice to manditorily cause all the military and civil service folks to attend briefings on the importance of looking out for one another and each person being a "wingman" to their fellow coworkers. This whole thing was put together to attempt to reign in the unusually high number of people committing suicide that the Air Force has lost this year. So, as I mentioned, there were mandatory briefings, mandatory health and fitness time with a group walk around the pond and then each division was tasked to implement some kind of additional, well-intentioned, theraputic, touchy-feely team building exercise.

Our bosses thought it would be great fun to have a "Whine & Cheese Party." Which they implemented by clearing a couple white boards so that everyone could leave a whine and then have some cheese curls or cheese puffs or even cheesecake. Everybody was encouraged to just leave whatever whine they had on the board, anonymously of course and then indulge in whatever bit of cheese they desired.

Well I didn't desire at all, thank you very much, so I skipped leaving a whine and I skipped the cheesecake. I had work to do and I didn't feel like playing on Friday.

So this morning, I'm at work and walking past the boss's office where one of the white boards remains filled with Friday's whines. Number 12, near the bottom, someone wrote, "working for 4 years with Nate McCord." WTF?

Now I'm a pretty easy going guy overall and I intentionally try not to bug folks if my work doesn't directly intersect with their work. I try carefully to maintain a professional demeanor and rarely get involved with any of the flirtations and extended BS sessions that sometimes go on in surrounding cubicles. I don't not talk to people and there are folks that I converse with for purely conversational pleasure, Bob the religious artifacts dealer sits just around the corner from me and so does Kenny from Coffee in the Morning. So I'm not a scrooge, I just try to mind my own business.

I've also been on the job 5 years next month so I believe that whoever it was taking offense to me arrived after I did in the building. Since it was Friday and since it was this "special" day, a big number of the civil service folks took a day's leave and so weren't there to disparage me so publicly.

Anyway, I went to my boss and showed him the whine board. He assured me that nobody was coming to him complaining about me in any way. He thought that the remark must have been somebody's bad idea of a joke but agreed that it wasn't funny especially since I had not been there to defend myself or rebuke the comment. Late today I wrote an email to my boss and his boss, in whose office the whine board is hung on the wall and expressed my displeasure with the circumstances.

I was especially clear that it seemed odd that on a day when we were supposed to be made more aware of our coworkers and their stresses that it would be ok to make such a direct and personal attack in public without the leadership calling a "knock it off" and deeming the comment to be inappropriate.

I've not asked for an apology because whoever the nameless, cowardly person is, they most certainly are not going to grow a spine if called on the carpet for their comments if they were identified. I did ask that if this person was to be identified that we sit down in a meeting, with my boss and their's present so that whatever grievances this person has can be heard and dealt with in the light of day.

I had to leave this afternoon for a Dr's appointment before I received a response from the front office. I can't wait to hear what the boss's reply will be.

How was your day?

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