Saturday, July 16, 2005

Various things

Here's a glimpse into what Marc has to live with every day. This morning, we went past a new credit union branch he's involved in opening, then on to get our hair cut. On the way, Marc commented that a local church had apparently opened a coffee shop next to the church (seriously!) called "Holy Grounds".

Not being helpful at all, I said, "well, Jesus turned water into wine." Marc's used to me being this way. He replied, "that was at a wedding. It wasn't his vocation." Not to be deterred, I continued, "well, maybe he'd have made lattes, if he were here today."

In other news, the week ended with some excitement. Things have been tense at work. One of the issues has revolved around an employee whose termination we (HR) refused to back. The VP over that area was bent out of shape, but I know we were right. The employee is a bad apple, but we just don't have the proof in this case.

During an unrelated meeting yesterday, one of the department heads started telling other department heads how HR wouldn't allow the termination of an employee who had done x, y & z. I jumped in and corrected her, saying that we wouldn't allow it, because they couldn't prove it, so we were keeping it from blowing up in everyone's faces at arbitration. Well, this person kept at it.

What this really meant was that her VP--the aforementioned bent-out-of-shape VP--was talking trash about us. Later in the day, my boss and I were talking about the case. I filled him in on the conversation. In my opinion, he needed to know that we were being undermined. This is no small thing. If a VP--or a department head--is going around the hospital telling people that we won't back them up, where does that leave us? Bad enough we have to tangle with the union, but this is ridiculous.

Not the shy type, my boss (a Senior VP) called the VP. He wasn't available. Next, my boss called the department head in question and tore her a new one. Her next step? To call me and bitch. Fun things like, "I want you to know I'm going to watch what I say around you from now on."

Whatever. If she thinks I'm going to sit quietly as she trashes our work, she's mistaken. It really pisses me off. The easiest thing for me to do is let the departments do whatever they want. When an arbitrator reverses it, I could make pained noises and blame the arbitrator. Then the department has to deal with an employee with a chip on his shoulder who feels empowered by his beating us at arbitration.

But that's not the right way to do my job. Easier, yes, but not right. So I wasn't in the mood to have someone who wasn't even involved in the case trashing me, my department and my boss over it. So now I have some folks pissed at me. Oh well, that's life. I'll survive.

On a lighter note, I saw a cute ad in the subway. Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus apparently is coming back to town (a regular enough event). Any subway rider (particularly on the newer cars, where it's pre-recorded) has heard, "Stand clear of the closing doors, please." On the circus ad is a picture of a Bengal tiger, emblazoned with the words, "Stand clear of the closing jaws." It brought a needed smile to my face.

On the way home, the LIRR train was packed, so I stood by the door. Across from me stood a brand-new police recruit. I could tell this, because he had put on the floor a large stack of documents, including the NYPD "Patrol Guide", and he had an empty badge/ID holder hanging from his neck. Also, he confirmed my observation later when he was on his cell phone and spoke about the other places the NYPD wanted him to go on Monday. While standing there, I noticed this...

What's that? That's the boy's sleeve. He was wearing a new suit, and he hadn't removed a label that the "designer" (and that's a term I use loosely--it wasn't an expensive suit) had sewed to the end of the sleeve.

I stood there, wondering if I should say anything. He looked like a friendly kid (it was too soon for the NYPD to beat that out of him), but he might be embarrassed. So what was I to do? I decided to tell the kid but cast the blame elsewhere.

I leaned a little closer to him and said, sotto voce, "the place where you bought your suit didn't take off one of the labels." So there it was. You left a label on your suit, silly boy, but we'll blame someone else.

He smiled shyly and said, "I don't normally wear suits." So he still felt silly, the poor kid, but at least he now knows it needs to come off. Just as well, before some police supervisor abuses him over it, just to toughen him up. So then he looked at it and was trying to figure out how to remove it. I showed him the it was attached with a small amount of thread at each corner and that he could remove it by carefully cutting the threads. I suggested that he do it from the inside of the sleeve, so that he wouldn't risk damaging the outer fabric of the sleeve.

I suppose you're wondering if he was cute. Eh, he was okay. He was very young (maybe 22) and not bad looking but not a knockout. He had the look of a skinny Irish kid. Reddish hair and pale green eyes. Hopefully, they'll put some muscle on his frame before they let the kid on the street.

So there you have it. The highlights, such as they are, of my last 36 hours. I know, it's all so exciting that you wish you could trade places with me. :)


T. Johnston said...

YOUR TOO NICE! And thank god the kid did not reply back to you that he knew that he left the label on. I can see kids trying to do that. He sounded like a nice enough kid... you should have asked for a hand job for payment served! HA!

Mr. H.K. said...

I was working with an elderly lady that had one of those clear plastic strip labels going all the way down the front of her sweater... It was from Kmart and was about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide...

I told another lady to point it out to her, as I didn't know her and thought a gentleman shouldn't point out this elderly ladies right breast where the sticker was...

... She embarassingly, but humorously, peeled it off and put it aside.

I later picked it up and stuck it on the front of my sweater for a few days just to tickle her...

Now where did that redheaded Irish young man put his suit label?

Mr. H.K.
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
And I Quote Blog

Gurustu said...

To stay true to your principles and still be nice is a testament to your character. Just keep at it...

(And check all your own clothes for labels in case no one else is as nice as you are.)

Sangroncito said...

I just love office gossip!

SAMerican Revolution said...

That is the cutest thing! You should have invited him home.

TCho said...

Normally in those circumstances, I would have said something, but lately I've learned that many New Yorkers do not want unsolicited advice. So unless I see something truly egregious, I stay quiet for fear of getting my head bitten off. I have to say though, leaving the label on the outside of a suit is one of my major pet peeves.