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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

In Which Dawn and Bobby Engage in Separate and Unrelated Snarks

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

In Which Dawn and Bobby Engage in Separate and Unrelated Snarks

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I told off my coworker Diane today. Diane is a pain in my ass. She doesn't know her job; she doesn't do her job...and she has the nerve to harass me more about stupid stuff than anyone else in the unit. I asked Johnny's permission to tell her off. Johnny said, "Go ahead!" and came over to lean on my partition to listen.

It's so stupid why I had to tell her off. She has always called me a lot to have me fax warrants around the State to various folks. I grit my teeth and do it, but it's annoying: I'm not her secretary or her slave, for one, and none of the other officers have a problem doing this sort of thing for themselves. (Obviously, when they're out on the road, that is a legitimate exception.) To add the proverbial icing to the cake, Diane will call me from home where she has a fax machine to ask me to fax something for her. WTF??

So it's always annoyed me, but like I said, I grit my teeth and do it. But lately, she calls me every five minutes with a new number, and most of them are parole agents. There is no reason why a parole agent needs a copy of the warrant. A parole agent does not have arrest powers, and if the subject comes in to visit his agent...well, all of the warrants are put into MILES/NCIC* for a reason.

*MILES/NCIC is the system into which all wanted persons are entered. An officer anywhere in the country can run a name and date of birth and find out if the subject is wanted anywhere in the US. An officer can also arrest based on a MILES/NCIC entry. For example, if an officer makes a traffic stop and finds out that the person is wanted for a parole violation, then the officer arrests him. Not rocket science.

And I had a foot-high pile of work today. I actually did work, yes. So it is annoying to set aside what I am doing to root through old files to send a fax because her dumb ass is too lazy or too incompetent to master to usage of technology that was prevalent back in the '80s.

So I asked her (with Johnny's permission), "Why are you faxing warrants to agents?" No one else in the unit faxes warrants to agents, and I have a strong feeling that she created that monster with her agents, spoiling them by letting them march around and feel important with copies of warrants in their hands. She gave me some line about how the Salisbury locals won't arrest without a hard copy of a warrant, to which I could only reply, "Bullshit." So a guy turns himself in to the Salisbury PD...and they send him home because he doesn't have a hard copy of his warrant? Regardless, if there is some sort of problem in Salisbury, then there are better ways to handle things. Like telling me, "Look, the locals in Salisbury are being a little weird lately, so until we get that settled, do you mind sending copies to the Salisbury office when you get them?" Or maybe *gasp* sending all of her Salisbury warrants when she deigns to grace us with her presence at the office a whopping one time each week. Calling me every five minutes while she's sitting next to a fax machine and asking me to fax single warrants is not the way to keep your Research Analyst happy.

Johnny was thoroughly amused by my tirade, and he told me that he has my back. He knows how ridiculously incompetent and flat-out rude she can be, and he does not expect that I should be okay with being constantly interrupted in my work to indulge someone else's laziness. As he said, one or two arrests a month (which is what she manages) does not justify the amount of grief she gives me. Have I mentioned that Johnny the Boss is flippin' awesome?

Of course, Diane couldn't handle my challenge on her own, so she passed the phone to her partner Vernon. I adore Vernon; he's one of my favorites among the warrant officers. I explained to him what was going on; an hour later, he called back cracking up while she was in the Salisbury PD office, calling me on the sly. "She must really have pissed you off!" he said. I said that it wouldn't be a big deal if everything wasn't an ordeal with her and if she showed the least little bit of effort on her own behalf. Turning in a note sheet with "called agent" in barely legible scrawl doesn't count as work.

I apologized to Vernon too, because he bore the brunt of some of my annoyance the first time.

Diane will be in first thing tomorrow morning to pick up her new warrants. (OMG, she'll come in twice in one week! *shockawehorror*) I'll be interested to see if she sneaks in before I arrive at eight. I'll be interested to know what she says to Johnny, if she does. He'll tell me; one of us finds out something and is first thing running to tell the other. She doesn't know that he was standing right beside me the whole time I was telling her off. Based on Vernon's comments, I suspect that they thought he was out of the office and I was indulging in a little "when the cat's away, the mouse will play." She'll probably think she's getting me in trouble.

Then Bobby called the Dean of Science at the university to complain about how poorly our entrance into the second bachelor's program has been managed. The House of Felagund wouldn't leave anyone alone today!

And the verdict was that the whole thing has been mismanaged. It took a month and a half for Bobby's acceptance letter to get here because they kept sending it to his old address, the one in his alumni file and not the one on his application. He still hasn't gotten his immunization forms where I got mine a month ago. Again, they are probably moldering at his old address. No one bothered to tell us that we could register for classes; we were never sent logons or passwords, and when Bobby inquired, he received a snippy reply. By now, the classes are all filled up.

So we're fucked.

He called the Dean of Science today, and the guy was really nice, very helpful. Finally. But we're still fucked. We can't--and nice of the second-bachelor's director to share this with us!--take classes at another institution, now that we are students at TU. So taking chem and calculus at Howard is right out. The Dean suggested showing up next week to a couple of classes to see if there might be room for us, so that's what we'll do. If there's no room for us, then there's nothing else that we can do until the summer session starts.

One good thing is that the Dean waived the re-enrollment fee that we would have had to pay for missing this semester. Bobby forwarded him what emails and information we have received, which hasn't been a whole lot. We don't ask for much, but being told what we need to do to sign up for our classes might be nice. Being ignored and blown off and snipped at because we want what we paid for is not part of the bargain.
  • Johnny The Boss sounds almost completely awesome. The only quibble I have is that he seems to like letting you do his dirty work for him. He should have been the one telling Diane off, and he should have done it a lot sooner.

    Note to self: Do not apply for hypothetical ethnomusicology position at TU. If the registrar is that screwed-up with students, imagine how they must be with the faculty.
    • Johnny the Boss always offers to take care of these things for me, and we have an understanding that anytime I don't want to handle something, his extension is only three button presses away.

      But I wanted to tell Diane off, which is why I asked if I could. She's unfortunately one of those people who you can say something to nicely one hundred times and it never gets through the old hairspray, much less the thick skull beneath. Believe me, he's talked to her before. He talked to her today for the hundredth time about checking her email, and it makes no difference. I seem to have pissed her off; she pointedly annoyed me. But she also didn't call a half-dozen different times to have me do something she could easily do herself.
  • Go you! Good on the ranting. And better yet on the re-enrollment fees. But of course it would be much nicer if you could actually take the classes you need .... now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. :)
  • Three cheers for the House of Felagund and it's excellent to hear that you've been standing up to the bullshit served to you from work and Uni. Hopefully, everything will work out well. *keeps fingers crossed*

    OT (sort of...) I'm extremely anoyed by the fact that I haven't been able to catch up with your posts and especially the original stories you have posted lately. I do read your news but don't have the time to comment properly and that sucks to high heaven. Still, I'm trying to stay in touch and what I can't go through while on LJ, I take with me at work and read. In any case, it pisses me off to not be in touch as often as we were this time last year, for example.
    • I'm with Alina. Hey, Alina, how's it going with you? I miss you so much. I wanted to comment on your last post but couldn't get it done in time. And then you know how time passes and you think, oh feh, it's too late now. I'll comment on her next post. Etc., etc. And then you don't again and the whole time you're thinking, OMG I don't want to lose her! Anyway, I'm always thinking about you even if I'm not commenting.

      And Dawn! Way to go on telling off Diane! I know it's really hard to dig down and ream someone out at work. Because you have to see and work with these people all the time you don't want the environment to be unpleasant. However, I believe if you are fair and true with your criticisms then the object of your anger should understand the reason for it. You have a very good boss who will back you up when you need him. The boss-employee relationship is one of the most important in your life.

      Bummer about your classes getting fucked up. I hate when stuff like that happens. But it seems to be quite common in learning institutions--I don't know why that is.
      • Way to go on telling off Diane!

        Thanks! :^D I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to rock the boat but needing to sometimes. I really make an effort to be nice to everyone at work and to make sure that they all have what they need to do their jobs, but she takes advantage of me and it's terribly obvious. And she's not even competent enough at her job to justify it with stats.

        But it seems to be quite common in learning institutions--I don't know why that is.

        Heh. I have my pet theory, namely that they forget that it's about education and not about getting all that they can shake from your pockets. Funny how nice everyone was before the application fees arrived! And at UMBC, where they gave not a bit of help in finding a job or graduate school--and this during the worst year of unemployment here in like 20 years--but they sure didn't have problems calling every week to ask me to make donations! Yeah, I work at a damned restaurant because that's the best job graduating with honors could get, and I really had money to send them.
    • I do understand how it goes, so please don't ever think that I'm looking at my LJ and saying, "Alina never comments anymore. How rude!" I know that you wish you could be around more often...alas, RL sucks sometimes. :)

      Also, with my stories, if you want to read them, I'd love that! But please don't feel that you need to leave comments; I'd sooner that you enjoy my stories and keeping up with what you can when online.

      *big hugs*
  • Crossing my fingers for you being able to take those classes. And LOL about Diane. CO-workers can be such a pain in the ass.
    • Yes, I do recall that you know all about annoying coworkers! :^D

      And thanks for the fingers crossed. Let's hope that it works. :)
  • Your department certainly seems to acquire some er, interesting staff! And what a nuisance about your classes - I thought it was only UK universities that made muckups like that (in the days before top-up fees).
    • Yep, the good ol' WAU sure brings in some winners! In Diane's case, our best officer personally vouched for her. Oh, we give him a hard time about that!

      As for university, trust me, it's true in the US too! They have a habit of being very nice until the money arrives, then suddenly they forget you in favor of the ones who still haven't paid them yet. :^/
  • I'm also amused! And I'm amused that Johnny teh Boss is amused too.

    Sometimes I'm convinced that Universities try to screw you and hope you won't catch on/won't actually do anything about it. The business college is good at that here. They must be in league with the bookstore, because all three of my business classes this semester are either special university editions or are unbound and shrink-wrapped, so I am forced to hand over ridiculous amounts of money for a book that I can't even sell. Stupid college.
    • Ugh. Textbooks...that's a whole new rant! How the books cost them about $10 but end up selling for around $100...hmmm.... I refused to sell back textbooks to UMBC; they gave you about 10% of the original cost, so $10 for a $100 book? Then, surprisingly, I'd see that book on sale next semester for $80.

      I repeat: hmmmm....

      So I used to sell only to friends taking the classes I'd already finished. For example, I sold my chem book to my friend Jason for $30. He could have bought it used for $80, and I would have gotten $10 if I'd sold it to UMBC. So we both got a good deal out of it!

      All the rest of my books still clutter my shelves to this day. :^P
      • I returned my accounting book today for a refund of $120. I'm buying my friend's copy for $50. So ha, take that bookstore!

        I've gotten half back on a few books, and then I've had books where the bookstore offered me a whole $1, to which I said, "Hell no!" I think I am going to sell some of those books on amazon.com or ebay or somewhere. After all, I don't have a whole lot of use for them.
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