Don't sh*t where you eat.
Don't dip your pen in the company well.
Don't lick a fozen pole.
Don't poke the bear.
It's all simple enough.... really - at least it should be. For some, however, this very idea is new to them - which means they must run around eating poo with bandaged tongues from freezing them to posts in the winter.
How much can I say..... how much should I say? I have stayed quiet on certain topics for so long - believing it was the right thing to do. Using the moral compass I was born with to guide my choices - instead of a bitter and angry heart... and yet: Some people still want to poke the bear.
If I say too much, I expose myself to possible "litigation" - though I am putting some *serious* research into the conditions of libel and how it may or may not apply to anything I put on the blog. Especially in terms of a large retailer.
I have tried not to use this "platform" for anything .... vengeful. Sure, sure - I write lots of sarcastic and funny things that are tinged (and perhaps at times soaked in and set aflame) with bitter... *but* - in terms of having lots of ads or having any kind of "agenda" - I have not done that.
The only 'agenda' I currently have is trying to keep my head above water and my heart off the floor - which... frankly - seems to be enough to fill my days as it is.
So.... a few weeks ago - I lost my schmidt. As some of you know - and I had a ..... 'festive' discussion with El Capitan in the parking lot NEXT DOOR to where he works. El Capitan's employer responded in kind (weeks later) by sending me a letter of "no trespass" - which.... I found offensively ironic.
In the first place: You sheep-shearers have been 'trespassing' on my *LIFE* for ten years. You have denied more vacations than you ever gave us. You STRIPED us of our entire ten years of vacation - UNPAID last December. You have FORCED El Capitan to work 50+ hours a week when you have only paid him for 40. *YOU* invaded my life and took up residence in it like some filthy squatter who refused to leave but kept lowering my medical benefits every year.
Sadly.... the local polic station said they can't do anything about that.
Second.... in all this time, I have left everyone's names OFF the table. El Capitan's name, Yoga Girl's name, certain key friends, El Capitan's employer.... I have done the *right* thing there. I have fallen on this media sword - the good and the bad: alone.
You, clever employer with a team of lawyers (one of whom called me today... good times) - decided to put OUR names on your lovely, colorful letterhead and FILE that as a public document. That was just... super smart. Super, super smart.... ya'll really know how to get things done - don't ya? (** note - at least you *said* you filed public paper work.... more to come on that below).
That day in the parking lot:
Did I speak to *any* emplyee's? Nope.
Did I make any kind of threats to anyone? Nope.
Was I *ON* company property? Nope.
Was there a Sheriff in the parking lot for part of the festivity? Yes.
Did he approach, talk to or interview anyone.....? Nope.
Guess he didn't see anything more than two people discussing a personal situation and I'm sure if he had *thought* it was needed he would have stepped in.... but did he? Nope.
So.... let me get this straight. Someone who may or may not be good friends with Yoga Girl, called and complained (according to your attorney) that *I* was creating a 'hostile workplace' - while standing in the neighboring companies parking lot.... and YOU took public action against me?
You, as a company full of educated people didn't think to .... call me? Find out my side? Or... just send me a polite letter asking me not to return to your store? Nope. Legal action first, thinking later.......
I have had the common courtesy not to involve other people in this chaos..... at least not my legal name so as to avoid issue's.... and yet, you take no consideration of this? This alone doesn't make you stop and think - hey - seems like this lady and El Capitan are going through a lot right now - perhaps a courtesy call expressing our concerns would suffice?
It's just.... *sigh*.
In 5 months.... I love my schmidt one time. One time. I cried - in public, this one time.
So I called the police department after getting the letter to find out why it was filed and what it meant. They had no record of any such report being made.... hhmmmm - that's curious.
Then I waited two weeks and called again. But, after being on hold and sent around and around - I ended up with the records lady at the police department who *assured* me that no such report/letter exists that something would *have* to be filed and recorded and she would be able to find it.
Now, I don't want to make any kind of suggestion of any kind... but I would *really* hate to find out that a letter was sent me to that *stated* the company had filed a trespassing report against me with the local police when - in fact... no such filing had been done? The letter I was sent threatens to have me *arrested* if I go to the store again.... but - is that just by the 'Power of Greyskull'? Because it sure as sh*t doesn't appear to be by the power of the local police department.
Officers of the law, I am scared of. For sure. Greyskull and other such villians... not so much.
Today the company attorney told me that I can post whatever I want, but I should prepare for any steps the company may have to take against me in response. To which I laughed.... a lot. I pointed out that without any retirement, or savings... that I have little more than my own fat ass - and of that, she was welcome to help herself to as much of *that* as she wanted. We can all see there's plenty to go around. lol
She wasn't amused. But then again... neither am I.
Several of my friends stopped shopping at this retailer a long time ago and they have encouraged me to publish who the employer is and then sit back while thousands and thousands of people stop shopping there.
Yeah... that's right dammit!!!! .... Right?
But... what about all the single Moms and Dads who *work* at that retailer to make their ends meets? What about the families who work at this company - like El Capitan did - and they are already working ten or twenty hours extra for FREE - just in the hopes that they won't be replaced?
What if I use these words to destroy the little security they have by causing people not to shop there? Is that right? Is that *fair* to all those people?
No. It's not. I still have friends who work there who don't even make enough money to pay their own bills as it is... I can't honestly do anything that would cause trouble for them.
I'd be *more* than happy to get an audience with El Capitan's boss and his boss's boss who both hid behind some nice lawyer lady - who told me over and over that our conversation was "fruitless" and not "worth her time"..... ah... corporate America, way to go. Clearly law school isn't as hard to graduate from as I had once thought. lol
They don't care about me... I'm just the 'crazy ex-wife' of an employee. NOW. If I were a paying CUSTOMER - then THAT would be another matter entirely..... they would bend over backwards and give a frontal reach-around to make me happy.
Well.... listen up Mr. Boss Man .... I still won't out your company not because I'm afraid of you and your nice lady-lawyers... but, because it's still not the right thing to do.
However, our favorite lady-lawyer did tell me that I'm of course *free* to stand anywhere else in Beaverton and yell at whomever I want. (oh, and she actually *did* say it like she was doing me a favour... which again, makes me wonder just how much of the Freedom of Speech was covered at Law School....) - So, I may take her up on that offer again. Soon. We'll see.
I'm a nice lady.... but stil, it's never a good idea to poke the bear.
This should be an opportunity for this company to take a good hard look at their policies and the pressure they are putting their managers under and ask themselves... is it worth it? Was robbing my children of their father on weekend after weekend... for FREE - just to sell a few more things - was it worth it?
I can assure you: it was not.
Also... I will be following up with my local police department and asking *again* for proof of a no-trespass.... and I really really really hope for the sake of integrity that there is one and that it's dated before today's date.
Finally, one more piece of simple advice: Don't get into the sandbox with the kid who has the bigger megaphone. ******
*** for the SAKE of *clarity*: I am dissapointed in the tactic of the company involking the name of law enforcement when a simple polite phone call would have been headed by me. I am frustrated past all measure at the idea that such a letter of "official" and "hostile" intent would be sent to me without actually filing paperwork with the proper authorities. As a courtesy, I will head your warnings, but all you had to do was ask nicely -without poking the bear.