Petty Power of the Petty Establishment

by Reid Fitzsimons

The Establishment, with it’s associated power, is neither inherently good nor bad, but when it’s the latter and omnipotent, it can result in global catastrophes; when it’s petty, it can harm just a few. Below are a few examples of the petty taken from my own experiences, when small minded people were given just enough authority to do the wrong thing, varying from the silly to the damaging.

The Federal Prison

The experiences I had when I worked at a Federal prison from 1982-1986 could fill a book, but I’ll limit it to one. The warden, to be kind, was prissy and fastidious. For example, when an IMPORTANT person was coming to visit he would actually use tax dollars to rent flowers and place them at the entrance, to make it seem like a walk through an English garden or something. Apparently this would curry favor with important people.

One thought on “Petty Power of the Petty Establishment

  1. Carole Ann Milljour

    Hi Reid, your article was well written and certainly brought a lot of memories back! Not good ones as far as plagiarism, theft, dishonesty, you name it, I've seen lots of it myself.

    I don't know why people can't be forthright in trying to do the decent thing. I know it's gotten worse, and I find that it is very difficult to trust most people anymore. The norm seems to be corrupt over having integrity and doing what's best for all involved.
    One example I have (and like you, there are many) was when I worked for a medical director who had me retype an entire policy on HIV for the facility. She did not compose it herself. The name and facility on the policy were changed to reflect her name and the name of our facility. It came from a physician in California! I lost a lot of respect for that woman the day she gave it to me to retype. What could I do?

    Another instance was when a supervisor was being trained by our fiscal manager on a new payroll program. He was in a glassed-in area with her for approximately two hours per week for 4 weeks I believe. Anyway, I had to remain in the office while this training was going on. My desk and that glassed in area were about 4' apart. As you entered the office, my desk was on the right and that door was on the left. Not much could go on without my noticing and there were plenty of people in and out of that office on a regular basis besides. They were pretty much in a fishbowl type situation.

    Mind you this person never complained about any sexual misconduct while being in there with him. However, she and one of her gronies would sit and discuss the office politics on a regular basis and at one point, she told this person that the fiscal manager had sexually abused her while being trained. What a joke! (How could anyone sexually molest someone in that type of situation in the first place.) Anyway, the lawyer at our facility got hold of the story and called her in and was going to represent her in that regard. Well, the fiscal manager was completely devasted and had thus made arrangements for a transfer to Albany. He had four or five young children and a wife, living in rural New York, where gossip runs ramped for one thing. Well, once she found out she would have to testify against him, she was completely beside herself. She felt like she was up against the wall and would have no choice. So, I told her if she did not stop this fiasco, I was going to stand up and defend him because she and I both knew he was innocent of any wrongdoing! What a jerk, huh? Well, she did back down. Not sure what she told the lawyer, but I'm sure it was good! Another lie added to the rest no doubt. I didn't care as long as the charges were dropped. I was glad when I left that job! She was never anyone I admired, believe me! Oh yes, the fiscal manager did stay!

    Well, that's only two and I have one more to share and that's in regard to a mutual friend of ours who also went under the gun at a third facility I worked at. He was accused of things that a team leader plus others had set him up for. There was one instance where a laptop was missing, and they accused him of stealing it. After several lengthy searches of the entire office, I found it! Stroke of luck! It had been shoved between a wall and a desk. Then, these same individuals accused him of mistreating a secretary that I supervised. Well, on the day in question, she wasn't even there! I had her leave slip and timecard. I have to tell you there was more to that facility that was dishonest than honest. He was in a position that required his coming into the office. He had an office type situation there, as well as the responsibility of frequenting several of the homes for our disabled clientele. The director at the time was a woman (whom you already mentioned in your article, who went along with this nonsense and degraded him from a grade 14 to a 9 I believe. I believe his title was Hab Spec., not sure. This downgrade made a significant difference in his retirement. It was such a shame too! This man was extremely intelligent, was honest and did a fantastic job, he would do anything to protect and assist our clientele. I know it because I did some work for him and knew him quite well. What happened to him was disgraceful! The people that caused all of it, didn't lose pay or power. Unbelievable.

    Sometimes you get groups of people who just look to cause problems for others. I don't know how I managed to survive 13 years there, but through the Grace of God, I did; and I came out of it with an outstanding employee award, signed by Joe C., who was the Director at the time I retired.

    Those same people treated me very similar to our friend, but when we were moving out of our office space into another, some files were found that proved what these people had been up to. (So stupid for them to leave that type of documentation around.... I tell you they were not the brightest people I've ever worked with or for! LOL)

    If you kept your nose clean and did the best job you could possibly do, they didn't like you! Too bad for them! I could go on because there was a great deal more than what I just described, but you get my point. Similar to what you experienced in some ways. Sometimes you can do something about it, but other times, no one wants or cares to know. Very sad and disturbing. So much good could be accomplished, but jerks seem to be there to get in the way. I wonder what their ultimate goals are. (?) I doubt they have any. It's easy to stand with a group than to stand alone! I would rather stand-alone than with a group that wants to tear down instead of build-up! Whatever did happen to self-reliance and integrity, anyway, must have gotten left at the wayside I'm afraid! I know there are brave and courageous people out there so I'm hoping they show themselves so we can take back our country and start living the good life again real soon! God Bless America! ...still land of the free and home of the brave! ...Or at least we still have high hopes for!


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