What’s wrong with government Part XVI

Last night in the Urban Daddy household, my wife and I were laying in bed watching this fantastic sitcom called Modern Family, which neither of us had ever come across before.

That afternoon and into the evening my wife had been peddling her wares – home-made beautiful jewelry – at a show not too far from our house. She had a good show which makes all of us happier and we even found this great gift for our boys – home-made capes with a lightening bolt on it, ala Flash Gordon (my favourite super-hero of all time).

We thought the kids would appreciate the capes since every night after their bath, my 3-year-old takes his hooded bath towel, puts it on his head with the rest of the towel draping behind him and tears through the house yelling, “flyer man to the rescue!!!”. He persuaded the 5-year-old to do it too now. These capes should fit in just fine!

Anyways… Are you still with me?

So while watching Modern Family on her new iPad (which she LOVES), I mentioned to her that there was a manager of a team working for the City of Mississauga who had been abusing his staff by duct taping them to the chair, to the floor, and spanking them on the ass and hitting them in the groin.

She looked at me with that face that said, “WTF are you talking about?!?”.

Then I realized she was probably the only person in the Greater Toronto Area who missed out on this story. Or possibly, having had a less than stellar work experience at the government I was just over-sensitive to this story not because of the abuse but because of the fall-out. So typical of government punishment (or lack thereof).

Anyways, I posted both links below – thank you Toronto Star – and I recommend you give them a read.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/mississauga/article/817776–mississauga-employees-duct-taped-abused

Essentially, a City government manager in Mississauga has been duct-taping and spanking employees for 5 years?!? Someone finally used a cell phone to video the abuse, showed HR, and from there the news of these practices broke.

And, of course, in typical government union fashion, the manager STILL works there!!! I actually believe he is on sick leave or stress leave right now.

Personally, I feel that the manager and any of the HR staff who I’m sure had known about this for a while (and any staff who knew but didn’t speak up) should be severely reprimanded or fired.

It’s so sad it’s laughable…

But now the police are investigating the matter and there is a good chance that this manager will be charged.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/mississauga/article/818334–police-probe-duct-tape-hazing-at-mississauga-workplace

I’m sure you, like myself, is reading this story, or heard about it already and are shaking your head in disbelief.

It happens!

People in unionized jobs don’t want to give up their perks, whatever they may be; pay, preferential working hours, no pressure to perform, great maternity / paternity leave benefits… There are many positives about unionized government jobs. As well, there are many reasons not to complain about harassment and they include the perception that if you tell HR or your union rep that you will be labelled and therefore never be promoted or move up in the organization, or probably worse for most people, you will be ridiculed, harassed, and made fun of. Your clique will no longer hang out with you and you will be shunned. It’s like high school in that to survive in the government you need your posse to watch your back.

It took me MANY years to realize that the fear of lack of promotion was the least of my worries and I had to speak up and ultimately get out of that poisoned environment in order to be happy.

In the private sector if a manager did that or even joked about it, they would be fired, sued and unemployable. Justice is swift and accurate.

The City of Mississauga needs to wake up to the environment that allowed this abuse to occur and not be mentioned. The people that lived it must be punished to understand that it is NOT okay to keep this to themselves and the manager who carried out these acts MUST be fired, without pension IMMEDIATELY and not given a golden handshake or given the option to resign.

A clear message must be sent to all current managers in government – any and all levels – that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

And for the government staff who think they can now scream abuse or harassment when your manager questions your workload… You need to sit back, zip your mouth and understand what real harassment is.

It was this.

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3 responses

  1. ummm … holy shit.
    i hadn’t heard about that or read about it.
    You know, we did all the bill 168 training as have many of my friends at other companies, and we were kind of complaining about it. But, stuff like this kind of puts it into perspective.

  2. That is shocking. I will give it to you that public and private sector jobs and office atmospheres are totally different, but not all government offices are poisoned environments. To be honest I think in most unionized environments people get away with things they really shouldn’t, it is one of the drawbacks of having a union. There does come a certain lack of touch with reality for many who work in government offices, I think it comes from the strong feeling of job security.

  3. Laural – We just did the Bill 168 training too. Now I understand why it is so important. Not every organization is as kind as our employers, eh?

    I may have posted more on this topic but I get hate emails from former “colleagues” when I do, so I tried to stay on the lighter side.

    Mamasnotes – You hit the nail on the head! I used to tell friends that I could pee on the desk of the director and not get fired from a governmnet job, but if I peeked at my own information online, I’d be toast in a minute.

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