Monday, September 19, 2005


In the near future, the DLSE is training some individuals while others have not been invited. Outside DLSE's walls, training usually makes an employee better at their job. At DLSE, it can be invitation-only! Case-in-point: three subgroups of DLSE staff (Legal, Wage, BoFE) will take part in upcoming citation training. In the subgroup known as "Wage" and fiercely controlled by micromanager Assistant Chief Nance Steffen, she's decided that one rule applies to a favorite and another rule applies to everyone else. Maria Valdez has been permitted to attend the training, and she's the only Deputy Labor Commissioner I from Wage. Everyone else must be a Deputy Labor Commissioner II. Everyone else who asked to attend the training was denied.

Well, that didn't sit too well with a fellow DLC I, so she's filed a grievance. Because of this, it is the public that suffers due to the time and resources that must be devoted to deal with this one issue. It's hard to hear or close cases when you're either filing or responding to internal administrative paperwork. Let's say that Maria's gievance is upheld. Do you actually think that Nance Steffen will be held accountable for her decision-making and judgment skills?

Even when people come to her and try to persuade her to use common sense, she refuses. When that happens, DLSE staff must go above her head where her decision is usually overturned. But it doesn't stop there! She holds a grudge for a very long time! Ask VJ when she banished him to Nor Cal (from So Cal), and he had to fly home every weekend to care for his sick mother; he only returned because a former Labor Commissioner (MS) permitted it, thus infuriating Nance. It's too bad that her new boss, Lupe Almaraz, cannot keep her focused on serving the public more and satisfying personal whims less. The one thing he could do is tell her this: "Okay, play your game, but if so-and-so's grievance is upheld by the arbitrator and it's decided that the DLSE (you) acted inappropriately, then you will be disciplined for your unsound decision as well as not having resolved this beforehand." Ideal, but unrealistic.


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