Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Diana Chen: professional complainer, tattle-tale, snitch?

A long time ago, someone approved the hiring of Diana Chen. Along the way, she made it a point of complaining against men. The first I heard of it was when she complained about a former fellow co-worker, Chung Park. Shortly thereafter, he is transferred out of her Los Angeles office. Many moons later, she complains about Miguel Algarin, who is also subsequently transferred out of her Los Angeles office. In what appears to be a Quid Pro Quo, she makes several accusatory and inflamatory statements against her recently-suspended and former co-worker, DLSE employee Christopher Lotts. Soon after, she is surprisingly promoted to supervisor and he is transferred.

Fast forward to her being a probationary supervisor. She now manages the BOFE group in Santa Ana. Not knowing how to supervise with the additional challenge of her boss (Susan Nakagama) not knowing how to supervise or train, Diana Chen is left to her own devices in ensuring smooth office operations. With her living in Monterey Park and being a supervisor in Santa Ana, she proudly makes excuses why she's not in the office at her designated time to serve the People of California during the required amount of hours that the state pays her. What a coincidence that her traffic commute just got a lot longer in both directions, but I digress.

If I want to peek into the future, all I really need is a glimpse into the past. In the past, she could be considered a professional complainer, very similar to that of a spoiled kid who suffered from Only Child Syndrome. Her people skills are somewhat lacking, and that happens to be a big part of the job: constantly interacting with the public, the bosses, and the staff. DLSE probationary supervisor glitch#1-she arrives to the Santa Ana office, and it's not a week before she's complaining and fabricating incidents to support her complaints against another DLSE employee. It turns out that there was a witness that contradicted Diana Chen's version to the point where it appeared that Diana Chen had lied to make her complaint more valid. Diana's boss, Susan Nakagama, makes sure that her fingerprints are not on anything perceived with accountability, so Diana's fabrication will not be addressed. Words cannot express how this directly affects the office where Diana Chen now works, and how this indirectly affects the People of California.

DLSE probationary supervisor glitch#2-with no caseload and no real requirement to resolve the public's concerns, supervisor Diana Chen fails to take command of a rapidly deteriorating situation at Santa Ana's front counter yesterday. A female started complaining to one of Diana Chen's staff, then the same female started yelling at one of the clerks, then the same female started yelling at a different BOFE employee. During the entire time that this one person yelled, complained, and tore through at least 3 civil servants, Diana Chen just stood about ten feet away and watched it all unravel. She never bothered to assist her staff, she never bothered to intercede and assist in resolving the complaint, and she never bothered to try to resolve & address the one making the complaint. In fact, when she thought she might be dragged into that drama, she promptly left and could not be found.

This is how a probationary supervisor acts; this is her real-time example of putting her "best foot forward," to demonstrate that she's worthy of the promotion. This is the state standard, as this was their selection to make, and boy did they make it. At the day-to-day operational level, it is the public (and the people that share the same office floor) that ultimately bear the brunt of management's decisions; in this case, the decision to promote Diana Chen: someone who is equally qualified in her conflict resolution skills as she is in her co-worker communication skills.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Another LWDA Screw-Up: 64,000 tax forms using SSNs & income sent to wrong addresses...courtesy of Victoria Bradshaw's EDD

For those that think Victoria Bradshaw is nothing but smiles and blond hair, she just so happens to head the EDD as well as the DIR (parent of DLSE). Unfortunately, she won't be calling the credit agencies any time soon to inform them what her EDD recently did to the 64,000 people who have been victimized thus far. Her Employment Development Department (EDD) sent Social Security Numbers and private financial information to 64,000 bad addresses. Instead, her agency used the information inappropriately (about 64,000 times) when they mailed the information to the bad addresses. There's this thing that's (sorta) a hot button: IDENTITY THEFT. You see, she's not stuck with having to wait on the phone with all three credit agencies, she's not stuck trying to freeze or password protect such information from being used inappropriately. That extreme waste of time is passed down to the citizens of California. Nice job, Vicky. Arnold made an interesting choice making you the leader of the LWDA.

Victoria Bradshaw's mouthpiece for this snafu is EDD spokeswoman Velessata Kelly, who blamed a software glitch. "The software glitch has been suspended without pay pending a full investigation by Victoria's peeps"....just kidding! Victoria's peeps are too busy making illegal infomercials (see Jose Millan & his groupies) for such minutia like potential identity theft. The EDD pretards discovered the glitch last month, but the victims weren't told until last week. Hmmmm, I wonder how much damage an identity thief can do to someone's credit/credit rating in 3 weeks?

I wonder where the accountability will rest on this issue? Will they make Vicky call all 3 credit agencies for each of the 64,000 victims as part of EDD's restitution? Or will they give the victims the collective middle finger, whisper "ooops-our bad, go fix it yourselves" and prepare for their next wave of excuses?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

DPA Atty. Crystal L. Mitchell: how does she makes things better for California?

Within the many, many desks of state government there is a larger cubicle called the Department of Personnel Administration: DPA for short. Sitting at one of their smaller cubicles is an attorney named Crystal Mitchell. Her official title is Labor Relations Counsel. One would presume to think that she ensures even flow, or efficient labor relations. If there's a beef between two squabbling sides, it's either her job to get them to settle their differences or to cover her department's backside in the event things go south. In any event, she should at least have the appearance of remaining impartial since she's a representative of the DPA. If all the DPA does is shuffle paper and shirk responsibility, then the Governator should seriously consider re-writing the California Constitution and rid itself of such an expensive & unproductive agency. The taxpayers and the state employees could use a more efficient way of mediating disputes.
Now I don't know how smart she is, but a smart attorney knows how to ask the right questions. A really smart attorney knows the answer to the really smart question they're about to ask. These are some questions that she might consider asking Anthony Mischel, the Department of Industrial Relations' Employee Disposal Manager, but his official title is Office of the Director-Legal Unit.
1. Why can't you handle DLSE problems internally?
2. Why must DPA come to your aid & assistance every time you're in over your head?
3. How many written settlement agreements are you going to breach this year?
4. How many union grievances and unfair labor charges against DIR must we settle in 2007?
5. Why can't you settle anything; why is everything a 15-round boxing match with your agency?
6. Are you prepared to lose: again and again and again?

I'm sure that when she has the time to reflect on her career and her accomplishments with DPA, she will pat herself on the back and say to herself, "I really made a difference, and California is better because of me."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another "Lunch Time"Lawyer Fired From State Service

http://www.sacunion.com/pages/sacramento/articles/7834/ is the link you want to click or type and check out what another newspaper has to say about the situation. Very nice that we're the same agency that supposedly "protects" workers from abusive employers.

DLSE legal: short bus riders or pulp writers?

Is there anyone that can help Robert Jones and Anthony Mischel with their verbiage and wordiness? Did they miss the class on being concise at law school, or did they ditch that class to go on an eating binge? Why did it take the DLSE Legal SWAT Team 22 pages to justify terminating Miles Locker? One would think that Miles was the head of 30 cartels who broke every law in the land, and Mischel was filing an indictment with the US Attorney. This is the state standard, and the really spooky thing is that Bobby Jones and Tony Mischel looked at 22-page adverse action and probably said to themselves, "yeah, this is our best work ever." Then, they probably went over to Vicky Bradshaw's cubicle and she probably said, "it looks great: get 'er done." The best thing that their adverse action paperwork could be used for is to wrap fish, a lot of fish.

DLSE Teasing, Dangling the Carrot

DLSE recently opened up the Deputy Labor Commissioner II (DLC II) exam and held interviews.
Two points to be made on this:
1. Most of the questions were memory questions, so if one memorized facts, case law, etc., then one had a good chance of doing well. The desk donkies somehow made the connection that having a good memory actually does determine that the person can successfully do the job. According to their logic, memory is the primary trait they're seeking, so caseload management, interpersonal communication skills, and education are not.
2. There are currently no openings, so the whole point of this is to what? Is it to show other agencies or desk donkies that DLSE has a current list? Not that anyone will be promoted in the distant future, but DLSE has a list.
Or is their real motive more invisible, like pacifying 10-year veterans who haven't had a payraise/promotion in as many years? I can almost hear a desk donkey saying, "let's pretend there are openings, get their hopes up by putting them on a list, and that will shut them up for a couple years before the dumb ones wise up as to what we've done." The bonus is that if you become a DLC II (in 2012), you still might get to work under Nance Steffen! Why would anyone want to retire from the DLSE when the only option is to hang out with 40 angry, bitter, micro-managing cats?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Great Miles Locker Story: Miles Good, DLSE Bad/Dumb/Wasteful

Click on the link and check out this article. Once again, the only stories about the DLSE discuss their very own lowest common denominators.

Lawmakers Investigate Labor Attorneys Firing

The DLSE cannot stop cutting their nose to spite their face, but this is what the people of California get when Victoria Bradshaw, John Rea, and Robert Jones sit atop their self-appointed towers:

"State lawmakers will hold a hearing March 15 on the Schwarzenegger administration's firing of a veteran labor enforcement attorney. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement dismissed Miles Locker in February, accusing him of breach of ethics. Locker said he was punished for questioning efforts to rewrite regulations on employee meal breaks. Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) and state Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sun Valley) said Locker's supervisors would be asked to explain his firing."-LA Times, 03/02/06

Vicky and John quietly moved Jose Millan out of the way, but they can't move themselves out of the way. Maybe someone can assist the People of California and transfer them to positions where their knowledge, skills, and abilities are best used to make California better, like to the Department of Useless, Vindictive, and Incompetent..