Friday, June 30, 2006

Changes to the blog

Some of you will note that changes are being made to the blog. What is written on this blog is more important than how they are written. It's also important not to give potential adversaries any ammunition, albeit weak & immaterial. It makes for a better and more professional blog if I take self-initiated corrective action. While others will incorrectly think that this is a retreat, the smart ones understand that this is really a strengthening.

Sic Vis Pacem Parabellum"- "if you want peace, prepare for war"

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

No garment licenses revoked/denied since 2005? I guess the sweatshops are gone!

Go to and what you will find are garment license registration revocations, suspensions, and denials. Supposedly, the garment industry is one of the few industries in California that have no political clout, so DLSE has been free to do what they want to "garment," since their voice falls on deaf ears. This is in direct contradiction to Public Works, where you can align graphs and charts to enforcment/debarments and the DLSE political winds.

Now, let's go with this "garment" theory. Why does DLSE's own database show garment license revocations/suspensions/denials falling off a clif since August, 2005? Why is that? If there's an industry that has no political clout, and there's an agency that can enforce the crap out of it, then what's happening? Furthermore, we're talking about SWEATSHOPS. Stand up and raise your hand if you think that sweatshops should be allowed free reign in California.

You'll also notice that all the case files have an "SF" prefix (for San Francisco), and that most of the sweatshops are in the Los Angeles area. Soon after DLSE's last reported garment license revocation/suspension/denial, they suspended the lawyer who did most of this work: Miles Locker. Now that he's gone, who was directed to fill his shoes with sweatshops case files? Your guess is as good as mine, and I'm sure that the only thing you'll hear spewing from the mouthpieces at DLSE are excuses as to why the sweatshop revocations/suspensions/denials stopped.

That is what's great about the DLSE: if they think they have something good to say, then they issue a press release and/or update their Robert Jones replacing Donna Dell as the Labor Commissioner. In their minds, they think that was good news. Everything else is swept under the rug until some reporter, advocacy group, or citizen starts asking questions. If they cannot duck the question, be on the lookout for lame excuses.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Why would a shiny, bright star at DLSE think that this is an official website?

Furthermore, why would the DLSE fail to educate their bright, shiny star? Why would the DLSE indulge, or enable, this bright, shiny, star's thinking? Other than being a complete, drooling idiot with a single-digit IQ, who else would make an educated guess and assume that this is an official website?

Can anyone imagine this bright, shiny star testifying (without laughing) that he or she actually thought that this was a legitimate, state government website? What was the shiny star's first clue? Now I understand why DLSE promotes who they promote.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

BAD Boss stories from Working America

Click on the link above, and you can read some horror stories from those who are in the trenches, or you can click here:

I saw this picture and the logic scribbled on it and thought how appropriately similar it is for this agency.

After discovering the Public Works debarment issue (1 since August/2004), I also found out that coincidentally, that Public Works cases fall off a cliff when there is a Republican administration in Sacramento. Now who said that politics plays no part in DLSE's day-to-day operations? What a bunch of horse puckeys!

I've also been told that both Democrat and Republican Administrations can f*ck with the garment industry, because politically they are unorganized, but Public Works is a whole different ball game. There are four key playas to Public Works, PECC: Plumbing, Electricity, Carpentry, and Concrete.

I'd have a whole lot more respect for Vicky Bradshaw if she had the stones to tell the People of California more truth than not, which is something like, "Don't expect this agency to really enforce Public Works laws, but while I have your attention, please watch this illegal Labor Workforce Development Agency propaganda video that Jose Millan (my pick for Deputy Director) made on behalf of my boss, the Governor. I will not take questions at this time."

Friday, June 23, 2006

How f**ked up is Public Works? Let's look at debarments!

Section 1777.1 of the California Labor Code discusses the details about public works contractors who break the law and (then) cannot work on such contracts for a couple of years. It's known as a "debarment." The Labor Commissioner's office shall also publish a list of those bad contractors semiannually. Since August of 2004, there has been only 1 debarment: Astro Painting Co.

If that's true, then what the heck are they doing in Public Works? This is what I heard: most of the workers speak Spanish, so if allegations are going to be made, it would help the Labor Commissioner's office if the investigator spoke Spanish and/or knew how to investigate. What happens if the Public Works managers intentionally pack Public Works with functioning illiterates and/or non Spanish speakers? They will not be able to uncover any wrongdoing, so the assigned case gets closed because there were no violations and/or the allegations could not be sustained. Now, if you were a lazy state employee, would your job be easier if a case got closed or harder if it remained opened?
Let's assume that the Labor Commissioner's office has only had 1 debarment in the last two years. Let's peel back a couple of layers of the onion. Who runs Public Works? Greg Rupp is the statewide manager, then he has Susan Nakagama, then she has Lauro Cons and Julie Tarazon. From there, it's non-supervisory staff. That says it all: no need to go farther: enough said.

In keeping with the assumption that there has been only 1 debarment in the last two years, and the state workers assigned to Public Works have conducted all investigations completely and competently, then the other assumption is that there have been very, very, very, very few that have violated the Public Works laws in the last two years! That's kinda like saying that the Labor Commissioner's office hasn't had a garment license revocation in the last two years because garment manufacturers and contractors aren't breaking enough laws to justify a revocation/renewal denial, right?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Keep sticking that hand in the fire, and it's the same result

Part One
If you think this is an official DLSE website, then you are a moron: this is their website-
If the moron will care to notice, there is a 'dot' CA and a 'dot' GOV at the end of the internet address.
This blog has quite a different web address ending-
Please have the moron take note: the 'dot' COM-thus neither indicating government nor remotely official.
Part Two
I'm not a big fan of idiot posturing or chest-thumping; it wastes time: make your play and be done with it. The First Ammendment of the US Constitution is here and the last time I checked, was still in play. While DLSE management may not enjoy their laundry aired in this forum, they are a general-fund agency that is paid for by the People of California. They have two choices: clean up the DLSE on their own, or receive outside assistance. Their track-record of cleaning up their own messes isn't that stellar, and if it takes an outside third party-so be it. That lawyer that they fired awhile back, Miles Locker, will soon address the allegations brought against him in Sacramento in July: let's hope that Paul Koretz (42nd CA Assembly), Kimi Lee (Garment Worker Center), Fabian Nunez, Gloria Romero, the Sacramento Bee, and the Los Angeles Times take a seat in that 5-day hearing.
Part Three
If one wants to look to the future, all one really needs to do is look to the past. Every unjustified/unfair DLSE action taken against me has been fought, so what are the chances of me fighting an unjust termination? The DLSE wants me gone: duh. Forget about the smartest way to do it [not within their brain power]; what's the least painful way to do it? Terminating me is a temporary solution to a soon-to-be permanent problem. I'm fairly young, so I'll be around for awhile. If they insist on terminating me, then that will give me time to do everything I've wanted to do, like personally visiting my elected officials in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Maybe I'll start doing investigative journalism. Maybe I'll have 12-foot long banners made at Kinkos for $150. Maybe I'll write a story and peddle it to screenwriters; I'll have some time to really, really , really explore all those options and to "think outside the box."
On an unrelated note, IV might have parked and/or driven a state car where it didn't belong, so Greg Rupp wants the Daily Activity Reports for May and June and figure out who else might have been driving where and when they shouldn't have.
VJ stays mainly in his office in LA or spends a noticable amount of time in Lilia's office.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Free Speech, SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) lawsuits, and articles of interest

a DLSE smarty is defined as one who would even consider litigating the issue of the First Ammendment versus the public's interest in knowing the details of how slipshod the DLSE operates. The DLSE is a state General Fund agency, which means that's it's taxpayer-paid. Here are some articles to give you a "clue" as to how SLAPP/Free Speech will play out in the courts (after it leaves the SPB and enters Superior Court). Typically, the DLSE bullies its employees into submission, like the way they fired Miles Locker (but that is far from over). When Miles returns, he'll be looking at back wages plus interest and I hope he returns the favor; the judge should order that his decision/award comes out of the personal bank accounts of Victoria Bradshaw, Jose Millan, Anthony Mischel, and Robert Jones. I am highly motivated to continue; probably moreso in the future!
It's unfortunate that I cannot devote myself to this full-time. The questions is: will the DLSE ever be prepared for me when I am ready to watch, report, and inform full-time?
"When going after big game, it's important to take them down on the first shot," - Law and Order episode

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Scoreboard in LA: 2 males already complaining about Diana Chen

Rumor has it that FC sent an email to Greg Rupp expressing his discomfort in working under Diana, who's replacing King Cheung in Los Angeles office of the Bureau of Field Enforcement. Allegedly, someone's schoolyard 'crush' on FC, was rebuffed (she's not his 'type'). Now he's afraid of payback; hell hath no fury like...

The other DLSE employee, AK, gets very upset, excited, or anxious at the mere thought of something, anything. King Cheung let AK do whatever, and that was fine with AK. Diana Chen might have a different supervisory method than some state employee who was on the verge of retiring with DGS (don't give a sh*t) disease. Diana's management method, one that has garnered much success and earned much respect in Santa Ana, probably makes AK very apprehensive, hence AK's complaining.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Gender equality in Nance Steffen's So Cal Wage Claims Unit

Nance Steffen's recent Wage Claims Adjudication (WCA) training: wow. Here's a nice stat for those that keep count in DLSE office politics, promotions, and gender equality.

Those DLCs, IRRs, & MSTs ordered to attend the Southern California leg of the Nance Steffen Show (WCA Training - 2 day lecture):
7 men
32 women

Is that a 5 to 1 ratio, or a 6 to 1 ratio?
Now I'm all for equality, but does this appear to be equal?

There's a rumor that RS has a certain audio tape of a certain Art Lujan explaining the real DLSE promotion process, and after RS made mention of this process, RS was immediately promoted to Deputy Labor Commissioner III in an effort to avoid something like 'litigation.' Only after the "equality" process of promoting Julie Tarazon and Gretchen Torregano did RS start asking questions about fairness and equality.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mandatory DLSE training

There's this phrase of "Train the Trainer," where XYZ Corp. (or the US military) will make sure that whoever trains others is certified as such. In California state service, there's an official title/slot known as the Training Officer, and in DLSE it does not exist.

So what we have are a few, select desk-donkies and pencil-pushers thinking up stuff to make our lives more miserable. They then proceed to put such bad ideas into action.

Lupe Almaraz kicked Nance Steffen into Wage Claim Adjudication training for her peeps, so she then kicked her DLC IIIs (front-line supervisors) into giving class lectures. Nance Steffen and Robert Jones spoke about receiving complaints from the public, but failed to discuss the DLSE policies and procedures in play to handle such complaints, much less give their staff training on ways to reduce such potential complaints. They also failed to give their staff any conflict diffusion/resolution training (call it limited liability exposure, like the DLSE sexual harrassment 'training'). What did the staff receive? An almost 3-hour lecture on the proper completion of the DLSE Form 1. Classic: I wouldn't expect anything less from this crew.

We must swallow the direction and vision they shove down our throats. Unfortunately, their cluelessness kicks it right back to us and requests, "if you have any ideas for future training, give them to your supervisor." How's that for Leadership? I know, quite pathetic. On its appearance, it looks like they're solitciting ideas from their staff and making everyone part of an interactive process. In reality, that is not the way it happens. If someone brings up a critically important topic, then that person is targeted: as a troublemaker, as something other than a team player. Only the dummies raise such issues, so nothing imperative is ever brought to their attention. Since apathy and laziness are parts of our DLSE gene pool, the puppet-heads cannot figure this out on their own.

If I wanted a class lecture, I would have gone to my local community college and paid money to sit in some class while some professor brays like an old goat for two hours. At the compulsory DLSE training, we had two days' worth. That insolent supervisor Dan Cornet actually had the stones to tell someone (who had a question) that "they were on a tight schedule and to hold off on questions." Nice! They should have him teach the DLSE team-building.

They are wasting money on obsolete training methods, training topics, and dinosaur-like Power Point presentations. Next time, they should video their lecturers and burn it to a dvd, where they can hand them out like lollipops to their staff. It will save the state a sh*tload of money and the staff will learn just as much from it, like that excellent Ethics Training video/booklet that DLSE staff is ordered to watch/read.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Los Angeles Rumor Control

Currently, the DLSE is considering Victor Jurado has Reynaldo's full-time permanent replacement. Now that Reynaldo is retired, it looks like Abigael Calva is stuck with Victor Jurado. If that's the case, then Long Beach Wage Claims will have a vacancy, and that might go to MV, who's being considered for the DLC III slot.

Rumors are just that, rumors. Previously, it was rumored that DLSE wouldn't place Diana Chen in King Cheung's spot, and that was recently reconsidered. Last week, they booted her out of Santa Ana and kicked her to Los Angeles, Van Nuys, and Santa Barbara. There was also that rumor that Abigael Calva would consider retiring if Nance Steffen didn't replace Reynaldo Rivera with someone who could get the job done just as well as Reynaldo. Well, Abigael hasn't retired yet, and Victor continues to supervise the Los Angeles Wage Claims office. We'll wait and see.

By the way, if Greg Rupp is still investigating the leak of the GWC-DLSE meeting, maybe he should direct his investigation towards Victor and ask him what he likes to talk about when he's out drinking with his female subordinates (in the off hours of course).

Saturday, June 10, 2006

This is a bipartisan website, unlike the prevailing winds of Victoria Bradshaw, Robert Jones, Jose Millan, and other DLSE political appointees

I am an equal opportunity writer and if it benefits the People of Claifornia to have this knowledge of DLSE competence, efficiency, etc., then it's gonna be posted. If Greg Rupp is pissed off that his actions & decisions are being "outed," then he should have thought of the consequences of his actions before he picked the path he choose. That's to be expected when our managers have little or no leadership, no vision, and merely want more control over their perceived fiefdoms. Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz might actually make some headway with the next generation of DLSE managers if the upcoming DLSE retirement vacancies are replaced with strong leaders who "get it." Here's a clue, Mr. Almaraz: try leaving the DLSE better than how you received it. Victoria Bradshaw, Tony Mischel, Greg Rupp, Robert Jones, and Susan Nakagama are lost causes; focus on your actions, your decisions, and how those decisions impact DLSE's greater good.

If he chooses to ignore this golden opportunity and allows people like Susan Nakagama, Greg Rupp, Abigael Calva annd Nance Steffen to hire people like Susan Nakagama, Diana Chen, Julie Tarazon, Gretchen Torregano, King Cheung, Victor Jurado, & Tony Guillen, then Lupe should try and at least save the state some money by outsourcing the construction of mindless, self-serving robots to Honda. The bonus would be that the Honda Robots would generate less complaints and cost very little, both in expense, inefficiency, and frustration.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Labor Commissioner Robert Jones

He almost gave the same, lame pep talk that Art Lujan gave back when he was Labor Commissioner. It was priceless! While beating his own drum, Jones weakly tried to associate himself with a history lesson of him representing employees before republican contributor/LWDA Secretary Victoria Bradshaw made him a part of her DLSE cadre. This is the same Vicky Bradshaw that lost the US Supreme Court case (Livadas v. Bradshaw) in a 9-0 ruling, but more on that later!

Now, he's the DLSE Labor Commissioner. Thanks, Vicky. He pontificated about DLSE staff treating everybody with respect and dignity, and then I remembered, this is the same guy that fired Miles Locker! As if the termination of Miles Locker wasn't political. I couldn't believe this guy. Before he makes a pathetic attempt to clean up the bigger backyard called California, he should try and clean up his own backyard called the DLSE, with "dignity and respect," as he put it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

How did we find about about Diana Chen's transfer so soon? Because good news travels fast

Probationary Diana Chen has been transferred; presumably, she's in charge of someone in Santa Barbara, some peeps in Van Nuys, and maybe a couple of people in Los Angeles. Not really Santa Ana's problem anymore.

Henry Huerta returns to Santa Ana BOFE, as the desk donkies quietly disbanded the Low Wage Industries Task Force (LWITF) that he supervised. Welcome back.

Tongkun Kim might lead a dual AB633 Wage Claim Adjudication and BOFE team. Good luck to Tongkun Kim; hopefully they'll leave him to do his best (give Susan a TRO).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Asst. Chief Greg Rupp: 8 hours work for 8 hours pay?

Question. What should Assistant Chief Greg Rupp be more concerned about:

A) obtaining the identity of the author of this blog
B) doing the job he's paid to do by the DLSE - a general fund (i.e., taxpayer paid) agency?

Answer: A. He's very upset, and he's printing the blog and going around asking DLSE personnel about the leaking of the details of the meeting that took place with the Garment Worker Center (read May 28th, 2006 blog entry).

Maybe Asst. Chief Greg Rupp should spend more time resolving the concerns of the Garment Worker Center and worry less about the identity of those communicating information. Maybe Asst. Chief Greg Rupp should not waste state time (halting the work he's paid to do and halting other DLSE employees' work to ask them questions) and state resources (printing blog entries from state computers/printers) while conducting unofficial state business (blogger identity investigation).

Maybe someone can explain to me how his actions best serve the People of the State of California? Is he still under the impression that he's accountable to no one? Apparently, no one above him is kicking him to fix the concerns raised by the Garment Worker Center. He is free to run around and do as he pleases - not as the state pleases. The complaint that was filed on behalf of DH against DLSE employee employee KR; what happened with that? I'm fairly certain that Greg Rupp recently testified (under penalty of perjury) regarding the process and lack of DLSE policies regarding complaints filed against DLSE staff.

Since it is safe to assume that Greg Rupp is an avid reader of this blog; please encourage Mr. Rupp to hit the "comment" button and offer an explanation of his Garment Worker Center complaint resolution. Maybe he can fix this before the circle of inquisitors becomes bigger. Doubt it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Q. What has Probationary Supervisor Diana Chen accomplished recently?

A. Gave her subordinate, RT, a wrath of sh*t for trying to take vacation time to attend a school function honoring her kid.

B. Gave another subirdinate, JC, the same wrath for almost the same reason.

C. Micromanged another subordinate, SW, to the point where he left the DLSE entirely (after 2+ months!). Another Diana Chen 'highlight' was to tell SW some really excellent, unfortunately wrong, insurance information.

D. Made a complaint to fellow supervisor JG about another DLSE employee, CL, concerning the movement of office chairs (and not moving them back).

E. All of the above.

Brand new supervisor, same DLSE office dysfunction. The real kick in the teabag is that crap like this is even tolerated and entertained; this wastes time and literally drains office morale. Not only does Greg Rupp lack the capacity to understand that morale can be associated with productivity, but he also indulges Diana Chen to such an extent that she leaves nothing to cry about, whether it's microwaves, toaster ovens, electrical sockets, or office chairs. Greg Rupp could have said, "Stop whining and start learning your job; you're on probation." But he didn't.

On an unrelated note, Diana's boss Susan Nakagama, isn't really qualified to train such a novice and inefficient subordinate, as Susan's time is better spent srutinizing the personnel file of someone who she does not want to promote and thus block the promotion. Not that Susan Nakagama found anything to justify the blackballing, as Greg Rupp over-ruled Nakagama's decision anyway.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Supervisor Diana Chen loses another one. Will her next subordinate be another chinese female like her?

One of Diana Chen's subordinates is leaving BOFE, and how's this for jack-ass thinking: this person would rather have stayed and come over the the Wage Claim section of the DLSE, but BOFE, in their ever growing p*ssing contest, would rather have the person leave the DLSE system entirely instead of keeping a good worker and moving him/her to a vacancy within DLSE. That's the BOFE mindset; not what is best for their own division, but how can vendettas and personal grievances be vetted. Previously, BOFE Supervisor Diana Chen also got her pick of the litter and selected a fellow Chinese female as her subordinate to work in the Santa Ana office. In Orange County, there are two main languages (other than English) that come into play: Vietnamese and Spanish, more Spanish than anything else. That's what Santa Ana BOFE needs-SPANISH! Good job, probationary supervisor Diana Chen! Another brilliant Diana Chen decision executed with common sense and sound judgement.

But then again, Diana Chen doesn't really give a rat's ass about what is best for the people of California. Her new BOFE subordinate is not being receiving bilingual pay for Spanish or Vietnamese, so how is this helping those who need DLSE assitance? Once again, it should come down to what's best for the People of California, and once again, the People got shafted. It appears that Diana's quite lonely at work, and few people really talk to her because of all of the problems that she's created at the Santa Ana office. What better way to acquire an indentured servant who speaks Mandarin/Cantonese and must suck-up to the boss? Thanks goodness I'm nowhere near that "State Efficiency" train wreck.

There's been talk of her returning to Los Angeles, but no one wants her there, either. She would have replaced soon-to-retire King Cheung, but bosses Susan Nakagama and Greg Rupp aren't putting her into play. Gee, I wonder why?