Saturday, December 23, 2006

The surveillance of DLSE work permits has already begun

A DLSE employee recently received an email from HQ that informed the DLSE employee that a work permit issued by the DLSE employee was incorrect.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Upon reflection of a life lived, you probably won't proclaim, "Gee honey, I wish I spent more time at the office and less time with the family."*

*-unless you have a really dysfunctional family, and then you'll make your work your life. I'm not sure if anyone dreams of growing up to be a career state bureaucrat, but if they did, I would think that they would try to be the best they can be. That's why I'm confused at these DLSE career bureaucrats that are doing their job half-ass. If their job is performed at the half-ass level, then what else is performed at that same intensity? Do they mow the lawn half-ass, do they hunt or shoot themselves half-ass, do they wash the dishes half-ass, are their relationships half-ass, are their diets & nutrition half-ass, and are their performance evaluations of others half-ass?
It goes against the grain of common sense to observe a person's work ethic as half-ass, but other areas of that same person's life are in stark contrast. I'm not concerned with their lives outside of work: if they want to drink, cheat, smoke or eat themselves into oblivion, then that's their choice and not anyone's business but their own. I'm concerned with the personality traits that affect the bottom line, and in public service the bottom line represents how we efficiently & effectively serve our public. You can't cure lazy because that's a behavior trait; someone can be taught to become smarter. Contrary to poular belief, one can fix stupid. Lazy is a behavior trait, not a skill set.
Behavior traits follow patterns: the sloth at work is the sloth at home and is the sloth at the restaurant. I see these career bureaucrats, I observe their actions (or in most cases-inaction), and I always question why they continue to feed off the public trough when their 5-year resume highlight is merely self-preservation; they are doing a disservice to the public by remaining on payroll. These career do-nothings should really question why they continue working, and they should either start doing their jobs better, or put themselves out to pasture so others can do it better than them. Susan had her chance at making the DLSE better had she focused on public service. Had she concentrated on doing her job, she might have had a shot at Assistant Chief.
It's the same thing with Greg Rupp; had he made the public his priority, then he might have had a chance at the next promotion, but he blew it. Petty personality conflicts and fiefdom/control issues ranked higher than providing opportunities to make the DLSE a better place for helping the people of California. People who are "passed over" for promotion sometimes resign or lateral to another agency, but not Rupp. He comes to work every day and collects that check. To him, making Labor Standards better for the people of California means that he should try to get rid of a Garden Grove Mayor or terminate some blogger exercising the First Ammendment.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The DLSE has known the blogger's identity since June-2006, so why do they continue to disrupt DLSE office operations?

Today, DLSE peace officer/Senior Special Investigator Lee Pearson interviewed Santa Ana Wage Claim and Bureau (field enforcement) staff about this blog...are you friggin' kidding me? The DLSE is wasting taxpayer dollars on sending Lee Pearson all over California to ask people about rumors of the blogger?
BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU ASK---Lee Pearson came to Santa Ana prepared, maybe a little too prepared. He had a copy of the blog posting previously discussing Mr. Broadwater, and Pearson asked him if it was accurate. Bruce pontificated, and it was all on tape. From what was gathered, there is now the possible allegation that the DLSE-through Greg Rupp, Abigael Calva (or both?) might have prevented Mr. Broadwater from ever having been promoted while employed at the DLSE.
What do we know? Rupp tried to fire Broadwater because Rupp assumed that Mr. Broadwater lied on his state employment application. Broadwater sought legal representation to properly respond to Rupp's accusation, and Rupp subsequently halted his action. Ever since that time, Mr. Broadwater has never been promoted.
Acting Labor Commissioner Robert Jones and Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz need to concern themselves more with the actions of Assistant Chief Greg Rupp and less with the content of this blog; they are wasting taxpayer funds (time, resources, equipment) with improper investigations. Isn't the public better served by the DLSE weeding out retaliatory managers who abuse their authority than attempting to harass, discriminate, and retaliate against a blogger.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No Senate-Confirmation-Needed Robert Jones: how has he improved California's labor standards?

No Senate-Confirmation-needed Robert Jones, through the totality of his experience, IQ points, knowledge, skills, & abilities, and does what? He terminates Miles Locker. All that talent, all that intelligence, all that experience, and his top-act at DLSE was to remove their best-performing attorney.
Let us, for a moment, agree with Victoria Bradshaw's decision that Donna Dell didn't work out, so 2nd-string Quarterback was Robert Jones. But Vicky didn't want that Senate confirmation thing to blow up in her face again, so she circumvented the process and made him Acting Labor Commissioner; fine, let's run with it.
He's the top banana at DLSE; the buck stops with him. A reasonable person would assume that Vicky would only appoint the brightest and the smartest, so why is this guy's only top-act was to do a hit piece on Miles Locker's career? My point is this: his smarts, his IQ points, his talent, his position at DLSE, and the best that he can do for the people of California is to terminate a guy who should not be terminated? That is this guy's best effort for the People?
During his time as Acting Labor Commissioner, how has he made life better for the working people of California? What the heck is listed on his resume highlights, other than giving Miles Locker the boot? All that (supposed) talent, expertise, and intelligence: how has he specifically helped the working Californian? What legacy is he leaving, other than CMS was implemented during his watch?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dear DLSE Santa, all I want for Christmas is amnesia

2006 at the DLSE house has been great; let's re-cap some of the highlights:
1. No Senate-Confirmation-needed-Robert Jones fired Miles Locker.
2. Absolutely no follow through on uploading Overtime Exhibits (with an example) to DLSE website.
3. Absolutely no follow through on uploading Commission Exhibits (with an example) to DLSE website.
4. Absolutely no ability to scan & upload documents at busiest Wage Claim office in California.
5. No Senate-Confirmation-needed-Robert Jones issued a No-Speak memo, then took it back (that stoopid US Constitution got in his way).
6. Conducted molehunt investigation in Los Angeles office...but the DLSE called it something else.
7. Abolutely no Safety Glass/Protective Barrier at busiest Wage Claim office in California.
8. Abolutely no DLSE policy & procedure for investigation of public complaints against DLSE staff.
9. Abolutely no policy and procedure for Settlement Conferences, the process right before the formal 98a hearing.
10. DLC III essay-only exam with 4 people scoring 73 and 21 people scoring 70. I'm sure it wasn't rigged to where the outcome played to DLSE's favor...totally objective.
11. Regional Manager Susan Nakagama stripped of everything except a Nor Cal supervisor and DLC III Lauro Cons, a peace officer being paid/receiving benefits to do very little and/or no criminal work.
12. Still trying to squash this damned blog: Jones reads it more often than his Where's Waldo.
13. And who can forget...CMS! This beast generated the most comments, the most criticism, and the most waste (time, money, resources...when will it end) for DLSE in 2006!
If I missed any other highlights, then please hit the comment button below! Yeah, Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz is really making a difference.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Unless the DLSE assigns Susan Nakagama and Lauro Cons to manage Public Information Unit/PIU (phone duty), their current assignment couldn't be worse.

In a Republican administration, The DLSE arm of Public Works becomes a ghost town; it's quite the opposite in the previous Democratic administration. Regional Manager Susan Nakagama had her political power/glory while serving Roger Miller and Art Lujan; that sun has set. Lauro Cons' Number #1 talent is obeying his boss. I'm not sure that a supervising peace officer's Number #1 skill set should mirror that of a Labrador.
Why is it that Assistant Chief Greg Rupp, the top cop in DLSE, didn't bring his supervisory peace officer under the BoFE umbrella of Regional Manager Denise Padres? Is Lauro Cons currently working on criminal-Labor Compliance cases that would explain the necessity of his presence, or are the powers-that-be just sticking him into the 2nd-darkest corner of DLSE (darkest corner of DLSE being PIU)? What an excellent use of a peace officer who's acquiring peace officer benefits. How is this serving the taxpayers of California...shouldn't he be filing criminal cases or arresting criminals? Why are the taxpayers providing such a benefit to Lauro Cons, and the DLSE is not fulfilling its duty by ensuring that Lauro Cons is carrying out such duties?
How many people are receiving bi-lingual/Spanish pay that are not using it? Everyone in the DLSE receiving bi-lingual/Spanish pay is using their Spanish. Why isn't Lauro Cons performing cop duties, but he's receving cop benefits?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rumors have Nakagama, Rupp retiring...remaining power to be stripped from Nakagama

Rumor #1: DLSE Regional Manager Susan Nakagama to retire (date unknown). Who knows why and who cares. Some say it's CMS, some say it's the SL retaliation issue, some say it's just time for her to go.
Rumor #2: DLSE Assistant Chief Greg Rupp to retire (date unknown). I'm actually surprised at this one, as I thought he was never going to retire; he was just going to continue to take up space, shuffle papers, forward emails, and occasionally send out "I'm Da Boss" memos.
Rumor #3: Julie Tarazon, Ken Madu, and Gretchen Torregano (and whatever assigned underlings) are being transferred from under the control of Susan Nakagama and placed under the leadership of Denise Padres. The beauty of this deal is that Lauro Cons stays with Susan Nakagama! Talk about the blind leading the blind; they can hold staff meetings with each other and be just as (statistically) productive as they were in November! Why was November such a special month? Because Susan slammed everyone in an email except her pal Linda...great job, Susan, on ripping your team a new one and not having the professional courtesy to do it face to face.
While I have never worked for Denise Padres, I think that these moves are a wise choice; the only "challenge" that I see for Denise is that Gretchen and Julie aren't accustomed to the normal work eithic of 8 hours' pay for 8 hours' work. Denise Padres seems bright, energetic, and capable.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What is it about Bruce Broadwater that stirs Assistant Chief Greg Rupp into such a lather?

Bruce Broadwater, the longest mayor (10 years) in Garden Grove's history, failed the DLC III exam. This is a guy who not only knows how to solves problems, but he has a demonstrated record of dealing with the public and public officers. Mr. Broadwater currently sits on Garden Grove's City Council, as the citizens once again voted for this guy to stay in public service. Mr. Broadwater is also a Deputy Labor Commissioner in the Santa Ana wage claim office, and he neither passsed the recent DLC III exam, nor did he pass it the last two times. The last time I checked, Garden Grove is California's 21st-largest city.
It's strange, because the DLSE passed almost everyone, and everyone who passed the DLC III exam mostly received the same crappy score, so why did they bother to flunk him? What's the reason behind the reason? Does it date back to a hard-core Republican by the name of Greg Rupp, who wanted a Democrat staunch Democrat (like Broadwater) removed years ago...once Greg discovered that a Democrat (Broadwater) snuck into a DLSE/Pete Wilson administration? At the time, Greg Rupp was going to terminate Broadwater for having lied on his state application (by not disclosing his political job as mayor), but Broadwater's lawyers said it wasn't necessary. Consequently for Rupp, he was stuck with Broadwater, but did Rupp really forgive and forget? Fast forward to 2006, and the DLSE flunked him on the DLC III exam? What's the real reason? Was it because that Abigael Calva, a close friend & confidant of Greg Rupp as well as Broadwater's Regional Manger, did not recuse herself from the DLC III examination process? Was it because that Abigael Calva knew of Greg Rupp's loss in trying to remove Broadwater during the Pete Wilson administration, or was it because that the DLSE's revenge is a dish best served cold?
How is Bruce Broadwater good enough for Garden Grove, but he's not good enough for a DLSE supervisor position? Maybe he has too much experience, maybe he flunked because he's not some pushover lackey/toadie/suck-up, or maybe he flunked because he will actually serve the people of California and not his insecure promotion selectors. The DLSE isn't saying why he flunked, so we only can only speculate. Maybe the DLSE will provide the evidence they used to justify in flunking him yet passing the others, but I really doubt it. Word on the street is that the DLSE offered Fern the DLC III promotion to Fresno, but she turned it down. If that's true, then anyone else who's offered the job is second-fiddle.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Asst. Chief Greg Rupp reached out to supervisor Chen to revise buddy's performance evaluation?

If truth be told, it seems that one of those who received a poor performance evaluation from probationary supervisor Diana Chen refused to sign it, and then she revised it. Was this person "connected" to Asst. Chief Greg Rupp? Did Greg Rupp have previous knowledge of the performance evaluation and then allowed his minion Diana Chen to revise it? How many other performance evaluations were revised?
What were Acting Labor Commissioner Robert Jones, Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz, Assistant Cheif Greg Rupp, and Senior Special Investigatior Lee Pearson doing with Diana Chen's performance evaluations? Why were they making photocopies of those performance evaluations? Were they making copies of the first edition performance evaluations, or just the revised performance evaluations? Why is there such an interest by the powers-that-be in a probationary supervisor's performance evaluations of her staff? Didn't Diana Chen first run them by her boss, Regional Manager Susan Nakagama? Don't the powers-that-be have more important problems to fix? It reminds me of that age-old question, how many DLSE managers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Possible Settlement Conference between Blogger and DLSE, maybe late December

If the DLSE wants this settled, then I have only three requests for the DLSE to honor; otherwise, Defendant/DLSE Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz should prepare for June 4, 2007.
1) I want to exercise my constitutional rights.
2) I want equal opportunity in the DLSE workplace.
3) I want to be free from DLSE retaliation, discrimination, and harassment.
Any legals fees paid to having asserted such legal rights will be paid by the entity attempting to squash such rights.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

DLSE to convert $70,000+/yr. Deputy Labor Commissioners into CMS typists

Taxpayers pay a lot of money to Deputy Labor Commissioners to do their job, and the brunt of their job is not to enter data for CMS. Do you think DLSE Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz bothered to enact some workload impact study? You think he bothered to contact the union to notify them of the change in job duties and function?
Deputy Labor Commissioners are not paid 8 hours' wages to enter CMS data for 6 hours.

Why does it take 11 CMS computer screens to complete something so simple as a 1-page child work permit?

CMS is a great software long as you don't try to access it.

DLSE staff to thumb their nose at CMS: issue child work permits without CMS, the public is reportedly pleased with such efficient service

In cities across California, DLSE staff are taking it upon themselves to bypass CMS and are issuing Entertainment Work Permits (DLSE-275) the old-fashioned way: in LESS THAN TWO HOURS. The bosses are not aware of it since no complaints are coming across their desks; besides, there is no DLSE policy that mandates that CMS must be used.
The previous past practice was to issue the DLSE-275 either by hand or using the old 98a system. To this date, there is no formal DLSE policy for issuing the DLSE-275. If there is, then it was never covered at the recent Wage Claim training.

The DLSE Legal Unit continues to waste taxpayer dollars

A lawyer who keeps filing motions in court without bringing anything new is (pretty much) a time-waster, and in this case, a waster of taxpayer dollars. The argument can be made that a DLSE attorney who practices as such is incompetent, inefficient, and more importantly, a loser (motion not granted). If all Munoz is trying to do is to use the courts as a way to increase the blogger's legal fees, then Munoz might be on the formal end of a state bar complaint...what's it called when someone files frivolous motions?
I'm quite surprised that attorneys Munoz, McGinty, Holton, and Mischel still have enough to tie their shoes, but that's not the point. They will have their day in court on June 4, 2007 when they represent Defendant Lupe Almaraz. In the meanwhile, they seem to be fairly consistent in wasting the taxpayers' money. They could spend their time more constructively by not filing their loser motions.
The latest information from the state of California is that it costs a department approximately $100,000 to file & subsequently settle an Adverse Action. If the Adverse Action continues all the way through the State Personnel Board system, then that cost increases to almost $250,000. These DLSE attorneys could be fulfilling the mission of the DLSE, but instead they are wasting taxpayer time, resources, and money. Like I said before, if this blog had nothing but beautiful things to say about the DLSE, then they'd have no problem with it's an argument about content. Munoz, don't leave the DLSE just yet: Lupe Almaraz will need your talent, expertise, and successful motion filing history to represent him.

Does CMS have a toilet paper version for DLSE staff to use?

Congrats to Lupe Almaraz & Nance Steffen on making the 1-day CMS X-mas party into a 2-day taxpayer-paid fiesta!

Whenever you hear Lupe babbling about how hard he's trying to make the DLSE better, just cover up your ears and run away; what you're hearing is the similar static you hear from a used car salesman.
The 1-day CMS 'feedback meeting'/X-mas party on December 13th has just been extended to two days: December 12 and 13! In bureaucratic-speak, Lupe made it longer and more expensive to the taxpayer. By making it longer, there's less time for the people to do their real jobs because they gotta waste more time on this sidetrip. By making it more expensive, it helps Lupe justify the legitimacy of this meeting should another agency come sniffing around to ask questions. He totally beat the rap before the ball got rolling! This is a direct result of Lupe's 30+ years in the system. There's no way that anyone could make the accusation (of wasted taxpayer dollars for this meeting) stick: Lupe's going to make sure that this meeting looks legit and that anyone who reviewed the meeting's minutes (what are those?) would mainly see people talking about how great CMS is. In reality, Lupe should issue pom-poms to Nance's cheerleaders.
Within companies that have a general responsibility to either the public or their shareholders, important meetings are memorialized via the "minutes" of the meeting. What that means Lupe, is that someone is writing down the time (hence the term "minutes") and the discussion.
For example, 9:10-meeting starts with Nance giving a general Atta-boy/Atta-girl to CMS staff. 9:15-John Doe/San Bernadino, discusses how bad CMS is with examples A, B, and C. Henry Smith in Los Angeles, and Mike Hunt in Long Beach also with John Doe. 9:30 to 5:00-general CMS discussion (details unknown & couldn't be recorded but it's not a Christmas Party!). The more detailed your meeting's minutes Lupe/Nance/whoever, the less problematic & the more professional it "appears."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Diana Chen's probationary status in jeopardy? NO WAY! She's a yes-woman to Susan Nakagama & Greg Rupp!

Listen up, for all of you who think that Diana Chen will not pass probation, you are WRONG! She does everything she's told, she doesn't ask questions, she has excellent engineering skills, and she's managed to upset almost everyone she supervises. If Greg & Susan ever set up an Office Olympics, then Diana Chen would win their Gold Medal.
Greg & Susan only promote "lackeys" or "toadies," meaning that they need someone who will always feed their egos and someone who will NEVER act to the contrary. They also promote people who will never "outshine" them, as their fragile and fraile little egos could not withstand a smart and talented underling. In other state departments, managers go in the opposite direction; they brag and boast of their superstars, taking the credit for identifying & grooming them. At DLSE the talent is squashed and eventually leaves on its own: there is no talent, and there are no superstars...they all get a whiff of this place and bail, and that's what Greg & Susan want them to do. This way, the power structure stays in place; the threat has been eliminated.
Unfortunately, this is neither what the public wants, nor what the public deserves. Here's a real simple test to justify Diana Chen's permanent status as a supervisor:
1) whatever became of her hiring of a non-Spanish speaker at the Santa Ana office?
2) how many complaints has she filed since becoming a supervisor?
3) has Susan Nakagama's performance evaluations of Diana Chen highlighted any concerns?
4) has DLSE productivity increased or decreased during Diana Chen's supervisory status?
5) does she mainly create problems or solve problems for the DLSE? Is this documented?
6) how much evidence (good or bad) does she have in her subordinates' personnel "drop" files that support those performance evaluations that bear her signature?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Why didn't DLSE Asst. Chief Nance Steffen assign a local CMS staff member to the busiest DLSE office in California?

The busiest DLSE office in California, and Nance Steffen failed to assign in-house personnel to CMS SuperUser training? What's up with that? Didn't her boss, Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz, ever bother to ask why a local DLSE employee wasn't used for the Santa Ana DLSE office? The CMS SuperUser assigned to Santa Ana is from Los Angeles? What are they gonna do, put her up in temporary housing until Santa Ana can walk and talk CMS on their own? If today was any indication of a timeline, then that's gonna be a very long time.
Three DLSE staff worked on entertainment work permits today, and the three of them completed eight. Three full-time DLSE employees: 8 entertainment work permits in one business day. On average, about 25-40 entertainment work permits come thru the mail on a daily basis.
Why did Assistant Chief Nance Steffen fail to take care of the Santa Ana office in a satisfactory manner by assigning a CMS SuperUser that actually worked in the Santa Ana office? Was it incompetence, deliberate, accidental, or just her way of sticking it to the Santa Ana office; moreover, where was Lupe Almaraz's oversight on Nance Steffen's selection of CMS personnel and the efficient servicing of the busiest DLSE office in California? How did these actions by executive management make servicing the public better, more streamlined, and more efficient?

Friday, December 01, 2006

DLSE Assistant Chief Nance Steffen to throw TAXPAYER-PAID Christmas party to CMS staff on December 13th?

Nance Steffen sends an email (needing CMS feedback) for her meeting scheduled on December 13th, and this must be done face-to-face!. They are to book their flights and fly up to her and provide this feedback to her.
Apparently, feedback cannot be expressed in an email or a phone call. In addition to having phones and email, the DLSE also bought these video-teleconference machines for their offices, but Nance doesn't want to use those either. She needs her helpers in front of her; they need to spend taxpayer money on per diem, they need to spend taxpayer money on airline fees, they need to spend taxpayer money on cabs and rental cars, and they need to provide this feedback directly to Nance's face. It's all about her. Nance. Nance. Nance. But she's not footing the bill; John Q. Taxpayer will eat this.
Here's the feedback so far: CMS is crap. It wasn't originally designed for the DLSE's needs. CMS is extremely hard to use. CMS is not user-friendly. CMS is not public-service friendly. In summary, CMS sux. Try not to spend $100,000+ of the taxpayer's money by flying all of your cheerleaders to your Christmas party. I understand that it's hard to throw a Christmas party via email or video-teleconference. Don't worry: in your mind, everyone still thinks you're great. Are wanna-be Labor Commissioner Robert Jones and Deputy Chief Lupe Almaraz gonna show their CMS prowess at your party.....whoops, I mean "feedback meeting?"
Go ahead with your X-mas party, and maybe you'll get your Christmas wish that the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. will do a Public Records Act and find out who completed TECs (Travel & Expense Claims) for your little jaunt, and at what cost to the taxpayer.
FRAUD, WASTE and ABUSE can be directly reported to the following office (DLSE has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to properly investigate one of their own):

Nance Steffen to release training video of Lupe Almaraz & Robert Jones processing wage claims on CMS: fun AND easy to use.*

*-just kidding; they're not that stupid. Besides, there is no video recorder available that can record all that time on only one tape.
It would be nice to receive the DLSE performance standards for processing wage claims, work permits, etc. while using CMS. Then again, that would mean that management must enact such standards. Even though they've never had such standards in the past (before CMS), I'm guessing that wanna-be Labor Commissioner Robert Jones has performance standards to give DLSE employees, which is why he wants his supervisors to dole out performance evaluations.
Before ya' judge anyone against a measuring stick, ya' first gotta have a measuring stick.