(c) all rights reserved · haibun · poetry

dVerse — Flower Blooms in May

Blooming Flower Painting at Mcconnell Estates Winery
pink blossom

In February of 2018 our department decided to use an empty suite of offices one floor up. Our intake workers, including me, had offices now instead of cubicles for the first time in a long time, with the suite accessible only by key card.

Quiet and secluded is a positive when asking clients sensitive questions. Quiet and secluded also gives opportunism a chance to manifest. My mid-manager (MM) was a smooth talking community pillar who had been hired by our county to network support for the upcoming millage election to build a new jail, while on the surface supervising the clinical section of our department. He decided to start paying me daily visits to talk about his varying sexual escapades when he was in high school, how teenagers even today had crushes on him, and how he blackmailed the captain of the football team into buying him a car because of dirt he had on him. This was three months before my retirement from the county. I didn’t make waves, as I’d made waves against a previous MM with the county and nothing came of it. I kept telling myself to put up with it, only a few months to go.

One day in a weekly intake meeting, held up in our area, including the deputy administrator (DA) of our circuit court being present, the MM asked me about stats I had given him earlier in the day, which I reminded him of. He seemed to take offense. I stayed quiet through the rest of the meeting. Ten minutes after it ended, I got a call from the DA, asking me to come down to her office. The MM was there also. The DA asked me if I was upset with her. I said no, why? She said that she had noticed the way I was acting in the meeting and the MM had told her I was mad at her. I said, no, but I was upset by how the MM visited my office everyday and talked about his sexual exploits. She immediately asked him to leave the room and went to the adminstrator’s room to bring her in also. I told them what I remembered. They asked me to write it all down. They referred it to EEO investigation. He was gone within six weeks.

Winter turns to Spring
Vermin swept out with stale dust –
Flower blooms in May



Lillian is today’s host of dVerse.  Lillian says:
Write a TRADITIONAL HAIKU about One Shining Moment in your life.

57 thoughts on “dVerse — Flower Blooms in May

  1. Well this is an affirming haibun!!! Thank you so very much for sharing. Speaking up, speaking out. Sometimes frightening and scarey and many times difficult to do. But you did it. And he was given his just desserts. The haiku is PERFECT for this.
    We never know who all our readers are or their backgrounds. My hope is that someone out there will read this and take encouragement from your example.
    Thank you again for posting.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am glad you stood your ground and shared what you knew. This was a much better way to go than filing a complaint. This way you had the support of your upper level. Glad you got a breath of fresh air!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Kate. I think he was trying to get me fired so I wouldn’t get my pension to make brownie points for himself with admin. Either that or he believed I wouldn’t make waves that close to retirement. He certainly overestimated himself and/or underestimated me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. yea, we seldom get victories here … the employing body one percent back the senior … but then we crucify whistleblowers too … no idea where a “fair go” went but it left oz a long time ago!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Kate I think it left here a long time ago as well. Not even sure it’s possible now with the way “modern society” is organized with hierarchies, profit motive, competitiveness, etc 😦

          Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s funny, isn’t it? There was a guy on here used to take part in Fandango’s One Word Challenge, so I would read his posts.A lot of these seemed to be about his younger sexual conquests, And this is a guy who must be 50s or 60s now. You know, if you analyse it seriously, it was quite pathetic, but at the time it just felt really creepy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, this guy was in his 60’s. You’ve nailed it with quite pathetic and creepy. It wasn’t just the inappropriateness of what he was saying, it was that he was holding me hostage so I couldn’t get my work done. I think he liked to see me squirm. What a POS he was — and is!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That was definitely a shining moment. I’m glad I read your post. It bolstered my faith in the good in people. Thank you for sharing this story with us. It’s great you found a way to tell your side of the story and that your superiors at work listened to you and acted promptly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. One of the reasons why I think they acted so quickly is that that previous administrator had been “let go” by the judges and county commission for screwing two women and in exchange promoting one way beyond her experience level while not hiring others that were in line for the promotion and for giving lucrative contracts to the other. The new administrator, who was the deputy before, and the new deputy administrator who was from the prosecutor’s office knew the county couldn’t stand more bad press. They got rid of him quietly — by sending him to a much higher position in another agency. There’s the light and the shadow of the sordid mess.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It sounds awful. There are so many predatory around these days. There is a big case just breaking here where a High Court Judge is alleged to have sexually exploited young female assistants. It’s blowing open a huge can of worms. It’s so sad that the man you speak of went to work in another agency. The whole male dominated work culture needs to change.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. YES IT DOES. That said, the two women he was having affairs with exploited his “weakness” to their advantage. It’s a mess for sure. For your judge, he’s the highest law of the land, virtually untouchable. Someone did their homework to get him in the spotlight!

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Kim, it was. This is the same MM who came into one of our morning staff meetings, looked around, and said, “One thing I wish I never had to see again is ‘resting b*tch face’.” Like all of the females were supposed to greet him with a smile when he walked into the room!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That was a problem that had to be addressed. You were very brave to speak out when confronted with it. I’m sure many would have chickened out at that point. Well done Lisa. You were allowed to retire in peace, 🙂💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christine I was terrified and caught between two things. I knew he’d continue and ramp it up at this point. It was tough also because he had our backs in other arenas and my co-workers liked him and were willing to put up with his unwelcomed sharing because of it. Yes, I was able to retire in peace, thank goodness.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Phew! Thank goodness. I too have been in sticky office situations over the years. The two worst scenarios were where one co-worker was in an intimate relationship with our department head. It ended awkwardly for everyone involved. Such drama! 😦
        I’m happy you were able to retire unscathed 🥰

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.