Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In This Corner...

We have M - the Good Ol Boy (GOB), from Alabama, or is it South Carolina? It depends on which state is in his favor at the time, I guess. Actually, he grew up in Alabama, but lived in South Carolina for a long period of time, so he is comfortable with either. A little history, GOB is an alcoholic with a bad temper, he got busted for DUI a couple of years ago, and hasn't had a drink since. He actually abandoned his job a couple of years ago, we hired him back because he is a good worker and everyone deserves a second chance. He is also quite conservative, loud, dyslexic, and has a problem with pronouncing some words.

His crime: Upsetting Fnewgy (F-ing New Guy), with a reference of "Your boy Obama" and "Obama lover" (the last of which was actually said to me in a private conversation and not directed to Fnewgy, and it was actually directed towards "Obama lovers.")

Over in the other corner we have R - Fnewgy, also can be referred to as PITA, and Super Arrogant Ass, for this narration, we will call him Fnewgy, because the narrator likes this name, a lot. Fnewgy was hired on by us approximately nine months ago, within two weeks he pretty much alienated everyone. EVERYONE. He sent a note complaining about being call "new guy" by everyone, because well, he was the new guy. It had nothing to do with his skills, or anything other than the fact that he was the new guy. A friend of ours actually gave us the term Fnewgy, and it has stuck. He has sent, a minimum of, three letters to HR regarding some petty little thing like being called "new guy" or being asked to help the team out in areas other than his primary area, but he refused because he wasn't trained. It was to help out in shipping and receiving, not the assembly of rockets. He also refused to do some repairs on certain test equipment because he "doesn't get paid enough" to do that, which is funny because when he was complaining about being called the "new guy" he claimed that he could run circles around everyone in the lab with his knowledge base. Finally he felt that he was being harassed by GOB with all of the Obama references.

Enough background? Not yet. GOB is former Army and Navy (yep, he was crazy enough to join two branches of the military), Fnewgy was, uh, Coast Guard. Both men are in their fifties, with Fnewgy being older than GOB. Fnewgy also has a temper and has on many different occasions been known to get a little loud when trying to make a point, and he feels that former president GW Bush ruined his life and made him lose over a quarter a million dollars. I'm thinking hyperbole on that last point.

On to the Main Event...

It all started with this email sent on Monday:

Subject: Political personal attacks


I am sick and tired of your attacks on me Political personal attacks will no longer be tolerated. I heard your remark to Roger (yep that's me) about the "Obama Lover". Not to mention Friday's "Your Boy Obama" comment.

If you make even one more such attack I will make such a stink with HR that you may NOT survive. I am sure (My Company) does not want a law suite over your attacks. I am just the person to do it!


If Roger(me again) and J(my boss) cannot get you to stop I'll get HR to do it.

Notice I did not send this to HR. This time!


As you can see, Fnewgy was mad. Hence the red ink. No his email wasn't in red ink, sheesh. Just trying to lighten the tension around here.

So J decided that a meeting today would be necessary to calm the situation down. It was scheduled to start at eleven, but after he and I discussed it for a little bit, he figured why not start it now, at 9:15.

No Problem.

"GOB, Fnewgy, into J's office now. We're moving up our meeting."

At this point I am stalling, well actually talking to several other members of my team about a variety of things; one wanted to know if I needed anything from the gas station (no), another needed some paperwork corrected (done), a third wanted to discuss the weather (put that one on hold), and finally someone wanted to talk about some test equipment that could not be found (gonna have to wait on that as well). This whole time Fnewgy is waiting, and steaming. I have no idea why, I mean he did write the email. I told him that I would be right there, as nature had to make a call. Lots of green tea does that to a bladder.

I find Fnewgy waiting outside of J's office. Apparently he didn't want me to miss a thing. I should thank him someday.

A paraphrase:

We opened the door and Fnewgy starts yelling right away:

"I am pissed off right now about all these personal political attacks that are being blah, blah, blah" (I had to blah, blah, blah it because I almost busted out laughing, I mean it was surreal watching this man that is old enough to be my father, yelling at another man that could be my uncle.)

J says "Whoa, no need to get all excited. Let's be calm and rational her." I have to give him credit for a) not cracking up and b) actually calming Fnewgy down. J then laid out the ground rules (quiet discussion, no yelling, etc) and then gave the floor to Fnewgy.

"I am sick and blah, blah, blah, Political personal attacks, blah, blah, blah, my team of litigators (wow, he has a team of litigators? threatening, no?) will bring a lawsuit against you GOB for $1 million (oh yes he did), and J and My Company, and will settle for $250,000 and GOB being out of a job."

Sorry again for the paraphrasing, but I did hit the high points.

GOB started by saying "I want to apologize if I offended you in any way..."

"Your apology isn't worth spit." (oh yes he did)

Remember, way up there, how I mention a certain GOB and his temper? Yeah, I was shocked that I wasn't witnessing an ass-kicking, as well.

Notice that GOB allowed Fnewgy the chance to get everything off of his chest, whereas Fnewgy immediately shot down GOB's apology? Yep, I'm probably thinking the same thing as you all reading this, why oh why, is he still with us? Must be his team of litigators - WTF? Maybe that's what he lost all his money on, eh?

In the end, they both agreed to disagree, with Fnewgy stating that he doesn't hold any grudges (but has a team of litigators), whereas the GOB was honest and said that he did. (Another smirk on my part - I couldn't help myself).

J and I had so much fun, that we treated the lab to lunch.

I'll fill in any blanks that I think will make me, and you, laugh if I think of more. As for now, James Bond is on, so...