Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's been the most stressful week of my life since college. Yesterday I got a notice that tomorrow I have a mini-hearing/interrogation where the office HR department is going to grill me about my work habits. Then the HR rep is going to try to argue that I'm defrauding the government by claiming to have worked hours that I didn't really work.

First, to be clear, I am an honest person. I do not skimp on my taxes, I do not twist the truth. If a cop ever asked me how fast I was driving I would tell him if I knew. I'm pretty sure that I have never defrauded anyone and it seems like I should know. They haven't told me exactly what data they have that makes them think so, but I have a few guesses and I'm trying to prepare a non-hostile counter-argument based on them.

The bigger concern is that I talked to a union representative (just because my notification email said I had the right to do so), and he was concerned that maybe management is out to get me and is just looking for an excuse. I guess they do that for marginal employees. I'll have to talk to my supervisor a bit, but I don't think that's the case. At least I'm really hoping not.

I had a stomachache all day yesterday and it's been coming and going today. It's quite stressful knowing that someone is out to get you. And then not knowing what she's dug up to base her accusations on. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

I'm picturing something like Bill Gates' deposition in 1998, except my interrogator will also be the one writing up the penalty recommendation so you don't want to upset her. And I don't really have anything to hide (unlike Microsoft's financial assault of Netscape).

The union guy said if they decide that I've been falsifying my timesheets it would result in a suspension. I suspect I can convince them that I haven't done that, but I will have to admit that I'm not always logged into my phone service when I work (which apparently is a serious work-at-home rule that I've always ignored because I get like 1 phone call a month, you get a little email-like notification in outlook when someone leaves a voicemail, the VPN is already slow without needing my telephone software making it worse, and nobody has ever complained that I'm unreachable). I've also broken a rule about requesting vacation time 3+ days in advance, and it's possible that I've been subconsciously counting hours worked between 10pm and midnight, which you're not supposed to do. They seem like small things but rules are rules. I might still get suspended. Honestly, I have no idea what's going on, and my supervisor says he doesn't know either. I guess I could get fired. Yikes.

They could make this process much less stressful with very little work if they wanted. It's been really tough getting work done this week and I have lots of work due before my sister shows up on Friday. And I still have to clean some. Oh, Irene is visiting me this weekend! The first family visit since 2005. I see family in CA, they just don't often come this way. I'm not sure what we'll do here.

(this exchange occurred over a series of emails)
me: Hey what's your cell number? I lost my phone two weeks ago and all my numbers with it.
Spittle: [sends his number]
Spittle: gotta love that. reply within 1 minute.
me: you're quick with that number. if you were a girl i'd call you a phone slut. or a tease if you're one of those girls who gives out the number with no intention of responding to a voicemail. slut.
Spittle: I'd be the girl that says "okay ready? 2-0-2 - 2-2-2 - 2 GOOD FOR YOU! AHAHAHAHAHA"


Sarah said...

Oh Joe. That sounds so, so stressful. I would be having stomachaches too. I hope you are sipping some gingerale for it; that always helps me. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow and hoping it isn't the worst case scenario.

joe said...

Thanks Sarah. I've been sipping water for the stomach and it doesn't bother me too much. I just wish I could concentrate on this work.

Rachel said...

awww good luck today Joe! You are a good employee so I wouldn't stress too much (although how could you not). Keep us posted on how it goes.

joe said...

I was told that I'm not to talk about the proceedings because it's an ongoing investigation. But I will say that my stomach is feeling much better right now. And I have lots of stuff to do before Irene shows up. Thanks for the encouragement, Rachel & Sarah.

Peter said...

Have fun with Irene this weekend!

Rachel said...

so i guess i was logged in as peter this morning when i commented. oops

joe said...

Oh I thought that was my dad. I was surprised.