20 April 2007

What did I do?

As some of you know, earlier this week I had posted an entry on the state of negotiations between my company and field maintenance crews, which could be hitting the picket lines as soon as Monday. On Tuesday morning, I had been contacted by my manager's manager insisting that I take the post down. It essentially consisted of a publically-released news report on the state of the talks and then some personal comments on how this was going to affect me and my coworkers.

Here is the comments I put in after the news article:
I am not slated to be on the first-wave of relief workers, as I'm deemed essential personnel (plus Aly's on holidays until the beginning of May so I have no relief either). Darren is supposedly being relocated in Saskatchewan for a two-week shift starting next week, Rod is on two-week standby, and if this drags on into May, I might be going out for a tour of duty as well as I'm sure it will be deemed that one FTE is enough to carry on essential services in our department given the circumstances. I could be out on the chain gang in gobforsaken Northern Ontario or something before May's out, and all this on top of the outsourcing initiative which is supposed to be telling us whether we stay or go by mid-May (the work on this, of course, is not being compromised by the strike). Ducky. Just ducky.

I laugh at our Manager. It's 'business as usual', my ass. Everything is being screwed up by this perfect storm, and things are undoubtedly going to get more chaotic in the next few weeks. Because of the outsourcing, attrition rates are unexpectedly high and this is a great concern of the higher-ups. We don't even have enough people on staff right now to get everything covered, nevermind continued attrition and strike duty.

And here were some of the comments added to the post by myself and others:
Well....whats works for x can't be bad for y right? I swear RRers of all ranks manage the gov't like two kids nagging Mom - If you can go on strike and get a big raise and raise hell before being legislated back to work GIVE 'ER! Now management is just as delusional....problem - what problem? We can always head out in the field and play choo-choo for a while. Hell we might even cause a wreck or two while we're at it? If we are lucky though y won't make the 6:00 news because x does that almost daily already.

Seriously though, I've worked in the operations dept (as you know Reid) and the attitude is only surpassed by the civil service. Everyone who works for the RR loves to bash it. If there is any good news in this I remember there being a couple of hot conductors in the Field bunkhouse.....so Northern Ontario might not be so bad after all :-)

"We can always head out in the field and play choo-choo for a while."

Priceless, absolutely priceless.
I think this can only end in tears, or at least with the spending of a LOT of money until it is resolved.

What a bunch of crackerheads!

If the boys are cute in the bunkhouse -- all may not be too bad, eh?

It was all these above opinions that raised the ire of management here. I was told that I was infringing on business ethics agreements that were in place and that I had signed. I agreed that I hadn't used my normal discretion when putting this post together -- normally I do not mention the company I work for when posting thoughts on my work environment. It was only the inclusion of the news article that allowed them to Google my blog post, make the connections, and quickly demand that I take it down. Stupid me.

The events of last fall taught me never to divulge too much connection between me, the people I hang out with, where I live or where I work, however sometimes things slip through and I concede that. Nevertheless, my department manager even admitted to me that the people involved in the labour dispute were all very hypersensitive at this point in the game and it was just better to avoid controversy by taking the post down.

Interestingly, this morning one of my co-workers who spends most of his time working for the HR and Communications departments came and told me that the stance of these teams was that it was wrong for the 'company' to demand that I take a personal blog posting down as it is public domain and there was no sensitive or secret information divulged, and for that they apologized to me! I was quite surprised, but after discussing this for a bit realized that what I had posted (above) wasn't infringing on any delicate negotiations nor would it affect the opinions of others in any way. One statement I had made was inaccurate, but the rest of the post and comments were purely opinion and speculation. So much for free speech when there's money at stake, eh?

Anyways, that was a nice bit of news this morning. I'm really quite surprised how far this innocuous little post went. It seems that anyone 'in the know' in the company was apparently aware of this blog post. I may have not got my gold star at work on Tuesday, but who cares? Hey, I'm famous, dammit! LOL

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