Another County Employee Asks for Help Against Workplace Bullying
As I sit here and compose this e-mail, I feel ashamed and weary.
I am a member of Management in El Dorado County with 15 years of proud service. Today I just needed some quiet time to think and reflect about what is going on with my employer, as people I know are being hurt, and worse it is known by many and allowed to go on. Most of the egregious behavior is at the level of elected officials, but some of our Department Heads and their Assistants in turn model it back down at their own Managers, thus bringing the fear back to where the work is performed.
My personal view is that it is the front line managers working desperately to get difficult and complex work done on a daily basis, providing support, praise and mentoring to the staff, while also trying to keep them safe from that happenings above us.
Before I go on, please reflect on the actions of Mike Applegarth who pulled off the band-aid with his heartfelt and courageous words to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on Monday.
My shame is that I am too fearful to publicly join Mike Applegarth, when I know what he stated is only the tip of the iceberg for what is really going on, but I have seen others who are dedicated and hardworking who spoke up, suddenly be gone, or to get 'voluntary' demotions, or be relocated to remote offices. Looking at the turnover with appointed Department Heads is part of the problem, but to really dig down to the issues we need to reach out the the ever changing roles of the Financial Account Managers and the Chief Fiscal Offers.
The situation within the El Dorado County Government offices is explosive right now and needs a unbiased look at what is going on. Most mid-level managers are just seeking a safe place to tell their stories, but don't have that safe investigator to tell their experiences to. The details of grinding inefficiencies, unnecessary cumbersome processes, and State Mandated, federally funded programs being brought to a halt because the auditor/controller does not like someone for a silly reason, like not going to lunch with him, or the person did not contribute to his election campaign, or did not return a call quick enough, or worse as some whisper it's because you are a woman and not part of the good ole boys network.
It is my sincere hope that what I have written here will be considered for review. What I present here is subtle I know, but should it be taking seriously, flood gates will open. And it won't be disgruntled staff with a chip on their shoulders, but rather honorable, hard working, respected professionals from varied Departments so you see the breadth of the issue and be able to know what is occurring is current and pervasive, not old reports of isolated incidents.
One important element will be to really assess the levels in the organization where this behavior occurs and at what level is the fear. While yes, I am a mid level Manager, who supervisors other Managers, we are not part of the top team where these things are occurring. I do not know one manager who is not completely dedicated to the staff of the organization and really feel it is our duty to protect our Supervisors and the staff they oversee from the hurtful and dangerous happenings at the highest levels in the Departments, the Board Of Supervisors and with the elected officials.
Submitted with respect.