So can they do anything to me? Getting tired of all this.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm ready to give up with Head Start...they can just do what they like. It doesn't matter anymore.

    I got a phone call from John, who is the arsehole head of Head Start. He told me to stop harassing the families of the kids at head start. Now I doubt he can do anything because HE can't decide if I'm harassing them. I'm only seeing them once and everyone has been friendly. Many have asked me to come back or asked if I'd babysit their kids. Harassed??? Because they offered to let me in and I agreed and we spoke? But can John send a cop to my house for visiting these kids who used to be on my bus or do the families have to do it? He told me to stop doing it, but he didn't say what he'd do if I didn't. Well, I'm done visiting anyway. I've visited enough to know that they liked me. But, even if they did, I STILL LOST MY JOB BECAUSE P. LIED! And they must have thought so little of me, they believed her over me.

    I feel so depressed about the whole thing. There is no way to win this.

    I give up. I wonder if they WILL call the cops because I visited some of my kids, although I doubt if they can arrest me. Or send some legal papers, although I doubt if they have a case. But maybe they do and I'll end up in

    On top of this crapola, I had a meeting with my casworker today (disability worker) and she was reading what the neuropsychologist said about me...that I'm not neurotypical, that I have severe deficits in the function of the left side of my brain, and severe visual memory deficits. this isn't new. I've heard it before. But Blah. I really *am* disabled and I know how difficult children feel about being different. I hate it that I can't recognize anyone's face, can't find my way around the block, can't multitask AT ALL, can't even do a child's jigsaw puzzle.....(sigh). I hate that I can't even work at McD's because that's multitasking and I can't do it without making mistakes (yes, I tried).

    Anyhow, I hope I don't end up both disabled and in jail...lolol.

    Cripes, what a bad mood I'm in!!! Thanks for letting me vent. And PLEASE don't say, "I forget people's faces too..." that just makes it worse. It's not t he same thing. Plus I have no ability to visualize in my head or remember what I see at all. I can't even remember what my house looks like if I'm not staring at it. How long have I been this way? SINCE I WAS BORN!!!!

    Any thoughts on if this John jerk can get me nailed for harassment, even though nobody acted harassed? Is he just trying to scare me? He

    Okay, love ya all.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the families themselves have to file for harassment? I don't think he can file on their behalf, so sounds like BS on his side to me. Sounds like he's running scared and trying to scare you, too. He also can't make these familiar stay away from you, and he might be trying to work it both ways, too. Makes me wonder.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You have the right of free association.
    You didn't steal the list of addresses from HeadStart - you got to know families because of being on the bus.

    If that's harassment, then I guess I harass a lot of teachers - because we stop and chat at the grocery store, or I run into them working in their garden when I'm walking the dog, or...

    HS doesn't WANT you making any waves. Sure, I can see why.
    But... what HS is doing to you in making those calls to YOU?
    THAT borders on harassment.

    In fact, I'd start keeping a log of every time he calls, and what he has to say.
    Record it, if you can.

    If they try and follow through? bring out YOUR data...
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That's what I thought. That the family's would have had to claim harassment. Nobody acted harassed. They were very friendly. All of them. But, remember, this is a jerk here...

    IC, I hope it's the same in the US as in Canada. I did visit their homes (a few). I know where they live because I was on the bus, but I certainly didn't barge in and if they had told me to leave, I would have left. The thing is, nobody did. I don't think visiting once and coming inside when invited is harassment, is it? Or is it harassment because their kids go to Head Start? If so...why and how is this harassment? I don't even work for them anymore. I have a discrimination suit against them...but, of course, I doubt THAT scares them. Nobody ever wins against a company in the US unless you are rich enough to hire OJ's Dream Team. I can't afford a lawyer at all.

    I have his message on my cell phone, but he won't call me again. I changed my cell phone number.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yup. And jerks can easily cross the line into harassment... so, document.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I did, but he can't call me anymore. He'd have to send a letter, which is great documentation. But I don't want to deal with him at all. I don't want to read his letters anymore.

    The only thing I want from the discrimination suit is to have the lies erased from my file.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    His head won't roll. Never happens. Nice thought, but nah.

    I feel like a child difficult child who wants to slam my head against my computer desk :)
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    "never say never".
    And I stand by that.
    You'd be surprised at the surprises I've seen in my life.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Did you go visit those families after you went to first one you told us about? The one where you went in and told them you had heard from "people"? MWM, you have got to not go to these peoples homes. I am betting somewhere in some paper you signed when you went to work for Head Start was a confidentiality agreement. There is one in almost any job you take when you work for any government entity. You are never allowed to contact anyone outside of working hours that is involved with your job.

    For instance, I worked for Social Services. I was never allowed to even so much as acknowledge a person who was a client of mine if I saw them outside of work in say Walmart. I had to pretend I never even knew them unless they came up to me and spoke first and then I could say hello but I could never say where I knew them from. That was against the rules. Many times clients broke those rules themselves but that was on them. That was perfectly fine if they wanted to shout out across a crowded store that I was their caseworker.

    When I left DSS, I never talked about why in the community. If I saw some of my old clients I just told them I no longer worked there. If I saw old coworkers, most of them knew why or I just said I got too sick to continue working.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is a bit different iwth her job at HS. There actually isn't anything they can really do to her. Anything they might want to try is because they are in CYA mode because they are dealing with both parent complaints because MWM is gone and with problems that P is causing. there is zero chance that she is not causing more problems because she got her way when she lied about MWM. THat was positive reinforcement for her bad behaviors and she is now feeling very powerful. I am willing to be that John is having a major "OHSH**! WTH have I done?" at least mentally because parents are vocal about who they like and don't. When our school's sped teacher left and a very new, very stuck up and snotty chick was hired in her place, the current and future parents gave her 2 months and then raised holy heck. They got all the past parents involved, even the ones who could not be bothered to show up for anything, and they raise holy heck until this new chick was sent for some serious retraining. Our principal had a serious problem and tried to insist it was not the teacher ONLY because she ran the good teacher off due to politics. She was asked to resign or to leave the district and not be an administrator again because this and some other big problems.

    If P continues, and your suit is in ANY way validated (which I believe it will be), then his head will likely roll. Admins in gov't programs do NOT survive those things well. My opinion is that he is working to stop the suit by intimidating you. DO NOT LET HIM. In your position, you knew fairly few specifics on the children. there is no law that says you cannot visit a member of your community. That pretty much is that, period. they would have to PROVE that you only knew them from school, and that you could not have met them in any other way. Even in a big cty that is TOUGH.

    If there is a problem that you were not allowed to speak wth them, your atty will know. Ask the atty and follow his advice. I doubt he will tell you to stop this. Esp if all you are doing is delivering a small valentine to each child that you know.

    If you had a more active role in care of the children other than keeping them buckled and safe on the bus, it would be different. But you should ask your atty to be sure.
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    A lot would depend on what you said to those families. If you attempted to "get them on your side" and HS can show that you did it with malice and not 100% facts, you could be in trouble for slander. I suggest that you stop talking to people about what happened, except if you have an attorney, then talk to her.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is what I what JJJ said. I would not be going to children's homes because you would only know that from your working there but it is perfectly fine to talk to anyone you see in a public place. However I would not talk to them about the facts of why you are not working for HS anymore. Something very general like "well we seemed to have a difference in opinions on some things and Im no longer working there" would be fine.

    Im not sure why people think HS is some sort of special entity but it is part of a federal government agency and therefore is run by certain rules. Most of them would be similar to the public school employee rules which are quite similar to all govt employee rules. And as far as whether the labor board ever does anything in the US, yes it does, even in At Will states. All employers are required to adhere to certain rules no matter what. Im sure most of us have seen those posters somewhere.
  14. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Playing devils advocate here, it "could" theoretically be argued that by virtue of being on a persons door step they were placed in a potentially awkward position of not wanting to speak directly to you about any "concerns" they may have had regarding your performance with their children on the bus. Let's say hypothetically that a parent didn't like you based on their perception of your job performance while working with their child. Let's say hypothetically they had confidentially spoken to someone at HS and expressed their "concerns" about your performance around their child. Let's say a couple/few parents did something like this. Then lets say the HS heard the tales of this P character. Let's say HS wanted to release you from your position, with cause. They then have options. Express the stated concerns of parents, however in the process "out" the parents that expressed concerns which potentially is awkward for the parents who have no way to know that you won't pop up employed around their children in later years as they progress beyond HS programs. OR they can use P's statements about your job performance as justification for releasing you. Also, I don't know the rules about the "at will" states, but from reading here it sounds like they can just say sorry you gotta go, and unfortunately employees have no protection. So they cover their butts because it is a at will state, but offer you a basic idea as to their reasoning by stating P's "complaints". By you then appearing on their doorsteps, however well intended, it might be argued that the parents who (unknown to you) could very well have "not liked" you, or "not liked" your performance of your duties were made uncomfortable with your questions. It could also be argued that even if they absolutely agree you got completely shafted based on P's craziness, and even if they adored you and felt terrible at you being let go from your job, they may feel awkward at the idea that answering your questions about your performance, given your effort to have yourself "Cleared" of allegations in your employee file/record, the parents could be concerned at being drawn into a messy situation and forced therefore to be summoned later to some litigation to discuss you and your performance and whatnot.

    I'm not saying, for the record, that I think you were "wrong" speaking to a few parents. Especially if they appeared receptive and invited you in etc. I'm simply playing devils advocate, as certainly if HS feels threatened by potential action from you they will be doing. The CYA syndrome a employer will surely take since they wish you'd just go away and you are not.

    With caring, I would suggest that you follow through with your intent to not speak to more parents. I would also consider that if you run into other parents you don't raise the topic. I would also consider that if you run into the same parents who invited you in and discussed this with you don't discuss it further with them (or anyone except those helping with your legal matters). If the parents (or former coworkers) bring it up in discussion if you run into them, I would smile and thank them for their concern, mumble something about it being complicated but that it is something you'd prefer to just not talk about.

    Also, for what its worth I think you got hosed and I think it's terrible and I understand your hurt and being offended and upset at the idea that a employee record does NOT reflect your experience of your time in your position and unfairly paints you in a bad light. I just think that this is one of those things that without money for attorneys you may need to accept you will NOT win regarding. Unfortunately we all face times we are right and have been wronged but remain powerless to change so simply have to let go for our own peace of mind. I hate to say this but it sounds like you are in a no win situation. I personally would NOT think it fair but in your shoes I would likely not list the position on a resume in the future as to ensure the unfair documentation as to your job performance does not impact future applications for a new job. This just feels to me like it can milk all of your spirit and energy and likely to little avail.
  15. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I truly understand that, at this point, you were not going to these homes to get your job back, but to satisfy you. But I'm not sure it's really "right".

    I would like to ask how John knew that you had been doing these visits? Perhaps, as another poster hit on, a family was nice when faced with you at their doorstep, but mentioned to someone else it was a little strange, odd, off putting, etc.? There is a reason he called and I'm not sure his call was totally supported to protect himself and the agency. Just my 2 cents.

    Oh, and harassment has to be filed by the one's making the claim.

    This is a sad and unfortunate situation all around. This woman someone had the power to change your life. That, I don't understand.

  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nope. I didn't sign anything. If I had to do that, I probably wouldn't have taken the job. I don't know anything about the kid's personal lives. I was just a bus aide. There is nothing like that in the employee handbook either. John has no idea what I talk to them about. They haven't told him. I don't tell stories. I simply show them my termination letter that was written by him. That's all I need to tell them.
    I run into people all the time. I ran into a pair of twins today at Walmart and his father asked where I'd been. I showed him the letter. He looked puzzled and said, "You were never rude to me. Not once."
    I can't imagine that this is in any way illegal. I don't have a lawyer, but I did call the police after he left his nasty voicemail and they said that I can talk to whoever I wanted to talk to, just like John can talk about me to whoever he wants to and say whatever he wants to say.
    It was very important to me to know and to show John that the parents did not agree with him. Maybe if I wasn't disabled and could just have blown it off and found another job flipping burgers it wouldn't have mattered to me. But that's not the case. I want the lies off my record, which is what I'm fighting for in my disabilities suit. One way to make my case is to have a documented list of parents I have spoken to who did not agree with John. By the reception I got, they weren't feeling awkward. I've known these people for a long time and had good relationships with them. The few I didn't know well, I didn't bother with. I either know I would be welcome or I did not go.
    This is not a job where I had confidential info about the kids or family. I had basically no knowledge of them. I know ex-employees who do babysit for the kids they'd had on their bus.
    Susie, I love you dearly, but I can't afford a If I could there would be a full fledged discrimination suit brought against them. Do you know what attornies charge???? Whoa boy!
    In spite of feeling better today, and with a new phone number that John can't reach me on, I'm not that interested in visiting families anymore, except for the ones who invited me back for various reasons (friendship mostly). I pretty much spoke to almost everyone whose child was on my bus, except for the sweeties whose parents don't speak English. But if I run into kids at Walmart again, which often happens, I have no problem whipping out the letter John wrote me. It was mean and devestating. We are an "at will" state. If he wanted me gone, he could have just let me go. He didn't have to write down a bunch of REALLY nasty lies. But anything the parents see is what he wrote. I don't elaborate. If he didn't want anyone else to see it, he shouldn't have sent it.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Did he say dont bother them or did he say they said they want you to stop bothering them?

    It could be anything as discussed before. It could be that someone defended you but HS is spinning it that you talked to a parent and to get you to stop they are using those kinds of words to intimidate you.

    I wouldn't worry, they are bullying you. BUT just in case it is coming from a parent do not take that risk. Unless someone comes to you in public just remain professional and private about it all. Its ok to say you are sad to be gone or that you will miss them, just do not get into the details.

    This all stinks for you, I was watching a show about some injustice and I thought of many situations here on this board, including Q and psycho.....

    it was said that most times there simply is no justice and we have to live with things as they are. It's not fair but that is what it happens in most cases. How we handle ourselves and what we do for our futures is what is most important.

    I believe that in the end, it will be sorted out, if not here on earth then........

    I hope you can find another job or activity to give you purpose and let you use your talents. I want you to be able to do your foster care so please do not tick anyone off to even put bogus compaints against you. I KNOW that is unfair, it svcks so badly. you and WE all know that you are special and talented and worthy of the best in life. These folks are simply idiots that caused grief. Good riddance (not of the kids/families but the jerks).....

    I'm so sorry about all of this.
  18. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I agree with others. I would recommend not talking to any more families - even if you run into them while you are out and about.....YOU know that you did nothing wrong and that's more important because no matter what you do HS is not going to change their minds. Good luck.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know I wasn't bothering them. He said it. Nobody will file anything against me. And I didn't sign anything.

    Head Start is hardly holy. Lots of people don't like them and that's why they are so paranoid about what people think. A lot of politicians hear that the people don't want to support Head Start with their tax dollars. Our Republicans in Wisconsin are not fans of HS. John told us this at the before school meeting. Some people turn in Head Start buses just to be mean because they don't like the idea of Head Start. They do not have nor follow the rules of any public school. For one thing, the employees are not protected by unions or paid well. For another, they just don't follow the protocol of public school even when they have the kids. Public Schools do not use Conscious Discipline. If your child misbehaves on a public school bus your child can be suspended or expelled from bus service, even in kindergarten. At Head Start, even if the child is violent and hurts other children or the aide, we aren't even allowed to tell the parent that it happened. Their thinking is that perhaps the parent is unstable and may beat the child...haha. I haven't told that to any of the parents. It wouldn't go over well. But that's how they think...the kids are poor so the parents may be violent psychopaths and nobody can know if their child is having problems, including them. In public school, you know. They don't even think about whether a child's parent may beat the child if the parent is told about a child's transgression. This program doesn't ready the children for kindergarten, where they will have to face consequences if they misbehave...there is no connection between Head Start and our public schools at all. In fact, Head Start is afraid of the public schools. If the public schools complain about them...they feel threatened. Their existence (Head Start) is dependent upon federal funding. The "bad" Head Starts (or the ones the Feds catch being "bad") lose their funding and are shut down.
  20. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    MWM- let me state that I don't think you did anything wrong.

    That said; my advice to you is to lay low with HS and the families from here on out. Right or wrong; I think you could be putting you unemployment compensation at risk.

    They did not have any grounds for disputing your claim at the time of separation. You were kept on as a sub, eligible for rehire and that mean unequivocally that you were not fired for cause. I am going to guess that they may revoke your eligibility for rehire at this point and terminate your employment completely. I do not think they have grounds for fighting your unemployment claim successfully. They may dispute it and you may have to appeal, but IME the dwd gives the employee the benefit if the doubt. But if you contact anyone else after the have expressly requested you do not, I think you could give then reasonable cause to dispute it successfully. I'm not making a judgment call here, I just think you should lay low so you don't jeopardize your UE even a tiny bit.

    The guy sounds like a complete tool-and I don't want to see him fight the claim just so he can be a jerk and "win". He may think you're trying to provoke him; Know what I mean??

    Just my two cents. Again not a judgment, I think your feelings are justified and that they treated you horribly.