April 25, 2014

M.L. Guida’s Villains: Deep Throat

Deep Throat

Villains abound in stories, news and everyday life. Teachers and administrators are in the paper one day as heroes and the next villains. Remember Deep Throat? The whistler blower who contacted two reporters at the Washington Post that opened the doors to Watergate and only gave his name as Deep Throat.

Well today, it happened in my world. Someone sent an email to the whole school district accusing an administrator as being Attila the Hun, but didn’t sign his or her name.

Our administrator is either loved or hated. Well, today hate won out. This administrator is retiring and an email was sent to the superintendent, school board and student services claiming that the administrator had ravaged our department. Accusations flew regarding retaliations, breaking the union contract, and seeking out personal vendettas.

True? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Yes, this administrator can lash out and make decisions that make me crazy. I’ve experienced worse, believe me. If she doesn’t like someone, she can make their life miserable. What administrator can’t? Does she possess a lot of power? Absolutely. She’s in the administration building.

Mmmmm, this is not the usual path for getting the superintendent’s attention. There’s the union or personnel. Grievances can be filed. This administrator already has dozens filed against her. Don’t you think the superintendent knows this? Well, he does now.

I write about heroes and villains. In my newest work progress, my heroine must face two demons and fight them with magic. She’s can’t do it anonymously. She can’t cast a spell and run, hoping the demons don’t find her. She has to grab her bag and lunge into a battle. Her brother’s life depends on it.

I have had to file grievances before. Was it scary? Absolutely. Did administration have my number? You bet. Was I afraid I’d lose my job and have a date with Madame Guillotine? Oui. But I walked away with something more. I confronted my fears and faced my foes.

I found leaving an anonymous letter doesn’t always get the result you want. Sometimes it gets ignored like at one of my previous employers. The director said that if someone wouldn’t sign it, then it wasn’t valid. And it was about sexual harassment!

Other times without a signature, it’s investigated but considered petty. The credentials are considered weak. But the worst part is if the powers at be decide to hunt you down, it becomes the Spanish Inquisition.

What do you think about sending an accusatory email blasting someone and not signing your name? Would it make a difference if you thought your job was in jeopardy? Ever filed a grievance before? Would love to hear from you.

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