What's this blog really about?

You may notice a variety of topics here - from business, to charity promotion, even to local news, but the primary reason this blog was created was to alert readers to the hostile atmosphere and sexual harassment at The Danville Register & Bee. The readers and creator of this blog want a FULL FRONT PAGE apology in the Danville Register & Bee, plus the disciplining of those individuals involved. Until then, we'll continue to post regular updates. To tolerate THIS kind of behavior by a major media network is intolerable. And this isn't just ONE instance. Media General has been sued nationwide for racism and sexism, yet they CONTINUE to keep the offenders employed. Why? And why am I doing this? TRUTH compels me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Comments...EEOC old news

To those who have commented - yes, I have contacted the EEOC. I discovered that there are only five EEOC investigators in Virginia and investigations, if conducted, often take up to six months.

According to the attorneys I've spoken with, the forms have also been replaced - leaving out a very critical element. If you don't write "I swear or affirm that I have read the above charge and that it is true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief," it is not a discrimination charge - but a questionnaire. And that can languish for months.

According to the attorneys, the Virginia EEOC's investigator's desks are piled high with complaints - more than they can handle. The cases that are easy to read, filled out completely and that catch their eye are more likely to be handled. Investigations may take one day or weeks. Again - it's pretty much a crap shoot. The system, as most systems in this country, are arranged to benefit the corporation and the corporate overlords who control them. Chances are very good, I've been told, they'll simply look at what I have and send me a letter authorizing me to pursue the case in court.

As I told Steve - I'm not a litigious person. I want justice. I was wronged and I want it set right. He and Media General had EIGHT LONG MISERABLE MONTHS to investigate and didn't. At the last minute, they're suddenly pumping me for information about what I'd been telling them all along?!

THE FACTS are there. Other employees have complained. I have. No one at Media General is listening. NO ONE. The whole point of this blog is to stand up and give a voice to those who have been bullied, abused, humiliated and treated dirty by those in management at The Danville Register & Bee. What they have done is NOT RIGHT.

We all know that. What's important is whether or not Danville businesses are going to support a newspaper that WILL do what's right, that will treat people right and will report the news like a newspaper should. Readers have been leaving the paper in droves.

It will take advertisers leaving in the same numbers to get the point across. When you treat enough people poorly eventually one of them gets tired of it and stands up. I'm standing up. This isn't about trashing the paper. It's about holding them accountable for disgusting behavior - behavior that Media General SAYS it has a zero tolerance for.

I told Steve at one point that everyone except the managers had their resumes out and were looking for jobs elsewhere. They lost the best creative staff they had - Michael was incredible with Flash, but they wouldn't utilize him. The layout/graphics folks were incredible - they were all handed boxes and booted out the door. Everyone from Reidsville who came up left within weeks of being there - saying they felt like they were resented for being there (by the same bullies I had to deal with). R.J. left...citing personal reasons....I was right wasn't I Steve....about a lot of things.

Don't you think maybe there's truth to the other things I told you? [I was out walking this evening and saw Steve drive by. I waved, he didn't wave back. As a matter of fact he looked pretty miserable. I don't understand. I was very nice when he called to fire me. I said very nicely - "Have a nice life!" Maybe he's not? I've put you on my prayer list Steve. I do sincerely pray for you every night that you'll come to your senses and realize that God loves you - even if a lot of people in Danville hate you. I'm sure there are some who hate me :^D

Do the right thing. Apologize and lets all move on.

The rest of you? Please send Steve your best wishes and maybe a sympathy card. I hear there are more layoffs scheduled for Danville in August - since the press will be closing down and the printing moving to Lynchburg too.]

Send your cards and correspondence to:

Steve Kaylor, c/o The Danville Register & Bee,
700 Monument St.
Danville, VA 24541.

I suggest a positive quote, an affirmation, maybe your favorite bible verse, a spiritual tract...an invitation to a management class, a copy of a good management book...This is his first job as a publisher and he needs to know that rock bottom is the best place to build a foundation. I've had to rebuild after all this, so I know!


Gabriel said...

In reference to your EEOC comments, I submit that you have a special obligation to get moving on that. Very few of those victimized have the energy and writing talent to follow through on something so complicated. You can do it--and should for the sake of all the victims who are unable to. And by dooing so, other options are not closed off to you.

Mavourneen said...

I have to agree with Gabriel. I think you owe it to yourself and to those who have been treated illegally on the job to file with the EEOC. If you have to write a declaration on the complaint form, write it. (I'm not sure I understand why that's an issue.) You are an award-winning writer...if you can't write a complaint that's comprehensive and literate enough for the investigators to understand, then you can complain about that but right now, you're blaming the gov't or the agency for something you're not sure is accurate...that they don't investigate poorly written complaints.

I've read parts of your blog and am truly sorry for what you had to put up with at the Register&Bee. I don't know anyone that works there (or anywhere in your area, for that matter) but what you've described sounds most unpleasant. I can empathize to some degree...I spent some time at a job in which the boss did things that make your situation sound like child's play.

Blogs weren't invented back then but someone went to the media and both the state's newspaper and TV station of record did investigations of several days' duration and pretty well exposed the situation which was pretty unbelievable. There's not enough room on the web for me to tell you even the highlights. The state's highest level law enforcement agency also investigated and found nothing actionable or illegal. They patted me on the rear end as I walked out of my interrogation. Good-ole-boyism at its finest.

There was an exodus of good employees, including me, and eventually things must have settled down but I'm sure nothing really changed. The boss held his job for another 20 yrs.

I would have given anything to have had the opportunity to file an EEOC complaint but because the egregious behavior involved virtually all the women (and some of the men) at the office at some time or another, there was no way to allege discrimination. Unbelievable, huh?

I've read your statement that you don't consider yourself to be a litigious person but aren't you afraid someone is going to sue you? I certainly understand your rage but aren't you afraid that you're eventually going to say something about someone that will land you in the middle of a lawsuit?

I've also read your statement that you just want an apology and to get on with your life. An apology?? Men like those you've described don't apologize. And if they did apologize to you, would that stop them from treating the next woman the same way that they treated you? I doubt it. Wouldn't it be better to have a federal agency, or a court, slap this crowd with fines or monetary damages to such a degree that they'd not dare treat anyone so dreadfully again? Isn't it at least worth the time it would take to fill out the form and make the complaint? If it gets lost in the shuffle, well, at least you tried. If it gets investigated, and can be proven, you've scored an incredible victory for yourself and for women.

For the past several years I've been an unpaid assistant steward for a higher education union. We've gotten many, many complaints about all sorts of things but even though we only have 2 investigators in this state, we have seen at least one EEOC complaint investigated and findings entered for the complaintant. It can happen.

I'm not sure that I'll continue to read your blog...your anger is reminiscent of my own so many years ago. I too have been a consumer of the private mental health system...and a provider of community mental health services as well. (My advanced degree is in psychology although I've never yet seen obesity and 'emotional protection' definitively linked in all the courses I've taken [or taught] or in the myriad journal articles I've read.) Were I your therapist, I'd be trying to help you channel your rage in a less public manner to minimize the possible harm that could come to you and one that could possibly benefit you and others in the long run. But, of course, I'm not your therapist and so I defer to whomever is.

I wish you resolution. I know it will be a long time in coming...these types of humiliations take quite a long time to resolve in our minds. (I'm not sure we ever get completely past them, frankly...too many other things dredge them up, in whole or in part, as we continue our lives.)

I wish you protection from further harm...psychological, physical and financial. This has obviously had (and is continuing to have) a profound effect on you and I don't want it to get worse for you.

I wish you a constructive channel for your anger...one that will accomplish something to protect you and other employees stuck in jobs with other employers who recklessly disregard human dignity and human rights.

But most of all, I wish you well.