“Me, Too”– Non-Sexual Harrassment is Just as Toxic in the Workplace…Here Are a Couple of MY Stories…

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

As the media becomes saturated with the sexual “Me-Too’s” in the workplace, here’s a reminder that overt sexual misconduct isn’t the only thing going on out there. There are many other subtle…and not so subtle, ways in which women are blocked from advancement.

Here are some personal reminiscences:

I had my own experiences as the only woman mechanic/trainee back in the mid-80’s. I was inquiring about some adult school mechanics class and then…the community college involved recruited me hard because they “needed a woman” (I was already a trained piano tech). Sounded good….10 week of classroom/shop work, followed by 10 weeks at a car dealership.  So, the cycle started.

I was number 1 in the class, but instead of getting good jobs, I got the shop thug stuffing crap into the lock on my tool box (no reprimand for him) and the work dispatcher giving me water leaks on convertibles (yes, that’s true) even in my last semester. The shop foreman, a nice old guy, did ask me why I wanted to do this and I simply said…to make a buck.

When work was a bit slow, we would check the mechanics’ work for experience…I found leaking gasoline out of a carburetor before it was driven away and also a brake job that wasn’t done right and could have killed someone. I detected the source of a noise that a patron had brought in 3 times without it being found…I found it. It was the little donut between the exhaust manifold and the engine that was rattling…

The head of the program came in to protest about what was going on and even a few of my younger classmates knew I was being treated badly. At the end of the course, with my top of the class degree, I was offered NO work bay but “special” work dealing with “electrical problems.” This was before things got so computerized and all they told us to do was to through in a new power or logic module. There was no real analyzing….when I did, they told me it was “warranty work” so leave that inoperable cig lighter alone…No money in ripping out the dashboard under warranty, don’t you know?.

I was railroaded out of any money making jobs…I considered going to the EEOC…
I had a meeting with the big shot owner of the place, but in the end, I walked away form his phony “electrical” work and paid off my tuition.

Down the road in Pennsylvania,  there was a dealership that knew that women techs could be great and welcomed them but it was really far from where I lived. So, the only good memories I had of my dealership was that I was often requested by clients, even as a trainee, to do their oil changes, etc. because they knew I really didn’t over tighten and strip the oil pan screws and did actually check all the fluids, tires, etc….all in a speedy number of ticks…and that I probably save a couple of lives.

What’s worse is that jerks are still working out there who could kill you if they screwed up a job….attention to detail is a big plus when dealing with things that move…..
One good thing is that I know how not get screwed over by auto shops…and basically, now stick to my local VW dealer who is very good and good to me.

After that, I went to work in a parts store (no room at the dealership for me, although I had a degree that basically was all about inventory…library!) I went to a store….the boss got calls from the Ford dealership telling him I was the only one who ever had gotten the right engine gasket for them the first time…

Promo time? Went to a total asshole, of course…
Did some work at a VW shop in parts and enjoyed it, but the owner got sick and the job disappeared….but was always friends with the parts mgr. who went to another VW place…..So, some guys were super happy just to have someone with a brain working with them!

Ah, but “professional” corporations are so much better…not!! The “conservative” insurance industry is a case in point.  I transferred after training into an office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Big mistake.

The department boss would glare at me from his glass cage with the evil eye…he hated me from day 1 when I told him where I had gone to school (one of the Ivy League places)…so, from then on, I didn’t get the required “assistance” for new underwriters and ultimately, I had producers asking when I would come out to visit…but I wasn’t allowed to go. The handwriting was on the wall.

The regional prejudice was rampant…I was asked by an the underwriter sitting in back of me for my opinion of whether she should underwrite a trucking company. This was because I was from NJ, had an Italian name, and that I “knew” something about how the Mafia worked.  I KID YOU NOT….

Don’t get me wrong…I met some nice people in Milwaukee but this office seemed rife with an obvious lack of “curiosity” about other parts of the country, to say the least. In terms of my actually being able to do my job?  I would say that I wasn’t exactly “brought along” and encouraged to “blossom.”

So, months later, I went to the big “flying up” meeting in Hartford, heard all the stories from other people, and knew my plan was the correct one.  I had already decided to leave…had driven my car out of there.  Once the meeting was over, I took my paperweight with the inscription on it, flew back to Wisconsin, and gave 2 weeks notice. Of course, giving notice isn’t always appreciated …they got me out of there so fast, it was amazing.   So packed up the apartment. and my brother flew out and we drove the U-Haul truck back to Jersey.

I actually did file a complaint about the reneging on the promised training/supervision, sat through a phone conference with the employment guy at the office and someone from somewhere, who knows where anymore,  but lost the case,  “of course”…

***

Somewhere in my files is a short story I wrote decades ago which was a jaded look at all the miserable jobs I had and the various forms of stupidity I dealt with….of course, the high point is where I was asked to get coffee by somebody higher up and I refused…but that’s a story for another day…

Trump Trots Out the Romanian President, But the Corrupt Power Behind the Throne is Liviu Dragnea (Who Met with Mike Flynn Just before the Inauguration)

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Trump trotted out the President of Romania today for a show at the White House Rose Garden.  Most of the press coverage has been about Trump’s comments about James Comey, tapes, and his supposed willingness to testify under oath about all the stuff swirling around him.

The Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, was here to talk about stronger ties with Washington and how Romania was really working hard to up its spending for defense, a big thing on Trump’s mind when it comes to NATO members.

From Foreign Policy:

The Romanian President Is in D.C. to Talk Defense, But…

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“Security and defense represent a key component of the U.S.-Romanian strategic partnership,” Iohannis said at a Wednesday event at the Heritage Foundation. “As a dependable ally, Romania is doing its share. This year, we have fulfilled our objective,” spending 2 percent of GDP on defense — the first, Iohannis said, to do so, noting it was at the top of his presidential agenda.

“The visit of the Romanian president in Washington is here to underline the importance of our defense and military ties and reinforce our cooperation also in terms of trade,” Victor Negrescu, a Romanian member of European Parliament told Foreign Policy. Negrescu pointed to increased Romanian defense spending, support for the installment of an anti-ballistic missile system, and the establishment of a “pro-U.S. caucus” in Romanian parliament.

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But who is behind this “pro-U.S. caucus? Well, there is a power behind this throne.  The President of the parliament’s chamber of deputies is one Liviu Dragnea, who is considered to be the guy with the real power.  He organized the “pro-U.S. caucus.”  Iohannis is the head of the ruling party, but is not the prime minister.  Why? Because, as the Foreign Policy article explains, Iohannis ” would not approve a government with Dragnea at the helm, because Dragnea was convicted for his role in rigging a 2012 referendum. ”

Gee, whiz! And isn’t it interesting that, according to Foreign Policy, ” Dragnea met with Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, shortly before Trump was sworn in as president (and a few weeks before Flynn was fired in disgrace.) Dragnea is also thought to be a force behind the proposed legislation that would let politicians charged with corruption — as Dragnea himself is — off the proverbial hook; that legislation was withdrawn after thousands took to the streets of Bucharest.

Back in February, you might recall that hundreds of thousands of Romania citizens protested for in the streets for 6 nights.  The Guardian reported

’27 years of corruption is enough’: Romanians on why they are protesting

After six nights on the streets, Romanian protesters appear to have won after the government scrapped corruption legislation that ignited the country’s largest demonstrations since the fall of communism. But those who responded to a Guardian callout say it is not enough, and are demanding that the government step down.

“They are profoundly corrupt. Their first priority after taking office is to alter the most important work that has been done in Romania in the past 28 years: the anti-corruption fight,” says Andrei, a 28-year-old air traffic controller, who protested in Bucharest. “Nobody wants a reversal to the period of the early noughties where there was no consequences for organised fraud.”

Half a million Romanians took to the streets after the government put through a decree to decriminalise corruption involving sums of less than 200,000 lei (£38,000). The prime minister, Sorin Grindeanu, of the Social Democratic party (PSD) and who has been in office for less than a month, repealed the order on Sunday.

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An immediate beneficiary of the decree would have been the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, who faces charges of defrauding the state of €24,000 (£20,000). Dragnea has said he has not ruled himself out as a future leader, but under current law is not allowed to be appointed prime minister because of his conviction.

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Dragnea was among those depicted as effigies during the protest:

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At the time, President Iohannis made pronouncements against this legislation, so Trump may not look on this stance favorably. However, Trump would be OK with the fact that   back in December 2016, he rejected a Muslim woman for the position of Prime Minister.

Romania’s president has rejected a proposal by the leftist party that won elections this month to appoint the country’s first female and first Muslim prime minister.

Klaus Iohannis gave no reasons for rejecting the nomination of Sevil Shhaideh, put forward by the Social Democrats (PSD), but there was speculation that it may have been due to her Syrian husband’s background.

“I have properly analysed the arguments for and against and I have decided not to accept this proposal,” the president said in a televised statement. “I call on the PSD coalition to make another proposal.”

The PSD won 45% of the vote on 11 December. Its leader, Liviu Dragnea, withdrew his own bid to become prime minister because he is serving a two-year suspended sentence for fraud in a previous election.

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Of course, only a couple of months ago, the man who did became prime minister, Grindeanu, tried to water down the anti-corruption laws.

So Liviu Dragnea is doing fine behind the scenes…and he hasn’t ruled himself as being Romania’s leader in the future, despite his corruption…stay tuned.