Re: Massachusetts DMH Human Rights issues

Liberty (
Sun, 03 May 1998 20:12:58 -0400


>I am tired of feeling that I have to listen to clients'
>complaints and then respond to the feeling that I have to 
>smooth everything over, or "work things out" (without any 
>real solution having been reached);  and also that the pressure 
>is upon ME to make sure that the "first priority"-- that the 
>PROGRAM keeps going as mandated by DMH--is ensured. 

Unfortunately, this is the case, for better or worse, with any
government funded program.  They can provide funding and the 
jobs, but, oh, the responsibility, the accountability, the
paperwork, and sometimes, the restrictions that sometimes
prevent us from doing what is necessary. You know what I mean.

>The time has come for me to look at that portrait of Che 
>Guevara on my bedroom wall and realize, life isn't all rosy.  
>It's easy to fall into a rut where everything is rosy for a few years.

I have a picture of Winston Churchill in my office above my desk,
and many times, I look to him for inspiration, someone else, who,
like myself, has also done some terrific things, and has been through
some terrible times, while doing so.  Keep your chin up, Bruce.

>One of my heroes, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, died a miserable death--
>an indescribable sacrifice, trying to improve the lives of millions 
>of poor people in South America.   And here I am, quite trivially in
>comparison, still alive, but facing a challenge: to do what is right, 
>and risk unpleasantness--or to NOT do what is right, and live 
>"pleasantly"--with a guilty conscience.

A choice you have to make, but with any choice, there are consequences.
When the Lord Jesus was dying on the cross, even after his enemies
speared him in his side, he prayed to our Father, asking him to
forgive them, for "they did not know" (the truth).  These things
are very difficult at times, but over time, the truth will come out,
and then, in the long run, people will know who was right ... but
in the meantime, you need to decide how much risk you are willing
and able to take, i.e. what would happen if you did lose you job,
given a worse case scenario?

>Unapologetically I opt for the former, not the latter, road.
>According to DMH regulations, I can't lose my job for filing 
>a complaint.  But anyone with street smarts knows that the powers 
>that be can try to make life miserable for me, or to even try to 
>oust me, even using falsified information.  They can pick away at 
>this mistake or that; this flaw or that.

This is true.  They might try to get rid of you some other way.
This is very difficult to fight, Bruce.  But, if you DO choose to
enter this battle, document EVERYTHING, including the reactions of
people you speak to (and always send a paper copy of anything you
say to someone - keeping in mind that whatever you write must be
absolutely prove-able), copies of any papers sent to you, copies 
of relevent agency policies, etc.  Keep a file, and let someone else
you trust know what is happening and what you are doing.

If you say something to someone that cannot be proven, do not write
it down, and make sure there are no witnesses around.  That way,
you can protect yourself by denying it later.  If you believe there
will be a confrontation, bring a witness with you.

At the same time, keep records of everything about you at work,
such as performance reviews, letters of recommendation, positive
remarks, any awards you may have won in your job, etc.  If you never
had any letters of reprimand prior to this incident, and start getting
them, you can probably use a grievance procedure that is in place in
most agencies.  In any case, document everything, so it can be proven
in the event the boss is treating you differently after you report,
than before the fact.  Good luck, Bruce, and please keep us informed.