Monday, November 27, 2017

Failure To Carry Out Directives

"Failure To Carry Out Directives"

 What does that sound like to you?
 Go ahead and take a minute...

 I hear it as "Not doing as you're told" or "Not following directions" or perhaps "Not doing your job".

 Just over a month ago I was terminated, at a job I really enjoyed, for  "Failure to Carry Out Directives"

DECISION You are held ineligible for benefits from 10/29/2017 to 02/17/2018.
 DETERMINATION REASON You were discharged from your job with your most recent bona fide employer for failure to carry out the directives of your employer. Your actions did not meet the reasonable standard of behavior the employer had a right to expect. Therefore, you were discharged for cause in connection with the employment under the South Carolina code section 41-35-120(2)(b).

Well, in an abbreviated version. I'm going to tell you why I and my lovely wife were fired.

Hard to believe, but she's even prettier at ten thousand feet.

My Blog. 

On October 9th I published a review on Karhu that one of the owners did not like. Later that day I got a call at work from his spouse, which is well within her rights as boss as I’m on the clock, in regards to it. She told me he was livid and actually left the house in a rage and asked her to call me. She then asked me to take it down.

This is ridiculous and unfounded to me. Why would I take it down? Take down MY BLOG? There was no reference about the company, either direct or even slightly implied. I have an audience of about three bored people anyway. They have no right to ask me to take down anything that doesn't violate an Employee/Employer relationship. What the shit...?

 Obviously I did not take it down.

Shortly thereafter Heather was called at home, Heather who is not on the clock, was harassed about my blog, something she obviously had no control over. I was also verbally slandered by the woman calling. When I talked with Heather later, she was very distraught by what was said to her on the phone.

During all this I'm just wondering "What the Fuck? What is going on with management?" 

I'm pretty good about putting shit out of my head. I really like what I do for work, and I needed the job, so I put this episode aside and kept doing my job to the best of my ability.

 Thank you Despair, Inc.

However I also realized it was time to think about other employment options, I even reached out to a couple of good friends, hoping they may know of something. Heather's relationship with the owner was going south. She was receiving nothing from the owner but cold shoulders and hostile emails. (I will not publish those emails here.) The writing was quickly appearing on to the walls.

                    I heard Spin and Yoga are too? Is that true? I don't believe that to be true.                         Spin and Yoga are both hard as hell.

  Within a day or two the owner drew up a new Social Media clause to the employee handbook in an effort to regulate what we can post. 

  Prior to the Karhu blog I had posted several other shoe reviews, even reviewing the Hokas I recently acquired. Never once in any of my blogs do I mention any association with my employer. And prior to this Karhu review never once was my (or Heather’s) blog mentioned by the owners. Needless to say the clause was unacceptable and we did not sign it.

  However, later on the owner and I negotiated and came to some terms that were acceptable to me, but Heather's Blog requires much better verbiage than what was currently on the table. She's been doing this long before any kind of employment with this company.

  Over the next few days the clause was forgotten about until perhaps Sunday the 22nd (?). When we arrived at work we were then told that “we were not covered” because we hadn’t signed it. I've no idea what was being referred to as "Covered". At this point there was no edited clause so I spent some time editing it, sent back my thoughts and was shot down. 

  The next day, not on the clock, through email Heather tried talking to the owner about both the Social Media clause and the now hostile environment at work. She again received some very unprofessional and threatening responses, “Gas Lighting” is the term used.

  Dreading the situation we knew had to be confronted, we went into work Tues night, unpaid, to see off the training group and talk with the owners about the work environment. The  group had left early with the owner so we stood there awkwardly with the other owners. When one of them asked “Are we good?” Heather said we all needed to talk as soon as he got back.

  When he did get back, Heather brought up his inflammatory email response.  At this point she is on the verge of tears. She tells them she’s been in contact with Corporate HR in regard to In-House HR Confidentiality Issues and the Gaslighting.

  The owner openly admits that his latest email was written with emotion. And then immediately the two owners still in the room start talking over Heather.

  I loudly tell them to stop talking and let Heather say her peace. They refuse to listen to an employee stating a workplace grievance and continue to keep talking louder and louder over her, so I shout (yep, I shouted. I was actually angry, can you imagine?) at them to let her finish. At this point the owner, arms flailing wildly, screams “I’m the god damn owner…Get the fuck out”, “Hit the door buddy” and repeated “Get the Fuck Out” several more times.  

I have nightmares still

  Heathers two boys, ages nine and eleven, are sitting on the benches during all of this.

  My response was to yell to the kids to come, and while leaving I made sure to tell the owner to “Take his power trip and stick it” Heather returned the work phone and shop key, and we left.


  I never did see an updated Social Media Clause. 
  As of this writing I know of at least one person that hasn't signed it, and is still employed there. Again, Huh.

We're too bad ass for that kinda bullshit anyway

  Since starting there in June, I was never asked to increase my work performance in any way. There was no previous disciplinary action and no obvious conflicts. On the contrary,  I was constantly commended on doing a good job. I got along very well with any and all customers. And I showed nothing but respect to my employers.

  I really liked my job too. I said that, several times, but you need to know it.

  The last month at work was truly a hostile work environment; Heather had been incredibly emotional for weeks. To have your boss, and what you thought was a friend, show such inexplicable behavior is upsetting and plain shitty.

  My aim is not to slander, but make it known what happened. I have my own thoughts on why the owners freaked out and fired us. And they aren't becoming.

  However, I will gladly tell you in person. I rather need to get this shit off my back anyway. 

  This situation sucks on many levels. We've been stabbed in the back by not a few different parties, some knowingly, and some not. I cannot overstate how grateful we are for everyone that has spoken with and stood buy us during this most ridiculous shit show. 

 It may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.


  1. Get an employment lawyer. Fight the denial of the unemployment claim....

  2. Hiya,

    I only start reading your blog through one of Heather's latest blog posts (I've been reading hers for at least a few years now) but I have to say that I like the way you write about... stuff :).

    I have no idea how to help you out though, nor advise (I am in the EU so I dont understand US laws anyway :)).
    But you did what I think was the right thing: stand up for your rights, and leave when/before things got out of hand.

    And sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, but it will indeed get better.

    So now you have 4 people who read what you write..! :)
    Rock on!

    btw, ever listend to Star One? It's from the same guy that does Ayreon.
    You might like it.



    1. Thank you Jan!!
      It's nice to hear some kind words! I'm stoked to have another reader, especially another that reads the wife's stuff, that chick can write.
      I'm hoping things are plateauing towards the Worse side now, as I definitely have a fight on my hand to make it better. I've a great family and a small group of true friends in my support network.
      I'll check out Star One, looks like they've some good reviews.

      Catchya soon!