Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sometimes the good guys win (July 21, 1980)

The pattern never changes.
Corruption more than misery needs company, and can’t stand anyone who isn’t corrupt.
Innocent people generally don’t realize they are in a corrupt situation until it is too late and they have somehow stepped over the line, and made themselves vulnerable.
And then they are doomed.
Corrupt people recognize other corrupt people right away, almost by instinct or smell, and are drawn to it because the way drunks are drawn to each other.
Only other corrupt people can stand the stench of other corrupt, and hide their own stench in their company.
Whole social groups form around this concept. So if a boss is corrupt, then so are many of his following, some tying themselves to the bootstraps of the boss in order to lick bits of gravy that might fall off his plate and onto his boots.
Each institution changes the map of corruption, but essentially, it all gravitates to one or two powerful people. In jobs like mine -- such as at the hospital back in 1972, the shipping and receiving manager operated his own little network within the overall structure. I’m sure there was a larger, even more corrupt network in the main administration.
Here, the corruption operates from the central office where Proudy and his white collar henchmen rule over the rest of the store through a network of stooges, who do their bidding or inform on people not part of the inner circle.
Security answers directly to Proudy, and they are as corrupt as he is.
The minions outside this network live in fear, some are dishonest as well, and usually become fodder for the security. Most are honest, but are constantly watched.
Those who get too wise to the game become targets. Management starts to find things they do wrong, and starts to build a case against them – so as to justify firing them when they become too much a thorn in management’s side.
Management likes having scapegoats, people they can fire as examples to others not to get too far out of line.
The problem comes when they deal with people like me with a rich history for defying authority and hatred of corruption on any level.
Breaking my toe put them in a bad position because Proudy and his bunch are not the top of the heap, but only a small pyramid of power, and they live in fear of Vornado and the really powerful people there.
Proudy is scared to death that I might hobble over and talk to someone or file a complaint.
The worst thing for corrupt people is when someone like me has some legal leverage he can use.
One guy on the loading dock kept his job because someone screwed with his paycheck, and he talked to an attorney.
Proudy knows damned well I will take the long walk to upper management if I have a mind. I’ve done similar things before.
In the wine company, when the union rep got paid off by the owner to violate the contract, I took the trip of Union City to talk to the president of the union.
Nobody actually knows what happened to the union rep.
So it is a kind of Mexican stand off, a waiting game for when I leave on my own, an inevitable fact since I am going back to college next month.
Meanwhile, Proudy’s fears the worst – and I really get a kick out of that. Sometimes, the good guys win. Not often, but sometimes.

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