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Baby, turn the lights down looooow. NaBloPoMo #2.

I get paid on Fridays, and that means, what?  It's grocery + etc day.  My entire paycheck (seeing as how small it is because I am making you a cup of coffee right now) goes to the groceries.  While that seems absolutely nuts, to work 30-35 hours to buy groceries, gas and household needs, it's helping, because it's no longer coming out of HIS paycheck, see?

Some TMI - since I have new readers lately - I have four kids  I had been working sporadically since numero uno came along, off and on, with a few months of this or that - and it's never really worked out, because it always comes down to who's job is paying the bills (his!) and we haven't used daycare- ever.   In 2005, I got a "real" job, doing something I actually liked (GASP) and things were okay - I brought home enough to buy the groceries, pay for the holiday-giftages, birthdays, and a few bills, even.  I took on overtime as it was allowed, and was able to help out much more.

Continue reading "Baby, turn the lights down looooow. NaBloPoMo #2." »

Because I have a bag on my head.

Why the hell not?  I am currently mid hair dyeing.  I am trying L'oreal True Brunettes Ultra Ash Brown.  It swears that I won't have a "hint of brassiness."  That's a bold statement.  My hair always turns orangey with at home hair coloring that is meant to lighten it at all.


Considering I dumped the whole squirt bottle on my lack of hair, it was dripping everywhere.  I tied a damn bag on my head.  It's working, and oh-so-stylish!  I'll let you know if it works - because what I seek - is light brown hair without the reds.  It's impossible.

Now, for the real topic hidden in the post?  The MCAD responded to my preliminary appeal hearing - and found lack of probable cause (again).  "This means that investigation and appeal evidence fails to establish sufficient evidence to determine that an unlawful act of discrimination has been committed."  Not a surprise at all, this was just a repeat of the initial finding.  It's very possible, also, that my paperwork that went up to the commission at the beginning of the month was thrown out - because it was SO late.  I got that paperwork to my lawyer in APRIL, and he didn't pass it to the commission until SEPTEMBER.  Figures.  That may have triggered a finding in my favor (that the company did indeed can me for whistle-blowing, which they did) without going to court, if it had been processed timely.  Now it's up to me, do I want to drag it to Superior Court and a jury?  I wanted to, straight away at the beginning, but filing with the MCAD + EEOC is required in such cases, and it was suggested to me that I see if they would "find cause" and let it be done.  Of course, sitting idle waiting for this for eighteen months has been hellish also - and I believe I deserve to go to court.

Crazy Bitch.

So, I got an mp3 player you know, "to use for exercise."  I am slowly building a library of music.  Especially butt-moving tunes.  I have a confession.  I love terrible songs, they get my fat ass moving.  Seriously.  Let me tell you - I have never moved faster than I move for naughty songs.

What gets YOU moving?  What songs make you walk faster?  I won't be running just yet, but, I'd like to Walk. With. Intensity.  Music helps with this endeavor, especially on the treadmill because my ADDish brain wants to get off and do laundry mid-stride.

Help me make a seriously terrible angry playlist.  Rotten songs and angry ones seem to make one walk FAST.  Ain't nobody walking fast to love songs.  You need a motivation, an anger, something in mind.  So, what's it for you?

Let's make a list:

Stronger - Kanye West (It's on MySpace right now.  It's a bit slow, but, left right left right, it's alright.)

N S F W ~ I warned you. "Crazy Bitch."

Continue reading "Crazy Bitch." »

What Not To Do.

We have a mobile baby.

Remember how I mentioned that I interviewed for a big girl jay oh bee the other day - and also went for a second meeting?  Well, here's a piece of advice.  When you're discussing new potential opportunities, try not to mention bad ex-employers.  The question, posed to me?  "Have you ever been fired?"  The answer is yes.  The explanation is tricky - and as he said, "Kind of unbelievable."

Because, it is.

Unless you were there, you wouldn't think it was at all possible to have gone down the way it did.  He says to me that I don't have to explain any more than I'm willing to - but - from where he sits, it concerns him.  Duh.  It would concern me, if I were a biz owner/manager/etc. I see immediately, that he's worried that I'm some sort of corporation gold-digger, looking for a scam.  Or, likely to tattle again on someone in his company. *sigh*  What were my options, though?  When asked a question, I try to be honest?  Should I have lied about being fired?  I never once considered lying about it.  I explained as best I could, but he was just not having it.  He wanted to know how it was even remotely plausible that the ex-company didn't at least "apologize" for what happened.  I just shook my head.  I asked him if then he understood that was WHY I was pursuing this to begin with.  He said that if that were HIS company - heads would roll.  Sure, that's what I thought, too.

While he didn't give me the position, he offered taking me on probationary-like for a matter of a few months, and to see how things play out.  I don't know how I could make that work, because he's talking part time with no guarantees at the end of the temp slot.

I hate that I can't be "trusted" because of this whole stupid ****ing situation.  Thanks "Eh Seymour!"


It's funny - you can totally tell when I being "productive."  Beth no blog when making "productive."  Yesterday, the interview and the appeal hearing, today, "working."  I put that in quotes, because, frankly, making cawfee is not really working, I mean it is, but... drinking espresso and wiping counters is much like what I do at home - But! Without! Children!  It's a slight vacation, no?  It is, if you don't have four kids, don't tell me it isn't.

Anyways - what can we blog about? We had two floors replaced today - and BETH HAS NO TOILET at the moment.  That's right, kids, hold yer pee.  (Thank goodness we have a camper, so I wouldn't really be saying that.) Tomorrow, the tub/walls will be finished, and the potty can go back on the floor.  Phew.

Now, for the real subject of the post:

The *lawyers were reading all sorts of blog today.  (Nod and smile, ladies, we have company!)  Say hello!

Referring Link mama%22&btnG=Google Search
Host Name
IP Address Nixon Peabody LLP [Edit Label]
Country United States
Region New York
City Rochester
ISP Nixon Peabody Llp
Returning Visits 0
Visit Length 26 mins 54 secs

Date Time WebPage
5th September 2007 11:19:55 mama%22&btnG=Google Search
melting mama
5th September 2007 11:22:14 Search&client=pub-2417767540587575&fo
melting mama: Mah trailah pahk baby.
5th September 2007 11:23:29 Search&client=pub-2417767540587575&fo
melting mama: Vomit, blood   lawyers.
5th September 2007 11:25:07 mama%22&btnG=Google Search
melting mama
5th September 2007 11:26:37
melting mama: Mah trailah pahk baby.
5th September 2007 11:27:55
melting mama: July 2007
5th September 2007 11:31:45
melting mama: August 2007
5th September 2007 11:33:33
melting mama: Part two in a series, love letters from the internets.
5th September 2007 11:35:58
melting mama: June 2007
5th September 2007 11:41:38
melting mama: March 2007
5th September 2007 11:46:49
melting mama: Current Affairs

I told you they'd be here today, didn't I?  Anyways - the update was right on the front page, couldn't hardly miss it. 

This is the kind of moment one wishes they started anonymous blogging from the start so they could just spew what they Really Want To Say, but can't. I've been up front about this entire issue from the beginning, and the only regret I have is not sharing every.single.detail from day one. 

I should have made a full on time line on the blog - publicly.  I didn't.  I was scared poop-less to do so.  I was here, writing less frequently, but I had about 75% less readership, and I was terrified to lose my job (which I did anyways, a lot of good that did) and of being threatened, because persons in question knew that I was a "blogger."

Another?  When "interviewed" about the issues by the companies' HR dept?  SAYING A ****ING WORD to that non-neutral party (coincidentally, the woman who hired me).  Anyone who might be thinking about whistle-blowing or going public about a sexual harassment problem (or the like) - don't talk to the company. Don't answer any questions. Don't let them ask you to "go somewhere to talk." 

Don't tell them a thing - until you consult your own attorney.

If I knew then what I know now - I'd have walked away from her coyly wrapped promises of protection and a cup of coffee.

No one wants to protect you.  They only want to cover their own asses.

Duck and cover when the poop hits the fan.

As for the first update - the interview was interesting, to say the least.  (I am going to leave it at that.  Really, I am.  If anything ever comes of it - you'll hear - eventually.)

Next, the appeal hearing. 

As I told the lawyer on the way out - "I do not want to be a lawyer when I grow up." 

No, thank you.   I like sleeping at night.

My ex-company had a nice shiny corporate lawyer who had a stack of papers bigger than my head regarding this situation.  She seemed nice, and had great shoes.  (That's me complimenting her, because, she's probably reading this  post.)

Considering what could have happened, and the way it did go - it went better than I, for one, expected it to.  Now, that said, a key document was not presented from my side until today - and I didn't know about it not getting in the proper hands.

The man officiating the hearing (like my legalese?  I truly don't know what he was called) was aghast that "we" (meaning my lawyer) didn't get this affidavit to him before now - because - as he said, this potentially changes everything.  They decided on my case missing this tidbit of info.  (And, I'm not a lawyer, and I had no idea that it wasn't shared!)  So, they're reviewing my case, it wasn't thrown out. That's a plus. They now re-evaluate the situation with any new information and rule again. 

Regardless of whether they find in favor or not in favor - I can still take this to Superior Court.  With. A. Jury.  That, is a scary notion.  Do you see me demonstrating "events" that happened - in a public courtroom? 

"Yes, Ms. MM, could you now show the jury how your manager dry-humps a wooden box with a screwdriver*?"

Me:  "Here, now?  With these props?"

(*Yeah, he did that, too.)

What really sucks about this entire case? It's that it isn't even about the sexual harassment, it's about the company, firing me because I told them about it.


She's off.  We now have 75% of children enrolled in school.  Whew.  (Five years to go.)   The K'er is like, so, ready.  She bounced out of bed to go to school.  (YAY.)

Anyways - now what? 

I was supposed to be working full-time this year, since I was going to be footloose and childfree (well, at least for a few hours) but, um, baby happened. (If you are one of my newish readers, go back and read the January 2006/February 2006 archive.)

So, here's the deal, like I said before - if I find something that can pay enough to cover daycare for the babe, I'm going to (big girl) work.  It's an unlikely scenario - because we know the cost of daycare, right?  (Nod your head, damn it.)

I'll start by, having an interview today.  Yeah, I had one.

Then, approximately two hours later,  I'm off to be annihilated by lawyers. 

Can't Wait For That.  Really. 

(Again, newish readers, I point you backwards to that archive, same. exact. timing, I was fired from my job and got pregnant like, a minute later.)  Today is my appeal hearing.  I have no idea what to expect, except I expect it to be horrendous.  They asked me to bring anything that might "help" me prove my case.  I can only imagine what I should bring along.  Props?  (Go back, you'll see what I mean.)


Screw food today - I ain't eating.

Vomit, blood + lawyers.

I just got in the door with two hundred dollars of groceries, laundry soap and baby formula, and my husband comes down the stairs to "help" - and he looks like a corpse.  I say, "What happened to YOU?"  He explains that he's been blowing chunks over the sink for the last half-hour because I poisoned him.

Ah.  The truth is out.

I had left some homemade tomato sauce that had been frozen, in the crock-pot for dinner.  He ate two meatballs (a very super common meal in our house - it's the standby dish, I always have some in the freezer ready to go) and twenty minutes later, he's blowing lunch through his nostrils, and feeling like he's ripping his staple-line to his gastric pouch.  He was determined it was food poisoning.  It doesn't matter that my five year old ate the same meal, with no ill effects, he's been poisoned, and that's that.  Sure, it's quite possible that he overate even just the slightest bit - and it had to come up - but not him, he doesn't "ever eat too much."  (Sure he doooooooooesn't.)

But, to be safe, I am not eating the sauce.  I will do anything humanly possible to avoid The Vomit.

Instead, I had a bowl of instant udon soup with noodles.  These noodles are ghastly and slug-like.  I am having a very hard time stomaching it at all.  It doesn't help that he came out here while I was slurping a noodle and said, "Well, that looks just like a tape worm."

Yeah - I guess this means we are home!

Topic change:

I had an iron infusion this afternoon, so we got home early.  My blood levels are the same as last time - and that is a good thing, considering I went without an infusion last week.

Today - a bounty of mail.  (Not email, I don't really get much, actually.)  A letter from the school - apparently I forgot to send in my new kindergartener's physical form in, but, she's Going! To! Full-Day! School!  (I'm not that excited about it, no.)

A check!  Actual physical cash dollars from Google.  Whoa.  Turns out they do pay you.  It wasn't much, but it bought half my groceries.  (So there, Meem, that's why I have ads.  Can't always be a freebie.)

A copy of the appeal to the MCAD regarding my case, in which they said basically, "it happened, but..."

Which leads to...

Lawyer spam!  Well, technically not spam - turns out when you have a case at the MCAD, it's public record.  (Didn't know this?)  I got two letters from other lawyers.

One reads:

"I am contacting you because you have a substantial claim of discrimination and sexual harassment against "A Large Retail Craft Store Based Out Of Moorestown, NJ" based on public records provided by the MCAD..."

The Boston-area lawyer that sent the newest letter ---- works on a contingency fee basis for sexual harassment and discrimination cases.  (They don't get paid unless I get paid.)  My current lawyer was already working on a contingency fee basis - he's done everything for no pay, but going to court, he would charge hourly - due to the time it will take. (But, in his defense, he's also holding a state office, so his time is short.)  He told me last week that he is ready to take the case to Federal or Superior Court, but we are to sit and discuss it, and the possibility of fees.

So, of course I am already in this other lawyer's inbox.  I even contacted the law office that pursued the whistleblowers' case against the same company, but he isn't licensed to practice in Massachusetts.  I chatted with a more local lawyer he said:  "Full. Steam. Ahead. Call me if you need a new lawyer."


The woman who failed me.

The pending issues are still, pending.

At this point, I don't know the time line before further action takes place.  I am sure the company is assuming it is over because we didn't send a rebuttal to their reply to my complaint through the the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.  The reply, while very impressive, did not entice me to just say, "Well, I guess that's all" and be done with it.  It only convinces me further that the company was looking to hide the information. 

While reading the documents, I got physically sick.  My disgust turned toward someone who was supposed to have been there for me, to protect me.

This woman and I had a connection when we first met.  I was in the mall, shopping, in July of 2005.  She was sitting in an empty storefront, at a table, surrounded by papers, and a sign out front that read "Now Hiring."  I noted that they were hiring for a "new store" coming to the general location of this empty leased space.

I peeked in, because I was looking for work - and with my background having been mostly retail management, I figured I could see which store it was that was coming in.  Not only that - she was looking lonely and bored, and at the time, I think was reapplying make-up.  I noted immediately that she was perfectly groomed.  The lipstick?  Immaculate.  The eyes - perfectly lined.  Nails - perfectly manicured.  The hair -  long, thick, curly but straightened, and amazing.  She obviously gave a lot of time to her primping.  She was also very-full figured woman, much like my previous size.

I allowed myself into the room and remember very clearly saying to her, that she looked lonely in this empty space.  She laughed and invited me to sit and chat.  Chat we did!  She had an infectious personality and we got along immediately. 

I started to question, in our conversation, if she would be this new store's manager.  She seemed like a great "boss" and I thought it would be really a good experience to work for someone with such enthusiasm, much like myself.  When I asked her this, and her reply was "Oh, no, I am in Human Resources!"   I knew that it was because of this - that she was so friendly and good with people.  I thought to myself, "Crap.  I'd like to work for someone motivated + bubbly like this." 

As we talked further, I eventually delved into the application process for a job.  Since I was looking, I figured it might as well be in a new store opening, right?  I got the immediate positive reaction from her.  She loved me, or at least she seemed to really like me at that meeting.  She was highly excited to discuss an opportunity for me to join their team in a position of management that was new to me, but better than I anticipated.  It would be a combination of working in an office, and on a sales floor, and that intrigued me.  Without giving me the job on the spot, which she nearly did, she called me at home an hour later and offered it to me.  I called my husband to discuss the potential of me working full time and the pay, and he was thrilled.  I'd have to go through a quick meet with the District Manager and perhaps the incoming Store Manager, but, it was my job, and I'd have to start soon.

When I started, she was there - no longer as an HR Rep, but as a trainer.  She was in place to train me, and apparently any/all of the new staff in our basic job functions.  At first, things were okay.  This job, having been Brand Spanking New to me - was intimidating.  I felt that I didn't get enough training, and when she left to go back to the corporate offices, I was l-o-s-t.   

I hoped she'd come back and just keep me moving in the right direction, because I knew I could do a great job in this position, with the right training and proper model.  But, she couldn't.  I recall a visit or two back in the first few weeks, she'd pop up to see how things were rolling. 

I remember getting a cold reaction from her when I'd ask questions.  She seemed irritated that I would have any reason to not know certain job functions.  She'd tell me to ask the store management, or another store's management, and that it was out of her hands, basically.  I hate to be a pest, especially about new things, and learning, I just wanted to Do Things by the book.  When prompted to ask the store management about detailed functions, I quickly realized that they, had less knowledge of many of the questions I had than I myself did. 

One of the three, had a working knowledge of my actual job, and I was able to ask him on occasion about things, or at least, where I could find an answer.  This person later explained that he'd had the same position before being promoted, so he knew the "deal." 

Another manager, meant well, but never seemed to be able to help, but he was working with less than a year of knowledge of this company.  He seemed genuinely interested in my well-being, and told me I could trust him.

The third, having made me immediately uncomfortable in his presence, and also was seemingly not trained for this company either, I avoided asking anything to, and physically avoiding being near him unless required.

I remember voicing my initial concerns with her about my training, and having been shrugged off.  She went back to her corporate HQ and left me on my own.  I emailed a few, with simple queries, and she didn't seem to like me at all after that point.  I gave up on her.  She became the butt of jokes with the store management, as they apparently didn't like her at all - but - I was upset because I DID, and they were telling me that I shouldn't because she's a real "bitch," etc. etc.

I didn't see her again after the first few visits back to check up on me until she came to "investigate" my complaints.  In the span of many months, culminating in January 2006 I wrote a few letters to my District Manager and Human Resources.

She came back for and investigation of my letters.  Her arrival was not pleasant.  She was no longer my "warm and friendly Human Resources" person.  She was cold, bitter and not at all the same person I met that warm summer day.  She acted as if she cared, for a moment, and asked me to "go to Dunkin' Donuts" with her, to you know, "Sit and chat over coffee."

What I didn't know is that she was interviewing me about my complaints.  She led me to believe this was just a gesture of goodwill.  She started drilling me in FRONT of my co-workers and managers directly in viewing/hearing distance of them.  I, was to Tell Her Everything, with all eyes peering out the door? 

This was not okay.  I told her that I was not comfortable discussing certain things with the customers of the mall hearing me, and my employees digging for dirt.  I was nearly in tears before she stopped.  I thought she came to protect me, when in fact, she came to annihilate me.  I was just dumbfounded at her audacity.  During the conversation, I tried, to say to her, "I thought you told me you were always there to protect me and my employees?  Isn't that what Human Resources does?"

She just sat - stared at me - stared at her blank sheet of notes - and looked back at me, with this look of contempt.  She doubted these things in which I told her.  She told me that they couldn't happen.  I don't lie.  I told her, that I am honest to a fault.  I can't make this poop up.  She was not amused, and probably wanted nothing more than to go home. 

I wondered during our conversation if she'd been paid on the retention of new employees that she'd hired initially. 

I wondered if she knew how other people talked about her behind her back, like they'd be doing about me in a few. short. minutes.

In those few minutes, I was the pariah.  Thanks for that. 

I wonder now, if she's still working for the same company.  It's been fifteen months, and they've had some internal shake-ups.  They shifted people around, ax'ed a few, their HR exec is gone, and took some losses, so I don't know if she's been lost/removed/moved elsewhere in the mess.

I just really wonder what came of her.  I had liked her. 

In the time that we spoke way back, she knew I wrote a "blog" and there's a slight possibility that she will read this.  She checked it out initially when I was training from her hotel room, when I wrote at Blogger.  I only knew because I saw the hit from the hotel she told me she was staying at.  Other involved parties have been reading right long, anyways, including the companies law office, so I wouldn't be surprised to have her here, it wouldn't bother me to know.

Anyways - the preface to all of this is that I am waiting to call my lawyer while he's actually in the office and it's on my mind.