F-Troop Rides Again

Having served in management for over a decade, it strikes me as somewhat odd that i am only now being hit with my first official “grievance”.  Strangely enough, it’s in the form of an “Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) complaint, leveled against not only me, but my boss, who is a unicorn*.

Despite the fact that the informal grievance process is well underway, and we’ve all had to give depositions to a mediator, we still have to work with the complainant** – let’s call him “Scientist X” – on a daily basis. 

This can lead to the occasional awkward moment.

Today’s moment?  It happened during a round of frustrating budget discussions, where The Unicorn, the Deputy Chief, and i were trying to extract something – in fact, ANYTHING – vaguely representing a financial plan*** for the on-going research project of “Scientist X”. 

Now, The Unicorn and i have been up to our ovaries with the idiosyncrasies of Scientist X, and have gotten used to his sudden temperament swings, often leading to spittle flying, arms flailing and inanities spewing from his mouth at warpspeed.  But Deputy Chief?  He hadn’t really seen it yet…

After Scientist X finally stormed out of the room, leaving a trail of bad cologne and saliva globules settling onto the carpet, Deputy Chief was speechless.  He was impressed with our composure and patience.  We explained to him that we are now hardened to the tantrums. 

When Deputy Chief asked about the potential for violent retaliation?  We assured him that we’d considered that… and that we’re both pretty sure we could kick his ass if he decides to start swinging.

Deputy Chief is my favorite “Personnel Success Story” during my time in F-Troop.  He was sort of a castaway when i got there because he’s not aggressive, and sometimes needs a few rounds of explanation before he finally “gets it”.  But i found him to be pleasant to work with – and over the past few months, i’ve discovered a dry, snarky and occasionally twisted sense of humor buried in there…

It took about an hour after the meeting, but Deputy Chief wandered by my office and whispered “Ya know, if Scientist X comes in sporting a big bulge in his pants?  It’s probably not because he’s glad to see you…”

Hand Cannon photo found here

* Term coined by a friend of mine.  She is a black female engineer.  Just a teensy-tiny bit rare in my world.  But she’s damn good at what she does…

** It’s not this guy.  We have a few more special folks, who keep us on a first name basis with the human resources department, the security office and even the people who manage the facility.

*** For a guy with a PhD in Physics?  He REALLY sux at the maths…