• Report: #822029

Complaint Review: UFCW Local 1459

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  • Submitted: Thu, January 12, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, October 25, 2012

  • Reported By: Christian — Belchertown Massachusetts United States of America
UFCW Local 1459
33 Eastland St. Springfield, Massachusetts United States of America

UFCW Local 1459 DO NOTHING TO HELP WORKERS BEING BULLIED AND HARASSED AND ILLEGALLY DISCRIMINATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES Springfield, Massachusetts

*General Comment: Poorprose

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: smoke screens

*General Comment: No Union Sympathy.

*Author of original report: THE AFL-CIO ALSO DOES NOTHING TO HELP WORKERS BEING BULLIED AND HARASSED AND ILLEGALLY DISCRIMINATES AGAINST EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES

*Consumer Comment: Congratuations to You....

*Author of original report: Lots of Stupid Bigotry Here...

*Consumer Comment: Lots of Poor Decisions Here.....

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I worked at a supermarket in western Massachusetts for five years. In my last year there, a group of overgrown junior high school students made up horrible sexual rumors about me, telling other people in the store that I was every kind of pervert they could think of, and harassed me whenever they got a chance. I was already suffering from two disabilites -- major depression and severe, crippling social anxiety disorder -- so I was barely able to even defend myself against these idiots, or defend my reputation to all those they told about my "perversions." Meanwhile, a girl I had been good friends with falsely accused ME of harassment, when I had been enduring this treatment for months. Management ran roughshod over me, automatically believing my female accuser, but did nothing about the people harassing me, saying I was just imagining it and that I should just suck it up and be a man about it, that it only mattered if women were harassed, despite their own written company rules and state and federal discrimination rules which, obviously, say men can be victims of harassment, too. [continued below]....
.....

The smug a*s from human resources assigned to investigate the girl's B.S. complaint against me actually threatened to suspend me if I didn't tell him every one of the names of the people who were harassing me -- but then told me I was just imagining it and didn't even do an investigation at all, as he was required to do and did with the girl who falsely accused me. Not long after, I was forced to clean up a huge puddle of crap all over the bathroom floor by a manager and not given any sort of protective equipment at all, even gloves, even though, in addition to being absolutely disgusting, it was a huge biohazard. I ended up contracting hepatitis and was bedridden in the worst pain of my life for six weeks. That was the last straw. I wrote an angry letter to the store manager complaining about my treatment by co-workers and management all year, and was fired.

So, I went to then-UFCW Local 1459 Vice President -- now Secretary-Treasurer -- Richard Brown for help. Along with union stewards Jeffrey Jones and William Flynn, Rick Brown was supposed to represent me in grievance meetings with the company's human resources reps to get me rehired and help get me worker's comp. Unfortunately, the UFCW reps -- Rick Brown, especially -- proved to be just as big of jackasses as the company reps, if not more so, failed to represent me at all in three different grievance meetings and ridiculed me for, and illegally discriminated against me, over my disabilities.

As a result of my anxiety disorder, I am very shy and quiet and barely spoke during the third and final grievance meeting with human resources. Rick Brown did most of the talking, and, instead of saying simply that the treatment I was receiving at work made me feel worse like I wanted him to, he used my depression and anxiety disorder to argue that I was delusional and psychotic and just imagined the harassment that had gone on for months! I raised the issues of my depression and anxiety disorder in the letter I wrote to the store manager and with Rick Brown only to say that my treatment at work had been making me feel worse, and that, because of my anxiety disorder, I was basically defenseless against the harassment from co-workers and mistreatment from management. (This is why that group of co-workers chose me to harass in the first place, because I was such an easy target.) Instead of talking about how co-workers and management harassed me and discriminated against me because of my disabilities, Rick Brown used my disabilities against me, discriminating against me -- and humiliating me -- himself.

Whenever I tried to make a point about the very real harassment against me that prompted my letter to the store manager, Rick Brown would interrupt me, say the human resources reps shouldnt listen to me because I was delusional, and try to steer the conversation back to my "insanity." He even said it didnt matter if the company ever did an investigation of my harassment claims, obviously because he didnt think I had really been harassed in the first place.

He kept ridiculing the things I wrote in the letter, including my saying I would go to the EEOC or MCAD about the harassment if the manager didnt finally do something about it. He even told a long, rambling story about another employee once at the company who was schizophrenic who thought the TV told him to throw kitty litter all the over the store, comparing my actions and mental state to his.

Eventually, he just started agreeing with whatever the human resources reps said, basically arguing their side for them. I told him I didnt think he was being very helpful, and he said, sarcastically, "Youre right, I did a horrible job." The human resources reps, not surprisingly, decided not to rehire me. Im not sure why he thought arguing that I was psychotic would get me my job back. Why would they want to take me back if I was insane?

After the meeting, I told Rick Brown that I didnt like what he had said in there, that I "wasnt delusional or psychotic," and he laughed and said "Thats what you think!" I said "So, youre a psychiatrist now?" and he just laughed again, looking at me like I was crazy, shaking his head, and kept repeating "Okay, whatever you say... Ill be in touch" and walked away. I could have said "The sky is blue" and he would have reacted the same way. He clearly thought that I was insane, and he had argued in the meetings that it was because of my depression and anxiety disorder. That was when I told him I would no longer be in need of his, or the UFCW's, services. Who would want to be represented by some juvenile jerk who just spent an hour doing absolutely nothing but repeatedly calling him delusional and implying that he was insane and making fun of him and then called him psychotic right to his face and laughed at him about it????

Even the HR reps and the managers didnt think I was crazy. In fact, the one they sent to -- finally -- investigate the claims in my letter said in the first grievance meeting he thought I was a "very articulate young man" -- and this was from the guy who fired me! He also said that if he could prove the allegations I made in the letter I wrote that he would fire the people who said those awful things about me. The company that fired me believed me more than Rick Brown and the UFCW, who were supposed to be representing me, did! Later, the company's EEOC spokesman actually made a real attempt to get me rehired and negotiated a fair settlement with me, treating me with respect the entire time. Its extremely sad that a spokesman from the company did such a better job of representing me than Rick Brown or the UFCW did and was a much nicer guy, too, but thats not difficult to do when youre talking about Rick Brown.

Apparently, Rick Brown thinks all mental illnesses are exactly the same and cause people to have delusions. This is a pretty serious, and insulting, error. It is also not up to "opinion" whether someone suffers from a mental disorder or not. I dont know what made him think he was qualified to make a diagnosis of my mental state. My psychiatrist actually laughed at Rick Brown trying to diagnose me, asked where he obtained his medical degree, and said maybe he was the delusional one and should come in for treatment. Whether Rick Brown believed he was helping me or not, he should not have been arguing that I was psychotic based on a single letter I wrote, and he should not have been arguing that people with depression and anxiety disorders are "delusional." I did not want my job back if it meant arguing that I was psychotic.

Rick Brown and the entire UFCW Local 1459 also didn't do one single thing to assist me in getting workers comp, like they said they would do. The company filed a workers comp claim on my behalf, as they were required by law to do, and I hired an attorney to ensure I got the money I shouldve earned during the six weeks I was in bed in the worst pain of my life, and I eventually got that money, with no help from the UFCW whatsoever. The closest thing anyone in the UFCW did in "helping" me with workers comp was Rick Brown asking me how that was going. Wow. What would I have done without him? The company itself was more helpful.

I myself had to file a complaint with OSHA, because Rick Brown and the other union stewards said they wanted to use that as a bargaining tool, i.e. that they would threaten to tell OSHA if I wasnt rehired, which probably wouldnt intimidate a multi-billion dollar corporation, so I guess Rick Brown and his cohorts were being a little "delusional" themselves. I felt OSHA needed to know about my situation so something like this wouldnt happen to another worker in the store. The UFCW reps didnt seem concerned about that.

OSHA did a surprise inspection the day after I called them, cited the company for numerous safety and health violations, fined them, and made them agree to implement a training program "to those whose job includes cleaning the bathrooms." This did NOT in any way come about from the UFCWs efforts. It was entirely my own initiative, and it was OSHA who forced the store to, literally, clean up its act, not the UFCW, which didn't even try to do anything.

So, I was subjected to threats and ridicule by management and human resources, and the UFCW did nothing to help. The UFCW also did not do an investigation of my claims of harassment, which were greatly interfering in my job. Union steward Jeff Jones just sat there in a meeting with a manager over that silly girl's harassment claim against me, and when I said that I was the one who was actually being harassed, the fat, bloated, obnoxious, wrinkly old hag manager ridiculed me, and they both tried to convince me no one was saying anything about me or harassing me, even though I had just met both of them, Jeff Jones worked in a department on the other side of the store, and that manager didnt even work in the store at all, so neither of them could possibly know that. Jeff Jones also told me he "couldnt go after the HR guy" and could only "make a note of it" when I told him about the human resources rep threatening me. Well, thats helpful!

Before the second grievance meeting, I told Rick Brown that I had hired a lawyer to represent me for workers comp and the harassment and discrimination issues. He laughed and said "Well, my lawyer can beat your lawyer!" Seriously. A full-grown adult said this. Union steward Bill Flynn actually paused and responded that "I dont think it really matters whose lawyer can beats whose lawyer." This is Rick Browns maturity level. Then, later, during the meeting, after Bill changed Rick's diaper for him, Rick Brown ridiculed me by calling me immature for things I said in the letter! He said I wrote "He likes her, she likes him, and all that junior high stuff." Besides the fact that I never wrote anything like that -- whoever read the letter to you, Rick, wasnt too bright, but that's to be assumed if he was voluntarily talking to you -- he just made the most juvenile remark imaginable to me before the meeting! I thought I left "Oh yeah, well my dad can beat your dad!" behind in elementary school, but I guess I was wrong.

He also mocked and ridiculed me for hiring a lawyer, just like he mocked and ridiculed me in the second and third grievance meetings for saying that I was going to go to the "EEOC, MCAD or anything else with an acronym." Besides the fact that the EEOC and MCAD arent even acronyms -- leave the clever jokes to clever people, Rick -- that is what you are supposed to do if you are discriminated against or harassed at work. Rick Brown and the UFCW thought the idea of my filing a complaint with the EEOC and MCAD -- and the EEOC and MCAD themselves -- was ridiculous and a big joke.

Later, after the second grievance meeting, Jeff Jones claimed that he was the store manager's "arch-nemesis" (again, this was actually coming from a full-grown adult) but in none of the meetings that I had with him present did he ever stick up for me or say anything at all! He talked a good game outside, but inside, when it actually counted, he was timid and cowardly and did absolutely nothing to try and help me. Like Rick Brown and the UFCW, he was completely useless. Because of that fact, and because of his scraggly, werewolf beard, I gave Jeff Jones a nickname: Hairy Useless. Feel free to use it.

Incidentally, if the response David Rome -- the UFCW's attorney -- wrote to the disability discrimination complaint I later filed against the UFCW with the EEOC and MCAD was any indication where he tried to argue that I didnt have a disability at all, did not get injured at work at all, or was never friends with the girl I was accused of "harassing" at all -- when I already provided evidence for all three to the EEOC and MCAD, then my seven year-old nephew can beat your lawyer, Rick. Seriously, this man went to Harvard? Was Mr. Rome a legacy admission, or was the school implementing a special program called "Operation: Admit the Dumb" the year he was accepted?

Rick Brown, not surprisingly, tried to blame the company not rehiring me on me, saying "we had them by the balls before you wrote that letter." Considering that I got Stop & Shop cited and fined for safety violations and forced to implement new safety programs, through OSHA; won my workers comp claim and got Stop & Shop to pay all of my medical bills from my workplace injury, through my lawyer; and negotiated a settlement all on my own with the company, through the EEOC mediation process, being awarded monetary damages for being harassed and forcing the company to agree to a list of concessions, including management having to take a harassment "education" course which I hope they REALLY enjoyed -- and actually fully investigate all claims of harassment, taking male complaints as seriously as female complaints, I would say that I was the one who "had them by the balls," not Rick Brown and the UFCW, who did absolutely nothing to help me, or at all.

Rick Brown and UFCW attorney David Rome even said that it was delusional for me to accuse corporate management and personnel of doing anything wrong at all! No one is above the law, or the standards of the company they work for, both of which these people broke. Were Rick Brown and the UFCW -- who claim to "represent" workers against management -- suggesting that its "crazy" or futile to accuse higher-ranking employees of misdeeds and expect them to be punished for it? Funny, but I thought the UFCW was there to protect workers from management, to be an equalizer against the greater "power" of higher-ranking employees, even against "high-level managers." Were Rick Brown and the UFCW suggesting that "higher-level managers" are exempt from accusations of harassment and discrimination and that they shouldnt be punished, including being fired, if they engage in these practices? In that case, Rick Brown and the UFCW dont really represent or protect workers at all at least not "lower-level" ones, like little old me.

No wonder the UFCW has repeatedly -- and pathetically -- failed in every single one of its efforts to organize Wal-Mart workers, meaning the largest retail or any employer in the country continues to be unrepresented. Think of how many discrimination cases the EEOC has had to deal with from Wal-Mart. I bet there would be a lot less if all these employees had someone representing them. Maybe if the UFCW leaders -- including Rick Brown -- weren't so busy counting the money from their six-figure incomes and getting chapped lips from kissing corporate ass all day, every day, theyd actually do some good. Unions in this country were bought off a long time ago by corporate interests, and they came at rock-bottom prices. "Wake Up UFCW!"

I filed a disability discrimination complaint with the EEOC and MCAD -- and "everything else with an acronym" -- and, unlike with my case against the company, where they settled right away, Rick Brown decided to add insult to injury by lying his ass off and contesting the complaint -- or, more accurately, had his lawyer, David Rome, do it. That's how much of a pussy Rick Brown is. Rick Brown is a big boy now and should have to fight his own battles instead of cowardly hiding behind his lawyers skirt. I could not afford a lawyer at the time. (The one I had for the case against the company worked on a contingency basis.) If I could have -- and if the law didn't force people to go through the EEOC and MCAD first and wait until Halley's Comet comes back just to hear if they're going to go forward with the case or not -- I would have hired my own lawyer, and sued the UFCW and Rick Brown, personally, for every penny they are collectively worth: all twenty of them.

Instead, I had to wait FIVE YEARS for the EEOC and MCAD investigators assigned to my case -- after making every conceivable bumbling, idiotic mistake -- to send me the results of their investigation. They had lost the letter I wrote in response to the UFCW's response to my complaint, along with all of the evidence I had sent to them, and just repeated what the UFCW's attorney wrote in his response, practically word for word! After spending half a decade "investigating," the EEOC and MCAD just sided with the UFCW and threw out my complaint without even looking at my side of the story!

Well, thanks to Ripoffreport.com, I can not only tell my story, I can go public with it. Everyone should know what a lying, cheating, hypocritical, arrogant, moronic, delusional, worthless piece of garbage UFCW Local 1459 Secretary-Treasurer Richard Brown is. (They actually promoted the ignorant son of a bitch! Is mouth-breathing the only criteria they look for???) All of the UFCW higher-ups only care about themselves and their six-figure incomes and they -- and union reps like Jeff Jones and Bill Flynn; and their attorney, David Rome -- do little to help workers when it really comes down to it. In the case of workers with disabilities, they not only do nothing to help, they also ridicule and illegally discriminate against workers, too, and then lie about it.

I just read an article online where David Rome talked about having anti-harassment rules written into union contracts with companies to prevent bullying, in the wake of a local high school student committing suicide after being harassed for months and school faculty doing nothing about it. It's too bad someone had to actually die before David Rome, Richard Brown and the UFCW began taking the issue of bullying and harassment seriously. I'm sure they still don't take it seriously for male workers at all, and continue to discriminate against workers with psychological disabilities when they allege bullying and harassment by simply dismissing them as crazy. I wonder who else will have to die before the UFCW finally stands up for ALL of its workers -- especially the most vulnerable -- and starts to actually practice what it preaches.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2012 09:15 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/UFCW-Local-1459/Springfield-Massachusetts-01109/UFCW-Local-1459-DO-NOTHING-TO-HELP-WORKERS-BEING-BULLIED-AND-HARASSED-AND-ILLEGALLY-DISCR-822029. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Poorprose

AUTHOR: MartyMarsh - (USA)

   I know exactly what you are going thru, I was harassed out of the Teamsters in 2005 and here we are going on 2013 and it still continues.The really great part is my neighbor who is a union man just recently had ME charged with harassment for mowing my lawn. He burned down his shed to build a new garage and the police won't even investigate it. Can you believe that they won't investigate insurance fraud? Now the reason why, because not only have I been blacklisted from life,but everytime my name pops up they make sure that I have no hope, and they do it very well, and it is all done by the union for the union and the police are union.

  The whole system is designed to get YOU to blow your brains out and they are very good at it. Unfortunetly there is not much the legal system will do for you, or at least in my case no one has wanted to even touch it. When the people that break the laws have the police on their side, I'm afraid the system is far more broke than we can even imagine, and in actuality it's not really broke it's just the way it is set up, as individuals we just don't matter.

   All I can say I wish you a lot of luck because you are going to need it, God Bless.

  

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

smoke screens

AUTHOR: poorprose - (United States of America)

I am a former employee  in dayton ohio i was wrongfully terminated for a reason i still am unsure of. i was accused of being a harm to others, they said i was trying to run over coworkers in the company parking lot and whats really scary is that i don't have any idea of who it was or my motive. it would have made more sense to me had i been arrested or had a meeting with those involved to include management or something. If i were an employer, i would never had tolerated that kind of conduct and would have pressed charges immediately.

witnesses were never produced to any police concerning the allegations nor were any names given to the employers doctors or the eeoc in their investigation. i suffered adverse action such as for two years following my discharge to include:demotion, forced to perform other employees duties,  given poor evaluations which i filed grievances on and won and  was cursed out by former supervisor and placed on a performance improvement plan and under the supervision of a supervisor who had only been in my unit for only two years. i was an employee of nearly 14 years of service.

I was working on my masters degree in the same program as my supervisor and she refused to allow me to sit at my desk without nitpicking. i was sent out for impermissible testing after recovering from a third degree burn that nearly
cost me a limb after being forced to remain on the job despite my personal injury that was a result of the harassment at work. i came home one evening to prepare my sons dinner and accidently placed a deep fryer on a glass table and it collapsed pouring out hot grease down my leg and into my shoe i was wearing.

i remained on the job because i was told that i could not take off for any reasons due to the performance improvement plan. the supervisor sent an irate customer to me on my lunch break and stormed in my cubicle concerning the customer even though i was in excruciating pain and the supervisor even kissed the sweat off my forehead after screaming and cursing me out while i was on the job under the influence of pain medicines and antibiotics trying to hold on to my job. i was forced to have emergency surgery in order to save my foot. 

after i recovered from my burns, i was then sent out for impermissible psychological  testing with the employers psychologist who stated himself that i was not any harm to myself or anyone else and was forced off my job and had to apply for disability. the union told me that they knew i would get my disability if i applied.  i received an eeoc determination in my favor and a right to sue from the department of justcie and have paid several attorneys in and around ohio. i have contacted several agencies that are suppose to advocate lay people and for it to only end up in fees that i could not afford. i decided to become a prose litigant because all of the organizations i contacted were only smoke screens that keep the masses complacent and are only in place to help the employer particularly my union!

the county has everyone in their pockets including lawyers. the union afcsme failed to arbitrate or follow through on their mediation agreement and assured the eeoc that they were not going to give me a dime. i have throughout this litigation found the prosecuting attorneys who are defending the county to be quite scandalous. they have committed perjury and even the judge is acting as counsel for the defendants attorneys and have denied every motion i have put before them.

 this is a case of public interest and must be a concern for anyone who has ever had aa criminal or civil suit in this county. anyone who has ever lossed a case or been convicted should investigate the public records because they should be appealed. i use to believe in the american dream and the judicial system but i now know that all it is comprised of is performing artist and corrupted officials who don't follow the same laws they punish common people for. just want justice and my job back.  
 
i just need for the people to know that there is a cast system here in ohio and there are amicable relationships and brotherhoods that are not going to assist you. unions are there for the employers and the dues that you pay, you should have very well put it into an escrow account to preserve it for an out of state attorney and hope that he won't take you for a ride. by the way, if you have a disability, be careful what you tell your psychiatrist because that information can be court ordered. heaven forbids if you told your doctor that you were gay! i pray that the united states supreme courts punish judicial officials for treating the poor working classes this way because they think they can!
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#3 General Comment

No Union Sympathy.

AUTHOR: MartyMarsh - (United States of America)

Not only you are not going to get any sympathy from the union,they are going to continue harassing you.I'm going on my 7th year of being harassed by a union,so not only do I know what you have been threw but I also know what you are going to go threw.

You hit the nail right on the head when you said that they protect the corporations,of course they do,there is no money in protecting you.Don't lose hope,there are to many of us that have been screwed by unions that one day we are going to make great witnesses against them.

I keep telling them that there dirty deeds are going to catch up with them,but as we can all see,they don't listen. 

Christian,keep up the good work,we are watching.

Marty Marsh

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#4 Author of original report

THE AFL-CIO ALSO DOES NOTHING TO HELP WORKERS BEING BULLIED AND HARASSED AND ILLEGALLY DISCRIMINATES AGAINST EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

I didn't think it was possible, but you really are even more stupid than I thought. Why would it be "hard to imagine" that other union reps you know would be sympathetic to the union rep I complained about and have "disdain" for my story? I criticized union reps in general heavily throughout my posts. It seems unlikely union reps are going to respond favorably to my posts then. But you seem to think that actually proves something! Again, you really are stupid. Wow. Union reps siding with another union rep. Well, that should definitely convince everyone. I know I'm convinced. I can see now that my opinion was wrong all along. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways, Jim. I also can't describe in words how little I care that they have "disdain" for me. I would feel ashamed if you and the other idiot criminal union reps you work with DIDN'T have disdain for me. It's just another of the many examples of union reps only supporting one of their own and not an actual worker. Useless a**holes of the world, unite!

But that's hilarious, though! You showed my posts to your friends and they sided with you and not me! Aw shucks! Geez, did your mom agree with you, too, Jim??? Go ask her when you get home, since I'm sure you still live with her. It's so sad and pathetic that you needed your opinion validated by your buddies in the union! Did they give you two weeks off to recover from my criticism of you and all give you a big hug? Actually, for union reps, "time off from work" could apply to every day at the office, so probably not.

I didn't need to show your words to anyone else to know that you were wrong, but since you felt the need to show my posts to your friends, I decided I might as well show your posts to some of my friends -- all of whom have working brains and integrity, by the way, unlike you and any of your union rep friends. And guess what? They thought my posts were hilarious; they said they would have told you off, too; they also thought you were bigoted and ignorant about mental illness (and everything else); the couple of them I worked with who actually knew Rick Brown -- unlike you and your buddies -- didn't like him and thought he was an a**hole (so much for him being "popular"); and they all definitely agreed that you were one big giant douchebag.

In fact, here are some of the actual comments I got from friends about you and your posts. Enjoy!

*"This guy's an idiot!"

*"What an ignorant a**hole!"

*"NOBODY liked Rick Brown! [laughs loudly]"

*"No wonder no one wants to be a part of unions anymore!"

*"I would punch this guy in the face if I could. Does he live around here?" [Answer: "No. He's a coward who only picks fights with people who live thousands of miles away."]

*"He thinks just being depressed makes you crazy?!?"

*"How do you sign up for that site? I want to tell off this idiot myself."

*"You were definitely right about him being a douchebag!"

So, congratulations to you, too!! :)

I'm not sure why you think the best part is that this post will remain here forever. And? I read about ROR never deleting posts when I signed up just like you did. Did you actually think I didn't know that, and that you "got" me with that startling fact? I obviously want my posts to remain here forever. I'm happy about that. Rick Brown deserved to be exposed for the the way he treated me and his ignorant, illegal discrimination against people with mental illnesses, and I'm glad I defended my position against you, and tore you and all your points apart in the process -- even though you're too dumb to realize it -- which you deserved more than anyone I've ever met, including Rick Brown. I'm also not sure why you think it's so awesome that a post criticizing unions and telling you what a jackass you are will remain online forever. I'm glad that people will think that you're a jackass forever, too, so at least we can agree on that. You already showed everyone what a jackass you are with your responses to my posts, though, and for responding to them in the first place when you know absolutely nothing about the situation in question or any of the people involved.

I'm also glad this post will remain here forever because your responses are perfect examples of the ignorance and bigotry against people who suffer from mental illness that I'm trying to fight ... and they demonstrate that it isn't only Rick Brown, that union reps in general discriminate against the mentally ill. One in twenty adult Americans suffers from a mental illness, and 46% of Americans will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their life. Regardless of what people think of me, any of those 46% of Americans who suffer from a mental illness during their life -- and their families, friends, and others who care about them, as well as any and all mental health advocates -- will think that you're an ignorant, bigoted a**hole because of what you wrote. And that's good enough for me.

And you know what else will remain here forever? When someone types "UFCW Local 1459" into the ROR search engine, all they will see at first is the title of my complaint in big red letters, right next to a picture of Rick Brown. Most people don't actually read every ROR report like you apparently do, Jim, so to anyone just searching around who stumbles on my complaint, what I accused him of in the title of my complaint -- civil rights violations and illegal discrimination -- is what Rick Brown will be known for now ... on one of the most popular websites on the planet ... forever. That was more than enough reason to post it, and you and no one else can ever change that.

As for my supposedly making Rick Brown a "sympathetic character," that's hilarious that you think "the reader" -- or anyone else -- sympathizes with him just because you and your union rep buddies do. That is exactly what I meant about union reps being completely out of touch with the average worker, or person, in America. No wonder why only about five or six percent of American workers are members of private-sector unions at this point -- the lowest level in more than a century, and the numbers are plummeting every year.

[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/business/22union.html]

But you think that the opinions of you and your union rep buddies represent not only all of the twelve or so workers you idiots managed to actually keep in your unions, but everyone else, too! You really need to leave the union office and get out and talk to some real people every now and then, especially if you want more people to join your unions. Your inabilty to perceive reality won't attract anyone to unions and it is only going to add to the already-record low public opinion of them. [http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/17/unions-suffer-historically-low-support-from-americans/]

I never said you didn't have the right to respond to me. I was just wondering why someone who doesn't know me or any of the people involved; wasn't there for any of what happened; has never even been to any of the places it happened; isn't even a member of the same union, apparently (I thought you were UFCW because you seemed to take my complaint so personally, but now you've indicated that you're AFL-CIO); is obviously ignorant about both mental illness; and may in fact be clinically braindead would write in. When people are saying something stupid, they always hide behind the 1st Amendment. I bet that's all you know from the Constitution, too. Yes, even stupid jackasses like you have the right to spew diarrhea from your mouth whenever you want. Private companies and websites don't have to allow you to, though. I believe in free speech, too, but it's too bad Ripoffreport doesn't have some sort of filter to make sure that only actual human beings with above-room temperature IQ's can post.

I also thought it was just sad and pathetic that you cowardly pick fights with people who live thousands of miles away, hiding behind a veil of anononymity, confident that you will never actually have to face them. If you said any of the things you posted to my face, a long rebuttal like this wouldn't even be necessary. I would have you crying like a bitch in about five seconds. Hey, union rep a**holes: you want to see your friend Jim cry? Never mind, I'm sure they've already seen it many times before.

That's funny that you said that nothing in my story made sense. Well, first, again: you weren't there, you don't know me or Rick Brown or anyone else involved in my "story," you aren't even a member of the same union I was in, and you've already shown that you do NOT "know how these hearings work and what happens in them" or how union procedures in general work, even though you claim to be a union representative and a "part of the process." (Did you mean to say "part of the problem?" Just wondering.) Everyone else I showed my post to thought it made sense, and they and others who were around when the events in my "story" happened believed me and thought it made sense. I'm sorry that you can't read or comprehend what you read because you flunked out of high school and this was the only job you could get. It's too bad I couldn't have made the post a pop-up book so you could understand it. You should have just had someone read it you.

I can call you as many names as I see fit? I planned to, actually, but thanks for the permission. Insults just roll off your back because you actually have to have shame to feel insulted -- and union reps are completely shameless.

Why are you on ROR, anyway? You know why I am, but what about you? Why do you have a profile? Rebutting someone who complained about your union, or someone you ripped off? I wouldn't be surprised.

Seriously, is it your actual job to -- are you actually paid by the union -- to sit there all day surfing the web to see if anyone's saying anything mean about unions and respond to them? I wouldn't be surprised: it wastes time and does absolutely nothing to help workers, just like everything else union reps do. It really is both sad and funny: I said that union reps are lazy in my posts and then you write back that you were showing my (really long) posts to a bunch of them -- on the clock at work. You might actually get fired for wasting time like that if you were working for a real company or organization and had a real job.

Corporations are multi-nationals now, sending millions of jobs overseas, they can easily afford to ignore striking workers -- they actually see it as an investment to get their labor costs in line with non-unionized workers! -- so union reps have no power or influence whatsoever anymore (except, unfortunately, for the teachers' unions, which have destroyed the public school system, but that's a different matter) so they just sit around whining and bitching and pissing and moaning whenever anyone (rightfully) criticizes one of their own. If you put half as much effort into actually fighting for the workers you supposedly represent as you do into surfing the web responding to critics with your ignorant, uninformed jackoff remarks, maybe you could actually make a difference, like the real union leaders before you. But, well, considering your intellect and maturity level, probably not. George Meany and Walter Reuther would be rolling over in their graves if they saw what you and your buddies and guys like Rick Brown did with their unions. I bet you don't even know who they are.

My advice to new workers today: be really careful before joining a union. Unions today are not the unions of your parents and grandparents. Back then unions reps actually represented the interests of working men and women and fought for them and won. Today they sit around on their fat asses collecting salaries five times that of the average workers they (supposedly) represent, apparently surfing the web looking for critics of any union reps in the country -- even ones from unions (UFCW) that broke away from their union (AFL-CIO) because they didn't like anything about the way it was being run and didn't want to be a part of it anymore; after hearing from Jim, I can see why -- because they're so powerless and pathetic, they can no longer actually take on corporations, so they have a giant chip on their shoulder and they concentrate on fighting back against individuals who hurt their hypersensitive little feelings, because it's the only fight they have any chance whatsoever of still winning. And this a** clown, Jim, even manages to screw that up, although he still deludes himself into thinking he's "winning."

Sorry for going on another "tirade" there, Jimbo. I don't want you to feel like you have to respond with another brilliant comment like this...

"The rest of your tirade is unimportant to the reader. The only things the reader needs to know is..."

Who is "the reader"? Do you really think the average person will sit there and read such a long thread of text about a guy they never even heard of? Only you do that, Jim. They would have to be searching for it. The only reason your buddies knew about it was because you showed it to them, and the only reason my friends knew about it was because I showed it to them. Notice how no one other than you is commenting? Why would they? Who has time to read all this unless they're personally involved in the complaint? Well, you do, apparently, but most Americans aren't union reps -- thank God! -- and have real jobs.

I think "the reader" can decide for himself what's important and what he needs to know. Any reader who is not a union rep and actually read my complaint and response to your rebuttal would see that I already refuted all of your "points," and that my complaint wasn't even about Rick Brown not getting me my job back. It was about his bigoted and discriminatory remarks toward me over my disabilities and the union's failure to do anything at all to help lower-level workers when they are being harassed or are injured on the job, despite their promises to, so all of your "points" are what is unimportant to the reader. It's hilarious that you think "the reader" is as stupid as you and your union rep buddies. I don't think anyone else can be that stupid, but just in case, I'm going to respond to your list of "the only things the reader needs to know" by using something completely unknown to you -- actual facts. Try to follow along, Jim.

"As I already said, it is virtually impossible to be discharged from a union and a store, unless you screwed up REALLY badly."

And, as *I* already said, in my response to you, "(I)f you want to talk about harassment, Rick Brown mentioned in the final grievance meeting that another male employee at the company had been fired for grabbing female co-workers' butts, and he was rehired. Does sexual assault sound better or worse to you than a 'stupid letter'? When I was still friends with the girl I supposedly later harassed, she told me that one of our male co-workers picked her up over his shoulder, threw her in the front seat of his car and kissed her despite her telling him to stop. Strangely, this incident -- again, sexual assault -- didn't even prompt a harassment investigation, never mind a termination. " Again, apparently, to you, writing a "stupid letter" is screwing up REALLY badly, but sexual assault is not.

And, as I also already said, "My only regret from writing that 'stupid letter' is that I backed away from it during the meetings. ... I didn't even want my job back anymore after a while and was glad I didn't get it back. After I settled with the company and got pretty much everything I demanded in my "stupid letter" (guess it wasn't such a stupid letter after all) that Rick Brown not only never tried to help me with but said I was delusional for thinking I would ever get, I moved on to much better things and had a great year and felt a lot happier. I just had to get away from that horrible company and its idiot union reps, who somehow managed to make things even worse than they already were. As I already said, "All of this happened years ago, back in 2005. I've felt a lot better in the last couple of years and am doing a lot better professionally. I have been able to take up writing fulltime, which was always my dream. I didn't have to even look for another low-paying wage slave service job." Getting fired from there was a blessing in disguise. So, if I did f**k up in the grievance meeting, then good!

"1. You went through a full examination and review before a disciplinary committee consisting of both labor and management."

Rick Brown is a bureaucrat with a six-figure income who -- like most union reps -- is completely out of touch with the average workers he claims to represent. He is no more a representative of "labor" than management is. Rick Brown's annual salary, including compensation, is $122,592. The average UFCW-represented grocery store worker earns less than $25,000 a year -- 5 times less than Rick Brown, who isn't even the president of his union, or one of the higher-paid UFCW execs. To say that these people know anything whatsoever about the daily struggles of the average worker in their union is ridiculous. They've become detached from what's best for workers and don't care about individual workers and will do as little as possible to help union members with any problems, including worker's comp and legitmate complaints against management or co-workers; and will do absolutely nothing to help union members with legitimate complaints against other union members -- especially if the person accused is one of the higher-ranking, higher-paid members. Hmmm... A system that benefits those at the top while ignoring the legitimate concerns of those at the bottom. Sounds kind of like ... a corporation! When it comes down to it, just like corporate executives, union reps only look out for their own. That's why you're going to such lengths to defend a guy you never met in a place you've never been to in a situation you were not present for against a complainant you don't even know. Well, that and you're an idiot, but I've already established that.

There were two union stewards who worked for the company present for the meeting who actually did represent "labor," unlike Rick Brown, but neither of them said a word the entire time. As I said before, thanks for the help, guys.

There also was no "disciplinary committee": it was just a few managers and personnel in an informal private meeting. Even if there had been a "disciplinary committee," labor would not be a part of it! Why would labor be working with management to punish workers? Oh, wait, that's what you corporate a**-kissing union reps do every day now. Sorry, my mistake.

"2. You could not adequately represent yourself, so you ended up with the most politically upward mover in your local union, and he could not save you."

As I already said, the company was never going to rehire me, anyway. Neither Rick Brown or myself or anyone else was ever going to be able to get my job back. The first two grievance meetings went nowhere, and the company reps met behind closed doors for 45 mins. before the final meeting, deciding my fate. They ignored most of what Rick Brown said and said they didn't think my conditions would explain the angry letter, so that strategy would have failed, anyway. The company's own EEOC spokesman later tried to help me get my job back as part of the settlement, talking to numerous managers and executives in the company. That was the one issue they wouldn't budge on. It was a foregone conclusion that they weren't going to rehire me.

But, again, as I already said, "Rick Brown failing to get me rehired wasn't the reason for my discrimination complaint with the EEOC and MCAD against the UFCW -- it was Rick Brown's discriminatory remarks and riducule about my disabilities. That's it, and that's all it ever was." You just don't seem to get it that my complaint wasn't about Rick Brown not getting me my job back. I know, as a union rep, you're too lazy to read the whole thing, but apparently you missed even the *title* of my complaint, so here it is again: "UFCW Local 1459 DO NOTHING TO HELP WORKERS BEING BULLIED AND HARASSED AND ILLEGALLY DISCRIMINATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES."

See? I was complaining about a union rep, Rick Brown, not believing me about being bullied and harassed in the workplace; arguing that I imagined it and dismissing everything I said as crazy just because I suffer from depression and an anxiety disorder, while not doing that with a girl who accused me of harassment just to get back at me (and, incidentally, as I already said, suffered from far worse "mental disorders" than me); and, especially, about Rick Brown making insulting, discriminatory remarks about me and my conditions, which is banned in the workplace under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, whether you like it or not.

And -- this is great -- then you, another union rep, write in and ... don't believe me about being bullied and harassed in the workplace; argue that I imagined it and dismiss everything I said as crazy just because I suffer from depression and an anxiety disorder, while not doing that with a girl who accused me of harassment just to get back at me; and make insulting, discriminatory remarks about me and my conditions. I think you proved my point better than anything I could say.

As I already said, "Whether you like it or not -- and I REALLY hope you don't like it -- arguing that a person who merely suffers from depression and/or anxiety is delusional and psychotic; ridiculing him about; telling him he's imagining things; and especially calling him a psycho right to his face IS discriminatory -- not much different than calling someone with a learning disability a 'retard' -- and the EEOC agreed with me, hence why they allowed me to file the complaint and went forward with it."

I would have filed my disability discrimination complaint against Rick Brown -- and a complaint on ROR against him -- even if the company had given me my job back. IT WASN'T ABOUT THE JOB!! IT WAS ABOUT THE INSULTING, DISCRIMINATORY REMARKS HE MADE ABOUT ME AND MY DISABILITIES!!

But I already said in my response that the issue was not about Rick Brown not getting me my job back -- and then you just repeated the same B.S. you said before about how it wasn't his fault that I didn't get my job back. The thing about "rebutting" someone's response, is that you're supposed to ... you know, respond to their response, not just repeat yourself responding only to what they said initially. I refuted what you said in your response; now you're suppposed to respond to that. That's sort of how a debate or argument works. I can see how you might not know that, though, being just another idiot in an organization where everyone thinks the same, nothing gets done, and you're all sharing a brain that doesn't work.

Simply labeling someone "crazy" makes it much easier than actually having to think and answer the person's arguments, doesn't it? You didn't respond to any of my points about why you were wrong in my rebuttal because you can't. Facts are stubborn things.

Anyway, you already said in your original response to my complaint: "However, you made another poor decision. Instead of having this person represent you, you should have represented yourself - regardless of your condition. If you cannot seek redress of your grievances yourself, you have no business appealing." Sound familiar?

For you and "the reader," here is a page from the UFCW's own website on the grievance procedure, detailing exactly how it works.

http://www.ufcw1459.com/your-basic-legal-rights-union-member

As you can see, the union tells you to NEVER go to any meeting with management if it could result in disciplinary action without union representation, and to seek out union stewards in the store to help you, and follow the grievance process exactly as written in the union contract. But you, who claim to be a part of the grievance process (in a different union, anyway) said I made a "poor decision" by following what the UFCW itself told me to do and what was written in my union contract to do, and that I blew it by having "this person" represent me and should have represented myself or I had "no business appealing." Then you try to say that I was lucky to have such an awesome union rep representing me and I should have listened to him and blew it because I didn't. Anyone other than Jim see a problem with that?

And, as I already said, if you're seriously arguing that if workers who can't adequately represent themselves because of their mental or physical conditions have no right appealing being fired, then you are not only saying that the one in twenty Americans who suffer from mental illness should have no right to appeal, but deaf, mute, autistic, mentally retarded, and a whole lot of other workers with conditions beyond their control have no right to appeal, either. Again, you believe in worker's justice only for certain workers, and not the ones who are most vulnerable to being shafted by management, but the ones who need the least amount of help from you. Anything to not have to do any extra work actually helping a worker. Union reps really are lazy.

It isn't surprising that you wouldn't know how the union grievance process works, though, even though you claim to be a part if it, since you also said it isn't the union's job to make sure I get worker's comp. "Then you complain the union should have represented you in a WC claim. Why would a union do that; it isn't their responsibility. ... The union isn't going to lift a finger for you in such a situation - it's not their place. It's only their job to make sure you have a place to come back to when you're healthy again."

As I already said, Rick Brown and the other union reps TOLD ME they were going to help me get worker's comp. And this is from the UFCW's own website:

"If your unemployment is a result of an injury, severe illness or other physical disability, these programs are for you.

1. Workers Compensation

Often referred to as 'workers comp,' this state program is for workers injured on the job. In some circumstances, an injury sustained traveling to and from work may be covered. Workers compensation laws in most states require that the employer be responsible for all medical bills arising from an on-the-job injury and for payment of lost wages up to a certain level and for a certain length of time. Benefits vary from state to state. If you were injured on the job, it is extremely important that you seek the guidance of your union or another expert to see that you receive everything guaranteed you by law."

Again, do you EVER know what you are talking about??? If you really are a part of the union grievance process, then I feel extremely sorry for any worker in any of your unions who needs help in a grievance or any other problem with management. You don't seem to know even the simplest, most basic things about the union grievance process. The next time you go to a grievance meeting on behalf of a worker, you might as well just fall asleep while you're in there. You won't be able to contradict yourself every five seconds and no one will know that you have absolutely no idea what you're doing. You'll be about as much help to the worker asleep as you would be awake, anyway.

Also, as I already said, Rick Brown and the UFCW did absolutely nothing to try to get the company to fix the safety violations that led to my serious workplace injury. They were only interested in possibly threatening to call OSHA if the company didn't rehire me -- which they never even tried, and would obviously not have worked, anyway. So, I had to call OSHA myself and force the company to fix their safety violations. I felt OSHA needed to know about my situation so something like this wouldnt happen to another worker in the store -- and, because of the training program I helped make mandatory, no worker in the store has been injured from cleaning up a biohazard since. The UFCW reps were not at all concerned about the company's safety violations and the health and safety of the workers -- and union members -- in the store. Then again, I bet you would just respond to the idea of keeping workers safe from serious injury due to company negligence with another "Why would a union do that; it isn't their responsibility. The union isn't going to lift a finger for you in such a situation - it's not their place." Maybe if unions did actually take the responsibilty to help workers with workplace injuries and worker's comp and other issues they already say they will help with, anyway, and actually started to "lift a finger" for workers in need, more people would want to join unions and they would have a better reputation than the bottom-of-the-barrel one they do now.

As far as Rick Brown being "the most politically upward mover in (my) local union," that's part of the problem. Union leaders are politicians, so they care more about not rocking the boat and kissing ass and furthering their own careers than they do about the workers they supposedly represent. As I already said, "The higher-ups in the union are not elected to office by rank-and-file union members. Union bosses are indeed elected -- by the executive board! Rick Brown was appointed to 'Secretary-Treasurer' by the other bloated fat cats in the union office, the ones with the six-figure incomes who pretend to represent average workers. I can see why he's popular at the UFCW: he's corrupt and greedy and arrogant and doesn't care about workers at all, just like the rest of you. He certainly wasn't popular -- or even well-known -- with workers. But who cares if he was? ... I'd like someone who actually cares about workers and has a working brain."

"3. You could not control your mental illnesses throughout the disciplinary process."

That doesn't even make any sense. The whole thing about an "illness," Jim, is that you have no control over it. If people had control over illnesses, they would choose to not have them in the first place. That was the point: that Rick Brown was making discriminatory, bigoted remarks about conditions I have that I was born with and have no control over. That's no better than racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.

Also, did you miss this in my response, Jim? As I already said, "I barely even spoke during the grievance meeting. When I did, it was only to get them to acknowledge that they never did an investigation of my harassment claims like they did with the girl and they claimed they did with me, and asked them for evidence of it ... and Rick said it didn't matter if there was an investigation because he thought I was crazy and didn't believe any of it happened." Some things are more important than an $8.05/hr. job sacking groceries. Some people actually actually have principles and fight for things they believe in ... like worker's rights, for instance. Sorry if that sounds like "not controlling mental illnesses" to you. Maybe if you and your union rep buddies actually stood up to management and fought like I did once in a while, you'd actually do some good for the workers you claim to represent.

As far as my mental illnesses go, again, one in twenty adult Americans suffer from mental illness, and 46% will at some point in their life.

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_mental_disorders]

You think they're all crazy and have an "inability to perceive reality," as you said before? I think that one in twenty Americans would be really offended by that ... and so would their families and friends and the people who actually know them. The only people who wouldn't are ignorant bigots like you. And every single one of those "one in twenty" is a more productive and useful member of society than you or any of your idiot, useless union rep friends.

If you have a bias against anyone with mental or physical illness -- which, like Rick Brown, you clearly do, more than anyone I have ever met -- then you don't belong representing any union, or being in the workplace at all. If you can call what you do an actual job, I mean.

Incidentally, women make up the majority of sufferers of both depression and anxiety disorders, so your bigotry against the mentally ill is also bigotry against women. As I already said, your automatically believing a female accuser over a male, and teaching a "sexual harassment course in a union setting" means that you think women are helpless, fragile weaklings who need men -- and I use that term loosely -- like yourself to "protect" them because they can't succeed on their own. Again, as I already said, "Most women I know are just as capable of sticking up for and defending themselves as men are and can handle themselves quite nicely in the workplace, thanks, without people like you teaching classes on how to make sure big, bad men don't hurt the feelings of poor, helpless female employees. You're really just a closet misogynist." And, since you think that suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder makes a person unable to perceive reality, and women suffer from these conditions a lot more than men, then you must think that a lot more women than men are crazy. Again, you not only hate the mentally disabled, you hate women, as well. I feel sorry for your wife and pray that you don't have a daughter.

It's almost sad -- almost -- because here is the text from the Americans with Disabilities Act concerning mental illness:

"The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. It is illegal to harass an employee because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to harass someone because they have complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Harassment can take the form of ... offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment (including ... conduct of a sexual nature) is also unlawful. Although the law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal if it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or if it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer."

My co-workers violated this law by harassing me, management violated it by refusing to do anything about it or even investigate, and Rick Brown violated it by talking to and about me in a discriminatory way. I filed a civil rights complaint against the company and won everything I wanted. And I filed a civil rights complaint against the UFCW that it wasn't cleared of for a half-decade ... and it was on a technicality, because the investigative body, the MCAD, lost the evidence I sent them.

If you talk to anyone with a mental disability the way you have to me in my posts at work (or what you call work) you could easily be looking at not only a civil rights complaint, but a fullblown discrimination lawsuit. Rick Brown laughed about that, then I won against the company and the UFCW spent the next five years trying and failing to have my complaint dismissed before finally "winning" on a tainted TKO. So, go ahead and tell a worker suffering from a mental illness in one of the unions you work for that he has an "inability to perceive reality" or "needs to be on meds or there's no hope for you" or some other lame, more sad than funny "joke" of yours. You'll get the arrogance beaten out of you real quick. Unions don't like discrimination complaints and lawsuits anymore than corporations do, by the way. Your pals might not like you so much anymore then.

As I already said, how about the idea that all workers, male and female, disabilities or not, deserve to be able to go to work every day and do their jobs without having to worry about being harassed, bullied, judged, discriminated against, injured because of company negligence, and be treated with respect and dignity? Or is that too difficult of a concept for a union rep to digest?

Stigma against mental illness is at now where racism and sexism were in the 1950's, and homphobia was in the 1970's: just beginning to be condemned. Considering that 46% of Americans suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives (that's almost 7 times the number of Americans who belong to private-sector unions at this point, by the way -- just felt like pointing that out) I think people are going to get tired of the stigma and bigotry and fight it more and more until insulting and discriminatory and ignorant remarks about people who suffer from mental disabilities will be just as unacceptable in mainstream society -- and the workplace -- as racism, sexism and homophobia are now.

There was a great scientist who said that new ideas don't win by convincing their opponents; they win because their opponents die and a new generation grows up who is familiar with them. I've noticed that younger people have far more enlightened and tolerant attitudes toward mental disabilities than older people. You guys will die, and the next generation will be more tolerant and the stigma of mental illness will be far less. So, why don't you start the process by dying right now? I doubt anyone would miss you.

"4. The only people who really screwed you are the people who you were proud of for showing you were actually sane (if they found you troubled, they would not have had cause to fire you). Unfortunately, that perception is not uncommon on ROR; it's the people that rip you off that you think are your friends."

Again, things you already said in your response are going to come back to haunt you. "You would have been much better off having HR declare you 'crazy'. If you had been declared 'crazy', you would have had a case to keep your job, so even your own desire to declare yourself sane, worked against you." And... "If you don't seek treatment, your situation with the union is going to follow you everywhere, and the inability to perceive reality....is not something an employer is going to want to hire."

As I already said in my response to these comments, you said I should have gone with the union rep's "he's crazy" argument and then I might have been rehired (if they found me "troubled") ... and then you say that if I can't perceive reality, i.e. if I'm crazy, then no one's going to want to hire me at all. Which one is it? Do companies make allowances for "crazy" people or do they shun them?

As I already said, a defense of "temporary insanity" -- as you thought Rick Brown was making for me -- would have been fine. If he had argued -- as I wanted him to and he told me he would before the meeting -- that a person can only take so much abuse from so many people for so long, and that I finally snapped after spending six weeks in bed in the worst pain of my life because of a workplace injury, and that I was still in a lot of pain when I wrote and delivered the letter, I would not have had problem with him. Rick Brown didn't argue any of that, though. He argued that I had a delusional, psychotic disorder -- not a "temporary" one -- and that it caused me to not only write the letter but to imagine being harassed at work ... and then said to my face that I was a psycho and laughed about it. If you suffered from depression, anxiety, etc., and had a hard enough time living day to day, and already had to face stigma from it that most other people do not have to face, then maybe you would understand why those remarks were so much worse than losing my job or anything HR did.

As I already said, "The worst thing you can say to someone who suffers from a mental disability is to call them crazy or to treat them like they are. People have no more control over having a mental illness than they have over their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. That's why it's in the same protected class as those other categories."

As I already said, "Whether Rick Brown believed he was helping me or not, he should not have been arguing that I was psychotic based on a single letter I wrote, and he should not have been arguing that people with depression and anxiety disorders are 'delusional.' I did not want my job back if it meant arguing that I was psychotic."

I did not think that the company reps were my "friends." Actually, Rick Brown and the other union reps were friends with management and that was part of the problem: union reps like you & Rick are nothing but corporate ass-kissers.

As I already said, over the way I was treated by management during the "harassment" investigation I was forced to endure because of that ridiculous girl, "So, I was subjected to threats and ridicule by management and human resources, and the UFCW did nothing to help." It doesn't sound like I'm too fond of management and the way they treated me there, or thought they were my "friends." Rick Brown and the other union reps were friends with management and were too cowardly to stand up to them, anyway, regardless of whether they believed what I said co-workers and management did.

As I already said, "Eventually, he just started agreeing with whatever the human resources reps said, basically arguing their side for them." Since he was the one who was supposed to be helping me and arguing my side, I'd say that he screwed me a lot more than management did.

Did you miss my descriptions of some of the company managers? "The smug a*s from human resources ... the fat, bloated, obnoxious, wrinkly old hag manager." Yes, it really sounds like I like them a great deal.

When I "praised" management, as you put it, it was only to show that even these a**holes who were trying to "screw" me were more helpful in getting me worker's comp by filing a claim on my behalf, while the union did nothing; that the company's HR rep actually did an investigation into my claims of being harassed by co-workers, while Rick Brown just dismissed my claims completely because he thought that suffering from depression and anxiety meant that I was insane so nothing I said could possibly be true, meaning the company that fired me believed me about the horrible experience I went through more than Rick Brown, who was supposed to be representing me, did; that, although they were a**holes, management did not ridicule me or make discriminatory remarks about my conditions; and that, later, the company's EEOC spokesman treated me with respect and dignity and negotiated a settlement with me against the company that was more than fair, giving me almost all of the things I wanted in my "stupid letter" that Rick Brown thought I was delusional for thinking I would ever get. As I already said, "Its extremely sad that a spokesman from the company did such a better job of representing me than Rick Brown or the UFCW did and was a much nicer guy, too." My point was not to praise management -- again, I hated them and the way they treated me, except for the EEOC rep later on -- but to show that Rick Brown and the UFCW treated me even worse.

Yes, being wronged by someone you trusted who was supposed to be representing you is worse than being wronged by someone you know is trying to screw you over, the same way being wronged by a friend is worse than being wronged by an enemy. (Not that I am saying that I EVER considered Rick Brown a friend!) I expected management to be a**holes; that's what they do. I expected something better from the union.

As for your last comment: Wow. It's a good thing we in the "ROR community" have you to point out to us who is really ripping us off and who isn't. I know I, like most people, turn to arrogant morons who know absolutely nothing about the situation we are talking about to tell me what to think about it. I don't know what everyone would do without you, Jim, besides, well, think for themselves and come to the correct conclusion, I mean -- you know, that thing you aren't at all capable of doing.

"5. Being a freelance writer ... not relevant."

I'm not sure why this would be one of the things "the reader" needs to know about my situation with Rick Brown and the UFCW. Number five on your list ... not relevant. (Unions at this point ... not relevant.) But, since you brought it up, I mentioned in one sentence being a freelance writer to explain that I was working on an article about the stigma and bigotry people who suffer from mental illness have to face from idiots like you, and to explain that that's why I started thinking about the worst time when someone discriminated against me and made bigoted remarks based on my conditions and had the most ignorant views on people with mental illness -- until you, that is, of course. So, it IS relevant, anyway, and f**k you if you don't like it.

"Please take your meds and stay on them. If you don't, you have no hope."

It's funny how in your insults about my conditions, you don't say "You need therapy" or some other idiotic generic line that people with mental disorders sometimes hear. You go straight to telling me I needed "meds." Well, that's not surprising: union reps kiss the a**es of the corporations whose workers they (supposedly) represent, so they might as well be shilling for the drug companies, too.
All you can think to say for a criticism is some variation of "You're crazy" -- and the only other time anyone seriously said something like that to me was Rick Brown. Only lazy, selfish, narcissistic, entitled, self-important union reps feel it's okay to judge people based on their disabilities.

You're just bitter that stupidity isn't consider a mental illness, so you can't get any real benefits from disability, unlike the benefits that today's pathetic excuses for unions are able to provide. Again, I'd rather be "crazy" than stupid. Actually, I do think you're suffering from a mental illness yourself. Ever hear of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? That one fits you perfectly.

As far as seeking treatment, this is from the U.S. Surgeon General: "Powerful and pervasive stigma prevents people from acknowledging their own mental health problems, much less disclosing them to others." It's insulting comments from people like you and Rick Brown about their conditions -- the fear of being labeled "crazy," as both of you ignorantly think all people with mental illness are -- that prevents people with mental health problems from admitting they have a problem, telling others about it, and seeking help. If you really want people suffering from mental illness to seek help and have "hope," then shut the f**k up.

What exactly do you even mean by "hope for me," anyway? Hope for me to become "normal," like you? If you're "normal," then I don't want to be it! Or have anything else in common with you, for that matter!

I actually like your last sentence. That is something that everyone suffering from a mental illness needs to know -- there is always hope and treatment. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for stupid, so there's no hope for you. So, why don't you take a whole bottle of the "meds" you told me to take and die? I doubt even your wife and kids would miss you.

This is actually kind of fun: I like pissing off you and your greedy, self-serving, corporate ass-kissing union rep friends. And I know that it does piss you off, however much you act like it doesn't. That's why you took it upon yourself to respond to my complaint in the first place.

And I bet you'll prove me wrong about being lazy and wasting time and union resources ... by sitting around at work showing my response to your union rep girlfriends and responding to my post on a union computer. Develop a work ethic and get a real job and stop whining and crying because someone hurt your feelings by criticizing you and your buddies, who exploit workers while pretending to help them. If you do respond, see if you can actually refute any of what I've written here, avoid doing nothing but mindlessly repeating yourself from your first post, using the word "tirade" -- seems to be your favorite word; one of the few you know, I guess -- or taking another cheap shot at the disabled. I bet you can't.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Congratuations to You....

AUTHOR: Jim S - (United States of America)

It's hard to imagine, but after showing your report, and especially your response, to a number of people within one of the unions I work for, and one member who represents the AFL-CIO locally, your post has universally made Rick Brown a sympathetic character.  Your situation, on the other hand, garnered universal disdain.  Call me as many names as you see fit - it doesn't change the situation.  Best of all, this post will remain here forever, and the sympathy garnered for Mr. Brown will also stay here forever.

As a public website that works based on the 1st amendment, your posting is subject to be challenged by the community of ROR, and the community as a whole.  You don't get to post whatever story you wish to tell, without being challenged if the story doesn't make sense.  Your doesn't come close to making sense because I know how these hearings work and what happens in them - I'm a part of the process.  As I already said, it is virtually impossible to be discharged from a union and a store, unless you screwed up REALLY badly.

The rest of your tirade is unimportant to the reader.  The only things the reader needs to know is:

1.  You went through a full examination and review before a disciplinary committee consisting of both labor and management.

2.  You could not adequately represent yourself, so you ended up with the most politically upward mover in your local union, and he could not save you.

3.  You could not control your mental illness through the disciplinary process

4.  The only people who really screwed you are the people who you were proud of for showing you were actually sane (if they found you troubled, they would not have had cause to fire you).  Unfortunately, that perception is not uncommon on ROR; it's the people that rip you off that you think are your friends.

5.  Being a freelance writer.....not relevant.

Please take your meds and stay on them.  If you don't, you have no hope.

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#6 Author of original report

Lots of Stupid Bigotry Here...

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

Reply to "Jim S."...

For starters, I can see that you're a colossal idiot. Who ARE you, anyway, and, an even better question, why should I care?

You don't actually identify yourself as member of the UFCW -- it's okay, I would be ashamed to admit it, too -- but you mention teaching a union class and seem to be taking a complaint from someone you don't know against someone else you don't know from a place you live all the way on the other side of the country from VERY personally, so I'm just going to fill in the blanks and say that you are just another UFCW stooge, and not just some random jackass, and that's what got your panties in such a knotted bunch. Well, that would explain the utter stupidity of everything you said in your rebuttal.

I write online professionally and, while most of the comments and emails I get from readers of my work are positive, there's always some ignorant jerk who doesn't even know what he's talking about who likes to bash you just for the hell of it. It's the risk of writing on the Internet, unfortunately. Any mouth-breathing troglodyte can crawl out from under his bed, stagger over to the computer, vomit some words all over his keyboard, and then post them. I've learned to keep a thick skin about you people, though. You don't know me. Or, in your case at least, anything at all.

I'm a freelance writer and I had decided to write an article about the stigma people with mental illness face, especially men, because of recent negative portrayals I had seen in the media. Then the bad memories of the union reps judging me and labeling me crazy just because I suffer from depression and anxiety problems came flooding back like a tsunami of raw sewage. Then I just happened to discover Ripoffreport.com. Well, since the EEOC and MCAD lost my response and all of the evidence I sent to them which would have helped my case a great deal, taking five years and not even investigating both sides, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to expose Richard Brown and the UFCW Local 1459 for the slime they are, and get my story out because I'm sure other people with mental illnesses have been discriminated against by the UFCW, too. (Judging by your bigoted response to my complaint and your moronic, insulting lack of knowledge of mental conitions, I'd say I was right.) But then Rick Brown's long-distance boyfriend writes in from all the way across the country, defending his lover and dumping on my parade. Well, Rick Brown is too much of a p----- to respond, so I guess someone had to, and who better than an anonymous person who can cowardly hide on the other side of the country?

But since you did pick a fight with me, I'm obliged to defend myself. Enjoy!

That was a pretty stupid rebuttal you wrote, your legitimate mental retardation notwithstanding. Your rebuttal was so stupid, I'm not even sure where to begin.

I didn't have a "perceived friendship" with the girl who accused me of harrassing her, and that's not even what the issue was. Whoever read my complaint to you obviously missed the part where I said that Rick Brown and the UFCW attorney both tried to claim in their response to my complaint against them that I had never been friends with this girl, and I provided evidence to the contrary. We had in fact been very close friends for two years, which is why I was able to show them copies of two years' worth of cards, letters, party invitations, etc., that she gave me. Weirdly, after I provided that evidence they stopped trying to insist I had only "perceived" being friends with the girl. You, knowing even less about my relationship with the girl and having never met either of us all, persist in the idea for some reason. Gonna say it must have something to do with you being a giant douchebag.

We had stopped being friends and did not talk at all for two months, when she and some of her friends started harassing me. I complained about it three times to a manager, the girl was spoken to three times, and ... the behavior continued. THEN suddenly the girl decided that I was harassing her. Geez, ya think maybe it was to get back at me for what she probably saw as trying to get her in trouble? (Actually, I just wanted the obnoxious behavior to stop so I could do my work like everyone else.) And do you think maybe she was counting on the fact that -- as one of the managers flat out told me, with a big grin on her face, and as you're proving now -- that in harassment cases, most people are going to believe the woman? As it is, she only filed the harassment complaint at the urging of a manager she was good friends with in the store -- the same one she went crying to and who yelled over me when I tried to tell my side of the story. I'm not even sure why I was bothering to talk to him. He was a midlevel manager and not one of the people who was supposed to be dealing with these issues, but he involved himself because of his own personal feelings toward the girl in question. It was sad, though. She was never going to sleep with him.

And if you want to talk about harassment, Rick Brown mentioned in the final grievance meeting that another male employee at the company had been fired for grabbing female co-workers' butts, and he was rehired. Does sexual assault sound better or worse to you than a "stupid letter"? When I was still friends with the girl I supposedly later harassed, she told me that one of our male co-workers picked her up over his shoulder, threw her in the front seat of his car and kissed her despite her telling him to stop. Strangely, this incident -- again, sexual assault -- didn't even prompt a harassment investigation, never mind a termination. Again, do you think maybe, just maybe it was because she was just trying to get back at me when she accused me of harassment because I accused her of it first? Nah!

It's not only the law, it's the company's written policy to investigate harassment claims and remedy the situation, if need be. We all had to sign papers telling us our rights and what to do if we felt like we were being harassed. We also had to take a test on harassment issues and what to do if we feel like we're being harassed and pass the test, or keep taking it until we did. I should probably say that I got a 100% on that test. I also had to take it literally right after the second incident of the girl and her friend ridiculing and laughing at me. Then I went up upstairs and one example on the test of harassing behavior was ... ridiculing and laughing at people, especially ones with disabilities. This is why it was B.S. when HR -- and the union -- tried to tell me I wasn't harassed by this girl and her friends I complained about three times: the examples I gave of harassment were in their own test they made us take! Did anyone in HR, management, or the UFCW actually take these tests? I think they would have failed them. What the girl claimed I did was NOT given as an example once in the LONG, three-hour test. She was taken seriously only because she was a girl, and I was not taken seriously only because I was a guy. Period. End of story.

As far as the people harassing me with horrible sexual rumors and accusations -- which was really the main reason I wrote that "stupid letter," not what happened with that girl -- I DIDN'T make any harassament accustations against them! Again, if you had bothered to actually read my complaint (I know union guys are lazy, but, come on...) you'd have seen that an HR rep FORCED me to name all of the people who had been saying those awful things about me, saying he would suspend me if I didn't! So, companies don't take kindly to people -- or guys, anyway -- making harassment accusations, and they also don't take kindly to people not wanting to make harassment accusations and then force them to make them??? Maybe that makes sense to you, but I don't speak retard, so it doesn't to me.

How about the idea that all workers, male and female, disabilities or not, deserve to be able to go to work every day and do their jobs without having to worry about being harassed, bullied, judged, discriminated against, injured because of company negligence, and be treated with respect and dignity? Or is that too difficult of a concept for a union rep to digest? I can see how that would be completely unthinkable, especially to a completely unthinking person like yourself.

I was accused of the harassment about six months before my firing. Apparently they were okay with being "associated with someone accused of harassment," after all. They determined it to be a "he said, she said" story, and she wasn't even alleging -- far more serious -- sexual harassment. Actually, when we were still friends, she said that I was the only one of her guy friends who never tried anything with her ... while she was dating abusive guys ... and like the sucker "nice guy," I was always there for her. Our friendship finally ended when I just couldn't do that anymore, and she resented it.

I was the one alleging sexual harassment against the people spreading unrepeatable sexual rumors about me and even saying them right in front of me. And I guess, after the company forced it out of me, they were okay with being associated with both me and the people I accused of harassment, too ... and this was a legitmate complaint, unlike the silly girl's against me. But they didn't even do an investigation of my MUCH worse allegations, like they did with the poor little girl with the crocodile tears. And, again, I accused her of harassment when her and her friends were bothering me three separate times -- quitely, by speaking to a manager, not filing any sort of formal harassment complaint -- BEFORE she came up with her story that I harassed her somehow.

You're saying that female employees should be treated better than male employees, and their complaints at work should be taken more seriously. Do you realize when you do that, you're essentially saying that women are fragile, helpless damsels in distress who need men to protect them in the workplace? I know a lot of women who would be very offended by the idea of women being given special treatment and treated like they're helpless ... and by the women who use those things to their advantage and the gullible men who get off on trying to "protect" these overgrown little girls. Geeks in shining armor, I call them. Most women I know are just as capable of sticking up for and defending themselves as men are and can handle themselves quite nicely in the workplace, thanks, without people like you teaching classes on how to make sure big, bad men don't hurt the feelings of poor, helpless female employees. You're really just a closet misogynist.

If I had said what I did to any other girl in the store I had been friends with or not, I doubt they would have reacted the way she did. This girl suffered from borderline personality disorder and used to cut herself. I used to try to get her to seek help for it when we were friends, but she said she liked cutting herself. This was the mental state of the person who accused me of harassing her. And, you're right, I'm the crazy one; simply feeling depressed and anxious is much more out of touch with reality than enjoying making yourself bleed.

Management and the union taking female accusations of harassament seriously and not -- much worse -- male accusations was exactly what I was complaining about in my post, and why I added gender discrimination to my civil rights complaint against the company, along with disability discrimination and harassment. The people at the EEOC agreed with me that that constituted gender discrimination, by the way. They're not experts, like you, of course. So, I'd advise keeping old-fashioned notions like that -- only girls can be harassed; guys automatically guilty if accused by girls -- to yourself, unless you want your union to have a gender discrimination lawsuit on its hands, too.

Having a union rep represent me was a poor decision??? The UFCW has an entire grievance process outlined in its contract with the company. I'm not sure what the purpose of this is if, as you said, I was supposed to represent myself. The union reps are there to help workers with grievances. One of the union stewards was already sitting in the manager's office waiting for me, along with the store manager and HR guy in the meeting where I got fired. Should I have told him to go to hell? Since this one was actually being supportive during and after that meeting, I followed his advice and started the union grievance process. With hindsight, I can say that was definitely a mistake, but we can't all be as smart and perceptive as you, "Jim S."

Rick Brown and I talked about what he was going to say before the third grievance meeting and he certainly never said he was going to argue that I was psychotic. I would have told him to go to hell and represented myself as best I could. You can't say that a union rep promised to help me and said he was going to say one thing in the grievance meeting and then said something completely different, that it's my fault for going with a union rep in the first place, as if I was psychic and knew he was going to do that! Whenever a union rep screws something up or discriminates against workers, it was the worker's fault for having the guy represent him in the first place?!? What B.S.! What about the union rep who lied and said something completely different from what he said he was going to say and made discriminatory remarks to and about the worker? He immaturely said "Yeah, I did a horrible job," after I told him I didn't think he was being very helpful, but I guess he should have added "It was your mistake having an idiot like me represent you." At least we could have agreed on that.

As far as my "right to appeal to a forum consisting of labor and management," that was never mentioned by anyone at the union as part of the process or even an option. It also wan't mentioned by anyone at the company or mentioned at all in the long union contract I signed. I had never heard such a thing mentioned once in the half-decade I worked for the company and was a member of the UFCW, and neither have several people I used to work with who were in the UFCW who I asked about it in the last couple of days. Does it only exist where you live? Is it a huge secret? Or, more likely, did you just pull something out of your ass? Well, if you're going to pull things out of your ass and insist that they're true, you should be careful: your inability to perceive reality is not something an employer is going to want to work with. Don't worry, though: you will still fit in just fine at the UFCW.

If I can't seek redress of my grievances on my own I have no business appealing?!? What a load of crap! That is a perfect example of disability discrimination right there! No wonder you defended this idiot! If you suffer from a legitimate mental illness that makes it difficult for you to talk to other people and stick up for yourself -- especially against four managers at once -- then, oh well, appeals and workers' justice are only for "normal" people! What if I was deaf or mute or autistic? Would I still have to seek redress on my own or I'd have no business appealing? Well, you would probably say yes because you're a bigot, but obviously not: I would be given an advocate to help me. It's called a "reasonable accomodation" and it's required by the federal Americans with Disabilties Act. Even in you're appealing something in court, the court will provide you will a legal advocate if you can't afford a lawyer and have disabilties ... and you don't even have to pay dues to them. Considering it was already written in our contract that union reps would help in the grievance process, and, again, they volunteered, I don't see how that is not a "reasonable accomodation." A psychologically "normal" person usually has union representation during grievance meetings, too. If you -- and Rick Brown -- can't tell the difference between disorders like depression and anxiety, and full-blown psychosis; and especially if you judge and discriminate against people suffering from ANY mental disorders, then YOU have no business representing the union, being a memeber of the union, or being a member of the human race.

Actually, a defense of "temporary insanity" was closer to what I was going for: that a person can only take so much abuse from so many people for so long, and that I finally snapped after spending six weeks in bed in the worst pain of my life because of a workplace injury, and that I was still in a lot of pain when I wrote and delivered the letter. Rick Brown didn't argue any of that. He argued that I was suffering from a delusional, psychotic disorder -- not a "temporary" one -- and that it caused me to not only write the letter but to imagine being harassed at work ... and then said to my face that I was a psycho and laughed about it. If you suffered from depression, anxiety, etc., and had a hard enough time living day to day, and already had to face stigma from it that most other people do not have to face, then maybe you would understand why those remarks were so much worse than losing my job or anything HR did.

None of the managers and HR even thought I was "crazy," anyway, even after the "stupid letter," and neither did anyone else, execpt Dr. Rick Brown. The store manager had even said that "We weren't aware of any mental health issues with him" in one of the meetings. Apparently, no one noticed my "inability to perceive reality" before Rick Brown --and no one has noticed it since then, except you. The company was never going to rehire me, anyway. My lawyer assured me of that (and my lawyer can beat Rick Brown's lawyer). Rick Brown failing to get me rehired wasn't the reason for my discrimination complaint with the EEOC and MCAD against the UFCW -- it was Rick Brown's discriminatory remarks and riducule about my disabilities. That's it, and that's all it ever was.

Whether you like it or not -- and I REALLY hope you don't like it -- arguing that a person who merely suffers from depression and/or anxiety is delusional and psychotic; ridiculing him about; telling him he's imagining things; and especially calling him a psycho right to his face IS discriminatory -- not much different than calling someone with a learning disability a "retard" -- and the EEOC agreed with me, hence why they allowed me to file the complaint and went forward with it.

I had no reason to recuse Rick Brown from my appeal until the third grievance meeting when he decided "he's psychotic" was the best way to get me my job back. At that point I DID recuse the bastard and fire his ass, and did everything on my own -- much more succesfully than Rick Brown or the UFCW has ever done anything for workers.

So I DID represent myself on everything except the -- completely useless -- grievance meetings. I already explained this, but since you're an idiot, I'll explain it again: I called OSHA about my workplace injury, and OSHA cited and fined them for numerous health and safety violations, and forced the company to implement a training program on cleaning up biohazards -- and actually provide the proper equipment -- so no other worker would get hurt. Again, the UFCW didn't care if any other workers were hurt. I hired a lawyer and got worker's comp and all my medical bills paid on my own. I even represented myself in a disability and gender discrimination and harassment case against the company, and negotiated my own settlement with their representative -- where I got every single thing I demanded in my "stupid letter," that Rick Brown thought I was "delusional" for thinking I would get, and then some.

Well, except for the firing of all of the people who harassed and discriminated against me, but I moved on to much better things, and most of those losers are still working for the same company in the same poisitions and probably will be till the day they die. That's a worse punishment than anything I could come up with for them. I don't always believe it, but sometimes the best revenge really is living well.

What an absolutely stupid statement: "At the end of the day, management doesn't generally take a favorable view of stupid letters and harassment accusations, and labor does not want angry people in the workplace (until collective bargaining starts) nor to be associated with anyone accused of harassment, if there is someone who legitimately complains." Management doesn't take a "favorable view" of harassment accusations? Oh well! They have to investigate them, anyway, and if they don't, they'll get a lawsuit shoved so far up their ass they'll get brain damage. Management also cannot fire -- or, in my case, threaten to suspend -- workers for making harassment accusations, either, again, unless they want to deal with the matter in court instead of privately. As far as what "labor" wants, I was "angry" from being harassed and bullied for months, and the company -- after threatening me into talking about it -- not doing anything about it, and the union not even believing me. I was, again, really shy and quiet, and no one in the store would have described me as "angry" before I snapped and wrote that letter. Hell, I was even nice to some of the people who were making my life a living hell, which I wish I could take back now.

"Labor" IS okay with being associated with people accused of harassment, anyway, if they refused to even believe me about the people harassing me after NO investigation, and continued "associating" with those people. You mean they didn't want to be associated with someone accused of harassment only if it's a guy accused by a girl -- and by "legitimately complains," apparently you mean anything a girl says, since they are always automatically believed, and nothing a guy says -- especially if he suffers from any sort of mental illness -- since guys can't be harassed. You're basically saying that it's "bad" for a guy to either accuse someone of harassment, or to be accused of it -- while it's fine for a girl to do the first, and she doesn't have to worry about the second at all, because girls don't harass and bully people. I think Phoebe Prince's family would beg to differ on that one.

Incidentally, Phoebe Prince also suffered from depression before anyone started bullying her. When the attorney for the human garbage who drove her to her death tried to use her depression as a defense -- she was already depressed, so she was going to kill herself, anyway! -- the D.A. swiftly cut that down by saying that the fact that the girl suffered from a mental disorder only made it WORSE because she had a disability she was already suffering with every day. You and Rick Brown would have sided with the defense attorney -- suffering from depression meant that she was crazy, after all, and so she probably just imagined being bullied to death. After Phoebe Prince -- and a rash of other bullying-related suicides -- schools and workplaces have started to crack down on bullying. So, maybe management will start taking a more "favorable view" of harassment accusations -- especially from people who suffer from disabiliies -- and save the unfavorable view for the people doing the harassing. As I mentioned at the end of my complaint, even the UFCW attorney was addressing the problem of workplace bullying and talking about having anti-bullying rules put in contracts. So no one gives a crap what you think about it (or anything else, for that matter). And a person you and Rick Brown and other ignorant, bigoted "labor" reps don't want to associate with is lucky.

As far as my worker's comp claim goes, the union reps TOLD ME they were going to help me with that. Rick Brown had in fact been meeting with management over a worker's comp claim right before my final grievance meeting. Just like with the grievance procedure outlined in the union contract, why say things if you do not intend to do them or the worker has to do them on his own? I admit that "not lifting a finger" to help certainly sounds like the UFCW, but if they aren't going to help, then why make all these empty promises that they will? There's actually a tab on your local UFCW website called "Worker Comp Help." [sic] (Geez, even the UFCW "webmasters" can't read, apparently.) Why is that there if the UFCW does nothing to help workers getting worker's comp? (Sorry, worker comp.) And, again, why did the union reps I had to deal with say they would help me, and act like they could, if they know they really couldn't? Oh yeah, I forgot: all of you union reps are completely full of crap. Sorry, my mistake. If it's not their place, the union reps should know their role and shut their mouths. That includes you. No, especially you.

The union doesn't use our dues mainly only for collective baragaining. There's a Health and Wellness fund -- which sucks, by the way -- and union reps to mediate grievances between workers and management, and sometimes workers and other workers. If union dues went only to supporting collective bargaining, then workers might as well flush them down the toilet. The union threatens to strike if they can't win concessions from management -- and they almost never do. When I worked at the company, and for years afterwards, it became almost an annual thing for the UFCW to threaten a strike. Workers would laugh and joke about it because they knew it was all talk. Geez, I wonder how concerened management was about it, then?

In the few places the UFCW does strike -- like your area in southern California -- they STILL didn't get the concessions they wanted, even after four months. The UFCW bragged that they cost the companies $2 billion in revenue, completely oblivious to the fact that these huge, consolidated companies could afford to take a hit like that, especially in only one sector of the country. Actually, they thought of it more as an investment: when the UFCW finally realized they couldn't win, and workers came back to the stores, without most of the concessions the UFCW had wanted, it was a small price to pay, and got the companies' costs in line with non-unionized companies. And now workers could see how futile it was to strike and how powerless and impotent the UFCW is. Even if the strike had succeeded, workers for the same companies in other parts of the country were working under the same contract that the UFCW was disputing in SoCal. ("Solidarity for some!") Maybe that's why you take it so personally about the UFCW; they actually try to help the workers in your area. Of course, they lost and the UFCW claimed victory, anyway. Again, "Wake Up UFCW!"

I brought up Wal-Mart because I felt like it. I don't need to explain myself to you. But since you asked, I "went on a tirade" about Wal-Mart because it's just another example of the UFCW's many failings. What a joke that "they can't go where they're not wanted"! How do you think unions get started, by the companies themselves? Change happens when people demand it, but the UFCW reps can't even get what they want from the companies whose workers they already represent. And did you ever consider the reason why companies or workers might not want you and your pals around? You're not wanted because you suck hard in every conceivable way, at every conceivable thing.

You said yourself that some of the companies without union representation actually get higher wages than the companies represented by you! Well, that's a start in realizing how pathetic the UFCW is and why a lot of workers don't want to "collective bargain" with you: they actually want to get a decent paycheck. Maybe some of these workers have also heard stories of union workers getting screwed by the people who are supposed to be representing them, and think it would be better not to have any representation at all. And the UFCW goes "where it's not wanted" all the time. At the company I worked at, we were REQUIRED to be in the union, whether we liked it or not. I didn't use their crappy health insurance, their collective bargaining never got anyone in the company squat, their threats to go on strike were just sad and most of the workers in the company didn't even know or care what the issue was, and, even though you think it isn't their job, they failed to represent me and discriminated against me because of my disabilities, as you did in your stupid rebuttal. So, yes, I am wondering why the hell I had to pay union dues or belong to the piece of crap UFCW in the first place! Wait, I think I know the answer: so the corrupt, greedy union bosses could steal our hard-earned money every week and make salaries five or more times the average worker they supposedly represent! Nah, that makes too much sense for your brainless skull to grasp it.

The higher-ups in the union are not elected to office by rank-and-file union members! Union bosses are indeed elected -- by the executive board! Rick Brown was appointed to "Secretary-Treasurer" by the other bloated fat cats in the union office, the ones with the six-figure incomes who pretend to represent average workers. Wow! I'm so impressed. There was never even one election for president, VP, "secretary-treasurer," or any other top position in the union in the half-decade I was a member of the UFCW, in which regular workers were actually eligible to vote. Do you EVER know what you're talking about, or are you trying to be as stupid as possible? If it's the second one, you're succeeding fabulously.

Who cares how "popular" the union rep is?!? What does THAT have to do with anything at all? Just like the imaginary elections for union bosses, I guess there are popularity contests, too. I can see why he's popular at the UFCW: he's corrupt and greedy and arrogant and doesn't care about workers at all, just like the rest of you. He certainly wasn't popular -- or even well-known -- with workers. But who cares if he was? He's popular! I felt like I was back in high school reading that. You can have the prom king represent you, I'd like someone who actually cares about workers and has a working brain.

My post is a representation of "full-fledged mental illness"? Your post is a representation of full-fledged idiocy and bigotry against people with mental disabilities. I almost want to say thank you for writing that because the UFCW reps making judgments like that about me was exactly why I didn't want them representing me anymore and why I filed a disability dicsrimination complaint against them. You've shown that it isn't only isolated to one area: apparently all of the UFCW reps across the country are bigoted toward mentally ill people. So, yeah, I almost want to say thank you for revealing that. Almost. All bigots like you and Rick Brown deserve to be gathered up into one big room, and locked inside until you rot.

First I was being diagnosed by some union idiot (now there's a redundancy for you) who didn't even know me and knew absolutely nothing about psychological disabilities, now I'm being diagnosed by the same type of union idiot, only this time he's never even met me, and it's over the computer, from the other side of the country! I guess UFCW reps are stupid everywhere, and they've gotten even stupider since my last dealings with them. Wow. I didn't even think it was possible to be any stupider than Richard Brown at the Local 1459, but then along comes you! Congratulations! As I mentioned in my complaint, I helped clean many things up at the company I was working at as part of my settlement with them. The UFCW could use some cleaning, too. They can start by getting rid of all the stupid bigots like you who exist just to take up space.

It's funny how both you and Rick Brown thought you could diagnose my mental illness ... better than my doctors, in fact, who, as I said in my complaint, were unaware that I was suffering from psychosis of any kind. And better than my friends and family, who actually know me well. Only you two union reps ever seriously tried to "diagnose" me with psychosis and attribute things I did or said to it just because you didn't like what I did or said. Do you honestly think that depression and anxiety disorders cause people to lose their ability to perceive reality? Or do you just label every person with an opinion that annoys you "crazy"? Makes it much easier than actually having to think and answer the person's arguments, doesn't it? Also makes you an arrogant d**k.

Wow. That last statement, where you tell me I have an "inability to perceive reality." I would sue you for libel if my whole identity was actually listed on this site. In a second. For every cent you are worth. It would be fun to watch you explain in court where you got your expertise in psychological diagnosis. It probably wouldn't help your case much once they found out it was your ass.

The worst thing you can say to someone who suffers from a mental disability is to call them crazy or to treat them like they are. People have no more control over having a mental illness than they have over their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. That's why it's in the same protected class as those other categories. Calling someone who suffers from mental illness -- especially ones that don't even involve psychosis -- crazy or delusional or psychotic or teating them like they are not only is discrimination and bigotry, it's actually worse than bigotry based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. The majority of people in any one of those categories are not necessarily suffering. All people who suffer from mental illness, by definition, are suffering every day ... and it's made so much worse for them by being judged by bigots like you.

It would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad and bigoted that -- just like Rick Brown at UFCW 1459 -- you think disorders like depression and anxiety make a person unable to perceive reality and use their disorders against them when they say they are being mistreated by people. It's obvious because of bigots like you that there is still a huge stigma associated with the mentally ill -- one that needs to be fought till the last gasp.

I was actually working on an article for a magazine on the stigma against mental illness, especially in men. Part of the reason for this is how women -- like the girl in my case -- are automatically believed whenever they make any sort of accusation, no matter how trivial or ridiculous it is, and most people of both genders automatically sympathize with them and support them when something negative happens to them, even if it was completely their fault, whereas men -- especially if they're considered "weird" because of mental illness, even if it just means being quiet and shy -- are automatically considered guilty, and they're expected to go it alone and deal with things on their own no matter what happens to them and how bad it is. This is a big part of why the suicide rate is five times as high for males as it is for females, in every age group. Again, how many more have to die? With bigoted attitudes like yours and Richard Brown's and the rest of the UFCW's all too prevalent in society, I'd say quite a few.

You said I should have gone with the union rep's "he's crazy" argument and then I might have been rehired ... and then you say that if I can't perceive reality, i.e. if I'm crazy, then no one's going to want to hire me? Which one is it? Do companies make allowances for "crazy" people or do they shun them? Do you even take a quick glance at your B.S. before you shovel it onto the computer screen and send it out to the world?

I wasn't trying to get HR to "declare (me) not crazy," anyway. It wasn't even an issue before Dr. Rick Brown decided I was crazy, and hasn't been since then ... until now, when another delusional union rep thinks he's a doctor and can diagnose "full-fledged mental illness," over the computer, no less. I am, however, declaring you a retard. I'd rather be crazy than stupid, "Jim S."

Incidedentally, not hiring someone, or firing them, or treating them differently in ANY way because they suffer from a mental disability, is a violation of the federal Americans with Disabilties Act and is therefore illegal in all fifty states. So, it doesn't matter what companies want to do, anyway. Lawsuits from people discriminated against -- now there's something no company wants.

Why do you think companies -- and I presume unions -- would not want to hire "crazy" people, anyway? If you, the UFCW 1459 reps, the co-workers who harassed me, and the company management are any indication, there's seems to be a wide-open door policy on stupid jackasses, so, again, why not "crazy" people, too?

I don't have to worry about being "hired" anywhere, anyway. Unlike you, who will be working in a dead end service job until the day you die (hopefully soon), I got out of the rat race a long time ago. After I settled with the company and got pretty much everything I demanded in my "stupid letter" (guess it wasn't such a stupid letter after all), I had the best year of my life. I just needed to get away from some of the people at that company and the UFCW idiots, who somehow managed to make things even worse than they were. All of this happened years ago, back in 2005. I was in fact already receiving treatment for depression and "other mental disorders" during that time, and have been since. As anyone who suffers from mental illness or cares about someone who does -- or isn't braindead like you -- knows, living with mental illness is a daily struggle ... one made more difficult by bigots, but I refuse to let bastards like you drag me down. I've felt a lot better in the last couple of years and am doing a lot better professionally. I have been able to take up writing fulltime, which was always my dream. I didn't have to even look for another low-paying wage slave service job. Well, that's not entirely true. There was one service job I applied at and almost got. It was working for your wife, but she would hire anyone, so by the time I got there, let's just say I could no longer find an opening.

My only regret from writing that "stupid letter" is that I backed away from it during the meetings and actually apologized. I'm not sorry. Well, correction: I'm sorry it wasn't ten times as long and ten times as bad. I'm proud of that letter, where I finally stuck up for myself after being harassed and bullied for months and had people who think like you in the company tell me I was just imagining it all or that it didn't matter because I'm a guy. No matter what I accomplish in writing -- if I won the Nobel Prize for Literature -- I would still consider that letter to be my greatest achievement. The fact that it pisses off an S.O.B like you just makes me like it even more. That letter not only wasn't stupid, it was better than anything you've ever done, and, like everything from a pile of dog crap on up, worth more than your entire life.

So, thanks for your "advice" about what I need to be doing now, but, well, actually, no thanks. Take your post and your advice and choke on them.

What YOU need to be doing now -- besides getting the hell out of my face and staying there before you hurt yourself -- is seeking treatment to get your head out of your ass. If you don't seek treatment, it's going to become so lodged in there and build up so much pressure that you'll explode and the crap you're full of will follow you everywhere. This is something no employer wants ... Wait? What am I saying? You already work at the UFCW; having your head up your ass tracking crap wherever you go is a requirement of the job!

At the end of all this, your stupid rebuttal is a representation of full-fledged, ignorant, bigoted garbage for all to see. But, actually, your stupid rebuttal did serve one useful purpose. (You should try achieving at least that standard for yourself.) I printed it out and it came in real handy when I ran out of toilet paper. It's just too bad there wasn't a picture of your face on it, and I didn't have your address so I could mail it to you.

Best of luck to you, too! Actually, do workers everywhere -- and the whole world -- a favor and go kill yourself.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Lots of Poor Decisions Here.....

AUTHOR: Jim S - (United States of America)

For starters, I can see why you were terminated.  That was a pretty stupid letter you wrote, your condition notwithstanding.  The harassment angle, only encouraged management not to rehire you.  Perceived friendship on your part, may be nothing at all to the female you were acquainted with.  In fact, your perceived friendship may be considered a form of harassment to the female in question, hence the complaint (I teach this subject in a union setting).  While the harassment wasn't the reason for your firing, the stupid letter you wrote is the reason.  You had a right to appeal to a forum consisting of both labor and management.  However, you made another poor decision.  Instead of having this person represent you, you should have represented yourself - regardless of your condition.  If you cannot seek redress of your grievances yourself, you have no business appealing.  Moreover, you could have had this person, whom you complain about, recused from your appeal.  At the end of the day, management doesn't generally take a favorable view of stupid letters and harassment accusations, and labor does not want angry people in the workplace (until collective bargaining starts) nor to be associated with anyone accused of harassment, if there is someone who legitimately complains.  Accordingly, an appeal would not have resulted in a rehire.

So you're thinking, why am I paying union dues if they don't represent me??  Well, the union dues exist for the primary purpose of representing you during collective bargaining with management.  Now they can represent you in an individual case against management, but your angry letter is all the evidence they needed to terminate you.  It sounds like the person who represented you tried to claim temporary insanity to get you rehired.  Probably the only strategy you had available, given your letter.  Again, another really poor decision on your part to even write such a stupid letter that management used like a sledgehammer against you.

Then you complain the union should have represented you in a WC claim.  Why would a union do that; it isn't their responsibility.  The first thing you do is hire a lawyer; the lawyer would cost you virtually, if not actually, nothing, and the store's WC insurance would pay the claim.  The union isn't going to lift a finger for you in such a situation - it's not their place.  It's only their job to make sure you have a place to come back to when you're healthy again.  Your letter finished that opportunity off.  You would have been much better off having HR declare you 'crazy'.  If you had been declared 'crazy', you would have had a case to keep your job, so even your own desire to declare yourself sane, worked against you.

Then you go into some tirade about how the union can't get into Walmart.  Big deal.  For starters, the union can't get in somewhere where they're not wanted.  The UFCW isn't going to get into Walmart, or a number of other stores; in California there are several non-union supermarkets and the union can't get into those stores either.  How this has anything to do with your complaint...?  However, the truth is that some of the stores pay better benefits than the union; Walmart isn't one of them, but if the workers don't want union representation, that's their decision.

Finally...consider this.  The person who represents you was the Union VP at the time he represented you in your case.  Today, he is the Secretary-Treasurer.  You don't get to be in that position without the vote of union members.  It seems clear he is both popular, and connected within your local.  In other words, you had the most connected, most popular person in your local union representing you in your case.

At the end of all this, your posting is a representation of full-fledged mental illness for all to see, and the only people you seem to be praising is the HR department who did everything to make certain you were fired by declaring you 'not crazy', yet it is the HR department you praise that really insured your firing was legit.  What you need to be doing now is getting better, seeking treatment for your depression, and other mental disabilities.  If you don't seek treatment, your situation with the union is going to follow you everywhere, and the inability to perceive reality....is not something an employer is going to want to hire.  Best of luck to you.

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