The Human Resources Vortex


It’s been a while.  A long, long while and I have no valid excuse.

I haven’t been absent.  Just haven’t been writing.  You all have seen me on Facebook, so you know I’ve been around.  I’ve been reading your stuff too.  I just haven’t commented on your blogs because, well, frankly I haven’t even bothered to turn on the computer much at home and trying to post a comment on a blog from the phone can be a maddening effort.

It’s not your fault.

I’ve been tense, and while I’ve said that writing helps ease that tension sometimes, the things I have had to say or post have just been angry or rampant bitching and I’m sure you don’t want to hear that.

I do, however, think you ought to know why I’ve been absent from here.

For those of you who might be new here and don’t know of my recent background, I’ve spent the last 6 months in a program for Veterans that help me find decent work while they allow me to work in the VA Hospital here and make an hourly rate so I don’t starve while I’m looking.

Sounds like a pretty good idea, right?

In theory, it is, and largely, it has worked.

But like any government program, it is flawed and overwhelmed with idiocy.

It has worked because I have job offers within the hospital.  GOOD job offers with fast and impressive growth potential.  Federal government positions that pay well and put me in positions of ever-increasing responsibility with raises to match.  Federal government benefits and I’ll even start off with 4 weeks of paid vacation a year because my service in the US Marine Corps will count toward my time in service with the government.

I have no less than 4 positions that are ready and waiting for me to start in them.

“So why so tense, E?”

I’ll tell you why.

Because everything has to go through Human Resources.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with HR at a Veterans Hospital, let me break it down for you.  This is a group of people who decide who is qualified for what jobs and whether or not to send the applications and resumes to the people actually looking for the help to review them.

That might be a little confusing, so let me try to clear that up for you. . . .

Let’s say Dr. Foot needs a Medical Technician to help him.  Cleaning up after patients leave, taking vital signs, updating patient records, assisting in procedures, etc.  Dr. Foot then creates the job posting and sends it to HR to post on  When you send in your applications and resumes, they don’t go to Dr. Foot, they go to HR.  If you’re lucky, within a couple of weeks, someone in HR will get off their ass and maybe review your application.  Then, maybe, a couple weeks after that, they will send your application to Dr. Foot (known as a referral) if and only if, the unqualified pencil pusher at HR has decided if you are qualified to even be referred to Dr. Foot, because HR has its own standards upon which to base your qualification.  Such as:

  • Number of years in military service and type of discharge.
  • Whether or not you are a disabled veteran.
  • HOW disabled are you? (This one gets better, hang on.)
  • When did you serve in the military? (This one does too.)
  • Are you mentally unstable and require psychiatric care? (At least I have a check mark in one category.)

So again, why am I tense?  I served a complete contract with the US Marines, left with an Honorable Discharge, served in between the first and second “Desert” campaigns and I am not disabled.  I was also a Paramedic and an EMT Instructor for 5 years, so I should be a prime candidate to work in the VA Hospital.

Also, I’m bat-shit crazy, so cherry on top.

The discharge is good, but I’m not disabled, and that is a problem.  If I was at least 30% disabled, they’d invent a fucking job for me.  I wouldn’t even have to be qualified to actually perform the job, but I’m not disabled, so I get slid down the list.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against taking care of our disabled vets.  I support it completely and I’m glad that there is something available to them, but let’s do this with some common fucking sense here.  You have a job that requires heavy lifting, continuous walking and pushing of heavy carts around the building and a guy that needs a nap and a tank of oxygen after he carries his lunch across the cafeteria is going to get preference for that job.

That’s good for the disabled vet.  That’s bad for the supervisor that actually needs to get the job done and total bullshit to the guy that needs the job and can actually DO it.  It’s a hospital.  Shit needs to get done or people DIE.

Now we’ll rub a little more salt in the wound because I apparently did not serve during the right time.  When I was in the Marines, there was no technically recognized campaign going on.  Like I said, I served between Desert Storm and Desert Shield, but my military service doesn’t count because there wasn’t anyone getting shot at (that the public knows about) at the time I was in the Marines.

I was actually turned away from an interview for a wage-grade position with Housekeeping because I wasn’t in the military during a time of war.

Human Resources decided I wasn’t qualified to push a fucking broom, folks. . . .

. . . but the guy that runs supply is standing on his desk to get me into the position with him which is 4 pay grades higher and has a much bigger promotional potential.

. . . and Dr. Foot personally told me to send in my application because she was posting the job because she specifically wanted me to get it, which is 5 pay grades higher.

. . . ALL THREE of my bosses at the place I’m currently working via the program are trying to get a position created FOR ME, because I put that place together from scratch beginning on the day that new building opened its doors and nobody knows it like I do.

Human Resources is the place applicants go to die.  It is the choke point of the hospital.

Just to give you an idea, here is how the application with Dr. Foot is going. . . .

  • She posted and told me about the job on February 9th
  • I submitted my application, resume and all required paperwork on February 9th
  • The posting closed (stopped accepting applications) on February 27th
  • As of today, March 24th, the status of my application is “Received”

Which means that the job was requested two months ago.  I applied for the job two months ago.  The person that asked that I apply for the job hasn’t seen ONE application come her way yet, and my application is still sitting in HR being all “received” but as of yet, still completely untouched, looked at or even acknowledged.

For all I know, it’s someone’s goddamn coffee cup coaster.

You have people that need work, and you have people that need important work done . . . and in between you have Human Resources, unqualified to be on either end, deciding who is qualified.

So, having gone through the process backwards and starting with the people that need the help, I’ve opened the proper doors, but it’s going slow.

Very slow.

Federal Government slow.  Like the kinda slow when they owe you money and not the other way around

I’ve harassed every department chief I can find.  I’ve got people pulling favors for favors for favors.

I have contacted my Congressman, and he is interested in what I have to say and I had a response from him within 24hours.  Unfortunately, that is moving at Federal Government slow as well.

In the meantime, I am in this program designed to help me . . . until Friday, because then I have been in the program for 6 months and that is all the time they will give me.  Because every other person I have been in this program with has been extended to 9 months, a year and in one case, 18 months, to accommodate for the time required to wait on Human Resources, for some reason they are determined that I will get no extension and I will be out at 6 months.  Period.  End of story.  Good fucking luck, Marine.

They have straight up lied to me.  Told me shit I wanted to hear just to get me out of their office only to claim they never said it the next time I walk in.  They tell me they can’t give me an extension . . . while I’m standing next to a guy that is in his 9th month.  My boss has stood in their office and pleaded that he “NEED him.  We are going to be lost without him” and nothing.  The counselor insists that I should already be gone and that he is “hiding me” from his bosses as a favor to me, and then insists that I spend two days a week at their office . . . where I pass his bosses 15 times a day in the hallway.

I’m sorry, but can you smell the bullshit too?

What do I know?  I’m apparently not qualified to push a broom.

I’ve been busting my ass for six months to get into this job and I’m stuck behind bureaucratic bullshit and endless, nonsensical paperwork and people who keep changing stupid rules to other, newer, improved stupid rules that don’t make any sense and are devoid of any logic.

I’m tired.  I’m angry.  I’m frustrated.  I’m worried.

I just want to work and help take care of my fellow veterans.  Somebody needs to be.

I have 3 more days and I go back to broke and unemployed.

At least I know what to put on my cardboard sign I’ll be holding at the end of the exit ramp.


Now you know why I’m so tense, and why I’ve been so absent.

My day will come, and I’ll be back around.   Bear with me, Friends.

I love all ya’ll.

I’d like to ask everyone a favor, in particular my fellow male bloggers and in more particular still . . . the Daddy Bloggers out there.  I want to introduce you to my good friend that I even know in real life.  He’s tentatively taking a step into the blogging world, and God knows I’m all for encouraging more male bloggers, especially when they’re this damn funny.  So if you would, please go check him out and give him some feedback on his very first blog post EVER on his brand new blog, Big Wood Peddler.

Show him some love, ya’ll!!!


Learning Leadership through Fear and Intimidation

Marine Corps drill instructor yells at recruit in Parris Island after wakeup.

Everybody that has ever been in the military just saw that title somewhere and clicked the link to get here.  Not necessarily because you’re interested, it’s just a learned response.  I understand.  I feel your pain because I’ve been there.  We, the American people, have the luxury of living behind the most powerful fighting force in the world and I’m about to break their secret right here in front of all of you.  All 10 of you (a vast improvement over the 2 of you I had 2 weeks ago).

When I was 18 my father used to tell me I should “put your [my] ass in the military”!  Yes, he was as kind and soft-hearted then as he is today.  I was convinced otherwise.  I would brush my hair out of my eyes, fiddle with the skull and crossbones earring that dangled from my ear and mumble out my “Whatever”.  (Yes, the earring dangled.  It was the 80’s and all our rock star role models wore more makeup than our girlfriends so back the hell off already!)  There was no way I was joining any damn military, and it damn sure wouldn’t have been the Navy as my father would have had it.  He was in the Navy, so apparently that was supposed to make it the best. Read the rest . . .