You've all heard the saying that all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to stand idly by. Well, at NYCHA, any apathy on the part of "good" folk has been given the boot. Good folk in nearly every department are now contacting us. From home, or the local library computer, we're receiving email with stories of mismanagement, gross negligence and the wasting of taxpayer's money.
Thank you all!
Now, onto some interesting feedback we've gotten in the last 72 hours since Issue 15 was published. It appears that our last issue caused some real problems for NYCHA's Nefarious Nobles. Even the fastest rising star in NYCHA's history (if you go by the percentage of her raises in the past half-dozen years) was all-aflutter, trying to get answers to unanswerable questions.
"Whose fault is it that these
folders are just laying here?"
Come on! Every Noble in the relevant portion of NYCHA's Org Chart from "Not-Me" Nora on up to JoAnna Aniello (Mama Carbonetti, aka - Lady In Waiting . . . Waiting to be appointed as a New York City Housing Authority Board Member, that is!) was well aware of all of those files. Every Noble/Exec who has any legitimate work connection to the apartment inspection files knew of the months of delay, the approximate number of folders and where they were located. Other than the "kept in the dark" Law Department, if any of them deny it to any impartial investigation, just let us know.
We have ways of proving much of our information, and we're waiting for the right time/person for us to lay our cards on the investigative table.
We're told the Finkster summoned Steve Pasichow, the Inspector General himself, to a closed-door meeting in the Fink's office. If we were brand new to the Authority's game, we'd probably guess that the IG's office was being asked to investigate and find which Executive was responsible for the delayed files. Or, to investigate whether any tenants had been harmed by the unconscionable delay. (Did a victim of domestic violence (VDV) get hurt while her apartment transfer was held up as nobody could locate her folder? Was there a report on a drug dealing tenant in that drawer?)
Our guess? NO, NO and NO.
We weren't born yesterday, nor the day before. We believe the Finkster gave Mister Pasichow marching orders that will have the IG's office finally investigating something. Unfortunately, they will only be searching for those of you who decided to tell the Spotlight your horror stories because you've learned that the IG's office might as well be called the Housing Authority's dead letter files.
You report something to an IG/DOI investigator, and it disappears forever. Or,even worse, you wind up being punished for reporting something to the IG. You know you could never prove that the IG's office let NYCHA's Nobles know of your talking with an IG investigator, but it sure is odd that transfers and/or punishment can so quickly follow a visit to the 28th floor.
So, the IG will probably be checking all phones, faxes etc..
Therefore let's remember, using the Authority's phones/faxes/time is NOT allowed. You know that we are professionals, and you hardly have enough time to just do your daily work. But, even if you find a free minute at work, do NOT use that minute to contact us. When you're in your home or local Library, please call or email away!
Now, back to our story!
His Royal Finkness also sent JoAnna Aniello down from the upper chambers of NYCHA's Castle to investigate the charges carried in our recent Spotlight, and when she reported back to the 9th floor Throne Room she was not a happy Highness.
"Yes, the Spotlight was right" she had to tell the Kal-Man. Over 1,000 folders were truly vacationing in that desk. And no, they weren't hidden/forgotten/lost. It was just a case of having a handful of Execs who couldn't decide what or what not to do and who should or shouldn't do it.
Those files were completely in the dark until we put the Public Housing Spotlight on them! Now we're waiting for the Authority's "Thank You" notes to arrive.
(Guess we'll have a long wait, huh?)
(Despicable - Underhanded - Mean - Boss.)
In a DUMB related story, we understand that Mr. Malamo was not a happy camper with his selection as our second "DUMB Award" recipient. That saddens us, as he had done so much to prove he was deserving of the designation. However, we understand that Mr. Kern was equally unhappy with his singular honor of being the first DUMB winner in our Public Housing Spotlight's history.
As a service to both of our DUMB recipients, along with Ms. Aniello and the IG/DOI, we will let them all in on a super secret plan. A plan that will serve all their purposes, if we fully understand those purposes. If each DUMB recipient wishes to insure that they never become our first "Double DUMB" winner, and if Ms. Aniello and Mr. Ken are both attempting to force the Spotlight to shut down due to a lack of information from our sources, we will help all of you! If you'll follow the suggestions/tips below, we can go back to a comatose-like surfing of government conspiracy related Internet sites.
- 1) Treat your underlings as though there was a small chance they might be human. Now, we realize that this is against the Authority's unwritten rules. But even if you confine your mistreatment of your employees to only when other Execs are around, your employees might not nominate you for a DUMB award. They are fully aware of the pressure on you to act as if you swallowed a tennis ball and have been constipated for a month when dealing with "inferiors" in the company of other NYCHA Royalty.
- 2) When you are supervising people, spend a day or two attempting to learn a little bit about their jobs. We all realize that some of you have, as your only talent, a way to look busy at campaign headquarters and have perfected kissing various portions of the human anatomy. Then, with those limited talents, you garner your reward!
For 4 to 8 years, you are given an office, a computer, a desk, a chair and (the Holy . . . er wholly grail) a TITLE!
You is finally impotent impudent . . . er . . . important!
Then you attend the only class that the other Nobles believe you need. "How to write a counseling memo." The Nobles tell you that if you write enough of these, you will never be stuck with (Oh No! Mr. Bill . . .) BLAME! Because, no matter the problem, if you can search through enough counseling memos you wrote for your people, you're bound to find someone on whom you can now stick the (Oh No! Mr. Bill . . .) BLAME!
Instead, if you actually learn a little about the jobs your people perform, you will be able to make yourself immune to the (Oh No! Mr. Bill . . .) BLAME!
You see, most of your superiors have no idea what is happening beneath them (just mention the Termination Unit to JoAnna Aniello if you don't believe us), so 90% of the problems in your Section/Unit/Department can be explained away in a few intelligent sentences. Once you've learned a little of your job, you can throw terminology around that will baffle those above you. As your superiors are clueless, they'll pretend they understand and they'll go away.
You win! We win!
- 3) STAY OUT OF OUR SPOTLIGHT. If you followed suggestion #2, this suggestion is not needed. You'll have won the respect of your people, which pays off in many ways. One of the ways is that a good Boss and Employee relationship insures that your people respect you. And "Spotty" has never received any information on a boss from employees who respect him/her. NEVER! In fact, if someone in authority believes that they were hurt by the Spotlight, we can guarantee that person that MANY people under him/her told us of his/her problems in handling that authority.
- 4) Fire/Dock/"Counsel" those who are slackers. Or those who cause problems among their peers. That's right. If you think that those who toil behind the Spotlight are some sort of Public Housing terrorists looking to turn 250 Broadway, or our developments, into some resort where the major sport is using those attending Board meetings as targets in a game of darts, you are wrong. We're really not.
(But as my fingers flicked the keys, it sure did sound tempting . . . Only kidding!!!)
We're all adults, and we know that there is a good reason that "work" is a four-letter word. Spotty expects, as do any intelligent employees, that employees will be tasked to perform in a professional manner. In return, we demand to be treated as professionals. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less. If we fail to do our job well, there must be appropriate consequences. If the person in the next office/cubicle/locker doesn't pull his or her weight, we don't want them working with us, either.
If, however, you're a non-professional ( as are most political appointees) and you have no intention of learning what your job really entails, just stay the hell out of our way and let us do the job. You'll look better; we'll look better. And the Spotlight will never hear about any of us. Anonymity, ain't it great!
- 5) Finally, if one of your people are ever being wrongly accused, stick up for them. (Now here's where it gets tough!) Even if someone above you wants to "get" that person. For if you don't back your employees when they are in the right, how can you expect those beneath you to feel bad about telling tales about you . . . to us!
We thought of having a DGB Award (Damn Good Boss), but we quickly threw that idea out. Why? Maybe the following will explain.
"What do you call a NYCHA Executive
who received a good review from Old Spotty."
© 1999 Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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