I met with the Acting Director of the Dayton VA, Bill Montague on May 2, 2011 where we discussed a plethora of subjects. My main concern was my inability to secure a full-time position with the Dayton VA. It has been my contention that I was being blackballed because I have forwarded charges of Patient Abuse as well as violations of HIPAA and discrimination in hiring. All of my charges have been substantiated with the exception of the hiring discrimination which has not concluded the investigation. According to multiple legal experts, this too, should end in a affirmation of my charges. In fact the documented history of the Human Resources Department here would make Bernie Madoff proud.
Mr. Montague seemed like a reasonably pleasant person in addressing my concerns with one exception: He told me that I had “kicked dirt on the Umpire”. Now, as a person who has never watched a football, baseball or basketball game in my life this statement went over my head. People who use sports metaphors assume everybody watches sports and understand what they are talking about but they are often mistaken. I had no earthly idea what he meant by this term. Because of my ignorance I simply went on to plead my case and explain my reasoning as to why I felt I had as much right, as an American and a Veteran to be employed here as anybody else. He repeated this statement at least three times during our meeting, the final time was as he shook my hand ending this meeting.
Since that meeting I have embarked on a mission to find the exact meaning of this term because it bothered me that he used it repeatedly. First, I spoke with people in the Cleveland area who have known Mr. Montague for years. They informed me that he often uses sports metaphors to express his points. These people have also known me for years and thought it was hilarious because they also know how literally ignorant I am of sports. I then asked several other people, especially my brothers, who are sports fanatics, in my opinion, for their definition of what exactly he was communicating to me. The consensus was that he was telling me that I was being penalized and thrown out of the game. The game being employment at the Dayton VA Medical Center.
Now, I am offended and extremely angry! The fact that he kept a very pleasant smile on his face while telling me I was being kicked out of the game has only intensified my feelings of being flagrantly affronted.
As one who believes deeply in the laws of our country and the rights enjoyed from being an American citizen as well as a recipient of Veterans benefits, paid for by the American people, I don’t think it was appropriate for him to make that decision. In fact, my reading of Title 38 legislation, with the American people paying for this facility to provide services for me, that makes me the “UMPIRE” and he has “kicked dirt on me“! I also think he has confused his position as the Medical Center Director of a tax payer funded facility with the position of Russian Czar ruling over a piece of land.
He is reminding me an awful lot of his predecessor, Guy B. Richardson whose actions VA Secretary Shinseki described as a “failure of leadership“.
For him to make such a decision is inappropriate and to have the gall to verbalize it is blatant “retaliation and retribution” which borders on criminal conduct.
When sophisticated high ranking government people begin to adopt the methods of criminals, I have no choice but to treat them as such. When this type of action is directed at me I respond in kind. I consider the use of tough tactics in these circumstances as not being heavy-handed; on the contrary, it is being even-handed.
On another note, Guy Richardson is at the Dayton VA regularly. For a person who was supposedly “Removed” for failing to lead, I certainly cannot tell it from his presence.
I wish I could say we were just about finished, but sadly we are not.