Okay, that's not strictly true, I was pulling my hair out until the kids swarming my library go back to school. But I got to close down my library for an hour and drive over to town hall for a mandatory employee meeting, which very quickly ruined what was left of my day.
I should note that the "town" is very small (less than 500 people and less than two square miles), and has only six employees - me (the librarian), two police officers, the clerk, the maintenance man, and the magistrate. So the meeting was us six employees, plus the mayor (our boss).
First bummer: the town will require mandatory random drug testing for all employees. No explanation given other than "we've never done this before so we decided to." I don't do drugs, and none of the other five employees do either, so I don't see the sudden need for this. I am seriously considering making a stink and trying to find out if there is another way I can prove I don't use drugs - I have major issues with peeing in a cup for my boss.
Second bummer: due to some state law changes, the "charity bingo" (read: room with lots of slot machines with pictures of bingo cards on them) in the town limits closed down about a month ago. Turns out taxes and fees from this made up over 50% of the town's revenue, and that good revenue was the reason my application for full-time status with benefits instead of part-time was approved this fall. And the mayor said she's not going to let the town go bankrupt on her watch (insinuating, I guess, that it's coming close?) and she doesn't want to cut any employees, but she can't guarantee it. So that's got me very worried about my job security.
Third bummer: the magistrate, whom I'll call Lola. The mayor finished her part of the meeting and asked if anyone wanted to add something. Lola felt the need to subject us to a fifteen-minute rant about how the world is unfair.
1) She believes people are parking in front of "her" door just to be mean. Now, the parking area in front of the town hall is in a D shape - the curved part of the D is a fire lane that goes up next to the building, and the straight part has spaces for about a dozen cars. The police officers keep parking their patrol cars in the curved part of the D, which is in front of THEIR office, which (surprise) happens to be the same one she's in. But we're all out to get her, because she has an oxygen tank and she's the only disabled employee and the handicapped spaces (which are literally twenty feet from the fire lane) are just "for show." The mayor quite rightly pointed out that since it's a fire lane, NOBODY should be parking there.
2) She "just happened" to be snooping through some papers on the clerk's desk, and "happened to notice" a complaint that had been filed against her, and wanted to know what Mrs. Soandso said because [gives the whole long story about how she had called this lady something very rude but "she deserved it" and "I heard she called me a" such-and-such, etc]. First of all, why the HECK was she snooping, and why would she tell us all? Secondly, what makes her think this should be shared in front of all the employees? I don't want to know about her issues working with the police officers, or the details about what this lady did - part of Lola's job is to deal with CONFIDENTIAL information. Great confidentiality she's showing.
3) LONG rant directly at me about how unfair it is that when she applied for health insurance and benefits she was told no, but when "the little girl at the library" (yeah, that's 25-year-old me) asked, I was given full-time with benefits. First off, I have NO say over what the town council decides about employee hours. Secondly, Lola has missed, on average, two out of three workdays for the last year or two because of her "disability." (She was a long-time smoker and is now on oxygen and some other medications to combat the health issues she has. I have no idea whether it's legal disability or not, but she certainly does have health issues.) She is also the reason we have to be reprimanded as a group EVERY MEETING about showing up to our jobs on time - she'd be scheduled to come in at 9:00, and call at 11:00 to say she'd be in at 2:00. I'm amazed she's still around. The mayor pretty much told her "everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I stand by my decision to support Miss Slartibart being full-time because we needed it and I know she can handle the work."
4) Lola then began literally shouting at the mayor (her boss too, remember) about how everyone is so mean to her because she's disabled, her husband died two years ago, and she overheard someone say to someone else that the clerk said she's not a good worker. (Which is obvious to anyone - no need to overhear it!) The mayor ended up having to shout her down to end the meeting.
Seems to me the best way to cut expenses for the town is to get rid of this lazy [mutter mutter mutter]. There are times I really love this job, and there are times I am so frustrated I can just scream.