iePolitics: More on Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

After being off work and without a paycheck for the past four weeks thanks to our FORMER County Administrative Officer Mark Uffer, writing that last article was a bit cathartic.  Mark was a bit upset with me for several reasons, one of which is that I finally got sick of what was going on at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and dropped (ever so slightly) a dime on a couple of his favorite managers.

Now let’s discuss another issue at ARMC:  SEX

I’m going to write about what I witnessed over a one-year period in as delicate of terms as possible, but some of the images I am going to post will offend the senses, especially of our male-type readers.  I am not going to post any of the images on the front page of the blog, so you will have to click “read more” to see them.

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Also, the truly pornographic images that I received on my county computer from other county employees were deleted without forwarding them to myself at home.  Even though the employees who emailed pictures of their penises and boobs to other employees did not get in trouble for it, I knew I would get into trouble if I kept them for documentation purposes.

As I told Andrew Lamberto, Director of Human Resources for the County of San Bernardino, and Bob Windle, Assistant Director, I witnessed things while working at ARMC that were worse than anything I saw when I worked for the Sheriff’s Department.

Remember, I lived through the big sex scandal in the Victorville station in 1986.

Every decision in the department I worked for revolved around sex:  assignments, where one’s work station would be, hours worked, you name it.  If the boss liked how you looked, you’d be close to him.  If not, expect to work in Siberia (actually, expect to work in the behavioral health unit in lock down).  I remember my first day on the job I was told, “Fred puts the ones he doesn’t want to look at up here.”  I thought they were exaggerating.  They were not.

But after many conversations with my boss about hostile work environment I came to realize it was not only him not wanting to look at unattractive women, it was also that he believed that unattractive women would complain about disparate treatment.  If they were out of the view to see it, they couldn’t complaint so he kept them away from the main office.  He had no intention of changing his behavior.

And sometimes we happened upon it anyway.

One such incident involved a very pretty employee who was suffering from carpel tunnel in one wrist.  Our boss noticed her new  brace and then proceeded to say to her, “If you would stop doing this (making the motions of a hand job) with your boyfriend, you wouldn’t have this problem.”  Of course the employees love the attention of the boss so they laugh and flirt back.

One thing that use to drive me crazy was our manager’s comments about women’s weight.  His wife is a size 1 and he can hardly tolerate anything larger.  One day I finally got sick of it and I told him what employees were saying.  His response about only hiring young cute skinny chickadees was, “That’s not true.  I even hired a 300-pound black women once.”  There was no getting through to him.

If the county had ever done a real audit of the email in my department, they would have gotten an eyeful.  Not only were there lots of pictures of boobs and penises and people copulating, sexual jokes and cartoons, but highly suggestive sexual banter between supervisors and subordinates.  I honestly was shocked that in this day and age anyone would consider this appropriate.

I am hardly a prude so my beef is not with the pictures, the jokes, or the suggestive emails.  My problem is with it be done with taxpayer money and on taxpayer time.  My bigger problem is that San Bernardino County does NOT take hostile work environment or sexual harassment seriously.  It persecutes the victims and looks the other way at the behavior of the perpetrators.  I will not stop harping on this subject until it is taken seriously by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and the County.

If you’re a taxpayer who feels that this sort of stuff should not be allowed on the taxpayer’s dime, write your board member.  I have all the emails saved to prove that they did in fact come from county computers.

Here is a sampling of what gets sent over the county email system on the taxpayers’ dime at ARMC:

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