Enabling the corruption to continue

Yesterday, began with numerous top White House officials releasing public statements denying authorship of the NYT anonymous op-ed detailing the chaos and unfitness for office of President Trump.  Each denial serves as a building block of The Wall of top administration officials, who will now work harder to defend and protect this president from his detractors and from impeachment, if that comes.

These people, whether fully conscious of the long-term ramifications of these public statements,  now have placed their own credibility more firmly behind President Trump and against both the anonymous op-ed writer and the charges of gross unfitness for office laid out in this op-ed.  These people have now openly entwined their personal integrity with President Trump’s.  No one stepped forward and said any of the statements in the op-ed letter were true.  Their statements of support for the president, actually worked to disavow the veracity of the op-ed accounting.

Several pundits and politicians urged the op-ed writer to go public and testify to Congress under oath, so that the charges can be investigated.  That would be the honorable and brave thing to do, because it seems highly likely, in this political and rapidly spinning information environment, that the identity will be revealed sooner rather than later.

Honor is a rare and often lonely path to follow.

President Trump reminds me of a store manager I worked for.  Before President Trump came on the scene, I thought this store manager was the most toxic leader I had ever seen.  Along with being  a thoroughly toxic manager of people, he was also the most talented merchandiser I had ever seen.  Often I thought, “With just a tiny bit of integrity, he could be the best store manager in that retail chain.”

Likewise, with some integrity, President Trump could actually be a “great” president, but the way he operates – playing his team members against each other, lying constantly, manipulating everyone around him and his refusal to listen to anyone, all spell doom for his achieving “great” things.  He, just like that store manager, is his own worst enemy.

I worked in a subordinate managerial position and felt this store manager wanted me gone from the moment he arrived as a store manager.  The thing is, I, and many others in this store, knew this guy well, as he had worked in our store as a store co-manager a few years before, after he had been demoted from being a store manager at another store.  We got to see his corrupt way of operating many, many times.

The incident that sticks in my mind is this guy, was working the overnight shift as the co-manager, and one morning I went into the back room to throw some trash away in the baler.  He was standing there with his cellphone in hand, laughing and bragging that he had just sent pictures to the market manager of all the things that were screwed up in the store and the fault of the store manager.  He was trying to get the store manager in trouble.

The store manager asked this co-manager to be the best man at his wedding and I assume that store manager believed this guy was his friend, because this co-manager always acted like he and the store manager were old friends.

Long story short, that store manager did get fired and I never forgot how this co-manager operated, so I was uneasy when I found out he was coming back to be our store manager.  I knew he wanted me gone about a month after he became our store manager, when I was given my annual evaluation.  In more than a decade at this store, most of it in supervisory positions, I had always received exceeds expectations evals.

This eval was a “needs improvement” and I was both dismayed and confused as the assistant manager read through my eval.  I asked several questions about why I was getting such low ratings and on one metric, this assistant manager told me that I had failed to coach a department manager about the high number of out-of-stock items in her department.  Never once in the previous year had this assistant manager or any other manager suggested that I should coach this long-time department manager, who was a prima donna in the store and who salaried managers allowed to do whatever she wanted.   Even more bizarre was not long before my evaluation, I sat in, as this very assistant manager gave this department manager her glowing exceeds expectations annual evaluation and he apologized to her that he wasn’t able to give her the highest “role model” evaluation, because the store manager would not approve any of those.  He assuredly did not mention her high number of out-of-stock items.

I mentioned that and this assistant manager just stuck to, “oh well” attitude.  I used the open door policy and talked to a co-manager about my evaluation and told her I did not understand why I was being trashed in this evaluation, even though I knew that with a needs improvement eval, a few months down the road, I would be reevaluated and if deemed still below par, I would be terminated.  This co-manager changed my evaluation to a meets expectations.

A few days later she pulled me aside and told me how the store manager flew into a rage about her changing my evaluation and she told me she believed he wanted her gone too.  She resigned and left shortly thereafter, because in her words, she couldn’t deal with his  “reign of terror.”

The thing about working for an extremely toxic leader is they don’t bully, harass and intimidate just one person.  I was not the first, last or only person this store manager made a target to eliminate.  He targeted associates and managers constantly and he manipulated or intimidated other managers to participate in his unethical behavior.  He delighted in playing managers against each other.

Many times associates complained higher up and one time a department manager even called Human Resources higher than our market level.  That human resource manager came with an asset protection manager to conduct interviews with associates privately and also some group sessions to discuss the work atmosphere in the store.

Nothing happened to that store manager and he continued as before, only worse, as he targeted people he believed were snitches.  He surrounded himself with only managers who would do his bidding, unquestioned, and who would operate just like him.  He corrupted everyone who stayed working close to him, because he spewed a constant stream of  bs to rationalize the unethical conduct.  Sadly, many of the managers quickly learned to act just like him.

I put in my two-week notice when he ordered me to write-up an elderly black associate for not getting enough work done.  He made motions of hunching his shoulders and walking like an ape, telling me that is how she moves.  He was red in the face with rage as he bellowed , “I want her coached TODAY!”  I had gone in early that morning to work on a shelf reset and I was rushing to clean up, because the market manager was coming to visit our store that morning.

The rule was all the pallets in the back room had to be binned in and off the floor in the morning.  A manager informed me there were several pallets of freight belonging to my departments that the overnight stockers hadn’t even worked.

A little while later, a woman who had been a co-manager in our store, but had been out on sick leave, came back and was in limbo working in our store, came to tell me that the store manager told her to get down several old overstock pallets of back-to-school merchandise from on top of the steel bins, for me to work that day.  I looked at this woman, who did whatever the store manager told her to do, no questions asked, and told her that I already had several unworked pallets of new freight the overnight stockers hadn’t worked.  I asked her why on earth he wanted old freight pulled down to clutter up the back room floor when the market manager was coming to visit our store soon.  She shrugged her shoulders and told me that’s what the store manager wanted.

During the market manager’s visit, the store manager called me to the stationery department, so the market manager could berate me in front of the management team.  I asked the market manager if I could speak to him privately and we walked a few yards away.  I told him I had faxed a letter to him months earlier about problems with management in our store.  He told me he hadn’t read it and the HR guy handles that.

That HR guy had been a store manager in our store 2 separate times over the many years I worked there.  He signed off on all the exceeds expectations evals I received and even more than that, whenever new programs were implemented that involved department managers, this HR guy would hand the written guidance and packet of information to me, ask me to read it and he told the other department managers, “Sue, will figure it out and train everyone on how it works.”  He did this several times.  With my letter months before, he called me once and was dismissive of my complaints about the store manager.

He knew this store manager and knew he had been in store manager positions before and bumped down several times.  Other associates told me they had contacted this HR guy too and complained about the store manager’s actions.

I put in my two-week notice and left.  That elderly associate was a long-time associate, who trained me how to zone when I first started working in that store.  She was a dedicated employee and a hard worker always.  The failure to get enough work done had nothing to do with her work habits and everything to do with the chaotic management style of the store manager, who constantly changed his mind about what he wanted done, when he wanted it done and he was forever sending subordinate managers around the store yanking associates and department managers and sending them on some other tasks that he wanted done immediately, while the work in their own departments was interrupted.

I had been down this road with this store manager about a year before, when I was a zone manager over the Hardlines side of the store and we were doing a lawn and garden Spring set.  He and his co-manager failed to supervise a new assistant manager, but let her run wild on taking charge of the Spring set.  She did not know what she was doing, she refused to listen to me or the lawn and garden department manager and she created huge messes as the reset progressed – pallets of freight everywhere on the patio, chaos inside too.  Each day, the co-manager bitched out me and the department manager about the escalating chaos, as if it was our fault.

That new assistant manager called me at home one evening and ordered me to come in to work overnight that night to work the new modular freight and she told me the department manager was coming in too.  She had gotten associates to pull out over 20 pallets of new mod freight.  As the night wore on, the department manager kept telling me there was no way we could work through all of these pallets, plus many of pallets had become overstock pallets of new mod freight that we worked and it didn’t fit on the shelves.  Starting after the overnight lunch hour (2 am-3 am) I began asking this assistant manager what her plan was to clear these pallets off the floor in the morning, because pallets have to be off the sales floor by 7 am.  She ignored me and ordered me to just stock.  I asked her a couple more times as the hours went by, because two major problems worried me.  There was nowhere in the back room for that many lawn and garden pallets and it would take a good while to pull that many pallets.  She had no plan.

The co-manager responsible for lawn and garden arrived a bit before 7 am and she chewed out the department manager and me about the chaos and she berated the department manager and told her she didn’t want to hear it, because the department manager didn’t do anything about scheduling more associates to work.  The truth was that the department manager and I were hourly employees.   Salaried management was 100% responsible for scheduling.  She was fuming at me and the department manager and she angrily told us that the store manager was going to have a fit when he saw the mess.

He did and he ordered me to write-up the department manager for failing to do her job and creating such a mess.  I refused and stepped down as a zone manager on the spot, while he and that co-manager berated me for not holding the department manager accountable or helping the assistant manager.  The truth was they both failed to do their jobs as salaried managers to train and supervise that assistant manager.

Throughout the days leading up to this, the department manager and I had tried to talk to this assistant manager, but she blew us off and ignored us completely.  When you do major department resets, it’s a recipe for failure if you begin the reset with not even a floor plan drawn up and haven’t read the modular cover sheets and diagram pages assessing the fixtures and manpower you’ll need.  I went back to being a department manager.

After the scene in the store manager’s office with that co-manager present, I went back to lawn and garden and spent several hours moving all of those pallets by myself.  That assistant manager, who created the chaos, had gone home to start her vacation, before I was even called into the store manager’s office.

When it was deja vu all over again, a year later, I refused to throw that elderly associate under the bus and when I told her I had put in my two-week notice and why, she said, “Sue, I’m right behind you.”  She put in her two-week notice too.

Back to our toxic leader-in-chief.  He is that store manager writ large.  Does President Trump have star power?  Absolutely.  Is he entertaining to watch?  Depends on taste, but there’s something riveting about his sideshow antics, that make him the star of any stage.  Could he be a “great” president, well, just like that store manager:

“With just a tiny bit of integrity, he could be the best store manager in that retail chain.”

Character really is destiny.

This anonymous op-ed pits one “senior administration official” against not only President Trump, but all those who have allowed themselves to be corrupted, by either turning a blind-eye to the president’s personal corruption or they’ve found ways “to manage” this president’s chaotic, amoral directives, by running this two-track presidency to prop him up.  None of them are abiding by their oath to protect The Constitution, because there is no “two-track” decision-making power in The Constitution.

They cast their lot with President Trump long before this op-ed letter.

To work around a corrupt manipulator like President Trump requires constantly sacrificing chunks of your personal integrity, as you either turn a blind-eye to the corruption, work to keep your distance from the corruption or make flimsy rationalizations that you’re working to a higher-purpose trying to contain the corruption.

The truth is they are enabling the corruption to continue, unchecked.




Filed under General Interest, Politics, Public Corruption

10 responses to “Enabling the corruption to continue

  1. Understandably, no one would care about my experience, but the main points I was trying to make are:

    Toxic leaders corrupt everyone who follows their lead.

    There’s never just one target whom toxic leaders bully. They need to keep finding more people to blame for the inevitable chaos their toxic leadership causes.

    The longer a toxic leader stays in a leadership position, the wider their toxic influence spreads, as his/her minions move up the leadership chain and continue using all the poisonous and corrupt leadership techniques they learned from that toxic leader.

    Most toxic leaders learned a great deal of their toxic leadership from other toxic leaders.

    It’s highly unlikely that my store manager or Trump grasped these toxic leadership behaviors out of thin air. I believe they learned them from other toxic leaders.

  2. JK

    I’d appreciate your listening to this LB, and offer your take.

    (The panelist is a Never-Trumper. Not that, at least in the case of judicial nominees, it should matter. In my opinion.)


  3. I’m listening to it JK – half hour through. You don’t do social media, but I follow both of these guys and hundreds of other journalists and pundits, of various political leanings, on Twitter. I’ve seen a lot of Stephen Miller’s tweets on this and agreed with him.

    Funny thing is the #MeToo Dem. shrews in the Senate are doing what seemed impossible – uniting Trumpers and NeverTrumpers on calling bullshit on this whole charade.

    The #MeToo powerbroker Dem. female senators are driving this and the male Dem. senators are forced to in Senator Hirono’s words, “I just want to say to the men of this country, just shut up and step up!”. These male Dem. senators are eunuchs, who will bow down to whatever Gillibrand, Hirono, Feinstein and other Dem. females order them to do. This is the same Gillibrand game that she played when she started this #MeToo strong-arm tactics in Congress, which backfired on her. These women were instrumental in pushing Franken into resigning, in hopes of pressuring Congressional Republicans into this same “new standard’ Gillibrand imposed, that at the hint of allegations, the men must resign. The Dems quickly abandoned that Gillibrand standard, once GOP men in Congress began, um, “resisting” this way of handling allegations of sexual misconduct..

    Gillibrand’s drama queen antics have always disgusted me.

    It’s amusing to watch the male Dem senators try to sound forceful, as they bow down to their female colleagues, spouting, “Kavanaugh must withdraw!” now that this allegation has come to light.

    With this woman making the allegation against Kavanaugh, from the slim bit of information, there’s not even enough information to seriously investigate and the Dems stalling game shows they know the allegation isn’t credible in any sort of legal sense.

    This #MeToo movement totally trivializes serious cases of sexual assault and rape, by turning this into all about partisan gain, without any real concern for how their using people like this Ford woman as a political pawn affects her and then after they’re done with her, they will abandon her quickly.

    Feinstein’s sitting on this letter for months tells the story, that they knew this allegation was totally flimsy. The leaking at the 11th hour exposes it as just another pathetic Dem gimmick.

    This podcast didn’t mention Hillary is speaking out on women who are victims of sexual assault, ranting that even decades old allegations have a right to be heard… my advice to her is, “be careful what you wish for.” Geesh, she wrote another, “Trump the authoritarian” op-ed, too: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/american-democracy-is-in-crisis/570394/ It’s really odd how often she says things similar to what I have said about our failing institutions and culture, except her take on the causes and remedies never jive. I retweeted her today:


    More libertybelle Retweeted Hillary Clinton
    Hillary recast as the modern Betsy Ross needlewoman ready to restitch our fraying social fabric. I’ll lend her some of my needlework supplies and teach her some fancy stitches…😉libertybelle added,
    Hillary Clinton
    Verified account

    Above all, we need to find a way to restitch our fraying social fabric and rekindle our civic spirit. We need to bring back civics education in our schools. We need systemic economic reforms that reduce inequality and give a strong voice to working families.
    Show this thread
    11:24 AM – 19 Sep 2018

    • JK

      Thanks Friend.

      One thing the fellows on the podcast got wrong that I know something about is, actually the Bureau is perfectly legally able to do (of course it takes a “Do this” from the Executive) is, “Look further into a whatever” meaning, there’s no Constitutional [indeed statutory] bar against the Bureau investigating, pretty much, anything it is directed to.

      Feinstein of course knows this. She was afterall when the Dems were in the majority Head of the Senate Intel Cmte. That she “held her fire” is telling though.

      Anyway this Kavenaugh fellow working in the Bush White House in his amply reported capacity – heck even going back to his Starr Investigation days – had to have been cleared at a TS/SCI level. And then whoever it was first nominated him to the federal court – whether Bush or Obama I don’t know – anyway, the Bureau would’ve taken an exceptionally close, I daresay “proctological close” looksee into his every personal orifice going back to age 18.

      Going off on a tangent here LB but I’m confident you can stay on my six.

      In the Juvenile Justice system whenever some person comes into contact with it from the wrong side and is accused of something, even should the accusation not get anywhere near being adjudication, most any record resulting, and almost surely in any case involving “sex stuff” is Sealed.

      Now. By every report I’m seeing now, and it would make sense there were at minimum, Six (maybe even so many as Eleven) full-on FBI background checks if, the Bureau had “bumped into a Sealed file” (which incidentally just happens as is the nature of Juvenile Justice – given the sensitivity – is maintained not in whatever jurisdiction the original accusation/charge first presented but rather in the FBI official repository)

      Anyway. If the backgrounding authority “bumped into” a Sealed File that subject [of the background check] would not be appearing before any Senate Judiciary Committee rather that person would be swabbing the decks of a local McDonald’s.

      And, considering percentages, occupying some spot on a local Sexual Offenders list.

      If what we’re seeing out of Washington DC actually ever did have merit.


      Thankee Kindly LB

  4. JK

    By the way.

    You were/are correct in your analysis that the latest election would/will result in a Constitutional Crisis.

    I was wrong.

    I hadn’t figured on; especially if Andy McCarthy’s “fears” turn out to be nearspot as I’m increasingly concerned they probably are in addition to, how ThatWitch and her Ilk (with the apparent help/looking-the-other-way “loyal opposition”) the degree to which the whole of everything I’d believed in, corrupted it.

    I fear for our Grandchildren.

  5. JK

    Ummm LB?

    I’m unable to stay asleep for some reason and (now that I’ve been “forced by my girlfriend” to have internet in the house) visited “Treehouse” where I read:

    “Besides none of what this woman is lying about describers a federal crime. So the FBI wouldn’t get involved in a matter that falls to the local police.”

    I hadn’t intended to comment there but, …. well to tell you the truth something got stuck in my craw … so I made an attempt but I don’t have a Google account.

    Anyway LB I’m sure you’ve noted what I said above? About the Bureau being able to investigate [given Executive authority] “pretty much as it pleases”?

    If you still bother with Treehouse give ’em this:

    Title II of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638, outlines FBI intelligence authorities, as does Executive Order 12333; 50 U.S.C. 401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.


    That’s incidentally the authorities granted under the so called Patriot Act. And, the immediately previous administration made some number of … hmmm … “special authorities” to E.O. 12333? Anyway those adjustments to 12333 gave access where none had existed before to, among others, the US rep to the UN Samantha Powers and some others to what may be colloquially called “Raw SIGINT” which, so far as I know, Mr. McCarthy hasn’t focused his laser beam on … But what resulted has made the news … only to be mostly forgotten …


    And there’s alot like that that’s pissed me off, Congress abdicating its Constitutional obligations to the Executive who, naturally (and bi-partisanly) fills the void as he-everso (at least its been a “he” so far) pleases.

    I mean it used to be when I was young it was the Congress giving the President the biggest headaches and, depending on however dumb whatever action the President sought, the Fourth Estate might pile on too.

    Checks and Balances is what it used to be everybody from the President and everybody in the Congress and heck, even Walter Cronkite and Howard K. Smith was always on about but, no more.

    Now its Party and aside from that nobody gives a shit the Republic goes to hell. The esteemed Doctor Franklin I am increasingly becoming adjusted to thinking, despite what I expect might’ve been his vociferous protestations against me describing him clairvoyant in describing to the lady who asked him what sort of Government we’d wound up with ended:

    “If you can keep it.”

    • JK, The treehouse banned me for posting a comment that was historical fact a long time ago. And then during the campaign, I noticed that site became Trump Polling Central and a lot of other stuff in my mind began to start clicking about a lot of so-called “conservative” online forums. I began suspecting plenty of Russian front activity – whether I’m right or wrong, well, there we are.

      Read some piece recently at a site for military thinker types about Reflexive Control being the “new” Russian military model where they devote 80-90% of their effort to propaganda and 10-20% to violence.

      Problem is a while back I posted a link to a video from the 80s of a KGB defector in the 80s explaining this very same Russian operational format. It’s not new. I came across the video, as it was posted by a former high-level CIA peep on Twitter explaining how the Russians operate. So, at least he was aware of how the Russians have operated for a long, long time.

      Unlike, most of the US intel community, which seems to believe the aggressive Russian online activity targeting the US and Western Europe began in recent years, um, I believe it was going on as far back as the late 90s. I also believe that Russian active measures are merged with some powerful media peeps in America (on both sides through business operations. Can’t prove any of it – just where I’m at after looking at this SPIN war since the 90s.

      The Treehouse, btw, became a pretty popular site among the Trumpers now.

      We tend to be behind the curve understanding our enemies and threats. I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness warning that “spin” is an aggressive form of information warfare designed to spread non-stop agitprop in America 24/7 across all mass media avenues. Everyone else in America seems to have accepted the “spin” as normal political PR now and in the same breath the intellectual class laments about how America is becoming factionalized… Go figure with 24/7 virulent mass media agitprop operations working to fuel factions, mass hysteria, conspiratorial thinking.

      Regards your Checks and Balances concern, well, it seems the only power any of ’em have any concern for is personal first and then keeping their own party in power. “National interest” is just a term they throw into speeches, not something they’d ever even recognize.

      Each party now uses every vestige of institutional power in Washington as partisan power, even on national security matters, so they can all save the claptrap about how national security is apolitical.

      The abuses of the Obama administration using access to classified information for partisan purposes smacked you in the face at every turn, but the media runs the Dems PR efforts, so all we got was more Chris Matthews type “thrill up my leg” coverage for 8 years. These peeps wail about FOX’s Trump coverage, having no awareness of their own Dem propaganda swill.

      That Samantha Powers & Brennan unmaskings thing was outrageous. The efforts to take down Trump jump the pond though. A former Brit ambassador to Russia, Andrew Wood and former Brit top spy to Russia, Christopher Steele huddling with Saint John McCain and his friend, Kramer in GB in late Nov. 2016 (after the election), Kramer was the courier who flew back to GB weeks later to receive a copy of the dossier from Steele, who hand-delivered it to John McCain. McCain hand-carried it to Saint James Comey, where they had a private meeting in Comey’s office.

      Steele also met with one David Corn, with whom he shared the dossier. Corn a long-time top Dem spinmeister… No conspiracy to see here at all…

      All that said, Andrew McCarthy has written many times that Trump has the power to declassify information and to release it and Andy’s been asking why he does all that raging about their efforts to destroy him, but won’t use the presidential powers to even release information.

      The FISA stuff is finally being released, now that the threat to his presidency has grown exponentially. Trump has wasted two years devoting most of his energy to running a reality TV presidency, totally engrossed in his Spin War against his enemies – “Fake News”, all while having presidential power where he could have exposed light on those unmaskings and other abuses during the campaign, but instead he has been trying to outspin them…

  6. JK

    Yeah LB all that spinning. Lately I’ve found myself awake at night worrying *everybody* in the near environs of DC are gonna finally spin their way through the mantle and a “biggern’ Yellowstone” volcano is gonna open up an’ swaller us all.

    Re: During the McCain canonization I got in abit of a tiff over on Duff’s as I explicated John, his guy Kcramer, & et al attending that Halifax Security meet and all that’s come since being grounds for the Pope to deny the proposed Sainthood.

    Fat lot of good any of this has done for my digestion.

    I think maybe I ought take a rest. I’ll check in fairly regularly LB on the offchance you might need me to help fiddle with the knobs but I consider I’m not being derelict leaving in your capable hands saving the world.

  7. JK

    A simple, “Gee Thanks JK” will be sufficient.

  8. ” I consider I’m not being derelict leaving in your capable hands saving the world.”

    LOL, Um, thanks, but I’ll leave saving the world to someone above my pay grade… which is just about anyone else, as I’m a nobody homemaker.

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