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168 Days: Unanswered Questions

By Ken Snyder

Among others, here is a list of questions I'd like to hear plausible answers to:

  1. Why did BPU seem to willingly violate it's own policies regarding evaluations, yet still terminate my employment based on an evaluation I never saw, never got to give rebuttal comments to, and did not appear to even exist in my personnel file prior to being sent to me nearly three months after the fact? Click here for a copy of the document in question.

  2. What is the real reason behind conducting an evaluation dated (and testified as actually happening) at a time when they were certain I was not available (21 June 2010)?

  3. Why did DeLeon and/or Johnson not have the integrity to even show me a copy of this particularly damning evaluation on 8 July, instead only saying "I see a trend and don't like what I see"?

  4. How can someone be accused of "violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement" and not be provided union representation?

  5. What did Clark have to "come back and explain" to DeGraeve after escorting me to the parking lot on 8 July?

  6. Just when did they plan to show me the 21 June evaluation? Or was the plan just to keep it secret?

  7. Why didn't the DOL investigator ask to review the evidence I mentioned that BPU should still have on record, ask about having an outside subject matter expert review it, or even ask questions about it when they interviewed Clark, DeGraeve, Castle, Sisson or Dunn?

  8. Since BPU's attorney knew as early as 5 August there were going to be questions as to how my termination was handled, why did they require the time extensions the DOL investigator was more than happy to give them?

  9. Why didn't the DOL investigator notice the seemingly different employee files he was sent and I was sent?

  10. Just how many actively-serving National Guard and Reserve members currently work at BPU?

Since integrity seems to be lacking at BPU (as well as their attorney) and the DOL investigator seems to be convinced as to my guilt in this matter I doubt the answers will come easily.

As I have compiled this information about how my employment was handled by BPU I have contacted numerous attorneys. As I mention in "What The Hell Just Happened?", at first they would say "they can do that" because of the "at-will" employment laws in Kansas. Once the facts surrounding their actions started to surface a couple of attorneys started to at least ask more questions, but either wanted fees I couldn't afford or weren't interested in pursuing my case -- one that I sent a notebook full of details to merely sent it back with no more of a comment than one of his business cards, thanks a lot for that.

At this point I am preparing for another deployment. To expend much more attention on this matter at this point would not provide me with enough time and energy to accomplish what I need to do before deployment. Once I'm deployed, my focus needs to be on the job I enlisted to do, not on people who I feel have no integrity. I've exposed their lies in these pages and provided proof they cannot refute -- but their conscience will let them go on as if nothing has happened.

People now ask me "how do you feel?" How do you think I feel: every time I see a traffic signal, every time I see a BPU truck, every time I pay a BPU bill, every day I don't have a full-time job or have to work for nearly half of what I was making at BPU (or even what I made at American Airlines before BPU, for that matter) I am reminded of what was and what will never be again. There are people in my life that can't (or won't) speak to me anymore. Plans for the future have had to be placed on indefinite hold -- when they can be resumed is hard to say right now. I guess the thing that hurts the most is what can only be called cowardice by my co-workers at BPU -- that knew this was happening and did nothing to stop it or rectify it immediately after it happened. Their responses, and/or lack thereof, is something that cannot be forgotten.

So how do you "undo" what has been done? We can't magically make 2010 disappear as if it never happened. Whenever I fill out an employment application I will have to list BPU as one of my past employers, and that I was there 168 days, and that I didn't make probation -- from now on. Won't matter that I have served not one, but two military careers under honorable conditions; that I worked for one employer for nearly 24 years, that I have qualifications for electrical maintenance positions -- I didn't make probation at BPU, and through no fault of my own. But will that matter?

The simple fact is that people at BPU used my Air National Guard duty time as a convenient opportunity to compile an evaluation full of lies and exaggerations -- one I was never intended to see, but was used to justify terminating my employment after 168 days of a 180-day probationary period. These people are entrusted to provide electric and water service to the city of Kansas City, Kansas -- I will let you decide as to how trustworthy they are; as for me, my opinion is clear.

What's next? Not sure, but I don't think this is finished by any means.

Ken Snyder
16 May 2011


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The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.