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168 Days: The Waiting

By Ken Snyder

Tom Petty said it the best in his song The Waiting:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Needless to say, patience is not my strong suit. Waiting around to hear what was happening behind the scenes of the investigation was not comfortable for me -- at times it was down right maddening. I did everything I could to pass the time, working up at the school on small projects, keeping up with chores around the house, scouring the "help wanted" internet sites for another job, and getting a lot of exercise. Sitting around with nothing to do is not something I'm interested in.

If there was one slight piece of good news in all of this, it was that the timing of my termination came just as things were starting to pick up at Wyandotte's stadium. My job was to operate the stadium for any events being hosted: football, boy's and girl's soccer, track meets, and baseball, to name a few. Oddly enough, I had considered leaving the position after the Spring of 2010 due to a lack of communication between myself and the Athletic Director -- but she was let go as the school year ended and I hoped communication would improve with the new AD. The drop in wages was steep, but we could manage while the fall sports season was underway -- there was plenty of work to do, and they were more than happy to pay me to do it. However, there was a lot of time I spent there without logging it as time worked, I considered it a "trade-off" for having access to the workout equipment when no one was using it, and I felt a sense of loyalty to my alma mater. Often I'd stop by at all hours of the night in a sort of "security" mode, looking out for anything out of the ordinary. Anything to keep my mind off of what happened with BPU.

The investigator did a good job in keeping me informed in so far as he was allowed by the Department of Labor's guidelines. To be sure everything was given due process is necessary, there is always the possibility their investigation could wind up being forwarded to the Justice Department for a court case. But the time it takes to get this all done seems to crawl when you're the one waiting for an answer.

By this time I had noticed that BPU went ahead and installed the last cabinet I worked on - the one nearly completed before my termination:The Fifth Cabinet
Click here to see a printout for a test I performed on a piece of equipment for this cabinet -- notice the date, the day before I was "sent home".

Letters exchanged between the investigator and BPU, and later between the investigator and BPU's attorney, showed he was seeing some of the same things I saw, and asking questions I wanted to ask. But the process takes time, and the investigators had to ask for extensions to the deadline (by law they were required to have a deadline) to complete their investigation by. Since I thought they were doing all they could to find out what happened I granted their requests every time they asked.

One thought that stuck in my mind was that if BPU's assertions were to be considered factual, that my time spent dealing with things regarding my work in the stadium at Wyandotte was excessive, BPU's attorneys were saying that one of their other clients was partly responsible for my termination: the Kansas City, Kansas School District. How ironic.


Next: A "Friend" Can't Talk To Me
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The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.