Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And the Living Shall Come to Envy the Dead . . .

I'm trying to be good. I really am.

I ended my trial career for the D.A.'s Office yesterday on a very high note, and my true intent was to stay positive, no matter how silly the Leitner/Lykos Administration became.

But I'm only human, and sometimes, I just can't help myself.

Today, there were more hijinx from the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Around lunch time, I (as well as all other current D.A. staff) received an e-mail from Jim "Brains of the Operation" Leitner inviting me to attend the swearing in of Judge Patricia Lykos as the new elected District Attorney.

Although I honestly wasn't trying to play "hard to get", I felt that I would not be able to attend the ceremony, since I wouldn't be one of the Assistant District Attorneys raising their hands at the event.

I tried to be polite. I did RSVP.

"Thank you for the invitation," I responded to Jim. "But I will not be able to attend."

(TIP TO MR. LEITNER: Create these things called "Distribution Lists" on your Microsoft Outlook. It will help you refrain from inviting people to events that you don't really want them to attend.)

Although I found it somewhat amusing, I didn't really think all that much of it.

In spite of the fact that I was playing hard to get, Jim was persistent.

At 5:17 p.m., I received yet another e-mail from this head-strong, young First Assistant.

Again, I was invited to attend the swearing in of Snookems, but this time, there would be rules involved.

#1 - Attendance is mandatory.
#2 - "the dress is the same as if you were going to trial that day".
#3 - there will be free parking in Congress Plaza.
#4 - my family may attend if I RSVP first.

Hmm. Let's address this item by item.

Issue # 1 - although I'm pretty sure that my absence will be excused by Patsy, I think she may need to take into account that other ADA's (who actually will be sworn in) absences need to be excused, as well. While she may not exactly be a hot ticket at her extended families' reunions, some of the ADAs may actually have plans in advance that prevent their attendance.

Issue # 2 - the "dress is the same as if you were going to trial that day" is an absolute crock of B.S. The issue of ADAs being sworn in for a new term is a formality that allows them to continue to do their jobs as they have been doing long before a crusty old political opportunist took over. They need to be sworn in so that they can legally perform their jobs on January 2nd. It isn't designed for everyone to be conscripted into a mandatory party for Lykos. If the ADAs have a life that doesn't involve running for an Office (any Office) and they need to show up in blue jeans and a shirt, then more power to them. It is a County Holiday, after all, Snooks.
The requirement that they show up dressed as if they were ready for Prom is just a requirement designed to boost the Lykos ego. Under the leadership skills that Lykos and Leitner have shown thus far, they should just be grateful if the ADAs show up at all.

Issue # 3- free parking. Woo hoo! While that idea is always exciting, one would think it would be a given on the day after New Year's Eve. That almost makes it worthwhile to drag your hungover rear-end into Downtown while everyone else in the County is sleeping off the night before!

Issue # 4 - our family may attend, but they have to RSVP first.
Really? Why? Do the family members need to go through security screening of some sort? Are we nervous about some sort of assassination attempt or something (kidding)?
Their family member elects to pursue a life of public service and they need to go through some sort of screening process to be able to watch it? Wow. Way to tell them that they aren't worthy!

All kidding aside, the swearing in of the ADAs at the beginning of a new political term is designed to make sure that they are sworn in to do their jobs when they come back to work after the holidays. It's not a party and it certainly isn't church.

Looks like the Lykos Administration is showing their new underlings that the new boss is going to bring back the prudence of the Victorian Era, and the ADAs better comply unless they wish to face the Fate "suffered" by some of the rest of us.

Thus explains the title of this post . . .

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

So much for taking my kids to see their grandparents.....

Tell me how you explain the word "mandatory" to a 5 year-old?

Patsy - add "killing the hopes of a young child" to you resume.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 9:39,
You should let the Leitner Administration know that you can't make it. You will make a lot of sacrifices in this job, but your family should never be one of them.

If they don't make other arrangements for you, let me know. But always make sure your family comes first.

Trust me, I speak from experience.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ACHL, but I don't think the bitch would give a shit.

She may fire anon 9:39 for insubordination for not showing up. Oh wait, Jim would do the firing for her.....

Anonymous said...

Is it really that much to ask for prosecutors to come to one swearing in ceremony in four years? Everyone has known since March that a new administration would be assuming control of the office. I can only assume most prosecutors and investigators would have understood the importance of the event to the candidate who won the election.

I would also assume television cameras and print media will be invited to or will show up at the event. Again, is it too much to ask that prosecutors and investigators dress professionally?

While I am sure the same arrangements will be made for those who can't attend that have always been made every four years, the common sense thing to do would have been to keep the morning of January 1, 2009 open. Everyone has had more than ten months notice to keep the date free.

Correct me if I am wrong, but did Carol Vance, Johnny Holmes, or Chuck Rosenthal ever hold a reception for employees and families following a swearing in ceremony? Is it unreasonable for the administration to get a head count for food and drinks through a simple RSVP?

Seems to me they are damned if they do, and damned if they don't with some.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Of course there were swearing in ceremonies under the other administrations, but everyone was made aware in advance that if they had other plans or would be out of town that it would be no problem whatsoever. It wasn't the "Attendance is Mandatory" e-mail situation that the ADAs got from Leitner. People could just as easily swing by the 6th floor before going to court that morning.

And they damn sure didn't have to wear a suit and tie to the gig, regardless of whether or not media would be there.

As for the assertion that ADAs should have known that January 1st would be a swearing in ceremony and people should have planned around it . . . That's kind of offensive if you think about it. It's difficult for prosecutors to be able to plan a vacation and they usually need to center it around the Christmas holidays. The idea of shrugging off family plans and vacations to plan around a one minute-long oath of office is silly.

At some point, Lykos needs to realize that she has grown adults working for her and adults dedicated to the noble cause of public service. Treating them with the respect that they deserve and taking into consideration that they have a family and a life might be a nice little baby step towards her being a decent leader.

Anonymous said...

It's a county holiday for crying out loud! Do you see any other bosses in the county MANDATING what their employees must do on a county holiday?! Way to go! This is going to do wonders for morale!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, this make no sense to me and it is really tyrannical of them to mandate that all employees be there on a county holiday. The only vacation I have planned was on the 2nd so of course I have plans for the 1st! This is not boosting the morale at this office at all.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:58/Snookems
What part of Federal F*****g Holiday don't you understand?

Are these people going to be compensated for this? Every job I've ever had has paid double time and a half for mandatory attendance on a federal holiday.

As for the free parking, whoop dee f*****g doo. Employee parking should be free every day. Having to pay for the privilege of going to work, what kind of Communist Horse S**t is that?

OUTRAGED said...

AHCL,
Starting January 1st, all prosecutors, investigators and secretaries shall wear "WWTD" bracelets.
Prior to any decision making all personnel at HCDA must ask themselves: "What Would Troll Do"?

FYI: The new cigarette lounge will be on the 6th floor.

Anonymous said...

Kneel before Zod.

Anonymous said...

Eh, both sides are wrong on this one.

Tenderfoot said...

Attendance is mandatory eh! I'd ask if I change my mind and show up do I get sworn in as well.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:56,
It'll all be wrong for 4 long years I'm afraid....time to get your masters in social work if you want job security as a Harris County ADA.
Geeze.....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Is it really that much to ask for prosecutors to come to one swearing in ceremony in four years?

Yes, it is that much to ask. It is a holiday. A federal holiday, a county holiday, and holiday all over the world! I have plans. No, I don't have fancy plans that invlove going to Europe or even non-refundable tickets to fly about of state. My plans are simple, a drive a few hours away in Texas, to see friends and family that I don't get to see nearly often enough. It is unreasonable to tell me that I can't take one day of vacation (I was taking the 2nd) because you want me to be at something in Houston on a day that I do, in fact, have off, according to both the Harris County Commissioners Court and the Federal Government.

Now, I know that I need to be sworn in before going to court on the 5th, or if I was working intake at some point, but I missed the Magdison swearing in and it wasn't a problem to have that done later. The media was there, and it was on a day I was supposed to actually be at work, but still, not an issue to do it later because I had a standing appointment, which was acutally in Houston. I don't know if I am just completely unreasonable by why can't there be a big, mass swearing in on Monday, Jan 5, at 7:00 or 7:30 am, media invited, before we all return to court. Oh, I know why, because that would be the right thing to do. And by the way, I don't need a party afterwards. The only folks who will be sticking around for a reception on the 1st are kiss-asses because ever other person in attendance will be pissed.

So now, because my new employer is clearly someone with no understanding of personal obligations, and someone with absolutely no concern about taking care of her employees, I get to tell my friends and family, who I haven't seen since March, that I can't make the trip because if I do my "contract" with the DA's office is likely to not be renewed.

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hear, hear. And please don't feel the need to preface these posts with regret over any perceived discourtesy to these people. Respect is a two way street and from what I see you got seriously fucked. I've seen people accuse you of having sour grapes and whining here on your blog. No shit? Because what, you're supposed to bend over and take it with grace? Losing one's job over political beliefs is villainous. Especially in an institution that promotes justice.

Besides, you're giving a voice to a lot of people. We made plans for a mini-vacation in West Texas. The reservations were set and everything. But I can't go to anyone and explain this without fear of being disciplined or even fired. We're canceling our trip naturally.

Despots usually see little value in morale. That's because despots are arrogant, short-sighted and heartless. Not only is it wrong but it's also ineffective. People do better when they're treated right.

Twilight Zoned said...

On a more serious note, how would the great John Wayne handle the troll and her 1st flunky???

Anonymous said...

On a more serious note, how would the great John Wayne handle the troll and her 1st flunky???

He'd beat his wife and then dodge the draft, that's how.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:09,
The Duke would be revolted by the tyrannical little troll. He would say " Now see here Troll, you treat these good folks with respect or it's back to the spider hole for you"!

Seer said...

In other counties they have mandatory swearing in on the 1st in business attire. I attended two. A reception after would have been a blessing (hair of the dog don't you know). Alas, no such luck. I recall one year they even had us go outside for a group picture. Brrr.

Anonymous said...

Don't you all get it. Lykos and her flabby former body builder yes man Little Mustache Jimmy are about what is shown on TV. If it wasn't mandatory, then who would show up besides Donna Goode and the washouts that were handed jobs for political favors. That wouldn't look too good on TV would it. She is a political whore which isn't news to me. I am seriously deciding whether or not to show. I have been at my wits end and the threat of being fired seems enticing. The only thing that is keeping me there is one of my child victims who I promised I would fight for.

My message to Jim: I trusted you and thought you would bring sanity to a historically crazed lowest rated judge. You are a complete embarassment. Be a man, are you such a political wannabe that you will say yes to everything in hopes of running in four years. You guys are doing things that are going to create a complete distrust and will cause every single wart of your administration to be exposed. You DON'T understand what kind of morale you are creating. We have the best defense bar in the country and they are licking their chops to come after us and this job requires a desire to come to work every day. Day by day, you guys are throwing water on what little fire we have left. C'mon Jim. What a disgrace you are. Sorry, I shouldn't take personal shots but I am so darn mad I can't think straight. 3 emails on this. Are you kidding me.

Anonymous said...

Is she really starting a fugitive unit? She should have run for sheriff if she wants to play cops n' robbers.