The Ides of Bureaucrats and Blue State Idiots!

So., why is the Ides of March bad luck? If you want to avoid death or worse, 1,000 cuts, beware the ides of March. The date was certainly unlucky for Julius Caesar, who was assassinated in front of the Roman senate on March 15. William Shakespeare dramatized the event in his play about Caesar with the famous quote, ‘beware the ides of March.” For us, the 80 Percent, we have 24/7, 365 days a year of those Ides of March!

As a communist, I have deep understanding of the hate toward communists throughout history, and why countries in Africa and elsewhere are, were, and will lean toward socialism: kicking out the prostitutes, pimps and purveyors of chaos and terror. Bankers and Bombs. Viruses and Lockdowns. Neoliberal or Neocon. The purveyors of pain are at the top.

And, well, in the middle. So, I quit a job November 3 when my supervisor hung up on me. I was stationed 80 miles from where she was headquartered, where the HR was headquartered and where the Executive Director was headquartered.

This woman was a complete disaster as a human and professional (sic). She had already had issues with the fellow I replaced, who stormed out, quit. Her forked tongue and broken personality, well, she was the nonprofit’s two year wonder, her son worked for the nonprofit, and she had control of the small satellite office in my county.

My job was to take over case management for adults with developmental disabilities. That system is county run, with state DHS funding. It is a broken system, understaffed, and staffed with broken humans. So, one month on this job I was subjected to this supervisor’s personal life, her homophobia even though her Air Force son was marrying a man. She called herself a beaner, as she has some Latina in her bloodline. She asked me if I drove like an old man. On and on, and so, when I heard her voice, heard her warn me she was hanging up on me, and the fact that she would not listen to my concerns about a client who complained about shorted checks for a janitorial job we were not managing for him, I knew it was time to go.

Oregon’s judges:

So, this is my thinking — it was a just cause quit, to use the parlance of the dirty Unemployment Insurance/Employment Department lingo.

A job at $20 an hour, benefits like health insurance and PTO, and, I was expecting to be there for two years, three? But, for my physical health and mental health, bye-bye toxic and unprofessional people and organization. I was thinking this would be a legit quit making me eligible for some pittance of unemployment, as in $180 a week. Covid benefits had ended last November. Quitting or termination from a job after only one month looks bad to the future employers. Age 65, now, and alas, living in a rural county, and here we are, I am dead in the water as a worker, a man, a contributor to “society.”

Then, the application for Unemployment Insurance. Hoops to jump through (easy), and then applying for jobs as part of the deal. Then, the hell of Idiots Rule, the Bureaucrats. The adjudicator was unprofessional, taking my statements in his home (Zoom Doom), I heard him drawing on cig after cig, and he had to tell me he was gay, a real liberal (he thought I was a liberal — fucking comedy hour: Read, Communist!). Real bizarre. Real Portland Bizarro

The bastards got my story, and this dude had to get my statements over a span of three phone calls. He went off topic beyond stupidity, but he found against me: not eligible for UI, unemployment insurance. Then, I had to file an appeal.

That was more hell, and three hours with a judge (sic) and the HR director came on the line. Five days later, the judge, again, found against me.

Then, an appeal of the appeal through the Employment Appeals Board. That entailed sending in any additional information, to both the Board and the former employer.

Forty days later, again, two out of three judges (the 3rd one was not present to hear my appeal) found against me. They predicate that I had opportunities to deal with the issues I was dealing with through, yep, the HR, which was, again, part of the clique. The Executive Director was already on his way out, heading for another nonprofit ED position in the same place, Coos Bay.

Now, there is an appeal of the appeal through the state Appellate Court, but that entails a $391 filing fee. Yep, money to keep these blue state bureaucrats paid.

Irony after irony is that I have been employed to help homeless or developmental disabled to navigate systems of rents, medical needs, employment, and getting through the paperwork hell. I have helped some with their unemployment claims, and to get the Veterans Administration to find they have service – connected disabilities so they might get a few hundred bucks a month from Uncle Sam.

These are the systems of oppression and penury. This is the system that will never be discussed with gusto in mainstream and left-stream media. This is the system of holding people down and keeping worthless humans in jobs that are the opposite of humane and human.

Now now, this is not a spilled milk screed, hyperbolic and completely insignificant just because the world is falling apart, Ukrainians are being blowing apart by ZioLensky, and wildfires are rampant, toxicity out the roof, housing homicidal, billionaires drunk on power. This is foundational, readers of DV. Yep, amazing writers here talking about Boris Johnson, lots about Roe v Wade, lots on “the global economies” and tons on Ukraine and the EU and UK and global “situations.” Climate change, climate fatigue, climate chaos in a climate of fear and Stockholm Syndrome.

It starts locally, at the city and county level, at the state level. We (citizens) are here for a broken system of planned dysfunction, planned obsolescence, planned homicide to sputter ahead, to keep the bad people in jobs and the rest of us at their whim(s).

Oregon’s lovely housing opportunities:

Oregon’s growing business opportunities:

Here, one is title by yours truly: “One Degree of Separation: There Will be Parasitic Capitalism’s Blood

But specifically here is one about this shit-hole nonprofit and my right to quit and the rationale for it: “Quitting is a Mental Health Decision”

So, more shouts into the wilderness, flailing against the windmills of the Byzantine world of state policies, and rationalizations spewed toward the middle managers, the professional office class, the cogs in the systems of pain and begging and absurdity.

Oregon’s seasonal recreation and employment — smoke jumpers:

My letter to the two hearing board people: Nothing fancy, nothing a lawyer would write. But life sucks, no, when you don’t have the shekels to pay for criminal lawyers?


To an uncaring two-person appeals board – Hettle and Steger-Bentz:

I wholeheartedly see this decision as both incompetence and lack of empathy. Citing that I as the employee had recourse to not quit a highly toxic work environment shows the lack of creed you have. You are not in the know about non-profits, about the developmental disabilities case management realm. You have no idea how toxic those small nonprofits can get. The new case manager, as I was, had no connection to the actual main office and all of those inner workings of their clique. I had no recourse to thrive or do well at this job after I was hung up on by the supervisor. I had already for a month dealt with her unprofessional commentary and her racist remarks. That was the culture there, and citing some sort of recourse I might have had with the HR head is inane.

This is not a state or county agency with a more developed culture of workplace stability and professionalism.

You have no street creed or ground truthing when it comes to workplace cultures.

This outfit, Bay Area Enterprises, is shoddy, highly unprofessional, and alas, the rationale given in your wrong-headed decision is faulty: I did not have just cause to quit. Absurd. I needed to get out of a toxic and uncompromising situation. You are fools to think there was another option. You are overpaid State bureaucrats with little sense of the real workplaces workers in Oregon have to submit to. Do you realize that this small company, new to me, is all about insider cliques? That my immediate supervisor and the HR head work in the same office, 80 miles from where I was assigned? That the executive director left the company a week after my complaints, so he was already on the outs. That the executive director and the immediate supervisor I was worked in the same office and were in constant discussion back and forth about employee x and employee y? That there are prejudicial allegiances made under those circumstances?

I was hung up on by my supervisor. She was in the office where the HR director and the ED work. My immediate motion for self-preservation was to resign. Indeed, your bureaucratic mentality is what I teach my students in colleges (and some in K12 as a substitute) to not only watch out for, but to rail against, and challenge. In this case, I went through the Oregon state hoops designed to assist companies to get out of paying some of the unemployment insurance. The system is rigged in favor of the employer.

You are at fault for this decision, for not taking into account a deeper sense of the workplace, that workplace I was in. In no away was I going to put myself through mental and emotional hell by putting up with the situation I have already laid out. You can sit back and lord over workers, making the same tired decision that occurred first by the Unemployment adjudicator, then by the appeals hearing judge. Here we are, now, a faceless board of three with one absent making the same wrong decision.

Now, for me to take this to the next level of appeal would require more state rip-off fees — $391 to file. This is why the average person has no faith in the State of Oregon’s so-called agencies for the people. You are dead wrong in denying me unemployment,  and your titles, whatever they might be in this sense, are not worth the paper I am printing this letter on.

Shame on you, and, well, this is another teachable and journalistic moment for me but it doesn’t compensate for the time and effort I put in filing unemployment weekly, and looking for work in this  county where I live. I will rail against this system, your decision and the process that was so protracted. You will not feel shame because I suspect you are wired to not have empathy when it comes to these cases that indeed are just cause for quitting. Nuance is not something you three probably have as human characteristics.

And so I have to pay for that lack of humanity.

Disrespectfully, Paul Haeder


Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.