Tuesday, October 21, 2008

what did i just do...

dude. turning 30 has changed me in some strange way, or i'm just strange. the economy sucks and what do i do? i send a missive to our Corporate HR President - in other words, very, very big dude - so big i have never even met him - and lobbied him on behalf of my company's gay employees.

See, they just decided to give DP benefits to two states - two states whose governments won't give contracts to companies like mine unless they offer DP benefits (yay, liberal states!!). the rest of us? we don't matter.

so this is my letter.

Hi Mr. ********,

I’m writing to you today to share my observations about the recent decision to only allow domestic partner benefits in the NW states.

I am a gay employee, and I love working at COMPANY. I have no agenda, and I know unequivocally that my personal life has no bearing on my job performance. I’ve been a member of the Atlanta Diversity Team since day 3 of my employment, though most of my fellow committee members do not know I’m gay. I don’t talk about it often, unless asked directly, and I think it is just one facet of the diversity we are trying so hard to create at Company. In fact, I’ve focused most of my efforts on the committee to getting a lactation room at our office for working mothers (we lose a lot of them in the ATL office), minority outreach through involvement with the Mentor Protégé program that I am in charge of, and giving speeches to the corporate community here about how important diversity is to us.

During preparation for one such speech a few years ago, I sat down with one of our HR representatives to ensure I knew the nuts and bolts of our diversity efforts in anticipation of being asked about what ****** offers. I asked about maternity/paternity leave, work/life balance through flex time, and all the standard diversity HR related items. When I asked about domestic partner benefits, I was told “we don’t offer them and we don’t plan to – no one in our industry does, either.” At the time, I remarked what a shame that was because it gave us a tremendous opportunity to lead our industry instead of just doing what everyone else is doing. I wondered aloud to her that, as we are trying to win the war on talent, it seems remarkable that we aren’t differentiating ourselves as THE place to work for young people (and older people too) by adopting some of the diversity policies that Home Depot, Turner, Deloitte and Touche, and all the other companies that truly “get” diversity offer their employees, and are indeed a part of their corporate culture, and who consistently win the war on talent within their respective industries. I still believe we have enormous opportunities in this area, and DP benefits are just a small fraction of how we can differentiate ourselves as the preferred construction company to work for.

As a gay employee, I was genuinely confused about the domestic partner benefit issue since our very own EEO statement reads:

COMPANY provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, ancestry, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. COMPANY complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation
and training.

COMPANY expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of COMPANY employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.

I have worked for companies that give DP benefits and those who do not, and generally speaking, those that do specifically include language like ours. I wonder why we make an effort to include the term “sexual orientation” when clearly we do not reflect it in our policies?

Like most of the gay employees who have heard the news of the DP benefits only being rolled out to the NW, I am very disappointed. As someone who passionately believes in corporate diversity, I am disappointed. As a member of our diversity team who works very hard to promote our diversity, I am disappointed and disheartened. It seems to me, and those who I’ve talked to about it, that our company doesn’t truly care about diversity – it runs afoul of what we say we believe in, even in our own EEO Statement. I truly believe that real commitment to diversity will help us win the war on talent and the war on winning jobs – not just domestic partner benefits, but others that young people look for when they sign on to a company – and issues that keep people in the jobs they have instead of losing them to our competition.

I understand that this is a difficult issue, and I understand that you are probably working against a lot of the “good old boy” beliefs of some of our management. I appreciate the difficulties an issue like this brings up. I also appreciate that this may be a “baby step” towards further inclusion and I do applaud the small steps that have been made. I understand there have probably been many discussions about the costs of rolling out a program, but what about the costs of keeping good people or recruiting the best and brightest (who might happen to be gay)? I personally know of one Senior PM that left our company because of this issue, and I have heard of others.

On a personal note, my partner wouldn’t even want to join our benefits – she is a ******* and gets great benefits on her own – but it’s more about feeling like the company I work for supports me, and that the work I do on the diversity committee isn’t in vain.

I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time, and I appreciate your consideration and work on this issue and other diversity related issues. I don’t expect anything to change tomorrow or even next year, but I do believe that management needs to hear how these policies are perceived by the ones who are affected by them.

If I can be of any assistance, or if you have any questions, please let me know.

Best regards,

So, i got a call from the man himself about 30 minutes after i wrote this. and he was gracious and considerate and told me to have faith in him.

well at any rate, i made an impression.

You're a mean one, John McCain

I am absolutely fed up and tired of the bottom feeding republicans, led by the likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, etc. that use fear and us vs. them mentality as a last resort to win. Rachel thinks their incendiary dialogue is going to eventually start a civil war, and I can’t say I disagree with her.

This weekend, Sarah Palin insinuated that pro-americans lived in small towns, and that us city folk are anti-american. Nancy Pfotenheur of VA said that “real America” will vote for McCain, and I guess people like me who vote for Obama are communists.

Michelle Bachman channeled McCarthy and claimed that Senators like Obama should be investigated for anti-american leanings. Her speech was hateful, sleezy, and treasonous.

What America do they live in?

While Barack is talking about eliminating red and blue state mentalities and uniting us, McCain’s cronies are dividing us and exposing the worst of us.

When will this madness stop?? Why can’t people like that see that just because we disagree, we’re not anti-american? When did being intelligent city dwellers make us un-american? One of their supporters said that during 9/11, the “real” Americans in small towns showed their americanness. Really? I don’t doubt that is true, but 9/11 happened in big, populated cities – and the people who were heroes from that time were, in fact, from cities.

WTF mccain? I have no doubt you love America. But loving America means loving all of its citizens, the diversity of opinions, dissent, and leadership means trying to straddle the middle and inspire us to be our best. You, sir, seem to have forgotten that in your all consuming desire to win. You, not Obama supporters, are responsible for dividing this country into “real” Americans and “anti” Americans. You are damaging this country that I believe you love so much. Please stop.

And Americans –wake up. McCain may love America, but he just sold her out for a cheap victory by not denouncing these terrible, hateful people who are dividing this country on his behalf. Lead, man, or step out of the way.

Friday, October 3, 2008


since i'm a little tipsy, i have to admit. i have a crush on sarah palin. i hate her ideas, what she stands for, etc. but what can i say? my weakness is sexy librarians.

my bizzle

ok, so it's no secret that i've lately been kind of over my job.
even my boss knew.

so, what does she do?

she gets me drunk.

in the past two weeks, she's brought me beer to my office to drink with me twice, has poured wine for both of us twice during work hours AT OUR DESKS, and we just had shots at lunch on top of GQ's top 10 rated cocktail in America at the fab new restaurant, Room.

So, i'm guessing she's trying to keep me happy by keeping me tipsy. And let me tell you, it's working.

Keep up the good work, DD.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

MSNBC Rocks this Hizzle!

Big congrats to Rachel Maddow!! she beat Larry King and many others with her new TV show! i loved her back in her Air America days, and now as an out lesbian (and a hot one at that!) smarty with her own tv show. Keith Olberman + Rachel Maddow = tv goodness

who knew republicans were socialists?

i find it highly ironic that republicans have, for decades, accused dems of being closet socialists, yet thanks to republicans, we are now becoming a socialist nation. the nationalizion of these massive, failing private firms...these are the biggest socialist steps a country has taken since China.

Now, the fault of this economy, the new great depression as economists are calling it - is it not the fault of these free market, hands off my guns and my business republicans? i mean, i'm a capatilist, but i believe in regulation. antiregulators - mostly repubs - said wall street was smarter than washington and they could regulate their own affairs. Bush and McCain both agreed.

so now we're paying for the mistakes of the incredibly greedy people who made horrible decisions - yet, like in the case of Lehman Bros, the CEO will walk away with $30+ million - while the working people can't pay their bills.

Ford and GM have asked - and the government will prob give - $50 billion to stay afloat through the economy. Let em go! the american carmakers - and republicans - kept CAFE standards low for decades, resisted efforts by democrats to impose higher MPG in their cars (again, government intrusion!) and kept making hummers and excursions while Toyota and Honda outperformed and outsold them. Well goodbye american carmakers, you have made horrendous, short sighted decisions based on short term profit, and now you have to deal with it. i hope Honda buys you out cause i certainly don't want to.

i never understood what corporate welfare meant til recently...well for me, i'd rather help people, not greedy CEOs.

these are very interesting times...down is up and left is right...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Grand Idea

so, i have an idea, and oprah says it's crap, but what does she know.

for reasons unbeknownst to me, barack did not choose to pick hillary for his VP, which of course ushered us into the unfortunate palin era. BUT...what if barack had a larger scope in mind...

WHAT IF he wants to nominate her to one of two Supreme Court positions that will surely be available to the next president? I mean, she could do more good as a Justice than a president! She's a lawyer, she's brilliant, she's a total policy wonk...all which would suit the job. HIllary for Supreme Court!!!!