True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

With a Little Help from Our Friends (Or, "The Little Train that Could")

The effectiveness of our little band of brothers and sisters in our Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA) Public Safety Non-Custody Employees Chapter has been a marvelous work and a wonder to behold.
Working together, just a handful of us "Bolsheviks" have accomplished so many things, including but not limited to, the creation of an optional four day (ten hour) work week forMaryland Division of Correction (DOC) non-custody employees and a long overdue salary increase for Case Managers.
We also have weighed in heavily on many other DOC and state employee workplace justice issues.....and we've only just begun!
Even so, it has been a lot of hard, frustrating work, and some of our biggest obstacles were some of our own "Eeyore" coworkers, who were not only refusing to join our team, but who also oft times persisted in telling us that we were doomed to failure.
And so it was recently that these thoughts were in my mind, when I received a call from MCEA, asking me to do even more by taking a day off from my work as a Case Manager at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown to travel to Annapolis and testify before the Maryland House of Delegates Appropriations Committee on the State Employee Prescription Drug Co-Pay Legislation (HB 156) sponsored by Delegate Clarence "Tiger" Davis.
Quite frankly, my first impulse was to decline the request, thinking it was now well past time for others (many of whom live and work closer to Annapolis) to step up and do their part.
And, I just was so weary and frustrated from enduring all the cynicism and criticism from the coworkers who refuse to join our team, but who always seem to have their hands out and asking us to do even more on their behalf.
It was just then that my good friend Jodie Arnold, a Case Manager at the Maryland Correctional Training Center (MCTC) and Secretary of our MCEA Chapter, telephoned me to offer to drive me to Annapolis, and help support me in any way he could.
We went, and it was a good day (Especially since Jodie also paid for my lunch in a little Irish pub).
It is folks like Jodie in our chapter who give me much of my strength and motivation to continue with these efforts.
Although I am blessed with many friends just like him, let me tell you just a little bit more about Jodie:
Recently honored as MCTC "Employee of the Month" (His department coworkers even gave him a little "Burger King" crown to wear), Jodie is a devoted husband of over 30 years, former Correctional Officer, active and educated voter, and that's not all.
He built his home himself (with a little help from some friends), and then opened up his home and hearth to provide a place to live for both his Mother-In-Law and his thirteen year old niece.
It's folks such as Jodie and others in my MCEA chapter who keep me scrambling to be worthy of their friendship and trust.


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