Friday the 13th – Uh, Oh
Do we get an exemption from the "walking under the ladder" rule?
Do you remember the flap that cropped up last year in Clark County, Nevada, about "systematic sick leave abuse?" The county's fire commissioner, Steve Sisolak was accusing a large percentage of the 700-member department of "gaming" the sick leave system as a way to bolster each other's overtime pay. I vaguely recall that at one point Sisolak said as many as 1/3 of the firefighters were playing this game. Having been on the "inside" of a fire department for a good portion of my life, I couldn't figure out how something like that would work. For instance, how would my burning off a day of sick leave bring about a guarantee that I would in turn be chosen to work overtime to make up for it?
Anyway, Sisolak was so dedicated to pursuing this perceived problem in the press instead of through internal affairs, that most of us were understandably dubious over his claims of a wide-spread, coordinated plan. A grand investigation was launched amidst great publicity and headlines while the commissioner gleefully dragged the reputations of 700 firefighters through the mud (whatever mud there is in the desert).
Sisolak the Enforcer
(LV Sun file photo)
Now the results are in and our radical friend Ron Y. has sent along the early returns on this wide-spread scandal. It was unofficially leaked yesterday that out of 700 devious, untrustworthy firefighters, one will be fired and another 16 will face some sort of disciplinary action. That's 2% of the work force. Oh, did I remind you that this publicity stunt was announced while contract negotiations were being held for the rank-and-file? “They learn this stuff as young firefighters and keep doing it," Sisolak helpfully added to the discussion. He did not disclosed what percentage of the rest of the county's workforce was involved in things like time-sheet manipulation.
In a demonstration of how to twist statistics, the Las Vegas Sun says in this morning's article, "the allegations surfaced in a March 2010 Clark County compensation study that found the average number of shifts taken off for sick leave by roughly 700 firefighters came to almost twice as many as rank-and-file employees and about four times those of management." Listen up, anytime somebody compares the firefighters with the city hall pencil-pushers, you know you're about to hear some bull hockey. This is a perfect example. Firefighters work a 24-hour shift. For you slow-thinkers out there, that's the equivalent of three 8-hour shifts that the pencil-pushers put in. So when a FF takes off one shift, it's the equivalent in hours of 3 shifts for an office worker. Take it from there. As a way to balance the effects, in my department a 24-hour day of sick leave is charged with two sick leave days. Twice as many as regular employees for one day of feel-me-bads. Scandalous!
Let's stay well long enough to get this equipment checked out now. I'm going to get some therapeutic coffee started so we'll be all set to recuperate in the day room later.
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Standings as of Friday Morning
San Jose avoided the embarrassment of a total collapse by pulling off a win against Detroit last night. In the deciding 7th game, the Sharks scored the go-ahead goal midway through the 3rd period and were able to hold on to the lead to win the game 3-2 and move on to the Western Conference finals.
Western Conference Finals
San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks – Game 1 Sunday night.
Eastern Conference Finals
Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins – Game 1 Saturday night.
Game 7 Highlights
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