To: [“Professional Liberal”]
From: Christopher Snyder
Did Gottlieb ever mention to you the story about my last month on Sierra Club? Apparently, Michael Driver – who is emotionally unbalanced, if that’s a way of explaining it, and trust me, I have plenty of examples to cite to prove it – made a request, based on my getting a $244 or so hot night[*] my first night out with him, his first night as a field manager, that I be kept on his crews indefinitely! (Which turned out to be just for Sierra Club (which, of course, makes it understandable (?)). I never saw Matt Weber, except for the two days Michael Driver took off, or, say, during the week Kaila actually performed as director when all the staff directors were at training wherever they were, and ACTUALLY MADE DECISIONS ABOUT WHERE TO SEND ME, rather than, say, sticking me in Vancouver for four straight days (which happened) or Beaverton for four straight days, which is to say every day the town was open (of course! I don’t need to vary my canvassing, or worry about quota, or anything like that! I just: go wherever Michael Driver goes! Because he says so!)
Not that I was told about this, of course; all sorts of things came up over the four weeks – M.D. taking two Fridays off, the week in-between with Kaila actually making decisions, and a Memorial Day Holiday, and of course, my inability to believe that anyone would actually do this (the days pass and I think: there must be a reason I’m being sent here. Stupid me! I go wherever Michael Driver goes!) – that prevented me from seeing this. And this happened, of course, not because I was AFM’ing[**], or anything like that. Because that, of course, would have had to have been my choice. So, I had to have been: His Special Friend!
That’s right: I come to work expecting a neutral work structure, and that the relationships defined within will be work-related and defined by certain boundaries contingent upon my choice to take things further – which absolutely everyone else I regard as making what one former canvasser has called the “Fund Family” has obvserved (being that they’re sane, of course) – and I find I’ve been made someone’s friend! Which it must necessarily be, if there’s no other reason for it. And of course, it makes me uncomfortable, and depressed, and unable to perform my job well (which is true among other considerations, but this never should have happened in the first place, now should it?), and is not something I want.
And yes, I took the last Friday I was on Sierra Club off, because it looked like I would be with him indefinitely, and being switched to Environment Oregon offered no respite that I could see, since if I didn’t know about it in the first place, and it’s not how things are usually done or the job is defined, how am I supposed to know when it’s supposed to end?
And Michael Driver is CREEPY and CRAZY. He would give me misleading directions and say strange things incidentally in conversations I overheard while on crews with him – all of which I can cite, I just want to get the point out that this happened first – and the dawning realization that this, I’m sorry, I have to say, somewhat sexually confused person “liked” me in some way I did not understand nor was articulated to me made me uncomfortable to the point of panicking.
I called Gottlieb the Sunday after taking the Friday off, and he told me – rightly, given normal circumstances – that he had work 6 days 14 hours or so, and would talk to me about it on Monday. All I said was “I’ve been on Michael Driver’s crew every day for the entire month” and what Gottlieb really meant when he said he’d talk to me on Monday was not just that he was willing to talk to me, but really, indicating by default that he, too, could not conceive of anyone doing such a thing. In other words, he couldn’t imagine this was a problem, because, of course, like most sane people, he couldn’t imagine anyone would do this: keep me on a single field manager’s crew for an entire month, irrespective of any other concerns (can you try to grasp that someone actually did this? As a director who actually did, and I expect, may still do the crew lists, I mean: putting a canvasser on a single field manager’s crew when there’s the option of doing otherwise EVERY SINGLE DAY, DAY AFTER DAY REINFORCING THE DECISION, because, apparently, the Field Manager “likes” the canvasser. Not that the canvasser is told.)
And could you guess which director did this? That’s right, the same director who claimed Donnette Scandalous as her own personal property, and the same director who you covered for when she fucked up the street office last winter! (I was sorry to see you go Tate[***]. It was not fun for me to spend the whole winter seeking out Gottlieb, Constance, and then, Jason, out of necessity to debrief with, because it’s not fun when you have to do this on purpose; only 5 times or so was I unable to escape debriefing with this non-entity the rest of you insist on covering for, due to the fact that there really was no other director in the office, and I couldn’t wait around forever. Am I making myself clear about “her”?)
I only have so much time at the library computer, Tate. Write me back in a bit so I know you’ve got this, because, of course, I seriously do not know what to do at this point.
[*] A “Hot Night,” so-called, is when you hit $200 that night, fundraising. People yell your name out the next day. (It’s cool!)
[**] “Assistant Field Managing” — ha ha, yeah RIGHT!
[***] I am, of course, a schmuck, a sucker and a naïf, for trusting him with pretty much anything whatsoever (not that he’s the only one, but . . . ) — ’cause, y’know, hell: we don’t REALLY have “too much to do,” outside our fuckin’ workplace? (Lives? Friends? Committments? Vocations? What on EARTH were you THINKING, boy-o?)