A Special Message to All Past & Present
Texas Lottery Employees
From Dawn Nettles - The Lotto Report
Originally Posted: Sept 23, 2004
The TLC Workplace Dignity Project
Fellow employees set this up so everyone can speak
up without fear. Click here then click on "TLC Survey."
Hopefully this will finally work for all of you.
(Posted 3/26/07 - Your comments need to be in by 4/15/07)
|Before I start my message, I want to apologize first for not posting this message sooner because what I have to say has been on my mind for at least the past 2 years. For those of you where this message is too late - I'm REALLY sorry that I didn't speak up sooner.
I want to comment on your "at will termination" first. You know that when you were hired with the Texas Lottery Commission, you were told that you could be terminated at any time without cause. For those of us in the private sector, this seems a little too harsh, but, be that as it may, it's what the TLC can do and DOES do.
But what's important for you to know is how they do it and what they tell you when they want to fire you. HR calls you in and does the terminating. They say, "We're exercising our at will termination. Your terminated effective today."
The unfortunate part of this is what they tell you next. Try to imagine that this has just happened to you. You're in shock - you weren't expecting it. You are immediately thinking, "Oh, how will I support my family, how will I make my car payment/house payment, what about my insurance, how will I find another job since I've been terminated/fired?" ... all these thoughts are going through your head.
Then suddenly the person firing you says, "I'll tell you what I'll do. If you would prefer to resign, we'll let you resign instead. Then it won't go on your record so finding employment elsewhere will be easier for you but, I need your resignation letter NOW."
You immediately think - "Oh Thank God" and because you aren't thinking clearly, your write that resignation note.
DO NOT RESIGN unless you KNOW you were a bad employee or the job was not really for you. I'd define "bad employee" as one who is always tardy, misses work excessively, does poorly in the job, always late with your work, does drugs, drinks too much, steals, takes 2 hour lunch breaks, talks back to the boss, etc. The TLC likes to add - "he's not a Team Player."
You see, when this happens, they really want and prefer that you to resign. You know WHY? Two reasons. (1) They won't have to pay unemployment and (2) They won't have to explain WHY there's so many terminations. Excessive terminations could imply that whoever is hiring is doing a poor job!
Being terminated from your job is something the TLC probably WOULDN'T tell a prospective employer anyway. The laws have changed so much in the past 10 years that firing employees then freely telling that the employee was fired is a huge risk for any company. Most companies just confirm length of employment and maybe salaries but will go no further. Sad but true.
Let me give you an example of how sad this really is. Most of you know my husband is an airline pilot. Let's pretend that he's on a plane and leaves DFW for Chicago. He's cruising and suddenly he sees that he's low on fuel. He then realizes that he forgot to get fuel at DFW. He knows he has to land before arriving in Chicago so lets pretend he lands in St. Louis.
When he lands for fuel, he is immediately FIRED because he busted an FAA regulation. He walks home.
Then he goes to another airline and applies for another job. The new airline goes to check him out and when they call his first airline, the airline will only confirm that he has flown for them for 20 years. They cannot and do not reveal why or that he was even fired. SAD - huh? But that's the way it is. This even applies to pilots who are fired for failing drug and alcohol tests. Companies are too afraid of slanderous lawsuits, privacy rights and the such.
Now I'd also like for you to think about this from another angle. This will hit you AFTER you leave your job.
IF you WERE a bad employee and you were fired for just causes, then what in the HELL is the Texas Lottery Commission doing by covering up the fact that you WERE a bad employee by letting you resign instead? Are they intentionally letting another state agency/company get stuck with another headache if in fact, they really do tell prospective employers that you were "terminated" since you didn't write that resignation letter. Look at the employees who were terminated justly. You won't find that they were afforded the opportunity to resign like you were. I could name some employees, but I won't. (I referenced "state agency" because the vast majority of you have so much time vested with the state that the goal seems to be to complete your 20/25 years for the benefits.)
Use your common sense and think about this NOW before it happens to you. DON'T RESIGN, just go on and get fired. This way you can at least collect unemployment and believe me, the TLC can afford to pay it and a future state agency employer will most likely know what you've "really" been though at the TLC. Austin has a "grapevine" and talk at other agencies is plentiful regarding the TLC.
Now sometimes employees anger the "wrong folks" and "revenge" is sought. Suddenly you are getting unsatisfactory performance reviews, de-moted, bullied, intimidated and the such. What you do in this case is ... hang in there long enough to build your case against the TLC. Keep a record of everything said and done to you. Then resign - if you want - but be sure your resignation letter states what you've been through and WHY they began treating you like they did. Some have even sent copies of their resignation letters to all employees. Anyway, you should save all documents that proves what you are saying. By doing this, you stand a good chance to file grievances with the state and WIN the battle in the end.
About some of those ex-employees - I've been fortunate in that I've been able to communicate with some and there's one common statement made by ALL. And that is, they said that one has to leave the TLC in order to see clearly and to realize what's "really" going on at the lottery. I'm grateful to ya'll for contacting me. Many thanks and God Bless you all. Please continue to stay in touch.
For whatever this is worth, I've suggested that all EX TLC employees come together and expose many things. Many of us want a lottery but we want truth in advertising and fair games of chance. I'm hoping that the EX's will but I also understand the fear many have.
For those of you that I talk to regularly yet we may not see eye to eye on issues - contrary to what you may think, I KNOW and UNDERSTAND that you have a job to do, that you need your paycheck and I really do know that you've been told by your bosses how to handle me. I do not hold grudges because I really do know where you are coming from. I don't wish for any of you to lose your jobs because you wouldn't or didn't tell me something. OK.
One last thing I want to say to both current and ex-employees. I appreciate your calls and I read and appreciate your letters - both the anonymous letters and the signed letters. For those of you who send anonymous letters, I really wish you'd tell me who you are. I will NOT tell anyone that we've communicated. I often times have questions and I really need to talk to the writer regarding what you've told me. If you want to help me, then tell me who you are. I SWEAR - I won't tell ANYONE. And YES, I'd go to jail before revealing my sources.
And YES, there are several key issues that I've not covered yet on my web site. It's not because I'm ignoring it, it's because I've just been too busy. But I will be exposing some of those issues/stories in the near future.
Best of luck to all of you and many thanks for all the help you have given to me.
The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 681-1048 Fax