July 2, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 5:03 pm

If you were the boss would you keep an employee, whether in a leadership roll or laborer, who ignored your openly stated wishes and orders?
If you were the boss would you keep an employee who repeatedly picked fights in your company’s name?
If you were the boss would you keep an employee whose lack of knowledge left you open to ridicule? If you were the boss, would you keep an employee who made you look like a fool?
If you were the boss would you keep an employee who purposely kept you from being able to act? If you were the boss would you keep someone who openly demonstrates that anyone who criticizes his actions or ideas is an automatic enemy and must be dealt with harshly?
If you were the boss and were threatened with a lawsuit would you keep an employee who intentionally kept you from taking action which would lessen your possible liability?
If you were the boss would you keep an employee who made you look inept or weak, gave your business a bad name through his lack of ability to deal with people and refuses to do anything that would defuse the various situations he got you into, instead moving forward, making you look even worse?
I don’t know of anyone who would keep a rank and file employee who did any of those things.
 I don’t know of anyone who would keep a supervisor who did any of those things.
I really don’t know of anyone who would keep someone who has thus far done all of those things and shows no intention of changing.
I know it looks as if I’m picking on “poor” John Van den Bergh, manager of the Fall River Mills Community Services District and I wouldn’t be if he wasn’t making a laughing stock out of the CSD board and if the board didn’t condone it.
Yes, John has accomplished some good things, but so could any number of other managers and without the drama, hatreds and liabilities he fostered and continues to foster.
Just a few examples:
He ignored the board’s request to look into the legality of having people who don’t live in the district be a part of a rate restructuring committee and bring it back to the board.
He ignored a board request (twice) to agendize his role in having the Fall River Mills sign moved on Highway 299.
He picked a fight with with LAFCO.
He got the board in trouble because of his lack of knowledge of the open meeting laws.
Two meetings ago he was stopped cold by a board vote to eliminate the CSD blog because of its potential to leave the district open for suit because the board had acted on an item he listed for discussion (in violation of the Brown Act), but reagendized it as a discussion item which again, kept the board from acting on it and delayed any action an additional month.
He has put his own statements and those of three or four others on the blog attacking those he doesn’t like, i.e. the Executive Director of LAFCO.
He managed to alienate the leadership of Pine Grove Cemetery, Fall River Cemetery, Little Valley CSD, Fall River Fire Board, and Lassen 407 Fire Department.
The CSD board has just lost two of their members. They are now down to three and the likelihood of picking up two more when they are facing a very real threat of being drawn into a libel suit is fairly slim.
They are facing a fight and more discontent because they need a rate increase and have lost people’s support. The board won’t get it back if people think you are weak and your manager is not working in their best interests.
The board hasn’t demonstrated that they have the guts, but if it were me, I would cut my losses, take care of the situation and move on before Van den Bergh takes you and the district down.


July, already? Summer always does go by pretty fast. Our son has decided to stay in Nebraska this summer and work out there. It is the summer before his senior year and it works out best with his football program. The downside is he is not here to help with the haying. So who is his fill in? That would be me. I thought it would be appropriate to share this little piece I wrote. Maybe it will make you laugh and give you a few Blue Skies!
“I Am Not a Ranching Rookie!”
It is not hot. I am not thirsty. My body is not stiff. I did not just rip my pants. I did not plug up the baler. I do not have hours left in this tractor. Power of suggestion… it’s not working!
Owning a business “in town” for five years and being away from the ranch has made me “soft!” What has happened to me? I am not a ranching rookie! I have done this my whole life. I am just a little out of practice.
During the course of our retail business venture, I worked a lot… but not a lot of physical work. My contribution on the ranch was limited. I would help with the cattle branding, feed cows when I was home and operate a piece of hay equipment if I didn’t have responsibilities at the store. I wasn’t depended on, I was just extra help. Now, I am depended on.
One day last summer, I had several experiences that made me feel like a complete rookie! When we went out to bale, it was hot! This particular day we forgot to take another mode of transportation out to the hay field when we drove the tractors out. We usually take a 4-wheeler ahead of time and didn’t, “#1 Rookie move.”
When we finished, it was in the heat of the day and that particular field was located as far from the house as it could be. It was the first time I have ever felt like I was walking in a desert. I had visions of a mirage…I had run out of water about an hour earlier….that was“#2 Rookie move,” not taking enough water.
My husband said it was a funny sight. He was hauling the bales and watching my dad, my son and I walk back from the field. He said he actually laughed out loud…I was in the lead, doing my “power walk”, my son was about 10 yards behind doing the “laid back” walk, and my dad brought up the end doing the “slouch over” walk.
The next day of baling was even more eventful. Right away I ripped my pants. “Rookie move #3,” pants were too tight!
Then I plugged up the baler. I know better…it was “Rookie move #4.” So of course I am mad at myself as I am trying to unplug the baler (pulling all of the jammed in hay out of the chamber), not to mention it was again very hot.
Once I made it past those two problems the day got better. We got a very large field baled up and I had no more mishaps.
Later that evening at a gathering with friends…my husband told of the dimension I bring back to the hay field. I was missing from the equation for so long; I guess he forgot the way I do things. I like to be efficient and not waste time. As he proceeded to explain… “She is out there jumping levees and running to turn over bales. I am afraid she is going to twist an ankle or pull a hammy! We have all been a little more laid back…but now that Val is back…”
The way I see it, they needed me for a laugh or two and to keep things moving! So who’s the Rookie?

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress