Jane Bland: Episode 1: OSHA, Breasts, and Fed-Ex!

Well, it was just another boring week. Get up, go to work, log on, do the usual. This week found me writing compliance programs for OSHA, demanding money from a customer who I was convinced put our payment up his nose, and fighting with Federal Express about their deceptive on line software which requires a declared value on products that they have no intention of paying on when they friggin’ lose it. Oh yeah, in the meantime I talked every day with my lover/fiancee who lives 5,000 miles away.

It was just another week in the life of Bland…Jane Bland.

I’m 47 years old, pushing 48, and still occasionally get depressed because I don’t have breasts like Bette Midler. My lover likes my breasts and I’m grateful, but still and all I have always wanted the ones that were just a little bit bigger, and rounder, and firmer…*sigh*. The clothes fit so much better when they are that way.

When I was six years old my mother was sewing a dress for me, and she needed to take my measurements so that she could sew it to fit. My measurements were 24, 24, 24. Somehow I knew at that point that I was destined to have the body of my middle-european breeding stock ancestors. At six years old I knew what would shape my life, but not my body. I’d have to be a strong woman, instead of a beautiful woman. OK, yeah, yeah…I’m beautiful inside. Oh, and I have an excellent sense of humor. But dammit, I want those breasts.

Not enough to pay for them, of course. I mean if I had to actually pay money for breasts I wouldn’t do it. And it’s kinda late for it now anyhow. OK, I’ll get off the breast thing. I know you’d rather read about OSHA compliance programs anyhow.

I was pretty twisted when OSHA came into our workplace and wrote us up because we weren’t in compliance as far as the letter of their law according to their rules. I thought we had taken good precautions in protecting our employees from hazards. Everyone at work including myself were defending our corporate policies about the health and safety of our employees. We actually were all pretty cavalier about it. The OSHA compliance officer told us we were in serious violation on one point which jeapordized the health of our employees, and we were all incensed. And that we would have 30 days to comply once they sent the official letter we had to sign for. Welll, it took OSHA four months to actually send the letter. And once we got it, I, being the Safety Officer, read it carefully and realized that their policies made sense. We weren’t protecting our employees as well as we could. I was ashamed.

I’m 47 years old. I was part of the generation which protested corporate business that dumped toxic chemicals in our rivers and streams; and disregarded the health and safety of employees; and put profits over human life. We honestly didn’t think we were doing that. But then once I started investigating I realized that we hadn’t done as much as we should have to protect the employees.

The thing that really chapped my ass, though, was instead of coming into our workplace and helping us comply, the OSHA inspector was “Mister Letter Of The Law”. He should have done it differently. He should have helped us comply. Rather than just being mister stick-up-the-ass and assuming that we didn’t care. We do care. But we get lost in the day to day stuff, and don’t always keep up with those hidden laws OSHA passes to protect people.

And it wasn’t like I could wave fabulous breasts in his face and ask him to give us a break. If I’d tried that with the current equipment, well, let’s just say it probably wouldn’t have worked. OK, I’ll get off the fabulous breast thing.

It sounds probably stupid to say, but all in all I’m pretty happy the OSHA guy stopped by. It has given my company a chance to protect our employees better than ever. Even if the guy was a supreme asshole about it. But hey, a job is a job.

I’m Bland…Jane Bland, and I get up and go to work everyday.

Regarding the customer who probably put our three grand up his nose, he’s busted. I called around and found out that what he claimed about our product, which he bought and resold to another, was bogus. I doubt we’ll see his three grand, but I got a great deal of satisfaction in finding out that our product wasn’t defective, as he claimed. I wrote a scathing letter, in between writing OSHA compliance programs. It was almost the highlight of my week. I say almost because I also got to take on Federal Express. I love a good fight.

If I had good breasts I could probably wave them under our stoned customer’s nose and get that three grand. Nah…he’d be spending his money on nose candy. The miserable little….grrrrr.

Federal Express is a huge corporation. And I always had a soft spot in my heart for them because they developed their shipping software for the Mac platform, unlike UPS which is still behind the times and only has Windoze software. Which prevents us from having an all Mac office. Oh sure, we could load Windoze emulating software…but sheesh…

Well, we have been shipping with Federal Express on customer’s request for quite some time. Several months ago (about the same time the OSHA guy showed up…was Mercury in retrograde during that time or something?) they lost three of seven packages we had shipped on a crucial customer deadline. So we worked overtime to replace the product that was lost, and put in our claim. We’re talking over five thousand dollars worth of product they lost on this job.

I got the settlement this week. Five hundred dollars. That’s right. One tenth. Their (rightful) rationalization was that our product is not one which falls under their guidelines for reimbursement. I finally have read their terms and conditions for products which ship and they are in the right. We should have read the guidelines long ago. My beef is, I can understand why they wouldn’t want to insure glass (which is what we ship). But the product wasn’t damaged. It was fucking LOST! They LOST it!!!!! I mean, christ. I’m not giving up. Federal Express, that five hundred dollars was the cheapest bad publicity you have bought in a long time.

Fabulous breasts won’t help in this situation.

During all this my lover was extremely patient and loving. What a guy. For him, the breasts are incidental.

I’m Bland, Jane Bland. I get up and go to work everyday. And this is my life. Stay tuned.

Beth Lock

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