Desnee Flakes's Blog

That Noise You Hear Is Real Talk For Real People

Desnee Flakes

Desnee Flakes
Aiken, South Carolina, US
December 04
I am a recently employed activist who has been writing all my life about the issues that mean the most to me. My interests lie in politics, parity, race, and history. I believe that each of those things are interconnected and that only when we look straight at something do we actually see it. My politics are left of center, and I don't rely on any movement to define where my center is. My father taught us to measure others with the same yardstick you measure yourself.


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JANUARY 28, 2013 11:54AM

How The State Of Georgia Plans To Make Me Homeless

Rate: 14 Flag

As those who read me know I haven't been posting for a while and now I will share some of that with you here.

I became unemployed back in February of 2012 and applied for unemployment. My job objected to me getting the money and wanted a hearing. I wrote about that job when I first came here, it was a hellhole of a job that I hung onto for a little over 3 years, even though I hated every minute of it. The bills have to get paid so one will allow themselves to be belittled, spoken down to, elevated in one moment to be deflated in the next just to get a check. Well all of that takes a toll on your soul and in my case I was so dejected and depressed that I couldn't even defend myself to the state of Georgia.

In the months that followed Georgia told me that I owed them over 1000.00 for the benefits I received and then I had no income. I lost my car, my heat and lights were turned off, and the only thing that kept me and my pets from the street is my mortgage is in my brother's name.

I owe my life to my neighbor who sensed something was very wrong in Denmark and invited me to dinner then insisted I spend the night for months. While I was there I helped her with her grandmother and her kids. I cooked and drove them in a car loaned to me by another friend to and from daycare or school, when I was asked to.

I finally found another job and this job was right up my alley since it was with young thoroughbreds. I was happy as a lark as I earned enough to get my utilities turned back on and began paying my mortgage myself. Then my boss hired a young Irishman as a foreman, and things took a turn for the worse. When they announced he was coming they asked if anyone knew of a room for rent because he and his wife live in Camden, SC. I have a three bedroom and this seemed like a great opportunity for me to really get back on my feet, but I decided to wait and meet him before making any offers. Am I glad I did that. For me our first conversation was an opportunity to get to know him, and then decide if we would be compatible. I found him to be rude to say the least, in the middle of a sentence he turned away from me and walked out of the barn. He didn't even bother to say I really need to get to the other barns or anything just turned and walked away.

After maybe a week he began to harass me for no known reason. One day he demanded I take an unlit cigarette out of my mouth. I'm 58, you don't demand that I take an unlit cigarette out of my mouth I like to chew on them when I work, because I can't smoke them in the barn. The thing is the boss himself had talked to me while I was in a stall chewing on my cigarette and said nothing, this kid said something when I was in an open paddock and it still wasn't fired up! I said something to the boss about it and he told me that I should talk to the young man because after all we were going to have to work together. I did speak to him, I told him to never speak to me in that manner again. Later in the day we both met with the boss. He lied and told the boss he never said that, but I kept insisting that he did. I should tell you I was a personal friend of the boss and had even done housesitting for him 2 years in a row while he went on vacation with his family. That means that he left me with his worldly possessions and his pets for 2 weeks, which in my mind is a sign of trust. Now he is standing there telling me we aren't friends in this instance and that he doesn't know who is telling the truth. What? You just met this guy a week ago you've known me for over a decade, are you serious? I didn't say it but I surely thought it.

Well things never got better and Ifinally came to the conclusion that this man never wanted to work with me, he treated me differently from the other grooms and he made me miserable whenever he got the opportunity to do so. But I wrote every incident down, even the time I happened around the corner of another barn and caught him talking to a White exercise rider under the shed while the rider smoked a cigarette. I called Human Resources at one point because it was just too much to have to put up with. The handbook states clearly that when you think you are being discriminated against YOU ARE REQUIRED to bring it to the attention of your manager or Human Resources. I did both and got nowhere. The boss came to me that afternoon and insisted I fire myself. Yeah he told me to quit! I refused. He dropped the whole thing when I told him about the retaliation clause in the handbook. A week later I went to him again about this young man and he again insisted I quit. I refused, this time he told me not to come back to the barn but that he didn't fire me.

So once again I called Human Resources but it was Saturday and everyone knows they don't work weekends. But on Monday I heard from the woman who started by telling me I had been fired, then that it was mutual, then that I was laid off. I recorded our conversation and then filed a claim with EEOC. Saturday I mailed off the form that will bring government investigators to the jobsite. I am hoping for justice, but in this world who knows what I will get.

As for Georgia, they are taking half of my measly 243.00 dollars leaving me with less than my mortgage and certainly not enough to pay my utilities. I've written the Secretary of Labor; The President, a local news station, I've spoken with different department heads to request a waiver of the over payment to no avail. At this time I'm looking to lose my home. What really pisses me off is President Obama who likes to talk about how he reads correspondence every night hasn't responded to my call for help, but his campaign is still asking me for money to help him. I would laugh if I didn't want to personally punch him dead in his mouth.

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Lord have mercy. I do wish you the best.
The state of Georgia can be a very hostile place to live for more reasons than the obvious, historical one. I so wish that weren't true, but I've lived in Atlanta for 20 years now and I know what things can be like outside these city limits. It's bad enough INSIDE! I wish I had some advice to offer, Desnee, but I can't even think of anything soothing to say. This just sucks.

i am sorry to hear this. yet not surprised. it is awful what a terrible supervisor can do to an otherwise wonderful job. and the boss who didnt stand up for you, well, i think i am most sorry for that. i will keep my fingers crossed something comes along to save the situation.
You really need to consider moving to another country. Yes, yes, I know, "why the heck should YOU have to move?" You're not the one who is doing wrong.

You shouldn't. It isn't right. It's downright bloody awful! But unless you know some special way to change things, they aren't going to improve much in the near future, either.

Hundreds of thousands of people are heading south..... below the equator. The climate in Uruguay (for instance) is much like that of Georgia. And Montevideo is a fabulous city. Whole neighbourhoods of regular ex-pats from English speaking countries. Mostly working class people - the rich go to Belize.

Think about it......
Stinks when people act like that - esp. people you considered friends. Sky's suggestion is very interesting...
What does this guy bring to the job that makes him so special? (Rhetorical question.) I hope this works out for you.
Well Desnee the problem with the Irish is they hate blacks more than anybody else. This comes from the the old nineteenth century comic pictures of them when they were depicted as monkeys by the anti immigration news papers.You are familiar with that line from Mississippi Burning where Gene Hackmen relates a story to William Defeo about his father killing a black mans mule and giving the excuse that if he can’t be better than a niggger who can he be better than? I don’t see eye to eye with most of the liberals eunuchs on OS because I know from my own life experiences that a man like that only understands one thing. How do you think Stokely Carmichael would have handled that cracker “Our grandfathers had to run run run, my generations out of breath we ain’t runnin no more.”
I wish you a huge settlement. (I'm given to fantasy, especially when wishing for justice.) Good luck.
Well I have dealt with prejudice since I was very small and I have the fortitude to deal with it. Please all share this on your FB page I need it to go viral. I want to shame the state of GA. I actually live in SC and this is an interstate claim because I worked in Georgia.
It's all so damned sad. If my case didn't break me financially, I would so write you a check. as it is, I don't have an extra penny. I will try my best to make it go viral but stories about not footlong subway sandwiches and some gatorade additive go viral in this idiot world. Racism is repulsive and I truly don't understand it. You seem like a lovely human, Desnee, and know that you are not alone and that others are there. Again, if I had a spare dime it would be yours, but the damned "system," made that impossible. stay strong, please. I wish such stories would go viral but unless justin beiber is involved, it would take a stinking miracle. Your son was murdered and the system failed on every level, now this. GEEZ!!!!
Fernsy I know you would but God has a plan and I will be victorious you just watch and see!
Wow. The Irish are STILL coming here and running black people out of their jobs. Pursue it with a vengeance at the EEOC. Do not stop and do not give in.
I have to say I resent the Irish slurs, is it any better to do it to another whole country of people, lump them altogether, stereotype them ? Isn't that what we are trying to rise above, all of us? Assholes come in every color and every nationality. That much I do know.
Rita, I agree with you I have some very dear friends who happen to be Irish as well. That was the point of my last post. Not all Irish are Irish, meaning that whatever the stereotype regardless of your race, gender, age, sexual preference, or ethnicity applies if you don't live down to it.