Peter Kemp - Lying bully supporter
Peter Kemp, 10 Finlay Rise, Milngavie, Glasgow, G62 6EQ
Peter joined the university around the same time as me in 1997, but up until 2008, he would walk past me in the corridor without saying hello. He wasn't being rude; he just didn't know who I was, even though I held a senior position in his department. It's a pity it didn't stay that way because I found the interactions I had with him to be very frustrating. I could never work out for sure whether he was exceedingly stupid or if he was just pretending to be. Finally, I discovered it was all a pretence, and he's just a liar who, for whatever reason, supports bullies.
One of the things I complained to him about was Kathy McCabe criticising me in relation to matters where it would have been more appropriate to have thanked me. Peter ended up doing exactly the same thing in order to support Kathy and Eileen MacDonald. He also slagged off a well respected colleague who nobody, apart from Kathy, has ever said a bad word against.
When I first submitted a grievance against Kathy, Peter arranged mediaton for us. The mediation was almost completely useless because Kathy simply refused to participate properly. However there was one good thing to come from it; at least in theory. I had raised the matter of Kathy criticising me inappropriately, and I said that the cause of it was Kathy listening to gossip. She had even admitted to doing so when she criticised me about something she claimed she overheard in the corridor from nameless people. At mediation, Kathy agreed that, in future, when anyone complained to her about me, she was to get it in writing, then send it to me and ask for my response, and then hold a meeting with me and the complainant. For most managers, that would be the natural thing to do, but Kathy had to be persuaded by a mediator.
Just three weeks later, Kathy forwarded a complaint to me that she had received from Eileen MacDonald. At last it was confirmed that it had been Eileen who had been filling Kathy's head with nonsense about me. Although I spent huge amounts of time helping Eileen with her work, she had been jealous of me because I had been promoted. I was a man in a team dominated by women, and there was resentment that I was in a higher grade.
I was delighted to receive the complaint. Eileen was claiming that I was a poor teamworker, and that I was confrontational. However, the truth is that these were terms that described Eileen herself. At mediation, I had explained this to Kathy. I had also explained that Eileen had a very weak understanding of technical matters, and that she wasn't interested in improving. Kathy just denied this, claiming that Eileen had strong technical skills. That was either a lie, or it was based on work she thought Eileen had done, but which was actually done by me or someone else.
I replied to Kathy and included lots of evidence that it was Eileen who was the problem. As Database Administrator, I was responsible for database security, and for two years Eileen had been breeching security procedures and encouraging others to do so too. It's a sackable offense in most employers, but rather than report it, I tried to persuade Eileen not to do it. I had tried to find out from her why she was doing it. I had written to her a number of times explaining the correct procedure, and I said that if she felt there was ever a need to step outside the procedures, she should let me know, and I would work out what the problem was. I couldn't possibly have been more helpful, but the only reason she was doing it was to be bloody minded.
On this occasion, she had told one of her employees to breech security procedures and to log on to a database using an account that wasn't her own. I spotted this, and phoned her up to ask her to log off. Her employee agreed to log off, but Eileen told her to ignore me. After ten minutes I saw that she was still logged on, so I disconnected her. I then spent time helping them with the problem they were having, which was of Eileen's own making.
Realising that it was Eileen (Kathy's favourite) who was to blame, Kathy immediately cancelled the meeting. I submitted grievances againt Kathy and Eileen to Peter. Eileen found out and was worried about the grievance. Peter told her not to worry and that she was doing a good job. He completely ignored my grievance, and Mark Toole ignored it too. In fact, Mark criticised me for submitting it.
In her complaint, Eileen had asked for the database security procedures to be changed, and I had confirmed to Kathy that the problem wasn't with the procedures, but that Eileen, allegedly a Senior Programmer, needed to improve her skills. As a manager, Kathy should have tried to find out from Eileen what the real problem was and then spoken to me if she thought it was something I could help with. Instead, Kathy wrote to the entire team instructing us to debate whether or not the procedures should be changed to suit Eileen's preferred way of working. This was simply bullying by undermining me. I wrote to Peter Kemp to complain. To take the heat off Kathy, Peter said that it was he who had instructed Kathy to send that email. He went on to say that he would be asking for a report from the debate. He acknowledged the fact that I had to demonstrate to auditors that the correct security procedures were followed, but added that it was important that people are able to carry out their duties.
This was insulting, not just to me, but to the auditors too. Firstly he was implying that I was so stupid that I didn't know that people needed to be able to carry out their duties. He was also implying that I was so bad at administrating databases that I had set up a procedure that prevented employees from carrying out their duties. I wrote back to him confirming that everybody was indeed able to carry out their duties. It was an absurd situation where the Director of Information Services for a university was considering adding risk to data security for no other reason than to show support for Eileen MacDonald; a bully.
The team had the debate, and thankfully nobody wanted the procedures changed. During the meeting, I was explaining a technical matter when Eileen, who really needed to be listening, repeatedly heckled me with "You're inconsistent! You're inconsistent!" I asked her what was inconsistent, and she said that security was different on the XYZ database. She was referring to a different type of database for which I had no responsibility, and which was the responsibility of Paul, an employee that she managed. You would think that when you make a fool of yourself as often as Eileen, you would learn to keep your mouth shut.
Peter was interviewed as part of the grievance investigation. He gave his full support to Kathy and Eileen. He described me as someone who just doesn't understand that sometimes procedures have to be changed to allow people to carry out their duties. Of course, Peter had already learned from me that everybody could carry out their duties within existing procedures, but he would also have received his report confirming that everybody was able to carry out their duties. I don't think Peter will be happy until students are able to access the databases and amend their own grades.
Karen Stark was aware of all this as she was included in the correspondence. She carefully avoided raising this with Peter during the interview. A good question would have been "Please describe a situation whereby an employee could not carry out their duties within the agreed security procedures." Answer "Well there might be an occasion where a bloody minded woman could decide that it's just not her style, and that she is special and needs to be treated differently from everyone else. Obviously the security of the University of Stirling's data is nowhere near as important as that woman's feelings of superiority."
How stupid of me and the auditors not to have spotted that flaw in the security procedures!
I wonder if Peter ever told his wife, Joan what he really got up to at work.
He describes me as demanding that things are done my own way. Anybody attending meetings in our team would know that I was the one who would rarely even offer advice, because I knew it would be ignored. I was merely trying to ensure that the University's security procedures were followed correctly. That was my job. The person who was out of step with the university and the team by insisting she do things her own way was Eileen MacDonald.
Peter obsessively defends Kathy who obsessively defends Eileen. So the person who was proving to be the biggest risk to security was being put in charge of security; just like putting a lunatic in charge of the asylum. Meanwhile I'm criticised for merely carrying out my job with great patience. Peter says that I don't understand that the job has to be done, but the only person being prevented from doing their job was me.
Peter then claims that he didn't know why I was off sick for five weeks in 2008, despite the fact that I had written a lengthy letter to him explaining it was due to Kathy's behaviour, and when he received it he arranged mediation for me and Kathy.
Then he slags off a well respected colleague, and in stereotypical fashion he slags off people whom he sees as good programmers.