10475963_809545875767566_7904001166678239804_oThis should be interesting. Our new Fearless Leader has announced town hall meetings but they are to be conducted at all VA Regional Offices and VHA Medical facilities. They are slated to be done by the end of September yet we have not been told where these Come to Jesus Meetings will be held or when. Nothing like a good Kumbaya party after the dust settles.

Will there be just one at, say, Sioux Falls VARO/VHA in South Dakota or numerous ones across the fruited plain? Will there be any press releases to announce the dates? So much promise and so much opaqueness concerns many of us when we hear once again that VA has finally heard our plaints and feels our pain.

Goin’ Places that I’ve Never Been

Judging from the content of the newest Congressional compact with Veterans, the opinion on the street is “Just got screwed again.” sung to the tune of Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again. Any new legislation that resurrects VA bonuses again in light of all the recent abuse of said bonuses is a fool’s bargain. VA has been unmasked numerous times for their perfidy, unreliable statements and statistics, and lastly, cheating on something as mundane as scheduling appointments for us. The punishment? Why, more bonuses at the same rate and quantity as before. I suppose they’ll actually have to prove they earn them this time around.

The VA’s Bonus Army

Let’s compare the old to the new.

Old bonus program: up to $360 million in bonuses for simply doing your job, or, in the event that you couldn’t accomplish the job with the available number of doctors/ appointment slots, inducing your subordinates (who, incidentally did NOT get that bonus) into fudging the numbers so as to qualify you for the bonus.

downloadNew bonus program: No more than $360 million in bonuses but document it all regardless of whether you can make it work; don’t get caught cooking the books; collect bonus in December for making an effort even if nothing changes. Reinstitute one week, all-expenses-paid Human Resources getaways to Orlando for training/implementation of all the new changes. Find a new Patton look-alike, improved Karaoke machines with higher-quality teleprompters and enforce media blackout of festivities.

Getting Rid of the Miscreants Who Lied and Cheated

How about firing the incompetent, sleazy upper management types for their misfeasance. Yeppers. That’s covered as well. All McDonald and his minions have to do is prove the secret waiting lists were wantonly created to ensure bonuses. That’s a pretty fancy trip wire that everyone can see and avoid. There will be more fingerpointing than an incest-plagued family reunion. VISN managers have secretly been instructed to use the Shinseki/Obama technique and bemoan the fact that “Nobody told us”. Their minions in high places likewise have been instructed to stare stoically at the ceiling and repeat ” Mea culpas are long overdue but we had to wait for the OIG investigation to play out. But for my ignorance, I singlehandedly could have prevented this. And since I was in the dark due to the intransigence of those below me, I should not be demoted  or have to return my prior bonuses. In the future, I promise to punish those beneath me and move on.”

The Lowly, Well-Intentioned Whistleblowers

Scapegoat-03-10-13-400x400How about protecting the whistleblowers? That was a pseudo-concern addressed during the lead up to the Senate vote on it. The consensus was they should not be dunned for coming forward. In the future, if anyone tries to bring attention to “systemic problems”, they will be rewarded with nice corner offices in the basements of ROs and VAMCs to guard the archived paper files. These are  much sought-after jobs and there will be fierce competition for them. Understandably, promotions in this dead end exciting new field are few and far between due to the scarcity of positions. Whistleblowers are advised to check openings before opening their pie holes to ensure transitional compatibility.

Guidance on Who to Fire?

Firing well-trained higher echelon personnel is messy and to be avoided. VA has a lot of time invested in these goldbricks and where possible, retraining and indoctrination are the preferred path. In the case of the small fry who were caught holding the bag, wholesale dismissal shall be the panacea. GS-7s to GS-10s are renowned for acting on their own and coming up with nefarious schemes to line their own pockets -even if they never benefit with bonuses.  VA’s OIG has determined this time and time again and it is statistically documented. These personnel will not be considered essential and should be considered first and foremost for scapegoat material.

And that’s the gist of the new bill. They promise we won’t get fooled again.


Out of sight but not off the payroll.

P.S. VA Secretary McDonald announced this morning that Ms. Sharon Helman, former VISN director of the Phoenix VAMC has been chosen to replace retiring VISN Director Victor Maninguez of the Manila, Philippines VAMC. She is reputedly taking Rosetta Stone courses in Spanish which explains her low profile for the last three months.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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  1. BR says:

    What happend to the fine leadership at the Philly RO? It seems as if they are still employed? Betcha they dont leave legal pads in the latrine anymore.

  2. Clear Left says:

    Mr NOD
    Many of your previous communications have labeled GA as the TIP OF THE SPEAR, and rightfully so I believe. That being said VA Town Hall meets of themselves are/will be a waste of time, albeit a “Really Big Show” unless there is some skin in the game.
    6 years ago Vets in Southeast Ga made several trips to our Congressman’s office demanding some action on Veteran’s issues. Some of these were scheduled, and when we couldn’t get scheduled we showed up anyway (along for a camera for the evening news).
    That was the birth of the annual VA/Veterans Forum in the Ga 1st Congressional District. It was hosted by Rep Jack Kingston (who I think at the time thought what a pain in the ass) and attended by some 150 Vets in Douglas Ga. The 2nd year the VA/VETS Forum in Savannah drew 300+ Vets and some spouses and the overwhelming majority voted for Jack that November.
    What made this now annual event so successful was the newly appointed Region Director Al Bocchicchio brought all his decision maker staff with him. VR&E, Claims, Loan Guaranty, and Med folks.
    Following the back-patting there was open mic Q/A before Vets who had problems met directly with decision makers. And initially it wasn’t always cordial…..
    But the department chiefs took info from all who were having problems and resolved them forthwith.
    Now the meets are more cordial and have grown in scope as the word is out, need help come to the Forum.
    Our Forums in Ga(1st) became so successful other Ga Members emulated Kingston so there are now 4 or 5 held throughout the state every year.
    As just related to me ‘we’ve been doing town halls for years, so we’re ahead of the game’.
    The key is for a small group of Vets to visit your Member (get in their face if necessary) and convince them to put their skin in the game. Make them get the RO Director out of his office and bring his staff. The majority of Director’s know where their bread can be buttered, or burnt. Won’t take long before they realize this is really GREAT Jit that come November will more than pay off.
    Just my 2 cents from TIP OF THE SPEAR.

  3. steve says:

    we need a before and after SHOCK photo of hickey after the train of mass deception pulled her into the station of and congress called her on her bullshit.

  4. hepper74 says:

    Was wondering what all the hoopla was about when I went to the VAMC in Denver yesterday. Saw many suits and media milling about downstairs. Will have to see if the Denver station aired anything.

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