I have to admit: being labeled a TYC "troublemaker" by an ex-co-worker on another website gave me a real WARM feeling.  Sure, I understand -- well, I THINK I understand -- what the person meant, but let's take a closer look at what that (perhaps) disdainful moniker may imply.

First off -- let's define what a "troublemaker" actually is, namely,
 "A person who habitually causes difficulty or problems, esp. by inciting others to defy those in authority."

OK, I'll accept that... pretty much.  For the most part, though, when I was up served shit sandwiches by my supervisors on the job, my usual response was to just ask for more bread.  I did what I was told to do about as much as anyone else did, or at least as much as anyone in my position COULD.  No, oftentimes it wasn't easy... or fun.  In fact, a lot of times it was degrading and humiliating -- but I did it.  My name for the first couple years I worked there may as well have been "BOY" as I certainly was treated like I was young, stoopid, or worse by more than a few JCO's.

Now what about that part where I supposedly incited others to defy authority?  I think the word "defy" is a wee bit too strong here.  But is QUESTIONING AUTHORITY necessarily a BAD thing?  Let me be clear:  I served in the military, and swore an oath to obey the legitimate, legal commands of my superiors.  If told to do disagreeable tasks, you can BET I did them... here to tell you.  I wouldn't have been put in the brig had I not -- and I knew it. 

Working for the State is NOT the same thing, is it?  NO, it is not.  If I didn't agree with military orders, I could (and occasionally did) respectfully tell an officer what I thought (in most cases), even though it wouldn't change the outcome of my having to do as instructed.  If I didn't agree with TYC admin, or a JCO supervisor, I could tell them, too -- but they didn't usually care to hear what I had to say.  Honest feedback was NOT solicited at GSS... but oddly enough, it WAS in the military.  Those in the military are generally looking at more effective ways of doing things -- NOT so at TYC.  At TYC, the piss poor status quo reigned even if it made no sense and resulted in poor outcomes.

And let's take a look at that word "incite"... what does IT mean to do?  The dictonary defines is as
"Someone who deliberately foments trouble... to provoke, and urge on."  Again, not something that applies to me.  It was obvious to NOT JUST ME but almost EVERY JCO I spoke to that worked the floor that things were NOT going well on campus the past couple years.  Wasn't JUST me that knew the kids were being bribed to (hopefully) improve their behavior, that CoNextions was a totally wasted effort, employee morale was in the dumps (as evidenced by all the veteran staff who were quitting in disgust), and that the kids -- and many JCO 6's -- were out of control.  These matters were as plain as day to anyone who opened their eyes up to REALLY SEE what was going on... and these problems/troubles weren't due to what I was doing, or not, eh?  I don't think so, either.

Soooo... what's the TROUBLE?  WHO's got trouble... and why?  Call it what ya want.  BLAME who ya want.

  Trouble is trouble -- and it's no secret there WAS AND STILL IS plenty of trouble at GSS.  LOADS of trouble... and for the most part it's made by those at THE TOP -- NOT the folks who came to work on time every day like I did, worked as asked like I did the best they could, offered suggestions, and didn't abuse FMLA or call in every week or month like I did.  And for that level of dedication I get the label of "troublemaker".  Huh.  Whatta deal.

If having a dissenting opinon makes one a "troublemaker"... if providing a forum for State workers to blow off steam... if standing up for one's beliefs and principles... if calling a spade a spade and refusing to suck up to idiots who are keeping the youth from learning to live in The Free by coddling them makes someone like me a TROUBLEMAKER then yes, call me one.  Go ahead!!  I'd rather be a troublemaker than a SHEEP with blinders on that won't (or can't) admit there's problems all around them just to keep that paycheck comin' every motnh.

Some people take the easy way out.   Some people can't seem to keep from fighting losing battles.  I just GOT OUT; not that it was EASY but because it was the RIGHT THING TO DO.  Guess the bottom line is that I realized if I wasn't part of the solution, I was part of the problem and was MAN enough to bow out and let the REAL troublemakers continue to do what they did so well.  When told to shut up or sit down I did neither -- I LEFT and figured y'all could work things out one way or another without my input, for better or worse.

No trouble!