Asked and Answered

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First, there are some pictures posted today taken by my colleague Laura Ingle (you should scroll down and read her e-mail which explains the pics.) The pictures are great — you don't want to miss them. Click on them

Did you watch Joe Montana, Friday night on our show? He was fun to interview — it was a great change up for the show from world events and crime. I like sports, so it is a thrill to meet the stars like Montana. Here is what you don't know: He was freezing! For reasons I don't know, right before he went on our show, he took off his jacket. He was outside in Detroit! It is not that he is a California guy and does not know — he is originally from Pennsylvania. I suppose for the first few seconds, he was OK, but we interviewed him for about 15 minutes and we spoke for a few minutes before the cameras started rolling. Right after the interview concluded he admitted he was frozen. I felt bad for him. He sure was a good sport during the interview and not once complained.

I don't know if you will see Jim Hammer on the show tonight... and it's not because of his slip of the tongue on Thursday. We dispatched him to England on the Neil Entwistle matter and I won't know until tonight if he is a sure thing for the show. He left Saturday and is already in the U.K. I am told he will be on the show... and that all is well.

As for me, like Jim I am "on the road" today — but it is just a day trip. I leave soon and hope to catch a flight back to D.C. in time for the show tonight. I hope to bring some video back to show you tonight.

Now for some e-mails, I asked on Friday if your boss is incompetent. Here are some e-mails. I took the first ones I read, I did not sort. I removed the names of the e-mailers for obvious reasons:

E-mail No. 1

My boss is incompetent because he is a corporate lawyer and I am the head of engineering reporting to him. It's not his fault for not understanding anything I do. I blame the company president's incompetence for screwy organizational structure he cooked up to minimize his direct reports.

E-mail No. 2

Hi Greta,
My boss is totally competent, so much so that he intentionally tries to make everyone around him feel stupid by always pointing out their mistakes, loudly for all to hear. As for Jim Hammer, he was great. His response was totally genuine and he shouldn’t feel bad about it. I still watch every night even though I don’t write so often.

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta,
I enjoy your show and the panel! I had to respond to today's questions. No, my boss is not competent. As the executive director this organization was bleeding out of its pores for the first six years of his tenure. I came on board 18 months ago (as the part-time "bookkeeper") and increased net assets by 184 percent in one year, and have outdone that by another 20 percent this year. At least now they don't call me bookkeeper (I have an MBA and MCD).

E-mail No. 4

Ok Greta, here it is: at 3 I went to go get a cup of coffee. The coffee maker was turned off and when I turned it back on to make a cup, the boss asked "Who drinks coffee at 3?" Umm... your employees? I'm telling you... you cannot make this stuff up!

E-mail No. 5

My boss is more than competent. He is interested in individual performance, issues and mentoring. He delegates responsibilities and will often take the heat for a fall-down on another's part. He prefers to counsel rather than chastise, directing his remarks to an act rather than an individual, and makes those events private, never public. He took me on as a "woman of some years" who was at home for quite some time and has given me a career. He's better than a boss: he's a fine human being. And he tells some GREAT stories!

E-mail No. 6

I'm not sure incompetent is the word I want to use to describe my boss! Since we need to keep it clean, yes he is incompetent and lazy too. I am an adult literacy teacher. You must have passion and a love for high school dropouts to have my job. I would trade my job for no other! It is the best! My boss retired from a federal government job and took his current position, because he was bored. He is not interested in anything we do nor does he care. He recently inherited a home from Eugenia Price. She was the author of many books on St. Simons Island, Ga. He does not need the money! I can do my job in my sleep, but just yesterday he implied otherwise! I told him my record speaks for itself.
Can you believe he is leaving for a Caribbean vacation for the next week? Yeah! We are all looking forward to the peace and quiet! He told us not to let the place burn down while he was gone.

E-mail No. 7

Hi Greta,
Oh yes, my female boss is competent. But oh yes, my female boss is human. Any further questions?
Competent Employee

E-mail No. 8

Dear Greta,
The boss... the boss... the bells... the bells. No. My boss is a complete nincompoop. Can I say that word?
You'll love this: I work for a family-owned business in West Virginia. Working there is akin to being on a bad episode of "Falcon Crest." The day is full of political intrigue and power plays. One family member always trying to "kill off" another to take his place and everyone plotting for the demise of the "Old Lady" — the CEO. My boss got his job by being married to the CEO's daughter, now he's VP.
And he retains "control" through intimidation and fear. I finally figured out why, one day when I looked in the window of his luxury car and saw that he has been spending his time listening to audio books on the rise of Hitler! This guy actually believes that, by creating constant fear of being fired for the slightest mistake on the part of the employee, that he will eventually be chosen to run the company. Just like the Brown Shirts of the 1930s! He's also been quoting Stalin a lot lately and, like him, is known for his "purges."
One day several years ago, he and a notorious "gang of four" fired the entire company and invited a few selected ones back to re-interview for their jobs! The excuse was people were not working hard enough, the truth was that it was to save money.
To make things worse, as a guy who believes that he is some antebellum Virginia gentleman reincarnated, he treats everyone as if they are freed slaves being given the honor of being allowed to continue working on the plantation. I wish I was exaggerating. Slave wages, oppressive psychological warfare. He threatened to fire me once when an airline lost my luggage and it made me late. But he is an alcoholic who has thus far totaled at least two luxury company vehicles and no one says a word. I have seen him driving a company car while drinking from a flask. All this while a 15-year administrative employee there cannot make enough for her 73-year-old husband to retire from his job in a lumberyard. Yes — actually hauling around lumber for 30 years!
Some day I'll write a book. West Virginia is certainly a messed up state... and my boss is just the pits. Oh and — please don't print this part — [per his request... I deleted part of this e-mail]. Again, please don't print that... I would certainly be fired.
Beaten down guy

E-mail No. 9

Is you boss competent? That is almost as funny as Jim's slip on the air — which I loved. As for my boss, if you can call him that, well competent isn't a word he knows. To be a boss you have to know how to talk to and to treat people. Which he doesn't. I am the only woman in a company of all men and for the most part the guys are great, but in the office there are three of us. I am the only one that has a college education and the only female, therefore I am the stupid one. If I said the sky is blue, there would be an argument. I am amazed at the mentality of men in this area. I wasn't hired to clean the office or get someone coffee. I am not the one that urinates on the toilet and the floor and I don't drink coffee, but it is the attitude that I'm the woman so I should be the one doing these things. Not! I am amazed at the attitude toward women in the southern Midwest. But I am determined that these men will not get the best of me and that I can stand my ground. I'd love to see Gloria Allred in this office for just one day. If things continue in the same patter as they currently are I may have to hire her!

E-mail No. 10

Hello, may I tell you about my boss? He is for the most part a competent boss who treats his employees fairly — the other part about my boss is that well he tends to forget a whole bunch of things, and then when the clients call asking where there product is I get chewed out. Which is fine, if I knew what they were talking about! I understand he has so much stuff going on, but come on, he talks to clients all day long, and when they want something I wish he would just tell them, they hey you need to call Jane (hint, not my real name). Anyhow, this is the only thing about my boss that irks me. He is a great boss compared to the others that would yell, cuss and blame everything on their employees! So I would give my boss a thumbs up!

E-mail No. 11

Is my boss competent, boy I'll say! I work for a major aircraft engine builder in CT. "Dave" is my boss, he was an hourly employee before he took this salary job as our supervisor. He took a nearly $30,000 cut in pay to do this job. He was given, right off the bat, four areas to manage. Three in one building and one in another. He runs the smoothest ship in the place, the areas are spread out and so are his people, so he is running for all the hours that he is here, he averages 12 to 13 hours a day and only gets paid for eight. We have a plethora of people and personalities. He has the ability to handle each and every one of them in his own unique style. He has the knowledge to help any one of us and never says, "I don't know." He keeps the payroll updated on a daily basis and there is never a mistake in our paychecks, and if there is a mistake, very rarely, he gets it corrected immediately. I don't know of or have ever worked for a more competent person in my 33 years with the company.

E-mail No. 12

I am sure this question will elicit a record number of responses from your readers! A chance to commiserate with others and not feel quite as badly about your situation! Is my boss competent? In a word: No. And my boss hates Shep Smith — with a passion. I wish I could express in words the level of anger and frustration felt by many here, but I have to get back to work now — thanks for allowing the little vent, Greta!

ANSWER: Hates Shep? How could you hate Shep? Shep is extremely nice and very good at his work. I am delighted to have him as a colleague. Your boss sounds like a jerk.

E-mail No. 13

Hi, Greta,
Interesting story about the lesbian at the doctor's office. I had something similar happen to me several years ago. I went to the doctor with a very bad cold. This was one of those doc-in-a-box places. I had never seen this particular doctor before. He examined me, asked me the usual questions, prescribed some medication, and left the room. When I was leaving, his nurse handed me a sheet of paper with written instructions on how I was to take the medication along with advice such as get plenty of rest, etc. At the bottom was listed "1200 calorie diet." I was obese at the time, but that's not why I was there. There's all kinds of prejudices out there and all kinds of unwanted and unasked for advice.

E-mail No. 14

Boy Greta, that's a loaded question. I work for my wife. So I would have to say you bet she is. I also know where my bread is buttered. For real she is a wonderful wife and is great to work with.

E-mail No. 15

Shame on you for letting FOX News turn you into an inane and meaningless TV gossip columnist. Get a real job reporting real news.
Clark Bridge
Clinton, NY

The next e-mail is from my colleague Laura Ingle (currently assigned to Geraldo's show on FOX Broadcast, not FOX News Channel). The e-mail relates to the pictures posted on today's blog. She shot the pics for a segment she did that will air on February 7 as she notes at the end of her e-mail:

E-mail No. 16

Here Kitty Kitty,

I had the very cool experience of going to "Big Cat Rescue" in Tampa Florida recently. The mission of this cat sanctuary is to give tigers, lions, cougars and other big cats, a permanent home after they have been abandoned by their other owners, or retired from the circus.

I had never thought about what happens to those big Bengal tigers after you see them perform at a circus... had you? There are also the cases of people who buy "babies" whether it's a cougar, or tiger that look so adorable when they are little, it's hard to resist buying one if you have the money.

While roaming the grounds of Big Cat Rescue, our "At Large" crew would stop and say "hello" to the cats in their large cages. If you look at the picture of the white cat in the photo essay, you'll see a White Serval named Tonga and what she gave me in response when I said, "Hi kitty!" HIIIIISSSSSSS! Wow! This kitty had fangs! Can you imagine trying to keep leopards, lions and tigers as pets around your kids!?

Amazingly enough, people do, then abandon the cats when they get too big to keep. Many times they are destroyed — but Big Cat Rescue tries to stop that from happening, and give these cats a safe haven to live out their lives. While I was there, I was offered a chance to feed the tigers! So, of course I said yes! Our "At Large" producer, Pat Cook, took a bunch of pictures, while I was using the technique of steak on a stick to get "Bengali" the tiger to stand up for his dinner. Now THAT'S a BIG CAT!

After that hair raising experience, we went to go visit Nikki, a female lion. When you see the story on the air, you'll be amazed how large this one is! The picture of the cat licking her chops is Nikki, then there is the one I took standing next to her cage while our crew and our tour guide Scott Lope tried to figure out how close I could get to stay safe to shoot a "stand up" next to her.

While we were cruising around in our golf carts on the grounds, our sound engineer Stan Wilkins gasped and said, "loose cat!" My heart stopped for a second, but then when I turned around and saw this grin on his face... I knew he was kidding. It was "voiceless Jack" the Big Cat Rescue's pet tabby that roams around giving soundless meows to his fellow cats on the grounds.

This piece is set to air Tuesday, February 7. I hope you watch!

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