-------- Original Message --------
||Re: Glenn Dryden, Tommy Shelton, etc.
||Wed, 03 Jan 2007 00:09:13 +0000
I will first address my "bad attitude" and subsequent termination from 3ABN.
I started as a volunteer in 1986 (I believe) as a camera operator when 3ABN
was just in its infancy. In fact, the first program I worked on, it was me
and the two broadcast engineers on the cameras. Now, THAT'S a skeleton crew. I
eventually was put on payroll and began working in master control on a full
time basis. Some time later (several months) a position opened up in
production and I went back to cameras and floor directing, then learned
audio and graphics, and eventually became an assistant director. I directed
Kenny Shelton's "Behold The Lamb" program for quite some time.
Danny called a meeting one day and explained that the ministry was operating
on a tight budget. He told us it would be a "big help" if we would "donate"
all hours over 40 hours a week so he didn't have to pay us overtime pay. He
also stated that the SDA church as a whole was beginning to put pressure on
him because people were being paid to work on the Sabbath, and would we mind
if he asked us to volunteer if we did any work on Saturday. He told he he
realized that some of us were not Adventists, but that this would really be
best for the ministry. There were at least 4 or 5 of us in the production
department that were non-Adventist, but we did agree to his proposal. (What
were we thinking?!?!) We did very little production on Saturday anyway.
[Scheduled on Sabbath; Travel Expenses]
After agreeing to this, things began to change. You can probably see where
this is going. Production began to be scheduled on a regular basis almost
every Saturday. When we (Adventists and non-Adventists alike) expressed our
concerns about it, Danny told us that if we wanted to remain employed at
3ABN we would follow management's decisions. Keep in mind that 3ABN refused
to pay for our meals or even buy us a motel room when we went on remote
shoots. I was bringing home about $200 per week at the time. Danny said that
we seemed ungrateful and he knew of several people who would love to work at
3ABN for what we were making, and possibly even volunteer. He also stated,
and I quote, "Very few of our employees donate anything to this ministry." I
guess working for free over 40 hours and on Saturday isn't donating.
[Department of Labor Audit]
Not knowing what else to do, I contacted Mr. Chris Rybak (he no longer works
there) at the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. I was told that
even if we agreed to this proposal, it was not legal because of the way the
labor laws were set up. He said he would do a "random" audit of 3ABN and
their pay records. He did arrive one afternoon and interviewed several
employees, myself included. We were in a private office with the door
closed, only he and I in the room. I told him, in detail, what had been
happening. The NEXT DAY, in "worship" before we began production, Danny
launched into a tirade that someone had called Mr. Rybak and told him the
whole situation, and that this was going to cost 3ABN "a lot of money" in
back overtime. To this day, I think they had a hidden mike in the office
taping the conversation.
The next week, I was transferred back to master control (an entry level
position) and scheduled for straight midnights. When I asked why, I was
never given a straight answer. (Just making some changes, we needed someone
with experience in there, etc.) After my 4th week or so on midnights, I
asked Ronnie, Danny's brother who was there at the time, why I was still in
master control. He told me there was no particular reason. I then was bold
enough to tell him that I thought it was because I called Wage and Hour.
Ronnie looked me in the eye and said, "Well, it's not because of the phone
call, but the attitude that made you make the phone call." Bingo! Just what
I had suspected. I asked how they knew it was me, and Ronnie said Chris
Rybak had told them. I contacted Mr. Rybak the next day and told him this,
and he said he would have lost his job for doing so because there are
protections in place for whistle-blowers. I knew this already, I just wanted
to hear him say it. The next week I was working my shift and May Chung came
strolling through the door. She sat down and made small talk for a few
minutes and then started telling me what a "privilege" it is to work in a
ministry such as 3ABN, and how blessed I should feel to be there. The next
day when I picked up my paycheck, there was a note inside it telling me I
was terminated because I had a "bad attitude". They didn't even fire me to
my face. I may still have the note somewhere, but it will take me ages to
find it. If I come across it, I'll fax it to you.
The more I read what the two of you are posting, the more I can see that you
really do want to see the corruption and deceit end at 3ABN. I hope someone
is able to get it done. It's been there long enough.