text saying 'SIR I am very, very familiar...'
081516 hearing Keith Purtell-transcript
(Brackets [] used to add my comments or replace name of AppleOne's client)

Keith Purtell:
Hello.

OESC Hearing Officer Stephanie Jackson
Stephanie Jackson
Stephanie Jackson: Is that Edmund Purtell? Keith Purtell: This is Edmund Keith Purtell. Stephanie Jackson: [inaudible 00:00:14]. Keith Purtell: I believe so. I spoke briefly to appellate office late Friday and asked questions about a couple of procedural items and they told me to bring that up here at the hearing. Stephanie Jackson: Well, let me ask, is it pertaining to needing a continuance or anything of that nature? Keith Purtell: Well, the first of the two items does in fact deal with the problems for me created by what happened with the request for subpoenas and the timeframe that OESC had to deal with those. So that's the first of the two items. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Well, if you're not requesting a continuance or asking for something of that nature, we can address it here in a few moments after I get confirmation of who you are and get the docket number and stuff established, then we can discuss it in a bit. Keith Purtell: Okay. I'm not sure I understand the word continuance but if I understand you right, I will at least get some chance to pose this question. Stephanie Jackson: Oh, yes, sir. And a continuance means you're asking to put the hearing off for another day. Keith Purtell: Right. Stephanie Jackson: So that's what a continuance is. If you're not asking for that then I don't have to address it right this second. And I'll allow you to ask any questions you need to hear in a moment. Keith Purtell: Okay. Stephanie Jackson: As I stated, I'm hearing officer Jackson and I'll be conducting the hearing today. Before we proceed I need to advise you that this is an administrative hearing in a legal proceeding and that all testimony must be recorded and must be taken under oath or affirmation. I am recording at this time. This is a hearing on appeal tribunal docket number 16-010740 in which claimant has appealed the determination of the commission, which rounded under the provisions of Title 40 Oklahoma Statutes Section 2-404 that the claimant quit without the cause connected with the work and benefits were denied accordingly. This hearing is being held on August 15, 2016. It is now 2:28 PM and we are holding this hearing by telephone. Mr. Purtell, please state your name and full mailing address for the record. Keith Purtell: My full name is Edmund Keith Purtell. I don't know if it's relevant or not, but I've been called Keith Purtell since I was a boy. My address is 7104 South Fulton Avenue, apartment 1716, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Do you have any witnesses appearing with you today, sir? Keith Purtell: As I mentioned before, the attempt to collect several witnesses got hung up last week at OESC. Stephanie Jackson: But do you have anyone with you today [crosstalk 00:03:17]? Keith Purtell: No, I'm literally sitting here by myself in my apartment. Stephanie Jackson: All right. The issue that was appealed on be considered today is whether you quit your last job for good cause connected to the work. I'm going to swear you in and I can advise you so that no one from the employer appeared at the hearing even though I did wait an additional amount of time for them to do so. However, since this is your appeal, we will simply proceed in their absence. I'm going to swear you in. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you will provide today will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Keith Purtell: Yes, I do. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Before the hearing, a set of documents was mailed to both parties containing a copy of the paperwork in the commission file as well as an information pamphlet with the title Information For Appeal Hearings And Decisions. Did you receive that information, sir? Keith Purtell: Yes, I did. One of the items in that packet is related to the second procedural question I have, but we can get to that whenever you feel is appropriate. Stephanie Jackson: All right. The documentation that you have is part of the commission's file; however, none of those documents are in evidence. That means I won't be considering them unless they are entered into the record. To enter a document into the record, simply identify the document that I can locate it in the file, once the document's been located I'll mark it as an exhibit. I can also offer documents and if I do that I'll take objections before I enter it. Keep in mind I can only consider documents that have been entered into the hearing record and any testimony presented in here by you today. Any questions about those procedures? Keith Purtell: So far it seems pretty straightforward. Stephanie Jackson: At this time I'm going to offer three documents to be placed into the hearing record or [inaudible 00:05:17] as appeal tribunal exhibits. These documents are being offered to demonstrate the path that the claim has taken up to this point, which in turn shows my authority to hold today's appearing. [ The following is crucial because the hearing officer is taking away my right to have my documentation be part of consideration and instead placing her personal picks into consideration. The hearing officer has at this point already denied me my right to call witnesses by blocking the subpoenas before the hearing.] Stephanie Jackson: The first document that I'm offering is the first page of your packet at the copy of the notice of the termination. I have the document that advised both parties that you were denied unemployment benefits due to the separation. I'm marking that document as appeal tribunal exhibit number one. The second document that I'm offering is pages three, four and five, which is a copy of your appeal... excuse me, three, four, five and six, which is a copy of your to the appeal tribunal in response to the notice of the termination. I'm marking those four pages and offer them as appeal tribunal exhibit number two. Stephanie Jackson: And third is the notice of telephone hearing. That's the two-page document that was sent to you advising you of the date and time of today's hearing as well as the legal issues that we would be discussing. I'm marking that document as appeal tribunal exhibit number three. Are you familiar with those documents, Mr. Purtell? Keith Purtell: [Should have responded: "What about OESC published procedures granting Oklahomans the right to present witnesses and evidence at their hearing?"] Yes, I am. Bear with me, I'm opening the packet now to clarify the span of pages that you're marking as exhibit two. You said that contains the... Pages three, four and five are what again? Stephanie Jackson: I marked pages three through six as your appeal. Keith Purtell: Oh, okay. That's the item that I typed up and... Stephanie Jackson: Yes, sir. Keith Purtell: Okay. And you mentioned also a four or five and six, what was that about? Stephanie Jackson: No, there were only three documents offered as exhibits. Keith Purtell: Okay. I misunderstood the page numbers then. So we're talking about three pages that are essentially something that I typed up. It actually looks in the packet as if page one is duplicated, but I don't know if that's material. Stephanie Jackson: I was just marking those documents to show that you filed an appeal. Keith Purtell: Yes, ma'am. That's fine. Stephanie Jackson: All right. So any objection at the three documents that I've listed being entered into the record? [ At this point, the documents I worked hard to prepare have been cherry picked by the hearing officer. The documents were in full compliance with the OESC's published procedures. ] Keith Purtell: No, ma'am. Stephanie Jackson: All right. Then appeal tribunal exhibits numbers one, two, and three are entered into the record. I do need to get confirmation of your dates of employment with AppleOne Employment Services that show that you were a Collector II, and that your dates of employment were from April 26, 2016 until June 7th, 2016. That information sound correct? Keith Purtell: To the best of my memory, yes it does sound correct. Stephanie Jackson: All right. Keith Purtell: I have no reason to question that accuracy. Stephanie Jackson: All right. At this time, I'm going to just briefly explain the procedures and then I'll allow you to ask your procedural questions. Keith Purtell: Okay. Thank you. Stephanie Jackson: Because the commission found that you quit, the burden of proof is on you to show that you quit for good cause connected with the work. Since the employer is not participating in the hearing today, that means I will be taking your testimony only concerning how you became separated from work. Throughout your testimony and presentation, I'll have questions for you. I will not close the hearing until you had a full opportunity to tell me everything you believe is relevant, yet non-repetitive concerning how you became separated from the job at AppleOne Services. Any questions about those procedures? [ "In a voluntary quit claim, it was the employee who made the decision to resign and separate from the employer, therefore, it is the claimant who has the burden of proof to show there existed 'good cause.' Last year [2010], there were close to 17,000 claims of this nature with claimants being successful only 16 percent of the time.[ 2,720 working Oklahomans were able to stay financially afloat while seeking work, whereas 14,280 went back into the job search without the stability of unemployment insurance.] For instance, a claimant who resigns because of a supervisor's continual verbal abuse that doesn't improve after the claimant reported concerns to the supervisor and up the ladder would likely be allowed benefits for voluntary resignation for good cause." [ And the claimant at the work site due to a fraudulent 'tech job' offer, who provides documentation to the OESC? This type of government logic empowers employers who commit fraud to create havoc in the lives of Oklahoma citizens. ]" -- The Basics of Unemployment by Jessica Sherrill; The Oklahoma Bar Journal; Volume 82 No. 26 October 8, 2011 ] Keith Purtell: That sounds fair. Stephanie Jackson: All right. What are your questions for me, sir? Keith Purtell: Okay. In the packet and there towards the end, I'm looking at... I noticed there's some page numbers on the bottom there. They're not that easy to read. I believe this is pages 26 and 27. The title of that is Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Discharge/Temporary Agency - rc1519 and it's dated 6/21/16. What worries me about this item is that first of all, I hadn't seen it before. Second of all, it looks like a web form, like something that someone went online and filled out and then was saved into the system and printed out for this procedure. And the wording in here, for example, the question- Stephanie Jackson: So what's your question? I can tell you though that this is a form that is filled out routinely by the commission when the claimant has separated from a temporary agency. [ ↖ officer's tone ] Keith Purtell: Right, well- Stephanie Jackson: ... and this purports to be--if I'm looking at it appropriately--appears to be an interview between a representative of the commission and yourself. If you disagree with some of the things that are on this, that you'll have an opportunity to rebut that in your testimony when you're presenting. Keith Purtell: That's the issue. Stephanie Jackson: [ ...begins hinting I should not try to discuss this evidence... ] But anything that's in this packet is true or evidence unless it's offered and entered. So at this point, you don't need to necessarily disagree with what's on here because it's not even part of my consideration yet. The document won't be considered by me until it's been entered into the record. And I'll determine whether or not... unless you offer it, whether or not I think it's relevant to the separation. [ Jackson structured this so that only the documents beneficial to AppleOne/TALX got entered. ] Keith Purtell: Do I at this point then, should I be offering to ask to enter this into evidence? Stephanie Jackson: [ MORE hinting ... ] Well, the decision to offer a document is up to you, but I often counsel parties that it's not necessarily prudent to offer a document just to disagree with it. Unless I brought the document to your attention as something that I have a concern about, then it really isn't at this point in the hearing... especially since I haven't taken any evidence, it isn't really necessary for you to offer a document just so you can say that it's not true because I'm not considering it as evidence at this point. Stephanie Jackson: If I offer it and it gets entered into the record, then you may take the opportunity to disagree with it and tell me with your firsthand testimony why it's not accurate, but right now because it's essentially non-existent and that's the way you have to think about these documents in the file that you have right now. I don't have any information, you know what I'm saying? Keith Purtell: Okay. That makes sense. And I'm glad you went into the detail on that because I did go into this phone call believing that all these documents were in some way or another already in evidence, and now I'm discovering that's not the way it works typically, so. Stephanie Jackson: The way ...that's the way it works, the only documents that are in the record right now are the three that I offered at the beginning, and they're only in the record to show what we call jurisdiction, which means that I have the authority to hold the hearing. So- [ ↖ An open admission that she alone controls documents considered in a hearing. This is crucial for the OESC and AppleOne/TALX. If I subsequently approach the Board of Review, they can ignore documentation and witnesses, just because the hearing officer ignored it. ] [NOTE: Since I first published this account in November 2018, the OESC has quietly changed their wording about citizens presenting documents to the appeals tribunal: BEFORE 2018: "Each side is allowed to present witnesses and documentary evidence in support of his or her case, and to cross-examine the witnesses of the opposing party." AFTER 2018: "Ask that the documents you want to be considered be entered into the record of the hearing." Note the courtroom jargon "entered." The fact that you carefully gathered relevant documents and sent them in to the government is no longer enough; you have to ask a second time to be sure the hearing officer does think you submitted documents for no particular reason. Like, sent them to the government just on a whim.] Keith Purtell: Okay. The only reason I went down that path was that I had a concern that it would be used and that a couple of the items in the content would be harmful to me, but apparently I need to kind of hold off on that thought. Stephanie Jackson: Right. And what was your second concern, sir? Keith Purtell: Bear in mind as you can tell, I'm unfamiliar with these procedures. So I received the notice that this was going to be happening approximately July 23. Between then and the 5th, I was doing a mixture of research and also trying really hard to get an attorney because I feel significantly outgunned by the people at both TALX and AppleOne in terms of resources and et cetera. So when I realized about August 5 that I was not going to get an attorney, at least not in time, I made the last-ditch effort to submit a subpoena for the three witnesses. And as we both know that failed a time cut off on the five days that the staff there needs to process those kinds of things. Considering the fact that I'm already at somewhat of a disadvantage, I would request- Stephanie Jackson: Well, let me interrupt you, sir. Your subpoena request was received in time. That was not the reason that it was denied. Keith Purtell: Oh, really? Stephanie Jackson: The timeliness issue was not the reason that your subpoena request was denied. Keith Purtell: Well, the letter- Stephanie Jackson: Your subpoena was denied- Keith Purtell: Okay, the letter put the date that it was received in bold type. And I thought they were trying to tell me something. [ This is crucial because the hearing officer is taking away my right to call witnesses. The language that she uses does not exist anywhere else in the OESC published procedure. Here is what the OESC published on rights in 2016: "Each side is allowed to present witnesses and documentary evidence in support of his or her case, and to cross-examine the witnesses of the opposing party."] Stephanie Jackson: Now, if you have a copy of the request for the denial, it says your request was denied. The claimant has the burden to provide reasons for quitting and can testify present evidence concerning the circumstances leading to the separation. The paragraph above that were in bold of the five days, that's the standard language that's used in all subpoena request responses. The actual reason for the denial is in that last sentence. [notice the following wording: ] So the time was not the issue, it was the relevance of the witnesses' testimony. [...and with that, the OESC's published policy on allowing witnesses just went out the window] And as you can see in this hearing, the employer has not appeared. So I will be taking your testimony concerning the reasons for the separation. Keith Purtell: Okay. Stephanie Jackson: So the timeliness was not the issue. Keith Purtell: Okay. I didn't understand that. Thank you. Stephanie Jackson: That's okay. And I interrupted you just a moment ago while you were explaining to me your second concern. Please go ahead and finish if there was additional information. Keith Purtell: No, the- Stephanie Jackson: I just wanted to correct you on the time thing. Keith Purtell: No, I now understand what you're telling me about the matter of the subpoenas and the witnesses. And I don't know that it's really in my best interest or even allowed for me to get into some kind of discussion about whether or not they were relevant to this procedure. So I'm going to trust my instincts and go forward from here. And I don't think I really have an option to get into that matter. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. All right. Well, if there's nothing else then feel free to ask questions as we go through, but if there's nothing else then I'm going to go ahead and get started with taking some testimony from you concerning how you became separated from work. Keith Purtell: Okay. Stephanie Jackson: Let me ask you, AppleOne Employment Services that they've been listed as your employer, were you working for AppleOne as a temporary employee? Keith Purtell: Yes. And their client was a company called [financial services company]. So the day-to-day work duties were [financial services company]'s requirement. AppleOne arranged for my presence there at the [financial services company] site as a part of their services to that ultimate employer. But I got my paychecks from AppleOne. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. So it sounds like you were assigned to [financial services company]. Were you auditioning for a permanent position at [financial services company]? Keith Purtell: Was I doing what for a position at [financial services company]? Stephanie Jackson: When an employee is working for a temporary help firm, typically they're working there temporarily or they're auditioning to get on with the client company permanently. And I'm asking you whether or not you were auditioning for a permanent position or were you filling a labor shortage or what were you told when you were assigned to [financial services company]? Keith Purtell: Well, the word "auditioning" never came up. That's why I sort of stumbled when I first heard it. What I was told was that the [financial services company]'s growing, they're adding people and AppleOne is one of several temp agencies trying to fulfill that need and that if I did really well at [financial services company], there was a possibility somewhere down the line no sooner than 90 days that depending on performance that I would have an opportunity to become a full-time [financial services company] employee at which time I assume that there's a sort of handoff between the temporary agency. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. All right. And so what happened that you became separated... Well, and you became separated from [financial services company]? Keith Purtell: That's correct. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Tell me what happened. Keith Purtell: Okay, I'll give you the short version and if you feel like you need detail, just... A series of things happened starting in AppleOne when I first met with them physically and they persuaded me to take this job, I spoke to a Mr. Keeney... His name shows up somewhere in these documents with AppleOne. And I expressed some doubts about taking on a financial-type job because I have no background on that. He persuaded me that the job market in Tulsa is so bad that I should probably consider their offer. Keith Purtell: In the training process, they offer a sort of orientation and training that lasts, if I remember right, roughly a week. I was noticing that on the exams that they would give us periodically during the training that I was generating very erratic results. And on the final exam, each one of the exams on the [financial services company] computer system, when you first launch it, it has a screen that says that in order to pass you must score at least an 80%. And the final exam was one of two or three, if I remember correctly, where my score was a 60. Keith Purtell: And I remember thinking, well, that's not a surprise considering how I'm working to absorb this training material. But for whatever reason, they went ahead and sent me up the line to what they call a nesting stage, which is on the so-called floor where all the other employees are located and listening to other employees talk to real customers and things of that nature and beginning to take some real phone calls from customers. The germane thing in this stage was that we had a whiteboard, the manager there was a man named Terry Ollar who maintain a whiteboard that everyone could see showing the ranking of how everyone was doing. Keith Purtell: And I kept noticing that despite my efforts, I was consistently on the bottom of that ranking, which was another red flag in my mind that I might be in the wrong place doing the wrong thing. And I don't have any history of that kind of difficulty with a job. So psychologically to suddenly be the guy who's at the bottom instead of at the top was a pretty negative thing. Keith Purtell: And then later on, for reasons I still don't understand they sent me... Once you go through the nesting stage, they send you to an actual department. For whatever reason, they sent me to advanced stage collections, which is the last step before a [financial services company] customer is sent to the... what they call the repo division. So it was in a fairly advanced department and working for Mr. Derrick Shaw and same situation with... despite the roughly month that I was around the Capitol one premise that I'm unable to distinguish myself in any way and meet the requirements that they had, they record not only obviously general behavior, like demeanor with clients and co-workers, but also... They refer to this as a loss mitigation process and they're counting dollars and cents and how much money is saved for [financial services company] and again, consistently unable to meet their requirements in that area. Keith Purtell: And I've been asked before, was there an incident that... I don't really think of it that way because there was a mounting level of realization on my part that I was headed towards a category that AppleOne and [financial services company] refers to as "not a good fit". And that's a place you don't want to get because that's when they have security guards escort you from the building. And I determined I was not going to let that happen. So one day that would've been the day before I sent the resignation email, Mr. Shaw had a little conference with me and told me that he was needing to send me back to repeat some of the training. And that got me to thinking about the whole situation, how it was going and where it was headed. And that's what prompted me to send the email resigning from the job at [financial services company]. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Now, prior to Mr. Shaw letting you know that you going to have to go back for some additional training, had you've been given any type of indication that from management that your performance wasn't acceptable. Keith Purtell: Only the public... because both Mr. Ollar and Mr. Shaw also as was the custom there would publish these... They have these large whiteboards that were in the physical center of each department. So that was where I was seeing them place me at the bottom. If you're asking about some type of notice or reprimand- Stephanie Jackson: Yes, sir. Keith Purtell: ... no, I did not get a notice or a reprimand. It was just watching everyone else do a good job and me being the one that was not doing a good job and knowing that that was eventually going to lead to what I call the walk of shame with the security guards, and I was not going to do that. Stephanie Jackson: Had anyone in management told you that your job was in jeopardy other than what you saw on the whiteboard, what you put together from what you saw on the whiteboard? Keith Purtell: I'll say, I'll call them admonitions from management about jobs falling through were not directed to me, but were directed at the entire groups that I was in where we were told that that the whole reason for our being there was to fulfill the employer's requirements and that if a person was consistently unable to meet the employer's requirements, that they would not be able to stay with the company. But no one ever... That was for all of us just so that everybody understood that... I was never singled out other than on the whiteboards. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. And when you said you were assigned to [financial services company] by AppleOne, did you have access to management or someone in charge at AppleOne to tell them what was going... Well, did you have any access to someone at AppleOne? Keith Purtell: Well, I had phone numbers and email addresses, but the dynamic between the temps, including myself and, for example, AppleOne was that the only time that I would hear from the onsite manager for AppleOne... There's a young woman named [B.M.] who was AppleOne's onsite manager at [financial services company]. And my only interactions with her were if I was late delivering a timecard or if there was some type of change in procedure and turning in documentation regarding our hours. Keith Purtell: So it was a very cut and dry type of accounting for hours and she may have sent out at times an email to all of us with some note about wearing proper clothing at the office or something like that. But it wasn't a type of thing where she was a den mom and that we were ever thinking about consulting with her on something that wasn't strictly a matter of a daily business. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. And was there anyone at either AppleOne or [financial services company] that you could've gone to speak to about your concern? Keith Purtell: You mean a management type person? [ Why would I go to the AppleOne scammers for help? ] Stephanie Jackson: Yes, sir. Keith Purtell: Not that I know of. I occasionally would speak to my co-workers, just that one-to-one talk where I would tell them this is really troubling me. And I'm not sure how this is going to end up, but I don't remember hearing or seeing any information distributed to the folks there that said, if you've got this type of an issue, this type of person can be reached at such and such contact information. So I guess the answer is no. Stephanie Jackson: What about Mr. Shaw? You said that he was the one that was, I guess, responsible or letting you know that you were going to have to go back and do some additional training. Would he had been a resource or someone you could have gone to with your concerns about your job security?. Keith Purtell: I'm honestly uncertain about that. He had just been promoted to that job and in fact we started working in advanced stage collections and for at least two days he wasn't there because he was completing some, I want to say vacation time that he had earned. So he came in and I interacted with him for several days. Ma'am, I don't know if he would have heard that out or simply said to me, no, you're going to have to go talk to someone else. I'm at a lack of information on what would have happened there. We did have physical access to him. He sat within I'd say perhaps 20 feet of where I sat and so obviously he was physically available, but procedurally, I just don't know. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Did AppleOne give you any type of information on what you could do or what your options were if you were unhappy at [financial services company]? Keith Purtell: To my knowledge, no. And the reason I say to my knowledge is that when I first showed up at AppleOne's offices... I believe would have been around March 16 or 17, down on 41st Street, when I came in, a young woman that was at the desk, I identified myself and she said, "Well, we've got some outstanding documents we need you to sign before you can go in and meet Mr. Keeney." And I basically plowed through those and signed them. I asked him once I got into the meeting... because I'd just signed some things and I didn't know what they were, and I asked him, "Are those documents that I just handled, are those something that I can get a copy of?" And his response to me was, "I don't think so." Keith Purtell: So if there was something in there that was meant to inform me of what you just asked about then I never would have read it. I never did read it because I was in a rush to sign them, to turn them in and to go meet with Mr. Keeney. And as I mentioned when I asked about getting copies, he indicated that he didn't think that that was possible. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. And who was it that you were dealing with, his name? Keith Purtell: His name is Michael Keeney, K-E-E-N-E-Y. Of the three people that I know of down at the AppleOne office on 41st Street, I've had one or two conversations with him including the one I just mentioned, two or three with [B.M.], who I've previously mentioned, and I believe the young woman that met me at the door is someone who showed up later in some email exchanges named Taryn, T-A-R-Y-N, Mason. So those are the only three names that I'm familiar with down there. Stephanie Jackson: Now, looking at page seven and eight of the packet, is this document your resignation? Keith Purtell: Yeah. Let me double-check it real quick, but it's got the correct date, it's got the correct addressees; Derrick, that's Mr. Shaw, and then Brooke and Taryn. I don't know why it didn't have Michael in there, Mike Keeney. And then it goes on at the last paragraph to mention how they can reach me, etc. So I'll say yes. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. And you drafted this document and then sent it to the above individuals listed in the... Keith Purtell: Yeah, I was at the library doing more job search stuff and I drafted a letter and I looked over it and then went ahead and emailed it to Derrick Shaw at [financial services company], and then [B.M.] and Taryn Mason at AppleOne. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. I'm going to mark pages seven and eight as employee... or excuse me, appeal tribunal exhibit number four. Do you have any objection to this document being placed into the hearing record? Keith Purtell: No, that seems fine. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. So page pages seven and eight will be marked and entered as appeal tribunal exhibit number four. You mentioned, Mr, Purtell, that you weren't ever completely comfortable with the job because of some issues in the training. I think that's what I think you were getting at. [ "Some issues with training"? That's not what we were just talking about. We just discussed the fraudulent job offer. ] Keith Purtell: That's fair. I'd say that's accurate. Yes. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. So you said you were getting erratic results in your exam and it had scored below satisfactory on a few. If you were having that type of difficulty through the training, why were you allowed to progress to the nesting stage as you refer to it? Keith Purtell: I did not know. And I didn't go and ask the man doing the training, Charles Zweifel which gets back to my thoughts also in my original conversation with AppleOne about whether or not I should take this type of work. Frankly, at that time when this all started in March, I had been looking for... December, January, February, three months, and was really surprised and really alarmed as well at how long it was taking. So I think it's fair and honest to say that the emotion of fear of serious financial problems was a factor in how I was thinking about these things. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. So are you saying you didn't approach anyone during the training process about your concerns? Keith Purtell: The way I addressed the concerns about my performance was to try and be proactive and ask lots of questions and I would go home and get online and try to look up informational materials about calculating interest and a lot of the things that they're required to do at Capitol One. Bear in mind, that the for that department are [financial services company] customers, who have borrowed money to purchase a vehicle and then they're behind on the payments. So a lot of these details about how simple interest loans work and things like that. I was taking my own initiative to try and get better, but I was not going to someone like Mr. Zweifel who I was wanting to make a good impression on and saying, "Hey, I'm looking at these scores that are all over the place and I'm worried." I never had that type of conversation with him. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Did you ask for additional training during any time of your employment? Keith Purtell: No. In fact, when they decided to go ahead and send me on up after scoring an unacceptable grade on the final, I sort of had a feeling of, well, I'm in this class of people that's all going forward and I'm a part of the group and I'll just go with them and trying to adopt a more optimistic attitude about how things might go once I got up on the floor. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. But once you go on the floor, did you ask for additional training before Mr. Shaw let you know that he was sending you back for additional training? Keith Purtell: No, the first stage on the floor was the so-called nesting stage, and once again, I was talking to co-workers. I was asking them for advice... not only people that I'd gone through training with, but there were other people I identified on the floor. There was another guy named Keith, I can't remember his last name, who was friendly. And if there was something that I didn't feel like I understood, I would go and he was always willing to answer my questions. And that's how I was dealing with the confidence problems was trying to be trying to be... I keep using the word proactive and not being... I'll say I had a concern with becoming an employee, who appeared to need some kind of handholding from management and I really was averse to that. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. I don't think I have any additional questions for you, Mr. Purtell. Is there anything else that you need to tell me about how you became separated from work that you have not already told me? Keith Purtell: I have a short section here in my notes that kind of is based out of the legal requirements of the State of Oklahoma that I believe are germane. I can just read what's written here and let you handle this as needed. Stephanie Jackson: Is it Section 2-404 on the Act? Keith Purtell: No, but it says in the last sentence that there's three bullet points here and that at times I am referencing 404 and 408, both. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Well, 408 is not before me. If you look at your hearing notice, the only statutes that I can consider are 406 and 404. 408 has to do with being you are a different area of unemployment, which is when an offer of work is made to someone and after they become separated from another job. So that's not really before me today, 404, since you resigned is really going to be the key Section. Keith Purtell: Okay. In that case, may I go through my bullet points and see which one of these I may need to just simply delete that may refer to 408? Stephanie Jackson: Well, I'm not certain what you mean. I can tell you, sir, that I'm very, very familiar with Section 404, so if you're making what I would consider an argument as to why you should be successful under 404, then you're welcome to do so. But if you're just reading a statute to me, then it's unnecessary. Keith Purtell: No, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that. I have no intention of reading the law to you. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Go ahead, then. With respect to what you want to reference in 404 and exclude 408, you can go ahead. Keith Purtell: Okay, well bear with me. I'm going to check the... Okay, here's three sentences that introduced these three bullet items. What I'm trying to do here is show that the average person in the same situation would have quit this job in the collections department and the items... I may end up deleting one of these here. I hope to show that I had good cause for the voluntary quit and... Okay. Let me check the first one and look back at my printout of 404 and 408. Let's see. Number two... Okay. I think I'm all right here. And I'm sure that you'll let me know if there's a problem with my language and one of these three items may in fact get stricken, I'll just live with it. Keith Purtell: Item number one, on March 8, when the AppleOne first contacted me with what they called a tech job in Owasso... bear in mind, I'm a tech worker, that's what I've being in for years, that's what caused me to go down and sign up with them. I didn't find out until the conversation with Mr. Keeney that was not the case. I feel like that was misleading. Item two. Well, item two, again, referring to the conversation with Mr. Keeney on, I believe the 17, well, I'll just say this. He made the statement to me that despite not having any connection to my education, experience or ability, that he thought this was a good idea. I don't know if that's more in 408 than 404. Keith Purtell: And finally that this process of placing me in a situation where it was unlikely that I would meet [financial services company]'s expectations, and in fact, that became the issue that created a working condition that was, for me, really extremely an unusually difficult. I believe the legal language is an unusually difficult working condition. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. [notice following wording] What is your background in, Mr. Purtell, that you were lured into AppleOne thinking that this was a techno job and it would be- [ ↖ officer's language makes light of what it feels like to be targeted in a scam. ] Keith Purtell: You mean my professional background? Stephanie Jackson: Yes sir. Keith Purtell: Okay. Well, back in the '80s, I first studied... Well, I studied computer science at Tulsa Community College. I didn't fulfill a degree, but I did get credits in the system for my transcript. Eventually, I decided in my late 20s, I needed to go to college if I really expected to get anywhere. At the time, the internet didn't exist. And the jobs I was seeing listed in the newspaper were either hardware jobs, people that do cabling and networking and things like that, which I had no interest in or a big market for COBOL programmers. And I'd taken a COBOL class at TCC, I didn't want to do that eight hours a day, so I opted for journalism. I got a degree in journalism from University of Central Oklahoma in '91. Keith Purtell: That didn't go well at all, so once I lived in Kansas city, I began to teach myself web development. And for about five and a half, six years, worked for a medical software company called VantageMed, a very good job in all ways where I was in charge of building and maintaining the company's internal website, what they call the intranet and also installed and managed their email server. We had about 200 employees, so for me, it was a big deal. Stephanie Jackson: So essentially, IT- Keith Purtell: IT, yes. And then a second IT job when I moved back to Tulsa for a company that's a digital media publisher that was four years, and when they downsized, that's what got me into the job market. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. That's the information that I wanted to know. But you did understand before you accepted the job at AppleOne that it was the type of job that it was, you understood that it was collection. [ The hearing officer had seen my documentation and knew AppleOne signed me up BEFORE admitting the original pitch was false! I can only assume she is slipping this in so that it becomes an official record. Remember that the "Board of Review" generally only reads the hearing transcript before making a decision. ] [Note the hearing officer's heavy assertion of the terms "accepted" and "understood." As the only person in the hearing who represents the AppleOne scammers, Stephanie Jackson is trying to imply that I agreed to be tricked, and so I deserve to suffer. Here is the definition of that word: "Agreement is the meeting of minds or a mutual understanding between two or more persons about their reciprocal rights and duties regarding past or future performances." —uslegal.com From the beginning of my appeal, I emphasized the fraudulent AppleOne "tech job" offer and the elevated risk of losing my entire financial safety net while sitting in the AppleOne offices, realizing they had conned me. So, that puts the hearing officer in the position of needing to present a counter-narrative in order to help AppleOne. And, here in real time is that counter-narrative: that the working Oklahoman agreed to be ripped off. It's relatively easy for an Appeal Tribunal hearing officer to be this sneaky, because many claimants—like me—have been conditioned to believe that the hearing officer is a neutral party and will ultimately do the right thing for honest workers.] Keith Purtell: I understood after I signed the documents that I haven't seen and got into a conversation with Mr. Keeney that we were actually talking not about... The emails I got from Taryn were talking about, "We'd like to offer you a tech job in Owasso." And then when I finally sat down with Mr. Keeney, his comment was, "Well, we don't actually have any tech jobs, but let me tell you what we would like to offer you." Keeney did not use the word "offer"; he said AppleOne was sending me to handle collections in a financial services company. In my anxiousness to prevent the hearing officer from burying the fraudulent nature of the AppleOne job offer, I impulsively pushed out a rough approximation of what Keeney said. If you ever find yourself in an OESC (Appellate Tribunal) hearing, don't let them fluster you, and don't quote anyone unless you have in your hands an accurate version of what the quoted person said. Stephanie Jackson: [...getting ready to ignore what happens to Oklahomans who are under threat of being stripped of their entire financial safety net...] Okay. And then after he gave you that information, you accepted it knowing what it was. Keith Purtell: Yes. [ "Accepted" is not the word. Arguing with my new bosses at AppleOne would have risked my entire financial safety net, in accordance with OESC's own policies. The hearing officer has a comfortable state job that spares her this level of risk. Chief Hearing Officer Jackson deals with people surviving on unemployment insurance on a daily basis. She knows about the precarious nature of their financial situation.] Stephanie Jackson: All right. I don't think I have any additional questions for you, sir. Is there anything else you'd like to add? Keith Purtell: No, I think we've gone over everything that I could think of in significant detail. Stephanie Jackson: Okay. Then I'm going to close the hearing records. I'd like to thank you for appearing here today. You'll be receiving a copy of my decision in the next few days. If either side is dissatisfied with the decision, either side can appeal to the board of review within 10 days from the date my decision is mailed. Appeal rights will be described in greater detail in the text of the decision below my signature. I'm advising you of those rights because you're entitled to know them, not because there's an indication of how I'm going to decide your case. Do you have any questions before we adjourn? Keith Purtell: No, I think we covered all that we possibly could. [ Absurdly polite. OESC (Appellate Tribunal) blocked evidence and blocked witnesses without reason. The hearing officer is NOT neutral. ] Stephanie Jackson: All right. Thank you for appearing here today, Mr. Purtell, and we're adjourned. Keith Purtell: Thank you for your patience, ma'am. Bye-bye. Stephanie Jackson: Thank you, bye. (silence). [ Just as AppleOne had hoped, the Appeal Tribunal hearing officer ruled in favor of the Owasso Tech Job scam. If this result is what a person gets for being respectful and professional, then are we left to believe that the correct tone for a claimant to bring to a hearing is one of beligerence? Is that what it takes for the Appeal Tribunal to respect the rights of Oklahoma citizens? Prepare extensively for your hearing and be ready for the event as if you are a pit bull protecting its pups. ] OESC media release about hearings EXCERPT: "The Oklahoma Employment Security Act provides for a fair and impartial hearing to all parties affected by Commission Determinations as required by the Social Security Act. The decision-making process of the Appeal Tribunal and its Hearing Officers is completely independent of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and its departments. All stages of the Appeal Tribunal appeal process is governed by the cannons of The Model Code of Judicial Conduct for State Unemployment Insurance Appeals Officers, established by the National Association of Unemployment Insurance Appellate boards. OAC 240:10-13-9." For anyone interested in the organization that supposedly extends ethical guidance to the OESC or its Appeal Tribunal, click here to contact them [National Association of Unemployment Insurance Appeals Professionals, formerly the National Association of Unemployment Insurance Appellate boards]. (new tab/window) Also the "model code" these folks ignore... (PDF new tab/window) MAIN ARTICLE:
"Owasso Tech Job"