This dedicated Webpage is TO ALL OF MY MANY FELLOW TEAM MEMBERS AT MYSTIC LAKE CASINO and also to those many CASINO GUESTS I've met over the past TWELVE YEARS as well as to my MANY FRIENDS and ACQUAINTANCES who have wondered ''What happened to you ?" and why I haven't 'been at work' in quite some time. Hopefully, this 'eye-opening' Webpage will 'clear up' some misconceptions and misunderstandings and suppress any rumors that fellow Team Members (and others) may have heard.
I 'found out the hard way' that there's NOTHING that turns a 'DREAM JOB' at MYSTIC LAKE CASINO into a 'NIGHTMARE' faster than being injured at work and then filing a Worker's Compensation Claim (which I was INSTRUCTED TO DO by MYSTIC LAKE CASINO staff). Hmmmm; was I being 'set up' ?
On April 4th (2018) at about 11:15PM, I was involved in an incident at work at MYSTIC LAKE CASINO that resulted in my ending up in the St. Francis Medical Center Emergency Room that evening for over two hours. Even though I was diagnosed with a brain concussion as well as other injuries before I was discharged from St. Francis, I still returned to work the next day.
That's dedication !!
Uncomfortable as it was, I 'toughed it out' for a couple of months until the pain from these injuries became too unbearable for me to be able to go to work and do my job safely and effectively. I sought out further medical diagnosis and treatment.
After an examination during an appointment this past July with a Specialty & Rehabilitative Services doctor at Park-Nicollet Clinic in St. Louis Park, the doctor treating me placed certain 'work restrictions' on me because of the injuries that I sustained when I slipped, and subsequently fell; on untreated ice in the MYSTIC LAKE CASINO Team Member parking lot after work on April 4th. The Park-Nicollet Speciality & Rehabilitative Services doctor also arranged for me to be seen at their Concussion Clinic because of the constant headaches and continuous 'ringing' in my ears that I began experiencing after the April 4th incident. She also arranged for me to begin Physical Therapy sessions to address the issues that I was having with the re-injury to three herniated disks affecting my lower back and right leg, as a result of my slipping and falling because of the untreated ice in the Team Member parking lot.
Once they were notified of the 'work restrictions' imposed on me by the Park-Nicollet Speciality & Rehabilitative Services doctor who was treating me for the concussion and other injuries that I sustained during the April 4th incident, MYSTIC LAKE CASINO told me that I would not be allowed to work. (For those of you that are 'keeping track', the last day I worked was July 5th.)
Also, for those of you who are curious (but too polite to ask), "YES"; I'm still considered a Team Member. I still have my badge, uniform, etc., but I ALSO have been placed on a 'Medical Leave of Absence', by the 'Human Resources' Department of MYSTIC LAKE CASINO, as a direct result of the events described above.
And, "NO"; I'm NOT BEING PAID !!
Even though the 'staff' of my employer, MYSTIC LAKE CASINO, CLEARLY TOLD ME to file a Workers' Compensation Claim and TOLD me that ALL of my medical expenses and any lost wages would be 'covered' by Workers' Compensation, THAT CLEARLY HASN'T HAPPENED !!
MYSTIC LAKE CASINO is NOT paying me; I've 'lost' OVER $4,600.00 in wages as of December 4, 2018 because of my not being allowed to work; a DIRECT RESULT of the injuries I sustained while walking to my car after work and slipping, then falling to the ground, on untreated ice in THEIR Team Member parking lot !
It is important for anyone reading this Webpage to know that, because of their 'Sovereign Nation' status, MYSTIC LAKE CASINO is pretty much NOT REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH ANY STATE OR FEDERAL WORKERS' COMPENSATION (and many other state and federal) LAWS !! That's why guests CAN 'smoke' inside of MYSTIC LAKE & LITTLE SIX CASINOS but patrons CAN'T 'light up' in other restaurants, hotels, bars, public buildings, some parks, etc. (not located on Indian Reservation property) in Minnesota and in many other, if not all, states.
MYSTIC LAKE CASINO 'shirking' their MORAL, ETHICAL, LEGAL and FINANCIAL OBLIGATION and RESPONSIBILITY in this matter of my being injured, WHILE ON DUTY, POSSIBLY PERMANENTLY, and how 'casually' this issue is being dealt with by MYSTIC LAKE CASINO, is despicable, disgusting and makes NO SENSE to me, or to anyone that I've talked to, either.
This very poorly handled 'fiasco' has been intentionally 'dragged out', by MYSTIC LAKE CASINO, for OVER SEVEN MONTHS !!! It's quite evident to me that MYSTIC LAKE CASINO is hoping that I'll simply just 'give up and quit' and the whole matter will be 'dropped'. That's pretty much what other Team Members have done all along; "The end does not justify the means", it gets to be 'too much of a hassle'.
My current and future health and well-being, coupled with what's now happened to me in the past, are much too important to me than to do that. I'm employing my talents and experience as a Webmaster, along with making pertinent documents, publicly available, to 'tell my story'.
Just because some of the 'higher ups' associated with MYSTIC LAKE CASINO's 'Human Resources' and 'Workers' Compensation' Departments don't have any 'principles', that doesn't mean that I don't have any. Just ask anyone who knows me or has worked with me !!
It is worth specifically noting that the Director and Operations Manager, of the MYSTIC LAKE CASINO Security Department have both been very understanding about my 'situation' because of the 'casino bureaucracy' involved and what I've consequently been unfairly forced to endure. They both have been overwhelmingly supportive of me throughout all of what's taken place for the past SEVEN MONTHS. I hope that their support never waivers.
I believe that I have made it crystal clear that I have NO ISSUE with either the Director or Operations Manager, or the MYSTIC LAKE CASINO Security Department as a whole, for that matter; except for Security Shift Manager Sue Pursell who rudely told me (in front of other Team Members) that I am a 'hostile person'. After providing TWELVE YEARS of 'Good Will' and outstanding Guest Service on behalf of my employer, I take serious offense to that !!
But, as many other fellow Team Members don't have any respect for her either, I just 'considered the source'.
Pursell was also heard to say, in front of other Team Members, "I revel in other people's misery. I love it when other people are miserable." And that's from a MYSTIC LAKE CASINO SECURITY SHIFT MANAGER !! Lovely.
With that type of 'attitude' from a SECURITY SHIFT MANAGER, it's NO WONDER that I've seen somewhere around 700-800 Security Officers 'come and go' through the 'Revolving Door Of Mystic Lake' in the twelve years that I've worked at MYSTIC LAKE CASINO !!! (Anybody with 'conflicting' numbers, please contact me at email@example.com.)
Speaking of other Team Members, I would be remiss if I didn't specifically call attention to those dedicated, polite, and knowledgeable medical professionals at the MYSTIC CLINIC whom I met several times from April 5th until September 26th. With the exception of one of their 'Physician Assistants' who was rude, demeaning, verbally aggressive toward me and has 'a long ways to go' in developing his 'people skills' and 'bedside manner', all of my 'interactions' with the rest of the MYSTIC CLINIC staff were pleasant, reassuring and instilled confidence in me.
On the other hand, it was easy for me to immediately 'sense' the apparent disdain, by MYSTIC CLINIC staff, for the Physician's Assistant that I dealt with initially. When I found out that I could 'transfer' my 'case' over to a WONDERFUL and PROFESSIONAL CERTIFIED NURSE PRACTITIONER named Christine, at MYSTIC CLINIC, I immediately did that, but; we STILL experienced 'outside interference'; if you know what I mean.
Also, I'd like to 'tip my hat' to the GREAT TEAM MEMBERS at MYSTIC LAKE CASINO responsible for filling/emptying the ATM's and their related duties. My shift was regularly from 2:30PM to 11:00PM and ALL of them that I worked with were dedicated, caring, polite individuals whom I thoroughly enjoyed working with, and who represented the Gaming Enterprise admirably !!
Other MYSTIC LAKE CASINO Team Members that deserve recognition and whom I found to be a 'joy' to work with the fine folks in Bingo (and 'Bingo Prep'), the Black Jack 'Pit Bosses' responsible for 'double checking' the accuracy of chips delivered to the Black Jack tables by me and my fellow Security Officers, the Valet & Coat Check Team Members, the Engineering Team Members that keep the mechanical systems operating properly, the Environmental Services Team Members that keep the entire property neat and spotless, the Team Members responsible for the operation of the audio programming and video effects and presentations that you (obviously or subtly) see and hear, the Food and Beverage Team Members that ensure a fantastic dining experience for out guests, and the entire Staff at 'Mystic Express' that tirelessly prepare the delicious food to feed hundreds (maybe thousands) of us Team Members every day in 'our own, private restaurant'.
Then, there's the MYSTIC LAKE CASINO/HOTEL Team Members responsible for ensuring that the 700+ luxury hotel rooms and suites are immaculate when our guests arrive and their wants and needs are met during their 'stay' with us. Oh; and there's the great Casino Shift Managers that I knew, respected and worked with !!
I'm sure there are departments and MYSTIC LAKE CASINO Team Members that I've failed to recognize; I apologize for that !! This Webpage, MYSTIQUE OF MYSTIC, is a testament to those thousands of employees who continually strive to do their best, as I did, to continue to make MYSTIC LAKE CASINO one of the 'premiere attractions' in the Upper Midwest and part of the "RIVER SOUTH" marketing campaign; which includes the Shakopee/Prior Lake area attractions of CANTERBURY PARK, VALLEY FAIR, the RENNAISANCE FESTIVAL and, of course; MYSTIC LAKE CASINO/HOTEL.
Do these 'venues', and other businesses in Scott County, treat their employees in a similar fashion to how MYSTIC LAKE CASINO 'treats' it's Team Members ??
GOD; I HOPE NOT !!
MYSTIC LAKE CASINO/HOTEL is Scott County's largest employer; employing about 4,000 non-union
employees. THAT SHOULD (and COULD) CHANGE for their benefit, 'protection' and the 'security' of their job. Without those thousands and thousands of dedicated employees, Department Managers included, the 'Gaming Enterprise' would NOT be enjoying the huge financial success that it is today; nor would the members of the SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY be receiving the TENS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS EACH MONTH that they each currently receive.
So with 'everything' that MYSTIC LAKE CASINO 'has going for it' as a result of it's dedicated, qualified hard working Team Members, WHY does the 'Casino Administration' of the SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY GAMING ENTERPRISE allow it's Human Resources & Worker's Compensation Departments continue to 'screw over' those sincere, dedicated, long term employees ?? (In this instance; me.)
Such a lack of swift, immediate, proper and appropriate action on the part of the Gaming Enterprise, will only serve to embarrass the ENTIRE TRIBE even further !! The Members of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community are 'good people'; they don't deserve this type of embarassment caused by any of the people that they employ; be they Administrators, Executives or us very valuable Team Members !!
LOOK: Each of MYSTIC LAKE CASINO's past, present and future Team Members are each given a 'Team Member Identification Number' (called a 'badge number') when we begin our employment. (Previously used Team Member Identification Numbers are not 're-issued' to new Team Members.) My 'badge number' is just slightly over 34,000; current badges now being issued to new Team Members are in the 46,000 'series'. Subtracting the current 4,000 employees from the 46,000 badge numbers issued; well that tells everyone that the MYSTIC LAKE GAMING ENTERPRISE has had about 42,000 Team Members 'come and go' since they opened it's doors. (If anyone wants to 'dispute' my numbers', please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Anybody, besides me, think that high of an 'Employee Turnover Rate' is excessive ?? Does it 'indicate a 'problem' at MYSTIC LAKE CASINO with their recruiting, let alone 'retaining', employees? WHY ??
That, plus how MYSTIC LAKE CASINO is handling with my being 'injured on the job' and the consequences that I'm enduring, send up a whole bunch of 'red flags' and is sounding a lot of 'alarm bells' to me; it should do the same for YOU; anyone else, for that matter.
The latest correspondence that I've received from MYSTIC LAKE CASINO is from someone named 'Gary M. Swanson', who identifies himself as the SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON COMMUNITY WORKERS' COMPENSATION HEARING EXAMINER (Whatever happened to 'impartiality' ?) and indicates, at least to me, that MYSTIC LAKE CASINO intends to continue to 'prolong' this matter; POSSIBLY UNTIL AS LONG AS UNTIL MARCH 2019 !!
That 'correspondence' from the SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON COMMUNITY GAMING ENTERPRISE's HEARING EXAMINER stated, in part, "I want to schedule this hearing within the next few months. In order to accommodate everyone's schedule. I request that you and Ms. McAlister provide me with any dates in the months of December, January or February in which you and her are unavailable to attend the hearing."
WHAT A 'CIRCUS' ALL OF THIS IS TURNING OUT TO BE !!!
Apparently MYSTIC LAKE CASINO 'management' has never heard the 'mantra'; "Justice Delayed, Is Justice Denied !"
To further compound the very poor manner in whch this entire matter has been dealt with by MYSTIC LAKE CASINO, 'Benefits Specialist' Tyanne Riegle sent me a letter TELLING me; "If you are unable to return to work on December 25, 2018, SMSC will consider you have voluntarily resigned."
WHEN DONKEYS FLY !! (I'm all too familiar with her; she's still pissed because I succeeded in 'blocking' her vindictive efforts to have me disqualified for receiving Unemployment Compensation benefits when I originally injured my back in February 2017.) Now she's seeking revenge !! WATCH OUT FOR HER; SHE'S "TWO-FACED" !! She's also incorrect !!
MYSTIC LAKE CASINO has a MORAL, ETHICAL, LEGAL and FINANCIAL OBLIGATION and RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that Team Members (as well as guests) will encounter a safe environment that is free from hazards, of any kind, that have the potential to cause injury to them.
When such injuries occur, the SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON GAMING ENTERPRISE MUST UNCONDITIONALLY ACCEPT their MORAL, ETHICAL, LEGAL and FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS and RESPONSIBILITY to swiftly resolve those issues when they arise.
In my case, alone; the SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY'S GAMING ENTERPRISE is abusing their ‘Sovereign Nation' status as a defense to EXCULPATE its MORAL, ETHICAL, LEGAL and FINANCIAL OBLIGATION and RESPONSIBITY by claiming that the GAMING ENTERPRISE doesn't have to abide by the 'white man's rules' or possess any type of dignity, integrity or 'common sense' !!
WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE is MYSTIC LAKE CASINO, by it's acts in this case alone, sending to it's approximately 4,000 OTHER, DEDICATED TEAM MEMBERS ?? It's my 'bet' that an overwhelming majority of MYSTIC LAKE CASINO Team Members have NO IDEA how 'skewed' (in the COMPANY's favor), MYSTIC LAKE CASINO's WORKER'S COMPENSATION POLICY REALLY is !!!!
I've been 'HUNG OUT TO DRY'; ALONE. If it can happen to me, it can happen to any of MYSTIC LAKE CASINO's OTHER 4,000 TEAM MEMBERS. (And PROBABLY ALREADY HAS in many cases.)
And, WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE is MYSTIC LAKE CASINO sending to the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF IT'S GUESTS who spend HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF THEIR DOLLARS because of the IRRESPONSIBLE MANNER in which MYSTIC LAKE CASINO deals with IT'S OWN EMPLOYEES, specifically a VERY DEDICATED, 75 YER OLD, LONG TERM EMPLOYEE who, through NO FAULT OF HIS OWN, was injured, while on the job, due to the NEGLIGENCE of MYSTIC LAKE CASINO ??
As everyone can imagine, I've amassed a considerable amount of documents
and other information since this whole 'mess' began last April; as well as since
August 10, 2006 when I began my employment at MYSTIC LAKE CASINO.
I've even sent letters (please check back later to see them) to the President and
CEO of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Gaming Enterprise,
Angela Heikes, as well as the Tribal Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Charlie Vig, alerting both of them of what is taking place.
I'm truly 'befuddled' by the fact that neither one of them had the courtesy to respond to my well-intentioned letters that I sent to them; letters from a 'model employee' who has dedicated the last twelve years of his life to his employer, advising them what was taking place within their company.
I have personally met Ms. Heikes (I found her to be a very charming person) and have had several many 'casual', meaningful conversations with her regarding some of the mutual concerns that we shared. (Compliance with the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES Act, for example). I have never met Mr. Vig.
Surprisingly, it appears to me that apparently neither one of them really cares about what is taking place against some of their thousands of dedicated and long time employees, inside the walls of their mammoth, multi-million dollar Gaming Enterprise.
There is NO DOUBT in my mind what-so-ever that if Ms. Heikes or Mr. Vig REALLY KNEW what was ACTUALLY TAKING PLACE, in this matter alone, (and they WILL find out), they would INSTANTLY 'intervene' and initiate action to HALT IT IMMEDIATELY !!
ANY 'officer' of ANY multi-million dollar 'company' would be COMPELLED to act similarly.
MYSTIC LAKE CASINO's Human Resources and Worker's Compensation Departments need a 'Serious Housecleaning' . Their actions in this matter are DEPLOREABLE and there will be allot of 'red faces' once everything 'comes out' about what has (and hasn't) taken place !! (Remember: I worked there for TWELVE YEARS !!) STAY TUNED !!
Sadly; it is very evident to me that all of the TRUE FACTS are being 'WITHHELD' from Ms. Heikes and Mr. Vig, their Human Resources and Worker's Compensation Department employees AND Supervisors !! But soon; they, and other visitors to this Webpage, will be able to read about what is really taking place inside of Minnesota's LARGEST, and MOST PROFITABLE, Indian owned Casino; a Casino that is Owned and Operated By The SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY, the WEALTHIEST INDIAN TRIBE IN THE UNITED STATES !!
Please check back frequently for more details, information and to view documents as they are made available on this Webpage; INCLUDING; the very eye-opening "LETTER OF APPEAL" that I submitted to MYSTIC LAKE CASINO citing reasons WHY they should ACCEPT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY for the INJURIES RECEIVED BY AN EMPLOYEE due to NEGLIGENCE OF THE SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY GAMING ENTERPRISE.
As I stated at the close of my very 'revealing' ELEVEN PAGE APPEAL, "What I’ve witnessed and experienced, and the manner in which this whole matter has been dealt with, is absolutely ‘mind-boggling’".
"What I’ve been forced to endure for the past six months is a ‘story’ like you’d see on CBS’s “60 MINUTES”, NBC’s “DATELINE NBC” or ABC’s "20/20" programs; or by a local TV station’s ”Investigative News Team”.
There’s plenty of ‘information’ available for all of them to ‘look into or share’; if given the opportunity.
There's MORE, MUCH MORE to this 'story'; "STAY TUNED" !
If any current or former MYSTIC LAKE CASINO employee (or anyone else, for that matter, visiting this Webpage) has any questions about what's taken place (and is STILL taking place), any comments, experiences or anything that might be of interest to all who read this Webpage, please send your comments, thoughts, ideas or suggestions to me at email@example.com.
While any e-mail messages that I receive MAY be posted here, PLEASE BE ASSURED that the identity of those of you who send me your e-mails, will NOT be revealed !!