If it’s broke, fix it – Chapter 2

Billy Ragfeld showed up within 15 minutes of Tony’s call, not having left the building yet. All in all, Tony considered that a precious gift, as he was still unsure as to whether or not Vance would try to cover this up. As he explained everything that had happened in the last couple days in a mixture of pained speech and notes, he prepared all the evidence of behavior patterns to make his case to Vance. Tony had a strong feeling he would be giving his two weeks’ notice today.

By the time Director Leon Vance had gotten himself back to the office he was already in a fine mood. He probably had already shifted anything about to be discussed into the useless information that’s a waste of my time file. That is, he probably did that until the moment he saw Agent Ragfeld next to Tony.

“All right, DiNozzo, let’s hear it. And it better be worth my wife’s wrath for leaving the house again tonight.”

Tony followed him into the Director’s office, two large files in his hands plus the original complaint form.

“Unfortunately, Sir, I think it is worth your time. I just wish I didn’t have to bring this to you,” he squeaked out.

“What exactly is ‘this’?”

“This is a complaint of — well, why don’t you just read this for yourself while I set up all the evidence.” Tony started laying out the files in order, plus the audio setup so that the director could hear it for himself. “And please, sir, I know you don’t think much of me, I’m just hoping that you won’t let that get in the way of doing what’s right, here. This is very serious and I have ample evidence to back it up.” At the lifted eyebrow, he continued. “There’s a reason I already called Internal Affairs and didn’t  go to Gibbs about this.”

Interest fully peaked, Vance began to read the form, sitting straighter and feeling angrier by the second. “And you say you can back this up?”

Tony simply pressed play and let the man listen for himself while Tony got himself some tea with honey — anything that would help him last through this meeting.

“All right,” Vance sighed, “you have my attention. What do you have there in front of you?”

“This pile right here? These are all the write ups I did for both Agent David, Agent McGee, and Ms. Sciuto when Gibbs when on his not-retirement fiesta.” He pushed them towards his boss. “All of them were ignored by the then director, Jenny Shepard. When Gibbs came back, he still had holes in his memories and couldn’t remember that I was his SFA for a reason. Since he didn’t stop them from being insubordinate, they took it as permission to keep going.” He pushed another pile forward. “These are the emails that I did as a follow up along with an electronic submission of my reports. Again, all was ignored.” He pushed yet another pile forward. “These are all from the other team leads and SFA’s about the two of them and their behavior. Also ignored.”

“What types of issues would I be reading about here?”

“Things like the two of them leaving early, coming in late, leaving me alone at crime scenes, not doing their own reports. Ziva had a habit of breaking into places when we were looking for suspects without permission, a habit she still doesn’t get actually breaks the law and gets cases thrown out. Ziva is not an investigator. She’s an assassin who gave her half-brother, Ari, all of our information when he was trying to kill us. I never trusted her and I won’t ever trust her. She still blames me for what happened with Michael Rivkin.

“McGee actually went to some book signings and interviews while on the clock, when he was supposed to be out interviewing witnesses. His book, which he thinks we’re all too stupid to realize, is based on all of us here and about cases we were involved in. I am unsure if this was ever vetted by anyone here at the agency. I know at least one more book has come out since then. He also didn’t do any reports, or more than the minimum, yet he complains that he should be the SFA due to his education.

“Neither of them dug very deep into my profile, not realizing I do have more than just a B.S. in Physical Education, nor the requirements for my position. They don’t know that I turned down team leads because I couldn’t trust them to cover Gibbs’ six.” Tony paused while he drank some more tea. He didn’t know how much longer he could last if he had to keep speaking.

“Bottom line, sir, is that I can’t trust them anymore. They crossed a huge line here and I am not willing to let it be ignored. I had to wait until Abby left for the night just to make sure I could do this without her trying to erase it all before it got to you. ”

Tony sat back and relaxed. He did it, he had spoken up — long past due — and now it was out of his hands.

Bill sat forward addressing the director, “Sir, I went through all of these and while they have the receiving stamp from Cynthia, none of them were forwarded to my office. It looks like due to nothing being done previously, everyone pretty much gave up submitting complaints and just kept their own copies on file. I will be conducting interviews — quietly — with the other teams to see if there is anything else they have to submit. I am deeply concerned about everyone’s safety if those two stay in the field.”

“Especially if they equate putting salt in someone’s coffee with leaving them without backup,” Tony chimed in.

The director sat back and thought about everything brought before him and knew that one way or the other, he was losing this agent. “Bill, I’ll need you to stay, if you don’t mind, and go through these complaints with me since I’ve never seen them before. Shepard must have thrown out her copies.”

Bill nodded and started organizing the first file into sub-piles.

“Anything else?”

Tony lay a simple white envelope in front of the director. “I’m sure you understand, sir, that I just can’t stay here. It’s time to move on.”

Leon Vance sat back in his chair with a frown on his face. On one hand, he wanted to get rid of the guy, but on the other he didn’t want to lose an agent. But ultimately, it was not up to him. “Are you sure about this?”

“Completely. I’ll use my sick time as two weeks.”

“Get a note from your doctor, and get him to do a thorough check up on you; you sound horrendous.”

“Not a problem. Thanks for everything, sir.” Tony nodded at Bill and made his way out the door, feeling lighter than ever — or at least lighter than he could remember in the last few years. As the door closed behind him he picked up Vance speaking to Bill again.

“Let me just call my wife and let her know I won’t be home until tomorrow.”

“You should also call legal, as there are so many breaks in procedure here.”

“Shit. I’m going to be on the couch for at least a week.”


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