November 29, 2008

My Job Needs Resuscitating

Back in April, the job that I was doing for the paper that I work for was eliminated. I ended up taking an entirely new job just created that no one else had done before. I would be replacing three soon to be former employees. I received a grand total of about one hour worth of training from the outgoing guy who had all the single copy sales responsibilities. That's the papers that are sold in stores and in the vending machines. I received zero hours of training from the slacker who was responsible for the home delivery distribution. She decided to call in sick her last week of work rather than stick around to help out the poor schlep who was booting her out the door. The warehouse guy was really the only reasonable one to work with for the last week that they were employed. At least he didn't bail and stick it to the new guy. Well, not actually a "new guy". I have 21 years in circulation, just not the circulation they were responsible for.

The first month as the big cheese, I worked seven days a week around 12 to 14 hours a day. I was essentially training myself. I had to learn everything about this new position on my own. To top things off, one of the home delivery dealers had given a 30 day notice that was effective the day before I took over the area. Making matters worse, he had a carrier who quit on him two days before that. I was throwing a route that took about 2 and a half hours to deliver. It was nasty...apartments, condos, businesses. I couldn't take a day off until someone knew how to do my job. Even if they knew the job, I couldn't leave them to throw the route. It would take them about 5 hours if they didn't know the delivery.

My "swing man" who works for me on my two days off could only be trained by me on overtime on my days off! He worked other districts his other three days. After about three weeks of training, (that's my 2 days off each week) he was able to have enough knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the job to at least let me have my days off. There were still things that he could not do that were necessary to the operation. I had to do these when I got back from my off days. This usually caused my Monday to be excessively long. I had become a zombie of sorts. Eat, sleep, work. Eat, sleep, work for weeks on end. My wife wasn't real pleased either. I missed some birthday's, doctor appointments, and various other promises of "I'll be home by....." all for the job. I felt obligated. I couldn't NOT be there and let the district blow up. How foolish to have such concern for a job well done. I could have easily taken the route of a slacker and been none the worse for wear. But that's not me.

Well the story goes along for a few months and I get the operation fine tuned. The operation is purring like a kitten and quite manageable. The home delivery dealers are doing a good job and I'm making sure they get paid. The single copy distribution is still a hassle for paperwork but that's the nature of that beast.

I get a call from my Teamsters Local Business agent. He says he has a meeting with the company the next day and he's planning a general meeting with the membership. This is never good news when those two events occur in close proximity. The news can only be bad and it generally costs us money or benefits. After his meeting with the company the rumors are flying. Layoffs, consolidations, cut backs. You name it we heard it from one source or another.

The next week I'm sitting in the union hall at the preordained meeting reading the informational page that was handed out and lo and behold, my district is being eliminated. The plan was to have my operation folded into the Mercury News operation in the same warehouse. In other words, I did too good of a job starting from scratch taking over from three people and making the thing work with just the one of me. Now I've worked myself out of a job.

The most galling part of all of it is the line that was fed to me by my supervisor. He had been on vacation the week prior when all this went down. He met with me and asked me what was happening like he hadn't been in the loop. I may have been born at night but I wasn't born last night. He said he just heard about it Monday when he came back to work. Yeah, ya lying sack of fertilizer. Nothing happens in his warehouse that he doesn't know about. He always sends some type of email when he's on vacation. He follows up on things even when he's gone, leaves voicemail, etc. Then he asks me what I thought would be the best way of implementing the "plan" for my area. I sat there thinking, "You've got to be kidding me!"

He was handing me rope hoping I would hang myself by telling him how to eliminate my own job. I don't get paid enough to create or eliminate jobs. The company can post the job description and I'll bid on it if I like it. If I don't, I'll bump into another department. The nerve of this guy. The longer I sat there the more upset I became. After repeatedly asking me what I thought I would do he came up with a scenario where I could keep my San Mateo Times district AND pick up the Mercury News circulation in Palo Alto. Let me see, here. That means I would have two jobs. San Mateo Times AND Mercury News. Along with that comes Wall Street Journal, Barron's IBD, Financial Times. Let me check the pay scale. Oh, right. Twice the work, same pay....sorry about that.

Never again will I assume that this or any other company has even a speck of gratitude at all for the work that the employees provide. For twenty one years I have worked Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, birthdays and anniversaries. I have missed countless family functions because of the ridiculous hours I work. I've gone to bed before my kids their entire lives. I work when the rest of the city is sleeping. I understand I chose freely to remain with the company all these years. The pay and benefits were just good enough to keep me from leaving. That has taken a turn for the worse as well. We have consistantly been diverting our raises to our health and welfare plan for several years now. This past September we actually took a pay cut to maintain our healthcare coverage levels. While we still have exceptional healthcare coverage, the company is moving closer and closer to eliminating the union. My hope is that they will stay afloat until I can secure a new career path. The newspaper industry is in dire straits with circulation in a free fall.

Get the paddles out, start an IV and CPR.

Terrorists Are Wussies

From an article title "Soldiers Kill A Very Feminine Commander" posted at Military.com.
Six women and 12 children left the building, but while Soldiers were questioning the women they discovered one was actually a man dressed in a burqa, the traditional all-encompassing dress that most Afghan women wear. The man, later identified as the targeted commander Haji Yakub, tried to attack the Soldiers and was killed, the military said.


This is from The Australian
LONDON: A male suspect in a major anti-terrorist investigation in Britain escaped capture by allegedly disguising himself as a Muslim woman dressed in a burka.
The man, who was wanted in connection with serious terrorist offences, evaded arrest for several days as police searched for him across the country.
The fact that a fugitive remained at large after disguising himself in an Islamic dress that covered his face will further fuel the debate sparked by Jack Straw, the Leader of the House of Commons, about the wearing of the veil.

It is the first time a male suspect has allegedly disguised himself as a Muslim woman in Britain.

However, the tactic has been used frequently by Islamist fighters - including suicide bombers - in Iraq and Afghanistan. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qa'ida in Iraq, often dressed in a burka to evade American forces hunting him.

This from the BBC News
A suicide bomber, wearing a woman's burka, has killed at least 15 people in an attack at a busy police checkpoint in north-west Pakistan, officials say.

Police officials said the bomber was wearing a burka, a woman's garment which covers the body from head to toe.

The list goes on. Just do a Google search using the search terms "terrorist hiding burka" and you will see what I mean.

If you want to pick a fight you should at least man up.

November 27, 2008

Critiqued

My wife was reading my blog the other night while I was at work. She mentioned how she used to enjoy reading it (oops!). It used to be funny, she said. Now it's all anti-Obama posts.

OK, I get the hint. I'll knock off the politics. Nothing is more devisive than talking about politics and religion. Folks have their mind made up from very early on in life and it is nearly impossible to sway them from their beliefs. That's not to say that dialogue and vigorous debates are not encouraged. It just means I would be pretty hard pressed to cite an actual case where my opinion changed another persons mind on a particular subject.

So...to be be more apolitical and nonreligious I'll share this bit of humor with you!

Domino's Scientists Test Limits Of What Humans Will Eat

November 19, 2008

Frightening

This would be hilarious if it were not so frightening. The people that are intervied in this video have NO CLUE as to who or what they are voting for!! They drank the Kool-Aide, they ate up the sound bites and fed at the slop trough of the mainstream media. Regurgitating the lies and obfuscations as truth and fact. America, I can proudly say with convistion and honor that I did NOT vote for the president-elect! If you did vote for the president elect I hope you get everything you wish for with his administration because at the end of his first term I will not be saying "see, I told you so." The country will be in such disrepair it will not be necessary.

Watch the video

I'm Corn-fused (what's new?)

I tweaked my layout to have the new Blogger "reaction" buttons added to my posts. They are a single word response button similar to those used in an online poll. Well, an esteemed blogger buddy over at Irrelephant who generally maintains only the highest standards in posting, tested my theory of Blogger functions.

The theory goes something like this.

You edit your layout to include a nifty new gadget that will wow all your readers. You write a post informing them of the nifty new functionality giving them the impression that you are some sort of code wizard and can produce a myriad of really cool fluff. Your readers will then stop by and implement this nifty new functionality and be amazed at your fluffiness. Your accolades will be spread across the series of tubes known as the internets.

I persued this righteous goal and failed miserably thanks to the demons at Blogger command. I followed their every instruction down to the last step. Their diabolical plan worked perfectly. I have been shamed in front of the whole of my audience (right Mom?). I must now crawl back into the hole from whence I came and ponder the injustice of what has transpired.

Oh, and I'll see if I can get if fixed, ok?

November 18, 2008

Layout Tweak

I added the new Blogger "reaction" buttons to my posts. They are customizable so I chose my own text. This way you can share your reaction to the post without necessarily leaving a comment. Try it out!

Marine Base Bans Anti-Islam Bumper Stickers

This one should stick in the craw (whatever those are) of my buddy, Joe. Being staunch defenders of the first amendment, we disagree on things at times but we both agree that we should not be censored in any way. This story is political correctness at it's evil worst. Regardless of your position on the war on terror, the actions of this military installation are heinous!

Click the post title for the full story

November 16, 2008

Hilarious!

Well, actually it should make you cry because it's so doggone true!


In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?

November 08, 2008

Big Thanks To Joe!

My buddy Joe posted this for me on his blog. I just had to share it. Gotta love The Onion!!


Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

November 06, 2008

Big Brother Is Watching

I loathe photo radar and photo traffic lights. Not because I could be caught by them, but because there is unmanned monitoring of activities. The idea that your every step (or mis-step in these cases) is monitored on a video screen for the purpose of collecting revenue for the municipality is a travesty.

The Washington Times has an article titled "Street Sweepers Turning To Spies". It's almost too Orwellian to believe. I suppose that statement in itself is incorrect in that a large portion of the fictional activities in the book "1984" have come to fruition. The sheeple mindlessly allow it to happen right under their grazing noses.

Democrats/Leftists - The Inclusive Folks, Open Minded

They always claim to be tolerant and openminded. Including all and nonjudgemental...except when it comes to dissenting opinions.

Amazingly Eerie, Large Marionette

I poached this video from my Flickr buddy, gentlemanrook who blogs at Irrelephant. It's giant marionette that is so surreal it's almost scary!

November 01, 2008

Pict -O- Game Is A Fun Little Website

I used a picture I had of my Brother-in-law goofing around to personalize the game.