Article 43



Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving - Not For Me

Whoever said depression is the ultimate selfishness may be right. 

On this Thanksgiving day I’m too wrapped up in MY OWN FEARS to think of anyone or anything else, and even snapped at PATCHES (my cat) when she asked for her usual nightly can of fresh food;

“The food from this morning is only half gone. Finish it. That stuff’s 40 cents a can.  I can’t afford to throw out any of it just cause it’s been in the bowl a few hours.  Even if it is Thanksgiving.”

It’s times like this one realizes how important FAMILY like brothers, sisters and a wife and kids are.  Distant relatives, INSINCERE FRIENDS or religious dogma that Jesus will save us all, doesn’t cut it when your hopes, dreams and heart are barraged more each day from a cold, cruel world - that’s wearing you down and turning life to dull shades of gray.  Being held would be wonderful right now.

Christmas is coming. I used to buy a new bicycle for a poor kid this time every year. Instead, getting LAYED OFF YESTERDAY from another day-laborer assignment, with LESS HOPE OF FINDING A REAL JOB than I had this time last year, and increasing fears of getting sick with no medical insurance, or ending up homeless from financial collapse - I can use someone giving me something for a change.

All I want for Christmas is a job, and my real heart back.

Or if that’s too much - just to be held.

Posted by Elvis on 11/24/05 •
Section Personal
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Loyalty Confusion Part 2

I heard on the news this morning that studies say employees treated well are more LOYAL, and the companies they work for make more money, have less customer turnover, and have better customer service than employees NOT TREATED WELL.  Why then are companies OUTSOURCING more and MORE with temps and contractors whose INCREASING NUMBERS SIT SIDE BY SIDE with employees like I do? 

My mom says a study she saw on the news says older, experienced people make the best workers.  So why is AGE BIAS an issue?

Some answers may be DISTURBING.  When companies do bad - which they may purposely do - executives often vote themselves GOLDEN PARACHUTES, FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY, UNLOAD PENSION and other obligations, then start off fresh as new companies with no obligations and with the same management that let the other businesses die.  Why does US Government not discourage it?

Posted by Elvis on 11/18/05 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Personal
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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fear and Loathing of a Temp

There’s something uniquely special about childhood friends and the eternal spots they own in our hearts like family.  We hold them dear, and remember them fondly all through our lives, and even if we don’t see them in years - when we do - it’s like the last time was yesterday.

One of those friends I grew up with (who still has a good telecom job,) went to the doctor the other day with a stomach ache - and found out it’s cancer.  He’s in the hospital now getting his first chemotherapy shot.

Chemotherapy kills everything - bad cells, good cells, and all the cells in between - likely impacting the person’s life dramatically and permanently for the worse - even if it gets all the cancer.  This guy used to jog three miles a day, now he expects to barely walk three blocks as a result of the destructive treatment. His company paid medical insurance is picking up the hospital bill, and his company paid log-term disability insurance will be sending him weekly paychecks while home recovering for at least six months.

Anyone with any feeling would feel sorry for anybody they know enduring chemotherapy.  Instead, this selfish, scared individual’s first thoughts were for himself - if/when a similar situation occurs - and the financial impact of the medical bills, total loss of income from being too sick for too long to work or seek employment, and paying back hospitals and doctors for the rest of my life, with NO RETIREMENT TO LOOK FORWARD TO.

Not having a DECENT JOB, medical insurance, or sick pay is BAD ENOUGH for a working-class person - but having a HEART TURN TO STONE by giving into fear, anger and pressures of stress - then loosing love and compassion for others as a result - is far worse.

I hate what I’ve become.

Posted by Elvis on 09/11/05 •
Section Telecom Underclass • Section Personal
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Monday, July 25, 2005

Turning Japanese


My mom lives in near poverty - and remembers like it was yesterday - the GREAT DEPRESSION in America--people waiting on soup lines for a meal, others loosing their life savings and homes, families splitting up from the stress, and some committing suicide. 

Lately we talk about her son’s career loss and the US’ political and economic policies that favor moving economic wealth AWAY from the middle class to the rich - and WONDER WHAT MAY HAPPEN to our great society if mass EXPLOITATION of the global labor pool and human rights continues down it’s current path, while MULTINATIONAL corporate interests increasingly control our governments and destinies.

Watching the news, especially LOU DOBBS on CNN, his chilling reports of management of our country, steady erosion of middle class jobs to cheap foreign labor, and my failed job hunt - going on over a year - SQUASHES most hope of getting back on my feet, or having the money to visit or help my mother out - EVER AGAIN.

With the added baggage of AGE BIAS, unemployed middle-aged techies like me MAY FIND staying optimistic about the future ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE.

Talking with my cousin - a retired truck driver enjoying a healthy union-bargained pension - didn’t bring the comfort one would expect. He said I can live in his basement if I go BANKRUPT and loose the house. As gracious as the offer was, rather than feeling relieved, the only things I felt were hopelessness, failure, envy, and depression.

Then I have some friends that totally disregard feelings by saying things like “Just go bankrupt,” “Sell the house,” “Trust in God,” or “Stop worrying - everything will be OK”.  They mean well, and I guess they don’t know what else to say - but stuff like that is pretty thoughtless and hollow.

What a way to spend the second half of one’s life - stuffed in a basement with the dirty laundry.

Everything isn’t OK, and things may or may not turn out OK.

Loneliness, FEAR, failure, loss of hope, envy, insensitive friends, selfishness, and superficial emotional support - are powerful negative influences on one’s spirit.

In JAPAN, some people see SUICIDE as an honorable way of taking responsibility for lives gone sour.

So does this American.

Posted by Elvis on 07/25/05 •
Section Personal
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Loyalty Confusion

I’m a baby boomer, who was downsized from a long, rewarding career at AT&T, watching it’s corporate culture change dramatically of late, who has a good 20 years working time left.  I’m struggling where to put personal work values and ethics against the reality of today’s corporate climate, and needing to pay the mortgage every month.

Older folks like me commit ourselves 100% to a company, giving them our loyalty and the best of ourselves, motivated to climb the corporate ladder by doing a good job - in return expecting a decent salary and longevity.

It ain’t like that anymore. To companies, the bottom line is the dollar, nothing else, and today’s younger generation has adopted to this reality. A GenX-er gets a job, learns what he/she can from it, then moves on to another company.  Loyalty and commitment aren’t worth as much - and the business models of today (increased outsourcing) discourages this attitude.

Finding a full time job that pays reasonably well has proven nearly impossible, so I signed a contract with a rent-a-tech company, which I’m learning means jumping from job to job with little to no benefits and crappy pay. 

New motivations need to be found.  What are they?

Related Articles

Posted by Elvis on 11/23/04 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Personal
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