Archive for October, 2007

Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets, Pompeii c.1971

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

You used to be alright…what happened?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

This one goes out to everyone who hates their career. One reason I’m in favor of a mandatory public service requirement is to give the kids a chance to get their feet wet before they surrender to The Machine. Many of you think it’s too late to do anything about it, but I watched each of my parents successfully change careers. The most important lesson I’ve learned in life is that salary should never trump job satisfaction.

Now I realize some people really have no way out without facing serious repercussions in one form or another. This entry is aimed more at the workforce of the evil, but non-murderous* institutions. I don’t need to name names - you know who you are.

*for this exercise we’ll include the health care industry in this group

I’m not asking you to quit your job or anything so drastic. Just realize that everyday you go to work and do The Man’s dirty work, you’re making the problem worse. All I ask is that you try and leave a net positive impact on the people (co-workers, clients, vendors) you encounter. Maybe this results in a smaller bonus on your paycheck or a ‘talking to’ from your superiors. That’s how they try and keep you in line. It starts before you’re even out of school.

What would you say……………………………………………………you do here?

Most kids don’t really know what they want to do career-wise when they enter college. Usually they have an idea of what they’re going to attempt to be right after college, but as graduation draws closer the pressure builds to find a job - any job. Too often individuals are more concerned with how things will look on paper (to impress all those folks back home), rather than going with what their heart tells them.

The elite prospects are gobbled up by the big companies. They play it safe and go with the money and the instant gratification. It’s all fun and games until you realize there are strings attached. The money is good, but once you’ve locked into a certain lifestyle, you’re basically at the mercy of your employer. Over time individuals rise to their own level of incompetence, at which point the job just becomes a shell game of diverting blame, playing politics in order to survive long enough to land a fat severance package.

The larger the institution, the greater the degree to which roles are defined. Specialization is the name of the game. It is in the best interest of management to make the workers as productive as possible without giving them extra skills that might help them find a better job elsewhere. This may be fine for middle aged people who have mastered their specialty (provided that specialty doesn’t become obsolete), but it’s in the best interests of the younger workers to dabble in different areas in the hopes of finding their true calling.

You can’t expect to find your dream job in the help wanted ads. The first step towards happiness is to pursue a career that provides satisfaction. Don’t chase the money right off the bat. The money will come later once you have mastered your craft. One day…when the money is there, and work doesn’t feel like work, and everyone you encounter is better off for having known you…you’ll come to the realization that you’re living the dream.

My Neighborhood: U-City, 10/28/2007

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Radiohead - Nude, 8/28/2006

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Don’t get any big ideas
They’re not gonna happen
You paint yourself white
And fill up with noise
But there’ll be something missing

Now that you’ve found it, it’s gone
Now that you feel it, you don’t
You’ve gone off the rails

So don’t get any big ideas
They’re not gonna happen

You’ll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking

If I were running for President, here’s what I’d propose…

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Mandatory 52-week public service requirement for every child born after 1/1/2000 to be completed between a person’s 18th and 25th birthdays. Before you label me a bureaucratic authoritarian prick, consider the following…

The Ship is Sinking

The population is getting older, the deficits (budget and trade) ain’t lookin so hot (which fucks the value of our currency), and at some point drastic measures will need to be taken. I propose we build a new public infrastructure within the major industries of our economy to facilitate the transition from the classroom to the workforce. Each kid essentially gets a 1-year internship in the general field of his or her choice. We’ve got 8 years to iron out the details (voters will have the option to pull the plug after 4). For now let’s just focus on the idea of mandatory non-military public service as a means of improving the health of our nation. If we can draft our young to kill foreigners, we can also draft them for other, *ahem*…less morally objectionable service.

Face it, today’s kids (myself included) are spoiled rotten

My grandfathers lived through the depression and served in WWII. My father went to college with the cloud of the draft hanging over him, knowing that if he didn’t maintain the GPA mandated by his scholarship, he was headed off to Southeast Asia. Today’s college students serve as uber-consumers with more time and spending ability than should be humanly possible. The lucky ones spend their parents’ money, the unlucky go into debt, and a select few do neither. I don’t think this phenomenon is going to change anytime soon, but it couldn’t hurt to build their character a little before dropping them into the real world.

Hans Gruber

I must have missed 60 Minutes, what are you saying?

The current system is broken. Sacrifices are necessary. We need to start thinking outside the box. Here are some general ideas of what my plan would entail…

Most young adults would enter into a newly created public institution in the field of their choice. Military service would still be an option. Another option would be to volunteer for an approved not-for-profit institution. A third option would be to intern in the private sector, with 100% of the salary going to the government. The goal is to create an environment where every individual gains some real world experience before taking the plunge into adulthood while simultaneously addressing other problems. The penalty for non-compliance would be forfeiture of all future Social Security benefits.

The benefits of these programs would be spread across our society

The kids gain valuable experience. The government gains new revenue streams to help pay down the national debt. Aging boomers can fill clerical jobs managing the program. Kids can enlist for additional years to earn money for college. The entry level employee pool will be more seasoned, experienced and competent which will translate into a stronger economy.

Not for me it wasn’t…no for me the 6th time was the charm.

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Once my laptop returned from tech support hell, I went about dismantling it in order to install my new refurbished motherboard (this laptop’s 3rd different motherboard in under 3 weeks). Motherboard replacement surgery is tedious and time consuming. There are countless tiny screws to deal with and many fragile components that must be delicately taken apart. It does get easier with repetition, and this time when I put everything back together, my laptop powered right up.

I didn’t notice anything wrong until the following morning when my onboard ethernet failed to stay connected at work (3 different patch cables and opposite ports told the same story). The concept that I was going to have to install yet another motherboard over this bullshit was starting to sink in. I emailed Jessica (the only reason I got this motherboard) with the latest developments…she replied back with a quote for a new computer which puzzled me…was this a free computer covered by the warranty or her way of telling me it was over and I needed to move on? I emailed her back and told her I was either very pissed or very pleased depending on the answer to the previous question…and before long she phoned me to say how hurt she was that I would even suggest that she might brush me off and that yes, the new laptop was on them.

Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!

I explained that my skepticism was based on the sorry state of customer service in general, and we exchanged pleasantries and that was that. There really are people out there providing quality customer service…it’s just that all too often there are many layers of outsourced bureaucracy preventing the masses from reaching them.

From now on, you’re in the gettin’ fucked by us business…

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

It’s been 13 days since I last successfully powered on my laptop. I’ve troubleshot w/ phone support (Day 1), replaced the motherboard myself (Day 3), sent it to the depot (Day 8), now today I’ve been told it’s no longer covered by warranty because there was evidence of a spill. I called them out on their bullshit, and now (thanks to the lovely Jessica) I’ve got another replacement motherboard coming my way (apparently the depot is full of incompetent buffoons who couldn’t possibly be troubled to fix a computer themselves).