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Walmart Strike Hits 100 Cities, But Fails To Distract Black Friday Shoppers

11/26/2012

Walmart Strike Hits 100 Cities, But Fails To Distract Black Friday Shoppers: But I'm a teacher, so I also barely make anything, too," he said. "I have to shop here."

Just so you know, a brand-new teacher in the Paramount, CA school district with nothing but a BA and a credential makes $44,000 per year.  For 184 days of work.  Under a contract from 2006, so it's probably outdated.You can see the salary schedule, here: PARAMOUNT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
TEACHERS ANNUAL SALARY SCHEDULE
 

No, I won't say 44k is a big salary, but back in 1997, that's about what I made.  I was living in New Jersey and had a house, two cars (used), a cat, one and a half kids, and a wife.  I was poor, but not poor enough to want Wal-Mart to close down.  Besides, there wasn't a Wal-Mart close.  I would have killed for a Wal-Mart.  We shopped at ALDI (still do) and PathMark, Clover and Caldor and K-Mart.  Used cars, junkyards, flea markets and Home Depot were where I was at.  I still have some of that flea market furniture, and almost every hand-me-down and flea market tool. 

If my wife had worked, and say she had been working at the same job that she had before she left to take care of our children and her mother, I could safely assume that she would be making close to or more than that $44k.  That would bring our total salary to $88k, not too shabby.  But let's say 25 grand in child care (2 kids @ about 300 per week, I figured in vacations and sick days), and that takes us down to $63k.  Which means we could have made the same money if one of us had stayed home, taked care of the kid and worked a part-time job for $8.50 an hour.  Which is, essentially, what we did.  We were still broke, but we didn't starve.  We even had some money to buy stuff we didn't need.  We had everything everybody else had, just in a different way.  

The most different thing about us and people like "Mr Teacher" up there was that I didn't want to stay poor.

My plan was to get a raise, but not by walking out onthe busiest day of the year.  For some reason, I didn't think that would be very productive.  Instead, I went to work every day.  I learned everything I could about how the business worked.  I had hired on as an IT guy.  Not even a network guy, just PC and printer support.  I had started out ducking under desks and plugging in the wires that the users had kicked out, changing printer toner, un-clogging fax machines, cleaning aluminum dust out of PCI's with compressed air, taking the tape backups home and making sure the coffee machine was on and making coffee.  Gradually, I learned the software side.  Lotus 1-2-3, AmiPro, Notes, OS2 Warp.  I pretended that I was friendly and helpful and my boss started giving me more to do.  I learned the video confrencing setup, learned how to add telephone extensions and where the land-line jacks were.  I learned Ethernet cabling, and System 36 administration.  I learned the differences between Frame Relay and X.25.  I gradually took over as support for anything that plugged in, and my boss was able to get out from under the tech-support covers and become the business analyst he wanted to be.  That made him like me. 

In short, I got my raise.  It wasn't even that hard.  I didn't have to stand outside with bullhorn and insult the people I worked for.  I didn't even have to work all that hard.  I made him look good, and he made me look good. That's almost always the way things go. Not every time, but most of the time. 

I'm not saying I haven't had shitty bosses, or worked for companies that made bad decisions.  I have.  I've been taken advantage of, underpaid, micromanaged, overworked and frightened into compliance with crummy policy with threats of unemployment and loss of benefits.  I've been in some really bad situations.  But I've also noticed that the one thing that each of these situations has in common is me.

I may feel trapped, I may feel like the company owes me something, I may be miserable at work every day, but in the end no one cares how I feel.  If I'm a mope, I'll get treated like a mope.  It is up to each of us to realize that we don't have to work for places we don't want to work for.  If those places want us to work there, they'll bribe us.  It's a win-win for a while, but eventually someone's going to run out of patience.  That's when you move on.

You can make this easier by always looking.  Prepare for the day that you can't stand your job any more and always keep an updatd resume.  Apply for jobs that come up in conversation.  Train yourself on new technology and methods.  BE FRIENDLY WITH PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH.  Don't lose track of people who move to new jobs.  Don't get sucked in to office politics.

Don't go on strike on Black Friday if you work for a non-union shop.

If you are a teacher and you think you don't make enough money, do something else.  Teach something else, teach somewhere else, teach for-profit.  Christ.  It's not my fault what you like to do doesn't pay the bills.  I like to  but I've only been paid for it once... or twice... well a couple of times in college, but I was broke and needed cab fare!  DON'T JUDGE ME!

   
 

          



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Ten days

11/16/2012

It's been ten days since I last posted and it's been a loooooooooooooooong fucking ten days. 

So much has happened I can't even begin to type it all, but that's ok, I'm really not allowed to talk about it yet.

Except that if you watch this space you might see some news.  Or not.

Oh fuck it.  I got elected King Penis.  That's right.  KING PENIS.  I spent thirty-six hours awake and I, me, am reaping the rewards. 

So that's cool.

On the other hand, my eye is bloodshot and I have a deep veined thrombosis, and that is making me so mad I'm seeing purple.

Hail to the king, baby.

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eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelection day

11/06/2012

Which means that I'm eight years in on this blog thing. Crapola.

  So, anyway, I voted. Pat Paulson will probably not get elected (since I think he may be dead), and the world will keep on spinning. For a little over a month.

I'm actually pretty excited to see the end of the world. I just want to see how others will react. Me? I'm going apeshit. Totally.

I'm going to take advantage of all the poor suckers who think it'll just blow over and I'll run my credit cards up to the max. I'm going to drive to the end of the world in a really expensive car.

I'm also going to give people presents. "Dear friend, I know the magnetic poles are set to reverse on Thursday, so please accept this gift of a $500 Amazon gift card. If you spring for the two-day shipping, you may get that watch you wanted before all the UPS men are hunted down for food. Much love, maddad"

How could that not be good karma?

And I'm going to need good karma in the weeks following the beginning of the end.  All those jackasses from the east coast and the cities will come straggling out here looking for food, easy prey and contestants for their crazy gladiatorial games.  If I've planned right, I'll be able to set myself up as some kind of holy man or oracle... provided I'm karmically in balance. Steal from the rich (credit card companies) and give to the poor (acquaintances who'd be killed and eaten by roving bands of lesbian bikers if they didn't have a nice, shiny, Fossil to trade for protection and a used pair of Converse), is the way the wheel turns. 

Because the world is going to end so soon, this is the first election in a long time that I haven't auctioned my vote off to the highest bidder.  My vote has always been for sale, and will always be for sale, so there's been no reason to beat around the bush the past couple of elections.  If you want more votes for your guy, send me a check.  I'll vote for him... usually.  This year I didn't do that.  And honestly, I think I should have. 

Usually, it's the local guys who make the best bids.  You know, in a town like this, a school board seat could hinge on four or five votes, mine is worth a couple of  Benjies, easy.  But the way the usual suspects were freaking out this year on the National side, well, let's just say I guess I missed a ride on the money train.

So watch this space.  When it comes time to pick the Warrior Queen of the Empire of Kentuckiana, you can be sure that for a couple of shotgun shells, some newish dog meat, or a coffee can full of go-juice, I'll drop my chit in the right bucket.  And your ex-girlfriend will sitting pretty in the Chair of Law, and not end up torn to peices by starving hogs in the fuel pen.

I'm your man, guv.
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Another hobby down the drain...UPDATED

11/01/2012

Some judge in Kansas has ordered a newspaper to reveal the identity of an on line commentator.

Update:  Or Missouri.. whatever.  You can't expect me to type "city" when I'm afraid for my on-line life.  Seriously.  Seven proxies and a fake name and still frightened by the man...(not really)

 Seriously.

 So this sucks.  For me.   Mr semi-anonymoose on the innertubes.

On the other hand, it's a job creator!

$8.50 an hour to moderate a newspaper comment section is a perfect job for a brand-new Liberal Arts grad.

Beats teaching English in Japan.

I kid.  From what I understand, after a couple of weeks of humorous fish-out-of-water encounters with the locals and several bouts of crushing loneliness, and some thinly-veiled racism, our giant, hairy newly-minted English teacher and his students will come to realize that they are not that different after all.  Plus, the earnest young, hot, American ex-patriot love interest will look beyond our recent grad's gruff, sexist, xenophobic,  exterior an  give in to her latent womanly desires.

At least that's what I've learned from "Mr Baseball".  And Tom Selleck is incapable of lying.  
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