This post contains my patented Tort Reform Quiz For Dummies. At last you can find out if you support tort reform or not! You’ll find the short quiz after the introductory crap. Wade on!
The punch landed bone-jarringly hard and the boxer in the red trunks suddenly ate canvas, a little puddle of drool forming quickly under his bloodied face. The referee counted it down then, with so sign of movement, called the fight. It was a knockout!
The blue corner jumped up and down ecstatically. “Way to go, champ! Way to go!”
The red corner carried their fighter back to their corner, balanced his lifeless body on his stool, and also began jumping up and down. “Wow, what a fight! You took ’em to the cleaners, champ! You really flayed ’em!”
Erm, what? Meanwhile the monkeys are flying in from the East chanting, “Oh wee oh! Oh wee oh!”
Such is the way of politics these days. Is my example a little extreme? Perhaps, but sadly not by much.
Continue reading →
Basket Weaving for Dummies
I apologize in advance if you came here actually expecting information regarding basket weaving. My misleading headline has lead you astray. I sincerely apologize for wasting your time. At least there aren’t 42 self-loading videos on this page. I guess it could have been worse. –Ed
For a fun mental exercise I will often take modern situations and problems and try to extend them, in my own inimitable fashion, to a hypothetical construct in my mind loosely based on my concept and interpretation of an indigenous people’s village.
Does this make good sense? Is it accurate? Does it result in increased understanding of how things work? Is it, in even the slightest way, particularly useful? Perhaps not, but I enjoy it and besides, it’s my brain. That’s the one place on this planet where I get to make the rules. No wonder it’s so crazy in there.
One day there was a visitor to the village who observed two people sitting on the ground and weaving some baskets. It was clear they were not equally skilled at the task.
Continue reading →
Remember me, the guy who applied for a job?
We got a regurgitation situation
All across the Abyssian nation
The hot new trend on this blog is to scritch up a piece of yesteryear and drag it back into the light of day. Today’s bit of regurgitated kibble comes courtesy of the Abyss “way back” archives. In fact, this was the seventh post I ever wrote. It comes back to the empty nest all the way from September 2009, also known as Abyss Launch Month.
Back then I documented my efforts (in vain) to get away from crappy e-commerce job #2. I was out schlepping around and subjecting myself to the ultimate in extreme humiliation: Going into a place of business and asking for an application form like Oliver groveling for a little extra gruel. And then filling out their endless invasive and offensive forms until your hand shrivels up into a hook hand. A hook hand!!!
Continue reading →
Drums and Oscars
The first video is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The second is a movie that was overlooked by Academy love. No Oscar for you. Even with key performances by Ed Harris, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemon and Alan Arkin.
Tool’s Hooker with a Penis
Glen & Gary & Glen & Ross (preview rated NC-17)
Bonus video: Mama Compensation (A day in the Life of Tom B. Taker)
Likely ways of moving on from my current job
All good things must come to an end. Someday, somehow, I won’t work as a whore here in the shithole anymore. I have to admit the thought of such a prospect made me curious, so I got to thinking about how I might end up leaving … someday … and go to the mythical land of playful unicorns.
Alas, I realized that my best ticket out of here, Mama Compensation, is even less likely than getting a better job. Dammit. Of course even winning the lotto has higher odds than getting a better job. Scientifically speaking, getting raped by Hitler tomorrow would also have higher odds than finding a better job.
Realistically speaking, my best shot out of this job, short of death, of course, appears to be from the sale of one of my body parts. Perhaps I have some limited value to society after all.
Workplace injury fails to satisfy
I’ve been dreaming about Mama Compensation* for a long, long time. At long last, this week, I have finally been injured at work.
What a heady experience and an exciting time! It is a time full of great promise …
Here’s how it happened. This last Monday I returned to work after a nine-day vacation. That’s five whole days off sandwiched between four weekend days. It also happened to be the first week paid week of vacation I’ve had since the year 2000. (Shudder. That streak is almost too evil to contemplate.)
If coming back from a three-day weekend at work is rough then being away for nine whole days was a friggin’ nightmare. I knew there was zero chance of having a “normal” day upon my return. What is normal, anyway? One definition is: “What everyone else is but you are not.” In a workplace setting, however, a normal day is a theoretical construct; something that simply doesn’t exist.
So on Monday because some job duties had been shuffled around due to a new employee, I was forced to work at her desk for a few hours so she could work at mine. (This has gone on all week. I’m still waiting for that “normal” day.) Eventually her new computer will arrive and we’ll get all of the software and printers moved around so we can each do what we need at our own workstations. Who knows when that day will come? Like usual the company fails to plan ahead. Hire employee then think about the tools. It just isn’t possible to do things in any other order! Until then we’ll continue to play workstation switcheroo.
Now the one thing I hate most in the whole world are those little slide-out keyboard trays that live just under the top of a desk. (Ever notice how the thing I’m complaining about right now is always the thing I hate the most? That’s just the way I roll.) My workstation certainly does not have one of those trays. The day I moved in I grabbed some tools and physically removed the damn thing so it wouldn’t hit my knees all day long.
Co-worker’s desk, however, had the keyboard safely ensconced below. This forces several things to happen. First your hands are too low which increases the distance your eyes must travel when looking back and forth between the monitor and the keyboard. I normally keep the keyboard as close to the monitor as possible. And secondly, the tray when slid out forced me to sit an additional one foot away from the desktop. Which happens to be where the mouse lives. (The tray didn’t have room for a little mouse pad.)
Without realizing it, I used the mouse for hours right at the extreme edge of the desk. That meant my arm and wrist were suspended in mid-air as I did my work. At my desk my right arm normally stays flopped on the desk like a dead fish and very little power and muscle movement is required to twitch the mouse around its pad.
You guessed it. That minor little difference in arm position led to my injury. By 11am I was like, “Damn! My wrist fucking hurts!”
Now, aside from having absolutely no muscle conditioning of any kind, this is the embarrassing part. I bitched about the keyboard tray to my supervisor and she said something rather brilliant. “Why not move the keyboard on top of the desk?”
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT!
I’m a genius sort of dude, or so I thought. Why the hell didn’t I think of that??? The keyboard was even cordless, so there was no need to get an my hands and knees and fiddle with cords. (Which is, by far, the thing I hate most in the whole world.) Two seconds later the keyboard was snuggled up to the monitor and my arm was properly lounging on the desk where it could fondle the mouse in leisure all it wanted.
Of course I was still injured at this point. And this is where the dramatic sadness and melancholy kicks in. See, even though severely crippled by injury, I still had to keep working! And the next day, too. And the day after that! In fact, it’s almost like I’m never going to see a return on the promise of bounty on this injury! Even now I can sit here and clench my fist. Ow! That hurts!
I guess Mama Compensation is going to leave me hanging one more time…
*Video: Kids in the Hall: Mama Compensation.
Have yourself a very taxing Christmas
A previous post I wrote where I bitched, moaned, sniveled, whined, griped and complained about receiving a Walmart gift card instead of a Christmas bonus raised a question:
Did my boss select a gift card instead of cash or a real bonus to gain some sort of advantage on his taxes?
I did a bit of quick checking and, as far as I can tell, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Don’t worry, he’s still evil. But apparently that evil didn’t come into play … this time!
What I learned is that the IRS treats cash and gift cards exactly the same. The gross amount for both types of gifts must be reported by your employer to the IRS as “compensation.”
A gift certificate to a local restaurant would be taxable. Taking employees out to dinner at that same restaurant, on the other hand, would still be considered “non-taxable.”
Small gifts, like a Christmas turkey or a fruit basket, may be considered de minimis by the IRS and not subject to reporting as compensation.
For me the issue isn’t one of taxation. It’s that I’ve taken on a ton of additional responsibilities in the last 12 months and I’ve come through time and time again for the team. As such a $50 gift card to a store I don’t like feels more like an insult rather than a reward.
This post is based on information I found on this page on Law.com.
Edit: I just realized this post doesn’t address the main point that was intended. D’oh! Sometimes I’m freakin’ dumb. I guess I still don’t know what approach offers the best tax deductions for the company. So maybe that did still play some sort of role. Who knows? At this point I am so beyond caring.