Short Shorts: How to buy a PC
The boss asks for your opinion. “I need a recommendation for a new computer.”
You ask a few questions. Price range? Purpose? Anything special it needs to do?
You take the task seriously. You conduct research. You think outside of the box. You are creative and expend energy. You want to do a good job.
This isn’t your specialty but you try your best. After finding what you think is a pretty good answer, you pass it on.
The next day that boss says, “My spouse told me to buy something else. Something totally different than what you recommended. I’m going with that.”
In a few days the computer shows up. It’s neither. It turns out the boss went for a third option. The very thing you cautioned against way back at the beginning.
The boss now has a stupid piece of shit but it was worth it to put you in your place and make you spin your wheels. It sure can be funny how things work out.
Cause of the Day #vote
At last, at last! It’s voting day at last! You see, I have a dream. It involves not having my intelligence insulted every single time I turn on the damn TV. I mean, more than usual.
For the United States it is voting day at last.
As early as tomorrow freedom will ring across the land as all the political ads will finally stop running. Yes, for once in my life, I’ll be happy to hear about side effects (up to and including death), how much money I won’t have in my retirement and garments specially designed for Americans and made in China so they can inhale whole containers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (where a pint is still 16 ounces) and finger the remote control – all at the same time!
This day brings a lot of craziness.
I’m not going to miss the ads. Let’s take a look at Measure WTF. Ostensibly this measure was brought to the ballot via the citizen initiative process. What does that mean? Most likely that paid canvassers collected the signatures. What’s that? I love the smell of democracy in the morning.
Hyper Transit Widget Spheroid Solids was a corporation operating in the great state of [withheld] that produced hyperbolic-related widgets. There was a certain segment of our population (dorks) that was thirsty for these widgets and the company did well.
The product was theoretically tightly regulated by the government’s Department Of Hyperbole (DOH) which maintained and enforced a complex set of legislation designed to protect public safety.
One of the selling points of the widgets is that they were the “shiniest DOH-approved widgets” available anywhere in the whole wide world.
It was true that they were indeed the shiniest widgets. There was no doubt about that. And based on that fact, the Hyper transit widgets sold like hotcakes.
The was one minor troubling nit of a detail, though. The widgets were never DOH approved. Not meeting government criteria went a long way in making it easier to make their widgets shiny. Other widget manufacturers made products that were less shiny because they were hindered by the fact they actually obeyed the law.
Widget-hungry consumers, if they had bothered to look, would find an online database of many widget violations and disciplinary actions taken by DOH.
The corporation just keep making and selling the widgets and playing games with the government. They were able to get away with it for an amazingly long time. It’s not like public safety was involved.
Then, one day, something happened. Hyper Transit Widget Spheroid Solids dissolved and ceased to be a corporation. Yeah! A blow was struck for truth, justice and the American way.
It didn’t last long, though. The very next day a new corporation set up shop at the exact same address. It was called Blongorgic Transit Widget Spheroid Solids and, amazingly, made the very same products.
Of course the two corporations had absolutely nothing do with each other. Legally they were two different and totally distinct entities. They did happen to have the same person who controlled 100% of the shares, though. Odd coincidence, that.
Now if you excuse me, I need to go buy a transit widget spheroid solid. Nice knowin’ ya!
The Sneaky Entitlement Society
Two affluent men are running for the office of President of the United States. That means it’s time for another round of one of our most-cherished traditions: finger pointing at the bottom-sucker “entitlement” folks.
Strangely enough, despite the type of things I normally write about the workplace, I’ve never been fired from a job. Weird, right? Inconceivable! You’d think a hater like me would be one of the first to go. Yet, somehow, it’s true. And, as a result, I know remarkably little about things like Unemployment Insurance (UI).
I gather it works like insurance. When employment is high, employers are paying more taxes into the UI program which creates a surplus. When there is a recession, less revenues are paid into the program and payouts (in the form of benefits to the unemployed) increase. The net result is a social net that saves for a rainy day and minimizes the disastrous effects (on society and the individual) when there isn’t enough work.
The program is paid for by employers in the form of payroll taxes.
How am I doing so far? I might be wrong on a few of the details but I think that’s about it.
The fun part, of course, is that the program is based on the premise that there isn’t enough work. In other words, if you quit or get fired, this program isn’t for you. Move along, move along. I guess that basically means it covers employers who are laid off.
Every one of my lateral or down-spiraling career moves has always been preceded by a “take this job and shove it” phase, so no unemployment benefits for me. Because I’m a responsible worker I’m left to dream about other avenues of escape like Mama Compensation.
Is the person who receives unemployment insurance benefits part of the “entitlement society?” You tell me. In the meantime, I think I may have found someone else who is. And it might not be who you think.
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