I recently completed my first year of working at home as a contractor. Although not as good as my dream of doing nothing, the year was still pretty good and … I had no complaints.
What’s good about working from home? No phones. No walk-in customers leaping in your office. No floor sales. No public toilet across the hall. No attending awkward pizza-only lunches on every employee’s birthday. You don’t spend your day using company-owned equipment. (A previous boss liked to joke he was logging my keystrokes. That was a real damper on my twitter activity.) You get your very own chair. No boogers from other employees on your stuff. There’s an ottoman where two cats sleep and the view out the window is squirrels playing.
When my one-year contract expired, of course I wanted more. It was a no-brainer.
These are the actual and verbatim excerpts of the official transcripts of the negotiation process. I’m sharing them because I don’t mind being humiliated in public.
I am ready to keep things simple and renew the same deal, no changes needed on my end, with all the same terms (another 12 months) excepting a modest increase of only $x.xx to the hourly rate for COLA. That’s $xx.xx/hour up from $xx.xx. Other than that I can’t think of anything else.
It’s official. You all know my salary now. I literally make $X amount. Note my colorful use of marketing terms like “modest” and “only.” Ha ha ha! Player at work! Also, thinking I was being clever, I provided dollar amounts and not percentages. This was a deliberate attempt to confuse and astound. -Ed
Make the jump to read additional communiques from the “negotiation” process and the surprising twist at the end.
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Earlier I espoused my pet theory (my precious!) that the odds of being an asshole increase exponentially with the acquisition of wealth. For example, if someone is in the top one percent there’s an asshole threshold (AT) of 99 percent. For the top .01 percent that grows to 99.99 percent.
I said at the time I said that I thought extreme wealth was a function of “lie, cheat and steal (LCS).”
Is it a chicken and egg kind of thing? Are people in the top .01 percent because they were born with LCS? Or was LCS something they had to learn to get there? Chicken and egg.
Thinking about this, I thought to myself, “If only there was some way to know.”
Then I realized that an existing data study might be useful. But what existing data is available? How about words taken right out of their own mouths? Perhaps that might provide some insight into their character and world view.
Case Study – Ray Kroc
Ray Kroc was a “restauranteur” and founder of McDonalds Corporation and included in Time: The 100 Most Important People of the Century. Perhaps not in the .01 percent Kroc was still considerably wealthy, worth about $500 million when he died in 1984. The Kroc family now has an estimated worth of $1.7 billion.
Suffice it say he’s sold a few “hamburgers” and made a few bucks. Let’s see what he has to say.
If any of my competitors were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water. It is ridiculous to call this an industry. This is not. This is rat eat rat, dog eat dog. I’ll kill ’em, and I’m going to kill ’em before they kill me. You’re talking about the American way – of survival of fittest.
Source: Bloomsbury Business Library – Business Thinkers & Management Giants (2007)
Wow. He truly sounds like a great guy. I think we’re ready for the peer review process to begin.
I’m updating my hypothesis. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that wealthy people say all sorts of the darnedest things. Like upside-down Weebles, they have an overly-inflated sense of self and think they can’t fall down. That’s when they’re at their quotable best. (See: Sterling, Donald.) It’s almost like they get off on exposing themselves. As if to say, “See what I can do? I don’t just have all the money. I can also do this. What are you going to do about it? Ha ha ha.”
Can you find other compelling examples of what the rich say?
A friend sent me a link about 10 Things Wrong With Occupy Wall Street (OWS). It got me thinking so I decided to try to respond to all ten points with my esteemed two cents. (That’s a total of twenty cents for those keeping score.)
Here we go. I will now try to offer my customized and heartfelt rebuttal to the following list of things that are alleged to be “wrong” about OWS.
1. The whole we’re the 99% thing.
The author of the article says that OWS does not represent “the middle class, small business America, or people employed by corporate America.” Who said that is supposed to be who they are? By definition, if they claim to be the “99%” then that means they are not the 1%. And who is the 1%? It might just be me, but I think they mean the richest one-percent of Americans.
Who is the 1% if we look at it based on income?
In 2009, it took just $343,927 to join that elite group [of one-percenters], according to newly released statistics from the Internal Revenue Service.
Source: CNN Money
That’s so one-percent I don’t even think I’ve ever even met anyone in that group. I’d hazard a guess that includes most corporation CEOs, at least those in Fortune 500 companies.
If you make less than $344 super clams a year then you’re in the elite group known as the 99 percent. Also, if you’re in the bottom one-percent of that group then you’re known as a “99-percenter bottom dweller.” If you’re in that group all I have to say is, “Howdy, neighbor.”
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I came across a blog today that asked the simple question: “What would your reality show be called?”
My first thought was, “Hey! Excellent idea for a blog post.” But my second thought was, “Yeah, what would it be called?”
And that’s when I decided to think hard and figure it out.
It turned out to be a wee bit tougher question than I originally thought. Continue reading →