Takin’ a stab at it
Do you believe in love at first sight? The other day while driving my friend to the airport, my ears caught this song on his fancy premium digital radio system. I was like, “What the? This is awesome. Swoon!”
Overcome by emotion I swerved and almost crammed into a concrete barrier.
It was one of those moments where you’re floating along, from moment to moment, and not even realizing it, kind of like a feather floating on a breeze. Then, almost in self defense, your thought bubble suffers an intrusion and you become aware of something. Really aware.
That’s what happened with this song. It reached out and grabbed me. Far too quickly the moment was over so I fiercely committed the name of the musical artist to memory. Sick Puppies. I have got to get me some more of that.
You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.
Old wisdom we’ve all heard before. The Sick Puppies take such a simple idea and turn it into a transcendental experience. And it’s got a toe-tappin’ beat. The interpretation offered by this video selection is a runaway stagecoach ride of fun.
Marital Arts – Martial Law
How well can you ever really know another human being? You think that person is your friend? How would they react when the chips are really down? Or, in some cases, what have they already done behind your back? (Past tense.)
Believe it or not, I haven’t shared all of the juiciest tidbits about my boss. Not yet. But wait, there’s more!
Yes, I’ve deliberately held back when it comes to revealing all that could be revealed. The man is a veritable gold mine of asshat behavior. Call it some sick sense of decorum or good form, but (unlike him) I have my limits.
I do want to paint an accurate portrait of the lumbering mass but I have to be choosey. And some stories I’ll probably end up taking to my grave. But I have decided the following should be made available for public consumption. And it’s 100% true. I couldn’t make up shit like this.
One thing that makes the boss so special is the sheer totality of what he is. He brings his A-game to every person, every situation. Employees, of course. But also customers, friends, his children, and people he meets on the street.
Oh, wait. I almost forgot.
He also brings it to his wife.
Continue reading →
The Wall Street Journal is beamingly proud to scream out the news: 86% of workers are obese or have other health issues. Yeah, baby! Eat that, workers!
It turns out the 99% has too much fat content.
Yeah, when you want to hear bitching and whining about that which grinds the wheels of capitalism to a halt, be sure to turn to the Wall Street Journal. (It helps to pretend that they aren’t owned by one of the biggest pieces of shit God ever pushed out of his ass.)
The WSJ laments that this army of “obese” workers could be costing the economy $153 billion a year in lost “productivity” from increased sick days. (They call this the low estimate and claim the actual amount could be closer to $1.1 trillion.)
They also lament that only 1 in 7 U.S. workers has “normal” weight and is also without a chronic health problem.
Can you see what they are doing here? It’s a bit subtle so I’ll give you a moment. Make the jump to see my interpretation.
Continue reading →
Presidential promise breaking can make you sick
As Vector Man, you might say that I’ve made being a vector a meme on on my blog. It’s a topic I mention more often than, say, drinking Starbucks coffee (maybe once a year), so I certainly feel that makes the subject blog-worthy.
Here’s a quick refresher for the newbies:
an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen
It is Vector Man’s solemn duty to work when ill to increase the odds of passing along illness to other humans. It’s a thankless job but someone has to do it. And Vector Man takes his superpowered duties very seriously. Sure, I don’t have a catchphrase yet, like Dr. Horrible. (I’ve got a PhD in horribleness.) But I’m hopefully my application to the Evil League of Evil will still be accepted.
How about, “Always keep your flu open!” Or maybe, “Be loyal, true and stay on the right pathogen!”
Meh. I’ll keep at it.
Of course, every superhero has his weakness. For Superman it is kryptonite. For Seattle-based Phoenix Jones it is reality. And, sadly, for Vector Man, it is a mythical entity known only as The Paid Sick Day.
Once, a presidential candidate known as Barack Obama promised to create more of these sick days and do away with Vector Man once and for all! Luckily he failed.
Here’s the history of how Vector Man survived:
In the time when Obama campaigned to become president, he made a promise:
Require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year – which may be taken on an hourly basis – so that Americans with disabilities can take the time off they need without fear of losing their jobs or a paycheck.
Source: “Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan to Empower Americans with Disabilities.”
Strangely enough, no federal standard for this sort of thing yet exists. I’ve got an idea! Let’s leave it up to small business owners and see how often it actually happens. I’m giving four-to-one odds. Any gamblers out there?
According to the website PolitiFact, however, that promise is now listed as “broken.” Obama had specifically proposed that employers would be required to provide their workers with seven paid sick days annually.
A proposed bill called the Healthy Families Act contained the specifics. The idea was that employees would earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. For an employee with a 40-hour work week, that would be seven days of sick time for every 1,680 hours worked (capped on a yearly basis). The general idea was that workers could use this time when ill (as the CDC seems to think is a good idea), care for a dependent, or recover if they are a victim of domestic violence.
In the run-up to the 2010 midterm election the GOP promised to review any laws that impose additional costs to employers. The seven paid sicks days guaranteed by the Healthy Families Act fits into that category.
Having to pay workers for seven additional days would result in a rise in cost to employers. Such an extra cost could lead to companies hiring fewer additional workers, and Republicans have said they want to reduce government regulation on employers, not add to them. Given these political realities, we rate Obama’s promise as Broken.
I don’t image there are any “costs” associated with spreading illness and disease as far and wide as possible, eh?
Of course, as usual, government regulation merely represents the bare minimum that employers must do. For example, without something like the Healthy Families Act, they could still implement a plan like this, but, mwuhahahahaha! Why the fuck would they ever do that? That would cost them money, you know, the money they deny the employees who actually did the work. Remember what Vector Man likes to say, “Never share anything you can keep yourself – unless it is a virus, of course!”
Hell, the plan wouldn’t even have applied to business with 15 or less employees. They always include an escape clause, don’t they?
So heed the words of Vector Man and promise to do your part: I will work when ill! And I’ll touch as many things as possible – phone, stapler, doorknobs – and I’ll cough and sneeze without covering my mouth. If anyone asks why, tell them, “I’m helping Vector Man save the day!”
Your hard-working nation will thank you for it! And that’s nothing to sneeze at!
The Nothing Hour
Last Friday, one week ago today, I sat at my desk at work in the afternoon, my ears ringing from my illness and bubbles were coming out of my nose as I practiced my mouth-breathing skills.
All sounds were muted since my fallopian tubes (ear canals) were completely filled with snot and I felt like I was swimming underwater. Time had slowed to an interminable crawl and every half hour I checked my watch to see that only three minutes had gone by. Meanwhile my eyeballs started to burn as I tried to look at my computer display.
“Is this Hell?” I asked myself. Every fiber in my being only wanted one thing: To get off work and start the weekend, where, if the Lord would only smile on me, just this once, I’d be well enough to go back to the shit factory by Monday. (I know, what a lofty goal.)
Fast forward to today. I’ve got another week of living Hell under my belt and I found myself back in the exact same situation.
It was the most powerful feeling of deju vu I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.
Home now, I feel slightly better. That alone is enough to make me feel different. Not being at Work has remarkable restorative powers. Sure, my ears are still ringing and my snot is still the color of Nickelodeon slime, but I do actually feel a wee bit better.
I can’t believe the length of time I’ve had this crud. I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick in my entire life. So far 2011 has a shot at the worst year E-V-A-R. I’ve been like this for six weeks now with the current bout lasting 14 full days and still no end in sight.
Somehow I did make it through this week, though. The weekend is here. I will lay low, conserve my energy, ingest my snake oil and placebos, try to sleep as much as I can (epic fail) and try my damnedest not to set one toe outside of the house. I pity the fool who knocks on my door.
By the way, do you know how to tell the difference between effective and ineffective medicine? It’s easy. The shit that has absolutely no effect is the stuff you are allowed buy. This stuff has a code name. It is “Over The Counter” or OTC. There is a huge industry built around selling this fake stuff.
The shit that actually works? That’s the stuff you can’t buy, at least without tithing your physician a Benjamin ($100 bill) and even then there’s only a slight chance he might see things your way and prescribe something that actually works.
If the medical community had any brains at all, they’d put me in an induced coma and wake me up when this shit was over. Now that would be valuable medical treatment.
This week was the ultimate rat-in-a-spinning-wheel experience. Toss and turn and sweat fitfully all night long, where I’d lay awake in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling, then oversleep and find myself with 45 minutes to get ready for work.
I’d run around the house like a madman, skip breakfast, pray to God my car would start, get to work three minutes late, out of breath, then get pounded with the life or death pressures of selling useless crap on the internet.
Then get home when it was already dark, scramble to find something for dinner, then stumble to bed.
There sure is nothing better than being at work especially when you feel like death warmed over. Just the three of us: me, boss and coworker. The holy trinity of cough and snot. Coughing. Blowing our noses. And all in the confined space of a work area smaller than the living room in my house. No privacy and we’re all eating each others germs and phlegm. Yummy!
This week the boss added a new bit of hilarious fun. Sitting at his deck and hocking up loogies, oh God, and then noisily plop-plop-plopping that snot into his goddamn wastebasket under his desk.
Seriously. Is this Hell? If it is, can I at least have the courtesy of a little confirmation?
There was one bit of a bright spot this week, though. (I’ll go ahead and wait while you pick yourself up off the floor.)
I was able to jump off the rat race and get off work early a few days and briefly disrupt the vicious cycle. I came straight home and fell into bed. I wanted nothing out of life more than just fall asleep, which of course turned out to be the single thing which was denied to me. Funny how it works out that way. Even when sick I can’t nap. I did consider quaffing a bottle of tequila but somehow even in my condition I knew that would be a damn lame thing to do, even to get a few minutes of sleep.
What I discovered during these brief periods of rat race interruption, quite by accident, is something I’m calling The Nothing Hour. Lo and behold, this is quite the revelation. The idea is this: No matter what is going on in your life, you step outside of your normal bullshit rut (which is so deep you can hang posters) and do nothing for one motherfucking hour. Every day. No matter what.
That’s it. That’s the whole deal.
I’ve found that it works wonders. It’s like, “OMFG! What a strange sensation! What is this feeling? What is this doing nothing shit?”
This isn’t for the weak. The first couple of times I tried it the feelings were so alien they almost killed me.
Stop and smell the roses? Bah! Sure, do that, only skip the rose smelling part. Just do nothing!
My plan is to take an hour for nothing every single day for the rest of my life. And I’ll always carry a rocket launcher on my person to be used on anyone who attempts to fuck with my Nothing Hour.
This may very well be my greatest discovery yet. Greater than the GPS Dildo. Even greater than the Advent Calendar of the Seven Seals. Maybe I’ll get a trademark on this.
Of course, it goes without saying, even during The Nothing sacred time, somehow The Snot is still there. Fucking party crasher.