The Surreal Housewives of #PDX
Family is enemies you don’t get to choose.
–Tom B. Taker
Once again that special time of year is nigh upon us. The holidays. Where we gather with family and friends around fire and hearth to poke at each other’s eyeballs with forks.
Run. I mean that in a T-Rex-is-gaining-on-us-in-the-Jeep sort of way.
From time to time my wife will venture out to work for the Portland elite to line her pocketses with a few handfuls of coppers. She hangs out her shingle as consultant and efficiency expert. That means, of course, employers will spend their entire day trying to trick her into changing diapers, walking the dog and running to Starbucks for another Cornucopia of Venti.
The following is a true story. No embellishment.
It was Thanksgiving. The husband’s parents arrived for a two-week stay. The day after Thanksgiving the wife took off, on her own, to vacation separately in Palm Springs until the in-laws had safely left town.
Why didn’t I think of that?! Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. Me so stupid! Me bad.
With the in-laws left home alone, the husband locked himself away in the office. The nanny watched their children. And the mother-in-law proceeded to grill household staff. “What the hell does she do around here, anyway?”
God bless us, every one.
“What is the meaning of work?” a guru asked his friend.
His friend replied, “Well, son, it happens when your wits have reached their end.”
Life is work. Work is life.
Some people, I like to think of them as motherfuckers, would have us believe shit like this.
What is work? Is it something you do in order to survive? Or is it the meaning of life itself? It seems to me that maybe, just maybe, your perspective might be based on who you are. For example, if you are The King and lounge around all day with your turkey drumsticks, your opinion that servants should pursue a life of labor just might be biased. Ya think?
Me? I’ve never been all that enthralled with money and I was born and raised into a culture where work is something exclusively done in the pursuit of money. To me money is something that enables a standard of living and some of the stuff I want. Beyond that? Who gives a shit?
So I guess it’s not too surprising that my work ethic follows suit. I don’t work for fun. I don’t work because it is its own reward. I work because I have to. Period. No other reason. Zip. Nada. Bupkis. I simply see no other choice. How many non-work life paths are there and which of them could meet my needs?
Basically the only reason I work is so I can enjoy the times I’m not working.
And, right now, at this moment in my life as a citizen of the United States, I currently enjoy the maximum number of vacation days as required by law.
Poopy vacation planning #poop
Did I mention poop yet?
This is the story of a stranger doing all of the travel planning for the final day of our vacation. And we owe it all to poop.
Quick history lesson: It all started on the second day of this blog. I wrote a post entitled Gold Nugget Economics where I espoused the commerce philosophy held by most bosses that everything they produce is a solid gold nugget and everything made by anyone else is poop.
I didn’t set out with a poop agenda on my new blog but there it was on Day Two. What can I say? It fit my economic theory perfectly. Before long the word had been used in several posts. It became a trend. Eventually it became my #1 tag. It was officially a thing.
At that point I did what anyone would do. I vowed to do whatever it took to make sure it stayed #1. Forever. And I would literally move mountains to keep that promise to my loyal reader.
Fast forward to our vacation in Seaside, Oregon this week. We rented a beach house with good friends. We were walking down the main drag. The women folk were shopping. We men were wandering, lost and bored and wondering, “Why the hell aren’t there any fucking benches in this town?” It’s almost like they didn’t want people sitting when they could be spending their money on the quintessential beach crap like fudge, salt water taffy, wind toys, plastic implements of sandcastle construction and nautical-themed nicknacks.
It was then I spied the shirt hanging in front of the cheesy t-shirt shop. “I pooped today.” Houston, we have a problem.
Like A Boss: The negotiations never took place
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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A Vacation Proposal
Sorry. Not writing a post today, I am. Vacation on am I.
I better hurry up, though. I gotta be at work in a few minutes.
Does your employer offer paid vacation? No law requires employers to give their workers paid vacation days, but most companies do pay for some vacation days: More than 90% of all full-time employees in private industry receive paid vacation, according to 2011 figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wow. More than 90% of full-time employees have vacation time in this country. And, according to the BLS, that factoid only considers private industry, and they should know! As a government agency I’m sure they’ve got vacations squirting out of their privates. If you factor in governmental employees I’m sure that percentage grows to something about the size of the Death Star.
The beauty of a having a boss that feels vacations are superfluous for full-time employees is that they can never control your mind. I’ll take a mental vacation any goddamned time that I please.
By the way? Are you hiring? Be sure to ask for a copy of my resumé. Yes, you too can harness the power of guru and have it supporting your various nefarious schemes. To guru you listen. Harness power, you can.
Never one to be undaunted, I decided to intrepidly roll up my sleeves and see if I could make the power of maths help me with lack of vacations. You’ll be startled at the results I penciled out.
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Vacation – Guru On Ice
I’m not going to lie to you. Vacation* was awesome. Here is the Reader’s Digest version of tidbits.
Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Abyss. I keep telling her she needs her own name. She shouldn’t be Mrs. to anything. It’s like, “Please allow me to introduce Mrs. Tom B. Taker.” Yeah, right. The ultimate in humiliation! Let us pray for her own name.