The Economy


This video has been getting a lot of attention recently, and for good reason.  (Although not because it’s narrated by Annie Lennox, as I mistakenly thought when I first saw it).  Annie Leonard breaks it down for you in 8 minutes – all the ways we are duped into buying what we think is cleaner, more exotic water.  I admit, I bought bottled water for a few years when pop culture told me to, but it really didn’t take long to see a whole lot of money was being spent for……..WATER.  I’m a bit of clean freak, so it never made sense to me that my tap water was good enough for cleaning but not for drinking?  When I lived in Milwaukee, the tap water was good – it actually tasted better than bottled and we drank it happily for the last 4 years and saved a bundle of money.  Sure, there were little floaty bits in the glass when the ice melted, but they didn’t hurt me none.  The tap water here in Vegas is fine as well, and since there is a filter on the fridge, there are no floaty bits in the ice.  I travel quite a bit so I make a habit of trying the tap water in different cities, and really the only two places in recent memory where I can say I didn’t like the smell/taste of the water would be Boston and Houston.  Boston water is soft as hell AND it added an extra 30 minutes to my hair time every morning.  Houston water (which I grew up with) is a little hard and smells like chlorine, I was stocking those 3 gallon Sparklettes bottles in my kitchen for years.  But if I was moving back there today I would definitely stick a water filter on the tap and call it a day.

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Recession or not, it’s a hard world out there in general, and there are few things I hate more than turning away eager job applicants.  As a sub-middle-management type (more like the hiring front lines), I am inspired with a great deal of pathos on a regular basis.  I’ve placed a few Monster ads seeking administrative support in my time, which basically makes me a combat veteran (never again).

I’ve suffered the Walmart cashiers applying for highly-specialized technical roles, and the desperate immigrants with PhDs applying for janitorial jobs in a pitiful bid to stay in-country.  Having all these people call you on the phone to plead their cases will make you want to claw your soul out, as you have no lifeline to throw them; your false words of encouragement ring in jaded ears, and you reveal yourself as yet another, seemingly heartless, dead end.  Never include your contact number, for your own sake.

I don’t often find mirth in poorly-written resumes, or people battling for positions above or below their qualifications.  Mostly, it makes me feel sad, and then lucky to have a job, whether I like it or not.  In times like these, a good friend and I sometimes turn to a certain resume that made its way to our inboxes some years ago, and I have decided to share it with you here.

It goes without saying that names and locations have been changed to protect the witless.  However, the content remains unchanged, and so does, I hope, the enterprising spirit of one Miss Petunia Alexander:

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work_stressA few weeks ago, I did a post about my Boy Person’s impending move-in date, and how, while I was excited, I was also weighing in my mind the ways in which I view this new definition of commitment as a limitation of opportunity.  How very funny, in retrospect.  This week is my first week as a cohabitant, and the challenges thus far are a little different that the ones I was expecting.

I planned to do my second post on the division of housework and personal time – you know, the standard day-to-day things that keep us all ticking along, and seek input on how you divvy up your own allotments of chores and space as cohabitants.  While space is something the Boy and I are still working on, all of that has come secondary to The Most Important Thing in My Life:  My Job.

As seems to be the nature of my job, things lurch along without much of a problem until, all of a sudden!, we enter a solid week or two of panic mode, wherein I am at the office 11 hours a day, perpetually stressed and wiped out and completely incapable of carrying on functional relationships with the people in my Real-Life, to the point where I am too exhausted and irritable to even make a phone call when I drag my ass home.  I get so physically and emotionally tired that I am a fount of irritability.  I am crabby.  I am short-tempered.  I am brittle.  I am the worst version of myself and I have no time for anyone else.  I never meet friends during the week and I don’t even like to call my mom, because when I get home I just want to inhale the little bubble of solitude I have for three hours until I collapse into bed to have anxiety-dreams and wake up dehydrated and achey at 4:00 am.  It is melodramatic, completely self-centered, and I feel helpless to do anything about it.  (more…)

large_healthcare-somersetHere is my fun new game.  It’s called:  Let’s compare healthcare costs!  It’s very simple.  In the comments, write down what you have to pay for healthcare.  Why?  Because we all need to compare what the average person is paying, and the more answers we get, the more we learn (and if you live outside the United States, please do weigh in).  Here’s an example!  I was talking to my parents last night, both of whom are self-employed (this makes it extra fun) and it turns out that their price per month, which has been $2,000 (and that’s just for the two of them!), is being increased to $2,500 a month.  As Wayne and Garth would say, “Whoooaaaaa!”

And as my Mom said, since I caught her and Dad in the midst of reconfiguring their finances, “It would be really nice if we could put that money towards something else like, say, retirement.”  I agree, Mom!  After, all, this is my inheritance we’re talking about (cue laughter).

I’m not linking to anything, because I don’t have to.  I’m just angry.  The UK may take 30-some% of my wages in taxes, and I may bitch about the NHS all the livelong day, but I am absolutely shocked that my parents are being extorted like this.  Also, my dad is a doctor, and do you know how often doctors go in for medical treatment?  If you have one in your family, you’ll know that the correct answer is never.     

I don’t know about you, but my blood is simmering to a nice boil.  Fortunately, I live in the UK, so I can see someone for that.  If you live in the States and your own blood is boiling, let’s hope it’s not a pre-existing condition because, well, you’re shit out of luck, aren’t you?

overwhelmed_leadYou ever been absent in your own life?  That’s sort of where I am right now, although I’m hoping things are heading back to tolerable.  This blog, which I think about every day, is really important to me.  I’m not under the illusion that folk check in to consume my (and my co-writers’) every word, but I am so very happy with this tiny corner of the internet we’ve set up and the incredibly cool people who choose to hang out with us.  I know every regular commenter by heart, and I actually do hang onto their words, because it’s sort of like wandering into my favorite cafe and joining my random group of friends who always have the table in the back with the busted seats and it’s our space.  It’s like an awesomely ragtag group of people who are arguing about politics, laughing at a fashion magazine, and comparing oral sex travesties in a raucous manner and there’s always an interesting story to walk into.

So, I’ve basically been absent for six weeks or so, which is my longest “break” from the blog since we started it up.  And, honestly, it’s been both bad and good.  Here’s what’s been up with me:

1)  I got swine flu.  Okay, it wasn’t officially diagnosed, but that’s what I got.  I was exposed to it the weekend of July 4th by a friend who has a fully-functioning immune system (I do not), and about three days later I got sick.  It was undoubtedly the sickest I’ve been in a long time, but I went into work every day because we had a bunch of important meetings and this is not the economy in which I felt I could take a few sick days without imperiling my job.  For whatever reason, I always think of the flu as vomiting/nauseau/diarrhea (incorrect).  Since I didn’t have exactly those symptoms, I didn’t even consider swine flu until I was past the point of contagion and had been dragging my ass into the office every day for almost two weeks.   I went to bed at 8:00 every night and would get up feeling like death even after 11 hours sleep.  By the time it was pointed out to me that I had flu, and I practically crawled to the office of my GP, I was greeted with a sign that said “IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE SWINE FLU GO HOME.”  (more…)

dirtyjobsSo, couple weeks ago I told you about some of the shitty/not so shitty jobs I’ve taken to make a dollar.  Each job was a brand new experience to me, but I knew going in they would all require a bit of grit and a lot of patience.  In short, I’ve never had a job that I expected to be easy.  Easy is fine for some things, but easy at work is boring, I prefer a challenge, something to keep me engaged and vested in the outcome.  I’ve hated plenty of my jobs, too, and none moreso than in Corporate America (can I get an ‘Amen‘?), but the only way a shitty job situation is going to change is if I change it myself, right?  Well, some of my changes were more interesting than others, after the jump:

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Hello my Hookers,

hate-job1_Full

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I’ve missed you!  So Sorry for not posting, things have been hectic and new and exciting and unfamiliar.  The mister and I have just completed a move from the MidWest to the desert of Las Vegas and it was brutal.  We drove the whole way, it took forever, my ass almost fell off in the process.  Never again.  Additionally, the other Buttercups are finding their summer to be more stressful than carefree – Trixie is about to move, (again) Panda is still in work confinement (although her last smuggled letter tells us she maybe, possibly can see the light at the end of the tunnel), and Tailfeather has a touch of the piggy flu combined with a massive workload determined to kill her – she is fighting valiantly.

Nonetheless, we Buttercups believe in finding the brighter side of things, the lighter side, the side of the pillow not soaked in snot and tears and your good mascara.  Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke, right?

And so, today we are talking about the J-O-B.  For in these harsh, economic times everyone is worried about, hating, wishing for or hanging on to whatever job we can find.  But you know, when it comes right down to it, a job is a job is a job.  When you need to make rent, or put food in the fridge, or pay for school supplies, or get your car fixed, or pay medical bills, it’s time to do whatever it is that needs doing.

I’ve had some damn shitty jobs in my life, and I’ve had some fun ones.  Looking back on it though, I see how the shitty jobs have given me perspective, shown me that I could do things I didn’t think I could, and given me the confidence to know that, hey, if I can get through this, I can get through anything.  Bring it on.  After the jump, kadinsky’s illustrious employment history. (more…)

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