Monday, August 11, 2008

Liars and cheats

You know, I'm getting sick and tired of being lied to and cheated out of my money.  I'm so sick and tired of these corporations being allowed to lie and steal our money.  The latest issue is that my cable service of off.  It's off because the people at the cab le company are incompetent and don't know how to maintina their service.  Yes, we had some severe thunderstorms today, late afternoon and early evening.  But the service was fine until late in the evening when it went off.  I called customer servie and after waiting for 20 minutes, I was told that there was some type of outage (due to the storm was hit our area HOURS AGO) and that they didn 't know when the service would be up.  Now, I had to go to my neighbor's home to borrow their phone because we have our phone service through the cable company.  So, as I'm sitting at my neighbor's home and just chatting I had an idea.  As someone who use to be fairly high up in the management ladder, until I acquired scruples, a conscience, and integrity (which started to show and I had to give up my corporate career) I had an idea of what was actually going on.  I borrowed my neighbor's phone again, called customer service, and got into a detailed dialogue with the customer service rep.  I asked some pointed questions long with some more subtle ones.  Now this customer service rep didn't give out any details (because he is not allowed to and is required,under penalty of losing his job, to stick with a specific script that they are all given), but I pretty much came to the following conclusion. 

Essentially, all of the customer reps said the same thing -

"We are aware of the problem and we have people at the site."
"We do not have a specific time that the problem will be resolved but expect the service to be up in 2-4 hours."

OK, what is my conclusion?

1.  Yes, they are aware of the problem.  No, they do NOT have anyone at the problem site. 
How can I be sure?  Remember when I said I use to be a manager?  Well, I was once a manager of a technical service department of a large cable equipment manufacturer.  Back in the old days, before they put all of the cable and phone equipment underground, it took a pair of technicians 2 hours to replace ALL of the major cable components within a specific area.  Now, it doesn't take more then an hour to do the same.  Do you REALLY believe that as time moved forward technology moved BACKWARDS for the cable companies?  Knowing the corporate mentality, the reason that they don't have anyone at the site is because they can't get a hold of any subcontractors to come out on a Sunday night.  They are NOT going to send out their own people because they will NOT pay time and a half or double time to send one of their people out on a Sunday night.  Subcontractors cost them the same, regardless of when they go out.  So, if no contractors will answer their phone to go out on a call on a Sunday night, then the customers will have to wait for the regular technicians to show up for their Monday morning shift and the customers be damned.

2.  To support conclusion #1, all I had to do was look down the street as I walked to my neighbor's house and see another neighbor, that works as a service technician for the cable company, still at home because the cable repair van was still in the driveway.  He isn't going anywhere unless he's called because he, like many of us, does NOT work for free.  If he did, then he'd never be home because the corporate crooks would keep him on the job until he dropped dead. 

Always remember, corporations could care less about you or any product or service you are paying them for.  You are an essential inconvenience.  They want to be able to maximize the amount of money that they can charge you while minimizing the service they HAVE to provide.  They haven't quite figured out how to get your money without offering you SOMETHING.  But, trust me....they're working on it.  Why do you think the corporations have so many lobbyists?  They're good citizens and looking out for the public good?  Hell, no!  They're trying to manipulate the laws where they are not held responsible for anything nor do they pay any consequences for their actions.  The whole
Enron/Global Crossing/Tyco fiasco taught them that they have a long way to go before they have the laws written specifically for them.  The Reagan Years were just the start, the Idiot Bush's Administration just build some more.  But we're stupid because we let them do it.  We're complacent and don't gather in a group - find them and tar and feather them.  Letter writing won't help.  Your letters to the "lawmakers" can't compete against their money. 

Consumer complaints?  Don't complain too much...the corporations have gotten themselves the legal right to drop you as a customer if they "feel" you are a nuisance.  Hmmm, can the world be any more perfect for the corporations?  Win or lose....they win.  Only in a America!  The best justice and laws money can buy.

Lastly, now remember I have no phone service.  I had to go to my neighbors and borrow their phone because they don't use the cable company.  I switched over to the cable company because they said their service was better then the phone company's and cheaper.  Well, they never said that they were not capable of maintaining their service.  I'm sure that they will say that I need a backup (i.e. cell phone ,etc.).  And to get that backup service will cost ME money. Add all that together and the cost difference between the cable company and the phone company disappears!  In all of the years I was with the phone company, I never had a service outage.  I pray that someone who has the cable company's phone service end up suing them until their nose bleeds because of an emergency they had and couldn't get help because the phone service wasn't working.  But in today's society, I doubt that would happen.  The corporations would just turn on their PR machines.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Brain is Fried!

1100 more jobs to be cut.  By United Airlines.  Add this number to all of the other cuts previously announced by the auto makers and financial institutions.  I guess the "fat cat" executives of the airlines don't have to worry about theirs...they shoved about 1100 people under the bus so that they can still have theirs.  I guess that the airline executives weren't too tight with those bandits over in the oil industry.  The oil executive's price gouging just shoved a red-hot poker up the butts of the airline executives, didn't they.  HA!  Ever wonder wonder when this will stop?  The predators are almost at the point of eating their own.  I guess this will all still keep going on as long as there is the "little guy" that the executives can sacrifice.  It'll come to a stop when the executives have no one else that they can get rid of and are expected to actually work for a living.  THEN you'll see something being done about the situation.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Matter of Convenience

The number of days that cause me frustrations is on the increase.  More and more of my work days are nothing more then a series of frustrations and annoyances.  Why?  Well, I sat down and tried to figure out what the source of that frustration has been.  Besides the obvious source...other people, I wanted to determine what is was with other people that caused me my frustrations.  It comes down to convenience.  Not mine but other people's convenience.  I get stuff dumped on me because other people don't want to be inconveniences in doing it themselves.  They're too busy doing "important" things, such as spending the majority of their kibitzing with someone else and keeping those people from doing their jobs.  I'm never too busy to be inconveniences, but heaven help me if I do anything that will cause anyone else any inconvenience.  There will be hell to pay...for me. 
This also seems to apply to those that can't/won't do their jobs completely, either.  They just don't want to be inconvenienced.  That would take the time away from them "kissing up" to the executives and filling them in on the latest rumours and scuttlebutt.  We can't have that.
Then there are those that want to do what they want to do.  They don't want to be bothered with having to do specific things.  Why should they be bothered with HAVING to do something when you can pass it along to someone else?  I guess they call that leveling the workload.  Someone gets to do what HAS to be done and someone gets to do what they WANT to do.  I'd just like to be that someone that gets to do what they WANT to do instead of always being stuck as the person that HAS to do things.  I wonder what would happen if I just did what many of the others do?  How about I just did what I wanted to?  But then I have to make sure that I'm the first one to run to the executives to tell them about all of the people who aren't doing what they're suppose to do (remember, this goes have to point other people's shortfalls while you're not doing anything; this keeps the executives off your back).  Problem here is that you have to stab people in the back.  And besides, who I tell on?  All of those "special" people with those "close" relationships with the executives?  Who would they believe?  Would they then force those "special" people to do their jobs?  Like any of the members of the Estrogen Club?  Or would they just keep dumping on those that are already overworked?
No, that just seems to be my lot in life.  I can't seem to win.  If I push back...I lose.  If I do nothing...I lose.  You can't even sit back and allow a situation to get to a point where others get to "feel the pain" (as in getting people to change by changing their comfort zone) because they don't accept the would inconvenience them.  So they pass this discomfort onto someone else.  They accept no reality that does not justify their current situation or their current level of activity.  They want to do what they want to do and will not acknowledge anything that doesn't support that.
Did you ever want to just jump in your car, point it in a certain direction, and just drive?  Keep going until you run out of gas and money.  Then wherever you are you find yourself a small, little nothing of a job to accumulate some money for gas just so that you can keep driving?  To where?  Who cares.  But I have too many responsibilities and I'm stuck.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Where does it end?

Where does it end?

For that matter, where the hell does it begin?  Ford announced that it plans to cut up to 2000 salaried jobs.  These are the non-production people, those that have support functions for the production line.  So, now because the Ford executives completely mismanaged the company for so many years...all the while giving the shareholders B.S. profits the little person who still needs to feed their family has to pay the price. 
I don't understand how this comes about.  What happened?  Did the executives wake up one day and find out that their financial scheming wasn't the cornucopia for them that they thought it would be?  So now the company is no longer profitable, and they don't expect it to return to profitability in 2009 and they projected (gee, what a surprise! They now have to admit their incompetence!).  So, who pays the price?  The little person.  Do you think that ANY of these 2000 salaried employees will get anything close to the financial gain that the executives get if they were "let go"?  Hell no!!  These executives will rape and pillage until they are put 6 feet under.  These executives have mismanaged the company to the point that I would be surprised if they ever able to bring it back to any kind of profitability.  Hey, look at their great long-term thinking...they pushed SUV's because they KNEW that there was no end to cheap gasoline.  Yeah, right!  The ONLY silver lining here is that you have one set of corporate executives, for the sake of their own obscene profits...they put the screws to another set of corporate executives.  And these auto executives didn't see any further then the end of their noses.  I guess then oil executives forgot to tell the auto executives of their plans to rip off the consumer so that the auto executives could put some aside for just this kind of situation.  HA! 
What makes me sad is to think of all of those people that are going to get laid off, scrambling in a messed up economy (Thank you, Mr. Moron Bush!) and no one is going to care if they or their families live or die...unless they are a large political contributor (which then would mean they wouldn't be in the position they are).  These corporate executives should be taken to task for what they've done...but they won't because the only ones who have the power to do so are the same ones that are exactly like them.  If they work to expose these auto executives, then they expose themselves, too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Problems With Dreams

I hope everyone had a wonderful and happy Memorial Day weekend.  I had an opportunity to just sit and take stock of my life.  I had an opportunity to look back to try to figure out whatever happened to my dreams.  Those aspirations that we've all had.  Many of those we came to realize were just child's dreams and were discarded, never to be thought of again.  Others are ones that linger, that stay in our minds, dreams that we still long for but are quickly coming to the realization that, for whatever reason, we will never be able to attain.  Unfortunately, that is my life...dreams never attained, never will be.  Why?  Because all of my dreams have always been usurped by others.  Everyone in my life has embraced my dreams, have lauded them as to their greatness, etc.  But what has come of those dreams of mine?  They've been taken over by others. 
Who are these others?  How about an ex-spouse who took my dream and instead of supporting it and making every effort to help me work on my dream, decided to show me how much better they were with my dream then I was.  The results?  Totally screwed and the dream trashed.
How about partners in another venture that decided that "wishful thinking" replaced actually doing something to promote ones dream.  Unfortunately, my version of the dream didn't match with theirs.  I wanted to build an actual business...they wanted to have a "social club" and people to boss around.  The results of this dream?  The other partners didn't feel there was enough revenue being generated, so they voted to dissolve the partnership.  Another dream in the trash.
What about the latest one?  It's the same theme...I want to own and run my own business.  But now I have a spouse who has wrapped themselves with my dream, told me to keep working and investing in the business, and THEY'LL build the business (with MY money) so that at some point in my life I can quit my job and jump right into the "thriving" business.  It hasn't worked out that way.  After waiting almost 10 years, all my spouse has been able to do is spend my money, have nothing to show for it, sits around the house, eats snacks, and complains how bad the business market is.  I get an attitude when I ask how they know when the market will become better if they aren't working the business?  My spouse gets in my face and tells me not to tell them how to run a business...they know what they are doing.  I'm not a genius, but I haven't figured out yet how sitting around the house, watching TV, and eating snacks promotes any business.  Well,  they could be putting out ads on the Internet.  I've never seen any and the only ones that I am aware of are those that I have put out on the Net.  All of the customers that we have had have been driven by my ads.  And with those customers, my spouse has "rules" of which customers they will deal with and which ones they won't.  Are you a customer who will buy RIGHT NOW?  Are you going to spend a lot of money?  If yes, then my spouse will deal with you.  Otherwise, they won't spend any time with you. 
I am watching another dream ready to go down in flames and I am powerless to change that fact.  I am stuck in a dead end job, working with dead end people, trying to survive in a dead end life.
I look back at my dreams and try to figure how I failed in them, what lessons are to be learned from those failures.  I come to the conclusion that I can't put my finger on my failures, not because I am that perfect, but because I have never been given the opportunity to actually try to make my dreams work.  It's always someone else taking over those dreams, telling me that THEY are the "experts" and for me to keep working my job so that they are free to work my dream and are not inconvenienced in any way.
But can I change things?  Not at this time.  Oh, I can if I choose to completely demolish my life (which probably isn't a bad idea).  I just feel too old and tired to start from scratch...again.  And for it to work I have to NOT allow anyone else into my life.  Otherwise, it won't work...because they'll take over my dreams for their own purposes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Business As Usual

Business As Usual

The news this morning stated that many of the UAW workers found faults with the tentative agreement reached with American Axle.  But they predicted they predicted that it would be accepted, albeit by a very small margin.  The UAW outgoing president wasn't that optimistic or upbeat about the tentative agreement, which will be voted on this week.  But he said that it was the best that the collective bargaining unit could do for its rank & file under the circumstances.  What are those circumstances?  Well, the economy.  American Axle is using the economy to shaft its employees.  They're threatening to move work off-shore.  But the company needs to make a profit to remain in business, you say.  Absolutely!  But it has nothing to do with the company's ability to make a profit.
One of the UAW members was quoted to say the following about the pay reduction the workers will be forced to take -

"I'm voting no. It's totally unacceptable," said Gary Reed, 52, of Warren, who criticized American Axle Chairman and CEO Richard Dauch for making millions while asking production workers to take a pay cut from $28 per hour to $18.50.

"It's a slap in our face," Reed said. "We've been watching this guy making millions and millions of dollars even while we've been on strike, and were going to accept a stab in the back and just walk away with a smile on our face?"

Why doesn't the actions by Richard Dauch surprise me?  Dauch doesn't care.  There isn't anything to make him care.  He has no compassion for anyone other then himself.  He probably doesn't care how profitable the company is, other then how it affects his compensation.  But I'm willing to bet that Dauch will be the first one to criticize the workers when they focus in on their compensation.  He'll turn around and tell everyone how uncaring and mercenary the employees are because they are not focusing on the company and what is in its best interest (translation: what is in HIS best interest).  Dauch won't care what happens to American Axle, he probably has some legal clause that will allow him to rip off the rest of the shareholders if the company goes under.  Hasn't this been the case with all of the companies in the US when they've collapsed?  The company becomes defunct...shutdown...but the executives pull out all of these fabulous clauses out of their asses that allows them to reap millions, while others (who has absolutely nothing to do with the ruination of the company) are ruined financially.

What will happen to the employees of American Axle?  They will more then likely approve the agreement.  What choice do they have?  Loose their jobs?  Stop feeding their families?  Dauch won't have that problem...regardless of the outcome.  

What can be done?  I guess to answer that question you need to ask an additional who?  Who is going to do anything?  Not any government entity.  They've been paid too much to not interfere.  I've never seen any politician actually champion any kind of worker cause.  I've seen and heard them give it a lot of lip-service, but actually do something, make some type of sacrifice, or actually take some meaningful action.  The courts? Pllleeeeaaassse!  The US courts have been bought and paid for decades ago.  If a poor person is caught stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family, he can expect to spend a few years doing hard time in prison.  But on those RARE occasions where one of these corporate executives get caught and by some remote chance they get convicted of stealing millions they end up doing their minimal time (counted in months) at some country club facility that they refer to as a prison.  Naaah.  I don't see anyone doing anything other then the people themselves.

Do what, you say?  I say start out by bringing back tar & feathering.  We can always build from there.  I can now understand the logic and reasoning behind the French Revolution.

You can read the news article about the American Axle agreement here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Inept Leading the Incompetent

I've pretty much had it! I just don't know what to do. I still my
paycheck, my salary level, and my benefits. So I can't just quit this
hell hole. The job market being what is it doesn't help the situation
any, either. What happened?

Well, it seems that there are a few privileged people here that are so
special that they really don't have to do their jobs nor do they have
to meet any type of standard of work performance. If things don't go
their way, they feel they are are being held responsible for anything,
or they feel just plain ornery...they throw a temper tantrum and
things get smoothed over for them. The latest development has left me
completely livid!

Now, everyone else in the industry has evolved, progressed, or
whatever to utilize the most current state-of-the-art tools and
systems. But not us! For us to do that would require these "Special
People" to actual do their jobs and maintain accurate data for others
to use. But the "Special People" don't want to do's too
much work for them. So I have been assigned the task to manually
process the data and make sure everything is correct. The Executives
are NOT going to hold any of the "Special People" accountable for
their work, just pass on the responsibility onto someone else. After
all, they don't want anything as mundane as work to interfere with
their favorites' ability to sit around and BS with them, do they? I
get even more work added to my list...they get more taken off of

I'd be out of here in a shot if I could find another field that pays
me what I am currently making. I don't know if I can wait a few years
more until all of the kids are out of college. And I have this slight
attachment to being able to eat actual food and living under cover. I
come in every day and wish that they all got their