Archive for category: Office/Day Job

Union Dues

05 Jul
July 5, 2018

So, we now have the US Supreme Court telling public sector unions that they can’t force employees to pay dues because those dues are used for speech that the employee has no say in or actively opposes. Some are calling this the death of unions, which I don’t think is necessarily a good thing. I’m hoping it will force a change in how unions operate.

I think public sector unions need to be abolished or substantially overhauled. There’s a governor on private sector unions in as much that if they have to balance the firm’s survival with their demands. Management has to balance the unions’ demands with the survival of the firm. Neither can force a third party with violence to support both the survival of the firm and the unions’ demands.

However, I can also understand wanting to band together to prevent management from forcing bad pay and working conditions. I also understand how the government, in its role as an employer, may want to have one negotiation covering as many employees as possible instead of hundreds or thousands of individual employment contracts. So, how to address all of these competing concerns?

My solution would be forcing a wall between the union’s bargaining activities and its political activities. I’m thinking how the NRA must separate out its political activities (by way of the NRA-ILA) and its educational activities. The bargaining fund could only be used for bargaining activities with management, and not be used for political donations or speech. A fee per employee could be assessed because each employee is using the union services for that bargaining. Any other service that the union would provide (health care, pension, grievances) should be through non-compelled membership. If union leadership wants to ask for political donations to support candidates, then those donations should be in a specific political fund for those activities.

There is a union at the day job. I don’t want to join it both because I dislike how they handle employee-management relations as well as just disliking public sector unions in concept. I’d be more willing to pay a fee for bargaining if I knew that it wasn’t going to be used to pay for speech that I strongly oppose or advocate for employees that really need to leave government service.

Maybe this ruling will force the changes I want to see.

Ruminations on Travel

19 Mar
March 19, 2018

Work sent me to a conference in Las Vegas last week. A few tidbits:

  1. I still hate flying commercial.
  2. I hate flying American slightly less than flying United.
  3. The Vegas TSA set up was a bit more efficient than Tampa.
  4. I still think TSA’s a fucking joke.
  5. Why can’t a hotel have a pillow with a firmness above politician spine?
  6. My best taxi ride was worse than my worst Lyft ride. All of that quality for twice the price of ride sharing.
  7. When your hotel isn’t exactly in the best part of town, UberEats is very useful.
  8. Travel is hell on a diet.
  9. It’s amazing how much writing I can get done in the fifteen minutes before a presentation starts.
  10. It’s also amazing how only the vendors I’m not interested in are the ones that pay attention to me.
  11. No, I didn’t gamble. I know math. More importantly, I know statistics and I’m too frugal with my per diem.
  12. Going from Eastern Standard to Pacific Standard back to Eastern Standard and then to Eastern Daylight will totally confuse your body clock.
  13. It also fucks with remembering to hit my Star Wars game to get bonus energy.
  14. Oh, look at all the emails! From just missing five days. And how many are actually critical. Less than a dozen.
  15. Friends that come over everyday to watch your cats for you are golden. Friends who also clean your back porch better than it’s been since you owned the house are platinum.

What Can I Bring on a Plane, Again?

15 Sep
September 15, 2017

My boss has decided to take another position, and today is her last day. That’s a shame, because I just got her trained on how to deal with me. Oh well, change happens – and more frequently than I’d like.

Her departure means I get to go to a conference in Vegas this spring. That’s a bit too far for me to drive without taking leave, which means I have to fly. That’s something I haven’t done in eight years or so. This will require a close examination of my EDC.

Time to go look up rules again.

Using Real Genius

12 Feb
February 12, 2015

Had to give a presentation for a leadership development class at the day job. For the first time, my segment is after lunch. So I this is how I decided to “wake them up.”

Everyone stand up next to your desk.

Now, take a step back.

No, I’m sorry take a step forward.

Sorry, take a step back.

A step forward, a step back, and now we’re cha-cha’ing.

It went moderately well, but no one got the reference.

Dealing With Keurig’s DRM

12 Dec
December 12, 2014

My office pooled our funds and purchased a Keurig. I’ve been enjoying the time savings for my tea. Then, I tried a new brand of tea and the machine decided to throw an error. Oh, the new cups don’t have the chip that tells the machine that it’s an official licensed cup or some such bullshit.

Except, there’s always a way around such foolishness.

Things Posted Over On the Book of Face

21 Oct
October 21, 2014

Sometimes I post some material over there that I don’t here. These are a couple of items:


Fun: Taking my nephew shooting.

More fun: Getting my nephew to tell his mother “There has been a good killing.”


Coworker comes into my office to discuss a joint assignment. Before he leaves, he turns and asks me if I can smell the faint odor. The question isn’t as rude as it sounds, because we’ve had issues with the building.

Me: Yes, it’s leather dye.

CW: From what?

Me: My new belt.

CW: I don’t remember that smell from any of my belts.

Me: That’s because you buy your belts where you get your clothes from. I buy my belts where I get my holsters from.

Lightbulb goes off and my coworker wanders off.

Reputation defended for the day.

The SWEAT Pledge

09 Jul
July 9, 2014

Mike Rowe, former star of “Dirty Jobs” and outspoken of getting Americans back to work, put out this pledge.

This is going to be so fun to go over with my niece and nephew.

(Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)

1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

Trying Very Hard Not to Scream

10 Sep
September 10, 2013

One of my quirks is that I must be on time to the point I would rather be a half-hour early than be even five minutes late. I can feel my spine squiggle if I’m running late.

My brother, in contrast, does make an effort to get someplace on time, but it’s not really a big deal to him if he’s late.

Now, imagine my stress when dealing with my brother and his two coworkers when we’re running late from lunch.

I want to scream at them to hurry up, but I know it’s just me being an ass. That doesn’t stop my spine from doing the jiggly dance of stress.

Florida Ironies

21 Jun
June 21, 2013

Florida summer has returned with its normal blazing heat combined with enough humidity to make you think you’re breathing through a wet towel. Okay, I’ve lived here since I was four. I’m kind of used to it.

Here’s the fun part. Apparently, this summer wave has made someone in the office think the remedy is to turn up the A/C to extreme levels. Outside, furnace. Inside, it’s cold enough I need to turn on my heater just to make my office comfortable.

Where’s my pack of feral chihuahuas when I need them?

Just Because PowerPoint Will Let You, Doesn’t Mean You Should

02 Apr
April 2, 2013

If you want to make a bad presentation that you’re going to give, then fine. It’s your professional reputation. That said, if you’re going to give me a bad PowerPoint and tell me that’s what I have to use, please expect a verbal broadside.

For the record:

1. Bright red letters on a blue background is not pretty, it’s painful.
2. Never, never use Comic Sans font. I don’t care how “cutesy” you think it is. It is not a font that should be used in a professional PowerPoint.

If I wasn’t constrained by personal morals and workplace violence rules, I would counsel the perpetrator with a pack of feral chihuahuas.