My Musings on Life, Happenings Etc. Etc.

I decided to create this blog to do what everyone else does on the internet, Bitch about stuff that annoys them. From Movies, Life as a Yankee living in the South, Conversations I've had with people, Observations about random things. As always I plan to do this all in my unique sarcastic euphemistic way.

The Time is......

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First Amendment Violation?

Recently a co-worker informed me that she'd been been asked to come into the office for a talk. Once there she was questioned about a fairly common and innocuous Facebook post she'd made regarding her work day the day prior. The post which I didn't read, but was told was something akin to: "Had a really rough one at work, customers can really be demanding sometimes!". Though she didn't state where she was talking about, her work information on Facebook plainly states where she is employed and how long she's been there. Management instructed her to remove the post from her Facebook page when she returned home that day, which she did.

I am of the opinion that, unless it involves specific people (i.e. My manager Mr. John Doe is a complete and total incompetent asshole!) there is no cause for the request made by the management. I understand and have myself signed a confidentiality statement which clearly outlines what can, should and should not be shared when it comes to company business when outside of the workplace. Though in this case I feel that management over stepped their bounds.

Further, after hearing about this incident, I asked one of my managers about the incident, not naming names, in the same fashion that I have done here. I was told that "Home office is drafting a policy about that, but I don't know too much about it."

Correct me if I am wrong here, but stating that you had a rough day at work is not damaging to the workplace and also stating that some customers are overly demanding, isn't damaging either. We've all been in a store, where there is a mother with three children, who are not behaving themselves as mom argues with the cashier over the price of Peas. Or maybe you the reader are the Mom arguing with a manager about why the store you're shopping at doesn't honor internet pricing from their own website while your children destroy displays and cause mischief.

What concerns me is that a workplace is attempting to control their employees behavior while they are not on the clock, nor even on company property. They are telling one of their employees what they can or cannot say on their Facebook status' In my book the company who believes that they can tell people that they pay for eight hours of their time several days a week, what they can and cannot say while they are in their own homes is a violation of the constitution. The fact that the Main Offices of such an establishment are crafting a policy on the subject disturbs me greatly.

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

I ask this; What kind of establishment holds itself in higher regard than the ruling document of the country in which it was founded, resides and operates? No institution which operates in this country (The United States of America for anyone reading this who is not from here) has the authority to revoke your constitutional right of free speech. There are a few exceptions to this, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) which is a law itself.
I personally would have refused such a request, though admittedly I do not have my place of employment listed anywhere on any of my profiles. If the new "Policy" is passed and enacted, I am certain that other companies will follow in the future. As a free citizen of this country I openly and vehemently oppose this type of fascist behavior from established organizations and will argue the point of it as long as necessary. I'd love to hear others thoughts and opinions on this subject specifically.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Idiots We Work For!

Ok, by now, if you read this blog at all, you know that I'm outspoken and will pretty much say anything. I'll indict anyone for any reason. Basically I'm not afraid to raise my Bullshit Flag!

So I was think/bitching to myself about the fuckin idiot Manager/Supervisors we work for out in the workforce. My Bitch is basically this:

As a Manager/Supervisor/Leader we cannot be successful in any endeavor that we undertake without the people who work for us. It is the success of the collective team that contributes to the success of a manager. The problem here is, in my experience, 90% of these managers (I will use Manager(s) as the title of the collective group to mean supervisors/leaders and managers from here on out) are not aware of this fact. It is the work of those whom they supervise who make them successful. Most of them are too busy worrying about making a name for themselves or getting their asses chewed for not meeting some deadline to understand this basic concept.

When I was an NCO in the Infantry several years ago one of the most important intangible principles of leadership is "The Led" meaning those whom you are in charge of. You must take care of them first. When you have subordinates (I hate to use that term) you must take care of them. This does not mean always giving them their way, but it means knowing them, their strengths and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes. By knowing these things about them, you then know how to best communicate with them and motivate them.

It should also be noted that a subordinate will go to further lengths and work harder for someone whom they feel has their best interests at heart. Of course the opposite edge of that knife is true also. If we as the work force feel that all you, as a manager have only your interests or your superiors interests in mind and at heart, we are less willing to go that extra mile for you. It truly is a symbiotic relationship. If you don't care about anything but yourself and your own ass, then I don't care if that ass gets chewed. Of course they like to remind us that "Shit rolls downhill". Which is a somewhat valid point. The reason it is only somewhat valid is this. If I am making $8.50 an hour, I have an easier time quitting and finding a new job of the same or near the same wage. You as a manager on the other hand, have invested more time and energy to make it to where you are than I have. So simply up and going to seek your fortunes elsewhere is not necessarily an option in your mind. (I personally have been on both sides of this argument, so trust me I know a bit about it)

I guess the point I'm trying to make is this, if you take care of your people as a manager, they will in turn take care of you. You need them to do the job and you need to be able to rely on them to get the work that needs done, done. If you don't take care of your workforce, they will not give a shit about your needs and deadlines. Excuses will be made and the most minimal effort to get the job done will be given, because they know that you don't care about them, so they in turn don't give a shit about what needs done. If you don't believe me, take a walk through your local Department store (i.e. Walmart, Target, or even Kroeger). Look at who is working hard when there are no managers around and look at who truly cares about their job.

It goes without saying that some people have a strong work ethic regardless and will take pride in their work. But those same people will find other ways to circumvent the system, they'll read and understand the policies and how they apply to them. Intentionally using those same policies to stick it to their managers when ever and where ever possible.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Here we Fuckin Go Again!!!!

Well, I am certain that I'll ruffle a few feathers and piss people off here but I've had about enough!

There was an earthquake in Japan. Apparently an 8.9 on the Richter scale. That's pretty bad.

So I'm on Facebook and I see post after post about prayers going out, etc. etc. to the Japanese. Disgusted. I'm absolutely disgusted.

My view is that in most cases it's hypocritical compassion. For some I'm sure that it's sincere. But let's look at it realistically.

The U.S. will no doubt send millions of dollars in aid to Japan, which is still one of the richest countries in the world. Loosely translated, they don't need it. Celebrities will no doubt champion relief funds for Tsunami survivors. The "Global Village" will respond with money, time and numerous fund raisers to help these people who lost their homes, possessions and loved ones during this NATURAL disaster.

Now as someone who has survived a NATURAL disaster (Hurricane Rita) which left us (My wife and I personally) without power for 9 days and water for 5 days along with hundreds of other military families, as well, as tens of thousands of civilians in the area. None of those celebrities who raised funds benefited me or anyone I know a bit. The federal government (FEMA) was worse than the Hurricane itself and though the nation sent their prayers it didn't do a damn bit of good.

It is my opinion that you can save your lip service prayers and "Heartfelt concern" for those suffering from this disaster. Sorry to sound cold but posting your thoughts and feelings on a social networking site do nothing more than make you feel better. I can promise you that the people affected by this don't give a damn about your neo/pseudo/hypo christian prayers. They want power, homes, their things and loved ones back.

Now, far be it from me to simply bitch about things without giving some sort of solution or alternative solution. So I say Fuck the Japanese survivors. It's a tragedy true. But here in our own country we have families torn apart by a war. many families are suffering from the loss of loved ones, both emotionally and financially. We have American Soldiers on food stamps to feed their families. Poor, Homeless and drug addicted Americans that need to be taken care of, financially, morally and psychologically. We have hundreds of illegal aliens coming to this country daily, sapping the public assistance system and filling our prisons.

We have a social security system set up to take care of our senior citizens and many of them still have to work to make ends meet. But the bleeding heart liberals will cry a fucking river if we don't send aid to the Japanese. I'm sorry but let's make a reality check here. We have our own problems in our own country and until our own house is straightened up and the way it needs to be. Fuck everyone else. Why can't we as Americans take care of Americans then worry about everyone else? Why do we as a country feel the need to be police and rescuer of every other country when it is doing stupid shit or has had some natural catastrophe occur?

As an American, I am a patriot. I spent 8.5yrs serving this great nation and I love it. We have real problems, but they are our problems, we need to solve our problems then worry about everyone and everything else.

So the way I feel is; Until we take care of US, meaning the U.S. Fuck everyone else!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fucking Excuses!

Excuses, excuses, excuses! I’m tired of all the fucking excuses! I hear, almost on a daily basis people telling me why they can’t do this, can’t go here or there, or can’t try something. A typical conversation goes like this:

John Doe: You Scuba Dive?
Me: Yeah.
John Doe: Man I’ve always wanted to do that, is it fun? (This phrase inclines me to give a bit more information “I’ve always wanted to do that”)
Me: Yeah .
John Doe: Ever see any sharks?
Me: Yeah, but they really don’t bother you, they usually leave because you end up ruining the hunting for them.
John Doe: Man, that’s so awesome I’d love to do that! I’d love to see a real shark, and not on TV or in an aquarium.
Me: So why don’t you get certified?
John Doe: Isn’t it expensive?
Me: It’s not too bad, around $300, plus you have to get fins a snorkel and mask, but most shops will discount those and work with your financial situation, kinda a pay as you go or make payments and when they’re paid off then you start your classes. You should look into it.
(Here is where the excuses start)
John Doe: There probably isn’t anywhere around here to get trained huh?
Me: Alexandria and I got certified in Lake Charles, during the winter, the water was brutal.
John Doe: I don’t know, is it hard to learn? (the disqualifying questions begin)
Me: No, plus since you’re paying them to teach you, they really make sure that you know what you’re doing.
John Doe: Yeah well I guess if I wasn’t married I’d have the money. (I don’t know how many married divers there are where both spouses dive or only one dives but I’m sure there are a lot)
Me: See if she’d like to get certified and y’all can dive together?
John Doe: I don’t think she’d be interested. (Translation; I don’t really want to do it, so I won’t even talk to her about it)
Me: Well here let me give you the card of my dive instructor, give him a call if you’re interested, he’s a good guy and will work with you if you want to try it.
John Doe: Thanks I’ll look into it! (Translation; I’ll put the card in my wallet and never look at it again, or I’ll throw this away as soon as I’m where you can’t see me do it.)

This conversation was an example of people who may want to do something, but never will because they’ve given up the thought that they ever could before they even tried. I am not certain of how many times I’ve had conversations like this one, on subjects ranging from getting tattoos, to doing a blog to what used to be my online radio show, to going to a horror convention. The thing that I guess irritates me the most is when people come to me to find out information about doing something, then give me every excuse from the fact that they have children, are married, go to church and or their financial situation for not doing whatever it is they have asked me about how to get into doing. Don’t ask me “Man, when’s that horror convention and where is it? I wanna go!” and then give me a laundry list of reasons that you “Can’t” go.

I truly detest when people begin making excuses to not do something. One of my favorite excuses is; “My wife/husband won’t let me.”. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around that concept. When I hear someone say this to me, my response is almost always “Let? What do you mean, let? What does that mean your [insert significant other here] won’t let you?”. As a married man of nearly ten (10) years I can’t think of a single thing that I need my wife’s permission for, conversely I cannot think of anything that she needs my permission for either. I am a grown person, as is she, both of us are quite capable of making our own decisions, even if they are sometimes bad decisions. Though it goes without saying that there is a mutual respect which rules our individual decision making processes. Can I have sex with the nineteen year old nubile neighbor? Yes I can. Would the decision to do so adversely effect my marriage? Yes it will. So out of respect and love for my wife I choose to decide not to sleep with the 19 year old. (We don’t really have a 19 year old neighbor, so this is not a real decision I am forced to contend with.) My wife has the same understanding. If I want to go to a strip club with friends, do I need to ask my wife? Nope, though I do inform her so that she knows where I am, as a courtesy. Does she need to ask my permission to go see the Chippendales dancers with her girlfriends? Nope, though she will let me know where she’s going, and I appreciate that. So I have an extremely difficult time understanding when people tell me that their significant other won’t let them do something. It makes no sense to me. How old are you people? This is your wife/husband, not your mom/dad! Grow up!

What I infer from these conversations is that the people who are telling me that they’d love to do this or that but can’t or because their significant other won’t let them is that they’re either scared to try something new or they have no control over their lives because they’re really just overgrown 8 year olds. This type of behavior and thinking disgusts me.

Here is how I see it:

If there is something that you really want to do, you’ll go do it, what ever it may be. There is no reason that you will not accomplish something that you really want to do. If you have to save up money to buy it or to afford it, then you will, if you really want to do/see/experience it.

My advice:

Stop being a whiny pussy/child, if you want something then go for it! Do what you want to do, see what you want to see. Don’t let someone, be it your wife, husband, brother, mom, dad or friend stop you from doing what you really want to do. If they truly love you then that person will be happy that you are doing something that you enjoy. Of course if it’s a self destructive or self damaging activity like using Crystal Meth or participating in the gang bang of a crack whore, you might want to think about it and avoid those activities.

What I say:

Quit your bitching to me about your weight, about not getting to go here or there, about not learning this or that skill unless you actually are going to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sensationalist Media!

Hola Mi Amigos! This week has been spent watching a lot of Netflix and I got mildly interested in this show Hunter & Hunted which can be entertaining, if not a bit irritating.

The show chronicles animal attacks, similar to the show Fatal Attractions though the people who are attacked are not the owners of said animals. Instead this show focuses on wild animal attacks and attempts to discern what factors might have contributed to the attack.

Now that's all well and good, however, the narrator uses a dramatically sinister tone of voice, often making the animals in question out to be natures terrorists. Here, I'm going to highlight and dissect just a few episodes in brief.

Season One Ep. Alligators in Paradise: This episode chronicles a few different Alligator attacks in the Florida. With its myriad of man made water canals, and large population of Alligators which are still a protected species.
Many of these protected gators have gotten quite large. The show asks the question; "What has turned these large reptiles into man eaters?". I think that this is a silly question, Alligators are ambush predators and opportunistic feeders, anyone straying too near the water is increasing the odds of coming in contact with a gator. In some areas of Florida, many of the larger gators have grown up around humans and therefore have no fear of man. This is not a case of Alligators turning "Bad" and becoming man eaters and intentionally targeting humans. The gators are doing what comes naturally.

Season 2 Ep. Shark Invasion: This episode takes a look at the beaches of Recife, Brazil, where shark attacks have increased in response to industrialization. My issue with this episode, is that the writers go out of their way to make the sharks out to be vicious man eaters that are out to hunt humans. This episode was a direct contrast to the excellent and informative show Shark Rebellion which aired on the Discovery Channel as part of their Shark Week programming. To this I say Fuck You National Geographic Channel! I would have thought that a company like Nat Geo would be smart enough to make accurate reports and attempt to educate the public as opposed to trying to scare an already shark weary public! The episode could lead one to think that there are sharks out there that do nothing but hunt humans. As I've been in the water with Bull, Tiger and Scalloped Hammerhead sharks to name a few. I can tell you that most sharks will go out of their way to avoid humans. If there were sharks out there hunting humans, even one shark swimming around with the intention of eating humans and there would be far more attacks on humans than there are every year!

Season 2 Ep. Stalked at Sea: This one chronicles a Surfer on an East London, South Africa Beach who was simultaneously attacked by two Great White Sharks. A truly amazing event in and of itself. The Narrator states that "Great Whites do not inhabit this area." Below is a map showing the locations of Seal Island, which has the highest concentration of Great White Sharks anywhere in the world and Nahoon Beach, East London where the attack took place, both in South Africa.


Now I am not 100% sure but I think that Sharks can and do swim wherever they want to. Unless there is a shark somewhere that abides by state and national boundaries, however, I doubt that this shark exists.

Below is the video of said surfer being attacked. Truly a frightening thought, but it happened.

The Narrator goes on to ask if there was something about this surfer which made him a "Shark Magnet". He [The Narrator] goes on to point out that surfers wear wetsuits, which could make them appear to look like a Seal to these sharks. He then goes on and on leading viewers to think that all sharks are dangerous and will attack humans for no reason. This negative media sensationalism is completely contradictory to the show Air Jaws which originally aired on the Discovery Channel. On Air Jaws scientists prove unequivocally that Great Whites around South Africa will attack anything which appears to be food. They also explain the contributing factors to these attacks; Poor visibility, abundance and location(s) of prey, water temperature and time of day.

Personlly, I found these episodes to be counterproductive to Shark preservation. An organization like National Geographic should be working to educate the public about the function of these predators in their environment. At the same time they should be educating the public about conservation efforts, behavior and ways to avoid shark encounters much in the same way that Discovery does. They should absolutely not be sensationalizing the negative aspects of sharks and Alligators, which are beneficial to the ecosystem. Below are two charts, one is the statistics compiled from the ISAF (International Shark Attack File) the other is Automobile Fatalities Statistics compiled by Car People are afraid of going into the ocean due to shows depicting man eating sharks, but think nothing of getting behind the wheel, Mystifying!

Shark Attack Stats


Car Fatalities Stats


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hard Freeze!

Now, having spent roughly 23 years of my life living in Pennsylvania, about 17 miles north-west of Pittsburgh, I've seen some miserable winters. I've listened to an untold number of weather reports as well. So now living in Beautiful (Italics denote sarcasm) Leesville Louisiana, I heard something recently which made me say, "What the fuck is that?".
The Term "Hard Freeze" is a new concept to me, it's almost a new southern Buzz Word. Being as analytical as I am, or anal as some call it (Hmm...Anal? Chuckle) I had to find out what this buzz word that's being throown around near water coolers and in break rooms across Louisiana was about. So like any true lazy ass, I googled it! The results had me non-plussed:

1: Freeze Warning - Widespread temperatures at or below 32 °F (0 °C) during the growing season. A freeze may occur with or without frost. A hard freeze occurs with temperatures below 28 °F (−2 °C)[Source Wikipedia]

2. Hard Freeze —A freeze in which seasonal vegetation is destroyed, the ground surface is frozen solid underfoot, and heavy ice is formed on small water surfaces such as puddles and water containers. [Source American Meterological Society website]

Now having grown up, in the North East where temperatures regularly go below zero every winter, I found it odd that I'd never heard of this. In Pennsylvania, the weather people tell you to bundle up because it's gonna be cold or friends will say "Yinz better bundle up t'night cuz is gonna be fuckin cold!"

So mystified was I that I thought about this concept for while, Hmm.....Hard Freeze?
Well when I was a child and teen, we'd say things like, "It's 19 degrees, so we're going to Economy park to go tubing tonight!" It regularly dropped below 28 degrees and we thought nothing of it! Happens all the time. Not sure how many games the Steelers have played in where the temp was below 28, but I'm certain that it's alot!

So I have come to this conclusion a Hard Freeze is simply another way the sensationalist media is making another attempt to control the general public by scaring them into staying t home and helping to further stunt the economy of this ever downward spiraling nation.

My final Hypothesis on a Hard Freeze is this, it's colder than usual, so my advice? Get a warmer coat, buy some warm gloves, dress in layers, wear a hat, and go do whatever it is that you were going to do, because it's nothing to be afraid of! You pathetic, media driven, mindless lemmings!

I need to go find my inner-tube now and go tubin, cuz the weather's right!
Nevermind, I live in the south......NO SNOW OR HILLS!