Archive for ‘The Gov’ment Got It’s Finghar’s In My Honey Pot’

June 23, 2018

Lowest bidder, or a very bitter monologue

by Janie Jones

I did not go into science with the expectation of becoming rich, however, I thought a highly skilled education would at least make me eligible for jobs with salaries sufficient enough that I wouldn’t have to worry about wasting a teaspoon of ketchup.

Apparently, a BS in cell and molecular biology and a BA in biochemistry is only worth $3 more per hour than working the night shift at the local McDonald’s.

Being sick to death of mouse model research, I decided that a year and a half post baccalaureate job experience was sufficient time to begin looking elsewhere.  I applied for a job in a substance addiction study.  The job was full time and required a bachelor’s degree in science or psychology.  Duties would include recruiting human participants, informing them of their rights as study subjects, taking blood and tissue samples and interviewing them regularly for progress through the study.  There would also be data accession and record keeping duties.

I received an email asking to schedule a preliminary phone meeting to discuss the position and eagerly accepted.  The interviewer outlined the job duties and, as if being timed, quickly spit out the starting salary and rushed on, “So we would like to know if you are still interested in the position.”

I mentioned I was, however, the starting salary was well below my current rate of pay, so I would hope there was room to negotiate.  I was well qualified for the position having at least 1 year or more experience with every requirement except venipuncture on humans.

She commented that she was not involved in salary negotiations and could not make any comments on the possibility of bargaining for a higher wage.  I mentioned that I would definitely accept an offer if they were willing to come up on the salary.  She said that they were assembling a pool of applicants that they were interested in interviewing and if I made the cut I’d hear more from them soon.

Apparently they wanted to low ball their salary budget and battle it out for good employees with McDonald’s night shift instead of paying for a well qualified, hard working and experienced employee.  They re-posted the position a week later.

If I could actually stay awake past 9pm, at this point I would seriously consider McDonalds.  At least there I wouldn’t have to poke and dissect mice.  Poor innocent little mice.  At least the Gen Pop are so stupid I wouldn’t feel sorry for them if I “accidentally” slipped an obnoxious customer a little listeria.

I am seriously frustrated.  How the hell does anyone make ends meet these days?  My internet bill just went up $20 a month.  From 49 to 69 dollars.  I am not getting any new benefits.  As far as I know they haven’t upgraded anything.  So, in my book, a $20 increase seems a bit steep and uncalled for.

Oh, and my property taxes went up this year too.  The county, in all it’s wisdom, whoops I meant greed, just decided that everything across the board was going to be worth more.  My house, which no one even came around to assess jumped in “value” buy $12K.  Now it would be nice if that meant the sale price I could realistically get would jump that much, but those of us who live in the real world know that’s not going to happen.

I might, just might, be lucky enough to get a 2% raise this year.  The civil service committee, or whatever it’s called, determines each year what an appropriate raise level is, but then the individual departments get to assess what their budgets can bear and their employees deserve.  It’s arbitrary and has absolutely nothing to do with merit.  So the boob who never shows up to work or botches everything and is carried by others gets the same raise as everyone else.  Because you know, Equality, man!  Everyone should be treated the same.

Right, and the way everyone should be treated is like a pauper.

I’m beginning to feel like we need to go pitch a boat load of tea into the harbor of some government and human resource offices.

If something doesn’t change soon, well, I don’ t know what will happen.  But I’m telling you, I have always felt that if I worked hard I’d get somewhere.  I don’t have unrealistic hopes, I don’t want to live some high end lifestyle.  I just want to be able to go buy new clothes or shoes when I need them, I’m not even talking high end clothing labels or Monolo Blahniks or who every the haute shoe designer is these days.   I want to go to the grocery store and not worry if I have money for everything on my list and still be able to buy the organic stuff that isn’t pumped with pesticides and genetically manipulated.  I want to be able to finish remodeling my home and put in a little garden.  And, here’s a real crazy dream:  I would like to have the ability to put a little money aside after all the bills are paid.  I do not see how this is asking too much.

But, despite every sacrifice and all the hard work, apparently I still have no skills any employer actually wants to pay a comfortable living wage for.  And, to add insult to injury, by the time taxes, mandatory retirement money and insurance is taken off my paycheck, I lose about 30%.  Then they take more away from me after payroll taxes for the “privilege” of owning a house, a car, buying furniture, buying cleaning supplies, buying gas, even my utilities are taxed!  I very seldom travel these days because the taxes on hotels, restaurants and other transportation fees scare me.  About the only thing I buy that I don’t get taxed for is food, clothing and some medical expenses.  And, I know from other places I’ve lived that a lot of states even charge those items.

So, I’m asking an extremely rhetorical question here.  Where the fuck does all that tax money go?

I don’t live a bad life, but there is always this pressure that there’s just not quite enough money.  If something breaks or wears out with my house or car, I’m screwed.  If there’s an emergency, I’m screwed.  I cringe when my daughter doesn’t finish the milk in her cereal bowl; hard earned money spent on milk dumped down the drain.  I chastise myself for buying all that veg and forgetting to make salads before it goes rotten, or get frustrated when the Spud eats half of her dinner and “saves” the rest only to go moldy in the back of the fridge because she’d rather eat ramen than reheat quality food.  I had some friends over for brunch last weekend and one of them dumped about half a bottle of ketchup on his eggs and hashbrowns, ate two bites and the rest went in the trash.  It is absolutely painful to work so hard and watch the pennies add up so slowly then get spent and wasted in a heartbeat.  I think I will throttle the next septuagenarian who says, “I deserve a discount, after all, I live on a fixed income.”  Like I can just will money into my bank account because I’m not retired yet.

I have a tiny little bit of money I managed to save after buying my house, but I don’t make enough to add to it, much less replenish it if I spend it, so, I’m stuck.  It’s an emergency fund I live in fear of spending.  Despite going back to school for an education, I am no better off than I was before, possibly worse, because now I owe all kinds of student loan debt.  So, barring a miracle, I will live with the stress of balancing on the brink of financial disaster until I die.  There is little hope for a comfortable retirement, as I don’t even live a particularly comfortable life of employment.

I am beginning to understand the multi-generational welfare abusers.  Why bother working hard when you are never, ever going to get anywhere.

Well, that’s communism and socialism for you.  Make everyone equal so no one goes without.

Yup.  No one goes without being miserable.

 

 

 

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June 20, 2018

Thanks, but no thanks

by Janie Jones

So they had an employee appreciation day at Stickittoyou U recently.  All employees were given $25 gift cards to a big box department store.  Very nice.  Thanks!

Then week or so later I got my paycheck.  It was smaller.  Not a bank breaking amount, about the amount it would cost to buy lunch at the average sit down restaurant, but enough less that I was a little concerned about where that money went.

So I pulled up my check stub, and what, What, WHAT?  They taxed the gift card.  Because they added it to my “net salary” by the time taxes were applied I actually lost money.  They taxed, as income, a gift card.  Which was not like a prepaid Visa or something.  I can’t use the gift card to pay bills, but yet it is considered income I have to pay taxes on, and then when I use it the store will charge me taxes on what I buy.

Thanks, but if given the option, I’d have passed on a gift that would ultimately cost me more money than it was worth.

Employee appreciation my ass.  I suppose it was well meaning, but it’s kind of hard to feel grateful when I make less than industry standard, less than I made before I spent 50K on an education, and the “appreciation” gift requires me to give up money out of my already puny paycheck.

And, when I went to complain to the HR person, I found out that the new Dean, who made the decision to bestow these “gifts” was warned that they would cause the recipients to be taxed, but in her wisdom still seemed to think people would prefer to be awarded a gift that caused a deduction in pay.

Thanks new Dean.  I hope you made lots of devoted fans out of your employees.  I know I am just pleased as punch.  I will think of you oh so fondly and be oh so grateful for my job when I can’t afford to buy lunch this week.

September 17, 2015

From the Desk of James Madison

by Janie Jones

So today is Constitution Day.

I didn’t know such a holiday existed.  But it does, and today Stickittoyou U was handing out free copies of the constitution.  Surprisingly, or not depending on your point of view, most of my colleagues I mentioned this to seemed not very interested.  I, on the other hand, was pretty excited to get a free copy of the constitution.

Also, as part of Constitution Day, the U provided a link to Constitution.com where you can read up on facts about the Constitution.  You can also take a quiz to find out what founding father you would be.

Apparently, I am James Madison.James Madison

Go to Consitution.com and take the quiz.  Let’s see how many founding fathers are reading my blog…

September 11, 2015

Like I didn’t already have enough to worry about, THIS might end my long suffering college career 72 days early.

by Janie Jones

This is the new deal:

So, I wake up this morning and there’s an URGENT notice in my email from Stickittoyou financial aid.  I got a notice on Tuesday that there were updates to my FAFSA, but I was too busy to think much of it yet.  So I skimmed this morning’s Stickittoyou notice and, lo and behold: someone, and I don’t know who yet, but my money is on the Stickittoyou computer platform update, the same one that couldn’t calculate my financial aid package until the Saturday before summer class started, allowed me to over borrow by $500.

I am in my 5th year, so I knew I was getting close to maxing my federal loan money.  However, I generally keep in close communication with the financial aid office, and I as I did have a considerable amount of grants and loans this year, I thought we figured I’d be okay.  When my fall financial aid packet came through, I was offered $1961.00 in loans.  I suppose ultimately it’s my fault for accepting what they offer, but, silly me, I expect that when I’m offered something I should actually be eligible for it, so I took the max of what they offered, and they paid it to me two weeks ago.  Doesn’t seem like a lot, but apparently it is $500 too much.

But as that maximum offer was wrong I’ve now been paid money that I technically wasn’t allowed to have and they have frozen my entire financial aid account, not just my loans.  Furthermore, it kind of sounds like that is including my workstudy job money, as my job is funded by federal financial aid workstudy dollars.  It seems as though I have to go to the financial aid office this morning and find out whether or not I can still get paid at my job until I pay back that $500.

The simple solution would be to give back the extra $500, but if I do then that creates the problem of how will I pay my January 1 rent, as all the remaining money that didn’t go to books, other school supplies, keeping my car running and paying a few summer bills is earmarked for rent for this semester.  But at least I guess that will push the problem down the road a bit.

Even if I find one way or another to pay back that money, as I’ve apparently maxed out my undergraduate borrowing dollars it still doesn’t solve the problem of how I will pay the extra expenses that aren’t covered by my scholarships and grants for my last semester, but once again I guess I will just have to kick that problem down the road apiece.

Well, I guess it’s time to merrily schlepp my butt on down to Stickittoyou U for another exhilarating day of learning.
November 24, 2014

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

by Janie Jones

I don’t know whether to go tongue in cheek here, or to be serious.  But I’m getting a little tired of having to toe the party line, whatever party I’m currently at and in the curious position of feeling like I’m crashing instead of belonging.

Seems like every where I go, everything I encounter is a push for change.  And, it applies to the grand tapestry that is the world around me as well as in the microcosm of my own personal life.  Changes abound in the world government, the federal government, in my school, in my friends, in my operating system, in WordPress.

Yes, I noticed.  WordPress changed itself again.

And in all these areas I am told by some unidentified source that I should embrace these changes.  I am told if you don’t change you are a problem, you are a broken cog who can’t see the beauty of the future and it’s Progress.

A long time ago, someone I care about said to me, “If I ask you why you don’t want to change, I don’t ever want to hear, ‘Because that’s how we’ve always done it.'”

He makes a good point, but I always felt that I had to disagree.  Sometimes how we’ve always done things is not a bad way if it works.  Sometimes those old ways, those tried and true ways are what give that fabric of our lives it’s tight weave with all it’s strength, it’s character, it’s warmth.  Sometimes it’s those old ways which give us the resources to be stable, a base from which we can grow and expand and be flexible and change; it’s that uniform, reliable unchanging platform that gives us the security to know if we fall, the net will catch us in stability and reliability.

Life isn’t about stagnation.  It does need change.  But change isn’t always for the best, it isn’t always good, and sometimes changing at the wrong time and making the wrong change is disastrous.  Often it feels like the world just is leap-frogging from one new idea to the next without thought for whether the next leap is going to land in the water or on a lily pad.  I think that change is therefore necessary, but should not be embarked upon lightly or wantonly, but soberly and with ample contemplation for the impact and the outcome of the change.  Does anyone really stop and think about what they are doing anymore?  Or is it just one big glut to be always one-upping everyone else with the next best idea?  Have we just devolved to one big world game of Keep Up With the Joneses?

I feel like there is a foolish consistency in the thought that we should never accept anything as good enough, that we always need to change just because we can.  Changing for no good reason, changing because the popular opinion is if it’s new it must be better, I believe, is just as much a sign of small minds as is never recognizing the need for change at all.

Sometimes the writing is on the wall.  Things break.  They must be fixed.  But, sometimes if it ain’t broke, there is no sense in wasting time and resources reinventing the wheel.

The change we need is not to rush out and invent something new, but to change back to something long ago discarded:  a sense of moderation.  Let’s stop and smell the roses before we genetically modify the snot out of them so they will only ever smell like Aphrodite’s sweat, shall we?

November 6, 2014

Thursday Quote Du Jour #17: On politics, of course

by Janie Jones

From the musical 1776:

I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress!

-John Adams

November 4, 2014

And here’s your Tuesday Titters, naturally on politics and government

by Janie Jones

If con is the opposite of pro, then is Congress the opposite of progress?

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common: they should both be changed regularly… and for the same reason.

Q: Have you heard about McDonald’s new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it.

We used to have Reagan, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope. Now we have Obama, no cash, and no hope.

From http://www.laughfactory.com/jokes/political-jokes