Not that it matters, but....
I went out with some of my coworkers once the time in the mines was done today. The Mrs., who is very generous with letting me get out, again allowed me some time to socialize, especially since my powers of estimating the time of arrival home are extrodinarily poor on Friday afternoons. Anyways, on Thursday at MANDITORY staff meetings, our leadership pretty much said our jobs, and by extension, are lives were not as tough as others we serve. I'll just leave it to say I am doing social service related work, and the specifics need to be general to protect someone, I guess.
To continue on, we were told our work is challenging, but not as hard as, say working construction, or being a single parent trying to make ends meet, etc. These are almost direct quotes, not exaggerations. The irony here is that many of my coworkers are part of single parent households, or have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Talk about slapping someone in the face. Also, a lot of us, include yours truly, worked factory and/or construction jobs before our current positions. Unfortunately, the economy being what it is led to a lot of those places closing for parts south (Mexico) or west (China). Generally speaking, our health was better then, and hypertension never entered into our vocabulary. Age could be a factor, but most of my friends who are still in those fields have less health problems than myself and my current coworkers.
One of my current coworkers took stock in reviewing this situation, and said "If we don't do much and are viewed as something just above pond scum, what does it say about them and what they do?" In a related topic, I believe our political leaders are just like the management where I work. They ignore the realities of our lives, in favor of pitching whatever point they find favorable to advance their careers in politics. Even when we tell them what our lives are like, such as suffering the results of higher fuel prices (i.e., everything goes up), some speeches are made and prices continue to rise.
We finally made it to a level of what I thought would be "comfortable, but not extravagant" recently. Like before oil prices complete went off the ranch of reality. Granted, the Mrs. and I are both working, but I am no longer working three positions. Now I have to consider getting into something additional, in part because we send our monkeys to private school because our public school district isn't fit, well, for anyone. And we got used to doing a few more extravagant things, like going out to nice restaurants and participating in wine tastings.
We can pull back and go back to our past roots, like hosting more gatherings for our friends at our domicile. This is more cost-effective and probably more user friendly, but after being told I was on my way to the American dream, the rug once again is yanked out by jackassery by those who can. I am all for Capitalism in its purest form. I accept that I probably won't be on top at the Millionaire club because I don't intend to sacrifice my family and their time for more money. That's why I only work one job now. But why do I have to pay more for gasoline and everything that gasoline helps to move and produce (oh, wait...that is everything!) because of the speculation that someone is going to fart sideways in the Middle East.
And since I'm on my soapbox, why are consumers blindly paying prices and consuming at the same levels before gas went waaayyyy up? We don't drive as much, and we try to plan our trips out better, especially for shopping. Emergency outings to the store are no longer for extra butter or ice cream: they are for things like medicine or something the kids need because we don't have it. I learned my lesson and try to minimize wasteful spending: where are all these other Dee-Dee-Dees (explanation via Carlos Mencia on AOL video) coming up with the extra cash? Oh wait. They are charging like mad again. I guess when they can't pay their bills, the government will bail them out like the Wall Streeters. Oh wait again. We don't have the standing that the Streeters do. And rightly so, individual debtors will have to learn the hard lesson reality. Too bad the Streeters got off from having to learn as well.
I don't know if this will lead to anything that matters, but I think it is worth noting that common sense is mostly dead in mainstream America. And as Carlos Mencia so aptly points out, people don't think and want exceptions because "it's too hard". Those who are working harder will end up taking the non-thinkers stuff, especially any sense of pride and self-worth they might have had.
EDITORIAL NOTE: There were a few Labatt Blues consumed in the preparation of this post. Please excuse any irrelevant material as remnants of having too good a time with coworkers. Also, this post may be revised with additional relevant hyperlinks once good sense and judgement return to the Professor.