You know what? I’m tired of the complaining.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 7, 2014 by The Holy Fatman

Today, all of my Baltimore friends are sharing this article that outlines why they are “sad” about living in Baltimore City, specifically–Patterson Park. HEY! That’s where I live! You know what? I have a different outlook. The thing is, I *AM* staying–No Question, despite the high taxes, crime, political machines, shitty mass transit and high poverty rate. These are ills, yes–but I’m TIRED of people focusing on those. For all the bad things that happen, there are about four or five GOOD things happening here. To start: Violent crime in the city has gone down significantly since the 1990s. Patterson Park was a blighted shithole back then, but caring residents who REALLY believed started cleaning it up and it worked. Once it became a viable place to live and raise your children, people started moving there.
We have businesses opening up–Both BIG and SMALL, creating jobs and making the place more awesome than it already was. We have an awesome arts community that continues to do really big things: Creative Alliance, Baltimore Rock Opera Society, The awesome small and big theater scenes, The Burlesque shows, the music scene–small, large–it’s all reasons enough to stay.
One thing we actually have going for us is that people can still afford to live in this city. I have a friend that lives in a studio apartment for 1400$ because it’s in DC. I don’t want that.
We aren’t DC, Philly or NYC, yet
That’s what people want—a City that becomes soooo unafforable, it prices the middle class right out. and right NOW–the middle class is barely scraping by
But–it’s SAFER!
Where do you think all the people who were priced out of NYC/Philly went?
Newark, NJ, Camden, NJ. Crime always exists, it just goes some place else and becomes “someone elses problems” because it’s the result of a larger issue at work in this country.
“What about the CRIME?!?!?!?!?!?” people ask. “It’s a problem and what we should do is LOCK UP ALL THE YOUTHS! No. That’s not it at all. If we buy that–we become no better than George Zimmerman.
How many people pick up the phone and call in support of a bill or referendum?
You can clean up a neighborhood by buying/renting and living here, but there are more things to do, too
Get involved. make your voice heard. be a squeaky wheel. Armchair activism is not doing anything. A bunch of people share it on FB and never look at what worked and what doesn’t, they just go on to complain or say “I told you so!’ without batting an eyelash.
No one calls to voice their concern, they *MIGHT* go to a meeting of their little neighborhood oligarchy association asking for more police and more parking, but never really addressing the core issues that are hurting the city: Blighted neighborhoods, lack of jobs, an overworked and underpaid police department and Politicians who aren’t vested in change–only in the pockets of their contributors.
Do you know HOW many people voted in the last mayoral race? less than 1/3 of registered voters!
People want change, but sharing articles on social media isn’t going to change things. It may start a debate, but it won’t produce real change unless the debaters vote.

Volunteer, campaign, get behind someone with real answers. Stop buying into ideology and pick up the phone, visit a city council session, support a bill or issue that will make positive changes in this city. It takes the same amount of time that sharing an article and engaging in debate does….

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This SUCKS! …and the many reasons why it does….or TL;DR

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2012 by The Holy Fatman

I often get asked if i ever liked working at all. Answer is yes, I did, at one time or another like my job. Sure, it had its moments, but I did like what I did.

I’ve tried to explain why the current job I have isn’t any fun at all. People believe that I’m just bitching to hear myself bitch. No, not true. What people do not understand is that working in a call center is a very special kind of hell. A hell that I promised I would never go back to when I was 18 and had my very first job. Except, 20 years later, I’m working in a fucking call center.

Giant, Epic FAIL.

At first, I was excited to simply have a job. I thought, after years of unemployment, this was a great way to break into a new career and start moving on up. What I didn’t realize is that IT help desks are the lowest of the low of all IT jobs.  You simply do not have enough skills to know certain programs well enough to be specialized, (unless it is Outlook) and that makes your skill set less than desirable.  You don’t believe me? Ask a hiring manager what they would do if they saw a Help Desk resume pass through their desk. If the candidate doesn’t have any certifications that indicate they might know a little more than HD troubleshooting, it’s going for one of two things: The trash can or another help desk position.  Yes, you’re basically pigeonholed, despite having to repeatedly tell people how to do their jobs on a daily basis .

Unless you’ve worked in a call center, you have no idea what goes on. Sure, you’ve called plenty, gotten customer service and have had varying experiences. Some call centers are overseas, some are in your company. One thing is for certain, you want that person on the other end, regardless of what they can or cannot do to fix your issue. Now.  Sometimes, we can. Other times, and often in the case of an in house IT call center, we can’t.  Allow me to highlight some of the things we are asked to do: (some requests might be paraphrased or translated for the snarkiest of us to easily understand)

1.  Can you submit {request} on my behalf so I can get out of doing it myself?

This one is my fav.  person would rather not do it, so instead, they call us. 

2. I don’t know what I’m doing with this program! 

Well, now. How did you manage to get this job? I suspect you were able to lie and say you had experience or your shiny college degree magically told the hiring manager you must have taken a class in it! Guess what? It’s Not our job to tell you how to do your job. Ask your supervisor or, better yet, I know how to actually use the program. You’re now fired. 

3. GET THIS FIXED RIGHT NOW…NO, RIGHT NOW….NO, TYPE ON YOUR LITTLE MACHINE, AND MAKE THIS WORK RIGHT NOW!!!!

No, the caps are intentional.  People will call and demand that we fix things right away, even if we ask basic Question to arrive at what might be the problem. They interrupt, tell us they’ve already done this, are generally rude and do not respond well when we try certain things. These are the people who we should be able to hang up on. They are usually unreasonable and treat us like lowly dogs. 

4. While I have you on the phone….I need you to tell me why I can’t do {insert a request that is either a blocked website due to company restrictions or looking at pr0n } ?

Sometimes it’s as mundane as “can you make sure that My search history *ISNT* deleted? sometimes they want to make Buxom Babes with Buxom Butts isn’t blocked. yes, that happens. People are that stupid. 

5.  Can you…walk me through this? I’m such a techno idiot! 

No, really…If you’re over age…55, you get a pass. But if you’re between 20-50, no, Fuck you. If you can do your job, you can expand your skill set to include a little more computer knowledge. Computers have been a huge part of the workforce for more than 30 years. You have NO EXCUSE. So…if you can’t do basic form filling, figure out how to get to a website or even log on to your computer, well…You’re Fired.  I’ll take your job and do it better, faster and more efficiently. Probably for less money, too! if you’re a recent college grad with your very first job and you think it’s “cute” to be “tech illiterate” you don’t deserve your job. I bet you 6 people with better skills will gladly take your place. 

 

Couple these every day examples with the fact that we are NOT measured by our skills, kindness or abilities. We are measured only by how many calls we can take. It’s often understaffed, so you end up doing the work of about three people.

So…try taking 50-60 calls of the above repetitive crap I outlined every day.  2-3 minute breaks on occasion and the fact that, chances are, your buddy in the next cube is not taking as many calls as you. Also,  keep in mind that while you do this, your opinion was once valued and you could run circles around most the yahoos who call, possibly doing their jobs faster and…better.  It’s not fun. It’s not awesome. and I’m through being “Grateful I have a job”  It’s time for me to move on and give someone else a chance to be “grateful.”

Suggestions for Direction: Don’t Occupy Wall Street, Occupy DC.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2011 by The Holy Fatman

It’s great that people are finally turning off the Television (or don’t have enough income to afford cable) and getting out to voice their anger over the current economic situation. However–there needs direction–even if it’s broken into several areas that need reform. Here are my suggestions:

Student Loan reform, Bankruptcy reform, Forclosure reform, (all fall under comsumer protections from predatory lending) The current legislation was crap–written by and for banksters, not the 99% . Lets try to improve it.

Repeal Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act.  This was a piece of legislation that created the mess we’re all in today–signed by our beloved President Clinton right after Bush was elected.   That takes care of financial institutions being allowed to be banks, Investment houses and insurance companies all under one roof. It’s a major vehicle that allowed their shenanigans and created the bubble that lead to the 2008 crash/mess.

Repeal McCaran Ferguson Act  This is why you can’t buy health insurance from Virginia, or NC if the prices in MD are too high. There is NO competition! Could you imagine if health care companies could compete for our business much like auto insurance companies do? Imagine THOSE “Flo” commercials!  I bet you  prices would come down overnight.

Introduce bills that prevent corporate funding of congress. We know that the Supreme Court gave corporations carte Blanche in secret funding of Lobbyists, Astroturfs and think tanks. Money talks loudly in Washington. Stop the money flowng to these faux organizations  and all you have is voters.  A Corporation may have the same rights as you and I, but they have significantly more money to purchase overpaid lobbyists. I used to be a Lobbyist in DC–the only way to gain audience with a senator or congress critter was to donate significantly to their election fundraisers.  THAT practice needs to stop.

Change the framing of the debate. Republicans work very hard on calling things like Medicare/medicaid/SSN and food assistance “Entitlements”.  As a person who was recently employed after TWO years of unemployment, I can certainly state that I never wanted a free hand out. I was entitled to nothing. I was free to apply and get approved for assistance, but I never once believed that I was entitled. I suspect that a large majority of people do not believe that, either.  Why are they called “Entitlements”, Then? It’s the way we perceive the individual who applies for these benefits: a greedy poor, lazy person who demands their free money, as if they’re “entitled” to our tax dollars . See how easy that was? Now start to change the language they use and we can control the debate again.

Start discussions on laws that need to be enacted such as real healthcare reform. Phase out the insurance middleman–start to phase in a single payer system. I spoke to a Canadian recently and she told me her family pays a 400$ a year “tax” on healthcare. They never have an issue getting to a Dr, the healthcare is always good and all the major issues we hear are mostly fallacies. How much do we pay? $14,000 yearly for family coverage.  And, Of course–we are always at the mercy of a bean counter in a cubicle who is really worried about making his bonus rather than the number on the spreadsheet of life–that number–your policy number–and weather or not your treatment will be approved and paid for.

I have many more suggestions for This movement that is starting to gain momentum. I think they really need a leader– perhaps a few (think Glen Beck and his Tea party minions) an effective leader/media piece who knows and can voice the many things we’re angry about. and it’s true–we are the 99%. That is a good place to start.

Just shut ’em up already…..

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2011 by The Holy Fatman

Most of you are already aware of my propensity to talk politics. I used to work knee deep in the shit, rubbing elbows with some of the top Bush Aides and other notable political names, many who would turn a room cold with their sheer evil. I once shared an elevator with Karl Rove.  He was a nasty little troll with really horrible coffee breath.  It was prettttty cold on that elevator.

I’ve blogged on and off for years. Had a small captive audience when blogging was the newest thing.(back in the dark ages of 2005)  Now I have twits, status updates and all that shit to condense my thoughts into little 140 character blips.

I have much more to say.

Most of you won’t even bother reading past the first three sentences and that is OK. Maybe my screeds about what is wrong with this country bores you to death and makes you want to gouge your eyes out with a pen.  Perhaps your attention span is only 140 characters long. Maybe you just don’t give a shit.  I’m dangerously close to not giving a shit anymore—but only out of sheer necessity.  When you’re poor and out of a job for as long as I was, you tend to think about surviving the next day, not what Boehner said on Fox News.

 


Could it Be? Did I learn Photoshop?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2011 by The Holy Fatman

Chase Face

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2011 by The Holy Fatman

Beautiful, but annoying.

Morning light

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5, 2011 by The Holy Fatman

Cooking in the Morning Light.