atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4095: This is the part I hate.

It's all over the news today: Best Buy missed its earnings expectations and the stock took a hit.

...I'm not sure where BB is vis-a-vis the rest of the retail market, but the fact is that the company had a less-than-good holiday season.

I tried getting onto the scheduling system last night to remind myself what my hours were for next week, but I couldn't; this morning, though, I found that my 17-hour week has been cut to about 10. *sigh*

We've lost some people to normal attrition and of course the holiday temps have been released, but my department doesn't use holiday help (it can't) and there isn't much to cut--and of course full-time employees get preferential treatment in the hours department--so here I sit in solemn joy.

My plan is to try to sit tight through January and see how things go, but be ready to hit the ground in February to find a second part-time job if I need to; I'm hearing rumblings from other employees about plans they're making that may have a positive effect on my situation, but it's going to take a little time for things to sort out. I don't want to leave this job entirely if I can avoid that, because it's a good place to work and I like my coworkers, and that counts for a lot.

Having ten hours per week is preferable to no income, of course--vastly preferable--so I am not complaining. I am merely describing reality, here--but reality is reality and I need income, and more than what I get from ten hours of work per week.

Argh etc.

* * *

Target has its own issues. I haven't shopped there since 2009, yet I got an e-mail from them today:
Dear Target Guest,

As you may have heard or read, Target learned in mid-December that criminals forced their way into our systems and took guest information, including debit and credit card data. Late last week, as part of our ongoing investigation, we learned that additional information, including name, mailing address, phone number or email address, was also taken. I am writing to make you aware that your name, mailing address, phone number or email address may have been taken during the intrusion.

I am truly sorry this incident occurred and sincerely regret any inconvenience it may cause you. Because we value you as a guest and your trust is important to us, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target guests who shopped in U.S. stores, through Experian’s® ProtectMyID® product which includes identity theft insurance where available....


Thank you for your patience and loyalty to Target
Oh, I don't have any patience and loyalty for Target; don't you fret your head about it!

That credit monitoring isn't free, and the entire imbroglio is costing Target a packet. At work I've heard people--clients, I mean--talking about Target in a non-good way because of this thing, and that kind of word-of-mouth buzz is the corporate PR man's worst nightmare. There are probably enough people who are no longer shopping at Target that their earnings report is going to look pretty bad, too (caveat: I say this in complete ignorance of whether or not they've released any such thing) and unfortunately that's going to be bad for the little guys like me.

That's the part that gripes my wagger the most. No one at Target who had any control over the issue is going to lose his job over this. It's going to be the grunts in the trenches who get their hours cut, or who get fired because they didn't take a pallet of paper towels to the sales floor, or whatever other trumped-up reasons their immediate managers can find to get rid of them "for cause" in order to keep the corporation from having to pay unemployment insurance. "Target never lays people off," they tell you, but they sure as hell find ways to "downsize" when they need to.

But the guys who make the business decisions, the ones who run everything and who issue the policies affecting things like corporate data security, those guys will get a stern talking to from their immediate superiors...after which they'll all go out to a three-martini lunch and talk about their golf handicaps. "Well, we're just going to have to cut labor hours again," they'll tell each other at lunch, thus qualifying it as a "business lunch" and letting them expense it.

* * *

Today's Peanuts strip features Snoopy, the World War I flying ace, stealing a Fokker D7 to fly home from Germany.

...and today the comments were actually intelligent.

#1: "The Fokker D7 looks an awful lot like a Sopwith Camel to my untrained eye."

#2: "You will note that the Fokker D7 flies right to left, whereas the Sopwith Camel flies left to right... Common mistake."

And then, further down, in the "totally f-ing clueless" department:

#X: "I flew a Fokker F-22c for nine years, they flew left to right as easily as right to left; depending on where you stood on the ground. (They were also made in the US by Fairchild.) I liked the F-70 better."


Yesterday's Dilbert was even better:

Scott Adams knows enough about technology to understand the problems with building an "electric" rocket. Heh.

* * *

Shooting deer is more cost-effective and more natural than sterilizing them. But people get all upset about "killing Bambi" and "oh, the poor deer," and blah-blah-blah.


When humans moved in, we killed or displaced all the predators that kept the deer population under control. We did this because the things that prey on deer also prey on livestock and people; to a deer's natural predator there's nothing distinguishing deer and sheep and goat and child, except that one of them has a lot less fur to deal with. So we killed them or drove them off, and people are so complacent about the lack of predation that they campaign to control guns because who needs a gun to stay safe from wolves in the suburbs? (Four-legged wolves, I mean.)

This is fine and natural because humans are the top predator on the planet. What we lack in teeth and brawn we more than make up for with our big fancy brains, and while an unarmed man is not a match for a wolf, a man with a gun is. Heck, a man with a stone axe can take on a wolf and live, but of course if you have a gun you can shoot the wolf from a distance, and the farther the wolf is from you the better chance you have of living. Wolves are murder in melee combat, but have no ranged combat ability whatsoever, so it's wisest to shoot the wolf before it gets to you. We can do this because we are smart.

But because we displaced the natural predators, it's our obligation to fill that ecological niche. And we're not filling it by tranquilizing deer and sterlizing them; it doesn't fix the basic problem of there being too many deer around and it doesn't keep them out of inhabited areas, and it does cost a lot of money.

Meanwhile, allowing people to hunt deer keeps their population under control exactly the way nature intended for their population to be controlled: through predation. It has the added benefit of bringing revenue into the local governments (county and state, anyway).

But ZOMGSHOOTINGBAMBI seems to override all the practical considerations. *sigh*

* * *

Sharia in Canada!
Tristin Hopper writes for the Nat Post of Canada that Sonja Power, a Nova Scotia high school student, isn't going quietly in the wake of her aikido teacher following provincial law and accommodating a male Muslim student's request that he not be required to touch the dirty, dirty females:...
Okay: if you're taking a martial art and you're unwilling to touch other students because they're girls, GET THE FUCK OUT. Okay? Just get out. Find yourself a hobby where you don't have to touch other people; go learn something else--take a welding class or something.

If you're uncomfortable with doing the same thing everyone else has to do, maybe martial arts aren't for you and you should go do something else, and too goddamned bad if it offends your stupid 7th-century death cult.

* * *

Blogger has been jailed. Vox Day makes a good argument that our First Amendment rights have been eroded.

* * *

The gegenschein is very hard to see and you can only really see it on a very, very dark night. It's so hard to see, in fact, that the only depiction I've ever seen of it was a drawing in an astronomy textbook. That Borepatch post, therefore, is highly interesting to me.

* * *

This is not news. When you have a pet cat, the cat thinks of you as its mother. It's the same sort of interspecies misunderstanding that has led to the domestication of dogs; your pet dog regards you as a funny-looking dog who's the alpha of the pack. A properly-trained dog acts the way he does because he's the omega in the pack and knows it (and is perfectly happy with the arrangement since he gets food and a good place to sleep from the deal).

Cats only meow when they're kittens; in the wild they only make noises when injured or fighting with another cat, or mating. Further, when you go to feed your cat and the cat knows its getting fed and follows you to the supper dish, boing the tail goes straight up like a kitten's tail.

So, not news. Oh well.

* * *

So on the AoSHQ sidebar I saw these two things linked with some text.

AT&T exec who doesn't understand why unrestrained immigration is bad for everyone except people who need low labor costs like the executives of major corporations.

Guys fueling airplanes get paid minimum wage for a job that requires working outdoors at all hours in all kinds of weather. Craigslist ad, so here's the text:
*AIRCRAFT FUELER* - Full time (40 hours)
Applicant Must:
* have a valid driver's license with a clean driving record
* be able to pass a drug test, background check and fingerprinting
* be available to work all shifts, weekends and holidays (unfortunately, we are unable to accomodate other schedules)

Position Description:
Perform fueling in safe and efficient manner...Responsible for accurate accounting of fuel transactions...Perform daily Quality Control checks on equipment...Maintain equipment in clean and functional condition...Ensure the correct loading and balancing of fuel...Responsible for defueling aircraft as directed...
Use fuel trucks, hydrant carts and stationary carts to fuel aircraft...Responsible for deicing aircraft as required...Is able to meet the Station's attendance standards.

High School Diploma or GED
To be fair any job requiring only a diploma/GED is not exactly rocket science, but it's still very hard work to do that kind of job. ("Deicing"? In Miami? Really?)

(Incidentally, the formatting of that ad blows. It should be a bulleted list, or it should be discrete sentences. The items should not be connected with ellipses.)

Here's the text Purp posted with the links, which nicely sums my opinion on the matter:
{Clueless AT&T CEO thinks more low-skill immigrant workers will boost economy} Dood, you got people with graduate degrees stocking shelves and working as Walmart greeters, and {the people who fuel airliners, a high responsibility job, are only making $8-$9/hr.}[Purp]
The AT&T exec lets his cards show when he says:
Immigration Reform: America’s unique competitive advantage has always been its ability to attract the best talent. Congress should fix the broken immigration system to create a larger pool of visas for higher-skilled workers, enact a new visa system for lower-skilled workers, offer a path forward for undocumented workers already living in the United States, and allocate greater resources to strengthen enforcement and secure our borders. Done right, reform can increase our economic growth rate, reduce our deficit, and contribute significantly to America’s future.
He doesn't want real reform but to ensure a continued influx of people who will work skilled jobs for minimum wage, because that keeps everyone's wages on the floor.

...except for those of business executives, of course. Notice that he is not advocating the mass importation of MBAs and business lawyers, because that would depress his wages rather than make it easier for him to increase his pay at bonus time by reducing labor expenditures. Yeah.

* * *

Time for teh funny!

And from the awkward photos file we have Frodo Baggins ca. 1978:

"No, Mr. Wringwraith, I ain't no Baggins, sir...I'm just on me way to the disco for a night of boogeying it down."

No, no, no--I shouldn't be so snarky about it. He can't help it; the 1970s were the culmination of fifty years of tetraethyl lead pollution.

That leisure suit is also why the 2015 fashions in the Back to the Future trilogy were so outlandish; at the time, the 1970s were still a recent memory and the people making the stupid movies could remember wearing shit that bad.

And SPEAKING of the 1970s....

Mrs. Fungus wanted me to blog about this.

Specifically, #6, "CB McHaul". And this picture:

Caption: "'I'm Bad Leroy!' 'And I'M constantly masturbating.'"

And then it goes on to say, "Oh, right. All the figures were packaged to look like they were masturbating:..."

Mrs. Fungus and I got a huge laugh out of that one.

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