I'm not kidding. I have been in a piss poor mood for the past three days. Luckily I have been able to keep a lid on it, for the most part, because I am not a psychopath who can go around being angry all the time. Still, it's made sleep difficult, which doesn't make me feel any better.
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Fred Reed has a good post up talking about what's happening to the news business in the US in the Internet age. He identifies the mainstream media as "quasi-governmental organs" which is probably the best description I've heard, and if he's wrong he is not far wrong.
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Still, I am thinking about another story, one that's probably not any good. It's about a guy who is arrested for his steadfast refusal to give up his religion, and every time they try to execute him, the gun jams, the designated shooter has a heart attack, the boss shoots himself with his own gun--things like that keep happening, until finally someone decides simply to take him to the border and let him go. (Bonus points: "Why don't we try hanging him?" "We're not barbarians! Hanging is strangulation, and it's cruel and unusual punishment." Regulations, orders, blah blah blah etcetera.) My favorite one was the guy who demonstrates to his underling that his rifle works perfectly, by firing it into the air...only to be killed by the bullets he fired as they succumb to gravity. Just as he is about to shoot our hero.
Yes, the odds against all this are stratospheric. That's the point.
But there's no story there. What I have right now is a few scenes, connected by a thin web of narrative; I don't have an ending for it and can't figure out what to do with what I have.
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One of the things that gripes my wagger:
Boss, sometime in October: Hey, check your pay stub online and make sure your raise has been applied. Some people aren't getting their raises for some reason that HR has to fix in the system.
Me: Okay, will do!
Me, e-mail: Hey boss, I checked on-line and it looks like my pay rate's unchanged. Thanks!
Me, e-mail: Hey boss, I was wondering if you'd checked into the raise thing? Like I said two weeks ago, it looks like my pay rate's unchanged.
Boss, e-mail: Okay, let me check to see if you're eligible for a raise.
It doesn't bother me if I'm not getting a raise this year. It does bother me if my boss tells me to check to make sure my raise has been applied to my pay rate, then she ignores my e-mails about it only to tell me that I may not, after all, have gotten a raise.
Like, WTF--if you don't know if I actually got a raise, why are you telling me to check to see if it's been applied? What is that about?
I have not had a performance review since January. I have not had any coaching that did not consist of "YER DOIN' IT WRONG!" since my last boss moved into another job which--again--is since like January or February. I have had my hours cut every time I requested a day off, and this particular week I am working 16 hours when everyone else is working 25+--and I cannot help thinking that it is because I requested yesterday off.
A few weeks ago I was distressed to see that I had one day scheduled, but when I got into work the next day I discovered that the schedule had not been completed when I checked, and that I was now scheduled for 28+ hours, which was great. That lasted until I requested 12/6 off, at which point my hours were slashed, and with the exception of Thanksgiving week I haven't had a week with more than 18 hours scheduled since.
If you don't want me to take a day off, refuse the request. You have that power; all you have to say is that it's a weekend and you need everyone to work their regular schedule. This passive-aggressive bullshit is unfair and unprofessional.
Of course, there is the additional fact that I am a middle-aged white man working with people at least fifteen years my junior, all of whom are female (but for the new guy) and all of whom are black, with the exception of one hispanic. I have a lot of trouble believing that this is coincidental, particularly when I have several examples of these people treating me like a dotard. They're all friends, they do things outside of work--things I am not invited to. (To be fair, things I would not care to do--but exclusion is exclusion, and if a supervisor starts treating her friends better than her non-friends that is nepotism AKA favoritism, something which is supposed to be a big no-no in a company that professes to value integrity.)
So on Monday, if there is time, I get to confront my boss about the scheduling thing, because it is patently unfair that I'm working 16 hours when everyone else is working 25+, and I can't wait to hear her excuse for it.
All I want to do is to go to work and do my job with a minimum of stupidity. You know? I can handle the abuse from customers, I can handle opening the morning after closing the night before, I can handle being at the counter for four hours at a time with no breaks--all of that is perfectly within the bounds of my ability. What I can't handle is the politics, the nepotism, and all the other bullshit that company policy itself proscribes.
...and then, at the training I went to, the district manager for Geek Squad complains that he has trouble retaining people. Yeah.
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All this bullshit makes me incapable of thinking clearly about writing SF, which is what I really want to do right now, damn it. *sigh*