Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Walmart Effect

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about my time spent working at Walmart. Not those years in the 90s when Sam Walton was still alive and there were no Super Centers, but rather the past few years, when those running Walmart have taken to heavily understaffing their massive 24 hour stores as way of maximizing profits.
Almost all customers complained about the long lines at the registers and the horrible customer service all over the store, to those poor souls like myself who worked in the departments or were cashiers, and did their best to help the customers while following a mind boggling number of rules and regulations. They screamed, they yelled, and they called us names, but they always came back the next day and repeated the cycle.
I've been thinking about that mess because of the massive uproar just before the release of the most recent Avengers movie over sexist comments made in an interview by two male stars of the franchise regarding a character played by their female costar. Blogs were written, furious Facebook statuses were updated, and much angry analysis was done about Marvel Studios' disregard for the integrity of its female characters and the inherent gender inequality between male and female superheroes... Yet, the movie broke box office records upon opening, and continues to do so today.
All is forgiven then, it seems. None of that righteous rage and feminist angst matters anymore. Social outrage, often anonymous, made so easy and accessible at the age of the internet, is all posturing and hot air as far as I'm concerned.
Are you mad at me? Are you screaming, calling me names and telling me how wrong I am?
Then I'll tell you the same thing I told those pissed off Walmart customers: Quit your bitching and moaning and do something about it! If you are truly upset by how a corporation is treating you, boycott them. Write the corporations directly, don't just scream at the employees or blog about it, do something tangible, make your anger count.
Because as long as you continue to give them your money, they're going to do what they like and not give a shit about your name calling and your status updates.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Watch This Space..

I did my taxes about a month or so ago, and it landed on me like a ton of bricks; the realization that I am now part of the lower middle class, and therefore, screwed. I was happy for having taken a step up from barely above minimum wage retail work into making double digits per hour, or at least content, figuring on slowly paying off my credit cards and maybe even putting a few dollars away.
But it all dawned on me as I completed my taxes, the fact that these days, the lower middle class isn't a good place to be, even if only on the way up. Whatever benefits are allotted the lower class disappear; the food allowances, Medicaid, and the like, and taxes go up.
So the lesson here is stay in the low income bracket unless you can suddenly make six figures.
Anyway, all this is longhand for saying I've made a few decisions and I'm working on bringing them to fruition, one way or another.
Watch this space.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

U2 And The Celebrity Nudes Leak

Okay, give me a second to explain.
Last Tuesday, Apple gave away the new U2 album to all iTunes users for free, whether they wanted it or not. This caused an uproar, albeit a minor one, and prompted many tech sites to publish instruction on how to remove that album from one's iPhone, iTunes, etc.
I, however, had no use for such instructions, not because I'm not a fan of that self-righteous, whiny band, rather because I simply know how to utilize the basic features of my tech. Every time I buy a new device or download a new OS, I spend about 10 to 15 minutes and learn its ins and outs, its basic operations, and how it may be different from what I'd previously used. That's how I knew to turn off automatic downloads and uploads, and only allow useful and necessary features to function without my direct input or permission. Thus, no annoying U2 album for me, on any of my devices.
To that end, I offer this simple advice to anyone who cares to listen: When you buy that shiny new piece of electronics or download that powerful new OS/Update, sit somewhere for about 15 minutes, figure out where the settings are, and TURN OFF ALL AUTOMATIC PERMISSIONS. Then go back through and figure out which one of those you actually need and want, and TURN ONLY THOSE PERMISSION ETC ON.
(Apologies for the all caps, but I had to emphasize those points).
There, problem solved. You won't have Bono whine loudly in your ears, and no one gets to touch themselves to your iffy photos doing whatever with/to whomever, which for god knows what reason you saw fit to leave on your phone.

You're welcome.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Cincinnati Update!

Greetings, gentle readers, from the land of... hills, mostly, though I'm sure Cincinnati has more to offer than ups and downs. I'll do my best to discover this city's qualities and report them as soon as I possibly can.
But this post isn't about the southwestern city in Ohio, named after the Roman statesman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, it's about me, or rather how I seem to have finally found a place in which to settle down, after what seemed an eternity of moving around and dealing with failures, empty promises, unreliable friends, and soul crushing family members. Yes, gentle readers, despite it all, I've finally found my footing. I have my own apartment, have a decent job, and slowly but surely, I'm building a home here in Cincinnati.
But why Cincinnati, of all places, I hear you ask. Well, this was my last ditch effort at standing on my own two feet, and to escape all the bullshit once and for all. I called upon a friend, one with whom I had all but lost touch in the past few years, and desperately asked for help. And she came to my rescue, giving me a place to live while I looked for a job, helped me at every turn, finding solutions to my many and constant problems, listening to my moans and groans about every little nonsense, and allowing me the pick of her vast knowledge and experience in life, among many other fields.

And that's how/why I have ended up living in Cincinnati; it's where I've finally found a friend. 


The rest of whatever is left, gentle reader, will come easily enough.     

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Doesn't It All Make You Wonder?

Since Sunday, the news of exactly how much of a racist asshole LA Clippers' owner Donald Sterling really is has dominated the outlets, has brought outrage from many athletes and owners, as well as anyone with a savvy adviser, and has supplanted what little air time was given to the crisis in Ukraine or the long raging civil war in Syria, among others.
And it all begs the question of why? Not why is racism an important issue, but rather why suddenly now? Why do the media suddenly care about what were personal comments made in private, and let's be honest, not the worst racist rant in recent history?
Is it because it was made by an owner of a NBA team, a predominantly black league? Would we have cared as much if it was made by, say, a NHL or MLS team owner? Is it because the comments included names of famous black athletes? Or is it simply just sensational and must be exploited? After all, it was all made public by TMZ... 
Racism has been a part of the world of sports for a very long time, and is indeed a global problem, affecting even well known players with legendary clubs. Only this past weekend, Brazillian Dani Alvez (who plays for my beloved FC Barcelona) reacted brilliantly to racist fans throwing a banana at him mid match. A great article published in ESPN The Magazine a while back examines this issue, and makes for a very informative read.
In a word, it's a huge problem.
Yet, we here in the US seem to only care when racism is sensational enough and involves major figures in some way. Other times, just to give one example, we comletely ignore the overt and intentional use of the "N Word" in Hip Hop and Rap, even going as far as celebrating it in award shows and such. Racial stereotypes continually pop up in movies and TV shows, without anyone batting an eyelash. 
Think about this the next time you hear black youths loudly, proudly, and extensively use that infamous word in refrence to each other and other black people, never giving it a moment's thought.    
   

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014...

I had promised myself I wasn't going to post a new blog until I had something good to talk about. I just didn't want to whine about my endless misery anymore, and I really didn't want to alienate any of my friends and acquaintances who are kind enough to read these little musings.
Alas, life had other ideas. The last few months of 2013 were anything but kind to me, dashing my hopes of any normalcy and stability, and showing me the true colors of the few whom I knew as my friends. I won't go into details here, since many of you are already familiar with my recent woes and more of you probably don't care, but suffice it to say, my life have been severe and at points, even somewhat scary.  
And so I begin this new year, putting the bitter unpleasantness that was 2013 behind me, hoping for something, anything, better. I f I am to have learned anything from my experiences this past year, I will trust no one, never count on anyone, not even my immediate family, and just serve my own ends. After all, that's the way to live successfully in America, it seems. 

But wait.

That's no way to live, anywhere. I need to have friends I can trust, to be able to count on some people for some things, and I simply can't live the self-serving, egocentric life most Americans live. Yes, such approach to life has severely hurt me, since my arrival on these shores in 1992 up until a few weeks ago, but I refuse to give up who I am.
After all, there still exist friends who care about me, who despite having shared very little of their lives with me since I've known them, came to my rescue in late December, keeping me off the streets and giving me the opportunity to try and make a fresh start somehow. 
And there has of course always been the closest family I have, my cousin who has always been there for me and continues to support and push me through my trials and stupidities, no questions asked. 
It's these kindnesses, these acts of selflessness and support, that I will refuse to be just another self serving, uncaring person. I will do what I can to help those I can, hoping to spread the idea of human oneness, of improving one's life by helping improve others'. 

I'll just have to take greater care with it all.    

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm so tired...

Once again, I find myself on the move.
As you may recall from the previous post, I was in desperate need of either a second job or one with better pay, lest I fail to pay my rent. Well, I blanketed the mall with applications, none of which yielded results. I did come close a few times; I interviewed at the Eddie Bauer store, and had two interviews with Apple. But the manager at the Eddie Bauer store was promoted two days after he interviewed me and simply set everything aside for whoever was to take over, and Apple just didn't want me and wouldn't say why. Days passed deeper into September without any interest from the numerous stores where I had applied, and I was forced to consider any and all alternatives.
That was when a friend from Richmond reached out to me for help, and gave me an idea. After quite a few texts and even some phone calls, I decided to move back to Richmond at the end of September, to help my friend, to have a roof over my head, and to start again, in a place where I left early last year, hoping never to return.
And here I am, once again packing my meager possessions into a rented subcompact car and setting off down I-95, leaving behind the lonely, cold, and unreasonably rigid world of the Tyson's Corner area, and back to familiar grounds, to where I at least have some friends.
It's been said everything, no matter how painful and unreasonable, happens for a reason, and I firmly believe that. Let's hope all this moving and uncertainty is leading somewhere, to something decent, something around which I can finally build my life.

Honestly... I'm just so tired of it.