The S Has Hit the F


So, you know that feeling you get when your rage button has been pressed so hard for so long that you hit that nice plateau where you’re furious, but happy? It’s that one you get to because you’ve been pushed beyond hoping the finger will stop jabbing. It’s the place you arrive at when you realize you have nothing to lose, and you have donned your warpaint, chosen your warpath, and embarked upon it with your best warhorse.

I am there. It took five years and quitting smoking, but I’m so there.

That’s why I haven’t been around the past couple of days: my company, after five years of spectacular fuckups, decided no cool-down period was needed between sessions with the rage button. And I realized: there are many jobs I’m qualified for open right now. Sure, they don’t have cushy union benefits, and I’ll lose that scrumptious extra week of vacation, and I’ll have to move, and I won’t be close enough to come home to the elderly cat on lunch breaks. But still, jobs. Other jobs. Elsewhere. With good pay. And if I get fired for rocking the boat, even if I can’t land another job immediately, I have been with the company so long they have no choice but to pay unemployment. Tee-hee. Freedom! Freedom to yell repeatedly and loudly at people rather high up, freedom to stand on principle, freedom to tell them to shape up or watch it come down to a question of will I find a job I like elsewhere before they find a bullshit excuse to dismiss me? All the while, being cheered on by those who have too much to lose to fight. And I’m staying not just for the cushy union benefits etc., but to fight that last good battle for those who can’t.

This, mind, is the kind of freedom Republicans don’t want peons to have, but I’m in a Blue state working a union job, so they’re out of luck.

And if the higher-ups listen, it will be good for the company anyway. Happy employees, happy customers, etc. They want that. They keep telling us that’s exactly what they want. It just seems that the jab-employee-rage-buttons reflex is so strong it overrides their stated desire to improve. And that’s fine. If they can’t get past that, I can certainly get past them.

Things may become chaotic for a bit, but I have my battle plans, and they include divesting myself of extraneous responsibilities at the workplace in order to concentrate on what should have been most important all along: you and my cat. With winter on its way and duties cut down to only those included in my job title, I should be able to devote plenty of attention to you both.

The last adventures of the summer season will soon be over: we have my boys tomorrow, and then maybe a small local bit o’ fun Sunday if the weather entices, and that October trip to wherever-it’s-best with Lockwood, then done. And do I ever have a collection of things to present to you this winter. Oh, my darlings, you don’t think I run around outside merely for fun, do you? Okay, well, admittedly, bringing you treasures is fun, but it’s also my job.

So look forward to that. And do be sure to lay in a supply of popcorn. You’ll be needing it.

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    Just don’t go moving too far! I’d really miss your blogging about places I can identify with.

    Meanwhile, my former company seems to be doing its best to provoke my former union into a strike. Sad.

    • Dana Hunter says

      No worries! I don’t see myself leaving the PNW unless something really catastrophic happens, which doesn’t seem likely.

      Corporations do love seeing how far they can push unions, don’t they? That’s the next bit o’ fun – our contract will be up in the not-too-distant future. I’m sure there will be fireworks.

      • Trebuchet says

        Have you talked to your union reps about the situation? If the company is violating contract provisions, or even if not, they may be able to help.

    • Dana Hunter says

      I’m always rather vague out of respect for my employers, so I don’t give out details: but I work in the cell phone industry. I’m the person who makes your cell phone stop misbehaving. That is, if you haven’t thrown it in a convenient lake. If you’ve done that, I transfer you to insurance. ;-)

      • HeatherR says

        I used to do your job but in a “right to work” state (ie, Florida) so no union powers for us. I eventually deleted my entire mailbox (with GIGABYTES of howtos and outage emails and MTSO contacts) and walked out. (The mailbox deleting actually took 45 minutes.)

        I actually went up there as a trainer several years back (for the Allhell/WW transition). If those poor folks stayed in the industry (because we closed their CC after a couple of years), I would not be surprised if you now work with some of the people I trained.

      • says

        You have my sympathies. I have a friend who’s worked for two major cell companies — he worked for one, got frustrated and quit to go work for a second one, which was then bought out by the first — so I’ve heard stories.

  2. Lithified Detritus says

    Sorry to hear about the work troubles. Please do keep us posted.

    I’m sending a couple of frog pictures to cheer you up. :-)

  3. MaryL says

    Never piss off the extremely competent….once, I was laid off. Came in Friday to get my last check. The receptionist told me my former supervisor had it and was in my former office waiting for me. As I turned, I saw her and my former assistant exchange very smug looks. Something was up, which I had already considered. My former supervisor asked me, “What is this? What are these files?” I told him that was job-related paperwork. He rolled his eyes and said, I kknnooww that. I want to know about each one.” I gave him my tiny, prepared speech, “I don’t work here now. You laid me off.” He handed me my check and I left. If looks could kill… And I had the satisfaction of two very shocked faces as I walked out, saying, “Afternoon, ladies.”
    Every now and then, some one plants their own land mine, stands on it, makes you angry then hands you the detonator.

  4. SherryH says

    Woooowwww. Sorry to hear your company’s been a bunch of jerks, but good on you for fighting back. Fight the good fight, and best of luck ending up where you want to be in the long run. I’ll be over here rooting for you!

  5. magistramarla says

    My daughter was hired by Best Buy a year ago. She was told that she would be part-time just until a full-time opening was available. She has been their jack-of-all-trades on the sales floor. She has dealt with complaint calls, coordinated with the warehouse, helped customers throughout the store and has landed some huge sales.

    Best Buy has refused to give her full-time hours, often running her hours for the week up to just below 40 hours. It’s easy to tell that they don’t want to have to give benefits, even to a good employee. Their most recent excuse was that they couldn’t make her full-time, since she has a child who has to be picked up from school and needs her hours to be set. They want her to be at their beck and call at any time if she’s full time.

    She recently decided to return to pre-school teaching. She was quickly hired by a good company that will give her regular hours and full benefits, including vacation time, after 90 days.
    It seems that the pre-school is more interested in hiring and keeping good employees than the retail store.

    I think that we need unions for all workers, to prevent corporations like Best Buy, Walmart, etc. from taking advantage of their employees in this way.

  6. Lyle says

    Re the trip with Lockwood, I do hope you can get east of the Cascades in Or, there are lots of interesting places there some of which don’t have any annoying vegetation to hide the rocks. John Day Fossil beds might be a good start.

  7. Ingrid EM says

    Many people have risked their career in a company by rocking the boat and barking att deserving superiors. Those are good people. The best. Respect to you for what you are doing. Tons.

  8. davidhart says

    Title: “The S Has Hit the F”
    About the author: “You want to know about Dana Hunter, then, do you? I’m a … SF writer”

    I now have a beautiful vision of the science hitting the fiction, and splattering everywhere:-)