Tag Archives: life

American Corporate Influence or Life in the Losing Lane

Meh – I will probably get into trouble for this. Hey, look – I have 6 years in the workforce left; you wanna can me? C’est la vie but if I can get one person to think about life’s true priorities? I’m happy. Life is too short to guard your words, thoughts because of a corporate entity.

Obviously, I work for a corporation. I am a child of the late sixties and seventies; the movement that guided North American youth left its mark. I was too young for Woodstock but I remember seeing what corporate and corrupt politics did to young men in Vietnam, to people of colour in the south. I was old enough to follow Watergate and the junk bond crooks of Wall Street. My opinion of corporate and political minions were formed and as I started to move into the workforce, those opinions were validated and set in concrete.

As a Canadian, American points of view are everywhere but I am also a Quebecoise. As a Quebecois, I am influenced by the life view of Europe. We are Americanized on the surface but scratch that surface and the European culture runs deep.

Many of us work to live – we do not follow the American or the Americanized Canadian “live to work” philosophy. We know that this leads to a shallow and sad sort of life. A life bereft of real family connection, of true enjoyment of life.

Here’s a confession; I am connected to my job, 24/7 and I am working toward changing this. I am connected through my home computer, through my cell phone. I am tethered…no…I am willfully shackled to the company. What will this get me? If I’m lucky? A pat on the head. My problem is that I truly believe that customers are important – their needs, their requirements are a priority. Why is this a problem? Because when you work for a corporation with American talking heads? The real priority is the bottom line and if this means cutting staff and working the current employees into heart attacks, breakdowns or quitting in disgust? No matter, as long as a profit is shown.

Europe stands back and gazes in scorn. A few American corporations “get it” and as a result, leave other corporations in their fiscal dust….Google for example, Microsoft used to be thus but I’m not sure anymore. These are corporations that “get it”. They strive to attain balance between the priority of attracting and retaining staff that and to be quite blunt “give a shit” in their job. These companies encourage pride, reward hard work and maintain that work and life must be in balance. Wall Street and the big auto makers look down their noses at the policies of the Silicon Valley yet, although dot.com took a beating, it was the cream that rose to the top and the cream remain strong while Sally May and the auto companies had to go in search, as is viewed by the great unwashed, with hat-in-hand for bailouts. A bailout is failure. Not that the execs care. They still get their salaries and perks.

You see, the US and some of Canada is no better than the worst of the medieval world of Seigneurs and serfs. This is the feudal system gone 2017.

But, just as the serfs found ways to enjoy their lives, one day – the inequity, the cruelty will become too much and the serfs will find a way to fight back. Look up the word “sabotage”. The French and Russian revolutions are extreme examples but this is what happens when you treat the people, who allow you to feed at your trough, with no regard. History is replete with warnings. A lot of Europe took notes but the US and Canada seem to have forgotten their roots. We all arrived here due to some sort of feudal jack booting.

I have learned some valuable lessons in the corporate world – I learned the most valuable lesson of all, through the passing of a good friend. She died and corporate didn’t even take notice. She was a good worker, she had strong ethics and should have been a shining star but her ethics had her deemed a “troublemaker”. Work was heaped on her and when the stress began to show? She was the problem…not the company.

I lost my folks and a few good friends over the past 7 years and I deduced that life is too short to be indebted to a corporate entity that won’t even notice my departure – whether it is a moral coil departure or a “take this job and shove it” exit. It took a while for reality to set in.

If I drop off the face of the earth tomorrow? My seat won’t even be allowed to cool before the next peon is put in my chair. The corporation won’t comfort my husband, my kids or grandchildren. These people, these special people in my life don’t exist in the corporate milieu where I work, far more than those 8 hours a day, I am “technically” contracted to work.

So, in the future, my priorities will change – my ethics will not be set on the backburner, my family will not take second place. I will not be overburdened because corporate requires cutbacks. I will say “No.” I will re-set myself – a hard boot, so to speak.

All of this to say; wake up. The corporation will eat you up and spit you out. Your family will be cut loose. You are killing yourself to make someone else rich. You are those serfs from the middle ages. “Please sir, can I have some more?”, even though YOU are the one who has put that gruel in the pot.

I’ll do my job to the best of my ability, because I come from a family with a strong work ethic but I am also Quebecois and I now know that a line needs to be drawn. The corporation doesn’t care that I’m darn good at what I do. They can and will fill my chair with someone with less skill if they can find a cheap way to do it.

My life wasn’t given to me to be a sap for the rich. My life needs to be enjoyed because, goddam…it is too short to waste slaving for strangers who don’t give a damn.

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Dear Mom

Mom and Me Pauls weddingYou’ve been gone for 41 days. I guess you know that though…

We went over this eventuality many times while you were living here. We went over the legalities, we went over the emotions, we went over the family but there is no real preparation when you lose such a large part of your life and there’s no way to retrieve it. I still choke right up when I have to walk into your place. I tried to do your clothes, bad plan. Did not work out well at all.

I know you were in pain. I know you had lost your sense of life quality. I know all these things and while in conversation with people regarding your leaving this old mortal coil, I don’t seem to be able to accept my own words; strung together to help others talk about the situation. In current parlance “I just can’t wrap my head around it.”

That you are never coming home again. That I won’t walk into the house after work and smell the Jigg’s Dinner cooking. I go to pick up the phone at work to remind you to take your pills and then put the receiver back down. I can’t call you, you aren’t there and you never will be again.

You were right, by the way, as always. Didn’t that ever get boring for you 😉 I was stressed. Yes, the stress was centered around you and because you did the same during my teen and early adult life – you recognized it but I didn’t.

When you were ill, you kept saying you didn’t know what you would do without me. It always perplexed me. Of course, I was there for you. It wasn’t a choice. It was never a burden. It was something that seemed entirely natural to me. Both Dad and you were always there for me. Nothing was more important to me than ensuring you were okay. That you were as happy as you could be, after Dad died.

There was nothing left unsaid on my part. I learned that lesson years ago, when Papa Jack died. I learned to never forget to say “I love you” because you never know when it will be too late. Never let an opportunity go by to tell those around you, how much they mean to you. One day, they will not be there to hear those words and they mean so much.

I know that we followed your wishes – there were no “widow weeds”, no outpouring of grief that you were gone. We had that celebration you so wanted. And it was good Mom. I like to think that you were watching and you approved. So many people came, so many people together – it was bittersweet but it was good, Mom. It was real good.

I will take your ashes to the ocean. I am thinking Hampton or Cape Cod. We spent some really good times there back in the day. The ocean, the waves, the sand and the boardwalk. I can still almost smell the cotton candy, the fries and popcorn. Those crooked arcade games. Walking the beach and each shell was a new treasure, to be carefully placed in a bag. I remember pulling them out, when we back home, smelling them and seeing the ocean in my mind’s eye.

Eventually, this huge hole in my heart will become easier with which to deal but for now, it is so raw, so big and I hurt so bad. I miss you Mom and I promise, I will try to “get over it” and get on with life. Just give me some time.

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Misanthropy – A Big Old Whopper

misanthropeMisanthrope (n.) “one who hates mankind,” 1560s, from Greek misanthropos “hating mankind,” from misein “to hate” (see miso-) + anthropos “man” (see anthropo-). Alternative form misanthropist is attested from 1650s.

I don’t believe in misanthropy. I believe that misanthropy is a word created by someone who loved humanity too much and could not fathom the depths of depravity to which a human can descend. It is a word that constructs a shield around the individual who dons the mantle. It is the easy way out.

To adhere to the philosophy of misanthropy is to stunt, to shackle and limit intellectual, psychological and emotional growth.

Without a doubt, there are some totally miserable, immeasurably greedy and terrifyingly cruel 2-leggers out there, masquerading as human beings. People who would take pleasure absolute in the knowledge that they have been instrumental in the creation of the misanthropic shield of another individual. Oh, how this would get them off!

Consider, however, for a moment, creating that shield, maintaining it and to surround oneself with darkness, with cynicism, to willingly blinding the mind’s eye of all that is so immeasurably good, astoundingly beautiful, to bind intellectual and artistic pursuits; the pointless energy that is required.

The intelligent human understands the various levels of humanity and understands that to pull on the cape and cowl of the misanthrope is to permit lesser men and women to have the power to change the course of an individual’s life by robbing them of their ability to see the world, clearly.

Misanthropy may also be a tool for the intellectually lazy. It is so much easier to find evil than it is to find good. Evil delights in the spotlight, while good is harder to find by virtue of what it is – good. Good doesn’t drawn attention. Good is as prolific as is evil, it requires a little more work to discover. An example would be gossip; one rarely hears tales of others good deeds, “I saw So and So donating time at a homeless shelter!!” but fart in a meeting or make an unwise sexual choice and it will be on Twitter in a nanosecond. The current topic around the water cooler or over the backyard fence.

Misanthropy can be justified every time a headline blazes across a newspaper. It takes a stronger root with every talking head’s news cast. This justification is also proof positive of intellectual indolence. It is, ironically, becoming the very thing the misanthrope hates. Designing a selfish, self-centered and narrow minded persona. Anyone can become a misanthrope. It is so very boring, so very limiting. It is the easy street.

It is far more difficult to create a personality that allows for the foibles of fellow human beings. It is far more difficult to understand the human condition. It is so very, very hard to accept the existence of evil and to understand that we have no control over the behaviour of the malevolent. We are not gods. It is work to remove the ability of the poisonous personality to influence our world view. Sometimes it may seem insurmountable but once that blockade is removed, the view is stunning. The world becomes the place it is meant to be. A place where, although our time is limited, we can have a positive impact. Every small kindness, every smile to a stranger, every helping hand we offer creates a reality that moves evil just a little further back. Not much, but enough to bring some light into our lives and the lives of others.

We have that power. We can disallow evil and the dark from controlling our lives. It will always be a struggle but in the end, when we have to look back on our lives, we can look back and feel satisfied that in our own way, we were frontline soldiers against all that would see us wallow in the muck.

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Second Chance

second chanceYou are being offered a second chance. The most important of all second chances; the chance for life. The first time around, you squandered the rights and freedoms afforded you. You didn’t earn these rights or freedoms, it was all simply an act of nature. You were born here.

You chose to break the law; you chose to thumb your nose at the very society that supports you now.

You treated family with contempt and outright hostility; the very same family that supports you now.

You were gifted with a high intellect and rather than use that intellect to better the world around you; you chose to use it to manipulate people, to garner unwarranted pity and to justify unjustifiable behaviours.

You railed and protested against government; destroying the earth you cried. Oppressing the poor, you hollered. Lining the corporate pockets, you screamed. Then you broke the windows of small business, overturned and torched police cars, damaging buildings and tearing down street signs. You were arrested and it was the poor who ended up footing the bill for all of it; they pay for the damage you caused, they shell out for your incarceration.

So counter-productive, so hypocritical, so selfish, so childish, so naive, so downright stupid.

As long as there is mankind, as long as the human species draws breath, there will be those with and there will be those without. Government, all governments are corrupt; this has always and shall always be. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

An anarchist society cannot exist, will never exist, it would not even be permitted to take its first baby steps; not due to Big Brother or Sister but because of humanity and its very nature but had you taken advantage of all the wonderful things offered to you, instead of pretending to be some hero of the downtrodden, you would know this and you would be working toward finding a way to truly help those who deserve help.

You have never been forced to starve, to live without shelter, to exist outside of hearth and protective home. You chose that path; it was free will.  You chose to spit in the face of opportunities that the truly downtrodden, the true victims would and do die trying to obtain.
They stand outside the window of the Western world, staring in and hating you for your total lack of appreciation for all that surrounds you.  For spitting on the plate of plenty, laid before you.

You have a second chance; do you deserve it while so many die at the hands of true corruption? A second chance to start again, while a child lies on the side of a road in the Sudan, covered in flies, dead for want of what you take as your due.

Will you live up to the privilege afforded to you? Will you take this gift and understand what a rare jewel you have been given?

I hope you are intelligent enough to appreciate what you have. I hope…but it all remains to be seen. It is all a matter of choice; your own choice, your own road. Yes, it all remains to be seen.

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Life, Love and Moving On Over

 

So, following the rather bleak themed post of earlier this morning – let’s move on, shall we? I give you this representation of my generation. This video epitomizes what we were led to believe would be our future. Sighhh. Media driven bullshit? Not really. This Age of Aquarius thing can exist, although only in our own minds, in our own little tiny section of the world.

Stock taking – I have a wonderful husband of 30+ years – funny, intelligent, articulate, honest, hardworking and above all, ethical. We share a cute and comfortable house in Montreal. I still have my Mother and she shares the above mentioned home, with us. Husband Dave and I both have jobs, not the highest paying but definitely good salaries that allow us to buy groceries when we need them, pay our bills and even manage to go out for dinner, once in a while. My kids have all flown the coop and are doing very well for themselves. I have my brother living close by, Dave has his sister also living close by. We are surrounded by the most important people in our world – our families.

We live in a relatively free society that allows us to come and go as we please. I, as a woman, unlike many of my gender, have the right to express myself, freely. I can do what I choose to do, dress how I choose to dress and I do not have to defer to anyone. I am a citizen of full rights and privileges, not shackled by my being born with a vagina and a womb.

Thanks to my parents, I am a strong woman. I don’t take shit from anyone. I was raised to believe that I am an equal. To believe that this is an unalterable given.

I am not fearful that I will not have sustenance tomorrow. I am not fearful that I will have no water to drink. I am among the world’s privileged class and at no time will I ever take this for granted. I know what I have and I am thankful every minute of every day.

I don’t love my fellow man unless said fellow man shows themselves worthy of that emotion. I do not respect my fellow man, unless said respect is earned. I am ethical, I am moral and I will not commit to any cause that infringes on the rights and privileges of anyone else.

And these are the things that I have in my infinitesimal part of this globe. And that’s fine. I will make my world what it should be and expect the rest of the world to do the same, as is their CHOICE.

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Your Life, Your World

ozzyI love this guy. … No. I look up to this guy, as a sort of hero. This is an individual who has managed to screw up on a monumental scale throughout his life but picked himself up, put his head down and charged ahead. He certainly did not have advantages in life, he made his own. Working class family, rebellious teen years, drugs, alcohol and mental illness; he has done everything we are told, as kids not to do. He not only survived but managed to become an icon for millions of fans. Is he an exception to the rule? Absolutely. Most of us would be pushing up daisies had we followed his path but that’s not the point of this blog. Abusing yourself is not the point.

When we are young, a lot of us when confronted with rules of the family, might turn around and mouth off, “I didn’t ask to be born!!!” Dumb comment but hey, kids are dumb, egocentric to the max.

We are born – if you are reading this, then odds are pretty good that your life is a helluva lot better than the majority of people on this planet. Maybe it isn’t, totally, your doing; you were born into more privilege than most dream of ever attaining. Shelter, food, education and not worrying that an explosive device in planted on your street, no one will be breaking down your door armed and looking to kill you because you are not like them. You don’t worry that there is nothing to feed your family or that they will die before they hit 5 from malnutrition or some disease that can cured, easily, in Western society.

You are privileged. You have been given the gift of life. It stretches out in front of you like a blank canvas. (Yes, yes – cliché but it works.) Nobody controls your life, not your spouse, not your kids, not your religion of choice, not the politicians. You control it. Decisions are yours and to deny this is to lie. You alone can create a masterpiece or a collection of meaningless doodles to be forgotten. It is totally up to you.

I can see Ozzy’s artwork of his life; it would be a dark and brilliant collage. It would be interesting, full of pinnacles and multiple interpretations of the abyss but it wouldn’t be boring. It won’t be forgotten.

Life can’t be dictated by others; it has to be grabbed with both hands and made our own. Made individual, with heights and lows, textures, different mediums, blinding lighting and subdued hues, but all reflections of self.

Don’t allow anyone to dictate your life to you; they have no right to do this. It is your right, your responsibility to create your masterpiece. Don’t settle, don’t allow the lives of others to impede your progress. Live your life outside the box as much as possible. Be outrageous when the mood hits – be outspoken – do someone a kindness with no expectation of recognition. Eat chocolate for breakfast, bank your gong loudly. Let ’em know you are here!

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