Dispatches from Furlough, Day Seven

Yesterday was the first day I spent entirely at home.  I didn’t go out of the house, except to get the mail late in the afternoon.  I did catch up on my Wall Street Journal, reading on my bed as usual.  Protected by my Fierce Guard Cat.


I did 26 minutes on my rowing machine, listening to my old Rush Limbaugh podcasts.  For dinner, Hubby went over to our favorite local Thai restaurant, and got our favorites for takeout (pork Pad Thai for me and red curry chicken for him, and spring rolls).  We want to support our local eateries, as the stupid governor has tried to tank their businesses.

Last night, I did a couple of short posts here, and read and commented on Ricochet.  And I had a dream, about my job as an aerospace buyer.  I dreamt that I was at work, around a big round conference table with my fellow buyers and our supervisor.  The company had gotten us a bunch of swag, including orange t-shirts.  I remember thinking to myself, “I hate orange!”, which I do.  We were preparing to do the foul duty of getting ahold of all our suppliers to push out and cancel all our orders.  I got up to go get ice for my water, and couldn’t find any ice in the really messy break-room.  Then I woke up.  I wonder if that was a prophecy?

Today, just a few minutes ago, I got a text from work.  WE ARE GOING BACK TO WORK ON MONDAY!!!!!!!  Whew!  Dodged a bullet; nope dodged a barrage!  I am really glad to be returning to work, as I was worried about maybe being forced to retire before I really wanted to.  So now, I have about 3-1/2 days of vacation left.  My birthday is next Thursday, and I can’t imagine a better birthday present than going back to work.

Speaking of birthdays, normally Hubby and I go out for a big dinner for our birthdays, and we usually go to either of two of our favorite places, Ruth’s Chris or Daniel’s Broiler, both in Bellevue.  Well, all the state’s restaurants are now closed for in-person dining, and you can only get takeout.  I was resigned to cooking my own birthday dinner at home, when I thought to visit Daniel’s Broiler web site to see if we can get the dinner “to go”.  Well, yes we can!  So, I’ll be calling them and arranging to have our Filet Mignon and Garlic Mashed Potatoes delivered.  They use DoorDash, which I have heard of but never used.  This should be interesting, but very tasty.

Every Picture Tells a Story


Each element of this picture tells a bit of my story.  From the sign on the left of this shelf, you can see that this is above my desk at work.  People who come over know at a glance that I am available to help them with their issue.  To the right of that sign (sorry for the ribbon in the way!) is a picture of my husband and me at our wedding reception, in 2003.  Front and center is the vase of pretty flowers my husband sent me for our anniversary last year.  Those flowers stayed right there until they were simply husks.  It just made me so happy to look at them, and know my hubby was thinking of me.

To the right, and behind, are some awards I have earned from my professional association, the Institute of Supply Management, Western Washington Chapter.  Two are clear glass on stands, and one is a piece of incised granite.  In front of those is the cute pewter cat business-card holder I found a few years ago and that follows me to whatever my job is.  And I’ll give a special prize to whomever can identify the item with the white base and power cord to the left of the cat.  This picture just tells so much of my jumbled-up story!



On Being “Too Old”

Not OLD, but “too old”.  I guess it’s somewhat of a handicap, starting a new career in your forties.  So when you hit your sixties, you feel like you’re just hitting your stride.  That has been counteracted lately by the company I work for.  I spoke about this a few weeks ago with a co-worker in the department I have been trying to transfer to.  He told me that, in a long discussion with someone in the Human Resources department, the fact had come out that the company is attempting to attract younger people, and in the process, nudging older ones to retire.

Now, our company has been in existence for 77 years, and we have some employees who have been with the company for 35 years and more.  These days, it’s pretty unusual for people to stay at any one company for even five years, much less 35! [My husband, 9 years my junior, has been at his company for 34 years].  Just thinking about my own department, all of the new hires in the past two years have been straight out of college, or nearly so. And, funny thing, the people who leave have been older.  It’s against the law for an employer to lay off or fire an employee based solely on their age, but that’s mighty hard to prove if you choose to file a lawsuit (which I would not).

So when a person in the department I’d like to join left, no fewer than three of their existing employees came by my desk and asked me if I’d like to move.  I said I’d love to, but they’d have to invite me, as I’ve already tried twice and gotten turned down (glutton for punishment, I’m not).  So they went to the big boss and told him they’d like me to move over.  Did not work.  They will hire a new person, who will need extensive training (while I would need next to none).

Every year in my performance review, I tell my boss that I have no intention of retiring.  I like my job, I like the work, and I like the people I work with, even the youngsters!  But I expect things to get more uncomfortable in the next couple of years, as the age of the department skews younger, and I just get older.  But I can learn new things, and I do regularly.  I take on extra work, doing much more than my job description would indicate, and helping other people when they go on vacation.  I pride myself on being a good employee, and wanting to be productive as long as I can.  No Social Security or Medicare for me! And my boss is going to be stuck with me, as it’s now a game-how long can I remain a productive, valuable member of my department and my company?  I don’t even want to think about leaving.

As far as I am concerned, I’m NOT too old.  And I am old enough to get along just fine, thank you very much, and learn, and grow, and be a credit to my department, my company, and my world.

What OTL Hath Wrought

Courtesy Of Mr. Dave Carter, on Ricochet this morning.  Dave always gets it right, and this is just excellent.  The family that lives in the White House (gee, I’m wondering why they haven’t re-christened it the “Black House”) is squandering YOUR money on lavish parties and vacations, while you sweat and toil every day to keep your family simply fed, clothed and sheltered.  This makes me spitting-angry.




Minimum Wage??

We need the Government to make our employer pay us more!
We need the Government to make our employer pay us more!

So, they say they can’t “survive” on $8.25 per hour. They want the government to mandate that their employer pay them more, regardless of the fact that if the employer is made to pay them more, they might not get to keep that job at all.

How about they get an education, acquire new skills, and get a job that pays more!

Calling The Private Sector!! Let’s Generate Private Competition for Government Employment Data!

So maybe there’s a bright spot in the federal government shut-down. One area that is shut down that many are complaining about is the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Labor Department that generate employment data. How about the many private companies and organizations that currently publish narrower statistics on US employment, getting serious about developing new, private, measures of employment in America? ADP, the company that does payrolls for numerous US businesses already publishes its own monthly employment numbers. Would it be so hard for their economists to work on a larger survey? With the Internet, it’s easy to get most of the names and addresses of most US residents. Come on, guys, compete! And a privately-run survey or surveys would not be subject to the political manipulation that the current data are (the feds carefully de-emphasize the shrinking labor-force participation rate, which indicate NO recovery). Following is a list of entities that could generate comprehensive employment reports, to get the correct, full information out there to the American People.

The Conference Board
American Enterprise Institute