Thursday, August 04, 2016
All we talked about today in team was the meaning and application of the word "flex." Now, most of the people on our team use that word to mean that if they work overtime one day, they shave some time off another day in the same pay period to even it up. There is no such thing as overtime for us, so it's pretty important to do that in order to prevent seething resentment, releasing piranhas into the water cooler and walking off the job suddenly on a random Wednesday, never to return. The dark overlords know we do it, they completely support us in doing it, and nobody that I've ever heard about has a problem with it. In fact, it would be impossible to do our jobs any other way; we have to meet people at home around their work and school schedules, soccer games, camping trips, dance classes, and so forth. And we have to manage unexpected crises which can strand us in the office half the night when we were planning to be asleep in bed, documenting a police contact or something fun like that. There's really no way to get all our work done unless we constantly shift our hours around, especially when you consider the rules that everything we do has to be documented and signed within 24 hours of our doing anything.
But the higher ups don't see flex time exactly the way we do. They recently had our supervisors conduct a survey to determine who on our team would like to "flex" their hours in a totally different way. They decided to do the survey because one of those supervisors asked to change her hours around so she can have 3-day weekends in exchange for longer workdays. So this is what they mean by "flexing" your hours: you exchange five 8-hour days per week for four 10-hour days. Not once in a while: forever. If you're allowed to "flex," you "flex" every week, exactly the same way, by prearrangement.
So if they allow us to "flex" our hours by their definition, it becomes a lot less, um, flexible. Most of us refused the option, some rudely. We don't want to "flex" our hours because it will keep us from flexing our hours.
Another triumph of bureaucracy!
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Today is one of those voting days when all the more or less local offices seem to be up for grabs. County prosecutor; drain commissioner; county sheriff; state representative; register of deeds; county clerk; Republican convention delegate. You are only allowed to vote for Democrats or Republicans, not both.
But behold my local ballot! There seem to be half a dozen people in the Republican column competing for every single job. It's funny, because the only bumper stickers I see on anyone's car this year are advertising the glory of Bernie Sanders.
And on the Democratic side? There are only two names. Running for the House of Representatives is Melissa Gilbert. Remember "Half Pint" from Little House On The Prairie? That Melissa Gilbert. The radio people have explained at some length that she is currently in the hole to the IRS to the tune of a hundred thou. Oh, and they made a great deal of the fact that she has dropped out of the race due to a health issue. So is she running or not? Is she even supposed to be on this ballot?
The only other guy in the Democratic column has the same name as the rabid dog Atticus Finch shot in To Kill A Mockingbird. Tim Johnson. So if I want to vote Democratic, here are my choices:
In other words, f you want to vote at all, and get a meaningful result, you HAVE to vote Republican. This is the most obviously stacked deck I have seen in many, many years. I can hardly wait to see who gets how many votes!
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Another Triumph of Bureacracy!
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Good Discordian Saint Material Here
Allow me to introduce Madalyn Murray O'Hair. I've just been reading about her in Ted Dracos's remarkable biography, Ungodly, ISBN 978-0425201169.
WOW. This chick is the real thing!
She LOVED controversy and confrontation, and when there wasn't enough hassle going on around her she'd MAKE some. She's best known for abolishing prayer in the public schools. She was also the very first guest Phil Donahue ever had on his talk show. The audience was so affronted by her F-bombs and the way she tore a page out of the Bible in front of everyone, that Phil asked for a hand mike that allowed him to pass among the studio audience -- their questions were so much better than the ones he'd had lined up. He realized the audience reaction meant he was onto something. And the rest is history!
Many people's fame ends on the talk-show circuit, but Madalyn was far from finished. She became the head of an iconoclastic, if not dyspeptic, atheist publishing empire. She amassed donations, gifts, and all manner of underwriting from her supporters. If she wanted something and couldn't get anyone to give it to her, she appears to have just stolen it. For a considerable period of her life she was a fugitive from justice, and she carried lifelong scars from a literal knock-down-drag-out with the police. The woman stole from the people who helped her, double-crossed the people who loved her, befriended her enemies so she could use them shamelessly, and dared anyone to say a word about it.
She got some of her own treatment back from others. The son on whose behalf she sued to have prayer removed from the schools, Bill, had a religious vision and became a full-time evangelical Christian. I daresay that rankled fore the rest of her life. She was dumped by one man after another -- part of the reason she never married the fathers of her sons. Her most trusted employee eventually killed her, sawed her legs off, did the same to her son and granddaughter, and slung them all in a clandestine grave. So hated was she that it took a year before the authorities even started to look for her, despite numerous complaints. Now THAT's hate.
The word Dracos uses over and over in this book is CHAOS. He says she couldn't stand to be without it. and if even half of what he says in this book is accurate, I believe him. She just became, not only a new personal hero of mine, but a duly registered Erisian saint.
Note to Madalyn: The POEE is a non-prophet, irreligious disorganization grateful and proud to have you in our ranks.
See the pentagon in the center of that half an apple? I'm pretty sure that if you sawed Madalyn Murray O'Hair in half, you would find a very different shape indeed. Gee, maybe we should ask Waters, the guy who killed her...
Monday, May 30, 2016
An Apple Of A Different Color...
OK, yesterday (Sunday) I was confronted with a DIRE TEMPTATION. This is something you don't have to be a Discordian to understand. I was sitting here at my desk at work, doing nothing of any importance, and a co-worker rushed up to me and said she'd found a problem and could I please report it IMMEDIATELY? She showed me to the restroom, and demonstrated how when you turn on the left-hand sink, the water pours not through the sink trap and down the drain, but directly onto your shoes.
This brought a smile to my face. In this same restroom, when we first moved into the building, they couldn't get the lights to work for nearly a year. It transpired that nobody had ever screwed light bulbs into the fixtures! I had to laugh when the building's major domo informed me of this splendid fact. "And nobody noticed in all that time!?" I asked, and she answered me, "Sure somebody noticed. I noticed it after the first week." "Well, where are the light bulbs?" I asked. "I'll put them in right now." "You can't!" she said. "Only a licensed contractor is allowed to make repairs! It's policy!"
That incident made my whole week, let me tell you. I kept detouring specially into that room to wash my hands in the dark until the problem was finally corrected. It was another two months before they had lighting over the sinks in there.
And here we were again, under those selfsame light bulbs, watching water sluice across the floor...AWAY from the floor drain, mind you, making visions dance in my head of how deep the water would get before it finally found its way out.
Did I report the problem to the major domo? Hell, no, I did not.
But after I got home, this thought struck me. Wouldn't it be far, far more entertaining if I went back in there and left that faucet dripping? Or gushing?
So here I am, back at my desk on Memorial Day, feeling as Eve must have felt when confronted with a talking snake and a certain famous apple. The thing is, I have no business being here today -- nor did I yesterday -- and if someone walked into the ladies' room Tuesday and her feet shot out from underneath her because the floor was covered with water...Well, they' might think to check whose badge was used to enter the building over the weekend. And If they don't think of that, I have an eyewitness: the co-worker.
That apple looks so good...
Here's a question for you. Who ever said that the fruit on the Tree of Wisdom was red, huh?
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Anyone Need Another Thought On Why Chaos Is A Vitamin?
"Our core is madness. The prime directive is murder. What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle."
(Stephen King, in Cell)
And that's one of the effects of Chaos in all our lives, my friends. If a golden apple symbolizes the illusion that everything is in disorder, then taking a bite of that apple feeds us the illusion that we're running the show...
Friday, May 27, 2016
Taking Whose Name In Vain?
I just wanted to point out that while there are still people who practically swoon in horror if you use the name of one of the Christian deities in a casual and offhand manner, there's nobody ANYWHERE who gets offended if you use the word "chaotic" as a pejorative. For some really orderly, linear types, they see it as the ugliest word in their language. A therapist once described my family of origin as "chaotic" in a tone of voice suggesting that it was a worst-case scenario of some sort, and even if it wasn't quite as bad as being close to the blast at the bombing of Nagasaki, well -- she implied strongly that it was TOO MUCH TO ASK and NOT TO BE ALLOWED.
I wish I could convey the tone of voice she used. The tone of voice so many people use when they describe something or someone as -- gasp -- CHAOTIC.
And they often seem a bit puzzled if I don't recoil when they use that dirty, scary word. In fact, I tend to beam when I hear it.
Can I just point out, at the risk of being redundant, that the symbol of Chaos is a golden apple? And that when Eris rolled that apple into the middle of the wedding party, all the goddesses dove for it and proceeded to fight over it? Does that sound like an unattractive item to you? Look how pretty:
Does this seriously look like the worst thing that could happen to you? Me, I want to take a bite and see how it tastes. Remember when King Midas touched an apple and turned it to gold? He discovered he COULDN'T taste it and got all upset. In fact, he STARVED without that tasty orb of Chaos. Poor guy!
See, being WITHOUT it is the worst thing that can happen to you. Right? Right.