Remembering Our First Job

 

Most of us can fondly recall the very first time we ever heard those magic words, “You’re hired!” In our younger days, when our résumés presented no appreciable work history, landing that first job depended more upon how well we had answered the interviewer’s questions… especially those queries specifically designed to help evaluate the level of each applicant’s work ethic, intellectual curiosity and personal integrity.

Indeed, to harbor such virtues was (hopefully still is) to earn each prospective boss’s trust… allay her/his legitimate concerns that we might be unable to meet the company’s expectations.

Of course, next came our very first day on the job… typically starting with the probationary phase where we’d remain under the constant, watchful gaze of superiors… where it’d be totally up to us to prove and improve our talents… to meet and exceed said expectations… in short… to earn our keep.

Well, nowadays, when it comes down to “hiring” / electing our representatives to government positions… well… long sigh… sad to say… it seems that expectations-wise, the bar has become set really, Really, REALLY low.

For proof, one need not look far. There’s an extraordinarily, inexperienced new hire punching the Oval Office time clock. If he, indeed, actually possesses even a minimally genuine work ethic, even a smattering of intellectual curiosity and one milligram of personal integrity… well… he’s certainly doing his very damnedest to totally deep six any evidence such virtues exist within his psyche. More to the point…

  1. So far… he has taken an inordinate number of (golfing) breaks, which I suppose is not all bad. After all, it’s whenever he IS “on the job” that the real damage begins. His idea of “a job well done” is to mass-produce chaos. More specifically… his battle plan is to unleash economic and ecological devastation… belittle and browbeat society’s young, disabled, aged and ailing… taunt, demean, objectify and assault women… harass and dehumanize the LGBTQ community… ratchet up racial and religious intolerance… exploit and crush the working poor… promote and proliferate corrupt corporations and cronyism… inculcate, abroad, feelings of distrust, disgust and flat-out hatred towards America, which can only trigger more terrorist attacks, conventional warfare and perhaps even thermonuclear exchange / mutual assured destruction (MAD).
  2. So far… his cocksure, Mr. Know-It-All bluster all but ensures the permanence of his closed minded, ignorance. Indeed, he exhibits an absolute unwillingness to learn one damned thing and possesses / is possessed by a resolve to fight off, tooth and nail, anyone even attempting to educate him.1
  3. So far… be it his improper upbringing / arrested development or his being a sociopath… he cannot even be trusted to know the difference between right and wrong… that amply proven by his own relentless attempts to quash FBI director James Comey’s investigation of the whole effing mess re Russia… and then firing said director for not knuckling under.

Remembering Our First Job, again, I now ask you, if any of us had ever, similarly, turned our workplaces upside down, don’t you think we’d have been called on the carpet? Maybe even heard the words, “You’re fired!”?

Oh, what a shame that there’s no such probationary period during which an utter failure of a prez could be pink-slipped. Oh, what a pity we cannot utter #45’s favorite “You’re Fired” catchphrase and then promptly show him the door.

Regrettably, impeachment and removal from office is a task left up to the U.S. Senate and House… both legislative bodies, at present, suffering from Republican majorities and inhabited with spineless, pathetic old men. Very few of them could ever be counted on to prioritize patriotism over petty partisanship AND may even share some (if not all) of #45’s deplorable character flaws. Needless to say, left unchecked, the so-called prez will continue hammering away at America and our world until there’s nothing left.

That means, Vladimir Putin permitting, our next opportunity to “drain the swamp” and elect new respectable, responsible legislators and a new, respectable, responsible president won’t arrive (respectively) until 2018 and 2020.

That’s when my blog title, Remembering Our First Job, will take on a far more significant connotation. What this must entail is our NEVER forgetting that, via the ballot box, WE are the bosses of our leaders… NEVER vice versa.

Citizens, not just in America, but also living in every freedom and democracy loving nation, worldwide, must ALWAYS actively participate in each and every new election cycle… view all candidates to be the job applicants they are and then interview and vet them… leaving no stone unturned. To not do so?

Well… as of my blog posting time, in the past, scant six months, we’ve already seen the massive damage done because too many fools had said, “You’re hired” to an entity who, indisputably, is devoid of a genuine work ethic… is sorely lacking an insatiable intellectual curiosity and… when it comes down to possessing a rock solid level of personal integrity… the bogus businessman is morally bankrupt.

Remembering Our First Job is also to fearlessly roar out, “NEVER AGAIN!”

 

 

1The former head of the United Negro College Fund, Arthur Fletcher, had summed it up best when he coined the phrase to lament, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste!”

 

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Snow Days (Chapter 2)

 

The flash of rare winter lightning and subsequent rumble of thunder, as well as a sudden onrush of cold air had briefly snapped Carl back to the present-day snowstorm. A fierce wind gust had also blown his down jacket’s hood backward. Hurriedly refastening the Velcro, he resumed his seemingly endless, snow shoveling routine. As he battled the winter elements, his reverie returned and zeroed in on a long ago snow day of his youth… and, regrettably, that included a childish battle with his dear sister Cathy.

On that particular day, their bickering had gone way beyond the typical sibling rivalry. Adding to the tensions were Carl’s unscrupulous business practices. His devious MO was to sell to her his transistor radio’s used (nearly dead) 9V batteries.

It had been quite by accident that he’d discovered how, after these dry cells had failed, they oftentimes (albeit briefly) came back to life. Ergo, whenever his sibling’s radio went dead, like a circling vulture, he’d swoop down and set up shop. Of course, that day’s snowstorm… one that had rendered the roads into town nearly impassible… made it far easier for him to close the sale. For Cathy, it all boiled down to either buying his shoddy wares or missing out on listening to her fave new Beatles songs.

In feeble defense of his compromised, faltering ethics, he did warn her she was buying used merchandise and, if lucky, she might get up to an hour’s worth of music out of her radio.

However, once her luck ran out… her battery conked out… her justifiable indignation boiled over, which powered her high decibel demands for a full refund… only to be met by her brother’s smug reminder, “Sorry, all sales are final!”

While present day Carl took a breather from his shoveling, he tempered his memories with a grown-up perspective. He realized that a well-timed parental intervention had made him the principled man he had become. He fully credited Mom and Dad’s stern lectures for successfully curing him of his crooked, conman conduct. Had they not?

Well… he could’ve easily morphed into a predatory lender or, perhaps, even some rank, high-ranking, power-tripping, eccentric, egocentric archconservative. Hell… he might’ve even metastasized into a “too big to fail”, global economy plundering, Wall Street bankster and/or tyrannical, egomaniacal, whining, crybaby, capricious, Constitution gutting, corrupt, corporately owned, unpresidential president.

Carl’s thoughts once again bridged the decades… back to that particular snow day of his youth… how he had looked over his left shoulder just in time to catch a glimpse of his own Mom rolling her eyes and slowly, glumly shaking her head side to side.

With his now grown-up perspective, he could totally dig her reaction… even caught himself mimicking her same gestures.

He realized that there are still far too many spoiled rotten boys who never received that much needed, inter-generationally imparted wisdom… and, as such, too many of them were doomed, forever, to remaining little boys, hopelessly, helplessly trapped in adult bodies… that such infantile misbehavior / arrested development represents much of what is wrong in his homeland… indeed… the entire world.

Once again Carl resumed shoveling and remembering… picking up where he had left off…

By that time, young Cathy and Carl’s poor, sleep deprived Dad had realized that there could be no extra ZZZ’s for him. And adding to this already considerable racket, Mom would be revving up her vacuum cleaner; employing this “white noise” as a means to drown everyone out.

So desperate for some peace and quiet, both parents teamed up and used their best con job to convince their kids to go outside and play in the snow. Their logic… what better way to get them to “chill out”? Dad could barely contain his chuckling as he handed them both snow shovels and said, “Have fun kids.”

And once they were out-of-doors, it was only out of parental love that he had resisted the strong temptation to haul out some nails and oak 2 X 4s to hammer barricades across both front and back doors. Of course, the fact that his kids were now unknowingly and obediently clearing the sidewalks and five car length driveway for him could only help get them back into his good graces.

Their labors had also netted them a fringe benefit. The resultant snow piles were the stuff snow forts were made of. Once their opposing “military bases” had been completed, the snowball fights erupted; approaching levels of viciousness that only could’ve been an extension of their earlier indoor skirmish.

It probably would not have even shocked Carl had Cathy gotten one final usage out of all of those used batteries he had sold to her… by hiding them inside her snowball WMD… the sis vs. bro battle “powered” by dead batteries.

Well, eventually, the hostilities subsided. Not unlike Carl’s used batteries, yet another dwindling energy issue had occurred… as the morning had worn on, their sugar buzzes bad worn off.

Just about the time the siblings had gotten the rage out of their systems and declared peace, that’s when aggression of a different nature kicked in… courtesy of their nearby, madman neighbor, Phil Anders.

 

Chapter 3 to be posted tomorrow.