Category Archives: American Jobs

What’s going on??


It’s been a while since I’ve been able to spend any time with my WP family. I have missed your posts and writing my own, as well. So much has been happening in the world of late, honestly more than I can keep up with some days.

The Supreme Court has been quite busy. I must admit, I am happy with much of what they have done. What other people do in their own lives that doesn’t affect me shouldn’t be any of my concern, or anyone else’s. Same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and abortion rights in Texas, among others, were all championed by the justice system and reasonable thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) needs some work, especially in the states that refused to assist its citizens by setting up a state marketplace. But, by and large, it was the right thing to do.  When I heard Ted Cruz signed his family up, I thought had you supported a state exchange in Texas, the prices would’ve been more reasonable – but Ted was against the ACA, vehemently if I remember correctly. Is that irony?

There’s been all kinds of racial incidents with the police. I was truly shocked and saddened by the church shooting in South Carolina.  The victims families handled it with such grace and dignity, from what I saw, though I have truly tried to limit my intake of the news lately.

Then there’s the escaped convict incident – I was surprised when someone said to me, regarding the first escaped convict’s shooting death, “I hope he had a gun, you know since he was white and all.“ (Not touching this one . . .) I can say so much, but just can’t right now. He WAS an escaped convict and he did have a shotgun.

I keep hearing all over the place that jobs are up and unemployment is down. I can’t help but ask myself, “Where the hell are they getting these numbers? Where are they looking?”  My husband is still unemployed, as are many others I know that are in my age group. And that’s just in my neck of the woods and what I hear from my contacts nationwide. I was working part-time, but my little part-time gig is about to come to a close in two weeks – no money coming in.

My daughter gave me a Starbucks gift card for Mother’s Day and I had one more coffee left on it and stopped in at my fav Starbucks, which is inside my grocery store, so I see the baristas frequently. The lady working that day is about my age and got laid off from her good job a year and a half ago. While we were chatting, she shared that they hired a new lady last week who’s real nice, has a Ph.D., but got laid off from a government contractor over a year ago and this is the only place she could get hired. She, of course, is in my age group, and is now making $7.56 an hour.

Does anyone realize what’s happening here . . . the age discrimination, much of it involving insurance coverage. The insurance companies HEAVILY influence hiring decisions, it’s not just the employers. I think we would be amazed at just what all the insurance companies have influence over!

Our age group has a huge effect on the economy with our traditional buying power. But many of us are living on our retirement savings 10-15 years before we are supposed to, and paying a penalty for it, though it is against our will and our better judgment – it’s done out of survival. Many were expecting to make up for lost years over the next decade and have nothing left to fall back on.

When cars are repossessed and houses are foreclosed on, and this group is now reduced to government aid to survive – more people now on what is often referred to as government “socialism” – this country’s backbone is going to begin to start to crack, splinter, and break.  And if these 50+ year-olds are unfortunate enough to not be able to afford COBRA or the ACA, many will fall into the category where they don’t fall into the age group that can get Medicaid or Medicare. People in this situation and age group are SOL and better hope/pray that nothing serious happens, or they could be most majorly screwed . . .

Though I will admit, I have not done my homework regarding the actual statistics; I can’t help but believe this is the one of the first times in history where fifty-plus-year-olds have been singled out to be extinguished from the workplace. (If I am wrong, please educate me!) If this trend continues, I see some serious hurt for the future of this country – I’m not an economist, but common sense and history tells the story that what may come is unprecedented and could be catastrophic.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Regarding my gig . . . well my instincts proved to be correct. Definitely too good to be true.  The guy I was working for isn’t too motivated, canceling every training session we had scheduled for really lame reasons like, “It’s been a rough day, I worked setting up your email, and I need a drink, so I’m outta here.” Or early one Saturday morning, “Sorry I cut out, my neighbor needed help and I said I would, not sure why ‘cause I’m usually not that neighborly.” You know that kind of stupid shit.

When it came to him selling policies to the appointments I made on these mostly 2-8 year-old leads, he canceled and we rescheduled a few for reasons that were not important. I had a list of about 35 people I had talked to that he needed to speak with for various reasons – high risk, specific questions not related to exact cost but involving health issues, etc. He finally got appointed to sell the high-risk policies he found were best and last Saturday he told me he was calling them all. When I showed up, he said he couldn’t call them because he had set up the online account to access what he needed to quote them prices, but forgot the password and wouldn’t be able to get it on a Saturday. Seriously . . .

Then when he told me a few days later he couldn’t afford to pay me any longer, but if I wanted I could still make calls and he would give me my commission – but he couldn’t afford to pay me for calling.Then he had the nerve to tell me that now he was really going to have to hustle and start working his book business. I’m thinking, dude, why haven’t you been doing that all along.

Long Term Care coverage is his specialty, but it is not cheap, typically. I’m working leads that are years old, and he had me listen to training tapes that were on cassettes and 20 years old – what does that tell you. During our discussion I reminded him that things have changed in the last 20 years – people don’t think the same, communicate the same, research purchases and purchase the same, and marketing and sales have changed considerably. Yeah, he didn’t want hear that – he’s four years younger than me and living in a bubble of some sort.

Anyway, now I have two avenues to explore – my established career, and my new inexperienced career. Maybe one of them will get me somewhere. It’s been two years – I need a break . . . a real one. I don’t consider any of this wasted time, as I have now learned many new things and have earned licenses and certifications in new areas.

Oh, and the fig tree is a monster producer. I have canned over 50 jars so far of various fig jams and preserves. It was fun and I think I have another two weeks or more. My kitchen is covered in figs in various stages of ripeness and jars everywhere – and I am growing weary!

Oh!! And what about that Bill Cosby – TV’s All American Dad and his fondness for Quaaludes, among other things?? Wow, so TV and real live aren’t the same?? (YES, I am laughing at that fucking piece of irony in the midst of all else . . .)

Anyway, just some things I was thinking about . . . (and my mind still reels, but this post is already wayyyy too long . . . but got something else coming soon  . . .)

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February Already?!?


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I want to thank Yvette over at Priorhouse Blog for the awesome billboard image she made just for me ❤

I can’t believe it is already February! February, really . . .

Each year that I celebrate another revolution around the sun, it seems that my revolutions get faster. And though I feel a bit like my ass is on the front-end of a rocket, I also feel as though I am on a slow free drift out in the middle of the ocean – no land to be seen, anywhere.

I can’t remember the last time I actually wore a watch – well yes, I can, it was 19 months ago. Often I have no idea where my day goes – it’s just gone. I wake up and then before I know it, it’s way past normal peoples’ bedtime.

Though I spend a large amount of time searching for a job, and working on other ways to make a living, I also spend a lot of time doing mindless/relaxing/time-suck activities – but they are activities I enjoy that when I worked I did not have time for.

Here’s a good for instance – I had planned to re-work my resume today, which may or may not need to be done. Instead I have spent a good part of the day catching up on a few of my fav blogs, though there are many more I want to get to!! [Okay by the time I finished this post, I did get my resume re-worked 🙂 ]

I have get to make three batches of apple butter this week, and blueberry jam, since blueberries are on sale at the grocery store and I have had many requests for that one. For some reason though, I am feeling quite lazy today . . . though I like a little winter, I have had enough. I feel for all y’all getting the brunt of this winter, mine is mild compared to yours.

I have started working on my posts about our food supply and how fucked up it is. Those are forthcoming. I keep writing myself into a corner in my novel – not sure what’s up with that! My blogs are all being neglected (yeah, I laughed out loud at that one!).

There’s a couple of very interesting jobs I have applied for in the last couple of weeks. I am so hoping to get an interview for at least one. Any extra prayers, good thoughts, finger-crosses, rabbit’s foot rubs, whatever I can get – I’ll take them!!

Loved the fight at the end of the Super Bowl game – what a shining example that was for the youth of our country 😉 (Yes, that was meant to be snarky!)

They keep saying unemployment is going down, but I know more and more people who are unemployed than I have ever known before, and sadly many are in the 50+ age group. Most of us aren’t being counted on the unemployment rolls anymore. I do live in an area where there have been many different industries laying off employees, and are continuing to do so.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I bought each of my granddaughters a giant card. I was thrilled that they were $3 a piece and were Made In America 🙂 (which honestly is the only reason I bought them) AND I found them at Walmart of all places.

I also want to send a shout out and thank you to Doobster at Mindful Digressions for the honor of his nomination for the Premio Dardos award. According to Doobs, “Premio Dardos means “Prize Darts” in Spanish. It is an award given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.” I haven’t named my 15 bloggers yet, as I have decided to add that widget of the blogs I follow  – I like that idea because in my opinion they are all worth reading!!

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Just a few random things I was thinking about today . . .

Happy New Year


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Happy New Year and Welcome 2015!!!

I am finding it hard to believe that 2014 is now behind us – it flew by so quickly, or so it seems in my world. Having said that, I’m glad it’s over!

I am looking forward to a new year, a new beginning, new adventures and opportunities. I’m excited, and a little apprehensive, regarding the challenge of learning to make a living outside the box, as we don’t seem to fit in the box anymore and the box is what we know and are accustomed to.

Though I seem to find myself in unfamiliar territory, I do try to find the blessings in this “uncharted path” I am on, and there are many!!

I want to take this moment to send lots of good cheer to you and yours in the coming year! Here’s to a wonderful 2015, especially on roads less traveled . . . may they make all the difference!!!

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

word cloud for year 2015

Tupperware® Got Me Thinking


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So my last post got me to thinking about Tupperware®. I love Tupperware® and have many pieces I bought years ago from a party I had. I even have a couple of very old pieces from my grandmas, back from the late 1940s and 1950s. After World War II, Earl Tupper modified his factory machines to mold raw polyethylene (developed for weapons use) into food containers – using a paint can as inspiration for the tight-fitting lids. Originally, Tupperware®  was made in the Massachusetts’ plastics industrial complex.

I emailed them last week, using the “Contact Us” link on their website, inquiring about where their products are manufactured. Several emails went back and forth, and I must admit they were very prompt with their responses. I was told that Tupperware® products are made all over the world – Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Portugal, France, Belgium, Greece, India, China, Korea, Japan and United States.

I was assured of their continued history of high quality and design and “all Tupperware® products meet all applicable laws and regulations for product safety in each country they are made.” I’m not sure what that means exactly. Do they mean that all countries manufacture products that meet all U.S. laws and regulations regarding health safety, or are they different in different countries? Pretty sure it was stated that way on their website, too.

Though their home office is in Orlando, Florida, their Customer Care Center is located in Mexico City. You know I asked, and I asked because I could tell from the way the email was composed. Again – that shit just pisses me off, though they were – again – prompt and most informative and polite. But their English writing skills weren’t great. Kind of scares me when big corporations don’t find good clear concise written communication important.

A Google search turned up a WP blog that stated “the Tupperware®  factory in the United States is located in Hemmingway, South Carolina.” Debra Todd Jordan, a Tupperware®  consultant, went on to say, “Each plant makes the items that are indigenous to their region.” So, if that’s correct, I can get on board with that – if nothing else saves on shipping and props up the economies using the products. Unfortunately, how those corporate taxes are handled I probably would not agree with.

Anyway, since I didn’t have my fingers in enough pies this week, I had to research this 😉 I am a glutton for punishment lately. Just thought I’d share what I found out. I haven’t bought any lately, but read in my research that now they are not marked with where they are made, just the Tupperware® mark. Where our medicines come from is next on my agenda – after . . .

Still working NaNoWriMo . . . still behind, but continuing to work it. I may not meet my goal, but damn it, I will be further along in this story than I have been. I posted a couple of snippets from the novel on my other blog, in the event you are interested in this type of reading. It is very different from this blog – that’s why I have more than one, my interests are varied, random, eclectic for sure.  My novel is fiction, with a little romance thrown in, more a story of life and how it plays out sometimes. There’s a lot of dialog. If you check it out, please leave me some feedback. I value and respect all of your opinions as writers in general. Having said that – don’t make me cry now 😉

All of a sudden I have a bunch of people wanting apple butter and this week blackberries are on sale for 88-cents a six-ounce container, so I have a few orders I have to fill this week. Doesn’t make much money, but brings in a little cash and I enjoy doing it. (Though my hands aren’t as good as they used to be and when you make this shit – if you’re doing it right, you’re gonna get burned LOL – seriously! Looking forward to that blackberry jam, though!!)

Listening to this right now – I find this to be good writing music sometimes, depending on my mood . . . plus it’s raining and the wind’s kicking, and the windchimes are singing – n~i~c~e.

Also, trying to keep up with y’all, slowly but surely 😉 I’m definitely becoming a binge reader, seemly stalking sites 🙂

Just some things I was thinking about ☮☮☮

[POSTSCRIPT – OH NO, the video I linked to has been removed . . . that’s never happened to me before. I hope I didnt just get added to some LIST somewhere, ya know what I mean 😉 I’m going to look for another link, but in case I don’t find one, the music was the soundtrack to the movie “Rush” from 1992, mostly instrumentals by Eric Clapton. Soulful, contemplative music for sure!]

nanoPoblano                                                                           NaBloPoMo_1114_465x287_NOV

Made in ‘WHERE?”


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I was so excited today when I found these little plastic containers (like Ziplock storage containers) that have snowmen and Merry Christmas and other holiday stuff on them to use for putting cookies, candy, other baked goods in for the holidays. They weren’t on my shopping list, as I was only going for more apples on sale for the apple butter I am making and selling now.

They were only about $1.69 a package (three in one package, and five in the other), BUT what made me so excited about these cheap plastic products is that they were not only BPA-free but MADE IN AMERICA!!! Not made in China, like just about everything else we come in contact with. (Again, let me say, I have nothing against China, per say, I just think we need to be making our own products and putting Americans to work.)

I was going through my grandkids Halloween candy yesterday, and I had to throw away a bunch of candy bracelets and rings and stuff – all made in China. I will not indulge in any food products made there, or pet products either. Especially not for my grandkids – food stuff, not pet stuff. Quite frankly, I can’t help but wonder if China is trying to poison us and the rest of the world with their inferior products – but that’s a whole blog post on its own!

This led me to start thinking about, and not for the first time, where in the hell all of our drugs – name brand and generic are being made, since that is not information we are typically privy to as consumers – though maybe we should be. I know I would like to know where the drugs I may have to take are coming from, since I take that much care in selecting other consumable goods I buy.

Do any of you know where your medications are made? Do you think this is important?

Okay – off to NaNoWriMo land – need to get in an hour or so tonight. Didn’t get much done last night, had to catch up with a few of your blogs – I was blog-jonesin’ 😉 But I am still at it!!

Just something I was thinking about . . .

nanoPoblano   NaBloPoMo_1114_465x287_NOV

 

Fine & Boycott the Bastards


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Okay – so in the last three days I have had to call Comcast, Chase and my local credit union. Do you know where their customer service call centers are located – The Philippines (yeah, I asked!), every last one of them, even my credit union (which I must say surprised the shit out of me).

It’s no wonder people here can’t find jobs . . .

And don’t get me wrong, I want people in the Philippines to be able to work and eat and raise their families, but not at the expense of American’s doing without these jobs that President Bush-43 called the jobs of the 21st century.

Now, mind you, I have been out of work for over a year, though I am not a customer service person, but this kind of business practice affects us all!

I think everyone who does business this way should be heavily fined, and if possible boycotted!

Okay my rant for the day is done . . . (yes, this pisses me off!)

Just something I was thinking about . . . something I think about often, as a matter of fact! ☮

 

 

Autumn Leaves – The Politics at Hand


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Sept 21 WordPress Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

I have mentioned that politics do not dominate my landscape per say. But I have to admit, when I read this prompt, I couldn’t help but think of politics and how the mid-term elections are coming up. I have also heard that mid-term elections typically have poor turnouts, which I understand, as I myself have skipped a few over the years.

I have to tell you, I am now making it my business to know who is running and who I am voting for. We have got to start instilling some change in this country, in the way problems/issues/legislative actions are approached and then dispositioned, in the way those who WE elect into office represent us once they are elected, and in the way we are actually represented overall as a whole – a constituency.

This takes a lot of research and a lot of time, but I am dedicated to it. I can’t afford not to – none of us can! Complacency leads to neglect, which leads to contempt – I can promise you, not because I want it to, but because it does.

Regardless of how you vote, and what your ideologies are – you have to ensure you educate yourself and make your voice heard. The “Old Guard” just doesn’t have their hand on the pulse of America, and they certainly aren’t hearing us.

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

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What Was He Thinking??


Watching the news today – I know, it’s always an experience and often entertaining, and it has been a few days since I’ve watched any because I had to check out for awhile – and as I’m listening, the reporter starts talking about the color of President Obama’s suit at a news conference yesterday. It was tan, or what some would call taupe. Seriously, I’m not shitting you. I saw it, of course you know they had to show it, and it was a nice suit; I saw nothing wrong with it. (I haven’t seen the news conference yet, wasn’t engaged yesterday and have been busy today – but I will find it and watch it.)

Those that know me know I am not a fashion icon by any means, BUT come on people – with all the problems in the world, in our country and in our own lives – does the color of his suit really matter? Am I just an idiot for thinking it doesn’t??

Then one of my Facebook friends commented that some news reporter/commentator went on to chastise saying – after mentioning the suit debacle, of course – that President Obama stated that first he wanted to say something about some revised numbers on the economy, like real Americans cared about that after the beheading of James Foley and ISIS concerns. Then the president went on to say that we don’t have a strategy for ISIS.

Now I am a real American, and for the first time in decades, I have been unemployed for 15 months. I’m living off my retirement money and I have at least 15 years until I can retire. So I do care about the economy. That is most important to me at this moment. Having said that, what we ALL better be concerned about is that we don’t have a strategy to deal with ISIS, and if that’s not bad enough, now the whole world knows. The whole world also knows that those crazy ass Americans are in an uproar about the president’s suit color, not that their military has no plan.

Oh my goodness – as I am writing this, just heard the news reporting the color of Obama’s suit was the top trend on Twitter. That, my friends, is exactly why this country and maybe some other parts of the world are in the shape they are in. Look at the shit the “important people” – the communicators, the decision makers, the money makers/spenders, the policy makers – are focusing on. What the fuck is wrong with you people?!?

Okay – I am so not related to these people, I can tell you  . . .

I’m curious what y’all think about this, too.

Anyway just something I was thinking about it . . . and felt the need to rant about 😉

You Best Be Paying Attention ‘Cause Shift Happens


Many years ago I watched a video called “Shift Happens” – a real eye-opener on the world we now live in. Since then it has been updated a few times and has changed a bit. I found several out there, but this revision is by one of the the original creators and I found the info presented here, as far as numbers go, is the same used in the 2013 and 2014 versions. (Plus, I am not entirely sure who actually updated those with additional info.)

I can’t say I hope you enjoy the video, as it is not for pleasure, more as it is for pause, consideration, education, and maybe even enlightenment. The world is so different from the one I grew up in, and is even different from the one my kids grew up in. People born in the last decade have had just about every move they have made digitally tracked in some form or fashion. (That’s another topic for another day!)

We are not the greatest country in the world anymore (yes, we Americans often think that!) – if nothing else because our “natural” resources are lacking . . . our human resource is not only out-numbered, but out-educated, and possibly even out-motivated, it seems. Taking these things into consideration, maybe we need to start thinking about “re-inventing the wheel” as it pertains to our future or the United States may find it quite difficult to keep up or even compete.

I don’t know  – just something I was thinking about . . .

What do you think?

Is the Giant Panda Sleeping?


Let me start by saying that I have nothing against China or the Chinese people. What I am fixing to talk about is bigger and far more encompassing and quite frankly it’s not about the Chinese people either. It’s about governments and their desire for control and expansion. It’s about the second-largest economy in the world.  It’s about people in general not paying attention to what’s really going on around them – which is hard to do, as there is a lot of noise coming our way these days. Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear channel on anything.

Mainstream media is good at distracting people from what’s really important and needs our attention or consideration, by providing us lots of other crap to focus on. Right now one of those focuses is North Korea, Iran and Syria, as well it should be. But, we better not lose sight of the sleeping giant panda or fire-breathing dragon – however you choose to look at it. I’d be willing to bet there is a legend somewhere that tells the story of how one became the other . . .

Most of us are aware that we , the United States, owe China an immense amount of money — in the ballpark of $1.3 trillion, if my sources are correct. The U.S. government continues to borrow from them.

The Chinese have also been buying a considerable amount of U.S. assets over the past decade, with projections in U.S. investments of $15-20 billion a year over the next decade. They appear to be focusing on acquisitions in energy, financial services, food production, real estate, and manufacturing, as well as entertainment and technology. The Chinese own One Chase Manhattan Plaza and the General Motors building, in New York – both nice commercial real estate coups for sure. They own all the AMC Theaters.

Most of these assets are owned by the Chinese government, under various state-owned entities. China needs energy to fuel their rapidly growing industrial development, and have purchased power assets in Portugal, Brazil and the Philippines. They had an unsuccessful attempt to buy the U.S. oil company Unocal in 2005.

The Chinese government also purchased private equity assets that fund GM pensions, if I understood correctly. I want to do some more research on that, & a few other things. I have so many questions. Though these are my opinions, I do try to thoroughly research topics I am interested in, verifying my info with several sources. Most of this information came from sources like Reuters, Market Watch, LA Times, USA Today, Business Week, and Forbes – encompassing a variety of agendas.

There is concern about China’s foothold in technology and possible breaches in our national security. Some analysts think that it’s in China’s best interest to stay friendly with us, as our markets thrive, so do Chinese investments. But what if their overall strategic goal is to control or even own the U.S. in some unknown manifest destiny design. They have quite an established growing assertive military presence, as well. Regardless of what might happen, I would not want to be at the mercy of a Communist country.

A month or so back I happened across CNN doing a piece on The Guardian’s Predictions for the World in 2014. Predictions shared involving China were:

  • China will eventually be the world’s largest economy.
  • Though Western brands will continue to dominate, China will own them.
  • U.S. will soon celebrate Chinese holidays.
  • Western politicians will clamor for Chinese investors.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I find all of this a little disconcerting. I am not a political person, nor do I know much about economics. I realize the world is now a global economy, but maybe the U.S. is a little too open for business? And why do we do so much business with China, in particular? The government does not allow any partnering with them involving NASA, spaceflight, or manned exploration – but then again there is considerable technology involved in those endeavors and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) come into play.

I will be writing about this again, as I have so many questions that are not answered and concerns I wish to address. I also did not want to make this post to awfully long, as I have lots more data to share. I would love to hear what you think about this, too. Is the giant panda a good business partner or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Anyway, just something I’ve been thinking about . . .

locator map of China

** I watched a most interesting program quite a few years back about China – I have been keeping an eye on this development for quite a few years now – their growth, increase in consumption, and interdependency with the United States. In all honesty, it was a bit disconcerting. This link no longer shows the ABC News/Bob Woodruff video, but you can read the accompanying story.