Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Workin' for a Livin'

I can barely remember a time when I wasn't quite so busy.

It was maybe six or seven years ago. My job was simpler. I didn't have 2 jobs. I didn't have a mountain of bills to pay. I didn't constantly try to impress women all the time. I had more hair (Okay that has very little to do with being busy). I could be content to watch Seinfeld re-runs until I was blue in the face.

I'm not even sure what I was doing with all my time, but I wasn't this tired. Or bitter.

Just as an example, I'll give you a little job story. I was always under the impression that my job was to serve the faculty and staff of my particular college, not the college itself (as in the building). Somewhere along the line, this changed, and every Tom, Dick and harry who uses the place gets referred to me. For awhile, it was okay because I wasn't so busy all the time and I wanted to be helpful, until I realized that not only am I not being paid (enough) to help these people, but they are getting away with free A/V service that their department or group or whatever should be paying for. Cheap bastids.

This probably applies to everyone's job, but I feel a little bit of forethought goes a long way. A few years ago, a conference room was constructed in my building, and it was decided a conference room should have a conference phone. Seems logical. A phone line was put in and a phone purchased. The first time someone needed to make a conference call, they said, "Matt, can you hook up the phone?" Because I'm the tech guy, it suddenly became my job to know how to work this funky, Star Trek-looking phone. What's next? they call me when the fridge blows out? But I wanted to be helpful, so I figured it out. That was probably the same logic that led the college to purchase a podium for every classroom a few years ago, and call me to install them. "Matt, can you put these in? Is this your job?" Frankly, no. I don't believe that large, wooden blocks have anything to do with me. But I wanted to be helpful. Same thing when they decided that our lobby renovations should include huge display screens, before they asked who would maintain them and actually put stuff up to display. Guess who made the first three presentations? Me, who has never actually made a powerpoint presentation before in his life. I didn't mind doing it, if that were actually my job. I think I just would have liked someone to call me and say, "Hey, we're doing this, and it's going to be your job." That's all. Forethought.

This is becoming a ridiculous rant about my job. I know we all have done things outside our bailiwick, and we all have days where our jobs drive us crazy. For the most part, I like being the person that everyone can depend on, and I don't mind helping out whenever anything in the building needs to be carried, fixed, assembled or basically just dealt with. I guess I'm just saying I hope what they say about karma is true (not that she's a bitch), because I'm wondering how much longer I can really be this helpful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kiss of Death

So, a couple weeks ago I got an e-mail from ING Direct about a promotion that said if I invested $50, in a few weeks they woudl give me an additional $25. So, having never invested in any stocks before, I figured, "What the Hell?" I thought it might be fun to dabble a little. What have I got to lose?

No sooner did my $50 go through and the market crashed and my $50 is down to $33.09. Not a huge loss, but still a disappointment. I guess it was good to learn that lesson right away. Before I lost billions!

Truly, I was just trying to have a little fun. Not only did I invest in the companies that Sharebuilder suggested (the fairly safe ones), I also threw a few bucks towards two of my favorites: Marvel Entertainment and WWE. Why not? I've given them enough money over the years, it's about time I got some back. WWE does pay dividends, apparently. Probably not too much when you only own .3 shares, but still...

I don't really know where I'm going with this whole thing, except that I'm trying to actually have a little fun with my money for a change, rather then simply give all of it to Chase. My first consolidation payment went through this week, so here we go. I am on my way to financial sobriety.

Now I just need those dividends to pay out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Taking Issue with an Issue.

I don't usually get political in this blog (I don't usually get anything.) But I just read that John McCain would not make any changes on the current stance on embryonic stem-cell research.

That article (which, okay, is from Wired or something) states that such a farce would probably not survive in Congress, it still speaks to the ignorance of John McCain, not to mention that he used to be pretty much all for stem cell research, so now he's waffling. Look at it this way, McCain is probably too old to even work a VCR remote, so do we really want this guy as President, making decisions on things like stem-cell research? I actually don't hate the guy (compared to Bush, he would probably be an amazing leader! But then, probably so would I.). I just think John McCain is too old and out of touch to make the right decisions. And Sarah Palin? Well, I honestly think her heart is in the right place, but that soccer-Mom, minivan, apple-pie crap doesn't fly with me in the real world, so I really don't want it in my politics.

The rub? It will fly with a whole lot of people. I'm betting the majority, in fact. I'm sorry t be a downer here for all those begging for a changes in the White House, but I just don't see it happening. I like Obama, I will vote for him, and I think if he can keep his foot out of his mouth, he would be a good President. But the Democrats have done it to me before, and I honestly don't see them pulling this one out, either. They just don't have the balls.

So, if I'm right (and believe me, I hope I'm wrong), we will have to deal with four years of a President who is a war-monger, and who probably doesn't understand the importance of things like doing medical research on aborted fetusus which were going to be disposed of anyway to save countless lives. That whole abortion thing is still too close to the bone I guess. Why bother curing all those diseases that kill millions every year?

Rub #2: The campaign is heating up, and any decision one way or another could cost each candidate some votes, so now we get to see everyone involved take the high road. Suddenly, McCain isn't so into stem cell research. It's more a comment on the horrible voting system in this country than anything else. It doesn't matter where they stand on the issues, because once they get in, they can do whatever the Hell they want. It's like pillow talk for Presidential candidates. I'm willing to bet that neither John McCain nor Sarah Palin, nor George Bush, nor Dick Cheney, really know what's going on with stem-cell research, but they will say whatever it takes to get elected.

And so it begins.