Quitting Time Booster Shot: Weekend Update Edition

One of the things I hate about the news is hit-and-run
journalism. We learn that X has occurred in the Day-One story, but we never get
to what happened next or if there’s any kind of closure to the deal. In putzing
around through my hard drive today, I ran through some of the posts I’d done
over the past couple months and realized I never closed the deal on at least
half of them. So, without further ado, here’s a booster with some closing-time
moments:

– Mom headed back to school this week, sans coffee pot.The
electricity Gestapo remained in full effect at her school, despite her best
efforts.
Turns out, failure to abide by this new rule came with no actual
penalties that were listed. Mom noted that they usually hit you with
“insubordination” as the offense, which is something for which they can
terminate you. The funny thing is that they had a meeting to discuss this,
which included the business manager, the principal and about a dozen other
people. The business manager wanted to take the check, but the principal
refused, saying it was too hard to police this kind of thing. Mom then
volunteered to be the power cop in the building. She was rebuffed. I was a bit
bummed, as usually when we put our minds to it, we outsmart idiots who are
attempting to rule Idiotland. “Don’t be too upset,” she told me. “You made this
whole group of people argue about this stupid thing for an hour and a half.
That’s incredible.”

“Besides,” she added. “This isn’t over.”

I groused about not getting a plaque I had been promised for an award I won a few weeks
ago.
When I got back from the conference, I sent off a few emails to the
organization and told various people that I’d be happy to trade in my $100
check for the plaque the guy had mentioned I’d be receiving. Several folks
wrote back, saying they’d look into it. (Side note: I sent four emails: One to
the division head, one to the incoming division head, one to the head of the
organization and one to the PR guy. Of all the emails, only one was terse,
dismissive and rude. Take a wild guess who sent that one.) About two weeks ago,
I got an email from the new division head, telling me he’d be sending me a
plaque, because a deal was a deal. Turns out, when the division put out the
call for papers, it specifically noted that the winners would receive a plaque.
“If we promised it in the call,” the guy wrote. “You have every right to expect
it.” The thing showed up in the mail today. A few friends asked if I was going
to mount it to the front of Betsy and drive all over town.

Speaking of Betsy, it’s been a long cold August. She had
been wearing down for many years before I bought her and although she hadn’t
gone completely soft, the engine was very tired. Thus, she’s sitting in a
garage in Milwaukee going through a full engine rebuild. The guy promised her in
a month. She was supposed to be done today, but it’ll be Tuesday before she’s
ready. It’s only a couple extra days, but dammit, I wanted her back for the Labor Day weekend.

– Question: Am I the only person who pays his damned bills?
No, I don’t mean this in theGlenn Beck, pasty-white, self-aggrandizing “I was
allowed to jack off on the original copy of George Washington’s inaugural
address”
kind of way. I mean the physical act of bill paying. Each month, I collect my mail,
go down to an antique desk I refinished that resides in my basement and write
checks to cover my bills. I then put them in envelopes, add stamps and stick
them in the mailbox. The reason I ask is this: everyone I owe money to each
month tells me they REALLY want me to set up an automatic bill pay. For the one
or two of you out there who don’t participate in this, it’s a system where I
send them a form or something that tells my bank it’s OK for them to take money
out of my account when my bill comes due. “It’s easy!” they brag. “It’s
environmentally friendly!” they guilt. “It’s smart!” they ego-stroke. Sure, for
YOU. I might be a control freak here, but there is no way in hell I’m letting
people take money out of my account at their discretion under the guise of
saving 44 cents on a stamp or saving the fucking planet from that extra
envelope. I agreed to do this on my mortgage because I got a half a point
shaved off the interest rate and it’s my BANK. The folks there can pretty much
fuck me as they see fit. The Missus and I get paid on weird schedules some months
and in others, we don’t get paid at all (summer teaching, not withstanding).
Thus, when bills come due, I need to move money around from savings or from
checking or from under my mattress to cover the costs. The last thing I need is six
assholes reaching into the bank at the same time, finding only three of them
get their money and then getting a nasty fucking note about being overdrawn.
Thus, AT&T can fucking wait for my money. I’m more reliable than they are
when it comes to meeting expectations, anyway.

That kid from Ohio State who was essentially arrested for taking
pictures of a runaway cow?
His art is up for a Pacemaker award. Good rule of
thumb: if you get in trouble for doing something legal, chances are, it’ll win
you something.

Michael
Koretzky is still tilting at windmills down in Florida
.After 70 posts on his
FAUTOCRATIC blog
, he decided to take another tactic in his war against
stupidity. Rather than fight for a job with people who obviously don’t want
him, he went the other way: He and several former students founded the “Owl
Times,
” a publication that will not compete for advertising with the current
paper he formerly advised. The twist? It’ll take only the ads the UP turns down
and the Owl Times will only publish the positive news on the campus. In other
words, he’s doing a giant PR rag about the school in an attempt to allow the UP
to serve as a real journalism entity. He’s like the guy who throws himself on
top of the grenadeto save the
rest of the platoon. I don’t think I’d be this magnanimous.

– And finally, in case you were wondering, “Show season” is
less than a few weeks away.
Dad’s already excited.

Thanks for letting me share your air. Be back next week.

Doc

7 thoughts on “Quitting Time Booster Shot: Weekend Update Edition

  1. Adrastos says:

    Yay, it’s back. I’ve missed you the booster shots, you hockey puck.

  2. Dr A says:

    Hey Doc,
    Hooray for you getting your plaque!
    Kisses to Betsy!
    We went to automatic bill paying after Katrina – no mail service for a good while…and thank god for direct deposit from my workplace (about the only good thing I can say about it.)

  3. leinie (iPad) says:

    No Doc, you aren’t the only one who still writes checks to pay bills, for exactly the reason you state- I decide when the money comes out of where. Even the ones I do pay electronically get paid by me wren I want instead of being on an automatic thing. Like I’m trusting some telecom with that power.

  4. semi-adult says:

    Automatic payments are extra grease on the slippery slope of ‘progress’.
    Personally, I make electronic payments as leinie does, specifically for MY convenience. I do save postage, but I’m pretty sure four stamps a month isn’t going to break me. This year.
    The clamor from business is simply more propaganda to improve profits without giving anything. It’s like clothing with store or company names plastered all over… I’ll go for that as soon as they pay ME for their advertising. If automatic transfer is such a wonderful thing, why isn’t it worth a discount on my bill?
    DFH logic.

  5. thebewilderness says:

    Just think how many more people could be put out of work if everyone just had their bankster collect their wages and pay their bills directly. The stock market would rise and the economy would be excellent.
    Practically save the whole planet right there.

  6. k says:

    The piece of plastic I use to access my excess student loan money TOLD me that I had to use it as a debit card. Why? So they can ding my account 50 cents a transaction.
    Next time I’m just going to move the balance to my credit union.

  7. jmm says:

    yep, still pay by check.
    However, a couple of creditors charge $2 a month for the privilege (electric co-op, and long distance company)…bleagh.

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