Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Whine, Whine, Whine...

I am sure everyone is sick of me whining about my problems. I'm sure everyone is sooooo sick of reading about me say things like:

"Woe is me. I can't stay up all day."
"How do people manage to find time to work?"
"Jobs are for suckers."

All those things and more. Well, here's some more whining.

I have been awfully tired the last few days. I suppose that's not so atypical for a man who can't be bothered to find a steady job, but it's been a bit worse the last few days. You know the old saying, "I can quit anytime I want." It's usually the first sign that someone has a problem. In my case, concerning caffeine, it's actually true.

As much caffeine as I consume, I've never really become addicted. I know people who are addicted get migraine headaches and such when they don't get their fix, but every now and again, for whatever reason, I'll lose my taste for it. Actually, I lose my taste for soda. I don't drink coffee or teas, so my caffeine consumption is in the form of soda about 99% of the time.

I generally prefer salts over sweets, but if I have one weakness for sweets, it is that I drink too much soda. I would rather have a Pepsi than the finest of chocolates or other candies. Anyway, as I said, I basically have been sick of soda the last few days, which means no caffeine. My only withdrawal symptom from not consuming caffeine is drowsiness. Well, even more drowsiness than usual.

Sunday was especially tough. It was my second day without caffeine and I didn't manage well. I ended up sleeping through the window that I planned to call my mother to wish her a happy Mother's Day. I like to think that she has better things to do on her special day than sit and wait for a phone call from me, though that is a tidy excuse.

I did manage to call her yesterday. We had a rather pleasant discussion on the corporate view of the labor market. In particular, how they expect you to put your job ahead of yourself and your family. A notion I find beyond repellent. Most anywhere else in the world and the workplace actually expects you spend time with your family, but in this country you are expected to set all that aside in honor of your "barely making over minimum wage that may or may not, but probably not with medical benefits" job.

Worse yet, these jobs don't even pay a person enough to live on and they're expected to be satisfied with them? That's why I no longer complain when I go into a supermarket or other place that has apathetic cashiers and employees. Quite frankly, they don't get paid enough to care about their jobs and I don't blame them for being apathetic. I blame the companies that refuse to pay them a decent wage all in the name of increasing profits by a percentage point or two.

Tip cups at many service jobs have become all but ubiquitous. Fifteen and twenty years ago it was standard corporate policy to not accept tips. That has changed in many places. I know just about every Dunkin Donuts and corporate bagel shop in Albany has them these days. They are so unwilling to pay their employees a decent wage they essentially allow their employees to pan handle on the job!

I have mixed feelings about all this. It offends my sensibilities, but I don't like to punish the employees because it is not their fault they don't get paid squat. If I feel I get an actual service, I will generally tip the change, but rarely can I bring myself to tip any more than that. If I did, I feel as though I would be tacitly approving the way the system is evolving.

I certainly don't. I'd love to hear what others think.

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