Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blood From A Turnip

I was not that pleased with my raise but I understood that the economy played a huge role in determining our raises this year. If I had to choose between a raise and a job.....well I would choose the job. However, just because the economy is in the tank does not mean Visa, MasterCard, Charter Cable and the rest of my creditors don't want their money.

With that in mind please tell me why every time I turn around my job is asking employees to donate funds to charity. First in was United Way, then Susan Coman Breast Cancer Fund, Water for the People and now it's the Multiple Sclerosis fund raiser. It's only 5 months into the new year and they have asked for charitable donations at least once a month! Come on....it's not like we are making money hand over fist. Hell we have laid off security and the lunch room workers. Our maintenance man watches the parking lot to ensure that employees cars are not repo'ed on the job. I'm not even gonna mention all the calls the receptionist gets from payday loan companies, rent a center and bill collectors requesting to speak to various employees.

I don't mind helping people out but don't make it a habit of begging every damn month for a new cause. As Grandma says you can't get blood from a turnip!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pirates of Somalia

When I think of pirates I think of the guy in the picture above. I’ve always thought that a pirate is white, has one good arm and the other arm has a hook attached to it, a patch over the right eye and a talking parakeet on his shoulders. Whoever knew that pirates were black African men?

We’ve all heard about the pirates taking over the American ship last week. I could not believe that the pirates took the Caption hostage and threaten his life. CNN kept me informed about the progress of the situation and I was relieved when they announced that they were sending a Navy ship over to assist in the situation. I felt like a true American, yeah that’s how we roll….we go get our people.

The media presented the pirates as terrorist and after 911 anything associated with terrorism have Americans ready to ride or die. Like many of you I never thought to ask why the Somalis keep hijacking ships. Sadly, it didn’t even cross my mind. But lucky for me I know a beautiful, insightful and intelligent young lady name Nyankor (Nya) Matthew.

Nya is a native of Liberia and helps me and many other African Americans stay informed on what is occurring in Africa. Because of her personal experience and knowledge of the continent she can provide a view from the perspective of the Somali pirates. Please take a moment to visit her web page and read her thoughts on piracy http://www.liberianforum.com/Articles/Somali-Pirates.html?ac=0

Did you know….

According to documents obtained by The Times, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia's pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions were hoping that the Bush Administration's decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there.

Many nations are committing piracy against Somali by illegally fishing in their waters. Europe, France, Spain, Greece, UK, and Norway has participated in massive illegal foreign fishing piracy that has been poaching and destroying Somali marine resources for the last 18 years following the collapse of the Somali regime in 1991.

European and some Asian companies have taken advantage of that anarchy to turn the Somalia coast into a toxic dump. These countries have been dumping nuclear and radioactive toxic waste on the shores of Somalia. It appears that most of the dumping is connected to the Italian mafia, which has found that it costs only $2.50 a ton to dispose of toxic waste of the coast of Somalia instead of $250 a ton at legal European dumps

The media would have us believe that these pirates or just as horrible as Osama Bin Laden. But most of these pirates are fisherman attempting to keep the waterways from being illegally fished and other countries from dumping their crap on the shores.

Of course there are some that are purely out for the money, but without a government what are the people to do? We must take most of the news coverage with a grain of salt, our thinking caps must be on at all times. It’s sad but in the United States we are spoon fed bullshit. We are so under read, undereducated, and unconnected to the rest of the world, this allows our media to bend our minds and tell us their perspective of the news.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Making Changes

I’ve always loved rich chocolaty desserts and sleep. Yes, sleeping and eating any form of chocolate is what I consider a great time. When I was a kid I loved nap time at school and when Mama got tired of dealing with all the kids in the house and said, “Who’s ready to take a nap”, I was the first to raise my hand. As a kid I loved spending the night over my Auntie’s house because she would let me eat chocolate cake and brownies for dinner. Well all that sleeping and eating dessert has caught up with me...I’m officially overweight! In 2007 I joined Jenny Craig and I lost 30lbs, this included exercising and making healthier food choices.

When I moved back to Saint Louis I got back into my old habits and starting sleeping a lot and eating as much chocolate as my body could stand which resulted in me gaining the 30lbs back. Thanks to my bad habits not only have I gained the weight back…but now I’m on high blood pressure medication.

As my doctor put it… “People have been telling you your overweight…now your body is telling you too.” I knew I should’ve listened when my doctor told me to lose weight last year but I thought it was not a big problem. Well the day I went to Walgreens to fill that high blood pressure prescription I knew I had a BIG problem.

So I decided to take control of my health and get back into shape. I’ve hired a trainer…who does not take excuses and demand results. I work out 5-6 times a week and I am eating healthier. I’ve created another blog documenting my weight loss journey. It includes a food journal, my emotions, pics of me as I go though the process of losing weight and weekly weight loss count. My goal is to lose 80lbs before January 30th, 2010. My little cousin Brittany is 14 and over 100lbs overweight and she will be joining me on my weight loss journey so she will be included in the blog as well. I have never exposed myself this much on the internet… but I feel this is something that I must do. Writing about things are helpful to me and may be encouraging to others.

The new address is http://healthyvoluptuousness.blogspot.com/ I have not posted anything just yet but check it out from time to time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Discussing Pay

Many people feel that it is unethical to discuss pay in the workplace. It’s understandable that most companies feel this way because it can lead to a disgruntle worker. Well I believe that in some cases it’s necessary for people to know what other people are making. How do you know if you are getting totally screwed if you do not know what your peers are making?

For example today at the gig they gave out the raises. Some came out the boss’s office with smiles plastered on their faces, others came out and pulled up monster.com. One of my peers stated that she just found out that the people two grades below us made more money than she did. Of course I calculated this in my mind and I was totally appalled, this meant that she was make about ten grand less than me and we do the same job. My heart ached because she is one of the most productive employees in our department. This girl has never missed a day of work in 7 years….. and this is the thanks she gets !

Some folks will say maybe she did not negotiate very well when she took the job, which may be true but people should be fair damn it. She is now protesting her raise and I hope that she can get it through the thick skulls of the bosses that she deserves more money.

Some people in our department basically told her she was getting played, they did not tell her how much they made, they just said they made a few grand more. Staff in our department had no clue how underpaid our best co-worker was and tried not to talk about the situation too much.

I feel if everyone knew what the other person made it would ensure equal and fair pay. But this whole secrecy thing keeps people in the dark and keeps more money in the pockets of companies.