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The Justice Scale of Our Demise [Non-MMO]

This is a non-MMO post, so forgive me, but I have to vent.

I am incredibly tired of the way this country, our US-of-A, is run. Who the hell decided corporate America was anything other than an abomination, eh? I know that offends a lot of you but hear me out. I worked for Washington Mutual for three years, up until 2009 when our “We Ensure Slaves” progenitors bought us out. That’s Chase Bank Incorporated, by the way, the same company who has been repeatedly nailed for foreclosing on the homes of active duty veterans. Literally, one time wasn’t enough. Not to mention credit card exploitation. Don’t misunderstand, Washington Mutual was pretty terrible in its own way, dutifully ripping off its loyal customers with unethical posting practices — what, you mean deliberately posting charges in an order which maximizes $30 overdraft fees is bad, despite the actual order in which items were purchased? — and purposeless services charges which offer and require no actual service for $20+ a month. (Really, we did nothing on those accounts. Nothing. If you’re paying them, stop. It’s a fool’s errand.)

I am tired of working for Board of Directors, CEOs, project managers, and site overseers whose only job is to ask other people if they’ve done their job. This gets us nowhere. You know who makes America? Me and you. The people on the ground floor doing the work that makes these people their incredibly large paychecks. Our swear gets their mansions and our undersized houses. Hell, most of them don’t even answer their own email.

Let me give you an example. In the last three months of Washington Mutual’s life, over 5,000 people were laid off. Stock prices dropped immensely – two years made for an 85% drop in stock, from $45 to $3 per share. Our CEO earned a final quarter bonus of $15 million dollars. For three months. You and I lost our jobs. Kerry Killinger destroyed an American institution. He got millions upon millions while we got a spot in the unemployment line. Trickle down economics is working well, am I right?

Who are Boards? Faceless entities that give two shits about the people who are their company – because make no mistake, if you have ever talked to a customer, you mean more than any tight-wad suit ever did. They just earn off of our sweat. You get the anger and, on occasion, their kudos. It’s nice when it happens, really nice; makes you feel good as a person. Still, there is no millions to back up that satisfaction and probably not even a solid hundred. Maybe it’s because they had a family member in the business. Maybe they just worked their ass off. Both are possible. It doesn’t change the fact that it takes a heartless bastard to cast a blind eye to the people who make them their fortune and then fire huge swatches of them to match the bottom line. It’s self-serving. It’s un-Christian. And it’s damnably unkind despite the necessities of business. Moreover, it goes against the American spirit of Rising Up and Doing Well. That died with Nixon.

And on that token, let me give credence where credence is due. People need to be fired sometimes. I’m not some bleeding heart. In any industry, hard decisions need to be made and people will be hurt regardless. My issue is in pay differential. My issue is in social class differential. It is in the assholes collecting massive bonuses while simultaneously firing the people who made those bonuses possible. It is in the poor, the needy, and the weatherworn. It’s in the people that represent the companies who most of us probably have come to hate. Why? Because despite healthcare, despite the regularity of a paycheck, despite somewhere to go during the day – all great and admirable attributes we should all aspire to – that we’ve let our nation reward those who work the least.

Your damn board, your CEO, your store manager and power-hungry CSM, they all mean nothing. You know what pisses me off most? The deluded store manager who laces his emails with exclamation points hoping some douchebag manager sees it in hopes to get ahead. Make no mistake, a two year degree gives no asshole a right to talk down to you. And no, that’s not my case, but it is that of a friend — a well educated and highly experienced friend who has spent years upon years doing highly technical work for the Air Force. Work in corporate America a while and you’ll see. It’s not about how you can manage, it’s about how hard you can crack a whip. Why? Because we’re expendable, you and I. Forgive me for this, because I’m a Christian man, but it’s simply because they don’t give a fuck about us. We’re a means to an end. We on the ground floor and the managers in the store we work in. Except our managers have been fed a temptation of hope.

Forget your impoverished working-man and you doom yourself to Rome and the rest of our world’s fallen nations. Make no mistake: America, Europe, and all the world are one big Justice Scale. Let it lean too far in one direction and everything we work for gets pissed away in one great lean.

There is no hope to be found in this post, despite how much I hope their were. The only thing I offer is awareness. Don’t buy in to the utter bullshit that they can be you. Maybe in another life. And maybe you can build that. I hope you can. For most of us, our lives levy on the whim of people we’ll never meet and to whom are families are dots on a bottom line. Is that who you want to support? If you ask who else, I have no answer. Our nation is well and truly down the rabbit hole and we have no recourse. Occupy all you like but it would have best happened 100 years past. Today, all I can say is scrape with all your will. I wish you the best.

Not that this, or anything we might say, makes a differences. We’re not CEOs after all.

9 comments

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  1. Chris "Syeric" Coke

    For the record, I have been separated for long enough where I no longer care. Want to know how bad WaMu and Chase screwed their customers? Toss me a question and you’ll get an answer.

    And to this, I give a big middle finger to their mandate of “not speaking in a public forum” without prior approval.

    Which is accompanied by mandates dictating, literally, the inability to speak into a microphone under any circumstance, say “finance” or “money” where anyone can hear, or even to take a second job without prior approval — which coincidentally was disallowed if any money transactions were a part of business, even if you had no part in money dealings yourself (that means any job). In effect, their policy was “us or no-one.”

  2. Guinadrodd

    I have to admit that I had very similar thoughts as you when I was outsourced to an IT services company whose main goal seemed to be to replace me (and my co-workers) with lesser paid workers from foreign countries and with processes that didn’t meet the needs of my former company.

    I’m happy to report that I joined a much better company to work for, and the outsourcing was undone for most of the remaining workers.

    I hope and pray that you are able to find something fulfilling, concentrate on your family and continue living your life in a Christian manner. It is unfortunate that ethics seem to be sparse near the top of these large organizations that run the world.

  3. motstandet

    Rise up, Comrade!

    1. Tanja

      rumors have to be the whole story or either true or false? Rumors can coniatn bits and pieces of both. To use your example of the Dwarven Kingdom and the Imprisoned Demon you could use a lot of rumors and hints sprinkled throughout NPC dialogue as well as traditional quests to convey the truth.Maybe NPCs in Joe’s Bar have heard that there were already caverns in the mountains before the Dwarves arrived. Or that they’ve heard people talk about feeling watched when they are in the mountain. Maybe the Dwarves themselves talk about how they have terrible violent nightmares when they are at home, but not when they are away from the mountain.Things like that help convey a sense of foreboding and atmosphere that players (who care about that sort of thing) might think about when they are in the zone/region/area. But, without going all out and just giving the entire story away. Or misleading them with a totally false rumor or statement.As for writing stories for MMOs, I have found that I write best when I have an overall story for the zone and then break it down into pieces. Typically as I create/plan the quest hubs and what-not the smaller stories pop up and I can find ways of tying them into the larger story. And of course, with the larger story I work to find ways to tie it into the even greater story. Or at the very least create hooks for future links to the greater story(ies).Anyway, my two cents on it all. Love your blog, keep it up.

  4. Dar

    I dare you to read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

    There are a lot of similar themes in your post and this book.

  5. Trippin Ninja

    Tough post to read, I feel for ya brother. It took me about 5 years with a big company for it to really sink in. Now I’m with a smaller company and much happier but it’s hard competing for jobs with the big boys because they can throw so much money into marketing and PR to land a job.

    Unfortunately most people don’t want to discuss politics or economics so the chances of fixing any of this are pretty low. Unless something drastic happened like rampant inflation to make everyday items virtually unaffordable for middle class. But the top couple percent seem to be hellbent on pushing the middle class into poverty so perhaps we will see a “breaking point” soon. I hope so. People seem to be waking up slowly but sometimes I feel like we are going to be too late to act on turning this disaster around.

  6. xXJayeDuBXx

    You sound kind of angry, might I suggest putting away the firearms for awhile!

  7. Vandrek

    Great post!

    I have always found it odd that when one of these big shot CEO is in the news or in front of Congress everyone gives them a pass when their company is screwed up. Their answer is sort of like “we can’t know what all these fools working at our company were doing” and everyone seems to accept that. The next minute they are then talking about how important they are to the company and deserve their pay check. Everyone accepts that too. Which is is? Do they know what is going on and deserve their paycheck or are they just regular dopes that can’t know everything that is going on (like anyone else)?

  8. Syl

    To echo Vandrek, I never understood how it was possible for a CEO to get bonuses and great salaries when the company wasn’t actually doing well or had to relieve employees. in almost any other type of work environment, the boss is actually responsible for what happens in a body he manages. many corporate people love to use the meritocracy phrase which makes it all the more bizarre because apparently they are excluded – something many smaller workers who actually did their jobs get to pay for. if a company goes bankrupt, the management floor just moves on to somewhere else with full pockets. it’s a completely fucked up system of exploitation and playing ball with people’s livelihoods.

    I’ve worked in one such company briefly and I was disgusted at the kind of complete lack of empathy or connection to the real world that the leadership had there. it baffles me too how anybody in his right mind could feel justified to earn 500 times more than anyone in his company. five-hundred-times-more. wow. but then a right mind cannot be assumed anymore, anyway.

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