Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Am I One of the Last of the Middle Class?

The Press of Atlantic City carried a report that the number of rich, working poor is rising, the middle class is shrinking, and the rich get richer!  At the same time, companies such as McDonald's profits are in the billions!  (Yes that's billions with a "B"!).  I realized I may be one of the last people left in the Middle Class, for if things go as they are going, there will only be the Upper Class and the Poor!

I certainly don't feel like I'm poor, but I'm certainly not rich either.  I am comfortable, but there are many who sink deeper and deeper into debt and poverty each and every day!  Hard to believe this is the U.S. of A.!

There's something wrong when companies continue to make astronomical profits and CEO's make outrageous salaries, but the working class make less and less!  When is enough profit enough?  When is a salary more than enough!  When will companies start to give some of that profit and salaries to pay workers a decent wage?  And what is the U.S. Government going to do about it?

The Republicans led by the Teabaggers would say the Government should not do anything about it!  This is, afterall, CAPITALISM!   But enough is enough!  At some point the Government has to step in and level the playing field.  At some point, if nothing else, companies must be forced to pay their fair share of the burden.  After taxbreaks, many huge corporations pay little or no taxes! 


Monday, December 02, 2013

Retired and Loving It!

It's been 3 months now since I have reported to work!  People told me I'd be bored!  "There's a pool in the office as to how long it will take you to get another job," said one coworker!  "You're used to the structure," said another.  But I must say, I LOVE RETIREMENT! 

There's something to be said for not having to be somewhere at a certain time!   I love the mornings when I get up (not that I'm a late sleeper), get my coffee, and just do whatever I want at my own leisure.  Read the paper!  Go on the computer!  Read a book!  Honestly, since not going to work, I have waken up the alarm clock maybe 4 times.  I LOVE IT!  However, I have to say that time is flying by!  These past 3 months seem to have moved at the speed of light!

I wish I could have taken all my coworkers with me on this "Retirement Journey."  But their time will come, as has those before me.  I wish all those left behind in State Government the best!  I learned a lot in my almost 32 years of Government employment! 

Firstly, good people have to work in a screwed up system sometimes!  Took me a long time to learn this, but it's true.  Staff bust their tails trying to serve the people of the State, and most times, staff get nothing but crap from the public as well as their employer!  There are those rare times when someone gives you a compliment, but the majority of the job is filled with complaints!  It seems personal!  But the staff are just trying to do their best working in the system they have.  In my particular area of government, most are social workers and people who really care about helping the clientele!  When this cannot be accomplished, it makes the staff feel bad just as much as the client!

Secondly, if you want to succeed in State Government, one needs to learn quickly that "its' not your company!"  Administration does not really care what you think!  The "owners" of the company set an agenda, and staff are there to follow that agenda!  Once in awhile staff's input may be sought, but this is rare.  The reality is it's no different than working for "John's Mobile."  John, the owner, hires employees to carry out his desires for the company, and the employees are there just to make it happen!    Learn this lesson quickly, and there's less headaches in the long run!

Working frustrating?  Yes!  However, there were those good moments too!  Times when I really saw my sweat pay off in getting a client something he really needed!  And of course I got paid, good benefits, and the opportunity to retire earlier than most.  For that I am extremely thankful!