Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

My company’s stock is up 10% in the last two weeks. Absolutely amazing in this business environment eh? Not so much. They posted profits for Q3. They are probably the only company in this sector to post profits for Q3. Don’t stop there, you sweaty corporate bastards. Part of the reason they posted profits was the fact that they closed 70 offices and “reduced their workforce” i.e. shitcanned 2000 employees. That makes me feel soooo good about being an American.

When I knew I was getting canned at the Evil Mini-me a year ago, I sent out an email to the entire company quoting Howard Schultz, Starbuck’s founder and CEO. I’m actually somewhat notorious for that move. The email said:

A company that is managed only for the benefit of shareholders treats it’s employees as a line item, a cost to be contained. Executives who cut jobs aggressively are often rewarded with a temporary run-up in their stock price. But in the long run they are not only undermining morale but sacrificing the innovation, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the heartfelt commitment of the very people who could elevated the company to greater heights.

John Harritt, corporate servant that he is, actually responded to me:

I’m sorry you felt the need to send an email to Atc-all voicing your
displeasure with our management decisions. As CEO my most important
responsibilities are to ensure the financial strength of the company,
protect it and our core staff.

The market is off 25-50 percent all over CA…to date this year we have made
less than one percent return. Despite our tremendous growth and having
outperformed the market, our revenues have continued to fall…in September
our revenue was $7.2 million LOWER than Sept 05.

If I failed to act on these warning signs I would be failing to uphold my
responsibilities as the leader of this co.

It is a great company and I hope you still feel that way. If not, your
choice whether to stay on this team.

And I to him:

Actually, John, it wasn’t my choice.

My choice was to remain with the company and to build a commercial unit in Contra Costa County. I opened your Blackhawk, Antioch, Diablo, San Ramon, Sand Creek, Pringle, Richmond and Mt. Diablo branches. I managed your Bonanza branch on two separate occasions and your San Ramon branch on another, all as stop gap measures in a crisis situations while a suitable branch manager was recruited. If not me, then who is your core staff? I’m one of those heads that you called for. I’m apparently so inconsequential, that you thought that I had a choice as to whether or not I stayed at Alliance Title. I didn’t, I just happened to figure out my 4:30 date with destiny before I was told. I was RIF’ed last Friday two minutes after I sent that email. If Mr. Schultz’ words hit a nerve, I would suggest looking inward.

I am a head that was counted out who happens to have a house and a mortgage and a life that Unemployment Insurance won’t even begin to cover. I’ve been spending today calling title people looking for work that they don’t have and canceling memberships, subscriptions, and services that I can no longer afford. Most business gives employees with my station in life a month’s severance for every year worked. Alliance Title Company paid me up to the second I was laid off.

Please, don’t talk about choices. I didn’t have a choice.

At the end of the day, apparently it is more important for these CEO’s to report to their corporate masters than to their humanity. How backwards and wrong is that?


Is this guy cute or what?


Drink for unbridled power

I’m still kind of stuck on that one. My boss didn’t let me have November 30th off to drive to Vegas for the AAU Powerlifting World Championships. Oh how I could comment on that! I think I’ll bridle that for now. The end result is that the trip will cost me about $150 more than I had planned on, and I will have to fly. I’m making 65% of what I did last year at this job. I’ve developed late onset fear of flying. I couldn’t be happier. Four other people could have days off in November and December, but I could not. Not right buddy. So I got the plane tickets yesterday and now I’m trying to figure out where to stay. Vegas should not have expensive rooms. They take your money at the tables. Rooms should be cheap. But that is not the case, so I’m trying to get a cheap deal on the Golden Nugget, the best hotel on Fremont Street, the only one that’s got four clams on that end of town. On the other hand, Mr. Brownnose’s refusal to give me a day off has made me focus with lasar like precision on the task at hand. Breaking my existing records. I intend on crushing them. I’m lifting pretty strong right now, so I’ve added some stretching, since that’s normally the source of my weakness and I’m locked on Body for Life right now as well.

Building a Body for Life

This week’s food is skewered towards dropping 12 pounds by December 1.

  • Breakfast
  • Oatmeal and fat free cottage cheese
  • Mid Morning
  • Fat free yogurt and 1oz beef jerky
  • Lunch
  • White bean chicken chili (recipe follows)
  • Mid afternoon
  • Apple and 1 oz string cheese
  • Dinner
  • Tilipia, white beans, tomato and basil grilled in a packet (photo follows)
  • Dessert
  • Ricotta and blueberries

white-beans-and-tomatoes-in-foil.JPGwhite-beans-fish-in-foil.JPGwhite-beans-and-fish.JPG Dig those crazy carrots!

White bean chicken chili

  • 1 cup white beans cooked
  • 1/2 cup white corn
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1t California chili powder
  • 1t habanero chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno diced fine
  • 1 cup sweet peppers (any color) diced
  • olive oil
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 beer

Heat a little bit of olive oil in the dutch oven, add onions and cumin until onions are soft. Add garlic, chili powder and fresh peppers and continue cooking about another 5 minutes. Meanwhile cut chicken breasts into 3/4 inch pieces and saute in a little bit of olive oil about 6 minutes. Put chicken in with onion/pepper mix. De-glaze pan with beer and add into mixture. Add chicken broth, white beans, corn and 4 cups of water and simmer 2 hours.


The plumbing systems at this place with be the death of me.  I installed a three piece faucet in the master bath.  The cold water fixture came a little loose, so yesterday I pulled the vanity out from the wall (because the jackass manufacturer had the damn thing made in China and they made the drawers so they don’t come out) and tightened the fixture.  Then I put the P-trap tailpiece back into the nipple in the wall and tightened it down.  It looked okie dokie so I pushed it back in.  Ran a little water and it looked good.  So a couple of hours later I came back to clean the bathroom.  I turn on the water, yeah, the knob is holding good and scrub, scrub, scrub, clean up the bathroom.  Shut off the water and hear “plink, plink, plink”.  So I open the top drawer and there’s a little splash of water.  I open the second drawer and there’s a little splash of water.  I open the bottom drawer and it’s half full of water.  Nothing says your screwed like ibuprofen and tampons bobbing in four inches of water in your vanity.

My plumbing adventures are so epic that for my birthday I received:

  1. A Plunger
  2. A book about hiring contractors
  3. A bottle of Plungerhead 

I think the whole thing is going to have to be taken apart and put back together.  Stay tuned.