Friday, February 27, 2009

Big 3 Bailout

Please note that I feel very passionately about this topic. Also note that there is some "strong language" in this blog. If you find this language offensive please do not read this. I am pretty sure that the language in question is used less than 5 times but I am just covering my bases! Thanks!

Well after a few hours of searching and reading I am finally fed up enough to write this blog. I have read several articles and the comments that are left by readers. It's ridiculous. Everyone is going on about the Big3 auto bailout and how it shouldn't happen. Everyone is up in arms about having their tax dollars spent helping these three companies out of a tough time. 'Oh let them come back down to earth' was one comment I read. There were countless comments about autoworkers living lavish lifestyles. Enough.

Let's look at the job an auto worker does shall we. Let's look at the job that I do for a living. I work in a non-unionized plant, for a parts supplier for the Big3. Okay so here is how it works.

I work a line that is called Mechanical. We take these blanks from the Blanking Line and form them into parts. One of our most hated jobs has a blank with a very awkward shape that weighs about 18lbs. Now we take this 18lb blank and put it in one press to form a draw panel, which is then taken out and put on a conveyer belt and travels to the next station and so on and so forth until it is the completed part. We used to take this blank and cut it down to like 7lbs, but because of cost cutting (before the economy tanked even) we got rid of that job and just use the whole blank. For this job it takes two people on each press for a total of three presses and one packer at the end. That is 7 people to run just one job. It's now 14 people because the company took the other side of that job and we run them both at the same time, also a cost saving meassure. Now let's do the math. We have an 18lb blank, with production of about 1800 parts per shift. Just putting that blank into the press 1800 times in a shift is HAND LOADING 32,400lbs! Multiply that by 2 because what you put in you have to take out and we are now sitting at 64,800lbs. You can add another 32,400lbs to that last number, as somebody has to pull that blank out of a bin! Finally we multiply the entire number for one side times 2 as we run both sides at the same time, for a grand total of 194,400. Four people with lift that amount in one 8 hour shift. We move mountians on that job. There is nothing to help you lift that part other than the power of your own arms.

Let's also keep in mind here folks that while you sit in the comfort of your airconditioned offices behind your desks in your cushy chairs that we parts manufacturers are going to work in the heat of summer just like you do! We get to stand in a factory that slaps you in the face with a wall of hot air for eight hours in our uniforms in work boots with arm guards (long sleeves much like a leg warmer) and gloves (kevlar to protect ourselves from cuts). It gets so hot that you can see the humidity in the air...inside the building! It hangs like a fog at the ceiling. Now we are also working around heavy machinery which produces heat, as well as forklifts that spew hot air all over the place. Let's not forget to mention the fact that you could loose a body part at my work. How many body parts do you loose making photocopies or answering the phone?

Everything at my job is about effiency. Down time makes nobody any money. So, to all of those people who think that an autoworker doesn't work as hard as they do you can bite me. At work I do more in an 8 hour shift than you do in a freakin' week. Keep your office job, keep whining about how much you don't get paid. You will not find sympathy here. I work damn hard for my $24.51 an hour! I work hard for my benefits. What do you do? How many of you are reading this blog right now, completely outraged at my lack of sympathy or my seemingly greedy attitude....while you are at work...not working for your paycheck? I am pretty sure that your boss doesn't pay you to sit on your fat ass and be on blogger or facebook or myspace or twitter. If your idea of hard work is sitting in that chair come and spend a day at my'll kick your pansy ass!

Let's talk about my lavish lifestyle shall we? I made about $50,000 last year. Yep. There it is. My "lavish" lifestyle. I live with my boyfriend in a one plus den condo. I own a 5 year old car. Yes, it's a GM. It's a base model sunfire with only am/fm radio and standard. I take about $100 every pay and put it into my retirement fund. I take about $200 a pay to save up for a down payment on a house. (well i used to....have been laid off since December so all of those plans are on hold). My car has less than 100,000km on it. I do little but drive to work and back, and between the two of us we have only one car. The last movie I saw in a theatre...I couldn't tell you. Working three shifts doesn't really give you much time to do fun things like that. Most of my time off is spent catching up with family and friends. Tell me, how is that a lavish life style? Tell me why most of my co-workers drive cars that are older than 5 years? Is it a lavish lifestyle because I have benifits that cover about 80%? With the amount of wear and tear that I put my body through daily at work I think that I deserve no less! Is it lavish because I can take about $300 a month and put it away for things that I want? I did the same when I only got paid $8/hr at my old minimum wage job. I call it prudent finacial planning. We aren't behind on any of our monthly bills. Why? Because we don't live beyond our means, that's why. I try not to use my credit card, I pay cash. I pay bills when they come in and don't wait until the due date. I always pay more than the minimum payment. Why? Because I don't want to pay the interst. That's just throwing my $$$ away. Now tell me how this is a lavish lifestyle? Tell me that I don't deserve the pay I get for the job I do...come on I dare you.

Does anyone reading this understand why it is so expensive to buy a car? Let me tell you why. It's all the bells and whistles. It's all the crap that consumers want in their cars that forces the prices up. Yeah you can scoff all you want but do you think you are getting your MP3 hookup, side-impact air bags, airconditioning, 6cd changer, Onstar compatabiltiy, GPS, security alarm, tv's, coolers, heated seats, satellite radio, ABS brakes, and leather seats for free? Are you fucking stupid?

Let's talk Bailout now shall we? After all that is what started this crazy rant. Everyone is against the Bailout for the Big3. "Don't waste my tax dollars on them!" That's common public opinion. You hear it and read it everywhere. People don't want to back companies that make North American products. How very unpatriotic of you all! Would you rather pay to have people on social assitance because they lost their jobs? Oh wait you are already doing that! Governments have extended assistance to laid off workers! Would you rather pay more for your health insurance so that the government can extend benifits to laid off workers? Oh wait no, I forgot, you'd rather pay for greedy bankers fat golden parachutes and golf games, retreats and limos! Silly me.

Okay. Let's see what happens if there is no bail out for these 3 companies. Plants will close. Yep. People will loose their jobs. Yep. The auto industry will be decimated in North America and we will be forced to purchase our cars from countries overseas. -You know the one's I am talking about. The ones that just settled out of a class action for odometers that weren't tracking mileage correctly.(HONDA) That's a pretty big screw up really considering that the resale value of your spiffy Japcrap car is based heavily on the mileage! Wonder how many folks got ripped of in that one(models 2000 and up).- So now that we are buying cars who's companies are based overseas, we don't have the benifit of all of those $$ in our economy. Now that the auto industry is decimated, we won't need as much steel from North America. We also won't need all of those truck drivers that used to haul North American auto parts from plant to plant. So now there are thousand more out of jobs. That's okay though because the taxpayers of North America would rather pay for all of those people to be on social assistance/e.i.; they'd rather pay extra for their health insurance so the government can extend those benifits to unemployed workers. Let's not forget about the folks that own car dealerships. Family run businesses that will close because the tax payer isn't seeing the big picture here. More houses will forclose. More people will owe more for their house now than what it's worth, because with every forclosure housing prices dip lower and lower. That's okay are all okay with that.???? You are okay with commodity prices falling, the stock market taking another dive, you are all okay with that? Really?

So yeah, let's not bail out these guys. I don't mind buying my next car from China. I'm sure that they will eventually work out all of the issues they have with their quality in pet foods, baby food, and childrens toys. I'm sure their cars will be just fine. Yep. Just fine. Let's not worry about our fellow citizens. Let's NOT invest in our own work force. Let's not invest in our own inovations, after all China can make it for cheaper, right? Let's not invest in ourselves. Our children won't care. Most of them don't know the value of a dollar anyway. Let's not invest in our work force when we can outsource everything to China and India and any other country that pays their workers next to nothing.

This recession has hit North America hard in the balls. There is no denying that. Can we blame any one factor for this crisis? Not really. It's a multitude of different factors that have contributed to this mess. It's the bankers, and their greed, it's the government for allowing it to happen by not paying attention and it's the consumer for overspending and not saving for that rainy day. We are all to blame and not doing anything will not solve the problem. Allowing good jobs to just disappear is not an option. It should never be an option! Just think, first the auto jobs are gone...the next job could be yours!

Baby sitting and my cats!

Well it's Friday. I am sitting on a couch watching some show called I Carly. Childrens television just might make me scratch my eyes out!

Yesterday went well. Got here at about 3pm and hung out reading. Went out at 6 to pick up Nick. He was skiing all day with school. Then at 8pm we headed out with Kiersti to Nick's hockey practice. I got to play hockey mom! Today we all went out for lunch and then dropped Kiersti off at school for the school play. Tomorrow is my day off. Think we are heading out to our friend Jamie's house to watch some BSG, cause we are nerds!

I miss my kitties. Aaron popped by the condo today to check on their water and food. He says they are fine but I bet he got 'told' by both the minute he walked in the door!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lunch out with the Inlaws

Well today I went with Kathy to her boyfriends house so that I could see where it was. Nice little town...very cute. Aaron's mom came by to pick me up and I knew that her mom (Nana) was going to be coming but to my great surprise Papa was there too! So off I go, with the in in tow!

We go to Ed's home...then for a drive to see where the kids schools are...then to lunch (had a yummy chicken wrap!)...then off to the local M&M meats shop for some food for the week...then to two different drug stores looking for hair dye for Nana. Discovered also that I am looking after Mocha...a very needy very old miniature poodle. Poor little guy can't do stairs anymore! So no it's more like looking after a teen, a ten, and a toddler...i have a teetentod! Holy instant family! Kathy gave me the gears about that! Aaron's sister is apparently coming down to sit them on the weekend so I won't have to worry about taking Nick to hockey but that would have been fun anyway. Kierstie is helping with the school play this weekend. The are putting on Les Miserable at her high school. She isn't in it but she did help with the set design so she is very excited.

I am cooking a lot of instant food this week. Cook from frozen stuff. I think maybe if they are bored of that I will head to the store for some unbreaded chicken, and some Alfredo sauce. I just may whip them up some of my famous pepper chicken Alfredo! I have served it to several of my friends and Aaron of course and I haven't killed any of them yet! Also they tell me it tastes just like something you'd get at a restaurant. Which is freakin' awesome for me as I don't normally cook.

Will admit that today I am feeling better about this upcoming adventure. Aaron is still taking a couple of days off but I think that's because he just doesn't want to be at work! (I think he is a little jealous that I am off-which is insane because I would so rather be working!)

My girlfriend called me the other day, asking about work. She tells me that I have someone very high up looking out for me right now. I am very greatful for this! I love my job and don't want to loose it. I feel bad at the same time though as some of my friends and co-workers have lost their jobs. I am very torn between the two. Obviously I am not going to complain if I don't loose my job but I can't tell my friends about this. That is what I feel the worst about.

Friday, February 20, 2009

severance pay gripe

Right. Was woken up today by my friend Sadie. Due to this recession Sadie has lost her good paying job at an auto parts plant. Sadie worked this job for three years and got three years of severance pay, plus her vacation pay. Her check came in one lump sum. Here is the kicker. She has lost more than $2000 in taxes. In what land is that right?

I don't get it. She's been on EI since December, just getting enough from the government to pay her bills. Then she gets her severance and she looses more than half to taxes! There should be a law that states that the government will not tax severance pay. It seems cruel to do it. This was money she was counting on to get her through the next little bit until she found another job! This money would have paid for a lot and they took half of it.

Sometimes I really hate the government

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My girlfriend Sadie just called me. Her sister has been having health problems. She has been loosing her balance and has been experiencing some numbness in her face. At first the doctors thought it was a stroke. She had a relapse of her symptoms last night and went to the hospital. They told her she has MS. My heart and thoughts go out to this girl. She has a 2 year old daughter and a useless lump for a boyfriend (he wouldn't take her to the hospital). Please light a candle today and keep Amy in your thoughts.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Still Waiting...

So here is how my day has panned out so far. Two of my good friends both permanently lost their jobs today. The both got the call. I have been waiting around all day and haven't gotten one...yet? I am really nervous although I have been hearing things out of the rumor mill at work. The last I heard was anyone with 4 years or less. I am in the 4 year category but my review for my fifth year is in March. I don't know. If I make it through tomorrow with no call I am in the clear for now.

I was goofing around on the computer today and discovered that home outfitters is hiring in our town. Going to do up my resume and get it to them. At least if I find a job I won't be home bored so much waiting to go back to work. Other benefits include extending my unemployment insurance and having the ability to save some money. If I am going to loose my job we are going to need two cars. If I am working that won't be so hard. Thinking about one of those cute little smart cars...nothing fancy but good mileage and I won't be commuting to any place that requires me to take the highway. I have this theory that if you have to take the highway you work to far from home and that isn't right.

I am worried about my friend Sadie. She has just moved into her first apartment and has now lost her job. I hope that I can go back to work soon, that way I can afford to help her out. In the mean time...she'll be coming over for dinner lots and going home with left overs. I hope this all works out, I really do. Worry never hit me until today, which is odd for me because I usually worry about everything. Today I worried because it hit so close to home, but I still have this little voice telling me that it will be okay and that I won't loose my job. It's very conflicting. I think that my only option is to get a job for now, work and save my money, take the course that I want to take and see what happens.


Well I work in the automotive industry so I've really been waiting since December to go back to work. Today however is a different kind of waiting. I just found out that two of my friends have permanently lost their jobs. I have almost 5 years in at this company but I don't know if that will save me. So today, today I wait to find out if I still have a job. Will keep you posted

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So here I am on a dreary Sunday afternoon messing around with Blogger. Now I want to change my template because I don't like any of the ones they have on here and my fabulous friend Cher has made up a beautiful one for me. So with Cher's expert guidance i managed to figure out how to get my banner up! Only problem is that only have of it shows because of the template that I am using.

No problem, I'll just zip on over to pimp-my-profile and whip up one that I like! So I have now spent hours getting background clips and fiddling around figuring out what I want! It is so nice I love it. So I go and put it in the html and get this damn message saying that it can't do it! HELP! I know I am not so stupid that I did something wrong but apparently I did! any advice would be greatly appreciated!

PS blogger if you read this fix your glitch!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's day thoughts

So here it is...the big day...V. day...more commonly known to us victims of capitalism as Valentine's day. Every year since I was little I always looked forward to Valentine's Day and it always seemed disappointing. Even when I was little it was an ordeal! At 6 when I should have been in class exchanging hand-made valentine's with my class mates I was in the hostpital getting my tonsils out. The next year I was in again...this time for ear tubes. The year after that I was off to a different school.

In high school Valentine's day seemed a little better but looking back now I see that really I was fooling myself. Sure I got flowers and candy from boys that I thought I loved (oh what was I thinking?) but for what? I get the feeling now that their motives were entirely different than mine!

For the last couple of years, well we'll say the last ten at least, I have celebrated this over-blown and over-commercialized holiday by wishing all that I know a happy one! I have given little token gifts to all my friends...especially the single ones and just made it a day of love for everyone.

Now though I must go. My honey just came home from a run to the grocery store for some bread and he brought me the loveliest bunch of red roses! Here is hoping that everyone is spending the day with someone important to them!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Very First Blog

Well this is my very first blog. Not liking the template I pick for this blog but I will fiddle with things until I find one that I like.

So today my boyfriend is looking at his bank statement and sees a purchase at BestBuy for Dec.26...on his February statement. Now this is a checking account and we were never at BestBuy on that day...and why is it coming out in Feb., as apposed to coming out when the debit purchase was made? With these questions in hand we made our way to BestBuy to bust some skulls over this. So far, we have replaced my bf's debit card, complained loudly at BestBuy until they started doing something and called banks to ask about running a debit transaction through manually (they can't do this no one can so don't fall for that scam). Well, we will see what happens in the next few days. I will keep you posted....Although no-one is reading this blog so the one person who happens to stumble upon this...i will keep you posted!

PS BestBuy is evil