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But if the apocalypse ever rolls around, whether it be nuclear, zombie or other, I’m pretty sure I’ll wish I had one. So at what probability should I put on doomsday happening during my life will buying a locker full of guns and ammo be the ‘smart’ move?


I have a job interview tomorrow, very inconvenient on the eve of the eve of my first final. When I first saw the job ad it seemed like a good fit and the company did a good job of hyping itself up (they have an on-site gym). All my interactions thus far have been with a particularly inhuman HR department*, assuring me that I’m walking back into another soulless corporation.

After a year of living as a poor graduate student, the prospect of a regular pay check is enticing. The job also seems like a step up from what I’ve done in the past, but I never liked what I did in the past.

I hope this blog still doesn’t show up when my name is googled. Hopefully near-future posts will be more upbeat.

*I’m not trying to insult the persons I’ve talked to, the inhumanity stems from the fact that they seem to have a lot of anal protocal to follow.

Q: Do I spend too much time watching tv?

A: Probably. I should cut down to 3 show specific hours a week (any guesses at what my 3 hours are?), plus some Daily Show and PBS here and there. Doesn’t include social tv watching, gathering around the glow of the electric campfire to spend time with the tribe.

Q: Do I spend too much time on the internet?

A: Absolutely. Harder to pinpoint what I should limit myself to, but soduku has to go.

Q: I’ve been thinking of rejoining the workforce full time, is working really for suckers?

A: Yes, but it probably wouldn’t be as bad as I imagine/fear if I could land an interesting job.

Q: How much time do I really want to spend working out?

A: I was working out for 1-2 hours, 6 or 7 days a week for a while. That is too much (but it did get me in great shape, or as I like to call it, unemployed shape). 1 hour 3 or 4 times a week isn’t enough. I think the time in the former might be good if I replaced half the gym time with fun activities, like intense games of dodge ball or running from the swine flu.

Q: Climbing a mountain sounds like an awesome goal, for somebody else. What’s my mountain?

A: I don’t know but I want to find out. It’s not running a marathon (nice little challenge, but what’s the point) or getting an advanced degree in a somewhat difficult subject (too easy). Suggestions are welcome, I’m looking for a challenge.

I haven’t been feeling very ‘bloggy’ lately, so these pages have gone without update for the most part. However, it occurred to me that I was not keeping with the spirit of this site by not posting last Friday. I started writing here to chronicle a trip through Costa Rica, the name came about because I had just quit my job with the sole purpose of going on a long vacation. I wanted any co-workers who might have read it to think about how they were choosing to live there lives.

Sadly that vacation eventually came to an end, and I found myself back in a new cube-farm, that was still very much a place designed to entrap suckers (maybe not it’s intent, but it does this none the less). Friday I walked over to the boss and proclaimed “NO MORE!” I informed her that I would no longer do her dirty work, that she could stay in the cube farm but I was going to Thailand. To top it all off I’ve got myself admitted to grad school so I can put off future sucker-e-ness for years.

I came home and didn’t even think to mention it to my loyal reader. So there it is, I have once chosen to walk away from gainful employment. Life is good once more. This July 4 I get to celebrate my own independence along with my right to bear arms should the king of England try and tax me. Take that King of England, and take that Medimpact.

A footnote for any future employers who may come across this: I’m sure working for you will be different, it will be both challenging and rewarding, or else why would I apply? And I’m sure once I find myself working in this challenging, and rewarding environment I will extol the virtues of working in this very blog.

In true Workings for Suckers fashion, I’ve been trying to quit my job this week. Every time I do my boss is either gone or gives me a ‘No Time!’ Her love of pretending to be busy used to be funny, but I’m losing my patience.

I constantly make lists for a variety of reasons, but I don’t believe in making lists of things that must be done before you die. There isn’t enough flexibility in that kind of list, you’ll miss the roses looking for the tulips. But if I had a list of places to go before I died, I would consider adding Lockhart, Texas. Apparently they have the best bbq in America. That seems like it would be worth the 1,332 mile trip.

For now I’ll settle for Phil’s BBQ, which is definetly worth the stop if you find yourself in San Diego.

Freakonomics got some bright folks together to discuss philosophies on the following:

You are walking down the street in New York City with $10 of disposable income in your pocket. You come to a corner with a hot dog vendor on one side and a beggar on the other. The beggar looks like he’s been drinking; the hot dog vendor looks like an upstanding citizen. How, if at all, do you distribute the $10 in your pocket, and why?

First off, if I’m hungry and want a hot dog, I’ll buy one and eat it. Regardless of whether or not I do, I still have to decide what to do with the rest of my money.

Part of me wants to go with Barbara Ehrenreich and follow JC’s advice. When I was young and idealistic, I used to do that largely due to thinking like Roland Fryar, that it’ll help the bum more than me.

I originally ditched that philosophy because of the old “they’ll just use it to buy drugs” notion. But thats for fascists, well meaning fascits, but fascists none the less. Who am I (or you) to decide how anyone else is going to spend their income. That doesn’t answer the question, because that line of thinking doesn’t mean you have to be the one giving the bum money, but I will rule out giving the bum a hot dog.

Giving to bums around here isn’t a matter of life and death, I live by the beach in San Diego, so most of the bums I see (and I see a lot) don’t have it so bad, so I don’t feel compelled to help them as needy people. But as pointed out in the Freakonomics post, the good book says if somebody asks you for something, give it to them and more. That seems pretty noble.

Hypothetically, me and a bunch of people start giving money to bums. Lets say this amounts to thousands of dollars. Markets being what they are, it seems to me that more bums will enter the market at this point. Some person at the margin, who otherwise would’ve gotten a (shitty) job is now going to be on the street annoying people for money, as bad as that is for us (being annoyed) it must be worse for the person who almost wasn’t a bum.

So I don’t know how to deal with panhandlers, but I do know that working is for suckers, so I shouldn’t get upset with them for trying to avoid it.

So after a nice four months of unemployment, I am once again a sucker. I seem to have steered myself back into the world of corporate ridiculousness.

During orientation, the HR chick started telling us that my new employer goes along with the 1988 something or other drug act. I thought she was about to ask me to pee into a cup (which I was not afraid to do, for the record), when she informed me and my fellow co-hires that we aren’t allowed to use, distribute or make illegal drugs at work. No company policy about illegal drugs off the clock.

Soon she told us about how if somebody seemed angry and dangerous they needed to be reported, to avoided situations like the one were a former employee would slam his fist on his desk and get in peoples faces, to the point that they were uncomfortable. How horrible.

So you have, in my opinion many wasted man hours. Now for my back of the envelope economic analysis (I’m no economist, by the way). About 10 man hours were used today, and I’ll assume that happens every other Monday and the average value of those man hours to the company is $20 an hour. Complete guesses all around but it seems reasonable. Adds up to  $5,200 a year.

The argument for the silly HR presentation is that it makes the workplace safer and could, in theory, even save a life. You can’t put a price on that? I’m going to try. According to Wikipedia (I told you it was a back of the envelope calculation) the per capita GDP of Burkina Faso is $1,200. People there are poor and I’m sure you could save a few lives with food and or medical care with $5,200.

I wanted to get a better dollar for life estimate, but I worked for the first time in 4 months today and I’m tired.

I now the $5,200 wouldn’t go to saving Burkina Fasoians. Some of it would go to rich fat-cats who hold stock in my new employer. Some of it might make it into my pocket in higher wages, more likely some of it would end up in consumer pockets as we lower prices to increase market share. Maybe some of that extra cash, that wouldn’t be needed by whoever gets it (they don’t have it now) would end up feeding Haitians. I’m sure theres a better use for it than having me sign a paper saying I won’t make crystal meth at work. Besides, if I started doing it at work, it’d take all the fun out of it.  I’ll stop my bitchin, at least I didn’t have to pee in a cup.

From the sound of things, I might soon re-join the employed, making me the Number 1 Sucker. I blame you people. I guess not you people, but all the other people who don’t read my blog, keeping it from being widely popular and allowing me to become a professional blogger.

Your probably thinking, “You know, if you’d write about something people gave a pig’s ass about, people might read it…” well, that might be true, but that would’ve been helpful advice two months ago. Hopefully some paychecks will allow me to be a bit more adventurous in my new home town and allow the blog to return to its traveling glory days.

This post took me back to my college days, listening to my fellow math majors attempt to argue mathematically things that you shouldn’t. I believe the definition of economics is to mathematically prove stuff that can’t be proven mathematically.  The post works out (numerically) how much of a jerk you have to be to appose immigration. An impressive level of rigor is used.

Maybe I should spend more of my unemployment studying economics so I can drop some similar posts on you, my adoring readers.

July 2018
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