Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Redux

I think I may have mislead you a couple of posts ago. About summer, I mean.
Summer is sweaty, hot, uncomfortable weather. I prefer cold, really. But about the actual stuff we do. Well.
Summer? It's : Time to read whole books, from start to finish, without backing up to re-read a couple pages so you remember where you were last time, weeks ago, when you left off.
Summer is Strawberries and blueberries and raspberries and peaches. It's watermelon and cucumbers and lemonade and sweet tea. It's late mornings and late evenings and fireflies.
Oh, fireflies! How I love a yardful of fireflies, Blinking late into the evening.
Summer is bats flying high over head, baby squirrels getting fat, a long lazy walk by the river. It's hazy mornings with iced coffee to wake you, the smell of elephant ears and funnel cakes cooking, and the scent of a distant campfire.
Campfires! Browned marshmallows and melty gooey smores, roasted hot dogs on a stick.
Hot dogs and hamburgers and pork chops and chicken on the grill, every week. Salads and fruit.
The farmers market, barn sales, yard sales, aimless drives through the countryside.
Summer is baking in the sun, even if you wrinkle like a raisin. It's a cool dip in the pool or the lake or the river or the hose.
It's my dog diving headfirst into the river to retrieve a stick, sticking his head in the hose while it's going full blast and loving it, shaking and getting everyone around soaking wet.
Summer is sidewalk chalk drawings and first babysitting jobs and melting ice cream cones with the whole family.
Summer is the cool air in the movie theatre and the library, the shivery feeling when you first come into the house after a day outside.
Summer. It's not too bad. If only I could have it in the early fall...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Story About a Company

I have a little story to tell you. It's not a very nice story, unfortunately, but it is true. This is a Story about a company. A company most people think would be delightful to work for. Like most companies, this one has it's ups and downs.
The insurance, for instance, runs the gambit from unbelievably fantastic, to nonexistant, depending upon your postion within the company. The pay rate depends entirely upon your ability to attract new clients, and your boss can be a delightful person or a real jerk, it's just the luck of the draw.
Aside from the ups and downs, however, there lurks a darker side, a side that no one ever really sees. Unless, of course, you work for the Company.
The truth is that the Company is not very well run. My supervisor, directly hired by me and the board of directors, (I'm on the board of directors), has turned out to be a real moron. For instance, my supervisor was hired entirely on his own word of mouth-stupid, I know, but it's the way it has always been done. All of what he said has turned out to be a lie. In addition, since he is directly responsible for the budget our company operates on, you would think he would be a financial genius, but as it turns out he can't do the simplest addition or subtraction. The simplest things escape him, such as the fact that you can't spend more than you take in, or that you need to cut out the extras before you cut out the essentials. (If I spent all the money I earned on chocolate bars and pretty shoes, and then couldn't pay my bills, everyone would think I was a moron with no sense of financial responsibility, right? )
Since the supervisor of our company is so bad with money, most months I spend the time between submitting my pay voucher and actually receiving my pay, sweating it out, wondering if I'm actually going to get paid.
Now, before you wonder why I don't just quit and get another job, let me explain: This job isn't just a job to me. It's what I dreamed of doing when I was in high school, and I am educated, and continue to take education classes and seminars, to be able to do my job both effectively and in the most up to date manner. And besides, I love my job. I provide a real service, a service that affects my customers in the most positive way.
If I were to lose my job today (a real possibility because of the Company's current budget crises), I would need to : 1. Be retrained for another type of position. 2. Probably file bankruptcy so that I could afford to go to school. 3.Move to a cheaper community, possibly another state, to live in a way that would enable me to go to school. 4. Almost certainly go on welfare to enable me to be able to live , feed my children, etc, while I retrained for another type of position.
So you see, I'm invested in this job-totally aside from the fact that I love my job (and how many people can say that?!) the fact that my job would impact so many people if it were lost, should be a real consideration in the Company's budget plans.
And so, while I sit here and wonder if my paycheck will arrive this month, the executive board and the Supervisor duke it out with their war of words, while they fight over weather or not to cut 'nonessential' budget items out, and weather or not to continue to fund essential services such as the one I provide to our customers. While they fight, I wonder, as do others, weather or not we will be able to feed our children next month, or give them a place to live, or provide them with health insurance.
I wish, as do all who work for The Company, that the service I provide would just be funded, so our clients can continue their own work, and stay off of welfare themselves, and that the Company would quit playing games with the little people who work for them.
Oh, yes...the Company I work for is The State Of Illinois, and the job I do is to provide daycare for all of the Moms and Dads we decided a few years ago needed to be off of welfare, and work to support themselves. Moms whose husbands left them, or Dads whose wives disappeared. Moms who went to school and are professionals, or the parent who suddenly finds themselves alone when the other parent decides to leave. In other words, You, and Me. The Rank and File of daily life. Or, in the words of Sesame Street, the people who you meet, when you're walking down the street, the people who you meet each day.
I'm not a person who receives lucrative multi-million dollar contracts from the state. I'm a person that provides safety, food, and loving care and education, for the children of those parents who refuse to go on welfare-but soon may be forced to because of the current budget situation. I find it hard to believe that our government is willing to sacrifice the services that I, and many others like me, provide, just for the sake of political posturing, and making sure that their business partners are taken care of.
We're the people the current government wants to cut the essential services of, the ones who have worked hard to get where we are, who continue to work hard, who won't quit.
And the ones who will remember this when it comes time to vote again.
Remember this-no matter where I go or what I do, I will vote again!