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Rank Stranger

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Rank Stranger last won the day on November 2 2014

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  1. If I ran this country, I'd grab an extra hundred billion dollars or so... and then I'd go fishing. My Fellow Americans: fuck this shit I'm taking a vacation.
  2. My co-workers with this attitude are all people in their 20's who have little if any work experience prior to this job. They're all very intelligent, and they 'know' as well as anybody that layoffs can happen without notice to anybody in the aircraft industry. But they haven't experienced it- life hasn't kicked them in the ass yet. It likely will at some point, and they'll likely learn from it. But we're talking about young professionals who grew up upper middle class- had their education paid for by parents/scholarships, etc... and then landed in a cushy job right outta school. They've been told all their lives that they're the best and brightest- and things have gone pretty damn well for them thusfar. They can't help but think pretty highly of themselves at this point. Not saying they're bad people or anything- but yeah, I think they're naive.
  3. I think this is just kinda human nature. There's a vast range of conditions that people can become accustomed to. There are jobs out there FAR worse than being a heavy equipment mechanic- and people make it work. And they also manage to be really unhappy at really easy and well-compensated jobs. One thing I've noticed over the years is that there really isn't much correlation between working conditions and the amount of bitching that people engage in. People get used to a certain baseline and adjust their expectations accordingly. Some of the biggest complainers I've ever worked with were union men who had EXCELLENT pay, benefits, working conditions, and job security compared to most mechanics in their industry. And I've worked at places where we did similar work in FAR worse conditions, for half the pay- and people overall were a lot happier. I'm not immune to it either- I catch myself these days complaining about things I would've found laughable just a few years ago. But 16 years in a far more difficult and lower-paying line of work... that helps me keep perspective. My situation is similar to yours in that this is NOT an exciting job. Sure I can make it sound exciting- I design mechanical parts, test equipment, and test procedures for jets! Woohoo! And it's true enough- but I spend FAR more time sending emails, going to meetings, doing paperwork, re-designing, re-writing, nitpicking, tweaking, etc. than any actual engineering. Lots of the younger people I work with act like they're too good for all this- in their minds they should be designing fighter jets and mars-landers while snowboarding the rockies on weekends. I figure that that's their business... but I also think they have a very thin grasp on reality. If I ever had that kind of ambition, it was beat outta me years ago. Easy work, decent pay, looks good on a resume... that's really more than I ever expected find in a job.
  4. In my previous career as a heavy equipment mechanic, I've had several jobs that required some really shitty tasks. Some were worse than others- but really this kind of thing has been true of ALL of them except the one union job I had for a few years. I've had to work on machinery when the snow is flying, it's WELL below 0 degrees F with a 30mph wind. So goddamn cold that the diesel fuel would turn to jelly. Or when it's 110+ degrees out with no shade for MILES around... and a 30mph wind kicking up dust. I've had to crawl down into the guts of combines with a blowtorch in one hand and a water bottle in the other- cutting out steel parts WHILE putting out the fire... 'cause those things WILL catch on fire and that's a $250,000+ dollar machine. I've worked on garbage trucks dripping puddles of fetid liquid- where maggots would just magically appear. I've driven trucks up to 18 feet wide and 120,000 pounds when legally under those conditions I was limited to 12 feet wide and 80,000 pounds. In a beat-down old semi with just over half the brakes even working, pulling a trailer with a MASSIVELY cracked and cobbled-up frame. I've had to illegally handle and dispose of all manner of chemicals, drive and operate equipment that I wasn't licensed for, violate every OSHA rule in the book, work on jobs where I KNEW the customer was being defrauded. Matter of fact at the previous place I worked, there's one particular guy they keep around specifically because he's so good at brazenly lying to customers and getting them to pay up- it's the ONLY thing he's good at... but he does have that talent, and it makes them a lot of money. On various jobs, I've passed out from heat exhaustion, broke a bone, had to have stitches, was cut with a 22,500psi water jet, lost several fingernails (they grow back but not necessarily correctly), got a head injury when I fell off an oil rig, got a nasty rash from some unknown chemical residue on an agricultural sprayer, literally got in a fight with a mountain of a co-worker and pinned him up against the wall with my ratchet handle stuck in his adam's apple, got my foot run over by a backhoe, had a lead-acid battery explode in face. I've worked at places who would always send the known drug addicts to do the more dangerous jobs- because they knew they wouldn't have to pay worker's comp if the guy got hurt (you don't have to pay here in the Land of the Free if the guy fails a drug test- some employers actually PREFER drug addicts for this reason). I've seen people fired BECAUSE they were injured on the job via substandard equipment and/or shitty working conditions. And this is just run-of-the-mill stuff that happens every single day all over the country. If you want a job as a mechanic, you'll go along with it. If you won't go along with it, you won't have a job. Period. So this is what motivated me to finally finish college. And lemme tell you- a professional environment is a completely different world. No comparison whatsoever. It's funny to me when I hear my co-workers bitching about this or that- they have NO IDEA what's out there. They practically work in disneyland by my standards, and will bitch about things like the a/c not working well enough, or some company policy about keeping their desk clean. They don't know what work IS.
  5. Yeah, I've got mixed feelings about this whole thing. On one hand I really wish we could take the desperation out of the picture when it comes to looking for work. In a society as wealthy as ours, there's no reason people should be killing themselves to find ANY job just to avoid becoming homeless. On the other hand, there's a LOT of work required to keep our awesome standard of living afloat. It's not fair that some have to work themselves into an early grave (and yes this is STILL a reality) while others get paid for doing nothing. There is no perfect solution to that dilemma. Personally I think a good arrangement might be to provide everybody (including kids) with a basic minimum income. Enough to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly- but not much extra. Along with that... maybe eliminate the minimum wage. Then if people want more than subsistence... let the 'free market' work its magic. It's not a perfect solution- I'm pretty sure that will never happen. But surely we can do better than what we have now.
  6. Who are these parent who pay for weddings, cars, college, etc??
  7. We spend our lives chasing food, shelter, security, sex, love, status. Money is just a way of making those assets liquid. Take money out of the equation, and we'd still be chasing those goals.
  8. Piece-work is becoming more and more common here in the U.S. And it's almost ALWAYS used to fuck over workers. I was a mechanic for 16 years, and 'flat-rate' is common in the industry. Meaning you're paid per job. I've worked jobs that way, though I avoided it as much as possible. And I've known LOTS of people to do this kind of work. At first glance it's an appealing idea. We all know we're smarter, faster, and more productive than average... wouldn't it be nice to be compensated for that? Well somebody has to administer this system. Is it administered fairly? Are you actually compensated for all the work you do? Or just the easily measured stuff? Are you expected to be at work even when said piece work isn't available? Are you expected to do other stuff UNPAID even when paying work isn't available? Is management actually competent enough to pay you for the work you do? Or will they screw up the paperwork routinely so that you're paid less... though you have no real way to verify it. Will all the easy and lucrative jobs go to a couple of favorites who suck the boss's dick while everybody else is forced into vicious competition for scraps? Employers can, and will, and do skew every one of those administrative questions against you. So be careful what you wish for.
  9. The car would definitely win. It's made outta metal and those lazy-assed babies won't even get up and walk.
  10. That's an awful lot of words wasted on a bored kid. Hey 1AT... do you believe in santaclaus? No? Well why the fuck not? You can't prove he isn't real. And if you're naughty he'll kick your ass.
  11. That's a mighty big 'if'. One that very few if any humans live up to.
  12. I've passed out several times over the years- via heat stroke, head injury, shock, excessive alcohol & other fun substances. And the process of blacking out was never traumatic at all. Basically it starts with narrowing tunnel-vision and proceeds into something like falling asleep quickly and involuntarily. Events leading up to it may painful, but not the process itself of going unconscious. I see no reason to think that death will be any different.
  13. One fully outfitted yacht, and nineteen attractive gals of various shapes, sizes, colors, and ages- all of whom are into me of course.
  14. I'll join you in the pity-party, Casteil. I don't want humans to go extinct or anything- matter of fact I hope 'we' spread like a plague throughout the galaxy. And I'm glad I can contribute to that in a few small ways. But I feel like my participation in this human clusterfuck is of a limited time- and that's fine with me. I'm not particularly happy to be here, and that's been true from a pretty young age. So I'm biding my time, making the best of it as well as I can. I reckon I'll stick around until old age- it's not like I have anything better to do. But I'll have no kids and I'm not looking to make any mark on the world. I plan to go out with a shrug... and it'll probably be a relief.
  15. I thought of the Mantis Shrimp: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp
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