Djcnor’s Weblog

Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Isn’t it ironic that Americans are willing to come out into the streets to show they care about the Iranian election being stolen when they wouldn’t come out into the streets after their own elections were stolen in 2000 and 2004?


I am deffinitely annoyed, and I mean annoyed in the British sense as in seriously ticked off.

Three week ago, I began a part time teaching assistant job. I was hired to provide one-on-one assistance to a single student. The student’s schedule began at 8:30 and ended at 1:30, so 5 hours, and I was hired for 3 days per week.

I needed to let the Job Centre know my hours and how much I was being paid, so I called up the agency that had hired me for the details. I was told I was being paid £100 per day. Well, that sounded like good pay, but by then I knew that the pay came for a special fund for helping new students with special circumstances get settled in new schools. We checked with a friend in the education system who seemed to think it was the going rate.

Then I got my first paycheck, along with a letter confirming that the school wanted to keep me for another week.

For the first two days, I had indeed been paid £100 per day, except that that included holiday pay and that the short schedule of my student was not considered an entire day, only 5/6 of one.

For the third day, I had been paid only 5/6 of £65 (including holiday pay again). And the letter said they now wanted me to work a longer schedule, still £65 but now for 6 hours.

So I think I’m getting £20 per hour

then find out that includes my holiday pay (so I get paid nothing for any holidays I take)

then find out I’m only getting 5/6 of that

then find out that my pay has been cut by 35% for subsequent days

then find out I’ve got to work longer hours for that lesser pay.

Did I question it? WELL, YEAH!

And I just got their answer. You aren’t going to believe this?!?!

They say everything up to the very last is a mistake and they’ll be adjusting my subsequent pay checks to take back the “extra” pay they gave me!

Allow me to quote myself:

“Another thing that caught my attention was the  way that Brit police dealt with the protesters. I’m sure this country has kidnapping laws. Yet the British police walled off large groups of protesters at several different places. I can understand, for the sake of safety of the protesters themselves, who were converging on the spots from several directions, limiting the influx into the central recipient space. But the policy of the Brit police in not letting protesters leave that space after the police had cut off further entry, not even to receive medical treatment for injuries caused in confrontations with police, amounts to kidnapping. It is also a policy designed to discourage participation in protests. It says, “Don’t dare to come if you might need to go to the bathroom, or eat, or treat your diabetes, or any number of other things within several hours.” It could result in totally unnecssary medical emergencies.

It is wrong. It is kidnapping. And I hope it is brought to court.”

Well, it certainly will be, now. A guy simply on his way home from work was pushed violently to the ground by a policeman. Only minutes later, he collapsed with a heart attack. Protesters called the attention of the police to the collapse. The police gathered round him, a protestor threw a bottle, another protester used a loudspeaker to let the protesters know that the police were assisting someone who had collapsed, the police decided to move him, eventually called for an ambulance, and the man was dead before he reached the hospital.

Luckily, for thee man’s family, all this was caught on tape. Up until the pictures came out, the stoy the police were telling was that the man died of natural causes, though they had admitted that he was no protester. Interestingly (suspiciously?), the crucial images of the policeman striking the man with his baton so hard that the man was knocked to the ground were recovered from a damaged camera.

Only a few years ago, when I was involved in the protests outside the GOP convention in New York, it was more than a bit scary how the police were coming up with techniques to make protesting too costly in one way or another. The New York protesters dealt with it by recruiting huge numbers of law student observers and civil libery activist observers marked by green caps. If you wanted to play it safe, you positioned yourself always in sight distance of them.

The police played their tricks, arresting hundreds and “storing” them in a concrete warehouse for several days, taking their time and doing their concept of the minimum in terms of complying with civil rights laws. They didn’t do enough, of course, and it was taken to court, and they paid a huge penalty, but the damage had been done.

The difference in the London protest was cameras. Witnesses sometimes lie. Strangely, [maybe?], several of the policemen in the group containing the policeman who knocked the man who died to the ground from behind have not yet come forward to give their stories of what happened.

But cameras don’t. The police killed an entirely innocent man. I do hope this will have consequences in terms of how they deal with protests in the future.

While the American public has been keeping its eyes on the bonuses given AIG employees and the bail-outs for for the car companies and who Obama bows to, something else has been going on that they ought to be howling at the top of their lungs about.

They have probably received one of those small print innocuous-seeming letters from one or more of their credit card companies. “This is just to let you know that the terms of your credit are changing.” It’s never good news, is it. But the things in the latest ones go beyond, or rather below, the minimal standards of morality we have come to expect from our credit card companies.

Here’s a list of the types of things you might find in your letter(s):

1) The due date for your payment is changed. Moved forward of course, and you’ll have to look over the letter pretty thoroughly if you want to know when it’s changed to. In fact, my letter didn’t give me that information at all! It just told me to watch my next few bills because there would be an announcement in one of them. And you’d better be diligent about it, because if you should happen to miss it and send in a payment late….

2) Your interest rate could change, or rather CHANGE! The list of things you might do that would trigger such a change is getting larger and larger, as is the size of the CHANGE that is the consequence. In my case, the CHANGE in interest rate would be to THREE TIMES my present interest rate. On that list of things you might do that would trigger the change is going over your limit, which might be all too easy to do because…

3) Your credit limit could change, or rather CHANGE! Downward of course, or rather DOWNWARD! In fact, your limit could be reduced to BELOW the amount you owe or just above it. Should you not pay up immediately in order to come in below the new credit limit, guess what happens? (Review point 2.) 

Congress is working on tightening the rules that credit card companies operate under, so the card companies are doing a whole lot of this lately while they can still get away with it.

Those rates in question could be 30% or higher, and you know what that is?


which means an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest. It may not yet be unlawful, but it will be, and it should be. And lawful or not, USURY is what it is.

This is a rant! It is not ONLY a rant! it’s a full blown one, continuous in the back of my mind whatever I’m doing, and I’m sick of it being there, sick of hiding it to fit in. It’s born of four years of  trying like crazy to make a life here, trying to locate a few people with passion for what they do, whether they do it for pay or otherwise. It’s born of living in a whole county, or so it seems, of settlers, folks who settle for jobs that sound boring and are boring from the very start. Folks who don’t MIND that! Folks who think that it’s silly and useless to care about bigger things. No, I take that back, they care, but they care in the same measured deliberate way that care for anything else, half-heartedly, enough to carry a bag with a slogan on it, or to walk for a charity, or some other activity of minimal inconvenience and minimal benefit. 

I mind! I think everybody minds when they’re in their teens, before someone convinced them to take that first job that’s just to pay the rent. And I guess I believe that most who start out minding having settled for less than they really wanted end up satisfied enough to tell themselves that it has all come out for the best. Maybe I even believe they’re right when it comes to them.

So what happened to me? Was it being in graduate school? Spending my time among folks who had that passion for their work and sensing that I didn’t have it? That I had the willingness to learn and reason and do everything that needed done, but that I didn’t care as much as they did, not enough to spend enormous amounts of hours in the lab so as to get those results before anyone else did.

Was it finding my passion, all those lovely textile skills that I love developing and sharing only to find that the whoe textile system had been simplified and shipped out and there was little appreciation left of something done exquisitly? Was it that it took so long to find a way to make that my life, and then, even in that, finding myself in a job in which I didn’t get to express all that passion, all that creative urge?

Was it daring to ask for a good balance of life at the same time?

All I know is I’m 58 and still full to the brim with life and passion and an unwillingness to settle, and it’s driving me into poverty and I don’t know what to do about it, because I cannot help caring as much as I do.

Do I just have to throw up my hands and go for it, just set myself to live however I have to in order to do it? Is there anyone else out there like me? Well, is there?

I have to admit this is really doing serious damage to my confidence and self-esteem. It’s very hard to pick myself up and get back to work on the next three applications I am presently filling out, two for teaching positions, and another to sell upholstered furniture.

You’d think my application for the upholstered furniture salesperson would be pretty strong, since I’ve actually had to design and weave a set of coordinated fabrics for a target market area for upholstered furniture.

Note that I’m not saying anything about the school jobs after the day-long in-house substitute interview that I wrote about in another posting.

My husband is pushing me again to drop that Ph.D. from my CV and applications, but then how would I explain what I did between 1972 and 1999, since the jobs I held were directly related to that qualification?

Meanwhile, my brother, who did not graduate from college, and lost his job maybe three weeks ago has two job offers already.

Something is very very wrong with either employers or me. I’m wondering again how much of this has to do with ageism, how much to do with discrimination against immigrants. And, frankly, at this moment, I don’t know what to do about it.

I HATE it when the right lies outright.

I was just checking out the wordpress tag surfer and found a blog suggesting that Obama had received an AIG bonus:

The author knows that is a damned LIE because he references the source:

And what the source actually says is that Obama received a campaign contribution from AIG.

Of course, that happened before there was any bail-out at all (yes, that bail-out, the one passed before Obama became President), and way before any of the bonuses now being discussed which DO NOT include Obama.

The two are entirely separate.

It is totally immoral to lie in that way hoping the lazy American public will not bother to go to the website referenced and thus will believe a LIE.

Djcnor’s Weblog

  • @KathrynGoldman Saw your blog post on famous people in fiction. Have character who is supposed to be dead, turns out not to be. OK? 1 year ago
  • I'm back! I haven't posted in a long time, but since Joanie Freeman and I won Charlottesville SOUP, I feel the need to return. 5 years ago
  • Haven't been here on my new iPad. Page looks totally different. Where is the option to reply? And where are the RT's? 6 years ago
  • @The_Puck Same to you. You denial is damaging to yourself and all you care about, assuming there must be some of those. 6 years ago