Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Still Skipping the Light Fandango

Back again, and it's a very cold Tuesday morning in northeastern Pennsylvania. Le yawn.

On the health front, I'm feeling better today, as the whole intestinal distress thing seemed to get marginally better yesterday, and as of this morning I think I'm basically over it. That's a good thing. The whole work thing is difficult enough on a normal day, if you add in not feeling well it just pushes you to the point of apathy. For me, it's not as much apathy as it is the notion that it takes that much more energy to be motivated.

Ah, what else is happening?

Well in Scranton we have a mayoral elections happening shortly; since this is a heavily Democratic town, the real race for mayor is in the primary, where incumbent Mayor Chris Doherty is being challenged by insurance agent Gary DiBileo. I've met and talked to Mayor Doherty once or twice over the years and found him to be very personable. I can't say that I've ever met Mr DiBileo, but he seems like a decent enough guy, and he has a very good professional reputation. The choices could be far worse I suppose. Good luck to both candidates, and may the best person win.

We also have the whole bonus situation in the news (story here). I could rant on and on about this, and maybe I will once I have a greater level of motivation, but I will say this much: the entitlement mentality doens't just exist at the lower end of the economic spectrum. We have an entire culture in business today where, the higher up you go, the more you feel entitled to compensation regardless of your actual performance. AIG is the example de jour these days, but an even better one is GM: CEO Rick Wagoner has never had a good year at GM. By virtually any measure, this guy has been an abject failure...GM lost market share, produced poor quality vehicles, lost money, engaged unions in lose-lose labor agreements, etc. Yet year after year Mr Wagoner saw high salary and bonus payments. You figure it out. Note though that if Mr Wagoner were a burger flipper at McDonalds who didn't meet their standards year after year, he would have been fired. Maybe that's not a great comparison, but the underlying thought is sound: if you can't do the job, then you shouldn't have the job.

On a related note, I have 27 (I think) shares of unrestricted stock available to me that were granted after to me (and other employees) after my employer reached an important milestone a few years ago. The problem is that, given the stock price, these shares really aren't worth all that much at the moment. I'd love to have them to pay part of Kate's tuition, but it wouldn't make sense to sell them yet. See, this whole Wall Street mess is more than just a pain in the butt for high-rollers.

Finally, we had the President make a really stupid comment about the Special Olympics on the Jay Leno show. What do I think? Well first, I can't stand Jay Leno, so I didn't watch it myself. Second, it really was a stupid comment, but we all make stupid comments from time to time. Certainly the President should be more sensitive, but let's not forget that he's a human being. What's important isn't that he makes a mistake every now and then, it's what he does when he makes a mistake.

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