Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ptokemin Party

Last night was my 19th year of attending the Holiday Party. When I moved here, I was shocked at my new job, the low pay, the lack of holiday and sick time, the expensive health insurance and the attitude that management had towards the employees.

But the party made up for some of that. What a blast! $5 a ticket, with great food, an open bar and a disc jockey for dancing the night away.

New management (with a WAY worse attitude toward labor) came a few years ago. First, the party stopped serving any alcohol except beer and wine. They changed the disc jockey.

But this year, they announced that the entire system would combine their parties. And instead of being held in the college ballrooms, it was held in an aluminum pole barn (the "convention center") in a town 12 miles away.

No alcohol for the first two hours, and then one free drink, followed by a cash bar.

We got there a 6pm. I walked in, and it took me a minute to realize that the droning voice over the microphone was praying, which explained all the bowed heads. We never had a prayer at the old party. I was looking for the food. After the prayer, the food line formed and it was incredibly long. But gone were the platters of shrimp, fresh vegetables and dip, chicken wings and other tasty finger foods, lavish desserts, and white coated men carving roast and ham. There were two casseroles, one with chicken and one without. There were green beans, carrots and potatoes au gratin. The food was served on plastic plates which quickly burned your fingers, so you had to leave a space to hold it, instead of piling it with food. There were no desserts, just another long line for the candy bar, where you took a little box, and they filled it with leftover Halloween candy bars.

The first two hours were supposed to have a video on Hospital Heroes, followed by dancing at 8pm.

My husband and I left out of boredom, planning to return after the corporate propaganda. But when we came back at 8, it was still(?) going on. Or maybe it started then. I was afraid to ask, because there was no one there that I knew, and I didn't want to get fired for asking. One of the announcers of the Hospital Heroes asked who was sexier, the CEO or the Human Relations head, and someone yelled out "Neither". The announcer said "You just lost your job". How funny was that? At least, I assume it was a joke.

My husband pointed out that this was a lot like the US economy. You still had a party, but the food was worse, you had to pay for things that used to be free, and you had to listen to religion and propaganda that you never heard before. It was austerity in action. Sadly, the new employees didn't know the difference. I've never had the experience of seeing passenger pigeons fill the sky, and they have never been to a fun holiday party.

I said, it's worse than that. You see all these people? We are all paid to keep people alive who the ruling class doesn't really see any value in. When Obamacare kicks in, and Medicare and Medicaid are cut, so are these people's jobs. Liberals made fun of the guy holding the sign that said, "Keep your hands off my Medicare", but he was inadvertently right. They are taking funds that went to Medicare and giving it to private insurance companies.

The money that went to Medicare actually goes to me and my co-workers, not to the elderly or poor themselves. They are the cardholders that enable us to bill the government.

So, although I deplored the austerity of this party, I know that there probably won't be any more parties in future years. Or, if there are, there won't be as many people attending.


Pangolin said...

The saddest thing of all is the kids who buy this shit as normal. If you're twenty years old there's always been a war going. There never really have been any good jobs. Somebody's parents were always getting fired and then they disappear.

It's like going to a third world country when you ask about the lack of trees or flowers or litter in the streets of a city and they just shrug. It's always been this way.

wagelaborer said...

Exactly. And they've always had to pee in a cup when they got a job.

And they don't mind giving their fingerprints, or their papers, or the government listening to their phonecalls and reading their emails.

It's always been like this.

Fowl Ideas said...

The scariest part of your story is realizing that so many people are too stupid to know that anything is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Surely they could perform an extra unnecessary operation.

Next year you should expect a trough with an auger of canapes and mustgo casseroles and instead of choice of deserts, you can choose between a stomach pump, an enema or faith healing.

"Mustgo" is a gourmet term.

David G said...

It was a sad read, Wage Laborer. I felt kinda depressed after it.

I do hope you are well and enjoying the scene in America as it implodes bit by bit.

If it attacks Iran, then the game is over for all of us, I reckon.


Li said...
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Being There said...

Hey Wage,
I'm impressed with your post and agree. Hope you really do get into politics. Beats complaining.

I too cannot post comments to CFN,
Just thought I'd make contact.

---- LB

wagelaborer said...

Hi, LB. What's up with that?

Sounds like Q can't either.

I don't know if I'm getting into politics, but I am running for Congress.

It's not the same if you're a Green.

No money, no bribes, no votes, no revolving door.

Just our principles.

Being There said...

Sounds good, Wage

I wish you the best. You have the right stuff. I like your ideals.

Yeah the irony is that CFN lost you me and Q yet continues to have Vlad on.
Speaking of the Choices we make, huh.

I have no idea whether what they are doing about it. I let Jim know and he was not as concerned as he was the first time it happened and his buddy who handles this stuff, for some reason was harsh with me the last time, so who knows....

I have decided not to make any more of an issue about it and let things happen as they will.

I am now posting on Elaine Supkis when the article speaks to me.
If you have an email, I would love to keep up.

wagelaborer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.