My father worked 26 years for one company

Imagine that.

 He got screwed out of his pension because the company went bankrupt after having invested its share of negotiated contractual obligations into capital improvements which it used as collateral for loans to pay bonuses to its executive management. This was in 1967.

I’m sure many other members of The Greatest Generation were similarly biblically entered into by their employers at the time, because employees are routinely cornholed by the care and compassion of capitalists. It seems like every 10 years or so, the business community manages to enter into their workers and the taxpayers of this great nation of miserable fucks (NOMF™) with the full cooperation and adoration of the victims.

My father was a master machinist. He worked on the turbine shafts for the prototype X-15. He and several of his playmates signed up with the Airborne to fight against the Japs the day following Pearl Harbor, but he never made it out of the states after breaking his back during training in a jeep accident while trying to get his lieutenant back to the barracks to retrieve the orders of the day.

After Machinery Builders Incorporated went under, my old man worked for a telephone company, Rockefeller Center, and Swansons Foods before he died from Gilles Barre Syndrome, a complication of a reaction to the swine flu vaccination. I had not seen my father in 15 years, but I flew back to Virginia to pull the plug on him, because nobody else would. The government and insurance companies had kept him alive for more than a million dollars that they split amongst themselves.

Unlike my father, I never expected to work with one company for my entire employable life. At age 61, I can no longer remember how many jobs I have had, although I once worked nearly 9 years for a single employer. Usually, I work contracts from 3 months to a year. I have been many things: teacher, tax collector, writer, clerk, administrator, team lead, formatter, pizza jock, turkey hanger, furniture warehouseperson, test engineer, usability consultant, and certified content editor.

This means I get to be like a fly with English translation skills on feces who can chuckle inside while either raging or bumbling on the outside. I remember, in particular, a strategerizing session long before the current First Idiot assumed the decidership role for the NOMF™ in which the assembled team was given little sticky notes to help identify all the necessary steps and the time required to accomplish the tasks predetermined as required to support an articulated dump truck to be introduced at a trade show by former Miami Dolphins fullback Larry Czonka.

I had already been shot down for suggesting that the company spend $15 thousand to purchase a server and four seats of FrameMaker to support an entire revamp of service, parts, operator, and maintenance publications for this dysfunctional concern, so I just took notes and computed the sequential time required to produce the impossible deliverables for a Las Vegas tradeshow.

After the meeting had devolved to the point where everyone had agreed to the steps on the board and deferred to the whims of our Australian president, who had all the intellect of an alcoholic Oregon banana slug, the developmentally disabled sucker asked for questions, so I asked “Hey Rod. I wonder. Who does your math?”

Although no one else had thought of it, I had added up the dependencies and compared it to the actual drop-dead date. The latter was 62 days. The former was nearly 150 days.

I was fired within six months of that escapade, although I did produce fake publications for the tradeshow that were shrink wrapped, except for the set that was autographed by Larry Czonka. This cost the company more than $40 thousand, nearly three times what I was asking to solve the company’s complete publications problem.

I’d like to say I pissed on the president’s leg as I left the building, but I’m still alive, like Eddie Vedder, which wouldn’t have happened had I gone for the cheap thrill of the moment. A word to the future literary terrorists. Hold them cards close to your chest.

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