Archive for the 'work' Category

Secondhand Citizens

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

So last week on the 15th, cook county no smoking ordinance went into effect. Now each individual city was allowed to override this ordinance. If the town chooses not to, it bans smoking in all public places, including work environments, restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys. As well as 15 feet of all public entrances.

As a result of this ordinance, the company I work for have installed bus stop size smoking huts. These huts are littered around the outside of the building, and are intended for the smoker to use, so he does not pollute the fresh air with their tobacco smoke. These huts are fully enclosed, and are completely transparent.

It’s a little creeping now, looking outside, seeing the fellow employee’s smoking in confining booths. It’s like they are a separate class of people now. Relegated not even to separate yet equal space. Pretty disturbing.

Of course, they ask society to pay for their lung cancer.

Their last day…

Friday, April 14th, 2006

Earlier I mentioned the layoff’s last month. Well today is the laid off employee’s last day. It’s very odd walking around the office today, you see so many bare cubes. But pretty much everyone’s reaction is exactly the opposite of what you would expect. The laid off employees are skipping around the office, they are all smiles, and are in jeans. Almost all of the laid off employees have new job lined up. Most are starting them in a month, and enjoying their severance for month paid vacation before starting the next job. Others are taking their severance and going on extended vacation, before looking for a new job.

Those that are staying are slogging through the halls, trying to conceive how to complete their current projects. I’ve already been asked to help out on two other projects that have lost their resources due to the layoffs. Several employees that survived the layoffs are now wishing they didn’t. Of those developers that survived, several have found new jobs, and quit. I think the laid off employees are walking around in jeans to rub it in.

The “sweet kiss on the face” right before the “swift kick in the nuts”!!

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

On Monday (April 3), my bus company was purchased by another company. With this purchase, we got a new name. The new head honchos were nice enough to hold a luncheon (which I overslept for, but I heard it was real good food) for all the drivers to answer any and all questions on the change. On top of that we all got a nice new lunch bag full of goodies along with some reading material. Included in the bag was a travel mug, a real nice looking watch (leather wristband and dashes on the face, looks real classy), two led lite key chains, a ledger with a pen, a pin and two stickers. All of course with the new company name on them. Now, I’m thinking “Man, this stuff is all sweet. Free stuff AND free food. Can it GET any better than this?”

After reading the new employee handbook I learn of the trick that was played on us. New polices that will take effect next semester. Which I’m not even sure if they mean Summer or Fall since we still have full bus service in Summer session II. The polices include but not limited to, uniforms for the bus drivers, random drug-testing, and full physicals for drivers. Also there is a rumor of a “small” pay cut which is prolly less rumor and more fact since the people spreading it are management.

These changes just make me say one thing,

“F*CK YOU ****** Transportation!!” I am SO glad that I’m only here for another semester.

The day the layoffs hit…

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Yesterday my company laid off roughly 10 % of its overall system’s employee’s. We were warned of the upcoming layoffs to our department on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday morning they started pulling employee’s into conference rooms. As they day dragged on, more and more cubes started to become empty, while the grapevine list of laid off employees grew. Everyone’s feelings at the office were numb. We were loosing friends and co-workers. We all tried focusing on the severance package, and that job market being much better now then a few years ago.

By lunchtime, it became apparent which jobs they were targeting. Developers. Having realized this, I figured my time was soon at hand. In the late afternoon I was called into my managers office, and I was told I would be keeping my job. To my surprise, I survived this round of layoffs. When it was over, only myself and another developer survived. All other developers in our building were laid off.

The age of outsourcing has finally come to my company. Everyone is now expecting the company to announce which outsourcing company we will be contracting. My future is still uncertain. I don’t know what my role will be, I don’t know if I will be offered a job with the new outsourcing company, I don’t know if there will be another round of layoff’s and I’ll be cut then.

In many ways I am envious of those who got laid off, their uncertainty is over. Now those who got laid off get to hunt for a new job, with a fairly decent severance package. I survived this round, now I am left with a choice I always had, do I ride it out? Or do I look to see what opportunities lay elsewhere?

The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round…

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Bus drivers provide transportation for millions of people every year, from commuters to school children to vacationers. Bus drivers pick up and drop off passengers at bus stops, stations, or—in the case of students—at regularly scheduled neighborhood locations, all according to strict time schedules. Now I know it isn’t a great job but it does have its moments.

From time to time, you get the drunk people who catch the bus. Some try to share their evening with everyone else by going into a long description of their night. Others just pass out and ride the bus 2 to 3 loops before getting off only 10 feet from where they got on. Drunk chicks are the best because if they are drunk enough they might tease you by showing you some skin. Thursday thru Saturday are typical days for these types of passengers. So its kind of expected.

I drove my shift yesterday(Sunday) like usual and expected nothing out of the ordinary to happen. Usually, students drive home for the weekend so the campus is pretty empty on weekends. Little did I know that it was actually going to be a fun night. I picked up three college ladies at one of my stops and they sat in the back of the bus.  As I drove my route, I heard one of them laughing and talking about her trip back to school and how she got scared because everyone in the car was high. She was explaining that she was so high she became paranoid about being followed by state troopers on the highway. The road was barely visible because of the thick fog so I tried to concentrate on the road ahead. I decided to rush to the next stop to see if I could hear more of the tale but it turned out that the next stop was theirs so they left. Towards the end of my shift, the passenger loads became less and less. So I decided to check my bus for trash. When I got to the back of the bus, to my surprise, I found an empty dime bag! I quickly disposed of it and wondered why she didn’t think to share some with me.

Sure bus drivers must operate vehicles safely, especially in heavy traffic and the buses can carry more than 100 passengers at a time. But that’s no reason you can’t share your recreational drugs with them. So take a lesson from the drunk crowd you smokers! The next time you ride a bus share your night’s experience with everyone on the bus especially the bus driver. Because sharing is caring.