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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Highly Public Rant #1

I'm sorry.  What you are about to read are the rantings of a perfectly sane person.  The beautiful Dawn does not feel well today, so I did not think it best to unleash this on her.  So instead it falls on you - my dear, wonderful readers - who I hope will be able to look past it and continue to read my future writings without letting today hold you back.  With that - Enjoy.

For those who do not know me personally, I spend a lot of time working on a 24/7 rotating shift.  Trying to keep to a schedule as I write this blog can be a bit difficult from time to time.  As an example, here was an outline of my basic schedule last week.
  • Sunday - Church in morning, coach basketball game, dinner & meeting at church, work overnight shift
  • Monday - Take a nap, work evening shift.
  • Tuesday - Paperwork & blog in the morning, lunch with wife, work at Union Hall in afternoon, work evening shift.
  • Wednesday- Blog in the morning,  attempt to catch up with DVR after lunch, work evening shift.
  • Thursday - work day shift, coach basketball practice after work, watch NCAA games with friends.
  • Friday - Labor meetings with management, work at Union Hall afternoon, send my wife & girls off to church youth trip, watch NCAA games, then work overnight shift.
  • Saturday - take a nap, take Nate to a birthday party, work evening shift, come home to the return of wife & girls with a house full of teens (approx. 12), do the cool dad thing for a couple hours, run the boys off at 1am.
  • Sunday - Church in the morning, coach basketball game, work evening shift.
I wish I could say that was an abnormal week, but it wasn't.  I'm sure that I managed to do a few other productive things, but it's all mostly a fog now.  Somewhere in there, I probably should have found time to work out, but I'm usually too tired when I have the chance.

I know I'm not really ranting yet.  So far all I've done is throw a pity party.  Don't worry, I'm prepared to suck it up.  Just bear with me a bit more.

As busy as I've been lately, I know it's going to get worse.  I'll be part of our union local's negotiating team during our impending contract negotiations.  Our labor contract ends on June 30th & we will be up to our elbows in it this summer.  Knowing this, I had to make a few major decisions.

First, I had to put off planning a family vacation with my family.  Normally we try to head off in July.  Short of ESP, I see no way to plan any vacation because if the contract doesn't pass, I will still be in the middle of talks.  My soon to be high school graduate was very disappointed to say the least.  Instead, I'm trying to find a way for the fam sans myself to make it to the beach next month.

Second, I had to have a little talk with my seven year old son.  I explained that I would be unable to be the head coach for his baseball team this year.  Not that I don't want to, but once we are deep in the labor talks, I won't have the time to be at all his games much less coach them.  My son was very sad, but put on a brave face for me.  I know how much he loves when his daddy is the coach & I really hated having to tell him this.

Okay, Sam, when's the pity party gonna be over?

Just calm down.  Here comes the rant.

I spend an enormous amount of time at my job.  I've been doing my job longer than anyone else left here.  Yet I have others who think they know how the job should be done better.  I've spent the past few weeks trying to explain why they're wrong in rational language using charts, graphs, basic math & physics.  The response was "that's not how we used to do it". 

This piece of equipment is as far away from being in good shape as possible, so how in the world are we supposed to run it normal.  If my car has an oil leak, I need to fill it more often.  I can't just go by what it normally takes.  So now I'm running it the way they want & they are currently being proven wrong as production begins to slide.  Brains impervious to logic!!!!!

If I could take a vacation right now I would.  In addition to my other duties, I'm also the music coordinator at my church and Head Worship Leader.  As you looked at my schedule, you may have noticed that there wasn't a lot of available time for a music practice.  Due to scheduling issues, we been forced to have our band practice on Sunday mornings.  Unfortunately, timeliness has become an issue so I'm now forced to find time for practice during the week.  Will this be a comfortable transition?  Absolutely not, but it's just what I have to do.

Tomorrow, I have to make the drive to our corporate office to drop off my daughter's scholarship application because of a delay in some of her paperwork.  It's only a 120 mile detour out of my way, but it needs to be done.  Hopefully, the beautiful Dawn and I will have time for lunch, but I need to be back home in time to make several batches of pizza dough for the Final Four party at our home on Saturday, before I head off to work at 3pm.

It's opening day for the St. Louis Cardinals today.  As they are playing, I'm trying to listen to a static filled radio at work and follow on ESPN's gamecast.  I'd much rather be either at the game or at least home with my family.  My son made sure we DVR'd it so he wouldn't miss any of the game after school.  But he's watching without me while I'm at work.

So I say with all sincerity that I understand the need for everyone to get away from it.  Schedule a little free time from a busy schedule.  I have never before complained about any other President's schedule - Republican or Democrat.  Until now.

Here is my problem.  12 days ago, the President of the United States of America sent our troops into battle in Libya.  Japan was still in the early days of its crisis.  The nuclear issue was still unsure.  We still have no budget and the economy is beginning to drag.

Yet, immediately after committing our troops, he has a brief press conference then leaves the country on a trade mission to South America.  The pretext for the trip was to increase our jobs through exports, but the only significant item that made the news wires was an agreement to fund and purchase oil from Brazil thus increasing jobs there.  Still, even if he had landed some major deals, was this a good time for him to leave?

One year ago, he had a Far East trip planned.  Healthcare reform negotiations took longer than expected, so he delayed the trip in order to sign the new law as soon as possible.

Yet this sight seeing tour of South America was so gosh darn important that he had to leave town on schedule.  It's accepted practice for a President to address the nation from the Oval Office at such times, but no, that could wait.

Well, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. 

As a husband and parent, I'm mad that I have to continually disappoint the ones I love by keeping to my commitments.  Even though what I'm doing is important, it's just not fair to them - they deserve better and I wish I could provide that. 

As a taxpayer, I'm mad that our nation's top employee has trouble understanding what we hired him to do.  Last year's Congress never passed a budget & this Congress is still debating one.  If the President has free time, maybe he can help out with that one.  

As an American, I'm mad because I see a President who doesn't carry out his responsiblities.  I get mad when I see him leave a press conference early because he's late for a party.  Ask my wife how many parties I've had to miss because of work.  Even when he finally gave a speech on Libya, it wasn't a primetime speech from the White House.  He gave multiple prime time appearances for so many other issues, but not this?  Why the heck not?

For two years, I've watched this man treat the Presidency as some joyride.  His buddy, the CEO of GE, Jeffery Immelt may be allowed to spend large amounts of time on the greens in the morning and attend parties with celebrities at night.  But his stockholders aren't complaining about profits, since not only are they paying absolutely no taxes, but we, America, are actually paying them to be in business to the tune of $3.2 million.

But we are not so successful.  Our nation's deficit went from under $450 billion to $1.6 trillion under Obama.  Mandatory spending now uses all of the Federal Revenue - every bit of it.  Every dollar that is spent on defense, national parks, foreign aid and even Presidential trips, can no longer be paid up front.  It's all going on the credit card for my two daughters and son to pay later.  No other President has ever done that.

The only way out of this mess is to grow the economy, but he's too busy preaching against income disparity.  Who cares?  When the boat's a sinking and everyone's going under, does it really matter if the rich are getting in a bigger boat?  Of course not.  But while he's busy trying to rearrange the seating chart, people are drowning.

I'm mad that every single statement this President makes comes with an expiration date.  All of them.  Don't believe me?  Read this.

I'm mad that we hired someone to do a job and he just isn't up to it.  I really wish he was, but he's not.  Listen to him speak and it's always 'I' and 'me', but look at the evidence - he's hardly ever in the room when major decisions are made.  There just isn't time in between all his peripheral activities for him to be doing that much governing.  In fact here's an official agenda from Friday, March 25th of this year.
9:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
10:30AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press
4:35PM THE PRESIDENT hosts a reception for Greek Independence Day
East Room
Pooled Press (Pre-set 3:30PM – Final Gather 4:15PM – North Doors of the Palm Room)
That sounds like two hours of meetings and a quick reception before the NCAA games start.

I'm mad that the only time my golf clubs are used is for charity fundraisers.  I have so little free time, while just trying to run my little corner of the world, but he, the leader of the free world, is out there flaunting his abundance of recreation time while so many of my friends are without jobs, having trouble making ends meet, and his policies are trying to reshape our new green economy.  Doesn't anyone get it?  It's an anti-green economy, because there's no money in it.

Lastly, I'm mad that no matter how much worse things become under him; no matter how much more we are exposed to his inablity to lead, he will still garner at least 40% of the vote in 2012.

For the record, I hate this.  I don't usually get mad, but I expect my President to suck it up, just like everyone else and do his job.  If he doesn't want to, then I won't expect to see his name on the ballot next year.

I would rant more, but I can't; I have a job to do.  Unfortunately, it seems, I just don't have the time....

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