Friday, April 28, 2023

Stand by...

We have had two weeks of unseasonably cool weather for this part of the country, and this time of year. I know a lot of people complain about the hot, but I really am looking forward to it. 

I know: it's on the way. My irises bloomed for the first time this year (yeah, only one stalk of blooms, but still). My roses are COVERED with buds, and will likely all burst into bloom within the next week.  My wild roses are about the same, and so are my blackberries.  My baby pecan trees are starting to put out leaf buds.  Things are indicating that better weather's on the way...

But we're still having early-mid March weather at the end of April.  And I'm freezing, today.  

I'm really looking forward to the hot.  

In other news, I put the first part of The Schrodinger Paradox up on Amazon.  I put it up on Monday.  Since then, it's been "in review." Which "could take up to 72 hours." 

It's...still "in review." I contacted Amazon, and they said they're "running behind" on the process, and that if it's still marked "in review" on the first (when I set it to go live), to contact them again.  

I have to wonder if they're stupid, or if they think I am. There are no live people in the process--it's an automated computer thing that has clearly glitched.  They need to fix it.  

So, I'm also waiting on that.  And, given the utter shit handed me as an excuse, my book may not make my projected publication. Stand by. 

In the's the cover art, and the back cover text.

The end is coming.

Unlucky jerk Tom Beadle was on watch at NASA when the collision alert sounded: a new asteroid, bigger than the dino-killer, headed for Earth. Big problem, but that's why we have NASA, right? Except, after decades of budget cuts, NASA has no way to shove it off course. That job has to be contracted out. Will the private sector company his best friend from college works at succeed where the government option failed? Might be best to have a backup plan, just in case…

Monday, April 10, 2023

Oh, you idiots.

So. The receptionists at the doctor's office in the local hospital systems I use? Yeah...

They're probably going to get shit-canned, sometime soon.  No more paycheck, no more awesome health insurance for working in the hospital system, no more retirement program.  Nothing.  

And they deserve every bit of it.  

As does every individual who's a "living wage minimum wage" proponent.  

Why am I saying this?  Glad y'all asked! 

The bunch screeching that the minimum wage doesn't allow enough to live on are...either union shills* or require a tiny voice beneath their ear, reminding them to breathe in, breathe out. And close your mouth, you drooling nitwit.  

Minimum wage is not, and never was, intended for people to live on.  Minimum wage was intended, from the get-go, as a racist method of preventing minorities from under-cutting what the white workers were charging for the same amount of work.  And when that passed, the white workers started demanding more, for doing the same work, and...the minorities accepted the minimum to HAVE a job.  So, in reality, the initial intent DIDN'T EVEN WORK.  

As it functions now, minimum wage jobs are...trainer-jobs.  They're the ones that are part time, dumb work geared toward the lowest skill level.  

The jobs paying minimum wage? Most of those are, and have always been, taken by teenagers.  Teens who still live at home, where they don't HAVE to worry about their living expenses.  And they get a raise if they stick with the job for 90 days. 

These workers don't need health insurance--they're still on their parents' plans**--and they're not even starting to consider retirement.  I suppose they could be offered a college savings account.  That would actually be a semi-useful benefit for part-time minimum wage jobs; however, that's the only thing  I can think of that minimum wage starting pay jobs should consider offering.  

Adults that take the minimum wage, no-skill jobs? The vast majority of them deserve that.  Or less.  They're...useless.  And they're often a drain on the employers' bottom line.  Should probably qualify as a tax break, considering the value they DON'T add, if they're minimum wage and STAY there.  

Case in point: I have had friends start minimum wage, fast food jobs as adults.  Because their physical health precluded them from taking some of the heavier factory work type jobs that (frankly) pay better.  They got a raise in two weeks. Within six weeks, they were promoted to team lead.  The store was making noises about promoting them to SHIFT manager, then STORE manager within six months.  Every promotion came fast, and with a fairly hefty pay bump. They kept getting those because they showed up, on time, ready to work, for every shift they were scheduled.  Or called if there was something that was going to prevent that. Like when they got food poisoning

That is a very low bar to clear.  Show up. Sober. On time. Do the job.  

Why does it seem so impossible for so many?  

I've noted a lot of places like that longer hiring.  Instead of paying financial drains on the company by hiring no-skilled workers that won't, they're putting in kiosks.  They're putting in robots that do the kitchen work.  The only workers they're actually hiring are IT people to maintain and troubleshoot the automation.  Maybe one or two people per shift.  

So.  As we are seeing with this, the real minimum wage wage at all.  

Back to the doctor's office.

What does the receptionist do? She answers the phone. She sets appointments. She inputs patient information, if it's not already in the patient file., she doesn't. She doesn't answer the phone: there's an idiot push-button phone tree that reads off a two minute automated shpiel that urges patients to be absolutely sure they want their primary care doctor, rather than the urgent care (number provided) or the emergency department (no, I will NOT abbreviate that, TYVM.  I already have issues with the giggles calling it the "emergency department").  And when you FINALLY wait through all that crap, you get "press one to make or reschedule an appointment" or "press two to talk to the nurse" and instructions to have the PHARMACY  contact them if you need refills, rather than doing it yourself.  Then you'd make your appointment, go check in...

...but now, you're not checking in. You've already done that with the electronic stuff that was the receptionist's job.  

I'm not sure if the receptionists whined about the tedium or what's going on, but they're not answering phones anymore.  They're not helping you figure out who you need to talk to.  They're not doing your check-in work.  They're...setting your appointments.  And...

...doesn't that sound like what fast food is doing? Adding automation and dumping the useless money drains?  

Really, the receptionists should have been balking this automation at every turn, rather than cheering the lightening of their work load.  Because like fast food, the office managers are going to look at what they're doing, and ask "Why are we paying you and paying for your health insurance, again?"

Effectively, minimum wage is none at all.  And apparently, that "minimum" is climbing the ranks of jobs that get it. 

*Union pay scale is tied to minimum wage: it's set a certain dollar amount higher automatically by position. 

**Kids are on their parents' insurance well into early adulthood, why offer insurance to minimum wage workers? Who are teenagers?

Sunday, April 9, 2023