11.29.2011

Arlene Ackerman: an American Tale



In case the name Arlene Ackerman rings no bells with you, she is--well, was--the superintendent of the esteemed Philadelphia school district (and unless you collected a diploma from it, you know that that was sarcasm...and if you actually did, go Google "sarcasm", then come back and finish reading. I understand) before her untimely departure from the position for gross fucking incompetence.

If you're worried that this is one of those depressing stories about some shmuck who loses his job to layoffs and ends up selling spam over the internet to scrape out a meager living, you can rest easy...she was given a large severance package totalling almost $1 million, and being thrown out of your job because you suck gets a little easier when you land in a big pile of money that your employers have laid out for you to cushion your fall.

However, her journey did not start in an unemployment line, waiting patiently for government benefits with the other jobless Americans collecting 6-figure pensions...it started years ago out in San Francisco, where she acted as the superintendent of schools there and soon performed well enough to get a raise right before she fell out of favor and was pushed out, a recurring theme in her illustrious career. The average American would see losing a 6-figure job with no real oversight as a devastating blow to their lives...but not Ackerman.

She was eventually able to scrape together the few hundred thousand dollars she had left to her name and make a risky move across the country to seek new opportunities. This quest led her to the city of Philadelphia, where she was able to parlay her failure as superintendent of San Francisco schools into future failure in a new and unpredictable (if you're trying to make positive predictions) environment.

It was almost no time at all before she settled into her new surroundings, replicating all the successes she had experienced in her career on a much grander scale. Through her oversight, she was able to bring test scores up (as a topic of debate come election time), increase the graduation rate (of GED classes citywide), help students (find menial, unskilled jobs), and generally improving the condition of schools (that compete with Philadelphia's public schools in an effort to attract all the parents, pupils and pockets running from Ackerman's influence as fast as possible).

In time, those who did not see the merit of her contributions began to question her leadership. Her salary was also called into question, as she made over $6,000 per week at one time, (or what I make in 3 FUCKING MONTHS) and someone besides Eagles' coach Andy Reid simply could not be allowed to lead a Philadelphia franchise to weekly losses at that high a price. Of course, she also handled this with her famous tact, insinuating that the backlash against her was not because of her poor job performance or overinflated salary...but because she was a black woman.

Never mind that they would find a way to fire a polka-dotted hermaprhodite for fucking up that badly with chunks of an entire already unstable generation AND collecting large sums of money for the trouble...she claimed that she was being attacked for the color of her skin and the setup of her plumbing. It is likely that she knew the truth as well as any other person who even casually tracked the situation...but she also knew that the "ab homine" argument (it's not because I suck, it's because I'm ____ and that's not fair!) is a long standing American tradition beyond reproach.

Well, almost. Of course, if you've been reading this, you know that Philadelphia was the second major American city to spend years and millions finding out that Ackerman was not the right person for the job of total control over the kid factories, and was eventually coaxed out of her position with many taxpayer dollars (because your employer deciding that they'd rather have you gone than a million dollars is a great resume builder and awesome leverage in these kind of settlements in all walks of life).

However, Ackerman had one last wily trick up her sleeve. Despite making more than the entire staffs of some schools, she somehow found her life too lavish to finance with her own money stolen fair and square, and also likely knew that she would never be offered another superintendent job (because she did such a great job here, everybody knows she can't possibly top it...why bother?) Distraught over the loss of her job and lack of cash storage space for her pension and settlement payments, she apparently decided to commiserate with some other folk who had recently lost their jobs, where she came up with her most brilliant masterstroke yet: to apply for unemployment! (Yes, that unemployment. Yes, today. Yes, really.)

Yes, bold Arlene Ackerman, she of cunning mind and flexible morals, would collect the same (and likely much more) unemployment than a father of 3 who just lost his factory job if she has her way. Truly, this is a woman who knows how to make her own way (straight to hell). Hers is a story of determination, deception, repeated fuck-ups, and constant attempts to squeeze whatever possible from vulnerable parties by any means necessary...a true American tale. Arlene Ackerman, I salute you...with one finger.

11.28.2011

Drive Me Crazy (in a Lexus)



So over the weekend, which I mostly spent watching football in various degrees of intoxication, I began to notice a new series of Lexus commercials just for the holiday season. Well..."notice" kinda implies that it was within my power to ignore it...as an average NFL broadcast lasts 3 hours and contains about 11 minutes of the running jumping, throwing, catching, blocking, tackling, and other football-related actions that have surprisingly little to do with the feet for a sport with the name it has, the rest is obviously filled by commercials...and this weekend, it seems like this and its variants were most of them.

I honestly didn't pay it any mind at first...I'm not exactly in the market for a Lexus this holiday season or expecting one as a gift (hell, I'll be surprised if somebody gives me a bus pass), but the more I see of this shit, the more it just bugs the hell out of me. 

For one, who actually knows the Lexus theme song to the point where they hear it and instantly react to it? I didn't know it until I heard it a few hundred times over the weekend and got it stuck in my head...and I'll tell you what, when I hear that stupid little jingle, the last thing that goes through my mind is "hey, isn't this the Lexus jingle? I might be getting a gift wrapped $60,000 vehicle for no apparent reason!" No, it's closer to "oh my fucking deity, if this song comes into my ears one more time, I'm going to send a bullet after it."

It's not even just the concept of this commercial I hate, it's the execution. It's not enough that I went out at spent a second mortgage on a luxury car to celebrate a religious holiday, but I have to arrange a cutesy presentation for the gift, hack into the building's PA system and replace the normal elevator music, AND find a huge red bow to put on the car? (Nobody ever thinks about it, but those things ain't free...like those giant checks they give out to winners of contests and sweepstakes, if I ever win one I'm gonna suggest that they give me a regular sized check and just slide me the money they save printing the big one.) The fucking Lexus wasn't enough? Oh, aight...

I mean, it's bad enough that they're pretty much saying that a luxury car makes a great stocking stuffer in the middle of the worst global economic state that any of us can remember unless you first car had a hand crank, but to wrap the message in a bunch of fake-ass commercialized holiday season sentiment just symbolizes everything I hate about this time of year. (Well, besides Black Friday, which is where people camp out by the thousands for days for the right to loot a large chain store and fistfight over the items which belong to neither combatant until they pay for it. That's over with though.)

The signs of holiday overlap become more and more apparent each year...they put the Valentine candy out before we take the Christmas decorations down, Halloween starts right after Easter, Thanksgiving is a few hours between work and the start of shopping season...and this year, my holiday spirit was fucked before the end of November. I gotta say...maybe it's that I'm 5 dollars over broke even on payday, maybe it's the fact that I'm just not that big a holiday person (but at least I don't pretend to be to sell cars), maybe I'm just hating because I don't have a sugar daddy to buy me a Lexus...but the shit just gets to me a little. Hey...at least the Cowboys won after I saw this commercial a few dozen more times.

11.21.2011

PSA: f.u.c.k. (selling books!)

What it is, umf'ers? Well, if you haven't been around lately--and it's cool, I haven't really either--I finally got my supply of "FfYL" hard copies. (Yeah, I started out with ebooks, but scraped up some printing money once everybody told me they would prefer hard copies all after the fact and shit.) They were packaged with an invoice, the bubble wrap that's more fun as a toy than effective as protection, and a lesson...that writing books is the easy part.

Selling 'em...eh, not so much. As I rode home on the train with a box half-full of books, a 2-foot hoagie, and a bottle of Bacardi 151, I began to ponder just how I could make everything in the box disappear as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, failing to take care of the first is a lot tougher to digest than the last 2 combined.

I don't want to make it seem like I'm flopping...I'm actually doing pretty good, sold a few copies locally, sent a few off to curious parties all over the country (and one very special lady in the Netherlands...hey girl...), and the digicopies are moving as much as they ever have...hell, even an early review or 2 has come in. (They were all good and praised the quality of my writing and humor, though a couple lamented the language as if a book with "fuck" printed on the cover was a Dr. Seuss alternative...oh well, can't please everybody, so fuck the ones who ain't happy.) It's not all bad.

However, that moment I've dreamed of since I took my first FfYL-related extended lunch break at work where I walk by some random coffee shop and see some black-sweatered hipster sipping a chai latte, updating his location on Foursquare, and holding my book while lightly chuckling at it between mouthfuls or raspberry scone (or the other moment where some eager female fans mob me like an AXE commercial because women will sleep with men just for writing bad books...imagine the lucky guy who writes the worst one!) is still pending...and for an impatient mafucka like me, that's a problem.

That being typed, it wouldn't be a problem if it didn't have a solution...so maybe this is it.  I know selling books is hard work...but giving them away might be easier, right? (Right?) Despite barely having a profit margin to cut into, I'm finna do just that...so I'm proud to announce a couple giveaways! I know $5 (digital) or $10+shipping (print) might be hard to come by--and if not, please disregard the rest of this post and order now with the link >over there>--but if you can't scrounge that up, here's a couple ways you can get your hands on a free copy:

-*Like* the FfYL fanpage! No, it's not automatic, I can't give away that many (well, I only have 30some *like*rs, so it ain't all that many...but if you follow instructions, that number will be higher, so you see my point here...) but both the 77th *like* and every 77th after that will recieve a free print copy of the book! Besides that, it's the only place I'll be announcing future promotions...and there will be future promotions. (Christmas is coming up, right?)

Worried about not being 77th? Just join, invite a bunch of friends, then around 70, unjoin and rejoin...hey, the book is about smart life loopholes, why would I discourage them?

-Write me a review! The first person to email me (goldNboi7@gmail.com) and pinky swear not to Napster my shit can read the full digital copy for free, as long as they can write me a review and post it to a major bookstore site (or your own) within a week! Hey, the holidays are coming up...you know you're gonna be sitting around on the computer not doing shit anyway.

-Spread the word! If you can somehow get 5 friends to buy my book (have them enter your name in the "special instructions" field on the Paypal form, you get either a free copy of the book or a refund if you bought the book already...trust me, that's the only way you're getting one. :p

There will be more where that came from (if, IF, I can move a few more paid copies) but they only way to stay up on that is to check out the fanpage. I know there are some strings attached, but that's only because my fate is directly connected to your participation, ya know? I can't afford an ad campaign or a street team...so guess what you guys are now? Thanks in advance for spreading the word, even if I had to bribe you after all we've been through together. Help me help you help me help you help me!

Aight, umf'ers and f.u.c.k. scouts...to everyone who has already supported me with a purchase, a review, a *like*, a retweet, or even some interest...from the bottom of my heart, thank you. For those who haven't and ain't considering it...well, fuck you (no title pun). Well, if you'll excuse me, I've got some books to deliver around the office...I am not carrying all these home.

*unclips mic*

11.16.2011

Video Formsprung-Wk6



What...just because I'm back to posting I can't do vids anymore? Week 6, baby...thanks for the love umf'ers!

11.14.2011

When Worlds Collide (or the Re-Introduction)


So for over 3 years now, I've kept umf around as kind of a safe containment chamber for my online presence, the brick wall that divides Public AJ (the guy that my parents raised, that people see at work and that most assume I am until I open my mouth when they meet me) and Private AJ (the one for friends, females, and Facebook) for the purposes of shielding most of the people I know and know of from the full extent of my personality before they can handle it.

It's been a pretty effective system of keeping the riff-raff away from the cool kids table all my alternate personalities sit at, and also a decent safeguard against anybody who would have their image of me suffer as a result of reading the streams of my consciousness floating around the internet coming across them. Well, anybody whose potentially negative opinion of my life I give a fuck about, anyway. Of course, if you know me at all, you know that list is short...and starts with my mommy.

Yes, that's right...recently the carefully crafted lie that passes for my mommy's (fresh uncensored critical) knowledge of my life came crumbling down, and it all started with a very awkward phone call that went something like this:

*phone rings, AJ answers*

AJ: Hello?

Mommy: Hey, Anthony.

AJ: Hi, mommy! How are you today?

M: I'm just fine, thank you. What are you up to, my love?

AJ: Oh, volunteering at soup kitchens, coaching a youth basketball team, giving 110% percent at my job, bible study, saying no to drugs...you know, the usual.

M: Is that right? Aren't you a good boy, just like mommy raised you. I hear you're quite the writer, too...

AJ: Yes, I'm always on my best--*reviews sentence, remembers he has never mentioned writing aspirations*--wait, what?

M: Oh, yeah. I was playing around with the Google and saw a book cover with your name on it. (At least I know I've been submitted to search engines...) The book looked very interesting, it did.

AJ: *feels pressure, begins to scramble* Oh? There's a book out there with my name on it?

M: Don't play stupid, sweetheart. I know you...that lightbulb and crossbones is something you came up with. I've been watching you doodle since all your drawings of people had their arms and legs coming out from their heads.

AJ: ...oh. Yeah. So...did you get to read any of it?

M: Yes.

AJ: *heart falls out ass* I...see. *expects to be sent to room*

M: I liked it.

AJ: ...really?

M: Yes I did. I always knew you were a creative little thing, this only makes sense. I wish you wouldn't use that kind of language (lady, you have no idea) but I'm just glad you have plans beyond that job of yours. Your writing is good...I hope you do well.

AJ: Wow, thanks mommy! *beams* Wait...how much did you read?

M: The first few chapters.

AJ: Oh...okay. *thinks to self ,"good, she didn't get to the sex part or the part with the big personal confession."* Well, I guess since you know now, I can tell you I kinda have to go because I can't reconcile the mixture of pride, shame, and an odd relief that result from you finding out about my halo-deprived life and controversial writing career--I mean, work on some promotional stuff.

M: Oh, okay, sweetheart. I'll let you go, then. I love you!

AJ: I love you too, mommy.

M: Oh, and AJ?

AJ: Yes, mommy?

M: What's "under my fitted?"

AJ: uh...*crinkles peppermint wrapper in phone* You're breaking up... *makes mouth noises* I can't really...  I think my call is dropping! *drops cell phone in sewer* Bye, mommy!

Okay, it's a little exaggerated, but it was still kind of a weird feeling to have parts of my life that really don't mesh come together...and more importantly, work well together. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to deal with this...I mean, it's not like you can make books and movies rated "E for Everyone but My Mom", so I suppose this just comes with the territory. If I can write shit that appeals to my twentysomething friends and can give my own mommy a chuckle or 2, I'm obviously doing something right. Still...I have a feeling Thanksgiving is going to be very interesting this year...

11.11.2011

So, you wanna be a drug dealer?

*fittedwearer's note: Happy Veteran's Day to all soldiers, past and present! I know this post is totally unrelated to the day's observations (well...mostly...there was Vietnam...and that whole business in South America...but that doesn't apply to the vast majority) but that's kind of the problem with running this kind of website for 3+ years...after a while, you hit all the holidays with themed posts. You want a Veteran's day post, there's one here somewhere...search and enjoy. The rest of you, settle in...and no drug use until the end of the post. (KIDDING...damn, don't be so quick to that "x" in the corner! The button, druggie.) Let's begin.


Since the first hit of opium...or coca leaf...or...ancient crack boulder...or whatever...changed hands at the dawn of human history, people have been dealing drugs to each other. It's always been perceived as a lucrative endeavor, its sellers of fortune romanticized and glorified from some of the oldest folk songs (such as "Pusher Man") to beloved classic films like "Scarface" and "Blow", documentaries like "Cocaine Cowboys", even current hip-hop in which pretty much everyone is moving 10 bricks a month (perplexingly, despite this implied income, many still have yet to pay back their advances).


The concept involved is pretty constant...the urban entrepreneur rises from humble beginnings, and after a while selling his product, gains wealth and power (usually by force), and enjoys the lavish lifestyle only someone with thousands of dollars tucked away inside the walls of their home can live. (Of course, at the end of just about every single story of this kind, the protagonist ends up in a box of some kind way before his time...nobody sees that part though.)

The palatial houses, fast cars, exotic women, and the intoxicating power such people posess can be a huge draw into "that lifestyle" especially for people too young to know any better (a state which can last to surprisingly high numbered ages in some folk). The appeal is easy to understand...who doesn't want to be on top of the world overnight? People often take to the block with dreams of one day reaching these heights...however, as many people find out, the lives depicted in this kind of media can be somewhat inconsistent with the realities of life.

You see, the people that are shown in these gold-plated, coke dusted fantasies are usually not on the block at all...they're behind it. Most people who take slangin' up as a trade will never see that status, or anything like it. The chiefs always get the songs and camera time...but for every chief, there are thousands of regular old Indians that don't get as much coverage.

Think of how a large company works...you have CEOs making millions of dollars to make decisions, middle managers who likely make just enough to maintain their lifestyle, and then you have the countless drones underneath them, collecting just over minimum wage to perform all the dirty work that keeps the company running while the big shots go golfing, talk global business and count money.

The under-the-table world is no different...you have the bosses making millions making major moves, you have middlemen, you have more middlemen (why do you think it's all so expensive?), then you have your corner boys. They're out there on the front lines, exposed to 90% of the dangers of the industry for less than 10% of the profits. Any way you slice that, it just doesn't add up...but many people just don't get that.

So, what I'm going to do is try and prove beyond doubt that being a low-level drug dealer just ain't worth it, even thought it may appear that way on the surface (go ahead and Google how many people start at the top, too...seriously, I'll wait). Follow me for a few bullet points, if you will...


- Profit margins for narcotics vary wildly by type, from marijuana, which can commonly have a 150% return on investment (that's if the seller doesn't like to roll up a few times a day himself) to harder, slightly less available stuff like heroin, cocaine, and crack, which can get up to 400% of what you spent back. For the purposes of this post, we'll assume that what you're selling earns 5 bucks for every dollar you invest for a 500% profit margin. Not bad, right? Let's continue.


-You start out with 100 units of your drug at a price of 10 bucks a unit, spending $1,000 to get your inventory. It takes you 5 days to move your product at a price of $50 a unit, and you don't even use any yourself or give out any bulk deals, leaving you with $4,000 profit at the end of a week... You've successfully managed to make a thousand a day...much more than you'd make at a 9 to 5, right?


-Let's factor in the fact that you had to stand outside, no matter time of day/night or weather conditions, for a standard 8-hour shift (and you really got off early, because most hustle men are out for 12, easy). That's $571 a day, but these were hours in which you were exposed to attack from a rival dealer, a stick-up from some kid with a gun, even a stabbing by a crackhead promised unlimited rocks for the week for doing so. Would you knowingly endanger your life at any given point in a day for $571? That's up to you. Moving on...


-If you want to keep all the profit yourself, for this $571 a day gross, you have performed a number of job duties. You were a salesman (with no commission and a capped earning potential), an advertising executive (who average the equivalent of $15 an hour) an armed security guard (who average a bit over $10/hr and likely more for protecting an active target like yourself), a customer service rep (another $10-15/hr...likely double to deal with zoned out rock zombies all day) an private accounting manager ($20/hr, easy), an inventory/stockroom manager (another $15 or so an hour)...oh, and a good lookout (potentially priceless).

This all comes to somewhere around $90-120+ an hour as separate jobs...but for $571 a day, you have done the work of 6 or 7 people...and gotten no overtime. That's a bad deal where I come from.


-While we're talking about overtime, let's mention the other benefits that a normal full-time salaried employee gets that you won't because of your chosen profession (like peace of mind). There is no paid vacation in that field...you're either at work or you're not making money. Personal days are your personal problem. Sick? No such thing as sick...cold, flu, stomach virus, gunshot wound...get out there and get that money. (There's no medical or dental either...that all comes out of your pocket.)

You'll never get to choose shifts, the fiends decide what your hours are. The pay can be somewhat irregular...you get paid when others get paid and pay you. Also, good luck with that 401k...your nest egg will likely be poached (by the cops or whoever else) when the time comes to use it. All these things are included with employment at most normal jobs...but this all comes out of your paycheck, and at great cost.


-On the plus side, you won't get taxed...but the expensive items you'll probably buy will attract attention, and eventually people will wonder just why you haven't filled out a W-2 lately. What's worse, the goods your money allows you to have are rarely absolute goods. The cars you buy will be followed, the house you buy will never be safe for you or your family, the girls you meet will have dollar signs instead of pupils...very little can be trusted when you fly blind into new territory.


-An added expense can be paying off those who would see your business shut down. Police, neighborhood folk who might not love their block crawling with dope fiends all hours of the day and night, local business owners, anybody that feels that your workspace is their territory and that you must share your profits to keep your venture (and yourself) alive...all must be paid off. This also comes out of your take-home pay.


-The prices of everything rise, and inflation is a bitch for everybody. During the course of the year, as a result of a big bust and scarce quantities, prices for your product go up from $10 a unit to $12 a unit. You have 3 choices at this point. Absorb the cost yourself and lose $2000 per pack of 100 units, decrease the quality of your product by watering it down and risk displeasing your clientele and driving them to a competitor, or find an alternate source for your wholesale purchase (if there is one). All 3 options will probably lose you money and leave someone involved upset...and the last thing you need is more ill will.


-Okay, let's talk about getting caught (and it WILL happen if you do it long enough). Unless you plan on sitting in jail until your court date, you're going to have to come up with some bail money, which, you guessed it, comes out of your own pocket. If you want to stay out of a state prison for the next 5 or more years, you'll want a private lawyer, whose services cost far more than your own. Of course, while you're dealing with these legal proceedings, you're not making money because it's a bad idea to be spotted on a drug corner selling drugs with an open drug case.


-Worst case scenario, you get caught, booked, and have to do a bid. They gave you 10 years for trafficking (because small-timers get big boy time too) ...that's 10 years of lost wages from your day job, pain and suffering, unpaid (or nearly unpaid) labor...oh, and 10 years of your fucking life. You might have made it a few years completely undetected...but once they gotcha, they gotcha. Is a year or 2 of the fly life (if you even get that) with parties at the finest bars and hotels worth 10 years of the all-guy life at the Iron Bar Hotel? I'll let you think about it.


Let's review. In a year, you can see over $200,000 dollars (that is, if you haven't blown all of it making it rain in local hood bars) pass through your hands. Admittedly, that's a lot of bread...but to get it, you've worked pretty much every waking moment, put your life in constant danger, put your family at risk, done more jobs than an immigrant...and unless you have a horseshoe, a 4-leaf clover, and an entire rabbit lodged somewhere in your pants, gotten arrested.


If you were willing to go through that much to accomplish any other end, you might have made at least twice that over time...however, I will admit this is much faster. All that said, I'll ask you again...you wanna be a drug dealer?

11.10.2011

Penn Statement


Obviously, the hot topic in sports...hell, in the world...is the ongoing Penn State sex abuse scandal. Living in Pennsylvania, I have a somewhat intimate idea of the scope and impact of the matter and formed an opinion on it relatively quickly, but elected to hold off until I knew some more facts of the case to share it with y'all....I know not knowing the facts doesn't stop most people, but you're likely here because I'm not most people.

I won't get too into the details, because if you're reading this you have a computer and know likely more than you want to about what what exactly is going down. However, I feel that there's a certain inequity in this case, namely that the nexus of the entire thing (according to just about everybody) is an 84 year old man who, as far as anyone knows, has never done anything more illegal than steal credit for coaching a Division I football program for the last 5 or 10 years.

Let it be typed that if old JoePa knew any more than is reported, I cannot defend him in any way whatsoever. When you see the charges that are being brought up here, you can see why I can't condone any shit like that. However, where so many people are jumping on his back for his percieved inaction in not reporting the claim to police, they miss a key part of the story...that a grown man, by his OWN CONFESSION, walked into a shower room and saw a child being violated by another adult...and did NOTHING about this.

That man's name is Mike McQueary, and in case you hadn't heard, he still has his job (yes, even after Penn State did the equivalent of nailing their own personal Jesus to the cross). Why the FUCK aren't we on this coward with all the wrath we can muster? You tell me, what kind of person could walk in on a scene that I have plenty of narrative powers to describe but no desire to picture and about-face like "oh...bad time, I see. I'll come back later...you guys have fun."

With all the options at his disposal, such as tearing the disgusting pervert a new fucking asshole, separating the two like a hockey ref, or even clearing your bitch ass throat so the kiddiephile knows that he's being watched doing something that is totally not cool and...y'know...stops...he elects to go home and call his daddy. Way to exempify the honor, integrity, and other rare elements that Penn State football program claims to instill in its young men, Mike. I'm sure your father was very disappointed in him, raping kids and all.

As if that wasn't enough, he had the brain fart that precipitated the upcoming shit storm...instead of going to the police about the CHILD RAPE HE HAD WITNESSED FIRSTHAND, he...tells the coach of the football team. Again, well-handled, sir. Of course, this is the point in time where everybody and their mother wanted Papa Joe to pick up the phone and immediately report this damning hearsay to the...wait, what? Did I just say "damning hearsay"? No such thing, is there? Yeah, that's right...can't exactly go to the cops with what you heard somebody saw.

This brings us to Joe Paterno's alleged involvement in this truly fucked up scenario. He, knowing that the last sentence of the last paragraph is something you either learn the easy way or when the cops hang up on you, informed someone who could then launch an investigation into the at-that-point-unsubstantiated rumors. (Say what you want about Joe addressing the creep in question directly on the matter...can't just go up to a person you consider a friend and go "so...banged any preteens lately?" Can't exactly "oh, my bad, then" that one.) At this point, as far as I understand how chains of command work, it became the responsibility of the nominal boss, the athletic director, who Paterno did inform, to pursue an investigation into somebody that works for him having sex with little boys on school property.

The point of the last couple of paragraphs was to make a point about Paterno's culpability in the situation...which is minimal. Review the steps in this situation. On one side, you have the the former football player who decided that stopping a child rape in progress was too much for him to tackle, and on the other you have the athletic director who decided that protecting the image of the university was more important than ridding the campus of a predator (how's that working out?).

In the middle, you have Joe Paterno, who appears to be the only person who did anything close to what was required of him...and was fired for his trouble. Popular opinion states that not only does Paterno deserve this, he deserves the chair for running and masterminding a underage brothel on a state-sponsored university campus...or something. Don't get me wrong...personally, I understand why JoePa had to go. He is the face of Penn State, and right now that face has black eyes, a broken nose, a fractured orbital socket and a buck-fifty scar. I can see why they have to have some plastic surgery.

However, in all the craziness surrounding this thing, some things get lost in the shuffle. For one, (and this went without typing, but nobody's going to say I didn't type it) there are children who were forever scarred by what went on because some guy thinks a football coach is more equipped to handle criminal matters than the police. That's fucked up. The rapist is still a free man and is not being shot in the dick with rock salt bullets right now. That's fucked up. The true champion who noticed a child being sexually assaulted and thought the best thing to do was inform his parents will walk onto the field on Saturday and help coach the Penn State football team...and THAT is fucked up.

In fact, the fact that McQueary keeps his job (and even gets a promotion...he is now the head coach) while the only person who did anything even remotely resembling the right thing is railroaded right out of Happy Valley is a travesty. I don't particularly count myself as a fan of Penn State or Joe Paterno, I just know when shit doesn't make sense when I see it. Say whatever you want about Paterno's involvement or lack thereof...the fact is the only person who knew for an indisputable fact that children were being harmed by this monster was Mike McQueary and he did NOTHING about it. This is an indication of the obvious...that Penn State administration fucked this as far up as they possibly could.

They say that the worst kind of cowardice is to know what the right thing is, and fail to do it. This means that a confirmed example of the worst kind of coward will walk the sidelines each Saturday as long as McQueary is deemed fit to be a punk ass leader of young men. If I was a Penn State football player, I would refuse to take the field as long as my coach is fired and the one who dragged him into the bullshit is still on the sidelines. Bottom line is, Penn State tried to make an example out of their patriarch in the wake of this disaster...what they are doing is showing an example of what they will tolerate as representative of their football program and school at large...can't blame JoePa for that. Just sayin'.

11.08.2011

My New Job



So in case you didn't hear the first 27 times I told anybody who would listen or see the gigantic jankified non-formatted cover/buy link over there, I dropped my first ebook, "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge for Your Life" yesterday. (Seriously, I spent a month on Twitter writing an alternate version of it one post at a time...I seriously believe if you strung together all my advertising tweets, you'd get another fucking book.) Since I want to one day write and sell shit on a full-time basis, I decided to take a day off from the job that I don't give a fuck about in order to promote my new one as a writer.

I gotta say, I really liked it. My job, my rules, my way. (You can see the most formal attire allowed in the office in the picture...okay, fine, it's just an excuse to show off my umf/FfYL promotional t-shirt, but it's cool ain't it?) I reported for my job whenever I woke the hell up, got fit for duty with a couple bowls, got drunk and ate pizza before 10:00, lounged around all day wearing just a fitted and the hope that my ebook would sell, and spread my gospel all over the internet...and made a couple dollars doing it. It was what I had always wanted to do with my life ever since I figured out that "Power Ranger" was not a valid career choice.

To be honest, sales were a little slow at first. It might have something to do with my mental image of overadvertising. I know I hate when I see people talking about the same shit over and over like I would even consider giving a damn and I'm not only asking people for a damn...I'm asking them for that and $5. (Not to mention the fact that most people still want print books...first I decide to be a writer in an age when nobody reads, now I write ebooks for people who don't have any way to read them. This is not my life.)

I began to worry that my first attempt--well, second if you count screenplay "TBX" that's still alive and kickin' in that contest--at something longer than a lunch break was the fail, that I sucked as a writer and a person, and that I would be stuck in this soul-sucking rot pit for the rest of my miserable fucking life.

Then, something amazing happened. The internet began to work. People started posting, tweeting, sharing, linking. The views on the Smashwords "buy" page soared. People actually remembered that I used to have some website somewhere and came here to check out the book. The orders came in, first one, then another, then another. Finally, things were pointing in the right direction...maybe I wouldn't be a starving artist anymore!

Okay, that's bullshit...I didn't even make what I would in a day at work...obviously since I came back here...but dammit, it felt good to know that this thing was a possibility and that one day soon, I would be able to report to the best job (and coolest boss) I've ever had. Of course, today I suffered a rude awakening, both literally through my alarm clock and figuratively, as my indie-writer-for-a-day experience was at a temporary end. I dragged myself out of bed and my spirit ached with the thought of walking right out of creative stoner heaven returning to bill-paying purgatory.

However, there was something just a bit different. Instead of the permeating feeling of foreboding and dread that washes over me in waves every day from the time I wake until...well, the time I bake (but still!) ...I felt a strange new emotion...hope. There was a light at the end of this tunnel, and it might just have crossbones under it. I am now hopeful that because of "FfYL" or "TBX", I will be able to get the fuck out of here before my sanity finally lapses and I disregard most of the job advice I laid forth in my book. However, I am fully aware that while those sets of letters may be some of the most important in my life in the near future, there's one more that I would have never done any of this without..."umf'ers". So yeah, thanks for that...and wish me luck getting hired for my new job!

11.07.2011

"FfYL" Full Penetration Discourse- Part I, Chapter 7: (f.u.c.k.)- the WorkWill

*fittedwearer's note: You might be familiar with my first book, entitled "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge for Your Life". You might even know about the chapter previews of said book I have around here I affectionately refer to as "FfYL Quickies"

What you might not be aware of is that many of the chapters in the book were ported directly from umf...I polished 'em up a bit, of course...there's a big gap between lunchtime ramblings and book chapter...but the source material cannot be denied. 

However, the purpose of me typing all this is to let y'all know how much I love umf'ers. Clearly I do, because what I'm doing now is giving you what pretty much amounts to an album cut of these old umf posts. They're actual chapters from "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge", and I share them with you in the hopes that you'll like 'em enough to support me anyway...or maybe just read the damn thing, period. 

Anyway, since I've decided to go all the way in on these select chapters, they will be hereby known as "Full Penetration Discourse", as opposed to the half-chapter "Quickies". Tee-hee. 

Aight, here we go...today's is from part I, "For your Job", and goes by the name (f.u.c.k.)- the WorkWill. Peep:


Chapter 7: (f.u.c.k.)- the WorkWill

In these trying economic times, one could lose one's job in the blink of an eye. Layoff, firings, angry, premature resignations that one may later regret...it’s an inexorable reality of the workplace just as death will happen to everyone who lives long enough.

However, what happens to all your precious belongings and knickknacks that you decorate your desk with when you(r job duties) die? This is where the Work Will comes in. The Work Will makes sure all the random shit in, on and around your desk goes to caring folk who will place it on their desks until they also get fired or whatever.

People rarely think about how all their workly possessions will be distributed in the event of their untimely departure until it's too late and they must all be thrown into a box and never seen again…or worse, simply left to be just picked through by desk looters, some of which will receive items of yours that you never intended then to have.

Do you want to look back at an old workplace and find out that someone you hated now has your red Swingline stapler, the only one in the building?

It's a nightmarish scenario. However, a well written Work Will can ensure that all the worthless bullshit that adorns the desk of most people ends up in the hands of caring people, who will treat it as priceless bullshit. This is why it's almost imperative in these uncertain times that everyone draft a Work Will and keep it updated.

If you (and a few thousand friends) are reading this, I no longer work at my old job...so the following example is both relevant and a legally binding document...I think. Whatever. Here's mine, just as a kind of template (and a desperate need to have occasion to use it).

I, AJ Moses, in the event of my untimely termination, do hereby bequeath my random work items as follows:

My hand drawn Cowboys mural goes to Smooch. As a fellow 'Boys fan, I know that she will take care of it, and not burn and/or piss on it like the rest of the assholes and Eagles fans (gee, that's redundant) that work here.

She also gets my Qdoba value club card, which has a free order of chips and salsa on it.

All my restaurant menus go to PS. I have eaten good lunches many a time down here in Center City and gotten it delivered, all because I had the menu and thus the phone number. As I do not plan to come here too often after I depart, they will be better used in his hands. May they serve him as they have served me. He also gets my Dunkin Donuts gift card...it has 11 cents on it, but it is reloadable.

The heart decoration that dangle above my desk and have been doing so since Valentine's Day 2008, I leave to Shenicole. Hopefully, you'll finally have a heart on at your desk from me...it's only fair to return the favor.

To the woman on this floor who clearly has decaying flesh inside her, I leave you the deodorant in my desk. Please use it, every time you walk by the stench of death follows you in sonic waves like you broke the smell barrier. It won’t solve your problem, but it’ll hold you over until you go get whatever prescription military-grade sanitary items you need. Leave now.

To G, I leave all the Post-it Notes in my desk, since he steals them anyway.

Since that gift kind of sucks, I also leave him 5 dollars. It may not seem like much, but it was half of my last paycheck.

To Don Dizzy, I leave my USB phone charger cord. You have the same kind of phone as me, so the choice was clear in bequeathing this valuable item. 

To Sunshine, I leave the Nerf blow dart gun in my desk. I know if there's anyone who would enjoy sniping people from up to 30 feet away with a foam rubber projectile, it's you.

To Mrs. Frizzle, I leave you the shot glass in my desk. I know you'll find use for it.

To the German Queen, I will reimburse you for all the cigarettes that people on this floor “borrow” from you for a month. Any longer and I’d have to write 2 books to turn a profit.

My headphones go to WW. No, they're not as good as his, but they're way quieter. Everyone else will enjoy that. You can also have the miniature Super Nintendo decoration on my desk.

To Mr. Montana, you got a free copy of this book. Hey, unless you want the deodorant in my desk, there’s not much else here.

To the Angry Bird, I leave my vengeance unachieved...for now. There will be retribution for what you did!

To that stalker chick who stole my picture off of my desk a couple years ago (yes, really), I leave it to you. Keep it, ya creepy bitch.

The entire department will receive a roll of duct tape as an endowment. We all know who talks too damn much. Now, even in my absence, we can occasionally make him shut the fuck up.

To my dickface boss, I may just leave my Cowboys ring. Unfortunately, it will still be attached to my fist, which I can not promise will not be swinging in his direction by the time this document becomes official.

To every attractive female in the building, I leave my phone number. Call me!

The rest of my goods, such as old Metro newspapers, the scribbled on note cards that became this eBook, random expired coupons that my job gave out knowing damn well they don’t give me enough disposable income to actually use them, and other assorted and hoarded office supplies, will be sold at auction...or just taken by whoever. Who the fuck cares, I don't work there any more.

I execute this will in sound mind, body, and employment.

See? It's easy and could save hours of confusion in the wake of your departure. It's just the responsible thing to do. Nobody (but me) likes to think about their time to go, but we all have to leave sometime. If you ever have to clean your desk out, it helps to have your house in order.

Now that you’ve handled your final affairs, let’s see about your next life.

"FfYL" Full Penetration Discourse- Part I, Chapter 2: (f.u.c.k.)- Surviving Work


*fittedwearer's note: You might be familiar with my first book, entitled "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge for Your Life". You might even know about the chapter previews of said book I have around here I affectionately refer to as "FfYL Quickies"

What you might not be aware of is that many of the chapters in the book were ported directly from umf...I polished 'em up a bit, of course...there's a big gap between lunchtime ramblings and book chapter...but the source material cannot be denied. 

However, the purpose of me typing all this is to let y'all know how much I love umf'ers. Clearly I do, because what I'm doing now is giving you what pretty much amounts to an album cut of these old umf posts. They're actual chapters from "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge", and I share them with you in the hopes that you'll like 'em enough to support me anyway...or maybe just read the damn thing, period. 

Anyway, since I've decided to go all the way in on these select chapters, they will be hereby known as "Full Penetration Discourse", as opposed to the half-chapter "Quickies". Tee-hee. 

Aight, here we go...today's is from part I, "For your Job", and goes by the name (f.u.c.k.- Surviving Work). Enjoy:


Part I, Chapter 2- (f.u.c.k.- Surviving Work)

Let’s get something straight about jobs. Nobody cares what you do for a living unless they actually ask, and often not even then.

Accordingly, suffice it to say since the first caveman was hired to hand-deliver gigantic animal ribs that tip over prehistoric vehicles for 8 pebbles an hour, pretty much every living person that doesn't work for themselves hates their fucking job.

I can honestly say I know your pain as I rot in some dank file room shuffling folders for a couple clicks over minimum wage. (Hopefully by the time you read this, I'll make a lie out of that sentence, but for now I'm no different.)

Having a job is a part of most people’s lives, but there are 3 ways around this most unpleasant experience.

The first, of course, is to be in close proximity to a rich person's crotch at some point in your life. Whether you're lucky enough to be born to one and pass through your mommy's platinum-plated birth canal or end up betwixt some wealthy thighs later on by your own free will, it's a time-tested and oft-proven way to get just about anywhere you want in life.

Another is simply to get a million-dollar idea, some serious financial backing, and a dynamite ad campaign, then just pump your cash cow for money until you just can't figure out how to spend it any more.

For those of us who don’t know the 3rd way, we're stuck at our bullshit 9-5's until the Social Security we won't get starts up and we can retire into poverty. It's the American way.

However, just because the average American who never calls out (let's assume they exist) will spend upwards of 83,000 hours on the job before they retire doesn't mean every last one of them has to suck.

That brings us to this 3rd route around spending every day in a purgatorial state, coping smartly.

You see, there are many measures one can take to make the daily routine of selling your life to Corporate America 8 hours at a time somewhat more bearable. Trust me, if these techniques are effective in some anonymous den of suckitude tucked away somewhere in Darkest Philly, then they'll likely work at your shitty gig as well.

The keys to getting through an average day doing something you don't like to maintain your standard of living are as follows:

Look busy. It's the most important thing on this list because you can do almost nothing else without it. A common misconception about jobs is that one's approval rating is based on how much work he actually gets done. While this is true to some extent, you must realize that looking like you are doing something is far more important.

If you rocket through all your job duties before lunch and spend the entire back half of the day watching bad dance videos on YouTube, people will notice that you have done no actual work for hours at a time and believe you are slacking, despite everything that’s actually your problem on a daily basis being done. 

However, if you subtly sprinkle in distractions throughout the day (such as playing with Facebook, texting incessantly, and running a semi-popular humor website with a color scheme based on the uniforms of one's favorite pro football team, just for a few examples that have nothing to do with the author of this book) and have all your work barely done by quitting time, you will be lauded as a model employee.

True, it doesn't make any fucking sense...but like so many other things in life, that's just the way it is.

Realize, it's just not that serious. Sometimes, our worst problems arise not from anything job-related, but from those we have to do our jobs around.

Trust me, I've worked around plenty of assholes (and written about them in this book) but a lot of times the best thing to do is laugh (which is why I wrote about them in this book).

It's tempting to let folk like that get under your skin a bit and start wanting to punish them by sabotaging their work, eagerly snitching to a higher-up about some minor rule they’ve bent, or stalking from office to office with an Armalite AR-10 carbine gas-powered semi-automatic weapon, pumping round after round into colleagues and coworkers.

However, these are quick fixes that will have undesirable long term effects.

Yes, they're insufferable cretins and make your life a little harder each day you punch in; but just remember that at the end of the day you'll be at home and away from them, and they still have to be around themselves. Isn't that punishment enough?

Your work is not your life, and if it is, you're dead already. You're just waiting to make it official. If the odds say you're going to forget about it before you get home, then they also say it's just not that serious.

Stay out of office drama. It's true, you certainly should stay out of office drama such as rumors, awkward people dynamics, and other by-products of extended human interaction in close quarters. These things can destroy character, careers and lives. Those that are affected by office drama can be irreparably harmed by it.
This is why it is imperative that you stay as far away from office drama...as you can hear it from. The key is to be the discusser and not the discussed. 

You see, word around the water cooler is a fun and interesting time-waster. Who doesn't like finding out that the boss is fucking his secretary(ies), guessing the identity of the person who leaves the bathroom smelling like bum shit at 8 in the morning, or trying to figure out who has been stealing the new temp's bag lunches from the office refrigerator…and getting paid for it?

If we lose our ability to unite around the (real or percieved) shortcomings and misadventures of those we know, then we can consider ourselves a lost society.

However, I can't impart to you enough that you should never be the star player in the Office Speculation Games. Instead, stay on the sidelines and spectate. It's the best seat in the house.

Consider self-medication. Okay, this one isn't for everybody. It's a bit controversial, and some of the substances that people are known to use in this capacity are only vaguely, if at all legal...but hell, it works for me.

Whether it's a jolt of caffeine to jump-start the brain, a fully packed bowl or 2 to calm the nerves, or a noseful of cocaine just to take the edge off, one's personal fix can be like insulation against life's bullshit.

Take my job for example. I work (usage of the word being quite loose) in some file room somewhere...or something...and I take special care to be appropriately medicated before I leave home.

That way, if some asshole comes to my desk screaming about some file like I personally lost it just to make sure they had something to be upset about, I can just smile, nod, and gently point them in the direction of somebody who gives a fuck.

The effects don't end there.  If one of my bosses is telling yet another bone-dry joke, I'm in the right altered state of mind to find it (and everything else anyone says that day) funny so I can laugh, he can get his feeling of comedic fulfillment, and can then go the fuck away.

If I'm in yet another boring, pointless meeting, I can sit there, think due to my medicated state that it would be hilarious if a cricket sound played, download an app on my smartphone to simulate this sound, play it for all to hear, and watch the amusement of my co-workers (not that I've ever done that). 

I'm not telling you to pick up a habit that you don't already have. That's what commercials are for. 

I also realize everybody can't do this. Some folk are physicists and jet pilots and rocket surgeons and all, and that type of job is not conducive to any kind of altered state (unless you can REALLY hold your shit).  Just consider it if you’re having that much trouble dealing with your job.

5) Be happy you even have a damn job- I get it, work sucks. You won't hear a rebuttal of that observation from me.

However, having a job does do one thing that does not suck in any way...it pays the bills (and maybe allows you room for one hobby or something). In times like this, where you even have to give a nickel for someone's thoughts due to inflation and an unstable currency, we should all be grateful for that.

Trust me, I hate going to work as much as the next man. That's why I'm sitting here writing this, in the hopes that people like you will rescue me from this place a few bucks at a time.

However, I do like that special moment twice a month where my employer goes "here...we think this is a fair amount to pay for 2 weeks of your time" and ration me my living wages. (Well..."like" is a bit strong..."like" doesn't travel far in this concept without a couple more 0's as wheels.)

In fact, one time they even gave me a bonus that was almost 20% of my biweekly salary. I was so pleased that I wrote my job a letter on their time that I never sent. For the 2 weeks after that, I was a 20% better worker…well, about 14% after taxes. (Unfortunately, the bonus was only a one-time thing...which made both cause and effect into one-time things.)

Anyway, that was a big reminder of what I liked about having a job. When you find yourself thinking "I really hate my job", try thinking how much you would hate not having one and not knowing when one is coming. About once a month, that and the fourth item on this list have to drag me out of bed...but dammit, they work.

Hopefully, you can apply one or more of these to your daily life and each day at work will go a bit smoother. The fact is, few people actually like what they do to make a dollar...but just because work in general sucks doesn't mean your job has to blow. I really hope that helps.

I wish I could tell you to have a great day at work, but if you’re reading this, you know that’s an oxymoron. I won’t insult your intelligence.