I have been waylaid. I’m facing the unknown right now, in relation to my job. I may have to quit. I don’t earn a living wage, live in a close-sized room and share facilities with a dirty creep who doesn’t work, but the little dictator a-hole who we recently acquired as a new area manager (and to be fair, I don’t imagine any of these G4S area managers are nice) forced me to respond to his nastiness with a letter to him demanding that he transfer me to another site and one which he isn’t in charge of. The problem is, I don’t know whether he will have some say in that selection and I will not take just any site. (As a floater I took all kinds of sites, some which were bad and some which were great.) What if he wants to give me payback for my lip?
I’ve had it with this scammy company. I’ve never received a nickel raise from them in the eight years I’ve worked for them. (I have been in security, however, since 1999.) But the rules – the boss’s rules – are all being followed. Therefore I’m supposed to shut up and accept it. The clients who pay the bills don’t care about anything other than fulfilling insurance-related obligations, which means they don’t care about the fact that guards are human beings trying to survive in a money system in which rent, food, etc are not free. They simply don’t care. They don’t care about how we feel, physically or otherwise, nor do they care about security, properly. (They can’t admit that though.) They just want the cheapest guards they can get. And that’s the way today’s capitalists think anyway. Investing, beyond what you absolutely have to invest in order to set up a business, is a cost to be avoided. As for investments which have a society-building or pro-social justice angle to them, Forget that!
When area managers point out to guards who enquire about raises that clients just go for the cheapest security and there’s nothing the company can do about it, they are in effect saying to us, “Sorry, But the system is designed to profit a minority, which you’re not in.” They don’t say that of course. They just say that “There’s nothing we can do.” They’re right. Once so many have gone along with the destruction of democracy and the dissolution of social democracy, and you arrive at the point where we are now, then no one can do much to help out those who are exploited, by design. And you really don’t get sympathy from these area managers. I’m not sure they’d know how to sympathize if they wanted to. That would require a certain level of sophistication and politicization. And that would require them to care. It’s not just area managers and other management who don’t care. Most of the 99% doesn’t care either. Elites and their tools depend on that disinterest, which translates into reduced opposition to the exploitation they do.
But I have to wonder. I know a little bit about how neoliberal capitalism works. The biggest companies are the most powerful and lawless. They in fact, determine what laws are because within the corporatocracy – the system we have – the monied in fact rule. Official rulers are their tools. And the way companies operate today was described by William Greider in his excellent book, “One World, Ready Or Not – The Manic Logic Of Global Capitalism.” He described a “politics of escape,” in which corporations would seek to break rules, including tax rules, in order to get ahead and land on top. They will never call themselves tax evaders or criminals, because they have the political power to turn it upside down and call themselves paragons of virtue instead. And their political and media partners back them up and talk in the same twisted tongue. And so you can bet that my company plays the politics of escape. I don’t know. But I certainly believe it. Why give grunt guards, who are sometimes almost retirement age and dirt poor, a raise when you can ferret that money away in an offshore tax haven?
“Tax havens are merely a flagrant example of a much larger and exceedingly complicated political agenda – the politics of escape. Transnational commerce, either to defend against price competition or to maximize the potential returns of globalization, has aggressively campaigned over three or four decades to free itself from various social controls imposed by home governments. These political contests, commonly described as deregulation, continue, and the issues generate great controversy across virtually every sector of public policy, from environmental protection to wage-and-hour laws, from food-safety regulation to interest-rate controls and banking codes.” -page 33 of “One World”
My letter was sent and the little guy who loves to hear himself speak, especially when he has the opportunity to project power, simply acknowledged receipt of it and informed me that my request had been granted. I am to sit tight until they find me a site and train a replacement for me.
I floated for three years before landing my current site, which is awesome, except for the banks (CIBC Mellon, Scotiabank, TD) which the client serves. They (their security) actually hinder on site guards from doing security. Their idea of security is to cripple it. They have no clue, but I’ll bet they’re real pros at talking to their bosses like they are. They don’t do the day-to-day work that guards at my site do. They don’t allow us to do access control, even though, officially, that’s a big part of what our job entails. In fact, Contractors who are authorized (by any number of persons) to work at our site arrive to do their work only to find that access cards we give them don’t get them into areas they need to go. The facilities manager, or perhaps bank security off site, can cancel cards but they don’t seem to think it’s necessary to inform security on site. Imagine! So, Security isn’t in complete control of access and the guards are often scrambling to figure out how to get the contractors around. It’s beyond frustrating. The a-holes on the banks’ end are constantly disabling and enabling access cards, through the facilities manager, without directly dealing with contractors who arrive to do work. So when the suits get it wrong – as they do very, very regularly – they go home and don’t know anything about it. Worse, If they (off site security that monitors things or the facilities manager or all) see later that an access card belonging to one contractor (regular contractors have their own cards, kept on site) was given to another, they – through the facility manager who is keen to kiss ass and justify his paycheque – complain and the facilities manager jumps up and down like a rabid monkey and yells at security. He’s part of the problem. He’s most certainly not part of the solution. But everyone else I deal with at my current, soon to be lost, site is awesome. I will miss them and I will miss the employees in the bank (despite the evil they do knowingly and unknowingly).
Most sites stink. They treat you like furniture. (At the TD Center in downtown Toronto, the bank’s internal security officer, in charge of the G4S guards, one day informed us that his big, important boss was coming and he wanted to impress her. So he told me to stand in front of the front door and stare at it so that it would look good ‘if’ she saw me. That’s the opposite of security, where you are alert and look at what you need to look at. My supervisor wasn’t aware of that instruction from the stupid suit and just shook his head when I told him. He said “That’s not right.” No, but I looked good standing there just so!) You are to stand in a corner all day, sometimes with the crappiest music BLARING (Aritzia), or march all day in a Shopper’s Drugmart or liquor store, with a short break midway. I’d rather work on my feet for 8 or more hours than stand or march. Standing looks easy. It’s not. It’s brutal. Try it for four hours. And then rest for half an hour and stand again for another four hours. If you can do it, then you’re in good shape. If you had to do it all the time I don’t know what kind of shape your mind would be in, let alone your body, after so many months of it. And a lot of us guards are no longer young. I’m 58. I’m not in bad shape, but I’ve done all the ‘standing for all day’ gigs I’m going to do. The problem is, I don’t have options. The boss knows this and likes this. His political partners, who aid and abet his theft (for what is legal should not be) certainly know this for they designed this, for bosses.
That was the first whammy. Then WordPress.com, which I blog on, went to crap. But it’s a privately owned company. It can do what it wants. Do users think they have a say in the direction it’s owners want to take it? If they were led to believe that, then they were misled. Dozens of us are online complaining – to ears that might not be interested in hearing – about the latest crippling improvement of WordPress. It’s hard to explain what they’ve done if you don’t blog with it. But I’m reminded of Windows 8. I still don’t get it. Okay, You want market share for tablet buyers – after tech companies decide to make and sell – push – the devices on us. Then they ever after yammer about all of this being consumer driven. But even if that’s true, and the CEO who boasted that the public gets what companies decide to give it (I wish I knew who that was), Why is so difficult to give an already established market, which you’re selling to, what it wants as well as feeding a new market? It very well may be that the calculation is that that’s democratic thinking and has no place in business. It’s simply easier to deal with x number of markets. The rest can give up their preferences (even if that’s easier said than done) and switch to the markets now targetted. And we know that profits are a factor. If they feel no need to look after everyone in their pursuit of profits, then they will certainly look at where profits are greatest. Tablets, I would wager, represent a more profitable market than desktops. I can’t see any other reason for things going the way they’ve gone.
Serious blogging – which the sophisticated, robust WordPress platform enabled, is now seriously handicapped. But do we really need competition with media that’s already out there? And owned by powerful special interests? And pushing a corporate agenda? And not interested in empowering the people who elites and their partners conveniently view as ‘the enemy’?
In trying to deal with WordPress’s ‘improvement’, and a sluggishness to the program (due possibly solely to the length of the post I am working on), I decided to try dividing my long post into three parts, done up separately. I would stitch them together later or perhaps just do a three-parter. When I divided my post up, WP did some strange things to the sections, applying an indent where there wasn’t one and, I could swear, moving elements around. But I’m not sure. Anyway, My post was too long for me to manage it cut up like that, while I was wondering how to correct strange indents that had appeared, while dealing with a now crippled editor (the scroll bar in the composition field was removed, forcing us to use the page’s scroll bar, forcing us to scroll up and down constantly to retrieve editing tools that now moved with the scrolling content). Others have reported other problems. This mutilation is unforgiveable. But why should we be surprised? Betrayal is a value. You can get ahead that way. Elites and their political partners have captured everything in the class war. As Chris Hedges has explained, they’ve helped destroy the liberal class, which was a moderating force in society, keeping the capitalist class from getting crazy, without denying capitalists their profits, which clearly can never be enough.
Educational institutions have been captured also. But generally, All of society’s leaders, political, business and other, teach values to the rest of us that are meant to lead to acceptance of the ‘riches for the strongest’ paradigm. And so here we are.
My blogging is the one thing in this world that I feel is productive. At least it’s positive. It’s read, which is gratifying. Because I believe in human rights and social justice, then when I see my blog being read, I can feel like I’ve done some tiny thing to resist the darkness, to assist it’s victims and to please my God who I know wants me to care. I don’t pretend to be anything other than an inactive activist. But I will try to do it well. No one should doubt that I don’t put a lot of effort into it.
And then another whammy struck. I got the idea to have a look and see whether there was a program that would let me chop YouTube videos I download. I don’t want to alter others’ videos. YouTube doesn’t allow it. But sometimes a YouTube video that I want to embed into a blog post – a format allowed on WordPress.com – contains something I want to show others, but also shows much that would distract from the part I want to show and the point I want to make. I use a free YouTube download program from an org called DVDVideoSoft. So I had a look to see whether they might have an editor. They do and it’s free. And it’s bundled with some pretty evil crap. I ended up with a browser hijacker called Rocket. I guess I wasn’t distracted and frustrated enough with the rest of the crap I was dealing with. Having Rocket forced on me – and I’m not a newbie about downloading, but DVDVideoSoft provided, at a critical point, only ‘one’ option to move forward, namely the option that also downloaded the Rocket – turned the heat up a notch.
And then another whammy hit me when I attempted to employ a solution provided by an outfit called Malware Tips. They indeed had the solution for those who happened to find themselves blessed by the appearance of Rocket on their systems. I was to download a bundle of tools and use all of them if need be. After doing a few things, most of which I was able to do, I was to use something called AdwCleaner. I ran a few other malware scanners first, namely Combofix and Junkware Removal Tool, which didn’t clean out the infection. AdwCleaner did. And it also deleted most of the contents of my computer. All of my personal files were wiped. Gone. All my bookmarks, photos, videos, WordPerfect files (years and years worth). I HATE computer geeks. They are not friendly. How much bloody plain English do you find in their writing and instructions?! I looked at the contents of each of the tabs after Adw finished. I could not tell what I need to protect and what I could allow to be deleted. I had no suspicion that Adw could see my whole bloody hard drive as an infection. Was it?!!!
Here’s the comment that was temporarily ‘pending’ but seems to have now been disappeared. How convenient for Malware Tips and Stelian Pilici:
I would have been bombed back to the stone age like Iraq if I didn’t happen to have a second laptop which has most of the same stuff on it as my first, now infantile, laptop. Even so, I did lose material. And time. And my mind. I tend to let people know when they’ve crossed the line. I went to the Malware Tips blog and left a comment. It is pending, after a day. Okay, It’s the weekend. We’ll see.