10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Milt found himself unable to tear his gaze away from the piece of paper in his hand. It was as though, if he only watched long enough, it would disappear, turn into something else. Something a little less... final.

"...nderstand that this was not an easy decision," the HR drone was saying. Milt realized vaguely that the other man had probably been talking for some time. "The company is simply taking a new direction at this time, and as a result we unfortuna..." The drone's voice faded out again as Milt returned his full attention to the pink slip clutched in one slightly trembling hand. What the hell was this? He should've already been to that downed line on Kirkwood by now; had been on his way out the door, before suddenly being called into this cramped little office.

"Six years," Milt said suddenly, interrupting the HR drone mid-speech. "Six years I've been a lineman here, and in all that time, not one promotion. Not one raise beyond the cost-of-living increase back in '05." He looked up at the drone, who was looking faintly fishlike, as though not quite sure what to do with his mouth now that he wasn't talking. "And now you fire me?"

"Yes, well, ah -- "

"And it isn't just me," Milt mused, half to himself. "'Fact, I'm fairly sure none of the linemen've gotten a raise in that time. Although I noticed in the company newsletter that the executives got a nice bonus last Christmas." He gave the HR drone something that faintly resembled a smile, albeit with a bit more tooth in it.

The drone blinked a few times. "I'm afraid I'm not party to the financial decision-making of -- "

Milt waved his pink slip. "I'm the best lineman this company has. Ask any of the others, and they'll tell you the same thing. And my reward's a firing? What the hell kind of a decision is that?"

"Erm," the HR drone replied. "I'm afraid we simply don't currently have the resources to increase pay commeasurate with your experience -- "

"So when I get too good, you just fire me," Milt interrupted again. "And hire some new kid to take my place, who you can pay even less than you did me." He grinned again at the now slightly greenish HR drone. "No corporate ladder here, huh? It's more of a corporate kill chute."

Mrr. Google seems to indicate that "kill chute" is vegetarian-ese, but I can't think of what the "real" term might be for what I'm thinking of. Just as a clarification, I'm not being all anti-meat-y. I look at vegetarianism in vaguely the same way that I look at spending a few years on the ISS. Humans were neither evolved to avoid eating meat nor live in space. We can do these things, especially with the aid of modern science to, say, produce non-meat sources of needed nutrients, or protect us from the deadly deadly vacuum. But I still don't have the small intestine needed to eat only plants, and I still can't live unaided in space, and -- most importantly -- I have no interest in taking on the added expense and difficulty needed for the simple task of thumbing my nose at evolution. There may be benefits to having someone do it, of course, and other people can go right on ahead if they like. I'll pass.

On the other hand, I have a whole ton of respect for anyone who's gone through all the hoops necessary to get into space, whereas my opinions on vegetarians range from "I don't care what you eat as long as it isn't my stuff you're eating" to "GRARR SMASH KILL", based roughly on how much the person wants to beat their choice into my head. So I guess it's not the best analogy.

Super Sidetrack Powers Activate!

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