Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

About My Situation

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2010/02/13

I have noted various times on various sites that my situation is not good. It is better now than it was 12 months ago, but it remains very ungood.

A conversation developed over on Common Sense Political Thought, where I cross-post (but won’t on this article) concerning my situation and why I am not a Liberal. Dana, who comments here, wrote a second article where that conversation was a catalyst (but not necessarily the only catalyst) discussing principles.

It seems to me I should provide the background information necessary to fully understand my situation.

I lost my job of approaching nine years due to a fault of my own. I take full responsibility for that. The fact I hated my job, as did nearly everyone on the production floor and a couple supervisors is irrelevant to the fact I lost my job due to a fault of my own.

At the time of my firing, we were working a very extended mandatory overtime session. In addition, my daughter was in Iraq. I was communicating with her on a regular basis through an instant messenger, but I could only communicate with her on her time. That meant I had to be up and online when she was available. And I was one of a very limited list of connections to the real world for her, and I wasn’t about to give up that role.

At the time of my firing, the Monday before Thanksgiving 2008, we had been on a stretch of eight months straight of mandatory 6-day, 58-hour work-weeks. I don’t know how much longer that stretch went, but I’m told it went much longer than that. Many people with seniority were disappearing. During that time, I went from 10 from the top of page 2 of the seniority list to 10 from the bottom of page 1. And the seniority list includes people who have been employed for 32+ years.

In addition, I was the 3rd shift union steward, so I attended the monthly labor/management meetings held during 1st shift. While the two 1st shift union stewards were paid an hourly rate for attending these meetings and their time was counted as time worked, I attended for free. The company refused to pay me for my time or to credit my time as work time for the week, so I had to interrupt my sleep to attend the meetings for the benefit of my workers on 3rd shift and then show up for work for my whole overtime shift on top of it.

With the massive amount of overtime along with my union steward duties and my “connection home” for my Iraq-living daughter, I was forever sleep-deprived. And I was forever over-stressed. This meant I overslept on occasion and was late for work once every couple months. It also meant I was too “gone” to go to work once every couple months.

And this is what caused me to get fired. I was late for work on the Monday before Thanksgiving 2008 and I ran out of “attendance points.” It was my fault entirely. And it meant I could not get unemployment benefits at all.

After spending my savings in December and January and my income tax return in February and March, I was done. And I was very far behind in everything. I didn’t get a temporary job until mid-June, so I depended on free food from family (and the occasional neighbor) and free money from family to survive. Mid-July and that temporary job was gone and I still didn’t qualify for unemployment (which would’ve been much more than I earned as a temp and much more than I earn now as a temp). So, back to depending on my mom and sister to arrive with food.

After I lost my temporary job in July, I also got my Jeep Commander repossessed, so I had to get my Camaro (that I hadn’t driven in two years) worked on to get it up and running. It cost my mother $400+ to get it going again. (Thank you, mom.)

I got my current temporary position in late August or early September 2009. I work 37.5 hours a week at $7.40 an hour. Minimum wage in Ohio is $7.30 an hour, so I call my job a minimum wage job. And I’ve already missed work there, at the most employee-friendly job I’ve had in over 20 years. One day, my house had a hole in the wall where a window used to be. The city required that I replace the boarded-up broken window (from a weather-related problem) or face a fine and possible criminal record. So I sat at home, guarding my house while that hole was there. One day, I was too sick to go to work. One day, I had to shell out $600 for a plumbing-related issue (on my minimum-wage pay). And just this past week, I missed 3 days of work because I was snowed in.

Like Dana said in his comment on CSPT, I’m in a very precarious financial situation. I haven’t paid a dime on my 15k credit card balance (that was well within my means in 2008) in over a year now. I have other debts I haven’t touched in just as long. And I have all sorts of issues blocking my path to financial freedom. But it all goes back to “it’s all my fault.”

You want to blame the evil heartless corporation that fired me in its evil heartless way? Sure, let’s go there.

The corporation is a family-owned corporation. It is owned by a liberal. All the presidents of this subsidiary have been liberals. More than one of the presidents have called the production crew “production pukes” and have declared nobody should ever make more than $10 an hour. When piece-rate employees (of which I was one) made $18 an hour or more (and I averaged over $20 an hour at one time), the company did new time-studies and gashed the rates (I dropped to $14 an hour because of it).

All the plant managers (including the one plant manager that got the job 6 different times (Yankees and Billy Martin?)) have been liberals. Nearly all the supervisors have been liberals, and the two who weren’t lost their jobs. The HR manager is a liberal. The out-of-town union reps are liberals. The union pumped big dollars into the Barack ’08 campaign. The first shift main union steward is a liberal. And he worked hand-in-glove with management to get production crew fired.

In fact, of the eight members of the labor/management meeting, I was the only Conservative.

So let’s blame the evil liberal corporation for my problems.

Or we could say I screwed up and I am accountable, despite all the travails that followed me. Everybody has travails.

Despite what Liberals say, nothing can change the fact that you are responsible for your success. The government is not responsible, despite their trying to become the key crutch. If you depend on government for your success, you will always be a poor victim and you will always vote Democrat, since it is the Democrat Party that demands government hold your itty bitty helpless victim hand.

One Response to “About My Situation”

  1. LD Jackson said

    Wow, John. That is some story and I admire you for sticking to your guns and trying to do the right thing.

    I was reading some of the article you linked to and the comments and was struck by how the liberals really can not wrap their head around the thought that you are not a liberal yourself, even though it might benefit you to be so. It reminds me somewhat of the situation at our house. My wife (Tammy) has been sick for several years. I won’t bore you with a lot of details, but suffice it to say she has a very rough time of it. She has went to several doctors and I have spent a lot of money on tests and medicine, but nothing seems to help. Since I have no health insurance for her, we invariably come up against the wall of “I don’t know what is wrong with her and you need to see a specialist”. I am sure we would already have an answer, if we had insurance.

    There has been a very lively discussion concerning health care reform on my own blog and I have been asked more than once, why would you not want a government ran health care plan? They always mention that Tammy could get insurance and probably recover her health, at least to some degree. My point of argument is that it is not someone else’s responsibility to pay for our health care insurance and that simply boggles their minds. They really can not understand why I feel that way, even to the detriment of my own wife.

    This may sound like empty words, as I do not know you personally, but I really do hope and pray that things begin turning around for you soon.


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