Here’s the answer to “Why on earth did you buy a pack of cigarettes when you quit smoking years ago?”
I was mad. And worked up and frustrated and any number of other uncomplimentary, non-peaceful things.
Instead of trying to find a temple to throw the money changers out of, or a grand palace to destroy by pushing over the great hall support columns, or even grabbing a weapon and a clip full of bullets, I smoked, by myself, and inhaled deeply so as not to let too much smoke escape into the atmosphere, thus endangering my fellow man.
See? I can think of others, even when in a toot –
Here’s the source of my anger:
There is a phenomena in our financial systems that has long eluded me and if you don’t live paycheck to paycheck, or if you have some savings and credit cards, you will most likely be in ignorance of:
I call it the “Mysterious Cyber Float”.
Here’s what happens – If I’m paid, either by check, credit card or PayPal, upon deposit or transfer, the money, if small in amount, magically appears in my checking account the next business day.
If I write a check to another, even if it’s for a large amount, the day after they deposit it, it shows up as a withdrawal from my account.
But let me receive payment in an amount that may, when added to other like amounts, really rack up some interest in a day or two of sitting and a magical thing happens –
The money floats somewhere, for anywhere from 3-5 days.
The issuer will swear it has been paid – my recipient bank will swear they first received it four days later.
And, I will be told, I cannot access the funds, until they make sure the funds have ‘cleared’ while in the next breath, they assure me any checks I write will clear within 24 hours and if there are non-sufficient funds, woe to me.
I cannot argue or disagree with any of these points – they were all spelled out for me when I signed on the dotted line. Just because small amounts magically transfer and can be put to use within 1 business day, consistently, time after time, does not mean anything – the fine print says the funds should be available in “3-4 business days.”
The only reason I was reminded of this phenomena was that I wrote a check from business to personal the day after I ‘transferred’ online funds – the check showed up for payment 2 days before my ‘online transfer’ was completed. And was returned – –
Thankfully for me, the returned check was to myself and I won’t be charging me a fee…
I accept full responsibility for writing a check against funds I had not confirmed had arrived and for not calling the bank to see if I was allowed to use my money yet.
And I will pay the resultant fees –
I’ve long believed that I exist in a system that is not to my favor or even neutral about my existence. I see idiosyncrasies such as the magical “24 hour clearance for you” vs. “3-4 day wait for us” in many other forms and I’ve come to the conclusion –
I want out.
Another example of our current system that burns my arse is the Labor Market.
For some time, Temp Hiring has been gaining favor with big businesses and has, in my estimation, become another form of indentured servitude and is further hurting the laboring populace – as if the current labor market wasn’t damaging us enough….
For an hourly wage of $15, I can work at your business, putting my life’s blood into helping your business succeed while you see if I fit in and work out, without any fear of lawsuits, should you decide to let me go. You get help for your business, I earn a paycheck and the temp agency makes money for taking the time to evaluate me and the risk that you may not like me.
I will labor long and hard to streamline and make efficient your operations, even if all you originally wanted me to do was data entry – yes, if I think I can help, I’ll offer. If you say “It’s a Go” I go and work – 12 hour days, if necessary.
The money I just saved your business would have paid the $15/hour wage AND benefits for three years into the future.
But once everything is running nicely, you ask me to come on board, permanently, for $8/hour and no benefits for the first two years.
And when I politely decline, asking for the $15 and/or benefits, you inform me there are plenty of folks that are willing to work for that, even if I’m not – somehow inferring that I’m asking for too much.
Well, yes… you can get any number of people for $8/hour – but they won’t be me. Had I not streamlined your procedures and cleaned up your processes – you would have to hire 3 of those someones to do what I can do in one day – is that not worth something?
This is the reason why the “Consulting” industry is taking off – people like me have figured out that it is way less riskier to start your own consulting business than it is to invest in a company and find no loyalty whatsoever in return or be permanently in the ‘temp hires’ category, because you can’t afford to accept permanent work.
So, with this little history lesson on why I think the way I do – I’ll share what was on my mind yesterday as I puffed away and imagined the demise of unfair and unjust systems –
Ready for this ‘too much nicotine induced rant’?
“To all banks, insurance companies, politicians, empire builders and others of your ilk from a Working American –
You need me and those like me – we do not need you. If we are not working to produce needed services and goods, there is nothing for you to transfer, charge fees on, regulate, invest in, tax or bet on whether we succeed or not.
If we are only worth $8 an hour and you are worth $62.2 million per year, then obviously, you’re a much better worker and you don’t need us, anyways. Good luck building your empire all by your lonesome.
I may never recover my footing enough to be of any consequence to you, but you’d better hope you finish the job in destroying me.
For know this – I’ve dedicated my life to building a sustainable and resilient life – not just for me, but for my community as well. I seek any opportunity I can to cut you out of the middle, where you invent ways to make money that is, at best, trying to sell air and at worst, larceny on the grandest scale.
And if ever given the chance, I will destroy the system you laud, admire and acclaim, brick by brick.
Those who labored within the system, not knowing it’s true form will be welcome to eat at my table.
But for those who knew and found ever new ways to systematically transfer wealth from the disadvantaged to the privileged…
Well, you can starve and I won’t shed a tear…