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**Secret FSR Fender guitars? Yes, they exist, and they're right here

Do you lead or clean up?

"...Like I've said before, in 20 years all that will be left in corporate America are CEOs and janitors."

The above states what is probably one of my all time favorite quotes, from one of my all time favorite web sites. It is amusing but at the same time holds a very loud ring of truth to it.

If you're a regular reader of the site I linked above, you will fast realize that most major companies outsource almost everything concerning corporate functions. Why? One reason: Cost effectiveness.

The average pencil pusher makes around 30 to 50k annually in the USA just about anywhere you go. Pencil pusher jobs are things like Finance, Billing, Information Technologies (that's what I do) and so on. Before 1990 (roughly speaking) it was typical for most major companies to have large departments for the aforementioned. These days there is no reason to have that anymore. Departments that were once 100 people strong can now be handle the same tasks with a team of 10. Eventually, those tasks will be able to be handled by a team of 2.

Is this good or bad? Most people would say it's bad, and they would be right, BUT.. at the end of the day, it all depends on one thing: How do the investors feel today? If they feel good, the company makes more money. If they don't feel good (and bail), the company loses money, and therefore has to cut costs to stay alive.

I myself have dealt with corporate downsizing more than once. The first time it happened to me I was pissed off more than you could imagine, but over time, you deal with it. You have to, because as a cube-dweller you have no voice.

The quote at the top of this entry just reminds me that being a corporate idiot gets you nowhere in life. And yeah, corporate people are idiots. Someday soon I shan't have to deal with the idiots any longer, and that will be a very happy day. (grin)

**Gibson guitars (Les Paul, SG, Explorer and more) for less are right here

From the skies

Ariel photography is just plain cool. There is just something about it that puts your whole life into perspective. No matter how big a problem or issue in your life is, looking at one of these will just make you go "Damn.. everything is so little." So, no matter what it is in your life that you may consider a "big deal" right now - just take a look at one of these photos. It makes everything seem a whole lot smaller.

By the way, you can look up your address here: If your house was built previous to 1991, it will be in there. :-)

State of the Union

Every now and then I will come across something on the internet that makes me sit back and say "Whoa". I found something concerning a strike that happened at SBC (phone company). Whether the strike is still going on I don't know.

I am not going to state my personal opinion concerning unions and strikes. All I can say is that I have friends that are very pro-union and also have friends that are very anti-union. Both sides are very adamant about their positions.

Anyway, the following excerpt comes from here. Read and learn.

From: (deleted)
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 11:50 AM
To: (deleted)
Subject: Work Stoppage picketers

Please share the following information with your managers. Any questions...give me a call.

* Car pooling is strongly suggested. This reduces the number of vehicles passing through the picket lines and provides better security for passengers. Approach picket lines so that you turn right into the driveway. This will reduce your chances for an accident and help with traffic control. You must yield the right of way to pickets. Anticipate that they will attempt to delay your access. While approaching the picket line, and while driving through the driveway, look for foreign objects on the ground that could damage your tires, i.e. nails, thumb tacks broken glass etc.

* Have passengers in your vehicle watch the pickets while you're crossing the picket line. Drivers need to focus their attention on the pickets in front of, and in the immediate vicinity of their path. The front seat passenger can watch the right side of the vehicle. The left rear passenger can watch the left side of the vehicle, and the right rear passenger can watch the back of the vehicle. Be observant for pickets throwing items at your vehicle. Look for employees who may be standing close to the vehicle with sharp objects that might be scraped along the side of the vehicle passing through a bunched picket group.Look for pickets that might try to throw something under your tires.

* Look for employees who rapidly approach a vehicle to simulate being struck. Watch for pickets who are falling or lying in front of your vehicle. This is often combined with feigned injuries from an alleged accident. If a picketer claims that you struck them with your vehicle please make sure that you or the Building Site Coordinator takes the following steps. Ask the picketer if he/she is injured. Make a note of their physical condition. Offer to call for medical assistance. Call the police and have them respond to a report of a person struck. Do this even if the picketer doesn't want the police called. This is for your own protection. Don't forget you are personally liable for any injury or claimed injury to pickets. Most likely the police department will send medical assistance. Make sure that the Building Site Coordinator contacts Asset Protection and he/she should begin to gather the facts and taking statements from witnesses. Do not become involved in a verbal exchange with other pickets or make any statements to anyone other than the police department, Asset Protection or the Building Site Coordinator. Make sure photographs are taken of your vehicle to document or dispute damages. Call your insurance company.

* Avoid verbal confrontations with pickets. A certain amount of verbal hostility from pickets is expected and in most cases not unlawful.

* Pickets may photograph or videotape you. That is not unlawful. However, you are not allowed to photograph or videotape pickets. Taking photographs or videotaping pickets could be viewed as intimidating or coercing the Union's right to engage in protected work stoppage activity and is prohibited.

* Do not provide escort service through the picket line.

* Be calm, professional, and in control at all times.

* Report any verbal, physical threats or assault or damage to company or personal property immediately to the Building Site Coordinator.

* Do not debate the merits of the strike.

* Do not argue, bicker, or use profanity.

* Do not physically touch anyone or engage in any fights.

* Do not threaten anyone.

* Do not attempt to arrest anyone or take the law into your own hands.

Like I said: Whoa.