Temp Worker Nation USA

August 12, 2013

According to the BLS, the total number of temp workers surged by 7.5% in the past year to 2,279,800 in May.  That’s the highest it has been since it reached 2,767,300 in October 2006.  And if you have been looking for a full-time, permanent job lately, you know exactly what the situation is like  despite the smokescreen of sunshine and roses as portrayed by the mainstream media.

Getting on board with the official meme that temp work = wonderfully liberating, amazingly awesome, and, gives you lots and lots of time for stopping by the corner corporately owned coffee monopoly (because as we know, paying $6 bucks for a thimble full of burnt joe is what all Americans should aspire to) , various and sunder across the web have chimed in with opinions that weren’t just rendered while wearing rose-colored glasses, but those shades were absolutely embedded to the writer’s eyeballs permanently with a blow-torch.

Futurist Speaker blogger, Thomas Frey, writing about The Great Freelancer Movement is chock full of figures to make you all warm and fuzzy, not to mention, hot for, the world of temporary work, particularly as it concerns the Millennial Generation, or Gen Y, those who were born between 1980 – 2000.

Frey is positively brimming with the gospel according to the corporatocracy, and, hits us with eight (8) pie-in-the-sky bullet points of temporary serf goodliness.  Get a load of this load.

Frey writes:

The freelancer benefit package No, being a freelancer doesn’t come with health insuranc,vacation time, or a 401k plan. But what it does offer is far greater.
 
You’re in control so you get to decide who you want as a client, when you’re available for work, and most often, how much you’ll get paid. Yes sometimes you’ll get fired from a project, but you can also fire your client.
 
Freelancing done right will give you a far higher salary,a far more influential circle of friends, and an ability to make a difference.

Wow,  Frey makes it sound as if being a temp does everything except solve world hunger.  Rest assured, however, after reading his assessments, temp work  will eventually yield  exactly that result, as well, I just know it.

Hey, maybe if we work at it hard enough, we can also ride a flying white unicorn while sprinkling magic pixie dust to save the planet from the oil companies and create wage equality for all while we’re at it.

Well, first things first -working as a temp, specifically, one who freelances electronically using portals such as oDesk, will in fact, put you on equal footing with the rest of the undeveloped world, that is for sure.  Yours truly has been workin’ the ol’ freelancer gig long enough to know what is and is not kosher on that count.

Not to pick on oDesk (it just happens to be the one freelancing site that I am most familiar with at the present time) but taking a long look around its neck of the ethernet will typically yield a gig as follows:

oDesk1

Click to enlarge

The employer wants you, the freelancer, to put in 35 hours of the week preferably for  less than $1.50/hr  Sweet!  That oughta get you that brand new , 27- inch widescreen flat-panel IPS LED HD monitor in no time, sparky!

You mean I, too, can experience the thrill of working for Third World wages in a digital sweat shop of my own choosing?

Yes, you can, little American worker! Thanks to the miracle of the global labor pool, you can be just as poverty stricken as Apu over in Bangladesh who earns $0.10 per day!  Except in Bangladesh, Apu can still afford food and lodging.  You, on the other hand, will have to move in with your parents or into your car or whatever makeshift shelter your freelancing salary will afford you.  Perhaps a cardboard box under the bridge just outside town?

It’s a glorious worker’s paradise, dont’cha know? Hey, and don’t forget, if you’re not satisfied with the luxurious salary of less than a buck fifty per hour, remember that you can always fire your client!

Doesn’t that sound awesome?

You know it, baby!  Temp work is soooooooo incredibly liberating, character building and altruistic, that the only generations being exhorted and encouraged to take advantage of it are those born after Boomers like Frey have already golden parachuted out of the workforce and have otherwise stockpiled their six digit pensions and 401(k) retirements and are now telling you that you don’t need to have any of the benefits and security his generation had.  Don’t you just love how that works?


Cookin’ With Peyton | Shepherd’s Pie

March 23, 2012

Ever have a hanker for a hunka carbly goodliness?  Hey, me too!  Shepherd’s Pie fits that billing in spades.  But, to be fair, it’s not just all carbs, like say, poutine.  Poutine is a Québécois first cousin to Shepherd’s Pie, and, as hearty or rather, I should have said, as heart-stopping as poutine is, we’re going to focus on the American version.

I initially encountered the fluffy-looking entree during my college days.  At first glance, it looks like a mashed potato creation, and, it is, except that hidden beneath the surface is a cache of ground beef and carrots.  Sounds on the blah side, sure, especially if you’re getting it from a school cafeteria, but for relatively cheap eatins that can be cooked at home, you can’t go wrong. 

Yours truly cooked the pie for din-din the other night and discovered a mahhvelousss new ingredient that goes so well with the entree that it caused me to pronounce myself a most amazing cook.  Word. I pulled the dish from the oven, set it on the stove, took a forkful of molten hot lava pie into my mouth, and subsequently proclaimed in a loud, officious voice that I am the one and only Shepherd’s Pie Master of the Universe.

The cat applauded.

No really.  She did.

The secret ingredient to Farquhar’s Fabulous Fluff (“3F”) is whole berry cranberry sauce.  Just dump the whole can of the name brand into the browned ground beef and carrots, mix, layer in a cassarole dish, then top it off with the mashed pototoes and a coupla shakes of paprika.  Not because you can actually taste the spice, but because it just seems like there should be some kind of warning sign in the event that you are overcome by wanting to jump in and slosh around in it.  I would imagine the paprika wouldn’t feel nearly as nice in your tingly parts as the soft, creamy spuds.

Oh dear. I said that out loud, didn’t I. 

Il n’est d’aucune question. S’il vous plaît ne pas tenir compte.

Bake for 20 minutes at 325 °F or so and voila! She is done. Prepare to have your taste buds assaulted by the cranberry special ops unit!

Caution: Just because I used the word “fluffy” to describe the entree doesn’t actually mean it’s light.  You wouldn’t wanna get slapped upside the head with a slice like the Hanson brothers did to the organ player, (video clip of the greatest hockey movie EVAH) especially if it has been refrigerated.

If you enjoyed this article, then check out my baked ziti piece.

©2012 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


New Item | Cookin’ With Peyton: Baked Ziti

March 22, 2012

If you are an established cook, then you may want to skip this piece.  In fact, consider this particular column as the remedial section of the class.

Having said that, welcome to the newest category on Prattle! 

I am probably the world’s worst consumer.  I despise shopping in general, but I especially hate food shopping.  A typical trip to the grocery store consists of me pushing the cart down the aisle of whatever specific item I am seeking.  If there was a contest for speed shopping, then I would be the reigning champ because I refuse to spend hours trundling up and down each and every aisle looking at every little thing.  Screw that.  I have better things to do with my time (Like watching grass grow.) 

And as for “impulse” buys?  Laughing my ass off out loud.  Because I no longer have the income that I’ve been accustomed to, there is no such thing as just tossing into the cart an impulse purchase such as a 50 gigabyte jump drive -only $25.99- strategically placed at the checkout.  Every penny goes towards a food item, and, not just any food item, but something that will last longer than a single meal.

And so I will usually end up with what anyone who has hit the rocks has to accept as sustenance.  Carbs and plenty of them –pasta & instant mashed potatoes- are a staple at my house.  I used to live on Chef Boyardee and frozen foods, but you can’t eat that way for very long unless you want to gain 500 pounds in record time and otherwise fuse to your mattress.  As amusing as the Heavy show is, I have no desire to be one of the Big ‘Un guests on it. Although, it would be good PR for my upcoming fiction I’m going to self-publish. Hmm…

Where was I.  Oh yeah, cooking.  During these days of the Great Depression redux, I have discovered my inner Eye-talian.  That is, I loves me some pasta.  No really.  Sometimes I crave baked ziti and such for no apparent reason.  It isn’t like I grew up on it because Mom wasn’t much of a cook.  (Her idea of dinner was fried mince baloney and scrambled eggs.)

Pasta is the single guy or gal’s best friend because you can cook a boatload of it and never get tired of it.  (Or is that just me who doesn’t mind eating the same thing for a week?)  Now, to be honest, I do occasionally crave my former diet of double meat animal style with chilis, but it’s not always in the budget to eat there.  Plus it’s a one-and-done kinda meal.  When it’s gone, it’s gone for good. And I need something in the fridge I can pull out and be assured that it’s going to be filling.  Hence, pasta-based entrees are the answer.

Just take a look at this lovely baked ziti with Italian sweet sausage and cheese dish.  Hey, if I can pull something like this off, then so can you.  It’s simple, really.  All it takes is the kind of adversity in your life that forces you to adapt or die. 

Next on the menu:  Shepherd’s Pie

©2012 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


What Is $100 Dollars Worth To You?

October 13, 2010

If your cable company offered you $100 bucks to “lock in” the current rates for your bundled landline, TV and Internet services for two years, would you take it?

I guess the answer would depend largely on your financial situation more than a cost-benefit analysis. But let’s say arguendo that your monthly bill for all three services was averaging approximately $155.00 bucks and change or thereabouts, and the cable company’s rep just advised you that they were raising the price of your landline again to an extra $3 bucks per month just because.  ($3.00 x 24 months = $72.00)

Not a bad deal, right? Sure. As long as say another competitor wasn’t rolling out en masse the same three services plus others for significantly less jack per month. But assuming that there is another provider in the same market, and that provider still hasn’t gotten its act together to roll out quality service, well then you may not feel so bad about selling out for a measly $100 bucks.

At least I don’t. Nor do I anticipate a sense of buyer’s remorse.

You see, the other provider in my locale is none other than AT&T.  It began rolling out U-verse service to a few select (cherry picked) areas in this part of the country in 2007 based on which city would give them a sweetheart deal.   Traditionally, this isn’t an AT&T market, but through the magic of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, areas of the country previously verboten to certain TELCOs are now fair game.  Thanks to a coin-operated Congress, American consumers are still paying the highest rates for the slowest and shittiest quality of communications services, but I digress.

Suffice it to say, U-verse has finally become available (sort of) but coverage for this particular area is spotty, at best.  Case in point >> My neighbors 20 FT across the way can get U-verse, but during this time, I cannot.  AT&T is unwilling and/or unable to announce when or if their service will ever even be available. (Jerk customers around much?)

And the service is shitty problematic.

And AT&T is the reanimated Ma Bell Deathstar company responsible for wiretapping our phone conversations arbitrarily and turning them all over to the NSA without a court warrant during the Bush II junta.

And I should be getting paid by the cable company for giving them a PR plug (Which is why I haven’t disclosed the name.)

You know something?  I’m starting to feel even better about my decision because once the check arrives,  it’s going to help pay for my one and only vice. It’s rather lonely being the only east coast ice hockey fan in So Cal, but Center Ice more than makes up for it.

I suppose I should maybe be grateful to the cable company for the money, but I think I’ll pass.  Not only do I have to wait 45 days for the money, but as a customer for the past 11 years, those thieves owe me a hell of a lot more than $100 bucks.

©2010 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Wouldn’t You Like to Be A Prepper, Too

September 10, 2010

Question: What's missing from this righteous stash of survivalist goodliness? Answer: No guns or ammo.

Ok, this is a strange topic, I know.  And you may be asking yourself:  So what the hell is a prepper? Or is that just a typo and Peyton really meant Pepper, as in, I’m a pepper, he’s a pepper, she’s a pepper…

According to Prepper dot org the official definition is as follows –

Prepper (noun): An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons (i.e., being self-reliant), or without substantial assistance from outside resources (govt., etc.) in order to minimize the effects of that change on their current lifestyle.

For shame – they forgot to include acute paranoia & schizophrenia coupled with delusions of grandeur and Oedipal mommy issues.

I’ve been seeing references to these prepper boobs people tither & yon about the web with increasing frequency, but this latest fad sounds suspiciously to me like all the Y2K freaks waited around for a decade overcoming their embarrassment re the planes falling from the sky silliness, only to then reassemble themselves into BDU wearing (cammies), gun & bible-toting Rambo groupies.  And now it’s fashionable to belong to the local chapter because (insert booming percussive here) we’re all gonna diiiiiiiie!!!  Egaaaads!!! Quick, Nurse Ratchit…call a waaaaaaaambulaaaaaaaance because we’re running low on straight-jackets and happy pills!!

After a qualitative, fact-checking jaunt around the web dropping in on these self-anointed suburban survivalists, it seems to me that no matter which chapter’s website I visited, they all seem to have three very distinct characteristics in common:   The propensity to-

(1) Thump the bible;

(2) Stockpile weapons;

(3) The undying, all-encompassing, terrible need to show the rest of the world just how prepared they are.

In their forums, discussions range from speculation as to how (and under what auspices) they’re going to get to put to use their magnificent planning ahead skills (EMP strike by N. Korea) to haggling over the price of gold bouillon and silver.  And, lest I forget – the “basics” of stockpiling water and canned goods.  Oh, and did I mention that these preppers loves them some guns & ammo?

One loco-yokel had this to say about his newly acquired firearm:

I got a Saiga .308 rifle!  Woohoo!  They are California legal, about $500 and shoot military 7.62 surplus ammo on the CHEAP.  The stories about these rifles are epic!  As they are based on the ak-47 platform, they are reliable, and will shoot forever!

Doesn’t sound to me like ol’ Dwayne will be doing much surviving beyond storing up ammo while anxiously waiting for the time when he can finally emerge from his Ted Kaczynski-approved-hidey hole and open fire on whomever he chooses —

YeeHAW!  Saddle up, suburban cowboys! Times a-wastin’!

I am of the opinion that if these obnoxious, Jesus-helping hillbillies really wanted to man up, then they’d step into a set of real cammies and strap an M16A4 rifle to their backs for the USMC.  But then that would actually require a wee bit more testicular fortitude than some overblown,  jerk-off, Red Dawn fantasies of suburban survival cum game console on the 64 inch plasma screen HDTV.

Newsflash for you, boyo:  In the event your favorite masturbation routine actually becomes reality, there will be a hell of a lot more UNpreppers than preppers.  And you will not have enough ammo to protect your piddly little water & food supply no matter how much you spank the monkey.  Remember that Will Smith movie –The one where the hero was the only human male still left on the planet and had to board up every single entrance into the house and fend off the creatures every night?  Dude, it won’t be that easy for you.

Now go take off those ridiculous night vision goggles and stop polishing your “weapon” so much. Don’t you know that Jesus sez you kill a whole shitload of brain cells each time you jack off alone without your endeavors resulting in a live birth? Seriously.  The big JC & me were shooting off some .50 caliber spare ammo this afternoon in the woods and he assured me this was a fact.

Hey, here’s an idea, Dwayne.  Instead of stockpiling ammo, why don’t you start saving up your spooge in mason jars in the basement? After all, we wouldn’t want to deprive spermatazoan Americans of their right to exist someday. It is a constructive and potentially beneficial activity that underscores your commitment to your  cult organized religious beliefs.

Wake Up

It would seem to me that the only benefit there is to prepping for an apocalyptic scenario is the economic gains as realized by the survival gear industry. But for the Wall Street criminals and their puppet Congre$$ional representatives, the survival gear market is the only American enterprise making any money. I’ve arrived at this conclusion based simply on the proliferation of privately owned websites selling MREs and ammo.

If these guys weren’t making any money from the promotion and sale of fear, uncertainty & doubt, then there wouldn’t be thousands of search engine hits to shop from. But then I suppose that if Americans weren’t slaves to their emotions then the entire domestic economy would collapse as we speak. We are well on the way given current economic conditions, but that still doesn’t persuade me to join the local sheep herd guns & bible cult prepper group and piss away what pennies I have on survival gear.

Times are tough for a lot of us, but walk it off, folks. You should be spending your time focussing on the executive officers, corporate entities and their political lapdogs that are directly responsible for the current economic climate. Look around you, many of them are running for public office and/or are prominently featured in the corporately consolidated media on a daily basis. They pretend to be on your side while simultaneously worsening your economic well being by fattening their own bank accounts.

They also happen to belong to the same millionaire yacht club whose mission it is to pit working Americans against each other in hopes of sufficiently distracting enough of us from placing blame where it firmly belongs. Clutching bibles and stockpiling firearms won’t help bring them into account.

©2010 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Pulling Taffy

July 28, 2010

A famous coach once said that it’s easier to find and complain about negatives moreso than it is to just STFU and accentuate the positives.  But I submit to you that that particular person has never had to look for full-time permanent employment with double digit national & state unemployment statistics.  So hey coach?  Take your two cents worth of happy horseshit and cram it. Because while being positive is the mantra of motivational speaker shitheads & other miscellaneous snake oil peddlers, those of us who live in the real world know that being positive only gets you so far. It’s about never what you know, as much as it is who you blow.


Happy Days Are Here Again

July 6, 2010

With the Congress currently on their annual two week 4th of July vacations, and set to take yet another month long vacation in August, as well as the banking & financial cartels like Goldman Sachs all fat & happily enjoying their million dollar bailout bonuses courtesy of the American taxpayer, I thought I’d take a moment to share with Prattle readers far & wide stories from Main Street, U.S.A., specifically, from my neighborhood.

I live on a rental property in So Cal.  It is a rather nice property with all the usual amenities – hot tub, pool, & fitness center- populated by middle class people.  People of every color with car payments, kids & pets.  Tenants also pay a very nice monthly price tag as well, even during these days of double digit state & national unemployment.

To those who still have jobs, and who get their news exclusively from either Crush Lardass & the insane clown posse and/or the corporately consolidated mainstream press such as Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, & the local news channel, these folks are blissfully ignorant of the true economic realities of Main Street. Their ‘tude is, Hey, fuck you, you unemployed jerk.  The economy is jus’ fine and yer jus’ laaaazzy.

Meanwhile, the raging wildfire of a collapsing economy that has been burning uncontrollably since 2008 continues to consume everything in its wake as Congressional clowns on both sides of the political aisle fiddle, diddle & take another vacation.  But hey, you say that you still have a job, and have since stopped talking to your friends who have been laid off because they bum you right out, so life is good, right?  Right.  Say it with me…If it’s not  happening to you, then it must NOT be happening!  Yayyyy Lee & Crystal!

OK, hold up.  Pull your head OUT of your ass for just a minute because you need to be made aware of a few things before you return to your own, private La La land with the chocolate milk river and licorice flowers.  Things aren’t getting better, Sparky.  And the economy isn’t recovering no matter how the BLS massages and/or seasonally adjusts and otherwise fudges unemployment statistics.

We are currently in the Great Depression Redux, but since it hasn’t been aired on American fucking Idol, most people with jobs don’t know want to know about it.

Let me give you a very small case in point in the microcosm of my ‘hood. This property I rent…The one that probably sounds to you like it is a palatial estate with servants and complementary hand jobs?  Yes, this particular area of the country (not the property where I live) does have some residents who pay $3k for a plastic shower curtain and drive $65 thousand dollar Humvees, and have otherwise had so much botox and lip augmentation fat transfers into their lips that it’s hard to tell where Vicki’s silicon tits end & Lynne’s mouth begins, but let me just share with you a first.

For some time now, the past 2 years, in fact, there has been a growing number of garbage pickers visiting the property conducting regular reconnaissance missions in search of recyclable materials.  Dumpster divers is how I will refer to them in this particular context.

I am underemployed so I’m home more often than not and I’ve noticed that these dumpster divers don’t just make one trip.  There are three in particular who are here pretty much every other hour picking through the trash receptacles scattered around the property.  Now understand that the supply of recyclable trash is fairly steady, but I don’t know that it warrants multiple trips to the same dumpster on the same day.

But evidently, the pickings must be sweet, otherwise there wouldn’t have been three dumpster divers fighting over who was going to get to pick through the garbage this evening.  That’s right…three smelly, military wannabes in cammie boonie hats fresh from the Army/Navy surplus store with pick up trucks going at it over plastic & glass bottles in a dumpster.

Are you sensing that something is terribly, terribly amiss here?

I don’t live deep in the ‘hood anymore – There aren’t homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk in front of the central library and/or breaking into my car for the spare change in the ashtray.  This is south coast fucking county where people name their kids Chad, Taylor & Tyler & there is an Escalade in the driveway of every about-to-be-foreclosed-upon McMansion.

But then again, the California Redemption Value (CRV) being what it is, I suppose it might be worth it to spend time digging through garbage.  After all, recycling centers pay $0.05 to $0.10 per bottle depending on the size.  If you pick through enough dumpsters, you might actually accrue enough to buy one-tenth of a tank of gas.

We are seven months into the new decade of despair, double digit unemployment, economic & environmental collapse, and your government

does

not

give

a

shit.

You may return to your regularly scheduled fantasyland distractions now.

©2010 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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