Thursday, February 26, 2009

There is a little bit of hate for everyone.

I swear to you - if I spend any amount of time around people at all. They will begin to talk to me. I'm like some people magnet. Often I get so much information I feel overloaded. I expect small talk, and walk away with so much more.

Take the two things that happened just going to the grocery store. I'm actually not in the mood to talk. So, I'm taken a little out of my element immediately. But, I'm going to start from end to start. Because the story is easier that way.

The first thing was at check out. Well, maybe I have to start with the back story.

For years I've been going to the same store in another town for meat products. The place is actually not convenient for me. So my routine has always been to drive out there and shop for the month. Then I pick up all the little crap locally.

I've always stood out. The butchers would recognize me because I'd walk in and say "I have a big order". Then I buy meat for about 15 days. Not out of some survival type thing. Or because I love to cook. The place is just not convenient to drive to once a week. I get too busy.

The previous years, this had labeled me as a bit of a freak. And no - I'm not being dramatic. I would never leave that store without people asking me essentially "what the fuck is up with you buying so much meat". I've even had customers ask "why are you buying so much meat". Exact words. Like it was any of their business. I've always thought it was a little creepy myself. Usually with the checkout people I began to expect it and had a canned answer. Because, every single time they would ask. But when customers start asking - it is just weird. It isn't even like I was loading the cart up to the rim. Just really meals for two weeks since we still eat out quite a bit.

Today however I was met with a much different response. Oh - I see you are loading up. But, this time with acceptance rather than WTF. Which was interesting. My routine was the same, and I wouldn't have even noticed that things were different except for the change in the checker. If she'd had said nothing about it at all - I'd have completely forgotten about how many times I wanted to blog about peoples inquiry's into my meat buying habits. I haven't been to that store in a few months. So it fell off my radar.

Last year or last summer it always seemed so odd people didn't shop for more than a few days. I just hate to shop. So it seemed logical to buy for a couple of weeks.

The other thing that happened is with the butcher. He actually lives in my city and over the years we've made small talk. Again - I stand out. "The meat buying chick". How ridiculous. Right? He's a nice guy. But, today I was completely distracted. I'd not even seen in 6 months or more. I didn't think he worked there anymore. So when he walked up and pointed to the shirt he was wearing which had our town name on it - it made me laugh.

The place was empty and the conversation quickly turned to what the hell was happening with our town. Businesses were shutting left and right. Which quickly turned to how the hell was this or that restaurant being charged 20 grand a month in rent. This is a bedroom town. Even in the boom, that is a ridiculous sum. I would imagine even in San Fransisco that would be a ridiculous sum. NO wonder places are closing left and right.

This also turned into talk about the housing market. He actually doesn't live that far from me. So I asked him how his neighborhood was doing. And he commented about how crazy the price escalations had gotten. I agreed. But, not to the degree that he probably wanted. He told me how much he'd payed for his house 10 years ago. Which made me ask the question "well, there has been wage inflation too right". This is where he confided that he made exactly the same today as he did 10 years ago. Which completely floored me.

You see I come from welfare poor. Which is always why I'd change jobs to increase my wages. Work more hours. Work more days. Work more - work more - work more. So the concept of someones wages not going up in 10 years stopped me in my tracks.

He then went on to complaining about contractors. And how they'd all bought these Alpha contractors trucks. He had quite the disdain. Now, all of us have someone we love to hate right now. But it was the first time I'd heard anyone hating on the contractors. I mean they are just working guys too. They aren't fat cats. And truth be told some of the honest ones work their asses off. They would cry to be inside cutting meat all day. But, that just doesn't make any money.

In that moment it hit me why there is so much class warfare right now. I get it. They've been working the same jobs for a decade and not making any more. While everyone around them was making so much more. It didn't matter that they could work a second job like the rest of us had - or find other ways to make money. They were just mad. This is the second such story I've gotten like this in as many days. FYI.

Yet, I still don't understand how they think their lives are going to be better if all those contractor guys loose everything they have. Likely the lives of all the butchers will be worse. Unless of course - he is in a union. It isn't a large chain. On the contrary it is a one or two off store. So, I'd guess he is unionized - but it isn't a guarantee.

Yeah - class warfare. It's an odd thing.


  1. It's the mark of a loser to keep doing the same thing and complain that other people are better off doing something else. Unless there's some artificial barrier keeping you from doing what the other people are doing that seems more remunerative to you, the fault is yours, not theirs.

    Somehow, that guy probably doesn't look at things this way...

  2. That is the thing I don't get. If they guy has no ambition - then be happy at where you are in life. It is what he chose.

    Take for example - when I first started working - there were a lot of things I "wanted" to do. Like be a vet. Oh original. Doesn't every little girl want to be a vet? Even worked at a vet office. As a receptionist. Knew I was never getting into school because I had to work to survive. But I wound up working in a profession I'd never even heard of before I worked there as a receptionist. Realized the engineers were making all the money and somehow getting into their field was the only way I was going to get away from a family history that had never even finished high school.

    It helped it didn't bore me. I had to work twice as hard because all of a sudden I was trying to compete with people with full degrees. I didn't have the resources to get the kind of degree I needed to compete in that space. There were guys like Jaron Lanier who was very popular at the time. He didn't have all those degrees. If you see on his wiki page he only has honorary degrees. Yet he was highly regarded. That guy inspired me to push on. I will remember him forever.

    Even though I never did wind up getting the degree. But I worked hard to act like I had.

    See.. ambition. goes a long way. And there are still people so much richer and smarter than me. I love them. For they make life interesting. ANd they make the things I'm not smart enough to.