Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Panda Bear on Christmas in the Office and The Poor Economy

The Panda Bear since she has started a new and better job has less time to blog.   However, she will continue to blog in the future.   She will begin a series of posts attacking the privileges of academia elite.   Not that the Panda Bear is against education but she things that academics often regarding themselves as a priestly elite.    The Panda Bear Blog is the blog of a common office worker.

One thing that the Panda Bear is glad in her new job that not much is made of Christmas.   The Panda Bear was raised that it was wrong to celebrate Christmas.   Until about 2001 the Panda Bear did not have problem with the office Christmas. What went on even in the office was basically secular though this was called Christmas+.

However, after 2001, though the name was changed to “Holiday”, for one month, the Panda Bear get barraged about the “Christian” nature of the holiday.   These messages have included managers of secular organizations.   Through the Christians at work, the Panda Bear has learned about the “Christian” nature of some ornaments that the Panda Bear once thought of as simply pretty decorations.

Though Christians are the overwhelming majority of the Panda Bear’s workplace, they feel angry and persecuted.   They feel oppressed if they cannot express their religion at work even though the institution they work for is secular and is located in a large diverse urban environment which the includes many religions and nonbelievers.

The Panda Bear believes Christianity is not well served in offices on the holidays.   It does not come across as a religion of hope, faith, charity, love and goodwill.   Rather it comes across and self-centered, militant and materialistic (endless discussions of shopping for presents).

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Panda Bear on the Democratic Loss, Unemployment and New Job

The Panda Bear is not at all surprised that the Democrats lost control of Congress.   The Democrats were defending in the position of defending a poor economy.   The Panda Bear would consider herself to be a progressive but she thinks the American Right has been more accurate recently about the state of the economy.  There is high unemployment and the lower nine-five percent’s income has dropped drastically in recent years.    People who have jobs are stressed out and feel discouraged by the lack of opportunity.   Probably many employees feel like indentured servants rather than free labor.

The Panda Bear knows first-hand about the high unemployment rate.   On October 10, she lost her job.   She went to several unemployment agencies where the staff said the unemployment rate was high in Massachusetts and people were having a hard time getting jobs (despite the Democrats asserting things were getting better).   However, the Panda Bear has heard Massachusetts is not as bad as other parts of the country.

The Panda Bear's period of unemployment will be short lived.   On November 17, the Panda Bear will starting and new a better job.   The Panda Bear will learning some new skills and earning more money in her new position. (The Panda Bear thinks it is a major problem for both employed workers who are getting stale in the jobs and for the unemployed who can’t get jobs that employers no longer want to train workers.  She can understand that training workers is a major expense for companies but lack of company training is creating problems for Americans). 

Of course, the Panda Bear would not have gotten a job so quickly if she had not been involved in an intensive job hunt since July 2013, when her old office banned plants at work.   In took the Panda Bear several years for her to work on her resume and she paid for a professional resume consultation.   (In the modern economy with jobs being so unstable the Panda Bear thinks everyone should be able to quickly produce a good resume.   Once when the Panda Bear was laid off very suddenly and unexpectedly, it slowed to her hob hunting process a lot that it took several months for her to develop a good working resume.)

For the jobs the Panda Bear's field of work, the internet is the prime source of jobs.   How, the job hunting world has changed from when the Panda Bear started in the working world!!  She remembers buying the Sunday paper (for the help wanted ads) and sending in resume and cover letter via snail mail.  However, even, the best job hunting web sites change.   In 2013, the Panda Bear was told that Monster and CareerBuilder were no longer the top job hunting websites; the best website to look for jobs was Indeed(in fact, this web site was where the Panda Bear found her new job).   However, in 2014, the Panda Bear heard that companies no longer liked Indeed but were recruiting from LinkedIn.   In fact, several employment counselors told the Panda Bear that companies were telling the State of Massachusetts that they wanted all employees on LinkedIn.

The hiring process can take a long time nowadays.   The Panda Bear applied for her job in as soon as it was advertised in July and she was offered the job on November 4.   Therefore, the Panda Bear thinks a person can be easily on unemployment for a year and be actively job hunting.

Of course, the Panda Bear getting her dream job and going to job heaven means that she will no longer be blogging about her current job.   The Panda Bear blogged about her old job more than was prudent but jobs are a big part of one's life and if one is unhappy with one’s job one can be unhappy with life.

Instead, the Panda Bear Blog will more focus on the problems of the world.   The Panda Bear recently read the Autobiography of John Stuart Mill, the famous nineteenth century philosopher.   She was inspired by John Stuart Mill's statement that his being an office worker contributed to his understanding of the world and enabled him to come up with ideas for critiquing and reforming the major institutions of his time.   He was also for expanding the power base of his time for which the Panda Bear admires him.

In the spirit of John Stuart Mill, the Panda Bear will continue to blog; a blog of an office worker who wants to improve the world and advocate for the lower 95 percent.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Panda Bear on Jury Duty and the Stress of The Unknown

Recently, the Panda Bear  was called to serve on the jury.   She went to the court house and sat in the jury room for about two and a half hours and then her and all the other potential jurors were dismissed.  All the cases were settled before they went to trial.    The court official assured the people who were called up for jury that the court was not wasting their time.   Just the threat and ability to go to trial scared people into settling their cases.

The Panda Bear is a big fan of the idea of just being there prevents a damaging action.   The Panda Bear thinks her cat has the best job of all; just her being there has scared the mice out of the Panda Bear's  apartment.   The Panda Bear felt she was acting like her cat in this respect in the court house.    Her simple presence had an effect(When the Panda Bear was at the courthouse there was a movie about jury service in Massachusetts.   The Panda Bear found out that women could not serve on the jury in Massachusetts until 1950 or nearly thirty years after women had the vote!   In many ways, the Panda Bear would think it is more important for women to serve on juries then vote but the Panda Bear believes women should have all the same political rights as men).

The Panda Bear is having an emotional crisis.    Some potential good news may be coming her way.   However, it is not definite.   She feels the uncertainty stresses out her out more then bad news does.   With bad news one can plan a course of action but with things being up in the air it immobilizes future actions.   The relief some people feel after a person dies is not purely because nothing more has to be done for the person who died.   The Panda Bear feels the when a person is dying his/her situation is unresolved; death is a sad resolution to an issue but it is a form of certainty none the less.

The Panda Bear often complains about her simple and routine life.   However, she does not deal well with the unknown.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Panda Bear Blog on the Fall, Relaxation, and Organizations in Distress

While the Panda Bear likes the autumn, she went into a panic in mid-September.   She felt overwhelmed with things to do.    She had a bit of a cold so she took a day off to relax.   Then she went into a crisis mode of trying to narrow down the many things she would like to do in her four hours of scheduled down time.   What she probably did sleep.

Finally her high anxiety broke.   She thinks what finally broke it was doing some dreaded household chores.  It probably was the exercise that was involved in doing the dreaded chores that relaxed the Panda Bear and the Panda Bear felt she was actually accomplishing something (Actually, the writing of the Panda Bear Blog has helped the Panda Bear in doing some of these chores.   She now can think of her blog posting while doing the chores.   While now her fellow workers complain about the amount of non-paid employment time these chores take, Panda Bear takes it with sense of stoicism). 

The Panda Bear has also used some to reduce her stress some stress management techniques.   Exercise is a good multi-purpose activity that also reduces makes people feel good.   As a relaxation technique she likes is called autogenics which is not well known where you make statements imaging heaviness and warmth in various parts of the body and you keep stating to yourself "I am calm".  The Panda Bear also practices what she calls the cat meditation where the Panda Bear tries to meditate by focusing her attention on her purring cat that is sitting on her stomach.   The Panda Bear is also trying to cut down the amount of caffeine she drinks which she heard can increase anxiety (The Panda Bear is a coffee lover.   She now uses coffee with half the caffeine taken out).

The Panda Bear used to think that affirmations were stupid but now she does find that there is something to saying “I am calm” when she is upset.   The Panda Bear admits she has a gloomy streak.   She is jealous of some bloggers who obtained many viewers with their expressions of gratitude and happiness.  However when she is down now she repeats this which is a paraphrase of from the book of Ecclesiastics from the Bible.  It goes something like this:

Life is unfair.   The race is not always won by the fastest.  The unjust prosper.   It is foolish to think the world is going to work according to your logic.  However, what can you do about it?  Nothing- so just enjoy yourself.

The Panda Bear feels that this gets a certain realistic gloom about the state of the world out of her system.   

One thing that strikes the Panda Bear as illogical is how little organizations nowadays reward loyalty.  The Panda Bear thinks for institutions/governments/organized crime groups to survive they both have punish behavior they don't like but they also reward behavior they like.  

There were benefits to being a member of the Communist, Nazi, and Fascist parties.  In at least novels, organized crime just does not kill people-they offer riches to their members and to those who cooperate with them.    Being nice to people and doing them favors gives you some power over people that just being mean does not.

The Panda Bear is old enough to remember the old fashioned company.   It controlled its employees by being nice to them in the way the new organization that are now strictly business cannot.    Organizations can exert a lot of pressure on people by threatening to withhold some of its favors.  The Panda Bear feels if companies would have a lot better morale and be a lot more efficient if they did more for people then their stated policies.   They could withhold certain privileges if employees complained.   Nowadays the Panda Bear sees complaining and "disloyalty" (i.e. getting other jobs) as being rewarded.     She thinks this no rewarding of good behavior is going to catch up to organizations.

However, what does the Panda Bear know?   She is just a humble office worker who is glad she is not part of the corrupt plutocracy that seems to be in charge right now.