President Obama visits Minnesota

In no order, and all over the place:

I’m trying to figure out what the necessity is for these townhalls, what with the President not running again.  Thing is, they’re staged to the nth and antiseptic.  Are they really going to let loose passionate voters?  It seems like a dubious use of the President’s time, but I guess it’s a way to keep delivering the message.  Other thing is, it’s something to counterbalance the absurdity of these $32,500 a plate fundraising dinners.

By the way, when we get the first amendment rewritten to outlaw political contributions, will these dinners go away too?  Somehow I doubt it.

These dinners are about as dubious a use of money as I can think of.

Re the President’s lunch guest, Rebekah E, who has a tough luck story to relate apparently…  Just goes to show you the power of letter writing.  You know I contemplated writing him a letter myself in the dark days after the post Lehman crash.  I recall reporting an AGI of $26,000 for 2009.  Very difficult to put food on my family on that, as George W. Bush would say.  I got behind on my mortgage, and didn’t catch up for three years.  But as I never got 60 days past due, I was never eligible for any of the bailout homeowner loans.  But as I was behind, I had damaged my credit, and no one would write a conventional loan for me when rates dropped, so that I could save money and buttress my ability to make a mortgage payment.  I would have written a letter to the President about this paradoxical situation.  That the mortgage bailout had missed a few practical scenarios, and that I was at various points being advised to let my house payment go 60 days past due, so that I could be eleglible for HARP / HAMP / HAMPER… whatever.  But I was preoccupied at the time looking for adult work and selling tchotchkes on ebay to cobble together house payments.  And then after a while, the situation was better, and writing a letter seemed at best a whimsical use of my time.

I was hell on call center reps in those days though.

I don’t mean to pat myself on the back for being the world’s greatest bootstrapper.  I have some grit as a person but events and trends could have squashed me too.  It’s just that the mortgage crisis is over, and everyone has their story.   I don’t know why you have a lunch meeting to talk about something that nobody will do anything about.  Let’s move on.

Anyway, the White House reads their mail.  And the average Joe or Jill getting a lunch meeting out of a letter has the feel of a Hollywood plot point.  Thing is, a lot of Hollywood plot points aren’t that fantastical.  They just don’t happen in reality because they take effort and imagination that can’t or won’t get expended within normal work routines.   So this is kind of cool that the White House makes lunch meetings out of letters from the average Joe or Jill. But as I say, there’s got to be a bit to do with trying to contrast the absurd fundraising dinners.

I had a Juicy Lucy once at the 5-8 club on McKnight and Minnehaha in Maplewood.  It wasn’t that great.  It was a mess, and the temperature was uneven.  The embedded cheese seems to pose a process problem such that it is very hard to get this burger done correct.  I also had one at the Nook, and it was better.  Maybe the wester you go, the better they are.

Anyway….flexible work hours.  Yes, that’s the part of the headline in the Minnpost story too, but I don’t see it explained within the text.  What the hell is flexible work hours?  Is that like when you have to make a dentist appointment during work hours, and you say to the boss, hey, I’m going to miss a couple hours here.  I’ll make it up over the next few days.  We need a law for that?

I had some pretty work bad habits as a newly minted college grad.  My dad told me, get to work on time, there’s always some old biddy watching the clock, who tells the boss who’s late.  And this was true, for a few years.  Then the workplace changed, and it’s gotten almost to the point where bosses don’t want to hear any of that stuff.  What I mean is, they just assume you’ll make up hours, and they don’t want to have to expend the effort listening to how you have to juggle this and that.  Just put it in your Outlook so it shows, see that it doesn’t impact your work deadlines, and it’s all cool.  That’s the thing.  With Outlook calendaring and project planning, time off requests have become all but obsolete.  No one wants to contemplate your time off scheduling, and they don’t want you contemplating theirs.


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