Thoughts On the Firing of Tucker Carlson & Don Lemon

It sucks to be fired. I know the experience all too well. The stress, the uncertainty, and the emotional turmoil create havoc that is destructive on multiple levels.

Earlier today, two major faces names in the news media lost their jobs: Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon.

Though the reason for Carlson losing his job has not been announced, connecting the dots to the Dominion settlement last week is a straightforward matter.

Lemon is on the unemployment line due to remarks he made about female subjects and colleagues.

Lemon should have known better. An errant comment here or there is bound to occur. It’s still wrong, but mistakes can and do occur. But the fact that he continually acted in this manner was justification for the firing.

As for Carlson, I know I shouldn’t rejoice that he is out of a job, but I am. This man knew what he was doing. Like his colleagues, he prioritized ratings and profit over the continuation of everything this country holds dear.

Losing your job is horrible. But it happens. Such is life.

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The New York City Pay Transparency Law is a Long Time Coming and Very Necessary

It is a truth universally acknowledged that looking for new employment sucks. It can, however, be made easier when the job ad contains all of the information that the job seeker needs to make a decision. That includes the potential salary.

On May 15th, the New York City Pay Transparency Law will be on the books in NYC. It requires that companies with four or more employees list a salary range when posting about open positions.

Frankly, it’s about time that was written into city law. It’s not about being greedy, it’s just plain common sense.

On a recent segment on WNYC‘s The Brian Lehrer Show, the question of whether it will help or hurt a potential employee’s chance of being hired when the question of pay came up.

Back when I was unemployed, there were a number of job ads that did not provide information on what the corresponding paycheck would be. The problem with that is that it wastes the time and energy of both the applicant and the person who has posted the ad. I remember applying to a specific job, liking what I read. When I was contacted for an interview, I had to turn it down because I knew that I could not live on what they were paying. I applied to the same company for the same position a short time later (because the company did not identify itself in either ad). When they contacted me again, I had to once more turn it down.

To say that I was frustrated at that moment was an understatement. It’s difficult as is, but to have my time unnecessarily squandered just added to the difficulty. I understand that for every position and the corresponding tasks, there is a price point. Asking for this information is not an out-of-the-box question. It allows the applicant to make an informed decision, which in turn allows the company to make a similar informed decision as to whom they will hire.

The search for new employment is strenuous, to say the least. Requiring the salary range allows all parties to make a decision that is mutually beneficial to both.

Mayor de Blasio Should be Taking From the Top, Not the Bottom

In the business world, when a company’s expenses exceeds its revenue, hard choices in regards to staffing are made. For those who remain employed, their job is made twice as difficult due to the extra workload.

In normal times and in a for profit company, to say that this situation is not easy is an understatement. If one were to change the company to the public sector and add in Covid-19, the result would be nothing short of a disaster.

When the virus hit New York City earlier this year, it was all hands on deck for those who are considered to be essential workers. Over the last few months, we have been told time and again to thank them for everything they did. But what does Mayor de Blasio say to some of these people? See you on the unemployment line, we can’t afford to pay you anymore.

Meanwhile, the tax payers are shelling out $2,000,000 a year for First Lady Chirlane McCray’s staff. If that was not enough, ThriveNYC is just another governmental program that lacks tangible results, but money is still being thrown at it.

I have an idea. Instead of laying off those who the city relies on, perhaps he might think of taking from the top. Does his wife really need a videographer making $70K a year? Or a speechwriter earning $117k a year, who was hired after it was announced that City Hall would not be adding new employees to their rolls?

Mayor de Blasio talks a good game about appreciating those who put their lives on the line. But at the end of the day, it’s nothing but lip service. If he truly appreciated them as he says he does, he would find a way to keep them on the payroll.

$400 a Week is Pathetic

Anyone who has ever been on unemployment (myself included) can testify how financially difficult it is. While still some money coming in, it is far from enough to get by.

For the last few months, those rendered unemployed by Covid-19 have received $600 a week via the CARES act. Unfortunately, that money will no longer be going out because Congress cannot get their act together. In response, you know who signed an executive action to send $400 a week to those receiving unemployment.

Putting aside the request (if one wants to call it that) that the states have to put in 25% of the funds, $400 a week is pathetic.

$400 a week is $1600 a month, before taxes. Let’s imagine that one’s rent or mortgage is $1000 a month. That leaves $600 for the rest of the monthly expenses. If this person is lucky, the $600 will be just enough to cover the rest of their bills. That leaves nothing left over in the case of a financial emergency, which is bound to happen, sooner or later.

Two things bother me. The first is that this money belongs to the tax paying American public. We give this money to the government so they can take of us when need arises. The fact that they are unwilling to give us this badly needed money speaks volumes. The second is that the members of Congress earn more in a year than most of us see in our lifetimes. They don’t have to worry about if they will be able to stay in their homes or feed their families.

The only way to get the economy going is to get America back to work. Unfortunately, I have a feeling the $400 in unemployment will hinder, not help the current economic status.

White House Jobs Comment: Insensitive and Cruel

On paper, the process of looking for a new job is quite simple. You find the job you think you would be good at, put in the application and wait for the hopeful email/phone call for an interview. If you get the interview, you represent yourself as best you can and wait for a response. Simple, right?

No. Anyone who has been through the process at least once can easily attest to how brutal and soul sucking the employment search is. To say it is difficult when the economy is normal is an understatement. But when the country is experiencing a health crisis and an economic crisis? I can only imagine the wrench that Covid-19 throws into the job hunt.

A new ad campaign will be released by the White House today. It is called Find Something New. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage Americans who are unhappy at their jobs or unemployed to “find something new”.

These people have no idea what it is like to have to look for a job. They have no understanding of how it feels to apply for multiple jobs and only receive a handful of responses at best. They will never understand the heartbreak of hearing that the job you thought you were perfect for went to someone else.

According to an article published by the Pew Research Center over the weekend, the number of unemployed Americans is higher than it was during the Great Recession over ten years ago. What is worse is that it took only three months to reach that figure compared to the two years it took back in 2007-2008.

The fact is that getting the economy back on its feet will not be a simple process. However, it does not help that the man we unfortunately refer to as President seems unwilling and unable to do what is needed to return this country to a state of semi-normalcy. Which is in my mind, another reason to get rid of him in the fall.

What You Can Control: A Guide to Dealing With Mental Health in the Age of the Coronavirus

There is a lot in life that we can’t control. We can’t control the traffic on the way to work or school. We can’t control how long we will be waiting at our next doctors appointment.

But there are things that we can control.

In the age of the coronavirus, it feels like everything is out of control. Schools and work places are mostly closed and employees (if they are lucky) are able to work from home and still earn a paycheck. The number of sick, dead and dying rises every day. There is a spike in unemployment claims that has not been seen in decades, if not lifetimes.

But there are things that we can control . That is what I want to talk about today.

Over the past few weeks, I have found that knowing what I can and cannot control gives me peace of mind.

I cannot control the virus. But there are things that I can control.

I can control the fact that I still have a job (for which I thank G-d for every day) and I continue to work as hard as if I was in the office. I can control the number of hours that I am sleeping. I can control what I am eating. I can take advantage of the technology that allows me to keep in touch with family and friends. I can still write. I can still go out for fresh air, exercise and minimal errands. I can listen to the advice from the professionals and stay home.

Though I live with depression (as many of my regular readers know), it is ironic that it takes a pandemic to take a step in the right direction when it comes to my mental health.

To everyone out there, stay home, stay healthy (hopefully) and take it day by day. We will get through this.

Happy Sunday.

Thoughts on the End of a Decade and the End of the Year

New Year’s Eve is more than the end of the holidays or a reason to get together with loved ones. It is a time of reflection and contemplation.

As 2019 and the 2010’s come to a close, perspective comes into play.

When the decade started, I was in my late twenties. Ten years later, I am nearly forty. One of the things I now realize that my twenties were about molding my adult self. My thirties are about becoming that adult that was made in my twenties.

2019 has been a year of highs, lows, and growth in ways that are unexpected. Growth comes from change, learning and admitting to your mistakes. This year, a major change came from a change in employment. Looking for a job is never easy and learning a new job has its fair share of pitfalls. But, there is something to be said when you have weathered both experiences and have become a slightly better person/employee because of said experiences.

I also earned my second-degree black belt in Muy Thai Kickboxing. It took an incredible amount of work and effort, especially after a long day of work. Earning the belt and wearing it to class is merely a symbol of the effort it took. I look back at the effort I have put in over the years and I can see the results of the effort it took. If there is one thing in my life that I can say I am proud of accomplishing, it is having that belt to my name.

Happy New Year!

Is Job Hunting About Quality or Quantity?

                Looking for a job, regardless of whether one is employed or unemployed, is not easy. The question that I wrestle with as an unemployed job seeker is the following: is the number of jobs that I apply for or applying for a job that fits my professional past and hopeful professional future more important?

                Someone arguing for quantity would state that the more jobs one applies for, the greater chance there is of being contacted for an interview. If Jane Doe is looking for a job and she applies to ten jobs over the course of an average day, she may receive an email or a phone call for about 1/3 of those jobs (which is utterly frustrating, but that is another topic for another time). The numbers are not ideal, but the more the jobs that she applies for, the greater chance that Jane has for being called for an interview.

                Someone else arguing for quality would state that it is a waste of time to apply for a large number of jobs. A job seeker’s precious job-hunting time is better spent on the quality of the jobs, making sure that they are a good fit for the position. However, there is something to be said for taking a chance and applying for a job in which an applicant might have some, but not all of the qualities and/or experience that the employer is requesting. It might be just enough to secure an interview and have the opportunity to sell yourself as the right candidate for the position.

                The question is, which matters more: quantity or quality?  My experience says both quantity and quality are equally important in the hunt for a new job. The more applications that a job seeker sends out, the more employers are likely to review their resume and possibly consider them as a viable candidate. However, it is also as important to apply for a job that the candidate can present themselves as a good fit.    

Readers, what do you think? Which is more important: quantity or quality when it comes to the job-hunting process?

The War on Normal People: The Truth about America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future Book Review

Income inequality is a real and very problematic issue in our world. While some live in McMansions and spend their money like no one’s businesses, others can barely get by financially.

2020 Presidential candidate and businessman Andrew Yang wants to correct this issue. Using income inequality as the basis of his potential Presidential platform, he is proposing the idea of the UBI (Universal Basic Income) to the American voters.

In his 2018 book, The War on Normal People: The Truth about America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future, Mr. Yang explores how economic instability and income inequality is having a detrimental effect on this country. He describes how computers and automation have taken over certain industries and forced many into unemployment or underemployment. It was only a couple of generations ago that a job in a factory or a mine was all a family needed to land themselves in the middle class. Today, those jobs are gone, leading those communities down to a rabbit hole of addiction, crime, destruction and economic depression.

The UBI, as Mr. Yang describes it in the book, would alleviate many of those problems and correct the problems that are associated with income inequality.

I think that all Americans, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum, need to read this book. This book, if nothing else, is an eye-opener to the reality of the America that we live in today and what needs to be done to fix it.

I recommend it.


The Door is Starting to Open Slowly (I Hope)

This morning, I woke up with the knowledge that a door was closing.

Due to restructuring, the day job that I have held for the last few years is being cut. To say that walking into the office today felt awkward is an understatement. I left the office knowing that this chapter in my professional life was closing. It has not been an easy chapter, but I look back and I know that I am a better person for going through it.

The door to the next chapter of my professional life looks like it will be opening sooner rather than later. I wish I could say that the door is opening sooner, but that is to be seen.

I can only hope, pray and keep sending out resumes. The door to my next job has to open somewhere.


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