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Monday, September 10, 2012

Brain Blenderizing Moments

It's not enough that the old grey matter ain't what she used to be. Many of my pals are also graying up, and with that comes some other things. People, I think, distill into their essences as they age. Good and bad, abilities and dysfunctions, all are in concentrated forms and reduce to a fine goo as we simmer our days away. And so a friend who's always been rather a sphinx in communication is all but indecipherable now. Those who whine have honed their craft to a loop wherein what they say may as well be on a tape, rewound and played over and over. I can't be a cheerleader for the volunteers of drama anymore. We're all too old for this shit. There are real causes to care about and then there's being pissy for the sake of getting one's way. And those things are often interchangeable.

Tonight, the board of directors of my former employment site were presented with a request for recognition of the union. Something like 60% of the workers have signed union cards, and one of the major proponents now is a guy who did all he could to squash the last drive 6 years ago. The board claimed ignorance of this union effort (lies- there has been antiunion propaganda posted in the store and some of the same board members were on the board in the last drive) and begged off making a decision. Big difference this time is that the store just blew $10 million on a new state-of-the-art building so they don't have $ to hire the unionbusting lawyers (Downs, Rachlin, Martin) that they had last time. The organizing committee has asked the board to give its decision in the next 3 weeks. I think the response is predictable.

We, the former organizing committee workers, are rejoicing in the workers doing this. This is a sort of vindication but it's quite stressful. Muffinpants- who still works there and was a huge part of the last drive- can barely speak, and prying info from him puts my head in a blender even on a good day. It's kinda painful to translate giggles and abstract blurts into useful, sensible information. Plague and I are close to tears when we speak about it. Those of us who stuck to the effort even while it failed and the powers of Mordor won were scarred, badly scarred. If I were still working there I don't know how well I'd be getting thru this. Thankfully or not, I'm not there. Yet watching from the sidelines is driving me nuts too.

The local independent paper's editor told me he'd be there tonight and will follow the story to the end. Perhaps I'll get the full story from him. Other outlets are undependable. In a small town ad revenue controls the media, so the General Manager of the coop often controls what gets reported. A rumor says that if the union comes through the General Manager will quit. To that I say, "Get out, ya bastid!"

And if the union fails again, I have an appointment with Plague, a couple of disco wigs, some fabric air ducting and some rubber foam.


klahanie said...

Hi Laura,
Ah unions. I remember being in a 'union' over here in England that was chosen by the company.
This union gave me strange looks when we had a union meeting and I made note of such strange concepts as a collective agreement. Maggie Thatcher would be proud of such a non-union, union.
Me, I'm an old union rebel and it actually cost me a job. Long story.
Hey, if anything, personally, I've decided I'm getting younger. Now then, must go and comb the one hair I have left! :)

CarrieBoo said...

That's a scary thought... I wonder what my thing will be in old age... I'll probably become this crazy reculsive old lady feeding all the pigeons and chasing children from the lawn. Or else I'll suddenly become really outgoing and never stop talking to everybody I meet, even when they are trying to inch away from me. Oh no.

That sounds complicated and stressful, Laura. Glad you're out of it... you have enough things on your plate to worry about.

Austan said...

Gary- Yeah, the company-sponsored "unions" are rarely talked about. People hear union and all they know is what they read in rag papers about mafia types. What isn't known about unions could fill a hard drive. Still, we fight the good fight, eh? :) I want to hear that story!Laura

Austan said...

Boo- I wish I could be more involved, or even cover it for a local site who're throwing guilt on me, but I don't dare. It could be construed too many ways and I don't want any of the ugly that I got painted with to splash into this..

You'll be the cool old lady who wrote all these books. ;)

Geo. said...

I'm of a generation that knew how screwed it was without unions. It takes time and a lot of pain for young people to risk enraging their masters. But they're coming around, little by little, like I did. By and by, the little eccentricities --so easily dismissible in youth-- claim ultimacy, as you point out, and they'll get crazy enough to organize, lobby, strike, negotiate. Human spirit, stubborn thing.

The Elephant's Child said...

I was a unionist to the bitter end. Despite them screwing me over close to the end.
I have to say that I am fascinated by your theory that who we are is distilled as we age. Do I get a choice about which of the many mes it is?

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Nobody or nothing is like they/it used to be.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I'd always thought that the USA was all for organised labour.

This sounds like the bad old days of company towns.