Like so many things since the turn of the millennium, it started with an email.
My nutty husband actually likes spam. The electronic variety, not the yummy canned meat. (What? Shut up, I like Spam, so does Obama. Nar, nar, nar.) Anyway, Mick doesn’t solicit Nigerian prince spam, but he’s quick to give his email address to any nice cashier or salesperson who asks for it because he luuurves when companies beg him to buy things. Why? Beats me. That mailbox is awash with ardent retailers pitching woo to my husband’s wallet. Sometimes it’s good like members’ only coupons at B&N or Torrid that he and I can actually use, so I’ll give Mick credit for those. Ditto for the one from Nissan. Which is where our story begins.
I’ve leased two Nissan Rogues. Both from the same dealership. It changed hands but not brands between Rogue #1 and #2 so as far as Nissan’s concerned I am a “YAY! Sparkle Unicorn Make Her REALLY Happy!!!” customer. They want to keep my biz. A lot. And the other day Mick got a spam from the ever-tumescent Thruway Nissan. Sentras. Stupid cheap lease deal. Seriously. Stupid cheap. Only for sparkle unicorn customers who’d take delivery by Aug 31. I looked at the price. I researched the car. I thought about model year end clearance. I listened to my son’s wheezy, beat to heck, thrice hand-me-down wee truck labor up the driveway every night after work. I did the math. And I looked out my office windows at the trees in the bee meadow that had subtly but definitely put on their autumn dress. Sebastian’s truck would NOT go another winter. Even if it did I couldn’t deal with how unsafe and foolhardy driving that tired un-weather-worthy thing was. Not with my child in it. Nope. Not anymore.
Off to the dealership. The deal, while not smooth nor without its misunderstandings, finally came together. It was ‘officially’ an August purchase but we picked up the car yesterday. Sebastian had his very first brand new car.
There were many, many tears. All mine. I don’t have to explain.
The other huge news is that Mick has retired. We cannot afford to live on just his pension and what I make, and it’s been plenty scary, but he has a plan and a very do-able goal about the next phase. I don’t want to get into it now, suffice it to say that when he’s established in this next thing we’ll be solid. The *ahem* retirement? The district has been doing this to all the long-timers- putting the hard word on them to retire or face endless evaluations and disciplinary bullshit for minor molehill stuff they (the district) would be happy to make mountains out of.
Money. It’s always goddamn money. The district is looking to get rid of the high salaried employees and hire in a bunch of per diem/part-timers who get no benefits and have zero union protections. A trickledown from the Trump White House? Oh, you know it. Hell, even without Trumplethinskin this would have come eventually. The Reagan legacy and its union busting, anti-worker, Lord of the Flies/Ayn Rand philosophy has destroyed everything decent and kind and forward thinking about this country.
Greed hasn’t saved America, it’s killed us.
My little clan? We are a union family. FIL was a lifelong member of the UAW and did his starvation/violent times to defend workers’ rights. Mick’s pension and our continuing health coverage is because of his membership in the CSEA, not the most powerful union but it’s something. I am a paid member of the UFCW, again, not the mightiest but my union keeps my employer on its toes and me getting regular raises. Sebastian belongs to the Meat Cutters and it has more influence than any other retail union. I’m hoping Mick will end up in the Teamsters. Oy. Please. It’s my favorite. Say what you will about the Teamsters and the Mob and Jimmy Hoffa and whatever. My Pop was a Teamster. For 17 years the ex was a Teamster. For a good chunk of my life I breathed easy. Secure jobs, good benefits, and protections from the greedy bosses I never had at my own shitty ‘right to work’, “Suck my dick or you’re fired”, “Tip and commission jobs aren’t covered by NYS labor law and we can fuck you over at will” food service and sales jobs. Unions are the bees.
If you EVER think trade unions are a bane, that they inhibit free enterprise, that they are some Commie Liberal scam, ugh. Think about who’s telling you this. *coff* Billionaires who own the media *coff* .01%-ers who make more in a day than you will for your entire working life, and politicians who are owned by the billionaires.
I promise you- if there’s someone trying to persuade you that your below-subsistence pay, your $3,000 deductible health care, your OSHA protections against being poisoned or injured, that your wage guarantees are THE PROBLEM they are lying. Flat out. You are being bullied, scammed, and huckstered. Profit is the god worshipped and woe to the worker and the consumer because you are the meat the CEOs carve for their feast.
Sebastian’s car was made in Tennessee by UAW workers, btw. I checked.
So my husband is embarking on a brand new career. My son has a brand new car. I have a brand new kidney stone that came out of the RIGHT kidney and is so painful I clocked out of work early and came home. To take better-than-nothing meds, rest, and distract myself (and you) with a brand new blog entry.
That’s all for now.
Love you lots, LA