Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

I biked the mile to the bus stop this morning, twenty degrees outside and a thirty mile-an-hour headwind, blowing snow, at six am, to discover that this post-Thanksgiving Day Friday, Black Friday, is considered a Metro Transit holiday. No bus waiting. Hmm. At first I imagined, I would bike the five miles to big bank, which I can do, even under the conditions, comfortably enough. I imagined sitting down at my computer station, firing off an email to my immediate management and the temp people, informing them precisely what I had done and what I think about that. Except for much of the journey would be on the shoulder of a four lane 55mph speed limit everybody driving 60, it snowed and rained last night, the roads are slippery, and a bike helmet, which I couldn't find this morning anyway in a very symbolic Hmmmm, isn't going to protect me from a 2000+ lbs projectile moving at six or eight times the speed I am, bearing down on me from behind. By the time I got half way home, which is on the way to big bank from the bus station, I was like, that's fucking crazy. No WAY am I biking that, and no way am I putting someone else out, on a day that just about everybody thinks is a holiday (judging by the lack of automobile traffic as I write this), so I can go and FORECLOSE ON HOUSES FOR UBER_BANK_LEVIATHAN-KRAKEN. LOL.

So I got home, and called the automated overseer computer lady at big bank, and spoke the words, "William Duncan, Kodi {manager}, 7am MONDAY," in reference to the time I would be returning to work. I left a voicemail with my contact at the temp agency, and sent an email to the top two managers in my department. It's a liberty, what I've done, relative to my station. Still, I don't expect any push back. If I even hear about it, I'll be surprised, though it is strictly speaking, grounds for me to be dis-invited, to work for big bank.

It's not like I'm going shopping. Nor am I going to sit around smoke pot get drunk chow left-over Thanksgiving dinner watch Tee-Vee. It's not even very comfortable in my house, when it's this cold, with the wind blowing hard. Mostly, aside from drinking coffee writing blog posts researching, I will be working, insulating the house, which is a drafty sieve. Lots of work to do, here. Might get a buzz on too, eventually. ;)

If I lose the job, which is a possibility, I'll just tell the temp agency, listen, if big bank doesn't take me back, I'll write an op-ed in the straightest, most conventional clear easy to understand language I can muster, for one of the local MSM newsprint outlets, about the arrangement as it stands, in its full absurdity. I mean really, there are people expected to work the second shift starting at 3:30 pm, Monday, Christmas Eve Day, FORECLOSING ON HOUSES! Maybe they want to, but it's also like a threat of economic dissolution otherwise, and really when you are a "butt's in seats in the morgue, or the meat-house," a day off is also one less day of pay, when we are making about $7 LESS than the average American wage. Which is kind a of low grade terror, this sort of economic hegemony exercised with such ruthless, numerical logic. Which then calls into question the whole War on Terror, when, if you dare not participate in the making of dollars in the imperial way prescribed, you are fucked. Get with the fucking program?

It's not like I'm a weak performer, either. My numbers are solid, in their metric. 100% accuracy, in my last review. There is a threshold one must reach, in sheer numbers, before one is eligible for overtime, which I crossed some time ago, though I have not partaken of the so-called fruit (nor have I striven to do more, necessarily.) They can fire me, but if they do, I'm going to do what I can to return the favor. ;)

Meanwhile, the bulk of America shops. I was at my sister's yesterday, consuming tee-vee programming. Whether it was that or the industrial food she fed me, I can't say was the cause of my ill stomach. It was more like soul sadness, in the presence of such grotesqurie', as was splashed across my cerebral cortex, with such cynical abandon. In my last post, I said I am not a "moral" man. Do not mistake that for moral relativity, which Americans display with monstrous pride. On one Newz program, a woman was interviewed about her attack plan, shopping today. She advocated teamwork, with everyone with a plan of operation, "otherwise you won't get everything you need." She bought seven flat-screen tv's Black Friday 2011, most of which remain in the boxes. She was presented as an ideal of normality by the network, which she is, in America. We scoff at the savages, those responsible in the past for human sacrifice to placate the gods. By how many orders of magnitude worse, all those who have died that we might be free to shop - what is being done to the earth, to fulfill our "needs"?

My sister said she had been made to feel guilty for doing damage to the "environment", because she had ordered some product on-line, instead of in a store. The rationale, that those things ordered online travel more miles, than they would if they were housed in a centralized retail box. I laughed and asked her how long she thought 7 billion people could continue buying the resources of the earth transformed into consumer product to be thrown away as garbage, esp. when we are adding 200,000 people a day, globally? I didn't ask, but I'm guessing, she bought the turkey at Sam's Club, and most everything else for dinner besides. She gets it, the madness of it, she just can't imagine any other way, or won't. 

I recognize too, the slippery slope I am on, justifying my work at big bank at all, in any way. Perhaps after Black Friday 2012, I will no longer have to. 

This is what my lightning bug niece and I did Thanksgiving. It's hard to see her wings, but they are there. The bike, a gift from RE, head Admin at the Doomstead Diner


Unknown said...

Hello William Hunter Douglas. Love the post! First time here. I ran across a post you made on Kulture-critic this morning and I found your blog. It might sound a tad daft to go around following "doomers" on-line but anyone who is an actual doomer (lots of pretenders) knows that there are few of us around so we look for intelligent conversation where we can find it. Thank God for the internet or a lot of us would be living in our basements. Keep posting.

Michael Sosebee said...

Used my google account on my previous post and I posted as "unknown". I corrected that.

Jeff Z said...

I love the photo of you and your niece on the tandem. That is worth more than anything you can get at MallWart on Black Friday.

I am also at my sister's house today. Enjoying movies and together time. Trying not to think about the origin of the food- likely the same as your sister's meal.

Cold comfort maybe that the same stores offering deals today may not be around in 5 or 10 years to offer anything. The reality is that re-localization is coming, not just to doomers, but to everyone, like it or not.

Right now wife and sis have gone to 'work off' their lunch at the 'Y' and I'm alone in her house with my son- he playing with cars and legos, making up stories to himself that I overhear. Not a bad way to spend a day, however it happens to come to me.

There is a lot to be thankful for, even industrial decline. I'm thankful for knowing you and for being exposed to your take on life- you're a good friend William Hunter Duncan. Hope all is well and continues to be so.

William Hunter Duncan said...


You mistake me for the ceiling fan. LOL. Thank the Goddess, as the material for the infrastructure and the brains that put it together came from Her. :) Thank you for the compliment, and I will continue to post.


Should I read the second comment before I comment on the first?

Jeff Z,

I know it, about the stores. I'm brainstorming like mad, about my house and garage and garden. Skills for a new age. My garage is evolving quickly. If I ever get around to the house, I might actually be able to find a girlfriend. LOL.

I'm with ya, with that image of you and your son. :)

Much to be thankful for, indeed. And yes, to friends. All is well.

Justin Wade said...


I am glad to hear the employment situation has resolved and you get to keep the house! I sent some well wishing thoughts your way, glad to see they paid off.

I sort of envy you, working at a big bank doing the robo-signing paperwork. You and your co-workers are in such a great position to give people who try to fight back and keep their house something to use in the paperwork. A misplaced comma here, a decimal there, that kind of Mickey Mouse stuff abounds at your work shop I am sure.

I think its an interesting twist of fate and positive karma that you successfully fought off losing your home and ended up in a place to help others do the same.

William Hunter Duncan said...


As to messing with documents, to help people keep their houses, if any of these homeowners had money enough to take it to court, many of these loan documents are so riddled with errors, it is hardly imaginable that they would be legal in any court anywhere in America, if the legal system were honest. If tables were turned and I had filled out these documents with exactly as much attention to detail as the average I see, and I were trying to keep my house, probably every court in America would say my sloppiness makes the agreement null and void - house to bank, and cash or credit to pay for whatever other grievances big bank claims. No need for me to mess with docs, even if I could. I have been given a task, and I do it accurately and as fast as will keep them from sending me away for performance reasons.

Thank you for the blessings. They were heard. I guarantee it! LOL. :)

Reverse Engineer said...



Justin Wade said...

That is amazing to me that the legal documents are that obviously cocked up. I've read a good bit about people actually challenging these things in court, which scared the banks shitless and has been a pretty successful way to fight the housing bubble. Probably the only successful way. The way the media portrayed it, and I accepted, was that errors in the paper work were still a small percentage and it took lawyers to figure it out. Sounds like the reality is far worse than that. Every paper a fraud, every sentence a syntax. That warms my heart.

Hey, I have this other story idea that I am toying with. I am dropping it here because lately I've been toying with another story idea, which is to chase synchronicity with an autistic relentlessness. Often this means dropping cryptic messages on people, sometimes something interesting flushes out.

The idea is this, its a story about a miracle drug. The drug works like this, no matter what the ailment or intended effect, the drug is proven to be effective for some of the people in clinical trials. The drug also has no known side effects. FDA approval (or any fictional regulatory body) is a cinch based on those two observations. The drug has been validated in virtually every medical study ever conducted without side effects is a shoe in for market. The name of the drug is Placebex and comes in a little white pill.

Its an interesting premise, but I am struggling to think of a way to carry that story.

I am reading fiction right now to find some idea to steal in order to get started, some book by a guy called Henry Roth. Its not quite right. Originally, I envisioned post industrial gangs of pharmaceutical reps battling it out in a drug war when Placebex hits the scene. I need better ideas than the tribulations of Jewish immigrants in early 20th century New York to steal. When is Progress Interrupted resuming?

Justin Wade said...

Also, if memory serves me, was it you that used Placebo Effects (Placebex) to cure yourself of Lyme disease or some other nasty thing? I remember reading about that somewhere from someone, I thought it was in one of your more auto-biographical works. If that was you, can you point me to the relevant account in your body of work so I can reread it?

Anonymous said...

I know that they are planning on doing some Minneapolis roadway repair in the next year or so. I wonder if it will be near where I live.