Typical Politician

Bardish

I recently met an atypical politician, or at least that’s what she claimed. She was pleased that she was introduced, not as a local politician, but rather as ‘our elected representative.’ She claims that she and her government want to do things a little differently.

Bardish Chagger PC MP is a Canadian politician who is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Waterloo. She is the current Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the former Minister of Small Business and Tourism.

While she may want to change things, it was evident early that she has many of the earmarks of the ‘Typical Politician.’ She attended a recent brunch meeting of the local Free Thinkers group. She was to talk to them about the separation of Church and State.

She was born here in Ontario. I have heard her disparaged as a (Muslim) Paki. I thought that she was a (Hindu) Indian, until she showed up with a male Sikh aide. A member videotaped the meeting for posterity. Used to many media scrums, she quickly clipped on the mic-pack herself.

When she arrived, she went around two large tables, shaking hands and speaking to about 25 members individually. Before beginning her talk, she slyly mentioned that she would take any questions and answer any concerns that anyone had. An hour and a half later, we’d talked about everything except Church and State. The moderator had to butt in, and present her with two specific concerns, and let her get back to him about them later.

While not a ‘prepared speech,’ she probably had a good mental picture of what she wished to present. She’s quite intelligent, and well-spoken, with no hesitations in speech, or ‘ums’ or ‘ahs’. She and her aide made a good team. She stood up front, and dealt with the crowd, and their concerns. He hovered, almost unnoticed in the background with his Smart phone, making sure he noted each question, and getting people’s names, and contact information, and assuring that they had hers.

She told us that young Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was trying to decentralize the office. She said that no-one entered his chamber, only to be told, “This is the way we’re going to do it.” Rather, she said, he was grooming people like her to be assistant PMs or perhaps the next Prime Minister. She was encouraged to approach him with a proposed plan of action. I gave her a line that a company President once gave me, “Don’t come to me with a problem. Come to me with a solution.” She said that she liked the sentiment, would use it herself, and probably pass it on the Prime Minister.

Before she began her little speech at 10:30 AM, she told us that an aunt had died, and she would have to leave by 11:30 – 11:40 at the latest – to pay her respects. At 12:10, she was still going back around the tables, shaking hands and currying favor like a typical politician. She had a dead body to deal with, but she was still glad-handing her way out of this room full of intelligent, knowledgeable, influential voters.

Niagara bridge

The problem with wanting to do things differently, is that there are some jobs that just have to be done ‘that way’. If you promise people that you will walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls, it is quicker, easier and safer to get in a car, and drive across the bridge. You have to change people’s expectations.

The makeup of Trudeau’s cabinet is 50% female, a figure which he is proud of. I was amazed that so many women would be fool enough to want to play, what is still, essentially, an Old (White) Boys game. I can only hope that the inclusion of women and minorities in Government can make Canada a kinder, gentler, fairer place to live, and we can send all our fence-builders down to the States, to work for Trump, but I cynically wait for proof. 😳

***

Shortly after I composed this, she put her shapely foot in her mouth. A member of the Opposition ambushed her as she left the Chamber, and demanded to know what she and her Government were doing about the spate of opioid deaths. His riding had had 38 such fatalities in the last year.

Apparently without thinking, she said, “Oh, that’s not bad.” Now, any deaths are to be mourned or prevented. What she meant was that, the average per riding is between 60 and 70. The Waterloo Region riding had 73 in that same period, but she had to backpedal quickly, as the political-points game was played.

***

Canada also has a too big to fail transportation company which does considerable sales overseas. Canada has laws against bribes and kickbacks, but this company operates in places where that’s the expected way to do business.

Our handsome young, trust-fund Prime Minister’s female Attorney General caught wind of these nefarious dealings, and started an investigation. He, and several of his senior staff, urged her to quietly sweep it under the rug, but she persisted. The PM had her removed from her post, and slapped with a non-disclosure writ, but it reached the media,

Rats immediately began deserting the sinking ship. Another woman resigned her post as Finance Minister in a fit of ethics, further damaging the PM’s vaunted 50% female Cabinet makeup. The PM’s senior secretary, supposedly the brains behind the throne, has also resigned. It appears that he, like the women, wants to be out of the range of shrapnel, when this thing explodes.

It seems that, the more they promise to do new things, in new ways, the more we get stuck with the same old post turtles. Typical!   😯

BEST DESCRIPTION OF A POLITICIAN I EVER HEARD

Turtle

While stitching up the cut on the hand of a 76 year-old farmer who got his hand caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with him.

Eventually the conversation got around to politicians, and their role as our leaders.

The old farmer said, “Well, as I see it, most of them are ‘post turtles’.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was.

The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road, and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a ‘post turtle’.”

The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself. He doesn’t belong up there. He doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there. He’s elevated above his ability to function, and you wonder what kind of asshole put him up there.

Donald Trump

***

So there are these four men on a cruise ship, a Jamaican, a Russian, a Mexican-American, and an American.

One night these four men are on the deck of the ship.

The American guy walks up to the Jamaican guy, who takes out a huge smack of weed, and some paper and rolls this massive joint.  He lights it up, puts it to his lips, takes one puff and throws it over the side.  The American says “What are you doing?? Do you know how much that stuff in worth stateside?”

He says “Yeah mon, but in Jamaica we got so much of the stuff, it got no value, mon, worthless.”

The American guy walks away, and walks over to the Russian guy.  He takes out a huge bottle of Absolut, takes the cap off, takes a sip and tosses it over the side, into the seas.  The American says “What are you doing?? Do you know how much that stuff in worth in the States?”

He says “Yes but in ‘lussian, we got so much ‘wodka, it got no value.  What you say, i’s worthless.”

So the American turns away.  He then walks up to the Mexican-American.

He throws him overboard.

***

A group of Arab terrorists burst into the conference room at the Ramada Hotel where the American Bar Association was holding its Annual Convention.  More than a hundred lawyers were taken as hostages.

The terrorist leader announced that, unless their demands were met, they would release one lawyer every hour.

***

How dare you drive the speed limit when I’m late for something due to my own poor time management skills?

***

Two guys are drinking in a bar.
They pull out the sandwiches their wives had lovingly prepared, and tuck in. The bartender comes over and says “You can’t eat your own food in here.” so they swapped sandwiches.

***

 

I’m Working On It

office-worker

A young woman had been pounding the pavement in search of a job with no luck. Frustrated, she asked her Dad to look at her résumé.  He didn’t get much farther than the first line of her cover letter before spotting the problem.
“Is it too generic?” she asked.
“I doubt it.” said her father.  “Especially since it’s addressed ‘Dear Sir or Madman.”

***

My friend’s hour-and-a-half commute to work got old quickly – the time spent stuck in traffic was sending him over the edge. So I was happy for him when he found a new job closer to home. “That’s great,” I said.  “What are you doing now?”
“I’m a bus driver.”

***

A secretary liked to yammer on the phone to her friends. One day her boss was going to interrupt her chat to tell her to get back to work, when she looked up at the clock and put an end to the conversation.  “Sorry, I have to hang up now.  It’s time for my break.”

***

Applicants at a company were asked to fill out a questionnaire. Among the things that candidates had to list was their high school, and when they attended.  One prospective employee dutifully wrote the name of his school, followed by the dates attended – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

***

A worker at a new company was annoyed that the company’s automated telephone directory had seriously mangled her last name. She called the person in charge and asked that he fix it. “Sorry,” he said, “All requests must be made by email.”
“Okay,” she said, “just tell me how to email the correct pronunciation of Zuckschwerdt.”

***

Winding his way through the office cubicles, the young boss spotted one of his employees playing a video game on the computer. “Why aren’t you working?” he asked.
The employee had an excellent excuse.  “I didn’t see you coming.”

***

“Good morning.” I said to a co-worker in the parking lot. He mumbled something back, and continued toward the door, obviously distracted.  As we walked, I got close enough to hear what he was muttering to himself.
“It pays the bills. It pays the bill.  It pays the bills.  It pays the bills….”

***

One office manager was a tyrant when it came to keeping the printer area clean. A co-worker printed something, but when he went to pick up the document, it was gone. “You know I throw out anything more than 24 hours old.” the manager told him. “But I just printed it.” my friend insisted.
“Sorry,” she said, “But I’m not in tomorrow.”

***

A business-writing instructor read lots of résumés. Inevitably, he ran across some students with skills no employer could pass up, such as; The young paramedic who makes ‘life-threatening decisions’ every day. A child-care worker who can ‘overlook up to 35 children at one time.’ An entertaining young woman who is ‘flexible enough to perform all manner of positions if the situation gets desperate.’

 

What A Buzz

Business Dictionary

These are the latest buzzwords to add to your
corporate vocabulary.

Blamestorming – Sitting around in a group
discussing why a deadline was missed or a
project failed and who was responsible.

Seagull Manager – A manager who flies in,
makes a lot of noise, shits over everything
and then leaves.

Blowing your buffer – Losing your train of
thought.

Salmon day – The experience of spending an
entire day swimming upstream only to get
screwed and die in the end.

Chainsaw consultant – An outside expert
brought in to reduce the employee headcount,
leaving the brass with clean hands.

CLM – Career-limiting move – Used among
microserfs to describe ill-advised activity.
Trashing your boss while he or she is within
earshot is a serious CLM.

Depotphobia – Fear associated with entering a Home
Depot because of how much money one might spend.

Adminisphere – The rarefied organizational layers
beginning just above the rank and file.
Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are
often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to
the problems they were designed to solve.

Dilberted – To be exploited and oppressed by your
boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the
geek-in-hell comic strip character.
“I’ve been dilberted again. The old man revised
the specs for the fourth time this week.”

Flight Risk – Used to describe employees who are
suspected of planning to leave the company or
department soon.

404 – Someone who’s clueless. From the World Wide
Web error message “404 Not Found”, meaning that
the requested document could not be located.
“Don’t bother asking him…he’s 404, man.”

Generica – Features of the American landscape that
are exactly the same no matter where one is, such
as fast food joints, strip malls, sub-divisions.
Used as in “We were so lost in generica that I
forgot what city we were in.”

Keyboard Plaque – The disgusting buildup of dirt
and crud found on computer keyboards.

Ohnosecond – That minuscule fraction of time in
which you realize that you’ve just made a BIG
mistake.

Percussive Maintenance – The fine art of whacking
the crap out of an electronic device to get it to
work again.

Prairie Dogging – When someone yells or drops
something loudly in a “cube farm” (an office full
of cubicles) and everyone’s heads pop up over the
walls to see what’s going on.

Telephone Number Salary – A salary (or project
budget) that has seven digits.

Umfriend – A sexual relation of dubious standing
or a concealed intimate relationship, as in “This
is Dale, my…um…friend.”

Yuppie Food Stamps – the ubiquitous $20 bills
spewed out of ATMs everywhere. Often used when
trying to split the bill after a meal:
“We all owe $8 each, but all anybody’s got
is yuppie food stamps.”

 

 

Flash Fiction #77

Smog

PHOTO PROMPT- © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

IN THE THICK OF THINGS

No wonder her husband’s company had been so generous to get him to move, and become the branch manager in China, the financial world’s new engine.

The company had arranged and paid for the move. The pay and perks were fabulous.  They had everything they needed – except clean air.  Hubby’s limo and office were both filtered, while she and the children didn’t dare to go outside.

This was the way the world would end, with neither a bang nor a whimper, but with a hack and gasp for breath.

***

Got to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #67

Whirligig

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

OUROBOROS

Why is a mouse when it spins?
The higher, the fewer!

***

There’s a hole in our wooden bucket, dear wife.
Then fix it, dear husband!
With what shall I fix it?
With wood, dear husband!
How shall I cut the wood?
With the axe, husband!
The axe is too dull.
Then sharpen it!
But how shall I sharpen it?
On the stone!
With what shall I wet it?
With water, DEAR husband!!
How shall I get water?
In a bucket!!
There’s a hole in the bucket…..

***

Blessed are those who run around in circles, for they shall be called Big Wheels.

***

Neither original nor fiction, but a pastiche of quotes to show the frustrations of modern commercial life. First, all due credit to Robert Heinlein, for his vaguely worded mouse reference which means that, loosely translated, the higher you rise within any organization, the more numerous and strange your problems become, and the fewer of you there are to solve them.

Secondly, apologies to Harry Belafonte for slightly rewording his Caribbean ‘lazy-husband song’, which shows how one problem flows into the next, and finally back to the starting point, with no resolution.

And lastly, to the prolific philosopher, Anonymous, whose apt quote shows how we so often have to run harder and faster just to stay in the same place, chasing, but never quite reaching, solutions which are forever just out of reach ahead of us.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Adaptability (Humor In Business)

SITUATION ADAPTABILITY EVALUATION
FOR MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL

This test has been designed to evaluate reactions of management personnel to various situations.  The situations are based on actual case studies from a well-known educational institution, and represent a cross-section of test data, correlated to evaluate both reaction time to difficult situations, as well as the soundness of each decision selected.

There are 8 multiple choice questions.  Read each question thoroughly.  Place an X by the answer you feel is most correctly justified by the circumstances given.  Be prepared to justify your decision.

You have 4 minutes.

Do not begin answering the questions until you are told to do so.

1.  You have prepared a proposal for the Regional Director of Purchasing for your largest customer.  The success of this presentation will mean increasing your sales to his company by 200%.  In the middle of your proposal, the customer leans over to look at your report, and spits into your coffee. You:

(a) Tell him you prefer you coffee black.
(b)  Ask to have him checked for communicable diseases.
(c)  Take a leak in his ‘OUT’ basket.

2. You are having lunch with a prospective customer, talking about what could be your biggest sale of the year. During the conversation, a blonde walks into the restaurant, and she is so stunning that you draw your companion’s attention to her, and give a vivid description of what you would do if you had her alone in your motel room. She walks over to your table and introduces herself as your client’s daughter. Your next move is to:

(a) Ask for her hand in marriage.
(b) Pretend you’ve forgotten how to speak English.
(c) Repeat the conversation to the daughter, and just hope for the best.

3.  You are making a sales presentation to a group of corporate executives in the plushest office you’ve ever seen. The hot enchilada casserole and egg salad sandwich you had for lunch react, creating a severe pressure. Your sphincter loses its control, and you break wind in a most convincing manner, causing three tumblers to shatter, and a secretary to pass out. What you should do next is:

(a) Offer to come back next week, when the smell has gone away.
(b) Point to their CEO, and accuse him of the offense.
(c) Challenge anyone in the room to do better.

4.  You are at a business lunch, when you are suddenly overcome with an uncontrollable need to pick your nose. Remembering that this is definitely a NO-NO. You:

(a) Pretend to wave to somebody across the room and, with one fluid motion, bury your forefinger in your nose up to the 4th joint.
(b) Get everyone drunk, and organize a nose-picking contest with a prize to the one who make his nose bleed first.
(c) Drop your napkin on the floor, and when you bend over to pick it up, blow your nose on your sock.

5. You’ve just spent the evening with a supplier who invited you to an all-night boiler-maker drinking party. You get home just in time to go to work. You stagger to the men’s room and spend a half-hour vomiting. As you’re washing up, the Sales Training Manager walks in, blows cigar smoke in your face, and asks you to join him for drinks after work. You:

(a) Look him straight in the eye, and launch one last convulsive torrent at the front of his Hart Shaffner & Marx suit.
(b) Nail him right in the crotch, banking on the fact that he’ll never recognize your green face.
(c) Grasp his hand and pump it till he pees his pants.

6.  You are at a dinner with a customer and his wife, who looks like the regional winner of the Marjorie Main lookalike contest. Halfway through dinner you feel a hand on your lap. If you are resourceful, you will:

(a) ‘Accidently ‘ spill hot coffee in your lap.
(b) Slip a note to you server to have your customer paged, and see if the hand disappears.
(c) Excuse yourself and go to the men’s room. If he follows, don’t come out till you have a signed order.

7.  You’re on your way in to see your best account, when your zipper breaks, and you remember that you forgot to put on your underpants this morning. You decide to:

(a) Call on the customer’s secretary instead.
(b) Explain that you were trolling for queers.
(c) Buy a baggy raincoat and head for the school playground.

8.  You’ve just returned from Green Bay, Wisconsin, in January, and tell your boss that nobody but whores and football players live there. He mentions that his wife is from Green Bay. You:

(a) Ask what position she played.
(b) Ask if she’s still working the streets.
(c) Pretend you’re suffering from amnesia, and don’t remember your name.

Remember, there are no “correct” answers, except perhaps to take up Yoga so that you can practice bending over and kissing it goodbye.