Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Baracking Up The Wrong Tree

….You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks…

The Big O’s political ads have been running on radio and TV, ad nauseam. Change, change, change. Change of fools. Oh wait, that's chain, chain, chain. Never mind. Exactly what type of change does The Big O have in mind? Sex change, spare change, tire change, change of clothes, change of address, change of habit, climate change?

I digress.

During the ads, I have become intimately acquainted with the mute button. There is something very satisfying about silencing unwanted verbal diarrhea. Mute: It's Kaopectate for the mind. However, one day I was a bit slow to react. In that momentary pause, I was regaled with O’s bombastic blatherings. While I managed to tune out most of the drivel, one sentence stuck in my mind.

Forgive me as I paraphrase: This administration has created a divide between Wall Street and Main Street. A CEO makes more in 10 minutes than the ordinary worker makes in a year.

While I disagree wholeheartedly with blaming "this administration" for any disparity between Wall Street and Main Street, the accountant in me wanted to examine the validity of his claim. I put the spreadsheet to use.

For the sake of this exercise, I looked at 2004 CEO compensations at I selected Reuben Mark, CEO at Colgate-Palmolive, who was ranked #1 for compensation.

My figures were determined as follows: Hourly wage was calculated on the standard 2,080 hours worked per year and broken down into 10 minute increments (Annual Wage/2080 = hourly wage. Hourly wage/60 minutes = minute wage. Minute wage x 10 minutes). I ran numbers based on "straight salary" (no bonus, other compensation and/or stock options) and "total compensation" (inclusive of bonus, other, stock). Based on the calculations, here is what I found.

Mr. Mark was compensated straight salary at $1.6 million. His earnings for 10 minutes of work was $132.77. Considering his total compensation including bonus, other and stock, Mr. Mark earned $148 million. The wage earned for 10 minutes of work $11,859.00.

Compared to a minimum wage earner, working full time (2,080 hours at $6.15/hour = annual salary $12,792.00) Mr. Mark earned approximately $900.00 less for 10 minutes of work.

Even using the most extremes, The Big O’s assertion is factually incorrect. Hang on folks, we have a politician uttering fallacious statements in an effort to be elected to the Office of President?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Making Change

….28 minus 18 equals?….

Tonight, I pulled into a local fast food joint, much to the dismay of my vital organs. I placed my order, received my total and followed the young man’s instructions to drive to the last window.

My total was $5.18, so I gave the guy $5.28; anticipating a dime back. How many of you have done that same thing? It’s a way to clean out pennies from the old pocketbook. I do this all the time. I watched as this kid puts the three pennies on the counter and enters in $5.25. He returns with my change. A nickel and two pennies as the cash register told him to return $.07 plus the three pennies I had given him.

As he handed me the change, I said, "I gave you $0.28 so you’d give me a dime back." He laughed. I could see that I stumped him with that one. Seriously, he had no idea what I meant. You know that vacant, “duh” look some people get when they have no idea what you’ve just said in plain, logical English? The look which incites concern for the gene pool. The poor kid, he did the only thing he could do. He asked if I wanted any condiments.

You can’t make change, but have the ability use the word “condiments"? I am willing to bet “condiments” are explained in the employee handbook. Don’t worry, the register will tell you how much change to return to the customer. It is much more important to make sure the customer leaves with the condiments of their choice.

I’ll have a packet of ketchup with my dime, please.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How E-Mail Can Get You Into A Fix


A member of my company's general legal counsel was a bit overzealous when it came to informing us of the upcoming primary.

From the email:

You might have also heard about the "super-delegates" who could end up deciding the democratic nominee. These super-delegates are under lots of pressure right now to announce their support for one candidate or the other. You have the option to encourage them to let the voters decide between the candidates and then to support the candidate who wins the popular vote and caucus. To do so, you can sign a petition at this link:

I took exception to a couple of items in the email. First, specifics were given for one county. Many of the employees live in other counties. Why not go to the state's voter site and give generalities to cover all the counties? Second and most irritating, I believe it is highly inappropriate for legal counsel to suggest that employees visit a party specific organization to participate in a poll.

I know the person who wrote the email, and I am sure no malice was intended; however, I was very uncomfortable that an attorney would be putting that type of information out there. I realize that many people are not savvy voters. Many do not exercise their constitutional right to vote, which is a shame. But, to exert pressure in a partisan direction? From your company attorney?

Can you say "ginormous oops!"?

I can.

P.S. I sent the attorney the state's link. She thanked me and said I could send it out as she got into trouble for the last part of her email. Ya think?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Why Did Hillary's Campaign Call Me?

....Desperation Emits A Certain Stench...

Last Saturday, I was spending the afternoon with my sister, offering some adult company. While I was out, I received a call. Unfortunately, or fortunately for “Fran”, I was not able to take her call. From my answering machine:

Hello Indie67. This is Fran with the Hillary Clinton Campaign. I am calling to remind you that the Texas primary is on March 4th. We would like your support. So remember to vote March 4th and if you would like any other information, please visit us at


I don't know you Fran, so do not use my given name. You can address me as Miss _____ (insert surname here.) I do not like strangers speaking to me so familiarly. You don't know me.

Fran, have you even seen my voting record? I am a registered Republican. I am a conservative; a part of that vast right wing conspiracy upon which Frau Clinton likes to lay blame for many failings of her party? As much as I dislike the heir apparent for the Republican nomination, I would never vote for Hillary.

Did you call me with hopes that you could play the gender card? That I would consider Hillary because she is a woman? Wrong. In my lifetime so far, there has been one woman who garnered my respect and admiration as a political figure. That person was Margaret Thatcher. Dearest Fran, Hill is no Margaret Thatcher.

Maybe in your Hill-induced delirium you assumed I agree with her policies. Fran, Frannie, Fran, you are wrong again. She is doing her best to impose socialism on my country. Could it be that Hill is on the verge of Obamafacation? Her lead is slip, sliding away. Is she really so desperate that her campaign would call people who would never vote for her? Sadly enough, Hillary is the more conservative of the Dem nominee hopefuls. Still, I shudder at the thought of either one assuming the presidency.

Might I make a bold suggestion? Perhaps you should know more about who you are calling.

In this case, your ignorance would not have been bliss. I sure regret missing that call; if only to hang up when the words "Hillary Clinton Campaign" came out of your mouth.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Intercessory Prayer - Part II

…The Miracle of My Time….

I have previously posted my thoughts on intercessory prayer. Specifically, our direct connection to God and using said connection when we pray. I do not believe in offering prayers to deceased saints. The dead cannot hear nor speak on our behalf.

I am the first to admit that I do not pray with the consistency I should. That is my burden to bear and something I am working to resolve. However, when my Aunt Monica was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in 2007, I can say that I, among numerous others, prayed diligently for her recovery. I asked my friends to pray. My sister asked our church. Our parents asked their church. Aunt Barbara requested prayer services from her church. My Aunt Monica and Uncle Tom asked their church and friends.

I saw my Aunt Monica in July 2007 shortly after the birth of her 7th grandchild. She was looking as well as could be expected after being bombarded with toxic chemicals in an attempt to save her life. Her hair had grown back, she was buoyant and vivacious. But the shadow of cancer hovered. The mass was not shrinking as much as the doctors had hoped; especially after 6 months of chemo.

The next day she traveled back home and visited her doctor. The mass was still present and the fluid on her lungs continued to build. The doctor made a decision to insert a drainage tube. My aunt said the drainage tube was the most uncomfortable part of having cancer. Shortly after the tube was inserted, some 3 to 4 weeks, she returned to the doctor for her next scan.

August 2007, the scan revealed something surprising. The mass was gone. Vanished. Disappeared. Non-existent. Her doctor, understandably astonished, said, “You must have had a lot of people praying for you.” Yes!!! Yes, she did. My aunt had many people praying for her; and those prayers were acknowledged by the Great Physician.

So my friends, here is my proof that intercessory prayer does work. With prayer, faith, and God’s work clearly evident; how can you not intercede on behalf of others?

Prayers are answered. Some in direct, tangible ways; others in ways we choose not to see.