Archives for category: identity

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Relieve the branch of its leaves

or the leaves of their veins or the veins of their sap

to know the essence of the plant;

what remains is shambles, data,

and what learned is the nothingness of systems.

Yet, gently shake the bush in passing

vibrating its leaves and stems,

to sense its strength, its immediacy,

and respect its weakness,

while the plant, suffering one human weaknesses

— that of cloying curiosity —

endures our strengths and constraints.

In essence, we meet,

sharing the sun.

This, too, is an essential path of learning.

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Good morning heartache/ Where did you sleep last night?/ Hello, walls/ It’s a beautiful day/ But I’m only happy when it rains/ They say/ All you need is/ A whole lotta love/ Sugar three times a day/ That spoonful,/ Not necessarily stoned/ Beneath the Milky Way/ But something in the air at night/ I am just a poor boy/ And I don’t know why I love you like I do

 

labor2American business spends forty five billion dollars a year on insurance, worker’s compensation and safety pamphlets (actually, the dollar amount could be much higher; I have no real idea and just made up the figure, but it seems reasonable, doesn’t it?  At least when you include the pamphlets.)  On the other hand, American business spends a few quarters and nickels, and maybe some spare pocket lint on proactive safety improvements in the work place.  This proves that the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is commonly ignored and may be in fact incorrect.  After all, if we can get by on nickel improvements, since we’re already spending so much on cures, why up the ante?  The issue is so confusing– many managers will actually scratch their heads when asked about worker safety– that it is all commonly swept aside at meetings in favor of the more popular discussion: What donuts/bagels do we order at the next meeting?

One of the big things that happens when workers get hurt is that they tend not to come to work when they are recuperating.  What gets into an employee with fifty seven stitches around his skull from a falling crate accident that he can’t show up for work (yeah, yeah, they have a doctor’s note, and yes, those eye bandages hinder driving a car)?  Damn it, he can’t possibly work less than he did when he was healthy!  But you have to give him the time off and not give him any grief about it.

However, the other workers get repercussions big time.  Every company sets sick day policy differently.  But every employee works sick days the same.  They use them all, every one, by January 10th of the New Year.  Unless, of course, they can accrue those sick days.  Then you’ve got the very weird situation of employees retiring at the age of sixty five, but being absent for thirteen continuous years prior to their retirement date on the basis of accrued sick days.  And if vacations are accruable as well, the worker may go directly into retirement without ever actually having worked a day for the company.  Still, I’m an advocate of the accrued and/or paid-at-year’s-end policy of sick days simply because it promotes attendance.  Anything that promotes attendance is okay by me.  Just take a look at your company production levels around the Chanukah/Christmas holidays when everyone is out shopping for food and gifts, and you’ll see the impact of absenteeism on production.   If you haven’t noticed, a lot of supervision has a lot to do with judging people.  And I don’t mean the daily snap judgments we slap on even the remotest stranger, a person of whom we may know no more than what a rumor-mongering tabloid presents us from its scandal and celebrity lies files.  No, the kind of pondering that goes on in a good supervisor’s mind has to do not with personality types, but rather with skill identification and competency.  A supervisor is less effective asking, “Why is Francine slower on the heavy sewing machine than the daisy chain machine?” when the question might be more effective, “How can I get Francine more time on the daisy chain?”

Used judiciously, this kind of judgment will help you put the best people on the most efficient tasks (though you have to find a way to test people’s skills occasionally in the name of growth).  It also helps you to spot the rare but ever-present time-bomb psychopath worker who’s just about set to explode by midday tomorrow when he learns he’s been denied sick pay (through computer glitch in payroll) for the seventeenth time in a row in the past three years.  Tomorrow is Tuesday, and you judge Tuesday to be a good day to take off sick.  You read about your slain co-workers in the morning paper on Wednesday, and go back to work (feeling better, thanks) with a bright new future ahead of filling personnel spots.  These quiet workers who go suddenly berserk are well-known to supervisors.  Supervisors see the gleam of anger in a worker’s eyes long before the smoke starts coming out of their ears.  Once every seven years or so, a good pruning of the work force like this is considered tragically effective in re-invigorating the surviving employees.

I could go on for a long while listing the tasks a supervisor must do, even though many of them are beyond what he/she is expected to do, in order to straighten out the fuck ups of management and force the teeming, filthy, idle masses of labor to accomplish some fraction of what was promised to the stockholders in a posh board room last spring.  I think the point is made, which is that supervision is the most important part of all business ventures, and is second in importance globally behind perhaps only motherhood itself, which could conceivably be seen as the mother of all supervisory positions.  So here you are looking for some answers, some hint of hope, some morsel of advice to help you get better at doing the impossible.  Well, go look somewhere else, I’m just here to bitch.  No, not really.  But I want to tell you, this is the most underpaid, misunderstood, leaned upon and neglected piece of shit career an idiot could want.  Going into supervision as a future, as a fan, is like wanting to be committed to a mental ward so that you can watch more television.  You and me do this thing and that’s that.  Don’t ask why.  Let’s just open the door to this haunted house and creep our way through without being too frightened, or worse, paying full price to get in.  Go ahead, open the creaky old door.  It’s up to you to want to go into the fetid, shadowy, fungusland that is modern business.  It’s up to you to shake the severed hand of labor and tell them their insurance is probably not going to cover much of that surgery.  Here, let me push you in, through the ghosts of workers’ moods and bosses’ furies, into the darkness of another poorly planned schedule.  There in the distance, you see that light?  It’s our salvation, the place where all men go for wisdom and reflection.  It’s the soft, welcoming glow of the bathroom light.  Somebody left the door open.

I wouldn’t pretend to know everything, but I know I’ve suffered enough to have learned to duck when the crane swings by overhead and keep my heads up around fork lifts and loading docks.  Keep special eye on things that chop or rotate in any way.  So I figure I’d point out a few of the swinging booms and electric cables that can make life troublesome.  I’ll talk from all that experience.  And I’ll make up the rest as I go along.  So let’s call one another brother and or sister and go forward together toward improved production rates and a better overall fiscal future.  Right after I go to the john.

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Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted/  The mind is its own place, and in it self Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven/out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry/ Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word. /Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind/ A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. / You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you/ The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact./ All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars/ Don’t ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to/ Even the genius asks questions/ Always be a poet, even in prose/ I’ve been born to represent, for that I’ve been heaven sent And I meant, every word/ The Sun, the hearth of affection and life, pours burning love on the delighted earth / A person would have to change himself in order to be a living example of what he’s singing about/ And though I should beware, still I just don’t care

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It was a creature worth studying/  I charge thee, fling away ambition: By that sin fell the angels./ They could never understand, What u set out 2 do, Instead they chose 2 Ridicule u/Poetry is the art of surprising yourself with your own words/ / I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of everyday life. / The truth is rarely pure and never simple. /Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance. / Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech: that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and The Bible; and don’t sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon. / There is no royal road to learning; no short cut to the acquirement of any art. / Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself / If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence./ Unless one is a genius, it is best to aim at being intelligible. / . . . these are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean’s skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang. ./ She had the grit to pray for Judus if she took the notion–there warn’t no back-down to her… 

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The blood jet is poetry, there is no stopping it / O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord / I hold with those who favor fire / The revolution will not be televised / Into a moonless black, deep in the brain, far back /  Things as they are are changed upon the blue guitar / You got to be a spirit, can’t be no ghost / The darkness surrounds us, what can we do against it / Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings / And I shall be wanting to be rid of this thing till the end of my days / Lay down these words before your mind like rocks / Every morning I forget how it is / I say to the lead why did you let yourself be cast into a bullet / We few, we happy few, we band of brothers / Get thee behind me, Satan / Without this the days would be thin sticks thrown down in a clutter of leaves / Death needs time for what it kills to grow in / Man hands on misery to man it deepens like a coastal shelf / Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace / How many brothers fell victim to the streets /And yet do I marvel at this curious thing to make a poet black and bid him sing / What happens to a dream deferred /  Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only /  By heaven, I do love, and it hath taught me to rime, and to be melancholy / She’d a been a good woman if there’d a been someone there to shoot her every day of her life /  Only connect /  Art hath an enemy called Ignorance 

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If I write of a funeral,

Some will sense a tale of rebirth,

While others feel

I advocate dark clothes.