Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Panda Bear on Layoffs, Northanger Abbey and the Rest Cure

Before the Panda Bear goes into the main topic of her post, the Panda Bear wanted to discuss what she heard about a local company's plans to layoff some workers.   The company was going to outsource some of the behind the scenes operations to India.   Presumably, the customers would not know that some of the backend work was being done in India.   Also none of the workers knew which of them would loose their jobs because of this outsourcing (some of the workers would be kept).

The Panda Bear wanted to share three observations regarding this situation.   1) It is almost impossible for Americans to tell what products and services are made in the US and what products and services are made abroad.   A lot of things are sent abroad unknown to the customer.  2) What is causing layoffs in the US is not always diminished demands for goods and services but outsourcing the work to foreign countries.  3) The work atmosphere in this company must be terrible as workers compete for diminishing number of positions.  It probably makes for an intensely competitive as as opposed to cooperative work environment.

The Panda Bear likes reading the classics; they know how to tell a story.   The Panda Bear thinks there is something to a good book that totally pulls one in as one reads it.   Since she has gotten her eReader, she can get many of the classics for free.   Furthermore, the Panda Bear has read in The Atlantic the A Slow Books Manifesto stating that reading literature was good for one's soul.

Anyway, the classic book that the Panda Bear just finished reading was Northanger Abbey  by Jane Austen.  With the success of the Twilight series, Northanger Abbey seems modern in that it makes fun of Gothic novels and "women's" fiction.   The Panda Bear thinks that some writer could become famous by writing a good satire of the vampire love story.   The Panda Bear has resolved to read some of Anne Radcliffe's Gothic novels.  They might be fun to read and she had a lot of influence as a writer.

There is one aspect of many old novels that the Panda Bear finds interesting.   They make reference to a "rest cure" which apparently existed in the old medicine and which the Panda Bear dreams of making its return   Northanger Abbey starts off with a man being "ordered" by his physician spend six weeks in Bath.   This man does not seem to be that sick.   Moreover Bath seems to be a fun place with lots of social gatherings. 

In many old novels and biographies she will read when a patient complains of being nervous, worn out and tired the physicians "orders" the patient to take a long journey to some place interesting for a year for one's health.   These are the physicians that the Panda Bear loves and admires.  The Panda Bear things she and alot of people are overworked and would love it if someone told them to take it easy.   It does not have to be six weeks; just to get a week off for some health problem would be wonderful.

Even when the Panda Bear feels tired and sick the physicians are always sending her back to work.   They act like the school nurse always wanting to send her back to class even when she does not feel well.   On some levels the Panda Bear feels they are in league with corporate American to make sure everyone goes to work as scheduled.   Sometimes the Panda Bear feels there is a lack of communication between physicians and employers around when people are sick enough not to be at work.  For example,  one time the Panda Bear had to be a crutches for a week.   To get to work, she had to take walk a short distance, take two subways and a bus.    The physicians would not write her a sick note saying she should not be at work on crutches saying there was not reason for her not to take the subway to work.   The Panda Bear made it to work but she was in tears.   Most people at work felt that the Panda Bear should stay home but she could not because her job would be in jeopardy without a sick note from the physicians.

Another time that the Panda Bear gets annoyed with her physicians is around her colds and viral infections.   The Panda Bear has a tendency to gets colds that can drag on for weeks.   Alot of the time she will feel very sick and run down.   The Panda Bear has learned to slow herself down and get rest which she feels does help.   She can call in sick for one or two days at work but beyond that she would need a physicians note which the physicians won't give her even though she is still considered infectious.

The Panda Bear things probably alot of health problems are a result of overwork.    In future posts, the Panda Bear will ask what is needed to be done to bring back the rest cure.


  1. I am convinced I got very sick last year becuase of the dirty conditions at the only health club conveniently located to where I live. The choice is continue going to the health club and expose myself to germs or stop going and stay healthy but not exercise.