Monday, June 25, 2012

The Panda Bear on Being a Nobody and Superior Coworkers

The Panda Bear obtained the poem below from this link.

I'm Nobody! Who are you? (260)

by Emily Dickinson
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –  
To tell one's name – the livelong June –  
To an admiring Bog!

The Panda Bear has put her poem on the door of her cubicle.    The Panda Bear 'attitude towards her office over the last few months has been-yes the Panda Bear acknowledges is that she is a low person on the office totem pole-but she does not care; the Panda Bear believes that there are joys of being on the bottom of the ladder that those on the top will never know.  Probably because of the death of Father Panda Bear was in a bad mood all last week at work.   The work load was as heavy as ever.

"Oh you miserable wage slave", the Panda Bear was thinking to herself.  How sad and short is life, the Panda Bear would think to herself.   When we are young we are to stupid to enjoy life, when we are in the middle, we are too busy working and when we retire we are old and sick.   The Panda Bear pondered the great existential problem;everyone we know is going to die and we will also die.

The Panda Bear works in a small office.   The office has two main divisions   The Panda Bear will call them Division A, Division and Division C.   The Panda Bear works in Division C.   The rumor is that Division A considers themselves better than Division C;they do have a higher job grade.   Division A is salaried while Division C is on the time clock..   The Panda Bear was told by the Director of the office is that she could never be promoted to Division A.

When the Panda Bear was in a bad mood last week, she thought who cares about Division A. (To be honest, Division A workers are nice to the Panda Bear on an individual basis so the Panda Bear feels obligated to be nice to them.   However, the Panda Bear does not feel that excuses their attitude of superiority to Division C).  

Father Panda was a modest person.  It came to a surprise to those who knew him best that he changed the the way some atoms, photons and mathematical operators are used in the sciences.  In part out of pride in Father Panda and in part to show off to Division A, the Panda Bear e-mailed to them Father Panda's list of accomplishments.   The Panda Bear thought no one in Division A probably is related to someone as smart as Father Panda.   The Panda Bear wanted everyone to think how smart she must be even if she inherited even one tenth of Father Panda's intelligence.

The Panda Bear has decided her whole approach to her coworkers will be one of intelligent humility.   She will not be bitter(Ha!) at the seventy-eight positions that she has applied for within her company for which she was turned down.   The Panda Bear knows she is a smart person despite her lack of worldly success. 

The Panda Bear is seen as being  nice person.   However, at times the Panda Bear feels that nice guys/gals finish last.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Panda Bear on the Legacy of Father Panda and Lack of Respect in the Office

As the readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, Father Panda passed away June 4, 2012.

Father Panda was a quiet and humble person.  He was a scientist.   While at times he was affiliated with universities, he did not like to teach. He did not like administrative work. His passion was working on mathematical formulas by himself.  

When the Panda Bear was a child no one understood what Father Panda did for a living.   He would just sit and write formulas on graph paper and tell the Panda Bear he was thinking (presumably thinking very deep thoughts).  To the Panda Bear has a child this seemed so boring and minor.  It hurt the Panda Bear that no one knew what her father did in an area where many of the children had for fathers who were business leaders, physicians, college professors, lawyers and architects.

Her father was not self-promoting.  He always felt deeply disappointed in himself in that people did not recognize his work.

Imagine the pride of the Panda Bear when she found out from some of her father's professional colleagues after he died that they thought the science he did was really very good; in fact he was way ahead of his time.   He changed the way a certain mathematical operator was used and redefined the properties of an atom.   The Panda Bear always knew her father was smart.  However, she felt like a contestant on the TV show Antiques Road Show where she found out what she thought had value was truly worth something.

Because Father Panda was an idealist and not the worldliest person, he had limited ability to help the Panda Bear get ahead in the world.

The Panda Bear is a humble office worker.   Even though she is considered to be a smart person, she feels at times people in higher positions talk down to her.   The Panda Bear could not help but mention to her coworkers and superiors about Father Panda's superior scientific achievements.    Let us seen if anyone can treat the Panda Bear as though she stupid now!!!

The Panda Bear when things quiet down needs to rethink her future.    She is tired of people not treating her with respect.   She feels she should go into business for herself but she has no idea what she could do besides word processing.

The point, dear reader, of this post is not to bore the reader with the Panda Bear's problems.   It is more to show that the Panda Bear does not think of the office has being a meritocracy.   People valued for the perceived position on the office hierarchy rather than an intrinsic value.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Panda Bear on Her Envy of the French and the Mistakes of Her Youth

The Panda Bear was at a meeting this week where a woman said in France everything closes down in August and takes a month off.

Whenever, the Panda Bear wants to feel sorry for herself, she will complain that she has worked full-time consistently and with good attendance since 1993 and to her a month off from work seems like a remote impossible dream.

The Panda Bear has heard of other European countries that shut down for a month but seem to be in worse economic condition than France where the Panda Bear in a typical American superior fashion can say their economy is in a mess from their shorter work hours.   However, the French seem to be functioning as an economy though they don't have as many consumer as the US.

The Panda Bear doesn't even dream about a month off every year-even a month off every five years would be nice and she finds it hard to believe that either the US economy or the companies she works for would suffer that much from her taking a month off every five years.

The Panda Bear admits that as a typical American she has been frustrated when things are closed in the United States.   However, recently she has started to feel that when services are open extended hours she is also working longer hours.   The Panda Bear is starting to feel that Americans need more collective down time.

The Panda Bear remembers when in Massachusetts all stores used to be closed on Sunday.   Now there is hardly any holiday that everything closes down.   It used to be that everything was closed for Thanksgiving Day(which is in November) but now that is starting to change and stores are now open for people to shop.

The Panda Bear would prefer to live in a society that had fewer consumer goods but more leisure.

The Panda Bear is regretting the errors of her youth.   When she was young she was very serious, shy and anxious to settle down.   When the Panda Bear was young she had a hard time having fun.   What a wasted youth!!!   The Panda Bear should have been having enjoying herself.

Now the Panda Bear would like to have fun but is unable to have it because she has so many responsibilities.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Panda Bear on the Death of Father Panda and Franklin Roosevelt

On Monday June 4, 2012, Father Panda Bear(the father of the Panda Bear) left this world after an illness of three weeks.  He was 89 years old.   His funeral was yesterday June 7, 2012.

Father Panda was a quiet man.   He had a PhD. in physics and was a very smart and intellectual person.   He was devoted to his work in theoretical physicians and Mother Panda(the Panda Bear's mother).  The Panda Bear was his only child.    He had no grandchildren.

Father Panda was also a very good person.    He was disappointed that his scientific work did not get the attention that he felt he deserved.    Perhaps somewhat naively, both Father Panda and Mother Panda believed that all one needed to do to get ahead was to work hard and be good and what you do.  The Panda Bear believes that it is often the egotistical and self-promoting who get ahead in this world.

The Panda Bear will share with her readers the speech she gave at her father's funeral.    While the Panda Bear mentioned in that that Father Panda was a Franklin Roosevelt Democrat, she did not make to much of it because she did not want her father's funeral to become political.

Father Panda loved Franklin Roosevelt and hated Herbert Hoover.  Father Panda who lived through the Great Depression believed his family would have starved without the New Deal.   He said none of the recessions that the Panda Bear has lived through was as bad as the Great Depression where there was no such thing as a social safety net until Franklin Roosevelt put in the New Deal.   Father Panda also believed that some conservatives really felt people should starve though they did not always come out and say it.

Father Panda hated big business and the political right.

Here is the speech the Panda Bear gave in honor of her Father:

I have the difficult task about saying a few words to celebrate the life of my father.   How can anyone’s life be summarized in a few words?Instead of focusing on the biography of my father’s life and I want to focus on a few of his personal traits that should be remembered.

He was a child of the Great Depression and a Franklin Roosevelt Democrat.   He would tell me stories of people seeing people starving in the streets and people losing their money in the banks before there was the FDIC insurance.   For him (and some others in that generation) Franklin Roosevelt was their hero who saved them from the calamity of the Great Depression.

As a theoretical physicist obviously my father was a very smart person.   He was extremely informed person.   However, it should also be remembered that my father was a good, conscientious and responsible person.   He always tried to follow the moral and ethical course of action.   He was a modest and unassuming person.
He was a physicist and his work was important to him.   His tools when I was younger were pens and graph paper and as I got older it was the computer.   He liked working by himself on complex formulas.

Next to my mother the great love of his life was his Macintosh computer.

My father liked being an active and involved person.   I think he would have liked the fact that he was seen as doing very well before his final illness and that he left this world on a high note.

I would like to tell the people in this room the things he talked about after he fell and hurt his head in his final few weeks of his life.    I think it shows a lot about his character.

He was worried that he was going to die which neither me nor my mother thought he would at the time.  He said he did not want to be an invalid.   He said he was not pain.

Once when I visited my father in the hospital he was able to talk about the Russian Revolution and could identify a picture of Kerensky, who wanted a parliamentary democracy for Russia on the television screen.

He told my mother she was best thing that ever happened to him and was concerned about her welfare.   I promised my father that I would help my mother.  He worried when my mother stayed late at the hospital.   One of the last things he told my mother was that he had a nightmare that she needed something done and there was no one there to help her. 
I remember my last conversation with my father.   It was just after he had been transferred to the Mass General ICU.   I called the nursing station before work.   I knew my father was very sick but still did not think he would die.    The nurse said he was awake and feeling scared.   I did not go to work that day and went to see my father.

When I came to the hospital he was awake.   The television was on so we talked about different television shows.   We finally settled on a show that showed pictures of nature.   We talked about the different animals on the TV screen and at times he laughed and smiled.  I told him I was reading a book about the founding of Facebook and how it made Mark Zuckerberg not seem like a very nice person.  
My father reached out and kissed me a couple of times and told me he wanted me to go to Europe.   Finally he said “Panda Bear please go-I want to take a nap.”   Those were the last words he ever said to me.

May my father, Father Panda, rest in peace.