Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Panda Bear on Bankers Hours and Voting Hours

The Panda Bear recently talked to a Bank Vice President,   She was doing business at a bank on Saturday because she and Mr. Panda work during the week,   Saturday hours are now common and many branches now are opened Sunday.   The Panda Bear commented that bankers no longer seemed to work "bankers’ hours".  The   defines “Bankers’ Hours” as:

Working or being open for the shortest and most inconvenient amount of time (~10am-4pm). Also includes a long lunch break and every possible holiday off.

The bank VP said bankers no longer worked bankers hours-many now have to work nights and weekends.

Many physicians complain that they are no longer treated with the respect that the profession once had.   The Panda Bear thinks one reason that people don't respect physicians as much as they used to is that the work hours of physicians don't seem as impressive as they did in former times.   Now when physicians complain of work hours they don't much seem longer than other workers and physicians are still better paid than many other occupations.

However, with everyone working these long hours nowadays one would think the state of Massachusetts would have longer voting hours than it does now.   In Massachusetts, for election that can determine the fate of our state and country we have voting hours on a weekday Tuesday from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.  The Panda Bear thinks these hours are a hardship for many working people.  Many people work nine hours a day and have commutes of at least two hours.  Often the places where people have to vote are not conveniently located for them.   Many people have multiple jobs and other commitments.    The Panda Bear herself has had at times found it difficult to vote.  The Panda Bear would vote more often in minor elections if it was easier to vote.  To make voting available to people just one weekday is not enough.

The Panda Bear thinks in this busy modern world of ours it should easier for people to vote.  Workers on strict work schedules should demand that the government make it easier for them to vote.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Panda Bear on Fall and the US Elections

The Panda Bear want to take a moment to mourn the death of the panda cub at the National Zoo.   The Panda Bear hopes the mother Mei Xiang recovers.

The beginning of autumn has begun in New England.   The temperature has gone down.   The evenings are now crisp.   The days are getting shorter; it gets dark now about an hour earlier than it did in the height of the summer.   The Panda Bear notices she gets tired as soon as it gets dark.   She is getting hungrier and craves carbohydrates; she feels the winter weight gain upon her.  

The Panda Bear is trying to find some healthy low calories foods for the winter.    She has resolved to bake fruits and carrots to manage her sweet tooth.   She may add a little honey to her tea and fruit.   The Panda Bear realizes honey adds calories but it is probably healthier than processed sweets.

The Panda Bear was going to work on her apartment now that the weather is not so hot (readers of the Panda Bear Blog the Panda Bear hates household chores and will find any reason not to do them).   However, this fall is the election season in the United States.

There are three major offices that have elections this fall.   The Panda Bear will need to vote for three offices.  One, of course, is the US president.   Probably the state of Massachusetts will go to Obama so the Panda Bear’s individual vote won’t matter too much with the Electoral College system that the US has.    However, there are two other important offices that will be voted on this November.   One for the US Senate with Scott Brown running against Elizabeth Warren and the other is for US Representative with Joe Kennedy running against Sean Bielat.   The Panda Bear has resolved to spend what free time she has researching election issues until the fall elections.

The Panda Bear deplores that US politics is becoming increasingly ideologically based.   The Panda Bear thinks it is hard to vote for political theory.   She wishes US politics would return to its pragmatic roots where one voted for the individual rather than for the political party.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Panda Bear on her Office Forest and 3 Stress Management Rules

The Panda Bear has started a plant collection on her desk.   A recent office move has given the Panda Bear more desk space.   She and other office workers have started to decorate the office with plants to make it prettier.   The Panda Bear has put a lot of different plants on her desk.   When people come up to her desk and ask her if she wants to create a forest on her desk, the Panda Bear says yes; her goal is to make her desk a beautiful garden of tropical plants.   On her computer at work, she listens to recordings of forest sounds.   The goal for the Panda Bear is that whenever, she is stressed or bored at work she can look at her plants and pretend she is in the woods.   She spends forty hours a week at that desk.   She feels her desk should be beautiful.

The Panda Bear has found this link about how stressful jobs are today.     The Panda Bear has learned to better deal with job stress.   All of Panda Bear’s jobs have been high volume/high stress jobs.     Here are some general tips the Panda Bear has found useful in dealing with all kinds of stress both work and personal
1) Stress is a fairly universal problem of modern times.   As individuals we all have to find a way to deal with stress.   Many factors that cause stress in modern times are out of an individual’s control.   You are only one individual and can only be expected to do so much.  

2) Stress is not a helpful reaction.   It does not help getting things done.   In fact, the Panda Bear slows down under stress.    Stress simply creates psychological and physical wear on the person.  It can lead to health problems.   If one gets sick from stress, one accomplishes nothing.

3) No one cares if you are stressed out.   Maybe because it is such a common condition but when someone complains about stress it can sound like whining.   No one has changed anything or modified any practice for the Panda Bear because she has complained about stress.   It is up to the individual to learn how to cope with stress and find ways to relax.   Often ways of reducing stress for individuals will be unpopular with others because it may mean curbing certain activities to reduce one’s stress load. However, the Panda Bear believes that dealing with stress involves learning self care skills since modern American society does not provide people with much opportunity to relax.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Panda Bear on Fair Weather Cats and the Lower Percentages

The Panda Bear has discovered that her cat is a fair weather cat.   She hides in the apartment from the Panda Bear and Mr. Panda during rainstorms.   The cat does not respond to the Panda Bear or Mr. Panda when they call for her when she is hiding.   The cat seems to have the philosophy that when disaster strikes one should save oneself first.   When the sun comes back out, the cat will come out from hiding and jump on the Panda Bear’s lap waiting to be hugged and petted.

One of the purposes of the Panda Bear Blog is to be a blog for the people of the lower percentage.   The Occupy Movement started a good trend in coming up with the concept of the ninety-nine percent.   However, the Panda Bear does not think the occupy movement went low enough in their percentage points.

The Panda Bear thinks the top twenty-five percent can be very snobby.   These are the people of the United States’ “upper middle class”.   The United States would like to see itself has a meritocracy so the top 25 percent can see itself has being quite the elite.   The Panda Bear would include in this group such people as college professors, MDs, upper management and journalists.   These people can regard themselves as a little “better” than other people ;  the Panda Bear has grown up close to this group and perhaps as had aspirations to this strata of society.

However, the Panda Bear has been a failure in this respect.   Economically, the Panda Bear is probably in the sixty-to seventy-five percent of the US; not poor but not part of the upper elite.

In the office the where the Panda Bear works, the Panda Bear is in the lower thirty percent of the office population.   Most of the office is considered “salaried” and therefore is not paid for overtime.   Their jobs are considered to be “professional”. The Panda Bear is of the lower thirty percent of her office who are paid for overtime; their jobs are considered less professional than the salaried workers.

The Panda Bear is in the lower ten percent in her housekeeping skills and ability to play games involving a ball.  (However, the Panda Bear has been more successful in her housekeeping tasks-subject for another blog posts).

The Panda Bear Blog is a blog for the lower percentages; a blog for people in the middle who are muddling through life.

The Panda Bear things the upper percentages should remember that they could not be in the upper percentages without people (or bears) like us in the lower percentages.     By definition not everyone can be in the top one percent; most people are in the average range and some people are even-gasp-below average.

During the past two weeks, the major political parties have had the conventions.   There has been much the US being a more partisan society.   Part of the reason for the deepening splits within the US is that the upper classes are increasingly socially insulated from those in the non-upper classes.   The US needs to embrace economic, political as well as cultural diversity.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Panda Bear on Labor Day, Property Ownership and Stress

This Monday September it was Labor Day in the United States.   Most people have the day off from work; it is a long weekend.   It also marks the end of summer.

On Labor Day, the Panda Bear and Mr. Panda went to the YMCA to go swimming and get their needed exercise.   Then they went home to do their needed household chores.
The Panda Bear and Mr. Panda are very fortunate in that they both have jobs.   The downside is they have very little free time and much of their off work hours is spend doing chores, seeing physicians and getting their needed exercise since they both have desk jobs (desk jobs are turning out to be very bad for one’s health).

The Panda Bear spent much of the day going through tickets to see if she won a prize at her local supermarket’s sweepstakes.   She must have gone through about 75 tickets but she won no prize.   It was very disappointing to the Panda Bear to find out she did not win the supermarket’s  1,000,000 dollar prize and realize that she would have to go to work the next day. 

The Panda Bear has often heard that instant riches ruin people.    (Actually, the Panda Bear knows of several people who recently inherited some money and are in no rush to go back to work).   While the Panda Bear doubts her competency in many areas of life, she feels suddenly having lots of money would not go to her head.   She would quit her job and become a part-time bank teller (she sees advertisements for part-time tellers).   The job would give her some structure to her day but she would be free to do other things she likes to do such as take day trips, blogging, seeing  friends and taking care of her apartment.

The Panda Bear’s apartment is a disaster.   During the summer it has been too hot to do much work in her apartment.  The Panda Bear could use a couple of months off from work to work on her apartment; however, alas, that time is not there.   The Panda Bear hopes that as the weather cools off she can slowly work on getting her apartment organized one room at a time.

Before the Panda Bear studied relaxation techniques, she had anxiety attacks about her apartment.   She felt stressed out  because she did not have the time, energy and inclination to keep her apartment in the condition that it should kept.   With all the stresses in modern life, the apartment just seemed like an added pressure.
After the Panda Bear learned how to get more relaxed, she realized that there was no point about stressing over her apartment.   She feels things will get done when they get done.    Stressing out about things does not help matters it just is hard on oneself.   Now the Panda Bear looks at the mess and says things will get down when they get done.

However, the Panda Bear has found an interesting radio show that states that many people are like the Panda Bear and find owning property stressful.   The show has had segments that state the American families are feeling strapped for time and very hard at their jobs.     This time pressure leaves people very little time to deal with their property.

The show is called Real Estate Today and it is put out by the National Association of Realtors.  Now the Panda Bear would never have thought that she, the hater of household chores, and the National Association of Realtors would share many of the same views on real estate.