Friday, December 20, 2013

The Panda Bear on Her Work Red Line, Declaration of Independence from Paid Empyment, and Office Plant Update

The Panda Bear will have to do a short post today.    Mr. Panda has had some time off which always gives the Panda Bear less free time.

Readers of Panda Bear know that this summer the Panda Bear's employer crossed the Panda Bear' red line in terms of her employment when they banned plants in the office(the reason give was that the plants led to spiders; many workers of the office dispute the plants as a source of bugs).   Many other offices of the same employer have plants.   

The workers of the Panda Bear's office all loved the plants.   They brought their own plants and took care of them.      The Panda Bear recently read that plants actually improved  productivity of offices by improving air quality and reducing stress.    The Panda Bear finds it hard to believe that there is any rationality to the decision to ban plants.

Anyway recently, the heads of the Panda Bear's organization came to visit.   One manager asked the heads of the organization about the plant ban saying that it terribly upset the workers not having plants.   The upper management initially left the decision to the managers of the Panda Bear's office who let the plant ban remain.   However, the next day the decision was made that each worker could have a tiny plant at his/her desk.

The Panda Bear dreams of working in an office full of plants.   The Panda Bear firmly believes that in a good economy that she would have left her job several years ago.   The Panda Bear predicts that in the near future employers are going to have to deal with more and more workers becoming stale in their jobs.

In the Panda Bear's field of work, in the good economy most workers stayed about five years and then left for another job.(The Panda Bear has been in her job for nearly nine years).   If one was unhappy in one's job, one could relatively easily switch positions.   The Panda Bear believes that the feeling that one could get another job if things were bad really improved the morale of the work force.    Now with the bad economy this escape hatch is gone.

Earlier tonight the Panda Bear was procrastinating in writing her post.   Then she remembered feeling somewhat sorry for someone who said she needed a boss to give her deadlines to get her work done.   The Panda Bear feels that in the modern workforce bosses are not benevolent people and one should not have to rely on them for anything.   The Panda Bear has read on she agrees with the theory that nowadays even if one works for an organization one has to view oneself as an entrepreneur working within an organization.

She thinks organizations are going to find more and more people are working for them strictly for the money-any psychological benefits of paid employment are virtually none.   The Panda Bear knows of people who have inherited money and quit the workforce.   She is beginning to think these people are right.   Who would put up with half hour lunches and heavy workloads but for the money?    The Panda Bear is finding offices becoming more and more unpleasant.

The Panda Bear has her internal Declaration of Independence from Paid Employment.   She does not need her job to feel useful, have friends, structure her time, be productive or use her mind.   She needs solely it for the money.   The Panda Bear has no problem subtly letting her employer know that the moment she goes off the clock she has other worthwhile activities to do.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Panda Bear on Zen, Her Bathroom Repair and the Cleanathon

The Panda Bear is in her third day of paid leave from work.   She has gotten to understand how people who are not employed still say they are very busy.   The Panda Bear feels she has been somewhat hard on Mr. Panda.   He has about three times as much vacation time as the Panda Bear.    The Panda Bear at times will ask him what he has done with his week off and he will say he did not do too much.   The Panda Bear will not understand how he got so little done with so much "free" time.  The Panda Bear now feels it is harder to organize  oneself without a schedule.

When she was younger and had more free time, the Panda Bear did not understand the concept of Zen or doing nothing.   Wouldn't people rather be doing something?   Now after having been constantly busy she has come to appreciate it.   The concept of Zen is came from a busy culture.   A week of having nothing to do would seem like a totally mind altering experience to the Panda Bear right now.

Now here comes the part of the Panda Bear Blog that many readers have been waiting to hear; the Panda Bear will describe how her bathroom repair went last year.

The Panda Bear went to the website Home Advisor Inc, and asked for contractors for remolding the bathroom.   Mr, Panda interviewed the recommended contractors(because he has more time off).  He found one that he liked.  He made sure the contractor had worker's comp and general liability insurance.   We explained to him we did not want a full remodeling just a repair of what was broken.

This contractor very generously offered to go to Home Depot to pick out the material.   The Panda Bear and Mr. Panda don't drive so it is hard get to the store and pick out materials   Furthermore,  the Panda Bear felt she had no idea what to pick.    She explained to the contractor that she liked her old bathroom- it just needed to be fixed.   The contractor picked out the materials and warranted them for year.  He charged for his time and a mark edup on the price.  

The bathroom repair was quick and efficient.   In addition, they had some blinds replaced and some other small repairs.  The Panda Bear can say she is glad the apartment was fixed but she can't say it was an elevating and inspiring experience.   She feels she has acquired new skills but would rather the bathrooms did not break down.

For her next home project the Panda Bear has resolved to do a Cleanathon.   This is where the Panda Bear does a massive cleaning and decluttering so she can hire a professional cleaner to do the heavy cleaning.   Her goal is to hire a cleaner by this spring.  

She also needs to buy some new bureaus or have them repaired.   The Panda Bear finds it very frustrating that all the furniture stores -even in Boston proper where there are many people live in small houses and apartments-seem to have furniture for the McMansion.   The Panda Bear can't figure why since she things there would be a market for it in urban areas it is so hard to find furniture for smaller places.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Panda Bear on her Glossary of Terms, Office Bathroom and Home Bathroom

The Panda Bear thinks series entertainment is an unnecessary source of stress in modern life.   The Panda Bear thinks one should be able to pick up a novel or watch a TV show without having read the previous book or seen the prior TV episode.

However, a blog is something like a ongoing series.   However, the Panda Bear is committed to try to make each blog post read as much of a stand alone piece as possible.   However, to make the blog more readable the Panda Bear has added two pages to her blog for the reader to reference.   The first page is her Cast of Characters where she lists her frequently repeating characters.    The second page is her Glossary of Terms where she explains many of her words that are unique to the blog.

The Panda Bear has unexpectedly this week has had three days paid days off from work this week due plumbing problems which lead to the toilet facilities not being able to be used.   Three unexpected paid days off from work!!!! This has not happened to the Panda Bear in her nearly thirty years of being in the workforce full-time.  Furthermore,  the Panda Bear has been working for past thirteen years for organizations that had a no close policy so the offices weren't closed even when many other businesses were shut down(i.e. for bad weather).   The Panda Bear has been too stunned to know what to do.   Should she do chores or have fun?   The Panda Bear has decided to try to do a mixture of both. 

The Panda Bear was told places of work had to provide bathroom facilities for the employees and the office had to have electricity to remain open.   What amazed the Panda Bear were not these laws but that her last employer did not follow them.  In the Panda Bear's last place of unemployment they kept the place open without bathrooms(workers had to go to nearby buildings).  Furthermore, once when they had problems with some workers not keeping the bathrooms clean, the organization closed the bathrooms on a temporary basis and to threaten permanently close them(the workers would have had to use the public restrooms in the building).   The organization also kept people working through power outages that last several hours. 

The Panda Bear's previous organization was not some puny small time organization but was affiliated with a large employer.    Its managers would be considered to be "nice" people and mainstream middle management.   However, not all of its actions appear to have been legal.  The Panda Bear wonders why Unions are having such problems today when there is widespread disgruntlement about the way employers treat workers.  

It is getting late.   The Panda Bear was going to give her readers an update on her bathroom.   The Panda Bear will violate her rule about not liking series and say stay tuned to the next installment of the Panda Bear Blog.