Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Panda Bear on Christmas in the Office and The Poor Economy

The Panda Bear since she has started a new and better job has less time to blog.   However, she will continue to blog in the future.   She will begin a series of posts attacking the privileges of academia elite.   Not that the Panda Bear is against education but she things that academics often regarding themselves as a priestly elite.    The Panda Bear Blog is the blog of a common office worker.

One thing that the Panda Bear is glad in her new job that not much is made of Christmas.   The Panda Bear was raised that it was wrong to celebrate Christmas.   Until about 2001 the Panda Bear did not have problem with the office Christmas. What went on even in the office was basically secular though this was called Christmas+.

However, after 2001, though the name was changed to “Holiday”, for one month, the Panda Bear get barraged about the “Christian” nature of the holiday.   These messages have included managers of secular organizations.   Through the Christians at work, the Panda Bear has learned about the “Christian” nature of some ornaments that the Panda Bear once thought of as simply pretty decorations.

Though Christians are the overwhelming majority of the Panda Bear’s workplace, they feel angry and persecuted.   They feel oppressed if they cannot express their religion at work even though the institution they work for is secular and is located in a large diverse urban environment which the includes many religions and nonbelievers.

The Panda Bear believes Christianity is not well served in offices on the holidays.   It does not come across as a religion of hope, faith, charity, love and goodwill.   Rather it comes across and self-centered, militant and materialistic (endless discussions of shopping for presents).

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Panda Bear on the Democratic Loss, Unemployment and New Job

The Panda Bear is not at all surprised that the Democrats lost control of Congress.   The Democrats were defending in the position of defending a poor economy.   The Panda Bear would consider herself to be a progressive but she thinks the American Right has been more accurate recently about the state of the economy.  There is high unemployment and the lower nine-five percent’s income has dropped drastically in recent years.    People who have jobs are stressed out and feel discouraged by the lack of opportunity.   Probably many employees feel like indentured servants rather than free labor.

The Panda Bear knows first-hand about the high unemployment rate.   On October 10, she lost her job.   She went to several unemployment agencies where the staff said the unemployment rate was high in Massachusetts and people were having a hard time getting jobs (despite the Democrats asserting things were getting better).   However, the Panda Bear has heard Massachusetts is not as bad as other parts of the country.

The Panda Bear's period of unemployment will be short lived.   On November 17, the Panda Bear will starting and new a better job.   The Panda Bear will learning some new skills and earning more money in her new position. (The Panda Bear thinks it is a major problem for both employed workers who are getting stale in the jobs and for the unemployed who can’t get jobs that employers no longer want to train workers.  She can understand that training workers is a major expense for companies but lack of company training is creating problems for Americans). 

Of course, the Panda Bear would not have gotten a job so quickly if she had not been involved in an intensive job hunt since July 2013, when her old office banned plants at work.   In took the Panda Bear several years for her to work on her resume and she paid for a professional resume consultation.   (In the modern economy with jobs being so unstable the Panda Bear thinks everyone should be able to quickly produce a good resume.   Once when the Panda Bear was laid off very suddenly and unexpectedly, it slowed to her hob hunting process a lot that it took several months for her to develop a good working resume.)

For the jobs the Panda Bear's field of work, the internet is the prime source of jobs.   How, the job hunting world has changed from when the Panda Bear started in the working world!!  She remembers buying the Sunday paper (for the help wanted ads) and sending in resume and cover letter via snail mail.  However, even, the best job hunting web sites change.   In 2013, the Panda Bear was told that Monster and CareerBuilder were no longer the top job hunting websites; the best website to look for jobs was Indeed(in fact, this web site was where the Panda Bear found her new job).   However, in 2014, the Panda Bear heard that companies no longer liked Indeed but were recruiting from LinkedIn.   In fact, several employment counselors told the Panda Bear that companies were telling the State of Massachusetts that they wanted all employees on LinkedIn.

The hiring process can take a long time nowadays.   The Panda Bear applied for her job in as soon as it was advertised in July and she was offered the job on November 4.   Therefore, the Panda Bear thinks a person can be easily on unemployment for a year and be actively job hunting.

Of course, the Panda Bear getting her dream job and going to job heaven means that she will no longer be blogging about her current job.   The Panda Bear blogged about her old job more than was prudent but jobs are a big part of one's life and if one is unhappy with one’s job one can be unhappy with life.

Instead, the Panda Bear Blog will more focus on the problems of the world.   The Panda Bear recently read the Autobiography of John Stuart Mill, the famous nineteenth century philosopher.   She was inspired by John Stuart Mill's statement that his being an office worker contributed to his understanding of the world and enabled him to come up with ideas for critiquing and reforming the major institutions of his time.   He was also for expanding the power base of his time for which the Panda Bear admires him.

In the spirit of John Stuart Mill, the Panda Bear will continue to blog; a blog of an office worker who wants to improve the world and advocate for the lower 95 percent.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Panda Bear on Jury Duty and the Stress of The Unknown

Recently, the Panda Bear  was called to serve on the jury.   She went to the court house and sat in the jury room for about two and a half hours and then her and all the other potential jurors were dismissed.  All the cases were settled before they went to trial.    The court official assured the people who were called up for jury that the court was not wasting their time.   Just the threat and ability to go to trial scared people into settling their cases.

The Panda Bear is a big fan of the idea of just being there prevents a damaging action.   The Panda Bear thinks her cat has the best job of all; just her being there has scared the mice out of the Panda Bear's  apartment.   The Panda Bear felt she was acting like her cat in this respect in the court house.    Her simple presence had an effect(When the Panda Bear was at the courthouse there was a movie about jury service in Massachusetts.   The Panda Bear found out that women could not serve on the jury in Massachusetts until 1950 or nearly thirty years after women had the vote!   In many ways, the Panda Bear would think it is more important for women to serve on juries then vote but the Panda Bear believes women should have all the same political rights as men).

The Panda Bear is having an emotional crisis.    Some potential good news may be coming her way.   However, it is not definite.   She feels the uncertainty stresses out her out more then bad news does.   With bad news one can plan a course of action but with things being up in the air it immobilizes future actions.   The relief some people feel after a person dies is not purely because nothing more has to be done for the person who died.   The Panda Bear feels the when a person is dying his/her situation is unresolved; death is a sad resolution to an issue but it is a form of certainty none the less.

The Panda Bear often complains about her simple and routine life.   However, she does not deal well with the unknown.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Panda Bear Blog on the Fall, Relaxation, and Organizations in Distress

While the Panda Bear likes the autumn, she went into a panic in mid-September.   She felt overwhelmed with things to do.    She had a bit of a cold so she took a day off to relax.   Then she went into a crisis mode of trying to narrow down the many things she would like to do in her four hours of scheduled down time.   What she probably did sleep.

Finally her high anxiety broke.   She thinks what finally broke it was doing some dreaded household chores.  It probably was the exercise that was involved in doing the dreaded chores that relaxed the Panda Bear and the Panda Bear felt she was actually accomplishing something (Actually, the writing of the Panda Bear Blog has helped the Panda Bear in doing some of these chores.   She now can think of her blog posting while doing the chores.   While now her fellow workers complain about the amount of non-paid employment time these chores take, Panda Bear takes it with sense of stoicism). 

The Panda Bear has also used some to reduce her stress some stress management techniques.   Exercise is a good multi-purpose activity that also reduces makes people feel good.   As a relaxation technique she likes is called autogenics which is not well known where you make statements imaging heaviness and warmth in various parts of the body and you keep stating to yourself "I am calm".  The Panda Bear also practices what she calls the cat meditation where the Panda Bear tries to meditate by focusing her attention on her purring cat that is sitting on her stomach.   The Panda Bear is also trying to cut down the amount of caffeine she drinks which she heard can increase anxiety (The Panda Bear is a coffee lover.   She now uses coffee with half the caffeine taken out).

The Panda Bear used to think that affirmations were stupid but now she does find that there is something to saying “I am calm” when she is upset.   The Panda Bear admits she has a gloomy streak.   She is jealous of some bloggers who obtained many viewers with their expressions of gratitude and happiness.  However when she is down now she repeats this which is a paraphrase of from the book of Ecclesiastics from the Bible.  It goes something like this:

Life is unfair.   The race is not always won by the fastest.  The unjust prosper.   It is foolish to think the world is going to work according to your logic.  However, what can you do about it?  Nothing- so just enjoy yourself.

The Panda Bear feels that this gets a certain realistic gloom about the state of the world out of her system.   

One thing that strikes the Panda Bear as illogical is how little organizations nowadays reward loyalty.  The Panda Bear thinks for institutions/governments/organized crime groups to survive they both have punish behavior they don't like but they also reward behavior they like.  

There were benefits to being a member of the Communist, Nazi, and Fascist parties.  In at least novels, organized crime just does not kill people-they offer riches to their members and to those who cooperate with them.    Being nice to people and doing them favors gives you some power over people that just being mean does not.

The Panda Bear is old enough to remember the old fashioned company.   It controlled its employees by being nice to them in the way the new organization that are now strictly business cannot.    Organizations can exert a lot of pressure on people by threatening to withhold some of its favors.  The Panda Bear feels if companies would have a lot better morale and be a lot more efficient if they did more for people then their stated policies.   They could withhold certain privileges if employees complained.   Nowadays the Panda Bear sees complaining and "disloyalty" (i.e. getting other jobs) as being rewarded.     She thinks this no rewarding of good behavior is going to catch up to organizations.

However, what does the Panda Bear know?   She is just a humble office worker who is glad she is not part of the corrupt plutocracy that seems to be in charge right now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Panda Bear on Her Return, Her Day Off and More Job Interviews

The Panda Bear is now back from her summer vacation.   So much has been going on in foreign affairs it is hard for the Panda Bear to stay informed.   However, she continues to say no to an imperial US and thinks the United States needs to focus on its problems at home.

The Panda Bear had an unusually productive last Tuesday.   She had a busy day at work, post a book review, voted in the local elections and watched a television show (The Panda Bear watches TV at most for about three hours a week).   She was in awe of her efficiency.   

Then she came down with a cold and was tired over the weekend.  This Tuesday she took the day off to do errands and she also had (ta-ta)-a job interview.   Furthermore, she was told both by the interviewer and a friend of hers who talked to the interviewer that the Panda Bear did well on the interview; the interviewer liked the Panda Bear's knowledge and personal style.

Of course, the Panda Bear has gone on many interviews recently and they have not led to anything.   However, the Panda Bear has been spending her day drafting her resignation letter- now her favorite piece of writing.

Dear Ms. Boss:

It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to tell you that I have accepted another position.   I am giving you my two weeks’ notice.   My last day of work will be on _____.  My new employer is very anxious to have me start as soon as possible.  I have given careful consideration to making this job change.


Panda Bear

The position in question as well as some other positions the Panda Bear has for would be a pay cut.   The Panda Bear has been reading that salaries have been going down since 2008.     However, the Panda Bear is fortunate in that she can afford to take a pay cut.   She is glad she leads a frugal lifestyle.  The Panda Bear is not taken in with the false promises of happiness that the consumerist society makes.  , The Panda Bear feels it is time for a change and that she needs to learn new skills. (The Panda Bear thinks nowadays people too long in their positions are increased risk of layoffs)  She thinks some companies would offer her a more pleasant work environment.

However, in the unlikely event the Panda Bear gets a new job she will stop writing about her job in her blog.   Whenever, she goes on a job interview she promises herself try to be as happy as possible in her new job and have no expectations of advancement or promotion which has caused problems for her in previous jobs.  

She no longer needs promotion or advancement to feel smart and competent in her life; The Panda Bear has found her passion in the Panda Bear Blog.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Panda Bear will Be Taking the Rest of the Summer Off. Publication to resume sometime in September

The Panda Bear Blog is about the importance of personal space in today's busy world.  Given that the blog is about the lack of rest and relaxation, the Panda Bear has decided to take the rest of the summer off from blogging.

She is exhausted.   Work has been busy.   Also surprisingly enough the Panda Bear has been getting a lot of job interviews.   Granted many of these jobs are at lower pay but the Panda Bear is getting hopeful that she may find a new position.   Though she is but a humble office worker, her skills seem to be in demand.

Even though getting job interviews is "good" it is making inroads in what little free time the Panda Bear has.  It is tiring and stressful.   It eats into the Panda Bear's "vacation" time as some of her time off is used for interviews.

The Panda Bear feels to enjoy her favorite summer activity of sitting outside and read.    She will return to blogging in the fall.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Panda Bear on July 4th, the Office and Out-of-Touch Psychologists

Before the Panda Bear gets into her post she would like to offer prayers for world peace.   War is a terrible thing.   She can understand that countries need to defend themselves but she thinks war should always be a last resort.

 The Panda Bear would like to share this Op Ed piece by Mortimer Zuckerman in the Wall Street about how more and more people are only able to get part time jobs.  Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve also states that unemployment is very high.   The Panda Bear has heard political conservatives state the economy is bad and complain that there are not enough jobs for people.   The Panda Bear things that if these people think the economy is bad (usually conservatives blame the unemployed for their problems), the unemployment rates must by sky high.   The Panda Bear has always felt that it was terrible that the look term unemployed don't get counted in unemployment statistics.   Also the Panda Bear has always felt that government economists (since they are hired by the government) have something vested in making the current regime's economy look good whether it is a Republican or Democrat in charge.

 Meanwhile the people who have jobs (such as the Panda Bear are not happy with them.   Employers take advantage of the bad job market.   The Panda Bear has recently heard a psychologist state that if people feel negatively about their jobs should get new jobs.   Where has this psychologist been?  Jobs are hard to get now.  The Panda Bear has believes that the "market rate" of some jobs has actually declined.   It is hard to take a pay cut and one really has no guarantees about the new job.

 A more realistic idea nowadays is to have interests outside of work.   However, this can be hard to do as many people feel compelled to work long hours.   Where the Panda Bear works they hardly ever close early for the holidays anymore and that included this this 4th of July.   The lack of early closing makes people less like to celebrate the holiday.

 The Panda Bear sees the American Revolution as being a victory against economic exploitation of the British.   The Panda Bear heard a biographer of George Washington state that George Washington was getting tired of sucking up to the colonial rulers.   The Panda Bear can understand the feeling of being tired of trying to butter people up.

The Panda Bear has an American Flag at her desk.   The reasons are in part patriotic and in part to contrast the freedom of the US with the lack of freedom in the office.   The Lowell Mills Girls in the 1830's wrote many statements to point; the workplace is no democracy.

Whenever the Panda Bear feels upset at having to work she thinks of a strike song the Lowell factory girls used to sing:

 Oh! Isn’t it a pity, such a pretty girl as I
should be sent to the factory to pine away and die?
Oh! I cannot be a slave, I will not be a slave,
For I'm so fond of liberty,
That I cannot be a slave.

 More directly contrasting the freedom of the US with the restrictions of work here are some of other quotes:

Let oppression shrug her shoulders,
And a haughty tyrant frown,
And little upstart Ignorance,
In mockery look down.
Yet I value not the feeble threats
Of Tories[British] in disguise,
While the flag of Independence
O'er our noble nation flies

 Those who work in the mills[or offices]...ought not have the status of machines ruled by private despots who are entrenching monarchic principles on democratic soil as they drive downwards freedom and rights, civilization, health, morals and intellectuality in the new commercial feudalism.

 The Panda Bear fully believes that the principal of feudal hierarchy is alive and well in US Business and industry.  

 In the Panda Bear's office, not only is there no right to free speech but there is little opportunity to speak at all.   People have gotten reprimanded for talking to their coworkers too much.   Headphones are ok but not talking to each other.   Nowadays even if one works in an office (as opposed to working at home) there can be very little social interaction.   The Panda Bear herself got a reprimand in March 2014 for speaking too loudly which has intensified her job hunt.

The Panda Bear feels that the US economy is heading in the direction of no one being able to:

  1. Find a job
  2. Find a job at a living wage
  3. Find a job where one is decently treated.

The US has had a reputation for being hard workers.  However, we are heading in a direction of people being unable to work or people being overworked at disliking their jobs.   This can’t be a good thing for the future of the US.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Panda Bear on the Emperors Clothes and The Light in the Managers Office

The Panda Bear Blog seeks to expose the social truths that people experience but like the people in the Han Christian Anderson's fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes are afraid to express for fear of seeming to be unfit.  The Panda Bear is a humble office worker who is unafraid of telling the truth as she experiences it.   Most of the time the Panda Bear thinks she has a valid point of view.  If the Panda Bear is wrong she hopes her readers will pity her and help her see the world in a clear fashion.

The offices where the Panda Bear works are full of falsehoods that the organizations' leaders create.   The untruth that the Panda Bear wishes to explore in this post is the light in the manager's office.   The Panda Bear has experienced this phenomenon in several organizations she was worked in with different supervisors so she thinks this is the way mangers are told to deal with their employees.

What the supervisor does, when he/she is out of the office for part of the day, the supervisor leaves the light on in the office so their employees think the manager is still around.   The Panda Bear admits she has been fooled by this maneuver more than one time.   However, usually another employee will blurt out to the Panda Bear that the manager does this when he/she is out.    Sometimes the Panda Bear herself has caught on that the light is on the manager's office when he/she is out.   Often supervisors will answer e-mails from home and not admit that he/she is not in the office.

The Panda Bear and her coworkers chuckle with each other.   Doesn't the management realize that we are on to them and know they are not in the office?  Do they think we are that stupid?  (The Panda Bear suspects the answer to the last question is yes). There are differing opinions on why our supervisors want to create the illusion that they are in the office when they are not in the office.  One of the Panda Bear's coworkers thinks it shows they don't trust us.   Another coworker thinks that the managers think the workers will fall apart if they are not there.

The Panda Bear privately rejects both theories on the grounds that it seems to take the management along while to go after supervisors who really do have problems being at work when they are supposed to be there; if was really that necessary for the supervisor to physically be there these problem supervisors should have been sooner told to leave.     Also many supervisors now can supervise remotely and from long distances with modern technology.  Thus, Panda Bear rejects the notion that upper management feels that workers need a supervisor to be physically present.

Instead, the Panda Bear thinks the management is on a different kind of schedule then the workers who are on some version of nine to five.   The Panda Bear is aware that many of her supervisors have worked nights and weekends and they may get some additional time off as compensation for the additional hours worked.    She also thinks the management has a much greater flexibility then the workers in terms of hours worked.   The Panda Bear thinks the managers don't want disclose that they are on a totally different type of work week then the workers they supervise.

However, the joke is often on the management.  Many workers are convinced when the managers aren't there during the day they are being delinquent in the job duties which they may not be.   To the Panda Bear it shows that supervisors can lie about small matters when they could be telling the truth.   Supervisors aren't to be trusted.

Of course this longstanding illusion that when the supervisors aren't at work, the workers don't realize it persists because workers are afraid to bring to the management's attention that they can see through this manipulation.   The management would discipline the workers.

However, outside the workplace in the presumably free United States, the Panda Bear thinks we should not be afraid of speaking out against untruths as we perceive them.


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Panda Bear on Friday Afternoons and Out of Touch Economists

It is a Friday afternoon.   The Panda Bear feels the work week increases in sneaky ways.   The Panda Bear remembers a time when employers on a regular basis let employees out early on Fridays and the long weekends.   Now the Panda Bear's employers never let their employers out early.   The Panda Bear feels this "bonus" free time could add up to two or three weeks of extra vacation days a year.    The Panda Bear also feels she was a much more enthusiastic worker when employers gave their workers additional time off and seemed to want them to have a life outside of work.    It's karma.  What comes around goes around.   Even the Panda Bear's boss admits that the office nickels and dimes its employees in terms of time.  The Panda Bear feels the heads of the organization set the tone.  If they don't give her anything extra, she won't give them anything extra.   The Panda Bear advises her readers to be careful about give extras to employers; some employers are just takers.   Your above and beyond effort may be a volunteer effort for them.  The Panda Bear has nothing against volunteering; this blog is a volunteer effort.   She just thinks that when one volunteers it should be clear that it is a volunteer effort.

 However, the Panda Bear wanted to draw to her readers attention to an article she found on about how off economists were about the job market.   Indeed the Panda Bear since the Great Recession has started in 2008 the Panda Bear has a hard time believing what was being said in the news about the economy.

 Just this week, the Panda Bear heard on the Wall Street Journal's radio show, one reporter say almost in despair that Americans were still unhappy about the economy despite the stock market doing well, the low inflation rate and the low rate of interest.

The Panda Bear wishes to defend the American people to this reporter.   First of all, many Americans who aren't wealthy are not directly effected by the stock market.   Their major source of money is their paycheck.  Some workers (including the Panda Bear) who work for nonprofits that have endowments that are in the stock market probably are indirectly benefiting from the good stock market.   However, for the majority of Americans who need their pay check to survive the stock market is not a major concern.

 Also the low interest rates are not benefiting everyone.   Many people are being hurt in that banks are not paying much in the way of interest on bank accounts.   Not everyone wants to put their money in an investment where there is risk of losing the principle.   A lot of people have lost a source of income because the banks are not paying much in the way of interests on their deposits.

In regards to low inflation, if you are unemployed you would rather have a higher inflation and higher employment rate.   Also many employed workers have not gotten cost living raise in many years so salaries are not keeping up with inflation-even if the inflation rate is low.  Low salaries and high unemployment keep the inflation rate low because of the reduced demand for goods and surfaces and labor costs are not increasing.  

 During 2008, the Panda Bear was hearing economists stating things that sounded straight out of Orwell's 1984.   She would hear on the news the economy was improving because it was the rate was slowing in which the economy declined.   Then the economists stated the recession was over when large numbers of people were acutely suffering.   When the Panda Bear heard that statement she thought there were probably a lot of unemployed economists looking for jobs in the Obama administration.

 The Panda Bear wishes to enjoy the rest of her Friday by reading a good book.  She hopes to resume posting on her regular bi-weekly schedule. 





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Panda Bear on Unengaged Workers, Capitalistic Socialism, and Job Interviews

The Panda Bear has found an article from a learned professor and former CEO called Fixing the 'I Hate Work Blues' on the Harvard Business School website.   It describes how most first level workers feel overworked and underappreciated.     They feel micromanaged and are disengaged from their jobs.    The article says poor worker morale hurts the organization.   Managers need to learn how to lead rather than nitpick at their workers.

The Panda Bear Blog is a blog by a humble first level employee who agrees with the article as she experiences these problems in her work day first hand.   She feels that all her energies are going to a job that is stressful and has gotten stale.   She feels more workers need to come out and express their dissatisfaction for there to be a change for the better in the nature of employment.

 Many social critics have complained that the US has gotten somewhat socialistic in that there is an alliance between business and the government.   The Panda Bear thinks the US has gone socialist with a certain lower level segment of the workforce.   We aren't supposed to be working for our own advancement and welfare but for the "good of society".   Growing up the Panda Bear always heard the idea of working for the social good while sounded nice in theory did not work in practice; workers did their best when they felt they profited from own efforts.

 However many workers the Panda Bear talks to nowadays feel that projects that may improve things for the organization are nothing but more work for and pressure for them.   The Panda Bear might accept some idea of working for the good of the society.   However, the Panda Bear feels that the rewards that she is not getting in terms of money and respect are not going to the disadvantaged but to higher ups who make a lot of money and coworkers who don't treat her very well.

The Panda Bear got this joke on Facebook from the Occupy movement.    The question is how many capitalists (the joke also works if you use the term manager) does it take to change a light bulb.   The answer is none-it takes workers.    (Another statement she got from Facebook from the AFL-CIO she liked was "If you can read a book thank a teacher, if you can read a book at night thank an electrician."). 

 Of course the problems of the employed are made worse by the high unemployment rate.   Employers feel little incentive to change because turnover is low.  Employees are supposed to be happily (happy that they have jobs) unhappy (they don't like their job and don't want to be there).   In a previous post, the Panda Bear stated that a high unemployment rate benefited the military in that military gets a steady supply of recruits because they can't find other employers.   A high unemployment rate also benefits employers.  Labor costs are kept low.   Managers don't have to constantly be recruiting and replacing employees.   Salaries are kept down.   In the Panda Bear's experience, employers are much nicer to employees when there is a high turnover.

As readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, the Panda Bear herself embarked on a job search when the office forbade the workers to have plants (micromanagement).   The Panda Bear has not yet found a job but she has been getting interviews which she has heard some people cannot get.  The Panda Bear has been in her job for nine years.   In a good economy she thinks the shelf life of her job would be four to six years. 

 The Panda Bear has found some elements of the interviewing process have change in the past nine years.   It has improved in that there is an initial phone interview where in the past first interviews were always done in person which required the Panda Bear to take time off from work. 

 In the beginning of the post, the Panda Bear said employees felt unappreciated for the hard work they do.  When going for interviews, the Panda Bear has heard from managers of other organizations that the Panda Bear has a heavier than average workload for the industry.   However, the Panda Bear hears no praise for this when she is at work.   The managers somehow make one feel stupid for working so hard.   Instead of thanking the employees for their hard work, the managers say they will automate the process to make it easier making the Panda Bear feel like she is stupid for doing so much.

 Since it a tight job market, the Panda Bear is trying to interview with as many organizations as possible to get practice interviewing so she would seem more smooth(in the past when the Panda Bear had a job she could be somewhat selective about interviews).   This strategy appears to be working as last week the Panda Bear went on an interview where the manager said she seemed very relaxed for the interview.  

 The Panda Bear has heard that it is a terrible mistake to seem nervous at an interview.   In general the Panda Bear has heard that at work one is supposed to exude confidence.   However, the Panda Bear thinks she has discovered a major problem in US industry.   It is overly concerned with "approach" not with results.   The Panda Bear has seem extremely incompetent people say they know everything; they get jobs and fail.   Some highly qualified people appreciate the risks and know their limits but don't get jobs because they seem apprehensive.   To paraphrase Alexander Pope-fools can rush in where wise people fear to tread.









Friday, June 6, 2014

The Panda Bear on Afghanistan, Freedom and Unions

The world today makes no sense today for the Panda Bear.   Like why is the US in Afghanistan why Kharzi does not even want the US there?   What is the US defending? It is not clear whether large groups of Afghanis even wants the US there or want Western type democracy.   And are we in the USA really free when people are afraid to speak freely against their employers?

In one previous post the Panda Bear said she wanted to stand on her desk and shout "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity," until she remembered they were from the French revolution not the American.  However, she found on some US stamps the motto "Liberty forever, Justice forever, Equality forever, Freedom forever" with the American flag.  She posts this on her desktop.   She hides the revolutionary nature of these American sentiments (she works for a very hierarchal organization) by putting it near some materials from the organization.  

Today is the day after the second anniversary Father's Panda death.   Father Panda felt the heads of US industry were both corrupt and incompetent.  His father helped organize some car worker Unions in Michigan (However, it should be noted that Father Panda and his father appeared not to have gotten along).   Perhaps, the anniversary of Father Panda's death is making the Panda Bear more upset about things than she normally would be but she feels the rebel’s blood flow through her veins and now she feels so proud.

The Panda Bear recently got a card recognizing her as an affiliate member of the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO has now realized that most American workers don't work for unionized places anymore and has opened an affiliate membership for all workers.   The Panda Bear works for a large publically funded institution and she is tired of hearing whenever she asks about a company policy regarding something as basic as attendance rule both HR and the managers say they don't know and to the Panda Bear this is pretty basic stuff.

The Panda Bear got a written up for speaking too loudly and being denied some bonus days at work.  If she had union there would there would be an advocate for her.   The Panda Bear has made a counter claim that she has a medical condition that is covered under American for Disabilities (which she really has this condition and her providers have supplied to the institution her medical information).  It has been two months she has declared her disability but the process for setting up accommodation has not yet happened. 

However, the Panda Bear still very hurts about those two bonus days.   She is trying not to let it ruin her weekend.  It is going to be hard to handle her angry feelings at work. 

The Panda Bear had a friend who thinks the Panda Bear's employers should be so glad to have her because she is a straight arrow and works very hard.  The Panda Bear had a hard time not laughing when she heard that-many employers badly treat their good works.

The Panda Bear knows of many good workers who are don’t feel treated well by their employer.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Panda Bear on Pain Killers, War and High Unemployement

The Panda Bear apologizes to her readers for not posting for a month.   Right now the Panda Bear aims to post twice a month.   Mr. Panda had a kidney stone and was in a lot of a pain for about two weeks.  Hopefully, he has passed the stone out.  
For a while Mr. Panda was on different kinds of narcotic pain killers.    He was not himself on the pain killers.   The Panda Bear noticed that his judgment was effected but he was not aware that his thinking was effected so he got quite irritable when things did not get done.   The Panda Bear thinks her judgment has been effected when she was on pain killers.   She got extremely talkative on them which is not her usual self.   She has heard from other people that when they are on pain killers they have become have also become more talkative.   The Panda Bear wishes to advise her readers that people can act a little tipsy on pain killers and the people on them may not realize their thinking has been effected by the medication.

This week President Obama gave a speech on foreign policies.   As readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, the Panda Bear wants the US to immediately get out of Afghanistan and for the US to end all military involvements that aren’t directly related to its self-defense.   She was very disappointed to hear that US troops will remain there 2016.     While the Panda Bear truly feels sorry for the kidnapped girls in Nigeria, she thinks some of the interest of the US in Nigeria comes from it being a big oil producing country.   

To those critics who say it makes the US weak not to get militarily involved in other countries the Panda Bear wishes to say:
  1. She does not care.   She would rather have Americans be safe, healthy and cowardly than dead and brave for wars that are none of the US’s business.
  2. The US would not be in the position of being seen as backing down from foreign conflict if it minded its own business in the first place and did not threaten other countries with wars over concerns that don’t involve the US.

The Panda Bear remembers the Vietnam War.   She remembers hearing that terrible things would happen if we pulled out of Vietnam (also wasn’t it supposedly a security threat for us to leave Iraq?).  The Communists would think US was weak and take over the world is what the supporters of that war said.    When the US left Vietnam the Communists did not take over the world.    Instead in the long run the cold war ended and the influence of communism declined.
Of course what made the former Soviet Union collapse was serious economic problems.   However, the US has serious economic problems.   Do those who want the US to fight abroad consider the security threat to the US coming from its own economic collapse?
\Though the US is not an empire in the traditional sense of the word, look at all the great empires that have risen and fallen.    One theory about the collapse of world powers is that these world powers overextended themselves.   The Panda Bear thinks that over commitment is a potential security threat to the US.

Of course, the present high unemployment in the US aids the US war effort in that it gets and keeps people in the military.   While the US has no formal draft, high unemployment creates a greater financial incentive for people to join the military.   The Panda Bear is sure that the military would have more recruitment problems if the job market was booming (in contrast, wars can provide a distraction for problems at home).

The Panda Bear thinks Americans are being too passive in demanding that US government and business do something about high unemployment rates.   In future posts, the Panda Bear will discuss other segments of society that can be “benefiting” from a high unemployment rate.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Panda Bear Bear on Wage Inequality and Yes People

Today the Panda Bear’s work group had a meeting with the president of the Panda Bear’s organization.   The President of the Panda Bear's organization was talking to the employees about the rising wage inequality in the United States between the lower and middle classes and the very rich.   At the same time, he discussed a potential big project that the Panda Bear's section and the Panda Bear herself would receive. .   He kept on apologizing to the employees for the additional work.     However what bothers the Panda Bear is not the additional work but the fact that it appears that the organization will not give the workers any professional benefit for this increased workload(In fairness to the President of the organization said he would pay for an employee party and he seems to be a nice person).   The Panda Bear strongly suspects the upper management is getting better job titles and more money as the organization expands while the employees are not getting anything additional for expanding workloads.

The Panda Bear felt like saying to the President of the organization something like this:

With all due respect sir, I don't mind doing the additional work.   I am here to work.   What I do mind is that I am not getting any professional benefit from this project and an increased workload.   Of course more money or a changed title would be nice.   However, it really does not have to be money.   Just some kind of performance award or recognition would be nice.   Even just saying you value us as skilled employees would be nice.   I am not a dog or a child.  My weight is a problem.  I don't want food.  You talk about growing wage inequality in the US.  Good deeds start at home.   Give your employees some recognition and respect for the work they do to bring the organization money.  Let us have plants in the office [plants were banned in the summer much to the distress of the employees].
It is not the work I mind but the lack of acknowledgement and respect.

Of course the Panda Bear said no such thing.   The Panda Bear is a humble office worker who needs to keep her job.  However the Panda Bear remembers the time that even humble workers were recognized by organizational leaders.   She knows of many other employees who feel there is an increasing divide between upper and lower level workers in their organizations.   Also many workers are starting to believe that it is a myth that if you work harder that you will be paid more.

Also the Panda Bear is increasingly feeling that leaders like yes people; people who will agree with anything they say even if it is factually wrong.   At work the Panda Bear remembers an old sign.  It said:

Work Rules:
1.  The boss is always rights.
2.   The boss is wrong-see rule number 1.

The Panda Bear every day goes on bended knees saying she is so glad she is not a manager.   She does not understand why bosses like yes people so much; she thinks bosses would really be better off if people were free to tell them the truth so that certain mistakes can be avoided.

The Panda Bear does not have the soul of a yes person.   There are a lot of things in modern organizational life that the Panda Bear feels are mean and counterproductive.  

The Panda Bear might try to work at becoming a yes person if when felt it would help her get a promotion.   However, since she feels that she has been labeled as being unpromotable she feels there is no incentive for her to become a yes person.   Instead the Panda Bear aims at simply treating people respectfully and keeping her mouth closed in terms of her opinions at work.

The Panda Bear is actively hunting for a new job.   There will be more about her job hunt in future posts as she deals with the plight of the unemployed and how she feels the government is not doing enough to help the unemployed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Panda Bear on the Boston Marathon , Large Crowds and the 3rd Blog Anniversary of her Blog

The Panda Bear wanted to take a moment to introduce her readers to a blog written by a friend of the Panda Bear,  saltyspring.   The address of the website is .   She writes on some similar topics to the Panda Bear.   However, unlike the Panda Bear she has lived many different countries.   The Panda Bear has led a very routine-some might say(including the Panda Bear) unexciting life.   

It is coming up on the year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.   Just before sitting down to write this post the Panda Bear was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.   Psychologically, September 11 was much harder on the Panda Bear than the Boston Marathon bombing probably because at the time of September 11 the Panda Bear was working near downtown Boston which some people felt  might be attacked that day.  After September 11, the Panda Bear felt that all large gatherings in urban areas were vulnerable to terrorist threats.  

The Panda Bear has heard there migh have been many more casualties and serious injuries during the Boston Marathon bombings had there not been a lot of medical personnel near the Boston Marathon finish line and the bombs went off near the time additional medical personnel were arriving because of there was going to be a change of shift.  

Now that the Panda Bear is in the area the Boston Marathon will finish she sees signs that the security is being tightened for this year's run and she sees more blockades and barriers than she has in the past   She has heard that more people will attend this year's Marathon than last year's to show we are Boston Strong.   Also there will be a baseball game that day which will also attract large crowds to the area.

While the Panda Bear is all for showing that Americans and Bostonians are strong and unafraid of terrorism that Panda Bear does not always feel that large crowds in urban areas show strength. Also in the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, it does not appear that there was a large terrorist network involved so there is no need prove courage to enemies..    Large crowds are hard to manage under the best of circumstances and can cause many problems.   Probably large crowds make it much harder to secure the area.

In addition many people have to go to work during the Boston Marathon.   The Boston Marathon occurs on a normal workday for most people.  Mr. Panda will have to go to work going  through the  Boston Marathon and he needs to carry some bags to go to work(bags will be checked for security reasons).   Both the baseball game and the Boston  Marathon can attract crowds that are a nuisance to people who don't go to these events.    To have two high crowd events on a normal working day plus it being the year anniversary of the Marathon bombing which may bring more people to Boston is too much for the city to  handle.   She wishes at least the Red Sox game could be cancelled.   The Panda Bear hopes a lot of people don't show up Monday.     Even without an terrorist threats, the Panda Bear worries there are going to be too many people in Boston one  day that and it is just going to make life difficult for people who live and work in the area.

This time of year is also approaching the third year anniversary of the Panda Bear Blog.   The Panda Bear Blog is a blog about a humble full time office worker who wants to challenge the corrupt American establishment.   The Panda Bear views one success she had this year was being a foot solider in the movement to prevent the US becoming militarily involved in Syria.   This movement appears to have been a success.    Next year the Panda Bear wants to push the US to do more to create jobs for Americans.   The Panda Bear believes the high unemployment is not hurting the rich so the politicians aren't putting enough emphasis on helping the economy.

Personally, the Panda Bear remains as humble as ever in her humble daytime office job.  Many people think that certain reforms don't happen in the US because people think they will be able to become part of the corrupt oligarchy.   The Panda Bear knows the oligarchy will not have her as member so therefore she will never be corrupted.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Panda Bear on her Blogging, Cleanathon Failure, and Ukraine

Ever so often the Panda Bear gets asked by her fans about how she finds time to blog when she works full-time in her humble but stressful office job.  The short answer is that she has no life.   More specifically, she does not watch much television or see many movies.  Instead she reads and blogs.   Occasionally, people ask how they can help the Panda Bear.  The Panda Bear suggests sharing the blog with friends and posting comments on her site.

The Panda Bear Blog is in part about the overly stressed nature of modern life.  The past few weeks have been an example of the draining nature of the modern workplace.   Problems and prospects in the workplace have sapped all of the Panda Bear's time and commitment leaving her room for hardly any other interests.

This winter the Panda Bear had scheduled some time off to relax and clean her apartment which she has called the cleanathon.   However, her day job issues meant that her "vacation" time was spent on employment issues.   Furthermore, the Panda Bear has had bad colds and did not feel well.   In addition, since February she has been feeling very blue; the Panda Bear does not find cleaning an uplifting activity.     Thus, the cleanathon has been a total failure.   However, like all failed projects the Panda Bear needs to adjust her priorities and move on to the future.

The Panda Bear needs to get back to her exercise and diet routines which both the bad weather and the Panda Bear's colds and terrible winter in New England have interrupted.   Especially, exercise the Panda Bear has been told will improve her mood.    The warmer weather should enable the Panda Bear to take more walks which she likes to do.   While the Panda Bear likes time to relax, she feels too much free time can make her feel down.    Perhaps being busier will help improve the Panda Bear's moodl

During this difficult period of the Panda Bear's life Russia invaded the Crimea.    The Panda Bear has never liked or trusted Putin; she thinks there is no such thing as a good KGB agent.   The Panda Bear feels some sympathy for Ukraine and believes that many Ukrainians probably have believes and values more closely aligned to the West than many other countries that the US is now presently(and foolishly) is helping.

However, Russia and Ukraine of historic ties.  From the Russians and the Ukrainians the Panda Bear sees in the US, people seem to move between the two countries very easily and the people seem very interconnected with each other.   The Russians and the Ukrainians probably have disputes with each other that go back for centuries.

Conflicts in the Balkan area started the First World War.   The Panda Bear hopes that economic sanctions against Russia are enough.   She does not want a major war to start because of problems between Russian and Ukraine.    The Panda Bear also finds it amazing while there is no money to help Americans the US can come up with a billion dollars out of no where to help Ukraine.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Panda Bear on Woody Allen ,the Movies and Cable TV

The Panda Bear has a cold today so she feels like writing a lighter post.   Since the academy awards on are TV tonight, the Panda Bear thought she would write about the movies and television.  

Not the Panda Bear will be watching the Oscars.   The Panda Bear does not see many movies nor watch much television.    For her both the movies and television are casualties of today's busy lifestyles and a greedy entertainment industry.    The Panda Bear's chief sources of entertainment are books, the internet, social media, computer card games and the radio.    The Panda Bear believes that part of the appeal of these entertainments is that you can do on your own time when you please.   When so many other aspects of one's life is on fixed schedule, the Panda Bear likes activities she can do when she pleases and at her own pace.   Video forms of entertainment require the Panda Bear adapt to pace of the film while something like reading and writing she can do at her own speed.

The Panda Bear believe that both the movies and TV have forgotten their origins of being cheap, easy, unsophisticated and uncomplicated form of entertainment.   It frustrates the Panda Bear that for some things that should be pure entertainment are now require a learning curve to keep up with technology and are expensive.

The Panda Bear admits to being something of a television snob (not that Panda Bear's has intellectual tastes when it comes to television-the few shows she watches are incredibly stupid).  She remembers the time the TV was called the "idiot box". The Panda Bear feels that people should be having better things to do with their time than watch TV.   It is amazing to the Panda Bear that people who have families, work full-time and have long commutes have the time to watch as much television as they say they do.   The Panda Bear is proud of never having had cable.   If you live in an urban area with lots to do and work full time why should you have to pay to watch TV-something that used to be free?  With the internet, the Panda Bear feels people no longer need TV to keep up with the news.   The moment the Panda Bear has to pay to see TV is the day she gets rid of television.

This summer the Panda Bear saw the movie The Butler which she enjoyed.    It was the first movie that she had seen in a theatre that she has enjoyed in about twenty years.   When VHS first came out, the Panda Bear said she would never go to movies again because seeing the movies on tapes was so much cheaper than seeing them in the movie theatre.     Then everything went to DVD and it took the Panda Bear years to upgrade to a DVD player. Then the Panda Bear there was something to seeing movies in a theatre.   However, many movie theatres where the Panda Bear lives have closed.   Furthermore, they are expensive.   Often when she feels like seeing a movie no movie is out she wants to see.   The Panda Bear gets her DVDs from Redbox.   She has the same problem that she has with the theatres in terms of timing of seeing the movies.   When she has time to see a DVD, the ones she wants to see aren't at Redbox.   The Panda Bear have enough time to see movies to make it worth getting a subscription to something like Netflix.

Recently, The Panda Bear was going to relent on her Woody Allen movie boycott and rent Blue Jasmine when the allegations about Woody Allen's sexual abuse resurfaced.    The Panda Bear has refused to see Woody Allen movies since allegations of sexual abuse of his children came out in the early 1990's along with his relationship Soon-Yi.   Many modern families are blended and the Panda Bear's think Soon-Yi was something like a stepdaughter to Woody Allen.    The Panda Bear is not convinced that Woody Allen waited until she was 18 to have a sexual relationship with her and it was not "moral" for him to be in a relationship with the mother and the daughter at the same time.

 The Panda Bear is more unforgiving of Woody Allen that in his work and in his interviews he professes to be a moral person which in the Panda Bear's opinion he is not.   If he claimed to be "sex, drugs and rock and roll", the Panda Bear might be somewhat more tolerant and say he is a wild a crazy guy/artist.

The Panda Bear is a proud feminist and she proudly stands by Dylan and Mia Farrow.   Maybe when Woody Allen dies the Panda Bear will relent and see his films with her belief that art can be separated from the artist.    However, while Woody Allen is alive to the Panda Bear Woody Allen is a rich and powerful man who gets away with mistreating women because the establishment likes his work.




Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Panda Bear on Lying Dogs, and Health Time

The Panda Bear is taking a break from household chores and tending to her cold to write a blog post.

The Panda Bear never has had a dog as a pet.   However, the Panda Bear keeps on reading that they are very loyal and true to their keepers.   The Panda Bear's mother grew up with a dog her appears to have knowingly deceived her parents(though one can say the dog was trying to be nice to Mother Panda).    When Mother Panda was a child her family had a dog.     The dog was forbidden by Mother Panda's parents to sleep in Mother Panda's bed because he had fleas.    However,  the dog slept in Mother Panda's room.    Every night Mother Panda's parents would put Mother Panda  to sleep and the dog would appear to be going to sleep in his dog bed in Mother Panda's room.   Then as soon as the house quieted down for the night and Mother Panda's parents went to sleep, the dog would jump into Mother Panda's bed and sleep for the night.   In the morning, when the there started to be noise in the house of people moving around and getting up the dog would jump out of Mother Panda's bed and go back to his dog bed.    When Mother Panda's parents came to wake Mother Panda up, the dog looked like he had been sleeping in his dog bed all night.   The Panda Bear thinks the dog knew he was deceiving Mother Panda's parents and make them think he was in his dog bed all night where he knew he should not be.  However, in the dog's defense one can say that he was trying to be nice to Mother Panda.   Mother Panda liked him sleeping in her bed.    She grew up in a war torn and occupied country.   So it was highly comforting to Mother Panda to have a dog in her bed.

Since the Panda Bear has had a cold she has been thinking about different companies sick policies.   She has been aware of there being movements to require companies to have sick time for their employees.    However, the Panda Bear thinks companies should also be required to have "health" or personal time where people can take work time for medical appointments and other health matters and workers be paid for their time.   Employers benefit greatly from having health employees and they should be willing to give some work time for matters involving worker health.    It burdens employees discourage people from going to medical appointments on work time and the time for mostly all health matters is on the employees own time.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Panda Bear on Job Rejection, Nothingness and Colds

The Panda Bear was rejected for a job she had some hopes for getting today.    She was disappointed but she will get over the loss.

However, her job rejection is good for the Panda Bear Blog, a blog about a humble office worker who is an economic populist.   This is not a blog about someone successfully climbing the ladder of success.   It is a blog for people who feel they work hard and play by the rules but somehow happiness in this capitalistic society eludes them.

What the Panda Bear Blog is about people who feel trapped in jobs that have gotten stale. No emotional ties bind the Panda Bear to her employer.  

The Panda Bear was recently talking to a friend who was once a company person as was the Panda Bear.   Now this person is counting down the days until she retires in her Declaration of Independence from Paid Labor (see glossary of terms). The Panda Bear sees this a lot where people at work gleefully talk about their retirement.  The Panda Bear feels this workers are expressing some dissatisfaction with the workforce.

Alas, the Panda Bear is years away from retirement (if she ever could retire at all).    However, the Panda Bear in her own way will be expressing her own Declaration of Independence from Paid Labor.   Whenever, the office asks to do something "voluntarily" after work, the Panda Bear will say she has other plans which really is true.

The Panda Bear has picked up a new hobby.     She has gotten access to copies of books before they are published and reviews them for the publishers and different blog sites under the Panda Bear's own name.    Some of these books that the Panda Bear has reviewed have recently become bestsellers. The Panda Bear thinks that this is a pretty cool hobby to have and intends to tell her boss about it sometime.   She will her boss that she could spend all day doing this activity if the Panda Bear did not need to work for money.

In a previous post, the Panda Bear said her New Year's goal was to be less productive.  The Panda Bear is failing miserably in her new year’s goal of doing less.    She has over committed herself on the number of books she promised to review.    Some unexpected tasks came up that needed to be done.   The Panda Bear has been taking days off from work and they are packed full of things to do some of them fun and some of them chores.

Over the weekend the Panda Bear was in tears.     Where was her joyful nothingness?    Her mind was spinning with things to do and posts to write for her blog.    Everyone seemed to be out to have Panda do something for them.   Even the Panda Bear's cat up to her wanting to be petted.

Finally, the Panda Bear realized that she was coming down with a cold which is in part why she was feeling so stressed with things to do.    Her body was feeling tired. She has been treating her cold with diet ginger ale and Thai Kitchen instant mushroom soup and is feeling better.

However, the Panda Bear persists in quest for blissful, contemplative nothingness.


Friday, January 17, 2014

The Panda Bear on the New Year, Vacation Stress and Unemployment Insurance

The Panda Bear wishes all the best to her readers for the coming year.   2013 was a good year for the Panda Bear Blog.   The Panda Bear Blog has just past over 20,000 pages views and has 315 Twitter followers.    The blog has subscribers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China and Japan.    The Panda Bear feels this is very good for a blog by a humble and lowly office worker who is a mere amateur writer.

Since the Panda Bear is a critique of the cult of extreme business, she thought in this time of resolutions for the coming year to share this resolution the Panda Bear found on a meditation s website by a Zen writer:

 "This year, I am determined to be more unproductive. My goal is to do less and less – to move slower and slower until everything stops. I and the whole world will come to a sweet and silent stillness. And in this stillness, a great shout of joy will arise. We will all be free..." From the Ox and Window, by 17th century Zen master Hakuin Ekaku.

The Panda Bear wondered if instead of asking each other what we were going to do on the weekend we should ask each other what we are not going to do.   Maybe we should feel sorry for people who are doing something and praise people for doing nothing.

The Panda Bear went on vacation for the a few days at the beginning on the month.   People asked what she did during the vacation and the Panda Bear had the pleasure of saying not much.    Why should people are busy morning to night for most of the 365 days of the year not have a few days of nothingness?   Why do even vacations in our culture have to be busy?    Of course going away was stressful.    There was the packing and preparing to leave the apartment.  Getting Mr. Panda to go anywhere is a chore.   He is a home body.   Mr. Panda Bear told the Panda Bear he will only go places if he knows  exactly where he is going.   The Panda Bear told Mr. Panda if everywhere was like him there would be no one to explore new places on earth or outer space.

The few days away were relaxing.   Then coming back home and back to work was very stressful.   All the home chores remained.   The Panda Bear has the type of job that if you are off for the day it takes you a day to catch up with back work.

The Panda Bear believes that many of her other coworkers are also stressed out.   The source of this stress the Panda Bear believes is that work is no longer slow during this time of year.  In the Panda Bear’s line of work and for many other US workers the period between Thanksgivings to mid-January use to be slow.   No major changes happened during this period.  There was a holiday slowness.   Now the prevailing mood of the workplace to be business as usual for the holiday period.    Workers now have heavy workloads as well as the additional chores for the holiday preparation.   No wonder people are feeling so cranky.

Even a few years ago there was not much hiring or layoffs happened between Thanksgiving and Mid-January because of the holiday period.   This slowness no longer seems to be true.   The Panda Bear knows of people who recently have gotten laid off during this time.    In the Panda Bear’s line of work a lot of new people are starting between Thanksgiving and February which is keeping the Panda Bear busy.

The Panda Bear has some friends that are have some luck at getting job interviews during this period.   One friend of the Panda Bear’s thinks she may get a new job right now.   The job was posted in mid-December.   If this friend was to get the job it would probably start in mid-February.

In many lines of work the hiring process from posting the job, interviewing candidates, and making a job offer can take the managers two to three months if not longer.   The Panda Bear hopes the Congress extends unemployment benefits.   The standard unemployment benefit of six months is nothing if one considers the length of the hiring process even if the person is lucky in the job process.




Friday, January 3, 2014

The Panda Bear on Winter Blues, Holidays, and Job Stress

The Panda Bear has been reading more and more in different articles that the number one source of stress for Americans is their jobs.   The workloads are heavy and the hours are long.    People feel that their employers don't treat them well and as human beings with feelings.   The Panda Bear can confirm these findings with her own experience in the work force even though she is a Panda Bear not a human being.

Every winter the Panda Bear gets blue.   The days are short and cold.   From Thanksgiving to New Years is the holiday period in the United States where family is emphasized.   The Panda Bear will feel blue because her family is very, very small and she lost Father Panda almost two years ago.

One of the sources of tension at work in the winter are the holidays at the office.   The Panda Bear feels in a perfect world there would be some very generic "Winter" holiday events.   The Panda Bear does not see any put down of Christmas in saying "Happy Holiday" instead of Christmas especially as the Panda Bear does not celebrate Christmas.  She wishes all the best and joy for Christmas for those who celebrate it.   However, the Panda Bear also believes it is holiday not everyone in the office celebrates and people should not be differentiated in the office by the holidays they do or do not celebrate.   

The Panda Bear is Jewish and was raised not to celebrate Christmas.  If it were up to the Panda Bear no one's religion would be discussed at work.    At one time, the Panda Bear would have said there was such a thing as a secular Christmas.   However, for the past twelve years the holidays at work(really Christmas) have had very overtly Christian(birth of the divine Jesus) tones to them.   In fact the first year, in her present job the Panda Bear's manager gave her a Christmas card that stressed the importance of going to Church.   The manager asked then asked the Panda Bear what she thought about the message.  The Panda Bear just said the message was very nice.   The Panda Bear has no idea if the manager knew that the Panda Bear was Jewish.    (The Panda Bear now for unrelated reasons has another manager).      This is but one of many incidents that the Panda Bear recently experienced where she has received cards explicitly stating that the Christmas holidays were Christian should be celebrated as such.

The Panda Bear heard on the radio that now most Americans think of Christmas as being a religious rather than then secular holiday and the Panda Bear sees this at work.   Many of the Christians where the Panda Bear work feel that they should be able be able to express their Christian religion at work.   These Christians constitute the work majority.

The institutions the Panda Bear works for are supposed to be nonsectarian and respecting of cultural diversity.   They are located in a major metropolitan area where there are many different religious and cultural groups.  

The Panda is looking forward to the days getting longer.