Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Doug Reviews the Election

This post is about politics, and America, and freedom, and the American Dream, and the election. If those things make you sick by now, I don’t blame you and I invite you to move on. I won’t be offended.

I rarely write about work, and for good reason. I don’t like mixing my work in with  what I try to do here, which is the sharing of myself with you. But today, I am going to draw some similarities.

Occasionally, my job obligates me to terminate the employment of another person. I hate doing it, and really, it’s the worst aspect of my job. But here’s the problem: I’m very good at doing it. Isn’t that something to be ashamed of? I’m so good at it, in fact, that  I am often asked to sit in with others when they are letting someone go. No, I’m not asked to sit in…I’m asked to take the lead. My secret? I am kind and efficient when firing someone.

Many times, I will be discussing the “firing meeting” with the other person sitting in with me and they will start talking about all the zingers they want to use. If the person being fired is argumentative, the firing manager will tell me all the things they want (or wanted) to say to that person. They will recite a long list of one-liners that they feel would really put the person being fired in their place.

 Every time this happens, I respond with the same boring old philosophy: We are already doing the worst thing we could be doing to this person. We hold all the cards. Why rub that in or say more than needs to be said? For Pete’s sake…we are already firing this person, what more do you want to do?

I then calmly and pragmatically invite the person being fired into the office, explain to them what is happening and why, let them know we wish them luck, and encourage them to take action that day in their effort to find a new job. Then I escort them out and it’s done. No arguments, no blow-ups, 5 minutes, done.

I tell you this because of the comments I heard on the radio this morning while I exercised (I will not be posting on Facebook the type of exercise I do or how good I feel or pictures of my triceps). I’ll get to the message, but first, let’s discuss some reactions to last night’s election.

To read Facebook chronologically was pretty epic last night. For my wide range of politically affiliated friends, it was funny to see one side posting about the literal end of days, the destruction of America, and a desire to move to some foreign land. Equally disturbing were the posts from the other side filled with desperate relief, as if we had just successfully fought off an invading horde of Robotic Rape Demons.

One post in particular caught my eye, saying something about America being even stupider than the poster had thought possible, and now we are all going to have to get what we deserve, indicating we deserved a visit from the aforementioned Robo-rapists.

What I found odd about this person’s post is, I know him, and I know that in the four years Obama has been in office, this individual has taken two new jobs, each one offering a raise and promotion. Has Obama really destroyed his family’s future?

Another post talked about sleeping better now that we are past the nightmare of Mitt Romney buddying up to his rich friends, destroying the middle class and taking women’s rights back 100 years. This person has also posted their despising of Mitt Romney for his money.

Hypocrisy has got to come to an end in America. Just so you know, despising Romney for his hard-earned wealth is kind of silly. Because it’s all a matter of scales. The fact is lower middle class Americans are to the average Bangladeshian what Mitt Romney is to lower middle class Americans (and the poster in question is much better off than “lower middle class”). Unless that person is selling all they have, quitting their jobs and giving everything to Bangladesh or Africa or Mexico…I’d say it’s time to stop judging.

I know you want Mitt to pay more in taxes…but he’s paid millions in taxes. That’s pretty admirable, even when you tally all the taxes I’ve paid and add in my volunteer hours and money I give to charity and money I donate to my church. Mitt has me beat, so maybe my friends and I should do more and worry less about Mitt.

Which brings me to, my original story about firing people. This morning, one of the liberal talk show hosts I listen to was pontificating about all the reasons Mitt Romney didn’t win the election. He was chastising Mitt and the republicans. More specifically, he was rubbing Obama’s victory in Mitt’s face, talking about what a failure of a campaign Romney ran.

You know that mantra I live by, “We are already doing the worst thing we could do to this person by firing them, why take it any further?” That’s what I thought this morning. Romney lost the election. He knows why because he knows how he ran his campaign. Isn’t that enough? Do we really spend the next few weeks preaching how stupid those with different opinions are?

If everyone who voted for Romney is a soulless idiot, and everyone who voted for Obama is an ignorant moron…where does that leave us?  

And back to the Romney supporters (including me, I voted for Romney). Look, the guy we voted for didn’t win. The only way that becomes the end of the world is if we actively destroy the world. The thing to do now is rededicate ourselves to the country and the president. We need to give the guy in charge our full support and do whatever we can to make President Obama the greatest US President in history!

The fact is, it will take the greatest to bring us out of this global rut, so if anyone can lead us to a brighter future, it starts today, it starts with the President we elected, and we all need to join forces to create that future.

You know what will happen if we don’t come together and push this nation forward? Nothing. The same nothing that has been happening for years, the same nothing we blame congress and the president for. It is not the government’s fault, it is our fault. So let’s all do more.

I’m not writing to the 20% of Americans that pay all the taxes and finance this country’s endeavors, and I’m not talking to the 20% that give of their time and energy as volunteers to improve the lives of others (by the way, about 7% of those two groups are the same people).

No, I’m writing this now to my fellow 66ers. I mean the 66% of us in America who give the least amount of our money and time possible to make the country better. The 66% of us who would rather watch our nightly television lineup than be bothered to actually give a damn.

Let’s rise up, ol’ 66. Let’s start a revolution of the purple politics we hear so much about. We 66% are pretty much half conservative, half liberal, and half who gives a crap. Let’s keep the first two, but let’s actually start giving a crap.

Today, I am going to the Boys and Girls Club of America. I will sign up as a volunteer to help out and tutor underprivileged youth. I hope my resolve sticks. I hope I can do more for this country than sit around and bash the other side. I hope we can, as a united nation, come together and stop bickering. Most importantly, I hope someday you’ll join me, and the world will be as one.

1 comment:

  1. You lost me at "dedicate yourself to the president." He is an elected official. He is one man, bound by law, that we put in office to oversee the executive branch. He is not the voice of the people. The House of Representatives is the voice of the people.

    You also lost me on the get along to get along attitude. I believe in bipartisanship, when the bipartisanship happens on the side of freedom. And freedom is not higher taxes, forced insurance purchase, regulating coal into non-existance...etc. If you want to steal my wallet and I don't want you to, I don't give you some of the money in it so that we can be bipartisan.

    You want to work with me, we need some common ground first. That common ground is Freedom. Or in other words, opportunity to succeed, not equality of outcome. Forcing others to take care of you after you made terrible decisions or because life handed you the hard knocks is not freedom, or charity, or compassionate. That's the line I will not cross in the name of "bipartisanship".

    Also, just because your friend is making more money than he was 4 years ago, doesn't mean he is better off than he could be if we eliminated a lot of the regulations and restrictions placed on us. Being ok is not being great. Being something is not being the best you can.