Big Brother

Dispatch from the Zone – Big Brother Knows Where You Are

Most of you are familiar with Overseer, one of the managers I support here in my job. He’s the classic cheapskate. When he took a one-year ex-pat assignment overseas, he actually had someone at the company ship his underwear to him that he had forgotten to pack, rather than just buy new where he was. Hand to god, I am not making this up. He pulls down a six-figure salary, better than three times what I currently make. His wife is also a professional who makes damn good money when she works, although her work history has been spotty the last couple of years. She’s out of work right now, got laid-off from her last job (I suspect they were kind and laid her off rather than straight-up firing her by the stink he made about how annoyed she was that she hadn’t left on her own terms, intimating that she had been hoping to give notice but they beat her to it. Read into that what you will). She’s been collecting unemployment as a result.

So now, they just got back from a two week trip to Spain and France. If you’ve been on unemployment, you know you have to check in weekly via phone or internet and answer a series of questions about your status. One question is whether or not you were away from your home for more than three days in the previous week, I guess to see if you were actively looking for work or maybe away on vacation spending money you don’t need to collect from them. She answered no. And here’s where it gets interesting. She got a letter back from them stating their records indicated that was not correct and is now being investigated. If they find out she was gone her unemployment will be reduced. She did continue to do some job searching over the net while away, and in fact has a job offer now, so how that will figure in I don’t know. But apparently the two of them felt that because she was able to continue the job search while overseas it was unfair to have to report that she had been gone and therefore not be entitled to collect her $416 dollars for that week (which, I might add, is twice what I got when I was unemployed).  So how did they know she was gone? That’s the question! Possibly from her social media activity. They apparently posted stuff on their social media sites (whichever ones they use) during the trip. Be warned. Even if you’re not trying to put one over on the Man, your social media activity is being watched.

I am just so appalled that these people who are not in financial straits by any stretch of the imagination would lie about being gone for a couple of weeks. To Europe. I wish I could afford to go to Europe. Maybe in my next life. I’ve had to sit and listen to this guy pontificate about how everyone should be putting aside money for emergencies, it’s just a no-brainer, blah blah blah. He has no idea what it’s like to live from paycheck to paycheck, with nothing leftover to put aside. Not a clue.

And the second lesson to take away from this is to watch what you do online. He’s pretty sure it had nothing to do with the passport checks or the airline tickets (which they got months ago) that triggered anything. While I think they’re getting what they deserve for lying about being gone, I do find it disturbing that people’s movements are being tracked like this. If this had happened to me, you better believe I wouldn’t be in the office complaining about Big Brother catching me in a lie, but he apparently feels so entitled to this pittance (seriously this is like chump change to him) that he thought nothing of telling me this whole tale this morning.

And to see people who really are in financial straits, I direct you to We Are the 99 Percent. This was tweeted out by Arianna Huffington, who famously is richer than God and doesn’t pay the writers on Huffington Post. I find it insulting that she (or one of her minions tweeting on her behalf) would tweet this out, as if she’s suffering right along with the rest of us riff-raff. And no, I don’t follow her. It was retweeted by someone I do follow, who got it from someone they follow, who apparently follows her. So like a fourth-generation tweet. Overseer and Arianna would probably have lots to talk about.

Milestones and Veggies

A milestone for my little blog: Just broke 50,000 views (50,002 at last check) on the site today! Woohoo! Thanks to everyone who comes by and reads on a regular basis, and to those who drop by once in awhile, or ever at all.

In other, vastly more interesting news, all charges have been dropped against the Michigan woman who was cited for planting a vegetable garden in her yard. I wish I was kidding that this had happened at all. Julie Bass’s blog is here. I first heard the story via the Health Ranger, Mike Adams.

(NaturalNews) This is a breaking news update: Michigan gardener Julie Bass has confirmed with NaturalNews that all charges have been dismissed in her case, including the two misdemeanor dog licensing charges the city threatened her with after dropping her “illegal gardening” charge.

You can read more about it on his site, and here is the article that sounded the alarm.  This is right up there with the illegal clothesline issue I blogged about awhile back on my other blog. It just baffles me that there are people who feel the need to control other people’s lives to this degree. I have neighbors who grow huge zucchini plants in their front yard. They have a teeny tiny backyard that gets almost no sun so where else are they going to do it? I couldn’t care less.

Anyway, I just thought it was incredible that it actually went to court.