Wrong Me, Wrong Century?

I had a debate with the woman who sits next to me at the document review, who has some pathological need to have the last word.  The subject was every morning that I choose to walk from Virginia into DC,  I, either before I cross the Key Bridge, while I am on it, or starting to walk on M Street, invariably pass a late 20ish woman, the same woman going the other way.

Being that this has happened so many times now, I would think a brief ‘good morning’ or a nod, would be in order, just as a matter of human courtesy.  And I am told I belong in the 19th Century.

Can’t see very well from my perch at the Penn Ave Peet’s as its still dark (Daylight Savings Time is far too long!), but it looks as though Penn Ave. is still open to pedestrian traffic, even after last night’s “festivities” (another person eluded the Secret Service and jumped the WH fence- but didn’t make it very far) Believe I may have mentioned somewhere is a past post I read about WH access back in the day of Truman; that during the summer, people would run to take refuge under the North Portico during summer thunderstorms.

Ah how times are different.

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Salaries & Japanese Companies

At least in the United Sates, Japanese companies are not known for their generosity in employee compensation.  Sure there are things, like working for a Japanese OEM, perks like car leasing on very generous terms, but still on the while,  salaries fall behind what U.S. companies offer.

As it was with the person I mentioned in my last post.  she was offered a $2,000 a month salary, which when you do the math comes to 24k a year, which BTW, is only a couple of thousand dollars above the official poverty line for a family of 2 and certainly not enough to make a go of it here, even if one was young and single.

For her part, she has told them the offer is inadequate and what she wants/needs for compensation.

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The Exit Door is Open

Not for me unfortunately, but for the Japanese woman who sits next to me, the now single mother, has been offered an admin job at One of the Japanese companies here and she’s balking.  The money won’t be that good, and Japanese companies are notoriously stingy with salaries for locals. What we make per hour here on these review projects, if extrapolated over a 1920 hour work year would = a good 6-figure income, BUT very few of these projects last beyond 4 months (the Toyota Project was an exception) and then its out on the streets and who knows how many weeks/months before another project comes along?

Told her she’ll have a steady income, a 401k, health insurance, paid leave- what on earth is there to dither about?  I look at all these offices in town and wonder why there isn’t one I can fill…   I’d leave this all behind in a heartbeat for full-tie employment.

For  moment last night, I thought I’s also be walking back to Rosslyn as there were ten or so fire trucks around Metro Center Station, hoses unraveled and said to myself, ‘This is not good’  Walked to McPherson to find the trains to VA still running and got back home without too much loss of time.

Have quite the drizzly nose this morning, an artifact of the morning walk, which at first the body & mind balks at, but once across the Key Bridge and past Wisconsin ave, the adrenaline pump kicks in I suppose,….

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Say Howdy-Do to Winter

It was a crisp 42 degrees outside this morning as I left for another day in front of a desk top.   “Everyone” ‘says’ this coming winter will be a harsh one, but we’ll see.

Yesterday however was as nice as a fall day could be and instead of vegetating in front of a TV and watching football-which I only have a passing interest in, drive the car through the Shenandoah and took in the scenery.  No pics as driving and manipulating a smart phone are tasks I have yet to master.

Son unit had a wedding to go to over the weekend, a college school friend, who tied the knot at the all too early age of 22.  Don’t know about you, but I certainly had no strong urge to marry at that age and the way things worked out, marrying @ the ripe old age of 29 worked out.

Texted him about did he have a good time and did his car behave itself. to which I got the terse & economical verbiage of “Yes and yes”.  The upside I suppose is he’s communicating in semi-whole sentences instead to a series of sub-linguistic grunts which we were supposed to be able to interpret.

Was taking to one of my neighbors about a tree on our property that we both agree needs trimming back.  Its leaning towards his property which makes cutting what needs cutting back a bit tricky.  spoke of getting on a ladder to tie a rope to the limbs and pull them towards our house as they are cut.  Was told I am too old to get on a ladder now.

Right.  I walk weather permit8ng 3.4 miles a day and I’m too old to get on a ladder?!

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Getting Too Used to This

This week has been draining- due I  believe to the streak of very dreary weather we’ve had here (which is good though for the parts of the lawn I re-seeded last weekend).  Another factor is this is the 5th or perhaps 6th consecutive week I’ve put in the full 50 hours and the toll is starting to show (as well as my age?).

As I’ve written before, the work isn’t psychically  demanding, but it is in a sense very much like assembly line work- its just that instead of one’s hands and body, one uses the brain- for 10.5 hours a day.

And I have to keep reminding myself  while this is not what I really want to do, it could be worse, yes indeed much worse as I experienced earlier this year in Ohio.  When I use the restrooms, there are no ‘leftovers’ from the previous user, nor crudely drawn penises or vaginas on the walls.  We can have coffee wherever, whenever we want and thank God we do not have to wear those insane white uniforms.

Grateful I am not to still be there.

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Washington, The Jungle


I’ve always thought an anthropology student would have a field day studying and observing the mores and customs of Washington DC, and this article, proves it.

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Middle of The Work Week Thoughts

Not sure if I was insulted or not.  There’s a kid on this document review, a girl about son unit’s age, not Japanese, but who grew up  in Nagoya and since I was there too, in the few times we’ve spoken, there’s lots in common.
Anyway,  she comes up to me as I was eating my lunch in the kitchen area yesterday and asks me about a Halloween party she’s going to have next weekend and if I might be interested in coming, then she stops in mid-thought and says she forgot I have a family so the offer was quickly withdrawn…
The Japanese woman next to me, a single mother-recently granted a divorce-  got only 4 hours of sleep on Monday night (she said) and as the afternoon wore on, she was just hanging on.   Suggested she think about having someone drive her back home so she could get some sleep in her car- to which I was hissed at to keep my concerns to myself…. Think I’ll volunteer a suggestion to her again?
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