In Crowd Out

There’s a young Korean woman on the project, who studied and speaks, reads Japanese at a level high enough to do this sort of work.  A somewhat newly minted attorney too with student loans to pay off -which s why she is on this gig.

She’s a nice kid, and we found ourselves up on the rooftop of the building we work at, on our 30 minute break, talking.

Now she tries hard to fit in with the other women on the review project, perhaps to hard  and she now told me she’s just discovered the cliques that exist among these Japanese women and the ‘we don’t like them, so we won’t associate or share information with them’ attitude among them and that she is among those “out”.

This bothers me not on a personal level, but on a more broader, adult level.  There are Japanese women, in ages from the early forties to fifties, with the emotional IQ of a group of spoiled, self-centered junior high school girls- if that.

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The End is Nigh?

I see my Dell laptop, purchased and used since 2011 or 2012, is now  not holding a charge for very long now.  Was only able to write the first of today’s posts before the remaining battery capacity got to 1/4.

Probably is due to how long I have had and used this laptop and maybe s is time to think about a new one.  But given how tablets have advanced in features,  I’m thinking laptops are on the way of the dinosaurs?

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The Papal Visit II

Now that the Pope is outta here (and in Philadelphia at the moment) life in the this area can return to normal.

I’m not anti-clerical, but would like, on a micro level to point out what else the Papal visit to DC meant, that in all the warm, gushing glow coverage of the visit was ignored by ALL the media.

3 days of disruption.

Sounds petty, self-centered and selfish, but no.

I speak of economic impact, of work and income lost.  A micro example,  there’s a Japanese restaurant around the Capital that offers a 弁当- lunch box service to those at our worksite and other Japanese interest in the District.  It suspended this service for the 3 days, most likely to the hassle of trying to move around the city with all the no-go areas that were in place.

The outfit that shares the same floor with us, closed its doors for the 3 days and I noticed the buildings directly across from us had mostly darkened windows for the 3 days, hopefully those who work there were given paid furloughs.  Fewer lunch trucks out- loss of income and for these people, they definitely have no paid furloughs and bet they can’t write the loss off from taxes. Fewer people working at the service industries, the Starbucks, McDonalds, etc., ; chain loss of income for both the business and their employees.

So given this, was it really all worth it? Perhaps as one co-worker put it, the Pope should have had one or 2 mega masses outside the district?

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From Hitler to Herbie to Hubris

Am slowly coming to intelligent life as the morning coffee diffuses into the system.  Near 7 am and its sill dark- an obsession of keeping us on DST way after its served its purpose.

Can’t take credit for the tittle, that was part of a cheeky headline in The Guardian I believe, about the VW scandal, which it seems is indeed true.

The hubris I’ve seen before;  when I worked at Mitsubishi, it was a drive to push sales meaning I learned, credit was extended to people who shouldn’t have been extended credit to even buy a pack of gum, then the chickens came home to roost.  And IMHO, Mitsubishi has never really recovered from that.

Toyota too, which lead I believe in part to its problems 5 years ago.  And now VW, the root cause its seems is the drive for a somewhat meaningless honor of being the #1 car manufacturer in the world.  From what I’ve read, the tech people are taking the rap for this, when based on my own automotive experience,  I’ll bet a good dinner digging more deeply would show the marketing people pushed the tech people to do this. They too should  be held accountable.

But stepping back a bit, my own observation is VWs troubles started with a deep misunderstanding of American culture, history and its people.  This has manifested itself in the mess, solely of Wolfsburg’s creation, at its U.S., manufacturing facility over would there be or not a union at the plant, regardless of how its host area feels.

It also has led to this the current scandal, in that I believe VW thought it could count on this staying hidden because in Europe and Asia  the masses (I hate to use Marxist lexicon but) are culturally and historically  conditioned to accept without much question, what they’ve been told.

Here in the U.S., from our colonial experience to present day, we’ve had a history of not accepting things or claims at face value, we doubt, we test, we verify, which led to a group to say (for different reasons) ‘ Let’s check VW’s claims out’.

And the rest is history unfolding before us.

The impact of this will be huge and ugly for the automotive industry as a whole. ne might say it deserves it, but keep in mind any increased governmental oversight will mean increased costs, which will be passed on to you, the  consumer.

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The Papal Visit

Right now, like before 7 am, the city is pretty quiet, traffic both vehicular pedestrian (like me) flows freely.

But that will stop shortly for the security measures to be put in place for the next 3 days.

Basically the area around the White House, for about 2 blocks north east & west will v be closed off to everything as will sites also connected with the Papal visit.

And things will be snarled beyond comprehension I believe.,  A micro-indicator is the bento service (which I don’t use) that comes to the office has suspended deliveries for the next 3 days.

Taking in all the 迷惑 this visit will create and the security cocoon that will be in place wherever to Pope goes,  makes me wonder if this is really just an Potemkin Village-like exercise, and really worth the disruption and inconvenience it will cause for the schmoes like us?

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Mondays Suck, But They Suck More For Some Than Others

Another Monday and week  of 11.5 hour days to try to find some way to get through.  But its all in perspective.

Somewhere in this country,  there’s someone who today will learn how much time they will spend behind bars, others the results of  medical tests which may tell them there remaining time among the living is short.

And then there is a former work colleague, now at Volkswagen, who given the  news of the past few days will definitely not have a good Monday today.   Unlike my former direct supervisor at Toyota, this person is not ground zero of the problem, but most certainly is in the vortex.

So I should be thankful?

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Of Rumors and More Japanese Nuances

Saw on Facebook this morning, A Japanese guy/FB friend, who I came to know  through my work at Toyota, who is now in his early sixties, had a shot of himself, in running wear   just before the start of a 5 kilo marathon.

Thought this was comment-worthy and wrote a couple of words, one the word, ‘subarashii’, but left off the last “i” in the word, hit the space button for kanji conversion  and got a mix of kanji that I knew wasn’t right. Added the missing “i” and presto!, the right word.

On to rumors.

On Thursday I believe, one of the women on the review, who lives in NYC, came up to me in the worksite’s kitchen to tell me she had heard from another woman (who herd from???) our project would wind up at the end of this month. A big deal for everyone if true, but for her especially as she would have to pull up stakes and move back to  NYC

Told her she needs to think what she heard through.  First 2 new attorneys were brought onto the project last week. Second would any of the supervising attorneys on the project managers be so unprofessional and divulge this information? (it would lead to a mass exodus)  And last, there was another classified posted by the company which recruited us, for more Japanese-speaking attorneys , for most likely this project.  Given all that, is what was heard really that credible?

I have not passed  on the rumor

Some people  I suppose spread/start rumors like this out of a pathetic need for self importance, or sicker,  enjoyment from seeing the reaction of others.

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