1. AFGE Local 1904. Here we are 34 weeks past the “end of max telework” and the union, such as it is, still hasn’t come through on delivering the new and improved telework agreement. Now, I’m told, the alleged negotiation has gone so far sideways that it’s been sent to binding arbitration. Resolution to that could literally take years. So, we’re going to be grinding along for the foreseeable future with only two days a week like pre-COVID barbarians… as if 30 months of operating nearly exclusively through telework didn’t prove that working from home works. All this is ongoing while hearing stories of other organizations tucked in next door that are offering their people four or five day a week work from home options. It’s truly a delight working for the sick man of the enterprise. I’m sure someone could make the case that there’s enough blame to go around, but since the updated and perfectly acceptable policy for supervisors was published 34 weeks ago, I’m going to continue to go ahead and put every bit of blame on Local 1904 for failing to deliver for their members (and those of us who they “represent” against our will) and for continuing to stand in the way like some bloody great, utterly misguided roadblock. No one’s interest is served by their continued intransigence. The elected “leaders” of AFGE Local 1904 should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.
2. Going vegetarian. My most recent trip to the doctor involved one of his more humorous suggestions. He ended our visit recommending that I consider going vegetarian. Look, I don’t hate vegetables. I eat a lot of them. But thinking I’m going to opt for a lettuce and tomato sandwich sans bacon this summer ranks well into foolish and wrong territory. He obviously saw the twinkle in my eye, because he then hedged his bets a bit, calling for foods with reduced sugar and salt. OK, I’m not so set in my ways that I object to swaps and adds on spec. Most mornings I’m home start out with a cup of Greek yoghurt and a banana or other fruit. This week I opted to try the “zero sugar” option produced by my favorite yoghurt brand. I might as well have spooned wallpaper paste directly into my mouth. Throughout the day I’ve also been known to throw a handful of peanuts or cashews into my gaping maw from time to time. Fine. I’ll get the unsalted version. Yeah. For all the flavor there, I could just have easily saved my money and gone outside to eat a handful of dirt. I’m sorry doc, but when I’m deciding what to eat, taste and flavor is a pretty damned big deal. You’re never going to convince me to join the “food is fuel” crowd when food is so many other things too.
3. Writer’s strike. There’s apparently been a writer’s strike happening in Hollywood for most of this month. I won’t even pretend to be educated on the reasons for or against. As a consumer of content, I might have reasonably expected to have noticed that there was a strike happening by now. It turns out I don’t watch all that much “new” content. When I’ve been intentionally watching the screen, I’ve been doing a slow re-watch of The Sopranos and Mad Men these last few weeks. As for live television piped into my home by old fashioned cable, my set is usually parked on channels that air reruns of shows with season upon season of episodes available or BBC News to put some background noise in the house. Maybe the writers are victims of their past success. At the rate I’m going I could keep going for a decade before I realize no “new” material was hitting the airwaves. I’m probably an outlier, but with my particular givens, I’m not sure a WGA strike is going to have the impact the writers are hoping to see.