Friday, May 09, 2008

Went up the road a bit to Oklahoma

My husband read the schedule wrong. It was Wednesday he was supposed to be in Oklahoma, not Tuesday like he thought. Lucky I caught that. Monday he had this meeting to go to, and I went to class twice, and neither of us got anything useful done.

The business meeting is a total waste of time and money. I don't know why they bother with it. Supposedly, some people from the main office are supposed to be explaining some new thing to all of the employees. And then they are supposed to answer any questions anyone might have.

Not that there are any good answers to anyone's questions. Basically, the new people mostly aren't making as much money as they were led to believe they would make, and the old people mostly aren't making as much as they used to make "back in the good old days" or maybe not even as much as last year. And on top of that, the expense checks aren't really covering the expenses anymore. So the main question that the employees had was-- what's going to be done about the fact that the money paid for mileage no longer covers even the price of gas?

And the answer to that question was--not a damn thing.

And then they have the nerve to say how that if there were even an increase of say two cents per mile, that would cost the company millions of dollars. Not that two cents would cover the current problem, but they weren't even willing to do that much. So the company would have to pay millions of dollars to cover the cost. It is a cost that the company is supposed to pay, but they don't want to, so the employees get stuck with it.

Then the guys from the main office went on to say that no one gave them a dime for the gas they used to go to work everyday. No one gave them a dime to drive to the other side of town to their mostly 9 to 5 Monday through Friday jobs. Big deal. No one ever agreed to pay them extra for that expense. They aren't expected to drive all over the place, and they already make more money than anyone else.

Though probably what they said wasn't even true. I doubt that they drove all the way from North Carolina or bought plane tickets and such out of their own pockets.

The traveling photographers and sales people have to drive all over the place, have no choice on where they are sent, and were promised extra money for that expense. The checks no longer cover the expense, so there should be an increase. This happens once in while. But this time the price of gas went up a lot faster than anyone had planned for. The company will just have to increase the amount paid for mileage if they expect people to keep driving all over the place. But all these guys did was complain about how much it would cost the company.

We know how much it would cost the company. It costs us that much. Only we're not supposed to be paying.

They weren't listening to anybody, though they said if anyone had any useful suggestions they would consider it. I've got a useful suggestion. Cancel the stupid meetings and cash in the plane tickets and such and spend the money on the employees' mileage problem. And maybe even quit having middle management drive around checking up on people who haven't complained of a problem. That would save a lot of money on gas right there.

And then they all look hurt when the employees don't appreciate having what should have been their day off wasted to hear that the complaints about the mileage problem and such aren't going to be fixed, and that there's a new bonus program so that once in a great while one or two of them will make a little extra money (not enough to cover his or her mileage problem) and/or a free portrait. Great. Thanks a lot.

I didn't get much done in class Monday, but at least that was mostly my own fault. I wasn't having my time wasted at a useless meeting that I was forced to attend. I mostly finished a sleestak, started working on the other one, but then decided that it just had too many problems and it would probably be better just to start over at a later date. The rest of the time I was patching cracks and such. And then I just really needed to get away for a while and asked if I could get my review or whatever a couple of days early. Professor said that there really wasn't much of a review, just a form to fill out saying what projects were started and what was finished and so forth. So I did that on Tuesday and tried to pack most of my stuff. The triffid was still in the kiln, but it's probably okay. The kiln wasn't going to be cool enough until Wednesday, and I decided it could just wait. I packed a bag and some yarn and went to Oklahoma.

I shouldn't have gone. It was no big deal, and I went knowing that it was no big deal. But we don't go off like that much anymore, and my husband tries to make it nice when I go with him. It was one of those days when he only made fifty dollars. I'm pretty sure that we spent more than that. And then with the cost of gas and the mileage, he really didn't even make fifty dollars.

I got some rest, and I did some knitting, and I sat in a air-conditioned motel room and watched cable TV. Except for the cable TV, I could have done most of that at home. But I don't do that at home. At home I think that I should be doing something useful and I get up once in a while and try to do something.

Yesterday we drove around a lake and such. The place isn't that far away, but we hardly ever go there. So we went and looked around and took pictures and such. We went to an observation tower. Not the tallest tower, or even the tallest tower we've climbed, but I'm getting too old for this. That last bit of stairs was a little spiral thing that I don't like.

After that we tried to find a cookie place that I used to go to twenty years ago. The cookie store was usually the first stop of a geology field trip. The geology field trips had a lot of silly things like that. Anyway, they probably still make the cookies, but we were told that particular retail store closed several years ago. And then we went to have a sandwich at Robertson's Hams. It's one of those places that we've passed a hundred times and never stopped at. So we finally went there.

If I hadn't have gone with him, my husband probably would have spent five or ten dollars on food and whatever gas money that the company doesn't cover. But I went, and we were in a hurry and ate lunch at nearest place to motel, and that cost nearly thirty dollars with the tip and such. And then we bought sandwiches for dinner, and then we bought lunch the next day and some extra ham and mustard to take home. And it cost a dollar for the observation tower. We went shopping for hot sauce, but decided not to get anything. I think that we spent about fifty-five dollars. Not good. Can't do stuff like that too often.

So I'm wondering now about going to Paris. Not that Paris, just Paris in Texas. I know we used to go there a lot on business for another company, but that was a while back, and I don't remember doing anything special in that area. It sounds safe enough, but somehow we end up spending too much money on lunch and such. And there's still the extra money for the gas now, and we have no way of knowing ahead of time if he'll make money that week. I picture a whole week of him making only fifty dollars a day and us spending a lot of that, and me doing a lot of knitting when I should be here doing something more useful than that.

Not that I really do a lot of useful stuff around here. Right now I should be planting the tomatoes. I bought the plants a couple of weeks ago, and they still aren't in the ground. I've worked outside a bit today, but as you can see I took a break from that to write a blog post. Later, I'll probably find something else to do, and the tomatoes will still not be in the ground.

I guess I've still got a few days to decide if I'm going to waste the week at home or out of town.


Dame Honoria Glossop said...

There's a lot of stuff in the press over here about credit crunches, sub primes and the US economy. Are prices rising real fast? Fuel prices here are around £1.20 per litre (I think that's about 11 dollars per gallon) and seem to go up every other week. Utility bills just get worse and worse.

I've just been clearing out my wardrobe, been putting it off for ages, but now the doors won't shut so I have to do it.

laughingattheslut said...

Gas is now over 3.50 a gallon, and some of us had not gotten over the shock that it had stayed over 2.00 a gallon the last time the price really went up. So we tend to complain about it a lot.

Yes, when we were in London in 1999 we had noticed a sign for gas being .68, and we thought that even if the exchange rate was as high as two dollars per one pound, that still made the gas about a dollar and a quarter for a gallon of gas, which was really good at the time. But then we noticed the sign was not per gallon, but per litre, which I think is right close to a quarter of a gallon, which would have made it closer to five dollars a gallon. We were shocked. At the time we just could not imagine.

This morning I had put most of the tomatoes and peppers in the ground, and found that I had spaces for five more plants, so I went shopping so I could finish that area. I came home with two tomatoes and five peppers and a flower and a zuchinni. So now after I finish this bed I have to find space for four more plants.

The Diva's Thoughts said...

I think its horrible that your husband's company expect them to eat the expense of the gas. That is most unreasonable.

dmarks said...

Horrible, and unheard of.