This was written by someone I know.
The reason gas prices are high is the grasping idiocy of the American public.
Most of the people I work with who all make 50k or more have NEVER used public transportation. It is demeaning to them.
I have taken the train and bike to work many times and they always make a big deal out of it, when I walk my bike in through employee entrance and lock it under the stairs. The word spreads through the office and I get several inquiries throughout the day from the "Is your name really Michael Bolton?" types. I explain that it is a wash expense wise, and I enjoy it. They shake their heads. For some reason it is very foreign to them.
My supervisor baited me the the other day announcing her new re-fi brought her mortgage down to $1500 plus $300 taxes, and wanted to compare notes, thinking she was a wiz. I had to sidestep the issue since I have no mortgage. The $300 taxes means a house worth less than mine, in a neighboring town.
Since everybody lies pretty much about everything, I don't tell people my situation, because it really does sound like a lie. I was never really ambitious, liked an occasional puff, never really wanted to climb any corporate ladders, made a bunch of small financial mistakes but no real big ones, and I do like to eat lunch out. And I find myself nearly in a position to take a couple years off to return to graduate school and build another house.
How could I expect people who think a $500 car payment is a permanent fact of life to get the idea that "just paying attention" and "don't do anything stupid" is not only a method to achieve some security, but a sign of attainment.
I was suspected of duplicity this past week, when a poorly documented processing system of various programs and methodologies was handed off to us by a quitting programmer. I was the to be the 2nd tier backup, but paid close attention, took lots of notes, kept a good attitude, and ran through the process once before he left. The guys who were to take it over basically whined that it was not well documented. They wanted checklists.
So the day comes, and my back goes out. I process one of the jobs without incident, but am obviously in pain and take a half day off. I return the next day, when the bulk of the work arrives, and the 2 guys are flailing madly, cursing, whining, throwing fits. I'm on Vicodin so I sit there impassively and answer questions. When it came down to it and they started throwing questions at me I had to respond:" You guys went through the same training as me." and that pretty much ended it. I took the next day off altogether and they worked until midnight. The upshot is that they did all the work and look now like whiny crybabies and I watched TV and I got props. How does this relate to gas prices? Well these 2 guys are decent programmers, but other than that talk sports. Not really well-developed personalities. They are typical of people here, and pretty much everywhere, where they think they found a niche and can sit back and ride it out, and whine and whine if they face difficulty.
I spotted the trend, that of dumping work on people who are there, and got ahead the curve, by NOT BEING THERE, but still being there and "ready to help as best I can".
Someone finally mentioned how convenient it was, that I got crippled, just before the shit hit the fan, so I had to do a little spin control.
I mean, I really was kind of crippled, but the biggest factor was that I was insulted by the whining from those lazy jackholes attempting to inflate their self-importance and damed if I was going to respond to that. That alone required narc-ing myself up and staying there for the duration.
And now the work is theirs. And I go back to writing to my family.