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Stress Tests and Layoffs...

by Southern Programmer

During the first week of January I reported in to the job site I was supporting and suddenly did not feel very well.  I decided to have my blood pressure taken so I walked to the nurse's office and let her take my blood pressure and listen to my heart.    Fast forward 6 hours and I was walking out of
a heart clinic with orders to rest for five days and to take a nuclear stress test because my heart had picked up an extra beat somewhere.

It is believed this happened due to a side effect of some medication I had started taking due to an inherited genetic problem with my pituitary.

Fast forward 10 days and I am at the heart clinic again sitting in a waiting room.

When I reported in, I went into a room where they stuck a plastic needle in my arm (after chasing me up and down the hallways..I HATE needles) where I was allowed to eat the snacks provided as I had fasted the night before.   While in the waiting room I watched in infomercial on the TV in the waiting area.  Perhaps it was coincidence but the infomercial was health related.

The infomercial was about some sort of colon-cleansing product.  The announced described how "Over the years" our systems were FULL of impacted fecal matter which were lining the walls of our systems like spackling paste, this led to poor health and the inability to have daily bowel movements!

Then, a very attractive young lady wearing a leotard...who could have the entire world on a string...began talking to the camera about how her bowel movements had improved so much since taking the sponsors product!

I could not help myself from thinking of this girl attending a high class sorority party, gliding into the room and telling everyone about her bowel movements and so I began giggling which then set off the person beside me and soon the entire waiting area was roaring with laughter to the point a technician came in and said "What's so funny?"  

After a nice two hour wait which consisted more "colon blow" testimonies, X-rays and Andy Griffith reruns I was called to go to the torture room.

The technician placed electrode pads all over me and instructed me to get onto the treadmill.

First I walked, then I walked faster and uphill, then I jogged and after they decided I wasn't going to have a heart attack I was allowed off while the technician watched my heart rate recover.

Fast forward three hours and the Doctor was telling me that everything looked great and my heart was pumping / recovering fine though I still have an extra beat which does seem to disappear as I exercise.   The hope is that there is still some medicine in my system that will eventually "go away" and my heart will go back to normal.


Well, my company had layoffs.  The cuts were pretty large and fortunately I was spared.  Apparently my co-worker and I are among a handful of people that have knowledge of systems that are profitable to the company and so they need us.   So, we were kept on and were also asked to "Come up with a training manual in case we are out and they need someone to fix the system".

Sure boss, I will do that...I hope you can read Mandarin Chinese!

Since the layoffs happened last week not much has been accomplished in the form of work.   To be fair, the companys severance package is pretty generous and those affected will still be with us for a few months...some may even be re-hired in the future.


Sigh, I just read where the average 401(k) balance went from $69,200 in 2007 to $50,200 last year losing an average of 27% in value, my own 401K certainly falls within that range.   These days, even though I am grateful to still have a job I just don't feel motivated to go to work!  But I must do so as I need to earn money to fund these bailouts to insure the Bank CEO's can grant themselves bonuses.

I see where GM is making noises which I believe are to prepare the American people for another round of auto maker bailouts.  This whole thing is so STUPID, the American auto maker is supposed to compete against other car makers and they proved they couldn't do it without taxpayer help.  

Help!  We are getting our butts handed to us so give us some money!

IMO, we would have saved a lot of money had we given each registered voter a 30K check which the voter could only use to buy an American car from GM, Ford or Chrysler.   If the Voter bought a car with the check they would not be required to pay taxes on it for 2 years. If the Voter decided they did not want a car, they would have to send the check back.

The car companies would have been SCRAMBLING to entice the public to buy a car, I imagine they would have been offering cars costing exactly 30K that would be loaded to the MAX with options.



Sometimes you have to find a laugh whenever the opportunity presents itself.   This morning I drove my wifes White Honda Pilot and noticed it was low on gas.   I pulled into a gas station and began filling up when not one but TWO identical White Honda Pilots pulled in and began filling up
around me leaving the pump on the other side of me open.

Another car pulled in on the other side of me and the owner got out and walked around and then looked up and saw the White Honda Pilot in front of him, the White Honda Pilot across from him diagonally, then he looked over and saw mine. 

He looked at me with a puzzled expression and I said in a deadpan voice "You can't join the club unless you buy a White Honda Pilot!"

His laughter kept me cheered up for the rest of the day...


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OfficeLurker (01/29/2009)
I like the waiting room story, thanks for the laugh!

Corporate Ladder Rung: VPBookwoman (01/30/2009)
SP, sorry to hear about your company's layoffs. Glad you're OK for now at least. And thank you for providing much needed doses of humor even in the tough times. I think you're worth your weight in gold.

Corporate Ladder Rung: CEOSouthernProgrammer (01/30/2009)
Thanks for the post Bookwoman. Yes the cuts were deep and some friends of mine were affected so things are awkward right now.


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