ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Apr. 6th, 2009 02:56 pm)
I got laid off today.

I rather expected it - we were actually overstaffed for what they wanted us to do. They were going more toward using the $parentcompany 's infrastructure, which is MicroSoft mostly. I do not excel at end user support.

I have three months severance, with COBRA, so I'm not too close to desperation yet.

So, I'm looking. Linux/Unix sysadmin, including VMWare and RedHat Enterprise Linux. I use Windows through XP, but I'd rather not support it. I have some basic, although dated, Cisco experience. I've tried very hard not to stagnate, so I am familiar with Ruby on Rails and various other admin technologies.

Also, I will be restarting my soap and candle making, maybe some other stuff. My creative itch needs to be scratched something fierce.

So, I'm bummed, and relieved, at the same time. I was there for over 4 years, which is forever in the IT field. I was past the point of burnout.

After a week or two of reset, I will be looking for a new and exciting job where I can once again make a difference. I'm a builder, and expander, not a helpdesk associate, and I know it. I want to build something, or take it from startup to world class.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Sep. 29th, 2008 09:29 pm)
Wall Street is crashing, the stock-heads are wailing of doom.

I got two calls from headhunters today.

Somehow I get the felling that now the fat cats know that J. Q Taxpayer won't be their bitch, they might actually work out a solution to their own fuckups. Necessity, and fat cats wanting to keep their loot, will do wonders for our economy.

If it doesn't, well, a nice big dose of reality and re-regulation is in store for the jackals of finance.
ravan: (451F)
( Sep. 29th, 2008 12:08 pm)
Just say NO!!

The more I think about this mess, the less and less I like it.

None of the proposals protect Main Street from Wall Street.

None of them re-regulate the greedy bastards who did this.

None of them protect and help homeowners.

No Fucking Bailout with Taxpayer Money!!!
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Sep. 22nd, 2008 12:48 pm)
The more I read about the details of this fucking bailout plan, the less I like it.

Yeah, if there's no bailout, the markets will crash, and the world will be very unhappy. BUT, any bailout will just reward the very people who've fucked us all over for years, with fantasy investment products and phony paper.

The people who perpetrated this fraud must pay the price, not have their pockets re-lined with taxpayer money after they've squandered investor capital.

This Jane Q Taxpayer wants all of those fancy pants brokers and shills and their CEOs to be out of work. These investment and credit bankers have beggared a generation of Americans, made us into a nation of debtors, sold us a bill of goods and then made it harder to start over with bankruptcy.

Actions have consequences, damnit, and the Paulson plan plain SUCKS!!!

No bailout without these items:
  1. Strong congressional oversight - no closed door deals.
  2. Equity for taxpayer cash - no equity stake in the company, no bailout money.
  3. Salary caps for executives of any company receiving federal funds - they get federal assistance, they get GS pay.
  4. Firms under bailout/restructuring can't dispense golden parachutes - standard severance of 1 week's pay for year of service.
  5. All non-real securities are deprecated and not sold - futures, derivatives, anything that requires an MBA to see the actual, hard value in.

Pass these 5 around.
The Bush government is now busy telling us that our economy is great, and that they can fix what ails it. Bullshit.

They started the foreplay on the economic fuckover with Reaganomics (trickle down, my ass). They stripped us bare with the Rethuglican "Contract WithOn America". Now, as they are about to come screaming "Oh, thank you God for the profits", we realize that we, the citizens and taxpayers of the US, are the stars in a bizarre economic snuff flick scripted out by rich, Republican run corporations and institutes.

When management has to tell employees "Oh, yeah, we're really solvent, we have money in the bank, yada yada", that means "We're losing our shirt, about to do layoffs, but don't want you to leave before we stiff you on your last paycheck."

When the government tells its citizens "Oh, the economy is sound, the fundamentals are great, it's just a minor correction.", that means "Your investments are screwed, your pension is screwed, you'd do better stuffing cash in a mattress, but we don't want you to panic because our rich pals would lose too and you'd stand us all up against the wall."

Same type of bullshit, different scale.

Please get this through your head - Banks Are Failing!! Even if these behemoth financial institutions built on slick Ponzi schemes are bailed out, they are still failed. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have failed, and had to be bailed out with your money. AIG has been "rescued" - with your money. Will John Q Taxpayer see any return on that investment? No. Just like Iraq has been another colossal waste of taxpayer funds, so is the Big Bank Bailout of 2008. The Bridge to Nowhere hasn't got anything on this bunko scam - at least building it would have put cash into the pockets of the workers who built it!!. Bailouts are just a fancy way of playing disappearing Houdini tricks with our money, and the money of the next three generations of Americans!

Have money in 401Ks? You are now paying twice (once with your contribution, again as a taxpayer when the funds in your portfolio get bailed out) for a loss of value. Great, huh?

If you will check this post from nine months ago, you will see that I told you so.

Yeah, the feds are "bailing out" the financial giants - but they aren't fixing the hole in our economy, so the rest of us will sink, homeless, jobless and penniless, into a sea of debt and poverty, while the rich will drink champagne in their reserved lifeboats.

Until we flip them over, that is...
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Jul. 6th, 2006 05:35 pm)
Yesterday while driving home, I heard yet another commercial for some bogus "tape" on how to get out of debt and get rich, even if you don't make much money. Another quick fix huckster preying on the financially brainwashed. I was disgusted.

Our whole society is so brainwashed and programmed to just throw money at our problems, even when our problems are due to bad money habits! Buy, buy, buy!! Yes, money solves some problems - if you can afford it. But if the problem is debt and bad money habits, they you don't need to buy schlocky tapes, you need to stop spending more than you make!! Especially credit cards at restaurants and grocery stores, where you don't even have anything to show for your debt except wrappers!

I've gotten myself into trouble with credit cards - when the dot bomb happened and my income vanished, rent, utilities and food came first. I tried to bridge with my Visa cards - it had worked before during short downturns. I overextended, and it came home to roost. However, I managed not to file bankruptcy - I couldn't afford the paperwork!!

I finally have another general credit card again, after 5 years. I have almost paid and settled all of my debts - the last major one will be done this year. I never lost my department store cards because I had credit insurance on them that was good, and I kept them low. Between then and now I have made some spending style adjustments, and I recommend them:
  1) For the most part, if the money isn't available, it doesn't get spent.
  2) If there is travel or a major purchase to go on the cards, it better be at least $100, preferably twice that, or just pay it out of cash on hand. Food is *always* cash or debit.
  3) Pay more than minimums on credit accounts (at least 10% of the outstanding balance). Try to zero the balance on all of the cards at least once per year.
  4) Put a chunk of cash every paycheck into savings instead of checking, and try not to spend it unless it's a major "gotta do" expense (like the move, car repairs, dental work, replacing appliances.)
  5) Put aside a hard cash "Oh Shit!" fund. Not twenties. Something that's hard to break, convert or spend easily. Lock it up.
  6) Write a tight budget, and stick to it. Any items that aren't expended get converted to savings.
  7) Don't buy conspicuous consumption stuff, even if it's shiny (this has been the hard one).

There's other stuff, too. I'm trying to reduce my volume of crap - by giving away or tossing out stuff that doesn't fit, that I know I won't wear again, or that is broken beyond simple repair (I'll never fix it, and I know it). If I want shelving and stuff, I need to make it, not buy it prefab. I'm shopping eBay and Amazon more, and being pickier.

But seriously, folks, there are no quick fixes, just discipline. The only way you get rich is if your income exceeds your outgo. You don't have that if you have credit card and other non-secured debt. This advice is free, too. Would you take it more to heart if I charged you for it??


ravan: by Ravan (Default)


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