Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Two Things

I did two interesting things today, one that felt really bad, and one that felt really good.

The first was the bad thing. Remember a while back when there was reports about how Walmart was screening videos decrying how, if Obama was elected, the fair pay act would allow unions to run rampant, and this would destroy not only poor little defenseless Wal-Mart, but America? Well, see, I work for "The Other Guy," and today I had to watch a video that was basically the same thing. Following in the standard, "the same as Wal-Mart, but classier" approach, it was just a incredibly distorted video about how unions are bad, and are evil businesses (Yes, businesses!) that ruin life for workers. The only reference to recent events was about "coming changes in our labor laws." So no direct references to the campaign or the candidates, just some anti-union propaganda before the election.

If I understood the the basic argument of the video, it was that unions are not able to make them pay you more, and joining them will break up the big happy corporate family that you belong to that pays you minimum wage. The guy across from me snortled and chuckled throughout at the videos epic failure, and at one point, to afraid to do anything overt, I just looked over, and we shared a look: the kind that says, "yeah, this is bullshit." Another guy and I shared a good laugh afterwards, as well. (Op! Just wanted to make sure there was none of those evil unions around the corner!" he said) My heart goes out to you both.

It made me feel bad. I like the work atmosphere there, but now I am going to trust the managers's there a little less.

The other thing was, after coming home and perusing the blogs to the wave of bullshit that has been rising since the Republinca Convention (and will hopefully soon crest), and just being disgusted and feeling helpless about the whole thing, I got a call out of the blue from the Local Obama campaign, asking if I wanted to volunteer. So I did. I spent two and a half hours today calling phone numbers of college students who didn't answer and talking vaguely about politics with the interns. In a way, it was an edifying esperiance, except I think all I managed to was to knock out some pages of people they would not need to call again.

A couple anecdotes, though, that I bring back to the blog world (Sir Charles, ari, are you reading this?): the PUMAs are very real, and Sarah Palin means something to them. All the interns seemed to have had encounters with women, even pro-choice women, who were voting for McCain-Palin, because they wanted a woman in office. One person was even told that "a vote for McCain is really a vote for Hillary." This was not funny to them. One person spent much time talking with pro-choice women, and trying to discuss things with a McCain supporter. Apparently, they don't like to bring up abortion over the phone (I asked, and then was forced to admit it was all outside my area of expertise), so they focus on McCain not supporting the Fair Pay Act. Many of us noted that we had encounter with enthusiastic 80-year-old Obama fans, of both sexes, and I wondered why it seemed to be more the 60 or 70 age group that was so pro-McCain. One woman opined that it's because that age group wasn't tuaght to be "rebellious" like the slightly younger ones were (read those quote-marks as signifying contempt).

But yeah, Pumas: a very real, and annoying phenomenon, people. The grunts have to deal with it day in and day out.