The voice of Amanda


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Calculating my worth

I work for a corporation. It sucks. I sometimes have to remind myself that this ugly corporation is not an entity completely in itself- there are people behind it making decisions and setting the tone for the entire business. Is it better to envision faces of average schmucks sitting behind their desks handing down executive orders rather than some omnipotent robot? I don’t know. I guess when I pull back the curtain and come face to face with the stark truth rather than a wizard, it pains me to see the cold side of business.

What am I to the company? I am a slightly higher than bottom level employee with good work performance. Do I expect the business to bend over backwards to make me feel warm and fuzzy? No, but it sure would be nice to feel like a person rather than a replaceable cog in the machine. It is difficult to do the best job possible when there are no thanks for good work, only the threat of write-ups and dismissal for imperfection.

Everyone knows our economy is depressing. What else is entirely depressing is the rising disparity inching its way between hardworking citizens. While business has been bad, plenty of CEOs have been doing just fine. Some have even made money from the heartache of others. I was told a story about a business owner who used the economy as a reason to tank the jobs of employees and have the remaining staff pick up the extra work for no extra pay. That guy is driving a Lamborghini. It’s stuff like this that gets me.

The message that everyone is created equal and everyone has a chance at a future has been trickling away year by year. The system we have in place is setting children up for disappointing adulthoods. We nurture, protect and tell them how wonderful/special/unique they are, giving seemingly endless chances to help them feel good about themselves. They are told they can be anything they want if they try! For previous generations, making it through college offered the chance at a better life. Boom. Then comes workplace reality. Lots of people have degrees, and suddenly you are filling shoes performing tasks that others might be able to do faster, better and cheaper than you. Supervisors won’t be shy saying that, either.

(If your dad or mom invented something profitable, acted in something somewhat decent, climbed the corporate ladder or filled a stadium with adoring fans, this is probably not the case.)

I know this is getting dark and maybe sort of preachy. There is a point in there. Being an adult has its select perks, but working for a corporation blows. I’m going to watch Office Space and destroy some office equipment now.

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Princesses

I am going to shed some light on my personal life. My job involves being around babies to preschool aged children on a daily basis, guiding them and their parents through early development. My clientele is easily a privileged group hailing from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Malibu and other million dollar neighborhoods. I’ve also worked with children from very poor areas with working-class parents struggling to make ends meet. No matter what economic background a child has, there is no substitution for good parenting (or grandparenting as the case may be).

Here is where you get to laugh at me. Occasionally I have a family request I do a birthday party. I sing. I dance. I act silly. I was even a clown for a birthday (which is an entire degrading story on its own). Today I was a princess- Snow White to be exact. Cinderella was also in attendance at this grand party for three year old twins.

Some little girls could barely leave my side while others shyly hid behind their parents. The birthday girl saw me early in the affair while she was sitting in her dad’s lap. She cautiously looked at me, but seemed unfazed. All was well.

Later in the party I was told to begin activities in the room where this little girl was seated, now perched upon her grandmother’s lap instead of dad’s. The grandmother was not so kind as she told me “Sarah is scared. Sarah, do you want her to leave?” Which of course she nodded yes to with grandma’s lead. I kindly explained that I had met Sarah the other day and was simply saying hello and trying to get set up to do activities. Grandma was once again cool and dismissive. Okay, what would I have recommended she do?

In this instance, rather than reassuring the little girl and showing her the correct way to deal with a situation, grandma rudely hustled me out. Rather than teaching Sarah how to confidently conquer her fear, grandma took over and got rid of it before giving her a chance to see she was in no harm. I wish grandma could have been a positive example. Three years old is a perfect age to demonstrate proper social behavior and interactions, as well as building confidence in one’s own abilities.

I have seen a lot of children unable to cope in social settings because of family members who do not give them the chance to learn on their own. Children need to know they are safe and protected, but they also need to learn skills to function independently. It’s a fine balance. Think of it this way- if you were teaching your child to ride a bike, it is much better to support them and slowly let go. The kid might fall a few times, but eventually learns to balance. You teach them not to give up and try again. It would be insane to hold on to the bike every time your child got on, then expect them to ride alone when you’re not there.

I have a lot of opinions on how children are being raised and what sort of teenagers and adults we are setting them up to be. There will surely be more on this topic, but hopefully I won’t be in a princess costume when I write it.


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Steubenville

Steubenville, Ohio has been put under a microscope after several of their football players were named in a rape case from this August. This case has received attention because of the picture, video and social media documentation of a passed out girl getting assaulted, followed by a seemingly indifferent local law enforcement. The assailants’ attitudes make me disgusted beyond measure. What have they been taught? Who told them it was okay (and even funny!) to have sex with a girl who was unresponsive and “unable to move”?

I’ve been reading articles from several different sources. Everyone can agree that she was immobile and that boys were laughing as they tossed around the word “rape.” In fact, a group of Steubenville students earned the abhorrent moniker “rape crew.” The adults in the town seem to be guilty of diminishing the severity of the crime and protecting their star players…sooo if you win high school football games you can put your dick wherever you want regardless of consent? Sure, that sounds reasonable.

I was interested to read not only the info from Anonymous, but this blog post as well- http://localleaks.blogs.ru/2013/01/01/steubenvillefiles/
-It sounds pretty extreme, but the videos and tweets are what get me.

The victim has already had to endure physical and emotional trauma, furthered by the sudden attention to this case. If it’s any comfort to her, I think everyone outside of that shitty Ohio town can see the need to punish these egotistical, depraved guys. Nobody is above the law…especially douche high school football players.