What is a long-forgotten good manner that you think should be brought back?

All of them.  Respect for women:  holding the door for hot bitches, for example.  That was a joke, of course.  Here I am reminded of a great lyric from ‘hiphopopotamus vs. rhymenoceros’ from Flight of the Concords.  Oh yeah, that is a real song title, and the song is even better.  Link to the song here.  BUT… I was talking about the funny lyric about misogyny.

Yes, sometimes my lyrics are sexist
But you lovely bitches and hoes should know I’m trying to correct this

They actually have a line along those lines that is literally too funny to print.  But, I ain’t sharing it because it is so good, I use it on stage.  It always kills.  Tell you what; leave me a comment so I know you are reading and I’ll tell it down there.

What good deed of yours were you punished for?

Glad you asked.  Time to tell this take publicly for the first time.  I will not name the company I was working at, because I am better than that.  Let’s just say they are the only company ever to be voted nationally two years in a row as the worst company to work for.  Bloomberg once called them the ‘Meanest Company in America’.  If you google worst company’s to work for in Yahoo, Dish network comes up by default… before you even get to the article.  Boy, that shows how bad Yahoo is doing.  I just called running a Yahoo search ‘googling’.  Let’s just say the company’s name rhymes with ‘Dish Network’.  They were planning a site closing, and were going to announce it with about 6 weeks’ notice.  Having JUST gone through the EXACT same thing with Nextel two months before… I was something of an educated citizen on these things.  This was almost exactly 15 years ago.

I knew that when you did a plant/office closing, or moving of a plant more than 40 miles away, you had to do a ‘WARN act’ letter.  It stands for worker relocation notification act’ or something like that.  Wait, I should get the specifics before I engage in accusing a large corporate of large scale employment law fraud.  Dish The company in question did this short of shit so often, though, I often tend to tune out.

WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

 Apparently, they told the government (we think), but not any of the workers.  The reason we think they told the government was another classic screw up by said company.  A week before they were set to tell us, news crews showed up on the property and began interviewing employees asking them about the layoff.  100% true story, every aspect of this is.  Trust me, it has to be.  I am aware I am saying some serious shit that could get me sued out of existence were it not 100% true and lived by me.

I told the HR folks about the WARN thing, trying to help them cover their asses.  I was, without question, trying to protect my employers.  I can prove this because I talked to them, and them only.  If I wanted them busted for large scale employment law fraud (like I do, now)… I would not have warned HR.  I would not have said a thing.  I would have waited and watched and then told the Department of Labor, and the Department of Justice, and the Public Utilities Commission, and my congressman, and Tom Martino (he was BIG back then), then I would have told all the local TV news stations, because they love this stuff.

But I ratted them out to NO ONE.  I warned them.  They pushed back on me.  I warned them again.  This time, I copied verbatim the law, and emailed it to them.  So, she (again, not naming names, but let’s say her name was Ashley, for the sake of the narrative) then told me ‘oh, well, I get it.  But, this isn’t that.  This is just a plant relocation.  So, the WARN act doesn’t apply.”

Wrong again, I explained.  A ‘relocation’ is always regarded as in state.  NY says any move over 50 miles triggers this notification necessity.  The Fed is more generous and says anything over 100 miles counts.  This plant was moving from Denver, CO to Brownsville, Texas.  According to Google, that is 1200 miles.  At this time, the correspondences stopped from HR.  I assumed that was because they finally understood, or talked to their labor lawyers.  Nope.  Two afternoons later I was fired for no cause.

I asked why.  They said ”you didn’t put in your end of shift report anything about ____ being a no call no show.”  I said ‘sure I did.  It’s all there.  Let’s pull it up now and I will show you.  You must at least have a hard copy handy?”  they did not, and had no plan to show me one or let me get mine.  No verbal or written warning for anything, either.  Just a termination.  That was literally the thanks I got for trying to protect and save their asses.

The only satisfaction I got was when I filed for unemployment, and obviously won.

I had NO idea I was going to tell this story.  I just answer the questions the minute i open the email from my editor & blogging mentor.  Clearly, that far too long rant should have been it’s own piece.  Oh well, it is an important and true story.  and, fuck those guys.  Of course, in retrospect, it was a blessing to get out of there.  Seriously, though, fuck those guys.  Also, they totally went ahead with telling everyone they were shutting down in like 30 days.  Then, and this is totally true, they never did close the place. They ended up not moving a single job out of that building… except mine.  I don’t think I was the catalyst.  Making anything right, or doing the right thing, has NEVER been how Charlie rolls.  Go ahead and google the stories.  Or, go to Glassdoor.com and read them, just to make yourself feel better about your shitty job.

What things do people do that you hate? intentional or not

My biggies are driving related, and I have ranted about them endlessly here.  So, let’s do it one last time.  In short, if your wipers are on, your lights should be, too.  It is that simple.  If I was a cop, I would arrest every single asshole who drove around in a blizzard in a white sedan, with their lights off.  Next one, turn signal.  Use it, ALWAYS.  Use it leaving your driveway, use it going into a parking spot, use it if you are taking a left and you are already in the left hand turning lane.

Use it if you are going to cut me off, for your own good.  It costs you NOTHING, and takes NO effort to use.  I don’t care if you are the last person on earth, switching lanes at 4 am.  Use your fucking turn signals.

What group of people do you feel it is okay to make fun of?

Oh gosh, that list is long.  Why do you think I use a pseudonym here?  Um… lesse… scientologists, Mormons, republicans, Christians, Catholics.  Pretty much anyone who takes the side of magic over science… like you climate change deniers.  People with tattoos on their faces, and pretty much everyone that lives in the bible belt.  That is mostly it, for now, I think.

 What is something that is better the old fashioned way?

Explosions in movies.  Heck, everything before CGI.  I don’t totally hate CGI.  It gives the director almost unlimited options for scenes.  However, pre CGI (I am thinking about 2000-ish) when you saw something on screen, you know it happened.  In Blues Brothers, they desotroyed some 50 cop cars in a chase scene.  Also, they did incalculable damage to city hall and Dealey Plaza.  The director lied about everything that would happen so he could get a film permit.   He then told the crew to make SURE they caught it all in one take.  They won’t be invited back.

There is another scene when they are driving down Lower Wacker Drive, doing about 90.  It looks like 90 in the film, too.  However, the director was concerned it would just look like they were going 30, and speeding up the film.  So, they reshot the scene doing an actual 90 MPH (again)… on city surface streets, mind you.  They added in pedestrians walking in the background for scale, so you could have a frame of reference for just how stupidly fast they were going.

My point being, all these incredible and dangerous and stupid and illegal scenes all happened because we SAW them happen in the film.  These days, why bother actually blowing up a car?  It’s too dangerous, and no one will think you did it anyway.  I got all these Blues Brothers facts from the special edition DVD that came out.  It has AMAZING featurettes where they talk about all the insanity and fun of making that film.  It’s funny, because – for a movie that is literally and truly a love letter to Chicago… they really fucked Chicago up making it.  Here is a youtube search that may have the featurette in question.  But, just buy the DVD.  It was like $12. $8.  This is the exact one I have.