Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mid December Ramblings

Open season on certain snakes!  Wow. I am not a snake lover, but I had a cat that was an avid hunter.  Trouble was, he liked to bring them home to play with before putting them out of their misery. Luckily I lived in the British Virgin Islands at the time, which claims to have only 3 snake species, none of which are venomous. However, with their increased international cargo shipping and their lack of control at the docks, I suspect that exotic snakes could make it ashore from other far flung places, simply by hitching a ride in a cargo shipping container.  I know Hawaii has had this problem and used cargo sniffing dogs for their incoming shipments. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is launching the 2013 Python Challenge™ in collaboration with partners to enlist both the general public and python permit holders in a concentrated, month-long harvest of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

You can help native wildlife in Florida by being an extra set of eyes to spot nonnative species.

If you see an exotic species such as the Burmese python:
Take a picture.
Note the location.
Report your sighting. 
Exotic species sightings can easily be reported online at

Not only is Florida trying to rid themselves of illegal aliens, but this includes the python population. A friend of mine trying to buy a house here was told by his banker that he had to reside in Florida 2 years before applying for a mortgage. I had never heard of such a thing before. 

Lately I've heard some very sad tales. 

I was chatting up a cheerful cashier in a chain store and I said I bet she was glad for the holidays and the overtime. She shook her head and said all the regular employees had their hours cut back to part time while more part timers were hired to help out during the holiday season, so her paycheck was smaller not larger, for the holidays. 

You gotta be kidding me!  But she was serious. 

Another friend who works  at a well known camping outfitter and service center,  told them when he was hired a few years back that he had a weekend job and was available Monday through Friday. He said he would work on Saturday when needed but needed to know this on Monday, so he could reschedule his weekend work, otherwise he couldn't commit to weekends. They agreed to this arrangement. 

Friday afternoon rolled around this week, they ordered him to work Saturday. He explained he couldn't due to his other job and wished they had mentioned this on Monday not on Friday afternoon. His superior told him if he didn't work Saturday then he was fired. Rather than cave in to their terrorist tactics  he said he would fetch his tools and truck and be gone. Another superior decided they didn't want to lose him and told him he wasn't really fired after all. 

Huh?  Yes I called this terrorist tactics. I've had employees in my past businesses. I would never dream of making such threats to an employee. 

Is this how companies treat their employees now?  I was gone from the USA for 23 years, so I am clueless about the rapid changes made over the years. It used to be employees were treated with common decency. Whatever happened?  Did I miss something in the great big picture?

Another sad tale I heard from a cashier at a well known second-hand charity shop.  I mentioned I bet she had a beautiful wardrobe and I said something to the effect of I guess you get an employee discount. She said the employees of this charity were not given a discount because they were not allowed to shop in any of the stores at all. She said  if she was caught all the way across the country shopping at one of their stores, she would be fired with no chance of ever working for them again. 


I am not sure why I got on this sad tale of woe.  I guess I am still in culture shock, adjusting to the new American ways. 

No wonder I feel safer living in the woods. I am not sure the concrete jungle is safe for an optimist like me. 

On a fun note, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  

I have a musician visiting who is playing his electric piano on the patio while I type. The weather is perfect today but I have to stop writing and go do my workamping duties. 


  1. It seems like the work world has become so serious & stouch. All the cutbacks really suck too.

  2. The day will come when our economy turns around and then the workers will have some leverage. It's sad that workers are treated so badly. My employer, a nonprofit that has a goal of equalizing salaries for women in one generation, keeps me, the only female ranger at 25 hours per week so they don't have to give me insurance or paid vacation like the men but I do everything the guys do!


Life is goof!