Shouting Into the Void

Overwork

For the entire time I've been here in the US, I've never understood performative overwork to cover for bad processes. The week after I joined JPMorgan, the boos of my old team had us all working until 11pm on 3 days of that week. We had to manually review every single document being sent to a client. All I could think of was, "How terrible are your processes that it was even necessary to do that?"

I realize that there are times when working late is unavoidable. But it's not something I aspire to do on a regular basis. Working at all hours of the day isn't a life goal for me. Maybe there are folks who genuinely enjoy work so much that it's fun for them. But I suspect most of us aren't like that.

I''d love to see a change in how Americans view their relationship with work. Let's enjoy life more.

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The best job in the world

arthurrhodes

Arthur Rhodes was left handed, and was mainly below average during his career. He played in Major League Baseball for 20 years, making a total of $37.9 million in the process.

In 2011, Arthur Rhodes was paid $3.9 million. According to Fangraphs, his performance meant that he should have earned -$5.8 million.

Mothers, teach your kids how to be left handed relief pitchers.

The Saga of Bobby Abreu

In 2005, Bobby Abreu had an uncharacteristic performance in March and April. He only hit .260/.371/.341. The numbers weren't bad, but not up to Abreu's usual standard.

Then, on May 9, his fiancee, Alicia Machado was filmed having sex with a castmate on the Chilean realty show, La Granja. Abreu immediately broke it off with Machado when the video came out.

At that point, Abreu began an assault on National League pitching. In May, he hit .396/.535/.792. He cooled off a little in June, but not by much. In the Home Run Derby, he 41 total home runs, the most homeruns ever (at that point).

Was Abreu's newfound vim a direct consequence of Machado's actions? We'll never know. But I do find it interesting how closely these events dovetailed.

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A new journey

I meant to send the following as the prelude to the newsletter you were sent this past week.

I've decided to find a new job. I saw that my current job was evolving in a way that I would eventually not enjoy the work at all. So I took the affirmative step of finding a new job before I was forced to do so.

Leaving a job is never easy. I'm applying to jobs in my current company, but also looking outside. This is honestly the first time I've made the decision to leave a job, rather than being laid off or the company folding. It's been empowering. I can choose the next step in my career rather than having it chosen for me.

So, if you know of any potential jobs I'd be good for or know people I can talk to, please let me know.

UPDATE: The worker shortage is real. In the 3 weeks I've been applying, I've gotten 3 interviews and they've all gone to a second interview. I've never been this in demand in the job market.

If a yahoo like me can get this much interest, then so can you. If you are feeling like you could use a change, there may not be a better time to look for a new job. And on the plus side, you'll likely get paid more at a new job.

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9/11 Social Media Post Templates

For the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I offer you the following templates for all of your social media needs.

[insert anecdote about the banal things you were doing when the Two Towers were hit]

[insert famous quote that expresses the horror and loss of innocence America experienced on 9/11]

[insert comment glorifying America and putting down all Muslims instead of just the dumb ones in al Qaeda] [insert comment comparing a trivial sports loss to 9/11]

Eddie Murray Card

Back in 1993, I got this card in a pack. It was worth $75 when I got it. I thought for sure this card would be my retirement fund. I should have sold the card the moment I got it.

As the years went on, Eddie's taciturn face was a rebuke for my idiocy. I eventually gave the card to a family friend who'd started collecting.

Today, it's worth around $18. Ah, the folly of youth.

eddiemurray

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Self satisfaction

Over the past month, with the Delta variant raging, I've gone back to mostly staying inside. That means I have to do something to take my mind off things. Last time, it was getting all my links organized. Now, with the website, I'm shifting to displaying stuff I've found. But, unlike the past, when I did things with the hopes of it being compelling to others, I'm just posting whatever is important to me personally. I flip through the site at least once a day to make myself smile. I hope others look at the site, but I'm OK if I'm the only one who does.

The Gay Community

gay

Every season I played fantasy basketball, I had to have Rudy Gay on my team so I could name it The Gay Community.

Why Rudy Gay never created Gay Communities wherever he played is still a mystery to me.

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Going back to high school

A conversation I had with my pal, Lora a couple of years ago, when we'd both reached our 40s.

Lora: I'd be so much better and popular if I went back to high school now.

Muneer: Yeah, but then the most popular jock would pull a She's All That on you.

Lora: Say what?

Muneer: He'd pretend to be into you and make you his girlfriend as part of a bet with the other popular kids. But then he'd end up actually liking you. It would all culminate in him telling you that he couldn't take you to prom while 98 Degrees" "The Hardest Thing" played in the background.

Lora: LOL. That's so messed up!!!

The Agony

I was talking to someone today about analyzing projects that have gone wrong at work. I said,

I love digging through projects and finding out what happened. It's like a puzzle. But the answer inevitably infuriates me. So I am left with a conundrum: the thing that I love the most also brings me the greatest sadness.

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The syndicate

In Grade 9, I accidentally became the head of a gambling syndicate at my school.

I was a young, fresh faced kid, and found out that you could win money playing blackjack. So in my usual fashion, I began expanding the operation. I soon had 5 tables in the lunch room with games going at lunch.

That led to me needing to hire football players to act as muscle and collect debts from people.

I was planning on expanding my operation into fight promoting. But then some kids told their moms why they were coming home so hungry every day. They were losing their lunch money at the tables.

So, their moms went to the principal and I was called in to his office. He said, "Muneer, I'm hearing you've made $1000 off this little operation of yours!" I said, "No, I've actually only made $643. It's all here on my log book."

So, I was forced to pay back the money I hadn't already spent on baseball cards and rap tapes. Which was about $200. In my report card, they said, "Muneer needs to stop using his bright mind for destructive purposes."

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Saving face

One night, my sisters had an event at the Manarat Girls School. I was in our car with my dad and was throwing a tantrum. Probably because he wouldn't get me a toy I wanted.

So on Saturday, I get to school and Adnan asks me if I was crying in a car at the Manarat Girls School that weekend. I tried to think fast to avoid being embarrassed, and so I told him it was my twin brother.

Adnan naturally asked why my brother didn't go to Manarat. I said he went to Jeddah International because our parents wanted us to be able to live our own separate lives.

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Thoughts on Trump

4 years ago, I woke up at 6am and navigated to Google. Seeing the words "Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States" made my heart jump and sent me into a stupor.

America had just repudiated me and others like me. America said that they believed lies and fear mongering over facts. That day, America became just a country; it was no longer the shining beacon that immigrants strive to go to.

Over the last 4 years, I have seen things I never thought would happen:

  • A "friend" shouted "Build the Wall" at the end of the national anthem at a Royals game while sitting next to me.
  • I grew to distrust everyone around me. What if they're part of the Trump brigade that would rather that I not be in this country anymore? I found myself wondering "Is he/she a Trump voter?"
  • This country had a leader who didn't care about the people, even during the worst pandemic in 100 years.

It'll take a while for my faith in this country to be restored. But, a shred of it is still there. I want to see us move forward from this, the most shameful period of our modern history. I want people to get along and not be divided by fear and racism.

America is bruised and bloody from the last 4 years. We had a group of people in power who did their best to destroy the country. Now it's time to help America heal.

Using protection

I told my friend that my favorite cologne in college was Drakkar Noir.

She told me she's glad to hear I was using birth control.

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Finding everyday heroes

I have this co-worker on a team full of people who manufacture idiotic crises that don't actually matter.

I was talking to her on Friday and she was talking about how vital she was to the company because she'd caught a potentially catastrophic error caused in part by her team's unwillingness to improve. 

In a later conversation about this conversation with another co-worker, I said, "Yeah. We find our heroes where we can. Some people rescue children from burning buildings, others work with Covid patients. Nadine saves us from non-issues that everyone will forget about in 2 hours."

She had me on speaker. She said her fiancee fell off his chair laughing when he heard it.

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Lions

#30 on the Detroit Lions is named Dee Virgin. He probably plays against the QB today, David Blough, in practice. So, several times a week, Virgin is trying to get a Blough.

Charlotte Nightmare

The time we spent in Punta Cana was amazing. However, American Airlines was horrible during each trip.

Our flight going to the DR was supposed to be at 7.30am, Sunday, May 11.

  • We got an email from AA 6 hours before our flight took off saying that we were being rebooked to the 7.30am flight on May 12.
  • Since we were under the impression we were going to take off, we got the message at 3am when we woke up. Jessicca called up AA.
  • Their agent finally got on the line after we were on hold for almost 2 hour and told us there was no way for us to get to the DR on Sunday.
  • So, we missed a whole day at the resort.

On the way back, it was an endless series of nonsense:

  • We got an email that our flight from Punta Cana to Chicago was delayed. The email told us to go to the airport to rebook.
    • We get there and check in the bags. The itinerary, however, said that the first leg of the trip was from Punta Cana to Chicago, while the second leg of the trip was from Charlotte to KC. I didn't want our bags getting lost, so I checked the bags to Chicago. That incurred an extra $10 bag fee because AA charges you if you don't check your bags to your ultimate destination.
    • The gate agent we got to was a trainee. Her manager came over and decided this was the best time for some training. So, our rebooking took twice as long as it should because they were doing it as slowly as possible. They rebooked us to Charlotte and put us on a flight that got to KC 2 hours after our original flight was scheduled to land.
  • The flight actually took off an hour early, so I thought this was the end of our troubles. How wrong I was.
    • We get to Charlotte and there's no gate open for us. We sat on the tarmac for almost 2.5 hours. A gate magincally opened up when a baby had a medical emergency in the back of the plane.
    • They had held the flight to KC, probably because half our plane was on that flight.
  • When we get through Customs, we were told to go upstairs to the general ticket counters.
    • Apparently, flights out of Charlotte had been getting cancelled all day, so there were close to 3000 people in line waiting to get rebooked.
    • We got in line at around 11.30pm.
    • At around 1.15am, Jessicca got an email saying we had been rebooked on the 8.19am flight to KC.
    • At 3am, we get to the front of the line. AA had 4 people working originally, but some extra agents got in at around 2.
    • They wouldn't let us check our bags because the baggage handlers don't start work until 5am.
    • I went downstairs to get us food and coffee from Starbucks, which was the only place open.
    • While I was downstairs, Jessicca got back in line for the baggage. I got up to the line with the food and drinks about 10 minutes before they finally let us give our bags to the baggage handlers.
  • We took off on time, and got home at noon on Sunday, 13 hours after we were supposed to have gotten home.

We're never flying with American again.

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Becoming a man

I once saw a teen boy at SportClips with his mom. The stylist who came to get him for his cut was a Russian woman who was showing a lot of cleavage.

The mom said, "We'll wait until the next person is free" and held the boy's arm. The boy shook his arm free, gave mom a look like "Damn bitch! Let me live!" and went with the stylist.

The mom, angry about this turn of events, loudly announced she was going to get ice cream.

I wanted to run over and give the boy some dap, but restrained myself.

Well worn wisdom

Heard just now: if you go a town where the factory just shut down, the strip clubs are a lot more liberal about what you can do.

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Paul Pierce

When I was in my freshman year at KU, I was playing basketball at the Robinson Center one afternoon. We had the run of the court because of my teammates' scoring prowess and my extremely dirty play and ability to pull down rebounds in traffic.

Then, a group of tall gentlemen walked in. Among them was Paul Pierce, then a sophomore. I was assigned the task of guarding Pierce. I remember setting up in my stance. I looked to the left to check the guy on the wing. When I turned my head back around, Pierce was gone. I looked behind me, and he was laying the ball in about 10 feet away. Pierce is the quickest person I've ever encountered in my life. He blew past me twice more, and then I faked a calf injury to preserve what little of my pride was left.

Xmas 2016

Merry 'All The Threats Of Not Getting Presents Because Santa Only Gives Gifts To Those On The Nice List Have No Teeth, Be As Naughty As You Want' Day.

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Run For The Border

I got a call on a Thursday afternoon from [Suzie]. It was a curious call because the address on the intake form was a Canadian address. Prepaid Legal only sold plans to people in the US. Suzie had met [Gavin], a Canadian, online. After a whirlwind romance, Suzie and Gavin decided that they live together in Ottawa, where Gavin was living. They packed up all of her things into a U-Haul and then hitched her car to the U-Haul on a trailer.

The couple set out for the border crossing near Buffalo, NY. As Suzie and Gavin reached the border, the Canadian immigration officials asked if them if Suzie was emigrating or coming to Canada for vacation. Suzie replied that she was coming for vacation. Since most vacationers don’t bring 4 rooms worth of furniture and a car on a trailer for a vacation, Suzie was turned away at the border. At this point, Gavin got out of the truck and hitched a ride to Ottawa with another driver.

Suzie was now stuck in Buffalo. So she called her friendly home state PPA firm. Since I was the only one who knew anything about immigration, I got to take the call. This led to the following exchange:

Suzie: I only have enough money to stay in this motel until Tuesday! I got the forms right here. You think this will all be sorted by then?
Me: I highly doubt that you will be able to apply for and secure a residence permit in Canada in three and a half days.
Suzie: What?? I didn’t even think you needed a passport to go up to Canada. [Note: this conversation took place in 2009.]
Me: You can go up to Canada for a visit without requiring a passport or visa, but you cannot emigrate there without a visa.
Suzie: Well what do I do then?
Me: I would suggest asking your fiancee to get you an attorney in Canada to assist you with the process.
Suzie: You mean I don’t get this taken care of for free? Why am I paying you $19.95 per month?
Me: I can advise you on US immigration law, but you need someone who is licensed in Canada. You will need to go through Canada’s procedure for emigrating.
Suzie: I don’t have any money to stay in this motel past Tuesday! I thought this would be done by then!
Me I am sorry to disappoint you.
Suzie: Where am I supposed to stay??
Me: You could always come back to [my state].
Suzie: I can’t! You have no idea how tough it was to get up here with all my stuff!!
Me Well, then I suggest you get a residence and a job in Buffalo. This is not going to be a quick process.
Suzie: This is so unfair! Why do I pay you guys $19.95 a month??

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2016 Election Thoughts

Before:

  • In the event Donald Trump wins, I will be at my home until 4am, after which I will flee to Canada. I hope they have Starbucks near my company's Saskatchewan office.

After:

  • I'm still here, and I'm scared.
  • America has turned its back on me and people like me.

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