My 2015 Commencement Address

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Warning: The following post may be offensive to some readers.  Discretion is advised.

 

Welcome folks to my annual commencement address!

 

This year I am not only addressing those graduating school, but I also have some brief advice to others as well.  I am going to do this in a top down fashion starting with those graduating college.

 

Fellow college graduates, you have that wonderful degree that you just received from your favorite school with a degree in Amish electronics.  The problem is now that you have that paper but for some stupid reason you cannot find a job using that degree.

 

Ha!  You just became the victim of going to college and wasting money on a useless degree.  Of course, if Obama has his way, that money you paid for that degree will be forgiven and you will not owe anything for it.  That’s right, friends, get that useless degree and enjoy those years not having to join the workforce.

 

Naturally, you will have to join the workforce at some point.  While places like McDonald’s could be an option that is not what you were going for.  So your only choice is to get some low wage job that you can get, more than likely retail is certainly a fine choice, just like your humble speaker did.

 

Now onto the high school graduates, you are in the pretty much the same boat as the college grads.

 

You have the choice of spending money you don’t have to go to a college for a degree that will be useless in 4 years or so or you can go out and get a real job in the real world with the high school education you have.

 

Naturally, many students are not prepared for college.  I was one of them.  I found myself in trouble very early but I persisted and kept at it until I got my degree after 8 years of going part-time.  I could never get into a work-study program with my major because apparently I was “too rich”.  Seriously, too rich when I was taking out student loans every year to survive, what are they thinking?

 

This brings me to the point of a disclaimer that I have been hearing that “a degree doesn’t guarantee a job”.  It used to be that colleges would offer job placement assistance, now all they do is send you out the door with a “good luck” attitude.  They should just hand you a Walmart name tag at graduation instead.

 

Now for the kids in middle school and elementary school, you are the rebel group.

 

You spend your time with your little smartphones.  You play games, texting, talking to your friends, and using them to help you cheat on tests.  You may also be using them to send out those inappropriate pictures of yourself to your friends and to everyone else in the world as well.  Believe me, I have seen pictures before and the parents should be ashamed of not teaching proper etiquette.  Instead the parents shame their kids on the internet, sometimes with tragic results.  One child just recently committed suicide after being public shamed by their parents.

 

Which finally brings me to the parents and the little babies in their lives; you are the ones who should be acting like grownups here.

 

You opt out of vaccinations because people like Dr. Jenny McCarthy (not a real doctor, by the way) say that they cause autism.  You do other readings from others who echo these false claims.  Sure, you can send your kid to school unvaccinated, but you run the risk of not only having the kid getting sick but also spreading disease to others as well.  I am not just talking about in school, but any public place as well, such as shopping malls, where large numbers of people gather.

 

As livings in one of the states with the highest opt out rates in the country, I am disgusted that such behavior can go on.  When I was young, I could not even go to school unless I brought in proof that I was immunized and then the school secretary called the doctor to verify the information.  Back then, there were very few exceptions and if you didn’t follow the rules, you weren’t allowed to go to school period.  We should go back to those ways when everyone was protected.

 

Now I place the blame for this on parents.  You know you are a bad parent.  You may even be a single parent.  You may be a single mother.  You may not even know who your child’s father is.  You may have even had several children and don’t know who any of the fathers are.  Just watch any of the afternoon TV programs and you will see this played out in all its glory.  Parents need to become more aware of their children and more responsible people.  You are raising the future generation and you only get one chance – don’t screw it up!

 

In conclusion, let me say that society is going to hell fast.  We are all hating each other.  Authorities are not being respected.  People are becoming liars just so that they can get ahead in this world.

 

So people put down your gadgets and look around you.

 

We are becoming a world where nobody likes each other and just want to create chaos everywhere.  Add to this, a President who is out of touch with reality and wants to do nothing to make the world a better place.  I am ashamed of the USA and you should be as well.

 

Remember after 9/11, how we all came together united as one nation.  What happened to that?  Now we are beating each other in the streets, murdering each other, setting fires to local businesses and creating chaos everywhere.

 

This needs to stop today and we need a leader who can bring forth the kind of change that will bring us back to the greatness we once had.

 

Soon, we will be electing a new President.  I recommend that everyone pay close attention to each of the candidates and see how each of them plan on bringing this country back to greatness.

 

After all, we are ONE NATION.  We are AMERICA!

 

You are now free to go and continue to live your lives.

 

Thank you and good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bullying – A Story of a Survivor

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Please Note:  The following special blog post is being posted on all my blogs this week as I feel it is important enough to be heard on all my blogs.  By far, this is the most difficult post I have ever done.  Thank you.

 

I am a victim.

 

There I said it.

 

I am a victim of bullying.

 

Not just once, but at least twice during my years of public schooling.

 

The first time was when I was in kindergarten.  I was knocked to the ground by another kid who was about twice my size.  He knocked me down in such a way that my face scraped up against the bricks of the school building.  I could not have been bleeding more from my face at the time.  I must have cried so much as my mother, the principal and teacher cleaned the blood off my face.  This was happening as others around gathered with some laughing at me.

 

It took me a few days to return to school as if I really wanted to return to school in the first place.  The principal and teacher told my mother that I had tripped, when I knew in reality that I was pushed to the ground.  The problem was that both the principal and teacher were in denial of what really had happened.  The reason was that they really didn’t know how to handle a bully.

 

Unfortunately, when I did return I continued to be bullied by this kid and it continued on for a couple of years until he was finally sent away to juvenile facility and was never heard from ever again.  I thought that I could continue my public education without any further incidences.

 

This just would not be the case.  During my senior year in high school, I was bullied again.  This time by another kid who apparently was on drugs and seemingly only goal was to make me miserable.  He would destroy my personal property and have his ‘friends’ attack me at his will.

 

For as many times I reported these incidences to the principal and with plenty of witnesses, the principal did absolutely NOTHING!

 

Is this the way the education system is so supposed to work?  In both cases, nothing was done to end the bullying even though it continued for a long time.  It got so bad during my senior year, that I actually prayed to God that something bad would happen to him.  Eventually it did.  He died in a motorcycle accident just after senior year, which he never graduated.  A life wasted, but a life saved as well.

 

It seems that now many school departments are stepping up and actually being more proactive toward bullying.  For me, it was too late, but at least I am still alive.  I wish I could say the same for all the others who have committed suicide because of their bullying.  Certainly the physical scars remain and sometimes the emotional ones return as well.

 

I am a victim.

 

There I said it.

 

I am a victim of cyber bullying.

 

Over the last year, one of what I thought was one of my high school friends, has become extremely critical of everything I write in these blogs and questioned my beliefs on anything that I discussed.  On the website, formspring.me it got so bad that some of the questions that were being asked were being flagged as potentially dangerous to answer.  Anybody who followed me on that site last summer witnessed this entire thing happen.  Since this whole thing started on Facebook, it came down to having to block this person once and for all.  I had no choice as I had to save what sanity I had and protect myself and fellow readers from this idiot.  I probably will never unblock him and probably will never be friends with him ever again.

 

What I believe is so interesting about this is that this somebody who was my friend during most of my early life and suddenly he changed in a way as to be offensive for everything I do.  Seriously who really needs a friend like this in the first place?  The bad thing about all this is that there really is NO place to turn to when one is cyber bullied especially if the person does not live locally.  They are able to get away with it and there seems to be nothing to stop them except blocking them.  It seems that this bullying problem has been solved, for now.

 

Up to this point, help doesn’t come easy as there doesn’t seem to be anyplace to turn when bullying happens.  Oh sure, we can say that we can stand up against it, but unless the bully is somehow put down, the trouble will continue.

 

I am a victim.

 

There I said it.

 

I am a victim of workplace bullying.

 

Call it harassment, but I call it bullying.

 

During my last 6 months of employment with the hellish lying company Staples, the store manager Shawn Nichols (I am using his name as to embarrass him), harassed me on almost a daily basis.

 

The biggest harassment came with me using a stool to sit on when there were no customers around.  I had a doctor’s note giving me permission to use the stool, but according to Nichols this was not good enough.  He harassed me as to when I would stop needing the stool almost constantly and even requested that I get a MONTHLY note from my doctor to use it.  I was even given an approximate 20 page form for my doctor to complete regarding my leg problem of which I was still recovering from.

 

Since I was still under the doctor’s care, he thought that this paperwork was stupid, but filled it out anyway.  He even thought that the monthly note was absurd as well.

 

One night while I was bored, I looked on the system computer regarding employee policies and NOWHERE did I find any of the ‘policies’ that Nichols was trying to implement on me.  It was apparent that Nichols only had his radar set on getting rid of me no matter what.

 

What made this worse was that a couple of employees were witnesses to this and were surprised by the actions of Nichols.

 

Eventually in a short 6 month time, Nichols was able to fire me because the quality of my work had declined to the point that to him that I was no longer a valued employee.  Of course, who could do any quality of work if they were being lied to everyday and harassed at every turn they made?

 

What made this worse is that since the only human resources that the company offers is the store management themselves.  So how can you complain to them about problems that you have with them?  The only solution is for Staples to get a REAL human resource department in each of their stores and handle problems appropriately.  I think they will be out of business well before anything like that ever happens.

 

At the time that I made my grievance report to the State of Maine, Staples had produced a different reason for my termination and it kept changing with every bit of paperwork that they submitted to me and to the state.  Apparently, Staples has no idea why I got fired either.  Follow my Staples blog here for my ongoing story of my employment history with them.

 

The bullying from Staples has not ended even as it has been 4 years since my employment with them as I am still unemployed.  The physical scars on my legs are just reminders of just how bad Staples was and my health is still not great and I still have to sit a lot of the time because my legs still hurt when standing for a long period of time.  I wish their bullying would end so I could go on with my life, but as long as they lie about me, it is still bullying.

 

So let us review everything here:

 

I am a victim of bullying

I am a victim of cyber bullying.

I am a victim of workplace bullying.

 

Two of the three have been solved.  One bully got put away.  One died.  One continues on in its quest of my destruction.  Two out of three isn’t bad, but isn’t perfect especially when many people especially the young are committing suicide every day because of the bullying they receive.  Something needs to be done and we can no longer afford to just look away.  Everybody needs to do their part in reporting it because sometimes the victim can’t do it alone.  I really wish that I had more support when I really needed it in two of the three scenarios.  The only one that nothing could be assisted in was the online one as nobody could step up on that one.

 

If I have inspired at least one person in what I wrote here, then I feel I served my purpose.  If ever I had a purpose that is.  I am a survivor not a victim of what could have happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Politics of Facebook and Friends

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In the last week, both the Maine Sunday Telegram and Time Magazine featured similar stories on Facebook.  Both discussed the unfriending of people with whom people seem to disagree with.  Lately it seems that Facebook has opened itself up to much anger including myself.

So here is my story of anger, which by the way has nothing to do with politics but the politics of Facebook:

The story begins about 3 years ago.  This is when I ran into a former classmate in the local Borders store.  The person asked me why I didn’t attend the last reunion that what was held just a couple of weeks earlier.  I told that person that I had been in the hospital for nearly a week with a job-related illness.  This was after the fact that the person had ripped into me for not attending.  The person stormed off without an apology.  It was at this point that any class reunion would never happen in my lifetime for me.

In the last week, a different friend had me join a Facebook group regarding my high school reunion activities.  This was not my choice, but forced recruiting by this friend.  Quite frankly, this person was never a close friend in high school, just someone I had a passing acquaintance with.

What is worse about this group and my fellow classmates from way back when was that they were never really my friends then and certainly don’t want to be my friend now.  I guess realistically the times never change and people remain asses forever.

My Facebook inbox has been flooded with information regarding a reunion for next summer.  However, realistically I have no intention of going to this one or any other reunion ever.

The reason is that these people were never really my friends and some of them have been rather rude to me lately.  An example of this was when I discussed the current status of a former teacher and my feelings for that person.  After making the post, somebody deleted the post without any care at all.  Another example was when I let the group know about the death of a close friend of mine and all I received was a “thank you” without even the slightest addressing me by name.

It’s apparent that I get ZERO respect from any of these former classmates.  So why in the world would I want to be insulted by showing up at a reunion just to be hated as much as I was back in high school.

I believe the only reason I was added to this group was for completeness only and absolutely no desire whether I ever show up at reunion or not.

 

 

 

Strike or Riot – Not Good for U.S. Either Way

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Last week brought discourse in this country and across the world.

Sadly, the world is rioting over presumably a film trailer on YouTube that portrays Mohammed in a bad way.  To make matters worse, the White House has requested that Google remove the offending video from their site and have refused to do so.  Since when is it ok for a  company to refuse what the White House requested.  Certainly Google thinks its large enough to do whatever it wants and won’t have the government tell them otherwise.  However, Google should comply just for the sake of the lives lost and to prevent more lost.  Apparently, Google thinks their own way and thus don’t care about society or what anybody else thinks.  This is one of those incidents where a company is way too big for its britches.

On the other hand, in Chicago, other rich fat cats namely the teachers’ union are demanding even more pay and wants to eliminate merit evaluations.  The problem with this is that all these teachers want their big money with NO accountability.  Since when is it ok to work at a job and suck at it and take home over $70,000 a year.  To add insult to injury is that many of these same people are probably building up a huge pension which will probably bankrupt the city.  Other towns have already claimed bankruptcy, why not Chicago?  The lack of accountability just proves just how bad unions have taken advantage of cities.  I say fire these teachers and hire those that have been unemployed for a long time in the state.  Certainly, they may work for a lot less and may not even be unionized.

It should be obvious that both local and national government is now out of hand.  Cities can’t control the citizens of their areas and U.S. embassies are being attacked without any help from the countries in which they are located.  Is there a solution to any of this?  Honestly, yes.  It is the squashing of unions and big businesses.  Ironically, these are also the two major groups behind most political Super PAC groups.  Coincidence, I really doubt it.  Maybe all this is to undermine the Democratic Presidency and Democrats in general.  We will know in a few short weeks if all this was successful.