Thursday, January 28, 2010

Two Recommends:

That's right, two. Why? Well, because I've only see all of one and snippets of the second, that's why. Doing my taxes, RWA treasurer stuff, life in general, this has not been a huge "See stuff at Sundance" year for me.

First is; The Company Men, written and directed by John Wells, starring Ben Afflek, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Craig T. Nelson and Kevin Costner.

This is an excellent film about a current topic; losing your job. It's sad, it's funny, and it will at times make you just as frustrated as the characters who are looking for work.

I see these people all the time. They have been downsized and outsourced and come in to the barn to apply for a job because they cannot find anything else. And we're not talking people with no skills, here; we've had loan officers, realtors, construction workers; people from all walks of life who need to make something, anything to stay afloat.

And let me tell you something; in my profession, there are people who think that we are pretty low; one step above Carney worker. The fact is, most of our employees are driving carriage as a second job. We are not out there all day, like in other parts of the country, so it's not a full-time proposition. We're out in the evenings, six days a week. Only a handful, like myself, MBA, Kar, and ~A~ do this as our only vocation. And ~A~ is looking for a job, so soon (hopefully) she will be back to work full time elsewhere and only drive occasionally. And because so many other people are hurting financially, we are too. There are just not enough rides to go around because "disposable income" is no longer disposable. It goes to our mortgage, our groceries, our children's education funds.

Ro always tells new applicants, "You can't pay the mortgage with what you make here, but you can probably make a car payment." So it is for many of our employees a place to make enough extra income to take the edge off of living paycheck to paycheck. None of our people drive up in a Rolls Royce. Unless Rolls Royce now manufactures a bashed up Mini-Van that I don’t know about.

You see, we are always hiring. People come in and their eyes light up because they've finally found a job. On commission. And you don’t get paid while you’re training, because they are "statutory" employees. Many of them work for us for just a short time and realize that they need something with more of a guaranteed income, so they go elsewhere. Which is why we are always hiring.

It’s a vicious circle.

Anyway, with the stellar cast and slick production, I cannot imagine this film not getting distributed, so look for it in your local theater sometime soon, and go see it. It's good.

Next; "The Pat Tillman Story." It is a look at the cluster f*ck that became a nightmare for the Tillman family when their former Cardinal's football player son joined (along with his brother) the military. Then he got killed, by friendly fire, but the powers that be decided to cover it up. And use him as propaganda, which he never ever wanted to happen. The family has pieced together the incident as well as they could but no one will either give them, or take responsibility, for the events that transpired.

The message I took away from the Q&A after the show (many of Tillman's family were there along with the director of the documentary) is this:

When a loved one joins the Military, they give away most of their rights as a citizen. So they must do as they are ordered. If you, as a non-military member, see something transpire that you feel is wrong, you need to write/call/complain to someone in control. Why? Because YOU are their voice.

2 comments:

Texanne said...

Hey, great post, as usual. One caveat: before you go believing that the gas industry or the military is evil incarnate, think about this: what if the RARA made a movie about the carriage business?

I worked for years in Hollywood, and Truth is not high on the list of Things We Value there. Don't let them play with your head--and they're very, very skilled at it, so you have to stay sharp to keep your own wits about you.

Stay sharp. I mean it.

Slave Driver said...

Texanne,

I don't believe either is evil. I appreciate those who serve and the confy warm heat in my house. But when you lose someone and then are lied to about it, it angers me. The same with Fraking, which is a form of harvesting natural gas using forced water. Check with the family who now had black, flamable water coming out of their pipes. It's a YIKES moment.

These by the way, were Docs. I know they can be slanted, but I've also know many people who've gotten screwed, without recourse.

RARA's did make a "movie", it's called "Blinders".