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EDITOR’S NOTE: Most of us have “breakdowns” every other day, but we don’t quit working. Hell, I had a “breakdown” today while taking my two kids to the grocery store… the 3 year-old refuses to sit in the cart. It’s a nightmare. But seriously… you have a “breakdown” because you work 10 extra hours a week? Jesus. I work for myself and did that yesterday (a Saturday). With all due respect, you shouldn’t be in the 47%. You should probably be in the .0001% that falls through the cracks. You say you’re prepared to starve. I’m guessing your “breakdown” means that we’re covering for you now. Awesome. You won’t starve. But you should probably apologize for being weak. Because you’re not having a “breakdown” after working 10 extra hours this week, you’re being a weak, lazy rat-bastard. ~M
I am the 47%.
I am 37 years old.
I have worked in Information Technology for over 20 years.
I always put in at least 10 hours per week of unpaid overtime, because hundreds of co-workers depended on me.
I took 3 days’ vacation over the course of the last 20 years. Two of those days were spent fixing someone else’s email over the phone, while being yelled at.
I went to work sick, tired, anxious and depressed because otherwise, EVERYTHING WOULD BREAK.
I wanted to implement procedures and technologies proactively, but was never given the authority to.
I always paid my taxes, and never filed any exemptions or deductions - because SOMEONE needed to “pay in”.
In 2007 I had a breakdown.
I don’t work anymore.
Don’t worry, I’m not on welfare or disability - I’m prepared to starve to death.
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A Day in the Life…of the REAL 99%er’s
My wife got up this morning at 4 a.m. to go to work.
I got up at 5:45 to make breakfast for 4 kids, make their lunches, make sure that they are clean and look “human” for school.
Took shower so I look “human” for work.
Fed dog, dropped kids at school, got to the office by 8 a.m.
Today I will work at a job that pays one-third of what I was earning two years ago.
Today my wife will work, when up until two years ago – she was a stay-at-home mom.
She’ll come home get the younger ones started on their homework, make dinner, straighten the house.
I’ll be home about 6 pm, eat dinner, do dishes with kids, go over spelling lists with youngest son, do math with younger daughter, make sure that they get showered and ready for next day.
Before bed, we’ll play games which build either math skills or out-of-the-box thinking skills. I’ll read to them before bed for about 20 minutes.
By then it’s 9pm – I’ll go through last emails of the day and probably pick my guitar for a few minutes before going to sleep…and start it all over again tomorrow.
On weekends we will spend our time going to our kids’ ball games, recitals, etc. investing our time in the children we made and have committed to raise. We will clean house and do yard work and work on projects for school. When time allows we’ll invite people over to make dinner for them, because many of our friends could use a break too.
We will tell our kids “No” sometimes for things we would like, but cannot afford. We will tell ourselves “No” for things we would like, but cannot afford right now. We will remind our oldest son that his time is being well spent going to a local college for the first two years, because he has saved a ton of money while his friends are amassing huge student loans. He too is learning that delayed gratification is more precious than instant gratification.
We are the 53% and we are not alone.
By the way, there is an axiom we choose to live by that “You can get everything in life that YOU
want, by helping enough other people get what THEY want”. To the “99%er’s…what have you done for someone else to help them realize their dreams lately?
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o I immigrated to this country in 1973 prior to turning ten years old. I began mowing lawns that year and shoveling driveways to learn responsibility and the value of a dollar. I did that until 1979.
In 1978, I took a job as a paperboy, still mowing lawns and shoveling driveways. Through hard work, I doubled the circulation on my route. I had to get up at 5am. 4am in the brutal MN winters. I had help one time when I had the flu, my Dad drove and my sister ran the papers to the door. In Jan/Feb when I got back home, I was literally frozen.
In 1979, I took a job as a dishwasher at a local 24 hr diner, working part time weekday nights and the 10pm-6am shifts on the weekends. This while I was 15 and a sophomore in high school.
We moved to Colorado. I pumped gas until I graduated high school in 1981, then moved 1,000 miles away at the age of 17 to work for a drilling company as a deck hand on a drill rig in California, then on to Nevada. I got laid off, moved back to Colorado then back to Minnesota with my family and pumped more gas.
I joined the Navy to work on jet engines. My first three years was two tours overseas in the Philippines. The temperature and humidty in our shop and engine test cell was stifling. I spent years away from my family, missing all the holidays and my WWII veteran Grandpa’s funeral while proudly serving my adoptive country. I began to take college courses. My duty station changed to San Diego. I worked on F14 aircraft by day, went to college at night. In 1989, I went on a six month “WestPac” deployment, taking classes on the ship while working 12 hour shifts in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, an aircraft mechanic on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. While in the service, I studied, took the oral, written and practical exams and earned my FAA airframe and powerplant license.
In 1991, I left the Navy, went to school 12 days on (yes, weekends) 2 days off, at one time taking 22 semester hours worth of courses. While doing this and paying for it all by myself, I worked as a bouncer and part time bartender until I eventually landed a job back in aircraft maintenance.
In 1993, I was awarded my Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Management. I paid the entire tuition myself, not taking a student loan.
In 1995, the aircraft industry in turmoil, I got a part time job greasing machinery at a soda pop plant, eventually quitting my aircraft maintenance job after being promoted to a full time line maintenance mechanic at the bottling plant. I went back to college and got my Associates Degree with a major of Industrial Automation, paying the entire tuition cost out of pocket while every other student in the class was either receiving government retraining tuition assistance or company paid tuition reimbursement. I attended college full time while working full time.
After I graduated, I was promoted to plant packaging operations supervisor. I held the same position at two subsequent employers before being laid off from the last employer. My current job I am a packaging machinery maintenance mechanic. Having been in this position 9 years, I was told at the beginning of 2011 that in December 2012 the plant I work at will close.
I have a wife, two children, a mortgage, and regular bills. We are responsible with our money. We have invested and saved. Has it been easy? No. This beautiful country, the United States of America, offers everyone opportunity. But you have to want it. You have to earn it. I truly feel sorry for those who protest this country as they do not have one single solitary idea how damn lucky they are to be in the United States of America. I busted my ass and earned my way through life. Quit whining and bitching, get off your ass and go earn your way through life.
o I AM THE 53%.
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