Breakfastnomics

February 25, 2017 Leave a comment

I’m eating a late breakfast of French toast and thinking about the giant loaf of bread on the cutting board and Giffen goods.  These are items whose demand rises when its cost increases in contradiction to what you’d typically expect with products we consume.

Bread has been used as an example of a Giffen good but the water mellon-sized loaf of bread I bought cost about 1/10th of a minimum wage worker’s hourly pay so I think bread prices in this area would really need to skyrocket before it would behave like one.

One notable thing is that it’s such an inexpensive item that it can become a substitute good for a lot of foods that aren’t remotely bread-like.  It has been the cause of weight gain at a couple points in my life.  It definitely wasn’t gluttony…I’m somewhat sure it wasn’t gluttony…How about this?  I’m of the opinion that it wasn’t gluttony.

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Why you’re doing something.

February 1, 2017 Leave a comment

I was recently talking to a business owner about problems they had with an employee who recently quit.  They said that there were a few occasions where dismissing the employee would have been justified but they felt sorry for the the person and kept them on in spite of the issues.

I flat out asked if they were running a company or a soup kitchen.   I don’t mean to sound cold blooded but I have never believed that jobs fix broken people.  I believe in helping people and that people who are trying to fix themselves need the income, routine, and accountability of a job but if they’re not working on themselves too then it is just a waste of time; prolonging the time until they hit rock bottom.

It made me think of my time working for The (Jim)Pattison Group.  There was a story going around about how each month the lowest performing car salesman was dismissed.  I remember asking a mid-level manager about that rumour.  He said that whether the story was true or not, an employee who was doing poorly was wasting their own time as well as the company’s and the sooner they moved on, the better off everybody would be.

At the time it felt like I was having the facts of life explained to me by a shark but it made sense to a point.  There was no denying the logic of the argument the manager made but only to a point:  It would be a shame for an otherwise good worker to be let go for having a bad month.

 

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A Thought While Shaving.

January 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Whenever I shave I start my moustache in the middle so if I died suddenly nobody would, under any circumstances, find my corpse with a Hitler moustache.

If you do find someone who died while shaving and had that distinctive facial hair, give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were thinking of Chaplin when they did it. Your memories of them will be fonder for it.

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A funny moment of realization….and the one that followed.

January 2, 2017 Leave a comment

I was thinking back many years about a time I was at work and went to the bathroom in the middle of my lunch beak.  When I returned to my lunch and took a sip of my coffee a coworker broke out in laughter and said, “HA-HA!  I spat in your coffee!”

The guy was a notorious verbal joker so I jabbed right back, “then drinking this is sort of like kissing you,” and took a long pull from the cup.  He got quiet.  Really quiet.  At that moment I realized for certain he was homophobic and was starting to suspect that SOB actually did spit in my coffee.

I don’t know why the joke bothered him.  He knew I’m not homosexual; he even knew my taste in women.  What bothered me later on was that I didn’t even consider the possibility that he had actually tampered with my coffee until I thought he was homophobic.  What kind of screwed up reasoning is that?

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A thought while driving.

December 23, 2016 Leave a comment

I saw a cement truck on the highway and wondered why we call them that when they actually haul concrete; of which cement is an ingredient.  Bread isn’t delivered in flour trucks.

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Reminiscing during cold(ish) weather.

November 27, 2016 Leave a comment

I currently work in an L shaped shop and the side branch of the bay is occupied by a machinist who has fitted a wall and sliding door so he can heat his area; we welders keep the bay door open for ventilation.

It made me think of my days as an apprentice welder(resident caveman) in a machine shop.  The boss really resented paying to heat the shop and woe to he who opened the door to clear out any fumes or smoke we might have produced.  One cold day we opened the door for a few minutes to clear out some smoke and the boss came storming in from his office next door demanding to know why the heat was even on if we were going to need to vent the shop at ANY point during the day.  I was new on the job and shaking in my boots.  The machinist was working at his bench and without even looking up from his work quietly said that he needed the heat on to hold tolerances.  The boss was instantly quiet, did an about turn, and walked away without making another sound.  It was such a change in the boss’s demeanor that I had the ridiculous thought that maybe the machinist had incriminating pictures of him!

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They all have an excuse.

October 30, 2016 Leave a comment

I was talking with a guy in Nanaimo about his firewood pile that was beside the road and asked if he was worried about people stealing his wood(this has happened to me) and he said that if someone needed it badly then they could have it.

It made me think of the trials I have sat and watched in Vancouver. Everybody who was there said they really needed what they had been caught taking.  I’m sure many of them did but some were clearly just trying to minimize what they had done.

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