Millennial Shite

Over the last few years, it seems like all the talk (negative talk) is about millennials. There seems to be a consensus from the older generations that millennials are lazy, unambitious soft cocks. While I can understand some of the criticism, I don’t really understand why there’s such an obsession. There’s so many articles, studies and discussions about millennials.

It feels like history is doomed to repeat itself. I obviously wasn’t around in the 60’s and 70’s but I’ve watched enough documentaries to know the previous generations shit all over the baby boomers and generation X. That’s clear to see with the opposing views and ideology expressed through the generational divide around the Vietnam war and the summer of love!

Ironically, it’s the kids who were conceived during that era or a little before that , who seem obsessed with millennials today. Many pick on the entire generation because of the politically correct nature we live in today. That one is somewhat fair…when you hear about trigger warnings in Universities it does make you wonder! Also, millennials have now become the key demographic for pretty much every company to pitch their products too…so, if somebody associated with a company pisses off the millennial PC brigade, it leaves companies with no other choice but to fire them.

The lack of ambition is a funny one, that one strikes me a bit odd. Could it be that people my age are lazy, uninspired bums? I don’t think so…everybody I know who is my age, who I went to college with or am related to has a job. I think the label may be blasted out because millennials want more for themselves…but do they want more than previous generations? I don’t think so….

Look at this way. While millennials were learning multiplications and long division in school, the generation hating on them were busy destroying the world economy and living well beyond their means. My kid’s kid’s kids will be paying off the enormous debt occurred by them.

What about the leaders who represented and were voted in by previous generations? It’s almost impossible to find a job that offers a pension. Unions and the positive residual employee rights that were spurned from them have vanished. While my wife’s father has very generous paid vacation, good health insurance, life assurance and a good retirement…we don’t have a good pension, the rest of the retirement funds have devalued, employers seem to offer the minimum paid vacation possible and healthcare? forget about it!

This week HP had a lawsuit against them for ageism due to a statement from the CEO about hiring young people. More and more companies are trying to hire millennials. Why? 1.) Their customers are mostly millennials too and who understands them best? 2.) Millennials are a lot cheaper than previous generations due to few employee rights in place and non-existent benefits. Also, entry level pay was hit significantly during the downturn.

When my parents bought their home, it was a different time…you’d meet with the bank manager. They’d do a quick scan through of your current employment, bank balance and some bills and you’d get approved almost instantly. Home prices were also much lower. Today, home prices have been inflated by the fact the banks did a lousy job of making sure the people could actually afford these homes, with every Tom, Dick and Harry buying multiple properties as an investment and the result is my generation is fucked!

So, if you belong to a generation prior to us, next time you want to criticize. Stop yourself and remember that your generation has fucked our generation and at least the two generations after us.

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Work is Killing Me

Today, I had a conversation with my boss about a co-worker who puts in crazy hours and is constantly agitated and sleep deprived. Over the weekend #first7jobs started trending on social media, this and more made my ponder life a little bit and here’s my findings:

Since I’ve moved to the US I have had several worrying changes with my health. Including:

  • Putting on 30lbs
  • I started getting really bad stomach pains every single evening\night
  • I rarely got sick in Ireland, I started getting very sick 3 to 4 times a year
  • Pre-hypertension
  • Pre-diabetic
  • Heart palpitations
  • Constantly sighing (as my brother pointed out)
  • Migraine headaches became more frequent
  • I have a lingering cough for most of the year
  • Lost interest in everything I use to have interest in

I’m fucking slow at the best of times. I never put everything together in a list before, either on paper or in my head, I just looked at each and tried to rationalize it. Like: you put on 30lbs because you eat like shit and you didn’t eat well the last two years in Ireland, so don’t blame America! Of course you’ll get sick more often, your body is adjusting to Arizona. The stomach pains have to be due to something you’re eating. (I even proved that assumption to be wrong by eliminating everything I usually consumed from my diet and took medication to no avail)… Prediabetic and prehypertension must be related to the rapid weight gain. The migraines are probably caused by dehydration. The cough and sighing is the dry air and of course you’ll lose interest in video games, you’re 31, it’s time to grow up…you can’t watch the premier league any more, it’s on at 7am etc.

Well, things change when I got fired from my job. I was unemployed for 4 weeks.

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Sharpen your razor tongues and judging fingers for this millennial drivel…recently there’s been a viral trend on Twitter and Facebook for first 7 jobs. I listed mine:

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I told my wife about it and she pointed out that I forgot my first job! She told me I was an altar boy. As an altar boy, it was usually just a once a week thing…some times we’d have to do Saturday and Sunday for an hour here or there. Some times we’d have to serve for a wedding or a funeral on a weekday but I never thought about it as a job…but hey, it was!! You went to school all week during the day, did homework in the evening and went to bed pretty early then you spent a few hours a week getting ready and serving at mass, all the while the pay was fucking lousy! We got a Mars bar from the priest at Christmas and usually about 5 pounds (Irish pounds) from the family for a wedding or funeral .(which looking back, I feel really bad for taking it but I didn’t know!)

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After this long diatribe…thinking about all of this together. I realize, I have actually been working since I was about 10 years old! I’m 31 now…that’s 21 years of my life. Up until recently, the best period of my life was 6 weeks in the spring of 2007 when I quit my job on the spur of the moment. I walked through Galway city on a sunny Friday afternoon eating a 99, flirted with some girls in some shitty red Ford Fiesta and all was right with the world! That experience, that six weeks has helped me enormously to this day. It’s the longest stretch without working that I have had going on 10 years…When I get really down, I think back to that and know that life can be that great again.

This is a strange place for many reasons but one of those reasons is that it’s a right to work state. This means your employer can fire you without just cause but wait, you also have the ability to quit a job with no notice so you win too, right?…wrong, if you don’t give notice you won’t get a reference. Only the employers win.

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When you are full time you work whatever hours are required and don’t get overtime pay. You get a set salary. But you get great benefits like training, which you will never get time to go to. You don’t get a pension if you are my age because pensions are not provided by most companies any more…that’s a luxury that the previous generations fucked us out of. You do get a 401k…for me, the best 401k program I got offered had a 4% match. Meaning my employer matched up to 4%…the worst I got was 1%. Well, wouldn’t you know it. My 401k has lost over 4% of it’s total value and considering overall the employers contribution was less than 4% of the total and the fact you get heavily penalized for taking out early, also you are not guaranteed a good return…well, you just gave control of your money to some firm that doesn’t give a shit about you…tough!

Well, now I’m a contractor! I have cast off the shackles of full time employment. I now work much less hours and get paid much more for it! If I have to work any overtime, I get properly compensated for it. I could be fired at any time but guess what? I could be fired at any time as a full time employee too! I don’t get paid time off but in a previous job, I was fired when I tried to take my paid time off 🙂 I don’t get a 401k…well, I bit the bullet and took all of the money out of my 401k anyways because I realized what I posted above…it’s a bullshit program, plus I personally believe putting my savings towards a home, is more in my short to long term interests at this moment in time.

The other day my wife said “hey, you haven’t complained about your stomach pains in a while”…she was right. I didn’t really notice but I haven’t been having stomach pains as regularly. I’ve just started exercising again (because I have time to!) and I have lost 6lbs. I have new interests like taking my son to go swimming! I don’t have to worry about phone calls, e-mails or instant messages from my boss.

Now that I put it together: High blood pressure, pre-diabetic, migraines, stomach pains, constantly sighing…getting really sick 3-4 times a year. Holy shit, I think I was dying slowly. Work was literally and yes I do mean literally killing me.

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Some day I shall return to my hometown and embrace the lifestyle the place is famed for, the lifestyle I was never privileged enough to experience at length! Galway, I salute you! Maybe the graveyard of ambition isn’t such a negative title after all, eh? Live a long happy life broke or a short miserable life rich…I think I know which one I want. See yee in 2 years, fuckers! Keep the crusties unwashed and the skinny jeans FLAM-ING!

 

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Tips for new Dads

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Our young lad is now 3.5 months old. At first it was pretty easy for me as a dad. I would try to help out however I could. My wife is breastfeeding which made things a little trickier so here’s what I have learned summarized:

  • Buy a Boppy pillow AND bring it with you to the hospital for the delivery. I never heard of o a boppy pillow before but it’s pretty much essential for us now. It’s a pillow that goes around your waist, which you can then prop baby on while you feed. It makes feeding so much easier!
  • Some resentment towards your baby is normal.Babies are fucking dumb! Growing up in rural Ireland I saw calves, lambs, puppies, kitten and even a foal being born. Puppies, kittens and lambs all come out in goop that mommy cleans up, they find their way to feed and all is well. The calves and foal are up and standing almost instantly. Animals need to get their shit together quickly in order to survive. Human babies are coddled and so they are useless! What’s more, your baby can’t show you affection or interact with you for the first few months…so they just cry, shit, piss and eat. They get frustrated when their milk doesn’t flow quick enough. They cry when they are overtired..Our child does not have colic but even so he gets fussy and at first it can be really aggravating…don’t worry about that, it’s normal. After 2.5 months it all gets a little better. It turns into a great feeling. Can’t wait to see him at the end of the day now.
  • When breastfeeding the milk won’t start to properly flow right away. Give it time and use formula at first. Don’t allow anybody to convince you that formula is not suitable…I have learned other women can be right fuckin’ assholes about breastfeeding ethics 🙂
  • My wife and I had a thought out strategy beforehand. Before baby arrived I would usually only get about 5 hours sleep a night. I stayed up late working until 1:30 am – 2:00 am. We figured, she could pump and leave milk in a bottle for me and go to bed at 9:00 pm. I would stay up. When he cried I would take care of it. Change him, feed him, burp him and rocking him back to sleep. It worked pretty well for the first couple of days. Mom would wake up though and want to help..I would have to tell her to go back to bed. After a few days she started to insist on getting up and feeding him this was because when the milk started to flow she needed to release every few hours or she would be in bad pain. We have completely ditched the original schedule. She just gets up because she’s somehow superhuman! We’re in backwards ass America too, so she went back to work after 6 weeks.
  • At first when he cried it was easy to figure out what was wrong…it was one of only a handful of things. He needed his diaper change, he needed to be fed or he wanted to be held. Here’s a great tip you may not get anywhere else….say you give baby a pacifier to help soothe him to sleep. Guess what happens then? You’ve added something else to the list of reasons to cry. He’ll now cry for his pacifier or when his pacifier falls out. Say you put on music for him…when the music stops, he may cry. You let him watch Elmo…Elmo stops, he will cry. Now…the good thing about music, Elmo and the pacifier is that you have something he’ll enjoy and will make him happy but you also introduce more things he’ll cry for. Be warned!
  • My technique for changing a diaper is: Get a clean diaper, place it under him. Get a baby wipe in hand…quickly open the dirty diaper and place the baby wipe on his dick (you must be quick! This is incase he pees with the diaper off..it happens a lot), lift him up by the legs and clean him off with another baby wipe. Once all clean take the baby wipes away, close the diaper. All gravy. We got a diaper genie for throwing the diapers into…it conceals the diapers so there’s no smell like you might get if just putting them in the regular bin.
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First American Slaves

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Recently there’s been some stories reported about Irish people claiming to be the first American slaves. This is pretty embarrassing but I feel the need to inform those who have seen those reports and comments that this is not the sentiment of the typical Irish person. Try not to hold this crap against the Irish. You see, my theory is that the Irish Americans hold onto many of the notions their original Irish ancestors who moved to the US in the 1800’s or early 1900’s likely held. Irish people back then competed against all other minorities for work at the time. Maybe the Irish Americans growing up felt their prejudice and bullshit was part of their heritage and want to keep that as their identity.

The Irish in Ireland have progressed as a people. So, while the Irish zigged, the Irish Americans seem to have zagged.

With that said, this article from Al Jazeera: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/03/black-lives-matter-irish-slave-myth-160315092722167.html is almost as infuriating. To suggest there was no Irish slavery in America is to downplay the treatment of our ancestors, kind of the same way those using the Irish slavery stories as a way to downplay the injustice black people in America have suffered and continue to suffer. Irish slavery has no place in a discussion about racial prejudice today.

Irish people were indentured slaves in the US. Many were put in such deplorable conditions that they died before they ever received an actual pay packet. For anybody interested to learn more about the treatment of the indented Irish slaves, I suggest you read about Duffy’s Cut. A tale about 57 indentured Irish slaves brought to Pennsylvania to work on the railroads by an Irish contractor named Phillip Duffy. Much like some cases with black slaves, in this story it was a fellow countryman that subjected these people to the horrors they endured all on Amtrak’s dollar. The killing of the 57 Irish slaves (some were found to have blunt force trauma to the head) is possibly the largest mass murder in the history of the state.

My great grandfather lived in California in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A couple of years ago my grandmother found a receipt for a grave plot in San Francisco. As I live in the US, I called the cemetery to figure out who was buried in the plot. It was two young Irish men who died in the early 1900’s. Both in their early 20’s. Maintenance was not paid for the upkeep of the grave. It had completely overgrown. One of the men died in a mental institution from “exhaustion” and “other mental illnesses”. I couldn’t find any more information about them due to the state only providing death and medical records to family.

I took a trip to the cemetery in San Francisco with a couple of small Irish flags, intending to put them on the graves. Unfortunately, the cemetery was massive and sadly the section they were buried in was filled with unmarked graves. I had the plot number and row number but it wasn’t clearly marked in that section of the cemetery. It was very sad. Two young men who possibly have never even had a visitor to their grave couldn’t be found among the hundreds of others buried in unmarked graves across from a fancy new high rise apartment complex in San Francisco, a city which has long since forgotten about those who left their lives there.

In closing. Throughout history almost every nationality has suffered from slavery. That doesn’t speak to the current situation in the US for black people. If you don’t believe there’s inequality, you are living in denial.

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