"Terrorism has once again shown it is prepared deliberately to stop at nothing in creating human victims. An end must be put to this."

Vladimir Putin


Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday is not my favorite day.

  Mondays.  I never liked them. Even now, when they aren't really any different than any other day, I have a feeling of dread.

I worked at a job for twenty years that I really detested.  Why? Because I made good money at it. And because I knew I would not be able to find another job up in the mountains that offered the pay and benefits. I looked at it as something that allowed me to live where I chose to live. True, it was a 75 mile a day round trip over appalling terrain, but I wanted a good life style for my family and this job provided it. I know it took years off my life, and I'm still not sure I did the right thing. Water under the bridge now.


 My old boss was the main problem.  He worked seven days a week.  As a result, by the time Monday rolled around, he had a whole list of things to be furious about, either real or imagined. You couldn't even get into the building on Monday morning without him waiting for you. He was an equal opportunity employer, he made everyone's lives miserable.


Because my job involved joint interest billings, disbursements, property auctions, leasing and BLM coordination among other things, I got to be his punching bag for whatever displeased him at other offices in those areas. He couldn't rant at the guys out on the pipelines or in other locations, but my office was right next door to his.

He went out to Texas one time, and tried that act on with the land men. A Land Man is a specialist, a free lancer. He does the research on individual working interests to insure you are getting what you are bidding on. They are rough guys, people who have come up through "the patch" on their own. They are also essential to making sure you don't get ripped off.  He tried that "Little Dictator" routine out there and got a "good thrashing" as the English say. Those guys don't take abuse off suits, they have already suffered too much of it in their lives. There's always more business than there are Land Men to do it. They are used to being treated with respect and react appropriately when they are not. My old boss found out that some people (alas, not me) put money way down their list of priorities. Bad people to fool with.

  I still subscribe to the county newspaper from over there, and the first thing I check when it comes is the obituaries. That's one funeral I'm not going to miss. Not that anyone else will be there, not even his wife and daughter. But I'll be there, to savor the moment.

This is a guy who was so evil, his mother bought him a "dispensation of sins" from the Vatican. She went all the way to Rome , in her eighties, to get it.  He framed it and set it over his desk, along with the sign that said "Earth First, we can exploit the other planets later." I told him I thought that kind of thing went out in the Middle Ages, but he firmly believes you can buy your way into heaven.




This weekend was busy.  Saturday we went to the gun show.  I wasn't feeling that well but I still enjoyed it, although we didn't stay long.  Sunday we went up into North Carolina, I sat out in the car for two hours listening to the radio while my wife shopped in women's clothing stores. I didn't mind. I had a thermos of coffee and just listened to the radio. It was cool and breezy, and I enjoyed watching the people going in and out.



North Carolina has higher mountains than we do. Fewer roads, and less build up around the small towns.

Driving through their mountains is more relaxing than in North Georgia, because once you get away from Franklin, there isn't much out there. So there are less people. So there is infinitely less  trouble, and less destruction of the countryside.




On the way back, we went through the old saw mill town up in North Carolina that has the "scratch and dint" grocery store.  They had four cases of Portuguese Sausage Spam, unobtainable anywhere around where I live.  I ordered one can of it some months ago, to try it out. Bought it from "The Spam Shop" and it cost $12.00 when I threw in shipping.  Too spicy to just eat out of the can, but great for cooking. We made some Navy Bean soup with it this morning and it was wonderful.


I bought all four cases, and one case of Jalapeno Spam. We also got three cases of Rotel, in jars. Never seen it sold in jars before.


There were other things we could have stored up, but I knew I had to unload all this stuff at the house, and carry it down to the main store room.  So we didn't go hog wild.  Still, I was glad to have found these items. They won't be there the next time we go. That place never has the same goods two visits in a row. Like ammo, you better buy all the traffic will bear when you find what you want. We went in that store once, and they had huge deli blocks of mozzarella cheese for $10.00 a block. We bought four, I think it was.  Then when we ate it all up, I got on the web page to try to buy more from Land O' Lakes, and (1) they didn't sell it to individuals, (2) when they sold it wholesale, they wanted $56.00 a block.  We have two big freezers, and I should have bought all they had. But I didn't.  I'm learning though. Not a can of Portuguese sausage spam was left on the shelf.

I spent several hours this morning working on 2016 tax planning.  Finally I got everything all set up, printed, and checked to send to my tax accountant. I got my wife, sat her down at the computer, and had her log on to her social security account. Or, at least, try to.  It came up and said " you have failed to enter the correct password three times in a row. You are locked out of your account for 24 hours."

I needed one more piece of paper.

She only entered the password once. I have no idea what is going on, but I'm not surprised. Now all this stuff will just sit on my desk for 24 hours while I wait to see if it will let us on tomorrow. Tax planning doesn't stop just because you retire. Even a good tax accountant has a rough time navigating all the asinine laws that impact your retirement. Since the politicians who made the laws up never thought about the interaction of the various laws and regulations, it's a real rat's nest.  Sometimes I wish we had not done any retirement planning. After all, there's always this!



One more thing I wanted to mention.


I went into one of those little Podunk gun stores you find in small towns up in the North Carolina mountains.

They had this ammo for $2.27 a box.

I was going to buy a bunch of it, then I saw the "quiet" thing on the box. To me, that reeks "subsonic" which I have no use for.

I asked the clerk if it was subsonic. I don't think he really knew what I meant, but he said no.

I told him I'd take a couple of boxes, and he said "you can't use it in semi-automatics, though."   I decided to wait til I had talked to someone who used it before I messed with buying any. I don't like mysteries.

I also don't need another "be careful what you use" ammo.  I already have that in my CZ-52 pistols, where some 7.62X25 ammo is fine, because it was loaded for pistols, and some is not, because it was loaded for submachine guns. The Bulgarians sold a huge  amount of  surplus 7.62X25 to a major importer in the U.S.A. about ten years ago, and it was resold by distributors without the warning that it was for machine guns. Harder primer, hotter load. Not good.





40 comments:

  1. Mondays, I know the feeling. However, it has become one of my favorite days since I retired. Sunday was also as bad, dreading Monday. All that has changed with a 'retirees' perspective. I see them as the start of a week with new things to do and none of the 'issues' those days used to bring. I teasingly annoy my still working friends about how much I love Mondays.

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    1. I'm trying to shake the feeling that starts up Sunday night and is directly related to working. The dread of Monday, when you know you have to go in and you know you will spend a lot of your time cleaning up the mess at the office. I have been retired now about three years and Sunday is still my favorite day of the week because nothing is going on, but I still feel uneasy as night comes on.

      It's hard to really "feel" that every day is your own. Like the old Marine Corps saying goes. "Every day a holiday and every meal a feast!"

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  2. don't regret the past it is gone now and you made a good life for your family. God bless you.
    i feel so sorry when i see all the retirees working the low scale teenager jobs. but i am glad too because they are always accurate and pleasant.

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    1. If I hadn't, we wouldn't have the good situation we do in retirement now, and my kids certainly would not have gotten the good launch into life they did. Then too, there were good things about the job.

      Lots of seniors work in our town at places like McDonalds. Mostly, I think, widow ladies who don't have much choice. Appalachia has always been hardscrabble for those who were born here and lived out their lives here. Retirement planning wasn't much of a consideration, because they had trouble putting food on the table and getting through the day. I know a lot of people disparage seniors who don't have investments and pensions, but they tend to forget that not everyone had the opportunity to get a pension or squirrel money away for retirement. I don't look down my nose at anybody on that account.

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    2. i'm from appalachia.
      we were grateful o get from friday to friday. oatmeal was mom's standby. hungry at bedtime give em oatmeal and they sleep with a full stomach.
      every friday mom would look in her coin purse. sometimes had a penny left, cutting it close.
      remember once she looked in and there was a nickel. never happened before. she practically did a dance in the living room.
      on the other hand to be joyous over a nickel is to be grateful indeed!
      watched pbs a few years ago about investing. host said everybody has 500 extra $$ to invest. we were incredulous. he is not living in reality.
      and those hillbillies don't usually complain about being working widows, or supporting disabled husbands. you just do what you have to do.
      doc told me not long ago you can't do [fill in the blank]. i told her you do what you have to.
      [doc is not a hillbilly.]

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    3. It's definitely a hard scrabble location unless you have marketable skills and are willing to drive a long way every day to find employment. One of the big difficulties of finding a retreat location is being able to support your family once you get there. It was really tough on us when we first started out, and I worked two jobs for quite awhile. But eventually I did find the job with the oil and gas outfit, and one reason I stuck with it for twenty years was the good living it provided in a location where good jobs were virtually non-existent.

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  3. My first Fire Chief was such a back stabber than he wasn't invited to any of the retirement parties. In fact, there was a vote to get it on record that he wasn't to be invited, just so it didn't look like an oversight.

    Always hated Mondays, from the time of my prison years (public school) to the Fire Department. Really hated school. At work Monday was the day the brass wanted all the tedious jobs and paper work done. It was also when they tried out all the brainstorms they got over the weekend.

    Better since I retired, but for some strange reason a lot of businesses around here are closed Mondays. (guess they don't like them either)

    I was at a party the other day and had to listen to Liberals discuss what to do about school shootings. One math teacher pointed out there aren't enough shootings to statistically figure out what works and what doesn't. That was not a popular idea with that crowd.

    The big bitch was "automatic weapons." Right. You know how that goes. Then I pointed out how I could shoot up a classroom of kids with a single shot break action shotgun and pockets full of shells. I can flush a grouse and take two shots on the wing with a single shot. Takes practice, but it's not that hard to learn. Been know to flush two birds at the same time and get them both.

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    1. I guess there are just bad people in every walk of life. I tell my son, when he has trouble with work, that it's just the nature of the beast. There will always be lazy, stupid people in any organization who make life as hellish for everyone else as they can.

      I know what you mean. I get sick of hearing semi-auto's called "assault weapons" all the time. But there's no one as anxious to run his or her mouth about guns as someone who doesn't know anything about them. Remember the time Diane Feinstein called a big news conference, and told all the assembled reporters that the AK-47 was so dangerous because it was so easy to reload, then she couldn't get the magazine out of the well? One of her toadies had to do it for her.

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  4. If it wouldn't cycle an auto, you can be sure that .22 box was filled with subsonics. I'd love to have a bunch, but I can't afford extras right now anyway.

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    1. These were rediculously cheap. I have two Polish M44 training rifles that are bolt action, and a couple of kids rifles like the Cricket, which fire .22 but I never shoot them. When I shoot .22 it's mostly out of a Ruger 10-22 or a Remington Viper, so sub sonic ammo doesn't do me much good.

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    2. Quiets are very good subsonic ammunition in my rifles. Extremely quiet, pneumatic pellet gun noise. Great for short range pest shooting. I also use it for plinking around camp during deer season - it does not scare off game. Dime size at 15 yards is pretty easy with a scoped rifle.

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    3. I can see it for just plinking like you do. And it did seem to be very, very cheap. Wouldn't have hurt me to put some in the store room, but what I really want is high velocity hollow points, and those are not available here yet. Just have to wait til the output catches up with the requirements, I guess.

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  5. I'm with you on the Mondays thing. Even now that I am doing my own thing I have a hard time getting up to speed on Mondays. And like you it dates back to when I worked as head of maintenance and construction for a property management firm. We managed bank repoed commercial properties, office complexes, industrial warehouses, parking lots and the like. I was the guy in the front line dealing with tenant fit ups and property maintenance. I later learned that management and the banks were scamming the system and preferred to take the FDIC bailout on the bad loans than turn the properties in to viable marketable assets by filling them with tenants. So no matter what I did I was just spinning my wheels. I got stabbed in the back way more than the money was worth. Those suits were ruthless. It soured my taste for the business world. To this day I want no part of it.
    Did you see the bit on TINCANBANDIT'S blog about making 7.62x25 out of 223 brass.
    http://harryflashmansblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/dont-think-too-much-it-doesnt-pay.html

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    1. I'm just glad to be shed of it all. And not to have to kow tow to some flaming orifice because he's "the boss."

      I didn't see that about making 7.62X25 casings , but there's lots of boxer primed new production out there with reloadable brass, so I would probably go that route. I know people used to make 762X54R brass out of some common cartridge case back before it was easy to find here, but I can't remember what they were making it out of.

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    2. read somewhere that sociopaths are found in management positions at higher percentages than their overall percentage in the population.

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    3. I can well believe it. Some of the worst people I have ever been forced to associate with were in management positions. Crawlers and boot lickers to those above them, petty tyrants to those below.

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  6. We have been retired so long that we don't even know what day it is most of the time. It is sure nice not to have to bother or be nice to people we hate anymore. Ain't it grand!! Rotel comes in glass jars? OMG!!! We discovered Rotel just last year, and now we buy it by the case when it goes on sale....just like ammo (smile). Those Korean mags that your recommended from Centerfire came and they work great...thanks for the heads up. North Carolina sounds very nice, always wanted to visit

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    1. Tewshooz, I have been cooking with Rotel for a long time. Sometimes, if my wife is going to be eating with me, I use the mild but if it is just for me it's the hot. Sure does liven up a bean soup, or chili, or if I'm frying a steak I like to smother it in hot Rotel. I had never seen it in jars before, but the jars were a perfect size for using later so I bought a case of them.

      Glad the Glock mags wags worked out for you. A couple of other folks said they had some trouble with them, but it's like tires on cars. The same tires will run great on one car, and be a pain in the rear on another car. Who knows why?

      North Carolina is nice. Western part of the state is all mountains, then to the east there's the Piedmont and the ocean. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune , in Jacksonville N.C. on and off for years, although I never was much there even if I was assigned to the base. All the Med and European floats go out of Jacksonville so you are always either waiting to go out or just getting back.

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  7. Hey Harry,

    'Subsonic .22 is wonderful. Aguila .22 long subsonic is the best. Yeah' the only thing to come out of Mexico that's worth a shit (pardon my French, I'm making a point) is Aguila subsonic .22.
    Aguila, Super Calibre .22 to be exact....
    Whats so good about it. Its quieter than a pellet gun. You see a friend of mine had a recurring 'Skunk' problem in a city and he got a box of Aguila Super Calibri Subsonic .22 in a 'scoped' bolt action .22 and the 'Skunk was 'Skunked' and no one heard a thing. 'Harry if you get a chance try some subsonic .22 in a single shot or bolt gun and you may be surprised. That ammo wont cycle in a semi-auto but its so freakin' quiet its unreal. Its great for dispacting 'nasty critters' at short range and not disturbing the rest of the forest.

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    1. Well, CBR, I don't shoot four legged skunks, and if I had to shoot a two legged one I would need something more persuasive. I can see where if you were just shooting cans outside your house subsonic would have a place, but I shoot .22LR HP High Velocity ammo like Stingers out of my pistols, just in case I ever need to use one for real. Who knows.

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    2. I read this today and my reply sounded kind of rude. I didn't mean it to, but I figure you know me well enough to know I was just saying what I was thinking, no hatefulness intended.

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    3. Hey Harry, I never took it as 'rude' The subsonic .22 does have some great uses in some situations where scaring off game is an issue. That's why I keep some handy.

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  8. Before I retired, I would always get the "Sunday night blues." I wasted hours on Sunday just dreading going to work the next day. I had one of those bosses for about 3 years before retirement. I was so burned out on my job, that I retired as early as possible. People ask me if I miss my job. I just laugh and tell them that never happens. I have a lot to do at home plus helping out with my grandchildren; I stay plenty busy. But I now have choices and can work at my own pace, doing things I enjoy. My stress level has gone down considerably since retiring. Glad you and your wife had a good weekend. Jana

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    1. Jana, it's sad that so much of a person's life is wasted doing something they hate, isn't it? I used to think that my life was only so long, and the days I spent in that wretched company were essentially lost to me. At the same time, not having enough money is pretty terrible. Your family needs things and I was willing to put up with the misery at work to be sure I could afford braces for the kids, good schooling, etc.

      Life is much better now than it was then. True, there are still issues to deal with but I don't worry about them as much as I did my work related problems.

      Good to hear from you, I tried to find your email address, but when I went back and looked for it, the folder under your name didn't have any messages! I routinely delete old email to protect everyone's security but I thought you were in my address book.

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  9. I too can commiserate on Monday dread, only mine is every day of the week. I work swinging 12hr shifts.
    I just worked Fri, Sat, Sun nights 7-7, got off Monday morning and have to be back Wed morning, work 2 days then go back Mon night for 2 nights and on days the next weekend.
    But, it's my only way to support a serious gun and eating habit.
    I saw some of that Portuguese Spam a few weeks ago but didn't get any, wasn't sure about the taste. I did get 2 #10 cans of cheese and 1 can of vegetarian hot dogs but haven't tried them yet.

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    1. I wish I could find some number ten cans of cheese. I got some a few years back, and they were good for cooking with. The Portugese sausage spam is way spicy, which I like, but it's really for cooking with rice, or soup, or potatoes. I made a sandwich out of it after frying it and it was still a little bit spicy for me. I bought some vegetarian hot dogs in a number ten can about five months ago, and tried them out. They were kind of the same way, not bad if you cooked them with something else but not so good by themselves. I opened up a whole number ten can, and tested it out but wound up giving about half of it to the dogs, who liked it just fine. It was only later I realized I could have frozen what I didn't eat. My thinking on number ten cans is that if I ever have to fall back on stored food for real, my kids and their significant others will be here, and so will some other folks, and we won't have any trouble eating a whole can once it is opened. But right now, with just me and the wife, it's hard to use up that much food.

      The thing about working twelve hour shifts that killed me was you were never really away from where you worked. I would work the shift, come home, then have to come back on the same time. I ran a computer in a sewing plant doing that and it was really rough. It was a 40 mile drive from home over the mountains, too. I think I did that about a year and quit.

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  10. For that price, I probably would have picked up a few boxes of that subsonic. I am having a problem with a squirrel getting into my chicken coop and eating the feed. So that round would work wonders for me right about now, and the neighbors would never know. I picked up a 100 rd. box of CCI mini mags for $7.89 yesterday so prices are coming down a little bit.

    I used to eat that SPAM when I was out in Hawaii for a semester. Problem is nobody in the family will eat it but me. Amazing how many flavors they have now. --Troy

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    1. Troy, I was watching a news show and it was about spam in Hawaii. They had all sorts of flavors I had never heard of. So I went to the spam wed page, and they had a data search engine where you could look to see what was offered in your zip code area and X number of miles out. But everything in driving distance was Pepper spam, Jalapeno spam, Turkey spam, Tabasco spam, regular spam, spam light, spam and bacon, etc. In other words, stuff I already knew about. I wanted the exotic spams like Chipotle spam, Portuguese sausage spam, teriyaki spam. Not to be had. Some I ordered some cans from the "spam shop" on line, at extortionate prices, and really enjoyed them all. I was amazed and delighted to find some at the scratch and dent store, so I bought all they had.

      I thought about buying some of that .22, but even the low price made me cautious. There is still no .22 lr to be had here at fair prices. I have seen some bricks of Aquila, which is excellent ammo, but I'm not paying sixty to seventy dollars for a brick of 500. At some point, unless the political front blows up, it has to come down to prices more in line with what you paid.

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    2. Harry, your response reminded me of an old Monty Python skit on spam. Ha! --Troy
      www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE

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    3. I know that skit well. It's one of my favorites. I really liked "Caer Bannog" in "The Holy Grail" too. And the balad of Sir Robin.

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  11. I'm sorry you had a bad boss. Mine are pretty good, one better than the other. Nothing quite as abusive, sarcasm mainly. But we tolerate him. The office manager - not so much, her job is invaluable and they couldn't afford to fire her - they'd never replace her. She will argue and stand in their faces if it is needed - she watches out for their best interests and they know it. Doesn't stop the spats though.

    One of the architects (not in our office) had an abusive personality, especially with general contractors. When he passed away, my boss went to the funeral and told a contractor "I didn't expect to see you here". The contractor's response : "I just wanted to make sure the SOB was really dead".

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    1. I can understand the contractor's response 100%. At Southern funerals, the preacher usually asks if anybody wants to add anything about the deceased. If I thought anyone would attend his funeral , I'd have a lot to say. I saw him do some outrageous things to people, and he was one of those individuals who got immense satisfaction out of hurting people who couldn't fight back. He called it the "shit for money" rule, saying that if you took his money he was entitled to treat you anyway he wanted to. The guy has zero friends.

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  12. Glass stores things so much better. I am going to try to make my own Rotel mixes to can this year. Monday has its moments but I tend to agree with you it is not my favorite day.

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    1. I don't get many things in glass jars, though I always choose glass over plastic when I have a choice and the difference in price is not too bad. Have you ever noticed how much better a cold coca cola tastes out of a glass bottle rather than a plastic one or a can? I keep the glass, it's stored out in the shop. The day may come that we have to rely on what we have on hand, and glass containers will always come in handy.

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  13. A boss makes all the difference in how successful the company is, bad ones cause people to leave or for others to not work with him. I don't know why they think everyone wants to be head of the company and work through their personal time. A good work/life balance is best. Sorry you had him for your boss.

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    1. Kathy, so am I but I got paid for it. Some troll sent me a comment saying "you took the money so don't whine!" I think he had a point but I didn't post it because his intent was just to be a jackass.

      If I hadn't stuck it out for 20 years with that outfit, I wouldn't be sitting up here retired and happy now, and my kids wouldn't be where they are, so I guess in the end it worked out.

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  14. You never quite recover from a tyrant boss. I worked for one for six years when I was in my twenties and sometimes she still shows up in my nightmares.
    I have never seen spam like that before.

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    1. The people you work with make a huge difference in your life. I spent way more time around that boss than I did around my wife and kids for many years. I don't think I will ever get over some of the things I went through, or participated in, in that company.

      I wish I could post some of the stuff the troll tries to get me to publish, and I would if they could refrain from gutter language. But it seems that comprises 99% of their English vocabulary.

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  15. I'm pretty sure my boss works 7 days a week to. I want to say, "Take a break!"

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    1. People who have no life outside work don't expect anyone else to either. The more unhappy their subordinates are, the more powerful they themselves feel.

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