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Ostomy Memories of the Rat Race

Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:02 am
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AS A RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE, I went through a series of temporary, awful jobs before I actually got a “real” job: copywriter. I worked in the advertising department for a chain of department stores, producing copy for various products sold by the chain. Somehow, my specialty became men’s clothing and large appliances. So I spent my days hunched in a small cubby hole spewing out copy extoling the sartorial advantages of certain items of men’s suits, shirts, etc. that were going on sale, and praising the benefits to be gained from the store’s washers, dryers, refrigerators, and so on. It was all over-the-top crapola, of course, but that’s what advertising is all about. My biggest claim to fame during that period was the time the stores opened in the morning and were swarmed by shoppers waving in their hands the copy that I had written that had drawn them to the store like cattle with a whiff of water just ahead. Eventually, I soured on the job and returned to school, saying goodbye to the constant deadlines, the professional staff jealousy, the autocratic copy editor overseeing my work, and the lengthy liquid lunches down the street at the Jockey Bar. That one little dose of out-in-the-world reality was enough to send me scurrying back to the safe, secure university environs for another three years. I was just putting off the inevitable, of course, but everyone grows up at their own pace before entering the rat race. The trouble is, as the great Lily Tomlin said, the problem of being in the rat race is that, even if you win, you’re still a rat.

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1. Dating and relationships
2. Concealing the pouch
3. Foods to eat and avoid
4. Losing or gaining weight
5. Pouch ballooning

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Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:22 am

Hello HenryM.
Thanks for another thought-provoking post.
I can recall in my early years of work, I researched which occupations might pay well and would most likely be open to people from poorer backgrounds and less likely to be influenced by class discrimination. This is, of course, the UK, where class discurimination was rife throughout society in those days ( It hasn’t changed that much over the years – but is much less obvious nowadays!).
Back to the ‘rat-race’, Reports indicated that it was quite clear that the best occupation to be in was ‘selling’. Sales-‘men’ were more likely to earn more and be promoted to higher positions than any other profession.
Thus, my career projectory would ‘follow the money’. Within months, I was top salesperson in every firm that I worked for and earned an obscene amount of money in a relatively short space of time.
This came to an abrupt end, when I realised that money was no longer important enough to occupy my time and effort. I switched occupations to become a Youth worker; then a social worker, then a psychologist.
The concept of money was replaced by a concept of wishing to make life a ‘better’ place for those who did not have money, privileges or advantages.
Now, I have a lot of respect for ‘rats’, who, whilst they have attained a ‘bad-name’ by humans, are in fact, industrious, persistent survivors in adversity. Hence, my own view of what is commonly referred to as ‘the rat race’, should probably more accurately be described as ‘the human race’.
Once I aligned my thinking, aims and principles to those of animals, other than humans, I found that there was a whole new world out there that did not involve hatred, wars, human greed, etc., but was based on survival in ways that were not detrimental to every other living thing and the very environment in which we live.
I still put in a lot of time and effort into the things I do and, whilst I may not now get any monetary reward, - the social, emotional and psychological rewards are more than enough for my needs.
I recall a (rich) friend of mine’ sons’ once asserted to me that their father was much ‘richer’ than I was;
My reply was that it was impossible for him to be as rich as me – because I had ‘enough’. Whereas their father would never have ‘enough’.
My friend confronted me with my remarks to his children and asked if I would clarify the concept for them; I politely suggested that this was a concept that I felt that he and his children should work out for themselves, rather than have it spelt out in detail by the likes of me.
We ‘all’ remained friends, despite our differences in philosophy!
Best wishes
Bill

THE TOXIC HUMAN.

Some people’s negativity
reflects their own toxicity.
They are poisonous through and through
and I should know, I’ve met a few.

Can they help the way they are
as they damage and they scar?
Or is it simply nature’s way
that’s made them what they are today?

The toxic human knows no bounds
they get about and do the rounds.
Many others get alarmed
but they don’t care when they have harmed.

The toxic human’s like a child
that’s left to grow up in the wild.
There is no sense of friendship there
they don’t know what it means to care.

A predator with lots of skill
their basic instinct is to kill.
The danger lies when you frustrate
it’s then their instincts turn to hate.

To trust would be a big mistake
they’re poised with venom like a snake.
Sometimes they have a false façade
and strike you when you drop your guard.

They’ll look for every weakened crack
and like to strike behind your back.
Like slimy snake slides through the grass
they’ll turn and bite you up the arse.

We see their toxic ways unfurled
upon an unsuspecting world
and if we don’t control them all
the human world is doomed to fall.

                       B. Withers 2012
(In: A Rhyming Cookbook 2013)

Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:03 pm


Bill wrote:

Hello HenryM.
Thanks for another thought-provoking post.
I can recall in my early years of work, I researched which occupations might pay well and would most likely be open to people from poorer backgrounds and less likely to be influenced by class discrimination. This is, of course, the UK, where class discurimination was rife throughout society in those days ( It hasn’t changed that much over the years – but is much less obvious nowadays!).
Back to the ‘rat-race’, Reports indicated that it was quite clear that the best occupation to be in was ‘selling’. Sales-‘men’ were more likely to earn more and be promoted to higher positions than any other profession.
Thus, my career projectory would ‘follow the money’. Within months, I was top salesperson in every firm that I worked for and earned an obscene amount of money in a relatively short space of time.
This came to an abrupt end, when I realised that money was no longer important enough to occupy my time and effort. I switched occupations to become a Youth worker; then a social worker, then a psychologist.
The concept of money was replaced by a concept of wishing to make life a ‘better’ place for those who did not have money, privileges or advantages.
Now, I have a lot of respect for ‘rats’, who, whilst they have attained a ‘bad-name’ by humans, are in fact, industrious, persistent survivors in adversity. Hence, my own view of what is commonly referred to as ‘the rat race’, should probably more accurately be described as ‘the human race’.
Once I aligned my thinking, aims and principles to those of animals, other than humans, I found that there was a whole new world out there that did not involve hatred, wars, human greed, etc., but was based on survival in ways that were not detrimental to every other living thing and the very environment in which we live.
I still put in a lot of time and effort into the things I do and, whilst I may not now get any monetary reward, - the social, emotional and psychological rewards are more than enough for my needs.
I recall a (rich) friend of mine’ sons’ once asserted to me that their father was much ‘richer’ than I was;
My reply was that it was impossible for him to be as rich as me – because I had ‘enough’. Whereas their father would never have ‘enough’.
My friend confronted me with my remarks to his children and asked if I would clarify the concept for them; I politely suggested that this was a concept that I felt that he and his children should work out for themselves, rather than have it spelt out in detail by the likes of me.
We ‘all’ remained friends, despite our differences in philosophy!
Best wishes
Bill

THE TOXIC HUMAN.

Some people’s negativity
reflects their own toxicity.
They are poisonous through and through
and I should know, I’ve met a few.

Can they help the way they are
as they damage and they scar?
Or is it simply nature’s way
that’s made them what they are today?

The toxic human knows no bounds
they get about and do the rounds.
Many others get alarmed
but they don’t care when they have harmed.

The toxic human’s like a child
that’s left to grow up in the wild.
There is no sense of friendship there
they don’t know what it means to care.

A predator with lots of skill
their basic instinct is to kill.
The danger lies when you frustrate
it’s then their instincts turn to hate.

To trust would be a big mistake
they’re poised with venom like a snake.
Sometimes they have a false façade
and strike you when you drop your guard.

They’ll look for every weakened crack
and like to strike behind your back.
Like slimy snake slides through the grass
they’ll turn and bite you up the arse.

We see their toxic ways unfurled
upon an unsuspecting world
and if we don’t control them all
the human world is doomed to fall.

                       B. Withers 2012
(In: A Rhyming Cookbook 2013)

Another great poem Bill, and I love the concept you expressed to your friend's sons that their father would never be richer than you because you had "enough" and he never would.  I do hope that was thought provoking to them and their father!  It certainly is to me.  Rather than strive to acquire more material things in our lives, we should be striving to be content with what we have.  You are such a wise soul! I can only hope that my exposure to your writings will let a little of that wisdom rub off on me!

Terry

Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:18 pm

Hi Henry,  I didn't realize you had at one time been in advertising, so I must ask you something that has confounded me for ages.  Why do advertisers seemingly go out of their way to create the most annoying commercials possible?  I know you weren't in TV advertising, but doesn't all advertising follow the same psychology?  Isn't the goal to make the consumer "want" to buy their product?  I am so annoyed by some commercials that I vow to never go near the item being pitched?  It seems counterintuitive.  

Most advertising fails to achieve it's intended goal with me anyway, as even with the ones I like (the ones with good looking dogs in them), I usually fail to remember what product they were actually advertising!

 

Terry

Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:37 pm


delgrl525 wrote:

Hi Henry,  I didn't realize you had at one time been in advertising, so I must ask you something that has confounded me for ages.  Why do advertisers seemingly go out of their way to create the most annoying commercials possible?  I know you weren't in TV advertising, but doesn't all advertising follow the same psychology?  Isn't the goal to make the consumer "want" to buy their product?  I am so annoyed by some commercials that I vow to never go near the item being pitched?  It seems counterintuitive.  

Most advertising fails to achieve it's intended goal with me anyway, as even with the ones I like (the ones with good looking dogs in them), I usually fail to remember what product they were actually advertising!

 

Terry

Perhaps the answer is that advertisers, like politicians, pitch their "product" to the lowest common denominator of human dumbass.  Ergo, they will irritate anyone with a brain.  BTW, I always liked the Suburu ads that featured dogs.

Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:37 am


Bill wrote:

Hello HenryM.
Thanks for another thought-provoking post.
I can recall in my early years of work, I researched which occupations might pay well and would most likely be open to people from poorer backgrounds and less likely to be influenced by class discrimination. This is, of course, the UK, where class discurimination was rife throughout society in those days ( It hasn’t changed that much over the years – but is much less obvious nowadays!).
Back to the ‘rat-race’, Reports indicated that it was quite clear that the best occupation to be in was ‘selling’. Sales-‘men’ were more likely to earn more and be promoted to higher positions than any other profession.
Thus, my career projectory would ‘follow the money’. Within months, I was top salesperson in every firm that I worked for and earned an obscene amount of money in a relatively short space of time.
This came to an abrupt end, when I realised that money was no longer important enough to occupy my time and effort. I switched occupations to become a Youth worker; then a social worker, then a psychologist.
The concept of money was replaced by a concept of wishing to make life a ‘better’ place for those who did not have money, privileges or advantages.
Now, I have a lot of respect for ‘rats’, who, whilst they have attained a ‘bad-name’ by humans, are in fact, industrious, persistent survivors in adversity. Hence, my own view of what is commonly referred to as ‘the rat race’, should probably more accurately be described as ‘the human race’.
Once I aligned my thinking, aims and principles to those of animals, other than humans, I found that there was a whole new world out there that did not involve hatred, wars, human greed, etc., but was based on survival in ways that were not detrimental to every other living thing and the very environment in which we live.
I still put in a lot of time and effort into the things I do and, whilst I may not now get any monetary reward, - the social, emotional and psychological rewards are more than enough for my needs.
I recall a (rich) friend of mine’ sons’ once asserted to me that their father was much ‘richer’ than I was;
My reply was that it was impossible for him to be as rich as me – because I had ‘enough’. Whereas their father would never have ‘enough’.
My friend confronted me with my remarks to his children and asked if I would clarify the concept for them; I politely suggested that this was a concept that I felt that he and his children should work out for themselves, rather than have it spelt out in detail by the likes of me.
We ‘all’ remained friends, despite our differences in philosophy!
Best wishes
Bill

THE TOXIC HUMAN.

Some people’s negativity
reflects their own toxicity.
They are poisonous through and through
and I should know, I’ve met a few.

Can they help the way they are
as they damage and they scar?
Or is it simply nature’s way
that’s made them what they are today?

The toxic human knows no bounds
they get about and do the rounds.
Many others get alarmed
but they don’t care when they have harmed.

The toxic human’s like a child
that’s left to grow up in the wild.
There is no sense of friendship there
they don’t know what it means to care.

A predator with lots of skill
their basic instinct is to kill.
The danger lies when you frustrate
it’s then their instincts turn to hate.

To trust would be a big mistake
they’re poised with venom like a snake.
Sometimes they have a false façade
and strike you when you drop your guard.

They’ll look for every weakened crack
and like to strike behind your back.
Like slimy snake slides through the grass
they’ll turn and bite you up the arse.

We see their toxic ways unfurled
upon an unsuspecting world
and if we don’t control them all
the human world is doomed to fall.

                       B. Withers 2012
(In: A Rhyming Cookbook 2013)

You are right about class differences. Unfortunately, these differences are even more pronounced in the countries that the British ruled over. In cricket there used to be " Gentlemen vs Players " matches not long ago in which the Gentlemen usually lost. However, there are sayings like: " The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton ". Winston Churchill was perhaps the greatest Briton ever. We all know which background he came from.

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