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All I Got For Christmas Was This Damn Head Cold!

 All I Got For Christmas Was This Damn Head Cold by Jacob Dean


Tis the season for colds, coughs, sore throats, and noses trying to runaway. I try to carefully observe my surroundings more so during cold and flu seasons because I really don't like getting sick. I'm sure you love it too, right? I have slightly flat Eustachian tubes in my ears. Your ears, nose and throat are all connected, and function together, for example, when you get a head cold. You know the song, "the ear bone's connected to the nose bone, and the nose bone's connected to the throat bone..." or something like that. Your Eustachian tubes help drain all that nasty stuff through your ears, into the nose and throat and then into the garbage, sink, napkin, or toilet.  I'm clearly not a doctor but my point is whenever I get a "normal" head cold, or what would be a normal head cold for someone else, it tends to hit me a little more so, and hang around longer in my head than most people. This is why I'd consider myself a bit more concerned and cautious about colds, especially being around people who are sick. Which leads us to the real point of this blog: why part-time service sector employees can't afford to take a sick day off from work. Imagine that. Once again, it's really all about the money.


Since I've moved back home to Portland to help more with my family, I've started looking for work... still am looking for work... but I've secured a part time job on the side for now to help with bills etc. I used to work here part time during high school, it's a good first job for young people in school, in as much as a service sector job today can be good. I had worked there for five years throughout high school and part of college so I was able to get the job again with ease with literally job applications coming in daily. I've been back working there now for a month and I actually enjoy working there so it's not all bad. Relaxed, easy going, customer service... The downside is the pay, or lack thereof. At the bottom of the capitalism totem pole are the worker bees, the ones who actually do all the work. The ones who actually make the products of value, service the cliental, etc... and yet they are the ones usually paid the least. Let me first be clear, I do very much like the place, the co-workers, the management, the owner... all great people. This isn't about them or my job specifically, just a real life example for you. This is about a money and profit driven system that works somebody 30 to 38 hours a week at 10 or 12 bucks an hour and expects them to make enough money to survive living paycheck to paycheck, maybe pay off some student loans, let alone have a rainy day fund saved up in case you get sick and need to take a day off from work. Don't blame the victim, blame the problem. Don't cure the symptom, cure the problem.


Do you cringe when you hear a co-worker cough around you? I do. The Saturday before Christmas I worked 3-9pm. When I got into work, changed into uniform, and started chatting with the crew on shift I quickly noticed two different coworkers talking very stuffed up and nasally. Then one of them turned her head and coughed into her elbow a couple times. I knew I had entered a germ war zone. I asked my coworker, the one who had been coughing, why didn't she stay home and get better. I also said to call me I would have came in early to help cover for you, because I'd feel much better about that than having sick coworkers. Her reply was simply I can't afford to take a day off, even if I'm sick because I need the money.


I did everything I could, short of walking off the job! I ran to the store next door after my shift and got vitamin c, zinc, airborne, and cold-eeze throat lozenges and started my paranoid "I'm getting sick" routine. This time it made little difference. I woke up in the middle of the night and already the throat was tickling. Gargle with hot salt water, back to sleep. That morning I was definitely sick. Thank goodness I had the next six days off for the holiday break (and I usually only work one or two days a week normally.) Living paycheck to paycheck, part time, and not making a living wage can really take a toll on someone, even the people around them too. Literally in this case.


As of this moment at 12:04pm PT on 12/29/12 I would say I'm about 85% with just a hint of chest congestion and my ears still feeling slightly plugged. What can I do at this point other than continue to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, do ear exercises by slightly making them pop, and taking care of myself? Well, trying to think beyond only myself, thinking about what is the real problem - the real illness we need to be curing - not just trying to cure the symptoms of our problems, but actually cure the problems themselves... The first thing I think of is the few fast food workers in New York recently going on strike, fighting for a $15 dollar per hour minimum wage.


What if every single service sector employee who makes less than $10 dollars per hour walked off the job right now and didn't return until they made at least $10 dollars per hour? What would happen? Would that message sent be loud enough to make those deaf ears actually listen? Could these minimum-wage service sector workers even afford to take the necessary time off of work to make this happen? What if the minimum wage was lifted to around $15 dollars per hour to keep the lowest paid workers wages increasing on pace with the increasing wages of the highest paid workers in our country over the last 30 years? Could it cure some of the symptoms of our country's inequality? Could it give more buying power to consumers and boost economies all around? (Republicans freak out over liberals talking about "wealth redistribution" because the dirty secret is they have been protecting and fighting for the redistribution of wealth now already going on for the last 30 plus years out of the pockets of the middle classes into the Cayman Island bank accounts of the upper class! Now we no longer have a secure American middle class dream, it's the service sector work three part time jobs to barely survive nightmare!)


To paraphrase Chris Rock.... Do you know what your employer is really telling you when they pay you minimum wage? They are basically saying, "We would pay you less, but it's against the law."


Written by Jacob Dean published on 12/29/2012






Filter Free Radio in for The Nicole Sandler Show!

Thursday 12/20/12

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Wednesday 12/19/12

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Monday 12/17/12

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Black Friday Walmart Protest in Portland 11/23/12 - Jacob Dean attends the Wal-mart Solidarity Occupy Black Friday Protest at his local Wal-mart on 82nd Ave in Portland, OR November 23, 2012. There is one picture from a friend who works at a near by restaurant from when the protest began around 10am with many more folks on the street than when I got there after 1pm. Local NBC news affiliate KGW Channel 8 was on the scene, that's encouraging. Thanks to the fellow in the interview again for the great sign and a minute of your time! We'll be airing this video during FFR #57 Monday 11/26/12 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT!

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Filter Free Style (Gangnam Style) - Filter Free Style - Lyrics by Jacob Dean - Music is not my own originally by "PSY" called "Gangnam Style" - Everybody has a parody now, this stuff was too hot not to get in on!!!

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Lyrics To Filter Free Style:

We speaking truth to the powerful but they refuse to listen
Jacob Dean and Mr. Skeptical we takin' care of business
What we're doing isn't working and that's pretty much a given
Take a look in the mirror, and kill your television

Don't mean to scare
But it's time somebody told you what you need to hear
Capitalism, greed serves the billionaires
Bought and paid TV shills are just full of air
You're so unaware

Oppression and Suppression
We Say No (Hey) Yeah We Say No (Hey)
Subsidization of Corporations
We Say No (Hey) Yeah We Say No (Hey)
We the people need to organize

For profit education future killing it's disgusting
War profiteering military funds war hawks a hustlin'
News propaganda disinformation bullshit mountain
Let's talk about a single payer universal care solution

It's pretty clear
The time to act is now the system's broken here
Democracy participation needs you dear
Reality and issues are nothing to fear
(unless you're trying to smear)

Enforcing Outsourcing
We Say No (Hey) Yeah We Say No (Hey)
B.P. and Wall Street
We Say No (Hey) Yeah We Say No (Hey)
Are we gonna take a stand and let these fuckers know!?



Enough is Enough Anti-Austerity Protest Portland, OR Nov. 3

Via 82068ilwulocal8 on Youtube: 10 minute video of November 3, 2012, Portland, Oregon protest rally and march against Austerity. A diverse crowd of over 1,000 people of all ages gathered at Holladay Park, across from Lloyd Center, to hear music and speeches about the lies and results of austerity. The rally was followed by a march that was diverted from its intended route by police who used strong arm tactics and pepper spray against the non-violent marchers.

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Aired on FFR Episode #52