The LuLac Edition #887, July 25th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.
Friday I sat down with a person I know who works for the State of Pennsylvania. His last real payday, albeit a smaller one will be next week. If the state doesn’t pass a budget by then, he’ll be working for nothing. I asked a few questions and he was brutally honest.
Q: You offered to buy lunch, what’ya nuts?
A: No, common courtesy. If you’re buying, I‘m ordering three more hot dogs.
Q: How are you getting by?
A: Pretty well so far although I am dipping into what little savings I have. I used the bulk of it to buy a house and pay off credit card bills so I’m cash poor at this point. But I’m cutting back. Walking more. Burning more videos instead of buying them.
Q: You job as a Corrections Officer, is it suffering because of the budget battle?
A: My situation is unique. You don’t want to slack off or be lazy because that might impact the safety of you and your team leaders or members.We've had call offs but not to the point that it's made our work any harder. I mean you don’t want a guy to get hurt because of the freaking budget. Morale is interesting because it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you are on the other side of the bars from a guy locked up for life. But you do wonder when this is all going to shake down.
Q: Are blaming anyone in particular? Mad at anyone?
A: From what I read, there’s a lot of blame to go around. I’m not mad at the Governor though because he’s been asking to get this done since February. I think the Legislators are the ones that have not even made an effort to cut back any of their perks. I mean I carpool to work with a bunch of guys. Do they? I’d like $600.00 a month to get a nice ride for free. Well technically I’m paying for it.
Q: If things get tougher and you are not paid for a while do you have a support system?
A: Normally my wife would be that. But she works at Wilkes Barre General and the new owners are staring down the nurses in an upcoming contract dispute. So that’s an uncertainty there if they go on strike. And I’m against strikes but if she has to go, she has to go. There’s always my mom and dad but I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.
Q: Would you accept higher taxes to get this done?
A: Yes. As a state worker I see firsthand the services people get. Education, library funding, work training program for inmates, roads, that type of stuff people take for granted. It seems to me though the delivery system of the tax money to the agencies if messed up. Why should a lawmaker or even the Governor make three times more to deliver the money to the people that implement the system? It’s like paying the guy who holds the gold more than the miners who dig it out of the earth. From what I see on my tax forms, the taxes to the state are the lowest in the country. So what’s the sweat. Let’s just get this done.
Q: So you believe that payer higher taxes is like a type of dues for living in this country and state?
A: **** no! That’s really ****ed up. You believe that?
Q: Yes, don’t you?
A: Uh, **** no! Jesus, if I had known you felt that way I would’ve asked you to meet me at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. It would be your dues for interviewing me.
A: Yeah, I try.