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Suicide is Painless

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    In this week's sober thread, TiBette Dcc001 posted a link to the theme from M*A*S*H, Suicide is Painless.

    It's sort of an unlikely hit, and a pretty melancholy song for a movie and a show that were at least half comedy. I very much like the song, though, especially that opening plaintive guitar riff.

    The music for the song was written by Johnny Mandel, but the lyrics were written by Mike Altman. Many of our younger TiBbers may be unaware that M*A*S*H was a feature film before it was a long-running TV series. Robert Altman directed that film, and Mike Altman is his son. He was 14 years old when he wrote the lyrics. You can kind of tell he was young - the lyrics are, in a way, a little bit corny. On the other hand, I don't know too many 14-year-olds that would have come up with "It brings on many changes, and I can take or leave it if I please."

    Robert Altman, his father, pulled down $75,000 for directing the movie. However, Mike Altman got royalties every time the song was played, and over time netted more than $1 million for writing the song lyrics.

    FOCUS: What have you been grossly underpaid for? What have you been grossly overpaid for?
    ALT FOCUS: What professions are grossly underpaid? What professions are grossly overpaid?
     
  2. thevoice

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    ANTI-FOCUS:

    Underpaid:

    Small-Market radio.

    My first job (Northern BC) in the business earned me a basic monthly pay-check of $1600 before taxes. Anybody who's ever lived in Northern Canada will tell you that rent is outrageous, and had it not been for the extreme generosity of older female co-workers who would pawn their leftover home-cooked meals on me, I would have barely eaten.

    We were paid on the 15th and the 30th of each month, and often around the 24th or so, I would have about $50 left in my bank-account and I would be faced with the choice of:

    a) Case of Beer for the Weekend.
    b) Spend it on groceries.

    More often then not, I chose 'A' and ended up having some great times. I met some true 'salt of the earth' people, and made the absolute most of life in a shitty Northern Town for 11 months. If I had to do it all over again, I certainly would, without thinking twice.

    Overpaid:

    In my personal experience: Pizza Delivery.

    When I was in broadcasting school I delivered pizza, and (sometimes) tended bar for an Italian restaurant in my home-town. In addition to the $9.25 per hour that I earned for a pay-check, I would EASILY make $50.00 in tIps on a weeknight. Working weekends was even better, because the restaurant closed at 11, so even if you were stuck closing, you'd make over $100 in tips, and still be able to meet your friends at the bar well before closing time.

    Granted I was living at home, rent-free and didn't have to worry about too many bills and groceries, but hot-damn did I have a lot of disposable income that was spent on road-trips, bars and women.
     
  3. kuhjäger

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    Off topic: When I learned that the intro song to MASH had lyrics, I was blown away. I put it as my #1 thing learned in 2008.
     
  4. Muley05

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    Overpaid Valet

    When I was in college, I worked as a valet at a local casino (I live in Kansas City). I was getting a degree in accounting, and the business school did not have classes on Friday. I made my schedule work to where I only had class two days a week (either Mon/Wed or Tues/ Thu). I would then work three nights a week as a valet (either Wed, Thu, Fri or Thu, Fri, Sat). The hours I worked were 6pm-5am.

    I worked there for three years, and never went home with less than $100 cash. We also got a meager salary that worked out to about $400-500 per month. It was a super easy job, and I sort of stayed in shape because I had to run to fetch the car.

    On three different occasions, I got a tip of over $100. Good times.
     
  5. kuhjäger

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    I honestly am underpaid for what I do.

    Don't get me wrong, I make a good living, and have money for fun, savings, and 401(k) and all that, but here are the things I do:

    Repairing optics
    Tech support calls
    Photographer
    Graphic Artist
    Videographer
    Video editor/producer

    In addition to my main job, I have to also occasionally handle customer service bullshit, as I am considered a lower level manager. This includes:
    Dealing with angry customers if there is no one else to.
    Training CSRs in our systems and about our products
    And during the holidays handling overflow calls.

    I wear so many hats here, and I honestly don't get paid enough to do all of what I do.
     
  6. dewercs

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    Underpaid- working on a large farm averaging over 80 hours a week and not being paid overtime due to it being considered seasonal employment. I was paid $6.00 per hour to run and maintain a million dollars worht of machinery.

    Overpaid- from 2002 -2006 I was grossly overpaid to write mortgages, it was very easy and the money was good.

    I still do mortgages and my pay has been cut by 2/3 but I would not say I am underpaid.


    Profession that is overpaid.
    Special Event bartenders, on the heals of Scottsdale Barret Jackson where most of the girls that worked for us pulled in about 4 grand in 6 days for pouring drinks, I would say they are over paid.
     
  7. lostalldoubt86

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    This trend may be on the decline what with new technology, but I think A List actors are grossly overpaid. I understand that they put in long hours, but I think there are more venerable professions that deserve to be paid on the "movie star" level, such as firefighters, police officers, teachers (not just because I'm going to be one, but because teachers are the bedrock of society in a lot of ways.), and farmers. Farmers especially deserve to be paid quite a bit. They work just as many long hours as actors and they don't get paid nearly enough.
     
  8. JGold

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    I'd say journalists are underpaid, but you know what? Nah. The newspaper business model is goddamn retarded, and the fact that most newspapers have been severely late to react to the changing ways people are getting information, it's kind of hard to feel sorry for them.

    Still, as a journalist serving as a watchdog for a community of 50,000, getting paid 26k was almost criminal. I had to work most holidays, got no overtime, stressed over deadlines, maintained erratic hours, and received attacking e-mail after attacking e-mail after attacking e-mail from ignorant rednecks. On top of it all, because the town was so small, I was somewhat of a public figure and had to watch my mouth and actions at all times. There are journalists who put up with all this because they want to change the world, but frankly, I'm not that idealistic. It wasn't all bad, and there were definite perks. I'm just saying the pay wasn't worth it.

    Especially considering in my next job, I proofread technical reports while farting around on TiB and ESPN.com all day, and got paid 10k more.
     
  9. Frank

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    Underpaid:

    Skilled call center reps: It's amazing how little people get paid to be the face of an entire company, a good rep can easily be the difference between a person loving or hating an entire company. I can't tell you how much money I've seen lost due to cleaning up the fallout of complaints from bad service. Yet they choose to pay entry level analysts (I use the term analyst loosely since they were basically monkeys pushing buttons) a good 10k more. Not to mention the stress of having to sit there and be polite while someone just lays into you for something you had no control over, it's unbelievable how much more rude people will be over the phone than they will be in person, I always laughed when managers would talk about how to prevent the insanely high turnover.

    The crazy thing is that (at least at my last place) they have to invest two months of paid training into a rep before they could even put them on the phones, but they pay little enough money that people will walk away from the job after a week or so if the stress gets to them. I'm willing to bet if they raised the salary by 5k or so they would have little enough turnover to actually save money in the long haul since it would be too much income to just walk away from.

    Overpaid:

    Bartender/waiters/waitresses etc: I'm mainly saying this because nearly every person I knew that was a server at a decent restaurant and made a transition to call center rep would bitch about how much harder the call center was. They would usually quit to go back to serving since they thought it paid more (never sat down with one of these guys and did the math, but I'm willing to bet they didn't factor in the benefits) and was way easier.

    English/social studies Teachers: Now before you lynch me, I'm not trying to say the job is easy or anything or that they don't 'deserve' it, it's just that there is SO much competition for these jobs that in terms of supply in demand it's absurd that they get paid as much as they do, especially since math and science teachers (much less supply) are paid the same. And don't even get me started on their ridiculous benefits packages, I honestly say we slash their benefits and pay them all an extra 5k a year, they'll think they're making more money and towns will save a fortune.
     
  10. Frebis

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    Overpaid-
    My girlfriend is a teacher. And I don't really think she is underpaid (granted, she doesn't make much money). She works from 7:30am-2:30pm, gets an hour long break (planning period) and a half hour lunch break. This means she is on the clock for 5.5 hours a day. She also gets off umpteen billion holidays, and snow days on top of that. And oh what's that? A two and a half month break. If anything she is over paid, by a large margin. There is also a union in place that prevents her from being fired if by chance she has to work one day, but decides she doesn't want to go in. They even pay someone else to do her job for her while she's gone. You know what happens if I miss work? I have to work twice as hard the next day. No one else does my shit for me.

    Overpaid- Gynecologists. They finger bang chicks for a living and get paid for it. I know many people that would do this for free.

    Underpaid- Military members. They get shot at all day, and really don't make shit.
     
  11. Nom Chompsky

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    On a similar note, Proctologists. It's basically the same job, only you don't have to shell out for office space and you get to drink at work and you don't need a degree.


    Overpaid: Many CEOs. In my opinion, pay should be based on two things -- the amount of money you're producing, and the rarity of your skillset. So while I'm ok with athletes getting millions of dollars (if you're in the top .0001% of any valuable skill, you're going to get paid), I'm less cool with top executives getting so much money without demonstrating their value.

    I read somewhere (Taleb? Godin? Gladwell?) that the only real distinguishing factor for CEOs is their height and the expensiveness of their suits.
     
  12. kuhjäger

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    This is incredibly true in my company. They also refuse to have any full time call center reps, which further increases the turnover rate, meaning we have to train new reps over and over again, and we have pretty technical products, and a lot of our customers are knowledgeable about the stuff too, meaning we can't have our reps sitting there with their thumb up their asses.

    If we paid them more than 10 bucks an hour, and gave the ones who know their shit full time status, we would have an even better company. Basically we have people who are paid to be the face of our company, and deal with issues max 250 bucks a week, which in California is not much.

    We had a guy yelling at a CSR yesterday because he had his cookies enabled, and was a frequent visitor to our site, and so Google ads kept popping up with our ads. And he was ranting, and raving about how we were putting malware on his computer. I wouldn't take that shit for being paid like crap.
     
  13. Tyty

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    Overpaid: Poker dealers
    If you have ever played cards at a poker club, or a casino, then you understand that just about every hand that is dealt the dealers are getting at least a dollar. When I was dealing at a club I would regularly walk home with 200+ bucks for a 6 hour shift.

    I don't want to turn this into a debate on how well teachers are paid, but as being one for a short period I can honestly say that they are not paid enough. Though the hours look great (8am-3pm, or something close to that), there are a lot of unseen teaching hours that don't get factored in. Grading papers/tests/projects, creating lesson plans/tests, dealing with a lot of bureaucratic stuff from the higher ups, and meeting with parents on a regular basis. Plus during the time off period most teachers are either working another job, or planning for the next year. Plus, tenure is something that comes in time, many of the teachers in public schools are worried about their job on a year to year basis.
     
  14. Diablo

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    This one time, in New Orleans...I made $16,000.
     
  15. Frank

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    Would you say you were overpaid or underpaid?
     
  16. Chirpy

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    As I teacher myself, I'm going with UNDERPAID.

    Ask yourself...have you ever cruised TiB during work? Peed whenever you wanted? Shut the door to your office? Took a little longer for lunch? Hell, have you ever actually left your place of business for lunch? Ever walked past someone you didn't want to talk to? Not taken a phone call? Worked from home? And when you're sick, do you get to sit home or do you have to actually plan and create work for the following day anyway?

    Thought so. As teachers, all of the above things (especially the peeing part) are luxuries that rarely, if ever, happen. From the moment we walk into our room (office) to the minute we leave, we are ON. Period.

    While yes, we get a few weeks off in the summer and a whole (!) hour long break during the day, it doesn't really mean we're not putting in our time. The way I see it, with all the grading and planning I do after hours and on the weekends, plus time spent tutoring, attending functions, meeting with parents, taking development classes, meeting with other teachers, and everything else that can't be done from 7:30-3:00, it all evens out. I'd say in a given week (Sunday to Saturday), I work at least 70 hours. To me, that justifies the summer and all the rest in between. I honestly wish I was paid hourly and could submit billable hours like lawyers do. I'd be a friggin' millionaire.

    As for those glorious sick days of which you speak...while someone may be getting paid to fill in for me, I've already done the work for them. I've worried about keeping the kids occupied and still learning. I've made the copies, written out the plans, given step by step instructions. Oh and guess what? I get to grade all that shit when I go back into work. Yippee!

    Sigh...no wonder our American school system sucks. You get what you pay for.
     
  17. Arctic_Scrap

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    Underpaid: military, police, fireman, teachers[mainly when compared to how much it costs for schooling to become a teacher]

    Overpaid: CEOs.
    Also, operators. When I say operators I mean people in mills and factories that just stand there and push buttons or put the same part onto another part over and over. Just because you've done the same job over and over for many years doesn't mean it ever required more than a heartbeat to do and you shouldn't get paid $20+ an hour doing it just because you're backed by a union. I've worked maintenance jobs for various companies and it always amazes me how stupid operators can be. I've even been an operator/assembler and I hate it.
     
  18. Diablo

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    Ooh, good question. I would have to say underpayed. The memory hasn't been erased yet by my rampant coke binges.
     
  19. Frank

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    Besides the planning before being out sick thing you could say the same for MANY jobs.

    A few weeks? You get the whole fucking season, name me one other full time salaried job with benefits that gets this kind of deal. Not to mention all the other breaks you get during the year.

    A lot of people only get a half hour, besides myself I don't know anyone that gets more than an hour, including people who spend 10-12 hours a day straight in the office.

    This is definitely under-appreciated, especially since you know that if you slip up and incorrectly grade something you will be torn to pieces. Though, I can practically guarantee you that you'll be spending a lot less of your free time doing school stuff once you've been in the job for a few years and get the hang of it.

    I was a sub before I got my first full time gig and I have to agree with this completely, being out sets you back so freaking much, you have to teach the kids the same amount of material regardless of how many days you are there and no one gets anything done when a sub is in.
     
  20. Arctic_Scrap

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    The fact of having to deal with 12-18 year old kids every day should allow teachers a little more money.