A day of “Honest” Work and Contractors…

Warsaw is growing, improving and making a great deal of effort to be modernized to the European standards. City trains, buses and walkway and streets are on the list. It is a pile of concrete blocks used to layer sidewalk with. This section of Krakowskie Przedmiescie St. looks very nice now and very professional. It is a pleasant walk, with much work to be done and results showing up…

    Today I have had the pleasure to spend couple hours, doing physical work.  There was a plan, there were materials, there were thinks to be done and the number of people was ….  It got me pondering.  What is the most important feature, thing one should be worried about when planing an endeavor?

    We all have heard stories about contractors that have screwed up things, even though they have been doing it for years.  We all know that if one does not care, even a simplest task will be screwed up.  What if the contractor is the one able to see the things he is making shortcuts in?

    Today I was asked to help with construction, cutting cinder blocks and bricks, masonry, with “some” lifting.  It was fun and although we have not done as much as it was, initially, planed, I though the day was a good one.  My back is hurting, I am orange inside out (from cutting bricks).  My hair and shirt, pants, nose, lungs were orange, if not for the intense shower I could have been mistaken for being Dutch Soccer Fan.

    Avoiding empirical selection, how could one know that people he employs or asks to do a job are reliable?  There are personal recommendations, reviews, forum acknowledgments and simple newspaper adds.  It is a custom to employ a master-constructor to over see the project, a person who does not have to do the labor and is responsible only for making sure that there is no shortcuts taken.  What if they are not as reliable as we thought?

    Conclusions… The best thing is to know enough about the discipline you ask people to work in, but not to know it to much.  To know enough, as to be able catch common mistakes and simple error that could have consequences in the long run.  However if you know everything, you will be picky about things that might have been proven wrong by experience or your approach could also be an insult to the workers.  It is tricky situation with no easy solution as such.  If you depend on people to build your home, you want to have it done right and you don’t want to piss them off.

Legal Money Scams: Religion (Part I)

I believe this mammoth of a building has been crowned St. Thomas Church, but I could be wrong. This is one of the free new absolutely massive structures called churches visible from the balcony of my old apartment. All constructed from charitable collections… There is something Old Testament on the progression of Catholic Church in Poland… I mean demagogy in its’ all-powerfulness and scary.

Ever since I was young I had a dislike for organized religion. Although todays entry is me venting, this could refer to any organized religion that puts their own material wealth over their parishioners. All religion references here will refer to the Holy Catholic Church. I have no doubts (I’m hopping) that there are priests who break the rule, but I have not met one yet.

Over the last forty-eight hours I went from disliking the Church and not caring to a full-blown hatred, complete despise, disgust and outrage. I saw what I knew about (but did not want to believe), I saw the cold calculations, I saw the lack of compassion and care, I saw the materialism, I saw the fat fucks and their fancy cars.

We all know that monopoly is bad for the little people. What if the monopoly is reaching a quantitative absolute? (Almost) All churches, all cemeteries, all national holidays, it is every house and on each wall, what if it is everywhere? What if this “monster” is judged by different rules and obeys different laws than the rest of us? What if people that should maintain a “level” are people scheming more than the rest? What if you can steal church (national heritage) antiques, rape little boys, be fatter (gluttony) than most people and make more money that a world class researcher with tenth of the work? What if people are to scared to ask questions, so the priests do not destroy their reputation? What if people believe thus they do not ask questions? What if people feel abused, scared and yet they cannot separate the needed for faith from organized religion that tries to ….. them? What if the priests can defy God and get away with it?

I’ve been witnesses to so much injustice over the past days that I am boiling over. I thought about this from a different perspective. I cleared my head, tried to be objective and asked a very simple question. “Would I take a “swing” at a priest?” Especially, when he, with a smile, tries to prove to me that he can do whatever he wants and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I thought about this very hard. I am not a violent person, last time I fought was in third grade. If what drove my rage of the charts would happen to me. Yes, I would “swing”, and kept “swinging” till he saw JC.

Rules of Engagement: Eye Contact (Part II)

Sexual harassment “Discovery Channel” style. First he pulled his widely spread tail around the ground while running behind her. After sometime of being ignored he buffed up and started chasing her, to the point she had to fly away. Not to worry, he flew after her. I know one other animal that does not take a “No” for an answer. To bad we do get wings to keep the jerks at a bigger distance.

Eyes are the doors to the soul. Want to know the person, look into their eyes. There at the bottom of the well is a surface un-rippled by facades and trickery. Look closely, the devil is hidden in the detail and there is enough of them in a deep well waters.

Everyone judges people, we all act upon our first impressions, we all do it in seconds and only few of us care to think why or how we do it. I judge by a number of things (maybe I will write about it), but eyes I find to be the most complex source of information. I divide people into three categories according to my first impression of their eyes. (Worth mention: eyes do not change.)

The largest one is a category where I am not sure what I see, as a consequence I give you a pull of trust, respect and benefit of doubt. I will wait for your next move to see how should I adjust my judgement. Another one is where I put people which have “snake” eyes. I do not mean shape but there is something wrong with what is behind them. I will check, rather then trust, I will respect but question and the benefit of doubt will be very limited. Lastly, is a category where you can see the light coming out, rather than falling in. It is rare, but in those cases I will trust them as much as I do decade old friends.

I have been judging people like this for over a decade, I’ve been wrong less than a half a dozen times. On the other hand I am also a person who will wait before acting upon what I see. Just as to make sure what I see, is what it really is, rather than just a trick of light. That may take days or seconds. All depending on how open you are to give me a drink from the well, to quench my thrust for knowledge.

I walk around town trying to make an eye contact with people I pass by. I am not curious their initial reaction but their secondary reaction when our souls have met and drank together. After all I am not the only one searching for a human-connection among people. Humans are rare to find.

Rules of Engagement: Public Seats (Part I)

Public transportation city train seats, nothing more, nothing less. It was evening setting in, the trains emptied. During the day one can nearly see from one side to the other. Well countered and curved to satisfy any “seater”, big, small, old, male, female and confused. I like the city-trains, I like to ride them and the fact that their are greener than most other vehicles is like icing on top of the cake.

I do my best to obey two rules. Rules which I will mention later. Rules which are especially adequate to public transportation but are universal enough to all public seating areas. Rules which are a artifact of a generation as extinct in style as me (they are dead and buried in US).

Rule number one: “I will sit, when my grandchildren will be able to stand”. Then I will feel that I have earned the unspoken right to rest. I brought up kids, that have taught their kids an ancient value system and that seems impossible in today’s society.

Rule number two: “I will not sit if there are people whom I might call “dad” or “mom” still standing”. Simple, they have been around for enough to be respected, they seen enough to be considered experienced. I will not defy this hierarchy even if it means I will cramp up standing.

Here are two more rules which are a consequence of the first two. All are base on the need to respect those who have earned it and those who are of need of help, which they would not dare to ask for (for whatever reason).

Rule number three: “I will not sit in the present of a lady, especially if she hold a larger burden than I do”. I refer to people my age and burdens such as large shopping bags, young children and during pregnancy (they have done and will do more work during it, than I can phantom).

Rule number four: “I will not sit, when someone in worse shape (doesn’t have to be physical) is forced to stand”. They obviously need the seat more than I do, it would have been selfish to deny them, something so simple as a seat.

I have been standing ever since I escaped from the crib. I will be standing for years to come. Sometimes I see a youngster jump up when a older person enters the train (it is a rare, but a heartwarming sight). Sometimes I see a young “kool” girl racing a four times older person for a seat (and I try very hard not to trip them). I saw grandpa’s stand up for women half their age…

It is a weird custom. It has been mostly forgotten in the place which I now call home (NY in US). When I stand up and show to the seat, people look at me as if I turned Martian. Sometimes older people smile with disbelieve, something common fifty years back just showed up and let them rest their old bones. A weirdo, respecting the elder. White knights and buffalo’s have forcibly died out.