Tuesday, June 8, 2021

May Flower: The Meaning of Life

It's, what else, work -- which is why I will be taking the rest of the day off after this post -- after a nightmarish pandemic has made people realize life is short:

"Pandemic spurs search for jobs with purpose" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff, May 10, 2021

It can take a big push to make a drastic change, and when it comes to people’s work lives, there has been perhaps no greater disruptor than the COVID-19 pandemic. Many got laid off, or were suddenly allowed to do their jobs from anywhere. Some got sick, while countless others worried about their safety; however they got there, the global health crisis has caused people to take stock of their careers — and then take a leap they might not have had the freedom, or courage, to make otherwise.

[Like those who have left the Globe?]

For Anna Jackson, it meant quitting school, founding a tech startup, and moving back to Massachusetts to be closer to her grandmother.

Sam Quady, a cook who lost his job at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston, enrolled in a coding boot camp and landed a job as a software engineer.

Fernanda Cunha was planning a sabbatical from the corporate world but wound up homeschooling her children in Malden instead, and launching her own cosmetics company in the process.

“People are really trying to figure out a way to keep the best parts of what the pandemic gave us, which is this slowed-down, home-centric, connected pace of life,” said Kathy Robinson, founder of the Boston career-coaching network Turning Point. “The search for meaning and purpose and ‘What is it all for’ is absolutely a thread.”

[I will say this, there has to be more to life than doing this for 15 years]

The number of people considering a professional change appears to be at an all-time high, Robinson said, and more movement is expected as vaccinations increase and employers start calling people back to the office. In this liminal moment before our post-pandemic lives begin, many people are reevaluating what they’re doing with their lives. Driving it all is a nightmarish pandemic that has made people realize life is short — so why not get a better job now?

[But where?]

Career experts say they are seeing stirrings from people of all ages, from twentysomethings rethinking their career paths to baby boomers starting their own consulting firms.

A recent poll conducted by LinkedIn found that two-thirds of respondents had either left their jobs in the past year to pursue a “passion project” or were considering doing so. In Boston, a quarter of the professionals polled said the pandemic has made them want to pursue more fulfilling jobs, according to a survey by the staffing agency Robert Half.

Those who were laid off, or who no longer have long commutes to contend with, have had time to rethink their careers. Conversely, some people have never worked harder and are completely fried — or they aren’t happy with how their employers have treated them.

[Then form a union. I'm sure the Globe will support your movement]

In some sectors, particularly hospitality, some jobs may be gone permanently, and those that remain may be less appealing to workers fearful of a continuing boom-and-bust cycle.

More than anything, the pandemic is shaking off the forces that keep people stuck in careers that don’t suit them, Robinson said: “It’s almost like Stockholm syndrome: You convince yourself that it’s fine.”

[That is so insulting as we are held hostage to the CVD lie pushed by the pre$$ here]

The floodgates have already started opening in high-burnout industries such as consulting, and in human resources, which grappled with the impact of COVID daily, said Tracy Burns, chief executive of the Northeast HR Association, and as more companies expect workers to report to the office, the exodus is likely to spread.

“There’s some of the ‘Life is too short’ feeling,” she said, “and then there’s this other, ‘Oh hell no, I’m not coming back.’ "

Gaia Uman Borrero fled Cambridge for her parents’ house in Brattleboro, Vt., last spring, while continuing to work remotely as a research assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital. After spending six months there with her partner, the couple moved to California, renting Airbnbs in different towns that allowed them to surf and hike.

Uman, 25, has a background in the mental health field, and as she saw the need for access to those services grow, she felt an urge to get back in. So she quit her job and started working for a San Mateo, Calif., online mental health provider as a clinical recruiting coordinator.

“I decided to follow what I’m passionate about,” she said.

[I would advise against that for look where it led me]

It’s unclear if there will be an onslaught of resignations as things ease back to normal, said Thomas Kochan, codirector of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research, but employers who haven’t treated their workers well will surely suffer, but women, who experienced major upheaval during the pandemic as child-care demands soared, seem especially ready for change.

Some workers are running from sectors that were devastated by the pandemic, including food service and hotels. Among restaurant employees, 53 percent are contemplating leaving their jobs, according to a report from One Fair Wage and the UC Berkeley Food Labor Research Center.

After Sam Quady was laid off last spring from his job cooking at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston, he found himself with both time and generous unemployment benefits on his hands, so he enrolled in a Galvanize tech boot camp. Now he’s a software engineer for a health care-related startup, making more money and working better hours, instead of anxiously waiting for the hotel to reopen.....

[Lucky him]


Need to have a shot or two before you can look for work:

"White House to work with states on reimposing work search requirements" by Jeff Stein and Matt Viser Washington Post, May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Biden said Monday the White House will “make it clear” that Americans on unemployment must take a job if offered a ’'suitable’' one or lose their benefits, wading into an issue that Republicans have seized on in the past week.

[That go for migrants, too?]

The White House said it is directing the Department of Labor to work with states on reimposing work search requirements for Americans collecting unemployment benefits. The Labor Department will soon issue a letter to ’'reaffirm’' the rules of unemployment to ensure that workers, employers, and states understand the program, the White House said.

In remarks in the East Room, Biden reiterated that the administration disputes GOP claims that April’s jobs data, released Friday, shows that unemployment benefits are too generous and causing workers to stay home rather than rejoin the workforce.

The White House did not announce a departure from policy on unemployment benefits. Still, the president’s remarks suggest that the White House is sensitive to the growing political criticisms over the handling of the issue. The White House has been forced on the defensive over some worrisome economic news this month, with the April jobs report showing a slowdown in the pace of job gains. Business groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce have said the supplemental unemployment benefits approved by Biden in March are discouraging workers from rejoining the workforce and stalling economic recovery.

Democrats and the president have responding by urging patience and noting other factors, such as ongoing concerns about the coronavirus and the lack of available child care for working parents.

Biden’s new message on Monday was primarily to demonstrate how the unemployment system works and underscore that the White House does not believe the benefits are to blame for the labor shortage, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly; meanwhile, the Biden administration will begin deploying $350 billion in aid to state and local governments this month, a significant step in its effort to shore up segments of the economy that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, White House and Treasury officials said Monday.

[I wonder if she was the leak]

The infusion of funds, which were included in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill signed into law in March, marks Biden’s first big opportunity to start reviving infrastructure across the nation and to fulfill his goal of ensuring a more equitable recovery.

“With this funding, communities hit hard by COVID-19 will able to return to a semblance of normalcy,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. “They’ll be able to rehire teachers, firefighters, and other essential workers — and to help small businesses reopen safely.”

[That's the environment in which we are in now]

I $uppo$e I could go either way on it; however, that vast and repressive social reengineering campaign and the falling births will be a long-term time bomb that could result in a sweeping all-out assault across the northern border.


Of course, the police will be of no help as America is grounded.

"Business owners rejected by SJC now want Supreme Court to review Baker’s use of emergency powers during COVID pandemic" by Matt Stout Globe Staff, May 10, 2021

A group of business owners who unsuccessfully sought last year to overturn Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency powers during the pandemic is petitioning the Supreme Court to review the case, according to its lawyer, potentially extending what’s been a yearlong challenge to the Republican governor’s authority.

Michael P. DeGrandis, an attorney with the New Civil Liberties Alliance that’s representing the business owners, argued Monday that the state’s Supreme Judicial Court erred in rejecting its lawsuit to overturn the dozens of emergency orders Baker has issued to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Related: SJC upholds Charlie Baker’s use of emergency powers to combat COVID-19 pandemic

DeGrandis acknowledged that it’s unlikely the Supreme Court could act on its request before August, when Baker said he intends to lift the last of the restrictions he’s put on businesses and gatherings, but the governor has not indicated when he could end Massachusetts’ state of emergency declaration. Baker has wielded his emergency powers under a Cold War-era state law, known as the Civil Defense Act, which grants him broad authority to act in the face of certain crises.

“Does that mean he ends the emergency [in August]? Maybe, maybe not. It’s completely up to him,” DeGrandis said Monday, arguing that with that authority, Baker could again reimpose restrictions should the virus surge anew. “You’ve got this sword of Damocles hanging over your head.”

Massachusetts’ SJC in December upheld Baker’s use of the emergency powers, ruling that he has been within his rights to limit gatherings, shutter certain businesses, and order people to wear face coverings.

In rejecting the lawsuit, the state’s highest court said that Baker’s orders also did not violate the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, which provides for separation of powers between the three branches of government, nor did they violate the plaintiffs’ federal or state constitutional rights “to procedural and substantive due process or free assembly.”

The plaintiffs — which included hair and tanning salon owners, a North End restaurateur, and two church pastors — had challenged Baker’s use of the 1950 Civil Defense Act, which gives the governor broad powers in the face of enemy attacks, sabotage, riots, fire, floods, or “other natural causes.” The law, they argued, made no mention of diseases, but the SJC disagreed, saying it was apparent the phrase “natural causes” also encompasses a pandemic “on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Justice Elspeth B. Cypher wrote for the court.

The New Civil Liberties Alliance is a Washington, D.C.nonprofit that advocates against what it calls the “unconstitutional administrative state,” and has taken as much as $2 million in contributions from the Charles Koch Foundation, according to nonprofit filings.....

[What is sad is those billionaires have been more of a steward regarding civil liberties than the AWOL ACLU when it comes to unconstitutional and tyrannical lockdowns, and one wonders if this has something to do with the recent lifting of restrictions]

I truly hope CVD has been banished to the dustbin of history; however, what is that I hear, a knock on the door?


If you are lucky can catch a ride and evade the fines:

"Chase CEO Jamie Dimon wants face-to-face contact, from branch expansions to office reopenings
Bank aims to go from zero branches in Massachusetts in 2018 to more than 30 by year’s end" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff, May 10, 2021

Jamie Dimon always wanted to create a truly nationwide bank, one that stretches to all 48 states in the continental US United States.

This fall, if all goes according to plan, the JPMorgan Chase chief executive will have pulled it off.

[Except it will be global, and some would say it is the bankers who give life meaning visa their control of the money supply -- the key factor driving the underlying agenda that is hidden by CVD. Not even mighty Exxon can stand up to them as they choke off supply and add to the gas lines]

The concept was ambitious, maybe even crazy, when Dimon announced plans in January 2018 to open 400 Chase branches in new markets over five years — starting with Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington. It’s even more ambitious, and maybe even crazier, during a pandemic that has accelerated the ongoing shift to digital banking.

[Who was pu$hing that, btw?]

During a visit to Boston last week, Dimon chatted about the rollout, and conceded that he worried about the new branches’ profitability, particularly in markets such as Boston that have firmly entrenched competitors, “but we’ve been doing fine, much better than we thought,” Dimon told the Globe.

[They just had their best quarter on record]

Several will be what Chase dubs community centers: urban branches designed to be more like neighborhood gathering places. These centers will offer skills training and space for entrepreneurs, alongside a staff “community manager” to engage nearby residents and small businesses. They represent one small part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion commitment, announced last year amid the unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd, to advance racial equity and bring more opportunities to underserved communities.

[Now I AM going to be sick]

It’s not as if Chase is immune to the trends facing the banking industry. In fact, Chase’s retail branch total fell last year, from 4,976 to 4,908, even as the company ramped up its entrance into new markets. Chase has retail branches in 38 states today — roughly the same number as Bank of America — but plans to be in 48 states by the end of September.

[Intere$tingly enough, they never tested positive as a $ector]

“We’re closing branches, too, but we’re also opening,” Dimon said. “Generally, we’re building the footprint, which I think is very important.”

[What's the carbon output on that?]

Branches, he said, give banks an important physical presence in a market — a community hub of sorts, a source for philanthropy and small-business assistance. The role of the branch is shifting: People are coming in less frequently and are doing it for “advice-type visits,” Dimon said, as opposed to “transaction visits,” such as for deposits and withdrawals.

Dimon said he is more reluctant than many of his peers to close branches. He pointed out a brouhaha around a branch in a relatively remote part of Greenwich, Conn., that Chase had targeted for closure last year after it failed to meet the bank’s typical metrics for keeping a branch. It was still profitable, but apparently not profitable enough. Dimon received hundreds of notes from customers, pleading with him to save it. So he overrode the decision and kept the Banksville branch going.

“People inside the company got mad,” Dimon said. “I said, ‘I have a heart. I want you to learn to have a heart, too.’”

[It's as black as this type, and what a great guy, huh?]

Dimon said he has long been bothered by the fact that there is not one true national bank, at least by his definition. 

[Except there is. It's called the Federal Reserve $y$tem. The are the ones that print the money]

Dimon was back in town to visit HBS, where a case study has already been written on his company’s racial equity initiative. He also met with some clients, and with some top managers here. He’s clearly itching to see everyone again, after more than a year of remote work. He made headlines last week about how he wants JPMorgan personnel to spend at least half their time back in the office by mid-July. Apprenticeship has suffered while employees worked from home, he said, as has the “spontaneous combustion of ideas.”

Zoom sure is handy, as is mobile banking, but Dimon reckons that all the advances in technology can’t replace real, face-to-face contact. In fact, Dimon and his company are betting on it.....

[That's a bet he will lose]


"For JPMorgan Chase it’s another step toward post-pandemic normal, but for the US financial industry it’s a bellwether. The nation’s largest bank, which often sets norms for the financial world, reopened offices to employees across the United States on Monday. The move includes locations in Ohio, Texas, and Arizona that — unlike the bank’s New York headquarters — had been left at least partially shut in the wake of pandemic lockdowns. It’s all part of the firm’s plan to call back its entire US workforce, at least on rotations, in early July."

Rather than talk, most employees sat around and watched Instagram or checked their iPhones (looks like the heat is on the Bruins after last night's loss).