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Everything posted by christoofar

  1. Follow-up to this: If you are in the US, happen to be female and you are near the end of your pregnancy, you have a cool option. TAKE YOUR FMLA before the layoffs happen. I would take FMLA if you know something is going down. 29CFR825.825.216 has this clause for restoring employees who were on FMLA leave, but their position was elminated during the course of their FMLA absence: An employer would have the burden of proving that an employee would have been laid off during the FMLA leave period and, therefore, would not be entitled to restoration. This clause puts a BIG question mark on the employers head. Two cases that were filed after the layoff I went through involved employees who were eliminated while on FMLA. I can't remember what happened to one of the cases, but the other got a nice settlement from it only because right after the layoff her job went back up on the job boards for less money than what she was making before. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  2. I can only speak for what happens in Texas, since I was in this same situation. A big insurance company I worked for was slashing I/T jobs to send them to Bangalore. The CIO that was responsible for this got the company in a media panic, and he was forced out. But either way, the Indian programmers remained even though they were an embarrasement (this company insures many in the US military). You can volunteer to be laid off, which that means you are ENTITLED to a severance package, if and only if certain criteria are met, which is mostly how large the layoff will be. The employer is also required to report the layoff to the state employment agency before actually doing it. This is how many layoff numbers make it to press because of the reporting. Employers can choose to layoff in onsies twosies, which allows them to skip the reporting requirement, but if you are talking a large layoff (say 500 or even a thousand employees), the company obviously has to do a formal procedure for letting people go. Either way, the employer has total control. You can ask to be let go, but that doesn't mean you will. However if you are let go right after the layoff, you have a right to file for unemployment and file suit if the employer changed their mind about your employment status right after the official layoff ended and had no just cause for your termination, EVEN if you are in a right-to-work state. I asked to be voluntarily let go from my employer and they agreed to it and I did get a nice severance package which kept me above water until I found work again. If I had waited, I would have been terminated in a onsie-twosie termination. It was really depressing. The media caught on that the company was flying in loads of Indians and filling up surrounding hotels with them. My old apartment was 1/4 mi from the Doubetree and it was nothing but Tata and Wipro employees staying there and the company was sending shuttlevans back and forth to the lobby to pick them up. Luckily H1-B workers have almost doubled in cost since that happened (2000), so now you have to ship the work itself overseas, which creates a big logistical problem. Most small and midsize companies are refusing to sponsor H1-B, so at least I don't have much to worry about for now. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  3. A meth user will be OCD about getting things done. I know someone who did tina for a while and her fucking apartment didn't have a microbe in it. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  4. $200 @ Central Parking / 12 mo: $2,400.00 $85/wk gas x 45 weeks (some weeks I don't need to use the car): $3,825.00 I spent $4,150.75 this year on car repairs (had to run over to Quicken. I coulda swore it was more. But this year I had to change all the tires, new tire rods and fix the front suspension
  5. 200 x 12 != 10,000 You math is funny. But i like it.
  6. That's real American. How about the government just limit everyone's earning power. Wait, seems to me there was another country that did that.... To answer the original question, if oil prices become $100 a barrel you can count on around $5 per gallon gas. This equates to about a $3 increase in jump prices. It's capitalism guys! Charge what the market will bare..and Caveat Emptor! I don't always like it either but it's better than the alternative. America has been doing that since at least 1918 when the tax bracket was introduced to the income tax. When I worked at H&R Block I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing a return for a client who had just squeezed into the 5th tax bracket, which caused their increased tax liability to wipe out almost everything extra they earned that year. They would have been better off financially had the guy not let his wife raise the rent on their rental home, or spent more money in repairs to write their income down. Of course, it goes the other way. One popular scheme in Florida with certain wealthy people was to invest heavily into their homes, run up loans then declare bankruptcy (which protects the house from creditors). Then turn around later and sell the house for a profit, then the only income tax they would have to pay were from the proceeds of the house (the loans weren't taxable income). ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  7. I just sold off all my VLO (Valero Energy Corporation in San Antonio), the world's largest refining company. I made 220% off my original investment. Too bad I am looking for work though, I may have to pull that out of my IRA soon. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  8. That's real American. How about the government just limit everyone's earning power. Wait, seems to me there was another country that did that.... To answer the original question, if oil prices become $100 a barrel you can count on around $5 per gallon gas. This equates to about a $3 increase in jump prices. It's capitalism guys! Charge what the market will bare..and Caveat Emptor! I don't always like it either but it's better than the alternative. we all should rebell, just like we did against the british, when the ship shows up with all the oil, we riot and just throw it all in the sea. Then Green Peace will kick your ass. Americans started the gas problem in the first place. We reap what we sow. Most American cities had begun building mass transit systems (cablecar) in the 1900s, but after the automobile tookover many irradicated them in favor of the car and the bus. Only in a few places (Boston, Philadelphia, NYC and select other spots) can you live without a car since there are plenty of trains and buses available. I'm looking for jobs within walking distance of where I live. My vehicle costs me about $10,000/yr in expenses if you consider $200 a month rent to a garage, repairs, insurance, tags, gasoline and routine maintenance. If I can get rid of it that's $10,000.00 I can use for other things, and not a dime of it will go to the "terrr'sts". ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  9. And, in fact, the irony is that student who doesn't need to take out loans for college and who has never had a credit card or any type of consumer loan in his or her name may be considered a higher credit risk because of the lack of any kind of credit history than the student who graduates with a mountain of student loan debt and maybe a credit card or two with a moderate balance (but with all accounts current and paid up). My accounts are all paid up, but when I was laid off several years ago, I obviously could not pay anything off for a while... my #1 priority was paying rent and I did that out of retirement accounts until I was working again. So my score went way down. I also have revolving debt, it's current and most of the accounts are paid off, but still I look overextended to creditors. I looked VERY bad when I was making 60,000 dollars a year, of course it doesn't seem so bad when I am earning 101,000 a year. FYI, my FICO score is 601. The nationwide average is somewhere in the middle 600s. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  10. That is why many other countries have a social network to help in those cases. Americans tend to call that socialism or communism (which are both wrong, but what the hell) and generally don't want to pay taxes for it. The American culture seems to be more built around the concept of survival of the fittest. Hence, if you happen to get laid off and have lupus....too fucking bad. Ugh, in America 10 years ago... if this DID happen to you, you COULD get a job. Now, you may or may not (and in the long run, you won't). ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  11. Meh. I already have credit and I'm paying stuff off on a regular bases. My problem is that my loans make me look way over extended. And it's true, about 1/4 of my income goes to pay debt, all of which is current. There is action moving in consumer rights circles to force the credit bureaus to stop access from a consumer record should the consumer put a fraud flag on the account. Currently, this only slows the process of opening a new account in your name. But if timed appropriately, you can use the fraud flag to deny employers access to your credit file while you are seeking work. You know, if the medical information protection (HIPAA) didn't exist, how long would it be before employers deduce that if you have been treated for an STD before that you are not fit for employment? Does that seem fair to you? Tough beans you say? ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  12. Some things to think about: MVR/CLUE reports: Usually contain accurate information with certainty. CLUE is kept more up to date, MVR depends on which state is doing the reporting. Some states are very slow to update their records. Drug screen: Usually accurate with a statistical certainty, with noted and documented exceptions (for particular medications). Some labs have been found to report false positives for a variety of quality issues and have been sued. Background (criminal) checks: Always contain accurate data (that's present), but often is missing crucial details and can also omit data. For example, if you commit assult and rape at age 17, a future employer probably won't be able to see this. Employers must also be careful about their questioning because a felony in one state could be a misdemeanor in another state (battery is an example). Credit Checks: At minimum 25% of people who ask for a copy of their report go back and contest items contained within it (WSJ). Consumer reports are much more likely to be incorrect than the other checks. If you pass on flying colors (i.e. no traffic violations, no criminal record, no claims filed with insurance companies, no drugs found in your pee)... now you have a new test to pass, although you can bar checks on your credit by raising an fraud flag on your report. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  13. But, a credit report often contains inaccurate data, and doesn't point out exceptional circumstances. If you are laid off from Enron and also suffer from lupus (thus you rack up a ton of unpaid medication and hospitalization), should that disqualify you from employment for the remainder of your life? ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  14. People who are in dire financial difficulties are more likely to steal than those who are not. A father who has a sick child in need of medication is more likely to steal than on who has a healthy child. Someone with a drug problem is more likely to steal than someone without a drug problem. It's true some steal for the thrill and thats something a criminal check may discover. Did you know that almost 90% of company theft comes from employees? Did you know that the average shoplifter, when caught has stolen approximately $190. while the average employee, when caught has stolen $1350? As an employer, who would you be most concerned about? What kind of credit report do you think most in prison for theft have? $1350 pails in comparison to Enron, or to the ex-CEO of Tyco, who had awesome credit... enough to have several Manhattan banks underwrite millions in loans in addition to personal loans received from the company. Who protects shareholders from that? Executive search firms don't do credit history reports. The Philadelphia City Treasurer, who was KNOWN to have bad credit, was investigated by the FBI and charged with bribery. Rick Mariano on the Philadelphia City Council, who did have a good credit background, was also indicted for bribery. Commerce Bank of Philadelphia was found to be giving out loans to politicians left and right in order for the City to move its deposits to this bank and will probably face criminal charges for participating in the City's pay-for-play fiasco. Commerce Bank's hiring policy also does involve a consumer report check in addition to everything else, and yet they still hired bad apples up in the highest levels of management. I really think the screening is hypocritical if you ask me. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  15. I agree. I have been burgled, 4 years ago (gee I wonder if that's also on my background report somewhere). HIPAA was passed into law in 1996 because enough people were being violated, to the point it created a giant stir. This had to do with insurance company actuaries getting a hold of physician records (not just the claims sent, but the entire files) and profiling patients. When the media started talking about genetic profiling of patients prior to enrollment and health plans were actually spending R&D money to figure out how to collect this information, the law was accellerated into passage (thanks AARP!). Enough seniors were scared that AARP, the ACLU and doctors nationwide railroaded HIPAA into being and extended the Privacy Act for it. I worked on HIPAA Tier II transactions for almost 2 years. Believe you me, companies are deathly afriad of accidentally releasing health information because the penalties are extremely stiff--and they have been levied. HIPAA is also criminal law, not civil tort, so violations involve jailtime, civil money penalties and the worst: diseligibility from the Medicare program (which would kill any health provider's business). HIPAA has teeth, and violators have already been convicted. Too bad this only covers health. But with most respects, your personal health records are indeed safe, except in the issue of overseas transcription services. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  16. I only think it's made a fuss because it's being shown mainstream, actually has a decent director on it and it's not relegated to the Indie screens. This is probably the only time in timbuktwo Nebraska where you can see something like this in your movie theater without having to go to a big city like St. Louis or Dallas. I don't plan to go watch it. I don't really care for chick-flicks, or in this case... dick-flicks. And yes, those that know me know I am bi. The movie just really didn't seem interesting. The only movie I liked at all the last 6 months was Wallace 'n Gromit. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  17. People would be much more aware about it if I got a hold of an employer's access to their systems and started posting everybody's business in public. I would be certain the quaitas would come VERY fast. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  18. I get harassed by recruiters all the time. This incident only happened after I dealt with a crap HR department, the company is actually really good to work for and I knew the hiring manager. He was really excited about me. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  19. *sigh*. Yeah. Remember last year ChoicePoint was burned because a fake vendor signed up and started downloading records willy nilly from their system. Here's ChoicePoints Client Verification process: Did the check clear? == WELCOME ABOARD! For now I am saying NO to the consumer report thing, unless they happen to use TransUnion which happens to not have my loans on file. BTW, MVR/CLUE report doesn't require written authorization by you to be pulled. I wonder if I can use my LLP TaxID to sign up with any of the data gathering firms... ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  20. Agreed. Employers look at the entire package an employee presents and make their choices based on who is the best candidate. A credit report is just one component of the package. If an employer has 2 equally experienced and credentialed candidates and one has shown via their credit history a lifetime of financial responsibility and the other has a series of late payments, court judgements or IRS leins, it's pretty obvious who gets the job. It doesn't mean the person with the spotty credit history can't do the job or is dishonest. It just means the person with the good credit history has proven their ability to accept and handle responsibility. Meh. Outside of background checks, I remember a wave of "paper MSCEs" and "paper MSCDs" in the late 1990s. I worked alongside some real idiots who had their BS or BBA and their MSCD who didn't know flip about design patterns, UML, or any other basic fundamentals about object oriented programming. But to HR, these were the best qualified candidates. Granted, I did get my MSCD but I have left it off my resume because I've spoken with too many hiring managers who have been burned by employees they placed too much trust with that had this certification. I busted out of that pigeon hole by developing a huge portfolio of references, contacts, and project work and code samples that have kept me competitve. Not only can I write good software that's low on defects, I have proven it. No credit check or college degree or paper cert is going to prove you are qualified to design large systems. You can only prove it by doing the work. Oh, and if I remember correctly: Bill Gates has an arrest record, and never completed his college degree, and I'm certain his credit was shit circa 1980. Where is he now? ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  21. I already know what ChoicePoint collects. The last two places I worked at pulled records from there. Employers are second to government in terms of the amount of influence they wield over peoples' lives. -Second Class Citizen ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  22. So you are saying everyone who graduates from college has bad credit unless they have rich parents? I don't think so. Did you know the nunber one reason people divorce is because of money? As cold as I'm sure this may sound...I wouldn't marry anyone who I didn't think could handle finances and getting a credit report isn't out of the question either. Make sure the credit check clears before goin' on the first date. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  23. I am the first to admit I don't know an awful lot about credit scores. But I took out over $50,000 in loans for graduate school, and I have refinanced them (or at least put them into consolidation programs). Yet my credit score is rock-solid, good enough to get very favorable terms when I took out a mortgage three years ago. Why is it rock solid? Because I have managed my finances and credit responsibly and I have kept an eye on my credit reports to ensure that no erroneous information ends up on there. I don't necessarily *like* that employers want to do credit checks on me, but I understand the need to do it. As others have said, privacy in this day and age is really an illusion, anyway. Every employer I've worked with that wants to do a credit check has waited to do it until *after* an offer of employment was made. I disagree. Judge Alito and Roberts, as well as Ginsberg and O'Conner have all reaffirmed that we have a fundamental right to privacy. This right has also been reaffirmed in at least 3 seperate Supreme Court cases within the last 5 years, the most famous of which involved a case of sodomy in Texas. Those who are fearful will trade freedom for security, and will get neither. I have been doing a lot of research and found out if you use American Express, PI and data warehouse companies can actually get a hold of your entire purchase history with AMEX---which has caused quite a stir. Employers can get a hold of this information through ChoicePoint. So not only is your credit score wide open, do you also want employers to know what purchases you make? Should employers also have the right to know what library books you read and magazines you subscribe to, or websites you visit on your own time? Should employers also have the right to do genetic testing to find out all the predespositions you have? Anyone can justify these questions positively for employers for the sake of security. But really, did we all vote for that? ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  24. If you really subscribe do all this data-gathering nonsense... perhaps we should just start tatooing people's problems on their foreheads that way we all know what's up. I don't like the drug tests either, but now it's so commonplace everyone is used to it. The credit check thing is new, and your credit reports usually differ greatly between which firm is being used to do the query, and it's also a mountain of work to clear off crap on your reports that is wrong. Not only that, this employer didn't even ASK me what my circumstances were, they just said "we're sorry." Unless you got a rich daddy or your parents slaved for 20 years to build up a warchest for you, as a student you can really be fucked by this, because your scores go down by over 100 points once you get these massive student loans. Refi them, and your score goes down again. If taken to its full conclusion, this will eventually stretch into your love life. You wouldn't DARE marry someone who has problems on their report, because this will eventually impact YOU and could prevent you from getting a job or a promotion, or at least make it more difficult. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.
  25. WTF it's 60 in Philadelphia. I'm fucking sweating out here. ____________________________________________________________ I'm RICK JAMES! Fo shizzle.