Jim Varagona

Category: IRS

>Best License Plate I’ve Seen

>I hear a lot of folks say personalized plates are dumb because they make no sense, but isn’t the fun in wondering? The obvious plates are fun too, like the mom of a high school classmate with a “666” plate. This was especially amusing considering it was a Catholic high school we attended. It also made me think of the fact that it is the only “666” plate in the state, so she must have felt special when it was available.

My plates say “DIABTO”, which is of course in reference to my Diabetoboy moniker. It’s fun to have folks guess at its meaning or ask me about them.

Before we hit the road to Jesusland last year, the Filipinos of the IRS and I spotted these plates in a grocery store parking lot.


I later saw the same vehicle in transit while bar hopping with friends one night. We tried to snap a photo to no avail, but I did remember this photo which I snapped on my phone upon the first sighting. Does it help that it belongs to an older handicapped woman? I think so.

>Now Taking Pictures of Cloned Babies from Election Day

>Forgive me father, it has been over a week since my last blog.

The thing is that I found new employment since ditching the automobile classified photography business. Now, instead of traveling around the area getting photos of cars, I have moved on to in-home photography of infants and toddlers. It still involves quite a bit of driving to get to customers’ homes, but photographing children is more challenging and enjoyable than snapping pictures of cars, trucks, boats, and RV’s.

I must say this is closer to my goal of actually having a job relating to my Bachelors Degree in Media Communications. That looked hopeless during my days in the Italian Retail Service.

In other news, I fulfilled my duties of guarding and troubleshooting the electronic voting machines on Election Day. I understand now why this country has so many issues with the validity of elections. I felt very competent in my role, which I aced every examination for during training. It was very disconcerting though to see that anyone that applies to help with the elections is pretty much accepted. I know we all have a duty to serve in whatever capacity we can to be true patriots, but this is ridiculous. The written exam which determines whether or not one could go on to be in charge of these machines at a location was around 60 written questions. To pass, you only needed 60% correct. I think this helps explain why some precincts have a hard time reporting on time.

Not only were the tech positions filled this way, which I feel is a very important role throughout the day, the other poll workers don’t seem to be scrutinized much. For the first hour and a half, during the biggest rush of our day at my site, one of the precincts had a woman with moderate Alzheimer’s handling the looking up of names in the register. I don’t blame her, because she was doing her best to help, but someone should have recognized her ability level sooner. After she was pulled from that post at 7:30 AM, she asked me what time it was. I told her and she was shocked that it was so late. She thought it was already 12 hours later, and that we were going to go home. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I later hung out with this woman as she stood by the large machine that accepts the optical scan ballots. She helped folks slip their ballots in the shredder looking machine and proceeded to clap and cheer for them. This is how we replaced the fact that our city wasn’t giving out “I Voted” stickers this year. A couple of people were really irked that she was standing right next to the machine, considering it an invasion of privacy. If they took it any further than mumbles under their breath, I planned to tell them that even if she wanted to see their votes, she wouldn’t remember it later. She was a sweet woman, about 90 years old. She told me the same story 10 times about her family and her current living situation. We also chatted about how girls in schools these days like to have their breasts hanging out of their shirts and that she thinks that is reason enough for uniforms. “Everything’s all about sex”, she explained to me, “that’s why they have so much AIDS in Africa.”

Listening to my new elderly female friend, I realized something. She made sense a lot of the time, but then she would get confused and repeat herself, sometimes completely. Sometimes she made no sense at all. It summed up my experience that day. This system means well, I’m almost sure. The thing is that if the workers at the polls continue to be an aging crowd, not many will know what is going on. They all mean well. More emphasis should be put on recruiting of these temporary workers, especially on college campuses to get younger people involved that have experience with the technology that helps us vote. We can all learn something from eachother, no matter what age, race, or belief system. This is another example.

After I got home from the day at the polls, I passed out to the news that Claire McCaskill was trailing Jim Talent by over 10 points here in Missouri and our Amendment 2 that Michael J. Fox helped promote was losing as well. It didn’t look good. Then a funny thing happened on the way to further Republican domination…

I woke up about 3 hours later to hear McCaskill giving her victory speech. Amendment 2 was leading by a slim margin with more votes to count. The Democrats had gained the upper hand in the House and were too close to call in the Senate, because of Montana and Virginia (which both later went blue to win the Senate). It was as if Santa had paid a visit during my slumber.

I know that this doesn’t mean the world is saved from our downward spiral, but now there’s a bit more hope. And it doesn’t hurt that silly Republicans think the Dems will now go on baby killing sprees, clone armies of mutant children, impeach the evil Emperor Bush, tax every penny they make, spend, or hoard, and let Michael Moore live.

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

>Jorblessness and the Measure of Success

>I received two passionate responses to “Things Have Changed”, a posting in which I dwelled upon the success of NBA players younger than I and compared it to where I am now in my life. I thank Jeremy and Sergio for being consistent readers and for looking out for the Diabeto.

I didn’t mean for it to seem like my measure of success is solely based on money. Those b-ballers and shot callers aren’t the greatest people on earth, even the best athletes. Considering my plight though, and looking at things from my side of the fence, it would be nice to have some cash, and those boys seem to get it easy.

The posting also dealt with the flow of life, how things can be a certain way for a while, then suddenly change. It certainly keeps things interesting, but can also be a pain in the ass.

I cannot ask for sympathy. Several job leads have come my way, which I have passed upon simply because they were too similar to my last situation. I’d rather keep looking because the taste in my mouth is still pretty friggin’ bitter. The “Ramp Down” effect, as the leaked memo from my former employer referred to it as, took me down hard. I don’t understand why companies need to change the wording of these things so much when they could just say, “We’re downsizing to keep the greenbacks coming”, or “Instead of skimming from the bottom of our seniority, we’re skimming pond scum…and you’re it.”

As Sergio suggested, mooching meals works well and keeps the wife fed and happy. She has found employment, but unfortunately the checks won’t be seen for weeks, given the time she entered the pay cycle and the stage of the moon at that point.

I am certain that this is all for the better. When you have to create a fictional world of mobsters and intrigue to cover the boring nature of a job as a glorified stockboy, it’s probably better off to cut loose. That isn’t to say the job didn’t have any intrigue, but I’m not so sure that “Secrets of the Retail Servicing World” could bump the ratings juggernaut of “Internet Predators Caught”.

It is disturbing to me though, that my charismatic self could be shaved off of the donkey, leaving behind men that torture innocent animals by stomping on them and dragging their feet, leaving behind a bloody mess.

And that’s the truth.

>The Angry Rant of a Downsized Diabeto

>Since I am angry, there are things I must address. My analyst says it would be healthy and wise.

To my landlady:

The grass is 3 weeks grown again. Tiny little trees are sprouting that Bob Ross would be proud of–god rest his soul. I refuse to pick up my dog’s dung anymore until it is cut, especially considering the insects that now inhabit the wilderness that is the backyard I put rent money towards. They got a healthy lunch in the form of my shins and calves.

In other news, a month and a day after
my nuptials, the Don informs me that a week from yesterday will be my last with the company. The official word is that someone had to be downsized. The unofficial word is that, well, I guess my thoughts on that will wait until I separate from the company.

I did think though, as an observation, that downsizing usually skimmed from the bottom of the totem pole. Considering where I am on the ladder of seniority, that theory certainly wouldn’t work here. It makes one wonder who to believe and trust.

Since, being put it this lonely and awkward position by a company I put a good 9 months in for, I have no choice but to dissolve the Italian Retail Service, including the honorary Pinoy wing. This will take effect immediately.

Now what do I do during my lame duck week with the company? It feels strange putting forth effort for an organization that deemed me unfit, or too pooped to pop for them. Speaking of that, why is it that it is respectable for employees to give employers two weeks notice, but the employees are not given such respect? Rodney Dangerfield hit the nail on the head with a big ol’ Ludell sledgehammer.

Why must business be such a dirty thing? Why must drama and politics infiltrate every aspect of life? I know money has a lot to do with this, because profits are the bottom line. One guy goes, more money is saved. Riddle me this though…what happens to his money while the fat cats add more greenbacks to their bubbly money baths? I’m sure there are plenty more sob stories of those that were spared, but thinking of myself for a moment, I’m trying to start a new life here as a married man, and this is a hell of a fungus ridden foot to start it off on. To continue the analogy, whose gonna be my BOOM!–Tough Actin’ TINACTIN?

Save me John Madden.

This also makes me wonder, what do rich people dream about? Apparently our President has plenty of time to dream. It must be alot easier in positions of power, in which your decisions have no effect on your place in life, except maybe bringing you closer to all of those virgins in heaven. I only hope that if the virgins exist, that they are packs of angry nuns. And they’ll give them physicals too. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Like it was for Corky on Life Goes On,

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, Life Goes On, whoa, la-la-la-la, Life Goes On.

>Blog of a Married Diabeto–a review of the nuptials and honeymoon

>

The happy Diabeto’s, now in married flavor!

To answer the first question people have naturally been asking me, it feels exactly the same. That’s not to say none of what has happened in the last 3 weeks has not been special. The past 5 years have pretty much been a trial marriage with my Russian grandmother, so this is simply the formalizing of it all. Before, we were happy together, like The Turtles’ tune, and now we are happily married.

An amazingly flush Diabeto and the Brothers Pinoy

I’d like to thank everyone that shared the occasion with us and those that wished us well. Even the Filipinos and that dirty old man I work with graced us with their presence. Special thanks to the Don for his gift of a set of stainless steel Knorks. We are forever indebted to him.

The ceremony was held at The Jewel Box in Forest Park, here in St. Louis. The weather cooperated and things went swimmingly. Best man Dan Roth managed to keep the rings in his posession until it was time for them to be exchanged. We were so appreciative of this feat achieved by our hippy friend.

At the reception, Dan was a real hit with his speech, during which he quoted Bob Dylan by using his line “How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man?” and said I must’ve walked down my last road. He also said something about my bride and I sailing away into the horizon, which makes me wonder if he got the brown acid. He also did a great rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” with my sister’s friend Cara, whcih makes one wonder further (click to watch the video).

My new sister-in-law, Amy, gave a heart wrenching toast, which quoted my first words to her…”I’m bleeding.” When I went to pick her older sister up for our first date, she approached me at my vehicle to tell me that if I hurt her sister, she would kick my ass. All I could say was “I’m bleeding,” because I just rushed out of the house with a bad shave.

Photos from the wedding and reception will be available for viewing at Collages.net until 7/27. The event name is VARAGONA and the password is 9478. Enjoy.

My babushka and I went on our honeymoon to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s great to forget about what time of the day it is, what day of the week it is, and who you are, all without having horribly much to drink. The only drawback is that I get patchy burns in the sun. You’d think my Italian blood would put me more on par with my Pinoy brethren, but my midsection ended up looking more like Gorbachev’s head.

We did go parasailing, but have yet to develop the photos. That is probably for the best, considering I was whining like Woody Allen, because the knot didn’t look secure and we were over water that I couldn’t see through, except for the masses of jellyfish, that I later found out were an order whose sting couldn’t hurt humans.

The best part of the honeymoon was that we accidentally went during Bike Week, which happens every Memorial Day weekend. First the Harley boys and girls come through town and take over. We missed them. Then the sport bikers come through, which is mainly made up of young black men. Behind 80% of those men on their bikes, was a large assed black female, with variations of decoration on their buttocks, ranging from fishnet to thong to a lightly draped short skirt. We sure did get a kick out of all of the cottage cheese we got to see. Although I did not get a photo of the real thing, the following t-shirt on sale there, illustrates this amazing sight.


And then it was back to the rat race of the IRS and our new married life. We’ll always have those asses though.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=diabetoboycom-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B00000J7SM&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000ff&bc1=000000&bg1=ffffff&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=diabetoboycom-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B0000BWVO3&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000ff&bc1=000000&bg1=ffffff&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=diabetoboycom-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=0790729350&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000ff&bc1=000000&bg1=ffffff&f=ifr

>Weird Scenes Inside the Depot

>Work has been odd lately. I really can’t tell if I like it or despise it. The IRS is a demanding group. The Don has begun referring to me as Lieutenant, which is flattering, but at the same time, puts a lot of pressure on me.

“Keep the Filipinos in line,” he tells me. “They’re creating payroll issues with hours. You’re gonna have to gaffle ’em.”

Did I sign up for this?

No, but my Italian heritage gave me this life, and I must accept it. Even if I have a BA, my calling is in retail servicing. If only the benefits were better, and the damn pirates stayed away from my products.

I have said this before, but I worked for the major fertilizer and grass seed company last year. This year, I work for their competition. My job is to make displays and make the products look pretty. These dirty grass seed pirates from the competition feel the need to destroy my displays by trashing them or slashing holes through it until it is unrecognizable like a baby calf at the veal factory. I come into my stores only to find emptied bags of seed, with holes riddled all over it. This is not the work of mice, no, this is most definitely the work of the pirates.

Why do they do it? Is there a sick satisfaction in it? I suppose so, because there is no monetary bonus for these workers at the bottom of the totem pole. They move our products where no one can see them and take over prime spaces. They throw my displayers away. BASTARDS!

They have a stranglehold on the stores that they are merchandised in because of their fancy national advertising campaigns with B-grade baseball stars. They sell more than the rest only because they defeat their competition through these dirty tactics. Management can’t do anything about it. They are bullied as well or bribed with promises of enough free fertilizer to cover 20,000 square feet and kill all of the pests that inhabit their lawn.

Our only way to fight back is to fight fire with fire. They have more manpower though. The trick is to squash them when their not looking, to use trick plays. And only then will they swim with the fishes.

Aside from the pirates, one of the my cohorts in the IRS has been exiled. When things like this occur, it is only human for rumors and innuendo to follow. I can only hope that this isn’t the beginning of the downfall of the IRS. If one guy slips up, does he take others with him? I doubt it.

Change happens at the most inopportune times. You can only roll with the punches. That goes for the war with your opponents and the drama of everyday relationships.

And you must always watch your back. I was once a pirate. I have learned much.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=diabetoboycom-20&o=1&p=12&l=st1&mode=dvd&search=job&fc1=000000&lt1=&lc1=3366FF&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

%d bloggers like this: