Friday, April 02, 2010

On Rabbits, Rats and Tooth Fairies

NEW YORK (Associated Press) - Thousands of unionized New York City doormen and apartment building workers have voted to authorize a strike this month, potentially leaving some tenants without someone to carry their groceries or take out the trash.
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/artifact.html

You've seen it around: a giant creature with menacing buckteeth, long claws, and red, beady eyes. It's a regular at union protests and strikes, wherever there's labor tension. If the Rat could speak, it would get right to the point: "So I moved your #@!% cheese. You wanna do something about it?"
The Inflatable Union Rat

"Let's see how they do without us!" There's no doorman, people open the door, they walk in, it's... you know. Who's gonna walk out next? The guys who clean your windshield at the traffic light, with the dirty rag?"
Jerry Seinfeld in "The Doorman" episode

It looks like New York might be having a doorman strike. The last time there was a strong likelihood of a doorman strike was back in the heady days of the mid-nineties. The good old days when the national budget was balanced and the biggest controversy was whether the president had sexual relations with "that woman". Or not.

We didn't know how lucky we were.

Not that I think that the strike will go ahead. Usually the two sides negotiate right up to the brink, which is midnight of the day before the strike's planned start.

Happier Days
If the strike does go ahead I wonder if an inflatable union rat will appear outside our building? Inflatable rats are parked by unions outside places, usually construction sites, where the relevant unions believe that workers are being exploited.

If the strike DOES happen, I can't imagine how life will be. Where will the garbage go? How will the volunteers know who to let in, or out? Can we trust volunteers to sort the mail properly? How will we get through the revolving doors? I imagine it'll be chaos. People won't know what hit them. Maybe neighbors will start talking to each other. That'll be weird.

Meanwhile, it has been a quiet Passover-Easter week. Not that you'd notice - Easter that is. There's no holiday for Good Friday here, let alone the five day weekend as in Australia. Perhaps it really is true and Easter was cancelled because they found the body.

The Rat Marks the Spot
Seriously though, not having Easter holidays is a bonus for me. I have never celebrated Easter. When my kids were little I used to give them Easter eggs, but they didn't really know what Easter meant, as like me they had no religious training. In fact my eldest used to (used to ... she still DOES) get Easter and Christmas mixed up. She'd ask me, "When did they cross him up? Was that Easter or Christmas?" and I'd have to THINK! The tooth fairy was more real to her; I suspect that was because the tooth fairy brought money and not bunny rabbits.

I am going to spend my un-Easter weekend writing an iPhone app. It will be called the "Jo Factor" and it was inspired by an elf. I kid you not.

It will REVOLUTIONIZE air transport.

Stay tuned.

2 comments:

Boggy said...

Sounds like things are toughening up in NYC. Neighbours talking to each other? What a surprise. Sounds like the night when the lights went out several years ago. Do you have your Sterno stove ready? And your billy can?
One would think that with the bennies that doorman/concierge receive, they'd be glad to have a job. I suspect that some will (gasp) cross the picket line. At least you'll be able to evaluate how well the management copes with this , how shall I call it, 'disaster'?
Maybe you could give them their Christmas tip a little earlier this year and help tide them over.
I'd say, fuggum!

Jaded Nyer said...

I love that rat. He's been all over NY.

Here's three solutions to the garbage issue:

1) throw it out the window (least recommended)
2) take it out yourself (obvious recommendation)
3) get the rat to take out the garbage (Highly recommended)

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