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Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 5 years ago

Striking 101: Swing for the fences

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Ask anyone: I’ve always been a man of the people. You know the type — strong, silent, selfless. OK, fine, a genuine leader.

But when I heard about the fast-food workers in New York this week, who were threatening to strike due to low wages, I have to admit, even I was a little humbled.

It was peak hours Friday when the staff at a Dominos pizza shop in Manhattan decided they wouldn’t take it anymore. They staged a walk-out. They made picket signs. They demanded a pay increase, from an average of $7.50 per hour to, get this, $15 per hour. “At least.”

Talk about swinging for the fences, right?

I was inspired.

For as long as I can remember, even back in my tike, leader-in-the-making days, my life’s philosophy has been, Why eat one McDouble if I can eat 15 McDoubles? I just hadn’t ever thought to extend the same logic to career advancement.

The visionary leading this group of disgruntled strikers wasn’t going to settle for no stinkin’ dollar or two raise. And why should he? What’s he going to do with one extra dollar, anyway, put it toward college? Don’t be thick.

Give them $15, I say, the same amount as most post-college, entry-level, salaried jobs in Florida. It’s only fair.

But why stop at fast-food wages? Strike everything, that’s my motto. Mom and dad offering an unsatisfactory allowance? Chore strike! Girlfriend dishing out an inadequate number of smooches? Smooch strike! Don’t feel like washing the dishes this week? Dish strike! It’ll only be a matter of time before your do-gooder roommate swoops in to wash them for you, anyway. Believe me.

The reality in all this, though, is that we simply can’t help but live this way. We’re American. It’s what we do. Check any history book.

Who can forget the great Boston Tea Strike of the 1700s, where New Englanders proclaimed that they were “so tired of the Brits’ crap” that they dumped loads of English tea in the harbor until they saw some major changes around here?

Or how about after 9/11, when so many angry Americans gathered bottles of imported wine and Publix baguettes, dumped them onto the street and lit them on fire because France wouldn’t fight alongside us overseas?

Another point well made.

If you’re doing it right, striking is kind of like that chubby friend everyone has growing up who’d cross his arms mid-game and refuse to play anymore unless the group reversed that last out-of-bounds call. Every now and then, sure, the group would just go on and play without him. But if there would be uneven teams if the chubby kid left — oh yes, that’s when he’d sit back and watch how the tables turn.

I should know; I was that chubby kid.

The point is, striking works. And it’s never not legitimate. So if you need me this weekend, just check down by the Halifax River. I’ll be the guy heroically skipping McDoubles — hundreds upon hundreds of McDoubles — into the water, for as long as it takes, until all of the world’s problems are solved.

Christmas conversation?

I heard through the grapevine but was too lazy to look into it myself that, apparently, if you get paid biweekly, there are only 10 more paychecks left until Christmas. It sounds right, so let’s go with it.

And here is why you should care.

1) It isn’t too late to start saving. Put $100 from each paycheck away. That’s $1,000 of gift money. Boom. (If you’re in the market for other financial-advisory services, like figuring how much you would save if you put $100 from the next nine, eight or seven checks away, email [email protected]. Or invest in a calculator.)

2) A lot of the things I want this year can only be purchased online. Shipping takes time. Don’t disappoint me.

3) Procrastinating to take the decorations down from the attic is inevitable. So here’s a tip: Put it on your to-do list now. By December, you should be almost ready to be close to thinking about tackling it.

4) If you’re Jewish, I heard through the grapevine last year but was too lazy to look into it myself that, apparently, Hanukkah happens somewhere around Christmas. But word on the street is you also have seven times the amount of gifts to buy. So, really, if you haven’t started saving yet, you’re probably already kind of screwed. Ignore Item 1.

This has been a public service announcement.

BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

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