Monday, September 2, 2019

Working on the Chain Gang

Carmine Persico in September 1986 at the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan. Three months earlier he had been found guilty of charges that he was the leader of a vast criminal enterprise. In September he was convicted of additional racketeering charges and sentenced to 100 years in prison, raising his combined sentences to 139 years.
Who is the Boss? I am, oh yes, I am.
After work, after the business of life, the team had been eager to settle at the nearest watering hole. It had been a rough day.

Hey, Jim. How did the office manage all that blow back from the big guys up at the top?

"Well, you can imagine, Tom. It blew them all away. I mean, what did they expect when the stink settled down after the clean-up crew took care of the rot?"

"You guys, give it a break. Life never changes for those guys who settle at the top." Co-workers mumbled, nodding in agreement. 

"Big guys at top? They live well, really well. I mean they go to work in their spiffy black suits, leave in their spiffy black suits." Jim growled.

Again, all nodded. The fifth co-worker, Kevin piped up. "I'm exhausted. We complain every day. Can't do anything about them. They can take us down without a thought."

They grumbled and took off for home where family and friends lived. Come sunup, they would be at work. At sundown, they would be lined up again. 

The big bosses were already singing together their raucous out-of-tune songs.


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After work, relaxing and complaining
Silently, the crew left, singing songs of their own,
sweet songs.

Crows Swarming Pennsylvania Street
The bosses in black suits
Singing raucous songs, non-stop songs
Bosses of the sky, bosses of the trees
Otis Redding: Working on the Chain Gang 

44 comments:

  1. Stunning photos. Powerful words. This hits pretty close to home, since many in the states are grumbling right now. They even feel there is nothing they can do about it, either. Their voices won't be heard, and if they grumble too much, they might be pulled over for some nearly non-existent driving infraction (like not signaling when changing lanes) and thrown in jail. Then they truly would be working on the chain gang.

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  2. Now that was an interesting twist!

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  3. So many connotations, present day, slave labour, and the birds’s pecking order. Thoughtful. I do hope you post these to magazines 🌹

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  4. I guess peopledom and birddom have the same complaints. Really cute how you did that.

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    1. Complaints travel from the top to bottom and back again.

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  5. Nice writing, Susan. Very effective indeed.

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  6. What I see in your post is the harm done by big bosses to workers, and harm done by the little birds to phone/electric cables, airplane wings, trees.
    Yes, the big guys and the tiny birds; they're ,sadly, both involved in damage to humans.

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  7. Ugg, know all to well how those who think their crap don't stink upon high screws over their workers.

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  8. As a worker who got stiffed, i see many sides to this. Well told!

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  9. Nicely done!

    It's that time of year. We're already seeing geese headed south.

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    1. We see just a few geese about us, but not many.

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  10. I didn't see that plot twist coming! Timely share!

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    1. Seeing crows in "murders" is kinda scary. They are very intelligent birds work in packs.

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  11. Yep, I hate it when you try to make me think! LOL
    There is always someone or something to take out your frustrations on. So yep the same song is sung over and over and over again.
    Yeah, the noise of the Murder is murder!
    Sherry & jack back in NC

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    1. Songs should be more positive and basically on key.

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  12. Your words and the pictures say it all.

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  13. Love it-I haven't seen the geese headed south yet but I know it is soon to come. Have a great week. xo Diana

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    1. I visited Illinois recently and saw the some leaves changing. Happy feeling.

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  14. Thanks. Simplicity is always the best.

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  15. This is a wonderful piece Susan. Bravo (and wonderful image, too.) Thanks, also, for spending a little time today at my place too!

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  16. I can imagine them actually having that conversation.

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    1. This is probably a conversation held at many watering hole.

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  17. Interesting! Thanks for a post that got me thinking.

    Hope you had a nice Labor Day! :)

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    1. Thinking is a good thing. Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. I think it should be a law that every smart-suited boss has to spend a day each month working with the crew.

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    1. Some time ago there was a reality show where that was the case. The bosses were dressed like the crew, given a shovel or wrench and work alongside the crew.

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  19. Looks like more bosses than crew.

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    1. The bosses get more money while the crew scratch a living.

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  20. Metaphor: Comparing two things without using 'like' or 'as.' ;) :)

    Wishing you a wonderful day, full of on-key tunes.

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  21. As a laborer-gardener who retired before benefit-defined pensions declined, I was able to retire with some confidence and dignity 10 years ago. I don't see that happening for generations of current workers. Investment-defined retirements work for folks above laborer-status, but not below --hopefully a forgivable extrapolation on your excellent post.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!