Remember, “back in the day” when you’d graduate from high school, get a job at the local car factory, work for 30 years to colledct your pension and when you retired, you’d get a gold watch.
Things have changed a bit, haven’t they?
Many times today, your pension is a 401K that you feed every paycheck while the company you work for contributes a percentage.
Pensions seem to be on the endangered species list.
The gold watch?
Well, I can’t tell you the last time I saw or heard of any retiree getting one.
That’s why I had to chuckle when I heard about the plans for Goodyear employees in Venezuela.
The South American country has been wracked by sanctions, hyper-inflation, power cuts plus food and medicine shortages for several years.
What once seemed like a good place to make tires years ago has caused Goodyear to reconsider.
So, as the American-based company stops producing tires there, they have a severance package for the workers which includes each of them receiving 10 free tires.
Company officials reportedly have said the tires are part of a ‘bigger severance package” that will be offered.
Twenty more tires?
No charge for valves and stems?
I couldn’t help but wonder if the “big wheels” at the plant will get truck tires.
(Sorry! I couldn’t let an obvious “tire joke” sneak by!)
What if someone decided to quit working altogether after getting the severance package in Venezuela?
Can we call that “retiring”?
(Yet another obvious “tire” joke.)
Is this a sign of things to come when it comes to future severance packages with other companies in all parts of the world?
In our country, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is no requirement for severance pay.
It’s a matter between an employer and an employee.
So, I guess free tires for Venezuelan Goodyear workers is the standard in South America.
What does the future hold for others if tire company workers in South America are getting ten tires as they walk out the door?
Might publishing companies offer bookmarks when they close up?
I thought Washington politicians might be in line for red tape.
Lots of red tape.
Standing in long lines to receive that red tape.
Instead of lavish retirement plans, pensions and health benefits, politicians who lose their jobs ought to receive a big bag of hot air and a big block of government cheese.
Baseball players could be sent away with hot dog wrappers which fly by the hundreds at every ballpark I’ve ever visited.
Or maybe a bag of that super absorbent stuff the ground crews spread around the infield after a rain.
And send them off with a reminder they can no longer spit and scratch.
In the radio business, we used to say we could have all the old CD’s we could eat.
But today, old keyboards and computer monitors might be appropriate for broadcasters being “shown the door”.
Bags of ice for Eskimos?
How about whale blubber so when you hang out with friends, you could actually “chew the fat”?
I thought you might give attorneys bags of underwear but they probably already have plenty of “legal briefs”.
When a defensive player from a football team gets released, teams could give them those metal change makers so they could finally get the quarter-back.
(Now that’s change we can live with!)
Fishermen could get a never-ending supply of worms…sort of a perpetual re-bait.
Out of work tennis players could keep all their old tennis balls which will come in pretty handy one of these days for those walkers.
Just before a fired weather forecaster “storms” off the set, you could offer to be a “fair weather friend” as you talk with your back to him while looking at a green screen.
An airline pilot should get pretzels and a tiny pillow plus a lukewarm soft drink as he leaves.
But make him stand in line…for a real long time while someone searches through his luggage.
The dentist should have to sit in a chair with his mouth full of cotton and a dozen or so vacuum hoses and be expected to tell you what he’d really like for a severance deal.
But not before he rinses and spits.
Send doctors on their way with outdated and dog-eared magazines from their waiting rooms to read.
Make the auto service department folks have to drink that coffee in their waiting room.
(Isn’t that really old 10W30 oil heated to the boiling point?)
Teachers should get those really-cool chalk holders that you could make lots of lines with plus some felt erasers that need cleaning but only when wearing dark colors.
You know what?
Maybe 10 tires isn’t all that bad of a deal.