We live in a rather nice town here in Massachusetts. It is by far on the waaay other, other side of the tracks than where I grew up, which has taken some getting used to. You may recall the preschool parent's juice-and-cookies 6pm reception where the women all showed up in little black dresses. When discussing what parents should contribute to each class' year-end gift, I expressed concern for families who have more than one child in the preschool; that $10 per class becomes $30 for a family with three kids. The response? "Oh, it's only $30." Hello?! In my house, 30 bucks matters! I can only imagine that it would matter MORE if I had two additional children.
This is the town in which we live.
So perhaps we should not have been surprised to read in the local newspaper that our local police officers make in excess of $100,000, almost toward $150,000. And we're not talking police chief, sergeants, whomever. We're talking your average beat cop. Now, hear me out. My brother is a cop. What I wouldn't give for him to make $100K. But let's be clear: he spends his days with drug-dealing dirtbags in a rather large, urban geographic area. He's not directing traffic past the town festival; know what I mean? It just seems completely out of proportion to me, when the actual dangers of the job are considered. If we were in Miami-Dade, sure, pay those guys $100K hazard pay. But here? Call me an asshole if you must, but that strikes me as simply ridiculous. I await your opprobrium.
Let's now take ourselves to a local festival this weekend where the mayor of this fine city addressed the assemblage, as mayors are wont to do. He was there to deliver a proclamation to the members, designating Today Is This Festival Day. He was so poorly prepped for this event that--once again--we were stunned to learn that his senior staff members also make north of $100K. I mean, that is a Washington DC salary! And these chumps are doing such a stellar job that the mayor begins his remarks with, "When you have nothing to say, they give you props, so here are my props. First is this proclamation...now I'm not sure who I'm presenting this certificate to, so I'll just read it...be it known..." Does not refer to any of the luminaries by name, because you know he can't pronounce or remember them. This is fucking bush league politics--and the people responsible for ensuring he does not deliver such a laughable performance are making One Hundred Thousand Dollars?!!! Please. You can always use the argument that you need to offer high salaries to attract talent, but that only goes so far. For example, in DC, I would have been fired THAT DAY if I'd sent my boss to an event for a performance like that. My shit would have been on the lawn by the time I got back to the office. Here? They're getting a raise.
So why this rant, so soon back into Haggisdom? Ach. Maybe I'm just jealous that no one will pay me an unearned $100, 000. Maybe because I am, as usual, getting in touch with my inner Andy Rooney. Mostly because this town cries poverty when it comes to teachers and schools in this economic climate but apparently has money to burn on BS.