Mezonoxian Operations - Featuring Mesonoxia  Patent Elixir & Existential Medicine Show

(Stinkin’ Badges Part Two)

The Wash
(Stinkin’ Badges Part Two)
 The train is now hitting the west coast for a visit with Dad and a day spent with Olympic hopefuls.  A parenting lesson from Washington State.  
Near Seattle.  The Goodwill games.

            We had been waiting our whole lives for this opportunity, although we had not realized it.  We had unknowingly practiced, and rehearsed, but it was the surprise of when the moment presented itself that made it work so perfectly in our favor.  I call it, "spontaneous choreography".
            My Father Stephen taught my sister and I many great lessons.  Perhaps not the lessons your father taught you, but important, life altering lessons none the less.  On this day, the lesson was not “how to sneak into the goodwill games”, for sneaking would prove necessary.  This was the goodwill games, and we were here with a good will to see Carl Lewis, the best sprinter ever.  Opportunities are presented everywhere and lessons can be learned anywhere in Mesonoxia.  With this one, we’ll be washing-tons of stinkin’ badges.
            The lesson here was about a different kind of honesty, but it was also about discipline, confidence, and conviction.  People believe damn near anything you say if you believe it when you're saying it.  For evidence of this watch the hidden camera magic TV show, "The Carbonaro Effect." You'll see people accept the most absurd explanations for how products work and many other scenarios, not so much because of Michael Carbonaro's magic, which is brilliant, but even more so because of his salesmanship and poker face.
            When I was a youth, the line “Badges, we don’t need no stinkin' badges”, from the movie, “Blazing Saddles”, or  Cheech & Chong was a family favorite.  Its application was nearly universal for us, albeit a bit altered for every day conversations.  We could be heard frequently uttering slight variations of this line in any number of random circumstances.  For example...

            “Justin, did you bring your bathing suit?” my father would ask.
            “Bathing suit?  We don’t need no stinkin’ bathin’ suit!” would come the reply.
            “Put on your seat belt on Kyra.” 
            “Seat belt?  We don’t need no…”
            After awhile we don’t need to even complete the sentence.
“Sentence?”  We don’t need to complete the thought.  Us?  Why we don’t need none of it.
            Your family has things like this as well I am sure.  Little phrases, only spoken in front of one another, or perhaps only with the full umpf in them, when you are alone with each other.  At times you may be embarrassed to repeat them in front of others.  That is if you do it in front of others at all, but I know what you do.  We all do it.
            Anyway, on this day, we just weren’t expecting it.  We thought surely someone might ask us for tickets, a pass, or identification maybe, but badges
            I was walking along the fence outside the venue until I found a great spot where I recall a ladybug in a child's imagination inviting me to enter.  I was young and thin and slid through.  My Sister and Father couldn’t very well let me wander off by myself so they had to jump the fence and catch up to me.  We didn’t steal anything.  We simply avoided an obstacle in our path.  We walked a straight line from point A to point B.  Our intentions were now quite simple as the bleachers were within our view, we should probably sit down, and if there is a show to watch, we watch it.  It’s not so much a plan, as an unfolding dharma.  We are honoring the path in front of us.  No one on our path had yet to ask us for anything and we hadn't asked them either.  It wasn't that we needed to sneak in; it was more like this is where we are.  If anyone comes to talk to us, they’ll either be happy they did, or they’ll live to regret it, but either way, paying for badges or entrance fees was not something we were avoiding, the idea simply hadn't occurred to us.  
          A frequently overlooked idea presented throughout this book, is that there is a big difference after all, between being against an something versus the absence of that something occurring to you.  "With us or against us" is a commonly encountered false dichotomy fallacy.  Should someone bring something up, it will be considered at that time.  Should it not appeal to you, it doesn't mean you are picketing against it.  It doesn’t mean you hate the idea.  You might hate it.  Ordinarily for us however, ideas were denied simply because they lacked whatever the ingredients were necessary to inspire us to action.  If someone were to come up to us with a silver tray of hours de voirs, we may eat one, or we may pass.  On this day, I’d say we chose to pass, but in fact there was no proposition yet to pass on.
            I recall there were always good reasons on deck, in the event someone did ask us for something.  “The sunglasses?  What sunglasses?  The ones on my head?  Oh would you look at that, I must have…  Sure you can have them, take them.  In fact, I hadn‘t been attached to them at all.  In fact I didn't even know I had them really.  I just kind of tried them on in the store and, oh ho-gollygee willickers whaty’a know?  I must have just walked out the store.  How absent minded of me!”  My father even had this character, Tommy Twit-head who distracted us children and made us laugh each time he/we pulled a maneuver that was somewhat suspectUt oh, Tommy Twit-head is here, oh no - don’t know what I’m doing, drive thru the exit oh oh oh”.
          People asking us for things, or pestering us as we called it, didn’t happen very all that often.  Thieves we were not, and don’t you dare impugn our integrity.  Sometimes we simply felt charitable.  Other times, like this day, we simply had not considered what others had not considered not considering.
            On this day, if pressed, I’m sure we just had a hard time finding the entrance, what with all this commotion, and my needing to use a restroom immediately.  When the young man came over however, with his shorts, visor, and badge along with belief in it's importance, he was expecting us to consider what was important only to him.  He didn't know who we were.
            “Excuse me, excuse me Sir? Sir...” he said. 
            “Hey Mister.  With the two kids, black cap... Pardon me, sir…”  
            Jogging now, “Sir, Sir.  'Scuse me Sir do you have your badges?”

            “WHAT... in the holy fuck hell did he just say?” hit my Dad, Sister and I all at the same moment.  We turn to him; look at him for just a moment before we all burst out laughing uncontrollably.
 “BADGES?!” my father exclaimed in a much higher than normal tone of voice, delighted and exasperated.  We all then laughed even harder.  We stood just bawling at the man for a good 8-10 seconds before my sister finally composed herself enough to be the one to say it.
            “WE DON’EED NO... ET ET AH AH AH…STINKIN' BADGES!” she forced through a most demented cackle with an exhausted relief.
            The man looked on, a bit dazed, bewildered, and all he could muster in response was, “Well, I…”
            The two of them looked at each other again, started cackling once more and then walked off.  It was the first time I’d seen two people stumbling confidently, and all while still cracking up but not for a moment, a stride, at any point giving off any indication other than we must have really been someone important.
            “Oh, that’s good”, my father’s voice could be heard saying lightly under the winding down hysterics.
            You see for us, it was the fact that he said the word “badges” of course.  For him however, it was our genuine and simultaneous laughter that blew his mind.  There was no way for him to discern a difference.  There was no distinction.  To him, because of the place from which he asked the question, it was obvious that we were laughing at the proposition of our needing badges.  The word became the flesh.  The look of authentic shock and surprise on our faces, along with the genuine glee of our laughter, at that moment became identical to our really, truthfully, honestly not needing any stinking badges. 
            I being the youngest, around 10 years old, remember feeling just a bit of pity for the man, but not enough to prevent me from closing the show.  I looked back at him, trailing behind my sister and Father who were both in full stride and steam ahead, still chuckling.   I took off my over-sized Oakley brand sunglasses, and looked up at him shaking my head. Squinting out of one eye with the sun in my face, as I muttered the word, “idiot” under my breath but just loud enough for him to hear me and stressing the id like “Idiot, don’t you even know who we are?”
Don’t need any
Stinking badges. 
And neither do you.
Why, you ask? 
What the heck kind of question is that?
I just frickin' told you.
(Also sung to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall
- Doon anoot doont doont)
            Fast forward a decade and a half or so later.  A prospective employer needs to fill a mid level management position.  The position calls for someone trustworthy and reliable to manage the appointments and medical needs of several dozen people in a homelike health care setting. The position comes with good deal of responsibility as the new manager will be hiring and training entry level $8-10/hour employees to dispense controlled medication to the mentally ill.  The new manager will have complete unsupervised access to several facilities, the keys to all the controlled medication cabinets, and oversight over all the records. The employer needs to minimize the risk of abuse and/or neglect and foster a healthy, homelike environment characterized by stability and efficiency.  We have (at least) two candidates for consideration:

Candidate A,
A 32 year old with a Master's degree in Behavioral Psychology from a good school.

Candidate B,
A 26 year old with a G.E.D. and two felony convictions for drug trafficking.
Who should get the job?
This, is a
No brainer.
On paper.
            Meaning, if you don’t use your brain, the conclusion is predetermined.  But let’s see what happens when we take a hit of the Mesonoxia.   As the gnoxious fumes begin breaking down , the environment, composite parts begin separating.  You see, it was pre-2012.  We didn’t yet, though we may soon, live in a world where numerical values, and the labels they are assigned to, completely write the outcomes of our existence. You understand I am sure, like extending or declining a line of credit or a mortgage based solely on numbers and the labels that accompany them, rather than a human touch, an aware ingredient and judgment.  Humans are prone to errors, but robots are better right?  Robots don’t get tired, or emotional.  They aren't vulnerable to a look in the eye.  A robot wouldn’t have allowed us to just laugh our way into the park.  With robots, you don’t need an expert, a whole thinker, an alive process, the antithesis of a robot.  We are talking about the opposite of “psy.c.h.o.-score” and the massive amount of collateral damage, sin, suffering, this and things like this have created.
            Our society is clinging to life.  The eclectic, complex, randomly unfolding, variant, intuitive, and alive part of this grand experiment is rapidly deteriorating.  
            In this real life scenario however, Candidate B cracks open the Mez and the vapors reach their target.  Candidate B, the felon is hired as the obvious choice, which ends up being the right choice for the employer on many levels.  Impossible?
Well hang on now...
            Candidate B, the "un"certified Mesonoxious Operator, had mighty unfair advantages over candidate A.  You see the blemishes and detriments to Candidate B, when sprinkled with or dipped in the true Mesonoxia become his greatest strengths.  The delivery method was irrelevant, so a felon could administer it to a doctor.  Just imagine what you could do with it.
Here is how it worked.
"It's a peculiar kind of memory that only works backwards"
- Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass and what Alice Found There.
            Candidate B was several moves ahead of both Candidate A and the prospective employer in this real life chess game.  Candidate B had already held similar positions twice prior.  He had letters of recommendation and awards for performance from two previous employers. The previous employers had similarly selected this candidate over other qualified applicants despite his criminal convictions. The previous employers must have known something to put their own jobs on the line. There must have been absolutely zero questions in their mind pertaining to Candidate B's trustworthiness.  But don’t just take their word for it, Candidate B, has his M.O. from a knocked out school.  And he better.  I mean, he would have to have had something super effective in the arsenal to get the nod, especially in a poor economy with loads of competition for the job.
Candidate B was able to poignantly and persuasively make the following argument, 
ahead of time:
1.       The two previous employers would've had a much riskier proposition than any new prospective employer of this applicant as today we are much further removedchronologically from the blemishes.
2.       Who is more likely to use the new position as a "stepping stone"?   Candidate A and others like him who have advanced degrees and will be perpetually exploring other options?  Or B, the one grateful to get the job?
 Well that‘s true I suppose but
3.       Who would have to work harder and be more efficient, effective and productive to warrant their salary or increases, the one with the Masters Degree or the G.E.D.?
 Hmm... No big puzzler there.  Rubix cube!
4.       Who is actually less likely to abuse their authority do you think?   The one who is squeaky clean or the one who everyone would look to first as the obvious abuser?
       Thats actually kind of a tough one I'd reckon.
5.       Who would actually have more to lose from abuse or neglect (stealing the medication for example) - the Master’s level who has never had a run in with the law and still the possibility for leniency if ever in trouble? (nothing wrong with that).
          The one who already has two strikes, has gone that trip and rebounded from it - to the tune of a near decade of impeccable service via  80+/hour weeks, while being “Employee of the Year” at competing agencies simultaneously?
        Well, at first glance Alice wasnt sure that proved it at all
        but when really thinking about it, definitely wasnt as
       certain as before...
6.       Who is more likely to be able to spot abuse, detect and weed out miscreant employees?  Is it the person who has had no experience with such people, or the one who was once one of them and has successfully recovered from it?
   Hadnt even consider that but, we gotta give candidate A one  
   of them, right?
   Maybe, but that one ain't it.
7.       Who is likely to be a better manager and motivator of lower paid employees?
    Running out of time...
8.       Who is more likely to inspire those employees to optimistic efforts, where aspirations of management for themselves, and in turn, better results, derive from?
             Wow, obvious...
             Here’s the best one, ready for this?
9.       As the employer or manager doing the hiring; which candidate Is less likely
to steal your job in the future?  (Oh it matters.)
              And of course,
  Last one, multiple choice:
        10.  Why have the others...

                                    Choice A                                                                                                                  Choice B
          …at all?                                              …with much more to lose   
                                                                       than the new prospective employer
                                                                                            already made the decision for ‘B’                   
                                                                                         blemishes and all, and rave about him?

How could you possibly go wrong?
Yeah, both make sense, didnt think Id be saying it but
I think Id go with Choice B.
You see
The setbacks
            The blemishes are B’s best attributes when articulated correctly because he has started from a negative, traveled a further road.  Let’s say you are a football coach picking from two options to be your running back.  One put up 2,000 yards last year in college, while another ran 2,000 yards in the pros.  One has pro experience, and is younger, but just skipped college.  The pro, had also ran those yards that year on an injured leg.  Let’s even grant the idea that college and pro experience is wash, and the 2,000 yards makes them even.  But say the one with the injured leg, now has the leg back, who would you bet on?  If he could do it with the setback, certainly now, the fact of the setback is the greatest indicator you have for who is most likely to perform better. Duh.
            Candidate A is supposedto have done all this already.  He has the accolades after all.  He had two good legs to stand on.  But he’s not prepared.  In fact, he’s eight years behind knowing how to actually do anything.  He hasn’t been in any real pro games.   “B” we know has to be exceptional to even be given the shot if playing injured, never mind proving exceptional later.
           Now as we expand the idea, imagine if the risks are further removed.  Like if the position being applied for was actually much less pertinently related to the crimes.  Suppose it had been a kicker with an injured arm.  Also throw in the fact that Candidate B actually interviews better, has a clearer command of what is requiredand can articulate it.

Who is
the applicant
 Most certain
not to

Reduce it to the absurd.
            You can be a person with a setback.  Or…
            You can be the person who has already made that setback irrelevant in places where it should be much more important or related to whatever the situation is  you are currently attempting to grace with your presence.   If you are the truth, you don't have to "pull it off".
You command it.
          But why only two candidates, or three, or even four?   In reality, that is often all the prospective employer had time for that day.  Three or four.  There were actually dozens of candidates, but they weren't invited in.  Why?  They didn't command attention.  Candidate B did.  Candidate B was the Meson Orator. Well versed in many a subject, he had a firm command of copywriting, (not to be confused with copyrighting) and used it to put together a unique, captivating, hypnotic cover letter.  He sent several of them.  Some offended people.  Some sparked curiosity.  Instead of trying to do things incrementally, just a smidge better than everyone else in a sea of millions, why not stand out as someone wildly different?  The thing is, even if you offend nine out of ten, you don’t need nine out of ten, you need one job, that you’ll eventually use to get a better one job.  After you’ve had a couple good ones, you’re in.  No one cares anymore.
            You may say appropriately however, that this doesn't explain how he got the first job, which is what this whole argument is based upon.  That was accomplished with hard work, doing a job for less money.  You use what you have to your advantage.  You scout out places with high turnover, prospect weak or frequently changing management positions and get underneath those even if it means less pay now.  As discussed in Part A, "Mez-Un-Certified", it costs a whole lot less than six years of tuition, room and board as well as all the income lost from the hours, I promise you that. You may have to take a position in an agency that pays less just to get the notch on your resume.  You need strategy.  
          Sometimes you need to climb your way in.  Many people however, just never try because they think one job is beneath them or the one above it they will never get.  But there is always a way.  At one point I purposefully went and worked for a competing agency who was stealing many of our employees, just to make the first one want to return the favor, and each time, climb a little bit.  You have to be competent, hard working, produce results, and then sly and crafty on top of it.  But if you are, and many people who have blemishes to their record are, never accept that these prerequisites are set in stone.  They aren't.  Half the time the employer doesn't even know what they need or are looking for.  Half the time, they are hiring you because the last guy couldn't do the job.  It is your job to sell them on why your background, whatever it may be is the perfect fit.  If it can be done with a GED and a criminal record while riding the bus between four towns, it can most certainly be done with a High School diploma, an Associates degree, or "some college" and a D.U.I.
            While Candidate A was paying to study the functions of the job, Candidate B was being paid to do it. While candidate A was being told what employers look for, candidate B was familiarizing himself with eclectic interests so that during the interview, was able to glance at familiar books on the employer's shelves, notice pictures on the employer's desk taken in places he'd been.  He struck at emotional chords.  He had been a salesman and platform speaker.  He knew what actually sells.  He knew what was actually important to the employer and choreographed the effects he wished to create.  He does a different type of research for the position.  He/she/you will have better tools, tactics and strategies.  You are becoming a meson operator.  You don't climb ladders.  You leap frog.  You don't need to get a lot coming in.  You'll get what you are worth before you’re gone.  You are confident.  You don't apologize for short comings; just make them irrelevant, or better, an asset.
          So we are clear, this is not a story of the wrong man getting the job after all.  This isn’t a con job.
          “But how?” you may ask.  “How could a felon actually be much better prepared to be the Project Director than other candidates who worked in the field, and also had a solid education to boot?”
            It’s only a stretch when you haven’t examined the totality of the situation.  Operating a criminal enterprise, albeit a small one (12-20 people at a time) for a number of years, by itself, doesn't look real good on a resume.  No one is suggesting you do so.  Added to an impressive list of noble and noteworthy achievements later however, when critically analyzed, encompasses all of the qualities that the work world seeks.  Chutzpah.  Being able to think on your feet.  Life or death decisions made on the spot, if not literally, than of near equal weight and gravity.  Think for a moment about a person, who has to be on call, and on point, 24/7, 365, 3,650, ad infinity dealing with unscrupulous, often incompetent and untrustworthy accomplices and associates under the detection of the full time, fully armed and resourced, local, county, state and federal authorities.  Moving across state lines, having to pitch a no-hitter every day, forever.  His competition and nemeses are all incessantly gunning for him.  They need to get lucky with a mere bunt anywhere during the year to throw off his whole world.  And if they hit a homer, or a grand slam, life is over
          If you really think about the job description, it is pretty easy to see why someone like that would later make a great Coordinator, Project Director, and Crisis Management Trainer.  It’s a lot of the same skill set without a tenth of the stakes, but entails the often similar drama and needed collectedness, or poise.  A skill to function under extreme pressure while keeping it all moving must be present.  Damage control, authority, creative thinking, resource management, and a poker face, inspiring confidence upward, downward, and laterally, are all skills you’d need for both.  I understand, sometimes thinking outside the box is pretty outside your normal box.  But get used to it, the more we learn to trust our reasoning skills and dividing to infinity, the better world we create for everyone. 
          I wouldn't have spoken or written like this a year after my convictions.  I certainly do not want to belabor the past.  It isn't like I think about these things frequently as I have moved on.  It is just a part of this book and I am not in a place currently where this poses me much professional risk.  I do want to inspire others if in similar circumstance.  With enough time in between, and the older you get, you start to understand that all experience is valuable that has impact and pertinent relevance to a situation.  Automatically discarding a piece of your biography or renouncing it as worthless is basically discarding the equity of your experience, because others say it isn't government certified.  It gives the certifiers an unfair and unwarranted leg up in the marketplace.  It gives your competition a monopoly on how to frame the argument.  The truth is quite often however, that they have ZERO experience that can hold a candle to what you have, or have been through. 
          Given the right platform, we will know who is the most competent.  But if some aren't allowed up to the plate, it stands to reason their numbers won’t look nearly as good.  We have a society that is real good at moving the rebels and renegades into an arena of impotence.  Don’t think this isn't intentional.
            When we watch crime shows we often lament, “Gee, for how complicated, risky, and demanding the whole operation was, and for how much skill, discipline, and ingenuity was required to operate at a high level for a long period of time, you’d think these criminals would understand that they have what it takes to function in the legal world and prosper.”  Candidate B came to that realization before it was too late.  And he has diligent and intelligent authorities to thank for it, which he does, with genuine, non-sarcastic Christmas cards, and anniversary dates, to this day.
            I, Candidate B do not break the law today.  But likewise, I’m not seeking an expungement.  I enjoy being the example.  I wear it proudly.  With an expungement, you may be inclined to mistake me for candidate A.  We would then be adding to the collateral inefficiency.  No, all experience can be valuable.  Also, that value often extends beyond the tired cliché of “learning your lesson”.  Candidate B’s can and have excelled where others have failed when, if and because they aren’t satisfied to give up those years of their life, twice.
            I later worked myself out of the job.  Like any good therapist, consultant, spiritual guru or practice, it extinguishes itself.  Candidate B was a kindling stick that stirred up the fire, and when it blazed the stick went in to the fire.  I systematized the operation and trained others to work the system.  The company saved money.  Not just in an efficient operation, but also in my salary, which later they were no longer paying.  They could afford to give the other employees raises.  The organization, the clients, and the employees were all better off.  Everyone won. 
          In an example you will read later in this book titled “Political Con-Coctions”, I knew of a guy in a similar situation where one company who wouldnt hire him because of his felony convictions and was a large corporation which had at the time a bad rating with the Better Business Bureau.  Another outfit that gave him a shot was a smaller company with an “A+” rating.  The organization who denied him, wound up folding their sales operations up that year, while the smaller one had a banner year.  I’m not suggesting that having the top salesman from the competition would have explicitly or directly prevented the one company from shutting down that facility.  It was undoubtedly however, one more losing condition in a very impersonal, losing recipe.  The corporation with the “F” was probably conscious of it.  So like (as Dan Kennedy calls them) “Big dumb companies” do, they implemented a blanket policy to deal with it that actually made things worse. 
          When paying attention, you start to see this self-fulfilling misery everywhere.  There is nothing meta-physical about it, but simply a nervousness in the mind which manifests itself in the flesh.
            We may go ahead, and do what the paper tells us to do.  But sooner or later the agency will send over my old pal Tom (if reading online, see part A).  Poor guy always needs a job.  But when we shit-can Tom later, his unemployment equals collateral damage in the society.  The under employment of the candidate B’s of the world is now a massive collateral damage.  Inefficient management is collateral damage.  When letting numbers do our bidding, laziness and ignorance is what we sow.  Collateral damage is what we reap.  Sin.  Suffering.  Collateral inefficiency.  All three are synonymous, and act as a monstrous tax on our robotic, dead, high tech fads and solutions that are not saving us.  They are not saving us time, nor making us more efficient.  The zero sum game prevails.  We borrow and borrow, scatter and scatter, pass the buck on down the line but, the debt is always repaid.  
          There is no bailout coming, just more borrowing from Peter Ponzi to pay Paul and Bernie Madoff.  The hole in the boat is getting bigger and they can’t see where the water is coming in from.  They are simply noticing it getting deeper as Mesonoxia
Is awash.  Evening things up.
A straight 50/50 split
A Wash.  Even Stephen.  A Flood.  A Cleansing.
 Experience Laundering
Digging one deep well may get you a Masters degree.
Thinking in degrees makes you a master.
Digging one deep well may get you to water, may not.
May get you the job, may not.
Digging a myriad shallow holes makes you a master of the dig.
          Familiar with more terrain, the eclectic becomes your niche. You learn quicker the causes and conditions to every effect. You deconstruct the composition expediently, diagnose appropriately, build and create ergonomically, position wisely.
            Common is the man with the expensive, loud, high tech laser scope gun but with which he shoots wildly in the windy night. The M.O. has nothing fancy.  He doesn't need to shoot at every target.  The eyes are open and s/he knows what s/he’s looking for.  He observes patterns.  She positions himself well. The target doesn't see him. It walks right up to her, and sits down.
Point blank.  Click.  Easy.  Done.
The latest technology is…
Not better.
Nor inferior.
Not even
In the middle
Just not mandatory

There is no prerequisite for this position
This qualification not bought with tuition

From any address runs a road to success

As less can be more and more can be less

Like hitting the toll road to find the traffic a mess

And bumper to bumper frustration and stress

Through the trees watch a back street breeze past the Express

What they all get for trusting that damn GPS

You see whether or not the best man is hired
Midnight Train Conductors shall not be retired.
When the rules leave you beaten and
Left uninspired
Gadgets not needed
No Badges Required



The Wash
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
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