Dec 072009

I love stories about regular people standing up to the sleazy practices of corporate America, particularly banks. A recent favorite was the tale of Ann Minch, the California woman who told Bank of America to get fucked after the bank jacked up her BofA credit card interest rate to 30% for no reason other than unbridled greed. Not only did Minch tell the bank she wouldn’t pay off her balance unless it lowered her interest rate, she took her one-woman “debtors’ revolt” to YouTube in September, uploading a video that has been viewed more than 485,000 times and drawn 7,600 comments. The resulting viral buzz pressured BofA to cave and offer Minch a lower interest rate.

Now meet former Bank of America employee Jackie Ramos (video below), who was fired by the bank on Nov. 25 for helping customers who were being gouged by the bank’s policies. As HuffPost’s Arthur Delaney reports:

Ramos, of Fairburn, Ga., worked as a “customer advocate,” which involved calling people who fall behind on credit card payments and either encouraging them to pay or modifying their accounts. But not all customers qualify for modification programs that will help them, and Ramos grew tired of saying no after six months on the job.

“So I stopped denying people,” said Ramos. “I helped people get on programs that they didn’t necessarily qualify for but who definitely needed the help.”

Sort of like what banks did when they were handing out credit cards to high school kids, dogs and others who “didn’t necessarily qualify.” You’d think BofA would have promoted this young woman for taking some initiative instead of terminating her!

On the other hand, an employee who says stuff like this…

“There was something inherently evil about my job.”

…could be a real buzz kill at the office Christmas party.

Watch Jackie’s YouTube video explaining why Bank of America fired her. It’s another inside, personal account spotlighting the soulless, self-serving policies that compel corporations to abuse their customers and prey upon the weak and helpless.

Dec 072009

Has there ever been an annual charade more insipid or cynical than Fox News shout-fest bully Bill O’Reilly’s grandstanding efforts to gin up a scary “War On Christmas”? Here’s O’Reilly’s latest pathetic effort to position himself as the Christian holiday’s noble and heroic defender:

Dec 012009

I got laid off yesterday, nearly 11 years with the same online publisher ending with a two-minute phone call from the CEO. It was one of the best days of my life, not because of the adrenaline-fueled euphoria you initially feel when you lose a job you loath, but because it gave me an excuse […]

Nov 252009

Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino, her feet firmly placed in Opposite World, on Fox News last night (video below) discussing President Obama’s moral obligation to label the mass shootings at Fort Hood by an Army major – and Muslim – an act of terror: “We did not have a terrorist attack on our country […]

Nov 232009

I was sitting in a Dunkin’ Donuts with my 5-year-old son, killing time while my older daughter took an Irish step dancing lesson. My boy was telling me about a kindergarten project for which he had to draw hearts and names on a piece of paper. “I wrote ‘Dad’ and ‘Mom’ and ‘Casey.’” “Who’s Casey? […]

Nov 132009
Kids Say the Darndest Things (Often When Shutting Up Would Be Vastly Preferable)

I was in my usual coffee shop the other day when a guy with a very young boy began vacating an adjacent table. I had my laptop on and was going through my Twitter friends timeline, trying to tune out the surrounding commotion, when I heard a small voice to my right say, “Dad, is […]

Nov 072009

Immediately after delivering his brief Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln deemed it a “flat failure.” Indeed, for all its subsequent historical significance, Lincoln’s speech was met on that solemn fall day with thundering silence. And no wonder: It was in desperate need of punching up. If only Cursebird, the real-time feed […]

Nov 062009

It’s weird when you take a break from a blog. When the hiatus drags on too long, you start to feel awkward — even embarrassed — about coming back. Which, when you think about it, makes absolutely no sense for two reasons: 1) It’s your fucking blog, and 2) No one really noticed you were […]

Jun 022009

I know some of my good friends on Twitter have noticed I haven’t been tweeting as much lately. It’s not for any bad reasons and it isn’t by design; it happened gradually as a number of activities and other phenomena began competing for my time and energy this spring. So in the interest of full […]

May 142009

One day last year I listened to Rush Limbaugh for five minutes — my annual quota — ranting about government efforts to educate Americans on the benefits of switching to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) from regular light bulbs to save energy. Listening to him that day I realized what he does purely is an act. […]