Interlude: General Strike

Everyone in Finland is talking about it today, so why not? Even if it hasn’t affected a Finn’s actual workplace – and it has affected a lot of workplaces – the strike[1] has shut down a lot of the country. A lot of key services and industries have closed their doors for the day.

[1] I’m actually seeing a lot of debate as to whether this is a strike or just a strike-esque protest demonstration. Either way, people are walking off their jobs and unions are involved. So let’s just call it a strike.

Public transport is down, so it’s actually gotten slightly cheaper and easier to get yourself from A to B. Seriously, fuck Finland’s public transport.

I am at work, but out of solidarity I am going to let five … no, okay, three typos get through the next draft to cross my desk. Three. SUCK IT, THE MAN.

So yeah, whatever, I guess I’m scabbing? We technical writers don’t have much of a union, although I suppose we have employee representation and some sort of organisation to fall back on. I did my part by spamming the office with Orwell quotes, and now it looks like a thunder storm is brewing (I mean literally), so I may be bumped offline anyway.

Yes, there’s a recession going on. At least, that’s what they tell us when they refuse to give us raises to cover the basic increase in cost of living that happens with inflation every week. Shit, since 2008 it’s been the Global Financial Crisis screwing us over. I don’t see that this is any reason to cut a bunch of the stuff that makes Finland a great place to live and work. Why are we trying to take away the things that separate Finland from the US? The US isn’t doing that great.

Making everyone miserable and taking away the money of people who already can’t afford it is not going to make a recession go away. And ultimately, I guess I would be a lot less sceptical about these measures if they didn’t have a weird Animal Farm vibe to them (hence my Orwellisms). Needless to say, all the workers have to tighten their belts and get ‘us’ out of this. The politicians? No, they’re fine. No austerity measures for them. Poor darlings are starving already, right?

Timo Soini, leader of the EU-sceptical True Finns and foreign minister, told the Financial Times it was time for the country to do some hard work. “If you messed things up yourselves, you must clean it up yourselves. Now we must take strong medicine,” he said.

After you, you colossal shit.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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19 Responses to Interlude: General Strike

  1. dreameling says:

    Why, oh why, does his first name have to be “Timo”? The kaimas I have, shit.

    I was first thinking of taking the day off out of solidarity, then I decided to work normally, since this is not about Lionbridge, but about the Finnish government, and then I got the flu, so now I’m just cold-sweating at home and rewatching the new Sherlock Holmes (BBC) from the bottom of the couch. Because I’m that political.

    Maybe I should turn on the news at least…

  2. dreameling says:

    Addendum: Did you, sir, in fact leave said three typos in that next draft?

  3. “Why are we trying to take away the things that separate Finland from the US?”

    One of us! One of us! One of us![1]

    [1] Or, perhaps, “One of US!”?

    • stchucky says:

      I see what you did there … but honestly, this whole thing just seems baffling to me. Finland is consistently in the news (or, again, splattered over social media) for these ground-breaking and wonderful ways in which it looks after its citizens and makes them among the best-educated and best-cared-for in the world. And … the government is trying to shoot that shit right in the face. For why, please?

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Well, most of Europe started that stupid austerity shit right after our banker overlords destroyed the world economy in 2008. For some reason, these governments (with a few exceptions) seem to think this austerity is working, or will work one day. Perhaps this is yet another government taking that stupid path, but I fully agree with you, it is a shame to give up what I actually viewed as positive, here from my perspective as a murrican.

      • stchucky says:

        In my woefully ignorant opinion, the austerity measures play perfectly into the hands of big business, corrupt politicians, and the 1% (and I know I just basically said the same thing three times). The savings don’t improve our lot, but theirs. This seems particularly impossible to deny in Finland’s case, where none of the measures impact the politicians even slightly. Instead, nurses are being hit. You know, nurses. The rich, coddled scumbags of Western society.

        I already work for an essentially USian company that has always had a problem with how they have to do things in their Scandinavian offices. The Global Economic Meltdown was manna from Heaven for them. It basically gave them free license to turn all the taps down to a trickle, or just straight-up turn them off. Permanently.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        complete agreement.

      • dreameling says:

        Chucky, you forget that our beloved ministers, in an act of exemplary solidarity and selflessness, agreed to forgo one week’s pay! One time. Our parliament representatives, who incidentally make a little less, agreed to cut a total of two week’s pay! One time. So, instead of making the usual €10000, our poor ministers have to do with a measly €7500! For one month. The representatives have to scrape by with even less, the pitiable sods.

        If that’s not love for the people, I don’t know what is, man!

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Hey, in murrica our Congress gives itself a raise every time no matter what, and they even get paid when they shut down our government. So, could be worse.

      • stchucky says:

        Holy crap, I did miss that. Bless them. I bet they had to tighten their fucking belts to survive for a month on only €7,500.

        Soon as I get my citizenship, I think I’ll go into parliament.

      • dreameling says:

        You better lobby for a minister position as fast as you can, or get yourself elected as the speaker. The regular representatives only get €6380 per month (€6858 if they’ve served more than 12 years).

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah, that’s just not enough compared to my current salary. I see what you mean.

      • dreameling says:

        We have it too good at Lionbridge.

      • stchucky says:


  4. dreameling says:

    You should totally redesign your language police shield graphic based on that!

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