Freestyle Riffing

I played in the band in high school. I know that this particular bit of trivia is more or less completely unimportant except to cement my complete dorktitude in the minds of my readers, but I mention it for a very good reason. The only reason that I participated in the high school band was for the opportunity to play in the jazz band. While my particular tastes run more towards small-group innovative funk and fusion jazz styles, the big band format that is standard for high school jazz bands was the closest that I could get. I would labor for half a year in a polyester/nylon blend marching uniform and then struggle for the rest of the year to perfect the dumbed-down version of concert music which only sounded slightly odd as it was belted from a saxophone, all so that I could play 20 minutes of blue notes and improvisational riffs. These creative solos were the highlight of the year and it was the only part of band in which I actually put forth any effort.

So you can imagine the cognitive dissonance being created by my new negative association with the word “riff.” For those of you who work for actual money and weren’t privy to the faculty meeting here at the Top Heavy Tower of Turbulence, the Great State of Constipation has announced that they will be providing so little money to the public school system this year that schools will be forced to fire large numbers of their teachers. The policies and procedures for firing people are being referred to as a “rif” or “reduction in force.”

Of course it’s never so simple as that. You see, the state hasn’t actually decided on a budget for next year; the numbers we are getting are just predictions. In fact, the state has until October to pass a budget, which makes it actually impossible to determine how many staff we’ll be able to keep for the start of next school year. To add to this unholy mess the county hasn’t approved a budget either and isn’t required to approve one until June. Meanwhile the school districts ARE required to let teachers know if they will have a job next year by May. Doesn’t this make perfect sense? The schools can’t make a decision until the county and state make one, the county can’t make one until the state makes one, and the state won’t make one until they can figure out who to blame for this giant steaming pile of crap we call a budget.

Yes, it IS seven layers of Fantastic with a little dash of You’re Screwed tossed on top for flavor.

It’s these kinds of situations which get me fired up enough to contemplate actually running for office. I know, right?! Can you imagine my barely contained contempt for stupidity in a political “debate”? There might actually be hurled objects and unfortunate comparisons to farm animals.

On the upside, it would appear that being a completely obscure internet blogger is going to be my Plan B. I was completely unable to secure the small business loan for my urban goat farming venture and so now I’m back to Square 1.


One thought on “Freestyle Riffing

  1. irishpirate81

    Yesterday we had a massive RIF at my place of employment. Over 200 positions. It was a big secret and no one knew who was going to be terminated until that fateful phone call to “please step into my office” was made. I’ve known about this massive, yet top secret, RIF for 3 weeks and had convinced myself I would be ‘let go’ along with the masses. I saw my future… jobless, homeless, and living in my Nissan Versa (why didn’t i get the hatchback?!?) and selling my body for tricks in no time. But the day came and passed and I find myself still gainfully employed. And, to be honest, a little sad about it. If riffed, I would have had full salary and benefits for another 6 weeks plus a severence package. I could be getting drunk in my underwear while still getting paid RIGHT NOW instead of doing what I’m doing: which is creating a spreadsheet that calculates the number of days, hours, and mintutes I’ll be at this desk until I can retire (7800, 62400, 3744000)… Talk about a missed opportunity.
    RIP you lucky riffed sons of @#$%^…


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