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News From the Department of Compassion
February 6, 2002
by Anthony G. Hendricks

The Department of Compassion, formally known as The Labor Department, announced today release of a training video to assist laid off, downsized, and Enronized workers. Enronized workers are those workers left holding the bag after corrupt management managed the company into bankruptcy making the worker’s 401k’s nearly worthless. This video is not for executives or CEO’s or upper management, as they typically pay themselves huge bonuses and sell their stock before the bottom falls out. Plus they have a huge safety net; they can always rely on the government to help them out. In fact this video has been put together by former Enron executives and managers who now work for the Department of Compassion. Enough background, let’s get to the exciting news.

The video is titled: ‘From Middle class to Peasant, How to Make the Transition’. The video first brings us into the Life of George, a typical white middle class male who loses his job at age fifty, when the company ships his job overseas to take advantage of slave labor. When we first meet George, he’s just received his pink slip and is contemplating suicide or going postal. A life long member of the NRA and Republican party he can’t understand how this could happen to him. George feels that maybe he’s not being treated fairly. Normally he’d blame a Democrat or other wily commie leaning socialist type, but with Republicans occupying the White House and in control of Congress and in control of the Supreme Court, he has no one to use as a scapegoat.

Here’s where the video cuts in, a wise monkey in a little hat hops up onto George’s desk and says, ‘George that’s wrong, just say no to suicide or going postal, I’m here to tell you that you too can make the adjustment to peasantry and learn to beg for peanuts just like me.’

“How am I going to make payments on my truck and house?”

“You’re not. Oh you’ll try, but being over forty-five the only jobs available to you will be part time without benefits. Yes, you too can be one of those happy employees working part time at minimum wage at a humongous retail chain. Look on the bright side, the 40 hour work week will be a thing of the past.”

“Where will I live?”

“In trees like me. Or a cardboard refrigerator box, although the rent on those is rising.”

“I’ve never lived like that, I was born and raised in a Ranch house with three bedrooms and two toilets.”

“Well George, you know there is a war on and everybody has got to make sacrifices.”

“I don’t see everybody making sacrifices. How come the executives got a bonus?”

“They got a bonus George because they cut your job, along with thousands more like you and sent those jobs over seas, where starving people will work for practically nothing. You should be grateful to be living in America land of the free and the brave.”

“I don’t feel grateful anymore, I used to, I used to feel real grateful.”

“Becoming a peasant’s not so bad; to help you make the transition, the Department of Compassion is donating to you 100 gallons of the cheapest wine we could buy from a Big Campaign Contributor.”

Suddenly George took the Department of Compassion Monkey by the neck and throttled it. The video cut out at that point. The Department of Compassion says they are now working on a new video. They’ve decided that a robot might be a better trainer than a monkey. They believe a computerized robot can deliver the desired message without arousing as much anger. The head on the robot looks exactly like a television set. A television with rabbit ears. We’ll review the new video when available. Until then, the middle class will have to struggle in making the transition to peasantry on their own. Good Luck!

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