At the very start of my freshman year at Eastern Michigan University a Jewish girl asked me why did 6 million have to die. She recognized me from the couple of days of freshman orientation that we both elected to attend. And let me tell you, she was lovely. Did my last name, Herman, lead her to think I might be of German ancestry or did she think I too was Jewish? Why was she asking me this question? I didn't have any clue. I watched "Schindler's List" on Netflix a few days ago and it still boggles my mind how the German people were persuaded to hate Jews. I watched "Judgment At Nuremberg" staring Spencer Tracy a few days ago on PBS. The German judges and one German prosecutor were all given life sentences but all were out of prison within 5 years. It seems we were concerned about Russian aggression and needed the help of the German people. We had to do the Berlin Airlift to save West Berlin. The Berlin Wall went up separating Russian controlled East Berlin from allied controlled West Berlin. There was a cold war and fear of nuclear holocaust.
I watched the piece 60 Minutes did on Michael Bloomberg recently. All I knew about him prior to that piece is that he was mayor of New York for awhile and David Letterman always made fun of how short he was. After watching that piece I see that Mike Bloomberg is a much bigger man than David Letterman. He is the kind of guy you want as your employer or as your president of the US. I had an experience at work near the end of my 22 years of employment there and I think I now have an answer for the lovely Jewish fellow student at college. Debbie was hired by Care Choices, my former employer, not too long after I was hired in. We both made the move from Ann Arbor to Farmington Hills when the company relocated operations from Ann Arbor to Farmington Hills. She shared an apartment with two other female employees and my impression was that it was like a sorority. They rarely cooked a meal for themselves but ordered in or ate out almost all of the time. Bottom line, they enjoyed themselves and weren't saving a dime. I on the other hand lived in a cheap apartment by myself and never went to restaurants and saved every dime I could. I had burnt out at a junior high math teaching job after graduating from Eastern and then did a 3.5 year hitch of active duty with the Navy Reserves. I went back to Eastern using the G. I. Bill and studied accounting. I got a job with the IRS but quit after a few weeks of training. I had worked as a temp for Care Choices in Ann Arbor and they hired me in. Just prior to the move from Farmington Hills I was promoted from the mail room to trade accounts payable clerk. Debbie was doing premium accounts receivable. Eventually she had a falling out with the accounting department and transferred to enrollment. After 10 years I moved from accounts payable to Debbie's old job of premium accounts receivable.
Fast forward 9 more years and the accounts receivable is moved to the enrollment department where Debbie is supervisor of enrollment. She has gotten married and has two boys. Care Choices is going to be sold off and we know it will happen within a year to 18 months. The pressure is building. I have been using my paid time off one day per month for 6 months and two days per month for the other 6 months. We also get 7 paid holidays off per year. I never schedule a day off in the same week there is a holiday and I never schedule a day off at month end when we are especially busy. I'm happy just doing premium accounts receivable. I have one A/R supervisor between me and Debbie. There is another enrollment supervisor who also reports to Debbie. But I start to get feedback that Debbie feels I'm not doing enough. So I sent an email to personnel that perhaps Debbie needs to job shadow me a little just to remind her that I am keeping very busy. My accounting supervisor has no problem with my work or the amount I'm doing so why does Debbie. So Debbie sits with me while I do my job one day and I am able to remind her about all that's involved with this job. I even offer to switch to an enrollment job if someone in enrollment is resentful and would prefer to do my A/R job. There are no takers. A few months go by and Debbie's behavior concerns me. One Friday afternoon at the end of the day I tell Cindy, my A/R supervisor, that I'm going to ask Debbie 'What's wrong?' Cindy says that is probably not a good idea but I go ahead anyway. This is the first and last time I ever went to Debbie's office. I walk in and ask "What's wrong?" Debbie doesn't look at me. She looks down and in a barely audible whisper she says to herself as if she's trying to decide what to say to me 'I have so much to do'. Then she walks up to me, looks up at me, gives me a sardonic grin and just walks out of her office. The whole episode took less than 30 seconds if that. I was totally perplexed. I went back and reported the incident to Cindy. She said to just enjoy my weekend and forget about it.
Well Monday morning the head of claims and enrollment, who Debbie reports to, called me into his office. He said he didn't want a peep out of me and proceeded to censure me. Debbie was there. She told him I went to her office and refused to leave. I wrote an email to personnel about the incident. Eventually he caught up with me in the copy room and said maybe we two need to talk some time. He didn't apologize but his tone was apologetic. I'm sure personnel shared my email with him and he realized he made a mistake in not even asking me what had happened. He had just taken Debbie's word for what happened and assumed I was totally guilty. So why did she do it? Why did the Germans so easily hate the Jews? Here's my take. Debbie had used up all her PTO during each of her two pregnancies. I don't know how good her marriage was. She had taken on more responsibility as she accepted promotions to enrollment supervisor and now supervisor of the combined enrollment and premiums accounts receivable. Care Choices was an HMO by the way. Gone were her care free days as a single lady sharing an apartment and spending every dime just enjoying herself. Here I was a life long single guy, taking 18 PTO days off every year and not under as much job stress. After two job burnouts I knew my limits. It's not only what you are doing but also who you work for that makes a difference. Care Choices was the best employer I had ever had. They were nice to you like Google is to their employees and Mike Bloomberg is to his employees. Bottom line, Debbie was just jealous and resentful of my good situation in life. The Jews in Germany were some of the best and most successful citizens and it didn't take much of a push for the average poverty stricken German to hate them for it. And a successful Israel is resented by the Arabs. That's it in a nutshell. Today, that would be my answer to the lovely Jewish girl of my freshman year at Eastern.
The Syrians overpopulated themselves into extreme poverty. The Mexicans and others south of our border also have overpopulated themselves into misery. When people don't have enough they become desperate. Desperate people do desperate things. Stop overpopulating. Stop doing the things that put you into poverty. Doing drugs or selling drugs is not the answer. Why do you smoke? At least Bloomberg tried to reduce smoking in New York. Even Trump says smoking and drinking are not good ideas. Don't drop out of high school. Don't get knocked up in high school. That is why I preach that we need to end exclusionary zoning so people have a much better chance of making it. People shouldn't be excluded and segregated off into ghettos. I don't want anyone to have any excuses for being miserable except for themselves and their own behavior or poor choices in life.