Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life on the farm - In a corporate world I am one of the 99%

Until recently I didn't disclose the nature of my 9-5 job. I choose not to for fear of rotten tomatoes and a decline in readership. Today however I came out of the closet. I am a banker for a large, corporate bank that has been in existence for over 100 years.  I am also a hobby farmer and one of the 99%.

This Occupy movement hasn't ever settled well with me. I suppose that is because I subscribe to another school of thought. That is, to continue as usual but have the skills to take care of yourself, mind, body and soul if the need ever arises. This is the basis of the Rural Living farm and hobby farming. I don't like to consider myself as one of them but for the sake of this blog post, and in reality, I am. Your probably are too.

We created the Rural Living farm to become partially self sustaining, to produce fresh food in an environment that I am sure is clean from pesticides or a multitude of other undisclosed chemicals, to save money and to be prepared in case I loose my job or in the rare event we have a terrorist attack on the grid, internet or any other vital infrastructure that would at the least cripple our normal way of life. Yes, it could happen.

Which brings me to the 99% and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Last November when a loosely formed group decided in their infinite wisdom to promote a "Change your Bank" day it made my blood boil. Not because I am a corporate girl who defends what my employer does at every turn, I don't. Who in this world agrees with every decision that is made in the workplace? Very few I would guess but we go along with those changes and move forward.. I love what I do and am very appreciative to have a job that pays well and has good benefits but I also watch the clock on most days and can't wait to get home to get my dirt fix. The weekends can't come quick enough either but that has nothing to do with my job and everything to do with my passion.

What angered me was that the protests were aimed at the corporate elite without consideration for the rest of us. Those of use who are just like the 99% movement protesters.  The majority of the people who make up the corporate banks, the employees, low men and women on the corporate totem pole who just want to make a living.

Did the protesters consider that their actions could have potentially make the situation worse had a majority of Americans actually withdrawn their deposits from corporate banks and moved them to credit unions? It would have resulted in something much worse; hundreds of thousands of more people unemployed at a time when unemployment was unprecedented. I don't think they even gave that a thought. Had the event been a success, then what would the Occupy movement have accomplished?

I will agree, when we clock in at 9:00 everyday and wear the corporate logo on our badges or in some cases pressed Polo's with the corporate logo embroidered on the front we are representing the corporation. However, in realty we are no different than those who are active 99%'ers. We are paid decent wages but we are no where near the elite 1%. Protest our corporation if you must but please keep us in mind as well.

Fortune for me and the hundreds of thousands of bankers just like me, Change your Bank day failed. However, I was ready. I was ready to survive because we created this hobby farm. I knew if there was a worse case scenario I could make it. Not by finding another job but because we have created a pretty strong self sustaining farm, with the tools and knowledge to move further if the need arises.

So protest as you feel you should but I am sticking my heels in the ground too. As a banker in a corporate bank and a pretty darn good one too, I am also a hobby farmer with enough rich soil and knowledge to at least move forward. Bring it on and we'll see who survives.

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