What I instead found was an interesting article next to another interesting article. They were both below the fold* on the front page. The first article (Man shoots pit bull after it kills grandmother's dog by Times reporter Aaron Bracamontes) was about a pit bull who cold-bloodedly murdered an innocent chihuahua.** I found it interesting because I had just posted my Pit Bull Facts*** just a few days before.
The article, however, that really caught my attention was the one with the headline: Website says EP is 7th unhappiest city to work.**** It stood out because of its bold non-use of capital letters. It was written by Times reporter Daniel Borunda, who is much admired by his colleagues at the newspaper for having a last name that does not seem to rhyme with anything. In it he reported that the website CareerBliss.com ranked El Paso as the 6th worst city to find a job, and the 7th unhappiest city to work in. He also reported that Boulder, CO had the dubious distinction of claiming the number one spot on both those lists.
Dang! Boulder beats us again.
Wait a minute, that doesn't make sense. Just two years ago CareerBliss.com ranked El Paso as the 7th happiest city to work in. I guess that website makes it a habit out of not making sense, because in 2012 they ranked Dayton, OH as having the 2nd unhappiest workers, and then in 2013--just a year later--they ranked them as the happiest. I happen to know for a fact that Dayton, OH workers are neither happy nor unhappy, but are resigned to their lot in life, and are basically just waiting to die.
I called CareerBliss.com, and asked why their rankings fluctuated so wildly.
"I don't know what you're talking about," the company told me. "Now, if you'll excuse us, we have to take our bi-polar medication."
I did find out that the website, when it's not busy advertising various enlargement creams and ointments (if you get my drift), judges various cities by various factors, one of them being the overuse of the word "various."
One factor is worker/boss relationships. Did you know that studies have shown employees prefer having a nice boss over getting a raise? No, really, they do. So bosses have taken advantage of this information by pretending to be nice, instead of giving their employees more money. It's saved them a ton of cash.
Another is worker/co-worker relationships. Can you talk with your co-worker? Can you depend on your co-worker? Can you have sex with your co-worker? Especially the cute one in HR?
CareerBliss.com also considers daily tasks, growth opportunities, and pay. Pay? Okay, they might have a point there. In El Paso, the pay is cheap, but so is its cost of living. Death is cheapest of all, but you have to go across the border for that, and I'm happy staying on this side of the Rio Grande, thank you very much.
A company's culture is also a factor. A company's culture? What does that even mean? I'm not sociologist and I don't play one on TV, so I'll skip that one, and go on to...
I have my own factors for judging a city, the main one being the cost of a city's prostitutes. El Paso has reasonably priced prostitutes, especially if you don't mind 60 year-old massage parlor workers***** or transvestites.
True, El Paso's jobless rate is higher than state or national averages, but who cares? We have cheap prostitutes! Besides, unemployment has been dropping consistently in El Paso for the last year or so, at least according to Bernadette Flores. She's the spokeswoman for Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande, a public employment agency. If she says it, it must be true. because the election's over, and Obama has four more years. She's got no reason to lie.
"We do not collect information on happiness," Daniel Borunda quoted her as saying in his article. "But we do collect human specimens for our intergalactic zoo."
Okay, she really didn't say that, but it would have been pretty cool if she did.
Flores Bernadette, on the other hand, of the Lower Rio Grande Workforce Solutions, begged to differ.
"I beg to differ," she said.
Other lists El Paso has had the honor of being on is one from Men's Fitness magazine, where they ranked El Paso as the 7th fattest city. Houston came in at #1.
Dang, Houston beats us again.
We've also been judged to be the sweatiest, ugliest, hairiest, most pungent, least loved, most disagreeable, most slovenly, hideous, grotesque, horrific, repugnant, gruesome, leprous, offensive, repulsive, homely, and just plain nasty.
Or maybe I'm just thinking about my ex-wives.
Anyway, what I think is that the people who make these silly, unscientific lists pick up their thesaurus, pick out a negative word, and put El Paso's name beside it to save time.
Just like I did.
But we weren't on every negative scorecard making the rounds. For example, El Paso wasn't:
(Although you couldn't tell by the guys I work with.)
(My sister's husband would win this one hands****** down.)
(Although this particular medical condition seemed to run rampant in my second wife's family. None of the women in her family were able to give birth naturally, because the babies always got stuck on their way out.)
(My guess is that no one looked in the massage parlors where those 60 year-old prostitutes/massage therapists worked.)
Lists where El Paso was a contender on were:
Most Likely To Always Vote Democrat.
Most Likely To Vote A Third Term For Obama Even If He's Not Running.
Most Likely To Always Vote The Same Do-Nothings Back Into Office Election After Election.
Most Likely To Complain That Nothing Ever Changes.
Most Likely To Stand In Line For Government Cheese.
Interestingly enough, the Daily Beast news website curiously left El Paso off their 25 Drunkest Cities list. Austin came in at #5.
Dang, Austin beats us... again!
**Can a chihuahua ever really be innocent?
***Did you know that when a pit bull looks at you, it's thinking about the 47 different ways it can kill you? Well, it's true.
****To work in? Work with? Work on? Work for? C'mon, man, which is it?
*****Um, maybe that was Las Cruces, now that I think about it.