Monday, May 26, 2014

Strike me! - São Paulo

My view of the stopped buses during last week's strike

A friend of mine sent the following link to me this afternoon and it gave me the best laugh I've had all day (given it was a pretty dry day for laughter since I had to go fight with FIFA about my Cup tickets). The article talks about the strike planned by CET tomorrow--CET are the traffic cops who give tickets, direct traffic if the stoplight stops working (often) and probably do something else that I don't know what it is. They are affectionately (?) known as the marronzinhos or Little Brownies. No, zero girl scout cookies.

What made me laugh is how they are doing the strike. It is not a full-frontal assault--a work stoppage where people walk off the job. Nope. Much more crafty and fun: The CET workers are going to go en masse to donate blood. It's not because they are feeling community-minded, but because they get to take the rest of the day off after donating blood. Every blood center will provide donors with a "medical excuse" for the rest of the work day. I know this because I have also given blood here and was given the rest of the day off. Theoretically, since I don't have a boss. Sorry, BH, you do not count.

Now I am wondering if I can just escape paying parking or make a run with my car that is not supposed to move tomorrow because of rodizio (rodizio explained here).  Frankly, I am not too worried about CET taking the day--in fact, I encourage it. I find them most unhelpful in any case.

This is all following on two weeks of strikes of buses, of metros, of trains, of professors and who knows who else. Of course all these unions are taking advantage of the fact that the world cup comes anon. The world is watching us right now. Last week was absolute chaos as bus drivers literally walked off buses and left them parked where they were in the middle of traffic.  I know two people who had to walk home and it took them more than three hours. One lady interviewed on TV had walked home for 10 hours, fed her kids, then turned around and walked back to work the next day.

All I know is that most of these strikes affect only the middle to lower class. Does anyone believe that the construction company executives and the politicians take the bus? Many don't even take a car--maybe the helicopter pilots and bodyguards should strike. The quantity and diversity of the groups striking is definitely making me laugh, especially as my favorite comic writer, Jose Simão talks about having to have rodizio (taking turns) of various groups, including headless Barbies (link here). Maybe we should all have a strike on the same day and we can all just stop. And have a glass of wine.

I am pretty tired of having to plan out how I am going to get my kids at the end of the day. My only warning to the strikers (some of whom I sympathize with, and some I don't) is that if you get between me and my kids, the mama bear will go into action. The Blacky Blockies have nothing on me. 

Anyway, enjoy double-parking at the blood donation center. Hey, and take the rest of the day off!

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