Is Binary Options Trading in Canada Legal? - The Leader

Binary Option Scams In Canada - Two Companies Charged

Offshore scammers have their eyes on your pocket book. “[N]o business is currently registered or authorized to market or sell binary options in Canada,” the Canadian Securities Administrators said in an Investor Alert today.
The risk is not merely the loss of money, CSA said.
“Canadians are exposing themselves to the high risk of identity theft and fraud when signing up for these platforms that often request their credit card information,” said Louis Morisset, chair of the CSA and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers, Quebec’s secutities regulator. “The CSA warns investors that if they deal with these platforms, they risk the threat of thousands of dollars in unauthorized withdrawals on their credit cards and of being stuck with high-interest payments for a non-existent investment.”
Binary options, CSA said, “are like ‘bets’ on how an asset (currency, stock, etc.) will perform in a limited amount of time – they are ‘all or nothing’ wagers, similar to gambling. However, even when investors see virtual gains, they often cannot access these profits as they don’t exist.” http://patrickpretty.com/2016/03/23/csa-no-business-currently-registered-authorized-market-sell-binary-options-canada/
submitted by dailyflyer to Scams [link] [comments]

Five Israelis charged in binary options fraud cases in Canada, US

Five Israelis charged in binary options fraud cases in Canada, US submitted by Puffin_fan to CashApps [link] [comments]

Statistics Canada begins testing non-binary gender options in surveys

Statistics Canada begins testing non-binary gender options in surveys submitted by jesusporkshit to canada [link] [comments]

Statistics Canada begins testing non-binary gender options in surveys

submitted by urgukvn to worldnews [link] [comments]

Statistics Canada begins testing non-binary gender options in surveys

Statistics Canada begins testing non-binary gender options in surveys submitted by KellyfromLeedsUK to BreakingNews24hr [link] [comments]

In the news • Canada’s binary task force wants Google to ban binary options and cryptocurrency Ads

submitted by btcforumbot to BtcForum [link] [comments]

Investment Opportunities in Canada & Why Binary Options is The Way to Thrive on Them

Investment Opportunities in Canada & Why Binary Options is The Way to Thrive on Them submitted by alpharas to FinancialAdvice [link] [comments]

/r/Popheads 150k Subscriber Census Results!

Hello! Here is the general sum of the 150k census survey! We had a total of 2697 participants - a 3% decrease from the 75k subscriber census.
View the full results here!

Age Demographics of /Popheads

Age Participants Percent
2 1 0.04%
12 1 0.04%
13 6 0.25%
14 18 0.74%
15 28 1.15%
16 65 2.67%
17 119 4.90%
18 160 6.58%
19 184 7.57%
20 222 9.14%
21 250 10.29%
22 240 9.88%
23 219 9.01%
24 179 7.37%
25 138 5.68%
26 138 5.68%
27 107 4.40%
28 80 3.29%
29 64 2.63%
30 55 2.26%
31 30 1.23%
32 23 0.95%
33 22 0.91%
34 13 0.53%
35 26 1.07%
36 9 0.37%
37 3 0.12%
38 4 0.16%
39 3 0.12%
41 1 0.04%
43 4 0.16%
44 1 0.04%
45 1 0.04%
46 1 0.04%
50 1 0.04%
51 1 0.04%

Gender Demographics

(Please note that the creator of this census, me (picc), is a cis female who intended on the next two questions being gender vs sex identity and realized that the original wording of the questions were a bit confusing. I'm sorry for this and we will make sure that it's more clear in the future.)
Gender vs Sex Identity Participants Percent
Agender 21 0.79%
Cis-Gender 2455 92.36%
Genderfluid 1 0.04%
Non-Binary 6 0.23%
Pan-Gender 1 0.04%
Trans-Gender 89 3.35%
Questioning 67 2.52%
Other 18 0.68%
Sex identity Participants Percent
Binary 1 0.04%
Female 983 36.58%
Gender-non-conforming 1 0.04%
Genderfluid 1 0.04%
Genderqueer 11 0.41%
Male 1579 58.76%
Non-binary 72 2.68%
Non-binary man 1 0.04%
Other 2 0.07%
Pangender 1 0.04%
Questioning 32 1.19%
Transmasculine 2 0.07%
Transfeminine 1 0.04%

Sexual Orientation Demographics

Sexual Orientation Participants Percent
Asexual 54 2.01%
Bi and Ace 1 0.04%
Bicurious 2 0.07%
Bisexual 604 22.54%
Demisexual 2 0.07%
Don’t Identify 1 0.04%
Gay 849 31.68%
I don't know 6 0.22%
Lesbian 106 3.96%
Other 9 0.34%
Pan, lesbian-leaning 1 0.04%
Panromantic Ace 1 0.04%
Pansexual 72 2.69%
Queer 89 3.32%
Questioning 5 0.19%
Straight 878 32.76%

Current Relationship Status

Relationship Status Participants Percent
Cohabitating 152 5.65%
In a relationship 474 17.63%
Married/Domestic Partnership 166 6.18%
Single 1896 70.54%

Ethnicity Demographics

Ethnicity Participants Percent
Asian (includes East Asian, Southeast Asian, and origins in the Indian subcontinent) 392 14.59%
Askenazi Jewish 1 0.04%
Australian 1 0.04%
Black 107 3.98%
Hawaiian / Pacific Islander 5 0.19%
Hispanic/Latino/Latina (non-white) 140 5.21%
Hispanic/Latino/Latina (white) 187 6.96%
Indeginous Australian / Aboriginal Australian 5 0.19%
Indigenous American / Native American 14 0.52%
Indigenous Canadian 1 0.04%
Indo European 1 0.04%
Jewish 4 0.15%
Kurdish 1 0.04%
Middle Eastern 50 1.86%
Mixed / Biracial 142 5.28%
NZ Maori/Pakeha 1 0.04%
Other 4 0.15%
Romani 1 0.04%
White (Non-Hispanic/Latino/Latina) 1630 60.66%

Location Demographics

Location Participants Percent
Australia/New Zealand 165 6.14%
Canada 245 9.11%
Caribbean 4 0.15%
Central America 5 0.19%
Central Asia 1 0.04%
Central Europe 1 0.04%
East Asia 8 0.30%
Eastern Africa 1 0.04%
Eastern Europe 48 1.79%
Middle East 26 0.97%
North America 29 1.08%
Northern Africa 5 0.19%
Northern Europe 55 2.05%
Oceania 1 0.04%
Russia 5 0.19%
South America 90 3.35%
South Asia 20 0.74%
Southeastern Africa 2 0.07%
Southeastern Asia 85 3.16%
Southern Africa 4 0.15%
Southern Europe 33 1.23%
United Kingdom 260 9.67%
United States 1474 54.82%
Western Asia 1 0.04%
Western Europe 121 4.50%

Native English Speakers

The highest non-english native languages were: Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, French, Filipino, Polish, Arabic, Italian, and Swedish!

Education Demographics

Highest Level of Education Participants Percent
Attained High School degree or equivalent 213 7.93%
Completed Masters/Doctorate or equivalent 198 7.37%
Completed undergraduate or equivalent 879 32.74%
Still in High School or lower 305 11.36%
Still in college/got some college credit 1090 40.60%

Employment Demographics

Please note this census occurred as the COVID-19 shutdowns began, so this may not be completely reflective of the current status of Popheads.
Employment Status Participants Percent
Employed - Full Time 844 31.38%
Employed - Part Time 386 14.35%
Not Employed 333 12.38%
Self Employed 64 2.38%
Student (Not Employed) 1063 39.52%

Mental and Physical Health Statistics

Food Preferences

There were so many! Here are the top 5:
Note - this is the same as the last census!

How Long Have You Been a Part of the Community?

Popheads Status Participants Percent
1-2 years 869 32.32%
2+ years 1074 39.94%
3 to 6 months 170 6.32%
6 to 9 months 166 6.17%
9 months to 1 year 273 10.15%
Less than 3 months 137 5.09%

We're Overrun By Lurkers!

Lurkability Participants Percent
Lurk 1290 47.97%
Only comment 595 22.13%
Rarely comment and post 406 15.10%
Comment and post sometimes 331 12.31%
Comment and post often 67 2.49%

Other Subreddits We Use

Blackpink is in WHICH area?
HipHopHeads, Indieheads, Music, Kpop, ListenToThis, LetsTalkMusic, EDM, WeAreTheMusicMakers, ElectronicMusic, and R&BHeads say hello

Popheads is the Best Music Sub, and we have the talent to prove it

85.2% of us (2277 respondents) primarily use Popheads, while 14.8% (395 respondents) do not
88.6%% of us use Popheads as our primary source of entertainment! We also primarily use Pitchfork, NPR, and Rolling Stone.
We love making our own music! Just kidding. 82.6% (2,208) of our respondents don't make their own music.

Listening Hours and Methods

Hours spend listening to music per week

Hours of Listening Participants Percent
<5 hours 144 5.37%
6-10 424 15.81%
11-15 442 16.48%
16-20 430 16.03%
21-30 497 18.53%
31-40 318 11.86%
41-50 168 6.26%
>50 hours 259 9.66%

Percentage of that time listening to new music

New Music? Participants Percent
<20% 1719 64.09%
21-40% 755 28.15%
41-60% 156 5.82%
61-80% 40 1.49%
81-100% 12 0.45%
A little more than half of our participants listen to "pop" music more than 50% of the time.
We use phones as our primary source of listening tool, followed by computer, radio, music player, and others. We buy our music primarily as digital downloads, but plenty of us (919, 46%) buy CDs, and the cool kids (760, 38.1%) buy vinyl.
Spotify came out on top as the primary streaming service with 2,160 participants using it, followed by YouTube at 1,605 participants. (This and the above were multiple answer options). Apple Music came in with 549 participants, barely beating out Soundcloud who had 469!

Miscellaneous

We're suckers for Pitchfork!
73.8% of participants have friends they can comfortably discuss music with.
We are also a part of other communities on Last.fm and Discord! Though, 875 people said they are not part of other communities.

Favorites

Top 5 TV Shows: The Good Place, Bojack Horseman, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, and The Office
Top 5 Movies: Parasite, Mean Girls, La La Land, Titanic, and Interstellar
Top 5 Video Games: Animal Crossing, Minecraft, The Sims, Pokemon, and Skyrim
Top 5 Musical Acts: Taylor Swift, Charli XCX, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, and Lorde
Top 5 Books: Harry Potter, 1984, The Great Gatsby, A Little Life, and Lord of the Rings
Lots of you still don't read or have a favorite book!

Artists We Rated

Heavily Favored (Primarily 4s and 5s)

Heavily Disliked (Primarily 1s and 2s)

Mixed Bag (Leaning neither way)

All pets were 5/5 thank you

submitted by Piccprincess to popheads [link] [comments]

r/pharmacy 2020 demographics survey results!

The pharmacy 2020 demographics survey results are here! There were 258 respondents this year. Please note that the numbers will not necessarily add up to 100%, since all questions were optional. Sorry in advance for the crappy Excel graphs.
Location
Most respondents hailed from the US (233; 90.3%), followed by Canada (10; 3.9%), United Kingdom (8; 3.1%), New Zealand (2; 0.8%), and 1 respondent each from Australia, Indonesia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Taiwan.
Of the 233 Americans, the top 3 states were California (20; 8.6%), Pennsylvania (18; 7.7%), and Texas (18; 7.7%).
The 10 Canadians were from Ontario (5; 50%), British Columbia (2; 20%), Alberta (1; 10%), Nova Scotia (1; 10%), and Quebec (1; 10%).
Demographics
Of the 258 respondents, 130 (50.4%) identified as female, 123 (47.7%) as male, and 3 (1.2%) as non-binary.
Age distribution is shown in the below table. A few statistics: minimum 19, maximum 68, mean 29.0, median 28, mode 26.
https://preview.redd.it/qxyxs2sj09c51.png?width=554&format=png&auto=webp&s=202bef88a53fa8596182435590ba9de8eb3646c9
In terms of race/ethnicity, the categories from most to least common were as follows: white (156; 60.5%), Asian (55; 21.3%), 2 or more races (11; 4.3%), black (9; 3.5%), Hispanic or Latino (8; 3.1%), Indian subcontinent (6; 2.3%), Arab (4; 1.6%), Native American or American Indian (2; 0.8%), and Armenian (1; 0.4%).
General employment questions
Of the 258 respondents, 169 (65.5%) were pharmacists, 55 (21.3%) were pharmacy students, 22 (8.5%) were non-pharmacist staff, and 8 (3.1%) were pre-pharmacy students. There were also 1 each of the following: corporate pharmacy compliance, pharmacy wholesaler, pharmacology student, and other healthcare professional.
Most respondents (169; 65.5%) were employed full time (defined as > 30 hours/week), while 19 (7.4%) were employed part time. 49 respondents (19.0%) were full time students (not necessarily in pharmacy), 13 (5.0%) were unemployed, 4 (1.6%) worked outside of the field of pharmacy, 2 (0.8%) were self-employed, 1 (0.4%) was retired, and 1 (0.4%) was consulting/contracting.
There was a nearly equal split between respondents working in suburban (99; 38.4%) vs. urban (97; 37.6%) locations, followed by 21 (8.1%) in rural locations and 15 (5.8%) working remotely (apologies - I should have made this question/response more clear, but based on a jump compared to last year's survey, I think people working from home temporarily due to COVID-19 may have chosen this option).
A pie chart of primary place of employment is shown below, with the top 7 responses shown in the legend: community/retail (136; 52.7%), hospital including outpatient (48; 18.6%), pharmaceutical industry including CROs (11; 4.3%), mail ordespecialty/home infusion (9; 3.5%), unemployed (8; 3.1%), long-term care/hospice (8; 3.1%), and ambulatory care (5; 1.9%). Please note that the unemployed category includes non-working full time students.
https://preview.redd.it/csyipt0hs9c51.png?width=297&format=png&auto=webp&s=3b91337feb634a61730ccfbdd09aa8a0fdda6d7a
A small proportion (42; 16.3%) of respondents reported having a second job. Of these, the most common fields of employment were: hospital including outpatient (10; 23.8%), community/retail (8; 19.0%), and self employment/side hustle (7; 16.7%).
Salary
For the following charts, I only included those working full time. Below is a histogram for full time pharmacist salary worldwide, as well as a table showing some stats for global, US, and ex-US salaries.
https://preview.redd.it/n16j31x1v9c51.png?width=447&format=png&auto=webp&s=624581f5b94c917c417ac39da92cf9eb4c77130c
Global (139 responses) US (130 responses) Ex-US (9 responses)
Minimum $11,000 $11,000 $43,050
Maximum $300,000 $300,000 $230,000
Mean $116,284 $118,909 $78,375
Median $120,000 $120,961 $63,000
Below is the histogram for full time non-pharmacist staff worldwide. There was only 1 ex-US respondent, so I didn't separate out the stats. Here they are: minimum $15,000; maximum $72,000; mean $37,767; median $37,000.
https://preview.redd.it/q2w4f7t5y9c51.png?width=384&format=png&auto=webp&s=300c4992413830cb45befa7ffa9e24e9d5c2370d
Community/retail pharmacy
The pie chart shown below shows the breakdown of pharmacy type for the 136 respondents working in community/retail pharmacy. I'm not exactly sure what Genoa means, so I left that one as is.
https://preview.redd.it/begscv9fz9c51.png?width=288&format=png&auto=webp&s=c22e8ba0797ef1829bb9f0b30db9351b059a3264
Roles within community/retail pharmacy are displayed below.
https://preview.redd.it/l6l3w94zz9c51.png?width=265&format=png&auto=webp&s=ff10c40fd56bc3334762c06a5e6dc4e61a1004d8
The pie chart below displays responses regarding the impact of COVID-19 on hours/salary.
https://preview.redd.it/ugvcv06fbac51.png?width=276&format=png&auto=webp&s=60e055f753ed52c69220fb00e8ef817672804ebd
Hospital pharmacy (including outpatient)
There were 48 respondents working in hospital pharmacy. Bed count at their institutions is shown in the graph below.
https://preview.redd.it/1mv5r0ne1ac51.png?width=382&format=png&auto=webp&s=f46fa5df7be0c5b7d24603a218043fe4cb92f1bd
Roles within hospital pharmacy are displayed below.
https://preview.redd.it/4a3xewk72ac51.png?width=280&format=png&auto=webp&s=9d9a2dbd99882673300ad51e43808d90eb35d8a4
Of the 38 hospital pharmacists, 13 (34.2%) had completed a residency, and 5 (13.2%) were currently completing a residency. The remainder (20; 52.6%) were not pursuing nor had ever completed a residency.
The top 3 clinical specialties were ambulatory care, emergency medicine, and oncology (3 respondents each). Note that it was possible to choose more than 1 specialty.
The pie chart below displays responses regarding the impact of COVID-19 on hours/salary.
https://preview.redd.it/b9pj5l3sbac51.png?width=278&format=png&auto=webp&s=b0478e7ea600140253b9dc53066210412967d4cd
Pharmaceutical industry (including CROs)
Eleven respondents (4.3%) reported working in the pharmaceutical industry. The breakdown by department is shown in the table below.
Department Number of Respondents
Drug Safety and Risk Management/Pharmacovigilance 2
Medical Communications/Education/Information 2
Regulatory Affairs 2
Clinical Pharmacology/Pharmacokinetics 1
Clinical Research & Development (including Clinical Operations) 1
Formulation 1
Marketing/Business Analytics 1
Medical Science Liaison 1
The breakdown by level was as follows: PharmD Fellow (3; 27.3%), Associate/Specialist (6; 54.5%), ManageSupervisor (1; 9.1%), Director (1; 9.1%). Five respondents had completed or were currently completing a fellowship. Four of these 5 provided their salaries during their fellowships, with an average of $50,000.
Pharmacy and pre-pharmacy students
There were 63 respondents (24.4%) who reported being pharmacy or pre-pharmacy students. Of these, the top 3 desired fields upon graduation were: hospital including residencies (16; 25.4%), undecided (13; 20.6%), and community/retail (11; 17.5%).
These 63 students attended (or planned to attend) 45 different schools worldwide. The 5 most common schools reported were as follows: University of Toronto (3; 4.8%), Feik School of Pharmacy (2; 3.2%), Ohio State University (2; 3.2%), Temple University (2; 3.2%), and University of Colorado (2; 3.2%).
The breakdown by year was as follows: undergraduate/pre-pharmacy (8; 12.7%), PY1 (4; 6.3%), PY2 (18; 28.6%), PY3 (16; 25.4%), and PY4 (13; 20.6%). Of the 13 PY4 students, 2 reported having a job lined up after graduation, both in community/retail.
Most students (45; 71.4%) were working in a pharmacy setting while in school. Stats for the number of hours worked weekly were as follows: minimum 3; maximum 34; mean 15.8; median 15. The most common duties interns were authorized to perform at their jobs were counseling patients (38; 84.4%), administering immunizations (24; 53.3%), and product verification (17; 37.8%). Note that interns could choose more than 1 option.
Of the 63 students, 36 (57.1%) reported that they would choose to attend pharmacy school again if they could go back in time, knowing what they know now. Sixteen students (25.4%) reported that they would decide on a different career path, and 5 (7.9%) were unsure.
Following pharmacy school, some students were considering pursuing the following degrees (top 3 listed): MPH (6; 9.5%), MD (4; 6.3%), and MBA (3; 4.8%).
Results from additional questions are shown in chart form below.
https://preview.redd.it/mls7e2139ac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=5db3ec80fd6e1934c787941278b7b755ad802a45
https://preview.redd.it/p9p44ifm9ac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=faf04b54ed228cc0cf110d06ed27bfd524ba894f
https://preview.redd.it/8p7qq205aac51.png?width=464&format=png&auto=webp&s=ae5d53c284cd86ff787498dad58c4d625ae2afb1
Pharmacists
There were 169 pharmacists, from 91 different pharmacy schools. The most common alma maters were Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy (RU RAH RAH!!) with 6 respondents (3.6%), University of Pittsburgh with 5 respondents (3.0%), and the following 5 schools with 4 respondents each: Northeastern University, Ohio Northern University, University of Colorado, University of Georgia, and University of Kansas.
Most pharmacists (152; 89.9%) were currently practicing pharmacy. Five (3.0%) had practiced in the past but were no longer practicing, and 10 (5.9%) had never practiced after graduating. Of those currently practicing pharmacy, the statistics on the number of years in practice were as follows: minimum 0.1; maximum 35; mean 4.8; and median 3.
Nearly half of pharmacists (75; 49.3%) said they would choose a different career path if they could go back in time, knowing what they know now, while 71 pharmacists (46.7%) said they would still choose to pursue pharmacy.
Local practice standards
About half of pharmacists (84; 55.3%) reported administering (or being allowed to administer) many types of immunizations, while 3 (2.0%) reported that pharmacists were not allowed in their location. A further 63 pharmacists (41.4%) did not administer immunizations simply because it was not part of their job description (eg, hospital inpatient).
Regarding therapeutic interchange for non-controlled prescriptions, 63 pharmacists (41.4%) reporting being authorized to update a prescription only after consulting the prescriber. An additional 43 pharmacists (28.3%) were allowed to update a prescription as long as the prescriber was notified afterwards (ie, without prior permission), and 8 pharmacists (5.3%) were allowed per institutional protocol or collaborative practice agreement. Twenty-four pharmacists (15.8%) reported that a new prescription would be required and that no updates by the pharmacist were allowed.
For controlled prescriptions, 24 pharmacists (15.8%) reported being allowed to change any/all elements of the prescription following consultation with the prescriber, and 4 pharmacists (2.6%) were allowed per institutional protocol or collaborative practice agreement. Sixty-six pharmacists (43.4%) were allowed to change certain (but not all) elements, while 40 (26.3%) could not change any part of a controlled prescription and required the prescriber to issue a new one.
Regarding pharmacist prescribing, most pharmacists (110; 72.4%) were not allowed to prescribe medications. Nineteen pharmacists (12.5%) could prescribe for certain health conditions, 3 (2.0%) could prescribe for any health condition, and 2 (1.3%) could prescribe per institutional protocol or collaborative practice agreement.
Results from additional questions are shown in chart form below.
https://preview.redd.it/9q4wjmmg3bc51.png?width=281&format=png&auto=webp&s=cf2ec43db13f3fcbe4cb398b1c39808389f54572
https://preview.redd.it/945u7beklac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=e74267ca8c2d56dd0c7fc42497df2f0d42f14a3a
https://preview.redd.it/yyd7su4tlac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=86e12e31c5de3b91a615add5dd28055f881beddc
https://preview.redd.it/tk2msh41mac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=c091747118370117d3ecf35a8e9bffd54ac02805
https://preview.redd.it/9njkd9vemac51.png?width=346&format=png&auto=webp&s=ffe54bfc9ae206295f7e81685a361357c14a625a
https://preview.redd.it/mywjx5nwmac51.png?width=444&format=png&auto=webp&s=1eb695e764c2bf7c1ffbfddd947fc297eed4f8ea
Pharmacy residents
Of the 169 pharmacists, 31 (18.3%) had completed or were currently completing a pharmacy residency. Of those, there were 6 current PGY-1 residents and 1 current PGY-2 resident.
Of the 24 pharmacists who had completed their PGY-1 residencies, most (18; 75%) did rotational programs without a specific focus. The remaining 6 pharmacists specialized in the following areas during their PGY-1: ambulatory care (2; 8.3%), community pharmacy (1; 4.2%), managed care (1; 4.2%), pediatrics (1; 4.2%), and pharmacotherapy (1; 4.2%). Stats on their PGY-1 salaries were as follows: minimum $33,000; maximum $60,000; mean $44,325; median $45,000. These PGY-1 residencies were done primarily in an urban setting (18; 75%), followed by suburban (3; 12.5%) and rural (2; 8.3%).
Of the 11 pharmacists who had completed their PGY-2 residencies, the specialties included: ambulatory care (3; 27.3%), psychiatry (2; 18.2%), and 1 each of administration, critical care, emergency medicine, infectious disease, oncology, and pharmacotherapy (9.1% each). Stats on their PGY-2 salaries were as follows: minimum $35,000; maximum $51,000; mean $45,625; median $46,500. These PGY-2 residencies were done almost equally in urban (6; 54.5%) and suburban (5; 45.5%) settings.
The 6 current PGY-1 residents had the following plans immediately following their PGY-1: inpatient staff pharmacist (2; 33.3%), PGY-2 residency (2; 33.3%), inpatient clinical specialty pharmacist (1; 16.7%), and non-practicing pharmacist (1; 16.7%).
Of those who had completed their residencies, their roles immediately afterward are listed in the table below.
Role Number of Respondents
Inpatient staff pharmacist 8
Inpatient clinical specialty pharmacist 6
Ambulatory care pharmacist 4
Unemployed 2
Outpatient pharmacist (eg, retail, mail order, long term care) 1
Stopped practicing but remained in the field of pharmacy (eg, industry) 1
Industry fellowship 1
Drug information pharmacist 1
Pharmacy organizations
This question was directed toward American respondents. There were 96 respondents who reported being currently active members of an association, the most common of which were ASHP (39; 40.6%), APhA (38; 39.6%), and a local/state pharmacy association (29; 30.2%).
There were 35 respondents who reported previously being members of an association, the most common of which were APhA (25; 71.4%), ASHP (15; 42.9%), and a local/state pharmacy association (13; 37.1%).
Final comments
Thanks again to everyone who took the survey, and especially those who provided feedback!
I totally acknowledge that the survey is very US-centric, and for that I apologize. I did take some feedback from some people in this subreddit, but if anyone ex-US wants to provide feedback for any future surveys, I'm happy to speak with you offline about it.
The same also goes for anyone in a "niche" field such as long-term care, ambulatory care, managed care, etc. I'm happy to add in new sections or questions for those fields - it's just that I have no idea what to ask, having no experience in those areas.
There are probably a few questions whose answers aren't reflected here mainly because this is long enough already, but if you have any questions (eg, what's the average salary for a hospital pharmacist in a suburban area?), please feel free to ask!
Thanks again!
submitted by fleakered to pharmacy [link] [comments]

Survey Results Are In!

Hello comrades! Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey.
I'll break down the survey below for those who want a transcription of it or for those who want a more organized presentation instead of the raw data. Here is a link to the survey results. For comparison, here is the previous survey. Please discuss your thoughts on the survey in the comments, and also continue the conversation started in the old thread about what you want to see for the sub’s future
We had 600 responses to the survey, which given the size of the subscriber base is a statistically significant amount that we can confidently extrapolate from.
Question 1: Age demographics
We are trending younger than the previous survey, with zoomers making a major jump in demographics at the expense of 26-30 and 31-40 year olds. The early 20s seemed to hold relatively consistent. I am unsure if this means the old people are leaving or if more young people are joining. 25% of us are under 17, 29% are 18-21, 21% are 21-25, 14% are 26-30, and the rest are older.
Question 2: Gender Identity
Overall, we are very much dominated by men at 79.5% of the sub. There has been a slight decrease in male identification in favour of women and non-binary. But this is definitely a weakness of the sub. We need to work on ways to be more inclusive of non cis-male voices.
Question 3: How non-white are we
The answer is very mayonnaise at 76% non-PoC. We had an almost 5% drop from a year ago which is great but I think we can do much better.
Question 4: LGBTQ+
This one is much better. We seem to have a strong representation from LGBTQ+ folks which is consistent from last year, and it is good to see the number be pushed up by around 4 points from 32% to 36%.
Question 5: How non-cis are we
Considering around 3% of the population is trans according to GLAAD, we seem to have decent representation on the subreddit at 7.7%.
Question 6: Where do we live
This question is worth looking at on the google form. They all are, but this one particularly so what with all the different possible answers. Suffice it to say, we are very much situated in the imperial core. This is somewhat problematic but to be expected given the overall reddit userbase. This is something that we should definitely try to combat. Since last year it seems the US portion has decreased by around 5 points to favor eastern europe, canada, and some growth outside the imperial core.
Top five regions:
  1. US (52%)
  2. Western Europe and British Isles (tie at 9.8%)
  3. Canada (5.2%)
  4. Northern Europe (3.2%)
Question 7: Living environment
Largely unchanged from last year, socialism is split roughly evenly between city living and suburbia, with a small but important section living in a rural area.
Question 8: English
75% of the sub considers English to be their primary language, which is a slight drop from last year.
The top non-english primary languages are as follows in descending order:
  1. German
  2. Spanish
  3. Swedish
  4. Dutch
  5. Portuguese
  6. Italian
  7. Polish
  8. Romanian
  9. Turkish
  10. Hindi
Question 9: Religion.
We are largely not a religious sub, and the demographics here have largely not changed in the last year.
Top religious beliefs (above 1%) are:
  1. Atheist/non-religious-72%
  2. Spiritual but not religious- 11%
  3. Roman Catholic- 4%
  4. Protestant- 4.2%
  5. Buddhist- 1.8%
  6. Sunni Muslim- 1.7%
  7. Folk/Pagan- 1.5%
  8. Jewish- 1.3%
Honorable mention to the 5 people who wrote in "Materialist" lol, I like you.
Question 10: How long have you been a socialist
We've shifted down to subscribers having less overall experience with socialism, losing from all categories above 3 years and gaining on all the lower choices. This could be from an influx of new people from the election, and hopefully it does not mean we are losing more experienced folks in large numbers. Half of the sub has been a socialist for either a year or 3-5 years, with relatively even responses for the options on either end of the spectrum
Question 11: Education
We seem to be an educated group. Almost 50% of the sub either has a college degree or is actively pursuing one, with 12% of us having gone to college without achieving a degree. 20% are currently in secondary education. 7% have or are chasing a graduate degree, and 6% had their education stop at secondary level.
Question 12: Employment
37% of us are students who are not employed, and 18% of us are students with a job. 25% of us have a full time job, while 7% have a part time job and 7% are unemployed. Smaller amounts are either self-employed or of a non-working population.
Question 13: Relationship to production
Thankfully, 85% of us are either working class or dependents of working class folks. 5% are petite-bourgiosie small business owners or self employed. 3% of us are (hopefully class betraying) capitalists.
Question 14: Living situation
Pretty even split between renting our living situation and living rent free with family/friends. Of the rest, 13% of us have alternate living arrangements such as home ownership or mortgages.
15 and 16: Living conditions
The majority of us are at comfortable or adequate arrangements (around 80%), pointing again to reddit's overall demographic. 20% of us would describe their situation as poor. 41% of us did not have difficulty in in our budgets.
Top things socialism had difficulty affording over the last few months in descending order:
  1. Medical bills
  2. Necessary repairs such as home and auto
  3. Rent/mortgage
  4. Student loans
  5. Transportation
  6. Tendency
Time for the fun stuff. Top labels people use to describe their politics (over 5%) of socialism are in descending order:
  1. Socialist
  2. Marxist
  3. Communist
  4. Democratic Socialist
  5. Libertarian Socialist
  6. Marxist Leninist
  7. Anarchist and/or Anarcho-Communist
  8. Anarcho-Syndicalist
  9. Unsure
  10. Marxist Feminist
  11. Social Democrat
  12. Trotskyist
  13. Market Socialism/Titoist
  14. Leftcom
  15. Marxism-Leninism-Maoist and Communalist (tied)
More people are identifying as a tendency from the last survey, which means more people are reading
Questoin 18: Who are we reading
There were a lot of answers to this one, so I will just list our top ten most widely read or read about comrades
  1. Karl Marx (duh)
  2. Lenin
  3. Freidrich Engels
  4. Malcolm X
  5. Che
  6. Rosa Luxemburg
  7. Fidel Castro
  8. Angela Davis
  9. Leon Trotsky
  10. Pyotr Kropotkin
Overall as a sub I think we definitely need to read more. Its great that we can recognize the big names on that top ten list, but the real proof of how widely read our sub base is is in the smaller names. There are a lot of people on there I hope to see increase next time!
Honorable mentions from the write in list that got more than 2-3 submissions include Richard Wolff, Victor Serge, Daniel DeLeon, Stirner, and Assata Shakur
19: Working with liberals
This question not worded very well or needs to be broken up into a few different questions, as working with liberals can take many forms and is something the next survey will take into consideration. Showing up to a protest organized by a liberal NGO is very different than actively campaigning for a Democrat or other capitalist party. This is a question that will definitely change next time.
Anyhow, a majority of the sub supports working with liberal capitalist organizations; 40% in a limited capacity and 18% are fully on board for it. A strong majority opposes this kind of involvement, 21% saying they are generally opposed to the idea and 14% taking a principled stance against such tactics.
20: Organization
28% of us are actively organized in some way, which is great! But those are rookie numbers, we gotta pump those up. 29% of us are searching for an org in some way, and 28% are not actively looking but plan on doing so sometime in the future. 12% of us have no intentions of organizing.
21: Unions
A disappointingly large 76% of the sub have never been unionized. Given that a quarter of the sub is under 17, that's partially excusable but the rest of us need to get on it!
13% of the sub actively belongs in a union, and 5% have been in one in the past. 8 of us are actively organizing one, good on you!
21: Types of organization
For those that are organized, the most popular methods of organizing on socialism appears to be:
  1. Mainstream labor union (45%)
  2. Big tent parties such as DSA (35%)
  3. Non-party organization (20%)
  4. Explicitly radical labor unions (15%)
  5. Tendency specific revolutionary party (14%)
  6. Internationally affiliated party (10%)
  7. Tenants union (4%)
  8. Problems organizing
By far the largest stumbling block appears to be lack of options in a given geographic area. There's only one way to fix that however, these things don't just spring up out of the ground fully formed!
After that follows more access to information, more free time, too many shitty socialists, too much time spent working, more money, organizations not open enough, and transportation difficulties
  1. Organizational satisfaction:
Overall people seem to run the full spectrum of satisfaction with their organizations. 45% of those organized are happy with what they got, and 55 either see much room for improvement or are not happy with the organizations.
  1. How should socialism be achieved:
Overall we tend to be more revolutionary. Only a quarter of the sub takes a reformist stance which is good. Almost half the sub is open to seizing power through elections if it is possible, same with those who think we should explicitly have a revolution. Doing so using general strikes seems to win support from everyone. Overall, this is an important question that the sub does seem a bit split on.
  1. The struggles of oppressed groups:
This one had great responses. An overwhelming majority (87%) chose the correct response that socialism must fight form all struggles. There were a few different takes on the **wrong** answers, 7% think these struggles should be ignored until after the revolution and 2% actively call these issues divisive. I will politely yet firmly ask both of the latter to leave, or even better get educated.
  1. Free speech:
I seriously need to consider editing or removing this question because I am not sure what it really achieves.
41% of the sub rejects the existence of bourgeois rights in the first place. 43% acknowledge that free speech is a right but does not trust a capitalist state to honestly enforce it. 18% take an absolutist stance on it, and 22% are happy with how speech is currently treated under capitalism.
  1. Immigration:
There is roughly 2/3 split on this, the majority calling for open borders and the minority calling for some sort of loose restrictions but still maintaining freedom of movement.
  1. Planned economies:
Overall, the sub is in favor of planned economies, and are split over the question of more decentralized production for luxury goods or local community needs. Only 8% of the sub is totally against planning. This is a moderate change from the last survey where just over half the sub was for total planning.
  1. The future:
Just under half (48%) of the sub is unsure if they will live to see socialism, and 36% of the sub think they will. This is almost exactly the same as last time.
  1. State of the subreddit:
Most users have a positive time here, with 43% giving us a 4/5. This has also not changed much since the last survey. Hooray!
  1. How often do you use the sub:
We see a full spectrum of use. Fairly evenly split between a once or twice a month, a few times a week, and almost every day.
  1. Sub activity
Only 7% of the sub posts, and 31% comments. Not much to say here other than much more people are commenting now than they were a year ago, which is good for how we are able to engage folks!
  1. No Mods No Masters
I have to say I am seriously dissapointed with the subreddit here. Us mods are more or less unelected self appointed regulators, and 2/3 of the subs of a *socialist* subreddit passed on the opportunity to tell us to take our authority and jump in a lake. For shame smh.
  1. Mod Approval:
There seems to be an overall mandate from the users that we are doing a good job at keeping this a healthy place for socialists to interact with each other. Under 5% think we are doing a poor job.
  1. Modding Liberals:
Largely the same story here, though there is a bit of a jump in dissaproval. Overall the majority of the sub is happy with our stance on liberal politics, and 10% think we are not modding liberals correctly.
  1. US Election and the subreddit:
Sub seems a bit split on this, but overall the mandate appears to be to remove liberal content, emphasize organizing over voting, while not being super aggressive with banning politically center folks. Just over a third (37%) think socdem content should not be removed, but frankly I do not see our policy on supporting capitalist party content changing anytime soon
  1. Reading group:
58% of the sub would be interesting in some form of organized reading circles. Look out for this in the future, we are unsure how this will manifest but something will be decided on. We will probably have a separate thread for organizing this in the future to choose what pieces we should do, but feel free to spitball in the comments for the *form* you would like to see this take.
Cheers,
Mods Team
submitted by comradeMaturin to socialism [link] [comments]

Subreddit Survey Results

Greetings, exchristian!
The subreddit survey closed on 10 June. Since then, I have been combing through the results, and pulling everything together to publish here. 805 of you responded, which is a small proportion of our 66k members, but probably a good portion of the subscribers who are actually active on the subreddit, and not bad for a first try. I appreciate every one of you who took the time to fill out the survey, who contributed questions, and who provided feedback in the comments of the original post. All advice has been taken on board, and if I do this again in the future, I will change the survey accordingly. But you're here for the stats, so let's get into them!

Part 1: Demographics

Q1: What age group are you in?

Age Number of Responses Percentage
10 or under 0 0%
11-15 40 5%
16-19 136 16.9%
20-24 206 25.7%
25-29 182 22.7%
30-34 121 15.1%
35-39 56 7%
40-44 21 2.6%
45-50 13 1.6%
50+ 28 3.5%
exchristian mostly aligns with Reddit's user base in the age question, with most respondents in the 16-35 range. There are some under 16, which may just be normal for Reddit, but could also be people seeking support with living as a non-Christian in a Christian home in an already difficult part of their lives. Overall, though, this question throws up no surprises.

Q2: What Denomination(s) were you part of?

Denomination Number of Responses Percentage
Non-Denominational 250 31.2%
Baptist 231 28.8%
Catholic 119 14.9%
Other Evangelical 98 12.2%
Pentecostal 97 12.1%
Calvinist/Presbyterian/ Reformed 82 10.2%
Lutheran 47 5.9%
Methodist 39 4.9%
Anglican/Episcopalian 34 4.2%
Church of Christ 31 3.9%
Orthodox 20 2.5%
Seventh-Day Adventist 14 1.9%
Mormon 10 1.2%
Anabaptist (Amish/Mennonite) 8 1%
Plymouth Brethren 7 0.8%
Jehovah's Witnesses 2 0.2%
Other 61 6.1%
A lot of denominations came up here, and I mean a lot. The largest groups are Baptist and non-denominational, which probably reflects the US-centric nature of the subreddit, which we will see in the next question. The sub also leans ex-Protestant, with only 14.9% ex-Catholics and 2.5% ex-Orthodox. The quantity and variety of the self-filled answers made it easier to just group them under 'Other'. A substantial portion of those answers came from offshoots of Methodism, notably the Nazarene (6 responses) and Wesleyan (4) groups. Others included IFB (4), and Assemblies of God (4 - one of a number of Pentecostal-ish groups represented in those answers).
A few peripheral thoughts on this question: I was surprised by the lack of JWs in the sub, but they probably gravitate towards exJW rather than the umbrella sub here, with the same theme applying to the slightly larger Mormon group. I am also intrigued by our Amish/Mennonite contingent. If any of you would be willing to share your experiences with those groups, I'd be very interested to hear.

Q3: Where do you live?

Location Number of Responses Percentage
United States South 220 27.5%
United States Midwest 169 21.1%
United States West 132 16.4%
United States Northeast 93 11.6%
Canada 56 7%
United Kingdom 28 3.5%
Australia 20 2.5%
New Zealand 6 0.7%
Singapore 6 0.7%
The Netherlands 6 0.7%
Germany 5 0.6%
South Africa 5 0.6%
Brazil 3 0.4%
Ireland 3 0.4%
Malaysia 3 0.4%
Romania 3 0.4%
The Philippines 3 0.4%
Czech Republic/Czechia 2 0.3%
Dominican Republic 2 0.3%
France 2 0.3%
Italy 2 0.3%
Mexico 2 0.3%
Norway 2 0.3%
Poland 2 0.3%
In addition to these, there was 1 answer each for: Alaska, 'American living abroad', Austria, China, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Finland, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, 'Jamaica/UAE', Japan, Latvia, Nagaland, Namibia, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Portugal, The Caribbean, The Nordics, 'USA and Philippines', and Zambia.
The overall picture here is that this sub is overwhelmingly American. 77% of you live in some part of the United States, with another 7% from Canada adding to the North American group. Unsurprisingly, most are from English-speaking countries, although there are more from continental Europe than I expected. By location, we are spread far and wide, but it will surprise nobody who has spent any time on this subreddit that a vast majority of users are American.

Q4: What is your ethnicity?

Ethnicity Number of Responses Percentage
White/Caucasian 643 80.3%
Asian 55 6.9%
Black/African-American 40 5%
Latino/Hispanic 33 4.1%
Mixed Race 20 2.5%
Indigenous North American 5 0.6%
Pacific Islander 2 0.3%
Indigenous Australian 1 0.1%
North African 1 0.1%
I received some criticism for this question, which was fair. It was poorly thought out and poorly worded. If nothing else, I should have made Mixed Race an option to be picked and not left that to the 'Other' field - a very embarrassing oversight. But the results do tell us something. The main thing they tell us is that our subreddit is overwhelmingly white, which also correlates with earlier answers which show American ex-Evangelicals as by far the largest group. I don't know exactly why ethnic minorities are so poorly represented here - my best guess is that it is a reflection of Reddit demographics generally. If others have insights on this, I'd be interested to hear them.

Q5: What gender do you identify as?

Gender Number of Responses Percentage
Male 404 50.3%
Female 341 42.5%
Non-Binary 41 5.1%
Prefer not to say 12 1.5%
Genderfluid 2 0.2%
Agender 1 0.1%
Transmale 1 0.1%
These were interesting answers. A quick google search tells me that Reddit overall is over 70% male. But in exchristian, while a small majority of users are men, over 40% are women. As a man, I may be pontificating about something I don't understand, but I wonder if this is connected to the sexism inherent in much of Christianity and Christian teaching. Women may be more likely to leave Christianity than men, because they are more likely to feel unwelcome in a sexist environment. The 5%+ operating outside of the traditional genders may be feeling a similar thing. Trans, Non-Binary, and Genderfluid people probably struggle to find a place in Christianity and Christian doctrine unless they suppress their authentic self. Again, I may be talking out of my arse here, and those with actual experience of this can hopefully provide more insights in the comments.

Q6: What best describes your sexual orientation?

Sexuality Number of Responses Percentage
Heterosexual 469 58.7%
Bisexual 185 23.1%
Homosexual 67 8.4%
Asexual 44 5.5%
Pansexual 15 1.9%
Demisexual 3 0.4%
Queer 3 0.4%
Other 13 1.6%
Of the 'Other' group, most expressed some measure of confusion, with 2 particularly mentioning purity culture as a factor in that. Single answers included Gynesexual, Panromantic, and Sapphic Asexual.
I think we are seeing a similar phenomenon here as with the last question. The larger than average LGBTQ+ representation might be a demographic feature, but it could also be because a lot of Christian doctrine is extremely homophobic, and LGBTQ+ people probably feel unwelcome in Christianity, and have more reason than heterosexuals to doubt aspects of Christian teaching. Again, though, I would welcome further insights from LGBTQ+ people on this issue.

Q7: Which of these options best describes your political opinions?

Political Position Number of Responses Percentage
Left/Liberal 544 68.4%
Centrist/Moderate 225 28.3%
Right/Conservative 26 3.3%
The framing of that question was slightly over-simplified, but it's not a surprise to see that very few people here see themselves as right-wing or conservative politically, both given Reddit's demographics, and given the closeness of large sections of Christianity (especially in the US) with right-wing and socially conservative politics.

Part 2: Education

Q8: What is your current level of education?

Education Level Number of Responses Percentage
College/University Graduate 395 49.2%
Currently at College/University 180 22.4%
Currently in School 110 13.7%
High School Graduate 94 11.7%
PhD/Professorship 20 2.5%
No Formal Qualifications 4 0.5%
A majority of us are either in College/University, or are Graduates. That, again, may just reflect Reddit's demographics, but it is no coincidence that the more someone learns, the less likely they are to remain religious. I have certainly found that in my own experience.

Q9: What type of school were you educated in?

School Number of Responses Percentage
Public/State School 605 75.3%
Religious School 286 35.6%
I was Home-Schooled 122 15.2%
Secular Private School 61 7.6%


Q10: If you went to a religious school, do you believe it contributed towards your deconversion?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 197 38.2%
No 190 38.6%
Not Sure 129 25%

Q11: If you went to a secular school, do you believe it contributed towards your deconversion?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 247 37%
No 290 43.5%
Not Sure 130 19.5%
The answers to Q10 could be unreliable, as more people answered it than answered 'Religious School' to Q9. But it does show that a reasonable percentage of both people who went to religious schools and to secular schools felt that that contributed towards their deconversions. Those will probably be for different reasons, and I think school experiences would be an interesting thing to dig further in to, either in the comments here or in a separate post.

Part 3: Beliefs and Deconversion Experience

Q12: At what age did you stop being a christian?

Age Number of Responses Percentage
10 or under 15 1.9%
11-15 139 17.3%
16-19 211 26.3%
20-24 224 27.9%
25-29 122 15.2%
30-34 54 6.7%
35-39 15 1.9%
40-44 6 0.7%
45-49 10 1.2%
50+ 6 0.7%
Most of us lost our belief between the ages of 16 and 25, and I don't think that's a coincidence. It's the time when you're beginning to strike out on your own in the world, forge your own path, and cast off your parents' preconceptions. It's also the time when you start to think more critically about things, and for many of us thinking critically about Christianity was what drove us to leave it.

Q13: How would you describe your current belief system?

Belief Number of Responses Percentage
Atheist 317 39.7%
Agnostic 238 29.9%
Anti-theist 47 5.9%
Humanist 45 5.6%
Apatheist 26 3.3%
Pagan/Wiccan 17 2.1%
Deist 15 1.9%
Pantheist 13 1.6%
Buddhist 11 1.4%
Unsure 10 1.2%
Agnostic Atheist 6 0.7%
Ignostic 5 0.6%
Satanist 5 0.6%
Spiritual 5 0.6%
Misotheist 3 0.4%
Universalist 2 0.3%
Other 32 4%
Most of the 'Other' answers represented mixed philosophies - a few people have pointed out to me that I should have made this question multiple choice. Single answers included Hindu, Ietsist, Irreligious, Jewish, Left Hand Path, Longhouse Religion, Muslim, Nihilist, Occultist, Panendeist, and Panentheist.
It won't surprise any of us to see that this subreddit is mostly Atheist/Agnostic. However, there are some more spiritually-minded people here, and although they are not a large group they are a noticeable segment.

Q14: If you do not consider yourself an Atheist/Agnostic/etc, how free do you feel to discuss your spiritual views in exchristian?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
1 (Not at all Free) 5 1.4%
2 23 6.4%
3 87 24.2%
4 69 19.2%
5 (Completely Free) 176 48.9%
This seems to have faced a similar problem to Q10, in that many people answered it who should not have. They represent all but one of the '1' answers, and fairly even portions of the others. The answers of spiritually-minded people seem to come out at around the same proportionally as the overall responses. Reassuringly, that means that most do feel free to share their views here, although it also means that there is a minority who do not. While I cannot speak for that minority, one of the answers to the previous question provided a small paragraph on it (side note: try not to do this in surveys, folks. Short and to the point is best). That person said "I don't like to talk about this openly on the sub because I feel like people will see me as spacey and illogical, but that might be because I watch too many hardcore Youtube skeptics".
I think that answer makes sense as a reason some people don't feel entirely free to share their views here. This sub clearly has an atheist majority, and the stereotype of atheists is that we are hostile to any and all spiritual beliefs. It's not a problem with the subreddit, which I've always found to be extremely friendly and open, but one of perception and self-consciousness. But as always, if you feel like I'm grasping at the wrong end of the stick here, feel free to say so - in PMs if you don't want to do it publicly.
Following on from all of that, I'd genuinely be interested to hear more about the beliefs of our more spiritual members - the more niche the better. I'm not that way inclined myself, but the previous question has sparked an academic curiosity.

Q15: Are you 'out of the closet' as an ex-christian?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes, to everyone I know 79 9.9%
Yes, to most people I know 203 25.3%
Yes, to some people I know 387 48.3%
No 133 16.6%
Very few of us have told everyone in our lives that we're no longer christian, but most of us have told at least some people. I imagine that that mostly manifests as people keeping it a secret from family or church friends, or a christian workplace, but being open about it among non-church friends or in a secular workplace.

Q16: If you are 'out of the closet', do your christian family and/or friends accept your decision?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 113 18.9%
No 152 25.4%
Some 333 55.7%
Less than 20% of people's christian circles fully accept them leaving christianity. Christians hate apostates, what a surprise! That a majority have had at least some acceptance is good to see, though, and I am glad for those of you who have experienced that.

Q17: If you are not 'out of the closet', do you plan to come out in the near future?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 86 16.3%
No 163 30.9%
Not Sure 279 52.8%
Most closet-dwellers are unsure if they'll come out or not, with a fairly large minority having decided to keep it a secret, at least for now. A majority for the undecideds is not a surprise. It's a very difficult decision, and you have to weigh up your freedom with the damage you might do to your personal relationships. Not an easy choice.

Q18: Are there any non-christians or ex-christians in your immediate or extended family?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 425 53.3%
No 373 46.7%

Q19: Outside of your family, do you know any ex-christians in your real life?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 505 63.1%
No 295 36.9%

Q20: Do you live in a place where you feel socially at risk if you admit you are no longer a christian?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 158 19.8%
No 258 32.3%
Sometimes (i.e. among family but not among colleagues) 384 48%

Q21: If you do feel socially at risk, how important has exchristian been in giving you a safe space to speak freely?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
1 (Not at all important) 22 3.7%
2 34 5.7%
3 137 23%
4 202 33.9%
5 (Very Important) 200 33.6%
This group of questions shows quite a stark difference. While a majority of us do have other non-christians or ex-christians in our lives, a substantial minority seem to be surrounded by christians, most of them probably in the American south where, from what I read on this subreddit, Christianity is everywhere. That makes exchristian very important as a support subreddit, which I've seen others say here and have felt myself. This community is a very important resource for many people.

Q22: When you were a christian, did you participate in church community activities (i.e. youth groups)?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 716 89.3%
No 86 10.7%

Q23: Do you miss christianity's sense of community?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 257 32.1%
No 420 52.4%
Not Sure 124 15.5%

Q24: Do you feel isolated since deconverting?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Frequently 109 13.7%
Sometimes 287 36.1%
I have in the past 200 25.1%
Never 200 25.1%

Q25: If you have felt isolated, has exchristian helped to reduce that isolation?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 450 70.1%
No 51 7.9%
Not Sure 141 22%

Q26: Outside of exchristian, have you found anything in a secular space to replace the church community?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 353 45.1%
No 429 54.9%

Q27: On the whole, how important has the exchristian community been in helping you through your deconversion?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
1 (Not at all Important) 104 13.8%
2 96 12.8%
3 189 25.2%
4 189 25.2%
5 (Very Important) 173 23%
This is another group of questions which really show how important this community is. Most of us were quite involved in our churches, and although most say they do not miss christianity, a majority have felt isolated at some point, and a large majority of those say exchristian was important to reducing that isolation. The answers to question 27 reflect that again. I think it's really important that this sub exists to help alleviate some of these problems.

Q28: Do you experience rapture and/or tribulation anxiety?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Frequently 59 7.4%
Sometimes 147 18.4%
I have in the past 270 33.8%
Never 322 40.4%
A majority of us have, at some point, experienced rapture or tribulation anxiety. That's hardly surprising, given how strong the 'left behind' motif is in christian preaching and culture. More encouragingly, a majority of those who have experienced this say that they do not experience it now. As someone who has suffered from this in the past, I can reassure you that it does get better. The more distance you put between yourself and your christian past, the easier it becomes to move past that anxiety.

Q29: Have you been diagnosed with a mental illness or illnesses?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 348 43.6%
No 451 56.4%

Q30: Do you believe that christianity has had a negative impact on your mental health?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Yes 667 83.3%
No 58 7.2%
Not Sure 76 9.5%
While a majority of us have not received an official mental health diagnosis, a substantial minority have, a testament to how much of a toll christianity and the process of tearing yourself away from it takes on your mental health. An overwhelming majority also think that it has had a negative impact on their mental health, which will surprise nobody who has spent any time reading the posts on this sub.

Q31: On the whole, has your loss of belief made your life easier or more difficult, or has it had no impact?

Answer Number of Responses Percentage
Easier 481 60%
More Difficult 105 13.1%
No Impact 54 6.7%
Not Sure 161 20.1%
I have realised since writing the survey that this question was too simplistic and doesn't reflect the variety of people's experiences. Nevertheless, a clear majority do consider their deconversion to have made their life easier, and in the light of the mental health questions that is hardly surprising.

Conclusion/TL;DR
So, what has this survey told us? In demographics, a clear majority in this subreddit are white American protestants, with most between the ages of 16 and 35. In both gender and sexuality, it is more diverse than reddit overall, and most are well-educated. A clear majority are either atheist or agnostic, but there is a diverse (if small) group holding alternative beliefs. With most of us only halfway 'out' as ex-christians and with a clear majority identifying christianity as causing mental health troubles, the survey also shows the importance of exchristian as a place on the internet where people in our situation can come together and share experiences. I'm grateful to all of you for being here and for making this sub the place that it is.
And that's a wrap. Well done for making it this far, I guess, and thanks to all of you who responded to the survey. Pulling the data together for this post has been intense, but fun in its own way, and I have enjoyed finding out a bit more about who we are as a community. As I've said throughout, comments, questions, and criticism are all welcome if you have any to share, and I'm very interested to see what the community thinks of the data.
submitted by acuriousoddity to exchristian [link] [comments]

Results of the demographic survey!

First of all, thanks to everyone who took time out of your day to respond. I've decided to share the results because the rate of responses has slowed to basically nothing, and I feel I've gotten a good chunk to comb through.
My purpose with this was not to analyze nor to draw conclusions. That will be left as an exercise to the reader. I wanted simply to gather some data and see if anything interesting popped up, and honestly, it is pretty interesting!
I'm just going to share some really broad strokes here. A lot of the questions and answer choices could have been worded better, and so please don't expect academic-level sociological presentation here. So here's a quick breakdown of the data. Forgive the messy presentation and the long post!
First off, the gender ratios:
https://imgur.com/HJKNxxO
Out of 549 respondents,
Age:
https://imgur.com/FBHPyi8
Out of 548 who answered this question,
Ethnicity/Race:
https://imgur.com/veqe9Sa
Out of 547 responses,
Note: I'd like to say a few words about this category and the other identity-based ones. I did not intend to make any sort of sociological statement by including a question about skin color or cultural background, but merely wanted to include what is a common demographic category into the data. I definitely try to be mindful of the complexities and intricacies that come with discussions of identity in my daily life.
Country of residence:
https://imgur.com/SpW6tur
/FanFiction denizens come from all over! There are far too many countries to list them all here, but I'll try to list some of the areas with the highest count of us:
Out of 538 responses,
Sexual Identity:
https://imgur.com/6wGpzQO
Another difficult one to sort the "Other" category, so I'll just try my best.
Out of 547 responses,
Relationship Status:
https://imgur.com/Rw6Gj74
Out of 546 responses,
Living Situation:
https://imgur.com/zE2PURX
Out of 547 responses,
Time Writing Fanfiction:
https://imgur.com/ErkzNac
You can see I really underestimated how many options I would need for this one, and as such there are dozens of "other" responses detailing the exact amount of time, some people over 20 years!
Out of 543 responses,
Most popular fandoms:
There's no way I can sift through 550 responses to these free answer questions, but I'd like to give a few highlights:
There are so many more, but these were some of the ones I noticed most.
Things that bother you most
Another one with too many to list, but among the most noted were
Things you look for most
Basically as expected, these were mostly the opposite of the previous question

Final Thoughts
I definitely don't think this survey is perfect or near perfect. I crafted the questions too quickly and, given the chance to do it again, would alter a lot of the wording and categories. I'm glad so many of you decided to participate, and I hope you get at least some enjoyment out of the results.
Of course, with only 550 respondents out of the 59k subreddit members, this shouldn't be seen as an accurate picture of the members of /FanFiction, but I believe that, given a grain of salt, you can view it as a somewhat helpful portrait.
Coming into this survey, I suspected that it would be show more diverse sexual, gender, and identity representations than a lot of other subreddits (though of course without metrics from other subs, I can only speak for my own opinion). I also thought that the ages would skew young, but I didn't know that there would be so many under 18!
Tell me what y'all think about these numbers. I honestly had a lot of fun learning more about this subreddit, and I think surveys like this can really help us to have a better understanding and respect for our fellow redditors since it can humanize some of the anonymity that comes with being here. Just my $0.02. Thanks for sticking around this long, and stay safe out there!

ceph.
submitted by cephalopod11 to FanFiction [link] [comments]

[Extensive Survey Results] Part One: About Swifties

I had exactly 201 responses to the VERY Extensive Taylor Swift Questionnaire. I just first wanted to say thank you very much to everyone who took the time to participate. I know there were several complaints about the lack of optional questions and the overall length of the questionnaire, but doing it this way helped me pinpoint the most exact data for analyzing, so thank you a lot for sticking through it for me. After a lot of requests to share the data, I decided to compile it all and slowly release the information in several parts. I’ll be doing this once a week until all of the results have been posted. Hope everyone had as much fun as I did!

Results: Part One

About Swifties

Age

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

Era Started Regularly Listening to Taylor

Concert Attendance

Have You Met Taylor

Taylor & TN Notices

Secret Session Attendance

Country of Residence

Do You Have Merch?

Favorite Merch Items

Favorite Artists

I got TONS of responses since I allowed up to five answers, so I’ll spare you the incredibly long list and complicated percentages by giving you the five most popularly listed answers.

I hope everyone enjoyed the results! Within the next week I will be posting the results for the next section, which will include a score-average studio album ranking, and a complete breakdown of ratings for each studio album.

submitted by itookyourmatches to TaylorSwift [link] [comments]

Major League Redditball Independent Demographics Survey: RESULTS

Hey y'all! As most of you know, I've been running a demographics survey over the last week or so. Time to reveal the results!
Of the 559 people currently on active MLR rosters, 139 filled out the survey, good for 24.86% participation. It's hard to draw any conclusions from only surveying about 1/4 of the league, but we'll do our best.
What year did you join the MLR?
Most people who put 2016 either didn't realize that you couldn't sign up as a player in 2016 or were fake submissions. I sorted through which ones were harmless mistakes and which were frauds, and came up with the following results. The leading answer was 2020, represented by 31.9% of submissions. 2019 came in second with 29.7%, followed by 2018 at 22.5% and 2017 at 15.9%.
How many MLR seasons have you participated in?
These answers followed those of the previous question, as the most common response was 1, which was the case for 33.1% of people who filled out the form. 27.3% said 2, 18.7% said 3, 14.4% said 4, and 6.5% has been around for all 5 seasons.
How old are you?
38.8% of those who completed the survey fall into the 18-22 age bracket. The next highest percentage belongs to the 23-27 bracket, which makes up 21.6% of the pie. 13.7% said 15-17, 8.6% said 27-30, 8.6% said 30-35, 2.9% said 12-14, 2.9% said 35-40, and 1.4% said that they were Older than 50.
What team do you play for?
The most common team that appeared on the survey was the Kansas City Royals, with 12 submissions. My Los Angeles Angels came in 2nd with 11. Other notable teams were the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets who had 9 a piece, as well as the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks, who each had 7. 28 of the 30 teams had at least 2 team members fill out the survey. Both the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians failed to have a single player fill out the survey. Finally, 1 of the 139 submissions came from a player who was Retired.
Do you live in the United States?
85.6% said that they do live in the United States, while 14.4% said that they live outside of the U.S.A.
If you live in the United States, what state do you live in?
The most common state that appeared on the survey was New York, which appeared 12 times. Illinois appeared 8 times, while Florida and Texas each had 7. Minnesota and California each had 6, and Connecticut followed right behind them with 6. Other states (abbreviated) that appeared included NJ, CO, NC, GA, OH, MI, MO, NM, DC, MA, WA, IN, SC, AL, MD, TN, PA, HI, WI, VA, KY, OR, NV, SD, NE, ND, and DE. 7 said that they Would rather not answer.
If you do not live in the United States, what country do you live in?
Of the 20 people who listed a non-American country of residence, 10 of them live in Canada. The United Kingdom has 3 representatives, while The Netherlands has 2. Other countries who were represented on the survey include Denmark, Singapore, Portugal, and Panama. One person also stated that they lived in Europe without stating a country.
Which of the following best describes you? (Position in life)
33.1% of those who filled out the survey said that they would describe themselves as a Full-Time Worker. 27.3% said that they are an Undergraduate College Student. 15.8% responded with High School Student, while 6.5% said they are an Undergraduate College Student w/ a Full-Time Job. 4.3% are a Part-Time Worker, 4.3% are a Graduate College Student, 2.9% are Unemployed, and 0.7% are in the Military. 1.4% said they Would rather not answer.
For those who chose an option that included a current Full-Time or Part-Time job, what line of work are you currently in?
I received quite a few different answers, and really there wasn't any answer that appeared more than 2 or 3 times. Quite a few people work in various STEM fields, including computer engineering, software development, mechanical engineering, and other related tech/math-based fields. A few people work in nursing/EMS, a few are in television/broadcasting, and a few even work in the Sports field, doing team sales or management. 4 people listed their occupation as Military. In terms of oddities, 1 person said they were a Fisherman, and 1 said that they are a full-time Actor. Also one person is a full-time bartender, so that seems like a fun Friday night hangout.
Which of the following best describes you? (Gender)
In the least predictable statistic to date, 95.0% said that they were Male. 2.2% said they were Female. 1.4% listed themselves as Non-Binary, 0.7% said Unsure, and 0.7% said they Would rather not answer.
Which of the following best describes you? (Race/Ethnicity)
80.6% listed themselves as White/Caucasian, which is 4/5 of those who filled out the survey. 5.8% listed themselves as Asian, 4.3% responded with Hispanic/Latino, and 3.6% said they were both White Caucasian and Asian. Only 1.4% responded with Black/African American, and only 0.7% responded with Asian/Pacific Islander.
What is your relationship status?
62.6% said they are Single. In terms of other common responses, 19.4% said they are In a closed relationship, 12.9% said they are Married, and 2.2% said they are In an open/polyamorous relationship.
How many hours per week do you spend playing, working, or contributing to Fake Baseball?
Surprisingly, 85.8% said that they spend 10 hours or less each week on Fake Baseball, meaning that 14.2% spend more than a full work day on our great game. 62.7% spend 5 hours or less on our game per week, while 27.0% spend 2 hours or less per week. On the other hand, 8.8% said they spend 20 hours or more per week on our game, and 3.2% said they spend 30 hours or more per week.
What month of the year were you born in?
The most common answer was May with 12.2%, followed by June with 10.8% and February with 10.8%. Other common answers included July with 9.4%, January with 8.6%, and March with 7.9%. The least common response was October with 4.3%.
What is your favorite brand of soda?
While 18.7% responded with the ol' N/A, the actual leading votegetter was Coke with 15.8%. Dr. Pepper followed close behind with 13.7%, and Sprite was next with 8.6%. Other common answers included Pepsi with 5.0%, and Barq's, Mountain Dew, "Root Beer", and Water each with 2.9%.
How many teams have you played for?
The vast majority of survey submissions (61.3%) said that they have only played on 1 team in their MLR career. 23.4% said they have played on 2 teams, 7.3% said 3, 5.8% said 4, and 2.2% have been on 5 teams. Just 1 submitter said they have been on More than 5 teams.
Have you ever received any awards from the MLR for your on-field accomplishments?
Just 24.5% said that they have received an award for their on-field accomplishments at some point in their career. Nearly 3/4 of those surveyed have NOT received an award, and 0.7% said they Would rather not answer.
Have you enjoyed your time in Major League Redditball?
82.7% said Yes, 15.8% said Kinda-sorta, and just 1.4% said No. I hope those 1.4% will someday find happiness and enjoyment around here. Or not. Whatever you want I suppose.
What is your favorite convenience store brand?
The Dallas-based 7-Eleven won with 24.5% (nearly a quarter) of the vote. 12.2% went with the Mid-Atlantic (and Florida)-based Wawa, followed by Circle K, which had 7.2%. Other notable responses included Sheetz (6.5%), QuikTrip (5.8%), Casey's (4.3%), Buc-ee's (3.6%), Speedway (3.6%), RaceTrac (3.6%), Kwik Trip (2.2%), Kum & Go (2.2%), Stewart's (1.4%), Cumberland Farms (1.4%), Kangaroo Express (1.4%), and Holiday (1.4%).
Do you watch actual, in-real-life baseball?
95.7% said Yes, 3.6% said No, and 0.7% said Would rather not answer.
That does it for the survey results! Thank you for reading through all of that. If you want to see specific charts, I'll be posting them on request in the Discord server. Lastly, if you want to join the IRL Meetup network, you still can! PM me your player name and region and I'll get you signed up!
submitted by bryceryals42 to fakebaseball [link] [comments]

Addressing Canada’s Employment Insurance Gap For Self-Employed Workers

Source: TD
Ksenia Bushmeneva, Economist
Dated July 15th, 2020

Highlights


Chart 1 - Workers in More Precarious Employment See Steep Job Losses

Chart 2 - COVID-19 Self-employed to Cut Hours Worked Drastically

EI Leaves Many Non-Standard Workers Behind


Chart 3 - Self-employed Workers Much More Likely to Apply for CERB

Chart 4 - Prevalence of Self-employment Varies by Province

What Complicates Offering EI Coverage For Non-Standard Workers


Chart 5 - Maternity and Family Benefits Available to Self-employment

Chart 6 - Sickness, Disability, and Work Injury Coverage Available to Self-Employed

Some Solutions Based on The International Experience


Chart 7 - Unemployment Benefits Coverage Options to Self-employed

Chart 8 - Old-age Pensions Coverage Options Available to Self-employed

Concluding Remarks


References

  1. “Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2018”. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/191114/dq191114a-eng.htm
  2. Sunil Johal & Erich Hartmann. “Facilitating the Future of Work Through Modernizing EI System”. The Mowat Center. https://ppforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PPF-Modernizing-EI-for-Future-of-Work-April-2019-EN.pdf
  3. Antonia Asenjo and Clemente Pignatti. “Unemployment insurance schemes around the world: Evidence and policy options.” International Labour Office. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---inst/documents/publication/wcms_723778.pdf
  4. Sung-Hee Jeon and Yuri Ostrovsky. “The impact of COVID-19 on the gig economy: Short- and long-term concerns”. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00021-eng.pdf?st=x8kZDLV7
  5. Sunil Johal & Erich Hartmann. “Facilitating the Future of Work Through Modernizing EI System”. The Mowat Center. https://ppforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PPF-Modernizing-EI-for-Future-of-Work-April-2019-EN.pdf Ibid.
  6. “Evaluation of the Employment Insurance Special Benefits for Self-employed Workers”. Employment and Social Development Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/reports/evaluations/2016-ei-special-benefits.html
  7. “The Future of Social Protection: what works for non-standard workers?” OECD. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/9789264306943-en/1/2/1/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/9789264306943-en&_csp_=60072f6c81e5afb306d1ad580d284396&itemIGO=oecd&itemContentType=book#chapter-d1e549 Ibid.
  8. “Key Small Business Statistics - January 2019”. Statistics Canada. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/eng/h_03090.html#point1-3 Ibid.
  9. “Government Response To The Fifth Report Of The Standing Committee on The Status of Women. Interim Report on the Maternity and Parental Benefits Under Employment Insurance: the Exclusion of Self-Employed Workers.” https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentVieween/39-1/FEWO/report-5/response-8512-391-19
  10. “Evaluation of the Employment Insurance Special Benefits for Self-employed Workers”. Employment and Social Development Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social development/corporate/reports/evaluations/2016-ei-special-benefits.html

End Notes

  1. Since 2010 self-employed workers can voluntarily participate in EI Special Benefit for Self-Employed Workers (SBSE) to gain access to many life event-type benefits accessible to regular employees, such as maternity and paternity leave programs, leave due to sickness or to care for an sick family member. In addition to this, current EI system allows certain exceptions for some non-standard workers. For example some individuals who work independently as barbers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, drivers of other passenger vehicles are eligible to receive benefits through the regular EI program. Fishermen are also included as insured persons under the EI Fishing Regulations. In the case of the self- employed fishermen, EI qualification is tied to income. In order to qualify for up to 26 weeks of benefit, they need to have earned between $2,500 to $4,200 in the last 31 weeks.
  2. The two main reasons for not contributing to the EI program were not having worked in the previous 12 months, and non-insurable employment (which includes self-employment).
submitted by AwesomeMathUse to econmonitor [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Breaking Bad, Part 3

Continuing
“Hello and good day, gentlemen”, I say. “I am Doctor Rocknocker. You may and will refer to me as ‘Rock’. OK? None of this ‘Doctor’ or ‘Sir’ guff. We green here?”
There was a buzz of voices but no direct answers.
“OK. Let’s get a few things down right here and now.
(1.) Call me Rock.
(b.) Answer me loudly. I will need to hear you loud and clear. Best get used to that now.
(iii.) “We green?” means “Are we in agreement?” It’s a form of shorthand I use here and in the field.
(⍾.) “You diggin’ me, Beaumont? means you’ve really done gone and pissed me off; you’ve done something untoward. Pray you never hear that phrase, and,
(∞.) I’m the boss. The top dog. The hookin’ bull. The Maharaja here. I possess the first, final and only words you’re going to listen to for the next couple of weeks. What I say, goes. Any problem, please let me know now so we can replace you most quickly.”
A gentle buzz, but no replies.
“Gentlemen. Do we agree?” I ask.
“Yes, Rock.” Was the reply.
OK, there might be some form of a societal prohibition against making loud noises. That’s the first thing that has to go.
“Gentlemen, we will be working in the great outdoors where there are wind, rain, waves, and other environmental nonsense making all sorts of unrequited noise. We need clear and proper lines of communication. I need to hear you clearly and vice-versa. When speaking, you will speak slowly, clearly, and loudly. “
DO WE AGREE!?!” I yell, rather deafeningly.
“YES, ROCK!” came the eventual reply.
“Outstanding”. I ponder.
Continuing…
“Mr. Sanjay is my de facto second in command. If I’m out having a smoke, taking a piss, or having a snort, he’s in charge. Listen to him as if I suddenly lost 150 pounds, shaved my beard, and inexplicably become Indian.” I chuckled.
They seemed to enjoy that. I actually elicited a few chuckles.
“Mr. Sanjay will now distribute to you your locker boxes. You will wait until he hands you yours. Do not get up and mill around the room. We green?” I ask.
“Green! Doctor Rock.” Came the noisy reply.
“Progress. Marvelous.”, I reflect.
“I’ll be right back. Mr. Sanjay, the room is yours.” I note. I might need to cut back on the coffee.
I slope off to the loo and it’s just as horrible as you can imagine an outdoor communal shithouse in sunny India attended by 30,000 Indian gentlemen could be.
Fuck COVID-19. I’m thinking hot and cold running dysentery, dengue, and death here. Ick.
Glad I have a highly functioning immune system.
I retrieve a shiny aluminum Halliburton™ case from Headquarters and ease off to an unused office space to change.
I went from my usual field garb to full PPEs. It was quite a sight.
I’ll be telling you about it in mere moments. Contain the excitement.
I’m walking back to Outbuilding #2 and damned if my get-up didn’t elicit a few gasps, shielded guffaws, and a salute or two. I have to admit, to the uninitiated, I was a sight right out of Area 52, the more secret one, west by northeast of Roswell, New Mexico.
I get back to the outbuilding and enter. Everyone was looking through their locker boxes, chuckling about their good fortune and wondering with Joker-like glee what the hell all these wonderful gizmos were and where did I get them? They all stopped dead in their tracks when I walked in.
Their silence was palpable.
“Gentlemen”, I said, “Here’s how you are going to look at work tomorrow. Revel in its utility, comfort, and extreme fashion sense.” I did a quick spin like I used to on the runway.
At O’Hare when we were doing field geostatic tests. Whatever were you thinking?
Anyways…
I was wearing a pair of size 66-XTall NFPA 70E blaze orange Carhartt Nomex coveralls. I had on a Dax carbon-fiber blaze orange “Coal Scuttle” hardhat with swing-away hearing protection keyed into your personal communications module, and a gold-anodized, pull-down full face shield. The helmet was designed to drain away falling water down over one’s back and not down one’s neck.
I had a pair of ‘wet’ gloves under the snap retainer on my left shoulder, a pair of ‘dry’ gloves on my right. I was wearing an orange CMC Safety 9-point safety and rescue harness, good to well over 1,500 pounds. Over both shoulders, around the crotch, up the front, and around the back, X-style. This popular harness features multiple D-ring attachment points and the patented JackBack removable padding with breathable D-3 cloth, which keeps shoulder straps separated and makes donning and doffing a breeze. It had several catch-points where one could easily and readily attach to the snap carabiners and get bodily dragged out of a nasty situation by rope or chain. The front waist D-ring allows a comfortable, stable sitting position for rappels and the sternum D-ring works well for helicopter or crane-assist hoists. Gear loops offer easy access to equipment, and quick-connect-disconnect shoulder straps and leg loops make the harness quick to don or doff. It could be used for impromptu spelunking on days off.
I had on Size 16 EEE Gear Box 8088 Men's 8 inch Black Leather intrinsically-safe hard-toed lace-up black turned-heel leather work boots with the new self-cleaning, oil-and chemical resistant Vibram soles.
They couldn’t see, but I was also wearing a cotton-Nomex blend wifebeater and boxers as well. Nomex tends to chafe. Best be safe.
I had a powerful Maglite flashlight clipped to my rescue harness, as well as my mini Air Horn; a blaster’s must. I also had a mobile VHF-Commslink™ radio in a pocket on the back of my coveralls on the left shoulder. I had the microphone for it Velcro-ed to my rescue harness within easy reach. Very cop like. Very cool. Very necessary.
I had a traditional Zippo and Bic Butane lighters in my right-hand chest pocket and a brace of cigars, though these were optional, in my left pocket. I carried a bespoke constructed Swiss Army Knife on a lanyard in my right front pocket and had a custom Bears Paw Leatherman hanging on the left of my rescue harness.
Also clipped to the harness was a Silva orienteering compass. There was a selection of NASA write anywhere pens, Sharpies, and oil-writing chalk pencils in my other front pockets. I had an oil industry tally book in my other front pocket.
Why blaze orange? Well, Red Adair already co-opted bright red, and fluorescent green wasn’t available in my size.
So, we’re now ready to plant explosives in West India or go deer hunting in the Northwoods of Baja Canada.
“Questions, Gentlemen?” I asked.
I explained that in their locker boxes were purchase orders, POs, for every bit of kit I was wearing. They were to take these POs to the Company Store and get, well, kitted out in their own sizes and preferences. I wanted to see everyone back here tomorrow at 1300 hours looking as I do now. Well, maybe skip the cigar and be not quite so large.
I sat down on the table in front of the crowd and had Sanjay bring over the demo locker box.
“OK, gents,” I said, “This locker box is yours and is numbered as such. They will be stored here in Outbuilding #2. Each of you will receive a key for this building as it is now your headquarters. We’ll get back to locker boxes in a minute. Anyone need a break for a few minutes?” I asked.
No one dared answer at this magical juncture in the narrative.
“Well, I do”, I said, “Meet back here in twenty minutes. Sanjay?”
The class wandered out and I conversed with Sanjay. We found the maps I had ordered.
They were an aerial view of the breaking yard and it was split into 6 zones, all a different color. There was one master for the wall and 28 copies for the guys. I also had a log-in/log-out board made. Vertically numbered 1 to 28. There were also 7 vertical bars labeled Zone 1 through Zone 6, and one for ‘in dispose’; i.e., in Latrin-e Land. This was so I’d know where my guys were at all times.
There was a hook for each one of these areas to log in, and to let anyone know where a certain person was during the day or night. You’re number 10? And you’re going to be wielding a torch over in Zone 5? Your brass tag goes right there. You’re going to skip over to Zone 3? Get your ass back here and swap it over to where you’re going. There is no excuse for being where you haven’t said you were, short of active accident or dismemberment.
Everyone shuffles back in and I explain the tote board.
“Notice there’s no spot to leave your brass chit if you’ve gone off the reservation?” I asked. “Why do you suppose that is?”
Confused looks all around.
“Because you keep that brass token with you when you’re not on the job. Lose it, lose your job. Sounds harsh, but so is getting your fucking hands blown off. Think of it as an exercise in discipline.”
There was a very little rebuttal.
“When you are on location, your brass token will reflect where you are. You are off-site, put the brass token in your wallet next to your lucky ‘circular impression’.
There were several knowing grins in my cadets.
Wear it around your neck on a chain. Keep it on your keyring. You can wrap it up in ribbons, you can slip it in your sock; I don’t care. Thing is, it is your ticket to this job. Hold on to it, there will be no replacements. We green?”
“Green, Doctor!”
“Outstanding.”
“Now, locker boxes. Gentlemen”, I continued. “These are your personal boxes that will be archived here. They will contain everything that you will need to carry out the job initially and help you with training the next crew that comes through after I leave. Keep them neat and tidy. I like to pull unannounced locker box inspections, gentlemen. Be forewarned.”
The sound of active scribbling is music to my tinny ears.
“Now, as such”, I continue, “Each locker box, at this point, is identical. Please follow along with me as we do inventory: Each gets locker box will contain (as I pull out the item for identification):
• 1- set Purchase Orders (POs) for PPEs
• 1- Galvanometer
• 2- Blaster’s pliers
• 1- Custom Leatherman
• 1- Metal clipboard
• Various Pens, pencils, paper, etc.
• 5- Sharpies
• 1 copy: Blasters Protocols Handbook, 15th Edition
• 1 copy: Blasting and explosives safety training manual by the IEE.
• 1 copy: Theory and practice of blasting, by Hino (A classic)
• 1 copy: Blasters Handbook, 17th Edition
• Various Explosives catalogs
• 1- Custom Swiss Army Knife
• Several Butane lighters
“Are we in agreement, gentlemen?” I ask. “Please check to be certain you have what the manifest states.”
“As long as we’re going over locker boxes, let’s look at our set of PPE purchase orders. Each locker box will contain POs for:
• 1 pair Orange Nomex coveralls, in your size
• 1 Dax carbon-fibre blaze orange hardhat with ear protection, gold face shield
• 1- CMC Safety 9-point extraction harness with carabiners
• 2- pairs Safety Glasses
• 2- pairs of gloves –wet & dry
• 1- pair Gear Box 8088 hard-toed intrinsically safe 8” work boots
• 1- Silva Orienteering Compass
• 3- pairs of cotton WaterWick socks
• 1- CommsLink™ VHF radio with microphone
• 1- Maglight power flashlight
• 1- Rain suit – also Nomex, bibs and outer shell
• 1- Mini Air Horn Power Tootler
• 1- Pair cotton/Nomex blende underwear – anti-chafe, wifebeateboxer: 3 sets.
• 1- 16-ounce container ‘Babies Bottom’ Talcum powder. Nomex chafes.
“Well, that’s a lot of gear; you best become real familiar with it as soon as you can. You are responsible for your PPEs. Lose them and replace them at your own cost. Wear them out? No problem. We will replace them. Get caught on location without your proper PPEs? Alavida. Goodbye. There is no second try. Fuck up once, and you’re gone. I am here for a limited time to try and teach you characters how to blast boats. I am not here to be your wet-nurse or mother. We green?” I ask.
“YES! Green! Rock!”
“Outstanding!”
We spend about an hour going over the various contents of the locker boxes and I answer general questions about blasting and explosives.
“We will use Primacord by the mile and tons of C-4 primarily. I might introduce you to binary explosives if there’s time. We might also get into PETN and RDX. Dynamite for training. But that’s about it.”
“We will use demolition wire and electrically fired blasting caps and boosters. We might have some time to look at set-pull-forget mechanicochemical fuses. But you’ll all learn some basic electrical wiring and how to design a circuit.”
“Tomorrow, given it doesn’t rain and the creek don’t rise.”
“Time, gentlemen!” I said. It’s been a long day and I’m a bit jet-lagged knackered. Besides, I wanted to give that Jacuzzi a spin.
“OK, remember: get your PPEs tomorrow morning at the Company Store. I expect to see each and every one of you here tomorrow, kitted out and ready to go, at 1300 sharp. That’s it. See you tomorrow. Susandhya. [Good evening.]” I said.
Locker boxes are locked and stowed in an orderly fashion. Each and everyone one of my 24 acolytes come to me before he leaves work to thank me personally and shake my hand.
“This might just work out”, I say to no one in particular.
Sanjay and I head back to the Raj for the night. I’m really tired, finally feeling the jet travel hit, and not the least bit hungry.
However, I do ring up the 214 cigar dude and relieve him of a selection of fine smokes. I drop by the bar for a couple of barley-pops before I retire to my capacious room for the night.
“Sanjay”, I say, “I’m knackered. If anyone wants me, head them off until tomorrow. It can wait. I’m going to get some kip and don’t want to be disturbed. No maids, no Majordomo, no butler. I just want to get unconscious for a while.”
“No problem, Rock”, Sanjay assures me, “I’ll tell them you’ve gone bush and haven’t left a forwarding address.”
“Good man”, I say, patting him on the shoulder. Hell, I must be getting old. Shit like teaching a band of newbies and whooping a little ass would have never as much as caused me a short breath. Then again, it’s probably not the years, it’s really the mileage…
After a quick light breakfast come morning, Sanjay and I are back on location. I’m being given a tour of the place by the day-shift foreman, one Mr. Vikramaditya Shrivastava.
“Yikes”, I say to Sanjay, “You characters really go for your 11-syllable names.”
“Call him ‘Vik’, Rock”, Sanjay smiles, “Good thing you’ve never asked about my last name.”
“Probably is”, I snicker back. I’m not getting roped into this little tussle.
Vik speaks fairly passable English, but I’m still glad Sanjay is here. The first order of business is to see the explosives bunker I sent plans for and how that’s coming along. They tell me it’s almost finished and ready to be stocked with what I’ve ordered.
“Outstanding, let’s have a look,” I say.
Into the Citation Golf Cart, we go. None of this plebian walking shit. We’re MIPs, Monstrously Important People.
Plebes walk, we ride.
We drive around the piles of rusty scrap, huge hunks of bulkhead, and disconcertingly quickly through polychromatic puddles of who-knows-what to slide to a stop in front of a large canvas tent.
Think M *A *S *H-type mess tent.
“What’s this?” I ask, “Commissary? First Aid?”
“No, Dr. Rock”, Vik explains, “Here are your explosives.”
My eyes grow large.
“What do you mean?” I ask. What the fuck do you mean? I mean.
“Building of your bunker is taking more time than we expected what with your design imperatives. But your order was filled most expediently. We are storing it here until the bunker is complete.” He smiles in that inimitable Indian manner that is so irritating when they don’t realize the major fuck-up they’ve just committed.
“OK. Simmer down, Rock.” I say to myself. “Sanjay, ask him again what’s in that tent. That bottomless tent that’s just a sheet of tarpaulin held up by metal poles.”
“He says that’s your explosives order, Rock,” Sanjay says. His demeanor went from perky and helpful to terrified as he saw me turn several shades of crimson and begin to emit wisps of steam.
“Sanjay”, I said in calm, calculated terms. “You are telling me there are over 9 tons of high explosives, blasting caps, boosters, demo wire, and ANFO sitting on wet sand in this heat under a sheet of fucking tarpaulin?”
“Yes?” he stammered, with a squeak.
“OK.”, I said. “We need to keep very calm and not go completely apeshit; and I’m telling you, right now, that’s taking Augean-level effort. We have a situation here, Mr. Sanjay. A very, very dangerous and very deadly situation. Let’s above all, remain calm.”
“Right, Rock”, he replies.
I turn to Vik and say in a calm and collected tone, “YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKER! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
“Calm and collected, right, Rock?” Sanjay smirks and Mr. Vik withers under my verbal assault.
“Sorry, I had to get that one out.”, I apologized, “Mr. Vik. You have created a real blockbuster here. Quite literally. I figured, erroneously it seems, that you would not take delivery of over 9 TONS of high explosives before you had a very safe and secure place to store such.”
“It arrived sooner than we thought. We got a good price on it,” he explained.
You did? Fucking great! Holy mothering fuck!
Now I was even more worried. One does not get discounts or bargain-basement deals on quality high explosives.
“Pray, Mr. Vik”, I entreated, “From where did you source these detonic components?”
“From Best Blast and Supply Llc of Hong Kong Enterprises.” He replied, “Bulk discount quantities, quick delivery bonus. Saved crore rupee.”
No. I was wrong, it could get worse.
Not only 9 tons of high explosives, 9 tons of counterfeit, knock-off, and non-regulated manufacturer explosives.
“OK”, I said, “Let’s take stock here. My bunker isn’t finished yet? Correct? So you and the company meatheads ordered 9 tons of knock-off explosives from some shady and cheesy Chinese dealer and you stored them on wet beach sand, in this heat, under a tarp? Have I got all that right?”
“Oh, yes Doctor Rock.”, he smiled.
“Sanjay”, I said in a low, firm tone, “We have a…situation. We need to cordon this area off and build an exclusion zone as far as we can around it. No one, and I mean no one, gets within what, 10 kilometers? of the tent. This thing goes off, it’s going to leave a much larger than that cone of devastation. Then we need to visit with the management of this place and have a few thousand well-chosen four-letter words. Then I can think about what the fuck we’re going to do about this situation. I’m struggling to remain calm so everyone else will, but this is just a wee bit tetchy. Find me some red flags and start planting them around the tent, working our way out. Let’s go. Calmly, collectively, and with purpose.”
We find a source of 2-meter poles with red pennants. Sanjay also finds a few miles of yellow “Danger: Stay The Fuck Away” tape. We gather then and head back to the tent. We start to spiral out from it planting flags and running tape.
We did the best we could, but we were disrupting daily business activities. Good. Let the head idiots in charge know they’ve fucked up and grandly.
Back at headquarters, I’m fuming. I’m damn mad. I’m loud and being all extremely American about all this.
“You fucking idiots! 9 tons of cheap-shit high explosives? From China? Stored on wet sand in this heat? Under a benchod tarp? Why the flying fuck do you think I sent such detailed plans for a storage bunker? Do you assholes even think?” I railed on like this for at least half an hour, going all Gene Wilder in ‘Young Frankenstein’.
“Yes, Doctor”, one Mr. Karam Kanungo, the local boss and company president said, “That is all true and steps will be taken to redress the situation. But that doesn’t address the issue at hand. What do you suggest?”
“I suggest you are all taken out and given hot coffee high colonics to clear out your thinking processes”, I spit, “But that still leaves us with a nine-ton headache out there waiting to bloom into something even more aggravating.”
The entire assembled board agreed.
I calm down a bit and have a think. Fuck your boardroom, I’m having a cigar.
“You need a licensed, certified, master blaster to go and sort that out. Do you happen to have one handy?” I asked, sweeter than clover honey.
“Ah, yes, you are…oh.”, was the collective realization.
“Yeah, I know. It’s me. I’m the only one that can sort this shit out. We can’t even wait until we find someone from the world to assist. We are sitting on a literal time bomb, gentlemen.” I reply.
They all agreed and were relieved I was going to take on the challenge.
What else could I do? That stuff lights off and we’re talking easily hundreds if not thousands of fatalities and countless injuries. Fuck that. Not on my watch.
I tells ya’ what. The fucking Karma Fairy better shower me with gifts and accolades, blowjobs and candy corn after all this.
In a metaphorical sense, of course.
“OK, Mr. Sanjay, you’re with me.” I say, “Now look, Herr Macs”, I address the collective board, “Before I had carte blanche. Now, if I even think we might need something, it appears. We’ll sort out our honoraria and bonuses for this after we get back.”
Everyone present agreed most hastily. Handshakes all around and apologies from the board cemented the issue.
“OK, Sanjay. I need a bus. At least 24-seater. With a driver than knows how, when, and where to stop. OK?” I ask.
“24, Rock?”, Sanjay asks, “You’re not thinking of including the recruits now, are you?”
“Yes I am, Mr. Sanjay.”, I replied sternly, “On the job training. Meet me at outbuilding #2 at 1300 as per plan. Order a bus and arrange the largest forklift that can manage beach sand, about 100 wooden pallets, plastic wrap, and sandbags. Lots and lots of sandbags. Have them stockpiled away from the tent in a muster area. OK. You got all that?”
“Yes, Rock”, he said, “I’ll be there in a couple of hours. It will only take a few phone calls.”
“Marvelous.”
Not even 1000 in the fucking morning and I’m facing life and death decisions once again. I dig an emergency flask out of my field vest. If this doesn’t qualify as an emergency, what the fuck does?
A tot or two later, I change into my PPEs, and light a cigar. I catch a tap-tap to the region of the tent. I need to reconnoiter the area and figure out what sort of dragon I have to slay and the best way of going about slaughtering the sumbitch.
I’m standing alone, about 250 meters from the tent of death.
I’m puzzling and puzzling; but I can’t allow for my puzzler to go sore. Not this early, anyway.
“OK, me ol’ mucker”, I sigh, “It’s me or thee. Pucker up, Buckwheat. Here I come.”
A blast suit like the ones bomb disposal dudes wear wouldn’t help in the least. All it would do is hold the mashed body parts together to make for easier disposal. I’m anywhere within a kilometer or so of this pile of Chinese counterfeit boom-makers and it decides to let go; I’m lunchmeat. That’s it. Alive one second; kerpow, splat, instantaneously zonked into component particles the next. That’s the long and short of it. No ‘thank you’s. No ‘good bye’s. Just existing here one minute and in an alternate dimension the next.
Doesn't that just take the biscuit? Funny old thing, life.
I trod onwards.
For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.
I was walking up to the tent, clearing a path for the forklift. No fucking way I’m schlepping nine tons of dodgy explosives out of here, over wet beach sand, by hand and hoof.
Sand. I’m with young Anakin on this one. I hate sand. I hate walking in dry sand, hiking in wet sand. It makes for a wonderful oil reservoir and I love its porosity and permeability at depth. But at the surface, forget it. Yow! Let me tell you about the time I was out in the Rub al-Khali desert. The great Sand Erg. Wind blowing a force 9 gale! Seif dunes 1,000 meters high…
Yeah. I know. I’m stalling.
I’m approaching the tent. Carefully. I pause to light a new cigar. You might think that daft, but it’s really not. None of the stuff inside is heat-sensitive; let me clarify. None of the stuff is going to go off if hit by errant ash or even a sustained flame. But sitting out in the 30C+ heat? OK, that makes it twitchier. Cigars do the opposite for me. Give me something to concentrate upon and it calms me down.
I need calm now. By the bucketful. Where’s a monsoon when you really need one?
OK, I made it. I’m at the tent. Got to hand it to the workers around here, they respect authority and don’t come anywhere near the tent. They also don’t apparently give a shit as there no crowd gathered filming me with their iPhones to post to You Tube© if the tent decides to go all detonic.
Good. I couldn’t yell anything at them they’d understand to clear out anyway.
I open the hole in the side of the tent and pause. I’m hit with a wave of hot air. And the heady redolence of onions, sewer gas, and dog farts.
Sorry, that’s just me. Weird midnight snack last night. Frozen durian. What a treat.
Anyways.
I smell kerosene. Old wood pulp, like musty magazines. And an undercurrent of almonds.
“Oh, treble fuck me,” I say to no one within 100 square kilometers.
Kerosene is sweaty C-4. Old wood pulp is dynamite. Almonds? My old friend, nitroglycerine.
Things, if possible, went from real to super-uber major-league holy-fuck real.
“OK”, I say, as I dig out my phone and begin to snap pictures at a frantic rate.
Luckily, all the ordnance was piled like-with-like. Blasting caps? All over here. C-4, all along this ‘wall’. Dynamite? All over here. Non-explosives? Right over here.
I was mentally running like a squadron of overclocked Crays, wondering what I need to do to sort out this little situation. I’m so deep in thought, someone would need to throw me a rope to get my attention.
Or, just tap me on the shoulder.
Once I returned from low earth orbit, I turn to see a little wisp of an Indian feller, who had to be at least 27 years Methuselah’s senior.
“What? THE? Actual? Fuck? Are? You? DOING? Here?” I screamed.
“A thousand pardons, Sahib.”, the ancient one said, “I saw you working alone. Salim wonders if you need some help? Salim is good helper. Salim will help you good.”
“Yes, Salim. Oh, hello by the way.”, I said, calming a bit, forcing myself to smile so I didn’t kill him on the spot, “I do need your help. I need you to go, very slowly, out of this tent and to where the flags begin. Stand there and allow access to no one. OK. We green?”
Salim smiles broadly revealing both teeth. I slowly usher him out and remind myself to order a few new pairs of boxers before the day is out.
Back to the problem at hand. There are some salvageable items here. But the most the C-4, all the dynamite and every sack of ANFO has to go. And by ‘go’, I mean be disposed of. How?
By blowing it up, how else?
An idea creeps into my skull. I puff and puff while it grows and finally, I’ve a plan of attack.
I close the tent and slowly walk away. I hand Salim 1000 rupees and tell him that no one, I don’t care if it was Mahatma Gandhi reincarnate, goes anywhere near that tent.
“You savvy?” I ask.
“Oh, Sahib! I savvy! Thank you! Salaam! I savvy!” he is beside himself with joy, 13 bucks, and a task.
I look at my watch. It’s just gone noon. Good. I need a sandwich, some fluid replacement, as I’ve probably literally sweated off 5 kilos in the last hour and a half, and some time to jot down my plans.
I catch a tap-tap, geez, these things are everywhere around here. They form an unsanctioned, but necessary, sort of intradepartmental transport system here. I tip a couple of hundred rupees for every trip. They see blaze orange and they have this Pavlovian reaction. I sometimes need to break up fist-fights over which driver arrived first.
“Commissary”, I say, sit down, let the tap-tap, which is really nothing more than a glorified golf cart, adjust to my Western bulk and away we zip.
Salim is waving to me as we depart.
I shudder to think if I hadn’t had a tot or two and was a bit jumpier from the morning’s caffeine. Here's to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.
At the commissary, I grab a tall iced, fruit cocktail juice; a slurry of mixed dragon fruit, kiwi, carambola, blood orange, green apple, watermelon, bitter melon, sweet melon, & bailan melon fruity essence. I’m incredibly thirsty and I need some calories, but not in bulk and not from onion bhajis, mutton kabobs, or something claiming to be grilled chicken on a stick.
The last thing I need today is a case of the trots or even sharp gas pains in the next few hours. I add about 5 fingers of Old Fornicator Vodka to the juice and sip it slowly as my biometric rhythms return from the ionosphere and back to more normal levels.
Remember, I’m EtOh-based. I need to control my various fluid levels very carefully.
The blasting muse is upon me. In less than 30 minutes, I have a plan. Both a written out procedure and a map of what needs to be done.
I finish off another tall, icy glass of potato and various fruit juices, venture outside feeling almost like I’ve once again regained the illusion of control of the situation and my life.
I fire up a heater and decide to walk the approximately 1100 meters to outbuilding #2. I’m thinking as I sashay along; figuring this and calculating that.
I round the corner and see Outbuilding #2 and a bus parked next to it.
The bus looks like a refugee from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The movie and album.
I go into Outbuilding #2 and see about half the class has arrived, and they are all kitted out in their new, stiff, and scratchy PPEs.
I nod hello to all and see Sanjay over across the room.
“Mr. Sanjay”, I say, “Nice bus. What’s the story?”
“Only one I could find that was a 24 seater, not actively falling apart, and with an English speaking driver. Rock. Mr. Maha, owneoperator.” He replied.
“Mr. Maha”, I said, shaking his hand. “Love the bus. Some sort of passion project?”
Mr. Maha laughs. “I was city bus driver for 39 years. I retire and go nuts. I buy old bus and fix up mechanicals. Runs all like excellently. Looks like dung heap. I begin to paint and never quite knew when to stop.”
“I like it. Adds a sense of surrealism to the day, as if it really needs more.” I reply, “However, I do hope you know how to stop. I mean that sincerely. We have a literal bomb to defuse. Does that bother you?”
“No, Doctor”, he says, “Nothing much bothers me anymore. I know. You are here. You are to make safe. I feel safe that you’re here. Let us go to work.”
“Outstanding”. I say.
I tell him that a fat bonus will be his when this is all over if all goes to plan.
“Unnecessary.”, he replies, “Mr. Sanjay has already paid me.”
“Paid? Perhaps”, I reply, “You are going to get danger money whether you like it or not.”
“I guess I will like it, Doctor.” He smiles.
“Marvelous.”
I look at the clock, it’s 1256. Almost showtime.
1300 on the spot. I pick up the microphone and address the assembled 24.
“Gentlemen”, I say, “Very good. You all look like late October in the United States. Very festive.” as all are kitted out in their respective PPEs.
“We have a little matter to handle. One that has just cropped up and one you’re certainly not ready for, but I have no other choice. Does that bother anyone here?” I ask.
Head shakes and questions arise.
“OK, class”, I say, “For your first training exercise, we’re going to defuse a 9-ton bomb. Let’s go.”
The collective gasp drew my cigar smoke in another direction, right towards them.
“Doctor…Ah, Rock. Really?” one brave soul asked for the crowd.
“Yes”, I said, “seems your company officials got a ‘real deal’ on some dodgy Chinese explosives. They didn’t wait until they finished the storage bunker I had designed, so they simply set the stuff on the beach and covered it with a canvas tent.”
There were more gasps.
“Indeed”, I said, “We need to neutralize this threat. Sanjay is passing out copies of my plan and designs on just how to do this. Read them over and let me know what you think. You have 5 minutes. We’re out of here at 1330 on the nose.”
They read quickly, cogitated over the plans and as I had assumed, didn’t find any flaws within.
“OK”, I say after an inch of cigar had passed, “You follow my directions, directly and without question, there’s no reason you can’t come out of this alive and happy, free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.”
There was a chuckle or two at that last line. ‘Airplane’ is such a classic movie.
“Now I know”, I continued, “That this is pretty scary shit. Especially for you guys, being tossed in the deep end like this. I know because I’m scared to death.”
“Oh, Doctor Rock”, one of my acolytes said, “We do not believe this is so.”
“I stay alive by being scared to death”, I replied. “You will learn this as well.”
Sanjay checks out everyone’s PPE and all appear in good order. They are happy to have such nice, new equipment.
And that’s a problem. People used to ragged and ratty shit with which to work will go to extraordinary lengths to not filthy-up brand new working gear. This is one little bugaboo I’m going to settle here and now.
“One thing, gentlemen”, I note, “You all have nice, clean, and new PPEs. You look great. You come back to Outbuilding #2 looking as pristine, you’re gone. Keeping clean is not a part of your training. You’re going to sweat and stink. You keep to clean and it tells me you’re goldbricking, that is, not doing your job.” I say as I surreptitiously unscrew the top of my travel mug, ‘accidentally’ trip and shower the front row with Greenland coffee, lukewarm.
“See?”, I saw, “They were totally protected. That’s what PPEs are all about. We green?”
“Somewhat brown, Rock”, a couple of the guys in the front row reply without a hint of irony.
“Outstanding.”
“Gentlemen, it is time. Take what you think you’ll need and leave the rest in your locker box. Brass tags to Sector 4. On the bus, we leave in 5 minutes.”
I move my brass marker to Zone 4, puff a blue cloud for all to see, and head out to the bus.
We’re loaded and headed to Sector 4 in less than 5 minutes.
“OK”, I say”, I’m going to break you up into groups of 4. Tags number 1 to 4, you’re group 1. 5-8, group 2, and so on. OK?”
All respond in the affirmative.
OK. Six groups of four, Sanjay and me to lead the pack. We roll up to just outside the exclusion zone. With a squeal of brakes, we grind to a halt.
“Outside”, I command, “Assemble in your groups next to the bus. Go!”.
Like a well-oiled team, they de-bus and stand together in 6 groups. Sanjay and I walk along, inspecting the troops.
“OK”, I say, “This may seem like a shit job, but group 4. Back on the bus. To the commissary. Water, juice, and whatever else you think we’ll need to stay hydrated out there. Don’t worry, we’re going on rotation once you get back. You’ll all get a chance to do the exciting stuff. Now, move it.”
I say something to Sanjay, he jots it down in his book, certain to remind me later.
“OK, let’s see. Group 1. Storage detail. Build the temporary in-ground storage locker like it’s shown in the plan. Get help and have them source the manpower and materials. It needs to be done in the next 2 hours. Go!”
There are some explosives that can be salvaged. I need a place to store them. I’ve scouted and laid out a spot away from prying eyes where they can build an 8x8x8 hole in the ground, line it with marine plywood, and store whatever we can salvage. A plywood roof over the thing, a couple of locks, and well, Robert’s your Mother’s Sister’s Husband.
Next, I send group 3 to build a road from the tent to an area on the beach sourced as Disposal Area #1. They will take flags and tape and run a road, of sorts, from the tent to the beach; cordoning it off so we can take the forklift and its loads of dodgy high explosives to the disposal area.
The other groups are doing needful and necessary things as well. I tell Sanjay to keep a lid on things, I’m going to bring the forklift, a few pallets, sandbags and such in for the first run.
I find the forklift, and it’s a huge old Hyster 52-ton truck.
It’ll do.
The keys are in, so I drop in and fire it up. It catches on the first twirl and I pick up a half-dozen wooden pallets, a bunch of sandbags, and a few huge rolls of plastic wrapping. It’s like driving a tank, but it has plenty of power and just a low gear range.
I drive it back to Sector 4 and almost rum over Salim. He was taking my previous orders very seriously, indeed.
“All cool, Salim”, I say over the roar of the forklift, “It’s just me.”
He waves and lets me pass. He’s serious as a heart attack about keeping people out.
I drive and realize that I can’t drive ‘gingerly’ in a conveyance such as this. I can drive deliberately and with forethought, but it rumbles and shudders the ground. Best to slide in, drop the load, and shut her down while I figure out what’s next.
I do so and drop the pallets, etc., just outside the flap of the tent. I back off a few feet, drop the forks, and shut the noisy machine down for the time being.
Sanjay appears. As does Crew #5. I motion them to come over, slowly and with forethought.
We’re all standing outside the tent flap. I raise an index finger, right, of course, to get their attention.
“Gentlemen, first lesson. What says these explosives have gone bad? Answer:” and I open the tent flap.
“Take a whiff. What do you smell?” I instruct.
“Old paper?” was one answer.
“Oil? Petrol? Something petrochemical?” was the next.
“Almonds?” Sanjay says.
“Highest marks. We’ve old C-4. It sweats and smells like kerosene. Old paper or pulp? Dynamite gone wet and bad. Almonds? Bitter, bitter almonds? Nitroglycerine. Yes, guys. We’ve got rogue nitro inside. Anyone want to quit? Now’s your chance.” I ask, being deadly serious.
One looks to another; then they all look to me…eyes wide…
To be continued…
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