The Way We Live Now: cutting corners. Corners are expensive. You want a 90-degree angle? Pay up. Otherwise you get a ragged, crumbling edge, just like everyone else.
Cell phones. You want a cell phone? Go to the store and buy one yourself, with the money you made collecting cans. Don't think that just because you're en employee of the state of California that you can just "have" a cell phone to "make official calls as part of your job." Those days are gone, hombre.
I mean, really.
Even public servants are cutting back, albeit not by choice. The bond market sucks, and many of the union's greatest states are sucking right along with it. Refinancing! Crushing debt! Short-term borrowing! Unacceptable risk! And in this environment, you want cell phones? You people want to chat on your cell phones, as your particular municipality's credit rating sinks lower than that of your cousin Jerry, the car thief?
Forget it. Just forget it.
You want a cell phone? Go work in the private sector. Go work for JPMorgan Chase, for example, where quarterly profits are up nearly 50%. You don't think Jamie Dimon gets a cell phone? Jamie Dimon gets whatever kind of cell phone he fucking wants. Two, if he fucking wants. When your employer starts paying out dividends to all its investors again, then you can have a cell phone.
And no, "public service" is not a dividend.
The arrogance of people sometimes. Cell phones are for people who produce something: money. They're not for, you know, people who work for the Post Office who are probably getting laid off anyhow. Priorities, people. It's what America lacks. Throw away your cell phones and buy some priorities, public servants. You'll make it to Wall Street yet!
(No you won't.)