Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Itchy Edition

Well, it looks like the folks at Hewlett-Packard are beginning to get the picture. A month back I posted about HP CEO Mark Hurd's reported $42.5 million compensation in 2008, all while HP laid off 25,000 employees. Last week, HP announced salary cuts.

Unfortunately, the pay cuts are across the board. The CEO will take a 20% cut, other execs will see a 15% cut, and managers a 10% cut. All other employees will receive a 2.5 - 5% cut. Given that Hurd's salary is only (ha) $1.5 million of that $42.5 million figure, I'd rather see a total compensation cut at the CEO and exec levels. But even Hurd's cut will mean about 5 more people 20 more people like Scoob will get to keep their jobs.

Speaking of Scoob, he's seriously stressed out about all this. We're in the middle of trying to refinance the house and a pay cut doesn't help matters. Add to that the fact that property taxes are due, and it's just regular tax time as well, and the poor guy is about to implode.

Actually, I think the stress has caused him to break out in hives. On Friday he started getting strange bumps on his forearms. Given his allergies, at first we thought it was a feather pillow, but he's been using that pillow for years. I haven't changed laundry detergent, or fabric softener. We did recently switch bar soaps, but he hasn't used a new one yet.

The only real recent change in the house has been the litter box and the litter we use in it. All I can think of is that the cats have trace amounts of something from this litter on their coats and it makes contact with Scoob's arms when he pets or holds them. We made the switch about 2 weeks ago, so this seems like a very delayed reaction.

Anyhow, he's been using calamine lotion to help with the itching and an anti-bacterial ointment to prevent infection. I convinced him to take a benadryl tab last night just in case it is an allergic reaction. But he got up this morning and took another--so he's going to be pretty much comatose for the day.

He mumbled something about being hungry around 10:30 so I made him something to eat. But I couldn't get him to wake up enough to eat it, and that was 3 hours ago. I've made him agree to make a doctor's appointment if the bumps haven't cleared up by tomorrow.

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