And the mouth ran away with the brain

I’m really enjoying my new customer service job, I’m still not convinced it’s the right one for me, however. I am great with the cash register. I like to “front and face” the store as much as possible. I love to stay busy and clean when there’s nothing else to do. The best parts are interacting with the customers, but this is where it gets tricky. Why? Because I have a weird sense of humor.

We sell a lot of alcohol where I work and one gentleman came in and bought several bottles. A few of them were glass so I put them in a paper bag and then double bagged that in plastic bags. I told him that I didn’t want them to break before he got home and enjoyed his weekend with it all. He nodded and said something about appreciating it, but I didn’t stop. “You could go get a straw and drink it off the parking lot, but that just wouldn’t be the same.” He inhaled his orange pop and had a coughing fit for several minutes. I didn’t think the comment was all that off / inappropriate / funny, but I guess I forget what kind of conventional town I live in.

Another person came through and we got to talking how expensive compression socks are. I told him that I use mine until they just won’t stand up anymore because I can’t afford to go buy a new pair every month. I then proceeded to spout off about buying five pairs of panty hose and sewing them together to see if it worked any better. He guffawed and rolled his eyes. He walked away in either amusement or offense. I couldn’t tell. I didn’t think it was that crazy of an idea or a comment.

This is how I get into trouble (or will, I’m sure). My boss is very self conscious about the things he says to the customers and I know that one of these days, my over active imagination and mouth are going to do me in.

Today, I am proud of myself.

It has been a rough day. In all honesty, the last couple months have been difficult. I had to leave my job due to unsafe working conditions. I have found another job since, but only just recently.  Here’s the problem: I filed for unemployment and am being bounced around through loopholes.

Here’s the deal-io: I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a nice lady from the unemployment office. I am being serious, she was very nice. She only put me on hold to read through my case and whenever I corrected her on something, she said, “You’re right, let me try to make more sense of this.” She finally went and got her supervisor, who enforced a loop hole and she was no longer able to help me.

It was difficult. We are not currently drowning in debt collectors, but we are just barely keeping our necks above the murky waters. We have had to extend our bills out to the maximum amount of time before late fees are charged. We have sought public assistance programs and will need to again, shortly. Still, things could be far worse. We still have a roof over our heads, food in the pantry, and we are both now working so this situation is certainly temporary.
The thing is that I earned that unemployment by working. I had to leave my job to prevent any further physical harm from coming to myself. It was not just a “I’m sick of having to work, I think I’ll draw money off the system” type of deal. It was a difficult choice, but I believe I made the right one. Jobs can be replaced, fingers cannot.
Having said all of that, I was very distraught when I got off the phone with the nice lady. I threw myself on the bed and sobbed, loudly. I could hear my neighbors murmuring. They were probably wondering what on Earth was going on. It only lasted 5 or so minutes, but I continued to cry for a good hour afterwards.  Taking a shower, reading, and trying to get proactive about the situation has helped, but I am still fighting the urge to curl up in bed and sob.  Despite this, I am proud of myself.  Why?
Because I have not allowed this unfortunate situation to overwhelm and engulf me. I am going to get a huge stack of necessary papers together and physically go down to the unemployment office, where things will be straightened out.  I am not going to mope around the house all day, I have things to do. I am an adult and I have responsibilities. The good thing about this is that it is very distracting and helps me realize that life does go on.  Even if it turns out that I do not prevail in this situation, life goes on.
Still, I have learned something. I believe it is time to leave Indiana. The labor laws here are atrocious. Corporations are favored over individuals. It is a highly depressed are due to this and other situations (such as addiction being treated from a criminal standpoint instead of a mental health one, a very gender biased public assistance program, and a piss poor educational system).  It is high time Hubby and I took a good look at our lives and how negatively impacted they have been because of this. When we are able to move out of the area, I would rather go to a state with better labor laws, better social programs, and a much better educational system.
Lesson learned, Indiana. You are not worth the negativity.

Just another day in the life..

..of Ye Olde Timey Towne.

Today was supposed to be jammie day. Hubby and I were supposed to sit in the air conditioning, in our jammies, on the couch, and binge watch Netflix all day. That didn’t happen.

It’s partly my fault because I forgot that we had an appointment at 2pm. Oops. Hubby had family over to help out with some online stuff, which ended up not working out, but I got the house clean. As Hubby said, “Nothing cleans a house faster than having company over.” Yay! Clean house.

I was also able to work on some of my artsy/crafty projects. I tried two more attempts at the neighbor’s baby blanket but have yet to find a pattern that will suit my needs. I’m being too picky, I know, but it’s supposed to be cute dammit!
I also did some drawing for a short story I wrote a few weeks ago and did some more research on writing novels in general. I swear that one of these days I will sit down and write. I promise. No, my fingers are not crossed behind my back. Okay, maybe a little.

Hubby and I decided that we had sat around too much and so we went for a walk. This is where things got interesting.
We were taking our usual walk down past the Court House when a young lady approached us. (Hubby has informed me that “lady” is too strong of a word.) Anyways, she asked us if we knew a bar that had the name “pickle” in it or something like that. We looked at eachother and then pointed .. at .. the bar. It was across the block. It was right there. I told her it was between the chiropractor’s office and the jail, as I was pointing across the street at said office. Hubby told her that if she hit the jail, she’d walked too far. She said okay and the proceeded to walk in the wrong direction.
Hubby and I took the cue and sat on the bench on the sidewalk. We watched her walk around the block, past the jail, and then we waited. She came back around the same corner, looked around a little bit, and slowly meandered her way into the Greasy Pickle bar. We watched and waited..
She came out of the bar, flagged down a truck in the middle of the road, and started talking to him and pointing in various directions. This whole time, we were sitting on a bench, diagonally from said bar. She saw us, we saw her, and she never came up and asked us anymore questions. Maybe she was offended by our laughter. When we decided to leave and head back for home, she was still walking around, in front of the bar, looking for the bar.
I wonder if people inside were telling her it was the wrong bar, just to mess with her. Oh the fun we have with tourists during the Tri-State Tractor and Gas Engine Show.

After that, it’s pretty much been winding down til bedtime. Let’s hope tonight is a good one for sleep, we have a dog to groom in the morning.

Frankly My Dear..

You know the rest. But I do! I do give a damn!

I came home from Mom’s and grabbed the mail out of the mail box. There was a flier from one of our state’s congressmen.  I didn’t really think anything of it because we tend to get fliers from congressmen whose district we are not in. We tend to get them a lot, actually. I was ready to throw it in the burn pile, but morbid curiousity took hold of me and I read it. I READ IT! Ugh.

govment

It was a thick, high gloss flier that had a perforated area you were supposed to detach and send back. It wanted you to check off all the things you thought the state government needed to focus on. National Debt, Job Creation, and Border Security were just a few options. I went to grab a permanent marker to make one big “X” that would cover all the check marks, but something grabbed a hold of me. I snatched a pen from the pen pot and started writing in the “Other” section. I told my congressman about how piss poor employment is here in Indiana. That job creation wasn’t the problem, employment at will was the problem. A so called “right to work” laaws had paved the way for companies to treat their employees like disposable commodities instead of human beings. Turn over rates, accident reports, and job dissatisfaction is on the rise. Something needs to be done now!

laborlaw

I looked over my sentences that were peppered with exclamation points and shrugged. It would either get thrown away at the congressman’s office, or I’d get contacted for being aggressive. Either way, I had done my part, right? Wrong. I turned the flier over and noticed something at the top right hand corner. There was a little box. Inside that box there were four words, “Place Firstclass Stamp Here”. What?! This flier was franked.

I had heard about this on the news. Franking in America (this is my new  favorite phrase BTW) is the process of stamping an envelope to state that the postage is paid for.  There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a good method. It’s not so good when government employees start franking mail with taxpayers dollars, however.  The flier I received had been franked by a machine, with one of those “First Class Postage Paid” markings. next to a pre-sorted marking.  This means, the money to send it to me came out of my own pocket, as a taxpayer, and now I was being asked to use my own money to send it back.

postmark

WHAT?!

Oh L no. Homey don’t play these games. If I was going to have to use my own money to pay for the postage on the return trip, I was going to be saying a lot more. This is probably how I am going to spend my evening: drafting a well written letter to my congressman about the perils of treating individuals like throw away razors and treating companies like human beings. In between bouts of politically-fueled ire, I’ll work on my afghan to ease tension. I think I’ll probably have to use more than one stamp to send him the book I plan on writing, but at least it (hopefully) gets his attention more than a few measly check boxes.  I hope not to get so much attention that I get labelled dangerous and thrown in jail, but I did always wonder what the inside of a jail cell looked like.

The nerve.

Oddball

My skills of conversing with others has always been somewhat challenged. When I was younger, I was withdrawn and shy to the point of not even wanting to look people in the eye. It was a severe handicap, one that I have slowly overcome over the years.

On top of this, I’ve become more of a skeptic as the years have passed. This combination has made me an outspoken person with an odd idea of what things should be talked about. It’s almost as hazardous as my husband’s tendency to spout out snarky puns that he thinks are funny. Almost.

A great example would be my trip to my mother’s bank this week. Mom had to have outpatient surgery this week and I volunteered to take care of her while she recovered at home.  I did her housework, helped her care for her drainage thing-a-ma-jig, and fed us. I also ran some errands for her that were, oddly enough, scheduled the day of her surgery. No big deal, I was happy to help and get out of the house.

One of these errands involved going to the bank. Not my bank, but my mother’s bank. I had never, ever, been to this bank before so the tellers didn’t know me at all. I was also dressed very casually because of running errands in the heat (read that as I was wearing capri jeans, a large t-shirt, and sandals). This bank is more upscale and most people going in and out were dressed for business.

teller

As soon as I walked through the glass doors, all of the tellers got on tip toe to watch me walk across the bank lobby. You see, their station is surrounded by high walls, so they couldn’t see over it too well. I started the transaction giggling and told them how funny they all looked trying to peer over the wall at me as I walked in.

The teller bristled. “Well, we just weren’t sure who you were.” Her lips persed shut as she clickity clacked on her computer. I guess I looked more menacing than I had realized. I tried to break up the tension with a comical observation. “You just all look like little meerkats sticking your heads up like that.” Nadda. She handed me my stuff and ended the transaction with, “Well we do have a job to do.” I guess having a sense of humor is not apart of that job.

meerkats

And most interactions are pretty much like that. I make an oddball observation that I think is funny (not that I think I’m being funny, but rather, the thing I”m talking about is funny). People misunderstand and become defensive. I try a little humor to break the tension. They want to stab me.

I guess this is how Hubby feels when he makes a “funny” observation and I get offended. I guess I should work on that one.

Work Rant

Caution, this turned out much larger and precarious than I had imagined.

 

These past few weeks have been a tumultuous experience. First of all, I became very ill and for no apparent reason. It was determined that I had a secondary sinus infection, but that shouldn’t have caused a fever that was quite so high nor one that lasted so long. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the medicine had actually worked, but I just seemed to keep getting sicker. I had difficult staying awake, food did not seem like fun, and my moods were shifting into dangerous areas.

Sick from Work

Sick from Work

Because of all this, I had to take a week off of work. It’s a good thing I did, I couldn’t keep my eyes open just from moving from the bed to the couch. I can only imagine the very nasty things that would have happened if I had actually tried to withstand a full shift at work.  I was hoping that was it. Surely one whole week of rest is enough to conquer any fever, right? Wrong.

The pure stress from work combined with strange hours and an allergy to fine dust particles made it too much to bear. My body simply could not fight the fever off. After the first day back, my fever spiked again. My body ached and no medicine helped the pain. I was feeling delirious, again, and it took everything I had not to cry myself to sleep. Despite this, I forced myself to go back to work the next day.. I think. It’s all kind of a blur. I remember having to go back to the doctor several times and get different doctor’s notes. It is possible that I slept one day and then went back.

Anyways, on my next day back, I lasted 40 minutes. Yes, 40 minutes. I didn’t even make it to the first 10 minute break. I just couldn’t handle the physical illness on top of the exceedingly unreasonable amount of stress. I didn’t cry when I got home, I slept. I think I slept the next day, too, but as I said before, it’s all a bit of a blur. I know I still feel weak and if I miss a dose of medicine, I get sick again.

Stress from Work

Stress from Work

This is where I get confused. How can we live in a place that demands so much out of each employee that their physical and mental health is at jeopardy? Is it like this everywhere in the US? The factories I have been working at as of late all seem to have the same attitude: Work them hard, work them fast, and don’t treat them like human beings.

I know, any company has to make a profit. And yes, I agree that people do need to be held accountable for their actions. People need to be willing to learn how to function at the required task and do so efficiently. That being said, it would be great if those in charge understood the implications of their unreasonable expectations. The thing is, they do and they still don’t care. “Figure it out”, “get it done”, “make it happen” are phrases too often uttered by those in charge. Those in charge who have no idea what it actually takes to complete the work. Yes, they are working too, but they do not understand that just because a job is labor intensive and considered entry level, it is still a hard job.

After awhile, such a hard job can take it out of you. This is especially true when you are required to work an outrageous amount of mandatory overtime due to the inability of those in charge to properly schedule people. This could be because they are running out of people to schedule, which is just one of many vicious and dysfunctional cycles that exist.  Again, I am not calling out any one company in this. It has been this way at the last four factories I have worked at. I have been told by a few that it isn’t like this everywhere, but those who only live in the state I do, seem to disagree.

Fired from Work

Fired from Work

I suppose this is all from a much larger problem: at will employment. The ability given to employers by the state to fire anyone and to do so at anytime is absurd. It causes situations where people will not object to working exceedingly long hours, all the while doing the job of two or three people. They can’t afford to lose their job – they aren’t going to say no. This needs to stop.

We are all human beings, we are not disposable commodities to be replaced and discarded like a used razor just because we demand fair treatment. I can honestly see why unions were necessary once upon a time, and I think that time has come back around.

Because of all of this, I am determined to better myself and get out of the dysfunctional companies that care so little for their employees. Their employees – the very people making it possible for the company to sell any product in the first place.

Good riddance.

Free Food

Hubby and I have been eating out a lot, lately. Probably more than we should, but for good reasons: stress, exhaustion, and overbearing heat.  That’s not what I’m talking about right now, though. I want to talk about our adventures eating out this past week, alone.

It started with some coupons that came in the mail. You know the kind, the glossy flier of perforated coupons and vibrant colors of sandwiches that look nothing like the real thing. I usually throw these in the burn/recycle pile immediately, but I had been feeling exhausted and thought I’d hold onto them.  For emergencies.. yea, emergencies.  Anyways, an “emergency” hit the next day when we realized that it was too hot to turn the oven on to cook and that we were too tired to attempt cooking anyways.  I grabbed the coupons and we headed for the nearest, air-conditioned restaurant. Now, I won’t name this specific restaurant but I will give you a hint: grilled meat sandwich royal.  Got it? Good.

Logo Picture (BK)

Grilled Meat Sandwich Royal

 

So there we were at Grilled Meat Sandwich Royal with our coupons in one hand and our wallets in the other.  It was about an hour before I had to go to work, which was just a block away, so we weren’t too worried.  When the food took about 5 minutes, we weren’t overly concerned. When the 10 minute mark was passed, we started to get a little worried. But when the 15/20 minute mark was passed, I had to go to the counter and ask what time it was so I wouldn’t be late for work. I explained what was going on, in a polite way, and immediately got an apology and a refund. Yea, they refunded my money on the spot and then gave us our food.  Sweet! Free food is always a good thing.

Because of our excellent experience (the manager was really awesome), we decided to go back a couple days later. We had more coupons and it was still hotter than ever.  We didn’t expect to get a free meal, but we joked around about it with the manager and then took a seat. And waited. And waited. And waited.  I finally went up to the counter and asked the manager if our food was ready, again.. politely.  She looked at the screen, double-checked my receipt and demanded to know from her staff why my order had been “bumped off”.  She apologized, refunded my money, and gave me my food. For free. Again.  We didn’t complain.  We did go back the next day but had to pay because they got the order right, but we loved the service and will always go back despite the hiccups.

Ah, but the story does not end here. Nope.  Hubby and I decided to go to another restaurant yesterday.  A yummy pizza place with nice atmosphere and awesome unsweet iced tea. Yes, I drink my tea unsweet because I am a freak of nature.  Anyways, we sat down and looked over the menu.  Hubby wanted the smokey bbq pizza and I wanted the chicken Parmesan one so we went half-sies and got one on one side of the pizza and one on the other side. Except Hubby wanted pineapple added to his bbq side. No biggie. We sat and talked while our pizza was being made and then it was brought out.  Only.. the pineapple was on my half of the pizza. The waitress apologized, told us to keep the messed up one since they couldn’t do anything but throw it away, and went back to the kitchen to get us the right pizza. So we ended up with two pizzas for the price of one. Pretty awesome. Not to mention that the Parmesan side wasn’t too bad with pineapple so a win win all around.

Now, I’ve been berating myself and Hubby about spending too much money on eating out. I know, I know.. then why did I eat out so much? Well, it was poor decision making on my part, but the lucky circumstances have justified it in my mind. Now when I open the fridge and see the overly stuffed pizza box from yesterday, I smile knowing that we got way more than our money’s worth.  Free food is never something to beat yourself up about.