Cart before the horse

Nowhere, you catch me this time as I vent on shift over work… let’s be honest the customers at work.

Let’s face it… work, no matter what work it is, can be fulfilling, fun, or therapeutic. It can be as simple as a sense of accomplishment like there was a task and I did it. You don’t have to save people or feed the homeless because it can be just that simple.

I’ve worked at places with awful bosses, usually the ones on their perch at HQ in a completely different state but some more local unfortunately sprinkled in. Those situations are difficult because either you’re being bullied into following policy or suggestions that don’t actually transition into practice when it comes to the boots on the ground. The more local awful bosses can be somewhat skeevy or just like the idea of having authority which will inevitably get them to do questionable things that either get them caught or profiting in an underhanded manner.

However, in most cases, I was not seeing this person daily or they are at least tending to something else so I was not the only lightning rod to gain the unfortunate attention of that person.

The market you serve… you can call them customers, clients, whatever… those are the ones who have in their entitled American mentality that they can yell at the worker with no consequences, demand unlogical things and be rewarded it, or just overall being a lunatic.

No ma’am. We cannot deliveryour customized order of furniture BEFORE PAYMENT is taken care of in full.

You had to wait three months for your order? That’s the exception sir… most orders can take twice that.

We’ve lost a chunk of the workforce to a sickness that flooded our society. Supply shortages and higher prices on simple things like wood and gas are a big deal right now.

I’m astonished at how ignorant people are to this new reality is. Do I like it? Of course not. I don’t like paying more to fill my car or waiting for orders for months, but I’m also not an ignorant idiot who hasn’t adapted.

Pay attention people!!!!

Gender question…

You know the question on all surveys and profiled sites…

Are you: Male or female?

I always hate this question. Always have and always will… not even because of its blatant disregard for the in between though some are getting better at including that. When I say always I mean it… I threw a fit when I was ten when a school form asked.

Think about it. Typically a question like that is asked not because they are trying to find out what you socially identify as. The question is used to determine a category they can you for statistical reasons. They are literally asking “What are your genitals?”

My fit when I was a lot younger (maybe not ten as stated previous, I just remember it happened) was because “those are my privates” so therefore my business only. We are so used to seeing the questions on forms as adults that it’s just normal. Even the adult me who threw this fit understands a bit more now.

As an adult, I understand for statistical reasons why organizations would like that information. It’s a good way to gage as a society that there’s adequate representation. You don’t know you are missing a voice until you look at what voices you have.

Individuals, however, do not need this information. Quite frankly I don’t believe my boss should have any place asking about my genitals for example. Considering if such a real life encounter occurred with my boss or really anyone that isn’t a health care provider would easily be labeled inappropriate at best and sexual harassment at worst.

Quite frankly I don’t think the overall gender question should be done away with until we grow as a society where it means nothing. However it should be split to satisfy evolved needs: biological “what are your genitals” and societal “what gender category do you identify with”.

Granted I advocate for this distinction, but I’ll be honest… I personally don’t care. Before jumping down my throat let me explain.

I’d disclose my genitalia on the form because it’s a fact of what I physically have. I’m not going to say I have a penis when I don’t or if I had both I’d say so. It’s a fact that really makes no difference to me but helps catelogue the representation of sorts. At the same time, I don’t think that information really NEEDS to be shared. Yeah statistics show someone with a vagina and someone with a penis is represented but someone’s genitals shouldn’t be that major of an interest as far as I’m concerned. As long as you are a kind human being then those details are a mute point.

Societal-wise I find the construct of gender roles out-dated and honestly worthless. As I complained in my other rant about political parties… WHY bother? There are no personality traits that are exclusive to one gender, just like a Republican doesn’t HAVE to be Pro-Life to be a Republican. If I say “I’m a woman” maybe you’d picture me as soft spoken, ordering a salad, and partaking of a refined glass of wine. Rum and coke is more my style though I also drink whiskey sometimes. Give me a heafty burger or three slices of pizza over a salad. And soft-spoken… I actually have a hard time with volume control.

My point… categories make it easier for others to make assumptions but is not doing any favors for either party. As Christmas is coming let’s use the idea of a secret Santa:

Katie’s name is pulled by John while Sasha pulls David’s. Katie falls into woman category so John gets her a gift certificate to get her nails done because that’s what “women typically do” not knowing Katie has never seen the inside of a nail salon before and doesn’t care about starting. Meanwhile Sasha thought because of David’s man category she’d get him a home improvement gift card even though David cannot use a tool to save his life.

Obviously those gifts don’t fit them as people so why do you have to lump them in those gender categories in the first place? It didn’t do much in helping choose a gift that works for them.

Right now our society still relies on these outdated categories so they do still have a place, though they need modification. However, it’s all menial considering I’d rather be judged as a decent human being rather than a superficial label of gender.

Dear Big Business

Dear Big Business,

Yes, we know your hiring… trust me, we all know. The thing is… it’s not because we were busy getting handouts. Those “handouts” just meant we weren’t dependent on living paycheck to paycheck from you.

It meant we could spend time with family, without being threatened about taking that extra day off and losing our income. It meant we could keep our health safe by quarantining instead of pushing ourselves to the breaking point jumping through hoops for you.

It hasn’t been worth the minimum wage for a long time. That there are full time employees that even need WIC or food stamps is awful. That there are tons of part timers expected to have open availability for your convenience yet you cap them at 29 hours so you can avoid offering insurance covrrage is ridiculous. There’s always been four full time hires for this department yet it’s now expected run with two even though sales are higher than they were… do I actually HAVE to describe the many ways that makes no sense?!

You’ve been pushing the mentality of “the customer is always right” for so long and demanding so much from us workers for so little. Does it seem right that a customer is allowed to berate and harass us… and for that they get a treat? That discount? They treated a human being who is supposed to be under your care like nothing and you thanked them for it. If someone treated their child like that, it’s neglect but it’s just business to you isn’t it?

Mind you these are all problems from pre-pandemic that have only gotten worse since then.

The pandemic took a lot of people… a lot of the workforce. It’s given perspective for us but it should have given you perspective too.

You have the product people need, you have a location that is accessible, you adapt to the market… customers aren’t actually going anywhere, especially when health concerns during a pandemic try to keep them isolated. Anyone who has been home on their own with a newborn knows this as well… that store trip is a freaking vacation even when you have to bring the kid with you.

Guess what… they don’t actually need that scented soap, that purse, the lounge chair, that DVD… they want out of the house, the isolation… retail therapy does wonders.

Dopamine for the new thing they got, adrenaline for being out when it was probably safer to stay in, and socialization with others… made better by the fact that they were all powerful and got to walk all over someone as if they were superior then being given an extra bonus for it all.

This has to change.

You want workers? Then pay them what they are worth for keeping your day to day business running… listen to them when their experience in the field shows this new policy isn’t practical…

Want them to prefer your job to another? When a customer lords over your employee to the point where they are in tears then stand up and say “I have a right to refuse service to those who don’t treat my people as human beings”… give them proper acknowledgement when they are doing well instead of just giving more goals for them to catch flak for not attaining…

We know you want workers but we need you to give a damn about us first.

Sincerely, the workforce of retail and food service

PS Especially helps when there’s a shortage of workforce due to pandemic you stop being so picky. Yes that person doesn’t have five years experience but they showed up to apply and interview. Your standards have been annoyingly difficult for a lot of people for a while now but seriously… ever heard the term beggars can’t be choosers?

Two sides of a coin

Nowhere hasn’t seen me in a while… not due to lack of things to rant about really. A somberness has reached me due to a combination of depression and a disconnect to what needs a rant.

When something brushes you the wrong way, there’s two ways to deal: one is passion/anger but the other is a denial of sorts. The first can be a great motivator to fix whatever the slight, invoke a change with diligence. The second makes it easier to move on, where you don’t expend energy and can either pretend it doesn’t exist or just accept it as inevitable.

The first is a hard road to take. It requires rigidity and flexibility st the same time. Martian Luther King Jr. would not have been able to be as effective at spearheading the civil rights movement on a grand scale if he went in with a hot head, but likewise may have caved in if not for a deep firmness in his passion for civil rights to change the landscape of a culture.

The second (acceptance or denial) is a cop-out from these responsibilities and burdens. Either you have the privilege to deny it or in the spotlight where a passive acceptance allows you to sleep at night. It leaves you disconnected no matter if it’s denial or bored acceptance. You, who have privilege to turn away, have just turned a back onto something very real in the universe in which you are supposed to be a part of. Then you, who just accept whatever slight as inevitable, contribute to a problem by complacency so you can passively move through the universe in which you are a part of. This is the coin of loneliness.

My coin is on its side. I have both accepted things I shouldn’t have while also ignoring others. Quite frankly, this is what disconnects me but this is what depression does.

I’d rant into nowhere as an outlet, but began to realize no change was going to come from that alone. It merely dociled me into being able to deal with the problem without losing my cool. Get through one more day, one more day, another day… of course the problems remain. Anxiety has always been a companion to me whether I’d like its company or not. Anxiety itself takes a lot of energy, even the hydroncolider would tire. This, however, is what leads to a depressive state only to soon become a perpetual depression.

It is exhausting to be anxious.

It is exhausting to be depressed.

Mental health is like a D20 also known as a dice with 20 sides for all those out there who are not fun. Of course there are way more than just 20 mental health issues, but a D20 is the deciding factor on if something succeeds in Dungeonand Dragons (yes I am a nerd as much as I haven’t been to Nowhere in a while that hasn’t changed I assure you).

Anyway, a 16-20 roll is very good likely to work; grey area exists 6-15; leaving a 1-5 not being desirable at all. I’ve been rolling a 5 sided die for a while now on my mental health. Not a 1 considering lack of suicidal thoughts or intentions, but a numbing day after day… very disconnected from the universe.

I want the energy to be passionate again… effect change… even if just enough to rant loudly into this void I created for myself because I objectively feel as if the world is on fire but I’m too tired to be involved and that in itself is a problem I intend to fix.

6 feet… apart or under?

Everyone by now knows the precautions that are recommended by scientists for Covid-19: 6 foot distancing as much as possible and so on.

Being in retail, we’ve pulled out all the stops to keep people safe. It creates more work, but it’s worth doing to stop the spread as much as possible.

Before we officially opened back up, I had all these plans on how to give customer service but maintaining safe distance. I’d put something on the table, for example, step away then it would be their turn to step up. Next time you go to the store, any store, I want you to look at how the customers give each other that berth typically without issue. Thing is… THEY DON’T DO THE SAME FOR EMPLOYEES!!!

Upon opening, I quickly had to nix my distance customer service plans because customers do not give the same berth to employees as they do to each other. They come right next to you to ask the question then follow much closer than needed (trust me, the size of my store they wouldn’t be in danger of losing me).

Funny thing is, that employee has been in contact with all of those customers you’ve been giving space… logically the staff member is the person you should be probably most wary of. I’m not overly mad as long as masks are involved, but people who I’ve helped have pulled the mask down to talk. Why are you taking random parts of precautions then throwing some of the most important to the wind.

This is a big reason I’m as reluctant as I am about being back to work. Wearing a mask is a consideration for the people around you moreso than actual protection for yourself.

I have two young children who I am worried about getting sick. They haven’t been able to play as much with other kids they’ve been with us (their parents), my aunt (who has mobility problems so regularly needs help from us because she doesn’t go out), and my parents. That I’ve been careful but it could be for not because of these inconsiderate gestures… turns my stomach.

I’m taking showers and changing clothes after every shift before I even greet my family. The extra work is tiring, even more since quarantine lasted a good few months. Would it be so bad that the people working extra for you to stay safe get the same consideration from you?

Daily Prompt – Resurgence

Many wars are waged…

Some won, some lost.

No matter your side,

There is always a cost.

Mutiny under the unjust captain,

Rebel for the sake of progress,

Voice your battle cry…

Even after you’ve tried your best.

A battle doesn’t decide the war.

Let that rally travel on the wind like a song.

There’s always the chance for resurgence

Until your battle cry is gone.

It doesn’t have to be heard by all.

Just as the world will end in a whimper so can the war be won.

Therefore keep your cry loud or soft,

Just as long as it continues until it’s done.

Sometimes my battle cry is clear, but sometimes it’s simply the quiet voice in my head saying tomorrow is another day.

1 doesn’t equal 10

Nowhere, comparatively this will be a trivial matter to what I have ranted about lately. However, even little things can irk me so vent I shall.

I’m going with my mom to her appointment and then to mine after. The timing works so we can use one car. Bonus to that is my car won’t use gas because we can and are using my mom’s. The cherry on top is my newborn woke up in the middle of the night for two hours so I’m tired and can sleep in the car while my mom drives (or at least rest my eyes to be more realistic). However, tag teaming with my mom on things like this have drawbacks… Mom doesn’t have proper time management skills.

Even when I was a kid she was frantically getting things together and worried about being late even though we were usually ready before her. Since being a parent, I chalked it up to maybe it was because kids add a whole new level of obstacles to getting where you need to be. Even still, she would jump in the shower at 7:00 and only be 15 minutes with it but mind you… My homeroom started at 7:20. I actually got detention for three late days, two of them because of things like that.

What really gave it away that it wasn’t us as kids messing with the time table was recent. Last night when planning the details of the pick up she said,

“My appointment is at 8:00 so I’ll get you at 7:30.”

Doesn’t seem odd until you factor in that the drive she’s planning takes at least 40 minutes. That’s not even factoring in all the rush hour traffic for people going to work or the construction that we’ll pass (which has been going on for nearly 2 years, I know considering it started just before having my son and I used to work down there).

Since it won’t bother my appointment at 9:15, I’m not overly anxious about being on time for mine but usually my anxiety spikes when lateness comes into play regardless of who it’s for. I like being on time.

This is no secret about my anxiety yet my mom, the psychologist, does this constantly. To be fair, even with that, I just don’t think my mom is fully aware of the behavior since she’s never been any other way. If that changed about her, my first question would be if she hit her head or went through hypnosis.

My mom does this on days I work as well, though I live close enough that I’ve never really been late but I like to not rush in a vehicle that does need to then compensate for the time lost. I also like to collect myself before my shift. Sit for a few before actually having to clock in.

However, considering how constant this is I only imagine it’s the law of the universe so there’s no fighting it without subtlety… I will simply tell my mom I need to work 30 minutes earlier than I do 🙂

Nowhere my old friend… I’ve come to vent at you again…

Tell me others read that to the tune of The Sound of Silence, considering that’s how it went in my head. Though if you didn’t you probably went back and it did.

Recently I’ve listened to an NPR podcast known as Invisibilia. This episode talked about the expectations of others dictating how our lives go. In particular talking about a famous blind person named Daniel Kish. The reason he’s famous is because of how well he uses echolocation to the point that he can see in a sense enough to ride a bike.

My son typically clicks his tongue to the roof of his mouth as he aimlessly looks for what toy he wants to play with or, more accurately, what he wants to get into. I’ve never discouraged it, if anything I’ve clicked back. People kept telling his mother to stop him from clicking because it wasn’t appropriate. She fought against the grain telling them she wouldn’t take away his version of being able to see. They also lectured her on letting him ride that bike and climbing trees because he was blind so could get hurt. However, she let him.

My main rant is how I want to be this kind of mom, not catering to how others view things. I grew up being called a goodie two shoes mostly because

Dr. House would have a field day…

Nowhere… I’m going to vent while things are bleak for me. Mostly because now is when I need to be strong especially but… I don’t feel strong…

Over 10 years ago had to drop out of college because of medical issues, dibilitating pain in my abdomen. To manage pain I took pain meds constantly, even resulting in an ulcer. It took four specialist nearly 3 years to discover gallstones that blocked the organ enough for it to be infected.

They took out my gallbladder and it was fine, but it took nearly three years of constant pain and inability to function…

Present day, over two months I have been getting episodes of severe abdominal pain. It’s been so severe I have passed out from it because the pain practically vice grips my right lung so I can’t breathe properly. I’m a frequent flyer of ERs just to manage the pain because the other pain medicine isn’t working. Noticing a parallel? Yeah, me too.

Only this time, it’s not school where I can go back and finish my degree later… I’m home with my kids. Each ER has used some washed up excuse just to send me on my way only for the pain to come back. I’m crestfallen because if I go three years in pain with no diagnosis… My son will be 5, about to go to school. My daughter… She would be 3, only knowing about her mom being in pain.

I don’t have the time to waste missing my kids grow, but I can’t watch them on the playground if at any moment an episode could make me pass out. Even as it is, I’m in pain picking up my son when I know being able to pick him up is a phase getting shorter and shorter. I was going to go back to work today… if I wasn’t checked into the hospital yesterday. Mom job is getting very difficult while working is near impossible…

With CT scans coming back normal, it’s this nightmarish waiting game I never wanted to participate in again. My husband’s depression has been rough on him lately which I’m sure my health isn’t helping, considering he was with me during the first time since the beginning.

We aren’t well off enough to go to the Dr. Houses of the world let alone for only my husband to be working. I worry for my kids seeing Mom withered down from pain and anyone with a toddler knows there’s not enough privacy to keep that under wraps. I worry about my husband having to be sole breadwinner and picking up the parenting slack from my end. As for me… I don’t know if my mental health can withstand all the things I want but cannot do for my family…

It was bad enough then… not again.

Update: currently hospitalized due to gallstones when I got my gallbladder out in 2012… Apparently it’s possible… Rare but possible. At least I can soon get back home with my kids. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it back to work this coming week.