Category Archives: punishment

All in One Day: Thank God for Small Favors

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From being called, “honey chile'” (which is a short cut for “honey

child,” with a Southern twist) to “m’am,” Wednesday was quite a

unique day. I expressed myself, much to the chagrin of my boss

and boss’ boss about work and it seemed like I might have to be

looking for another job.

 

It was “one of those days!”

 

The upswing were the nice labels given to me, they brightened

my mood and took me outside of my own discomfort and nervous

feelings, too. But. . . this didn’t happen to me, until the end of an

extra long day.

 

This would have been nice to have landed on February 2nd, where

the imaginary day would have played out like the actor, Bill Murray’s

day did in the movie, “Groundhog’s Day.” I would have loved to have

been in the young woman’s shoes in the fun and new Hallmark film

shown on television, “I Do, I Do, I Do.” The woman gets to have so

many ‘do-overs’ that she learns to dance, a foreign language and

manages to marry the ‘right’ man in the end.

 

No, my week started with us paper-picking, which is a tedious

process that you fill hampers with car products which normally

you get to see lights lit up which I smile and say, “Pick 1- A” and

then put one of the products under the light into the “A” tub.

 

The ‘system’ was down. It was a long day. As I was turning in my

indirect time sheet which is like a daily log of the up’s and down’s

of my workday, explaining ‘time gaps’ by saying I was ‘cleaning’

which may entail drying a stack of wet, snowy hampers before I

could use them or ‘research,’ which means checking if the stocker

put the right products into the correct slot.’ My most used one is

called, ‘warehouse,’ while I may have to open packaging of eight

scented air fresheners to place one in the bin, or may have to

count out sets of 24 that the stocker dumped out of the boxes,

which is a Royal Pain, when the stores are having rush orders of

asking for 72 or 96 in my six hampers I am pushing along, while

filling on a line.

 

Anyway, after handing in my answers to the ‘Essay Test,’ I was

told I was going to have to start using a wrist computer with a

Blue Tooth feature, which would tell me orders across a screen

and it weighs between 5 and 6 pounds. This may not be a big

deal with some of my younger and possibly bigger coworkers,

but it is strapped onto my left forearm and there is a gadget

which you attach to two of your fingers to scan with. This is used

in a work area that I often mention is not “Pick to Light” but it

involves pushing a cart where you place four hampers up and

down rows in a place called the “Mezzanine.” I have used in this

area for the past six years a Tablet with a scanner. I like this,

since I can play imaginary ‘store keeper,’ scanning products and

placing them into bins.

 

The Tablet, unlike the arm computer, is put on a rack attached

to the cart and has large writing,. You can see the next product’s

location, as you push the cart down the aisles. This is one of

the ‘fun’ places I finish many of my days in a few of the zones.

On our short Fridays, Melvin and I try to beat each other by

running around corners.

if you have ever read, (yes, Mike Lince has often said this is

like a Lucille Ball show, where the center character is me!)

 

I was upset, but managed to say, “Okay, if I must learn this

new tiny printed screen and heavy weighted thing placed upon

my arm, I will try my best.”

 

Two days later, since I did adapt emotionally well to the blue

tooth computer (not so well to the numbness of my thin arm and

wrist area) and was doing fine in what companies consider MOST

importantly: My performance rate was at a 95%.

 

The manager decided to burst my newly found ‘bubble’ and add

on Wednesday; a FEAR. Yes, folks, Robin is afraid to go back to

Heavy Bulk.

 

I am one of three people left in the Bins Order Filler position since

I arrived six years ago. When others have been used and abused by

being asked to daily “cross-over” and “help” heavy bulk, I had done

my eight weeks’ training, failed by running into racks and tipping

pallets of stock over by bumping them in the shipping lanes and had

to be written up with three warnings.

 

My old boss, Jake,  the one I have declared “my very best boss ever,”

(over any teachers, principals or superintendents) due to his ability

to stay calm and be such a patient leader to a variety of people.

He is gone, off to a better position, but he was there during that

disastrous summer fiasco!

 

Jake had finally written me up for the third time, taken a photograph

of the ‘ding’ in a metal rack left and let me stay permanently in the

area of Bins. Now, if you stayed with me through that Hemingway-

esque description and length of run-on sentence, I will tell you I said

to my current boss, and then my boss’ boss,

“I hate my job!”

 

As I dragged my feet down the long walk from Building One to

Building Three later in the day, my coworker, Nick, slowed down

on his center riding pallet rider, the very one I never hoped to

drive again to say,

“Hi Robin! What’s going on, I never see you looking at the floor

as you walk. “(I am not making this up, he is such an intuitive

and kind young man, I have really asked him more than once,

“Do you have a divorced father or widowed grandfather who

would like to casually date me?” He always smiles at this kind

of compliment to him, too.)

 

I rolled my eyes and told him,

“They are really pushing me to cross-train or retrain again and

thinking about placing me in Heavy Bulk with the likes of you!”

 

As I talked to him briefly, I went into my plastic Zip Lock bag

and found the new Juicy Fruit Starburst Gum with tangy cherry

flavor to hand him three pieces. This is an ongoing ‘help keep

the young people around,’ ploy and he gave me a broad smile

in return,

“Thank you so much, Robin!”

 

When I mentioned my appalling and inappropriate employee

behavior to my best friend, Jenny, after work on my cell phone,

she said,

“Oh no! Robin you cannot talk to your bosses like that!

You will get fired!”

 

I answered her, my best friend and retired teacher I dearly love,

“Jenny, you would not last a day in this job. I have adapted, I have

stuck with each request for six long years and I am going to try to get

a better work excuse out of Heavy Bulk from my ophthalmologist.”

 

She replied, “This will just get them to start writing you up over

and over again, until you have enough ‘Points’ (you can get up

to 10 before being fired) to get legitimately fired. Your talking

in such a disrespectful way will get you terminated.”

 

My attitude to the whole thing was to say in response to my

long-time friend of over 20 years, approaching 25 was to say,

“I don’t care anymore.”

 

So, I went above my boss’ boss to the newly positioned CEO

on Wednesday. Ted was someone we have all known who has

risen from the ranks of Order Filler in Florida, having taken

business courses and getting a Bachelor’s down there. To be

finally receiving a Master’s degree (online coursework) and

being recognized for his leadership and good work ethic.

 

I asked Ted a simple question:

“How do I get my eye doctor to write me a prescription you

and others will understand? I have submitted one that has

explained I had narrow eye glaucoma, have had laser surgery

and now wear contacts to help me see the tiny bar codes on

the products and to the best I can with these, see far down

the lanes in the Pick to Light and the Bins area in the Mezz

and the Green Bins areas. It says plain as day in my files,

written with the idea of driving a fork lift and pallet rider,

that I cannot see out of one of my eyes well enough to back

up into shipping. It expresses these two elements: Robin

lacks depth perception due to her monovision.”

 

Ted studied me, he is a fair man, after all. He then put his

hands into a prayer ‘posture,’ and asked,

“Could you get your ophthalmologist to write a clearer

prescription which describes our different equipment?”

 

Exasperated, I told Ted that I would try but added that

he could look up My Summer from Hell, that I spent in

the Heavy Bulk radiators, struts and tailpipes area and

how I was ‘wrangling stuff far bigger than I was’ and how

I lost my Summer bonus, because I was not able to drive

backwards in the narrow lanes on the shipping floor.

 

Ted listened, I give him that.

Again he repeated that I needed a more specific excuse since

“everyone” was being cross-trained back into Heavy Bulk.

 

As I left, I mentioned this fact,

“When I interviewed for this job, I was told I would just

be in the area of the bins and never drive abt equipment. I

did give this a ‘shot’ and failed miserably. How is it that

two of the last older colleagues may use knee surgery and

shoulder surgery to count as good excuses but when I

am afraid of hurting others, using equipment I am not

very capable of handling, due to the safety concerns you

would think that my eyes would be every bit as ‘good’ an

excuse as theirs. . .  I will call Dr. Pappas, leave a detailed

message and hope for the best.”

 

When I left work, I was discouraged. I have really tried

there. I went into the library this time driving directly

there and not parking in the front lot of my apartment

building, trudging here and back by foot. I just wanted

to read and post an upbeat message on Thursday or

Friday. No complaining or ranting.

 

Into my second hour of writing my Premio Dardos post,

I was asked while immersed in my writing by two young

men a question. I had to ‘shake off my dream world of

blogging’ and listen. They looked rather upset and worn

around the edges. One was in a ball cap and the other was

holding two skate boards,

“M’am, would you be able to give us a ride?”

 

I glanced at my neighbor, a woman who is a nurse who is

doing online training, often in the library. She looked at me,

raised her eyebrows, her head turned towards me, back of

her head towards the ‘boys.’

 

I told them I was blogging, needed to be here about an hour,

but afterwards I could drive them. I pointed outside through

the glass partition that separated the computer room from the

lounge chairs and cubicles that people tutor students in and

also, set up their private laptops to do their work,

“If you want a ride, I will try to do what I can as fast as I can,

so you may only have to sit out there for 45 minutes. Where

am I taking you?”

 

Their response reassured me it would only take me 15 minutes

out of my way and it was an older, more familiar territory to

me. Sometimes I just use my ‘gut’ and I did this time. I used

to live there on this street, where the corner had a bakery and

a hair dresser, side by side with a leather works shop. It was

more of a positive way to end my day, than to focus the whole

time on my dumb job problems. I probably wrote distracted

and shortened comments on Wednesday to my fellow bloggers,

since I was really fuming inside. (The repeated rant I kept

carrying in my head, interrupting my writing flow was,

“How much more of this can I take, Lord?”)

 

As the young men walked away, I noticed one has droopy

drawers, which is what is still considered fashionable among

some of the teens around Delaware. It looked like Kanye and

sometimes other rappers still think it is okay to wear, too.

 

The nurse looked at me and asked pointedly,

“Do you KNOW those boys?”

 

I replied, “No, but my son used to ask people for rides,

sometimes still relies on others for them.”

 

She grabbed my arm, not too tightly but more of a warm

touch,

“Honey chile’ you should not give boys or men you don’t

know rides. I will pray for your safety tonight.”

I looked at her computer and saw she was finished with

her program and she handed the headphones back into

the computer room aide. I told her thank you and I did

appreciate her caring about me.

 

I decided to finish up and leave the computer room, go

to the bathroom and give the ‘boys’ a ride. I looked at

them with the one boy having his cap pulled over his face,

slouching in one of the leather chairs while the other, who

had asked me looked up expectantly, asking, “Are you ready

now?” He nudged his skate boarding partner and told him

to get ready to go. I found them waiting outside the women’s

restroom, probably figuring I was making a ‘go at leaving

without them, ‘ but I never purposely go back on a promise.

 

I went to my car and they stood outside while I unlocked it,

asking if I minded their smoking one cigarette while it warmed

up. I didn’t mind and made a joke telling them I had to take a

few moments to clear a seat in the back of the car, adding that

when I had gone to Cleveland to my Mom’s I was given a few

odds and ends to put into my own crowded apartment. I tell

many people about my using the trunk as a kind of ‘shed.’

 

When they got into the car, the one who has asked for the

ride and had been in ‘charge’ of the skateboards said such

a nice compliment,

“Thank you, m’am, we asked probably a dozen people, men

and women in the library and finally were about to give up

and we saw people in the computer room and there you were,

being so kind to us. We would have waited, it got so cold all

of a sudden. Hope you didn’t rush on account of us?”

 

I asked their names, the one who was the speaker of the two,

more outgoing and friendly said,

“My name is Hudson and he is Shane, we went to high school

and have also gone to the JVS. (This is shortened version of

Joint Vocational School, where high school students learn

a variety of skills.)”

 

I told him, “I paint children’s names but have only painted one

‘Hudson’ for the past thirty years and never painted a ‘Shane.'”

 

Shane perked up in the back, looked at my eyes on him through

the rear view mirror. He told me that it was taken as a nickname,

from a movie his grandmother liked, that his real name was

Richard and that Hudson was really named William.

 

I told him I loved the movie, “Shane,” had he seen it?

 

Shane told me he had more than three times watched it with

his grandparents and had made his friend Hudson watch it, too.

 

When I told William that his name was really a nice one and

that Kate and William are making their royal rounds in the

world. Why didn’t he stick with this name? He responded by

saying he ‘hated’ to be called, “Billy” or “Willy.”

 

I told him Will Smith was a cool guy and he carries his name

well.

When I asked what jobs they were going to work in or what

were their hopes for the future, William/Hudson told me he

had learned to cook at JVS and that Richard/Shane had taken

computer classes and was having a hard time finding a job in

that area.

I told Hudson that my son is a morning kitchen manager and

cook at Son of Thurman and it is a great paying job with a good

work environment setting. Explained how James has been in

wonderful places after he finished JVS, like learning how to

be a ‘sous chef’ under a European, German chef and has been

a kitchen manager for another restaurant, as well as plenty of

other ‘worse’ paying and poorer atmosphere places, too.

 

Hudson exclaimed excitedly,

“I know I have heard of James! He is a friend to one of my

older brothers!”

 

All of a sudden, this was a ride meant to be had. It was one of

the best moments of my week. I am getting teary eyed as I type

this, just thinking if I had said, “No, I don’t give rides to strangers.”

 

When I got into my darkened one bedroom apartment, I turned on

ivory colored decorated warmer of scents that my friend Jenny gave

me for Christmas, switched on  the lights on my little tree with birds

and nests, with red and white calico ties on the branches and gazed

at my dining room table in the living room with the burgundy runner,

burgundy covers on my chairs and the lovely pewter candle sticks, with

three large Valentine’s Day cards and several small ones

from the grandies on the table, suddenly. . .

 

“all was right with the world.”

 

 

 

 

* Musical selections:

Here are a few songs which crossed my mind later.

1. “These Days,” by Foo Fighters.

2. “One of These Days,” sung by Emmylou Harris which

talks about being a woman and finding peace.

3. “One of These Days,”  Tim McGraw’s version is about

being bullied and finishes with such a poignant, touching

line, “some day you’re going to love me.”

4. “One of These Nights,” by the Eagles.

5.”These Days,” sung by Rascal Flatts.

6. “These Days,” performed by Jackson Browne.

7. The way people connect in our small town of

Delaware reminds me of John Mellencamp’s song,

“Small Town.”

 

*Art suggestion:

If you would like to see an adorable drawing of a child

throwing up fallen leaves illustrated by Mary Englebreight,

check out this by writing, “Thank God for Small Favors,”

it comes up with a special picture.

 

 

 

 

Saturday Sillies

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The next few jokes were sent to me by my Mom. I threw a couple jokes

out, due to poor taste. My Mom’s California friend, sometimes is not

as ‘choosy’ or careful to be appropriate for all readers. I presented some

to my lunch mates and orally delivered one to the group at break time.

I asked what they thought of these jokes? They agreed these were funny

along with being acceptable and some were laughed at a lot.

 

Hope this satisfies your Saturday Sillies. It may be like your childhood

‘cartoon mornings’ or just plain give you the giggles at their absurdity.

 

Here is a series that may have been used in the old days. While I was

growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland and the fine late Saturday night

humor was dealt out by “Big Chuck and Houlihan.” Later Houlihan went

off to Florida, so it was then called, “The Big Chuck and Little John Show.”

Little John had been a ‘sidekick’ to Big Chuck and Houlihan. Then, he got

his ‘lucky break’ and got his name in lights!

This was a set of comedy sketches, perfectly timed during commercial breaks

while Grade C or Grade D movies were being shown. Sometimes, silly sound

effects like glass breaking or a woman shrieking not at a scary part, were

inserted. I am wondering if you have ever had a local television ‘program’

with a host or set of hosts, creating comic relief, during scary or ridiculously

plotted shows?

The program’s time slot was after the Saturday night news show. My parents

would sometimes sit up and watch with us, especially if we were in middle

school.

Once upon a time, longer than when I was watching television as a teenager,

this time period was filled by an even older program called, “The Ghoul’s

Show.”

Then “Ghoulardi” took over from the “Ghoul.” This memorable television

is played back, remembered with nostalgia by many older Cleveland

people. Around Halloween every year, they have some of these shows

“re-aired” or “replayed” on one of the Cleveland, Ohio’s networks. There

is also enough of these fans, to fill a convention hall with the theme

of “The Ghoul” and his predecessor,  “Ghoulardi.”

Maybe these people are in their sixties? I am not quite sure, but I have

two Cleveland friends who always ask me if I have any articles about

the convention, taken from my Mom’s newspaper.

I have heard that somewhere in Ohio, teenagers laughed at the skits

on “Chiller Thriller Theater.” The Big Chuck and Houlihan show would

aim their jokes at “Polish” people, so we had jokes about Polish high top

jeans and wearing Polish white socks with black shoes. Then, the mirror

balls in gardens and pink flamingos were aimed at, too. (They considered

this to be so ‘out of style.’ You can still see these in yards and also, added

to this ‘mix,’ sometimes a goose with different holiday costumes.) They

narrowly missed the censors, with several ‘edgy’ Polish sausage jokes, too!

 

Anyway, since my youngest daughter is a ‘blonde,’ who is kind of ‘spacey’

we have changed these “Polish jokes” over the years, to Blonde Jokes. The

next ones will be labeled, “silly man” or “silly woman,” and you may decide

if there needs to be a different label, when you go to retell them! This series

was a ‘hit’ among the break time group, including Melvin, Tammy, Corey,

Felda and Trevinal. Felda said in the Philippines, their way of making fun

of someone is o begin the joke, “The Tourist. . .” (walked into a bar or

whatever.)

 

A ‘silly man’s’ dog went missing and he was frantic.

His wife said, “Why don’t you put an ad in the paper?”

He does, but two weeks later the dog is still missing.

“What did the ad say?” The wife questioned her husband.

“Here boy!” he replied.

(Instead of ‘silly,’ he is ‘clueless!’)

 

A ‘silly woman’ is in jail.

The guard looks in the cell and sees her hanging by her feet.

“Just WHAT are you doing there, missy?”

The ‘silly woman’ responded, “I am hanging myself.”

The guard told her, “It should be around your neck.”

The ‘silly lady’ says, “I tried that, but then I couldn’t breathe.”

(Groan!)

 

A ‘silly’ tourist asks a ‘silly’ tour guide,

“Why do scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?”

The guide who was ‘pulling the tourist’s leg’ answered,

“If they fell forward, they’d still be in the boat!”

 

This story is called,

“The Light Turned Yellow.”

The light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk,

even though he could have beaten the red light.

He could have accelerated right through the

intersection.

 

Behind him, the tailgating woman was furious and

honked her horn,

she yelled out profanities,

as she missed her chance to get through the

intersection. She ended up dropping her cell

phone and makeup, too.

 

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap

on her window and looked up into the face

of a very serious police officer. The officer

ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

 

He took her to the police station where she was

searched, fingerprinted, photographed and placed

in a holding cell.

 

After a couple of hours later, a policeman approached

the cell and opened it up.  She was escorted back to

the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting

with her personal effects.

 

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled

up behind your car while you were blowing your horn,

flipping the guy off in front of you and cussing a ‘blue streak’

at him.

 

Pause.

 

“I noticed the nice bumper stickers on the back of your car. You

have “Choose Life,’ “Follow me to Sunday School,” a “Be Kind to

Animals” emblem and you have a ‘Baby on Board,’ sticker also.”

 

Pause.

 

“So, naturally I assumed you had stolen the car!”

 

The last story of the day may offend a few people, but remember my 85

year old Mom thought this was “worthy” of putting in my blog. You may

just want to skip it!

 

“Nature Lover”

 

A woman who was a ‘tree loving, tree hugging, anti-gun possession’

native of Los Angeles purchased a piece or plot of timberland up north

in the state of Washington.

There was a large tree on one of the highest points of the tract.

She wanted a good view of the natural splendor of her land, so she

decided to climb the majestic tree.

 

As she neared the top of the tree, she encountered a spotted owl that

attacked her.

In her haste to escape, the woman slid down the tree to the ground.

She got many splinters in her crotch, and in considerable pain she

drove to the nearest hospital.

She went into the ER and told the doctor that she was an environmentalist,

anti-guns and anti-hunting person, who had recently bought some land

in the area. She described the spotted owl incident and proceeded to tell

the doctor how she got all the splinters in her crotch.

The doctor listened to her story with great patience and then told her he

would be right back, to wait in the examining room #1.

The woman sat, read magazines, got up and sat back down. She used the

restroom and finally, three hours later, the doctor reappeared.

 

The upset woman exclaimed, “What took you so long?”

 

The doctor from Washington State, where he enjoyed going out in nature

and hunting during the appropriate season, but also was not pleased with

her views said:

“Well, I had to get permits from the  Environmental Protection Agency,

the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.”

 

The angry woman shouted, “Why on Earth did you have to do that!?!”

 

“These were the contacts I had to get permission from to remove ‘old

growth timber’ from a ‘recreational area’ so close to a ‘waste treatment

facility.'”

 

Now, that was funny after all, wasn’t it?

I am chuckling and I knew the punch line, anyway!

Do you have a ‘safe’ and non-derogatory ‘label’ for the one who is the

‘brunt’ of your family jokes?

As I mentioned, we used to tease my youngest daughter who took after my

Swedish Grandpa M. with blonde hair. She seriously was in high school  one

time when over a holiday we were playing Rummy 500. She asked this ‘silly’

question: (We don’t call our own family members ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid.’)

“How many cards are in a set and how many cards are in a pair?”

 

In the old days, I enjoyed the Road Runner, Poor Wily Coyote, Mr. Magoo, and a

puppet show called Kukla, Fran and Ollie.  These days, I would recommend the

NBC Saturday Morning Cartoons, with “Zou” a zebra with an intergenerational

family, “Chica,” the “Costume Shop” and “Noodle and Doodle.”

 

Have a fun-filled weekend, my friends out there, wherever your ‘sillies’ take you!

 

 

 

 

 

Some Humor among the Sarcasm

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I laughed at a real life news story, where a mother of four children

came out from shopping with her kids, of one of those ‘box stores,’

having a cart load of groceries and necessities. She walked over to

where her car was supposed to be, and it was gone!

Stolen!

She managed to catch a person who allowed her to use their phone.

She called “9-1-1” and then turned to the sympathetic man, who had

been asking, “What else he could do?”

 

The single mother, smiled, as she asked him,

“One more favor, may I use your cell  phone just one more time?

It’s local!”

 

She then asked her kids and the man to move away.

Go back on the sidewalk and get far away.”

Again, she promised to make it quick!

 

This true story was told on the news on Monday, so there may even be a

video of the next part of the story. . . You know how Youtube catches the

news!

 

The woman called her own cell phone, knowing she had left it in the cup

holder. Like idiots, the thieves opened her phone and asked, “Hello?”

She blurted out a blazing trail of swear words, saying that she was a

single mother with four kids and “Why in the world would you choose

my  ‘piece of junk’ car to steal, anyway?”

 

She then added to the unfortunate robbers of her van, “You morons,

I know that my phone has some kind of a chip in it for locating where

you are at. Get back here NOW!”

 

Supposedly, the van was returned, before the police had arrived, and

they even handed her the keys before they took off, through the busy

shopping plaza, on foot.

I was smiling all the way to work on Monday, due to this genius move

by a desperate single Mom!

 

Another funny part of the news was that supposedly “Mr.T” had to show up

at his local courthouse, since he got an official letter telling him the date to

go and serve  on Jury Duty! He actually  was dismissed. He was very

disappointed that he was not asked to serve on a case. There was a group

of people in the waiting room, having coffee and talking to him. They had

some selfies taken with “Mr. T,” too. The funny thing that someone asked

him, was would he ‘pretend hit him,’ posing for a picture. Now, the radio

announcer for this ‘news flash,’ used a comical voice, imitating “Mr. T.”

in his response,

(Using the unique and amusing way that “Mr. T.” use himself  in the third

person, too.)

“Mr. T.”  cannot look like he is hitting you, because “Mr. T.” don’t want any

trouble with the ‘po-lice.'”

Of course, he did not actually say this but the gist of the situation is true,

that a young man wanted him to pretend fight with him, for his cell phone

but “Mr. T.” politely declined and instead gave him a hug.

 

Now  this one is from my friend, Melvin, who was on a ‘rant’ so excuse the

angry sarcasm. Our mutual young friend, Cody, who we have both given rides

home, in the heated afternoons and early evenings, after what we consider

‘grueling’ days, got too many ‘points’ and lost his job.

Here is the way the excited tone and words were exchanged in the parking

lot today:

Melvin uses a Martin Lawrence/Chris Tucker shrieking voice that is very

indignant in this rampage:

“So, Robin, we have three situations here. All three are given the exact SAME

Number of Points, am I clear on this?

First, Tina, who is a ‘white girl,’ gets 9 points but has no other points so she

gets to keep her job, after hitting a security guard and leaving.

(And honest to Pete, he did add this ‘racial’ clarification. Sorry, don’t be too

offended because under the rant, there is an element of truth. I am upset, too.)

Second, our good friend, Peggy, turned 60 and we had a grand party for her,

but she gets assigned to using one of those awful heavy bulk riding machines.

(He is really stretching the high pitched tone, which makes me laugh, despite

myself.)

Poor Peggy, unwittingly trips over her feet getting off the machine, falls and

hits her head on the concrete, and gets the SAME number of points, ‘white

girl’ gets no breaks. 9 points! She had to go to the hospital, get X-rays and

set up for an MRI tomorrow, and she will get Workman’s Comp, which means

she will not have to pay for this accident, EXCEPT Peggy will have to be careful

for the rest of the next 12 months, or she will lose her job for hitting her head.

Do I have this right, Robin?”

I looked at him, expressing disgust with the unfairness of these two very different

situations. Peggy should not have had to be on equipment, without any kind of

re-training. She should not get any points, in my opinion! (And Melvin’s, too.)

Then Melvin concludes his story, with his agitated distorted voice, since you

would think normally he were an “upper crust” New Englander, being raised

by his island parents, going to school in Boston and having served in the Army

in Europe:

“Robin, my man Cody, arrives late to work and has accumulated the one point

for poor attendance, Right? Then, my good boy who is very good in his position

in Heavy Bulk, is parking his equipment, runs the metal fork into a metal rack.

He is done with his work, just parking it. There rings out a metal ‘Clash!” and

someone runs to the Bin Order Filler office, someone who for some Ungodly,

Unholy reason ‘has it out for my black young friend, my ‘brother’ Cody gets

9 points today and is ‘walked out,’ like a common criminal!”

Tammy and I have listened to Melvin’s tirade. We have had sympathy for

Tina (awhile back her hit and run was a subject of a post) and Peggy, just is

devastated, having never received more than 2 points in the 15 years of working

here.

Tammy was the one who stopped laughing over Melvin’s hysterical rendering

of the unfairness of it all, first. I was just shaking my head. I have a feeling that

Peggy’s sister or brother, both having been to college and have attorneys, will

be looking for a settlement. This will all ‘back fire’ on the administration. I just

hope that Peggy will come back since she has not reached 62 nor retirement age.

Melvin’s summary is (again NOT politically correct), “So, if you are a ‘white lady,’

you can hit a security guard, leave the scene of the crime, keep your job and not

serve time. You get 9 points.

You be a ‘white lady,’ you have been getting a little on the ‘old’ side of things,

you trip and fall, hurt your own self, and get 9 points.

Then, you show up late once for work, as a black boy needs his sleep, you get

1 point. You hit a rack, no injuries whatsoever, no one even close by, you make

some noise, someone notices, and you get reported on. You get 9 points, make

it to that darn 10 you lose your job!! Gimme justice!”

 

Melvin wanted to come up with a better ‘punchline,’ but this was it:

“The inequitable number of ‘9’ must have been pulled out of someone high up in

the organization, to be used three times in three different situations. They must

have pulled it out of their high falutin’ behinds!”

If you had heard his vocal impression of the irritated actors then you may be

laughing. (I think he does a great job of Chris Tucker, from those movies with

Jackie Chan.)

But you know this one is not a laughing matter!

As Melvin got into his car, he raised his arm in the old “Black Power” fist

and said, “I want Justice for my man, Cody!!”

 

The continuing saga of  work, just glad I have received no points this year!

If you are a minute late from lunch you earn a ‘point’ and are considered,

‘tardy.’ If you miss work on a day that you are supposed to have a doctor’s

excuse, (Mondays and Fridays) you will earn that random number of 9 points.

 

 

Moral Dilemma

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One of my coworkers was rushing out of work, last Friday, after our

longer day than usual. She was on her cell phone, with her husband

who has a serious form of cancer, has been nearly fatally attacked from

within his body. My coworker’s name is Tina and her husband is Mike.

Sadly, Tina did not slow down as she approached the guard shack. She

saw a truck in the outbound ‘lane’ and went around to the inbound ‘lane.’

Sometimes, if we wait behind our company’s trucks, the security guard

will motion you on past to the left.

Usually, we wait an interminable amount of time, while the guard checks

the paper work, walks with the truck driver to the truck and there is a

procedure that includes looking at the rear latch on the truck, too.

There is a certain process or ‘protocol’ to be followed. I am sympathetic

with Tina, who was in a hurry to get home.

When you hear what action she chose, you may not be so understanding.

Maybe I am too judgmental?

You will have to let me know what you think about what she did. . .

While swerving to the left of the guard shack, without any signal or eye

contact given by the guard, (since an eye witness reported Tina’s actions),

we know that she proceeded to speed past the shack. . .

Just as the guard who had been looking down at the papers, chose

to step out of the little building on the left side!

Tina’s car struck the guard, who shouted (screamed out) in pain!

Tina continued on, heading down our driveway and exited onto the

roads leading towards her home.

Tina has shared with some people at work, that her husband had had

a seizure, that she was very traumatized while on the phone with him.

On this recent Monday, (7/14/14), I was walking towards the break

room, for a much needed respite from work, during our 1/2 hour lunch.

I was following one of our higher up’s, Ted, who was walking with two

police officers. He was leaning into them, quietly talking with them.

When I entered the break room, I looked through the glass, to see Ted

lead the police officers into the conference room, directly across the

hall from where I sit, facing a wall of glass windows. Our table faces

this direction, to watch “our”  daily show, Drew Carey’s “The Price

is Right” show. There are about half the group who face this way, while

the other large screen television presents a sports channel with its

own audience.

For only 20-30 seconds while the door to the conference opened and

then immediately shut as the men passed into the room; I saw Tina

sitting at the conference table.

I had heard different variations of the so-called “accident.”

I had also heard that we were not to discuss this at work, from one of

the uninjured guards. But he whispered the name of the guard who

was hurt, (Joe.) Along with the fact that the guard had called over to

the building’s security guard. Heresay was, he said they would get as

soon as possible a ‘substitute guard,’ to replace him. The warehouse

indoors) security guard was also advising that injured guard to go to

the Emergency Room, as soon as the ‘substitute guard’ arrived.

According to reports passed around, he did go to the Emergency Room,

got X-rays of his torso and hip, prescription for painkillers and he took

the rest of Friday evening through until Tuesday, off on ‘sick leave.’

When my good friends, who have more than a sandwich, sometimes

using the microwaves (not facing the glass window and hallway),

arrived at the table, I told them I saw policeman go into the conference

room, also, Ted and Tina were also inside that room.

Note: There is a back’ door to the conference room, which leads out past

the front of the building which would be a direct exit for the officers and

Tina to leave, if this were to occur. Later in the day, at our second break

on Monday, we agreed that she must have had to go down to the police

station.

We were talking about the situation and 4 of the 6 of my table-mates were

all very sympathetic towards Tina’s mental state and her home situation,

along with the pressure she has endured over the past 12 months.

I and one other ‘parent’ and concerned person for the security guard’s

position were saying we thought immediately of how we would feel so

much differently, if it were our own sons that got hit. Also, how wrong we

felt that Tina left the situation, without finding out how hurt or injured

the man, named Joe, was.

I am not trying to take a poll, nor was I really trying to play “Devil’s

Advocate,” but when I realized that everyone felt strongly in favor of

Tina, regardless of her actions, I held my tongue. The other person,

Jean, who has a son, and I quietly talked after work on Tuesday, when

there were no other people around.

The main reason why Jean and I brought up the subject again, was that

at the morning meeting, we were kind of surprised (shocked!) that Tina

was still among the employed. We have big meetings about Safety. We

are every month evaluated on a ten question or points system ‘review.’

If we have an accident, we are given less points for our review. If we

don’t eventually serve on the Safety Committee, we may never get a

Perfect Points’ evaluation for that criteria.

Our managers, two bosses, (heavy bulk and bins order fillers) did not

say a word. They did not say, “We should not discuss, during work

hours, anything about a legal situation, that is not in our realm of

employment subjects.” (Or some such ‘mumbo-jumbo.’)

My good friends, Tammy and Melvin, were saying during our Tues.

lunch, that they had offered to be ‘character witnesses’ to Tina,

should she be taken to court over her “Hit and Run” situation.

Since this was on our work site, before she had passed out of the

area where the security guard stays in the ‘shack,’ I was expecting

that she would be suspended. But, financially, I do understand that

she and her husband are dependent on her insurance and income.

He has not been employed since over a year ago.

On the other hand, the poor man who was ‘hit’ by the side of her

car, did have bruises and he feels pain in his side, hip and was

limping for the past few days. (I did not see him over the weekend)

Joe did come back to work on Tuesday, to sit inside at the desk,

wave the metal detector “wand” across us, while we pass through

the arch which also detects metal.

Joe, is a retired police officer, who chose to continue working after

62 years of age. He normally greets us, if he is stationed indoors,

with a jovial, “Good Morning!” He has been rather downcast,

depressed and when asked how he is, “Okay,” is his brief reply.

This reminds me of an Ethics course.  Also, most companies include

an ethics test in their employment process. . .

I have presented to you a ‘case.’ If you should wish to ‘weigh in’ on the

‘right’ or ‘wrong’ of this situation or maybe throw your ‘two cents in,’

please feel free to do so!

I like to discuss “moral dilemmas” and values, too, when gathered with

close friends or family.  Do you?

 

Short Stories: Capsulized Life Images

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When people get together in a school, with their class

led by a staff member or teacher, they sometimes collect

thoughts on paper, items that represent that time in space,

and store them in a nearly indestructible container. They

call these, “Time Capsules.”

I think when we read a good short story, fellow blogger’s

post or a short book, we are reading something, I just

gave a title to, “Capsulized Life Images.”

I wonder if it also, could be called, “Encapsulated Life

Images?”

I enjoy reading compilations of short stories by famous

authors. I recently completed Stephen King’s newer book

with his collection of four harrowing and creepy stories.

It is called, “Full Dark, No Stars,” (2010). It is not as

good as some of my favorites, like the one that inspired

“Green Mile,” and “Shawshank Redemption,” movies.

The first story, let me tell you, had me dreaming, in

nightmare form, about rats! Thanks, Stephen King!

The scary ‘classics,’ to me include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Edgar Allen Poe and Agatha Christie.

I have been thinking about the other genres of short stories,

which include family stories and humorous forays into

everyday life situations and how the author uses his or her

own perspective.

When I was reading short stories, in high school, I really

enjoyed our World Literature book. Someone had taken the

time, a team of staff, I suppose, to compile some of the

most unusual and interesting stories. One that ‘sticks’

in my mind, was titled, “The Scarlet Ibis.” This story was

written and published in the magazine, “The Atlanta Monthly,”

in 1960, by James Hurst. It is considered ‘rich in symbolism’

and it has a metaphor of the majestic yet fragile bird,

compared to a weak, sickly child. The one who is telling the

story, calls himself, “Brother,” and his younger, more fragile

brother is called, “Doodle.” Apparently my memory served me

very well, in this instance, since the story is included in

many compilations of short stories. It is a sad one, but well

worthy of reading (or re-reading) for its simple but memorable

style.

Humor, as a different genre, captures relatable stories of

family. Such as odd occurrences like in, “The Night The Bed Fell,”

by James Thurber. Thurber’s stories were expanded into a likable

television show, “My World… and Welcome to It.” I liked this

show, although they only had 26 episodes of it, starring the

fun loving, William Windom. He was a daydreamer, as some writers

seem to be, visualizing ways to make life better, or imagining

a whole different world.

Hey, have you ever read, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?” This

was released in movie form, in October, 2013. The movie is based

on a short story with the same name. Check out the story or the

movie to find out how an author transcends his time period of

his writing.

The short book, “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” by Jean Kerr,

contains images that capture your “Aha!” moments. Sometimes this

helps you to relate, despite the contrast between your life and

the one of being a career parent, (Jean Kerr was a playwright)

with rampant children loose in your New York apartment suite. This

became a television show, a song sung by Doris Day and a movie.

I like P.G. Wodehouse’s sense of humor, sometimes at the ‘expense’

of the upper class in England. Once you read his biography, you

realize why this is true. He was only three years old, a son of a

British judge in Hong Kong, when he was sent back to England to be

raised by a nanny. His dependence on servants, helped him to

develop a deep affection and respect for them.

Once P.G. or Pelham Grenville, also known as “Plum,” reached

school age, he was sent off to boarding school, where all his

holidays were spent with his two brothers and a series of aunts.

“Plum” developed a rather devoted habit of writing short stories

and essays. One biographer said he wrote ‘relentlessly’ in his

spare time. Good thing to remember, as we have heard this before,

great artists, craftsmen, musicians and authors, practice their

craft.

Writing and being a ‘cricketer’ (one who plays cricket) were his

only passions. He had a sharp tongue, got himself in serious

trouble while in Germany, on a radio show, making light-hearted

jabs at the ‘regime.’ Can you imagine ‘giving lip’ while WWII was

going on? Since this was during Hitler’s time of control, Wodehouse

was placed in an internment camp for over a year.

If you are trying to place P.G. Wodehouse, his books include the

character of “Jeeves.” There is a series of books and movies that

were taken from the books. The pictures he shows of servants are

smart and clever, able to manage households and help with his

character’s detective work, too.

The main character in his “Jeeve’s” series of books is Bertie

Wooster. He is a rather ‘spoiled’ rich young man, but tries to

be kind, helpful and be counted on, by his ‘pals,’ and women

who say they are engaged to him, he won’t confront them and

deny this! Lots of fun, some drunken incidents, and reminds me

of the impetus for the character,

In another book P.G. Wodehouse wrote, “Blandings Castle,” again

the servants are friends of the ones who are head of household,

the main characters are upper crust, who sometimes aren’t quite

as important as they think they are. He liked to ‘make fun’ of

the rich, along with business men and persons in the law. His

father being a judge didn’t prevent his getting into and out of

trouble. Reminds me of the stories of ‘preacher’s kids’ or P.K.’s,

who were the rabble rousers in our small town, growing up and in

Delaware, I knew one, too!

The subject being short stories, I would like to recommend the one

called, “Strychnine in the Soup.” He incorporates another kind of

interesting character, the strong-willed, independent, sometimes

older woman. These women can be sometimes, ‘troublemakers.’ In this

short story, Archibald Mulliner is the detective from a wealthy

family and Lady Bassett is the older woman.

Interestingly enough, A. A. Milne did not respect Wodehouse’s escape

from the internment, feeling that his wealth had bought him out

of it. There is a rather silly poem, where P.G. Wodehouse imitates

Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” style, but it is meant to be satirical.

I was excited to know many authors respect Wodehouse and that

Agatha Christie dedicated her book, “Halloween Party” to him.

In 1975, due to the WWII internment and his body of work,

Wodehouse was knighted, Sir Pelham Greenville Wodehouse. He

had written 15 plays, numerous books and collaborations for

250 songs in 30 musical comedies, with Jerome Kern and Guy

Bolton. Wodehouse died in that year of his knighthood, at age

93. A life well-lived, indeed. To me, his stories gave me a

‘window’ into a world I will never inhabit and made it quite

enjoyable.

The final thought I wished to impart is that when we speak of

writing, we include the hope for longevity. The writers of short

stories, listed here, and others you may already know and love,

all have captured our hearts by breathing life into their

characters.

Zany Letters from Mom

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Sometimes you may think I am taking advantage of my Mom!

I mean, I recite some of her ‘malapropisms’ and share

some of her misspellings, all in the name of fun. She

would be the first one to tell you that she is glad I

write a blog. She has even sent me a new aspect of her

mother’s life, that I had forgotten about. I write about

some of her silly antics, but you do know I love, love

her, right?

Mom’s last two letters were a little different, holding

new thoughts and also, a ‘rant.’

I will share some of the background information about

what is happening, to help place the comments and

complaint into context.

Mom is 86 years old sometimes forgetful as the day goes

on, depends sometimes, like a child, upon her “selective

memory,” too.

My mother lost 3 cell phones since January. My youngest

brother has been beside himself, getting new ones, then

having to program different family member’s numbers

into them. He won’t pay the ‘transfer charge.’ After all,

he is in charge of Mom’s finances and wants to make sure

she has the best situation, for the least amount of money.

Here is Mom’s viewpoint, via a letter. She includes on

the heading, ‘Sunday noon.’ (This would be March 2, 2014.)

“Just want you to know I’m thinking of you and all!

God bless you all!

The sad news is Rich installed here a phone. That, I

suppose, will cost us to make calls! I’m sorry.”

She adds, that he told her to ‘be more careful’ with her

purse and money. Then, (second mention of phone…)

“It’ll cost us, I guess, to make calls, though (so far)

we’ve not made any.”

In this letter that is two pages long, she mentions the

phone one more time, but no new phone number offered.

My brother sent me an email with the new phone number.

A funny spelling and comment comes next:

“I’ve had a drisselly nose all week. On the first day

of last week, it was very cold, Nicki put one paw up

off the frozen sidewalk. It was as if she was saying,

‘this is too cold for both my paws.’ Maybe it was

feeling sore?”

It took me a short while to figure this next misspelled

word and notice she is a little ‘loony tunes’ because

she thinks something she misplaced got taken:

“I’ve not been filanshilly ahead this week. I need to

replace a brush that cleaning lady took. I saw her!

It was the darling yellow baby brush, that I use to

brush my Nicki’s cote.”

Later, after talking about her tablemates, she brings

up the ‘stolen’ brush again with another long and

misspelled word!

“I think I told you the cleaning lady (girl) stole

my yellow dog brush, so I’ll have to replace it when

I get some money. I saw her do it, Robin, she thought

she was acting surupticially.”

She ends the letter, again sounding sad:

“Hope you’re doing okay. Don’t waiste money by

calling, now that Rich has switched me to a regular

phone.

Love you!

Love to all,

Mom and Nicki.

P.S. Hope you’re having a happy social life. You

deserve the best. I enclosed something for your blog,

dear.”

An enclosed pretty sheet of stationery had a short note

written on it. This is what my Mom wrote about my Grandma

Mattson:

“My mother used to have psychic dreams. She’d tell my

father, and he would say,

‘Don’t tell anyone. They’ll think you’re crazy.’

The weirdest tale from her dreams was our school friend

was sick. She told me, in her dream, that the family

moved the girl’s bed downstairs to the living room and

that she died shortly after that.

The next day, our naybor and friend called (we had a phone

line together) weeping that her daughter, a girl my age,

had died.

So it happened like she’d seen it in her dreams. She had

profesized it, Robin!”

My favorite misspelling in a letter awhile back, that I

had written about in a post, was she called me “speshul.”

I hope that you have some interesting family letters

with ‘speshul’ intrigue and unusual characteristics.

If you care to let us in on something about a member

of your family or distant relative, it will make this

letter-sharing post more interactive.

My Mom forgot that there was one time when my Dad gave

one of my brothers a spanking. My Grandmother had talked

my Grandfather into calling “long distance,” almost at

the time it was happening. My youngest brother and I

heard the phone ring. We were staying out of the way,

keeping a wide swath from the trouble downstairs.

As an adult and parent, I remember what my brother had

done to get himself in trouble. I may have given my own

son a spanking for the same thing, if he had ever been

caught.

I had picked up the upstairs’ phone extension. My Grandpa

had asked to speak to my Mom. His usual jovial toned

voice was not there; he sounded serious.

I ran downstairs to get my Mom and she went in the

kitchen to answer the phone. I stayed on the line to be

nosy and listen in.

My Grandfather said,

“Mother has a word of advice to your husband, Bob.

‘Tell Robert to not be so hard on Randy!’

Eerie that she knew down in Florida, had that sixth sense

that my brother was in trouble!

Apt. Dweller and Co-worker: Beware of the Wrath of Robin!

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Lessons will be learned!

Fridays are our ‘get ‘er done’ days at work- usually promised 4-5 hours

but, for some insane reason, our orders from Advance Auto stores have

picked up! Holidays don’t sound like a good time, in my opinion, to work

on cars! But parts are rolling out of our distribution center like crazy!

Last Friday, (Nov. 15th), I went to my dermatologist and took the whole half

day off. I ended up doing errands and had a great lunch out at a place called

“The Horsey Inn” on the way westward towards Marysville. I got a couple

of irregular spots on my left leg “frozen” and my four month check-up of

my ear. Poor ear, no draft took so it has a little notch out of it. The Dr. I go

to locally bemoaned this, sorry that the other Dr. in Westerville, is still

sending me bills to pay up until 2014! I found out from him, you may

remember, that you need to be concerned more about your left side of

your face (and ears) if you drive and forget that the windows won’t

protect you from sun damage. My two spots on leg, notice, were also

on the left side. So, from now on, I will be slathering on the over SPF 30

all over in odd places!

Someone told me this past Monday, Nov. 18th, that a man who lives in

my building was “speculating about my whereabouts and had told a

complete bunch of smokers, out in the ‘butt hut,'” that I “couldn’t have

been sick, since my car was not in the apt. parking lot all day last Friday!”

(Well, someone ‘spilled the beans’ and without saying his name, I have

had fun this week telling people about the appointment that I made in

June, that I had plans for the other few hours that I used my sick time,

etc.)

Hmmm… “How to approach this person?”

My almost-seething self wondered? I was partly amused as I dropped off

my copies of my “Excuse Back to Work” in triplicate: one to the HR person

for my files, one to my immediate boss and one to my boss’ boss. Also,

told my immediate boss,

“I have an appointment in May, 2014, should I wait till January to let

you know? Oh, and here is my request off for November 26th for my eyes

to get dilated and extensive tests. (You may or may not know I had two

laser procedures for narrow eye glaucoma a couple of years ago…) And,

I wrote this down for needing an hour of sick time on this day to go to

the dentist.”

She responded, “You will still end the year with over 40 hours’ sick time,

Robin.”

And, Melvin took up the humorous approach of sneaking up, all of

a sudden, into my work areas, and springing hilarious and outrageous

assumptions and accusations!

Here are a few and hope to bring you some Saturday chuckles!

1.) “I know what you did last summer!” He whispered, conspiratorily.

2.) “I saw that man from the gas station with you on your living room

carpet.” He whispered and winked!

3.) “I know that you ate a hot dog for breakfast!” He rubbed his chubby

belly and smiled.

4.) “I know that you were out past midnight on Tuesday night!” (Well,

folks, that one was TRUE!)

5.) “I know you take plastic silverware home from McD’s so you don’t

have to wash dishes!” (Ok, Melvin, that one is true, too!)

6.) “I know what you wear to bed! You better close those blinds!” He

smirked and rolled his eyes…

I am not kidding, once Melvin gets it in his head to tease, he will do it

endlessly! These are only a few that I could remember. I was eating with

the girls, and he was over with the guys who face the other direction to

watch the sports network. He snuck up on me, watching the noisy, happy

“The New Price is Right with Drew Carey.”

Melvin put his hand on my shoulder, whispered rather loudly these words,

“I know that you have a crush on someone who works here and lives in

your apartment!” Everyone at my table and the next one started to laugh!

Tammy roared and said, “You are too funny, Melvin!”

Not a chance that I would have a crush on this man, who is above average

looking, but is extremely fastidious and too law-abiding for my tastes!

I blame my liking (or loving) “bad boys” on those two men in the poster

that hung above my bed throughout my older teens and into college

years, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid! (My Dad put little strips of

finishing wood to frame that infamous poster up!)

So… What have I done to the ‘guilty party,’ Don? I have been incessantly

telling him my plans. I have been preparing him for my upcoming sick

time days and my personal scheduled activities. Just in case he wants

to report them, just getting the facts straight.

Have I directly told him, “I know you blabbed about my car’s location

and the way you assumed I called in sick?”

Nope, that is not my “mode of operandi!”

By pulling my ‘chain,’ he better watch out for my subtle way of retaliation!

Any suggestions for “revenge” in a tasteful way?