Monday, September 21, 2009

A Hopin' and a Prayin'

In these times where the economy seems to have a life of its own, we tend to speak things that we would rather not do. For instance, an old saying that I haven't heard in awhile is "desperate times calls for desperate measures." This is like a warning to all that hears that something not so profitable for someone else is about to happen or it is a justification for doing something one knows is wrong. If weighing matters to the point of contemplating thievery, I would say go seek counsel. Actually for any matter where you think it would be best to do something insane, no matter if the economy improves or not - go seek counseling.

Counseling, in its own vein can be an outstanding resource if the homework of research is done before hand. Counselors have to get paid too so those desperate times thing can be still in the corners of their minds as well. If an employer does what he does to ge the best employee he can  by way of reviewing an application, calling references, administering a drug test, and these days even using the resources of obtaining a criminal background check, how much more so are we to go and do our research to employ a person who will receive the personal information we wouldn't tell our own parents?

People, as my son has told me numerous times, are people. The very same ones that we avoid because of their distasteful personality traits are the same we pass by, are our coworkers, supervisors, neighbors, brothers, and parents. We have no choice but to deal with what is set before us; however, with whom we choose to be our clergy, doctor, lawyer, dentist, counselor, various agents, and friends is completely our own doing. When that bad advice comes our way and we have nothing else to go on, whatever the outcome is our fault. We have no one else to blame but ourselves.

In this day and age we have so many resources available to check anything out that has been told to us. We have libraries, bookstores, the internet, the bible, and other professionals with the same degree. Why get one opinion and bank what we have on that. How can we listen to one diagnosis  that will change the course of our life and believe it is the right thing to do? I wonder of these celebrities that are no longer with us and they thought they were getting the best treatment that money can buy, yet they were not saved by what they received. If something isn't working why still use it?

The saying that my son uses people will be people comes from him understanding that we all have lives to live. We all have obstacles to face. What makes us think that just because we hire professional people that they are actually going to be professional? They have their own issues too. What if a well known medical surgeon was just about to perform some radical emergency procedure and just when he was about to leave for work he had an argument with his wife to the point of her saying that she would like a divorce. How professional will he be in the operating room? Will he need to reschedule? How would you know that he is having issues and is too prideful to say so? How do you know right at the time he is near a major artery did he not go over the  intense verbal battle he had moments before he came to work. There he is with the scaple and gritting his teeth at what was spewed to him from his wife. Would he cut too deep or at the wrong place? Has it happened before? How would you know?

What about receiving wise counsel from someone who doesn't like men and the counseling is for the purpose of marriage? Would the counselor be objective? How would you know? Would you take the advice for what it is or for the gold the counselor believes it is?

I questioned a surgeon once and he became indignant stating that I need to find myself another doctor. I couldn't have agreed with him more. If you can't answer my questions, you have no business being a medical professional.

Is this a post on how we should believe in a higher power that watches and sees all so we should pray to Him. No, for me, that is a given. This is a post to solidify even after prayer you still have work to do in order to be assured that who you have working for you is there to do the best job your money can buy. First you pray then do the research. Whether you believe it or not I just proved to you a scripture in the bible which states: faith without works is dead (James 2:26 KJV).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The purpose of a euphemism is not to be blunt as to speak the actual word intended. Some may have delicate ears and to sugar coat the word has the meaning without the harsh intent. The trouble with that is your point doesn't drive the listener home to do anything different  than what he or she has been doing. The euphemism causes the behavior to be shrugged off or a cute cliche is used to minimize change. One I recall often used is "boys will be boys." I wholly detest that phrase.

For this subject matter the title is a euphemism for wild. The term wilding was used in the 80's  for the behavior of teens in Central Park (located in New York) terrorizing pedestrians for no other reason than being bored. Take one of those teens and place that one teen in a tiny position of authority; like behind the register of a fast food joint, the dispatcher to get your cab, the teller at a bank, the customer service rep to get your utilities turned on, (to name a few) and what kind of conversation would you have in order to get from point A to point B? I had such the conversation.

It was such a simple request. A request that many have had and created a position for because of the high demand. What was that hiring process like? Was the employer manipulated with sob stories about feeding hungry children or a parent needing a kidney? Or was he just on drugs? What would possess a relatively intelligent HR official to actually use the phrase, "you are hired" to an individual I had the displeasure of speaking to? All she had to do was schedule me a shuttle from one very popular place and back to my original destination. She had all of my personal information and then asked me for a numbered address. It is a very large and well known place that takes up most of the city's block, on a corner, of two well known streets in our area where many shuttles have been over and over. She persisted with getting from me a numbered address. All I could picture was a list of addresses that the shuttles frequent within arm's reach and she refused to say that she knew what and where I was speaking of. She maintained that without the address I could not get a shuttle and if there was anything else she could help me with. "Yeah, pull up mapquest (c) on the computer you clicked all of my information on and add in the address" No, I didn't say that though I was frustrated enough to use a few choice words. She had what she needed from me and refused to do as I requested. No matter what I said, I could hear the attitude rise in her voice, the sheer pleasure she got to hang up the phone satisfied with the last word being, no. I called back hoping to speak to a completely different person. The attitude was such a marked improvement and if I didn't have the address, she would have looked it up.

But this behavior is also noted when on the inside with the coworker. I have a tendency to focus on the job at hand. If there is a long line, I have been trained to do whatever it takes to get the customers what it is needed so they don't have to wait. I put myself in their shoes knowing that I would  be annoyed, standing for a long period of time to spend my money for an establishment to continue to give me poor service? That makes no sense. So there I am working like a banshee (that means really hard) and my coworker stops me to have some really and truely asinine conversation. She is off duty but has the attitude seeing that we are coworkers, I should stop doing what I am hired to do and talk. When I didn't, she paused like I am the crazy one!!!

What is going on? If I complain about poor serivce - the service gets worse or I don't get service at all. If I don't wish to eat raw chicken, burnt toast, or eggs that are too runny I risk getting a plate of disguised spit. If I honk at someone about to side swipe me, the probability of that person having road rage has gone from socially unacceptable to "why did you have to honk at him"? Yes, that would mean I am to blame for side swiping myself.

Those teens from the 80's have grown with children of their own. What wasn't learned is instilled in the fruit of their loins. Will they out number decency, morality, values, and ethics, or will anarchy be the norm?

A doctor told me he deliberately caught a disease just to see what it felt like. An elderly African American woman asked me in tears how would you answer the question, why are blacks dysfunctional, stagnate, and lack direction because it was asked of her. An elderly Caucasion man, after receiving help from me to work a computer, asked me where I learned all of that from? Oh, did I mention, I am African American. A Jewish woman having 4 children of her own, unbenounced to me, learned that I have 5 children. She stated, "you must really like sex!" She told me that she has only one daughter. When I learned otherwise I confronted her. She denied what she said and sheepishly grinned.

Busted? Yeah, we all have our schisms and issues (some call them demons) that we have to contend with - so contend, don't just step into the ring and lie down on the canvas. Punch back! Use an upper cut - something! Is it me or does one say, that's life and it is what makes the world interesting? Those people raised others to be just like them!

I remember when my mother would come home from work she would take off her shoes at the door which also happened to be the entrance to the living room. At the end of the week, having not worn the same shoes everyday, there were a collection of shoes that had to be removed every Saturday when we did major house cleaning. It was frustrating for the sibling, having been assigned the task to clean the living room, to remove the shoes every week. But it was done without an audible word - it is Mom's house. Because of Mom's habit, I had to make a conscious effort not to take my shoes off at the door of my own home. I still catch myself from time to time but I made the decision not to do that just so the living area can stay tidy and easier to clean. A small example still a colossal analogy for each and everyone of us to make a decision and use some effort behind it.

It is the difference of speaking what you feel and thinking before you speak. It is the difference between impulse and a quality decisions. It is the difference between acting on emotion and stepping back to look at the big picture. What are we teaching our children? They will be the next generation running the country. Will they treat others the way they would like to be treated so we can look forward to the future?

(Luke 6:38 KJV)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

If Everyone Started Off as Equal

If anyone has ever struggled with purchasing school clothes for your children or remember the hassel in your own childhood to get the right look, hopefully you will be empathetic to what you are about to read.

I got this notice some years back that the elementary public school system was going to make it mandatory for all children to wear uniforms. My first reaction was that someone was reaching into my family and trying to control what I do with my children. My plan: I had to fight this. All of my reasoning seemed rational enough though I detested going through that mall maze with other parents trying to make the children happy with the latest fad. It would just be something different next season, costing more than you planned. Knowing some child wouldn't have it (more than likely mine) and compensating throughout the year was a guilt trip I wouldn't wish on anyone. Yet, no one should control what I do and don't with my children.

Given ample time, it came right to the last minute when my child was given notice to comply with the rules. Rules? A dress code has now become a rule for parents to abide by? I won't do it! I thought, looking at my child what I could afford and barely making ends meet, I knew financially and for peace of mind, it was the best thing for the children and to alleviate whatever administration was going through just to get the uniform rules passed.

All of my children have since graduated high school and have gone to college. My son recently mentioned what a good idea school uniforms were. He said the kids whose parents had more money couldn't lord their designer clothes over the poorer kids. I realized that it was a learning tool for the children to get to know each other looking beyond the outward appearance.

I thought about that for a moment and still dispelled with what might have been good intentions. Though the playing field might have been leveled for everyone to start out as equals, it is still the parents that caused the differences with the children. Those that wouldn't do for their children (clean, provide, find the right fit, laundry, etc.) didn't change their ways. Given a few semesters those same children who didn't have, due to neglect, had dingy shirts with missing buttons, the pants were too tight or too big and the hand-me-down shoes never did look well on anyone.

I might have struggled and fought the system for a moment or two, but when given an opportunity for my children not to be considered the lowest on the social curve, I met it and assisted with what I could do for them to desire to do more.

I have 5 children all of which are college bound. Degrees range from a family doctor to a culinary artist. I thank God that finally the government came up with a good idea where the only ones to blame for not catching the blessing is the parent.
(Proverbs 20:7 AMP)