Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Christmas Past

Christmas 2007 was very different for us than Christmases of recent years. We moved into our current home nearly six years ago. We have never had family here for a holiday. This year while working full time I decided it was time.
My mother is getting older and having holidays overwhelms her anymore. Thanksgiving my sister came down and did most of the work. I wasn't sure she would be able to do that at Christmas so although I believed I would be working until 8 on Christmas Eve I planned to have a 25 lb. turkey with all the trimmings. Our company gave us a wonderful gift when they told us Friday that we would also have Christmas Eve off. This meant I would be able to join the festivities at my brother Bob's house and have most of the day to prepare. Prepare we did. I had a wonderful spread with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, a whipped sweet potato recipe that is outstanding, salad, green bean casserole, rolls and for dessert a buffet of cheesecake, cookies, pies and my "Rachel Ray" fudge wreath. Yummoo.
It is a bit cramped here compared to the roominess of my old house but we managed and everyone had a good time. I gave my sweetie a digital video camera and he has recorded some of it. Technology is amazing. The gift that was the biggest hit by far was the one Rob gave my son. It was a remote controlled helicopter that can be flown IN the house. Most of what he got was clothing because he is grown up but men are just big boys with toys.
Throughout the day I thought of last Christmas. No one had a clue that this year Jennifer would not be a part of our Christmas. Each year we received a box from Rob's Mom and in it were the gifts from Jennifer and her brother Brian. I remember them year by year. Rob was able to drive up there a few short weeks ago and deliver our gifts to them. She loves the American Girl doll we gave her and for Christmas we gave her the most beautiful red faux velvet coat and hat. Also ice skates and a few small other things. I wish we could have been there to see her open the gifts but we had to be at work the next morning. Maybe next year. I was so happy to have a lovely Christmas. I hope you did too and I wish you a wonderful new year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Three Days and Counting...................

What Christmas Means to Me.................
Christmas isn't just a paid holiday off from work. Christmas has a deep spiritual meaning. I do believe that Jesus was a man who lived among us long ago. I believe that he lived an exemplary life and that if we could all just follow his teachings of kindness, brotherhood and forgiveness the world would be a much better place. Today I had to work and thinking that it was a few days before Christmas I was hoping that others might have the Christmas spirit. For the most part I was wrong but there were a few which after thanking me for my assistance wished me a Merry Christmas. I was appreciative of that. This Christmas there are some things which hamper the spirit. Firstly the loss of Jen weighs upon us. As more time passes we are keenly aware of the loss and the huge void left in her 9 year old daughter's life. My son lost his job (as did his entire department) with a wealthy company and was canned a week ago tonight. No severance just a brief goodbye. He had really enjoyed that job and been there over two years. He had taken ONE sick day during that time. I guess the company chose not to give these people the paid holiday.
Ebeneezer the company owner is a multimillionaire. Tidings of comfort and joy.
While there are things that bad there is so much good. I have a good job. They gave us Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. We had four spreads of food over the past few weeks.
In addition we were given vouchers for food in their "world class" cafeteria. The food there is marvelous. I feel blessed to work with some of the hardest working people I have worked alongside of. Today I was hugged by many coworkers. Genuine shows of affection happen often where I am. Help is always there and given generously and competently. While my days are long, I find myself driving home each night feeling that I am blessed.
I am planning to have a 25 lb. turkey here for Christmas Day. The crowd will be relatively small. Not sure we can all fit around the table. This house has an eat in kitchen and no dining room. Gone are the days with my sprawling dining room and unlimited space. I still have the china and the silverware. The space is small in comparison. The difference is that my tiny home is overflowing with love and hospitality. A small house can hold as much love as a mansion. In my case it holds much more. What particularly thrilled me this year was that I was able to make a bag of gifts for a friend who lost her only child last year at this time. I was also able to send some money to Feed The Children and send a box to a Navy soldier. That to me is what Christmas is all about. Helping those in need, whether the need be financial or spiritual. There's not much that I want or need. I do need to know that I care about my fellow man. I need to know that is a part of my personality that will never change. I consider it my best asset.
Thank you for the world so sweet. Thank you for the food we eat. Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you, God, for everything. Mostly, Lord I thank you for the precious gift of life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Coworker Made Me Sick.......LIterally

Where I work we have days that are shared in a pool. Meaning that sick days are the same as vacation days. While I can understand the value of this there is a serious downside as well. One of my coworkers is planning a vacation this winter. She was soooo sick but refused to call out and take a sick day. She left early one day to pick her sick daugher up and was saying her husband had to take a day off so that she wouldn't use one of her pool days for sickness and she could save them for vacation days. How unfair to others and I told her so. On Sunday evening I began to be chilled to the bone and feel very ill. Woke up Monday even worse and a trip to the doctor confirmed I had strep. I'm sure that is what the coworker's daughter and she had. I wonder how many more employees will have it. I had to call out yesterday and use my ONE accumulated paid sick day. I am still not well today and had to take a second, UNPAID day.

Since they are consecutive days it will only count as one call out illness thankfully.

What do you want for Christmas?

I know what I want and I want it bad. I want people to start acting responsibly. To stop ordering things they have no use for, to stop making phone calls ordering services that are incompatible with what they have in their homes. Furthermore, these people want to scream and yell at people instead of taking responsibility for their decision. Most companies now have people who try to keep customers......and keep them happy. Don't try to verbally berate people when they are stuck trying to help you get out of a mess which you have created. Be mature enough to admit that you made a mistake and kindly ask for assistance to get out of it. I remember when children knew better than to try to blame everything they did on someone else. Nowdays many parents are afraid to correct their children even when the child desperately needs it. I am not talking about people treating children like chattle. I am talking about constructive discipline. I cringe when I see how many children have NO boundaries. Children need love and security but they also need to know that adults are in charge. It gives them security. Too often the children are running the show these days. If parents cannot control them at 9 what will happen when they are teens? I remember the movement not to hit children. I liked the philosophies associated with that. There is a rare time a child needs a swat on the bottom and I could never condone more than that. I do believe children need to be told gently but firmly that the parents are in charge. Sometimes it scares me to think what these children will be like when they are the adults running our society. Maybe I'm crany today but these are my thoughts.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Wow a degree from a university

On Friday I finally got my degree from a university.....of sorts. I am now a graduate of a private university. I don't want to post too much about my job here for reasons that it can come back and kick you in the butt....hard. Many of my fellow grads went out for snacks and drinks but I declined. I have learned that often coworkers are not the best people you want for your friends. When there's a group of people and you barely know some of them the robot arms start waving "Danger Will Robinson! Danger!" Not going there.

My new job is tough at times. I am taking calls where people want to cancel their service and I am talking them out of doing that. Well, often the calls go like this...

ME: Thank you for calling ______ My name is Nutjob how can I help you today?

Them: I hate you and your F*N company.

ME: May I have your account number with us?

Them: I don't have an account.

ME: If you were billed by us then you have an account with us. Can you look on your bill

and give that to me?

Them: Look A******* I don't have email and I can't read anything you sent me.

ME: If you signed up for an account with us then you needed to give an email address, may I please have your first and last name then?

Them: Yes it's mumble mumble mumble mumble.

ME: I'm very sorry. I didn't catch that, could you please repeat that?

Them: Listen jerk off: just cancel my account.

ME: I will be happy to help you once I can identify which account we are talking about.

Them: Oh wait a minute is *************** an account number?

ME: yes, thank you. Now can you verify some information for me?

Them: I hate you. You should die, a slow painful death.

And the conversation goes downhill from there!

There are some good and courteous customers but honestly they are more the exceptions.

I am polite and do the job that I am being paid to do. It's not easy but I am grateful to be receiving a paycheck. I have a wait for my benefits still. I am doing shiftwork and I will be working Christmas Eve until the phones close at 8. If we have calls that went into hold before that we cannot leave until they are all taken. What kind of people you have to wonder would be calling on Christmas Eve in the evening? Remember Ebenezer Scrooge?

SO....if you know anyone who might want to call and bust someone's holiday mojo on Christmas Eve, try to talk them out of it. Offer them some holiday cheer (liquid cheer that is.)

I have a lot of shopping to do. Last night we received a dusting of snow but it is snowing again. I have to get to the MAC, get the dog's nails trimmed, and pick up a humidifier. Since we ate out for Thanksgiving and had no leftovers I am making a turkey breast today. Don't know when I will find time for the decorating but the Christmas mugs are in the cabinet and a wreath is on the door. It's a start. Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a cup of good cheer.