Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Having a rough day

In the midst of everything that is going on right now, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I want to cry, but can't. I sit at work trying to focus on work, but can only think about that for a few seconds before life creeps in.  I am stressing about hubby's health - his diabetes is out of control. So much so that we made the trip to the ER to let the doctors try to help.  His back is getting worse - which makes his legs not work right.  He has other problems too, but he wouldn't appreciate me speaking about those.

Lliam is having more problems with attitude and fighting at school.  We are reluctantly trying a new med for him.  Something has to help.  I can't deal with him refusing to go in the school and me having to try to wrestle him in there.  My back still hurts from Monday's episode.

The construction is a little behind right now.  We were supposed to be painting by this weekend and now it looks like we won't be painting until next week.  The contractor is also saying we are closer to the budget than we originally thought.  I still can't figure out how since just about everything we ordered was way under the budget limit for that particular area.  I am still trying to decide if I picked the right colors for each room.  Some rooms I am certain the color is right - others - not so much.

My mother is still being a pain the backside.

My brother got mad at me because I didn't tell him that Grandpa made a trip to the hospital (he never goes), but everything was fine so I didn't think it was necessary to tell him.  Then he didn't bother to tell me that an aunt was diagnosed with cancer.  She passed away 2 weeks after the doctors gave her 6 weeks.  On top of that, he didn't even tell me when the funeral was.  I wasn't able to go.   When I told him I had taken Lance to the ER - he didn't ask if he was ok.  Really - kiss my backside, pal.

And then there's work.  I like my job - don't get me wrong.  I just got a small raise, a car to drive and boss pays the gas, insurance and upkeep including car washes.  I guess my issue is I work my tail off, do everything boss asks of me and I rarely get time off.  He's let me have most of the days I asked for - Jessica's wedding, a trip to Ohio to sell at a flea market, things like that.  But I don't have a regularly scheduled day off.  He knows I need the money since Lance isn't working anymore, but come on.  I NEED A DAY OFF!  OR two or three when I don't have a single thing scheduled.  I need a break.

Speaking of breaks - give me one from hearing about how much natural talent his children have.  Of course they do great at whatever sport they happen to be in that week.  He pays for them to take lessons from very expensive trainers and coaches.  He knows it annoys me to hear about it because I don't have extra money for Lliam to even play in a school sport.  Hell, he can't even join the Boy Scouts because I don't have the money to pay the dues.  Jealous you say - yeah probably a little.  I worked at a job where I made nearly $17 an hour and that job was eliminated.  I started work here at $10 an hour about a year ago and that was after 2 years of looking.  I am making more now, but I still have the bills I had from the good job.  That job had regular days off, vacation time, health, dental, and vision insurance.  This job has none of that.  Be grateful I have a job -  I am.  If I didn't have this job, we would have lost the house altogether.   I get that he's the boss and has money, but he doesn't have to flaunt it every single day.  Just today he was talking about the upcoming family trip to Disney, and the Christmas-time trip to the Bahamas.  He was actually complaining about having to stand in line at the post office to get new passports.  Boo hoo.  I don't even have a passport.  My son has never even been to Canada.  I want to take Lliam to Florida to see where he was born, but I don't even have the extra gas money for that.

What did I do wrong?  What curse has befallen my family that I can't even take a vacation?  Who did I piss off so much that my son can't play in a school sport or join the Boy Scouts?

Yeah, I had a pity party for myself just now, but I am so freaking frustrated I could explode.  I work and work and work and still have nothing extra.  I have trimmed the budget as much as I could.  We are even trying to sell my truck and the old plow truck to bring in some extra money.

I know there are thousands of people out there with less than I have.  There are people in Florida dealing with floods, Colorado dealing with fire, all over the country dealing with drought and hoards of unemployed people.  I am sorry for them and I hope things all work out for them.  But Damn it, I work hard and deserve the chance to relax once in a while.  I shouldn't have the fear that if I ask for a day off, I might lose my job.  I want to look for more gainful employment, but if the boss finds out I am looking, I will not even have this job.  I feel like I am stuck.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sometimes in life a little heartbreak....

My grandfather is 96.  Four years from a century of being on Earth.  I knew it would happen sooner or later.  No, he hasn't passed on.  He's losing his memories.  June 9, 2012, my beautiful niece was married.  After the wedding, we stopped by Grandpa's house to visit.  He seemed to be doing just fine.  We were carrying on a conversation like usual.  Then it happened.  He looked at his 12-year-old grandson and said "And who is this fine looking young man?"  Lliam, being the sensitive type, burst into tears.  I kept cool, but I think I was in shock.  I suggested to Lliam that he go outside and try to find some rabbits.  I sent his daddy after him to try to explain what just happened.  Grandpa looked at me sort of stunned and asked "Did I say something to offend him?"  I said no, that he had just had a long day with the wedding and all.  He asked who got married.  I explained it was his great granddaughter.  He thought about it for a few minutes and asked again who the boy was that had been sitting next to me.  I had to fight the tears.  I explained it again.  Then I changed the subject.  I asked him if he wanted to send Jessica a check for a wedding gift.  "Who's Jessica?"  I explained it again.  He decided he had better send one if she was his granddaughter.  I wrote the check out for $50 and let him sign it.  I also wrote a note explaining who, why and how much so when my mom visited next, she could explain it to him again.  I also balanced his check book and wrote on the bottom of the check "wedding gift" so he wouldn't think someone had just coerced him to give them money that he didn't know.

I had been given a warning about what was happening earlier in the day, but it didn't register until that moment.  My brother had explained to me that when he and his son were out to visit the day before, the exact same thing happened with his son.  It's heartbreaking when someone you love with all your heart doesn't have a clue who you are.

On the ride home, Lliam was still weepy so I tried to explain in a way that he might better understand.  Here's what I came up with on the fly.  "Lliam, you know when it is really, really foggy outside and you want to pull back the fog like curtains so you can see better?"
"Well, that's kind of how it is in Grandpa's mind.  We are all in there somewhere, but he can't find us. It's sad, I know, but it happens to most older people.  Sometimes it happens way before this age, but it does happen. He's losing his memories in the fog."
"You know what else I think?  I think that when he goes to heaven to be with Grandma, he will remember every single thing that has ever happened in his life.  I also think that when he remembers something that involves you, that's when you think of a fond memory of him."
A small smile appeared.  "Dad, can we go fishing when we go camping?"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Choices - Good or Bad - We've All Made Them

Yesterday at work was not such great day.  Why?  Our sign carrier verbally exploded.  Let me back up a few and give some background on this issue.  When the company owner was in the process of opening his fifth store, his maintenance guy happened upon a homeless fellow that was looking for work.  Mr. Fix-it was all about the company  owner hiring this guy.  I questioned it.  Don't get me wrong, I do not have a problem with someone who is down on their luck getting a boost from those who can give.  However, we knew nothing about this person, where he came from, his criminal history (if he had one), his mental state, etc.  In this day and age one can't be too careful.  This wall comes from working in law enforcement for almost 10 years.  I've seen and heard about an awful lot of well intending people getting hurt by those they are trying to help.  Mr. Owner hired the guy to carry the sandwich boards advertising our business. Let the drama begin.

The first few days weren't so bad.  Mr. Signs got paid daily at the end of the day.  After a few days, he started asking "Can I have an hour or two for lunch money and cigs?"  Mr. Owner obliged him.  Mr. Signs is supposed to be walking from 10 am until at least 5 pm.  We close at 6 pm.  Mr. Signs might work until 3 pm then come in and tell us he was done.  Reasons?
1.  It's too hot.
2.  It's too cold.
3.  Going to a ball game.
4. His girl was giving him trouble.
5. His girl was in trouble - needed to go to another town to get her.
6. Had to go to court.
7. It's raining.
8. Tired.
9. Had enough of people making comments.
10. Got in a fight.

Really?  One day last week another employee and I were looking at a video online of a dog riding a rocking horse - it was hilarious.  Mr. Signs comes in and wants to be clocked out because he has something to take care of.  It just so happened that at the same time he asked that, we laughed because of the video.  Mr. Signs went postal.  He started screaming at my co-worker.  The f-bomb was flying out of his mouth every other word.  He made threats to my co-worker, telling him he was going to rip his head off and ^&*( down his throat, f-this-f-that m-f.  I tried to intervene by telling Mr. Signs he needed to take it down a notch and stop making threats.  He looked at me and said "They ain't threats, they is promises."  I told him that was enough and he needed to leave.  After about 5 more minutes of belligerence, he screamed that he quit and stormed out the door.
Just so happened that Mr. Owner pulled up and Mr. Signs went over and started yelling at him.  Mr. Owner got him to calm down and insisted that he come in and apologize to my co-worker.  Mr. Signs did that, but I was not convinced.

A few days later, a couple of younger people came in saying that Mr. Signs was trying to start a fight outside and some woman was trying to restrain him.  I went out to see what was going on.  It's not good for a company representative to fight with the general public.  The lady was still with Mr. Signs and insisted that the two people who came in the store started the whole thing.  Mr. Signs apologized to me for losing his temper and throwing the sign on the ground.  I informed him that if I got another complaint about him-whether it was his fault or not, he was done.  He protested, but I calmly explained to him that as a business we cannot have this much negative activity going on as it would hurt the reputation of the business.

Moving up to yesterday, it was near the end of the day when a fellow business owner entered the store.  Mind you- Mr. Signs clocked out around 3:30 pm and this happened around 5 pm.  The business owner was obviously very upset about something and wanted to speak to Mr. Owner.  We informed him that Mr. Owner was not present, but was there something we could do to help him.  He claimed that Mr. Signs was in his business parking lot soliciting business right out from under him.  We asked him to explain.  He said the guy in the blue shirt was telling his customers to come over to our store because we paid more.  He expressed his disapproval of this practice to Mr. Signs.  He then told us how Mr. Signs got mouthy and started yelling at him.

I told the business owner that it would be dealt with appropriately.  He said he didn't want any bad blood between the two businesses, but he couldn't let things like that happen.  I told him we understood, that Mr. Signs was currently off the clock, and it would be dealt with.

At about 10 minutes to closing, Mr. Signs came in the store asking if we bought a ring.  I told him no one came in to sell a ring.  I then asked if he had been at the antique shop.  He immediately went on the defensive- yelling and screaming at me.  Throwing the F-bomb every other word.  Accused us of being hoity-toity rich people living in air conditioned homes, driving nice cars, taking vacations and eating out all the time and that he lived in a tent.  I looked him square in the eyes and told him he was where he was because of the choices he had made and continued to make.  He called me a bitch. (not the first time I've been called that - I dealt with angry truck drivers as an inspector - it's part of the job).  I told him that was his opinion and that it was his choice to express that opinion.  I told him that Mr. Owner had explained to him how to get a new ID card since he lost his and he chose not to follow Mr. Owner's advice.  I told him that if he had followed Mr. Owner's advice about the ID card, he could have started the process of looking for more permanent living arrangements.  I could tell by the look on his face that he was getting madder and madder.  I suggested that he go to his tent and chill out for the evening.  To that he said "F*&$ YOU, F*&$ this job and I quit."  I said "That's your choice."

This morning when I drove in the lot, I could see Mr. Signs sitting on the embankment watching me.  Creepy!  Before I could get inside the building, he was right beside me.  He was begging for his job back.  I told him it was out of my hands.  He begged some more and again I told him it wasn't up to me.  I unlocked the door and went inside as he walked away, mad.  He then started calling the store phone.  At first I didn't answer because it wasn't time to open for business.  At about 2 til 10, I answered it.  He wanted to talk to Mr. Owner.  I asked him if he saw Mr. Owner's truck in the lot.  He said no, but he needed to talk to him. He begged me to call him and ask if he could have his job back.  I said if I talked to Mr. Owner, I might say something.

I did indeed talk to Mr. Owner.  I expressed my concern about Mr. Signs verbal abuse to my co-worker and me, his unstable state of mind, his paranoia, his explosive behavior, the fact that he can't follow direction, gets defensive with constructive criticism,  and - most of all-doesn't know when to shut up.  I also expressed concern that Mr. Signs made me uncomfortable and that it creeped me out how he watches us all time.  I told Mr. Owner that it was my opinion that someone who was that violent with words and was ready to fight anyone at anytime could cause harm to me or my co-worker or worse - the customers.
I now worry that Mr. Signs will start stalking us.  He has said previously that he was an Army Ranger.
I pity him too.

Now before anyone gets their feathers ruffled - I don't have a problem with homeless people or people who have had a run of back luck and are currently down and out.  However, don't judge me because I have a job, a house and a  couple of cars.  I have worked hard to get those things and even harder to keep them.  I know about losing a job, being without money, being within a payment or two of losing everything.  Then I lost my home to a fire.  Thankfully I had insurance - that I work hard to pay for.  When I lost my job, I lost a few friends as well.  They couldn't handle having a poor person hanging around.  Not such good friends.  During this dark time in my life that began in 2009, I went through so many emotions.  The depression was the worst and it almost consumed me.  BUT I MADE A CHOICE.  I chose to keep fighting for what I worked so hard for.  I chose to get off my butt, get a job and get back on my feet.  I chose to take responsibility for caring for my family.  I chose NOT to ask for welfare or food stamps. Yes, I got unemployment for awhile.  I was entitled to it.  I've worked since I was 16 and I earned it.  If we didn't have the money to buy something - we didn't. At Christmas, my husband and I didn't buy any presents for ourselves and used what little money we had to buy a couple of toys and some clothes for our son. We didn't go beg for toys at the toy drive.  If the groceries ran low - we made do with what we had even if it was only rice and beans. We didn't go to the food pantry and ask for hand outs.  It wasn't fun, but we muddled through. When we lost the house to the fire, I chose not to wallow in sorrow and self-pity.  I went to work the next day - no sense in sitting around thinking about what happened.  I couldn't change the fact that everything was gone.  I was going to have to start over, again.