Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our World

Isn't it amazing that in a world as badly messed up as ours that we Americans can get so wrapped in our own worries to the point no one else matters? Isn't it sad that we forget what made us who we HAVE BEEN in the world was a willingness to reach out to those poor people in those other countries we NOW cannot stand, and now all we can do is scream about pulling our borders in tighter, or killing the bastards that have had enough of our arrogant assumption that ours is the only way our world can function.

We have two candidates for President that represent polar opposites on the spectrum of how we return to our role as world leaders - one desiring to continue a policy of bomb not and question later - offering an apology to the innocents destroyed by our indiscriminate wars, and one who offers the restoration of diplomacy and reason in our relations. Want proof that one is right and the other dead wrong? Consider the lack of respect we have in the world now. Consider that the Cold War of the Reagan era is back in full force, that nuclear proliferation is only a few pen strokes away - of course that term ONLY applies to those we hate and want to see broken, decimated, destroyed and begging for our help.

Consider that one candidate has a plan that would reduce our taxes by about $900 while the other's "compassionate" plan would cost me about that much more in taxes.

Consider that one has found the necessity of lying, using innuendo; while the other has continued to hold before us the hope of a changed future, or people working across the aisle and of our reputation restored not only with our enemies, but also with our allies whom we have sorely insulted and alienated.

It should become clear, as Kieth Olbermann, others we know and a college friend of our daughter believe that the ONLY HOPE for change in the upcoming election is with the election of the first person of color, the only person in this election who truly understanding the hope America offers - Barak Obama!

John McCain, as a close friend who knew him as a young naval officer shared, is closely acquainted only with the privilege of the privileged, the wonder of the ability of money to do what all else might fail to do. If we want to send a message that our future lies in a different direction, then we must send the strong, clear, unequivocal message that the last eight years have been too much - a balanced budget destroyed, a strong economy decimated, the image of America the helpful tarnished so badly we will need many years or a miracle to restore it - will not be acceptable! A continuation of this administration's policies and practices is NOT ACCEPTABLE to the American people.

That is why I agree with Marty, Kieth, and a growing coalition of persons Democratic and Republican and Independent who believe we must elect Barak Obama President and show the world we are truly better than we have been.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Technology, Faith and Politics

I got a new camera that is both a still and a video camera able to record sound and act as a MP3 player. I took five pictures I wanted to save, hooked it up to my computer and thought I had transferred them - but cannot find them! I did manage to start the camera on the computer, and got an image of myself that caused me all kinds of concern until I noticed the light. So I learned to read the booklet more closely before I try something, no matter now simple it seems.

I also read an editorial column today that bothered me, a great deal! A columnist wrote that he simply could not understand when faith became more important that a paycheck. I think that is one of the problems in our country! We make a lot of noise about being a nation of faith - but we don't really live out any of that, for the most part, and wonder at people for whom faith isn't just an add-on, but rather the true grounding of their lives. Few Christians in this country would consider simply walking off the job because they weren't given time on Good Friday, Easter or Christmas off. We simply shrug and go on. When Muslims do walk off because their corporate bosses won't allow a change in break time from prayers during their high holy time, we simply cannot understand that attitude - perhaps that is why Islam is growing to challenge Christianity in the world, why Christianity no longer commands the respect it once did.

Another thing that has bothered me for a long time, and I have spoken about it in a variety of forums, is the seeming understanding that only the right-wing Christian message is indeed the only Christian voice in this country. There are a variety of voices just within the Christian community, indeed one might say a plethora of voices within that ONE faith community, and our nation is NOT a single faith nation - thanks and praise be to God!!

Sarah Palin announces that she thinks the war plans of the Bush Administration are God's plan, but doesn't have the courage to say it straight out - but rather couches it so she thinks the "stupid" public will understand that isn't her message at all! She speaks of her concern for challenged children, of her accomplishments expanding care and help - quietly avoiding mentioning that she cut the Alaska Special Olympics funding in half! She speaks of the Christian concern we should have for our families, but kicked her daughter out of the house for becoming pregnant outside of wedlock - but where was she when the relationship that could have prevented the pregnancy. And she attacks someone who is truly trying to bring people from all parts of this country together for a better future, and the restoration of our image in the world as a moral compass, a compassionate giant that can get tough, but would rather work it out without rough stuff.

I am proud to say that I have support Barak Obama for President from shortly after he announced. I have been proud to acknowledge his membership in the United Church of Christ, and pleased to watch his message of hope - change we can believe in catch on, like wildfire in some settings in spite of the shady tricks pulled to try to stop him. I am disgusted with the tone and tenor of the McCain-Palin ticket in the campaign! And I intend to start being even more vocal about my support and belief that Senators Obama and Biden represent the best hope for the recovery of our nation!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, today was another lesson! The troublesome employee of the store where I am a photo tech caused enough frustration today that I was almost beside myself with anger and frustration! Simple rules of employment like not doing personal things on company time seem to be beyond this person. Things like doing what you are paid to do seem to be beyond this employee's understanding! On a schedule that puts this person behind the main cash register, that employee is at the kiosk doing a personal order of business cards, over in another department advising another employee on how to beat the system, advising people that rightfully should be checked out at the main register to go to another register, "because the young lady there earns a commission on what she sells." Not to mention it saves this employee work!!

Yes, I was angry, frustrated and about to chew and spit nails!! I was caring for my own department and busting my butt to deal with other things I was asked to do - and this employee is schmoozing and cavorting and having all manner of good times! Then, at a later point in the day, this person comes to me and asks if I'm alright. Alright!?!?!? Yeah, I'm just fine! Tired-of-covering-your-butt fine, tired-of-filling-your-failures-to-do-your-job fine!

This employee is oblivious! So what to do? Simply really, do your job, document errant behavior, take care of customers no matter how difficult or inconvenient and allow said employee to hang themselves on the rope they keep stretching - after all, your job is to do your job.

On another note, the manager left a note that I'm not to exceed a full week on my time card, so apparently customer service ends at the designated time of my shift end - in spite of those who might be standing in front of me at the end of my shift; in spite of my request to be as close to 40 hours a week as possible due to my financial situation. OK, corporate wins! When my shift is up, I'm out of here!

Lessons learned? To do my job, take care of what I'm responsible for and asked to do, and leave the others to their own devices. Work your shift and walk away - that's all you're paid to do! Sorry that is outside my ability - when someone is standing in front of me, wanting my assistance, and the company's motto is customer service, customer service, customer service -- I just can't walk away at the end of a shift!

So learn to do what you must even if you pay for it in the end - why? Because your personal integrity is far more important that corporate desires to avoid overtime!! Be concerned about your own role and responsibilities until they are modified!!

Peace and good progress in your position!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hard Work and Respect

Another of life's lessons has shown itself in my continued odyssey at Walgreens. When you work hard and respect people, some of them will take care of you.

An example, today I opened the store, arriving at 7:20 and clocking in before my 7:30 start time and started getting things ready for the day, another worker arrived at 9, and at 11:30 asked if she could take lunch. The Assistant Manager and another co-worker were genuinely incensed that she would ask that when that co-worker and I had neither had lunch yet. She was told brusquely that "No! You can't go to lunch when people who started before you haven't been able to have lunch yet!"

In their defense, she is one who isn't about to miss a break or be late by her determination for lunch or leaving - and she won't clock in early either. She handles jobs she is assigned well, but simply asked to cover the front, she will stand with her arms crossed and her legs crossed and smile at everyone. I think she can become a good worker, but she needs a little more willingness to jump in on things.

We had the best day so far in the photo lab, and I truly believe it is because we work our butts off to have things done timely and treat people with the utmost of respect. I'm very proud of our staff, and will continue to work at helping us increase our sales.

Another example, if my wife comes into the store to buy something, several of my co-workers call her by name and will make sure that the cosmetic girls understand she is to get the employee and family discount. That doesn't come from being hard-nosed and lazy, it comes from being there when people need you, treating everyone with respect and offering whatever help you can offer.