Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Amazing Son

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fairness in the Work Place

So when is it too much? When do you we say enough in an atmosphere that used to be innocent. Or was it ever innocent? When is it okay for one employer to treat an employee differently than has than other employees? This is the question I find myself faced with today.

For example, if an employer goes to hug and employee and said employee makes the comment she is hot and sweaty and the employer says “that’s just the way I like you”, it’s not appropriate. Or does the shoulder hug alone comprise the sexual harassment statute?

What about fair treatment for all employees? If there is no rule in place regarding say, hair color, tattoos or piercings, and one or more employees have them without incident and one comes in with a red streak in his hair and is singled out and forced to be taken off the floor for not complying to a rule that was never there in the first place without justification or explanation, is that worthy of a complaint?

What about a potentially dangerous situation when a drug influenced patron walks in and makes the staff uncomfortable. The lead employee refuses further service and the employee is reprimanded for poor customer service and the patron is invited back with a gift certificate?

Or what if an employee overlooks a duty and the employer helps themselves to the employee’s tip jar as a punishment for the oversight without asking?

And what if the employee takes a minority employee and pushes them with duties that no one can do in the allotted time and for such little pay and then tells them this is a good job for them, they are lucky to have it?

These are examples I have seen in the work place and in thinking about it, have gone to the Bureau of Labor and Industry for my state. There is a complaint system in place but, as I’m sure it is in most states, is extensive. That’s good in some ways. Otherwise, everyone would be bitching about every little nuance in the work place whether it’s merited or not. But when you are looking at having to file the complaint and then be confronted with the person you are filing against, it can be a frightening and daunting experience most likely leaving most employees to just quit and leave the offending boss to keep up his ways.

So how do we make these offending bosses responsible for their actions? What is the recourse of action that can be taken or is there one? Quit. For sure if you are financially able, but then without bringing the employer to the table on his actions, it only continues for the next one. In the past I have found myself saying as I’m sure others before me did, “well, someone is going to make him accountable….it just can’t be me”. Then what?

I think it takes standing up to the boss in the situation and letting him know your boundaries. The problem with that is risk losing your job. If you are in the mode to file a complaint, then your job is most likely over. Is there financial compensation for doing such a thing knowing that your employment at the establishment is through? And is there a way to find out if the employer has done the same thing in other establishments in the past? I am truly asking to find answers. I know a great deal of people who can benefit from this information. Have you run across this in your work space and what solutions did you come up with? Was your offender brought to justice? If so how? I wish this were one of my blogs where I gave insightful solutions and go get ‘em pep talks but I am truly at a loss on how to advise here. Always your comments are welcome but particularly here. In a day where most are lucky to find themselves, employed, how do you handle strife in the work place?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Single Brown Female Seeks Adult

I don’t date. Let me take that back. I haven’t found anyone worthy to make me want to date. Not for a very long time. And I’m alright with that. I really like my life right now which seems to freak a lot of people out. Especially since I like just fine how it is, solo. So recently during a big reunion back in town, I shared a little kiss with new friend in highly charged emotional gathering. Lots of drinks, hugs and kisses were to be had by all. And now “new friend” sends me the occasional text asking about my day which is nice. He lives a long way away so that makes it even nicer. So today he asked me how I like the kiss. Odd. I said it was nice. Then he says, (I kid you not) “so how good on a scale of 1-10”. Okay. Now I’m kind of losing it. How old are we? In my entire 46 years (15 of them were married) I have never had anyone ask me to rate their kiss. So I asked if he wanted to know because his ego was that big or because he was that insecure. He said he was just curious. Then he wanted to know what my friend thought of his kisses. WHAT????? As I write this I just got another text asking me what my friend thought.

Now you see why I don’t date. Seriously? Okay fellas. Don’t ask us that. You will force us to lie or be unnecessarily mean. That’s like asking us if these jeans make us look fat. We just want to appreciate the moment and savor the memory or, in some cases, look forward to more.

I, for one, am ready to put away little boy’s games. I don’t want to kiss and tell and I don’t my kissers to either. I want a gentleman to pursue me. To take the time to learn about me. Here’s another example. The reverse stalker. I have an older man very interested in taking me out. We did have a cocktail together. He was way to needy and way too aggressive. Though I politely explained that I am not able to provide him with all he needs at this time, he continues to call and text. I don’t respond as to not encourage. He doesn’t need me to. They keep coming. The thing is, I am 99% sure he hasn’t done one thing to learn anything about me except we are possibly the only two single people in my rural town who haven’t dated each other yet.

I love the notion of dating. Of lying awake at night not being able to stop thinking about someone. To look forward to the next time together and yet not letting it consume you. To find someone happy in life to share with is not easy. I’m told its harder the older we get. Maybe I’m too old fashioned for my time. But I want someone to want to know about me. I want to know about him. I want us to share things but be happy with who we are in our own lives. And most important is someone who lets you be you. Does it exist? A flower at my door. A note on my car. A dinner and a peck on the cheek at the end of the night. Maturity without infirmary. Playfulness without games. Chemistry. Doesn’t sound that hard does it? And yet its darn near impossible. Dating. Is it a lost term in today’s high speed world? It seems we can’t get “there” fast enough. Happily Single Brown Female Might Some Day Be Interested In Someone Just to Share the Ride. Think it will happen?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stupid Stunts or Responsible Tutorial?

Talk about being lumped into the same category! So my son is experiencing 15 minutes of fame once again this week. This news coming to us via his You Tube account where several people told him one of his fire tutorials had been featured on CBS The Early Show. Sure enough. Our excitement was soon diminished slightly when we saw the clip and how it was labeled Stupid Stunts.

As you see, the clip shows various “hey dude…watch this” type of stunts. Then the segment takes you to my son’s tutorial where it is determined my son is teaching children how to swallow fire. Um no. Oh, where to begin.

First of all…my son spends a great deal of time in his tutorial discussing safety. My son is currently 18 years old and began this hobby at 17 with my supervision. In fact, the boy made me sit down and watch his safety video so that I would know what to do in the event he had an accident. Anyone one who wants to learn from my son must first hear about safety just as my son did with his fire mentors.

Second. Would you like to know where I was when my son shot this video? On the other side of that wall in my house where I could hear everything and was on hand should a problem arise. Where were those children’s parents when they were making their vinegar and baking soda concoction? Or when they were car surfing?

There is a vast difference in the style of these You Tube clips that were presented in this segment. A difference in safety, age and supervision. I agree that there is a danger in children emulating what they see on You Tube that could be dangerous. But how is it different then what they see on television on a daily basis or at the theater? Again, discussions should begin at home and if your child is of appropriate age and wants to experiment in a hobby that can be construed as dangerous, do your homework and learn the safety issues that are involved and by all means, SUPERVISE!

As a mother of a child with a diverse hobby, every fiber in my body wanted to send him to his room and tell him to put the flame out. I spent the first 17 years of his life teaching him NOT to play with fire. He had to convince me that his practice was safe and always supervised by myself or someone else he is close to with a fire blanket at hand.

I’m not angry for CBS for using my son’s tutorial for this segment. In fact, I thank them for drawing attention to a responsible young man who has learned and teaches others safety in his craft. His You Tube hits have gone through the roof! But what I would like to have seen is the use of this video as an example different from those he was compared to. And example of responsibility and safety. CBS, if you are reading this, we are trying to contact you about safety on You Tube. Let us know if you are interested in a rebuttal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Paralyzed and Pregnant - What We Take For Granted

Awhile back, maybe even a year ago, I watched a show called Paralyzed and Pregnant. It was a moving documentary about Michelle, woman who in her early 20's dove off a dock and broke her neck, leaving her a quadrapalegic. That alone is hard to think about. But she went on to fall in love, marry and give birth to her son, Pierce. Part Two of the story goes on to tell how the birth of their son along with the pressures of her medical issues were too much for the young marriage to last and the couple divorced. The last update I saw was Pierce's 4th birthday party where Mom Michelle had apparently gone all out with blow up jumpy toys in the yard to a whole host of guests which included children and adults alike. Now here is where it got me. She says how much help it required to do this. And how while everyone was outside playing with her son; running and jumping, she watched through a window inside.

If you read my blog very often you how I work very hard at being greatful for everything in my life. I just don't think I can be greatful enough for every little thing I take for granted in my day. I had the blessings of the overwhelming tasks of every birthday party for my two kids. I have two functioning legs and arms in which to do it. I got to run with them. Serve their cake. Hand them their gifts and complain while I did all the clean up. Wow am I self centered. I don't have to think about what it would be like to be unable to do those things and have those moments. I reach out to them and touch them at my very will. Not once do I think about what it would be like if I couldn't feel them. I got to dress them when they were little. I didn't have to have an assistant who did it for me. I could take them to the park. Complain because they wanted to swing a little longer and it was making me nauscious. I took cupcakes to school that I had stayed up way to late making and I sewed the dress for the Christmas program (that I really enjoyed). Not once did it cross my mind what IF I couldn't do these things.

In being honest I wondered who she brought this little person into the world for. If it was selfish of her to have a child she couldn't raise without help. In retrospect, I think its more selfish to have a beautiful child or children and take for granted how completely wonderful each little menial task truly is. All of Michelle's reasons shouldn't matter to me. They matter only to her. But what I come away from watching this is, her story could be mine. It could be yours. Unlucky for her and lucky for us, it isn't our story. But can we think for just a moment, what if it was? Maybe we can cherish that little kiss as they run out the door or that hug just a little longer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Welcome Baby Andre'