behavior, black women, coworkers, disrespect, diversity, Drama, empowering, friends, haters, karma, life lessons, Mental Health, relationships, self hating, self loathing, self respect, Uncategorized, women

The Hot Mess

My friend Cindy is what I refer to as a hot mess. In a good, funny, loving way. It was her birthday and she arrived at my work desk with a couple of pictures to show me. Now Cindy works in another department and made the trip special just to share these pictures. It also happened to be Throwback Thursday and if you spend anytime in twittersphere you know what I’m talking about. Her pictures spoke a thousand words of a young, vivacious, svelte, beautiful woman wearing a daring outfit. The other was her baby picture.

The baby picture was cute, but the young hot Cindy in 1984 is what caught your attention. Cindy is now 61 wonderful years and full of stories about her anything but dull life. Even heading into year so called golden years this woman is living a drama filled, but fun life and she loves to tell you about it. Great fodder for a writer! in fact we even based a character on her in our third book The Body Hunters: Dirty Secrets, Naked Truths . To put it simply Cindy is awesome. I could in no way have handled her life or begin to even imagine being as daring as she was and still is.

To the outsider Cindy can be a mental handful. As I stated she loves to talk and if you don’t love to listen to people then she is not the person for you. Her stories make it all worth it. The celebrity encounters she’s had in questionable situations to even current boyfriends make you drop your jaw and shake your head all the while smiling and laughing with her.

The whole picture exchange took less than 3 or 4 minutes and soon we were all back at our respective jobs and I didn’t think anything more of it. That is till the woman who sits on the other side of my cubicle said something to me over the cubicle wall.

“Why do you attract the weirdest people?” she asked.

“Huh?” was my intelligent response.

“These weird people always flock to you, you need to get some normal people in your life.”

Now this woman, let’s call her Mary to protect her not so innocence, is a 40-ish beautiful black woman, single mom with a teenage son. I have been to 1 outing with her and a couple of other friends to of all movies, a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. You know the one where people dress up and yell comments through out the whole movie? yeah that one. One of my friends that went with me that night is my age and a lifelong friend named Barb who is a musical wonder and a talented artist in paints and any other type of medium she gets her hands on. She’s high strung and like all artists of a high caliber, very brilliant and unfortunately lives in her own world. She is also an alcoholic, severely broke after having made an ungodly amount of money and is having trouble facing her new reality and frail physical and psychological  health. She is a real hot mess and not in a good Cindy kind of way.

I will not lie, I prayed Barb would behave on our outing and just for once enjoy herself getting lost in this ridiculous movie. She did for all of 30 minutes and then her addiction and depression struck. She eventually left and found a bar to shoot back a few tequila’s down only coming back at the end of the movie. I was embarrassed for her and for me. Though I am not responsible for her actions, she had begged me take her along wanting the girls night out and I could have said no.

Mary is a former alcoholic. Mary lived a little of Barb’s life and should understand the addiction and what it does to a person. Mary is now sober and a church going upstanding citizen in her own eyes. Mary made several comments about that night and how she could relate to what Barb was going through, felt bad for her ect….which is why it was a shock to me that she made the comments she made.

Back to Cindy. Cindy is not Barb, Cindy holds a job, takes care of her aging mother and tries to make herself fun to be around. Mary’s comment  to me about how I attract the weirdest people struck me as odd. Why was she being so critical? and what is she saying about herself? She after all did hang out with me too. She then said to me she thought Cindy was lying about having any current boyfriends. Cindy being 61 is not the skinny woman she used to be and her body no longer lends itself to dressing like a woman of much younger years. Cindy dresses for work in age appropriate clothes for a person on our meager salary.

I asked Mary why did she think Cindy was lying? What reason does she have to lie? Mary told me it was because she needed to compensate to me for lacking in something that I have that she doesn’t. In other words she told me Cindy was jealous of me.

“Wait, What?”

Jealous of me? I am a living large and in charge kind of gal, in other words fat. My manner of dress is relevant to my size and financial situation. For Christ’s sakes I cut my own hair to save money since my husbands medical bills are so high. Why the hell would anyone be jealous of me?

“Ain’t no woman dresses like her and has a man. You have a long term marriage and she’s jealous of that.” she reiterated again I need normal people in my life.

Ok, who’s jealous of my having a husband? Um….her or you?

I mean how critical can you get? Mary as I have learned is very self critical calling herself things like ugly and fat, even complaining about her dark skin color calling her self Aunt Jemima after the pancake syrup character. Wow! How self loathing can you get? I wanted to cry for her and remember, I’m the living large and in charge gal who cuts her own hair.

I have no time for self loathing, self hatred and internal or outwardly name calling. People will do that for me and to me on a regular basis. I told Mary the reason the off center, kooky, crazy, troubled, weirdo’s (who are just normal human beings getting through life the best way they know how) are attracted to me is because I try not to judge and I listen. In them there are several life lessons to be learned and shared. Everyone has value even if you can’t or refuse to value yourself. For a woman who overcame her own addiction just to constantly put herself and other women down is sad. She is not an Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth or any other sticky syrupy commercially racist character. She is a beautiful black woman who turns men’s heads wherever she goes. I’m guessing the reason she can’t keep a love interest is beyond her beauty. If you can’t respect and love yourself how are you going to love someone else?  Cindy is not lying about her life or the men in her life. I believe she still attracts men not because she is still the raving beauty of her youth, but because she is still a fun loving, quirky light hearted individual that loves life and has no problem in sharing it.

So here’s to all my weird, wacky, troubled, artistic, fun loving friends. Keep on keeping on. and to Mary, lighten up your heart already, it ain’t that serious!

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behavior, call center, common sense, disrespect, etiquette, life lessons, manners, workplace

I Don’t Know What’s Wrong with These Kids!

My sister, who is in her late twenties just had a three day weekend off of work. Now it’s not because it’s something she planned or she had vacation days, it’s not even because she was sick. She just felt like it. She took off Friday, okay, one day is not a big deal. But since her job gives you one paid sick day for every two you take, she decided to make a ‘Buy One Get Two Free’ thing out of it. The bad thing about it is that she’s a member of management and her shift is basically a skeleton crew, so they really depend on her to be there. She hates her job with a passion, but is too lazy to do anything about it, so she just complains. You would think that having your car in the shop with a repair bill of $800 would be incentive to take your butt to work, but it isn’t. She just doesn’t care.

Heaven forbid the try to reprimand her for taking off three days. How dare they! She’d better get the schedule that she wants otherwise she’s calling corporate because they’re not treating her fairly. She fails to think about the people who had to scramble and cover for her when she decided to slack off.  It ain’t her problem.

On the other hand, whenever I take a day off, I feel guilty, like I’ve committed a federal offense. Even when I have to take FMLA time for my mother, I feel like I should really be at work. I can’t help it, it’s just the way I am.

She’s not the only in her age group I’ve noticed with these type of issues. I work with twenty somethings who share the same trifling streak. They take days off  just because the sun is shining or because it’s paycheck Friday. When the company finally decides to fire them they’re dumbfounded. There’s no sense of responsibility  and I don’t understand it. They’re selfish and overly entitled.

My job site bought new furniture for our new break room and it’s a struggle because they want to lounge, put their dusty feet up and lie across the sofa like they’re at home. The break room that our company created for us is slowly becoming a den for nastiness because they’re too lazy to clean up after themselves. They don’t respect themselves, therefore they don’t respect anyone else.

One day I hope my sister comes to her senses and grows up. When you know better, you’re supposed to do better. In the meantime I can rub in my mother’s face that I’m the oldest, therefore the original, perfect copy. : )

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animal clothes, animal lovers, Author, behavior, cats, Chihuahua's, Clothes, clothes for animals, coworkers, dogs, felines, Indie Author, Mental Health, relationships, Uncategorized

YES I AM ONE OF THOSE

HELP STOP FELINE ABUSE

HELP STOP FELINE ABUSE

I didn’t start out like this. I laughed at and sneered at the crazy people who just couldn’t get enough of their pets, treating them like children. Then I met my loving adorable husband. He was a feline aficionado, a rare quality in a man to say the least. He never denied his love of cats even to other men, secure in his own masculinity to say I love….Cats. We’ll save the other euphemism for another time. 😉

Now I am an animal lover myself don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t till I was on my own and had an apartment that I discovered all things feline. I was bound and determined to raise them with dignity, no cooing and coddling, they would grow to be the adult cats with the respect they deserved.

I worked with a woman at that time who had a Shih Tzu named Charlie. It was one of those mop dogs, the kind you wanted to stick a pole up its bum and mop the floor with it. Supposedly a cute small yipper. Charlie went everywhere with her and it was Charlie this and Charlie that. Charlie had to get his hair cut, She had to go right home and make Charlie’s dinner ect… I’m not joking when I say this, for the first six months I knew her, I thought Charlie was her husband till one day she comes into work and mentions Dave.

My world spun! how could this middle-aged woman be cheating on Charlie? I was aghast in horror! till another co-worker who snickered and laughed at me said Charlie was her freaking pooch!

Now this part is sad I’ll warn you.  Charlie developed cancer and mercifully was given the gift of a peaceful death. My friend was devastated of course and she announced Charlie’s funeral would be held in two days for all those who would like to attend.

Wait, What? A funeral for a Swiffer?

My eyes rolled and I shook my head. Thankfully, I thought to myself, that I had to work and couldn’t attend, but I was lucky enough to share in the pictures of Charlie lying in his little doggie casket at his viewing. He was buried lovingly in a pet cemetery.

This whole melodrama was foreign to me. I was brought up that pets are animals and we may cry when they leave us but it is after all an animal and we move on. I believed that till my McTavish. I had Mctavish before I was married and he was a gift from a dear friend. Living alone I appreciated his company, his constant need for attention taking my mind off of the fact that I lived alone. He was a Scottish Fold and my constant companion.

When I married my husband, the feline aficionado, remarked that McTavish was my ‘first’ husband since a lot of my daily concern was for my aging cat. I was slowly starting on my journey to being one of ‘those’. We had by then added to our family several more feline children and as the years progressed on, our decisions even ones where to live centered around the cats. McTavish was by now an old man in cat years approaching 80 + years and I’m positive he appreciated that we moved somewhere that was one level only and I to this day believe it’s the reason he lived to 18 human yrs ,101+ feline, but even then I still hadn’t completely transformed into one of ‘those’ quite yet.

Then ‘they’ came.

????????????????

Bindi Sue and Cheech

The two bundles of lil’ dog love that insidiously completed the transformation and it all started with the first sweater I bought them. It was January in Detroit after all. The frozen north and the two little ones who weighed no more than a pound a piece when I brought them home needed extra warmth. They are after all Chihuahua’s and barely had fur.

They had to have coats!

cheech hoodie

They’re gonna laugh at me at the dog park

bindi hoodie

Help Me the crazy lady is at it again!

Now there is nothing cuter than Chihuahua’s in hoodie parka’s except maybe this

hairless cat sweater

Foolish feel I!

and this

min pin in sweater

I gotta wear this for how long?

and of course this

sd swester

I HATE YOU!

So now every time I go to PetCo and PetSmart passing by the mini coats, sweaters, booties, sundresses and team jerseys, I call my sponsor from Pet Clothes are Just Too Damn Cute Anonymous. My sponsor is my husband who says only one word. “NO” 😦

Though recently he did have to admit they did look awful cute in their hoodies.

Now if I can only get him to let me have one of these!

shetland ponies in sweaters

Have a sweaterific day!

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call center, coworkers, cultural understanding, etiquette, life lessons, manners, Uncategorized, workplace

It’s Secret Santa Time Again!

It happens once a year. You and your coworkers draw names for Secret Santa. Here’s a word of advice, be mindful of the person who’ll be purchasing that gift for you.

For example, last year Von had the sheer luck of drawing one of our coworkers. Now this young lady didn’t ask for a nice fluffy Snuggie or a pair of comfortable slippers. She wanted a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. If you want the book, that’s fine, that’s your business, your personal business. My question is why would you want to put someone you work with in the awkward position of purchasing a book that’s has the stigma of being ‘Mommy Porn’? Now you’re leaving a coworker with the decision of whether to gift wrap it or just throw it in a paper bag.

Being a Secret Santa is all about the spreading the Christmas Spirit. There’s nothing like the joy of picking out the perfect gift for someone you work with and the look of glee as they open their gift. I shouldn’t have to be embarrassed going to the store and purchasing an item on your list.  Gift buying shouldn’t be a life altering decision. So if the thing on your list requires batteries or has three speeds, unless it’s a blender, take it off. Yes, that even includes that paperback copy of Taken by the T-Rex ; ) Please refrain from putting personal items on you wish list. Happy Holiday Season y’all!

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call center, coworkers, finances, life lessons, manners, money, Uncategorized, workplace

The Workplace Cash Grab

For some odd reason, my co-workers always find a way to finagle me out of money. Yesterday was Boss’ Day. The team I’m on works parallel with another team and each team has its own team leader.

“Here they go again.” I mutter under my breath when I get the email, which shows up in the middle of our pay period. The folks on the other team want to collect money to get gifts for the two team leaders. They’ve even made a list of the possible Detroit Tigers ties they want to get for the male team leader, i.e. their team leader. Oh and they’ll get something nice for our female team leader too, treating her almost like a second thought. I know the game they’re playing. The gift they want to get him is expensive, so they think they’ll involve our team to get more money.

Now I don’t have a problem with the team leaders, I like them both and they’re good people. I don’t understand why they feel the need to collect money when passing an appreciation card around will do.  My coworkers ask for money more than PBS.

A month ago, we had finally had our pot luck, which had been delayed probably about five times. Now me, I go to work to work. If I want to bring a snack or something to munch on, I do that. I work a 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. shift, so I don’t like eating anything heavy, otherwise I’ll be sleepy and miserable for the rest of the evening. I’m also funny about pot lucks. Unless you let me come over and inspect and clean your kitchen, I more than likely don’t want to eat your food. I’ve seen too many of my co-workers walk out of the bathroom without washing their hands and how do I know if you don’t have animals at home that walk all over your kitchen counters? Call me a kitchen snob or anti social, but it’s just me. Anyway, I was able to get away with not participating in the pot luck and I thought I’d have a reprieve before I was hassled for money again.

Over the past year several members of my team have lost loved ones, including Von’s father and my grandmother. Our team has the routine of passing the sympathy card around and giving it to the bereaved when they return to work. Now the other team had a member who experienced a death in the family and they wanted to go all out collecting money for flowers and giving the remainder of the funds to their teammate. The members of the other team participated, but most of our team refused. No one collected money for us, so why should we give her money? Not trying to be funny, but the truth is the truth.

Earlier in the week, I got stopped by a couple people on my own team who want to have a Stuff Your Face At Work Day in the next couple weeks. These are the hungriest people I’ve ever met. We just had a pot luck only a few weeks ago. The only difference is that this event will only include our team. Why are we planning yet another meal at work? I don’t come to work to hunt up food and I’m not really interested. I use a stall tactic and say I’ll think about it and I quickly disposed of the emails pertaining to the event. Today I discovered the Stuff Your Face At Work Day falls on my off day, so they can eat all they want and I don’t have to spend a dime. Though I know that the holidays are approaching and they’ll be trying to set up yet another Stuff Your Face Day before the end of the year.

Getting back to Boss’ Day; I ignored the emails concerning the gifts hoping they’ll leave me in peace. Unfortunately they sent one of their bounty hunters out to gather more funds. I know how the game goes; I refused to participate in the pot luck, so she asks me face to face to pour on the pressure. They might as well have sent two mafia wise guys to pay me a visit because it’s the same effect. It’s one of those situations where if you refuse to cooperate, you’ll have that stigma of being antisocial or uppity, not that I care what they think anyway, but I gotta work with these people everyday. Submitting to peer pressure, I say yes, but I won’t have the money til payday.

Now before the money was collected, we got emails with all the details. Today when I come in, there are no mentions of the gifts, or what was even bought for the Team Leaders. Now I’m pissed. You take my money but you can’t send a simple email telling me what I actually paid for? They got what they wanted from me so they don’t need me any more.

Let me set the record straight; in no way am I cheap, I in fact have very expensive tastes. But it’s my money and I like spending it on what I want to spend it on. I don’t like feeling pressured that I have to spend my money on some stupid event at work, just to avoid being ostracized or fitted with the label of ‘doesn’t work well with others’. Yeah, I don’t care what they think about me, but I want to get along with the people I work with. Like everybody else, I’ve got bills and other stuff I’d rather spend my money on. I know one thing: whatever they cook up for the holiday season, if I have to pay for it, they can count me out.

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call center, etiquette, life lessons, manners, Uncategorized, workplace

Conversation Parasites

“Yeah and then he said that he was going down there to make sure everything is okay.”

“Wow! That’s insane! I hope everything turns out okay. You know….”

“When I lived in Florida, we bought this bungalow that had a bad termite infestation. Oh my God there were so many termites in that house.”

Chances are you know one; a conversation parasite. That person  who jumps into the middle of a conversation like you’re playing double dutch. It doesn’t matter what your conversation is about, no matter how serious. They’re going to bang on that door until someone opens it.

They don’t really care that what they’re talking about has absolutely nothing to do with what you were originally talking about in the first place. You and the person you were talking to give each other that look like, ‘Will he please shut up?’

Unfortunately, I’ve recently encountered two such creatures. Both of them are older gentlemen who work with me. Maybe there was a factory recall on old men in their age range and I just don’t know about it. I can imagine that as children their mothers never disciplined them about interrupting a conversation.

Now the first one we’ll call the gate keeper. He sits in the aisle and has a question or comment for everyone that walks past him. Are you going to lunch? You going home? What’s for dinner? Where are you going? He even ear hustles coworkers personal conversations and asks what they’re talking about. He annoyed me so bad I had to put a visual aid on my computer just so I wouldn’t have to see his face.

Now the second one we’ll call Captain Flap a Jib. He rants and complains about how he knows how to do our job better than anyone and he’s the only one who can get it right. We have a coworker with bad work habits and he spends the whole day complaining about her like someone really wants to hear that. No matter how busy you look, he’ll find the most idiotic subjects to talk about. It’s enough to make me want to tear the rest of my hair out.

It’s frustrating and annoying, and I’m complaining, I know.  Maybe one day I’ll join them in their rudeness and tell them both to shut up.

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Author, Chicklit, etiquette, Indie Author, manners, Uncategorized

Cut Em Loose!

I ran into my surrogate work mom the other day and she was highly upset. She’s one of the people that are so nice she should have a halo hovering over her head. She was in tears telling me how the people in her department were using her. She’d go out for lunch and everybody would put in their order; she’d come back with all their lunches and wouldn’t get so much as a thank you. There was also some other drama going on with her coworkers, especially one in particular who I know for a fact will drain the very marrow from your bones.

After listening to her story, I gave her a hug and told her I’d give her a call if she didn’t call me. I also advised that she consider cutting some of these unnecessary people loose. As nice as she is, I’m pretty sure she won’t follow through with my advice. Whether she won’t for fear of them not liking her or not wanting to make any waves, I don’t know. I just know Sharron enough to know she’s too nice to even consider my option.

It took me awhile to learn that lesson myself. Sometimes I’m nice to a fault. Now I have no problem flipping over to the dark side and going into Evil Queen mode when necessary. I have done that. But the ‘spiritual sharks’ as they’re called aren’t complete strangers, they’re the people that are in your inner circle. That’s why it’s harder to get rid of them. Spiritual sharks don’t care about what’s going on with you or your feelings. They want to latch on to you and suck the life outta you until there’s nothing left but a dried husk.

I had a person at work I used to talk to. As time went on I noticed that he was stricken with a severe case of narcissism. Every conversation was about him and the big moves he was going to make and so on. I found myself wasting my lunch break smiling and nodding as he droned on and on about he was going to be this famous rapper and about what size speakers he was going to buy for his truck. I’m a woman, I don’t care about that crap.  Trying not to make any waves, I let the behavior continue.

The last straw came when I took off a few days FMLA time. My mother is a dialysis patient and sometimes there’s complications with the access they use for her treatment. She had to undergo surgery and I was with her. When I get back to work instead of this moron asking me what was going on or how my mother was doing, he starts again with his ghetto fairy tales. Yeah, your story about how you smuggled your buddy’s pee into the clinic so you can pass your yearly drug test for work is really interesting.

I was done after that. Now he’s the type that you have to hit in the head with a brick for him to understand that he needs to go away. I tried to be subtle. He’d ask me if I was going to see such and such movie and I’d tell him I was busy. Calls went unanswered and I gave him the cold shoulder. Eventually, he got the hint and went about his business.

Now the woman that Sharron was talking about is another species of spiritual shark. Yes there are different types. By accident, I happened to sit by her one day. She’s in her forties and every other word out of her mouth was either, drink, party, or cabaret. She claims to be as poor as the air quality in Los Angeles, her, her husband and kids, but that doesn’t stop her from carrying around a brand new Michael Kors purse, dressing in designer duds, or going out to lunch everyday. And it damn sure doesn’t stop her from begging. Can I borrow your cell phone? Can you drop me off at home? You got a couple dollars I can borrow? The killer for me was when I mentioned I dropped off some clothes and household items at the Salvation Army and she asks why I didn’t give them to her since she has a family who could use them. Ugh.. How about you prioritize your life?

There’s another shark I know of. She has a position of authority within the company. The job she has really doesn’t fit her personality because she’s the type to let people walk all over her in their baseball cleats. Instead of owning up to the responsibility she has, she wants to complain. I hate my job! They don’t respect me! Why do they treat me this way! Every conversation with her is a roll call of complaints or grievances. I really don’t have time for that!

Chances are you have people like these two examples in your inner circle. Maybe they’re a complainer and the downward spiral of their life is no fault of their own. Or they’re that co-worker who will always need a ride home, but never has any gas money. Whatever species of shark they are, when you feel them pulling you down, cut them loose. You’re better off without those users, abusers, and losers.

 

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