Monday, March 30, 2009
Now, I understand that sometimes when you do not get what you expected or are disappointed by the service you received that it is easy to get upset. But when I had a lady yell at me when I didn't even sell her the refrigerator that did not have the butter dish lid that she wanted, I decided that I need to write some rules of conduct when dealing with someone in sales. This advice also applies to dealing with anyone in the service industry, from fast food service to janitors to loaders.
1. When you are really angry about your service, step back for a minute, and think hard about what just happened. Is this valid anger? Is what happened really that bad? Will your life REALLY crumble just because the delivery man did not deliver the butter dish lid?
2. When you are yelling at the person on the other end of the phone and you are tempted to exclaim, "You're not listening to me!" Consider that perhaps you are not being clear enough for the other person to understand you.
3. Don't ever call a worker, "sweetie," "honey," "cutie," or anything similar to a worker-even if you are an elderly man from a quaint little southern town. It's fine to call someone those names when you know them, but if they are working, stick to "ma'am" or "sir" - it's what we call you!
4. Similarly, don't pat anybody on the head. It is offensive and demeaning to anyone who receives it. We are not little children who are grateful you gave us candy-we are adults who are doing our job.
5. Do not ask personal questions. It does not concern you whether I have a significant other or how old I am or where I live. I will not ask these things about you, as they are none of our business. I am trying to sell you a refrigerator, not my body.
6. Do not try to set up a worker with your best friend, son, daughter, or really, anybody else. I'll say it again: we are trying to sell you products, not our bodies.
7. Do not quiz us on our product knowledge if you already know the answer just to see if we know as much information as you. And don't laugh after doing this-it is extremely condescending and to people like me who have trouble with anxiety, extremely anxiety provoking.
8. Think before tarnishing a company's reputation over the mistakes of one individual. For instance, if a salesperson tells you that they would order you a butter dish lid and it would delivered to the house, but it is not-go back to #1! Think before you accuse someone of lying or of accusing the company of, "not being what it used to be." Even during those grand ole times that you remember when everything was lovely and worked right, workers sometimes got confused or tired or forgetful. Just like then, if someone made a mistake and then apologizes for it and then offers to do what's right, then things are still working right. Do not immediately jump to conclusions just because the person you are dealing with looks or talks differently from you.
Remember this: we are selling you a service and/or a product, not our bodies, souls, minds, love, or even friendship. We are business partners-you are not above me, nor are we above you. Treat us with respect and let us both keep our dignity and self-respect in tact.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
You see, for most of my life, I have believed that I wasn't meant to live a life with long-lasting moments of happiness-just brief enough glimpses of happiness-or mania!-to keep me away from suicide. Unless you consider an eating disorder a slow form of suicide, which I do. I have heard that C.S. Lewis did not believe that people were meant to have the goal of pursing a happy life and that God did not really care if we were happy or not. There are bigger, more important things to care about and for the most part I believed that.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
This is a crockpot cream of broccoli soup I made about a week ago from my old standard cookbook, "Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly" by Phyllis Good. If you can't tell by now, I really like broccoli! I had leftover chicken, so I added that, but the original recipe is vegetarian. I also made corn muffins and crumbled them up into the soup-after taking the pretty picture, of course.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 Small Onion
1 T Oil
20-oz. pkg. Frozen Broccoli
2 10 3/4 Cans Fat-Free, Low-Sodium Cream of Celery Soup
1 10 3/4 Can Fat-Free, Low-Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup Grated Low-Fat American Cheese
2 Soup Cans Fat-Free Milk
2 Chicken Breasts
Any Handy Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Italian...)
1. Saute onion in oil in skillet until soft. Drain. Place onion in slow cooker.
2. Combine alll ingredients in slow cooker.
3. Cover. Cook on low 3-4 hours.
4. 30 minutes before serving, sautee chicken and baste it with your favorite herbs. I used rosemary, thyme, and some italian seasoning.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Mandarin oranges taste good with the dish too!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Last week, the Department of Human Resources, Division of MHDDAD, presented the 2010 budget to the House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee. The proposed cuts to the substance abuse prevention and treatment delivery system are devastating. More than 3,000 Georgia citizens will not have access to addiction treatment on an annual basis.
These cuts will affect:
1,100 adolescents needing community supports
675 men and women needing core services
Over 600 women and their children in both residential and outpatient care
300 parolees needing intensive outpatient treatment
250+ children and adolescents needing core services
1,000 people addicted to opiates
120 various providers of substance abuse treatment services
Workforce development initiatives across the State in training and quality improvement
We know that treatment for addiction is cost-effective, both financially and socially.
Cuts drug use in half
Reduces criminal activity as much as 80%
Improves physical and mental health
Reduces medical costs
Reduces risky sexual behavior
And yet, addiction treatment services are being cut 24% while cuts to all other human services are between 5 - 10%. The economic realities of today are tough and sacrifices have to be made. But slashing direct services to a vulnerable population at this rate is just irresponsible.
ACT NOW and Send this message to the following legislators who have the ability to affect the proposed cuts:
Speaker of the House, Glenn Richardson: Speaker Richardson
Rep. Ben Harbin, Chair of Appropriations: Representative Harbin
Rep. Mark Butler, Vice Chair: Representative Butler
Senator Jack Hill, Chair of Appropriations: Senator Jack Hill
Senator Tommie Williams: Senator Williams
Click here to get a list of the members of the House Committee on Health and Human Services, and send each of them the message by clicking on their names to get their e-mail addresses.
Click here to a list of the members of the Senate Committee on health and Human Services and send each of them the message by clicking on their names to get their e-mail addresses.
MESSAGE TEXT (copy text below and paste into an email message):
In times of economic and personal stress, we need to ensure that Georgians who abuse substances and who are battling the disease of addiction have the resources to aid them through the crisis. The Governor's 2010 proposal is to cut Addictive Disease services by 24%. This will eliminate entire programs and severely impede the effectiveness of others. The proposed cuts will also affect the ability to draw down federal dollars beginning in FY2010, thus reducing the overall funding for addiction services even further. Please act now to minimize the severe cuts to addiction services. Without your intervention, the costs will be tremendous in emergency rooms, jails and prisons, and will be a heavy financial and social burden on Georgia citizens for years to come.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
As a person who is so sensitive, I have a rich herstory of not taking criticism well-when I was younger, just hearing a voice raised to a certain level would make me cry and want to hide. In fact, the main reason why I decided to have my concentration in English be in literature and not in creative writing was solely because I did not think that I would be able to handle criticism well at all. I've spent half of my time in school crying, both before college and during, and so have spent the other half figuring out how I can avoid crying, therefore I did not submit myself to the torture of having my work critiqued before I was ready.
And I'm really glad I did that! I am really glad that I was able to recognize and honor some of my boundaries at a time when I could barely recognize most of them. Besides, by concentrating in literature, I got to figure out what kinds of writing styles I like and would like to use myself. Stephen King, in his book "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft," explains it like this: "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut." (145)
King continues to make the point that reading is just as important as writing and advises that a serious writer reads and writes at least four hours a day. "The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing; one comes to the country of the writer with one's papers and identification prettty much in order. Constant reading will pull you into a place (a mind-set, if you like the phrase) where you can write eagerly and without self-consciousness." (150)
I don't usually read or write for that long during a day, but it is a goal of mine, hampered by the fact that I like spending time watching TV with my parents. I do realize, though that if I want to be a serious writer, then the TV needs to turn off-at least for a longer period of time than it does now. Except that for right now, I'm trying to not take things quite so seriously, but to just experiment and enjoy what life has to offer-there will be plenty of time for seriousness later!
And keep watching for a retelling of my "Crackers" story and tell me what you think!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I am an angry woman and I have been angry a very, very, very long time. My anger is not the problem. The only problem that comes from being angry is when someone does not know how to handle the anger or even worse, when they think that having anger makes them a bad person. What angers me the most is when I see parents tell their small children not to be angry. I remember one time when I was working at JCPenney's and as I watched a young couple leave with their young, moody child, I started to boil with rage, for I heard them tell him, "Don't be angry! You won't get pizza if you're angry!" I wanted to go over, pull the parents aside, and inform them being angry is healthy, but that telling their son how to feel is not and that they will damage their son's emotional growth if they try to control their son's feelings. But I didn't. The boy perked up and they left smiling, but I was left wondering what will happen to their relationship a few years down the road.
I was reminded of this when one of the facilitators at NAMI told a new person to not be angry. I responded by telling the new person that there is nothing wrong with being angry, but that she needs to find healthy ways of expressing her anger. You see, anger is not the problem-knowing what to do with it is.
I was an angry child-I see that now, but it took me a long time to realize that and I am only now learning how to positively handle my anger. Growing up there were constant yelling matches between my parents and my brother, who is three years older than I am. When I was in sixth grade, my brother was sent to a military academy and I am not mad about that. It made life easier and it did seem to help my brother-he and my parents get along much better now and he's got a great job as an officer in the Navy. But it did leave me angry at the time with no clue as to how to deal with it, so I starved my emotions. Anger, like fat, was designated "bad" in my mind, so I concentrated on how little I could eat, instead of dealing with my emotions. In fact, for a long time, I didn't even think I was capable of anger-just sadness. And that makes me sad.
So let me say it again-anger is not "bad," but not knowing how to deal with it is. Fortunately, that can change! One can learn how to constructively deal with anger. Express it! Talk about it! Don't let it remain stagnate!
Writing about my anger works well for me. Creating art that expresses how I feel works well too. Sometimes I need to do something mindless, like bearing down hard with a red crayon on a piece of paper, over and over and over again. Playing and singing to loud music does wonders. So does humor, so I will leave you with this quote from Stephen Colbert, "I retain all my vitamins, because I am always steamed!"
Remember, it is far better to be angry than apathetic.
What works for you?
Click on the link above and you will be able to view the video of my good friend, Monica A. Coleman's lecture "On Baking and Biking: The Theological (and Neurological?) Value of non-Contemplative Spiritual Disciplines as Spiritual Practices in the Context of Depressive Conditions." This was part of a conferences on Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices at Claremont School of Theology in October 2008.
Coleman is a theologian at the Claremont School of Theology in California, who has also suffered through depression. When she spoke at this conference, everyone else spoke about the importance of mindfulness, but Coleman chose instead to speak about how for a person who is depressed, mindfulness is not always desired. For instance, if a person is suicidal, then they do not need to concentrate on their own thoughts or if a person is manic, then their thoughts are too scattered to be able to be mindful either.
She discussed doing activities that get the body moving and that provide a sense of accomplishment, such as baking and biking. She suggests that it is important to have activities that one can do even when a person does not feel like it, for feelings cannot always be trusted. By doing mindless, repetitve activities, one can find comfort and even God in a space where one could not before.
It it often said that one needs to be mindful of the moment to experience God, but Coleman makes the claim that this is not true, for God is in everything and in every moment. And isn't that what faith is all about? Being willing to experience God in the times when one cannot feel the Holy One's presence?