EGO INFLATED FAST FOOD WORKERS

I posted what’s below today on my facebook page. I’d driven to Burger King for lunch. I went around 11:10 to avoid the lunch rush. The service and the food left a bad taste in my mouth that I won’t soon be forgetting. What has happened to America? Where is the pride in a job well done, no matter what the job is? Perhaps it’s disappearing with the Baby Boomers? I was furious when I wrote the post and still am very angry. I’ve worked in Fast Food. I worked at Hardees when I was in college to help pay my bills. I was proud of my job, kept my uniform clean, smiled at the customers and did my best. I don’t think there’s any fast food workers in America who can say that anymore. I know my desire to eat fast food become less every day. I might as well give up and cook my own food. It’s cheaper and I don’t get upset when things are done poorly and the employees getting paid to do them do not even care. The grinning woman who gave me the onion rings after I used my gas and time to drive back to Burger King today, to pick up what should have been in my bag,  did not care at all. I think she was amused. Well, when they close down, she can take her amused ass elsewhere and hope there is a job there.

To ALL the FAST FOOD WORKERS who are DEMANDING $15 an hour . . . YOU’RE NOT WORTH what they’re paying you now. I’ve already had to quit going to Taco Bell and Bojangles due to massive incompetence and employees who think they are there to socialize with each other, do their jobs WRONG, and ignore the CUSTOMERS. Here’s a NEWS FLASH for all you FAST FOOD WORKERS. Without the CUSTOMERS, YOU don’t even get the pay you now complain about. Now BURGER KING IS KEEPING DRIVE THRUS (before the lunch rush) WAITING 15 to 20 minutes and getting their orders WRONG while doing it. When I looked in the window while waiting for my food, I saw the employees laughing, joking, and generally doing anything BUT working. You’re lucky they pay you anything.

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Being Poor

Being poor is stressful enough. The other requirements we put on poor people is something that people with money won’t tolerate.

I was at the doctor’s office today. A woman was in there on her cell phone. Before you tell me if she could afford a cell phone, she shouldn’t be on welfare, let me direct you to the tracfone site where phones are cheap and time can be paid for by the minute.

Anyway, she had this cheap looking phone and she was talking into it loud enough that I could hear. She had gone for a doctor’s visit and her Medicaid card had expired. It was no good. They would not take it.

So she sat in the chair in the waiting room wanting an explanation as to why her card was no good? Why hadn’t she been notified? It sounded like the notice had gone to an old address. I heard her exclaim, “WHY? I HAVEN’T LIVED AT THAT ADDRESS IN OVER FOUR YEARS!” Then she tried to tell them what address she had on her Medicaid card. They must have said for her to come in to clear it up because she told them the last time she was in their office, it took three hours to clear something up.

I believe her. I’ve been in those offices and they move very slowly. Not only was her medical coverage canceled without her being notified, but she was now denied her medical appointment and had to go spend hours trying to straighten out someone else’s incompetence.

I write about this all the time. Incompetence in America. While I have the option to go elsewhere, those on government dole do not. We all need help from time to time and some of us have no family to help us. It’s hard to have to depend on government handouts. It’s even harder when they do their jobs wrong and the poor person has to pay for it.

It didn’t occur to me to try to find out what the cost of today’s visit would have been for her. I might have been able to pay it. I hope she’s out of the welfare office by now. She was clearly educated and clearly befuddled by the situation.

Writing Plans

Do I consider the plans for the Youtube Videos I want to make as part of my daily writing endeavors? Why wouldn’t I? I just spent a lot of time (didn’t notice when I started) writing down what I want my first video to show and exactly what I’ll say as I record it.

I have so many ideas for my future. I know I am trying new things and at my age, at any age, it may be daunting. However, these ideas have swirled around in my head as I went day in and day out to my “day job”. I never had the time or the energy necessary to try them. I have notes and ideas jotted down in various places. Now I write them down and group them and hope to see them completed.

As long as what I’m doing involves writing, I will consider it part of my day’s writing “work”.

I also want to finish the website I started several years ago. That too will be considered “writing work”.

Everything a writer does is not necessarily writing, yet it progresses his/her craft.

This was a bit of self-indulgence as I thought through my plans and how to label the use of my time so that I don’t end up thinking, “oh, no! I didn’t write again today!” I do write every day. Others may not be privy to what I wrote, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t working on my writing career.

I just counted my words that I wrote about my Youtube Videos. I wrote 370 words. (I use the Word Count Tool as I frequently write in wordpad and believe it or not, it has no word counter. So I google Word Count Tool, click on that link and copy/paste what I’ve written to get a word count. I am including this in case others don’t know how to find the number of words written in WordPad.)

Website

I started making a website back when I was working outside of home. I stayed so tired from that job that I didn’t finish setting it up. I want to do that this coming week. I try to set goals for myself, even if I don’t reach them.

I planned to send off an article this week that is ready to be submitted. I had more bad days physically than good ones, and it didn’t happen. I might get that done next week, but I’m ready to move on. A website has been on my mind this week as I lay in bed wishing I felt better.

It may be time to get a laptop, even though I hate them. I had one at work that I was expected to use and finally the technology teacher gave me a mouse to use with it. Somebody finally told me that the keyboard was not as large as a regular keyboard either. That made me feel better about not liking them. Everyone else said they’re just like a computer.  If I’m going to spend half my life in bed, it might help to get one to use.

But I have changed the subject. Did I mention it’s almost 1:00 am?

I started a website and then let it lapse before I finished it as I came home worn out and hungry. I let a lot of things “slide” (ahem, housework was one of them) as I tried to make it through my last year’s work. I finally followed the doctor’s orders and quit trying to work last spring. Here it is almost fall and I’m still adjusting to this situation.

But I’m digressing again. I saw a friend’s website. He is a writer and it’s awesome. I need to find the one I started making and then if I run into problems, maybe he can give me advice. My youngest son is also here now for a couple months and he is very good on the computer and will help if I ask him.

What I want to do on my website is set it up so that it shows my published works and where to purchase them; I want it to describe my youtube videos and where to watch them. I want it to show my credentials and things about myself that someone might be interested in knowing. I also have these blogs I’d like to link to the website.

It is early Sunday morning – really, it’s Saturday night, but after midnight.

Next Saturday I hope I remember to write about how much I get done on my website this week. My doctor has reminded me that I have an appointment with her one day next week. Blah! I like her, but I hate doctor’s offices.

I hope I can stay feeling well and get the website up in a week’s time.

Writing When Tired

It is early afternoon. I wasn’t feeling well when I woke up. In fact, it’s been a difficult week health-wise.

I want to work on my writing. Usually once I start, I can write 900+ words in one sitting. It takes little effort.

I wonder, however, what the quality of my writing would be, if I wrote when I was this tired?

My emotions and feelings (and tiredness) has always shown on my face. I do try to prevent this, but unless I’m really prepared for what life throws, it shows.

I would assume it shows in my writing as well.

This morning when I was feeling less tired, I wrote on my Proud of Every Wrinkle blog about how people’s points of view change with each decade of life.

My ability to write seems to change with each hour.

I used to be a morning person. I was one of those morning people that made other people cringe to be around me.

Now I drag out of bed in the morning. Thank God for my little black dog, for there are days I might never get up, if she didn’t nudge me and ask to go out.

I find that after lunch, I crave a nap. I haven’t had any medicine to help with today’s pain, except one Tylenol, but if I take the pain medicine, I find that I sleep. I cannot stay awake at all. After lunch, even without the pain medicine, I lie down. I have a book I am reading (always) and read a few pages in it. Then I close my eyes and sleep until I wake up, which is usually when the dog nudges me.

I’m finding that I’m more of a night person than I ever was. It is not unusual for me to be awake at 2:00 am. Some of my best writing is done in the late hours.

I’m writing this now just to see how I write then I’m tired. I don’t want to go to bed. It’s a beautiful day and there’s so much I could do this afternoon. Alas, I cannot hold my eyes open.

I’ve noticed that naps are not strangers to older people. It must be part of the aging process. I heard Thomas Jefferson slept short amount of times throughout the day and night. Let me see how old he was when he was president. Oh, no . . . it’s during two different centuries that he lived. Let’s do the math. He was born in 1743. He died in 1826. Let’s subtract . . . Wow! He lived to be 83. He was president from 1801 to 1809 . . . In 1801, he would have been . . . time for math again . . . 58 years old. He was president for 8 years, so his presidency ended when he was 66. (Feel free to check my math, I’m tired.) I guess he was “older” when he was president.

Ok. I’ve written. I’ve done math that I had no intention of doing when I sat down to write. I’m going to lie down. I’m reading the best book right now. It’s about an adopted woman who searches for her biological parents and . . . she has quite a revelation when she finds them. It’s called Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. I like the way it’s written and I like the plot.

Writing An Article

This morning I woke fairly early and had an article in my head. I came to the computer to write it.

My cell phone rang. Few people have my cell phone number, so I always answer it. The landline answers itself – whenever the cat doesn’t get fed up with the ringing and knock the landline off the base. But the cell phone stays beside me for the few times it rings.

The person calling was an old friend from work. She first apologized for waking me, but I was already awake. It was great to hear from her.

Of course, after talking thirty minutes – she had arrived at work by then – it was hard getting back in the writing mode. I made some notes about what I’d planned to say and saved the article for another day. It’s an article about writing. I actually wrote a 1009 word article about writing earlier this week and had planned to tweak it, but my thoughts went in another direction that I thought might be more marketable . . . I’ll follow it another time.

Is Writing a Lonely Profession?

For me, writing is not a lonely profession. My interactions with others is often the subject of what I write. The sitting down alone and writing isn’t lonely because I relive the experiences in my head as my fingers type the words.

I have been an educator most of my working life. I’ve done other jobs also, but the majority of my working life has been as a school teacher. For me, that was a lonelier job than writing is.

I am innovative when I teach, and I try many different ways to help children learn. Sometimes I’ve tried to share these ways with other teachers, only to be told “That won’t work!” Well, it was working for me. I got knocked down so many times by doubting Thomases that I finally quit sharing my ideas.

Now I’m on medical leave and trying to find other avenues to use my teaching skills. I have several ideas and will see which of them work.

Already I’ve had a couple teaching articles published. I shared one with my new principal, who asked to see one of my published articles, and she said absolutely nothing to me about it. A day or two later she did congratulate a colleague who sent out a tweet that was used in a newspaper article. No mention of my accomplishment . . .

Teaching, as far as colleague collaboration, was a lonely profession for me.

Writing is not.

Labor Day 2015

This is Labor Day, 2015. It’s September 7, 2015.

I’ve spent this day thinking about all the jobs I’ve had over the years. I began working (for someone else) when I was 13. There was a man who lived across the street and he refinished furniture. He paid me to help with sanding, etc. for 3 or 4 hours after school every day.

The man who owned the small grocery store on the corner found out I was working and he offered me a job running his cash register after school. That was an easier job and I took it. I don’t know if those two ever made up because the furniture refinisher (Mr. Daniels) was furious that he lost my help.

I also spent the night with an old lady – she was in her late 80’s or early 90’s some Friday nights. Her own grandchildren didn’t want to stay with her even though she paid them. My mother was their fathers’ legal secretary and she called one day to see if I’d want to stay. It was a whole new world for me being in that lady’s house. She had raised several children and the house was huge and full of bedrooms. Her furnishings were beautiful. Her husband and her sons were lawyers. I remember one night she sent me into the ktichen to get her some water. I had to go through the formal dining room. Suddenly I heard a loud, scary buzzer. I froze and yelled to her, “What’s THAT?” She chuckled and said it was the burglar alarm. Take my foot off it and it would stop buzzing. Those buzzers were under the floor in various places in that room. I also learned from her how to hang small bells around doorknobs so you would know if anyone was entering your home. She had no TV and there wasn’t much to do except read or talk. She was an interesting woman and I wondered why her grandchildren didn’t want to stay. One night when I showed up, one of the younger girls was there. She was planning to spend the night and complaining about it. Her parents showed up right after I did to take her home. She threw a fit! If I was staying, SHE wanted to stay. That night the old lady had two “guests” as the parents gave in and left her. I did mention if she was staying, I would go on home and the granddaughter started up again with her demands. So I stayed. That job consisted of me being ready to call 911 if anything happened. It never did.

The summer I was 16 a friend told me about jobs at the Shirt Factory. I went with her and applied and we both got hired. I worked all summer standing up as a seam inspector. I was glad when the summer ended. The kids I went to school with came back complaining about the end of summer. I did get some new school clothes that year from my earnings.

January of that school year, my sister, who worked as a secretary for a Justice of the Peace (now called Magistrate) had a baby and quit her job. Mr. Stowe asked me if I’d like to work for him and I went to the school principal and explained that the only class I had after lunch was Bible II (considered a “history” course), and I didn’t need it to graduate. I asked if I could leave school at lunch to work for Mr. Stowe. Surprisingly, he said yes. So I dropped the Bible II class and worked until that spring when Mr. Stowe let me go because, he said, he needed full-time help and my part-time availability wasn’t working for him. I remember crying so hard that afternoon as I left. I had learned how to type up warrants and I’d seen marriages performed. The job had been interesting and I hated losing it. I was recommended to a local accountant by my business education teacher and he interviewed me but ended up hiring someone older with more experience. When I graduated at age 17, I went back to the shirt factory to inspect seams.

Before a year was over, my mother became very ill and I quit the job to try to help with her. Once she was better, I heard about the Telephone Company hiring Telephone Operators and I went to their office to apply. I was hired and went through six weeks of training with another girl I graduated from high school with.

I worked there for two years and then heard about a new company in town called “Hamilton Beach, Division of Scovill”. They were hiring office workers and I went there and applied. I was hired and worked there a couple years before I decided to apply to college. I was accepted to college with enough financial aid to quit my job. I was put on the work study program.

The Work Study Program, which placed me in a job on campus, was part of my financial aid package and I didn’t have to pay the money back. I worked 15 hours a week and had 14 hours (or more) of classes each week. I was placed at the ECU News Bureau and loved working there. They offered me a permanent job when I graduated and I have often regretted not taking it. However, I wanted to be a teacher, so I was sending out applications for teaching jobs. When I got a call from Pitt County Board of Education, I thought I had one. However, that job proved to be an office job in the Central Office. I had applied for an office job and the ad didn’t say who it was with. I was so very disappointed when I found out what I was being offered. However, I took the job and continued to send out teaching applications. a few days after I started work as Katheryn Lewis’s and Dr. John McKnight’s secretary, I was called in to the Superintendent’s office. He told me Mrs. Lewis was extremely pleased with my job performance and if I’d stay with her a year, he’d give me a teaching contract the next school year. I said yes and that’s what I did.

I was very disappointed in May when I found out the teaching job he had for me was that of a migrant teacher. I wanted a classroom. Instead I got a job working with children of migrant workers at two different schools. That first year, I worked hard to find other migrant children at the school I spent the most time at. By the end of the school year, enough children had been identified that I was placed just at that school. I’d heard you had to ask for several years to get transferred from the migrant teacher position to a classroom position, so I applied for a Kindergarten Teacher position that became available at my school. I was surprised in August to find out I had gotten it.

I worked for a year with Kindergarten students (Chicod Elementary School) and thoroughly enjoyed it.

That May I married a man who lived in Raleigh and when the school year ended, I resigned and moved to Raleigh. There I went back to doing office work because there was an overage of teachers and I was not able to find a teaching job. I worked with Olsten Temporary Company and was placed in various positions. After the birth of my first son, I became a stay at home mom.

When my son was 8 months old, I began keeping two babies while their mothers worked. It was a very hard, demanding job and I complained to my husband often. I had enjoyed taking care of my own son and thought it would be 3 times the fun. It was not. It was 3 times the work. I loved the babies I kept, but it was exhausting. Finally after being tired of my complaining, my husband said if I hated it that much to QUIT! Well, I did. He was surprised, but I was much happier. I ended up having a second child a few months later. I continued being a stay at home mom, but was bored because everyone else in the neighborhood went off to work every day and so I began writing. I wrote at nap time and sent off various poems and stories. The first two poems I sent off were accepted for publication in different magazines. One was titled “Laments of an Old Cat” and it eventually was published in two different magazines. The other poem, “To My Friend” was also published. I’d often respond to Dennis Rogers column in the News and Observer and he’d usually use my letters to him in his Letters and Leftover Columns that he printed on Fridays. I wrote a column for my son’s elementary school as well. It was titled “Tadpole Tidbits”. The school mascot was a frog.

I’m trying to remember other jobs because at some point the marriage ended and I began to need to work again. I had let my teaching certification lapse as I thought the marriage would last forever. I was wrong. So I found myself doing other jobs. I worked at Belks for six months while I took two graduate courses to get re-certified in Teaching. I worked for over a year through Olsten Temp Service at NC State Retirement Office in Raleigh. The people there were some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with. They reminded me of the friends I had at ECU’s News Bureau. Then I found a better paying job at IBM. I worked there over a year when I found a job teaching with Durham Public Schools. I worked in Durham for 7 years. I was a Reading Recovery Teacher for three years. I had a First grade classroom for three years and I had a first/second grade classroom for one year. When the principal changed, I really disliked the new principal and I ended up resigning. I went to Graduate School at UNCW and got a Masters Degree in Language and Literacy. I was a Reading Specialist.

I turned down a job in South Carolina (another regret) to help design the Reading Program for their Middle Schools. Instead I took a job as a Fifth Grade teacher. It was the worst job I ever had. I did that job for three years. I had three sons in college and needed to work. At the end of the third year, although I had tenure, I quit. The working conditions were unbearable. I moved again and then began working as a Track Out Academy Teacher.  I worked with children in grades K-2 to help raise their reading levels at a year round school. After that I worked as an Intervention Teacher for a couple more years at the same school.

Recently – last spring – my doctor said I was too sick to continue working and I took a medical leave. I’m still on that, but am trying to do some writing. I have so many things I started, but never finished writing over the years. I hope to have some of those manuscripts published. Sometimes I hope to go back to teaching, at least part-time, but the doctor isn’t very encouraging when I mention it.

So . . . Labor Day, 2015. I am not actively working. I am still considered “employed” and on medical leave. Everyone else will return to work tomorrow. I will be here.

Corbett Picture

Blogging

Blogging is a way to ensure that I write daily. Even now as I look at the word ensure, I wonder if it should be insure?

But I begin my drafts with rough drafts and then go back and tidy up.

When I blog, I write what’s on my mind.

Some of my writing takes place in my head long before I sit down at the computer.

I marvel that the way I write has changed so much over the years. From pen or pencil to typewriter to word processing to now blogging online and making it available for all to see. (Few look, but they could, if they wanted to.)

Some of my blogs are beginning to turn into articles. For awhile I worried that if I blogged, my “real” writing would suffer. I find it improves my “real” writing because sometimes I suddenly stop mid-draft and add notes to expand and then don’t post the blog, but copy/paste what I have into another word document and save it in the appropriate folder. I have articles in one folder, short stories in another. There is  a folder for poems and another for nonfiction. There are folders for books I’m writing and then an individual folder for each book’s chapters. I find that blogging helps me branch out into various topics.

So I decided to finish up this day working on my third blog. I already posted in “Proud of Every Wrinkle” and “Ms. Playful’s Blog”. This is the one I keep on my writing life, “Constance As A Writer”.

I’ve quit (gone on leave from) my day job and for awhile I mentally beat myself up because I wasn’t sitting down writing 8 hours a day as I’d hoped to do. For one thing, I’m on medical leave and can’t sit here for 8 hours. There are doctors to see and forms to fill out. Pills to take that sometimes make me sleepy. Walks with the dog that help me feel better – just getting out in the fresh air and getting a little exercise revives me.

I’m still writing as I do other things. Much of my writing happens in my head before I ever sit down to put it on “paper”. One day during a walk I was reminded of Frost’s famous “Whose Woods These Are” (or whatever the exact name of his poem was. This would be another time I edit and check facts and do research.) But my silly little dog who encountered another dog’s poop and stopped to check it out . . . inspired the poem about “Whose poop this is, I think I know . . . ” which I titled Bastardization of Frost’s Poem . . .

Then there was the refrain in my head from so many wanna be writers and all their incessant questions and the final realization that they don’t want to write, they want to be writers. All the advice I’d given and the time I’ve spent listening to them, and knowing how much I enjoy writing . . . so I shared. And usually my advice went unheeded. So that blog draft about trying to help other wanna be writers was never published but was copied/pasted and turned into a writing article that I want to submit one day next week.

So, blogging is not for naught. If you’re a writer or want to be a writer, it’s a good way to work at it.

Tell me the name of your blog. I will check it out. We writers learn from each other.