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Showing posts from March, 2019

Legitimate Questions After A Tough Week

Can you really go from liking someone to complete disdain and lack of respect overnight?

Can you gain respect for someone as a person, but lose respect for them as a coworker?

Is anxiety this generation's ADD?

Do sudden shifts in behavior deserve an explanation?

At what chronological age does being considered a child stop?

Is group dynamic more important than individual ability?

Are we owed a response from a third party who is present?

Would you ever work with a sibling?

Is it just to have higher expectations for one person and lower expectations for another?

What type of confrontation would make you cry?

Is going back to "the way it was" healthy for the person who does the most/least?

Is being right important?

Is being analytical healthy?

Is doing something for the right reasons, despite it not being beneficial, important?

Looking Busy From Our Point Of View

At the moment it happens, it's amusing. The coworker who stands in front of a cabinet, looking as if they are trying to decipher the Zodiac's letter or the DaVinci Code, while in reality, they're trying to stall putting a marble away, so they don't have to lift a 30-pound container of Legos. They walk back and forth, with such determination it's commendable until you realize they've done nothing of use. They always have that need to go to the bathroom, or to check on some mysterious thing that needs their attention, away from any area where work is necessary and of course, as you are frantically attempting to finish in time to take on another chore, they find this is the time to ask the boss something of utmost importance. My favorite, was last week, when four people filled out their time sheets, on the first day of a 16-day work black, while I prepared a snack for 80 kids alone, then proceeded to put out 80% of the toys, while they continued talking about some…

The Only Time I'm Not Lonely

Last night, as I tossed and turned and worried about money, my gradual aggravation with my job, my living situation, and my lack of anything resembling a normal social life, it dawned on me that I'm often overcome by loneliness, but rarely when I'm alone. When I'm alone, especially when occupied by reading, writing, watching sports or a movie, even just with my own silly thoughts, I'm content. I know I am always preaching how being content is not the same as happy, and I'm not suggesting this is a new found happiness, but I enjoy the simplicity of my solitude much more than I do the attempt to find my niche here.

This weekend, and last, I spent way too much doing what I used to call my social life. The difference is, now, I'm not surrounded by friends I've known for years, maybe even decades, but strangers, who have all been together like I was where I come from. To be honest, even in my old home, I always felt like an outsider. I wasn't like most peopl…

Efficiency Crush

Every morning, I come downstairs, start my coffee, feed my cat, bring his food upstairs, bring my laptop downstairs, unload the dishwasher and/or start a load of laundry and by the time I'm done, my coffee has brewed. I like to think of myself as being thorough and efficient. I usually attempt to multitask while cooking also, but at times, I get impatient, which is why I don't bake. I like to check, stir, test, a little too much. That being said, if I have tasks that take a certain amount of time, I can usually find something to clean or straighten while that takes place. While I love lounging, there is a time and place. The workplace, I'm finding, is usually where most people find time to lounge, act inefficiently, and basically loaf about. They have the knowledge that myself and others will pick up the slack, not because we want to, but we have to. At home, well, that's a blog for another time. Let's just say, I'd never known anyone who felt "doing"…

The Most Simple Thing

Anyone who knows my absolute disgust towards posting of "Random Acts of Kindness."  The simple fact that someone needs credit takes away the randomness of the act. Altruistic behavior needs no applause, acknowledgment, or praise. One who lives their life this way is not the type to do anything randomly. 
One of the best things about my day yesterday was to see a group of older kids rallying around a younger kid who was upset. The child turned six yesterday and as circumstances would have it, her mother had to be away for a trip and was missing her birthday. She had mentioned this to me and coworker the day before, but our attention and affection couldn't compare to the absence of her mother. When I saw her crying I went to help, but then stood back and watched, as her sister and especially her sister's friends, made the decision to smother her with kindness, assure her of her mother's love, then the coup de grace, they gave her Oreos!
Amazing how kids get it so m…

Why Do People Like Crap?

Whether it be material items, television shows, novels of the month, top 40 music, food, or brand name labels, it seems that Americans love crap. Anything that doesn't take much thought to understand, to debate, to purchase, to even justify, seems to be the way of the world. Our desire for instant gratification has become so immense, that something as simple, and instant as making a cup of coffee or a sandwich has become a burden. The irony, of course, is the outside purchase take so much longer, more energy, and of course, money, to attain.

Just think of the average pot of coffee

From start to finish, it takes anywhere from 8-12 minutes.
It can be made while getting dressed, taking a shower, or feeding the kids.
Hell, nearly every coffee maker has a timer so it can be ready when you awake.
The average cost for a six-cup pot of coffee at home? About 15 cents.

Just think of your outdoor daily coffee purchase.

The time to drive, even if on your way, is a few extra minutes of waiting…

Has Facebook Become Toxic?

Post a moment of joy, a cute pic, an achievement.
A "like," comment of congratulations.
You respond. "Thanks."
It's over quickly.

Post a moment of negativity, depression, anxiety, illness, or some other dread.
Likes, comments of understanding, of false support, a one-upper.
You comment back.
They comment back.
And the cycle repeats itself until one person has achieved proving their life is indeed worse than yours or you both agree that life is a miserable existence and you now share a common bond.

The problem is, it's the same people who comment the same way, every single time.
Honestly, with that much ambivalence towards joy, and so much reverence for misery, at what point do we question whether our friendships, at least on Facebook, aren't the cause of all of our woes?
Most people can handle day-to-day hardships, even monumental ones, but that was before Facebook. Social media feeds our need for attention, but in all the worst ways. by allowing things…

Bewildered

In my day-to-day life, I have to deal with a lot of people who are completely, unabashedly OK with others doing things for them. Often these people will take credit for it, but for the most part, they're simply happy to accept the responsibility of a task being completed without them putting forth any effort.

For quite some time now, this behavior has confused and angered me. Some of the people guilty of these inactions are my age or older, while many are half, maybe closer to one-third of my age. The thing that always strikes me is their ambivalence. I've chalked much of it up to my favorite psychological net, cognitive dissonance. I truly believe that most people simply accept someone else will do something and while they know they need to help, once it's complete, they take solace in knowing that the job was completed, with or without them. That all changed yesterday.

Yesterday, and I'll leave out the actual task, because the simplicity, but also the necessity of th…

Credit

We all deserve credit, acknowledgment, and when warranted, praise for those things we do well.
There are times when we do not receive this type of recognition and while it can, at times, be difficult to process why, it should never deter us from doing our best. The one thing I will never understand is those people who want credit for work, whether well done or not. The type of work they're expected or hired to do. Many of us grow up receiving an allowance for petty chores. Some more time consuming and detail oriented than others, but for the most part, they are simple tasks aimed at teaching us, with responsibility comes reward. The pay in itself is the credit and as we mature, we accept that vocal or written praise is not as important as being paid a fair share for a given assignment. The fair share debate is one for another time.

Recently, I've noticed that people I know, work with, simply come across, want to be acknowledged not only for everything they do, but the actions,…

The Most Simple Breakfast

I like to cook breakfast. The fact that I wake up before the rooster allows me time to make a nice hot meal. I'm sure when the warmer weather kicks in, I'll go back to a few pieces of fruit, stretched over a few cups of coffee, but for now, this warm breakfast is my go-to meal. I do have a few varieties, but for those that don't like to venture into the processed world of meat substitutes, I'll keep it simple.

I start by dicing a potato. Usually white, but any variety is fine. I have access to an air fryer, so I place them in with a little cajun seasoning, but salt and pepper work. I then saute half an onion and usually add a little Sriracha to it. When the potato is almost done, I add them, usually fairly dried out to the onion and add some aquafaba (the liquid reserved from a can of chickpeas or any bean). I let the mixture moisture, then season to taste. I push the mixture over to the side of the pan and then melt a tablespoon of some vegan butter substitute, or aqu…

Raising Your Voice Does Not Command Respect

I yell. You yell. We all yell.

One thing I rarely do is raise my voice around children. It commands neither respect, admiration, or even a symbol of authority. Children respond to calm. At times, we must be firm, even crossing the line into being the "bad guy," but it must be known this is temporary. Yelling, even raising your voice simply to talk over their weaker voices, is a sign of weakness, lack of control, and low self-esteem. Honestly, if you need to overpower a child, even with your voice, you probably shouldn't be working with them.

When commanding the attention of a group, the best way is to keep your voice steady, then bringing the tone down, as they comply, listen, or simply become attentive to your message. This can take longer than most adults can muster, but it's that control that the kids will respond to. This way, if you are to raise your voice, ever so slightly, they will then realize you're mood or demeanor has changed, and if they respect you,…

I Had A Snowball Fight

Yesterday was cold, but the sun was shining. We took the kids out for the first time in what feels like weeks, and despite their trepidation, fun was had by all but a handful. I must admit, I am almost guilty by the fun I had. I've grown to love the outdoors, much more than my time in Westchester and much of it is this sincere belief that fresh air is my elixir, keeping me healthy, both in mind and body. I've been ill as of late, and I chalk it up to what feels like confinement.

I should state that snowball fights are forbidden and that I may have pulled the old Han Solo and shot first. Unlike stormtroopers, these kids hit and hit often. I was covered. My black hoodie peppered constantly and consistently with perfectly packed powder. Some went in my face, down my back, my front, and even in my sneakers. I was soaked, but I was also ecstatic. It's been a while since I've had a snowball fight and been a while since I've had that much fun. There's something about …