Today someone yelled at me. It was at the end of the day. I am sick and exhausted. My energy was already depleted, and the yelling sucked away whatever remained. Even now, hours later, I am shaking. I didn’t deserve to be yelled at. While I spoke in a calm, reserved voice, this person blamed me for causing their lack of control. No. No person deserves to be yelled at, and no person can be the cause of another’s lack of control. Hang up the phone. Walk away. Table the discussion. Mentally healthy adults do not yell…..under any circumstance. Yelling is a selfish, weak, self-absorbed way to handle a difficult situation. Yelling is cowardly. Continue Reading »
Yesterday was National Suicide Awareness Day. A friend’s post on Facebook last night made me aware of the day, but more importantly it reminded me of the lies that depression can tell a person.
“Life is not worth living.”
“I am not loved.”
“I am not good enough.” Continue Reading »
I’m not having the best day. Too many meetings, and another concert tonight. Thank goodness, this is the last one of the season. It rained this morning, just enough to make this a bad hair day, but it is still too little, too late to make a difference in the crops this year. Continue Reading »
Do I have a sleep disorder? Well, I do have fairly odd sleep patterns, but I’m not sure if I would classify them as a disorder. I would think that if something is a disorder then the condition would bother me or those who live with me. I’m not bothered at all, and those around me just roll their eyes. They’re used to it. They accept me for who I am, odd habits and all. Continue Reading »
Now that there isn’t so much weighing on my mind, I am finding myself observing more of the world that goes on around me. I suppose you could say that my focus has switched from internal, or immediate, to that of the larger world.
When I got to the office today, I logged into Facebook. I am the admin for two pages, and I always check to see if there are comments that require a response, or to make sure, Heaven forbid, nothing horrible, graphic, or lewd has been placed on either page. As I scrolled down the news feed, I saw the following picture.
It made me laugh, simply because of the foolishness of the statement. “Put politicians on minimum wage.” Yeah, that would teach them! How ridiculous! Now, I am no big fan of politicians, but I do know quite of few of them on a personal level. Across the board, they are well-educated and highly experienced. Generally, the politicians I know have had very successful careers in the private sector before embarking on their political careers. While you may not like politicians, the point I am trying to make is they have WORKED to get where they are. They have paid for, and done the work required, to obtain their education and their success. Sure, let’s pay them minimum wage. Do you really think anyone with education or intelligence would go into politics if they were only going to make minimum wage? NO! Paying politicians minimum wage would only ensure that the doofus who flips your burger at McDonald’s could be your next mayor, or senator, or heck…he could be our next president! I am NOT criticizing McDonald’s employees or those who earn minimum wage. Minimum wage is an entry-level wage or a wage designed for teenagers. As adults, we should aspire for more, and we should certainly expect those who hold political positions to aspire for more.
At lunchtime, I headed out to McDonald’s. When I pulled around to the drive-up window, I was taken aback by the girl who stood there waiting to take my money. It’s just a regular Monday afternoon in February, and this girl looked like she was ready to head out for trick or treats.
Does she wonder why the only job she can get pays minimum wage? Would you hire a girl with bright red hair and scary eyes to represent your successful business? Oh, but if we pay politicians minimum wage, then maybe she could be our next governor! I’ll bet she would liven things up at the governor’s mansion.
After McDonald’s, I headed over to pick up a few things at Walgreen’s. I bought some new nail polish (my new obsession) and some candy for my dish at the office. I noticed a guy who seemed to always end up in close proximity to wherever I was standing. When I headed to check out, so did he. I kept ignoring him, until he tapped me on the shoulder. “Excuse me, but I have to tell you how much I like your boots. Are they hard to walk in?” I told him that there weren’t, I suppose that the ankle support helped. He asked me if I had “practiced” walking in them, and I said, “NO! I just walk!” He said that it looked like I had practiced, because I did such a great job of walking in them. My God…I’ve been walking for years, and this is the first time anyone has ever told me that I did a “good job.” He asked me if they were leather, and told me once again how much he liked my boots.
I could never really figure out if this guy was hitting on me, or whether he was one of those guys who obsessed over women’s’ shoes, or in this case, boots.
I headed up the hill and back to my office. I made one more stop to pick up a Super Big Gulp of Pepsi to get me through the rest of the afternoon. I filled up my cup, still giggling over the Boot Guy. I walked over to pay for my purchase, and looked up at the cashier. One look, and I shuddered. She had a pierced nose with a black post stud. It looked like a giant blackhead! I imagined that if it were really a blackhead, it would be a most-satisfactory squeeze! It made me shudder to think of a huge blackhead, but also, I can’t imagine what the OTHER side of that nose ring must look like in there!
Once again, I thought about why this person was working at 7-11. Wonder if the nose ring (and the rest of her scary appearance) had anything to do with her working a minimum wage job?
There was a girl standing next to the nose ring girl, another 7-11 employee. She was on what was obviously a personal phone call. She wasn’t too happy with whoever was on the other end of the line, and she didn’t have any qualms at all about liberally spewing the f-word as she stood behind the counter ignoring customers. She was intensely wrapped up in the drama of the conversation. I assume she had been “done wrong” by some man. I stood there staring. Yep, I couldn’t stop. I wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying, but instead, I was looking at some of the wildest fingernails I have ever seen. They were long, and purple, and yellow.
I felt like a nerdy old woman as I drove back to the office. I have on a tweed skirt and a black sweater. My hair isn’t brightly colored, and I don’t have any unusual piercings. My nails are a demure, muted shade called “Mink.”
Of course, I do have on my hooker boots! 🙂
I’ve made a decision. I’m going to deactivate my Facebook account for the entire month of December. For those of you who are my friends on Facebook, you’ll know that this will be a shock to my system. I am a FB junkie. I update my status several times each day. (It’s a great way of venting…or cheering!) Some days, I update my status MANY times. I use Facebook on my cell phone, at work, and at home. While I don’t necessarily spend a great deal of time on Facebook, I frequently check in to see what’s going on. I check Facebook in my office, while I shop, while I drive, before I go to bed, when I wake up in the morning, and numerous times throughout the day.
I have enjoyed reconnecting with old classmates on Facebook. A group of us have begun meeting for dinner or drinks occasionally, and it has been fun to catch up and revive old friendships. Facebook has been a good networking tool for my career as well. I have deepened what would have been only surface work relationships by getting to know my colleagues as friends on Facebook.
On the other hand, I have encountered old “friends” who have attempted to take a Facebook friendship to another level. Those guys have quickly been unfriended. Then there are the people who are so “MY LIFE IS WONDERFUL” that it makes me sick when I know that the reality of their lives is far from what they portray on Facebook. Others use Facebook as a political or religious platform. I don’t unfriend those folks, but I don’t read a darn thing that they write, either.
I will miss keeping up with all of the various activities that my boys post on Facebook. I suppose that I will have to email them or call them more often. T has a Facebook account, and he can share any interesting pictures that the boys post. Lord knows, I won’t miss seeing the college dorm party pics!
I’ll miss playing Bubble Witch Saga. I’ll miss playing Bingo. I’ll miss the quirky funny posts. I’ll miss the jokes. I’ll miss knowing every move that every one of my friends is making. I’m very nosy, and Facebook is a fine outlet for us creepers!
Obviously I enjoy Facebook, so why would I impose this hiatus upon myself? Recently I have been thinking about the amount of time I spend “plugged in” to my computer or phones. What in the world did I do before I had this obsession? What did any of us do before Facebook, computers, and cell phones? I don’t know what any of you did, but I once did a lot of things that I no longer do. I read books. I owned a loom and wove rugs. One winter, T and I learned how to paint with watercolors. I played the piano, or the clarinet, or the saxophone. Sometimes, I talked to real people face to face! I baked bread, pies, cookies, and cakes. I had sex! I exercised. There was a whole world of things that I once did without being connected to an electronic device. For one month, beginning on December 1, I am going to see if I can get back to basics once again.
Working in downtown revitalization is never boring. It’s challenging, frustrating,and exhilarating. It is my passion. It’s in my blood. I don’t know why. This is an “accidental” career. It wasn’t in my plans. It’s not what I ever thought I would be doing with my life, but it is my blessing. I have driven down the street and felt my chest fill up and my eyes begin to tear as I look at the changes that have occurred in the course of the short four years that I have been working in this area. I feel like a proud parent with each success. On the other hand, if a business fails or struggles, if there is a negative news article or a complaint about anything, I take it personally. Working in downtown revitalization often feels like being in love with an aloof, elusive lover. As much as I love my downtown, the bricks and mortar don’t give back. They stand firm and unmoving, always needing a little more love. No wonder there’s a very high rate of burnout and job turnover in my line of work.
Working with dozens of unique small business owners is always challenging. Listening to their individual needs, wants, and concerns, and then attempting to get them to all work together is often a monumental task. This past weekend, we held a major downtown event. It was our third year for this event, and each year we have grown and added new activities and promotions. What started out with two businesses coincidentally holding pre-holiday open houses has grown to dozens of business participating in a joint promotion. This event is our shining-star success story. It has become the largest downtown tax revenue generating weekend of the year. Yes, even larger than Black Friday.
The best thing about this event is the cooperation between the bars and restaurants and the retail establishments. We capture the retail trade early in the evening and then send them on their way to the food establishments. From the first year, we incorporated jazz music as a way to draw people through the doors of retail establishments. I called on friends in the local music community to help me out that first year, and now we have musicians clamoring for the available spots. The coolest thing is that you’ll find live music in unlikely locations. This year we organized over a dozen jazz combos to play in our retail locations.
Last week was incredibly busy as we prepared for the Friday night event. It was definitely a juggling act to organize all of the last-minute details. By 5:00 p.m. on Friday, things were in motion. As I walked from place to place taking pictures, I felt such pride and a sense of accomplishment. The stores were packed. People were smiling. People were BUYING. The business owners told me that they had been busy all day. This year, the two-hour evening open houses had grown to an all day celebration.
When I finally met up with staff and volunteers for a cocktail, I was satisfied that we’d had another successful year. To make things even better, I received a text from a friend who lives in my town. “We’re down here and this is great! Where are you?” I told her to come on over and join us. We all had a great time sampling martinis and had a fantastic dinner. Another year was under my belt, and the event had been a success.
Yesterday, like most mornings, I woke up, stretched, and reached for my phone. First I checked my emails. Nothing good. I checked Facebook. Nothing unusual. Then I checked my work emails. My office phone sends my voice mail to my email account when I am out of the office. This may be another reason for me to hate technology. There were several voice mail files in my inbox. I listened to them. They were mostly questions about the Saturday open houses, and I returned each call. (Do people think I LIVE in my office?) The last message I listened to had been sent at 12:37 a.m. I was curious about what that would be about. Who would leave a message at that time of day?
My heart sank as I listened. The person didn’t leave her name, but started in by telling me that I needed to “Get my act together.” She complained that the newspaper had said that the event began at 5:30, but she had been in an establishment that had begun serving hors d’oeuvres and wine at 4:00. Which was it? Couldn’t I even get my times straight? I needed to get my act together! She went on to tell me that the whole event was a letdown. Her town, a neighboring community, would have done a much better job. “Get your act together!” I was still laying in bed. I woke up thinking the event had been a success, and all it took was this one nasty woman’s phone call, and I felt like a failure.
Who does things like that? What is wrong with people? Who feels the need to lash out like that anonymously, to someone who has worked hard and actually cares about what they are doing, at someone who they don’t even know? That phone call ate at me all day. That phone call ruined my weekend.
The woman may not have left her name, but the file that came through to my inbox identified her phone number. I looked it up, so now I have her name. 🙂 Thankfully, it is not someone I know. There doesn’t appear to be a personal agenda. She is simply a really horrible, bitchy person. Yes, I know that I should let the matter go, but I can’t. Her words stung, and I am tired of stinging. I’m tired of mean people, and I’m tired of being treated as if I don’t have feelings by mean people. It has happened all too often this past year.
Once again…I am tired of mean people. I’m tired of people getting away with abominable behavior when they think no one is looking, when they think no one will find out, or call them on it. Yet again, I find the need to hold up a mirror for someone to see the reflection of their own bad behavior. I am tired of being a doormat.
On Monday, this lovely lady is going to be getting a call from me. If she has a complaint, I will be happy to calmly listen to what she has to say. This time, she isn’t going to get away with the safety of anonymously calling my office in the middle of the night. I will call her by name, and I will tell her my name in return. I will put a human face on the other end of that phone and that complaint.
I am taking off the KICK ME sign.