Can You Relate

Miles Away

A few summers ago my husband took me and our itty bitties to the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. He knew how much I loved and still love waterfalls and he found this gorgeous serene place that had a couple different waterfalls and swimming areas. It was picturesque, so beautiful and calm. We had food and drinks with us so we ended up staying for hours, just swimming and enjoying some family time away from society. Don’t get me wrong there were others enjoying the waterfalls as well, but it wasn’t densely populated. This place was very remote. Away from all civilizations, no cell phone connection, in fact the nearest hospital was hundreds of miles away….the kind of place where if something bad were to happen we would be fucked. When we finally decided to go home, we noticed there was a couple standing around on the one way unpaved road. It appeared as if they were having some car trouble and their car was blocking our only way out. My husband decided to stop and see if they needed some help. When he got off, he was not prepared for what he was going to see next. A pickup truck had been driven down an embankment by an intoxicated driver.  He had 4 young adult passengers with him. Two of the four passengers, a guy and a girl, had already crawled up into safety, as well as the driver, but the other two were still stuck inside the truck. The windshield had been shattered and there was a lot of front edge damage. Luckily, the truck was stumped by a tree trunk which kept it from rolling deeper into the embankment and God knows what else! I ran out of our truck and left my children in it, to see if I could help, when I noticed that one of the passengers that was stuck, was climbing up onto the road. It was another girl. She was delirious and I didn’t blame her. Blood everywhere, glass stuck in different parts of her body and just crying from everything that she had been through. Thankfully they were all breathing and mobile, but we were Miles AND Miles away from civilization! What could we do??? There wasn’t any phone service for us to call 911. All of a sudden the driver of the wrecked truck yelled, “Take them to the hospital! Take them! I’m okay and I will help my friend get out, he’s okay.” Quickly, the Male passenger and my husband helped the two girls into our truck. Our two boys moved to the far back seat of our Chevy Suburban to make room for them. I grabbed our 10 month old babygirl from her carseat and hopped in the front seat with her. We took off like a bat out of hell!

70mph with a truck full of strangers blood oozing all over seats, glass pieces falling off their bodies onto our rugs. As my husband is driving, I’m talking to them to keep them awake just in case they had a concussion. I’m asking questions about what their plans had been for the day, where they were from. We were scared, but they were terrified. They were so afraid that they couldn’t even tell us the truth about how the accident happened because they feared that we would tell the cops. The only thing we were worried about was getting them to the hospital on time. I remember having to remind them of that over and over again. I also remember them thanking us over and over again. As I’m carrying on the conversations, I also kept checking my cellphone for service so that I could finally call 911. It was the longest and most stressful hour and half drive we’d had ever been on! Our kids were in disbelief the whole time but surprisingly calm. Then I started to see black lines…. escalating, bars were starting to come up on my cellphone screen.  It was time to call for help. About 15 minutes later we see ambulances and emergency vehicles speeding in our opposite direction. Everyone knew where they were headed. Seeing this shifted a blanket of tranquility and hope over us. Some how at that moment we felt that everything was going to be okay. Our Suburban started to slow down and so did my heart. I could see the hospital. We had made it. We helped unload the victims and briefed the medical staff on our journey and what had brought us to that point. We also exchanged contact information with the victims in case they needed anything else from us, and just like that a lifetime connection had been made.

We actually never heard from them again. However, I was able to find out a few days later, via the local newspaper, that they had survived and were released from the hospital the same day. Till this day, everytime we wipe down our leather seats, we recall how we spent the day after the incident cleaning up the blood and glass from our Suburban. We think about the victims, the waterfalls, and ask ourselves if we will ever forget about the day that we traveled miles and miles to the Ozarks.

Hopeless?

Things have really taken a turn for the worse. How long does it take to find a new job? Yes, Jamie is now settling for a job. At this point any money is better than no money. Tomorrow makes 2 months since Jamie has been on the prowl and nothing. She gave her resume a makeover several times, has taken online assessments to show off her skills, spending relentless hours on indeed and other job sites, and she’s done a few interviews, but I don’t know. She must be doing something wrong and worst of all, Jamie has never had a problem finding work. It’s difficult for her to admit failure and ask for advice. On the other hand, it looks like she may be in the final grievance stage; acceptance. Finally accepting defeat and IIWII (it is what it is). OR is Jaime just giving up?

Jamie decided to check in with a friend “Lailani”, previous co worker from the same organization. Even though she hasn’t lost her job YET, she fears that she may be losing her dignity instead. See after Jamie was let go, they decided they needed to dump some of the workload on someone else. Unfortunately, Lailani was next up in seniority and they decided to take advantage of it. However, it was only a disadvantage to Lailani. She was demoted, but given more responsibilities at the same time!!! WTF. How does that make any sense? It didn’t make any sense to her either, but she needs the money. Yes, she’s still with them, at least until she finds another job. She’s a better woman than me and many of us out there, she’s always been. One of the reasons why Jamie hired her in the first place, but she’s not dumb either. Lailani says, “If it gets ugly I will leave them in a heartbeat”, and we don’t blame her. Jamie feels somewhat responsible for the position that Lailani is in right now. She would always motivate her to go the extra mile and do more for less, because she was confident that the rewards would come later on and that it would all be worth it. Now Jamie’s gone and Lailani is still there. Which one is worse? It’s hard to tell, but they’re both examples of tyranny just from different perspectives. They are both victims of poor non-profit management and they are both paying the price for someone else’s blunders.

Jamie and her family are currently in economic troubled straits and have made the decision to start over elsewhere. By the end of the year they will be living in another state. As for Lailani, she has a few possibilities lined up. As long as she plays her cards right she will be okay.

Coincidentally, as we were working on this piece 😀 Jamie received a call from a weird number and she didn’t answer it. Then they called again, but this time she answered. And good thing she did, because it was a very promising work opportunity LOL. I’m laughing because that’s how life works out sometimes. Just when you decide to throw in the towel, a glimpse of hope shines through and it completely changes your day. Doesn’t it?

Indeed You Are Such A Tease

Tick Tock Tick Tock…..it’s scary how much time one can spend on the internet when you are looking for the one, the perfect match. No I am not talking about a girl or a boy or both. I think I’ve said this before, looking for work can take a toll on your mind and Jamie is being affected. In the past week, Jamie has spent countless hours staring at the screen on her purple laptop, trying to find her next employer, mostly on Indeed. Indeed can be a mind fuck. They send her all these alerts about new job openings and status updates on about 1/8 of the hundreds of applications she’s put in, which is fine. Its good to know what options are still out there and which applications actually made it to a human being. But these notifications can also be torture, especially this specific one; “DEF company looked at your resume and application.” Jamie was so thrilled to see that she may have a chance at the position she has been craving for, but is that really what that message means? What does it really mean when a company has reviewed your application on Indeed? NADA, NOTHING AT ALL! It’s just another one of those crappy traps to get you to visit a website so that they can earn a couple of cents in revenue. At least that’s how Jamie felt. Wouldn’t you think that if an employer takes a look at your application, that you would hear from them whether its a negative or positive? You would think they would have the decency of in-boxing you with an interview message or a “its not you its us” email. No, instead the days pass and you don’t hear anything else from DEF company. Instead you get feelings of anxiety and doubt, wondering why did they look at your resume? Why didn’t they say something after looking at it? Are they ever going to reach out? Who knows. Clicking the orange Apply Now button is like making another bet at a Texas Hold’em Poker tournament. It’s a gamble. However, just like the cards in your hands, Jamie knows what she’s working worth. Even though it feels like she’s never going to find the perfect match, she’s still confident in what she can offer as an employee and what she is capable of. I mean look at this mean ass cover letter she recently wrote:

Go-getter, organized, passionate, reliable, a leader; are some of the words that my previous supervisor would use to describe me as an employee. These can also be cliche words that many would use to describe themselves to hiring managers and recruiters, but I am not a cliche. I am different, I enjoy being different. Being different is what sets us apart from the bunch, it helps us grow and achieve great things.
From what I have learned, (Insert company name here) is different as well, and that’s why it was recognized by Google as the 3rd most searched (something) in 2018, and the most robust (something) database in February 2019. Coincidentally, I’ve also had my share of accomplishments that  I’d like to tell you more about. If you have some time, maybe we can schedule an opportunity to discuss our pasts, presents, and possibly how I can be a part of (Insert company name here)s future.


Need I say more…..

5 Stages of Self-Serve Coffee

I am one of those people that likes to go the corner coffee shops or the popular food mart/gas stations with the self-serve coffee stands that have about 10 different choices or flavors of coffee to choose from. 9 out of 10 times I will use the self-serve station because I am an unpredictable prick or in other words I have a hard time making a decision when presented with so many choices. It all starts when you enter through the food mart /gas station door…which side of the counter should I use? Do I go left or right? What cup size will I get today? How strong of a coffee do I need today? Do I want any flavors? Will I use creamer? half and half? milk? Then comes the most difficult decision of them all…..how sweet do I want my coffee today? Why is it that at this point, you start to feel like your every move is being looked at? We begin to ponder if someone is watching us? Are they checking to see if I am making healthy conscious choices? Are they judging me? All these questions running through my/our minds as we decide the sweetness level of our morning Cup of Joe. So what if I need to pour about 30 seconds worth of sugar or about 10 packets of sugar so that I can enjoy my coffee! That’s not a lot. Look at the girl wearing the green shirt on the other side of the counter, she just used about 15 packets of sugar. She’s the one with the problem. You don’t know me! Its not like I do this every morning. (Laughing) It’s almost like going through the 5 stages of grief and loss; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. At the final stage, you just accept and give in and decide to cut yourself off too soon from the sugar. Your coffee ends up tasting like black water, and you tell yourself, “I will just fix it at home”. I don’t need this type of negativity in my life, not in the morning when I am trying to get my coffee so that I can finally finish waking-up.

Self-serve stations…..turning something as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee into a moment of turmoil and despair.

J.O.B–Just Over Broke

Hey everyone! It’s been a month now since Jamie was laid off and on the new job hunt. Let me tell you that it has been a roller-coaster of emotions and decision making. Not too many soon to be 40 year old’s are spending their time worrying about their careers. Jamie should be professionally settled and enjoying happy hours and slime-making crafts with her kids. And while she’s a little thankful for all the new free time she has now, after a month you begin to question yourself and what is wrong with me?? You look over your resume a thousand times, tweak it, apply to jobs that are not in your usual radar, and that’s just work related. Then you start to question the decisions you’ve made up to this point and if there’s anything different you need to do, like go back to school or just be your own boss. It can really take a toll on you and that’s why it’s important that we check in every once in a while on Jamie.

Jamie has actually made some progress…..networking has somewhat paid off. After she turned in her resume to her friend, her friend’s supervisor did reach out and gave her some information about an opening. However, the job just wasn’t what Jamie was hoping for. First, it paid a lot less than what she was making and it she would be working from home. Instead, it was actually 45 minutes to an hour distant. No, Jamie is not being a spoil brat, she is simple looking for a commitment because she is tired of the moving from one company to another crap. It may be worth being late on some bills just to ensure a forever career. I don’t know, is that the right move? Tell me what you think, we need a different perspective on this. Okay moving on….let’s see what else happened with Jamie, oh yes! She had a pre-interview or screening, whatever you want to call it, with (we will call it A-B-C) company. So far, this one sounds like the one, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. The pay and benefits are descent and there’s room for growth, but its not really the ONE. See, Jamie is looking for a career not a J.O.B (Just Over Broke). With that in mind, there’s a certain position with (we will call this one D-E-F) company that she applied for and it sounds like everything she has been wanting. It practically checks off all the boxes on her checklist, but it may take some time before she hears anything back. “Good things come to those who wait” or do they?

Predicament

Considering that Jamie meets all the requirements and passes all the interviews with A-B-C, should she accept the J.O.B with them and quit later on if she gets an offer from D-E-F?

OR

Should Jamie not accept the J.O.B and wait to hear back from D-E-F instead? What if she never hears back from D-E-F and misses out on a possibility of making enough money to get things back on track for her family?? What about ethics?

Intro to: Hispanic superstitions and myths

Hispanic Heritage Month Series

Let’s celebrate the upcoming Hispanic Heritage month, by blogging All Things Hispanic from now until the end of October. I will begin this special series with a little comedy and mind blowing facts. All cultures have their own superstitions or myths that some people believe in (to a certain point) as part of their traditions. These traditions then get passed down to generations after generations. Every now and then comes an asshole that’ll mess everything up by exposing the truths or fallacies behind these myths, yeah that’s me today. Your welcome.

  • Has your Hispanic friend ever screamed at you for leaving your purse or wallet on the floor? Some Hispanics, strongly believe in the superstition that you will lose money or face money troubles if you decide to plant your purse or wallet on the floor. Obviously we all know that isn’t true, but try to convince a truly traditional Hispanic otherwise and you’ll probably see a “chancleta” coming straight for you!
No pongas la cartera en el piso, que se te va todo el dinero!!!
  • That brings me to the terrifying “flying chancleta” satire, that some have recently discovered via social media or through your new Hispanic mother in law. However, this old school disciplinary tool, is not new at all. For many years now, Hispanic children have been threatened by or fallen victim to the flying flip flop. Huh? Many of you already know what I’m referring to and the ones that don’t, are probably making some close guesses by now. If you guessed that this exaggerated truth has to do with getting slapped by a flip flop, you are absolutely correct. Many of us as kids would get slapped by the chancleta whenever we misbehaved. It’s such a well known part of our upbringing, that social media decided to make it into a satirical comedy. But trust me there’s nothing funny about the “flying chancleta”. Whilst this doesn’t actually fall under the definition of a myth, the thought of a flying chancleta is.

via GIPHY

  • Many homemade medical concoctions and remedies come from a long line of traditions. A common one among Hispanic homes is the use of Vicks Vapo-Rub. Vicks is a topical ointment that can be applied to the chest as a cough suppressant and to other parts of the body to relieve sore muscles and aches. According to many Abuelas (grandmothers), Vicks can cure a lot more than coughs and muscle aches. Many Hispanics believe that its a cure it all; headaches, flu, a broken heart, stomach aches, depression, menstrual cramps, whatever it is, Vicks can fix it. How true is this, nobody really knows or cares to find out because no one is going to tell Abuela that she is wrong. If you have a stomach ache and she tells you to rub this ointment on, you rub it on. But just in case, take some some stomach medicine when Abuela is not looking, because for all we know, this could just be another myth.

Now these are just the three most popular ones that came to my mind, but there are so many more…..

Don’t carry the scissors pointed towards yourself.

Don’t rock the rocking chair when no one is sitting on it.

Don’t put shoes on the bed.

Don’t sweep someone’s feet.

And the list goes on and on. If you want me to explain any of the ones mentioned above, leave me a comment and I will be glad to help.

What are some common superstitions or myths in your household? The funnier the better.

Time to make a change

“Change is the end result of all true learning”–Leo Buscaglia

“My son turned in his math homework with all correct answers and yet his teacher wasn’t satisfied because he didn’t follow the method that was taught in class” said one of the managers at my local TJMaxx as he stood by the cashier that was ringing me up. Poor girl, I just felt so bad for her. You can just tell she was just starting her journey as a sales associate at one of the biggest off-price retail stores across America.

My kids and I went in to purchase some gifts for Father’s Day and we spent a total of $79.25. I remember because of two different reasons, 1 )I was thrilled that I was just under my budget of $80 (cha-ching!) and 2) I paid the cashier with four twenty-dollar bills and my change was a simple seventy-five cents or so I thought. For some reason, my cashier thought my change should’ve been three dollars and forty cents. Why you ask? I asked myself the same question. Consequently, my cashier had failed to punch the amount of cash received into her register!!!! Shit!!! PANIC!!! That means it was up to her to calculate my change off the top of her noggin, instead of relying on a computer to do the math for her. That’s okay she can just subtract my total from what I paid with and Ta-Da I would get my seventy-five cents change and take our happy butts home…..At least that’s what I was thinking in my head, but apparently not my cashier. While she stands there with a “what did I wear yesterday” face trying to figure out that my change is 3 quarters….. SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS! SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS! Is what I’m kicking and screaming in my head. That’s all she had to give me back, that’s it. I don’t understand why this young, poor girl could not figure this out. I don’t understand why she got so flustered that “I” had to tell her how much change I should get back in order to get the correct amount of change back. Lucky for her, I was a patient and honest customer, otherwise her cash register would have been short at the end of the night. Meanwhile, her manager is just standing there and does absolutely nothing about it. Can you not see that your cashier cannot do math…why a well-known retail store like TJMaxx would hire someone so incompetent to handle their financial transactions beats me. Is basic arithmetic not one of the job requirements? Do you not verify this before hiring them as your cashier? Don’t get me wrong I believe everyone deserves a chance, but like I stated before not everyone is an honest person. The next customer in line may be the one to take advantage of her.

Since my curiosity would not leave me alone, I decided to look up what qualifications were required to work as a store associate or merchandise associate as they title it, at TJMaxx…and this is what I found:

Responsibilities: • Role models established customer experience practices with internal and external customers • Supports and embodies a positive store culture through honesty, integrity, and respect • Accurately rings customer purchases/returns and counts change back to customer according to established operating procedures • Promotes credit and loyalty programs during customer interactions and so much more…….

So its obviously one of the requirements, but how did she get hired? I don’t know, I don’t understand anything anymore. Maybe she was just having a bad day, maybe she found me so attractive that I made her nervous, who knows. What I do know is that TJMaxx needs to change their hiring process because there are many qualified individuals out there looking for work, who are better at math, with great customer service skills (ME), who cannot even land an interview. I hope they don’t make preferences over schedule flexibility and hire the individuals that have the most flexibility instead of the most qualified.

I am not sorry if you find my material offensive. This is merely insight to our world today and it needs to be said. This is a scenario that relates to many businesses, not just TJMaxx. I have seen it first-hand as an assisting manager. I would make suggestions as to who we should call in for an interview, based on both qualifications and flexibility. My supervisor on the other hand, was less worried about qualifications and more worried about schedule coverage.

Have you missed out on a job that you felt were qualified for because you lacked schedule flexibility? Only to find out that it was given to someone you know, less qualified? Have you ever been to a store, restaurant, or any place of business where you were taken back by an employee’s lack of skills? Share you story, it may help out the next reader behind you.