Tired and Worried

I am tired of having to follow extra rules to keep my coworkers, family, and customers safe… when there are so many who don’t seem to give a damn about anyone but themselves. This is NOT “the flu”. Science understands the flu and how it attacks the human system. Right now, they still don’t fully understand Covid19. And it took twenty years to identify the virus that causes the flu and develop effective inoculations for it.

I am worried about my mental health. This time of year, I am usually looking at my calendar with anticipation, because nearly every weekend would have some event that would have me outside. This year, everything has been canceled. I can walk the trails at Five Rivers, but I can’t go see the animals and displays in the buildings.

And I am worried about many of my customers, coworkers, and friends. They are Black, Hispanic, white and Asian… male and female. Some of them are homosexual. I told K, who is both Black and a Queen, that I am worried about him. This area is not always the quietest, open-minded of places.

A friend and I were discussing police. We both know many officers personally. C said she thought they were all good people. I told her I knew a few that I would trust with my life: I am a white female. But I would not be too surprised to learn a few of them had used excessive force on people who do not look, speak, dress or believe as they do.

I am also sick of the useless piece of lying shit sitting in the White House, who has proven time and time again he can’t handle leadership. He hasn’t LED.

And I thought the world was going mad when I started this blog? It’s spiralling out of control.

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Flag Day 2020

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

T0o bad that it never really HAS been true, “with liberty and justice for all”. If it had been, Native Americans wouldn’t have been rounded up, forced onto reservations, and had their languages, spiritual beliefs, and cultures stripped from them. Africans would never have been bought and sold like cattle. Women wouldn’t have had to fight for the right to vote. Japanese Americans wouldn’t have been rounded up and put in internment camps. People fleeing countries they believe to be worse than ours wouldn’t be separated from their children, and all of them caged.

This country was founded on a lot of good ideas. Too bad the reality still falls so very short of the mark.

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Memorial Day 2020

No long speeches; no visiting dignitaries; no formal rites at all… but the fire department was still there with the big flag, the VFW Honor Guard was there to fire off the salute, the bell of the USS Saratoga was still rung, and Mom and I still went to see Dad and “Billy Blue”… the unknown NY Civil War soldier brought home after over a century in an unmarked grave in the south.

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Summer Chores and Advancing Age (and the art of being a bit stupid)

Warm. wet springs mean high grass before I get a chance to start mowing. It doesn’t help when I didn’t drain the oil from the lawnmower last fall, and I could not get the thing to start last weekend, when I wanted to tackle the lawns. It also means the front hedge looks like something out of “Sleeping Beauty” by the time I get around to facing that. Luckily, the clippers didn’t give me a hassle, and I managed to tame the hedge rather quickly last week.

So, the Brother took the mower to get it fixed. I had to do SOMETHING about the grass and weeds around my ankles and knees…. so I’ve been using the strimmer. Which is supposed to have a 2 hour battery… yeah, not with the workout it’s been getting today. 15 minutes, it over-heats; have to let it cool down about 20 minutes, then charge it for about half an hour. So far, I have managed to get the front looking half-way decent, the sides of the house clear, and part of the outside lawn (around the stop sign, the pole wire, and the gate). My arms are shaking.

Someone remind me why I ever thought this was ‘fun’?

Actually, I don’t usually mind doing it. I should do more of it. I’m lazy, and I know it. But there is a sense of accomplishment when the place looks nice.

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Coronavirus Part 3… or Maybe Not

I keep telling myself than humankind has a lot to be said for it. We have all the advances in the sciences, in literature, in complex communications, art, music…

and I am still looking at the fact that, as a species, we are the most evil lifeform to walk the face of this planet.

During the madness surrounding this pandemic, I have seen hope and joy shared and people coming together to try to lighten each other’s spirits and loads. I have ALSO seen the worst aspects of human nature: one of our cashiers had her wallet stolen as she was shopping after her shift today; one of our managers stopped someone trying to just walk out with a cartload of energy drinks and alcohol; the delusional old bitch that I refused to wait on last week was back in my line today, still spewing her ignorance; a few people I consider good, intelligent people telling me I don’t have a right to condemn or criticize Trump for the way he has and is handling things (MIS-handling things, people! For the love of the gods, OPEN YOUR EYES!)

There are at least twelve members of my extended family currently working in medical professions, mostly RNs. Tell one of THEM things aren’t as bad as all that, and that we don’t need social distancing. You want to bitch at me because you have to wait TWO MINUTES TOPS while I clean down my register between customers? Go tell someone who will listen. My hands are red and chapped from the cleaner, and it isn’t me I am worried about here; it is the rest of my customers, and my mother at home, and my co-workers. Pissed because you can’t hang with your friends, getting drunk and acting like total idiots because you’re so damn convinced YOU won’t get it? Stop being such SELFISH FUCKING MORONS. I don’t care if YOU get it. I don’t want your parents, grandparents, younger siblings, etc..etc… getting it from you!

I am tired, and disgusted by certain politicians, and buoyed by some of the brighter lights around me. And I miss hugs. I can’t hug my mom, my husband, my daughter, my friends, my co-workers, my favorite customers…. not until we manage to stop Covid 19 and get our world back.

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Coronavirus Part 2

The state of New York is closer to a total lockdown… all non-essential workers are to stay home. Guess what? We in the grocery stores are considered essential workers. So much so, the company I work for is giving all hourly employees a temporary raise for the duration of the crisis. People have to eat, and need cleaning supplies. Truckers, warehouse personnel, gas station attendants, and probably convenience store clerks are all in the front ranks, as well. Right now, we seem to be almost as important as medical staff and emergency responders. Don’t know how I feel about that.

I DO know how I feel about the countless selfish little pricks who refuse to cancel Spring Break plans and continue to party hard in large groups. They don’t care if they get sick. Apparently, they don’t care if they end up giving this potentially deadly disease to other family members or friends, either. How are those little assholes going to feel when it is their grandparent, parent, younger sibling or immune-compromised friend hospitalized or DEAD, because THEY needed to party in a high risk manner? Common human decency… I can’t say it doesn’t exist any more, because I have been seeing it all around me all week. 

There are teens and college students  running errands for elderly family members and neighbors; school bus drivers delivering breakfasts and lunches to children stuck at home during all of this; my coworkers busting ass to make sure people can find what they need in the store, and get out in a timely, safe manner; some of us are trying to keep people’s spirits up through humor and compassion. I cannot hug any of my frightened elderly customers right now, but I can listen and talk, and let them know they aren’t alone.  R, an aspiring voice actor, has been using different voices with every customer, with wacky comments, to get them to laugh or at least roll their eyes and relax for a moment or two in time. A customer this morning said “We need to spread the love!” to which I replied “Just not the germs!”


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Coronavirus Pandemic, Panic, and Paper Products

Pandemic: Adj. (pertaining to disease) prevalent in an entire country or the world.
So, yes, Coronavirus is a pandemic. Hardly the only one, but it is the newest to hit the radar of public awareness. In many ways, it is similar to the flu: dry cough, high fever, muscle ache. It attacks the respiratory system. the CDC and WHO have advised staying out of crowded conditions, getting tested if you have been exposed to the virus, keeping hydrated, and washing your hands…A LOT. CDC has said you should be prepared for a 14 day quarantine: meds, food, ect.. on hand. Colleges, lower schools, concerts, sporting events etc… have been canceled to try to prevent or at least slow the spread rate. 

Okay, so far, that all makes sense and is fairly straightforward. Personally, I believe you should ALWAYS have two weeks of supplies on hand, if at all possible.

But people seem incapable of handling the mere IDEA of such occurrences. I work in a grocery store. In the past few days, we have been crowded, wiped out, and witnessed some of the stupidest (IMO) responses to what is going on. People are stockpiling far more than they need for two weeks. Store shelves are emptied almost as fast as they are being stocked. (A family of TWELVE shouldn’t need 3 or 4 24-count packs of toilet paper for two weeks! That’s like 6 rolls PER DAY!) We had one person try to walk off with an open bottle of hand sanitizer that is kept in our pharmacy for employees there… you know, the people who deal with people on medications on a daily basis, and really need the hygiene ro protect their customers and themselves?

My mother and I, our neighbor T and my friend K all tend to do our regular shopping early on Saturday mornings, because we have other things to do later in the day, and three of us still work. Knowing what it’s been like, I suggested to Mom we go a little earlier today. We got to the store about 6:45 this morning… and the lot was already half full. The night cashier was already on over-time, and she and the first cashier in this morning had lines like we tend only to have right before a major holiday. I didn’t have a big list, but half of what I had on it, I couldn’t get, because we were sold out. They opened the deli counter early. By the time I was ready to cash out, both supervisors had arrived and were on register, and one of the 4-unit EZ scans was opened. (I used the EZ scan). I knew Mom had more shopping to do. So, I asked the supervisors if they wanted me to punch in for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and help with the lines. I couldn’t bear the see them so hammered! They were glad to have me. I never turned on my light; never ‘officially” opened the line, but I still managed to ring out about fifteen orders (including both K and T) I know they sent out an SOS to our FES and CSM, and I hope there was more help coming… I couldn’t stay any longer, and the night cashier also had to leave to get to her other job. There are huge areas of empty shelves: paper goods, cleaning products, meat, pasta…. and by this afternoon, I imagine there will be no eggs, milk, soup, rice, or bread left.

This isn’t Armageddon people!

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New York State Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

We’ve been talking about this since before Christmas. It was passed. It has been coming since BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Yet, as much as the news agencies have been covering it, as much as we cashiers in various stores have been talking about it, telling our customers….

We still have people who are complaining about it; claim they hadn’t heard about it; claiming it isn’t going to happen.

It IS happening, whether you like it or not. It HAS been discussed and mentioned all over the place. And we need it. Don’t believe me?

These pictures were all taken RIGHT OUTSIDE my store. The bags didn’t even make it into customer’s cars? But there’s not a problem?

Recycling helps, but it can only help so much… and only if people actually do it. From the state of alot of highway ditches, not everyone does.

We all need to do our part to take care of our planet. It’s the only one we have, and we treat her like she doesn’t matter. WAKE UP PEOPLE! We lose the clean air and clean water; we lose the wildlife, the flora and fauna…. we lose ourselves. Not just spiritually, but literally.

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New Product Review

So, Thomas’ has a new item on the shelves: Pick Me Ups/ soft baked oatmeal squares. Since my favorite store had them on sale, ant they had coupons to boot, Mom and I grabbed them this morning. So far, I’ve only seen two flavors: Trail Mix and Chocolate Chip. I got the Trail Mix; Mom got the chocolate chip. I am always looking for snacks that aren’t going to mess with my health issues. Well, these shouldn’t. There’s no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup. 13g of whole grains, 6g of fiber. The individual servings are a little over an ounce. But ya know what? That was enough. And the Trail Mix, which includes pumpkin seeds, cranberries, chocolate chips and sunflower seeds, ALSO took care of the sweet tooth. I’m good now for another few hours.

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Guardian Angel Working Over-Time

Seven hours later, and I still get shaky thinking about it.

On my way to work about 10:30 this morning, I was heading into an intersection a few blocks from my house. I had the green light.

Something told me to slow down; to stop. Even though I had the green light, and all the south-bound traffic I could see was stopped for their red light. My Guardian Angel (pretty sure it was my dad) was watching over me. A car northbound blew right through the light, about a half a foot in front of my car. Had I NOT stopped…. I’d probably be dead, that driver would probably be dead, and the driver of the truck stopped in the southbound lane might have been injured.

I was shaking then; I was in tears by the time I reached the store. I told L and J what happened. I really wasn’t ready to deal with the public at that point. I had time for a smoke before my shift started. It’s Valentine’s Day…. they really couldn’t afford not to have me on register, and I really can’t afford to lose a shift. So, I had a smoke, took a migraine pill (believe me, one was starting!) and punched in.

I am still sore from tensing up when I realised what almost happened. Thanks Daddy, for watching out for me now like you always have.

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