The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Leaving My Giant

Most people I know who work on the Front End are always looking to leave Giant.
I know very (if any!) people who really enjoy working at Giant. What they do love are most of the customers (unless you work on u scan, then you dislike everyone because computers are the problem, people). I never intended to work there very long, but my *&%$^*( sister-in-law made a snide comment asking if this job was going to "stick." Because I'm a writer, I've been, well, writing. Sporadically. Following through is a challenge for me. I get distracted. I like to do research. I have binders full of research. It's like I have my own University. My education is paid for by grants from my husband (the third one, the one I refuse to take his last name for fear of jinxing it since husbands last as long with me like a meat bone lasts with a hungry dog.
Anyway. Because my in law dropped her snide remark, I set out to prove her wrong; I lasted through many manager changes, cashier graduating highschool to go to college, crazy holidays seasons and winter storms. A front end manager became sick and died a few months later;easily one of the most likeable of all the managers we've known.
I promised myself this was going to be my last year there. I'd adjusted to life there, the money was okay (but far from great). Working at the front desk was by far the best position I'd worked in since I'd been there. But then, literally, within 3 days, my whole life changed.
Years ago, I'd worked as a store detective - loss prevention agent for Bloomingdale's at the Willow Grove Mall. I worked with a great bunch of people - all have moved on to become cops. It was such a fun job, if not the best. My first morning on the job within 15 minutes of opening,  I spotted someone stealing and from then on, my name had a permanent place on the leader board. I seemed to have a natural talent for spotting shady people, and the fact I fit right in the customers gave me the element of surprise. I looked forward to work everyday. But then my co-workers all moved to police work, I got divorced, and moved on.
On LIVE PD, Saturday the 14th, they were following a woman that had "allegedly" shoplifted 3 bags worth of stolen items. As time was running out on the show, I was worried the show would end without being able to see the conclusion of the Walmart thief. I was so excited. And when they apprehended her, I was relieved.
Sunday, I was working at Giant when the manager began noticing someone stealing items from bath/beauty area. His nickname for me is "Mrs. Columbo" because I have an eye for shoplifters and have prevented or stopped quite a few. "Mrs. Columbo - get ready to call the cops." He pointed rolled up papers at me like a baton and then said, "Come with me."
Well, my blood was flowing, my boring day turned into an important day. YES! We were on the hunt. All of the managers were in on it and, in the end, the would be shady 'shopper' dumped the goods and left, which was technically a win.
After that incident, I walked back to the service desk and between the Walmart job on Live PD, the incident at the store, I knew I was wasting my time at the front desk.
In fact, a few weeks prior, I'd sat down with my manager and told him I was tired of all the shady customers I was seeing at the front desk.
The "lost receipt" on this empty bag of frozen shrimp that tasted bad (yet they kept eating it!). Or the people that return canned items from food banks (food that we don't even carry). My boss told me these shady customers were built in to the system, and that I shouldn't let it bother me so much.
But it does.
I grew up with parents trying to teach me from right and wrong.
As a teenager, movies, songs, books, encouraged readers/watchers/listeners to rebel against tradition. And lately, it seems everything is backwards and growing even more so: criminals have excuses declare themselves victims, good people are painted as evil people.
Most of my customers at the front desk were wonderful, honest people, but those shady people frustrated me.
On Monday I was supposed to try a 2 hour cake frosting class at Giant. But I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to go back to bakery. And after watching that Walmart job on LIVE PD and our little caper on Sunday, I did something I rarely do. I called and said I wasn't going to take the class after all. And then I used those hours I would have been working to apply to a few loss prevention jobs. My computer wasn't working, but I didn't give up, I used my husbands computer to apply. Within 15 minutes I received a phone call from one of the companies (one of best in asset protection in the business). Interview on Wednesday, luck was with me, the second manager was there so I was able to have my second interview, and was hired.
It was all I could do not to turn cartwheels on my way out the door. (Because I'd have ended up in the hospital and unable to work both jobs!)
The next week I'd taken off vacation (months prior as my family was shore-bound), so, in essence, I had three more shifts and at Giant and I was done.
It's amazing how life can change for the better in a matter of days. I'm frustrated I didn't figure out where I belonged sooner.
No matter where you are, if you're stuck in a rut, pay attention to things that happen around you, take action, and never give up hope!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Why I'm Not Leaving Facebook or Twitter

 I'm not leaving Facebook (or Twitter) even though they are very frustrating to me, but for a different reason than most people.

Why I dislike Twitter and FB Google and Youtube is because they do discriminate and try to influence politically. However, the people they haven't banned or flagged unjustly (Kathy Griffin stands with a bloody head of Trump and remains on Twitter. Milo is mildly suggestive (not even a quarter as politically incorrect as rap stars, sports stars, and leftist) and he is banned.  

However, Twitter, for me, is a great resource in news as it happens BEFORE any major outlets are reporting. Often there will be authentic tweets from people who are live at the scene unwittingly. But you have to also be aware that there are sometimes people planted specifically to make a scene appear worse than it is or who have planned the "spontaneous event." 

Twitter often elevates events they want featured, but Facebook is the real villain here when it comes to controlling the news you see.

I've found many people I wouldn't have found without these social media outlets. Andrew Breitbart, Dave Rubin, Milo, Rich Zeoli, Dr. Jordan Peterson (to name a few).

Facebook keeps me connected with friends and family I don't see because (I hate driving, my party days are mostly behind me, and also, I hate driving).

Social media keeps me connected with small towns around me who have accounts because I don't read the newspapers any longer because they too, are political in nature and seldom give both sides of the story.


A) If you're leaving Facebook because you're concerned about them using your info, then do not shop at Giant Grocery, Wegmans, Amazon, or any corporate retail place. Do not use a credit card. And do not use a bank (so far, my credit union seems to be keeping my info private).

B) Believe half of what you see from people you don't know. And 75% from people you do know. Not everyone's life is perfect all the time, and the 75% complainers probably have little outlet or like the attention from complaining (headache today, runny nose, can't sleep, pot holes).

I respect when people elect not to shop until a company changes or if they don't agree with company values.

But I also know if all dissenting voices leave - then there really is no "free speech" and it will be more difficult to see all sides and make rational choices (which is what I do when I read facebooks 'trending' news and compare it with a variety of news outlets).

I've been censored by Twitter and one time I was tossed off facebook. I have, at times, allowed the left voices to censor my speech. And it's frustrating. I haven't been altogether banned yet, and sometimes I waver about "what" and "if" I'm ever banned.

Because I do believe it is up to the business to choose who they do business with. However, what is disturbing to me is that these social media CEO's preach tolerance and diversity, but they don't practice it.

For me, trust is the biggest issue facing our country; if you can't trust anyone to be who they say they are, then there is no freedom to pursue a career, a talent, a lifestyle. Without trust, you'll constantly be looking over your shoulder, worried, anxious. Life is chaotic enough with natural disasters and sickness. There needs to be basic rules and they should be followed, not followed selectively.

And that is why I'm not giving up on social media.
I may be dingy or have many 'blonde moments' but I did recognize that being on the internet met being "exposed."

I just never thought I'd be vilified for having a 'wrong' or 'different' opinion by the very people that claimed to be in favor of diversity and freedom.  

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Victimhood as Power

Often we wonder why people continue down the same path and deal with the same toxic situations. Sometimes people are trying to recover, it just takes a long time. However, there are some people who don't want to grow, they don't want to understand why they make the same mistakes, and that's because their power comes from their whinging and  complaining.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Chicago Way (Obama's Power Play)

Key to understanding the unraveling of Obama's Power at Any Cost, American Be Damned, is an article by Michael Gecan - who worked as a community activists in Chicago and understands first hand the manipulation of the Obama administration:

The first quarter of the Obama administration is finally over. The key issue was not health care, not terrorism, not jobs. Nor was it the promise of “transformational change” that permeated the presidential campaign. The key issue was power—how the power of Washington’s political culture would respond to the power of the Chicago political culture imported by the Obama team.
When the media mentioned the administration’s “Chicago tactics” or when opponents complained that the White House staff behaved like “Chicago pols,” they were saying that the Obama team could be aggressive, tough, even mean.
That mild and broad critique missed the more important features of the Chicago way of doing politics: an approach that translated brilliantly in the presidential campaign and miserably after the inauguration. Here are those features—as I’ve observed them for 50 years, first as a young person growing up in a blue-collar Chicago neighborhood, then as an organizer in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere—and a look at how Washington has responded to their presence.

1)  The Man on Five. The mayor’s office in Chicago is on the fifth floor of City Hall. The Man on Five is the hub, center, source of all good, generator of all punishment. This has nothing to do with charisma. The two mayors named Daley and most other machine mayors have had little personal pizzazz, no speaking skills, and a more transactional than transformational approach. Decade after decade, they have methodically consolidated and centralized power and influence. There is no counterweight—no House of Representatives, no Senate, no independent committee chairs. The City Council is a vaudeville show directed by the mayor. His power is unilateral, one-way, top-down. The key White House staff—Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett—inhaled this culture and carried it with them to Washington.

2)  Control is God. The organizing principle in the Chicago political culture is control—control of who gets to the Man on Five and who doesn’t, control of how a bill or event burnishes the mayor’s myth or doesn’t, control of who runs for other offices and who doesn’t. The mortal sin of this culture is independence based in any value higher than loyalty to the Mayor.

3)  Elections Mean Everything. The one thing that the political machine excels at is managing the electoral process from start to finish. Selecting and grooming candidates. Buying or scaring off reformers. Marshaling election lawyers to knock out other candidates’ petitions. Using only paid public employees to work (illegally, but with almost no chance of being caught and prosecuted because of the care taken to avoid detection) in campaigns and on election day. Filling vacancies produced by indictments and convictions of insiders with even tighter insiders. Nobody does it better. This is why the presidential campaign did so well in caucus states and less well in those with open elections: the machine thrives on narrow or limited voting situations.

4)  Other People’s Money. The Chicago political culture is run by families or tribes—Daleys, Strogers, Madigans, Mells, Jacksons, and others—that have been on the public payroll for as long as 85 years. Most members of these tribes have never earned a dollar in the private or nonprofit sectors. They have grown accustomed to drawing their salaries from public agencies, sequestering and spending tax dollars, and using their public positions to grow even richer as lawyers and consultants to private interests who need public favors, ultimately drawing pay for their private efforts from the public coffers. Back in Illinois, leaders of both parties—Democrats in the northern part of the state, Republicans in the suburbs and central parts of the state—have grown up in this culture, reinforced it, and prospered because of it. They take other people’s money for granted the way most people take oxygen for granted. Suddenly, the Chicago cohort finds itself surrounded by an opposition party and moderates within their own party who come from states and regions where there is no such sense of entitlement.
Does all this add up to the end of this administration, as some have suggested? Not at all. I’d argue this could mean that the administration, having squandered the first quarter, is finally ready to play.
But first it would have to draft some new players, remove most of the Chicago crowd and shed many of the political habits developed in a machine political environment.
Then it would have to stop playing by the rules set by the permanent elite in Washington and approach the nation’s core concerns in a very different way.
The administration’s proposal to create a new federal agency to hold financial institutions accountable is an excellent example of not doing things differently. It plays right into the hands of the Washington political and bureaucratic establishment. Until the late 1970s, the United States capped interest rates at 9 percent in most circumstances, and banks were still profitable. Since then, the economy has operated without fiscal speed limits. Reestablishing those limits on credit cards, payday loans, and other predatory credit vehicles would do more for the majority of Americans than another new agency or several thousand pages of regulations. The appeal for this basic restraint has been heard even by titans of finance: the CEO of Citigroup surprised the financial industry by recently agreeing that a cap on interest rates, with certain conditions, would be possible.

 As presently constituted, the White House cannot undertake these sorts of necessary and far-reaching initiatives. The president packed his staff with those who grew up in the unique political culture of Chicago and Cook County, one of the last remaining islands of machine domination in the nation. When the machine went to Washington, it did what it has always done and what worked back home: try to crush or co-opt opponents, project and promote the image of a mythic leader, tightly control the media, and rely on those who helped win the election. The disarray that the administration finds itself in after its first year is a direct result of the failure of this culture to function under new circumstances.
Different players, with a different approach, can tackle the lingering and deepening problems that plague huge numbers of Americans. These Americans have a mind to work and are waiting to support and lead effective action.
After all, power, properly understood, is still just that: the ability to act.

Related: Obama stacks Department of Justice with cronies from elite law office; not with Justice as goal, but with blackmail.

Monday, January 1, 2018

No Status, No Power, No Problem!

So often I hear people complain they didn't get accolades or awards. Perhaps they didn't get them because they don't deserve them. Do they ever stop to consider that they might have a flaw? 

Or perhaps you're frustrated that people at work who are slugs remain slugs while you get crapped on - but didn't you complain about this from the beginning; that the job was about as healthy for your sense of well being as caramel corn ice cream on top of waffles is for a diabetic. 

It's like dating a controlling, cheating, mentally abusive rat; you knew in your gut who this person was, but with YOU, with YOUR LOVE, you would cure him of his wicked ways. It's never going to happen. Benn there. Done that. Escaped. 

Sometimes being a good person, or trying to do the right thing, sometimes, it doesn't come with raise, or a promotion or a plaque. 

Every time I feel defeated or wonder why I bother; I remember this from Rose Wilder Lane; to sum it up in case you have to get back to your Instagram and Snapchat, the sum of it is: No one knew who risked his life, and the life of his family in order to stand up against the British as they made their way to Boston. This passage just about sums it up:

"No one knows who began the American Revolution.  Only his neighbors ever knew him, and no one now remembers any of them. He was an unknown man, an individual, the only force that can ever defend freedom."

Many people have gone before us, many nameless, faceless, people. They have risked life, love, money - to do the right thing. We may not always get recognized, and probably, most of us won't. But don't go through life expecting everything to work out, especially if you are not willing to take a hard look at who you are, and won't venture out of your comfort zone. 

And when all else fails: DILLY DILLY!

 From THE DISCOVERY OF FREEDOM: Man's Struggle Against Authority by Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of, and secretary to, Laura Ingalls Wilder,

"And when at last this rebellion compelled the British Government to use the only power that any Government has -- force, used with general consent -- and British troops moved into Boston to restore order, Americans did not consent.  They stood up and fought the British Regulars.
     "One man began that war.  And who knows his name?
     "He was a farmer, asleep in his bed, when someone pounded on his door and shouted in the night, 'The troops are coming!'
     "What could he do against the King's troops?  One man.  If he had been the King, that would have been different; then he could have done great things.  Then he could have set everything to rights, he could have made everyone good and prosperous and happy, he could have changed the course of history.  But he was not a King, not a Royal Governor, not a rich man, not even prosperous, not important at all, not even known outside the neighborhood.  What could he do?  What was the use of his trying to do anything?  One man, even a few men, can not stand against the King's troops.  He had a wife and children to think of; what would become of them, if he acted like a fool?
     "Most men had better sense; most men knew they could do nothing and they stayed in bed, that night in Lexington.  But one man got up.  He put on his clothes and took his gun and went out to meet the King's troops.  He was one man who did not consent to a control which he knew did not exist.
     "The fight on the road to Lexington did not defeat the British troops.  What that man did was to fire a shot heard around the world, and still heard...
     "That shot was the first sound of a common man's voice that the Old World ever heard.  For the first time in all history, an individual spoke, an ordinary man, unknown, unimportant, disregarded, without rank, without power, without influence.
    "Not acting under orders, not led, but standing on his own feet, acting from his own will, responsible, self-controlling, he fired on the King's troops.  He defied a world-empire.
    "The sound of that shot said: Government has no power but force; it can not control any man.
    "No one knows who began the American Revolution.  Only his neighbors ever knew him, and no one now remembers any of them. He was an unknown man, an individual, the only force that can ever defend freedom."