Many things on my mind

One of the biggest right now has to do with online interactions.  Specifically the category of cyber bulling.

I know the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear that term is teenagers.  But I am here to remind us all that it is not just teens that are on the receiving end of this bad behavior.  There are many adults who participate.  Both those who bully and those who are bullied.

I would like to extend this invitation to everyone:  Please do not bully.  Not in virtual reality, not in real-life reality either.

Let us just get along.  If you do not wish to interact with an individual, just do not do it.  There is no need or benefit in going up to them and specifically ignoring them, or acting like they do not exist.  When a person is standing next to you and you believe they do not exist, does that mean you do not exist either?  Likewise, going into a person’s space on the internet (even if it is simply where the person may see it) and talking about them, or saying rude things to them is bullying.  Do not do it! 

Public versus private.  If you are planning or simply talking about private events, do it privately!  Or in the least do not be offended when “public” people ask for details because it looks like a fun thing. *

I believe one of the biggest reasons people do this on the internet is they don’t see it as real.  People who if you asked them in person if they are a bully would tell you they are not.  In person they probably would not perform the actions that hurt.  Why then does s/he feel differently about typing bullying words?  I do not know the reason, nor do I want to dwell on that, I am tired of trying to find out. 

This is why my online presence has been very scarce for the last months.  Do not ask details, I will not share names, I likely will not even tell the story with names changed.  This is part of my resolve to choose to not be offended any more.  And, yes, I do recognize that being offended is a choice; even if a person intends to offend mee I still can choose not to be offended.  I am human and probably will find offense at times, but I am working on decreasing this occurrence.

Just let’s remember what we do online is the same as going into another person’s home and saying/doing these things.  It stirs the same feelings in your own self.  The biggest difference is that in person, you can use body language and tone of voice.  When a person reads a message, it is open to interpretation based on what mood they are in, health, what they were just doing, etc.  Personally I do not like feeling like a “friend” has come to my home and started being rude, It would make mee want to kick them out.  So essentially that is what happened, I logged out and kicked them out of my personal space. 

Then, one day I was talking to a friend, she noticed I had not been online in a while (we were talking about facebook specifically) and asked if I was okay.  This is a real friend.  In the course of the conversation she asked if I missed it.  I understood the question to be about missing facebook.  I said that honestly no I do not.  As I have reflected on that conversation it occurs to mee that perhaps she was asking if I missed people.  I suddenly realized that while I kicked out the bullies, I also kicked out the not-bullies.  And I found that I missed out on a lot of great things.  (Things that I would know if I were “present” in the conversations.  I know some people have sent mee info/messages on facebook.  I know because you have told mee to go look and reply.  Slowly I think I will get to them.) So do I miss facebook?  Not necessarily.

Do I miss people?  Yes!  The positive ones.  Those who uplift, and bring a smile to my face.  I miss the fun conversations that I am sure have taken place among my siblings and cousins.  I miss being able to laugh with friends when they laugh or being able to shed a tear when a friend relates bad news.  The years and miles have separated many people.  The internet offers to be a gap connector.  Though the distance is great, we can enter each other’s’ homes and share our lives.  That is why I still have hope.

So, If you are worried that you are a bully, step back read what you type (listen to what you say) and think about how that would sound/feel if directed at (or excluded) you.  Only you can know your intentions.  If you can better/more clearly/less offensively state something, try.  Let us all work together to become a better society.  I know we can do it together.

 

* This brings up another point:  Stop whining because “Amy” and “Sally” are friends and hang out.  If you want to do things with Amy, invite her to get together, instead of crying because she invited Sally.  Do you want a friend that only whines and tries to make you feel bad?  I most certainly do not, I cannot think of anyone who does.  And even if a person does want that, do you really want to choose that kind of negativity for your life, or your family’s life?  I do not.

Friends are good to have.  They are great to have.  We can learn from each other.  We can have fun together.  And people can have friends that are other people.  Just because I enjoy walking with one friend and cooking with another, does not mean I can’t do something else with yet another person.  No one can be everybody’s everything.

 

Quick rant

So, not that I want to get negative on here or anything, but I think I will for a few minutes.

Our water bill is due the same day each month (this is not the negative part).  I most of the time remember when that day comes up.  Not always though, sometimes the date occurs to mee a few minutes before the office closes.  Today was one of those days.  We made it over in time, so no late fees charged. Yay!!!

The electric/gas bill on the other hand cannot pick a  regular day to be due (this is the infuriating part).  I never know what day of the month it will be from month to month, It gets moved around and on occasion has left us with the bill being due twice in one month.  It does not happen often, but it has happened.  I liked it when it was due about a week after the water bill was due, and I had a good shot at remembering to get them both paid on time.  This last one arrived and I looked at the bill, and saw “15” of the month.  Well, when it occurred to mee this afternoon that today is the 15th, I grabbed the bills and set out to pay them, only to realize that when I saw the “15” it was really a “12!”  Great I get to pay a late fee, and it is no where near another bill due date for us to be able to remember to pay it on time.  And, it gets even worse knowing that the bill does not get printed the same time each month, so there is no way to know that it will be arriving in the mail at a set time either.

How rude!

Not bill related, but while I am on the whining kick…. We went to St Louis a few weekends ago* and had a couple of interesting retail experiences.

The first experience: we went to the customer service counter and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited some more.  Finally, we walked over to one of 4-8 employees, standing around, not helping anyone.  We asked if that person would be able to help us out.  She said she would page the customer service representative to the counter and told us to walk over there.  We did as we were asked (told).  We waited another at least five minutes, after the page was made.  We saw the form sitting on the counter that we would need to fill out; we decided to be proactive and start filling out the form.  We figured if it took that long just to get a person to help us, we would be sitting “forever” waiting to get the paperwork going.  As I was filling in the last part of the form, we saw the customer service representative walk up to the counter.  Yay, we were going to be assisted.  Not!  Another customer that walked in the door at the same time that the employee walked up to the counter was asked if she needed any help.  (In my head: “Are you ——- kidding mee?”)  CSR got on the computer and looked up some information for her and then walked away from the counter, still not acknowledging our presence, despite the page being for us and we had clearly been sitting there for quite a while, with no assistance.  We almost walked out.  At that time, the CSR returned to the desk and asked if we had been helped.  No, that is why we were still sitting and waiting for her.  She took our paperwork, typed on the computer** and got us on our way.  I was a bit surprised that they had her as the CSR, not only for her inability to be helpful, but in regards to her hygiene.  She had what looked like left-over chewing tobacco wedged in her teeth (she was not “chewing” at this time), and her finger nails were caked with stuff under them.  I only hope it was not contagious, since she was after-all touching lots of things other people would purchase and take home.  If I wasn’t ready to walk out while waiting for someone to help us, or after the CSR attended a customer that had just walked in the door instead of the people who were waiting and had had her paged (us), then the lack of cleanliness was almost enough to make mee do it.  But I was feeling stubborn-ish and did not want to let my waiting be in vain.

The second experience:  I was in need of locating a new brassier.  I knew the size and style, I just needed to find one.  Because this was a positive experience, I don’t mind telling the name of the place, the Motherhood Outlet Store.  I found the item, I walked up to the cashier and she asked if I had tried it on first.  I told her that I had not, since I was just at another place and found the item same style and size and tried it on, and it fit.  She encouraged mee to try it on anyhow.  And because we had just this summer given a seminar on fashion (of all things we could have talked about), and in the presentation we gave strong instructions to always try on clothes you will buy, I decided I should try it on.  I did, and it did not fit.  She told us that the clothes they have marked a specific way tend to have something wrong with them, sometimes it is a rip or a stain, and sometimes it is simply mislabeled.  This time it was mislabeled, or miss-sewn, it was not a “uniform” or “symmetrical” fit.  So, while we were unable to make our purchase there, we would gladly return there if the opportunity/need arose.

As we walked out of there we reflected on how the two experiences were so different, and how we would be much more inclined to return to the second store with ease, and be very hesitant to even step back into the first.  We have considered, yet have not done this, writing letters to the head quarters for each of the stores telling our experiences and telling them why or why not would we be willing to return.


* I will post more about that soon-ish (I love that ending “-ish”)
** Much more better is that she mistyped part of the info, so we had to figure it out when we got home from the trip

I guess it is time to get serious about finishing the “unpacking business”

31 weeks down and theoretically 9 to go.  Here is a picture from today:

2010 10 05 belly shot

A great big “Thank you!” to Abby and her friend(s) for the maternity clothes.  It is nice to have warmer things to wear as the season is changing.

Let’s see, I get asked all the time how I am feeling…?  I am feeling great.  I get heart burn.  I often feel like I am starving (even though I am not).  I am tired.  I can’t sleep (unless I build a sleeping tower or nest out of ten pillows).  I pee a lot.  I feel Braxton Hicks.  And yet none of that makes this a bad experience.  And over-all I really do feel great.  These things are all intriguing to mee, I am more curious about why these things happen, and I enjoy studying them.  I have felt hiccups from Copyright, not everyday, but a number of times, it is pretty cool in my opinion.  I have been told not to sneeze anymore unless I am sitting in the restroom.  I still get out and walk to keep it up.  Most days I get in eight cups of water.  I think I may need to figure out shoes that do not require tying, or bending over, but I am holding out as long as I can.  I am now scheduled to go to the doctor every two weeks.  And two weeks ago I was told that I have gained all the weight he would like for mee to gain, there were tears, and a hug and reassurance that it will be okay, and it is common for women who lost significant weight prior to pregnancy, and while I really don’t want to stress about it, I do.  (and it appears I like run-on sentences…go figure)  Also, I am refusing to waddle, when I feel like my body is starting, I pause and re-balance myself, and then continue walking.  I am more than willing to mosey, however.

I guess that is the update for now.  We have been keeping busy and trying to stay out of trouble.

There is hope for this world yet

I was running some errands, and needed to get some salsa.  Jacob loves salsa and we were out of it.  I went to get the White Corn and Black Bean salsa because he likes it.  Today, it was on the top shelf, and pushed all the way back.  I am short.  I stood on the tips of my toes, and reached.  I could not even touch a jar.  So I took a few steps back to survey the scene.  Would the bottom shelf or two be sturdy enough to hold mee?  How much would I get hurt if it would not hold mee?  Does Jacob really need salsa?

At this point another shopper man came over and asked if I would like some assistance.  I admitted it would be great.  He got on his toes (also not that tall).  Reached and pulled down the first jar he could get.  It was covered in dried/sticky salsa.  He offered to get mee a clean one.  I appreciate that even people who don’t know mee also want clean products.  He asked if there was anything else I needed.  I told him there was not and thanked him.  The teenage boy with him was “patient,” his body language indicated that this is a regular occurrence with his dad(?).  It made mee tear up as I walked on to find bread.  They were happy tears.  I am so glad to know that people are still willing to help a person they do not know, and (at least by example) are teaching the next generation how to be kind to others.

Thank you kind sir, you are a gentleman!