At the Moment, Work Stuff

Will They Accept My Religious Exemption Request?

Now, it’s a waiting game.

I submitted my religious exemption request last week but I’m not holding my breath. A couple of other girls submitted their exemptions about one week before I did and they have heard back ….

DENIED.

I’m not surprised but I am disappointed. I really thought the hospital would use this as an excuse, an olive branch really, to meet us “anti-vaxxers,” though we’re really not anti-vax, we’re anti-COVID vax, and they would meet us halfway.

I am really confused, from a business stand point, why they wouldn’t jump on this opportunity, this chance, to keep people. They have to know they are going to lose a lot of people, all over the hospital and that is going to ultimately overwork the ones left, burning them out and potentially losing more workers before it’s all said and done. Or maybe they are just thinking of ripping the band aid off, get rid of the “anti-science” people, (*eye roll*) and starting over from scratch. Yes, it will be hard for the hospital at first, but they will eventually get fully staffed again and these new people will be vaxxed and ready to go. They will get rid of the trouble makers, I suppose. People like me who dare to defy their authoritarian rule.

At any rate, I haven’t received the dreaded letter in the mail yet, but I’m sure it’s coming this week. I’m predicting it will arrive by Friday as that is what they did this last go around. A strategic move, quite honestly. That way, disgruntled employees can bitch and moan at home as opposed to spreading “gossip” and discontent at work.

We’ll see. Again, I’m not holding my breath. I’m honestly not looking for them to approve it. Especially after reading and researching more about religious exemptions to begin with. I found this bit from a website that is geared toward employers, a guideline, if you will, of how to handle religious exemption requests.

Here’s the bit that caught my eye:

Importantly, the policy should inform employees that the law requires an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause an undue burden on the operations of the employer’s business. For example, an employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs if the accommodation is costly, infringes on other employees’ job rights or benefits, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.

Because the current COVID-19 vaccinations are approved through the emergency authorization only, (though now I wonder if that has changed since the Pfizer vaccine has been approved (*snort*) there may be questions regarding an employer’s ability to mandate the vaccine. However, based on recent federal guidance, particularly the EEOC’s guidance, and court decisions in some jurisdictions, employers are likely on firm legal ground in mandating the vaccine at this point. Operating an interactive accommodation request process is crucial in limiting potential litigation. In furtherance of this, employers should follow these abiding principles:

  • Presume a religious belief to be sincerely held, then be selective and cautious when requesting further verification and documentation. Avoid a fishing expedition to reduce the chances of claims of discrimination, harassment, or intimidation
  • Be cognizant that religious beliefs are not static and are susceptible to change over the course of a person’s life
  • Remember that the fact that an individual is not a frequent observer of his or her faith or had not previously made his or her faith public does not necessarily limit its sincerity
  • An accommodation does not have to be limited to what is requested by the employee. If the accommodation is legitimate and non-retaliatory, there is a wide range of potential accommodations at the employer’s disposal. Should the employee elect not to accept the accommodation offered, and all other alternative accommodations would cause an undue burden, the employer can part ways with the employee

Source

The part I think they are going to focus on is the “compromises workplace safety,” because let’s face it, unvaccinated people are dirty, unclean and unsavory people. (*eye roll*), at least, according to Biden and his administration’s narrative.

(By the way, Biden, from this point forward, shall be called DICK-tator-in-chief on this blog).

They are going to focus on this because unvaccinated people are jeopardizing the other co-workers by putting their health at risk. Which makes zero sense to me as the vaccinated people SHOULD be protected – isn’t that the whole point of being vaccinated? If a person is vaccinated, why would he/she worry about little ole me and my germs? Right? But I guess that’s not how it works because the “vaccine” isn’t all that effective as evidenced by the fact that vaccinated people have been getting the Delta variant and the CDC is already looking toward pushing boosters. In fact, I would argue that we have a Delta variant BECAUSE of the vaccinated. Or, it has spread so quickly because of the vaccinated. But who knows what’s true and what’s false – everyone is lying, or not telling the whole truth so it’s hard to know what’s REALLY going on right now. I’m just looking forward to the day we can look back on this time period and hopefully sort through this mess and learn from our mistakes.

Because, there HAVE been mistakes – it’s just that no one wants to admit to anything right now.

Seriously, WHEN does it end?? How many injectables are they going to force into people before this madness stops? Is this going to be a yearly thing? Like the flu shot? Only with the COVID shots, we won’t be given a choice??

So I was already not really hopeful about the hospital accepting my exemption request to begin with, but what little hope I had was smashed into shards of reality when the DICK-tator-in-chief made his little announcement about losing patience with us little people and declaring this was now a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

The president has exhausted his patience.

He had tried all the incentives and emotional exhortations and even red-white-and-blue appeals to the patriotism that beats in American hearts. Yet, at least in his estimation, not enough people listened: One-fourth of those eligible still have not rolled up their sleeves, bared their arms, and voluntarily taken their COVID shots.

“What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see?” an exasperated Joe Biden asked the unvaccinated on Thursday. “We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot.”

But Biden won’t wait for an answer to his questions. He and his administration are done with the coaxing. Now, the president has picked up the stick by announcing new vaccine mandates.

Employers with more than 100 workers will be required to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or else provide weekly testing for the virus under penalty of stiff fines. Any health care provider that receives federal Medicare or Medicaid dollars must do the same. Anyone boarding a flight must wear a mask or incur a doubled fine, courtesy of the TSA.

How did it come to this? Biden explained not only the need for the sweeping mandates but also said exactly who is to blame. “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he said, “and it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”

He scolded the unvaccinated: “Our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us.” He dared Republican governors to try and stop him: “If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.”

And he changed a course he set long ago.

While president-elect, Biden was asked about mandatory vaccinations just weeks after the first successful vaccine trials were announced. “No, I don’t think it should be mandatory. I wouldn’t demand it be mandatory,” he said in December, adding, “But I would do everything in my power — just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide — I will do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing.”

Source

So yes, the man lies. Consistently. Not that I ever believed a word out of his, or any of his administration’s mouths, to being with, but this just proves he will say and do anything if it furthers his agenda and/or doesn’t get his way. Apparently, us “little people” who aren’t falling lock/stock with his plan are making him lose patience – now he must mandate the damn thing. Which, for me at my hospital, was already mandated, but now everyone else in the country is now worried and anxious about losing their jobs. Swell.

In some ways, this may HELP my religious exemption case. The DICK-tator-in-chief said that people have to get the vaccine or succumb to weekly COVID testing. I’m not thrilled about this idea, AT ALL, however, if EVERYONE is subjected to this requirement then it seems a bit silly for me to quit my job at the hospital, find another job, only to have to subject myself to weekly testing someplace else anyway. I might as well stay where I am, where I know the job and am comfortable with the job, and take advantage of the pay raise.

By the way, my manager pulled me into her office the other day to let me know how the hospital’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15.25, (I think I mentioned it was $15.50 in another blog post, that is not correct), will personally affect my hourly wage. Not gonna lie, it will raise my hourly wage by $2.66 an hour. Which amounts to a healthy paycheck. That’s another reason I’m working hard to try and figure out some middle ground in order to keep this job. Again, if I am going to be subjected to the same requirements where ever I go, I might as well stay at the hospital and take advantage of the pay hike. Right?

Side note: I watched a video of a hospital worker that showed up to work after the vaccine deadline and tried to clock in as usual. She wasn’t able to. Then, a member of human resources, (or some person of authority), along with a security person, tried to get her to leave and she refused. She said she hadn’t quit and she never got her letter of termination. So … now what? The video was cut off when the security person realized she was filming and said, “I don’t give you permission to film me.” She wisely shut it down as that would have been grounds for a lawsuit, I’m sure.

Also – side note – check out my Twitter timeline in my sidebar. There is a video of an Australian man in a quarantine hotel filming his “neighbor” going berserk because he was due to go home and the authorities won’t allow him to go home even though his quarantine time was up. That is some scary stuff, ya’ll. The government is getting more and more emboldened because the citizens are going along with these insane “rules” and not doing anything to stop them. As a results, they are taking more and more rights away from the citizens. WHEN DOES IT STOP?!

So what’s next?

Man, I don’t know. Just when I think things are starting to level out, something happens and things are more confusing and chaotic than before. And now, I heard that the DICK-tator-in-chief is supposed to come out with more crap tomorrow. Who knows what that will look like.

Kevin wants me to find a job at a company that has less than 100 people then I won’t have to worry about being forced to get a vaccine or have to take a weekly COVID test. And why is that, by the way? Why 100? Why not 200? 150? Everything is so arbitrary and random. But I guess when you’re the DICK-tator in charge and no one has the balls to step up and stop you, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Right?

All I know is, I’m tired. I’m SO VERY TIRED of feeling pissed off and on edge all the time. I just want this nightmare to end. I’m still fighting, but I need the bell to ring – tell me to go to my corner. Give me a moment to catch my breath and regroup. I’m sure most people feel this way. Every time I have a tentative game plan, “Okay, if this happens, then I will do this. Or, if it doesn’t happen, then I’ll go with plan C”, something else comes along and blows that game plan out the window.

I’ve been HAUNTING Indeed.com jobs. I actually have four saved in my favorites that I might try and go for, at some point. I’m looking at editing jobs, banking jobs – heck, I even spent some time watching YouTube videos on how to start a Twitch stream last night. I don’t think it would be a gaming stream because I don’t play games and am no where good enough to think people would want to watch me and my clumsy efforts to play something, though I guess I could put a different spin on it and market it like, “Watch the world’s worst gamer!” But it would be something that I could do at home. Kevin was telling me that he knew someone who knew someone who made their Twitch stream their full-time job because he was pulling in $14,000 a month! CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE!?

Also, kudos to that person. He found something that worked for him.

I haven’t tossed the whole writing community idea away. I think it would be so much fun to build a writing community where we could get together, talk shop, exchange work, offer critiques, be Beta readers for each other, build a self-publishing network, etc., someplace like Patreon or Locals but I’ve been so distracted with the chaos that is my life right now, I haven’t taken the time to really focus on that. It’s not off the table, it’s still there and collecting dust in the corner somewhere.

But I’m ready to just about do anything to get out of this waking nightmare.

What’s my plan? Heck if I know. I’m taking it day-by-day but for right now, I’m waiting to hear back on my exemption and then once it’s denied, because I can’t allow myself to have any hope so that I can better handle my disappointment, I will talk to my manager about the possibility of being tested each week. And if that doesn’t work … who knows what my options will be at that time.

If there are any options.

If you’re out there in a similar situation, please know that you’re NOT alone though it may feel like it. There are 100 million people in the same boat right now, thanks to our DICK-tator-in-chief’s decree. All I can say at his point in time is pray, talk to your family and keep your career options open right now.

Talk to you soon,

At the Moment, Podcast

You May NOT Travel This Weekend – YouTube Issues 2nd Strike – Kevin’s Truck Breaks Down

So this video was the reason that YouTube gave us another strike against our channel. This is our second strike and I think it will last for a week and if we get another strike, they will delete our channel.

Want to know why we were penalized?? Because we DARED to talk about alternative medications to treat COVID.

*GASP*

Mark my words, at some point in time it will be discovered that Ivermectin and Hydrydroxychloroquine are actually VERY effective early treatments for COVID and we will sit back and think, “Wow. If we had just talked about this at the beginning of this nightmare and given it to people from the beginning, we might have saved THOUSANDS of lives.”

It makes me sick how political this disease has become. Screw the people. Screw saving people. Trump said it, WE CAN’T ENTERTAIN THE THOUGHT HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN RIGHT.

Anyway. From now on, we’re going to advertise our videos on YouTube and direct people to either our videos on Rumble or GabTV so we don’t risk having our channel deleted entirely. And SCREW YOU, YOUTUBE for being dictators and playing God.

Assholes.

Also. Don’t you think our video looks really good this time? Kevin used a different lens on our camera this time and I think it looks really sharp and detailed this go around.

We’re making history folks. That’s one reason Kevin and I are doing these videos. We want to document this madness and our thoughts and experiences so we can look back on them and shake our heads and say, “What were we thinking?!

Side note: Kevin’s truck was towed to the garage today.

He took a video of it:

This is a 2010 F-250 6.4L. I have had this truck for about 2 years, DPF was deleted before I purchased it. I haven’t messed with the Edge Racing Evolution tuner until now. The truck was running fine before but sluggish. Thought I would try one of the programs to see what would happen. Selected Racing 1 and selected “no” to the DPF Filter present question. Started running like this. Programmed again to “Return to Stock”, but still running rough and smoking. There is an exhaust leak under the hood, looks like it is coming from behind the turbo, so I am taking it in to the shop to have that fixed soon. Would be nice if I could find out how to return to the way it was running before I tried to program so I can drive it to the shop. It is obviously not driveable like this.

They are supposed to evaluate it tomorrow. I’m holding my breath because I have a feeling this is going to be EXPENSIVE.

Stay tuned …

At the Moment

Sleep Aid

My sleep stats have sucked lately.

Is anyone surprised by this? I mean, not only the stress of COVID and being segregated into categories, the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated, (i.e. people who are killing others), which is stupid and dangerous and we NEED TO STOP DOING THAT. We’re all humans, respect individual decisions – what others do is none of your business, but the fact that I’m not sure if I will have a job from day-to-day – yeah, that’s stressful. (I talk more about that in my podcasts and you’ll read more in my monthly reflections wrap-up post coming the end of July).

I’ve been listening to soothing music when I go to sleep but the problem with that is, it either continues to play all night long, or, the loud ads wake me up.

So I started listening to podcasts. But the subject matter is so interesting that it only serves to keep me awake, not put me to sleep.

But then I found “Get Sleepy.” (I sound like a damn infomercial. And this is not sponsored, by the way).

Get Sleepy is a twice weekly story-telling podcast with the goal of helping you get a great night’s rest. In reviews, listeners have described the podcast as “Life changing”.

Behind the podcast is a small creative team of writers, voice-over artists, and meditation experts. Together, with the guidance of leading sleep experts, our goal is to create the best podcast to help you fall asleep.

I have really enjoyed this podcast. It starts out with breathing exercises and then starts a calm, boring story that is meant to put you to sleep. Nothing exciting, nothing that will startle you awake. And you can set a timer for it to shut off after 30 minutes, 45 minutes, whatever. It has really been great and I highly recommend you try it.

I know I haven’t been around much lately, you can hear what is going on in my podcasts, but I’ve been highly distracted and worried about my next work move. I miss writing but I just haven’t had the mental space to tackle my creative side lately.

I hope you’re doing well. Don’t let the news media scare you and stress you out. Again, I talk about all of this stuff in my podcasts as I feel it’s important to know what’s going on but also to stay objective and realistic about what you’re hearing.

I’m pretty active on Twitter if you want to follow me there. Otherwise, my podcast is really the best place to catch up on my thoughts and life.

Take care of yourself and talk to you soon!

At the Moment, Can We Talk?

To Mask or Not to Mask

That seems to be the question that everyone is asking nowadays. No one has a definitive answer and honestly, it’s no one’s business what you do or if you’ve been vaccinated. You live your life, I’ll live my life. And if you’re vaccinated and you still wear a mask because you’re afraid of the non-vaccinated people, okay – go for it. I’m sorry you’re scared but if that’s how you want to live your life in response to the daily headlines that threaten a new strain and doom and gloom every day, go for it.

Me? I’m living my life as well. I choose NOT to vaccinate and NOT to wear a mask because I’m not afraid of a disease that has a 99% recovery rate. I’ll take my chances because the odds are very favorable that I’ll be just fine. But I don’t have comorbidities that would put me at risk so I feel comfortable with that decision.

See how this works? It all comes down to YOU and YOUR life and YOUR choices. No one can, (nor should), tell you how to respond to this pandemic that is clearly winding down, (thank GOD), nor how you should live your life – I answer to no one save God and my faith in God is strong and I believe He will look after and protect me and my family. If you don’t believe in God, then again, that’s your choice, you live your best life.

But now that the pandemic is over, (because let’s face it, it’s been over for a while but politics wouldn’t allow it to die), people are having trouble adjusting to “normal.” And THIS is precisely why I was so pissed off when the mask mandates first started. Firstly, it never made sense to me to wear a face diaper thereby trapping moisture from our breathing and then touching our masks trapping God knows what in the mask material and again, trapping it against our face so that we were breathing in germs we wouldn’t have normally been breathing in otherwise.

Asinine.

Secondly, I KNEW this would happen. How could it not?? People would get used to the mask and then the thought of taking it off, or seeing someone not wearing a mask “triggered” people’s fears that were bubbling just under the surface of their psyches and voila! Here we are. I didn’t want to create a new normal – I just want to live my life without the government, my co-workers, my neighbors, strangers, telling me what I should or should not do.

It doesn’t work that way. I shouldn’t be asked to work that way. We are free to make our own choices – good or bad. You are responsible for YOU, not for me, my family or anyone around you – ONLY YOU. You do what you need to do to live your life – if that means staying home and wearing your mask inside your home instead of getting out and breathing in fresh air thereby whisking away germs that would stick around in a non-circulated environment, who am I to judge?

And just as I will try not to judge you, I ask that you try not to judge me. Because again, my life decisions are none of your business.

And when I say YOU, I don’t mean YOU, dear reader, I mean people in general. (Though if you’re judging me and want to tell me how to live my life, then I guess I’m speaking to you as well).

I’m not writing this article to preach or bitch, but I’m setting this up to talk about a video that Rachel Maddow put out the other day.

Disclaimer: I despise Rachael Maddow. I think she’s seriously misguided and not very smart but I’m not bringing this up to insult her, I want to talk about what she said because it pains me to say it, but she has a point. Watch:

I’m referencing the bit with just Rachel but when I embedded the tweet, the first bit with wacko Walensky showed up so let’s talk about her bit for a second.

How can a rational, thinking person agree with Walensky? Think about the scenario she depicts for one second – a family gathering – everyone is there from great-grandma to the three-year old toddler playing with his/her toys. Everyone is having a grand time – every one is vaccinated and maskless – save for the kids under twelve. They are being forced to wear an uncomfortable mask, are having a hard time breathing and they see they are the only ones wearing a mask when the adults in their lives, the people they love and trust above all others, are not. Even after it’s been proven that COVD does not overly affect children they are being forced to wear a mask because the supposedly thinking, rational adults in their lives are afraid they will get a virus they have been vaccinated for – it’s insane and child abuse, in my opinion.

But again, if that’s what you feel you need to do for you and your family, go for it. It doesn’t matter what I think – it’s your life, your choice.

But let’s shove put wacko Walensky aside and focus on Rachel’s speech in the bottom part of that Twitter thread.

Notice how she’s genuinely surprised when she says “that people have personal feelings about it and I did too.” To me, this sounds like she doesn’t venture outside her protected bubble very much, meaning, she doesn’t take the time to talk to people in the real world, she doesn’t take the time to consider other people’s opinions. This goes back to what I’ve always said, it’s important to listen to the “other” side when it comes to controversial issues, well really, when it comes to any issue. I know this comes as a shock to some people, but YOUR opinion is not the ONLY opinion. When you act like a grown up and listen to other people as opposed to just automatically tuning people out who have a differing opinion than you, you soon realize that there is so much more to an issue than what you initially thought. Arrogant, self-righteous people have trouble with this part because for whatever reason, they think that what they think is not only right but the ONLY way to think and the thought of someone having a different opinion or disagreeing with them truly puzzles them.

It IS possible to have differing opinions. It IS possible to disagree with someone without thinking that person came from Satan.

And perhaps, hear me out, it’s possible, that what you think is not only not true, but could be wrong, or at least, not totally true. People who do not take the time to hear, or consider, other sides to an issue are arrogant and delusional. You are not right 100% of the time. I am not right 100% of the time – we all have opinions, we are all human and deserve to be heard. It’s sad to me that Rachel seems to just now be recognizing this.

But this is the part I think is the most important in what she says – she has to “rewire” herself.

“Part of it is that I am going to have to re-wire myself so that when I see somebody out the world not wearing a mask I don’t instantly think you are a threat. *awkward laugh* Or you are selfish. Or you are a COVID denier and you definitely haven’t been vaccinated. I mean we are going to have to re-wire the way we look at each other because of the CDC guidance because she just told me we are sure that if we are vaccinated we don’t need to wear a mask except in very specific circumstances and so that means as we change in the country we are going to look at each other differently and have to unwire our preconceptions about what a mask, or a lack of a mask, means.”

She goes on to quote Biden and Fauci and how “they are urging people to be patient, be compassionate, give people respect for whatever they decide on this front because with this changing guidance we are going to have changing norms and we’ve got to give each other space to have feelings about that as we go through what’s going to be a big change and change our visceral reactions in a lot of us just in our day-to-day” lives.”

Be patient and show compassions to our fellow human beings that DARE to think differently than us?!?

What a novel concept!

Gads, there is so much to unpack here in her speech … bear with me.

She’s right – People, myself included, need to re-wire our brains after the year we’ve just experienced. We have to stop automatically assume that people who are wearing, or not wearing, a mask either agree, or disagree, with our own personal views. Again, it’s not all about us, it’s about what YOU feel is necessary for YOUR life. It’s not my place to tell you what you can and can not do. In fact, if you want the truth, (when do you not get the truth), I feel sort of sorry for people who are out walking, outside, with no one around, wearing a mask because to me, they have fallen prey to the narrative that we should all be afraid of everything and everyone because of this disease that has a 99% recovery rate.

Again, if this disease had a 60%, just to pull a random number out of my butt, recovery rate, we could justify our fears. I shudder to think what our world would look like with a terrible disease with a low percentage of recovery because wow, think of the insanity, (think zombie apocalypses), but thank GOD COVID is not that disease.

Her awkward laugh is very telling to me. It’s almost like, she’s realizing, for the first time, that it’s possible to think outside herself. That the CDC had to give her permission to consider that perhaps her viewpoint on masks was bigger than her self-imposed beliefs. It’s almost like … she woke up or something. For her sake, I hope so.

I like to watch body language, facial expressions and listen to tonal inflections whenever people talk and to me, it looks like Rachel is coming to some realization – that she sees a crack of light behind a door that has been closed to her for quite some time. It gives me hope when I hear hard lefties talk like this, like maybe, just maybe, they see a crack in their matrix and on some level are conscious of a world outside their self-righteous ideologies.

But perhaps I’m being too optimistic.

The point is, even when I vehemently disagree with someone because they choose to take the road on the left and I choose to take the road on the right, it’s possible for me to listen to the other side and HEAR what they are saying instead of automatically dismissing or labeling them because of our differences.

I agree with Rachel, we ALL need to re-wire our brains, use common sense and live, and get on with, our lives. This past year has been crazy, stressful and telling as far as showcasing how fragile humanity can be. And I agree with Rachel – we need to be patient with one another, show compassion, ESPECIALLY with employees working retail, food, etc. because not only are businesses short handed, they are likely dealing with a lot of new people who don’t know what they’re doing and are desperately trying to learn.

Treat your fellow human beings, regardless of where they stand on this whole mask thing, with dignity. Just because they are living their lives differently does not give you permission to treat them with anything less than respect.

Sorry this post was so long but this issue has been weighing heavily on my heart and I wanted to document this point in time where, hopefully, things started to get back to normal.

At least until the next disaster.

At the Moment, Life, Work Stuff

Punching Life in the Face: March 6th Life Update

(Tell me you don’t feel stronger looking at this graphic. Also, yes, I realize this is a bit aggressive but you know what? Life needs a punch in the face right now. I’m tired and just want to get back to normal).

Work has been crazy. Honestly, when is work NOT crazy.

I’ve been with this neurosurgery clinic for almost ten years – it will be ten years this September. TEN YEARS! This is crazy to me because I’ve ONLY ever been with a job for seven years: Seven years at fast food – seven years at banking – seven years at retail, heck, I’m pretty sure I was a stay-at-home mom for seven years.

I have a seven year itch, apparently. Actually, I’ve only had previous cars for seven years. (With the exception of my Vibe – I LOVED that car – had that for ten years). Apparently, there is something about me and putting up with something for seven years before I’m ready to move on or so sick of it I can’t stand it anymore.

And I won’t sugar coat it and say I’m not sick of this job – I am – THOROUGHLY. And yes, I could get another job, and I may still try and get another job, but there are two very big deterrents for me:

  1. My family is on my health insurance. Since Kevin is self-employed and purchasing insurance going that route is ASTRONOMICAL,  I got a job, (which I would have anyway – I can’t stay home – it’s just not in me). And for a while, our boys were on my insurance because we were those parents who allowed our kids to stay on my insurance until they turned 26. (Which I’m not sure was a good thing or not, to be honest). But now that Brandon, our youngest, is turning 26 this year (OUR BABY!) and will be off my insurance soon, it will only be me and Kevin. I’m looking forward to that because it will mean I get a bit more of my paycheck back. Yes, Kevin and I still need insurance, but it doesn’t seem AS required now, if that makes sense. Kevin is nearly retirement age (he’s planning on retiring in TWO years – what?!?) and he’ll be eligible for Medicare, if it still exists in two years the way we’re going, which means I’ll be free to do whatever I want with my job. So … I have a few thoughts. I’m throwing around a lot of options. I like options.
  2. But let’s be real – I’m also getting older and though there are some employers that don’t see older people as a liability and appreciate the life experience and maturity (and dare I say, work ethic) to a new job, it IS harder to get a job when you’re older. And do I honestly want to start over, from scratch, at a new place at my age? Not really.

But I’m not counting it out. I’m bored. I’m burned out. And I’m fed up.

Which leads me to the reason behind bringing this up.

Our clinic has been through some ROUGH patches these past ten years. We moved from cozy, (i.e. old and crappy) building to the hospital campus. We were no longer just “that neurosurgery group down the road” but now we were under scrutiny – we couldn’t do as much now that the hospital administration were watching this. Now, I’m not implying that we did anything wrong, or were breaking any rules at our old clinic, but it was nice not to be micro-managed like we are now. We miss that freedom.

Then we converted our old system to the hospital system. That took countless hours. But we made it fun, staying after hours, (wracking up the overtime), and jamming to music and eating pizza. But it was tough. Getting used to a new system. It wasn’t as hard on us, the employees, but it was torture for our doctors because they were completely lost for a while.

Then, me personally, I went through a HELLISH two years with a nurse from Hell which affected my health so much I ended up in the ER, TWICE, because I thought I was having a heart attack, turned out to be panic attacks, and I feel like that time period has permanently damaged my mental health – I still suffer from anxiety attacks from time-to-time.

We’ve endured painful staff changes. Crazy patients. Just the normal stuff that a group of people who see each other day-in-day-out experience when you’re around them for 40 plus hours a week.

But this. THIS has been rough. We’ve always been micro-managed. It’s always been a problem, but people have bitched, tried to make changes, were ignored and finally apathetic about trying to make things better. We settled for mediocre. Our turn over has been terrible. We just can’t keep people. Granted, the pay is not great, it really isn’t. I could make more working at Wal-Mart than I make right now, but that has only been a small factor in the overall dissatisfaction people feel with our management.

And then COVID hit. And the stress and craziness from that was enough to tip the scales and now, we’re a sinking ship.

We’re down five nurses, three MA’s, and one medical secretary. We are working with a skeleton crew and it’s putting tremendous stress on the employees left standing. Neurosurgery is not easy. There is A LOT to it. There are a lot of moving parts. You have to be a MASTER at multi-tasking for this job. It’s not preferred, it’s REQUIRED. And I feel like a lot of people, especially our young people today, are not equipped, nor are willing to try, to handle the art of working hard.

And if that’s not bad enough, our management continues to micro-manage and continue policies and procedures that (sort of) worked at our old clinic, seven years ago.

People are cracking and terribly unhappy.

Including me.

So. I took the bull by the horns and went to my director. The head honcho. My boss’s boss. And it went well. I wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know, he wasn’t surprised, but I felt HEARD. And that’s all I ever really want. That, and take my suggestions seriously and let’s either try my suggestion, or a hybrid of my suggestion, and see if things get better.

Is that too much to ask?

Apparently. For you see, it’s not all about me. Sometimes, I wish it were, it would make life easier, (for me), but I have seven other MA’s to navigate through. And some of these MA’s are lazy, incompetent, or just flat out jealous.

I’m not sure what to do about that; I can’t do anything about that. But I can control what I do and my input and if these other MA’s don’t want to get on board, or don’t have suggestions of their own, then shut up and get out of the way.

I know that sounds harsh, and I don’t mean it to, but I get to the point where either offer some inputs or ideas or stop bitching. I’m done with the bitching and no progress. It’s toxic. And if these ideas are agreed upon and you’re resentful that you have to do more than pull your weight for a short period of time until we solve these problems, get over it.

Do you want progress, or don’t you? And it won’t be forever.

Anyway, I presented my training proposal to the meeting on Friday and it was met with silence. I get the impression the others weren’t really going for it but was it because they didn’t like the proposal itself or that I presented it and not them? At this point, I don’t care. We’ll have another meeting next week and I’m going to call them out on it – “hey, so-and-so, did you have any thoughts on this? What are your ideas?” Because again, if you don’t have anything to say or don’t offer any input of your own, then we’re moving forward with the plan. I had a short meeting, mano-e-mano with my immediate supervisor and she asked my thoughts on how I thought the meeting went. I was honest with her. I felt there was some resistance and she is going to bring it up in the meeting next week. We’re ALL sick of hearing, “this is not working and I’m sick of it,” and “but I don’t want to be the one who has to change her routine in order to fix it.” No. F that. Either get on this ship or jump overboard – Your dead weight is dragging me down and I’m a survivor.

In the meantime, I volunteered to revamp our training manual because it’s disorganized and terribly outdated. I did this for two reason:

  1. I LOVE that crap. I love putting stuff like that together. It’s fun, challenging and rewarding to see a fat book of MY stuff.
  2. I can use it for my portfolio if I finally chuck this job and look elsewhere.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated.

 

I don’t know if you know this about us, but we’re HUGE cruisers. We love to go on cruises. We plan a trip every year and every year, it gives me a light at the end of the hum-drum of working, home, sleeping, working, home, sleeping routine tunnel. It makes working so hard worth it – sort of. So now that COVID has become this monster that the world made it out to be, it doesn’t look like cruising is going to be on our schedules any time soon. I mean, sure we COULD go cruising, there are some options out there, but with caveats – you must get tested and/or you must produce your papers, erhm, documents, to show you’ve had the vaccine.

Neither of which Kevin nor I are willing to do now, or ever. (And we hope we’re not FORCED to get it – 666, anyone?)

But we would still like to get away, do something fun. LIVE LIFE FULLY. Especially while we’re still young enough to physically enjoy it.

We’ve gone camping as a family. Our first taste of camping was in a pop-up camper. We took the camper to Indiana for a Bible Camp when Brandon was just a baby. I remember heating up his formula in the camper. I also remember it raining cats and dogs when we were there and I was literally pushing a double stroller through ankle deep mud. I did NOT enjoy that. We then rented an RV the next year and went to the same Bible Camp – that was better, but still a lot of work. So the boys grew up camping. We didn’t go very often, but we went enough that they remember quite a few trips. We sold the pop-up and bought a hybrid – a hard camper shell with two fold-out tent beds. It was a comfortable camper but it leaked and it was a lot of work constantly water-proofing the tents. We finally sold it and thought our camping days were over.

Until COVID hit. And severely limited our cruising options.

We started throwing camper ideas around again. We wanted a traditional camper but we didn’t want to pay very much money. All I knew, I didn’t want the thing to leak. That was, and has been, my number one requirement. However, traditionally, RV’s leak. And they end up in the shop more often than not for various issues. And the RV’s we shopped around for online showed signs of water leaks. (The walls were “rippled” indicating they had leaked at some point). And we weren’t about to spend thousands of dollars on something that would bring nothing but grief or end up being a money pit.

Until … we thought about buying a cargo trailer. We’ve seen lots of videos about people who bought cargo trailers and converted them into a living space. Our reasons were:

  1. They are MUCH cheaper than a traditional RV
  2. They are made MUCH more study and will not leak.
  3. They will LAST much, much longer than a traditional RV
  4. Kevin can use it as a traditional trailer if he needs to buy large items for his thrift shop booth.

I was against the idea at first, not because I thought it was a bad idea, but because I knew it would be a MASSIVE project for Kevin to take on. I’ll be honest with you, and I was honest with him, I’m USELESS when it comes to building things. I knew I would be zero help. BUT, he has LeRoy and he would be a big help, so there’s that. However, Kevin loves a challenge and he’s really excited about the idea so ….

… we bought a cargo trailer.

It’s 20 feet long and seven feet high. It has a ramp back door, which is a bit disappointing as I we would have preferred double doors, but Kevin wants to put a door into the ramp door so if we need to get into it, we don’t have to lower the entire ramp, we can just open the door.

We have a LOT of plans for this trailer. Kevin has already put insulation into the ceiling and is now working on putting some thingies on the ceiling so we can put up nice looking shiplap, or… I don’t know guys, I’m so stupid when it comes to this stuff, I’ll have to get more information from Kevin, but he’s planning on insulating the walls next. He will also plan out the plumbing and the electrical as well. In essence, this is our plan:

  • When you walk in, there will be a closet where we put our shoes and clothes.
  • A “working” table to work on our laptops.
  • A small kitchen with a dorm-size fridge and a microwave on top. No oven – we might use a countertop conduction oven, maybe, but mostly a grill we use outside.
  • A double bed at the back
  • A fold down table to eat on
  • Two stools that can double as additional storage and a dirty clothes hamper
  • Drawers under the bed (we are going to elevate the bed) for more storage
  • A small walled in area in back for a toilet and cabinet (for those late-night pees)
  • A garage in the VERY back, just inside the ramp door and under the bed.

I know it’s hard to picture, but if you watch this video, it will sort of make sense. I would like ours to be quite similar to their layout, minus the shower and toilet in the front.

We plan on putting a window in the door (maybe a whole new door, we’re still talking about that), and three windows. But Kevin doesn’t want to put the windows in until we settle on a final layout.

Unfortunately, it won’t be big enough if the boys want to come along, but they are young men now, I don’t think they would really be interested in camping with us anyway.

I’m SO EXCITED about this new chapter in our lives. We are going to take this thing everywhere. Kevin is really pleased with how easy it pulls, too. He has a Ford F250 truck and it will easily pull the trailer. In addition, it’s not so wide that he has trouble seeing around it when he drives, so he’s pretty happy about that.

I’ll try and remember to keep you guys updated on this latest project. I can’t WAIT to go shopping for the stuff inside!!

 

Patreon

I’m making an account. *squeal*

I have NO IDEA what I’m doing but MAN, am I having fun with it.

There’s a YouTuber I follow and really enjoy her content and I’m going to join her Patreon for two reasons: 1. To support her and 2. to see how the heck it works on the inside.

I plan on offering three tiers. I’m also working on teaching myself, and setting up, a Discord server. I thought it would be fun to host writing sprints and maybe a virtual book club. I think I’m going to limit my top tier to 20 people, just so it won’t be so big we can’t really get to know one another. Ideally, I’d like the top tier to be writers who are interested in potentially starting a writing club – where we critique each other’s work and/or be beta readers.

I have NO idea if anyone would be interested in joining my little community, but I’m super excited to try it.

Here’s a sneak peek of what I have so far:

I’d like to get it up and running soon as the April Camp Nanowrimo is coming up fast! Ultimately, I want to create a positive and fun writing community. Interested? Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

At the Moment

BRR

DUDE – it’s freaking cold!

We’re on day seven of 13 running days of below freezing temperatures. Our HIGHS are below freezing. The HIGH tomorrow is five degrees, the HIGH on Monday is six degrees. Our heater has been running nonstop. All I can think about is the dial on the gauge thingie outside our house just spinning out-of-control and dollar signs floating away and out of reach.

Gah.

I like cold weather but NOPE. This is too cold and it’s lasting too long.

To be fair, we haven’t had cold weather like this in … a long time. Our winters have been pretty mild the past few years so we’re honestly due for a rough winter. It looks like this might be it. We’re supposed to get 4 to 8 inches of snow starting tomorrow and into Monday, then another chance for snow on Wednesday – however – temps are expected to get above freezing by next weekend so hopefully, it will all melt away and we’ll have survived the “long, hard winter.”

All I need is a tight sweater, a green screen and a clicker to complete my weather woman persona.

We had freezing rain these past few days – I would rather have snow, thank you very much. And people were talking  on Friday about being worried making it into work on Monday, if it does what it says it’s going to do. And that’s the thing, Missouri is a finicky wench. Our poor weather people (I’ll be politically correct – this time) nearly always get it wrong, but it’s not their fault, we live in a triangular weather pattern, our weather literally changes with each new wind. So who knows if it even snows. We’ll know when we look out the window, I suppose. If it’s bad enough, Kevin will take me to work, he has an F250 diesel truck and that thing gets around in pretty much anything. I drive a Buick Encore, which is a mini SUV and though it’s high off the ground, the keyword is “mini.” I’m sure I can get around but I would get around better if Kevin took me. 🙂

People are talking about global warming, or cooling, or climate change, or whatever the buzzword is this week, but I looked it up. This cold snap is nothing new to our area.

This is a table of cold temperatures in my city going back to 1902.

Min °F Date Min °C
4 January 15, 2009 -16
3 December 22, 2008 -16
3 February 04, 2007 -16
5 December 08, 2006 -15
4 December 09, 2005 -16
3 January 06, 2004 -16
-7 January 17, 2003 -22
-2 March 04, 2002 -19
-6 January 02, 2001 -21
-10 December 22, 2000 -23
1 January 04, 1999 -17
4 December 22, 1998 -16
-10 January 12, 1997 -23
-8 February 04, 1996 -22
-5 December 10, 1995 -21
3 January 19, 1994 + -16
-6 February 18, 1993 -21
4 January 15, 1992 -16
7 November 08, 1991 -14
0 December 24, 1990 + -18
-16 December 23, 1989 -27
-7 January 08, 1988 -22
8 January 21, 1987 + -13
2 February 11, 1986 + -17
-13 January 20, 1985 -25
-13 January 19, 1984 -25
-10 December 30, 1983 + -23
-11 January 10, 1982 -24
-9 February 11, 1981 -23
-4 February 12, 1980 -20
-17 February 09, 1979 -27
-12 January 17, 1978 -24
-11 January 16, 1977 -24
-6 December 31, 1976 -21
3 February 09, 1975 -16
-5 January 01, 1974 -21
-5 January 12, 1973 -21
-3 January 15, 1972 -19
-10 February 08, 1971 -23
-6 January 08, 1970 -21
1 January 04, 1969 -17
-7 January 07, 1968 -22
3 January 18, 1967 -16
-8 December 24, 1966 -22
0 February 25, 1965 -18
-1 December 18, 1964 -18
-10 January 24, 1963 + -23
-8 January 20, 1962 + -22
1 January 28, 1961 + -17
-1 March 04, 1960 -18
-7 January 04, 1959 -22
-1 February 16, 1958 -18
2 January 16, 1957 -17
2 January 16, 1956 -17
0 February 11, 1955 -18
5 January 12, 1954 -15
5 December 23, 1953 -15
8 January 29, 1952 + -13
-11 February 02, 1951 -24
-4 December 07, 1950 -20
0 January 30, 1949 + -18
-4 January 28, 1948 -20
-1 January 04, 1947 + -18
4 December 30, 1946 -16
-5 December 19, 1945 -21
1 February 12, 1944 -17
-10 January 19, 1943 -23
-4 January 10, 1942 + -20
8 January 18, 1941 -13
-12 January 19, 1940 + -24
4 February 21, 1939 -16
3 January 31, 1938 -16
6 December 09, 1937 -14
-8 February 18, 1936 -22
-3 January 21, 1935 -19
0 February 27, 1934 -18
-13 February 08, 1933 -25
0 December 12, 1932 -18
5 January 14, 1931 -15
-17 January 18, 1930 -27
-3 February 10, 1929 + -19
-8 January 01, 1928 -22
-4 December 31, 1927 -20
1 January 23, 1926 -17
-1 December 28, 1925 -18
-11 January 05, 1924 -24
2 March 19, 1923 -17
7 January 24, 1922 -14
12 December 25, 1921 -11
1 March 07, 1920 -17
-6 January 03, 1919 -21
-19 January 12, 1918 -28
-10 February 02, 1917 -23
-8 January 13, 1916 -22
3 January 23, 1915 -16
-2 December 14, 1914 + -19
4 February 01, 1913 -16
-15 January 07, 1912 -26
-9 January 03, 1911 -23
-5 February 18, 1910 -21
-3 January 12, 1909 -19
4 February 02, 1908 -16
4 February 06, 1907 + -16
-3 February 05, 1906 -19
-22 February 13, 1905 -30
-8 January 26, 1904 -22
-3 February 17, 1903 -19
-3 February 04, 1902 -19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1902 people!

That’s not global warming, cooling, or climate change, that’s cyclical. Meaning, climate is cyclical. One year it’s high, the next year it’s low, it’s how averages are figured. GRR.

By the way, I got this information from Current Results. I don’t know what to say, numbers don’t lie.

Anyway, I hope we don’t get the snow they’re projecting but if it comes, it comes. I don’t understand how some people freak out over the threat of bad weather, but dude, we go through this every year. It’s called winter. It happens. I’m not sure what there is to freak out about. We’ll deal with it, whatever is dumped on us.

Kevin and I went grocery shopping last night, because we go every Friday night and stock up for the upcoming week, and people of course, were freaking out, buying carts full of food. The store was out of bread, eggs, creamer, (I guess everyone drinks lots of coffee whenever they can’t get out), but hey, at least there was some toilet paper. Progress! I just have to shake my head. Kevin said it best, I feel like people are in perpetual freak out mode nowadays. Fear is such a strong emotion and it compels people to do irrational things. Like buy an insane amount of food that will take months to eat through, let alone the few days it will take for the city to clear the roads and make travel easier. Or wear not one mask, but TWO masks to protect people from what amounts to a bad cold or a serious case of the flu. Or to simply go along to get along.

Kudos to Kevin last night, by the way. He actually walked around Wal-Mart without a mask on. I was too chicken to take mine off, though I did wear it under my nose (primarily because I wear glasses and I get so impatient with them fogging up). He has the balls to stand up and show people it’s possible to NOT be sheeple. I need to do the same. I feel like we’re never going to get out of this fear bubble that the government is so determined to keep us in if we don’t start putting our foot down and say, “enough is enough!”

Anyway. This next week is going to be rough, IF we get the weather they are predicting. But you know what? I would rather get 4 to 8 inches of snow than four inches of ice. I pray we never have another ice storm like we did back in 2007. That was nuts.

Actually, I’m pretty sure that was global cooling back then. *snicker*

We’re going to have to take out a loan to pay our electric bill this month. Oy.

Stay warm, friends!

(And thanks for reading – I appreciate you!)

At the Moment

First Snow of 2021 – Also – Do You Like Winter?

I took this video outside our backdoor the other day. It has snowed a few times where I live. Thankfully, it hasn’t stuck around and melted off 24-hours later, my favorite snow. But I took this video because this was a Sunday. It was cozy, quiet and just peaceful. And I don’t know about you, but I think we all need a little peace in our lives right now.

But that got me to thinking – do I even like winter? I know when you ask people what their favorite season is, most people will say Summer or Fall and I can’t disagree. Fall is BY FAR my favorite season but I would have to say, Winter is a close second. I like snow, if I don’t have to drive in it. And I really wish ice wasn’t part of the winter equation, but I like winter overall because it’s cold, I actually enjoy the cold. I like wearing layers and feeling cozy. I feel alive. I enjoy breathing the almost painful crispness of frigid air. I feel rejuvenated and awake. I feel more alert.

There is something so relaxing and peaceful sitting in front of a fire. I LIVE for days where I can snuggle under a warm blanket and do nothing but stare into a fire and/or read. It is balm for my soul.

I love walking outside when it’s snowing. Snow transforms the world, covers ugly flaws and blankets everything around us in silence. It’s almost as if someone turned a knob on the world and muted reality for a short time. Snow is magical. Billions of tiny snow crystals wink and sparkle under street lights and turn everything a soft gray and blue. Beautiful ice crystals vie for attention on windows and struggle to encase us in an alternate universe.

I’ve always said I would rather live in the mountains than at the beach. There is something about a winter wonderland that softens my sharp edges. I relax. I smile. I breathe.

I really enjoy winter.

As long as I don’t have to drive in it.

What say you? What are your thoughts about winter?