Skills

From the Things That REALLY Piss Me Off Files:

I was at Chemist this morning to buy new test strips for my glucose meter. Seriously, that female behind the counter needs to learn communication skills!  I might just have to go back and teach her myself!  I’m certainly tempted!

First she took my NDSS card which I produced.  An NDSS card is a little identifier you get when you become diabetic and join Diabetes Australia.  It allows you access the National Diabetics Supplies Scheme and get your diabetic supplies for a greatly discounted price.  Since these supplies are necessary for preservation of life, they are government subsidised

Then I showed her the bottle of test strips I already had so she’d know what brand I needed. I’m hopeless at remembering that kind of stuff so I always figure a little Show and Tell goes a long way to making sure I don’t come home with the wrong damn thing.

So with my card in hand and without another word, and not even bothering to glance at me, she walked off behind the dispensary counter, presumably to get the new packet of strips.  I figured she’d be a couple of minutes and then I’d be out of there.  Not so!

Next thing I know, she was on a phone call back there and ignoring me altogether! I could see her and she could see me.  What? She couldn’t have glanced at me to say she was still on the case of the test strips and it would be a moment? Nope. She just stared off at the ceiling and ignored me altogether. Maybe I had become invisible?

I stood at the counter waiting for her to come back with my strips so I could pay and leave.  There had been no communication to the effect that I should take a seat so I didn’t because who leaves the counter when they’re expecting their assistant to come right back and finish the transaction?

When she got off the phone call, she just walked right back past me without giving me a single glance and went and served someone else at the next station over – all of a foot away from where I was waiting!  Like…WTF???  Maybe I really HAD become invisible.

Another assistant, who apparently could still see me, came and asked if I was being served.  Good question.  Was I? It seemed not.

So that everyone could hear, I very loudly responded that I had no idea WHAT was going on! I was still standing here waiting for some kind of information to that effect.

I made sure I was pointedly eyeballing that unhelpful creature to my right while I spoke so this new woman would know I didn’t mean her.

The first nasty creature (I shall not call her an assistant because she’s frankly about as useful as teats on a bull) heard me and came over saying that the chemist needed to process it first.  She looked at me with contempt in her eyes as if I should have “just known” this to begin with.  Well excuse me for not being a telepath bitch!

 I looked at her and with an equal amount of contempt in my voice loudly said “well thanks for bothering to tell me that. So, what, it’s 5 minutes? 10 minutes? Come back in a while?”

The second assistant quietly said 10 minutes and I left to go next door to the bank.

When I came back a few minutes later, another assistant served me. She, too, could see me, so apparently I’m only invisible to the unhelpful bitch I had to begin with. She was no longer in sight so I figured she must have gone to lunch. Damn.  I was ready to give her another serve too!

This new assistant got my strips and NDSS card from behind the counter and told me the cost was going to be $17.50 which I immediately queried.  It shouldn’t have been anywhere near that much!

I told her I had a health care card and I could see her brain ticking over with exactly what I was thinking – this should have been asked for in the first place!  She took the NDSS card and the Health Care Card and went back to the pharmacist. A few minutes later I was charged just $1.33 for the strips.  That’s a HUGE difference!  $16.17 worth of difference to be exact!

 $17.50… indeed!!!  Now what if I’d been an old feeble person and just paid what was asked because I didn’t really understand and was trusting and relying on the counter staff to be on the ball and tell me what I needed to know?  It’s just not acceptable! 

Wouldn’t it have been nice if that first bitch knew her job and cared enough to actually DO it?  She should have asked me up front if I had any kind of concession card. It’s not up to me, or anyone else, to just psychically know to produce it.

Wouldn’t it also have been wonderful if she’d acknowledged me when she came back past me with a glance or a nod so I didn’t stand there like a shag on a rock having no idea what was going on?  To hell with good service, that would have simply been good manners!

It would have been far better still if she’d have strained herself past her limits, opened her mouth and taken the one whole second out of her incredibly busy day to say “ it’ll be 10 minutes” so I knew what was going on.

I’m not asking for the sun, the moon and stars here. Just basic good customer service. Know what to ask for, get all the right information and cards up front and keep your customer in the loop so they know they’re being attended to.  Why is this so impossible?

Don’t stores and companies vet candidates for good communication skills when they hire staff?  Don’t they look for fundamental good manners and the ability to acknowledge those around you? SERIOUSLY??? If I was the person in charge of hire/fire it would be the first things I’d look for!

If I did hire someone and they didn’t exhibit those skills, I’d soon step in and teach them so they’d know what is expected of them.  If they continued to display poor skills after that, the next thing I’d show them is the door.

The sheer lack of people skills from this bitch was just unbelievable. It almost made me want to get back my scripts stored on file there and take my business elsewhere.  What really infuriated me was that she’s dealing with vulnerable people all day long and they can’t AFFORD for her to cop an attitude and decide to treat them like they don’t matter.

Working in a pharmacy is a special kind of environment.  It’s a bit like a medical office.  People come in with all kinds of issues and place a great deal of trust in the staff.  They confide to the staff things that are often of a deeply personal nature and they trust that the staff will be able to help them and do so in a supportive way.

Not everyone walks into a pharmacy in a great emotional state. Some are having a tough time on their medications and others haven’t yet started their course of treatment so they may not hear what is being said properly or not be thinking clearly about what needs to happen in order to achieve a successful outcome.  Yet others have issues with language, culture, and physical disabilities such as hearing or vision problems they might not like to admit to.

Good, clear communication, friendly attitude and a genuine desire to help goes a really long way to reassuring the customer that they are in good hands.

The bitch I had scores a resounding zero on all counts.  I’m still debating whether to ring the pharmacy back and speak to the Manager about the situation. I would really hate to see that little package of uncivilised behaviour unleashed on anyone elderly or in a diminished capacity.

While I was there, at least 5 elderly people came to the counter needing assistance, one of whom also had a language barrier. 

Imagine if they had to deal with this nasty creature!

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Hello?

I woke yesterday at about 3.10pm after spending most of the night resetting my laptop and reinstalling key programs. As you do, I lay there for a few moments just enjoying the lazy haze and waiting for my little lady to come and say hello.

Suddenly, my smoke alarm went off. It was just three short, shrill beeps and then silence. Shocked hell outta me!

I couldn’t figure out why it had done so or what was going on but thought I should at least get up and check things out in case of an electrical overload or something. After all the rain and thunderstorms yesterday, who knows what might have happened?

I patrolled the whole house sniffing the air like a bloodhound searching for smoke. Not even so much as a whiff. So why did the detector go off?

The very fact that it did three sort beeps and nothing else is absolutely WRONG, on all levels. While some machines may do that, this one doesn’t – ever.

If the machine had detected smoke, it would have gone off and kept up a shrill shriek until I stopped it or until it fried in a fire. I’ve burnt toast before. I know this for a fact. It just doesn’t stop by itself under ANY circumstances.

If the battery had been dying and the machine was letting me know, it would have beeped intermittently on a continual basis. It wouldn’t do three quick beeps and stop. It would be single beeps on a steady stream until I replaced the battery.

What it wouldn’t be in either case is three quick beeps and nothing else. There is no other circumstance which would have set it off; or is there?

In the last month, I have been treated to all kinds of sounds and seen movement out of the corner of my eye.

I have gone to bed with Ariya curled up in a lovely purry ball right beside me and still heard thumps and knocks coming from the other side of the bedroom wall where the hall opens out into the lounge room.

I’ve heard knocks from the outside wall. I’ve heard dishes rattle in the kitchen when nobody is in there. I’ve heard sounds coming from the back rooms of the house when I’ve been in the lounge.

In all cases, her Ladyship, Ariya, has been near me and not in any of those areas so could not have been responsible for the sounds I heard. Living alone, it’s not like there’s anyone else here to be responsible either.

The movement has been strange. I see it clearly and many times thought it was Ariya coming over to me to snuggle with me on the laptop. When I look more closely, there’s nothing there and Ariya is curled up nearby and not moving.

Having had so many issues with my eyes this year, I put it down to that until the sounds started. Then I thought maybe I had a visitor so I asked a friend, whom I shall call Mr PI, to look into it.

He does Paranormal Investigation and can work remotely so he ‘popped on over’ to scope out the situation. I also sent photos of the entire place over to him for examination.

That was no surprise to me. I can do the same thing. Look at a photo and see portals and spirits in them with my ‘spirit eyes’. In this case though, I felt I was too close to the situation and with my eyes being operated on recently, I didn’t trust my eyeballs to give me good information right now.

He told me that I had two portals open in my hallway and had visitors coming in and out to have a sticky beak and see what was going on. That doesn’t mean they were in any way a threat to me. Mostly they were just passing souls stopping by and floating on out again and I’m totally cool with that.  If they cared to announce themselves, I’d probably put out biscuits and tea for them!

Nothing harmful has happened to me this time round (although I’ve had injury in the past), but the cat had a strange injury to her nose which bothered me greatly. She’s never done herself any kind of injury before where it actually drew blood and scabbed over.

She’s very sure footed and not one to bump into things so having a clear sign that she DID hit something is of huge concern.  She is also a house cat and doesn’t go out so there is no possibility the injury was done in a cat fight or falling from something. Whatever happened did so in here.

It also really worried me because I was spending days out and wasn’t at home to protect her all the time. It’s possible something scared her and in trying to run, she hurt herself but I’m not happy with that either.  Ask anyone who knows me. I’m obsessive about my little lady and can’t bear the thought of her being hurt. The whole activity deal had to stop.

So I gave the go ahead to Mr PI and he did the work to close the portals and all the activity quickly settled down again. No more strange noises and no movement that didn’t have a cat as a culprit.  For about a month, peace has reigned.

Until yesterday.

I am of the thought that by setting off something as unmistakable as my smoke alarm, someone really wanted to get my attention. Even if I’d been asleep, that would have woken me, as it should have because of course, that’s what it’s designed to do.

The only family I can think of who might be responsible is my sister as it’s coming up to the anniversary of her death on November 15 – but what would she want and why contact me in this way, and why now?

She and I have had plenty of contact since she died and she knows exactly how to get in touch with me without resorting to such tricks. I know her energy and recognise it instantly as soon as she shows up. Even if she wanted to let me know something, what could possibly be so important after 18 years that she needed to set off the spirit equivalent of a bomb underneath me?

There’s always the possibility that someone else set it off but if so, who and what’s the deal? I mean, seriously, I’ve been in contact with spirit since I was a baby. There has never been any need for fancy tricks or performances to get my attention and convey to me what they want. When it comes to me and spirit, we just dial each other direct.

So when I encounter a situation such as this, I don’t find it so much frightening or unsettling as I do exasperating. Like, if you have something to say just SAY IT! Spit it out and let’s get on with things. I don’t need communication via the burning bush to understand what’s being said or to give it due weight. All I need is the facts so I can get on with things.

Usually, when I’ve had spirits show up trying to get my attention by doing something they figure is wonderfully spectacular, it’s always quickly accompanied by a dominant, recurring sentence or image in my mind, like they’re saying THIS THIS THIS! Then I know what they want and can address it. And they ALWAYS hammer the point until I get it.

Whoever’s pulling the strings on this deal is being deliberately vague and obscure which I find annoying. Terribly annoying.

It’s like that person who sits you down and says they have something important to tell you, then tap dances around the bush doing everything BUT getting to the point. At first you smile politely but after about 5 minutes you just want to grab them and literally wring the goddamned story out of them! Uh huh….that’s what this is like for me.

I spoke to Mr PI yesterday and he agrees it’s odd. It remains to be seen just what’s going on but I think I’ll be taking a few more happy snaps and sending them across just to be sure.

One remedy is for Mr PI to flood the place with energy by remote to ‘clean’ the place which has worked just fine before. However, in this case, I’m reluctant to take that option.

It’s so close to my sister’s anniversary. If this is one of my family showing up, I don’t want to have them shown the door. I’d like to hear what they have to say if they’d ever bloody well get around to sharing it.

If it’s not one of my family, I’m still happy to hear what they want to share as long as they obey the rules.  Come. Look.  Leave the electronics alone and for god’s sake, don’t BREAK anything!!!  I take the view that if they’re trying so hard to get my attention, they must need help with something quite badly and like a nice person, I’m more than willing to help if I can.

If could also be someone just passing by and messing with the smoke detector because it looked interesting.  A kind of ethereal “ooh what does THIS do” moment.  I don’t have much of an issue with that. Again, follow the rules. Come. Look.  Leave the electronics alone and for god’s sake, don’t BREAK anything!!!

Anything else, well, okay, you can run along now.

I think an energy cleanse might create a blockage between me and my family and since I don’t want to do that, I’m more or less stuck with the goings on and waiting to find out what happens next.  Besides, I’m curious to see what happens next.  Providing it’s not a negative entity, I’m happy for it to drop in for a visit and I’ll help it if I can.

For now, stay tuned.  I have a feeling this party is just getting started.

Airtasker Fail

I did Airtasker again this week to have the wretched new globe in the kitchen replaced yet again as this one was faulty. Due to back and shoulder injuries, I’m not safe to climb on my stepladder and I can’t even reach above my head even if I did. I needed help.

After my experiences earlier in the year, Airtasker has become my go-to place when I need something done so I posted the job and looked forward to yet another great experience. I’ve had nothing but smooth sailing so far and didn’t think this would be any different. I was about to get an education.

Here’s how the saga unfolded:

Sunday evening:

I posted the job and had an offer from a guy I shall only refer to as AT. He implied he could come by immediately to have a look but I said it was getting s on for 11.30pm and far too late. Who even suggests coming to BEGIN handyman work at that hour? I was gobsmacked. So I said Monday would be better and asked if he wanted to come in the morning.

Monday:

Morning clearly wasn’t happening and I had to go out so I left a message on Airtasker to say I’d be back after 4.30pm. While I was out, he replied at 10.39am to say he’d come by at 8pm. I really felt that was a little late to be coming by for work but I’m a nice person and I try to be flexible, so I agreed.

The first communication I got from him was at 9.45pm to say “Hi, it’s AT from Airtasker. I’m about 20-30 minutes away, is that cool.”

Like…hello? It was a Monday evening! A lot of people go to bed about 10pm because they have to be up early for work the next day and he wanted to show up NOW to start work???? What kind of person was this?

I was exhausted that day and even staying up until 8pm was a tough ask. Staying up until after 10pm to wait for him to grace me with his presence was almost beyond my physical tolerance. I wasn’t impressed but I tried to be polite and friendly.

He turned up at 10.20pm and spent the next half hour examining the light. Prognosis was that a new globe was needed and I would get it the next day and he would come the following evening to insert it and replace the light cover. That was fine, I could handle that. I let him know I had an appointment late afternoon on Tuesday and would text him to let him know when I was home (and he could come). He left at 10.47pm.

Points to note here:
1 – He did not bring any tool with him other than a lamp to see by as of course the kitchen had no illumination.
2 – He criticized the fact that I had only a small kitchen stepladder comprising two steps. He asked several times if I had another kind of ladder. I don’t. I’m not a handyman. That’s HIS role. If you need a taller ladder, bring it yourself. It’s not like he didn’t know he’d be dealing with a kitchen light.
3 – When he wanted to examine the globe from the light fitting, he needed to ask me for a screwdriver. I did have one and went to get it but I’m wondering why I needed to. Surely he should have a few basic tools in those tool pockets on the side of his pants?

Tuesday

I had a 4pm appointment in the city and didn’t get home until almost 6.45pm. I texted enroute to say that I would be available after 7.30pm. I let him know that I would be going to bed at 10pm because I wasn’t having another repeat of Monday. I also said I would be home Wednesday and Thursday evenings so he’d know.

So I spent the entire evening sitting around waiting for him to contact me. I had an upcoming surgery on Friday and needed to get a lot of things done during the week. I could have done some of them after hours but instead I was chained at home waiting for a call or text that never seemed to come. I was becoming increasingly irate.

I finally got a text at 9.33pm to say “Sorry for the late reply but it’s probly to late to come now so I’ll have to come tomorrow night.” Okay. So having wasted an entire evening sitting around waiting for him to give me any kind of attention, it was now going to be Wednesday.

Wednesday

I texted as soon as I was home at 5.43pm to say I was home and what time did he want to come by? No response.

I texted again at 8.29pm to say “I really need to know what’s going on. Are you comging at all? If so, when? I have things to do all this week and cannot plan without communication from you. Please advise.”  No response.

I also left a message via Airtasker at 8.22pm to say:

I’m sorry AT but I really need to know what’s going on.

I simply cannot keep sitting around waiting for you to turn up until all hours of the day and night. I have a life too.

You mentioned that you would turn up tonight and I’ve yet to hear from you about that with any kind of time frame. I have texted you and left a phone message but have been unable to contact you.

I simply REFUSE to have work done here again after 10pm. It’s just not reasonable to ask people to do that unless you have stated that this will be the case BEFORE making your offer and they have agreed to this. You gave me no opportunity to do that. I am willing to be flexible if you have an odd schedule but you need to communicate better. Keeping me waiting with scant information is just not acceptable.

You said you would be here on Monday evening at 8pm, which is late enough. Instead you turned up at 10.20pm which is completely outrageous and didn’t finish until after 10.45pm.

If you are unable to complete the task at a reasonable time of day, please let me know and I will cancel the job and repost it, no hard feelings.

I will be available tonight (Wed) until 9.30pm and then tomorrow (Thurs) until 9pm. I will not be available Friday night at all. I will be available Saturday afternoon as far as I know at this stage and on Sunday.

Please give me a FIXED time frame when you will be here so that I can make plans. I shouldn’t have to sit around here all day and night waiting to see if you show up. I have things to do.

Again, if you are not able to complete the task at a reasonable time of DAY, please just let me know so I can cancel and repost,

Thank you.

I don’t like to be harsh but I’d just spent ANOTHER evening sitting around waiting for him to turn up with no communication at all. This kind of disrespect really makes my blood boil.

At 8.40pm he rang me to make a time for Thursday. I was not happy with the conversation. It was vague and non-specific.

First he wanted to come “about lunchtime” which I assume would be between 12-2pm. I asked for a more specific time and he said that he could just call when he was in the area and let me know he’d be a half hour away. I wasn’t happy with this saying what if I was que

Thursday

I was home and ready between 2-3pm as arranged, but he was a no show. He finally called at 3.23pm but I missed the call as my line was busy. Recognising the number, I rang straight back at 3.27pm and only got his voice mail. I left a message. I also texted him letting him know I got the call, rang back and left a message and for him to please call back.

Then I spent the next two hours sitting around yet AGAIN waiting for him to show up or call. He finally rang me at 5.15pm to say that he had the kids and couldn’t come sooner. I wondered if the kids hijacked the phone preventing him from returning my call any time since 3.30pm.

He wanted to come at 7.30pm. I agreed to this but firmly said, 7.30, no later. Then all of a sudden he wanted to come at 8pm. I took a deep breath to control my frustration and agreed to this but again, firmly said 8pm, no later.

He turned up at 8.01pm and fitted the light within 20 minutes. He didn’t bring the right kind of silicon to put the cover back so taped my two broom handles together to support the cover from the floor while the silicon dries. I’ll probably never be able to get that tape off spoiling both brooms for good.

The job was tagged as completed and request for payment made in less than 60 seconds after he walked out the door.

My thoughts on the subject:

Throughout this whole week I have tried to remain civil and polite.  If I crossed the line in any of the messages I sent him, please tell me where.  However, I found that by Wednesday, I was so frustrated that I was becoming shorter and more to the point with him rather than being relaxed and sociable.  This is what happens when I am pushed beyond my limit and treated as not worthy of notice.

I love airtasker and will continue to use it but with far more discretion now. I will more clearly state my available times in the job description so there are no misunderstandings.

I value four things above all others in this world – honesty, punctuality, communication and conscientiousness. I look for people who feel the same and do their best to ensure people aren’t kept waiting and if they are, the lines of good communication are open.

I strongly feel that if he could only come late at night due to other commitments, he should have stated this in his offer so I would know that this would be the case and in accepting his offer, be agreeing to that situation. He didn’t begin suggesting to come late at night until after I’d accepted his offer.

I feel that since he knew he would be dealing with a kitchen light and is of rather short stature, he should have come equipped with his own ladder and tools, and not had to rely on mine.  If he’s going to rely on the job poster for all tools and materials, then suck it up when they aren’t to his liking.  

It is common decency to restrict visits to people’s houses to no later than 7.30pm on a weeknight as people have things to do and children to get to bed. It is only polite and respectful to visit after that time if you have been invited and both parties are in agreement.

It is never okay to ring people after 9pm especially on a weeknight. People are often winding down for bed or have already gone to bed if they have a super early start in the morning.

Standing on my doorstep at 10.20pm expecting to START a job is just gross disrespect and rudeness. Unforgivable.

I understand that he may have commitments and this may mess up his planned appointments but would it hurt to call as soon as those changes happen and keep the person hiring you in the loop? That’s really just common courtesy.

I like to be flexible and accommodate people where I can which was the only reason I let him come by so late for example. However, I have spent the four days of this week waiting for him to text me, phone me or grace me with his presence. It’s simply unacceptable.

Unless I want to put my entire life on hold and be a slave to his whims for another week waiting for him to decide that he’s ready to blow in and do something, I won’t be hiring him again.

Much as I despise giving negative feedback, I could only give him two stars out of five and tried to say as much of this information as I could so the next person considering hiring him would know and be aware.  He only got the two stars for clearly knowing his stuff.

I’m glad the job is done. I’m glad my light is working. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with him again.

Yay and Nay

When you have one of ‘those’ days….

Yay! – I got the TV remote sorted.  Barely 6 months after buying the TV, the remote totally died. I dug up my paperwork and took the old remote returned to store I bought the TV from.  They gave me a replacement free of charge.

Nay! – It took me over an hour to find a car space near the Bridge today so I was far later than I liked to be. All the full day spots were taken and all that was left were 1 & 2 hour places, and the parking inspectors are sharks.  After cruising for close to an hour, I spied a place in one of the all day streets but by then I was seriously wound up and stressed. 

Yay! – I helped the Operations Manager do a bankruptcy and police check which went well. I hadn’t done either before but he asked for my help and I was happy to give it.  It took us almost 2 hours but we achieved it well and he’s sorted.  Since he’s also my boss, it was nice to have the ‘win’ and be seen positively in his eyes. 

Nay! – I lost a folder on the computer at the Bridge and I can’t work out what happened to it. I can replace it but it’s annoying to have to and unnerving in case I do it again. There wasn’t much in it but I don’t even know how it happened.

Yay! – The Eye and Ear Preadmission Nurse called to run me through my fasting instructions. I’m good to go.

Nay! – I have realized I need to get some scripts filled before my surgery on Friday so I can take the meds with me.

Yay! – I got the legal papers for mum scanned and emailed to her lawyer. I meet him tomorrow and can go through them, ask all my questions and sign them. 

Nay! – For some reason my laptop is doing weird things. I think it’s related to software I removed. Now I’m pulling everything off the laptop so I can do a factory reset. I have no idea how to do that just now, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.  It can’t go on in the ridiculous way it is now. 

Yay! – I got home and played around with the new remote. It works brilliantly.

Nay! – I have been up for over 24 hours now. I’m very tired and have no idea how I’m still staying awake and alert, but I’m hoping I’ll sleep well tonight.

Yay! – My Airtasker is due here at 6pm to check out kitchen light and see what can be done to bring light back to my kitchen after nightfall.  No more tripping over the cat or stubbing toes.

Life Lessons

Things my 52 years of life has taught me…

  1. Worship whomever or whatever you please and allow others the freedom to do the same.
  2. Never inflict your beliefs or lifestyle on others against their will.
  3. Religious or personal beliefs do not belong in the workplace – ever.
  4. Do what you will as long as it harm none.
  5. When you cannot do, do what you can.
  6. As long as you aren’t doing anything that harms anyone, what offends others is entirely their own problem – not yours.
  7. Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.
  8. You don’t have to be perfect, just be enough.
  9. Listen to the opinion of others but make your own choices.
  10. If you wouldn’t announce it to the world, don’t tell it to anyone – especially at work.
  11. If people will gossip about others’ private business, they will do the same with yours.
  12. A confidence is a gift. Treasure it as such. It’s not merchandise to trade around.
  13. Choose friends who make you laugh and will be there when things get hard.
  14. Be kind to others but be kinder to yourself.
  15. It’s okay to stop being strong and accept help from others.
  16. You aren’t invincible no matter how hard you try to be.
  17. It’s okay to prioritize your own needs above others.
  18. You are not here just to serve others.
  19. If he (or she) doesn’t treat you with respect, they aren’t worthy of you.
  20. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  21. When you choose the action, you choose the consequences. Don’t complain when you don’t like them.
  22. You don’t have to suffer first before you can have something good.
  23. The world does not have to, and will not, bend over backwards to accommodate you. Meet it half way.
  24. If they aren’t honest with you, they won’t have your back – ever.
  25. Learn to spot those who only hang around you to see what you have to say about others. Then ditch them – fast.
  26. Life is short. Don’t put anything off.
  27. Aim to grow old with a pile of memories, not regrets.
  28. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone how great they are or how much they mean to you.
  29. Grief is love for someone with no place left to go.
  30. When you are young, you’ll want to be old and vice versa. Be happy with now.
  31. Never answer to a wolf whistle. You’re a lady. Not a dog.
  32. Never answer to barked orders. You’re a human being. Not steak.
  33. Expensive things are worth nothing if you don’t have someone to share them with.
  34. If you want a lot of people to mourn your loss, be someone of value in their life that they’ll dearly miss.
  35. If you can still laugh when everything seems to be going wrong, you’re doing okay with it.
  36. You don’t have to be alone – ever.
  37. You have permission to be angry over things. You don’t have permission to beat up other people (or animals) over them – physically, verbally or emotionally.
  38. It’s okay to say “I’m hurting” and talk to someone about it.
  39. Death is not a solution to being in pain. All it does it pass the pain onto others.
  40. You can’t change the past or the future. Settle for working on now.
  41. Get your affairs in order and make sure someone knows your wishes in case of serious accident. It can happen at anytime.
  42. Yes you CAN – no matter what the subject is.
  43. Most people don’t plan to be mean. They just don’t have anyone to show them how to behave better. Make that your contribution to their life.
  44. The only person responsible for you, is you. Don’t make choices you’ll have to complain about later.
  45. Never stop learning or taking classes. There is always something new to explore.
  46. You don’t know everything. Never act as if you do.
  47. Offer advice “for consideration only” not as a command.
  48. When someone asks for your advice then chooses to do something else, back them 100% because that’s what true friends do.
  49. Blame is what you do when you’re not adult enough to take responsibility for your own actions.
  50. Smiles are free. Give them away in abundance.

Feefed!

So I woke at about 3.30am feeling a bit thick headed and blurry eyed, as you do when you’ve only scored a couple of hours shut eye.

Struggling to my feet, I headed for the bathroom only to be joined by the Ladygirl who came happily trotting in from the couch as soon as she heard me get up.

Many happy head rubs, back scratches and tail strokes were provided while I took care of business.  Any cat owner knows all about this particular multiskill.

There is simply no such thing as privacy in a house with a cat and you are dutifully expected to provide adoration on demand regardless whatever else you may be doing at the time. I have long since traded a closed toilet door in favour of a happy cat.  Easy to see who runs things around here, isn’t it?

So okay, I didn’t need to be fully awake to provide worship, so I complied with my Catterly duties much to her purry and chirpy delight!

Having had her fill of cuddles for the moment, Ariya soon disappeared in the direction of the kitchen.  Well that didn’t sound like a bad idea.  I could do with a coffee just then so I headed in that direction myself.

The light in the kitchen doesn’t work right now but I always leave a light on in the lounge which spills over into the kitchen so I could see well enough.

There she was, huddled over something on the floor in the middle of the kitchen, proudly and gleefully guarding her new treasure.  I had no idea what it was but I was interested to find out.

My first thought was that something must have fallen from the table but I couldn’t imagine what.  It didn’t LOOK like anything that had been on the table but hey, until I got a closer look, I couldn’t be sure.  So I quietly wandered over to see what she had.

When I did see, I was totally like…WTF?????

There, safely tucked away under Ariya’s delighted paws was a pair of my underpants!

I had taken them off when I went to bed but she must have gone and got them and carried them out to the kitchen while I slept!  My cat had turned into a panty thief!!!

Thank god I don’t live in a share house or something because that would have been humiliating! 

I retrieved them from her and took them back to the bedroom.  She was close on my heels the whole way to see what I did with her prize.  I put them up where I hoped they’d be out of her reach although this is a cat we’re talking about.  Is anything ever out of reach of a feline?

Don’t ask me what precipitated this new felonious attitude.  She’s never done that before and I hope she never does again but every time I look at her now, I have a mental image of her trotting down the hall to the kitchen dragging my pink underwear with her.  There’s a visual I could have done without!

So I woke this morning to soft, innocent Ariya.  The one that curls on the end of the bed to be close to me while I sleep, purrs and gives me soft head bumps, before we both get up and face the day.

No sign that Panty Bandit ever existed but I know better!  That personality is in there somewhere just waiting to rear her tail and swipe my undies when I least expect it!   It’s just a matter of time before she surfaces again.

Like…du’oh!!!!

An Unpleasant Surprise

You know that feeling when you’re rolling along thinking everything is okay and wham, the wheels fall off!  I had one of those moments this morning and by god did it change the map of where things are at.

Before I reached the car this morning, the game was to sort out the volunteer stuff at the Bridge and wait until the Eye & Ear preadmissions department contacts me to give me a date for my second surgery.  I was rolling along fine with that.

I’ve done lots of projects here at home in the last week or so and I do feel like I’m really accomplishing something and that is an AMAZING feeling I never had at St V’s.

When I first started at The Bridge, I was still a little frail and fragile and needed to take things very gently and slowly.  Now, I’m stronger and they are giving me more responsibility and placing tasks in my hands, secure in the knowledge that I’ll capably get it sorted – which I do.

I have really come a long way since my information session on June 21 and I’m just so much stronger and more capable in myself than I was even 5 months ago, which is a really good thing because I’m going to need that strength in the next few weeks.

When I reached my car this morning, there was a white car parked alongside me which I thought looked familiar.  In fact, I really thought it looked like Lily’s, the nasty real estate agent with whom I had a major run in back in February/March.

If you care to read about that little altercation, you can do so here: Blog Post: Inspection or go to the home page and search ‘Inspection’ in the box provided.  The link I’ve included here will open a new window so you won’t lose this one.

Anyway, the car looked familiar because it was.  As I was about to unlock my car, Lily emerged from the other and seemed surprised that I was about to go out.  Her surprise was only exceeded by mine when she told me that she was there for inspection. News to me. 

Since her appalling inspection back in February and unmitigated nastiness on the day, telling me a thoroughly filthy tone, “I’m not intimidated by you….”, I knew that there were good odds she’d pull a second inspection in September.  I’ve been watching out for any kind of communication to that effect and was surprised that there was none.  So to see her this morning was a complete shock.  A bad one.  However, I coped well I thought.

I came around to the passenger side of my car to where she was parked so I could talk without shouting.  I feel it’s very rude to stand outside virtually shouting at someone less than a foot away and the whole neighbourhood hears your business.  She emerged from her car to a standing position with the door open and between us.

Then we had a combination of Sweet Lily and Ball-breaker Lily, as I have mentally dubbed her two visible personalities, as the conversation unfolded. She’s Sweet Lily when she wants something and Ball-breaker Lily when she wants to throw her weight around and figures she has the upper hand.

So the conversation went something like this.

Lily:     You didn’t get the letter I sent you?

Me:      No.

Lily:     But the other unit I was here to inspect got their letter when I sent it to them!  (And what happens with another unit matters to me…why?)

Me:      I have no idea what happened with the other unit but I’ve seen nothing. No letter, no text, no phone messages.

Lily:     So how about tomorrow?  (As she consults her diary)

Me:      That’s really short notice. (Not to mention, illegal, as she should very well know)

Lily:     Thursday?

Me:      No, I have an appointment on Thursday.  In fact, pretty much all this week is out.

Lily:     So what about the 16th of October? (Flipping pages aggressively)

Me:      That should be okay.

Lily:     At 3pm?

Me:      Yeah, that’s fine. So what day was the 16th?

Lily:     Tuesday

Me:      That should be okay but I can’t confirm it yet because I’m still waiting to hear back from the hospital about a surgical date.  I’ll have to confirm closer to the time.

Lily:     But I have to inspect…  (Clearly irritated by this news and showing it. Ball-breaker Lily emerges)

Me:      Yes I know but I’m still waiting to hear back about a date.

Lily:     So when will they call you

Me:      I have no idea.  Soon, I hope.  (Even less welcome news. Is it my fault I’m not psychic?)

Lily:     Okay.

 Then she got in car, sent me a text to say she will be inspecting on the 16th at 3pm and drove off.  Meanwhile, I made a show of checking the mailbox to kill time until she’d left the property and I knew for sure she was gone.

At this stage I had several thoughts running through my head as I formulated a loose game plan.

  1. Where the hell is Ariya?  Is she visible?  I’m not allowed a cat so I keep her hidden during inspections and inside the rest of the time so nobody can complain about her.  From where Lily was parked, she could easily have seen Ariya if she had jumped up on the back of the couch to watch me leave as she so often does.  Thankfully, Ariya wasn’t in sight this time.
  2. I have two weeks.  I can get a fair amount of stuff done in that time.
  3. I need to call Miss G and discuss it with her to see if she can be there during inspection as a witness, like she did last time.  I thought I’d call from  The Bridge as I had been on my way there for a morning meeting when Lily stopped me, so I didn’t really have time right then to make the call. 
  4. I mentally started figuring out what needed to be done at home in order to come up to Lily’s ball-breaking standards.  I also made a mental note to quietly audio record this inspection so I could make a formal complaint if I needed to.
  5. Checking the time, late for meeting, must dash.
  6. Nothing in mailbox except garbage.  No idea where this fabled ‘letter’ was but it sure as hell wasn’t anywhere on the property, let alone in my presence.

Having watched Lily drive out and setting off soon after her, I actually followed her down to Preston where she’s based so I know for sure she didn’t double back and do an informal inspection without authorisation.

When I got to The Bridge, I hunted for my phone only to remember that I had charged it the night before and left it on the table next to my chair.  I didn’t have the number for Miss G anywhere else so calling her would have to wait until I got home.  Just DAMN!

I’ll be writing the number into my diary now because I always have that with me and honestly, after 15 years without one, I couldn’t be without it now that I have one again.  I’d never keep track of what I had on otherwise.

Anyway, I quietly spat the dummy all day until I could get home and really begin to action some kind of game plan about this.

Last February, I was absolutely devastated and left shattered beyond words by Lily’s disgustingly overbearing and rude attitude.  I REFUSE to be in that position again!  I just REFUSE – hands down!

The first thing I did was pick up the mobile and call Miss G who happily answered right away.  I told her about Lily’s visit and before I really even asked, she was already way ahead of me and agreed to be here at 2.30pm on the 16th to be a witness, like she did last time.

Lily pulls her punches when she’s under observation because that’s what cowardly bullies do when they know their current actions might come back to bite them big time.  She’s one of the worst.  If she senses weakness, she’s an absolutely ruthless vulture.  We’ll see how things go this time round.

Driving home, I was mentally figuring some kind of plan and it looked like this:

  1. Post on airtasker for a cleaner to come and maybe do 6 hours of cleanup like last time so the place is really clean.  I can arrange that for just before inspection.
  2. Post on airtasker for a handyman to come and fix the kitchen tap which drips like a waterfall, give the garden a quick cut with a whipper snipper (I’ll suss it tomorrow to see what needs to be done) and maybe even get help with the kitchen light as the globe has blown and I’m safe to climb up there and remove the cover and globe to see the code number for a new one.

Since speaking with Miss G, I have identified that I really AM a lot stronger now than I was last February/March.  Housework was just beyond me back then.  It was a bridge too far for me to cross and I simply collapsed in distress if I even tried.

Now, I’m doing much better.  Being at The Bridge has really helped strengthen me in ways  I haven’t fully realised, and given me back a great deal of my inner resourcefulness.

So now the current game plan looks like this:

  1. Refuse to dwell on the subject and work myself in a nervous collapse
  2. Do a light clean up here and there myself every day free so it’s not overwhelming at any given time but everything gets done
  3. Get a cleaner from airtasker in for maybe 2-3 hours of deep clean just prior to inspection
  4. Arrange a handyman via airtasker once I peek out back and see precisely what needs doing
  5. Confirm the inspection date with Miss G and Lily if no theatre date is given or one is arranged but there is no conflict with the 16th.
  6. Make sure that there is a fresh battery in my audio recorder and have it somewhere handy for the day itself.  Write a post it note somewhere obvious so I don’t forget to record.
  7. SMILE.  This is totally doable.  I GOT THIS!

I think the current game plan is reasonable and healthy.  I will identify areas that I might have overlooked as I go and address them accordingly.

What I’m NOT going to do is allow this situation to paralyse me and set me back 6 months in my recovery!  It would not only affect my physical and emotional health but it would also badly affect my performance at The Bridge and I really don’t want that to happen!

For the first time in my life, I feel really RESPECTED.  People can see that I have skills and aren’t judging me on an interview and preconceived ideas drawn from my resume.  They’re judging me on ME and the skills I’ve displayed and demonstrated.  That has gone a long way there and honestly, I feel so happy every time I walk in there that I don’t want to do anything to spoil it.

However, The Bridge is a story for another post.  For this one, I’ll simply say that it would really upset me very badly if I began to have problem there based on a nervous event thanks to Lily and her obnoxious mouth.

And before anyone jumps on my case about audio recording her, I have researched the subject at length and I AM allowed to record her without her knowledge or consent PROVIDING the recording is for my PERSONAL use only, ie: making notes about the inspection and precisely what was said.

It CANNOT be provided to a third party as proof against her in any way.  That’s fine with me.  I’m happy to record, transcribe everything, and have my witness to back me up about body language and attitude.  The recording will allow me to make accurate notes should a formal complaint about her be necessary.

Right now, here, today; I am taking my meds and I’m in a good place emotionally.  I have this sorted with a strategy moving forward, and hey, look! I didn’t need anyone to step in and take over to make plans for me this time.  I did it all myself so I’m going to acknowledge that, and allow myself to be proud of this visible proof of how far I’ve come.

It might have started out tenuous, but this day has really ended well.

Just YAY ME!

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