Tag Archives: safety

We Are Getting Called Back into Physical Work :(

21 May

Even though we can do 100% of the job from home.  And we have been working from home just fine since March 15.  And we made production records.

Nothing has changed with the Covid pandemic since they had us work from home.  In fact, cases in Arizona are going up.

They are still adamant we must return to the building June 1st.

And our building is not conducive to reducing the risk of getting sick.  I am absolutely certain people will spread the virus.

We work in one open room.  157 on the claims side, then however many on the opposite side of the fairly open building in Customer Service.  Our cubicles are short, and management already said it would be too expensive to raise the walls.  As I complained here many times, I could already feel the cough/sneeze air of the gal in the cube behind me (because she doesn’t cover her shit).

The long hallways are open, kitchenettes with the water, microwaves, and refrigerators, are part of the big, open room and shared by most.  We all have to enter and leave by badging in and out of one central bottleneck.  There are 2 women’s bathrooms only with 5 stalls and 3 sinks.  They are crowded routinely.  We share them with the CSRs.  The janitor cleans the bathrooms twice daily, and when he does, he closes 1 of the bathrooms so the entire female claims and CSRs share 1 bathroom of 5 stalls and 3 sinks.

I am very concerned.  We already got many messages through the emergency system that someone in our building had been diagnosed with Covid-19 (this was toward the beginning of work from home).

Work says our health is the number 1 priority.  But I find that hypocritical since they’re dragging us back in with no justification in the middle of a global pandemic.

Leadership sent out a handout of the guidelines:

Do a self-survey and self temp check before entering the building (people are not careful, people lie, some carriers are asymptomatic)

Wear masks in common areas (except common areas got perverted to ‘not our big, open room where we all work and breathe for the majority of the day and there is recirculated AC.  Oh, and my supervisor diluted the manual’s instruction more by telling us that the masks are a recommendation, not a requirement)

Social distance and stay 6 feet apart (except the said our short cubicles are 6×6 so we’ll be the same distance as always.  And the bathrooms are going to be a bottleneck.  And the kitchenettes because so many of us have to share them.  And I’m worried leadership will come right to my desk to tell me things or help me with work.)

They said they’ll increase the air flow rate in the buildings they own.  (They don’t own our building.  Even if there is increased rate, it’s still a closed building, and the AC is still recirculated all day long as everyone breathes–without masks).

Work said they’re following federal, state, and CDC guidelines.  (Trump hasn’t really implemented any plan whatsoever, and he has ulterior motives to prioritize the economy over everything else so he can get reelected.  Our governor also prioritizes buisiness because the state ran out of money probably and he’s bought and paid for by corporations.  Our governor has already opened stores, malls, dine in restaurants, bars, gyms, pools, and casinos if that tells you where his priorities are.  And when people broke his recommendations by opening earlier, or having enormous groups with no health measures–he did nothing.  It was not enforced at all.  No fines, no orders to close down.  Nothing happened.  So we can’t depend on that douche to implement public health measures that are reasonable.  And the CDC has been politicized and muzzled, so their recommendations are weak and diluted.

So the federal isn’t doing anything for public health–they’re actively working against science and health measures.  Our red state is tired and inconvenienced and money over lives so no one is helping prevent the spread.  We are in a right to work state, so I have no protections if my work demands I go back–even if I feel unsafe doing so.  And I know even if I fight, they will say we’re essential health care workers so they really don’t have to make any accommodations at all to require us back in the building.  And obviously we HAVE to keep the job.  That’s not even close to an option.

But I don’t like it.

But I get so tired of capitalism and corporate interests jerking the little people around.  I want to have rights and a voice, and wish unions were mainstream.  We needed Elizabeth Warren to take care of some of this corruption and money over lives ideals that Americans just have to live by.  I want to feel safe at work.

I’m legit worried as soon as we step into work we will get the Covid-19.  So what was the point of us working from home at all, if we go back before the peak even hits the state?  I never thought moving to a red state might literally kill me…

Trump Terror

11 Nov

I was actually happy when Trump got the Republican nomination.  I thought Jeb Bush, with his family-backing, and Texas oil money, and far-right support was more of a threat.  I highly doubted anyone would take Donald Trump seriously.  I mean, all he had going for him was money and trash-talk!  I felt voting for him was akin to voting for a Kardashian.  They’re in the same camp–you know their names from the stupid stuff they say and do on television, but you don’look to them for any serious leadership.

And I knew if nobody took Trump seriously (because HOW could they!!!) that whatever democrat was running would be a shoe-in.  I wasn’t sad to see it was Hillary.  I had actually voted for her over Obama in the primary that first time around when she ran.  I knew her face, thought she worked really hard as Secretary of State, and yeah–I wanted a woman in the White House.

But I thought women’s rights were farther ahead than they actually are.  I really think if Hillary were a man, things would have played out differently.  It would have been an EQUAL assessment of two candidates.  Not just a singular attack on one and blind-spot toward the other.  They would have dug into her dirty laundry–sure–that’s part of the political game these days.  And believe me, they ALL have their share of dirty laundry.  The political machine is so caught up in money now, that ALL candidates that make it to a certain lever most certainly made back room deals to get funded.  They all owe somebody.  Every politician has to water down a certain policy they care about, because a special interest group contributed to their campaign.

That makes them all lairs.  They all manipulate.  Every politician is shady.  I expect it.

But they would have used the bad stuff to equal disadvantage, apples-to-apples.  They didn’t.  When people called Hillary a liar, I was like–yeah.  Of course.  But what I didn’t expect was to people to hold that against Hillary in a militant way, when they didn’t hold the male politician to the same standard.  I would challenge that every accusation, every piece of dirty laundry found on Hillary was used against her in a more drastic way then it is used against any man that has run or held office.  People were a LOT harsher on Clinton then they’ve been on most males in politics.

The patriarchal double-standard reared it’s ugly head.

Even so, I didn’t think the country would go for Donald Trump.  How could they?  He is a caricature.  He’s all fluff and propaganda, and realty TV!  He has no political experience, no solid policy ideas, only hateful sound-bites.  His business dealings were murky.  The guy claimed bankruptcy and didn’t pay taxes.  He wavered on issues, and lost all three debates.  His supporters were the trashiest, most backward, belligerents in the country.  He got caught candidly admitting his penchant for sexual abuse.  Americans would not get behind any of that.  We might like to see the train wreck on TV, but we expect more decorum and have higher standards for our president.

The leader of our country–the leader of the world.

I was in absolute shock when we didn’t.

This week was difficult.  I felt suddenly scared and alone.  I knew every person from my small town voted republican.  I felt since Trump is against many of the minority groups I belong to (women-in social standing, impoverished, gays) that my Utah work managers were also.  My hometown was also.  My Facebook friends were also.  My parents were also.  I was suddenly marginalized.  Cowering at the fringes.

And my groups are actually dominant groups OF the marginalized groups.  The illegals, people of color, transsexuals, Muslims–all have it way worse.  If I felt scared and alone, how must THEY feel???

I saw many Trump supporters come across my Facebook feed.  And they shut-down dissent by telling anyone liberal or sorry about the win to “get over it.”  They discounted their opinions, silencing their views.  I try not to make waves on Facebook.  Or at work.  I know I am more progressive then my small-town peers.  I understand I have lived in more states, have more education, watch documentaries and learn about issues.  I’m a moderate, but a progressive one.  That sets me apart from most loud political views.  I get that people that just don’t know, don’t necessarily hate, but they are ignorant.  I can let some things go.  And I am usually quiet.  I scroll past the politics that are opposite to my views, the hate-memes, and ignorance.  Because these people are family.  Or they are my past.  I grew up and went through every year of schooling from kindergarten to senior year with some of these people–it’s just not worth it.

But when people started hassling Cool on her Facebook page, I stopped to think.  She was upset and posted why.  People wrote long diatribes, personally attacking her.  People told her to shut up about it.  People said to “move on.”  And in a society that just accepted what Trump stands for, and voted him in the highest office–I decided we could no longer afford apathy.

A lot of the reason he got voted in was because people didn’t like either candidate so they didn’t vote.  A whole, big section of youth, and moderates, and democrats just didn’t vote.  Which left privileged people to make our decisions.  People whose lives look nothing like mine.  People who don’t have the same problems and worries as me (or other marginalized groups).  It made me think a lot of that Holocaust quote, which I will not directly quote (because I’m too lazy to go search for it, and I already have more tabs open then I like) so I will sum the sentiment up:  They took the criminals, and I was not a criminal so I didn’t say anything.  They took the gypsies, and I was not a gypsy so I didn’t say anything.  They took the Jews and I was not a Jew so I didn’t say anything.  So when they came for me–there was nobody to speak for me.

We always have to remember how the Holocaust started so nothing even remotely similar can repeat itself.  It’s not just about some tyrant stealing power–it’s the apathy and silence from the real majority that allows that to happen.

And Cool and I spent a very large part of the year watching WWII (and everything around the periphery of that) shows, interviews, and documentaries.  I know what apathy can lead to, I know how things got started in Germany back then.  So I felt motivated to stand up where I could in my own life.  I made a new policy that I would not be silenced by the privileged few.  I would not stand down as a woman.  I will not hide as a gay.  I will not let my poverty minimize my power.  And I wouldn’t stand by and say nothing when others were hassled–not anymore.  I will act with integrity and stand for what I believe in.  Even if it causes confrontation.  I will deliberately show my ethics and speak my morals.  I have to counter the negativity and hate that was just sanctioned by a vocal majority by stopping the silence and apathy.  First in my own life, then maybe even on a larger scale.

Here’s what I wrote to Cool (and her frenemies on Facebook):

hypocracy

 

And I wrote to her (and those frenemies of hers):

“Words of wisdom: I will not be shut-down or silenced. I will continue to voice my ethics and let my values guide my actions. Hate has no place here. Don’t let societal pressures make you falter. Speak your mind. Speak your truth.”

Because right now it’s super-important for all those just marginalized by the ignorants and the haters to have a voice.  Remind people we’re here and we’re just as valid.  And we have dreams, hopes, and rights.  We deserve an equal chance.  We deserve respect.  That dissent is not unpatriotic.  To speak out for injustice is as American as you can get.  It’s what this country was built on.

I also got brave and wrote from my heart on my own Facebook page.  Knowing I was outnumbered by right-wingers.  Knowing there was hate for my groups just under the surface.

“I try to keep politics off my page. Nobody really wants to hear it–you’re not changing anyone’s mind. And I don’t identify with either party. I think with all the money, and lobbyists, and Super-PACS all candidates that make it that far have to be corrupt just to be in the game. But I am in shock and dismay.

For me, this 2016 election result is not about red or blue, winning or losing, it’s about standing for my values, and modeling my ethics. I will not be shut-down and I will not falter in defending my morals for fear of antagonism. It’s not about, “move on, get over it.” Trump’s values do not align with mine. And friends/family I hope I know you well enough that Trump’s quotes/feelings are not in your heart either.
This is a country of immigrants, mentally ill, minorities, women, gays, impoverished, of “other.” Big-Money shouldn’t have the largest and last say in all matters. As a proud American I recognize how fortunate I am to be born here and at the status that I hold. But that’s all it was–luck, completely out of my control. I will raise my voice to defend the little people– outsiders like myself–because that’s the kind of person I am.
If you can’t respect that, if you are ignorant to the sentiment of this message–mostly I feel sorry for you. And a little afraid. For myself, for the others like me, for this great country, and for you. God bless, and may the universe be kind to you and yours.”
I was disappointed I only got 3 likes and one comment–none of those from family.  So the fears and isolation are real.  Those people on my Facebook WOULD turn against me.  I have to watch my mouth and watch my back.
But I will not be silenced.  I will not go down without a fight.
I took my new personal-policy of not being silenced to my job yesterday.  Crissy bought us ice cream.  She got 4 different flavors of candy bars.  Derick the Douche loves Reese’s PB cups best, so she specifically got ice cream in that flavor for him.  He claimed it before he saw it.  The rest of us decided which flavors we wanted.  Derick then saw the ice cream, and saw his flavor was smaller then the rest.  He said he wanted oreo instead (it was the biggest).  But an Indian gal had already picked that one out.  White, male, privileged, dominant Derick the Douche wanted it, and pushed for it.  She conceded.  I spoke up–“No Siama already chose that one.”  And I like PB, and didn’t particularly care which ice cream flavor I ate (I love ALL ice cream!) so I told him to take the Twix one I had picked.  He pouted and tried to take hers anyway.  I put my foot down.  Which, I never would have done before.  He’s always that way.  It was none of my business.  But under my new policy, I was not going to stand by and let him bully a minority and take the (perceived) better ice cream away from her.
I used my policy a second time in the same night.  A chronically slow, co-worker, who is always late, always lagging on his buckets, and actually disallowed to do basic tasks because he messes up, ruffled my feathers.  I always do the document imaging at work.  My co-workers don’t like to.  Everyone is supposed to do it.  We even have it assigned to a certain color.  But I do the lions share-no matter what color I am assigned.  Night after night.  Because I am a hard worker.  I’m motivated.  And it needs to be done.  I’ll do the scanning–ALL of the scanning.  Night after night, month after month, year after year-I do the majority of the scanning.  To the point, they don’t even know HOW, some of them, including the boy in this story.
For once, Crissy (who is just a sub and usually doesn’t work) was helping with the scanning.  She got stuck and didn’t know what had gone wrong, and this kid (Josh) was near so went over to help her.  But since he never scans, didn’t know how.  And they all just KNOW that I’m the scanning bitch at work.  In an accusatory tone, he called my name–like ‘YOU fucked this up, now come over and fix your mistake so Crissy can finish our work.’  That’s what his tone and body language said.  And he’s used that tone on me before.  Usually I let it go to keep the peace.  Even though it’s a totally inappropriate tone for work, and completely condescending.  I usually let it go.  Even though it makes me mad and makes me feel ‘less than’ I let it go.
But last night I called him out on it.  I said, “Are you asking for my help or accusing me of something?”  And he still looked agitated and a little hostile toward me so I continued, “You don’t need to use that accusatory tone on anyone at work–especially when you’re asking for their help.”  Turns out, I had not messed anything up.  But even if I had–so what?  And um–scanning is not MY job.  They are supposed to be doing their share and they never do–so don’t come accusing me of anything regarding scanning!  Anyway, Crissy had pressed something wrong, and it was no big deal, I simply showed her how to fix it, and we went on with work.  But my defense had made the kid mad.  He was storming around, slamming his stuff, and had a shitty demeanor for the rest of our shift.
But I wasn’t silenced.
And that felt good.  In a week where shock and horror ruled.  So I will continue on, living ethically, not hiding behind fear or apathy.  I will act with morality, defend those without a voice, and stand up for my beliefs–because they’re just as valid as Trumps, and those who voted for him.

My Newfound Hatred for Traffic Cameras

4 Aug

The City of SpoKompton royally pi$$ed me off today.  Like red-hot searing anger.  They mailed me a traffic ticket.  It seems that when I was coming home from work the other day, I was caught on camera making a right turn on red.  Without coming to a complete 3 sec stop.  There were time-stamped pictures, my license plate, and a video clearly showing I had broken the law.

And believe me, readers, do NOT comment on this post that I was in the wrong so I should indeed have to pay the $124 ticket.  I will come unleashed.  I’m that belligerent about it.

Why I’m so mad:

-It was at 5:12 in the morning.

-There was NO other traffic.  Even the video showed I approached a clear intersection, slowed down, turned, and what followed was a clear intersection.

-You could also see in the video clear crosswalks and sidewalks = no pedestrians.

-Not know the letter of the law is not an excuse, but puh-leeze.

-I think the law needs to change to make sense.  When nobody is there are you’re making a right–why force a 3 sec stop?

-I could see paying a ticket in the very maximum amount of $50.  I can understand that–and I would pay without fussing to the authorities (though you better believe I would fuss on here).  But charging me as if I blew through a whole intersection during a red light?  Nonsense.

-This particular intersection is notorious.  So much so that when I am driving during any sort of daylight hours, I take the (longer) back way–just because the scene is so terrible.  You see, I have to turn left from my residence–and there is no left turn arrow.  And the preceding stoplight of traffic going the opposite direction (coming toward this intersection) is timed so that just as this infamous intersection gets a green–the cars race up the road going straight.  Negating a left turn.  You could sit through 3 or 4 cycles (I have) before finally getting enough time and room to dart quickly to complete a left.  And I have–many times.  Most people that end up in the left turn lane inch into the middle of the intersection, then finally just go.  It’s either block the cross-traffic or run the yellow/red.  So they are forced to wait all day or go either on yellow, or after the light has already changed to red.  There are LEGIT failure to stops making it dangerous.  So DURING HOURS WHEN THERE’S TRAFFIC it’s a dangerous intersection.  BUT have they put in an arrow?  Do they place police there to watch?  Do they change the timing of the lights?  No!  They don’t really care.  Nothing changes to fix the problem and make notorious intersection any safer or user-friendly.  I’m mad about my ticket because the above factors tell me my ticket is not about safety, but money.

-I see way worse offenses go unticketed at this intersection then my right on red.

-They only give you 2.5 weeks to pay the full amount of money.

-What’s NOT to be mad about?

Here’s an article talking about how other people are also angry:

Rolling Right Turns

Rolling right turn violations have been proven to have very little effect on driver safety. In fact, a review of US Department of Transportation statistics shows that an average motorist could drive a billion miles — the distance from Earth to Jupiter and back — before being involved in an accident that resulted from a motorist making a right-turn-on-red. Even these few crashes involved failure to yield the right-of-way; previously stopping, or not stopping, were not the primary cause of these accidents.

Cities with ticket cameras sell the cameras to the public by explaining that they’ll help prevent right-angle crashes. However, the majority of tickets given out inevitably end up being for minor rolling-right-turn violations.

According to the LA Times, Los Angeles officials estimated that 80% of their red-light camera tickets are for rolling right turns. And according to the Chicago Daily Herald, rolling-right-turn violations have accounted for 90% of the tickets generated in several Illinois communities. These tickets are often given to drivers who actually stopped safely but were inches over the line.

Drivers have long interpreted the “Right Turn On Red” law to mean that they must yield to other traffic and to pedestrians before executing a right turn when they confront a red signal at an intersection [my emphasis]. As noted above, this interpretation has worked out extremely well from a safety and traffic movement perspective. Strict enforcement of provisions that require the driver to come to a complete stop, at a specific spot, did not occur until the advent of red-light ticket cameras.

Consequently, while almost all motorists observe the “yield the right-of-way” requirement, they do not always come to a complete stop before executing a right turn on red. National accident data clearly indicate that coming to a complete stop is not necessary, and possibly undesirable, if it causes rear-end collisions.

The NMA believes that the best course of action is to change the law so it is in sync with the way motorists successfully comply with the concept of “Right Turn On Red.” That means removing the requirement mandating coming to a complete stop and replacing it with language that further emphasizes a right turn on red can only be executed after yielding the right of way to all other vehicles and pedestrians. All states, not just those that permit the use of ticket cameras, should make this change in their Right Turn On Red law.

That’s what I’m sayin’!  And from another site:

At The Ticket Clinic, we have seen many red light camera tickets for making a right turn on red.  The red light camera laws state that a red light camera ticket cannot be issued if the driver makes the turn in a “careful and prudent” manner.  While Florida law requires the driver to come to a full stop and a police officer can issue a ticket in person if the driver does not come to a full stop, the red light camera tickets have a lower standard.  Yet, because of the vague language cities are taking a liberal reading of “careful and prudent” and issuing red light camera tickets if the driver does not come to a full stop.  Many individuals are unaware of this distinction between and chose to simply pay the red light camera ticket because they think they must be guilty.  But as long as a pedestrian, bike or oncoming car, a rolling stop when making a right on red that is made carefully should not be a citable offense.

But what to do?  Unfair, ridiculous or not–I have the ticket and I’m now responsible for it.

I was am also really stressed out because I absolutely cannot spare over a hundred dollars.  So I looked online trying to find a way out.  It was obviously my car based on the clear pictures and close-up license plate number.  I obviously did not stop for 3 sec before completing my right turn.  The video shows a red light.  So I did irrefutably break the (stupid, pointless–gerrrr) law.  There was a letter on the internet that Cool gave me that did get the charges dropped for someone two years ago:

To Whom it May Concern,
I received a letter claiming I committed a violation of a speeding law in the District of Columbia on 04/21/2012. As per the instructions, I am writing to plead ‘not guilty’ to this charge. Although this option is said to result in this matter going to court; it is my suggestion that the charges simply be dropped. This suggestion comes out of respect for tax payers, and my request that their hard earned money not be wasted in such proceedings. As there is no evidence of my involvement with this alleged ‘crime’, as well as the fact that I am not granted my 6th amendment right to face my ‘accuser’ (a camera); I see no way the government could prove my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I also see find no legal requirement for me to implicate someone else in this process, as it is the government’s responsibility to prove a person’s guilt. It is also my 5th amendment right to remain silent on the matter.
If it is the government’s decision to move forward in this matter, I would request copies of any evidence the prosecution may have of my involvement in the “offense”; as well as, all maintenance records for the camera(s) involved.
Sincerely,

But I thought the cities are now savvy to that.  They have proof in the form of 3 pictures, a video, time stamps. . .  I am desperate though, so I perused the internet further:

Argue the Reliability of the Camera

When in traffic court to fight the ticket, ask whether the camera was indeed working properly at the time it generated your ticket. Cameras are machines and they can malfunction. If the prosecution cannot decidedly prove that the camera was working properly, they do not have a solid case proving that you ran the red light. Also, those reviewing the pictures can make a mistake in deciding on the accuracy of the picture. Question if they are absolutely certain the picture proves that you ran the red light.

Witnesses at Trial

The red light camera manufacturer is supposed to appear at trials regarding red light traffic tickets. A representative from the camera company is there to testify whether the camera was working properly and when it was last maintained. If no one shows up to represent the camera company, you can argue that no one is there to verify whether the picture is accurate.

Hearsay

One can try arguing that the photograph is hearsay and is therefore inadmissible under the Sixth Amendment. It is hearsay because you cannot cross examine the photograph or the camera. The Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to confront their accuser.

In summary, it is best to have a traffic attorney represent you. If you are not familiar with traffic law, you will not be able to mount your own defense in court. Without knowing the law or how to prepare a defense, you will likely lose your case.

This seemed like some good ideas, but I in no way want to go to court, but what other choice do I have, right?  So I looked at the evidence again and noticed you don’t see the driver in the pictures or video.  It can’t be proved that I was behind the wheel at this particular time.  So I’m going to try to fight it based on that, and hopefully I can avoid paying the city’s bills for them.

And because this is so stupid, expensive, and a huge pain in my a$$, I’m making some changes:

-I will avoid that intersection–even in the early morning hours when no people are around.

-I will vote down any legislation regarding use of traffic cameras.

-I will talk (more) trash about SpoKompton.

-I may or may not remember to fully stop for 3 seconds at any right turn regardless of the traffic/pedestrians even though it seems like complete over-kill and money-making schemes to me.

The Best Part of Running

16 Jul

Is getting a new PR (personal record)!  Obviously.  Secondly, I enjoy taking, writing, and number-crunching all my stats.  Which I guess is math—shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone about that.  It would ruin my image.  I keep a red notebook and write all track runs in there.  I should mention these track runs are timed with my i-pod, which has a stopwatch function.  One of my i-pods keeps milisec, and the other doesn’t–I’m not sure how much this matters to my scene, so I’m thinking about just dropping them or rounding. . .  Anyway, one day I’ll have some fancy technology that will do everything and just plugrunning 2 into my computer, but this is adequate for now.

I don’t keep track of all my treadmill runs because I’m not certain how they stack up.  I don’t know the calibration, and am not sure if the distance/speed/calorie count are in any way accurate.  I like to run the all-weather track because the surface is amazing, there is 24/7 security at the college (dude on a golf cart making rounds), and I assume all the distances, inclines, variables are in line, because of track meets.

I just realize, I’m out of the norm for “runners.”  I enjoy the treadmill and on ultra-lazy days, weather below 60F, wind, rain, and when I have a busy schedule I’ll default to that.  Most runners hate it.  I’m also different because I am not really a marathon/race type of gal.  I don’t want to PAY to run, have to plan ahead and schedule the thing, or run with other people–I run because I LIKE my alone time.  Because I’m not “training” for some event, I tend to just work on my own short distance goals–no need to run 50 miles when 1 fast one (for me) will do.  I don’t understand pacing–probably because it has to do with kilometers (whaaa?) and marathons or smaller derivations thereof (I don’t know if that’s a legit word, but it sounds fancy so I’m using it).   Saying 8 min/mile pace is confusing to me.  Does that actually mean people run 8 minute miles for 30-some miles or whatever?  Can that be done outside of the Olympics/insane runner’s groups?  See, I running 1run often, but you wouldn’t call me a typical “runner.”

But I’m not intimidated by all the professional-pretention stuff.  I think of running like wine.  Sure, you may not know the lingo, or go to the fancy places, or have any of the accessories, or have an acquired taste for the finer things–but you do it because you like it and that’s what matters.  That’s me!  Enjoying chocolate wine from Wal-Mart (just an exaggerated example and not any more) and running my own timed sprints for no larger purpose than my own gratification.

After 3 years, I have just a couple of pages left, and the front is full of former & current PRs and the back full of weights and measurements.  As such, I think it’s time to go digital.  Plus, I want to know the info won’t be physically lost.  So here it is, because I got not only 1 but 2 TWO new records today–in the same day!  Unheard of.  I guess the daily mile (and my 30-20-10 HIIT sessions?) helps my speed.  My runs never felt so good.

200 m (half lap all-out sprint):

my goal is under 30 sec

0:37.5 on 7/16/14

0:38.8 on 7/28/12

–>I rarely run 200s because they take a lot out of me and really make me sore later.  And there’s only 2 records, because most of them are slower a work in progress.

400 m (1 lap all-out sprint & key to improving mile time):

the goal is sub-60 sec and as you can see, I have a ways to go yet

1:27.2 on 8/13/13

1:30.0 on 7/13/14

1:30.6 on 8/3/14

1:31.8 on 9/30/12

1:32.1 on 9/30/12

1:32.4 on 9/9/12

800 m (2 laps/half mile, weird speed):

3:38.6 on 7/16/14

3:52.4 on 7/23/13

3:52.12 on 7/31/12

–>I very rarely run this because it’s not exactly a sprint and I’m not certain how much it impacts my mile.  And mostly, when I start running this, once I’m finished with the 2nd lap I figure–why not just do a mile?

mile (4 laps = 1600 m):

the goal had been 8 min/mi, but I accomplished it, so I guess just as fast as possible is the goal now.

7:26.7 on 7/7/15 [400m splits:  1:37.1 = 2:10.8 = 2:06.2 = 1:32.6]

 7:39.0 on 8/22/12 [400m splits:  1:40.9 = 1:55.6 = 2:05.5 = 1:57.1]

7:40.07 on 8/17/14 [400 m splits:  1:43.4 = 1:56.6 = 2.02.8 = 1:57.9]

7:40.22 on 8/17/12 [400 m splits:  1:41.5 = 2:03.1 = 2:04.9 = 1:59.7]

7:42 on 7/12/14 [400 m splits:  1:41.6 = 1:58.7 = 2:02.7 = 2:00.2]

7:45 on 7/11/14 [400 splits:  1:47 = 1:54 = 2:05 = 1:58]

7:52 on 7/6/14 [400 splits:  1:46 = 4:05 = 1:59]  I HATE when it doesn’t capture the split as in lap 2+3!

7:54.11 on 7/18/12 [400 splits:  1:56.7 = 1:56.2 = 2:02.2 = 2:00.0]

Just A Body [Prequel Bb]

7 Jul

That’s exactly how I feel in my line of work.  I suppose it’s common, and I am a lot better off then many.  Some jobs make no bones about not giving a crap about their employees what-so-ever.  But still.  It hurts.  And I don’t want it to.  I don’t want it to affect me at all.  This job is not my life or identity anymore.  This stint does not matter to my life.  That’s what I tell myself anyway.

–>I wrote most of this post in the past, but I’m posting it today–my birthday–because it’s relevant<–

And it continues on.  Because when I’m slighted, then I’m not willing to comment on THEIR personal lives either.  And that’s not the kind of person I want to be, but if you open yourself up and be the way you see yourself ideally–it just hurts more when they STILL don’t care.  And so I just go in and do my job.  So I’m sure they think it’s MY deal.  Which isn’t how I roll, or how I want to, just protection for myself.

And I have learned.  Before, I was devastated when the employers and co-workers I gave so much of my heart, my time, and my life to proved not to give a $hit about me.  Other then sucking every last drop of work out of me, that is.  Now I’m fully aware that these people only see me as a body to get the job done.  They don’t actually like my personality or care about me as a person.

-Birthdays.

kitty birthdayIt’s petty, and I don’t want to notice it or be angry–but I do.  Birthdays are important to me.  When I was turning 28, I would mention my birthday countdown throughout the entire year.  And nothing was said/done for my big day.  I just figured it was the age discrepancy–everyone at work was over 40.  So I thought it sucked, but at that time nobody said or did anything for anyone else.  And nobody else even really disclosed when their big day was.  And this year, nobody so much as gave me a verbal happy birthday for my big, milestone 30th birthday.  BUT the other tech was given balloons and dessert for hers.  The 2nd doctor that shys away from birthday attention, was fawned over and told by everybody happy birthday.  And this week, our receptionist got a cake and special apple cider for hers.  What happened, and why was I still the odd man out?  It’s telling.

-My really important talent show.

An event that was very meaningful to me.  Of course, nobody came even though I invited everybody.  But nobody even Laurel's pics 418wished me luck, asked me about it afterwards, or mentioned the dance itself–it’s on Facebook and YouTube.  I think that sucks, and even if you don’t give a crap–out of politeness alone, you inquire about the super-important things.  Instead those people spit on me.

-Safety.

It was only a matter of time.  I get to work early in the morning (like 30-75 min earlier than anyone else), when it is still dark outside, and our neighborhood is mostly quiet.  Usually, I park on a side-street.  I have no problem walking to the door–any exercise I can squeeze in my day is a good thing.  But someone started messing with Rusty (my car).  It happened on a Saturday morning.  And I know when someone tries to break in, because my alarm will tone three times on unlock instead of two, and the blue light will flash more.  I thought it was a huntsmenfluke and parked there Monday morning.  The alarm had gone off again.  I wondered if my alarm was broken or my doors weren’t closing properly or something.  So I paid close attention next time I locked up.

It didn’t happen at school.  And it never happened at home.  When I parked on that same side street Tuesday–it happened a third time.  So Wednesday, I moved to a different side-street.  Someone tampered with my car there too!  It was making me very nervous.  I felt like someone must be watching me in the morning.  Because it didn’t happen if it was light outside or when I pulled up in the middle of the day.  Was someone being a jerk and just messing with me?  Was someone actually trying to get into to my car?  And to do what?  Was that same person intending on robbing me?  Or worse?  I just didn’t know.  And when I parked on the main street, it didn’t occur.  So I began parking, in front of work–not in either of the two street-side spaces immediately adjacent to our driveway, but in a third.  I leave by 10AM so I figured it would be fine.  And no one messed with my car or me.  But this morning, my boss told me not to park there.  They don’t give a Fu(k about my well-being, and it infuriated me that instead of talking to the Douche who owns the store across the street who parks in our closest street-side spot (while his customers have there own marked 5 min parking spots), she makes me move.  If I get mugged, molested, or murdered walking farther in the dark, with some sinister person out there–at least our clients won’t have to walk far and my boss won’t have to have a confrontation with the neighbor. . .

Injury:

almost 10 hr post 3 editA coworker got bit–which is a very real, and frequent possibility of the job.  But instead of the doctors extending sympathy, it was mostly annoyance and self-protection.  One doctor stood by and watched the gal get bit up, then was annoyed/mad at the gal for not screaming/fussing/saying aloud that she was being bit (umm duh?).  My boss told us to make sure we were ready for an OSHA inspection and made the comment, “Doesn’t she have her OWN doctor?” when told the gal had to have 2 recheck appointments after her initial visit.  I wanted to say, of course she doesn’t, because you don’t offer us part-time employees health insurance, and now both of us have spent MORE money in worker’s comp. . .

Nothing is huge here, but it’s an additive affect.  Many incidents over time, a particularly callous boss, forgotten things–it just grows into a larger problem the more it persists.  Those are just some examples of how vet workers are just a dime a dozen, expendable labor.  We have some skills, but apparently none important enough that we can’t be easily replaced.  It’s a problem.

Nobody Wants to be THAT Silent Bystander that Could Have, but Didn’t, Prevent Tragedy

25 Mar

Walking about-July 2012 030Today, when I went to class I saw something a little unusual.

I drove to the parking lot and parked, and saw a man walking through the lot.  He was around 50 years old, so not your traditional student.  And he was wearing a green army jacket–not typical of faculty.  He didn’t seem to be DOING anything in particular, I just thought he looked out of place.  But really, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice under normal circumstances.  The real thing that caught my attention was what he carried.  He didn’t have a back-pack or a brief case or any kind of binder of notebook, or even a rake or something that screamed student, staff, or maintenance.  All he had was a crow bar.  And he walked down the row of cars, and sort of meandered further into the middle of the parking lot, instead of the road or exit he had initially been approaching.

And I thought he looked like he could try to break into cars, smash windshields, or worse shoot up a campus.  He just didn’t seem to fit the environment.  And I thought some desperate homeless person or veteran with terrible PTSD could have come from the train tracks behind us or from downtown very nearby the campus.  I didn’t especially WANT to find out what he was doing, and being the only person in the vicinity I did not want to become victim #1, so as I walked I kept an eye on him.  Even through he was now sort of behind me, I just ignored the flashcards in my hand and glanced back every few steps.  And he watched me too.  So I was a little suspicious and unnerved.

I didn’t want to over-react in any way, and certainly I was not alarmed at this point.  BUT if the guy was up to something or intended on some horrible crime, I didn’t want to be that person that everyone interviewed afterward who looks all dumb.  Dumb because they saw something that wasn’t right, realized it, then ignored it and let tragedy ensue.  So I planned on reporting the incident (or non-incident as the case may be) to the front desk when I got inside the school.

But before I made it, there were 2 guys who looked like part of the school’s landscaping crew.  I said excuse me and asked if there was a third man working with them–which confused them greatly.  So I just mentioned the unusual man carrying the crow bar through yellow parking.  I didn’t want a scene or anything, in case the man had been doing something perfectly legit, but I didn’t think it would hurt for someone to ask him what was up either.  And I think landscaping headed over there to check it out, but I’m not sure if they followed up.  So I didn’t report it to anyone else–that felt like over-kill.  And luckily, no one shot up, bombed, or vandalized the school that I know of.

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The Grass Is. . . Brown and Wilted

16 Sep

Here’s an old draft to tide you over, my patient audience.  Exam 1 is finished so hopefully, all this crazy in my life will settle and I’ll be more consistent.  I have a doozy of a post very soon!

OK, I’m having a rough time at work.  And the more I’m there, the more I generally do.  But who am I to complain?  Things could be a LOT worse!  Here is a list of jobs that are far worse than mine:

Coal Mining:

-sure, it’s -$60,000-100,000 for work inside the mines, but

-Dangerous!  Life threatening

-long (min 1 hr) commute

-no sun 6 days a week
-can’t see 4″ in front of face
-20 degrees colder
1.5 mi down below surface
-shovel coal for 8 hr days
-no scheduled lunch break–10 min lunch
-coal dust + methane released = 1 spark is a dangerous explosion

-unscrupulous companies that save money by forgoing safety features.
-blk lumgs

-no retirement plan or sick leave when you get black lung and it’s not safe to be exposed to the mines anymore.

Poultry Farm:

-underpaid

-long hours

-dusty!

-hot (birds need about 80 degree temps)

-loud

-a main job is walking through and picking up dead bird bodies

-must work fast

Migrant Farm Worker:

-no stability

-seasonal work

-direct sun for hours

-skin cancer

-being hunched over for hours

-bugs

-stickers

-at the mercy of weather

-long, long hours

-underpaid

-no benefits

-no regulations/standards

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Going to the Media

28 Aug

There is a story that needs to be written:

Who takes care of the trails system? The branch of the Centennial on East S. Riverton Ave (across the river from Avista and across Mission Avenue from Witter Pool) is overgrown to the point people are hiding in the shrubbery. I think some grooming is in order.

I sent this note to the Spokane Police, Spokane Transportation, Spokane Parks & Rec, and Spokane Government. Each entity deferred responsibility to someone else, so no one is doing anything.

This is right down the road from where Sharlotte McGill was stabbed to death and is marked as an official trail. To let the foilage grown to an extent that people can hide/drink/drunk/live within is dangerous for everyone that trusts a community trail should be safe.

From Parks & Rec: [Here’s the official word —– The trail between the river and South Riverton is Tuffy’s Trail and is not part of the Centennial Trail. There is an informal, unofficial dirt path that runs closer to the Riverbank where vegetation is heavier but we advise people to stay on the paved and sidewalk trail that runs on top along the street. The vegetation does not encroach on the trail in this location. —– So it looks like that part of the trail might be out of luck. Thanks for letting us know!]

From the Police:  [I believe that would be Parks and Recreation. . .  You may want to check with the street department at 232-8800. Other than that, we’re out of other options.]

“Tuffy’s trail” is the lower dirt trail demarcated by a sign and starts near Napa–well away from the Mission portion I’m speaking of. I’m talking about the Centennial Trail right on Mission, the bike branch–which has a sign saying “Centennial Bike Trail.” It is dangerous to be on the cement there as the trees and brush obscure view from the street and people are hanging out/drinking open container/living/maybe doing drugs there.

It’s unfortunate there is apathy for that part of the trail and the safety of the people on it. Someone ought to care. . . Maybe if you write a story on the issue, someone will find the motivation to do something in order to avoid another tragedy.

Going Postal

8 Jun

I watched a documentary about the infamous rash of shootings perpetrated by (postal) workers in the U.S. with the expectation of judging and criticizing the violent offenders.  While I watched the film, I was hit by another feeling–empathy.  For the violent offenders.

Even though I would not, under any circumstance, say what they did was justified or warrented, the movie made clear these were not just crazy individuals.  The stressors and managerial styles of employers pushed them over the edge.  The pressures of the job and abusive atmosphere at work helped them snap.

Why do (Former) Employees Shoot?

-70% of all Americans are unhappy in their jobs.

-feel powerless

-work more and more hours

-companies squeeze more out of employees

-emphasis is placed on profits–not people

-more pressure to perform leads to higher stress loads.

 -treating workers like machinary dehumanizes–>easier to be cruel

-competition with co-workers for (perceived) limited benefits/raises/hr/pay

-alienation at work due to competition or under-performance

-increasing frustration

-employees feel resentful

-tied to work for the income

-manager nit-picking of employees

-feeling of helplessness

-feeling of already having failed

-fear of getting terminated

-employee feels wronged

-have to be subjected to same conditions day in and day out (1/3 life is spent at work)

-identity and self worth are tied up in job

-(threat of) getting fired takes away not only income, but self-worth, identity, and social network.

-media attention on other shooting/attacks inspires the desperate

-perceive self as hero to others in same situation

-revenge/avenge

-kill many innocent people to symbolize larger organization (which can’t be killed).

And the ultimate solutions:

-Co-workers need to report, report, report.  It’s better to investigate a “feeling” than leave it alone and face tragedy.  Awareness of signs and signals–and telling those concerns to the right people can prevent many such incidents.

-Having a plan.  Practicing that plan.  All places of employment need to go over an emergency plan in case of shootings.  Or fires, bombs, terrorist attacks, etc. . .

-The media needs to be careful about sensationalizing shooting events, which can influence other unstable people to commit crimes.

-As always, America needs to put more emphasis on mental health care.  Screening, funding, and supporting it is imperative.

-Businesses need to evaluate their company ethos, goals, and managers to make sure the environment is need a hostile pressure-cooker.

-Impossibly, the U.S. needs to put less emphasis on capitalism, production, and money and more on work relations, vacations, and human rights.  This is a tall order.

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Random Fears

10 Sep

3AM: My nemesis. I always wake up at this hour in the night, sometimes to pee. Sometimes I just make my way to the bathroom since I’m awake already. When I walk across the dark room trying to avoid the bed and the cat, I have this habit of rubbing the sleep from my eyes. And Every. Single. Time. I think–if I tripped I might poke my eye out. . .

Another fear involving eyes regards my contacts.  I always put the left one first, because that’s my worse eye.  So if something were to go wrong and the was acid in my contact case, or the peroxide in the cleaner hadn’t neutralized, I would still have an eye with good vision.

Answering the door.  When there is a knock at the door, and I am not expecting it–well, it freaks me out.  I wonder who it is and what they could possibly want.  I try to be really quiet so whoever it is doesn’t know I’m home.  And I never, never open the door.  I’ve seen and heard about people pushing their way inside and doing terrible things.  So I’m paranoid about people at my door.

Strangers.  Of any kind, really.  I know it’s silly, but I’m suspicious of most everyone.  I watch serial killer movies and documentaries all the time and the number one thing is–the killer is always someone unexpected.  They are attractive and charismatic.  So therefore, you can’t trust sketchy-looking (homeless) people OR normal looking people.  So I’m always weary, and thus unfriendly, towards people I do not know.

Seafood.  I eat most everything.  I absolutely hate throwing food away, so I’ll eat something a little questionable every now and again.  And most things can be nuked extra long and I’m confident all food-borne pathogens are killed.  But anything involving seafood is not even good for leftovers.  When you hear about someone who DIES from food poisoning, more often then not it was seafood that did it.

Not hiding in especially rural areas.  It’s not that I’m super-gay or flamboyant or anything like that.  My problem is that people do not know that I AM gay.  It isn’t like I’m trying to HIDE anything–I guess I just don’t look like your typical gay, and I don’t wear a rainbow flag.  Being seen with Cool is the only tip-off to people normally.  And being closeted is self-hating and lame, not to mention too much effort.  BUT when we go to certain places–I’m like do not touch me, don’t look at me.  I am afraid in places like Idaho, Montana, and other really rural areas that we will get killed over it.

My teeth.  It seems most of my random fears involve my face.  If I skip wearing my (lifelong) retainer at night, I’ll start to have nightmares that my teeth are crooked.  And when I’m awake I’ll thin they feel a little loose, and sometimes I even think they feel different to my tongue.  As a continuation of teeth, I worry more and more when I haven’t been to the dentist.  I NEED to go every 6 months, but moving, money, and scheduling doesn’t always hardly allows that.  And the longer I go between visits, the more exponentially the worry increases that something will be seriously wrong/expensive to fix in there.

So I guess I’m a head case, is the point of this post.