Humor Me, Breathing is Fundamental, and Anytime is Naptime

I love it.  My granddaughter is already learning the art of the stink-eye.

I think gradually, ever so painfully slowly, my sorry carcass is beginning to get the picture that drowning me in snot is rather counterproductive.  I’ve been on the Allegras for a little over a week and they do seem to help- that along with the saline rinses (now there’s a really fun activity- spraying salt water up your nose to rinse out your sinuses) and the homeopathic nasal spray made from capsaicin (capsaicin is what makes hot peppers hot) that burns like hell right after you spray it-  but it is effective, and at $11 a bottle, I can afford that. So far it’s working better than the steroid sprays that cost $100 + per script and as an added bonus, can give you glaucoma.  I’ve used the steroid sprays before, and they are effective, but I can’t afford them, and since I’m already at risk for glaucoma, I think I’ll steer clear.

Of course, as always, I have a sick sense of humor, even though it has been temporarily stifled by misery and fatigue.  I hate being so tired, but the word “tired” does not capture the depth of the sloggingly slow, painfully apathetic state I’ve been in.  The snots have subsided enough to allow me at least some sleep- but no matter how much sleep I manage to get I feel like I can always use more.  I hate dragging my ass through life.  I would love to wake up hyper- in a good way- with something fun to do that I actually have the energy for.  Maybe I’ve just been sleep deprived for so long that there’s no possible way for me to catch up. 

I do have to go next week and get my blood drawn for labs.  I wonder if yet again something is out of line with my funky-assed body chemistry. In the past I’ve had fatigue caused by low iron (that shouldn’t be an issue since the hysterectomy,) and low potassium (I have to take a supplement for that.)  I’ve had my thyroid stuff checked in the past and it’s been normal, but Grandpa had low thyroid, and he was virtually narcoleptic over it until the Drs found it and started medicating him for it.  Maybe my thyroid has gone south.  It would not surprise me.  I am the repository for most of my family’s genetically transmitted diseases after all.  I can only hope that if that is what’s making me want to sleep 24/7 that they actually run a thyroid test on my blood.  I have no idea which blood panels my new Dr. is going to run.  If I were him I would run everything known to man, because Murphy’s Law would indicate that I have a greater chance than most of having obscure and bizarre anomalies and diseases, especially if they are inherited. 

As a kid it always pissed me off that the world “wastes” so much time sleeping.  Back in the day I could run on four or five hours’ sleep and be wide awake and ready to go.  Now I can sleep on and off for 10-12 hours and still be dead tired.   Perhaps it is a bit of cosmic justice for being so wired as a kid, or punishment for all those years of chugging coffee, chain-smoking and taking all that mail order speed.  Pseudoephedrine and caffeine pills were easily obtained back in the 80’s and 90’s.  I could stay awake for days. Now I wish I could sleep for days, but even then I’d still wake up dead tired.

Maybe I don’t have enough excitement in my life.  Maybe I had too much excitement earlier on, and I’m so jaded I can’t get enthused about very much.  Then again, the odds of waking up with a hot young stud in my bed are next to none.  I wake up with dogs in my bed, but that’s not quite the same.

Clara manages to get herself in the smallest of spaces to sleep- while the other two dogs like to take up as much surface area as possible.

Here’s Lilo- all stretched out as usual.

Sheena doesn’t even try to get into the beds with her bad hips- but she can sleep on the couch- and just about anywhere else.

I force myself to exercise- 30 minutes a day of strenuous cardio most days- and supposedly that’s supposed to make one more energetic.  It’s done wonders for my upper and lower body strength- but not a damned thing for my energy level.  I can go through a workout and then turn right around and go back to sleep.  I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way but it does for me, and some days it takes everything I have to get through 30 minutes.

I think someone could make a killing if they could find a way for people to workout while they sleep.  Just hook me up to the marathon running machine while I’m sleeping.  If I could sleep and run a marathon at the same time, then I would be well on my way to a buff bod.

I’ve always liked the idea of stealth exercise.  Swimming is the closest I’ve ever gotten to it.  You feel great while you’re swimming laps, but don’t realize how much energy you’ve burned up until you get out of the pool.  Unfortunately I don’t have easy access to an indoor pool.  It was nice when I had the “Y” membership but Jerry whined and cried about it every time I went to the “Y,” because every minute I was at the pool was a minute I wasn’t available to fetch beer or otherwise cater to His Nibs. 

To hear him talk about it, I think somewhere back in the reptilian part of his brain he might have thought that other guys were “looking at” me in a bathing suit.  I think it’s funny he assumes that because I’m female that my partially clad body would cause other males to lust, (??? I’m not really lustworthy material by any standard????!!!!) but he fails to realize two very important truths- 1.) I purchase swim attire that affords me the most coverage I can get,  because 2.) there are laws in this country against cruel and unusual punishment.  Subjecting others to the visual of my incredibly pale, scarred skin is just plain nasty- nobody wants to see my stretch marks, surgical scars, varicose veins, burn marks, etc.  If I could find a swim top with sleeves I’d wear that too, so nobody would have to get an eyeful of my meaty arms.  As far as I can see, the visual of me in a bathing suit would motivate projectile vomiting rather than provide fodder for a hand party.

 

 

Any Color (As Long As It’s Black,) Medical Curiosities, and Dark Despondency

I’m not sure if  “Any color as long as it’s black” is a direct quote of Henry Ford’s, but I mention Henry Ford because I can sort of identify with him.  He was the type of person who thought outside the box- to a degree- and then defined the box according to his own personal boundaries.  All Model T Fords came from the factory in one color- black- because that was the most economical color of paint available at that time.   I dye my hair black for pretty similar reasons- I don’t end up with dark ends from trying to match the original mousy brown, nor do I end up looking completely ridiculous with platinum blonde hair- and dark roots.  Black is black and that is easy to match.  It prevents me from having to go to a salon twice a month for color, which I can’t afford.  Then again I wonder what I can afford.  Not very damned much.  I can’t even afford the farking nasal spray to treat my incorrigible sinus problems that costs $120, but in theory would prevent me from choking to death on snot.  So if I drown in my own snot, the world knows why.

Yesterday I got to see my new primary care Dr. (after going to the same one for 17 years it really sucks to have to switch) and as far as I can see, he’s OK.  I will discern more as time goes by, and I know that he will probably want to play around with my meds once he gets my labs back.  Joy and rapture- and I’m already bracing for the medication-induced narcolepsy, because that’s often what happens when my blood pressure meds are changed.  There is nothing like an involuntary nap at 2PM to make one realize just how befuggered their internal clockwork really is.    I feel sorry for the guy.  I did notice a bit of bewilderment as he perused my current scripts.  Yes, I know the combinations and dosages of just my blood pressure meds alone are enough to kill a normal person.  It’s been that way for years.  In dog years I’m dead, and I often wonder exactly why I’ve been left on this earth to consume valuable oxygen, but it’s not my question to ask.   Maybe I should just stop taking all that shit and see how long it takes for me to drop dead.  The only problem with that is knowing me, I wouldn’t just drop dead.  Something else would fail or go wrong- enough to make me deadly ill, but not enough to kill me. It would be just enough to keep contributing to my suffering. 

It seems the snots have been around for a long, long time.  Catarrh is the old time word for “hacking cough.” Apparently that shit didn’t work either.

I feel sorry for any medical professional who has to deal with me given my funky assed history.  I don’t fit- not even remotely- into anyone’s definition of normal.  Science can provide few clues as to what to do with my sorry carcass except to comment when there are medical students nearby to observe, and to make sure I get billed for everything they can possibly bill me for.  I can only imagine, but they should be paying me for getting to enjoy the freak show.

If anyone could be the poster child for medical anomalies it would be me.  I think it would be cool if I could observe my own autopsy and see just how bizarre my physical body really is.  That’s what I get for watching too many episodes of Dr. G.  I may be twisted, but Dr. G is the shizzle.  I bet she would have fun with my autopsy.

I know what it is!  I’m WHITE!  I need a cure for being WHITE!

As long as we look to legislation to cure poverty or to abolish special privilege we are going to see poverty spread and special privilege grow. – Henry Ford, from his autobiography, My Life and Work.

I’ve said the same thing myself only in a slightly different way: You get more of whatever you subsidize.  Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” has actually become subsidized poverty.   Why are people going to bother to work to provide for themselves when the government takes what they earn away from them so that other people can have what working people can’t afford- for free?   Socialism doesn’t work.  Eventually those of us who do have some sort of work ethic will get demoralized and just say, “aw, screw it,” like the rest of the denizens of the trailer park.   Then no one will get anything for free, because the ones who used to pay for their freebies decided it wasn’t worth it anymore.

I sincerely wish that the entitlement crowd would take a good hard look at the people like me who are driven into the ground as we are forced to finance their pork projects.  I’m sure they are, as they’re laughing their asses off, enjoying free health care and government cheese on my dime.  I can’t even afford my own scripts. 

Admittedly I’ve not been this depressed in a long time.  I think it might have to do with whatever this interminable head cold? allergy hell? chronic sinus drainage? is.  I always have some degree of snot and drainage from my sinuses, but ever since a week ago Monday the back of my throat has been a snot Niagara Falls.  I choke on it sitting up. I’ve gotten maybe three hours of sleep since a week ago Monday between the snotting and the hacking and there is no medication out there so far (antihistamines, Nyquil, cough syrup, be it OTC or scripts, etc.) that will touch it.  Both the urgent care joint and the new Dr. I saw yesterday claim that this noise is all allergies and is nothing I can spread to others, but that is cold comfort.  I can suffer, but buck up- no matter how miserable I am, at least I’m not going to spread the joy?  As if hawking up a gallon of snot won’t clear a room?

Then to add some icing to the cake I can’t find my damned debit card.   I am hoping like hell that I left it in my pants pocket and I don’t have to report it lost and go through that noise again of getting it replaced.

You’re Supposed to Do What with WHAT?

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Just when I start waxing nostalgic on the “good old days” I happen across this lovely ad from the early-to-mid 20th century.  Now I understand where Jerry’s Dad gets the kerosene-as-hemorrhoid-cure idea from.  I guess you can’t have hemorrhoids if your asshole is burned shut.  I guess a man can’t smell a dirty pussy if you load it up with disinfectant.  Sounds somewhat logical, eh?

I shudder to think of the effect of douching with Lysol cleaner.  If I discovered my snatch is reeking like a tuna boat in high summer, obviously, I would be either a). wondering if I should be showering once or twice a day rather than once a month, and barring infrequent bathing as the cause of the malodorous affliction, I’d b.) start wondering if dear old Tom had been doing some tomcatting on the side and brought home a not so nice social disease.  Maybe that hair pie smells rancid because of the clap?  Does Tom have some ‘splainin’ to do?  Did his mother not warn him of the hazards of dipping his wick in some strange without wrapping it?

I have no problem cleaning the floor with Lysol cleaner, or even adding it to a load of laundry that’s really skanky, (you can still buy liquid Lysol cleaner today) but methinks Lysol is a bit too harsh for feminine hygiene purposes even if you dilute it a bit.

It makes me so glad that I live in a somewhat more enlightened time.  Now if we only had some polite way of telling the guys that the order of things is: shower, then BJ.  If you’re really hot, you might get one in the shower.

Some Enchanted Dingleberry, Confessions of the Mildly Neurotic, and Everyone Needs a Hobby

Ah, dandelion season.  I don’t mind them (unless they are adding to my current allergic-to-all-those-things-out-in-nature that I can neither eliminate nor control nightmare hell), at least not from an aesthetic viewpoint.  I think they’re nature’s way of giving the big old one finger salute to the guys out there who are completely obsessed with the lawn.  You know who you are.  Golfers too.  I can relate to George Carlin’s opinion of golfers and golf courses

Three years of being a manager at an Infiniti dealership taught me all I ever wanted to know about golfers.  (Columbus, OH- Muirfield- the damned Memorial Tournament…every farking year…) By and large, the golfers I’ve had the bad luck to encounter were pompous bastards who spend a shitload of money on their golf stuff, but can’t seem to come off of the cash to maintain their luxury car, AND who also have the stones to whine and bitch and demand free shit from the dealer when said luxury car breaks down due to lack of maintenance.   I have absolutely no sympathy for some tool who buys a high dollar car and then has the audacity to throw a fit when they discover that the maintenance and repair of said luxury car costs three times as much as it did for the Corolla he traded in.  Dipshit.  Research it before you buy the high faluting ride with the V8 turbo, the tires that cost $1500 each, and the very sensitive electronic systems, you dingleberry. Drive like a sport, pay like a sport (wonder why I drive a Yaris?) and shut up.  Junior might have to skip a lacrosse lesson or two, or you might just have to suck it up and drink Natties instead of Anchor Steam for awhile.  Or just forget about the luxury ride altogether and save yourself both the prestige- and the expense.  Here’s how this ‘po woman spells Lexus- T-O-Y-O-T-A.  Just as reliable at less than half the cost, although I do forgo the V8 turbo, and the ass warmers in the seats. 

I guess golf keeps aging, balding, wanna-be-somebody yuppie types out of the brothels.  Or maybe not, if you’re talking about Tiger Woods.  I’m glad Jerry can’t afford to golf.  Gambling and drinking are bad enough.  Let’s not add social diseases or fashion violations.  

Everyone needs a hobby.  I like to do cross stitch and play games on the DS when I get a chance.  I’m low maintenance.  Jerry is very high maintenance, and he’s hyper and paranoid to boot.   He needs a hobby that tires him out and involves some sweating and getting dirty.  I don’t mind if he goes fishing (as long as I am not dragged along) or if he gets into picking dandelions out of the yard by hand.   I am grateful he can’t dress bad enough to be a golfer, and he’s too much of a redneck to give up his truck.

I know it’s not nice but every time I see Jerry traipsing about out front with that chemical sprayer hoochie spraying each and every visible dandelion I visualize a few different scenarios and none of them are pretty.  The first visual that comes to mind is Dale from King of the Hill.

Jerry shares more in common with the fictional Dale Gribble than I would like to admit.

I mean, Jerry drinks a lot of beer and smokes a lot of smokes.  He likes to spray chemicals at weeds.  He’s also paranoid like that too- thinking that the government has cameras on him and such.  I know the cops like to camp out in the Wonder outlet across the street and sit and watch Jerry when he’s crushing cans and drinking beer in the garage.  Apparently, local law enforcement is easily entertained.  I’m sure they’ve observed his mowing-while-somewhat-inebriated with a certain degree of…probably not concern…amusement, more likely.  I don’t think the state of Ohio has come up with any sort of statute concerning the legality of drunken mowing on a push mower- yet.  I would think “public intoxication” would cover it, but I’d have to assume that since the cops only observe from afar (and get some priceless video on the dash cam for later enjoyment no doubt,) that drunken mowing must still be OK as long as you’re not on a rider mower.

 

Observations of the Great Unwashed, and The Mind is the First Thing to Go

I’ve always been a bit scatterbrained.  My brain does not generally work like a flow chart.  Somehow I go from point A to point F and it usually ends up making sense in the end, but where I got the idea to skip all the points in between I don’t know.   I make some really strange connections that are logical to me but to no one else.  I wouldn’t call it ADHD, because I can truly focus and be detailed- perhaps too much so- when necessity calls for a high level of detail.   I get lost in details very easily if I’m not careful.  But in the normal course of life I have my own personal scribbled mental shorthand that serves as a sort of guide to daily activity. 

This tendency to skip ahead in the logical progression of things sometimes leads to forgetting and/or misplacing things.  I know I should probably slow down or write things down or something like that, but I am not a very good planner by nature.  I always have way too much to do and I wonder how I get any of it done.  I know how easily plans get screwed up and then you end up having to improvise anyway.  For good or for ill, most days I’m winging it.  I think Steve-o has inherited the same characteristic- forgetting those little details, like socks.  Few things are funnier than an adult male (with birdy narrow feet) in purple Hello Kitty socks:

At least someone had a spare pair of socks that didn’t smell like fermented cow shit like the ones he had worn the previous two days.

I’m sort of pissed off that I lost my Skullcandy headphones that I’ve had for about 3 years (a record for me and headphones, as I lose them often) and I had to buy a new set.  The new ones are nice- but I have no freaking clue where in the hell my other set ended up. 

Then there’s the Fanny incident.  I know Fanny tries to get out, and I usually have no problem keeping her in because she’s both big and slow.   Yes, I was sleep-deprived in a bad way and just plain crispy Thursday night, but it’s no excuse.  My ineptitude and oversight  is not worth a dead cat. I know the next time I go to the pet food joint (probably tomorrow) that I am going to have to get her a collar and tag- with a bell- and she will wear it even though I know she hates collars and I will get several weeks’ worth of stink-eye over it.  Cats are vindictive creatures, and Fanny is no exception.  If she were like the other two cats who have absolutely no interest in the World Beyond the Door, then I wouldn’t need to do it.  Perhaps with a bell on I will be able to hear as well as see her.

Sometimes I go digging either in my room or in my purse and I find stuff I didn’t realize I had.  That’s just plain wrong.  I don’t know if I am becoming forgetful simply because I have been  chronically sleep-deprived and constantly running at full bore for such a long time, or because senility is setting in.  I don’t sleep well and haven’t for years because my sinuses drain 24/7.  I have to sleep on a 45° angle (picture a large wedge pillow, because this is what I have to use) to keep from choking to death on my own snot.  It’s better to live with the constant drainage, because if they don’t drain, they get infected and inflamed and I can’t breathe at all. 

NNo one should ever have to worry about choking to death on snot, but I have to.

I guess choking on snot would be a better way to go than ODing and croaking on the crapper like Elvis, or ODing on dog anesthetic like Michael Jackson (Propofol is actually one of the better dog anesthetics because it is metabolized quickly, and can be used on dogs that are sensitive to other anesthetic agents, BUT, even in dogs respiration has to be strictly monitored because one of Propofol’s side effects is that it can stop breathing) or ODing and drowning in the bathwater like Whitney Houston, but I really don’t want to go that way.   I don’t think I’ll be ODing on anything voluntarily, but one of my deepest and most primal fears is being suffocated to death.  I blame my sadistic oldest sister for that one, as well as for my inability to eat or drink after other people- especially blood relatives.  No I will not take a bite off the fork that you stuck in your filthy mouth and slobbered all over.  Not until it has been duly sanitized.   To this day if you take a swig off of my pop bottle, you own it.  I don’t  want it back.  Ever.  Even if you swear you don’t backwash.  I refuse to consciously swap saliva (and whatever else is in the backwash you leave behind) with anyone.  Not the old man, not my son, and probably not even Steve Perry, should he ever have the opportunity to hijack my Diet Dr. Pepper. 

At least I am not as OCD as Mom.  She is one of those people who refuses to touch the inside door handle in a public bathroom, and she still believes you can get VD from a toilet seat.

Maybe not so much VD, but let’s hope that is some sturdy plastic going on there.

I had to take a picture of this sign the other day. It was sort of depressing though, because as I thought about it, no I can’t remember when the last time was, and I am not talking about flowers.  I’m not sure if Clinton or Bush II was President.   I am a pathetic specimen for sure.

I Have My Fanny Back!, Transcendental Redneck Moments, and a Beer (in a tree…)

I love double entendre, but no, I’ve not managed to misplace my ass.  Yet.

Fanny, for the occasional reader, is my 15# silver tabby and white cat.  I named her whilst listening to a classic song by Queen: “Fat Bottomed Girls.”  Fanny was only a 12 week old kitten when I rescued her from the side of the road in rural Fairfield County, (way out in BFE)  and I didn’t think her to be terribly large at that time, but the name took on a life of its own as Fanny grew.  It seems rural barn cat type cats grow really well on premium cat food and relaxed, climate-controlled indoor living.  By the time she was old enough to be spayed, even the Vet commented, “This is going to be a BIG cat.” 

One of the reasons I like our Vet is that she is very seldom wrong.  She was not at all wrong about Fanny being a behemoth.  I wish she were wrong about how difficult it is to treat Lilo’s (our crosseyed and bowlegged GSD/Chow mix) allergies.  Lilo absolutely hates the baths in the special shampoo, but it does help keep her skin from getting all nasty and crusty.  Seborrhea really sucks.  It is manageable with good diet and frequent baths (and occasional cycles of Prednisone) but I wouldn’t wish it on any poor dog.  Especially Lilo, because she is very sweet.

I’ve seen larger cats- somehow our Vet ends up with the same sturdy barn cat types like Fanny, and she’s had some males that have been over 20#, but female cats tend to be smaller than males.  Fanny is probably in the 90th percentile of cat size.  She is large-framed, but she does have some big meat on those big bones too. 

One thing Fanny likes to do from time to time is to sneak out the door when the dogs go out.  Usually I catch her- she’s not a fast runner by any stretch- but if I don’t see her slip out I can’t catch her.  Thursday night I have to admit I was not at my most aware.  Between camping out at Children’s Hospital with the kids and a very sick baby girl, and trying to keep up with the end of the month rush at work, I was pretty strung out at 11PM.  I’d been up and running since 4AM.  I remember letting the dogs out.  Friday morning I realized Fanny must have sneaked out with them as she wasn’t readily available to suck down her morning portion of wet food.   Fanny does not normally miss out any sort of feeding opportunity, and has been known to shove dogs out of the way to get what she has coming.  Fanny backs down to no dog.

I was so preoccupied with my granddaughter that I really didn’t get too worked up about poor Fanny.  By the time the baby was released from the hospital Saturday I was an exhausted mess, and such a sorry sack of shit that I didn’t even go out to try to find Fanny.  I did make some excursions out back Sunday but was unsuccessful.  By yesterday (Monday) I was really getting frantic that she hadn’t appeared at the back door acting as if she were starving to death, so I made yet another foray into the back lot behind the fence under the junk truck and in the middle of the burr bushes.  Finally I heard a weak little mew (for a large cat Fanny has a very tiny voice) and saw her pointy little head peek out from under the truck.   She simply hunched down and let me scoop her up.  So I am delighted to get her back even though I was covered with those damned burrs.

I think I’m going to have to collar and microchip that cat even though she despises a collar. I don’t know where her head is at getting out- there’s no food, the ferals absolutely hate her, and they chase her off before she can even get to the food scraps we throw out for them. 

Just a transient thought- I hate pompous assholes who think they know it all and their shit doesn’t stink, but who go to great lengths to rub other people’s noses in their mistakes.  Never mind that the person who is getting ripped on is the one who actually does something other than fart off and run their mouth about sports and other stupid shit.  The only reason people like that don’t appear to screw up is because the only things they bother to do is showboat, nitpick those who are doing their jobs for them (because they’re either too lazy or  too stupid to do their own work) and bitch about what other people are doing and nosing about in their business.  These same people who seem to be first to make a mountain out of a molehill are always willing to let me do their work as well as my own while they fart off and get into some stupid assed discussion about sports or gambling or other stupid shit.  I really, really, really hate that- although I won’t mention any names.  I would like to engage in some passive-aggressive revenge, but even that’s not worth it.  Those sorts of people are just not worth the effort or the aggravation. 

I know, I know, the best thing I can do is ignore such commentary, and usually I do.  I can take criticism a lot better from those who aren’t lazy snobs who are obsessed with sports, and who admit that from time to time they screw up too.  Dad always said if you never screw up it’s because you aren’t doing anything.  No shit.  Maybe it’s my own fault because I never got interested in sports, but I don’t have the attention span for such bullshit. It’s just too much of a waste of time.  I do really want to throttle the pompous asshole who I am being kind enough not to name….must…think…of…something….else.

On a brighter note, The Bob and Doug McKenzie version of the 12 Days of Christmas has got to be one of my favorite holiday themed songs.  And a beer in a tree indeed.   I love the visual:

Must…not…strangle…pompous….assholes….

The Shitty Service Discount (A Walmart Critique) and No Way to Spend a Weekend

I admit I’ve never been a Walmart fan.  While I am cheap and I like saving money, I don’t like standing in line for hours (or trying to find a cashier when all the checkout lanes are closed) and I don’t like surly help.  I see their side of the issue- either you want it cheap or you want it with a smile, but you can’t have both.

I don’t blame the Team Members at Walmart.  Minimum wage with no benefits really sucks and is only one step up from being homeless and living under the bridge.  That I do understand, and it bites.  My only counter to that predicament would be that one will never get out of the minimum wage, part-time no benefits hole unless you do what’s completely counterintuitive.  Smile and be the best freaking Walmart stockboy you can be.  Or at least, learn English.

In a way it was a bit fortuitous that on my last visit to Walmart- the 6AM Quest for Pennzoil- my receipt included a survey/ sweepstakes entry.  I don’t think I will win their $1000 gift card, especially if they toss out all of the unfavorable surveys.  However, I don’t see that Walmart location ever getting a favorable survey.   I simply told the truth.  The place wasn’t clean.  The Team Members I encountered were downright surly. I don’t care if it’s 6AM, if you’re a 24 hour joint you at least have to have one or two people at the register, preferably somewhat motivated English speaking people.  The only ones who would remotely consider rating it favorably likely can’t understand enough English to complete the survey.  Maybe they would have liked it better if I had scribbled it out in crayon on a page from a Hello Kitty coloring book instead of submitting it online.  I know I would never give me the option to fill in the blank and comment on a survey.  That’s just asking for me to give it to you with both barrels.  Case in point- here is my commentary I gave on the Walmart survey when asked, “How may we serve you better?”

I have to say my visit to Walmart was highly disappointing.  I made the mistake of thinking I could avoid the rush by shopping at 6AM since you are a 24 hour establishment.  I understand that 6AM is not the busiest time of the day, but it might help if some of your team members on duty actually spoke the English language- that is, the ones that I can find who aren’t actively ignoring me.  It would be nice if I could buy a jug of Pennzoil in less than 45 minutes, 40 of which were spent trying to find a cashier available and willing to check me out so I could finally pay you and leave. 

On a brighter note, while Martha Stewart might not have approved of the general squalor in your establishment, I am glad that I didn’t discover any feces or corpses on the floor, which was a plus. Then again, I didn’t look very hard for those either.  Perhaps the dead bodies and dookie are back in the grocery section or something.

 Given my usual irreverence, I thought, for my own amusement, that I’d conduct a little non-scientific Walmart survey of my own.

 

Usually when I get surveys of any sort I try to be honest and I try to be complimentary if the compliments are due.  I remember all too well how seriously Toyota takes their dealer surveys.  If a Toyota dealer gets even a neutral survey, the district rep will be in the dealership and on the “offending” department like white on rice wondering what you did to make so-and-so’s experience anything less than “completely satisfying.”  If Walmart takes their surveys as seriously as Toyota does, (which I have to doubt,) someone there is in serious shit, and in my humble opinion the whole damned place should be.  It’s one thing to offer discounts on virtually everything, (I understand there’s a big difference between Nordstrom’s and Walmart,) but there’s no excuse for a complete lack of customer service to the point of not having one available cashier during business hours.

Now I should be reprimanding myself for being so derisive.  I have to admit not all Walmarts are this dismal, and I should know better than to think anyone has anything but illiterate and comatose help at 6AM.  I am grateful that my weekend didn’t end as badly as it started. 

I have spent more time than most people in hospitals and Dr.s offices.  While I don’t enjoy it , I do have a certain comfort level in medical facilities that most people don’t have.  I understand a good bit of the terminology.  I know a good bit about common procedures- how they’re done and why.  I have to remember that poor Steve-o is not nearly as acclimated to such things and he freaks easily.  So when they had to take the baby to Children’s last Wednesday he was climbing the walls.

I have to admit that it was most unsettling to me Wednesday night to hear that my month-old granddaughter was barely responding, was dehydrated, had a high fever and had just been transferred to Children’s.  What Steve-o in his distress didn’t understand was that her mother and other grandmother took exactly the correct steps and got her immediate treatment.  If not for their quick thinking and fast action I shudder to think of the consequences.  Because she got treatment immediately – the cultures revealed that somehow she had gotten salmonella poisoning- she will recover completely and be quite fine.  Even so she was in the hospital from Wednesday night until Saturday afternoon.  Very few things are more distressing than such a tiny little one having to undergo IVs, blood draws, and worst of all, a spinal tap.  I never went through anything this serious with Steve-o.  He had a bad ear infection when he was 6 months old, chicken pox when he was a year old, and strep throat when he was 7, and that was about the worst of his infectious diseases.

Apparently salmonella is fairly common in the general environment and most adults have some immunity to it, but infants and small children don’t.  Even a very tiny bit of contamination would have been enough.  They threw out all her bottles and nipples and whatever formula and bought all new.  I hope that was sufficient to keep this from coming back.  I don’t like doing the hospital thing with adults,but there are few things more pathetic than a nine pound newborn strapped to an IV.   The good thing is she won’t remember a thing.  The bad thing is that I will.  I’m one of those people who does what needs to be done and for good or ill deals with the attending emotions later.  I stayed with her through the blood draw and helped keep her still and distracted enough to let the nurses do their job.  I never knew that the only way to find a newborn’s veins is with a bright red light shined under the arm.  Weird.

Yesterday I pretty much came home from church and the grocery and slept the rest of the day.  I hope next weekend that everyone is well -and that I can stay out of Walmart.