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  1. BookWoman56

    Misheard Lyrics (Mondegreens): There's A Bathroom On the Right

    I had always heard those particular lyrics correctly, and assumed Clapton was referring to the reputation cocaine has for getting people to blurt out their unfiltered (and sometimes brutally honest) thoughts. I spent roughly 1985-1990 in the Miami area, and was at way too many parties where I was the only person there not using coke. I believe the song is from a little earlier in the 80s, though. From my own observations, I would say that while it’s not “truth serum,” cocaine does frequently result in people sharing information about themselves very rapidly, that they would otherwise not reveal. It’s less that people are unable to lie, and more that they can’t stop themselves from blurting out truths.
  2. BookWoman56

    A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

    Agreed. Those idiots also need to consider what image their actions are creating not only for themselves, but possibly for their employers in some cases. Years ago, I was working to design an orientation course for new executives at a large financial services company. One of the components had to do with actions such as you described. That is, a senior executive had gotten into a shouting match with another customer who was ahead of him/her in line at a department store, insisting that his/her purchase should be handled first because it was for more stuff. Then the exec went off on the sales clerk for not complying with the request. (This was a Christmas season purchase, when the stores were already crowded.) The thing is, this executive was involved in a lot of high profile activities in the community, and a few people recognized the executive. Word spread through social media that an exec from company ABC had made a scene at the department store, and the executive got reprimanded for behaving like an ass in public and making the company look bad as well. Now, I generally feel that what someone does in private should have no effect on that person's job. But in this case, these execs were being compensated at a pretty high level and part of their official job description/responsibility was to represent the company in a positive manner when in public. So for our training, we used this example to highlight how the new execs needed to think about how they behaved in public settings.
  3. BookWoman56

    A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

    Right now I'm on the other side of that coin. I am not someone who's ever going to make a scene in a store or restaurant, or loudly declare that I will never shop there again. I just make a mental note that the specific store/restaurant goes on my "Do not patronize for at least 6 months" list. It takes a lot to get me to that point of being pissed off enough to avoid a store/restaurant, but occasionally the employees at a location will push me to that extreme. Last week, for example, I went to a restaurant I hadn't gone to in several months. It was late afternoon, but well before the dinner crowd, so there were maybe 5-6 tables of customers and 3 wait staff. At the end of the meal, I considered leaving a note for the wait staff and/or manager, but decided instead to just pay the bill and leave without offering feedback to anyone. If I had written that note, it would have said: Dear wait staff, if you expect to get a tip at all, much less a generous tip, then here's some advice. When you drop off the food at a table, don't do it like you are running a race and leave before making sure the customers have what they need, including the critical component of silverware with which to eat the food that in no way can be considered finger food. Make the effort to check back with the table a couple of minutes after delivering the food to make sure they have everything they need, such as ketchup for fries, syrup for pancakes, etc. Don't disappear for 25 minutes on a smoke break and show back up only when you assume the customer is finished and ready for the check. When going to other tables, look around to see if one of your tables or any other table is trying to flag down you or one of your colleagues. Furthermore, if a customer who is not at one of your assigned tables comes to you and politely says, "Excuse me, could I get some silverware?" don't sigh loudly and act as if you're doing the customer an enormous favor by providing the bare minimum needed to eat the meal. I decided not to ask to talk to the manager or fill out one of the stupid comment cards simply because if it was just one member of the wait staff who sucked, I could blame it on that one person being a crappy employee. But when you've got an entire restaurant of staff who seem to feel that waiting on customers is interfering with their main activity of chatting with each other and going for smoke breaks, then the manager either doesn't give a flying fuck about the quality of service or is so oblivious to what's going on in the restaurant as to be completely ineffective.
  4. BookWoman56


    In addition to the advice you've already gotten, I can offer a little insight I've gotten into my own periods of sadness. I'm not a person of emotional extremes, so I rarely feel OTT happy or despondent. Most of the time, with the help of antidepressants, I feel reasonably content. I do have depression, but the primary symptoms are anhedonia instead of any deep grief or extreme sadness. But there are times when my sense of being content leaves me for a while and again, while I'm not despondent during that time, I feel a general sense of sadness. And I've observed that for me, at least, my normal contentedness is like the tide if the tide went out only once every few years. My sense of content slowly goes out and then gradually returns. While I'm not thrilled by the temporary sense of sadness, I'm comforted by the knowledge that things will eventually return to normal. When I do have that period of sadness, I try to counteract it with doing things I know will help, such as some of the suggestions you've gotten here, but I also acknowledge that it needs to run its course. If your sadness intensifies or goes on too long, then you probably should seek professional advice, but sometimes it helps just to share your feelings with others whether online or in person.
  5. BookWoman56


    I haven't watched this yet, but intend to both because I find it fascinating and also because I used to have a passing acquaintance with the widow of one of the engineers who was sent into Chernobyl afterwards to assist with the cleanup. He lived for about 10 years or so following that assignment, long enough for them to move to the U.S. and get settled in. She taught at the local Jewish private academy and was extremely nice. I don't remember precisely what her husband died of, other than it was related to either heart or lung problems, but she stated those health problems arose from his work at Chernobyl and she was bitter that his death would not be counted in the official death toll, but not in the slightest bit surprised by that decision by the Russian government.
  6. BookWoman56

    Family: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    @PRgal, maybe your mother is just so excited about your son that she can't resist buying stuff, but I agree that she should at least be asking your preferences before buying a boatload of clothes and toys for him. Probably the overkill on clothes and toys will end around his first birthday or so, and after that, she may go OTT only for holidays or other celebrations. My mother had been in the hospital for about 10 days and finally got out today. She had an incredibly minor cut to her thumb (from slicing a tomato) which got infected and messed up her entire hand and part of her forearm. Luckily no permanent damage, but she will need extra assistance for the next few weeks. My younger sister is here for this week to help and there's supposed to be home health care starting day after tomorrow. All I know is that I need a day where I'm not running to the hospital several times, running to the store, etc., in addition to my day job. I know the situation will get better eventually, but I'm really looking forward to my solo vacation in a couple of months.
  7. BookWoman56

    A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

    I have a certain amount of expertise in standardized assessments (primarily for professional certification and admission to specialized college programs/professional schools), and I will flatly say no single test, no matter how good it is, should ever determine whether an applicant should be accepted into a program or for a job, be promoted, etc. I find Myers-Briggs at least amusing in that yes, some of the descriptions for the personality types seem to be on target for my own personality. But I loathe StrengthsFinder because it seems to be inherently stupid; it's not rocket science to know what your strengths are and to figure out that you might be better off improving those strengths to be very superior at those rather than concentrating on your weaknesses that you may never improve significantly, and yet I've seen various people describing how taking that assessment changed their careers. Anyway @bilgistic, sorry you didn't get the job but my gut feeling is that if your potential employer insisted on using some standardized assessment to figure out if you're a good fit, then that employer is not a good fit for you. After reading all the posts of bad news and horrible working conditions, I feel a little funny mentioning this, but here goes: I'm no longer in limbo at my job. A couple of weeks ago, I got officially moved into a new team, reporting to a manager who in turn reports to my dotted-line manager. And yesterday, after only a few mild allusions in the past few months to the possibility that my role might change, my dotted-line manager informed me that I've gotten a major promotion and a 28% raise. This is a promotion that I really should have gotten roughly a year ago, but my manager at that time was seriously ill (now deceased) and just went through the motions of doing the annual performance evaluations, not to mention that she played favorites anyway and I was always going to come in a distant second to her favored employee. Late last year, I had used an opportunity to interact with the head of our area to discuss my desire to expand my role, and it looks as if those discussions and my performance have finally paid off. So I'm in a bit of shock right now that I both got the promotion I wanted and got a larger raise than expected. On the down side, my friend/colleague that I had recommended for her current position is going to be screwed over. Our other colleague (former favorite of the deceased manager) who does not a damn thing but takes credit for everything, managed to get a promotion out of the deceased manager before the manager went out on her final medical leave. And so now TPTB have decided that this colleague needs to have someone report to her so she can have experience as a manager, and so of course it's my friend/colleague who is stuck reporting to her. Friend/colleague has decided to try to stick it out until she's put in a year and can post out to transfer to another area, but is really unhappy with the situation. The only mitigating factor is that the other colleague has also been given approval to hire a couple of other people who will also report to her, and so I think she'll be too busy giving the new hires a bad time to focus quite as much on my friend/colleague. The person who made the decision to give this other colleague a manager role is going to be in for quite the surprise when there is the inevitable 100% turnover of her entire team in a year or less.
  8. BookWoman56

    Pet Peeves

    How you break up with her depends on how much effort you want to put into ending the client/service provider relationship. If you're planning to transfer to another salon entirely or something similar, the simplest way would be just to stop making appointments. If you want to see another stylist in the same salon, or if you expect to encounter the current stylist in other situations, then you may want to give her notice that you no longer want her services. The attitude you describe of her thinking that she gets to make major decisions about your hair is why I quit going to salons a long time ago. However, if you feel you owe her some goodwill for having done a good job on your hair for a while, you might consider telling her why you're switching to someone else. Chances are if she is this controlling over your hair, she's the same way with other clients, and in theory, she should welcome feedback about why she's losing a customer. In reality, she might resent the feedback, though, so if you want to give her that feedback, it might be better to do it via email or a similar medium, rather than face to face. I go maybe once a year to a cut-rate salon because I don't want my hair styled; I just want it trimmed so the ends are more or less even. My hair is very fine and will not hold a curl or anything longer than maybe an hour, so there's no point in spending big bucks on something that's not going to work for me. Because I work from home and don't socialize a lot, I generally let mine grow out until I can pull it back with a clip and leave it that way until I eventually get annoyed with it or just trim the ends. It behaves reasonably on its own if I let it hang down by itself. A few years ago while I was still working in an office setting, my daughter and her BFF cut my hair for me just for fun (removing about 6 inches of the length) and more or less accidentally butchered it with uneven ends, etc.; yet, the next day when I went to work, numerous people I did not even know by name complimented me on how much they liked the new "style." Go figure.
  9. BookWoman56

    Family: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Those are giant red flags that should make you absolutely not allow him to move in with you, unless there is a dramatic improvement between now and when he runs out of his inheritance. As you've said, you've just been through a horrifically stressful experience having your MIL live with you. You don't need any more stressors. And given the stress that experience had on your marriage, you and your husband need some time to be by yourselves and see if your relationship is going to work under normal conditions. As odd as it may sound, often when a couple is going through stress caused by an external source, they become convinced that nothing is wrong with their relationship and everything would be wonderful once that external stress-generating situation is removed. Yet after that happens, it can become obvious that there are issues in your own relationship, quite aside from the former external problems, that need to be addressed. Not to mention that even assuming your marriage is fine as is, you don't want your marriage to be one damn clusterfuck of a situation after another. If your brother refuses to abide by the conditions you've set, then it's just too damn bad. Are you willing to let him hold the rest of your life hostage with the implied threat of suicide? What good does it do to temporarily rescue his life if it means essentially destroying your own life by letting him control it? Yes, I probably come across as cold and harsh here, but if I learned anything from the years of hell being married to someone with some major substance abuse problems and other issues, you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped with underlying problems and only wants assistance getting out of the consequences of ongoing bad decisions. Thanks for the good wishes regarding my mother, who is doing much better post-surgery but still loopy from the pain meds. The night nurse was able to explain to her that I had gone home for the night and would be back the next morning. While she may have a few moments of anxiety, right now she's so drugged up she's barely staying awake for more than a few minutes at a time, and so if she does panic again, at least it'll be short. And yes, absolutely I won't be able to take care of her once she's discharged if I run myself into the ground while she's in the hospital. One of my siblings will be able to come for a week or two to assist after my mother is out of the hospital, which will be a big help.
  10. BookWoman56

    Family: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    @BuyMoreAndSave, I completely agree that before allowing a family member (or anyone else) to live with you, you need ground rules and a contract. My brother lived with me for about a year during a transitional period for him, and it was fine; we’d shared an apartment when I was in grad school and knew what to expect. However, I allowed my niece and her BF to live with me without establishing parameters because I mistakenly assumed they were reasonable people, and eventually had to kick them out. My mother has been in the hospital for the past few days with an infection that required surgery this morning. The 1st night I went home, and she woke up around 4 am completely disoriented and freaked out because I wasn’t here. So I spent last night here in the hospital room, with the standard interruption every couple of hours to check her vitals. She will be here for a few more days, but starting tonight I will have to sleep at home, or else I will be completely nonproductive. I go back to work on Wednesday, so have to be rested enough for that.
  11. BookWoman56

    Dear Diary: Question of the Day(s)

    I have never seen Pretty Woman, nor do I ever intend to. I don’t think I could watch that many cliches at once without my head exploding.
  12. BookWoman56

    Pet Peeves

    As noted previously, I rarely use ATMs, but of the two closest bank branches I use, neither has an ATM in the lobby. What would be the point? The drive-up ATM is for customers who want to stay in their vehicles, and the lobby is for people who want or need to interact with a human teller, or need services not available via ATM. I have seen those generic ATMs, but there are also ATMs belonging to specific big banks in some stores. ETA: There are obviously regional differences in the way banks and ATMs are set up, along with differences depending on the size of the bank and the size of the city/town. I live in a large city in TX, and maybe it's just the part of town I'm in, but I don't think I've ever seen an ATM in a bank lobby here. Of course, the mindset here is often that everybody is expected to have a car, and that nobody wants to get out of the car if possible. I work for a very large bank (thank goodness not as a teller or anything that requires me to interact with external customers), but I don't go into any branch of my bank except under extraordinary circumstances (lost a debit card and need a new temporary card asap, opened up a new account in which I am my mother's representative payee for her SS benefits, and so could not open the account online, etc.).
  13. BookWoman56

    Pet Peeves

    I’m not entirely sure. My experience is that drive-up ATMs are often shorter and wider than the ATMs in kiosk settings, such as malls, convenience stores, etc. In my neck of the woods, anyway, the drive-up ones have been reconfigured in the past 5-10 years to accept and scan cash or check deposits, and more or less instantly credit those scanned deposits to your account. OTOH, the ATMs in convenience stores and so forth are much more basic, limited to dispensing cash and account balances, at least the ones I have seen. Admittedly I don’t use ATMs much anymore as my banking app allows me to deposit the one paper check I receive each month by using my phone, and so I mostly hit the ATM to get cash to pay my yard guy.
  14. BookWoman56

    Pet Peeves

    Presumably because the blind customer could be sitting in the left rear passenger seat, behind the driver’s seat, and need to use the ATM.
  15. BookWoman56

    Support for caring for an elderly relative

    @Vixenstud, that's a huge amount of shit to have to deal with simultaneously. I hope Mr. Vixenstud makes a full recovery soon, so you don't have to deal with two patients. Is the plan still on for your sister to renovate the house she's being given and move your mother in with her? It definitely sounds as if you need a break from caring for her, and you need your own space. I try to make sure my mother has healthy options on hand, but she also likes a fair amount of junk food. And I'll be blunt here; she's lived to be 90 (91 in a couple of months) eating whatever the hell she wants, so I am not in any way going to insist that she eats only food I approve of. When she was in the assisted living facility, she had to eat the food they prepared but also insisted that my sister bring her certain snack foods. With your father, certainly you feel obligated to make sure he has healthy options, but as long as he's capable of making his own decisions, ultimately it's his choice as to whether he sticks to a healthy diet or eats comfort food. My mother consumes insane amounts of salt; her own mother always kept a small dish of salt (maybe a salt cellar?) next to her plate to dip her food into, so my mother grew up thinking a ton of salt was normal. I don't cook using much salt at all, but she adds salt to almost everything. Her blood pressure is fairly good and she has no heart problems, so it's evidently not doing her much harm. But for me the bottom line is that I'd rather have her eat stuff she likes and be happy, even if that means living a year or two less than she might, than to insist that she follow a specific diet and be miserable, simply to extend her life another year or two. It would be different if she were younger, but she's lived a long, full life and I'd rather she enjoy her life for however long she has left, whether months or years, than to listen to her bitch and moan about not having her snacks and salt for an extra year. In general, I will say the biggest lesson I've learned from being the primary caregiver for an elderly parent is that much like when you have small children, it's critical to find some time for yourself. I work full-time from home, take care of my mother, and am also babysitting my grandson a few hours every weekday. So lately I've been finding it therapeutic to take either Saturday or Sunday and go on a solo excursion for several hours, usually just driving to some specific landmark, chilling out for a little while, and then driving back. Highway driving relaxes me and gives me some peace and quiet for the most part, which I usually desperately need after a week of dealing with a lot of stress. The last few weeks have been especially stressful for several reasons, and adding to that is my mother wants to be helpful by loading and unloading the dishwasher. Sounds great in theory; in reality, not so much. She sometimes forgets to run the dishwasher, thinks dishes have been washed, and proceeds to put up an entire load of still dirty dishes into the cabinets, blissfully unaware of their condition. She also will take dishes out of the dishwasher and put them on the kitchen counter next to the sink, in the designated place for dirty dishes that haven't made it into the sink yet, with the result that she mixes up clean dishes with dishes that haven't even had scraps removed or dumped. In all seriousness, a week or so ago, I found 2-3 glasses in my cabinet with an inch or so of tea/soda still in them.