Let me register my disapproval of Walgreens right here on the internetz. Not that my little voice matters but I’m saying it anyway.
Last night we mistakenly bought a $30 iTunes gift card at the local Walgreens. By the time we got home (literally 10 minutes later) we realized we had made a mistake and went back to Walgreens and asked to return the cards. Still in the Walgreens bag, still factory sealed, with a receipt that says Walgreens will take back anything to keep you happy.
NOT SO. They refused to take the iTunes cards back. For no really particularly good reason except that they didn’t want to. Total douchebaggery. We called the customer service people and they were just as rude.
No more Walgreens for me. I have an equidistant choice of Walgreens or CVS. CVS it is.
We play board games. Tonite was Scrabble night.
The Old Man is wicked good at Scrabble.
and the winning board ….
It was a nice way to pass the time. Quiet and removed from the outside world that is currently in the final throes of Christmas frenzy. It’s like the real world is in some kind of stasis until the insanity passes. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. December becomes a lost month. There is nowhere to hide from the bombardment of commericals, songs, entreaties to BUY MY STUFF. The traffic is terrible. Supermarkets are mobbed. People get pretty shitty with one another because of the pressure to BUY THAT STUFF and do all the things that the Christmas script demands or …. else? I just want the world to get back on track. Only 2 more days of madness.
I have so many thoughts on this and I just want to try and write them down.
First. I am not a Christian. There is no one in my household who is a Christian. I am a pagan. A witch, thanks very much. This is no secret in my workplace. It’s not like I walked in and said, “HEY I’M A PAGAN”. But one day in conversation that fact was made plain. (Which should not have been a surprise considering I have worn jewelry with pagan symbols for 6 years. Just sayin’.) Although I do believe it is easier for folks who are uncomfortable with that fact to ignore the obvious until it is plainly stated.
More background. I work in an environment that is ….. difficult. There are issues with race, gender, educational level, and socio-economic class in an unnaturally forced blue collar-white collar environment. Add in the very potent brew of religious difference, overlay it with the seemingly outsized importance of the Christmas holiday and it is a formula for great unease. To be fair, on both parts. Mine and theirs. The situation is not helped by the holiday parties, holiday cards, and holiday wishes from the institution where we all labor. I do understand that large institutions must appear to be ecumenical whether there is a genuine interest or not. It’s just good business. It costs nothing and avoids problems. And I do believe at my place of employment on the macro level that the sentiment is genuine. On the micro level it is just a mess.
Here are my thoughts on this. I really do not want to be lumped in as an afterthought on the ‘holidays’. I actually find it offensive. On this I share common ground with the Christmas crowd. Conflating Yule/Solstice, Hanukkah, or any other Winter holiday with Christmas is not cool. Our traditions and beliefs are not some diminutive form of Christmas that must be grudgingly included in the seasonal festivities. They are rich and special in their own right. And they pre-date the Christmas holiday by millenium. There is a grand irony that the last folk to join in the Winter festivities are the ones viewing all those who came before as the usurpers. BTW, I’ll just mention that I have no hard feelings that you are using pagan traditions and symbols when you celebrate. Okay?
To the war on Christmas office contingent wishing anyone “Happy Holidays” is offensive. Every year I hear about the war on Christmas, the faux meaning of other religious and cultural experiences, and how it’s Christmas, dammit. Without fail at some point when the holiday ‘spirit’ is in high dudgeon I am asked if I am ready for Christmas. And each year I answer, no, I’m not ready for Christmas because I don’t celebrate Christmas. I’m not sure how to interpret that. At best I could say that it is well meaning but indecipherably ignorant. At worst it is intentional baiting.
I actually find it sad for the war on Christmas crowd at my workplace. To be nursing such a grievance and feeling so under seige when you are in the majority doesn’t make any sense to me especially when you celebrate a season that has as one of its basic tenets ‘good will towards men’.
photo credit for Hannukah menorah: dirtydog2003 via photopin cc
He really liked all of you and what you do. He would love to work with you.
Edit: Glassdoor reviews for this company are poor. The words ‘snap decisions’ are the common thread. Appears to be true. They left a message before even getting home and in the negatory. Reasons? The job wouldn’t be challenging enough. Apparently reading the resume in advance and seeing the level of expertise and education of your applicant is not part of the process? But wasting someone’s time is. What I think is that they wanted someone young that they could work to death and pay a bowl of cheerios a day. They were not in the market for an experienced engineer who could probably run circles around all of them and their Google culture workplace (their definition, not mine). Again. RESUME. READ IT.
P.S. Having a foosball game and Bagel Monday does not make you akin to “Google culture”. That’s actually pretty embarrassing …. for you. Just sayin’.
By the Grace of the Goddess more snow came today which means one less day of going to work.
Arrived this morning. First snow.
Herb Garden in the Snow
So …. I had an …. episode. It was a vasovagal snycope sort of episode. At least that is the interim diagnosis. I have an appointment to see a cardiologist for a screening to determine if there is an underlying cardiac cause such as an arrthymia.
I fell face first onto a tile floor and woke up in a pool of blood from my smashed up nose. I have a sore nose, a small sore spot on my forehead and a whopping big bruise complete with hematoma right above my elbow. This? Not something I want to experience ever again. Ever.
But what I do know with absolute certainty is just how much I hate my job and how much I never want to set foot in that place again. It’s not worth one more precious moment of my life. The pay is horrible. The working conditions are disgraceful. The disrespect is frankly, overwhelming. Are there a few good folks? Sure, but in such a small quantity as to be almost not measurable when compared with the whole. And the work itself is mind-numbingly banal with zero room for creativity.
I need Fortuna to turn just a little ….. just a little …. and the exit is reachable.
Our invitation to Thanksgiving dinner was ……. not. We found out too late to make any sort of dinner reservations and I’m not cooking a turkey for two people, so I bought a chicken and we are going to drive about and take some photos and then cook the chicken. Which is fine but, people? YO.
From Dr. Charles Raison at CNN:
When the holidays bring heartache instead of joy, I think they do so because they stand as an unforgiving yardstick against which we measure our losses and troubles.
If no one reminds us, we can sometimes overlook the fact that loved ones are gone, or that our lives are filled with painful conflict in exactly the intimate areas that should be sources of strength and comfort for us. But then along come the holidays, imposing upon us once again a template for what happiness and interpersonal success is expected to look like.
It can be hard to measure up. It is far easier to overlook the death of loved ones when you don’t have to stare across the holiday table at their empty places. It is far easier to pretend that family trauma or conflict don’t exist when you are far away and on your own.
But the holidays force us to either return to painful family interactions or to fully own our isolation and spend the season alone.
It is a terrible choice. I’ve treated many patients over the years who reliably became depressed during the holidays out of dread of having to interact with their families. On the other hand, the silence of Christmas morning on one’s own carries its own unique pain.
I never cease to be amazed at how often both emotional well-being and mental illness hinge on how we negotiate these types of impossible choices. Because the choices really are often insoluble and the losses are often so actual …..
“Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that are highly scripted. You are supposed to spend it with other people — especially with family. All jokes and sitcoms aside, you are supposed to want to spend it that way.”
Table for one, please. A solo Thanksgiving. From NPR in 2012.
The comments section is truly required reading.