Thursday, April 3, 2008

Five things that make me want to scream…

Unlike my much nicer colleagues, I can think of many and have to narrow the field to get to five. A few have been well covered by Anny or Kelly or Regina, so I’ll leave alone the horrible selection of clothing available for the short and round and the deplorable lack of manners shown by people who discuss personal business loudly on their cell phones. So...

#5: Politics. Hate them all. Pretty much every single thing about our process and the people who are good enough at the game to make it to the national level. I spent one four year term as a local elected official and I’d rather have a bikini wax done by Attila the Hun than get mixed up in that cesspool again.

#4: Religion.
Religion is fine in its place. And that place is between you and your god, or gods as the case may be. Keep your beliefs away from me, and don’t even think about using them to tell me how I should live my life. As a corollary to number 5 above, please don’t use your religion to legislate how I should live my life. Allowing that gay couple next door to exchange vows and become next-of-kin does not in any way undermine the security of my marriage. Or yours. Bugger off, live your own life and let others live theirs.

#3: Romance vs. Erotica. Reference #4. First of all they are NOT mutually exclusive. Secondly, if you don’t like what I write, don’t read it. I’m even okay with you not selling it to minors. But don’t go calling me a prostitute because I write sexy books. You write and read what you want, I’ll write and read what I want. That’s that whole free market concept in action.

#2: Money: I could go off on this one for hours. Days, even. It has become a crime in our society (I live in the US if anyone was wondering) to be short on cash. Generally what happens if you are five minutes late paying a bill is that you get slapped with a very hefty late charge—the penalty for being broke. Pretty soon the late charges add up to more than you make in a month. And we have no sympathy for people who would like to work but can’t find a job—whether there is no available work, or they can’t find transportation (we’re the only so-called civilized country with NO mass transit to speak of) or because the jobs that are available pay less than day care costs. (Yes, other countries subsidize that, too.) or Because there are simply fewer jobs in the US than there used to be.

#1: The medical establishment: Yes, there are doctors and nurses who are smart, kind and thoughtful as well as good. Those are the priceless gems of the industry. Unfortunately the system does not reward those people, and far too many of them are only in it for the money. They are also trained to believe that every single patient they speak to is an utter idiot. “I have strep throat.” “Sure, you do. I’m the doctor, I’ll decide.” “Okay, but I get it twice a year every year and it always feels exactly the same.” Then they proceed to run expensive tests only to decided you do, indeed, have strep throat. And don’t get me started on hospitals. When I worked in animal rehab, one thing we saw over and over is that the lower the stress level on the animal, the better the chances for recovery. And yet hospitals do everything they can to stress you out continually from the minute you walk in the door until the minute your insurance company tells them they have to boot you out.

Okay. There’s a start. I’m off to my exercise class now (yes, some overweight people really do exercise regularly!) and I’m sure that as I’m doing crunches and jumping jacks I’ll think of a dozen more things to say. So leave a comment and check back later—I might add more!

19 comments:

  1. I'm with you on all of these things, Cindy. The religion thing drives me nuts. Okay, I'm a Christian but I don't really go to church all that much. I do my praying alone and I prefer it that way. Where I live, I'm surrounded by the over-zealous and judgmental and it drives me mad. A gay couple living next door? The folks here would be picketing and sneering. I can't stand people like that. To each his own. Don't tell me how to believe or teach me values. I don't want to hear it.

    If these folks had any clue what I write, they would be hard on me and my KIDS. That's how bad they are.

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  2. Fortunately, my dr has learned I know what I'm talking about when I describe my symptoms over the phone. In the early days of our relationship, he'd have me come in and confirm what I already knew. Now, all it takes is a phone call and a once-a-year visit to get the antibiotics I need for a sinus infection. If different symptoms show up, THEN I make an appointment.

    And he really 'hated' it when I finally found a home remedy that worked for my poisen ivy! But he loves me and my family.

    The insurance company? Don't get me started.

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  3. I belong to a zealous, religious family. It took me a long time to understand that zealotry was destructive and unchristian. Love and kindness go a lot further.

    It is a CRIME in this country to be poor. More poor people literally go to jail because they can't afford a good lawyer. More poor people are obese because they can't afford proper nutrition. More poor people die because they can't afford medical care.

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  4. It is a crime to be poor. It's particularly a crime if you are working and still can't make ends meet to seek assistance. Why is that? When I worked a full time job and my husband did also, but had daycare expenses, living expenses, transportation expenses, clothing requirement (bus cas) etc, I needed help. But I "made too much" which was a joke. Yet my friend was an RN her husband an anesthetist. She lied to the system and not only got foodstamps and financial assistance but she never even had to drop her club membership for her occassional work outs.

    I had to shop at food shelves and the VA drop turkey dinners off over the holidays twice. I stood on my doorstep in tears that I didn't have formula for my child and my milk had dried up. I got a shrug and an impersonal letter.

    The system sucks. And public transport? Well, that's an entirely new rant I could take up. The powers that be need to suck it up and take a clue from the russians who not only use taxis and group cabs, but trains, subways, buses, and trolley cars. There isn't a place in that city without some transportation on every block. AND one monthly paid pass covers all the fairs for all they types with the exception of cabbies.

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  5. Things that make me scream:
    In politics: to hear a candidate say something and act the opposite.
    In religion: people who make fun of religions (any religion) upset me as much as those who try to impose their view. I grew up learning to respect the right of people to their religion.
    Money: parents who claim they can't afford to send their kids to college but drive the latest model or go on a cruise.
    Doctors: they are not the best in FL but they do their best, although I'm fed of being treated as a guinea pig.
    Romance: writers who expect you to buy their books but don’t buy yours.
    Things that make puke:
    The guys who spit in the street.
    The drivers in FL who don't the ABC of roads regulations.
    The rudeness of some clerks. When you tell them that they gave you the wrong medical record, they answer that you don't have the right to tell me how to do their job!!
    Voila I can come up with pages.
    Can you say, I’m feeling better and my energy is coming back? LOL

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  6. That's a good list, Mona! And Molly, you lucky girl! Good doctors are precious gems.

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  7. Never thought i would have to say this -- but I LOVE being over 60. I get a free buss pass -- I can go ANYWHERE in Wales for free! And I get all my arthritis med free, too -- our NHS has it's faults, and everyone keeps saying its in meltdown, but it has huge plusses, too.

    However, as a lapsed Catholic and lately a Pagan, I too object to any religion telling me I must conform.

    If I find out I'm wrong when I pop my clogs, then I'll apologise...

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  8. All I have to say Cindy is I agree with all your rants!!! :)

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  9. OMG, where should I start! Politics-if you don't agree with someone they run you through with a sword and paint graven images of you in public.
    Doctors-before I die will I ever find who knows what he's talking about and doesn't prescribe the wrong medicine? If you come to my fun eral, be sure al the doctors get the bill.
    Religiion-either you have it or you don't. If I want it I'll get it myself. Quit ringing my doorbell.
    Romance vs. Erotica-who says they're m,utually exclusive? If you have no erotica in your romantic life, youlre definitely doing something wrong, so get off my case.
    Monay-Either I have it or I don't. Life has been opretty darn good to me lately but I had a long stretch where I wondered if debtors prison still existed. If you don't have it, regardless of what the bill colelctors say, it's not a crime. If you do, please spread it around with your friends. They're the best people in the world.
    Thank you, Cindy, for opening this can of worms! LOL!

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  10. Political pet peeve--- being in a group of people who assume my political views are the same as theirs and then snarking on the opposition. I usually keep my mouth shut but not everyone is a Democrat people.

    Another one... and I have to agree that I'm not pleased with Bush, but he's the president. And when Clinton was the president the following still applied. After the election, quit griping and support the one in office. You had your say, you had your vote, now quit being a jackass and support your country. We look like idiots to the rest of the world. Yes freedom of speech is important but for pete's sake, get a clue.

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  11. Oh and for those of you spewing and sputtering right now, No I'm not republican or liberal either.

    I vote for the person I agree with most regardless of party.

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  12. I agree with most of what you say. I'm not politically minded and I vote regardless of party.

    I have several pet peeves. One's to do with my church - they're on my back to go more regularly and try to make me feel guilty for not going. But then when I go, some of them either ignore us, or worse, act stuck up. If they don't want me there, then don't make me feel guilty for not going. If they want me there, then show me. I'm mad at myself for letting any of that affect me, but it does. In my religion, we're not free to go to just any church - we're assigned wards.

    Other peeves? Oh, there's a ton. I try to ignore most of them and not take myself so seriously, but here's a few that get to me anyway. People who yell at me. Why do they think they have the right? If they have a gripe with me or anyone else, discuss it rationally. The minute someone starts yelling and getting nasty, I turn off. You've lost me. People who cut me in line - whether walking or driving. People who tailgate me. I'm going to slow way down, not speed up. If you're going to hit me in the rear, I'm not going to cause a chain reaction. Also, I'll do it just to be perverse and piss you off since you're pissing me off. Learn your job - at least make a good effort. We have ladies in my department who know computer work is a big part of our job, who have been in the job from 1 1/2 to 9 years, and don't take the initiative to learn how to use the most simple computer applications. Hello! A night school class is cheap. There are FREE ones on the computer. Even if they don't have a computer at home (but most people do) give up part of a lunch hour to learn at work. Or instead of gabbing during slack periods, use it to poke around the computer and learn. I did. So can they. I'm tired of being bogged down with extra work because they don't want to learn. There's probably more but this is getting long.

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  13. Let me add one more thing I forgot. It does seem like a crime in the US to be poor. People treat you like you have the plague if you don't have much or any money. They assume that you can give this money for the kids' projects without asking and then get mad if you can't do your share.

    Hubby and I both work 2 jobs plus we're disabled vets so we get somewhat of a VA pension - his is a lot more than mine. Still, with 4 kids at home, we just make it. There's not a lot left over. We have to watch pennies. Medical insurance is a joke. I can't afford it for my family through my company as it would be over $1000 a month. Luckily, hubby's job is a lot less. But we went without it for over a year when he was out of work, praying everyone would stay well. Even with it, they fight everything we need.

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  14. I hear ya Ashley. We buy individual coverage for me. We pay for the girls through the state programs (we pay, thank you) and Scott is mandated to buy insurance from the school. He must or he is kicked out and it covers nothing. He has sleep apnea and was born without thyroid. Neither condition is covered. It's out of pocket for us. Plus I'm heading in for the second of two surgeries. Part of it was a biopsy and it wasn't covered. It's ridiculous and demeaning. We pay through the nose for coverage then pay through the nose for every service no matter how small. Why is that? Insurance is meant to help with these expenses.

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  15. Hugs, Kelly. I also know at least 2 families that lied to the government, made a lot of money but claimed they didn't by hiding money, and then got assistance. Assistance the rest of us pay for in taxes.

    My older daughter is having trouble getting a job because she can't afford a car yet. She can't afford a car without a job. She can't get a job without a car. Well, it really diminishes the choice of where she can get a job. I drive her around as much as I can, but I have my own job to keep and mine is crucial to pay the mortgage so I can't jeopardize mine. The bus routes are lousy. They cut out several near our house a couple years ago. The ones that are left are a joke. they either don't come at all or they pass my daughter by and leave her standing there. I had to drive her to college every morning because the busses weren't reliable. But I can't drive her all the way across town if she gets a job in a place not near my employer, or just as bad that she might be on some weird shift not coinciding with my available hours.

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  16. Excellent rant - and you used 'bugger off'...how Aussie of you

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  17. Yeah...gotta love the catch 22 of our system. If you make as much as $1 over the limit, you make too much money. Nevermind the fact you need a car to get to work, but need work to get a car. Or for that matter, a place to live to even GET assistance, job, car, etc. My 'stepdaughter' has two kids to support, yet makes too much money for assistance. Two years ago, she was living with anyone who would let her have a room while we took care of her kids for free. Since then, she's managaed to hold a steady job, find a somewhat decent place to live in, and enroll her kids in school (oldest is 6). Does she have her act together? As long as she stays well; she had a medical issue last month (no insurance) and was out of work for 2 weeks. Her mother had to loan her $$ for her rent. And now she's talking about going back to school. So who knows...

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  18. Great rant, Cindy!
    I found myself nodding in agreement.
    And as for the medical thing, I've had doctors repeat expensive tests 3 and 4 times because they couldn't figure out what caused my problem, but I knew all along my illness was caused by stress, but did they listen to me? No.

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