I voted!

…after I spent about three hours going through paper and throwing it out… ok, like a total numbskull I mislaid my ballot. Have you mislaid your ballot? FIND IT! VOTE!

” …that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“

When I went across the country as a Mad as Hell Doctor in 2009, we talked to people everywhere. I joined the group in Seattle. I had never met any of them and had only heard about them two weeks before. But we were on the road, talking about health care, talking about single payer healthcare, talking about Medicare for All.

Some people said, “I don’t want the government in healthcare.”

We would ask, “Are you against Medicare?” “No!” “Medicaid?” “No!” “Active duty military health care?” “No! We must take care of our active duty!” “Veterans?” “No! They have earned it!”

…but those are all administered by the government. More than half of health care in the US. So let’s go forward: let’s all join together and have Medicare for ALL! And if you don’t agree… so you don’t think you should vote? Hmmm, I am wrestling my conscience here….

We need one system, without 20 cents of every insurance paid dollar going to health insurance profit and advertising and refusing care and building 500++ websites that really, I do not have time to learn and that change all the time anyhow. How about ONE website? How about ONE set of rules? We are losing doctors. It’s not just me worrying: it’s in the latest issue of the American Academy of Family Practice.

Vote. For your health and for your neighbor’s health.

Iron Noder: Tokyo Drift six

Last night I did not sleep well because once again one of my neighbors had the whining and crying dog over, and it woke me up well before my alarm went off. I must have managed to go back to sleep for a while, I remember bits and pieces of the following dream. Someone is coughing and it sounds dreadful. I think it must be my youngest, but go into the bedroom and see one of the guys I work with in there. One of my daughters said that he was really sick, and from listening to him, I agreed. I don't really want to include this next part because it could be open to an interpretation I don't want, but for some reason I am in this room without a shirt on, but it isn't a sexual thing, I just happen to be topless without any explanation of why, maybe I was getting dressed? I try on a skirt that I don't own in real life, and then we are in this dining room area talking about how to arrange the furniture in there. The guy I work with is presumably feeling better, but when he says he is going somewhere, I challenge that.

Either I have a new dream, or there is a gap in the previous one. Suddenly I am on a dark set of stairs talking to a woman I used to work with about a different guy I worked with that has no relation to the current people at work. I ask how people are and we chat for a while. We leave and arrive at this place that has strange wooden slats that can be removed. When I do so, I see that they are covering very large fish tanks. Don't ask me why we are at these people's home, the man has a Burt Reynolds look to him. He's coarse, rude, and obnoxious, the woman is kind of reminding me of Dolly Parton without the cleavage, and then I wake up and wonder what any of this means if anything. Over the weekend I watched For A Few Dollars More twice while thinking about how much I missed my dad. I miss the way he was when I was a very young child, and I'm not really sure why. Maybe I am grieving a lost childhood, or feeling like I should have made more of an effort while he was still alive.

Yesterday it poured here. I was going to stop by the grocery store, pick up some snacks for work and drop them off so I wouldn't have to juggle so much stuff on my way in, but it was raining so hard I decided to put off my shopping. Apparently the guy who was supposed to be working overslept and didn't show up for most of his shift. I didn't know this had happened so I walked into a mess at work which was compounded by the fact that my boss was in a minor car accident on his weekend off. The other day I messed up someone's bill. It was fixed, but it resulted in a loss of service and I felt terrible about that. Of course the guy didn't know I was responsible and told me not to worry about it when I apologized, but the guys I worked with knew and thankfully they were classy and took action I couldn't on my behalf to make things right for him. Today I screwed up another bill and I'm tired of making mistakes I shouldn't be able to do on these stupid computer systems. That isn't so much user error as it is incredibly poor product design.

I knew that the guy was going to be in trouble when he arrived so I tried to keep calm and do my best to let my boss have time with his boss and the other guy when he came in, and I have to give him credit for arriving on time with a good attitude because I can't imagine what he must have been going through on the inside. Since I don't know him well I gave him space in case he needed it, he had to help me with a couple of customers. One man's phone had two times on it, the current one, and the previous one, I tried to fix it, but my fix didn't work, and whatever the guy did helped, but he said he didn't really do anything I hadn't which has sadly been most of my tech career <insert sad emoji>. We have to stand very close to each other and customers to see devices, sometimes this is uncomfortable, I try to create room when I can, but I also have to see what's going on so that takes some managing. A woman came in with a laptop because her email wasn't working and my boss had a good laugh at my expense when I fumbled for a way to tell her that she needed to take her problem elsewhere.

My last customer of the day was a guy who sauntered in and tried to show me how stupid I was because I didn't know absolutely everything about the new Apple watch. He was talking to one of the guys I was working with when I was standing right there, and admittedly he does know a lot more than I do, but it was still rude. He disparaged everything I said so I was surprised when he said he was going to go ahead with the purchase. I had a decision to make. The sale could have gone to someone else, but I felt like it should be mine. As I was walking over to the counter the guy I was working with gave me a look that I wish I had on video. I'm not entirely sure how to decipher it, but it was classic and priceless. I didn't feel like he would be willing to help me out so I asked my boss who thankfully was able to go through things with me. The customer was then rude to my boss after he told him what the charges were to add a watch to his calling plan. We pointed out that he had a less expensive option, but in my opinion the guy just wants to be miserable and I'm glad he's gone.

I felt bad because I wondered if the guy I had been working with would have been able to close the sale that I lost. I think he probably would have so now I have to think about how to handle that type of situation going forward. On one hand, I'm entitled to sales, and need to learn. On the other, I might be able to learn more from watching someone else, and the guy I happened to be working with is one of our top sellers for a reason. I will never be able to sell like him, but I could have learned more about the process, and fortunately I understand that the way that I sell is unique to me, and I'm not worried if I can't spout pricing or other information off like this guy can. I have a different role and a different market. The company needs both of us. My boss and I had quite the conversation this morning, I feel like I can tell him things and hopefully he feels like he can be very open and honest with me as well. When I got home I read an article on silence that I thought was informative. It said that there are three types between people; angry, awkward, and comfortable.

After thinking about it, I would change the first type to hostile. At my last couple of jobs I worked in some very hostile silences, today there was a long silent gap at work, but to my surprise, it was mostly a comfortable set of circumstances. It didn't make much of an impression on me at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how nice that really was. To be able to do your thing while someone else is doing theirs, without animosity, awkwardness, or pathetic attempts at small talk neither of you feel like making was a very unusual state, and I'm taking some time to reflect on that for a while. One thing that made me want to work there in the first place was how people treated me and each other when I was a customer. I felt like it was a very well run store, and now I see why. My boss assembles great teams. He sees strengths, he sees what can go wrong, and how someone like me was needed even though they were doing well just the way that they were. I've been a disruptive force, but I think I've brought some things that they needed to the group.

Another one that was sitting in my drafts. I need to find a way to publish these when I actually write them.



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