Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Falling Down on the Job

It's probably not what you think...

Yesterday. I needed to get to work (to my desk, actually) ON TIME. Which means I have to clock in on the wretched time clock system on my workstation no later than 8:07 a.m. so I can take not one minute less than a 30 minute lunch so I can leave work at 4:30 so I can make it home to grab a few things for an appointment at 5:15.

I set my alarm clock about 20 minutes earlier than usual and got up after hitting the snooze button only once. The only problem was that my roommate's family was here, and everyone was still getting ready for Disneyland. The daughter (the one from Florida, who you may remember from the trip my mom and I took a couple years ago) was in the shower when I dragged myself out of bed. That was OK, because I got my clothes out and readied my breakfast stuff and was generally efficient with my waiting time. Then it was my turn.

The granddaughter took her shower while I was having breakfast, and then the son-in-law needed a shower, but since I hadn't finished my breakfast yet, I let him go ahead, rather than try to brush my teeth mid-breakfast. Eeeww!

But he took longer than I had counted on (I hadn't really given it much thought). When he finished, I brushed my teeth, grabbed everything, said my goodbyes (and told them I knew they were going to be SO JEALOUS of me being at work while they were suffering their way through the Happiest Place on Earth), and got in the car. That's when I noticed I was cold. I had forgotten my jacket. So I turned off the car, ran back inside ("Are you done at work already?"), grabbed my jacket and ran back outside to my car.

I ended up leaving with just enough time to get to work and still be able to clock in On Time, provided traffic wasn't bad. It wasn't, but my timing was close. I parked my car and walked very quickly to the entrance, and that was where my foot didn't quite clear the curb, and I went down.

My knees took the worst of it. I was wearing a dress, so it was skin on cement. Hard. My hands hit next, my left hand grazing the knuckles closest to the nails on my thumb and two middle fingers, because that's the hand that had my lunch in it. My right hand hit on the heel of the palm after letting go of my purse and sending some of the contents spilling, including my cell phone which opened up as if to mock me. And then, because I'd been walking so fast, my momentum kept me moving until my right cheek touched the cement, fortunately without any injury or pain. If it hadn't been for my knees taking the brunt of the damage, my face could have been.... no, I don't want to think about it.

One of the ladies at work was right behind me, and she asked if I was OK, but I had to be OK, because I had to clock in first and then survey the damage once that task had been accomplished. I walked quickly, without tripping up the stairs, and checking as I went to make sure I didn't feel any blood running down my shins, to my desk and clocked in at 8:06 a.m. Success with a minute to spare! Then I went to the restroom and washed my injuries with soap and water.

It's bad enough that I felt like a dope for falling down like a little kid, but my job includes tracking unusual occurrences and typing up some of them when they're reported. And this was definitely an unusual occurrence. I asked my boss if I had to write it up, hoping that I wouldn't have to immortalize my shame, but she said yes, I needed to do that. And I also had to send a copy to HR.

Later, my knees started screaming in pain at me, so I went to the mailroom and looked in the first aid kit, but all it had was teeny band-aids and some purple gloves. Nothing for pain. I walked down the hall to where the head pediatrician was in his office, and I asked him if there was something I could put on the abrasions to make them stop hurting but that would let me pretend that I wasn't seeking medical care (pediatricians see more of this type of injury than adult physicians do or I would have asked an adult provider). He told me to ask the nurse.

The nurse, whose office was right next door, told me that if I put some antibiotic ointment on it, it would keep the air from getting to the wounds, and it was the air that was making my knees hurt. She dug out a box of antibiotic ointment from a desk drawer and informed me that it was expired, which was why it wasn't in the first aid kit. As a nurse, she would NEVER suggest that I use expired ointment. As a friend, though, she was letting me know that it was an option should I decide I wanted to use it. But it was expired. Just so I know.

I didn't care. I took several of the little foil packets and used one to put some ointment on my knees and also my thumb knuckle, which was still bleeding slightly. I had just enough band-aids in my Bag of Tricks that I keep in my purse for my knees. My thumb got a red crayon-shaped band-aid.

The hardest part of the day was at night when it was time to pray. I do that on my knees with my elbows on my bed, but there was no way I was going to put my knees on the little rug I keep by the bed. So I climbed into bed and prayed sitting up straight, and even though I felt farther away from my prayers that way, it was still better than not praying at all.

Today I wore another dress to work, so my knees wouldn't have to rub against pants, and tomorrow it'll be a skirt and jacket. On Friday, Jeans Day, I'll have to see how I'm doing, because I'd absolutely hate to miss out on a Jeans Day just because I fell down on the job on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Kit

This is from NewsBusters, via Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin's blog.

Doug Powers helpfully points out that the BS Removal Kit can also be used to remove the "McCain" half of your McCain/Palin bumper sticker.

I don't have any bumper stickers to remove, but I'm always happy to help a friend find something useful.

Then again, you might just want to keep those stickers on for posterity. I used to commute long distances to work and would frequently see another commuter with a really old Dodge Dart that had a Nixon/Agnew sticker on his car. Together, the sticker and car made a nice time capsule of another era. Something to consider before you plunge headlong into the BS Removal decision...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day!

Today's French phrase on my Page-A-Day calendar is:

La liberté à tout prix.

Liberty at all costs.

It's in honor of France's Bastille Day, their independence day. It's not a day I celebrate, although I remember, after having had 5 years of French in school plus various conversational French classes, that it falls on July 14th. But it got me thinking about France's revolution compared to ours.

Liberté. Liberty from what? The French liberated themselves from monarchy, a monarchy that oppressed them and left most of them starving in the streets. In return, they gained the Reign of Terror. Some liberty!

Égalité. Equality of what? The French are still basically ruled by elites. It may not be the monarchy anymore, true, but it's still a class system of the lessers being subject to their betters. I described the French school system, which fosters this class structure in this post from 2005. Yes, the French people all get to vote, but the elites still rule.

Fraternité. Fraternity with whom? "Disaffected" (Muslim) youths? The Jews who are being beaten? Fraternity seems to be only with other pasty-white French people. Outsiders need not apply.

The American Left loves to look to Europe, to France, for inspiration when they try to transform our country into something "better." But America, for all its faults, is the better place.

We gained liberty from the ruling monarchy without the bloodbath that followed France's revolution. Granted, geography had a lot to do with keeping King George III's head on his shoulders. But we had a peaceful transition to a new power structure that ensured liberty in the fledgling nation.

Within the context of the times, America promised equality in a way that hadn't been seen before. Property rights, the vote for free men, and equal opportunity were available to all.

Fraternity is what America does best. All who would subscribe to America's ideals and become citizens are welcome. It doesn't matter where you're from. It doesn't matter what color you are or what language you spoke in the Old Country. If you want to be an American, you can. Nobody is outcast. Nobody has to take the back seat. And anyone who wants to apply him or herself can succeed.

We're even seeing, this election cycle, a resurgence of would-be citizen-legislators.

America is a great country. Let us celebrate her greatness this Bastille Day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Clark S. Judge on Governors

I like Clark S. Judge and look forward to his guest column every Monday at Hugh Hewitt's blog. Today he addresses the weekend's meeting of the National Governors Association.

The National Governors Association met in Boston this weekend. Usually NGA meetings rank among the blandest of political events.... Not this meeting. Guns were blazing in criticism of the Obama Administration.

Said one frustrated state chief executive, “They [the administration] have oversold the job creation part of [the stimulus legislation]… Whether the president of the United States inherited this [economic] situation or not, he’s now owning it…. [T]o have not delivered [jobs] more quickly has become a problem.”

Said another governor from another region: “Are we just protecting government, or are we really stimulating the economy.”

The surprising part is that even the New York Times reported the story. Clark Judge continues:

As yet another governor of the president’s party told the Times, in joining Republicans wondering why there was no attempt by his party’s Congressional leadership to at least add constructive immigration legislation to obstructive administration lawsuits, “There are 535 members of Congress…. Certainly someone back there can chew gum and hold the basketball at the same time.”


Judge goes on to mention a concern that I've expressed before:

November is not a done deal yet. We have a two-party system. It is not enough for the Democrats to fail in governing, as they have. The Republicans must come up with an alternative....

There is talk of Congressional Republicans issuing a new Contract with America, a pledge of actions the party would take if it were to control the next Congress. Apparently some are afraid of painting in such bold colors as endorsing repeal of Obamacare, stopping further spending of the stimulus money, and continuing the 2003 tax rates. With voter skepticism running so deep, Republican timidity is the greatest danger for the GOP this fall.

He's right. My congressman, Darrell Issa, is a rock star, and so is Rep. Paul Ryan, but the GOP leadership in the House, like Minority Leader John Boehner, strikes me as being made of Jello. We need to shed the go-along-to-get-along Republican members in Congress and elect some true Men of Steel to stand up against the Democrat agenda. If we do, maybe just maybe we can stop the hurtling of our nation in time before it plunges into the abyss.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Botched Clichés

There are so many upsetting things going on in the news that I can't deal with them all, so instead I'll head off in another direction.

When I was a kid, I didn't understand some of the figures of speech or clichés people used. The most confusing for me was, "A stitch in time saves nine." I pictured this as somebody, most likely God, stitching His way through the Fabric of Time. I had no idea why He would stitch time and what effect those stitches would have in the world and what His stitching would save nine of. Nine seconds? Nine minutes? Nine people? I'd get overwhelmed from pondering this (much like the recent news), and I'd have to push it from my mind so I wouldn't go crazy.

It wasn't until I was much older, probably when I had to do some mending, that I figured out it meant something more mundane than God and time. If you get a little hole in the seam of your clothes and you sew it up right away with a little stitch, it saves you from having to sew up a lot because you let the hole get bigger because you're too lazy to nip it in the bud.

Another misunderstanding I had was the (incorrect) saying, "Don't kick a gift horse in the mouth." In my mind, a gift horse fell into the same category as the goose that laid the golden eggs. Somewhere out there was a horse that, when it opened its mouth, wrapped gifts came out. You wanted that horse to keep on giving gifts, didn't you? And if you kicked that horse in the mouth, it would quit giving you the gifts. So don't do it!

Again, in teenagerness or early adulthood, I got this one straightened out. It's really: "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," of the "Beggars can't be choosers" variety of saying. A gift horse is a horse that somebody gives you for free. And people who understand about horses (which certainly wasn't me) know that you can tell how old a horse is by looking at his teeth and how worn down they are. If someone gives you a horse, don't bother to look at his teeth. You don't want to know.

The rest of these are things that other people said.

I shared a cubicle with a guy who would say, "If it was a snake, it would've kicked me." Love it!

A British guy I worked with, a supervisor of some sort but not mine, was talking to a group of us about some work-related matter, and he said, "That opens up a whole new can of beans." We laughed at him later, when he wasn't around.

Finally, a guy I worked with who was from Costa Rica had come to America not knowing much English. He said he learned English by reading the New York Times every day with a Spanish-English dictionary close by. His English was excellent by the time he had moved to California and started working where I did. One time, though, he needed to vent, and he did. Then he finished by saying, "There. I had to get that out of my chest."

All I could think of was that first main scene in the first Alien movie where the horrible alien beats its way out of the guy's chest, and I didn't want to laugh, because my co-worker was really a nice guy (not like the British supervisor, who was a pain in the neck), but oh my goodness!

What about you? What botched clichés or figures of speech have you said or heard?