Rants Archive

Bill numbers are A06129 and S03464.  S03464 has passed in the state Senate!

Text here.  Duplicated here.  Article on it here.

The ONLY maybe good thing I can see is that because it’ll be a public list you might be able to realize you’re on it, and maybe start the process to get yourself removed, before it causes actual problems for you.  Maybe.

If they were going to stick to requiring an actual conviction for terrorist offenses I’d not mind so much.  But no, they’re also going to use the .GOV “terrorist lists” to fill out this registry.

Fuckers.

If you live in NY state please contact your Assembly person and let them know what you think!

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“Lets regulate guns like we do cars!”

Sure.

Lets do that.

That means that if I tell you I’m only going to use the gun on my own property then it doesn’t matter who I am, what I’ve done, what my health is like, what gun it is, so on, etc.  There’s no legal reason for you to deny me the purchase.

That means that my NY state pistol license is good in every state.

That means that my state legal gun, legally purchased in NY, is legal in every state.

Is that really what you want?  No?  Then stop spreading that stupidity……

BTW, the number of people who are apparently completely unaware that it’s legal to run a car on your own property without any registration, inspection, insurance, license, actual functional vision, etc is a little scary.

I’m not personally against basic safety training and the like before a license can be issued, though I’m not saying that I know the right way to implement it without infringing on rights, but can we please just stop sharing the stupidity around??  Its not THAT hard to look up the actual laws (and not the media’s interpretation of them) and figure out whats legal and whats not.  But the number of people who’d rather take the media’s word for it……..

Sigh, someone remind me why I hang out on social media??

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Its time to stop the shaming

Posted June 16, 2016 By Ruth

For those of you for whom the Facebook plugin doesn’t work, here’s the text, and direct link:

Parents, I beg of you, stop blaming and shaming other parents.

35 years ago, a mom shopping in a Sears department store went to go look at lamps, and left her six year old with another group of boys, who were all trying out the new Atari game at a kiosk. That boy’s name was Adam Walsh.

30 years ago, an 18 month old toddler playing in her aunt’s backyard fell into a well. Rescuers worked nonstop for 58 hours, finally freeing “Baby Jessica” from the well.

In both cases a tragedy happened, an unforeseen tragic accident took place which left Adam dead, and a toddler fighting for her life deep underground. But they also has something else in common; they had an entire country of moms and dads supporting the grieving parents.

Let me repeat that, EVERYONE SUPPORTED THE RESCUE EFFORTS WITHOUT BLAME. NO BLAME. None. ZERO.

No questions asked, not one single “Where were the parents?” comment. Just a country of other moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas watching in horror as a set of parents, one of their own, went through the unthinkable. Adam was our son. Jessica was our baby daughter.

THOSE PARENTS WERE US.

Flash forward to 2016, the year of THE PERFECT PARENT.

Yesterday, a two year old boy, splashing in the magical lakefront waters of a Disney Resort, succumbed to the wilds of mother nature. An aggressive alligator scooped him out of the water, right under the watch of his father, who attempted to fight with the alligator to free his baby son. Pure horror. Sheer Terror. Parents who actually had to watch their baby be taken from them, as if they were in some African nature documentary.

A tragic and unforeseeable accident. An accident.

I weep for this mother and father. I am sick with anguish for the pain, agony, misery, and regret pulsating through their viens this very second. And I bet you are too.

But not everyone is.

You see, we now live in a time where accidents are not allowed happen. You heard me. Accidents, of any form, in any way, and at any time, well, they just don’t happen anymore.

Why? Because BLAME and SHAME.

Because we have become a nation of BLAMERS and SHAMERS.

And how are accidents allowed to happen if we can’t blame someone? Surly, they can’t, right? I mean, random acts of nature, unpreventable tragedies, and fateful life changing events that take place in a matter of nanoseconds cannot possibly take place if everyone is being a responsible parent, right? NOPE.

They can’t, because this country and its population of perfect pitchfork carrying mothers and fathers sitting behind keyboards needs to accuse. They NEED TO BLAME, to disparage, to criticize in every damn way and at every damn corner, the parenting of another.

And when do they really get to lick their blaming chops? When a tragic accident happens. That’s when the pouncing is at its freshest, when raw emotion and ignorance collide, and they dig their word claws in, and take hold of whatever grace these grieving mothers and fathers have left in their souls.

And then they tear it out.

Listen to me very clearly perfect parents, VERY CLEARLY.

I’VE HAD ENOUGH.

I’ve had enough of scrolling through comment threads and seeing over and over again questions like “Where were the parents?” and thoughts like, “This is what happens when you don’t watch your kids.”

I have simply HAD ENOUGH.

I have one question for the blaming and shaming moms and dads. You know the ones who immediately blame the parents, the ones who go on the internet and type comments like, “This is nothing but neglect by the parents,” and “They should have known better. Who was watching that little boy?” and my favorite, “I would never let that happen to my kid.”

Here is my question,

Have you ever been to a child’s funeral before?

I have.

The funeral of a child is an event in life that you never, ever want to experience.

Now let me ask you another question.

In the coming week these parents will fly back to their home in Nebraska without one of their children. They will leave a vacation resort, packing up his Buzz Lightyear pajamas and his favorite blanket, and they will make an excruciatingly difficult journey home. A journey that they never in a million years thought they would be making.

They will meet with a funeral director, pick out a tiny casket, a tiny burial suit, and surrounded by family, they will bury their baby boy.

And they will suffer every single day for the rest of their life.

At the funeral for this two year boy who died in front of his parents, can you do me a favor? Can you walk up to the mother and say the words that you just typed out last week? Can you? Can you greet her, hug her, shake the father’s hand and then say, “ Who was watching that little boy? You should have known better. I would never let that happen to MY child.”

Can you do that for me? I mean, you felt those words so deeply in your heart and soul that you typed them for a million people to read. Certainly you can say it straight to the faces of the people you meant it for, right?

Here, let me help you.

Put away your pitchfork for a moment and try this.

To the mother and father who went for a walk on vacation for the last time with their little boy yesterday, I am deeply sorry that you had to experience the worst kind of tragedy possible, an accident. I grieve with you. Your baby was my baby. Your son was my son. I have nothing but love for you, love to help you get though the pain yesterday, today, and for what is gonna seem like a thousand tomorrows. I wrap my thoughts and prayers around your aching heart and soul. May the God of this universe in some miraculous way bring peace to you and your family.

That is what you say. THAT. And just THAT.

Stop the blaming.

Stop the shaming.

In their darkest hours, can we please just LOVE other parents. Please?

I keep seeing this behavior too.

I’m not talking about the teenagers who clearly had some lack in their rearing.  I’m talking about the infants, toddlers, and 2-3-4yr olds who get into trouble.

Every parent out there, if they’re being honest, will admit that they have looked away from their small child “for just a second” and turned back and discovered the child wasn’t where they were left.  It happens to every parent and caregiver out there.  It is simply, physically, impossible to have your eye on your child every second.  You do your damndest to make sure that during those seconds of distraction your child won’t be able to get into serious trouble.  But shit happens.  It’s a miracle, and a testament to the stubbornness of parents, that more small children don’t end up dead or seriously injured during those seconds of inattention every year.

My mother was HUGELY OCD about my safety as a child, and I still ended up in the ER a ton of times for my share of stitches.  I figure it’s just pure luck that I never tried to climb into a gorilla pen.

When my younger brother was 7 or 8 or so my mother saw, for the first time, those child harness-leash sets, and turned to me and said “god, I wish I’d had those when you two were toddlers”.  I still remember her telling me that.

Course, there’s a set of people out there who’d shame parents for using those harness-leash combos.

You can’t win.

Would I like to see zoo’s re-evaluate their fences on exhibits?  Sure, even if they’ve been accident free it’s probably time for an update regardless.  But I don’t blame the zoo either.

Would I like to see Disney take a closer look at their signage?  Sure, after all, a “no swimming” sign doesn’t mean the same thing to a New Yorker (or an Nebraskan), as it does to a Floridian.  Maybe it’s time to change up those signs to “Don’t approach water, alligators”.  But I don’t blame Disney either.

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Update

Posted June 3, 2016 By Ruth

Re: my work rant.

The excuse was that stocking levels were so bad that the time had to be taken before the Memorial sale started to fix things.  Though the store manager said all the right non-commital things she’s clearly not happy either (tone of voice, exact word choice, and her own actions tell me ALOT).  The Garden-seasonal department’s spring-summer sales carry the store, literally.  From the months of April to July our departments sales equal or better the sales of the rest of the store (with the occasional exception of Lumber) for the rest of the year.  I know the fuss is always made about Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for big box home improvement stores, at least in this area of the country the really big thing is spring-summer.  Having a department manager who cannot keep up has the potential to kill the store.

Mind, its not all her fault or under her control, but she’s not keeping up with basic stuff.

Example: back on 4/20 a $50 trash can went to its final clearance price of $13 before the “throw them out” point.  $13.  These are nice 13g stainless steel cans.  That SHOULD have been the trigger for the department manager to check stock, pull them out to a highly visible spot if they weren’t already (this should have been done at least one markdown prior really, but it should have been checked within the week after 4/20 too) and make them go away before they have to be trashed.  If not herself then by handing the info to an associate to do.  We as associates can’t see the markdown schedule so it has to be handed to us.

Yesterday, 6/2, an Assistant Store Manager handed me an info tag for these trash cans, informed me that the system says we have 35 of them, and to please pull them, tag them, and make them visible cause we have two weeks before corporate automatically orders them trashed.  35 of them, and we haven’t sold a single one in two months (that I can check).  Thats $1750 worth of sales down the drain if they get trashed.  Shit happens, the occasional box of clearance merchandise gets missed and ends up trashed.  35 13g trashcans is 3 PALLETS worth of merchandise.  Hell, if nothing else, making sure that they were out and tagged during the Memorial day sales madness would have likely fixed the whole problem!

It took me 5 minutes to find them.  It took me longer to find an appropriate spot to display them, mostly because of the bulk involved.  But not that much.  Another half an hour to get them out of the overhead, tagged, and in location.

Maybe an hour of my time total.

While I helped customers and answered phone calls, by myself cause the only other person in the department was Newbie M who I saw all of three times for my entire 4hour shift.

Yeah……

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To continue the griping about work

Posted May 16, 2016 By Ruth

Profanity warning…..

I mentioned, a few posts back, that the woman who is now managing the department might not be the right person for the job.

Yah, about that….

Last week we had a sale on two brands of mulch that ended on Wednesday (May 11th).  In addition the week was predicted to be absolutely lovely, weather wise.

Either of those factors makes for a busy as hell day.  The two of them combined meant for a fucking busy week.  And it was predictable that it would be like that.  They were predicting that weather for the entire 10day forecast ahead of time, and that sale on mulch had been ongoing for over a week prior.

Every single, experienced, person in the department looked at that and was groaning (or swearing) in anticipation of how busy we were going to be.

Except, apparently, the department head.

Last week was also the week that the store was scheduled to have the floors polished.  Why now and not mid-winter I don’t know (well, I DO, but yah….).  This means that there are people in the store from the time it closes to the time it opens.  And typically, when this sort of thing happens several departments will pull one or two people (the department head and maybe an additional person) off of their scheduled shift and have them work “overnights” to get stuff done that is hard to do while there are customers in the store.  As long as it’s not a busy week this isn’t the end of the world.

Last week was not a good week to pull someone off schedule to do overnights.  It was a really BAD week to pull TWO people off schedule to do overnights.

She did it anyway.  Resulting in the rest of the department getting fucking pissed.

We were swamped all week, even after the mulch sale ended, just due to the lovely weather.  Having had that additional one or two people, AS SCHEDULED, would have made a significant difference in our ability to cope.  Even though one of them was one of the useless new guys, I could have at least sent him out to help people with mulch and help with the heavy stuff freeing up someone else to help customers inside the building.

Tuesday was such a fucking mess that I ended up in frustrated tears infront of a customer, who was pretty damn horrified at the mess he walked into even before that.  And the rest of the week wasn’t any better.  The one more useful newbie ended up BY HIMSELF in the department for 2.5hours on Monday because of it.

I KNOW we had customers leave pissed off.  I KNOW we had customers who were mad cause they waited for 15-30 minutes for an associate to get free to help them.

I’m HOPING that they used the receipt survey to express that.

Cause not only did the department head make the decision to pull herself and one of the useless newbies off the schedule to do overnights (why him I have no idea, useless is the keyword here, I saw just how much work he was doing the night I closed last week), but then the assistant manager approved it as did the store manager.  I SUSPECT that what they did was take her word for the fact that there was plenty of coverage and didn’t check it themselves.

Tuesdays the store manager has an “open office” day.  Where us employees are supposed to feel free to approach her about problems.

I don’t normally take advantage of such.  I’d MUCH rather deal with issues on a much lower level TYVM.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking up that offer to have a chat.  Cause last week was fucking ridiculous.  And it didn’t have to be.

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Its an education problem

Posted May 12, 2016 By Ruth

And it has nothing to do with how intellectual the job is that the woman is doing, though I know my mom (who has a masters in engineering and worked for GE for a while) has stories to match Roberta’s.  As she points out, there have been women doing “all that” since before it was popular.  Your average housewife with reasonable cooking skills runs power equipment daily and uses tools that could kill you multiple times a day.

I’ve had male customers (generally they’re at least twice my age with a thick accent, though not always) literally refuse my help because I’m female.  They’ll demand I get a guy.  When I tell them I’m the only one in the department right now they’ll storm away in a huff.  It’s always funny when they’ll find some male employee in another department and drag him over only to have the male employee refer them back to me.

I’ve had customers (always male) get quite snide when they see me driving the electric order picker (the power equipment that lifts the operator high enough to pull stock off of the top racks) or reach trucks (basically a small electric forklift).  I’m sure the comments will become more interesting since I’m about a week short of getting my license for the big propane forklift.  Apparently a “little girl” like me isn’t supposed to be using equipment like that.  Some percentage of the comments may be meant admiringly, but that doesn’t keep them from being annoying when I’m concentrating on keeping the big-ass-end of the order picker from taking them off at the knees (something it very well COULD do).  I’ll note that my male co-workers don’t have this issue.  More than half the women in the store have one or more of their licenses.

 

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Summer jobs….

Posted April 30, 2016 By Ruth

Summer is the time of the temp job, especially for employers like mine.  College students who want extra cash for the summer.  Adults who’re bored.  And everyone in between.  I was infact hired as a temp myself a year ago.

Last summer, even without counting myself, I think we had a pretty decent crew of temps.

This year something happened in the hiring process….

J1 is a very nice young man who, despite being in his early 20’s and in college, has never worked retail before (I didn’t ask if he’d ever had a job before, but I suspect not).  Nice kid, I’m not sure he’s all there mentally, or maybe its the naivety thats getting me, but he works hard, doesn’t shirk, and when he’s not helping customers he finds something to do to keep busy.  I’d be thrilled to keep him, but I don’t think we’re going to.

J2 is younger than 1, works hard enough when you give him a specific task, but doesn’t go looking for something else to do very well.  And if he doesn’t stop flirting with the cute cashier and answer his walkie he’s really not going to like me in the near future.

J3 (yes, we ended up with three temps who’s names start with J) is worse than 2, among other things he disappears when he’s on the clock.

K1 is a mature fellow probly twice my age, who’s full of stories about the things he’s done, which apparently doesn’t include any retail experience.  Not sure if its because I’m female, or because I’m half his age, or both, but the condescending attitude is annoying more people than me.  I don’t care why you have the attitude, but if you tell me that this is the first time you’ve ever done X-major-safety-procedure and I spot a couple not too major changes you need to make to how you’re doing it don’t loftly insist I’m wrong……just….don’t.  Management loves him of course, but one of my co-workers is threatening to quit if they make him permenant.

And to top it off, M1 isn’t technically a temp, supposedly he got hired as permanent.  I’m hoping I heard that wrong.  Supposedly he’s got retail experience.  However he’s got issues with complying with the dress code (tip, jeans torn so I can see your boxers don’t fit dress code), especially the ones that actually have safety concerns behind them (no facial piercings IS actually a safety thing, I’ve had stud earrings torn out moving stuff, getting a lip or eyebrow ring torn out would be incredibly unpleasant).  Plus he dwaddles, and wanders, and doesn’t multitask, and if you want him to DO SOMETHING you have to stay on his case about it.

To top off the summer we have a new department head who’s previous experience was limited to managing a much smaller and less busy department on the other side of the store.  Nice enough woman, but she really shouldn’t be in charge of a department with the kind of rollover that garden/seasonal has.

Its going to be an “interesting” summer…..

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Bathrooms

Posted April 21, 2016 By Ruth

Look, law or no law, pinning your safety on a sign dictating which set of plumbing is allowed in the bathroom with you is as stupid as assuming that a piece of paper will keep your abusive boyfriend away.  If creepy rapist kidnapper dude decides that he’s going to hunt women in public bathrooms the fact that his plumbing doesn’t match the sign on the door isn’t going to stop him.  MAYBE allowing folks with different plumbing into a marked bathroom will up the risk level.  But I have my doubts.  Creepy rapist kidnappers are not restricted to the opposite gender, or to molesting the opposite gender.  Public bathrooms are simply not, and never have been, a place to lose yourself in the white zone.

Honestly, the simplest, if costly, solution is to turn all bathrooms unisex.  Change the partitions to full length, and get rid of the urinals (seriously, very few guys have them at home, so why do they need them in public?).  That way parents can stand within reach of their child of opposite sex while the child uses the bathroom.  Guardians of the handicapped don’t have to find a “family” bathroom in order to help their charges on the toilet.  And no one flips out at the apparent gender of the person who just walked through the door.

The whole thing could even be phased into usage so that the financial burden isn’t as painful.  Swap out the partitions for full length, partition off the urinals with signs on the doors “URINALS ONLY”, and change the signs on the main doors.  Then later, as regular maintenance has to be done, swap the urinals out for toilets.

It’d even save money in the long run for new construction as they’d only have to put in one, slightly larger, bathroom in new buildings instead of the two divided bathrooms.

Frankly this sort of thing should have been happening a while ago.  And not because of the transgender issue.  There are plenty of people out there who mentally match their plumbing, but who’s looks do NOT match their plumbing, and who then get hassled for using the correct bathroom.  Plus see above comments about other reasons why someone of the opposite sex might need to be present near by.

And yes, the same sort of thing could be put into place in locker rooms and the like.  Though the solution for how to handle the transgendered folks who wish to play sports and whether to put them on the men’s or women’s teams would have to be thought through a bit.

Two rants

Posted April 20, 2016 By Ruth

The first one is short, but important.  Yesterday was Primary day in NY.  I did not vote.  Sorry.  I can’t stand ANY of the candidates.  I do plan to vote in November.  But trying to choose between them now just wasn’t going to happen.

And second….

W.T.F. is it with trying to monetize every single “holiday”??  It’s not bad enough that Walmart started a craze last fall for lighting up your house with green bulbs to “support a vet” (seriously, EVERY SINGLE retailer out there was sold out of green lightbulbs for months).  Now it’s “Light it up Blue for Autism“, though I understand that this has actually been around for a couple years, but this year major retailers have jumped on the bandwagon after the money making scheme of Walmart’s green bulb campaign.

Buying a lightbulb doesn’t do a damn thing to help the folks who actually need help.  It’s just a pretty light on your front porch to make you feel good.  You REALLY want to help a vet?  Find one in your local community and hire him or her for something.  Or go find one of the good charities that help support the vets in need and donate to them.  You REALLY want to help find a cure for autism, or help support the autistic kids who need extra assistance?  Go find one of the good charities that does that.  Do your research though, there are some pretty crappy “charities” out there, and some of them are pretty damn big names too.  Don’t buy a lightbulb.

 

Fuck no

Every person operating a motor vehicle which has been involved in an accident or collision involving damage to real or personal property, personal injury or death, and who has in his possession at or near the time of such accident or collision, a mobile telephone or personal electronic device, shall at the request of a police officer, surrender his or her mobile telephone and/or portable electronic device to the police officer solely for the purpose of field testing such mobile telephone and/or portable electronic device.

(formatted to fit the post here, not otherwise modified)

And an article on the proposed bill.

Extra fuck no

…….

Any person who operates a motor vehicle in this state shall be deemed to have given consent to field testing of his or her mobile telephone and/or portable electronic device for the purpose of determining the use thereof while operating a motor vehicle provided that such testing is conducted by or at the direction of a police officer, after such person has operated a motor vehicle involved in an accident or collision involving damage to real or personal property, personal injury or death.  If a person operating a motor vehicle involved in an accident or collision involving damage to real or personal property, personal injury or death has in his or her possession a mobile telephone or portable electronic device, having thereafter been requested to surrender such mobile telephone and/or portable electronic device for field testing, and having been informed that the person’s license or permit to 17 drive and any non-resident operating privilege shall be immediately suspended and subsequently revoked, shall be revoked for refusal to surrender his or her mobile telephone and/or portable electronic device solely for the purpose of field testing, whether or not the person is found guilty of a violation of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c or twelve hundred twenty-five-d of this article, refuses to surrender his or her mobile telephone or portable electronic device solely for the purpose of field testing, unless a court order has been granted pursuant to subdivision four of this section, field testing shall not be conducted and a written report of such refusal shall be immediately made by the police officer before whom such refusal was made. Such report may be verified by having the report sworn to, or by affixing to such report a form notice that false statements made therein are punishable as a class A misdemeanor pursuant to section 210.45 of the penal law and such form notice together with the subscription of the deponent shall constitute a verification of the report.

For persons charged with a violation of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c or twelve hundred twenty-five-d of this article, the license or permit to drive and any non-resident operating privilege shall, upon the basis of such written report, be temporarily suspended by the court without notice pending the determination of a hearing as provided in paragraph (c) of this subdivision. Copies of such report must be transmitted by the court to the commissioner and such transmittal may not be waived even with the consent of all the parties. Such report shall be forwarded to the commissioner within forty-eight hours of such filing of charges.The court or the commissioner shall provide such person with a scheduled hearing date, a waiver form and such other information as maybe required by the commissioner. If a hearing, as provided in paragraph of this subdivision, is waived by such person, the commissioner shall immediately revoke the license, permit or non-resident operating privilege, as of the date of receipt of such waiver in accordance with 2 paragraph (d) of this subdivision.

…….

Any license which has been revoked pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision shall not be restored for at least one year after such revocation, nor thereafter, except in the discretion of the commissioner. However, no such license shall be restored for at least eighteen months after such revocation, nor thereafter except in the discretion of the commissioner, in any case where the person has had a prior revocation resulting from refusal to surrender his or her mobile telephone or portable electronic device for field testing within five years immediately preceding the date of such revocation.

……..

(bolding done by me for emphasis)

Can you say massive privacy violation??  If they want to know if someone was using their cell phone near the time of the incident then they can get a warrant for info from the phone company.  Browsing people’s “mobile devices” on the side of the road at the time of the incident is just wrong.  Assuming the device used to browse the phone isn’t hackable.  I’m sure as hell not going to bet on that, what an opportunity to record data and send it off somewhere……