Rants Archive

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.

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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.

 

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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……

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This one requires its own little rant.

Benner Farm has been around since 1977.  In order to help make ends meet they allow folks onto the property for strawberry picking and birthday parties and similar type events.

This year that practice has backfired on them, big time.

A city girl by the name of Kimberly Sherriton, who clearly doesn’t understand some fairly basic facts of life, met their 2yr old cow while on the property for a birthday party (the article calls it “involved”, I’m betting they’re quoting this idiot, cause I don’t know ANYONE who calls it “involved” when it comes to animals).  And has decided that the family who owns the farm should be required to send the cow to rescue and buy their meat at Whole Foods instead.

“He doesn’t need this cow to survive and feed his family. He puts a sob story on there. Please, tell him to go to Whole Foods and go get some anti-biotic free beef there,” she said.

Yes, you’re reading that right.  Apparently the meat sold in the stores doesn’t come from an actual animal or something.  As commenters elsewhere said, Ms Sherriton ought to be required to watch the entire process of what exactly her precious store bought, antibiotic free, Whole Foods sold, meat goes through to get from live animal to table.

Supposedly folks were going to protest outside the farm this past weekend in an attempt to force the family to not slaughter the cow.  I can’t find any actual coverage of the protest, all the articles are basically reprints of what I posted above.  So here’s hoping there wasn’t actually much of a show.

EDITED: Thanks to ThreeCollie (in the comments), here’s a link to the Change.org petition to help support the Benners Farm!

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Article here.   Text here.

It passed in the state Senate by 54 to 5.  It heads for the Assembly next.  Contact your Assembly person and let them know what you think!  This would criminalize a very useful tool that is already in a large number of homes in the state.  Meaning that your average Joe on the street could be arrested for possession as soon as this law goes into effect.

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Two rants in one

Posted March 4, 2016 By Ruth

Over this past week, as I was setting up my little greenhouse, I was wishing for a better way to track the temperature changes in it.  I currently use a cheap little outdoor thermometer that also tracks the high and low for the last 24hrs, but in order to read it I have to actually go out to the greenhouse and open it up.  Not the end of the world, but not always a good thing either.

I was debating buying a cheap wireless outdoor thermometer ($16 @ Home Depot), which will do the exact same job but allow me to check the temp and last high and low without actually having to open up the greenhouse if I don’t want to (usefull for those cooler days).

But when it really gets down to it what I REALLY want is something that I can track ALL the temperature changes, preferably on a graph on my computer, so I can see whats really going on.

Ought to be simple enough to find a not expensive thermometer that’ll sync into my home’s wifi so I can track things on my computer……right?

Wrong.

I can find the above linked unit for $16.

I can find a USB dongle that’ll plug into my computer and track local ambient temp for $15.

I can find units that’ll record temperature and that you can then plug into your computer via USB to see the recorded data (forgot to save the link) for about $35.

But I cannot find a wifi connected unit that’ll sync to my home’s wifi, that doesn’t require an additional base station wired to the computer, and that doesn’t actually send the data out to a remote website that I then have to access if I want to see the data, for less than $100.  Hell, I’d even accept a small discrete USB plug for the computer if thats what it took.

LaCrosse makes a selection of units that ALMOST look like they’ll do what I want, at least one for less than $100, till you look closer and realize that they actually send the data out to a remote website to be accessed from there, plus it’s a paid subscription scheme if you actually want alerts.

AcuRite makes a unit for just over $100 that’s closer, but it still requires the (not small) base unit to be hardwired to the computer (via USB), plus the sensor isn’t exactly a small discrete unit.

I found THIS piece for $150 that looks like it might do what I want.  If I want to spend $150 (actually there’s a couple sites that have it cheaper, but none under $100)……

Digging deeper, there are a couple units that’ll sync to a wireless device (phone or ipad) that’ll do what I want…..but they sync via bluetooth, not wifi.  Nope, not what I want.

Digging through the smart home products there’s ONE, with a sensor for $50 and a small discrete USB base station for another $50.  All the rest are quite a bit more for the same sort of technology.

I don’t understand.

There are wireless cooking thermometers that’ll sync via wifi.  Which I’d be tempted to just buy, but in theory the greenhouse could drop below freezing (I hope it won’t, but it could) and those aren’t rated for that kind of temp. But the basic technology is there.

Heck, if you dig there are a BUNCH of instructions online about how to build your own, MANY of them coming in under $100 even buying the parts retail!  So clearly there’s a market.

Maybe at a later date, if I ever build the bigger permanent greenhouse I want, then I might be willing to drop a few hundred on a unit.  But right now I just want something cheap.

 

Rant 2-

I did most of the above linked searching on my ipad.   I didn’t think I was logged into my google/gmail account, but apparently I was.  Heck, I was using Safari, not any form of Chrome or any other google made browser.  But 24hrs after completing the above search I started getting spam from Sears.  See, one of the units I’d stopped to look at closer had been on Sears website.  Nothing unusual there.  But that was all I did, read the description.  I didn’t “place it in my cart” or do anything remotely like logging into an account there.  Heck, I don’t have an account on Sears (or Kmart) website.  But those spam emails the next day?  From Sears, stating “did you forget something?” and linking to the unit I’d stopped to look at.  W.T.F.?!  Clearly there’s something linking from the Ipad via google to the info gathering on sites.  But is it an Ipad/Apple setting?  Or a google setting?  I can’t find anything obvious.  Sure, I don’t have “private browsing” or whatever they call it turned on, but that shouldn’t be GIVING websites my email address just because I browsed through!

Dear Shoe Manufacturers

Posted February 24, 2016 By Ruth

You know, if you were to design a set of shoes specifically for the retail employee, you could make a killing on the market.

Something with proper ankle support.

Something that comes with options for wider feet, even for the smaller sizes.

Something that can survive pounding on cement for day after day after day and still be comfortable to wear 3-4 months later.  Or longer.  Longer would be really nice.  I really don’t think 6 months to a year is to much to ask.

Something that, while it may come in all sorts of gaudy colors and designs, also comes in plain colors for those of us with strict dress codes.

Something that won’t break the bank when we replace them every 3-6 months, or, if more expensive, that will hold up a good year +.

The market made up of those of us who work retail, both part-time and full time, is actually quite large.  And although there is a stereotype that retail employees are young, teens and early twenties, the actual truth is that a huge portion of the group are mature adults.  Adults with joint problems that are aggravated by being on our feet on concrete for hours on end.

I realize that this portion of the market isn’t as flashy as the newest sports shoe that you can toss a big sports name on and sell for hundreds.  But I think you all are missing a huge opportunity for sales…….

Doctors……

Posted February 13, 2016 By Ruth

I’ve ranted before about my frustration of trying to get help at the rheumatologists office.

What I really needed to do was call my regular doctor and arrange a new referral to a new office, but life has been busy, and I kept putting it off.  Plus I knew that getting into a new office meant starting all over again with the several month wait to get in the first time.  So I decided to give it another try with the doctor I was seeing.

Beginning of January I used their online patient portal to message the doctor asking for more information on the decision to not prescribe a drug to slow the bone erosion in my hands.  Got a response back from nurse that the doctor was out of the office for a few days but she’d give him the message when he was back in.  That was January 4th.

I’ve never heard back from the doctor.

January 25th I sent a message to the office staff, via the online patient portal, asking them to please tell me what procedure they require to change doctors within the practice since their website states:

In order to maintain continuity of care and avoid “opinion shopping” within the practice, subsequent requests for switching doctors must be approved by the physicians involved, and in general will be denied.

so I assume they have a procedure to handle such requests.  Got an immediate response to “please call and ask for Colleen and she will discuss it with you”.  So the next day about lunch time I called and asked for Colleen.  Turns out she’s the office manager, she was in a meeting, but we can put you through to her voicemail?  Sure.  Left a message stating that I’d been told to call her for information, listed my name and number twice (my last name tends to give people fits in messages, so I always say it twice, spell it, and then make sure that my phone number is clearly stated twice so that even if my name has thrown them off they can still figure out who I am).

I still haven’t heard back from Colleen.

On their website is the following statement:

A chronic shortage of rheumatologists exists throughout the US. In most practices, waiting times for a new patient to see a rheumatologist is 2 to 6 months, and many rheumatologists struggle to meet the needs for follow-up care of existing patients. The shortage is projected to worsen over the next 20 years. The American College of Rheumatology has recommended the integration of Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Physician Assistants (PA) as an important way to address this shortage and extend the ability of qualified rheumatologists to meet the demands for specialty care within their communities. As a result, AHA has created teams wherein physicians and skillfully trained and supervised NP/PAs work in a coordinated fashion to see patients in a timely manner and reduce the risk of complications or delay. The expanded physician schedules provided by the NP/PAs have successfully reduced wait times substantially, while maintaining the capacity for personalized care.

The value of this integrated model of scheduling with the rheumatologist  and NP/PAs means that when someone calls for an appointment, a visit can be provided with the minimum of delay.

So this past Thursday I was looking at my work schedule, and feeling frustrated because the pain in my ankles has become a constant (thankfully mostly low grade, mostly) thing any time I’m on my feet.  And in addition I now have little needle stabby pains in my left ankle.  And it occurred to me that they have the above statement on their website, and hey, next Friday I’m only scheduled to work till 2pm, maybe I can get an appointment with a PA for after 2, that way I can go in AFTER a work shift and actually show them how my joints are after a day of work, and maybe they’ll listen to me then?

So I call up.  But no, that’s not an option for me.  At some point someone flagged my account.  I’m ONLY allowed to see the doctor.  And no, he doesn’t have any openings for at least a couple months.  Would you like to leave a message for him?  I took a deep breath, politely told the person on the phone that “no that’s fine thank you” and hung up.  What point is there in leaving a message when no one ever gets back to me anyway.

Am I flagged because I asked for pain meds last time I was in and so they’ve deemed me a drug seeker??

Or am I flagged because I asked for information on changing doctors??

I have decided I no longer care.  The constant low grade pain is literally depressing.  I’ve never had any real problems with actual depression, but this is getting to me.  Arthritis Health Associates (Syracuse NY) is supposed to be THE office to ask for in the area.  This is supposed to be THE best office to get care from.  THE one to ask for.  But they’ve essentially denied me help.

I’m very well aware that in the overall scheme of things there are ALOT of people out there dealing with much more pain on a daily basis.  But I’m finding myself hitting my own limits.  To top off my Thursday I ended up spending almost my entire shift outside in the cold, lifting and moving 40lb bags of (heating fuel) wood pellets.  I personally and on my own sorted two pallets at 50bags each, and helped sort another 2 pallets.  Why am I “sorting” pallets you ask?  Well, we’re down to the damaged pallets of pellets.  The pallets where there are visibly a large number of damaged and broken bags, so before we can sell them we need to tear down the pallets and pull out the damaged bags, and restack the good bags for sale.  Its Saturday morning as I type this and I still hurt.  All of my joints ache (undoubtedly “helped” by the subzero weather we’re experiencing today I’m sure) and my ankles in particular hurting even when my feet are up.  My knees are starting to follow suit.  I’m hoping my knees are just a reaction to the stiffness and pain in my ankles.

The appointment to talk to my primary care physician about a new referral to a completely different office has been scheduled.  There’s at least one other rheumatology office in Syracuse that I could find.  And it looks like that if I’m willing to travel a bit further out (and it’s looking like I may not have a choice in that) there are others in cities further out.  I don’t really want to have to see a doctor a couple hours out, but if that’s what it takes to get treatment I guess I’ll deal.

I was warned by two different people (one of them my MOTHER) that despite rheumatologists being the specialists in the field, the people who ought to know better, many of them still consider all of that sort of problem to be an “old person’s” problem.  And so it may take some trial and error to find a doctor who’d work with me.  My MOTHER (who’s approaching retirement age) told me this.  I guess I should have realized that meant it’d be hell trying to find the right doctor.  But I didn’t expect it to be this bad.  How many other “young people” (and I don’t normally consider myself to be in that category, I am after all in my mid-30’s) are struggling to find a doctor who’ll listen to them?  And how many have given up and are just dealing with the pain and frustration on their own?

Windows 10 “Upgrade”

Posted February 3, 2016 By Ruth

Yesterday I ran across this article.

For those of you who don’t want to read, I’ll summarize.  Starting immediately Microsoft will be downloading, to ALL computers, the installer for Windows 10.  It will be in your “Recommended Updates”.

I highly recommend the article though, at the bottom of it is a link to a Microsoft page with instructions on how to force off Win10 updates.

This morning when I got up my computer was yelling at me that there were 37 “Important Updates” and another 10 “Recommended updates”.  A check of what exactly the recommended updates involved (click on the update, on the right hand side will be a link to further info) and at least half of them were part of the update to Windows 10.

I’ve been keeping an eye on those since this whole thing started anyway, but I’m glad I had the extra heads up.  So here’s yours!  Check your updates and don’t just automatically install them!  Unless you WANT Windows 10, and I suspect you’d have already made that upgrade if you did……