Rants Archive

Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.

The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.

…..The decision by Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) comes amid increasing limits across the NHS on surgery for cataracts as well as hip and knee operations.

……The restrictions echo others made by health bosses in Hertfordshire, the North West and London in the past two years, where blanket referral bans were imposed on patients on the basis of their weight.


Sounds exactly like the sort of health care I want to have.  Not.  And that’s without considering the various problems with the BMI index to begin with!

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Idiots and wildlife

Posted August 29, 2016 By Ruth

Washington state resident Idiot2’s son was among the children Idiot1 led toward the elk. Despite safety advisories – and numerous examples of visitors getting gored by bison, mauled by bears and chased by elk – Idiot2 declared herself unafraid of the park’s wildlife. She said she was eager to see a grizzly up close.

“I want to see one right there,” Idiot2 said, pointing to a spot just feet away. “I’d throw it a cookie.”

Quoted article.  Names changed to something more appropriate.

I’d say that this is the result of city folks who’ve never spent time in real life.  But Idiot1 is quoted as calling himself an “experienced hunter” who’s “spent lots of time outdoors”, thus he was quite confident of his ability to judge the situation.  Course, his definition of “experienced” may not jive with anyone elses…….

I have no idea if these incidents are actually increasing, as discussed in the article, or if its a perception issue.  Doesn’t matter IMO.

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If you’re on Facebook you may have seen a viral post back in June.  It was from a lady who was attempting to revitalize her small town school library (actually two schools sharing the building).  I don’t have a link to the original Facebook post, but you can go here and see the text.  Go read, I’ll wait.

If you follow up on the newer posts (and I recommend it) the internet responded in style.  They found themselves inundated with more books than they ever hoped to get.  So many infact that they have been able to send off duplicates to neighboring schools.

Two days ago the most recent update was posted.

The public school board wants to censor the library.  They want only “approved” books to be available to kids.

Never mind that telling a child that she’s “not allowed” to read X or Y book is the best way to ENSURE that she reads it.

Never mind that these children are very likely already exposed to those “forbidden” concepts on the TV, in the news, in music, in movies.

Never mind that its far better to teach children how to handle things than it is to try to shelter them.

And to top it off, the public school’s board wants to quadruple the rent of the charter school who’s renting the unused portion of the building.

The original post went viral and the internet responded in style.  Lets make this one go viral too, and maybe we can encourage the school board to forget this stupidity.

Normalization of deviance

Posted June 27, 2016 By Ruth

I need to find a way to send this article to my store manager.

I’m watching this happen within the store I work for over some very specific safety issues which have the potential to be very very deadly.  I suspect (am, infact, 99% sure) that the excuse is that they’re trying to give this one employee “enough rope to hang himself” so that they can fire him rather than just take away his licenses.  But they’re playing roulette with customer and employee safety as they do it.

And his stupid shit is spreading, as other new employees see him getting away with it.

And to top it off those of us who’re horrified at it are being reprimanded for “lack of respect for fellow employees” because we’re refusing to put up with said stupid shit.

Yes, there are other avenues to report unresolved safety hazards, and I (and at least one other employee) have started using it.  I just hope that no one is injured or killed in the time it takes for corporate to deal with the reports…….

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.


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

“Lets regulate guns like we do cars!”


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??

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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.

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.