Tuesday, October 3, 2017

We shouldn’t suffer alone, especially at the grocery store.

You know how frustrating it is when you are suffering, and everyone else is just be-bopping along?

Well, they aren't.

Reader beware: Yes, I am a humorist. No, this blog post isn’t that funny. On this blog, I “free fall” and lay down my burdens—whether they be academic, cynical, laughable, or painful. Endure/enjoy, but at least relate?

I got cocky, and endured two unnecessary weeks of anxiety. Here’s a tip for the rest of you who suffer from anxiety disorder, situational depression, seasonal affective disorder, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder: If your doctor offers same-day screening results, STAY and get them! I have dense breasts with lots of cysts and scar tissue, so I always must get an ultrasound after my mammogram. It causes me to be at the medical office ALL DAY LONG. Well, this year, I had a lunch appointment at 11:30, and did not want to miss it. Plus, I felt like I “knew the drill.” So, I got a little overconfident and told the mammogram lady that they could call me with my results. Bad idea. (Ironically, my lunch date was with my buddy Baton Swiper, who is the chief fundraising guru for our local Susan Komen office.)

Writers love irony, yes, but this writer HATES anxiety. It is my constant companion and arch nemesis. I believe the Bible 100%, but anxiety/depression are real, too. Sir Winston Churchill referred to his bi-polar disorder as his “Black Dog.” Anxiety growls at my brain’s gate daily. I memorized these verses long ago:

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

They help. My Black Dog growls. They help. He growls. I recite and pray. He growls. I pray. I live. He growls. I pray.
So, the nurse called me back and said, “As you know, you have dense breast tissue, so we typically do an ultrasound.”

“Okay, yes.”
“Also, [he growls] the doctor saw a change from last year on the right breast. We need more pictures in addition to the ultrasound.”

I thought, Matthew 6:27. Geez, why didn’t you schedule this all on one day, Bug? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. I’m dying. I’m dying. Matthew 6:27.
Why in the helk would I put myself through that? Because, reader, I exalted myself thinking I knew my future and would be fine. Here’s another Bible verse.

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:12
Before my “abased/humbled” self began to rough draft my eulogy and instruction book for life for Sharky, Gnome, and Tall Child, I did call the doctor to make the first appointment possible, two weeks away.

Does anyone else out there imagine her own eulogy? I think it’s dang thoughtful. I offer my writing services to help others write them, so why wouldn’t I write my own eulogy to help MY family avoid the arduous task? I already gave them my funeral plan in my last book, Theories: Size 12, Go On, Get Mad, But You Know You Agree. Maybe I’ll do the eulogy as a blog post, but I don’t want to tempt fate. See? There I go again, trying to control my life.



Anyway, I humbled my mind for two weeks, and certainly did NOT add one day to my life. I texted my “inner circle” of friends: Lifestar, Frisky on Water, and OMGG. Frisky actually had breast cancer. She brought that hell home to all of us 40+ ladies. She rallied and recovered and set a stellar example of guts and faith for all of us. She replied to my text with a picture message that said:

Not once does the Bible say, “Worry about it,” “Stress over it,” or “Figure it out.” But over and over it clearly says, “Trust God.”

Good stuff. I cried. She helped me. The growls sounded less frequently. I told God I trusted Him, but as Margaret Thatcher once said, “I’m extraordinarily patient, provided I get my way in the end.”

Those 14 days gave me ample time to reflect on anxiety and pensiveness. Where do you do your best thinking? I do mine three places:

1.      Exercising (I don’t work hard enough to lose my thoughts)

2.      2:30 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. Every DAMN morning. As my favorite doctor and one of the best daddies ever says, “Mama’s wake up in the middle of the night and try to solve every problem in the world. Do you need Ambien?” He’s awesome, and the father of two of my Owls (as in squad). In his office for my first time, I looked up to see their photos on the wall. I said, “You know I am best friends with [Daughter 1] and [Daughter 2].”

He said, “Oh, I can’t discuss them. HIPAA LAWS."

Huh? Their picture is on HIS wall in his office. I think HIPAA prevents him from discussing me with them, not vice versa. Still, I was there to see about Sharky’s hearing, but the super doctor turned and asked, “Okay, we’ve got him figured out. How about mama?”

Folks, my father died in 1993. In that moment in the doctor’s office, I couldn’t remember the last time a man asked me how I was doing. I immediately got emotional, and said, “I’m tired.” He talked to ME about ME for a while. I’d tell you what he prescribed, but he’s big on HIPAA, and I’m big on him, so you’ll have to guess.

3.      Hands down, I do my best thinking in the grocery store.

My office is in my home, a ’56 rancher with quirky parts from the crazy lady who lived here before Tall Child and I bought it. My office contains hundreds of books, hundreds of photos, Tall Child’s desk from grade school, tables, bookshelves, paintings, stuff, stuff, stuff. NO curtains on two huge windows. A Bird feeder I can see from the inside is suction cupped to the left of my computer. There is almost no blank space, except for the floor, where I roll my estate sale $40 leather chair from corner to corner to expedite my work and keep my train of thought intact. In more concise terms, I need LOTS Of stimulation to think.
So, anywhere I go that has lots of stimulation helps me think. Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes that’s bad. During those two reflective, self-loathing weeks, I went to the grocery store twice. I thought of this theory. Whatever we carry, we carry into the grocery store, so: We shouldn’t suffer alone, especially at the grocery store.

I took my self-pity and a list to Kroger. I also carried something “different in my right breast.” I’m on a low-carb diet with Tall Child, but I was starving, so I stopped at the deli. When I’m in one of my “states” my appetite leans toward easily digested carbs. I am sometimes too dang sad and nervous to chew. Amen? Is that why, at funerals, we eat casseroles and cake?

Anyway, I got a small container of forbidden pasta salad from the deli. And a fork. And a Diet Coke. I ate that as I shopped, then threw away the slimy container in a trash can over near frozen foods. I kept the top of the container so I could pay for the now digesting food. Not only was I cheating on my diet, I made a dumb move. I threw away the part of the container with the price tag on it. Ugh. So, when I finished unloading a week’s worth of groceries that would feed three gobbling guys and me, I said, “I also had this pasta salad. Here’s the lid so you can scan it.”

The young cashier said, “There ain’t a tag.”

"Huh? I saved it."

“No. There ain’t. Where is it?”
I said, “Dang. It’s in the trash over by the frozen foods.”

She said, “What do you want to do?”

I said, “Well, I could go to the deli on the other end of the store and ask them to make a new tag. Or, I could go dig through the trash. Or Kroger could just give me a cup of pasta. What do you think I should do? Dig through the trash?”

Reader, remember, my nerves are raw because I had that “different thing from last year” in my right breast. And, if you read my last blog post you know I was FIRED from my corporate gig (finance, not writing) in May. My life and self-esteem feel fragile these days. I wasn’t rude; I was sad and needed help. I didn’t have the energy to go to the deli. I dang sure wasn’t going to dig through the garbage. She said, “They can’t make a label without something in the box. I guess you’ll have to get it out of the trash can.”

I said, “I’m not doing that.”

She said, “I don’t know what to do.”

I said, “I think Kroger’s doing okay. I think you should just GIVE me that food so I can go home. I’m really tired.”

She sighed and walked off toward the deli. I looked at the bag boy, who was an old man. He shrugged, “She’s young.”


Meanwhile, the chick behind me is pushing her buggy right up my A$$. I did not make eye contact. No way. That would not be good for anyone. Cashier girl came back and said, “How much was your food?”
I pounced on this ridiculous opportunity, and said, “One dollar and 85 cents.” Reader, I have NO idea how much that pasta salad was. It was like impromptu Price is Right! Pressure! She punched it in the register, and finished checking me out. I guess a non-kid employed his/her autonomy to my benefit.

I keep making mistakes. I keep embarrassing myself. Maybe I’m losing it, or maybe my Theory “If folks think you’re crazy, you can breeze through life” was bad karma.

I teared up on the way to my car. I tasted emotional defeat almost as strongly as the basil pesto from that salad. I don’t like basil. Why do I keep eating it?

Other people struggled through the grocery store that day. Let’s go aisle by aisle and think outside the barn. Every aisle contains triggers.

Flowers: Carnations scream death. Or, worse, wedding. Or, disappointment in men. When I finished graduate school, I bought myself a huge bouquet. The last time Tall Child bought my flowers, I was pregnant with Sharky (now 15) and it was TC’s mother’s idea anyway, so it didn’t count. Yep, I said it.

Deli – Divorced/Widowed, thus the appeal of single servings.

Diapers – Infertility or worse. Been there. Sucked at it. Wrote a book about it.

School supplies –Struggling student? Teacher who can’t get hired?

Candy – Diabetic? Fat? On a freaking diet again?

PASTA – Diabetic? Fat? On a freaking low-carb diet again?

International – Illegally living in the USA? I bet you think our American version of “ethnic foods” are terrible. I’m sorry. I know you are homesick and doing the best you can, more than most Americans can comprehend.

Meat – Broke? Been there. See you on the pasta aisle where you can feed your family for $2.00, but you’ll wreck your blood sugar and your low-carb diet.

Soup – Old? Taking care of someone old?

Wine – Alcoholic?

Family planning – Husband committing adultery? Should you make him wear condoms? Was your teenage daughter just here?

Cigarette/express lane – Bad habits suck, huh? Especially when you pass by a smorgasbord of temptation every time you need cat food.

If I sound winy and privileged and negative, forgive me. As Delicious likes to say, “No one is immune to tragedy.” I’ve either already dealt with everything above, or likely will, except cigarettes. I can’t afford them.

I pondered this as I searched for snacks in the olive area and almost head-butted a college kid. An overweight man (likely there for the same foods), saw my flustered attempt to apologize to the kid, and said to me, “Ah, the humanity of it all!”

YES! Humanity is all up in that grocery store. But, there’s good news! Always.

We do not suffer alone. Once, years ago, when I was in one of my “states” after taking yet another negative pregnancy test (I took 65 negative tests altogether), I sat in the parking lot and cried for a good half-hour before I sucked it up, put on lipstick, and left my car to enter the store. When I returned, I saw a white paper on my windshield, and, of course, thought it was an advertisement. It was no such thing.

It was this note from a stranger, and it immediately changed my spirit.

That was at least nine years ago. I keep it in my wallet. That scrap paper helped me then, and does so now.

LUCKILY, my mammogram results were good. I had another cyst, probably because of the toxic combination of items from all the aisles listed above. I informed my circle; we all praised Jesus.

The news could have been drastically different, and I respect that. Reader, if I could put that note on your windshield at the grocery store, I would. You do not suffer alone.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

And, to whoever wrote that note, I thank you.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

We Ended Our Relationship

Until I drafted this post, I thought the little red square button on my corporate bank office telephone read RIS. I always wondered what words stood behind the RIS acronym.

I hit that RIS button at 4:40 p.m. on Monday, May 8th, to end my attachment to that day’s conference call. Immediately, the other line rang. And rang. And rang. Working mother guilt assaulted me from the working side and the mother side. Tired and wanting to go home to Tall Child, Sharky, and Gnome, but feeling obligated to my clients, I answered, hoping the conversation would be quick. It was.

“[Bank], this is Bug, may I help you?”

“Hey Bug, this is Sweet Christmas in human resources. Can you meet Boss Bob and H.R. Bob in the human resources department at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow?”

“I can. Why?”

“I have no idea, Bug. They didn’t tell me.”

Of course they don’t tell Sweet Christmas anything. God forbid she turn Paul Revere on them and spread helpful info to hardworking East Tennessee bankers. God forbid she comfort anyone.

My stomach turned, partly for psychosomatic reasons, and partly from the ulcer my doctor diagnosed only one week before. I searched my memory. What have I done wrong? Has one of my employees—Adele, Mama Bear, Fire Woman, or Baby Caddy—done something wrong? Is the bank relocating me? Am I about to get…? No. Surely not.

I called my manager, Boss Bob. Voice mail. I sent him a text. No reply. I called Sweet Christmas and asked for some insight. She said, “I’m sorry this is giving you anxiety.”

I said, “Well, they need to find a more gentlemanly way to schedule these types of meetings. It is rude and disrespectful to have me wonder all night why I’m headed to human resources in the morning.”

As a bank branch manager, one has limitless opportunities to fail. I had little time to ponder those opportunities, because I had to meet a colleague for supper at El Jimador. That was the perfect time to sink into a salt-rimmed tequila bath, but I had to stay sober and professional. She and I were headed to the library to teach Habitat for Humanity applicants banking and money management basics.

I wrapped up the mentoring session at 8:15 p.m., and drove 45 minutes home. I bathed Gnome, cleaned up the house, watched a TV show with Tall Child, and checked Sharky’s grades. I went to bed. I worried.

Tuesday morning, May 9, I took my boys to their schools and drove to the bank’s main office parking lot. I called Delicious, who counseled, “Whatever this is, you’ll handle it with intellect and poise. Be calm, but don’t let them talk down to you. You needed help, and they made excuses.”

You see, my little five-person branch was short a head teller for most of my time there. That forced one of the two sales people (Adele and me) to work as a teller for a stretch of time each day. It’s a bit difficult to make outbound sales calls on the phone and in person while physically installed behind bullet-resistant glass. Plus, that time in teller windows caused follow-up and paperwork backups in our stated jobs, branch manager and financial services specialist. I hated to, but pestered the helk out of Merlin the Administration Magician to get help when one of my teammates was sick or on vacation. I covered Adele for lunch. Adele covered the tellers for lunch. No one covered me. Forgive me, but doesn’t it seem counterproductive and counter intuitive to delegate up the chain of command? When I repeatedly communicated the urgent need for help to human resources and upper management, I heard, “Staffing will always be an issue.”

Nothing should “always be an issue.” Imagine other industries making such a ridiculous excuse.

Bubonic plague will always be an issue.

The Kings of England will always be an issue.

Boll weevils will always be an issue.

If opposing countries can sign peace treaties, can’t banks hire more tellers? Shouldn’t executives who make eight times what a teller makes be problem solvers? Why is the undercompensated teller doing all the compensating for the executive's lack of compassion and creativity. Isn’t good employee morale profitable?

PEOPLE are everything.

Hire some.

At 9:25 a.m., I rode the elevator to the second floor and waited for the meeting with Boss Bob and H.R. Bob. I waited at least fifteen minutes. Then they small talked me into the office and discussed some type of software for another five minutes. I thought, Respect my anxiety and my time. Get on with this.

They got on it with, alright. I heard, “As you know, your branch did not meet fourth quarter incentive sales goals…so you were put on a performance plan…and first quarter your branch missed the minimum incentive plan goal, so we are ending our relationship.”

“Ending...with me? So, I’m fired?”

“You no longer work for [the bank]. We are letting you go.”

Yes, they let me go. Girls, always let the guy break up with you. That way, he can suffer in doubt and regret for the rest of his life.

I got my A$$ fired! Funny thing is, as embarrassing as it was, I was completely at peace. Truth be told, my soul wasn’t in that job. My soul was in it as much as I could do what I do best: create, teach, befriend, advise, laugh, and write.

As H.R. Bob rambled through his script (banks employ lots of scripts these days) “keys, combos, … you can collect unemployment…look for a packet in the mail…,” I perked up, thinking, I don’t have to play "Frogger" down Alcoa Highway today. Oh, if they stop talking soon enough, I can eat lunch at home in my rocking chair and watch "Ellen."

Outwardly, I listened and contributed to that great black cloud of a conversation. Inwardly, I silver-lined the whole ridiculous situation.

H.R. Bob said, “Do you have any questions?”

I should have asked, "Why,  when my team was struggling to hit minimums, did you send Adele to another branch for two weeks and leave me alone with only two tellers?" Instead, I said, "I find it illogical that someone of my character and integrity is being fired when [unnamed crook at another branch] is still employed here. Really, he's so crooked you fired his wife."

The Bobs' chins dropped a little, but they were silent. Actually, Boss Bob spoke fewer than ten words in the entire meeting.

I then said, "I have some requests.” I proceeded to lobby for my crew: Adele, Mama Bear, Fire Woman, and Baby Caddy. Case by case, I gave specific warnings and implored them to take better care of that little team.

I never stole, cheated, lied, caused a loss, put junk on the books, mistreated anyone, or jeopardized my Christian values. I am proud of how I treated employees, coworkers, and customers. I am proud of how I ran that tiny branch. We didn’t meet incentive plan minimum goals (by 3.7%), but we were profitable each year and twelve months rolling by 9-10%. (I think. It's hard to know exactly because the bank saves money by using Size 4 Calibri font on reports.)
My reputation is intact. If I had something to hide, I certainly wouldn’t write this post.

Boss Bob said he would go to my branch that afternoon to tell my staff. I said, “I’ll call them.”

H. R. Bob said, “Bank policy requires that your supervisor inform associates in this situation. Also, Boss Bob will clean out your desk, box everything up, and bring it here to The Capitol for you to pick up. That’s the policy.”

Um, no. What the helk did I care? I spent 40 hours a week for three straight years with my team. Not to tell them myself would be rude and weak. Policy meant nothing to me. I was “no longer with the bank.”

I left.

Once I cleared the parking lot, I called Tall Child. “I got fired.”

“What?!? Wow. I can’t believe that.”

“Tall Child, this is terrible. What the helk are we going to do about bills?”

"Oh, you’ll land on your feet. You know, this is great timing.”


“Yes, now you can go to Sharky's and Gnome's end of school stuff. You were going to miss eighth grade graduation, field day, everything. Plus, we don’t have Sharky’s tuition this or next month.”

“I think I’ll eat lunch with Gnome’s kindergarten class tomorrow.”

“He will love that. Take May. Get them out of school and all that. This time, figure out what YOU want to do.”

Readers, in saying "this time," Tall Child referenced a sacrifice I made three years before. Sharky needed to go to a smaller, quieter, religious school instead of the big, loud middle school for which he is zoned. For many years, a relative promised to pay for that private middle schooling, but two weeks into Sharky’s sixth grade year, the relative could not pay after all. Tall Child couldn’t leave his good job. My teacher paycheck wasn’t enough. I returned to banking to make more money. The difference in my teacher vs. banker monthly pay was the same as the monthly tuition bill. I wrote about the big changes in Theory 54: Good-byes are simply bittersweet beginnings. I LOVED teaching school. I did NOT want to quit. I felt I had no choice. Zoloft eased the transition, but it and the sedentary banker workday added 20 pounds. Unfair.

Funny thing is, Sharky and I, ahem, “graduated” from middle school and banking, respectively, within days of each other. Yes, Tall Child, it was great timing.

Anyway, after I talked with Tall Child, I called my mama. She said, “I am so sorry. They are morons. Will you teach again? This is good, Bug. Now you can write every day.”

I said, “I am in shock, but I need to hang up and call my team.”

I broke POLICY and called Adele, “I got fired.”

“You are joking. Are you joking?”

“Nope. Sales quotas, allegedly. Whatever. I need you to clean out my desk before Boss Bob gets there. He’s coming this afternoon. My personal items are none of his business. Box it all up. Make the office look as empty as possible. I’ll come get the stuff later this week. Oh, and act surprised when he tells you the news.”

“I am on it.”

On Thursday, Delicious accompanied me to my old branch. I reassured my sweet team, hugged everyone, picked up my stuff, and rode to our little mountain house in Townsend, Tennessee. I mixed a stout Bloody Mary and walked to the swinging bridge over the Little River. The exactly same place I had stood three years before and accepted that job. Poetic?

If you like Poe, I guess.

As a former educator, I spend loads of time reflecting. After the breakup, I reflected on what I did right, what I did wrong, what I said, what I didn’t say...you get the picture. I wondered if I was as good a manager as I thought I was and tried my best to be. 

Banking has changed. Banking, these days, is retail. Bankers have changed. Bankers used to be prestigious community members. They were trusted confidants, advisors, and financial experts. As a modern-day banker, I felt like a telemarketer with all that scripting. My days were planned for me in short blocks of time. I wanted to invest time in people, not processes. I wanted to go on sales calls and see my customers. I was old-school. I made mistakes.

·         I didn’t track numbers ad nauseam. I figured that if I consistently treated people well, and gave them good advice, and gave them TIME to see how that advice worked, they would return to me and bring friends.

·         I put employees’ personal lives and professional goals ahead of the bank’s. It’s not easy managing a bunch of women in tight quarters! See Theory 36: Men are easier to work with than women.  I genuinely cared more for my teammates’ goals than I did the bank’s. Corporations don’t have souls. People do.

·         I had too much fun at work. I referred to the main office as The Capitol, and my little branch, only twenty-five minutes from the quiet entrance to the Smoky Mountains, as District 12 from The Hunger Games. Maybe one too many times I put this under my email signature:

·         My conference call skills were lacking, to say the least. Now and then, I’d inject humor at will or have Adele play Rue’s Whistle in the background for all to hear. Conference calls are a cliché exercise in humiliation. They tempt weak employees to embellish, fib, or cheat to avoid embarrassment. I asked my boss one time, “Does the number of checking accounts reported on our daily call determine your mood for the rest of the evening?” Guess how he answered.

Of all my retail sins, I am most guilty of falling short (numbers-wise) on a particular daily expectation. I didn’t “disposition” enough sales leads. It drove Boss Bob nuts. Being a writer, I tried to conjugate the word to find more meaning in the task:

The banker dispositions.

The banker is dispositioning.

The banker has dispositioned.

The banker dispositioned.

The banker was dispositioning.

The banker had dispositioned.

You see, kind readers, I couldn’t disposition leads because disposition IS A NOUN. Think of it this way:

The banker nouns.

The banker is nouning.

The banker has nouned.

The banker nouned.

The banker was nouning.

The banker had nouned.


~ ~ ~

I ignored that cardboard box Mama Bear and Adele packed with all my office junk for a week. When I did finally gird up my loins to sort through it, I found a severance package! In their furious rush to clean out my office, Adele and Mama Bear threw everything in. I scored a roll of stamps! I got my own home staple remover. I also found an envelope full of cash. No, it didn’t come from the vault. It came from my friends at work. We had been on a diet since January. Every Monday, each of us women weighed and measured. When a teammate lost a pound or an inch, she put a quarter into our diet jar. Our plan was to tally the results July 1 and give the winner the money. By May 9, we’d lost about 40 pounds and 40 inches. They gave me the money. Wasn’t that sweet of them?

I suppose if my employees were comfortable enough to weigh and measure their busts, waists, hips, and thighs in front of me, I did some things right. I’m honored to have worked side by side with Adele, Mama Bear, Fire Woman, and Baby Caddy. I am proud of the work we did together.

This little episode has taught me a few things:

·         My gifts are misplaced in a corporate environment. I was a tie-dyed ink blot splashed on a grayscale Excel spreadsheet.

·         I won’t be happy in work unless my tasks match my values.

·         I need to be my own boss.

·         I CAN BE MY OWN BOSS!

My whole life, I have revered the written word. My whole life, I have written for release, relaxation, recreation, and reward. I published my first work in 1990. My writing has evolved and served many purposes over time. A few years ago, when I was teaching, I started my small business, Crippled Beagle Publishing. From there, I’ve published books, essays, a short story, anthology projects, countless articles, and more.

God winks at you all the time. Pay attention. No joke; every single time I’ve told a friend or relative, “I got fired from the bank,” the person has responded, “Good. Are you going to write full time now? Are you going to teach?”

Friends, the answer is YES. I will write for others. I will write for myself. I will write for you.

I scribbled out a rough draft of this post on May 20, only 11 days after the bank and I ended our relationship. I was at Lakeshore Park’s playground with Sharky, Gnome, and Gnome’s buddy, The AP. A gentleman who was there with his toddler spoke to The AP and said, “I know your mother.”

I recognized him, but couldn’t place him. I said, “If you know her, I know you. How do I know you?”

We did the whole social dot-to-dot routine, and when he said his wife’s name, I said, “YES! I wrote a book about adoption years ago. When you were waiting for your baby, my friend Gams told me your story. I signed a copy and we gave it to your wife. I hope it helped her.”

He spoke through a wide smile, “That’s who you are.”

Amen! That is who I am. Little winks and hints over the past decade have formed into a glaring truth. No matter where I’ve “worked" —from bumper boat girl at The Track to IHOP waitress to banker, teacher, then banker again—I have always, in my heart and free time, been a self-employed writer.

I pray I find many opportunities, for years to come, to use my skills to serve people and provide for my family.

While missing a biweekly company paycheck is somewhat unnerving, I am okay. My ulcer vanished. I have several new clients with beautiful projects in the works. 

One could describe my current disposition as at peace and optimistic.
I have more time to think, parent, explore, read, drink, watch TV, change light bulbs, you name it. Also, when you run your life, you have time to settle curiosities.

I Googled “corporate telephone RIS button.” I found out the button actually reads RLS, and stands for RELEASE. Little did I know when I hit that button at 4:40 p.m., Monday, May 8th, that I would never hit it again.

This post might agitate some dispositions among corporate jargon-spewers and conference call champions, but if they, Boss Bob, H.R. Bob, or the legal department folks read it and want to sue me, they're wasting time and stockholders' money.

I’m a chunky starving artist now, so they'd be "Waiting in vain."

Writers do love irony.


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