Bitc%es, $luts, False Accusations and Forgiveness…

children, disability, faith, family, growth, hockey, hockeymom, humility, learning, lettinggo, love, momoffive, motherhood, teaching, truth

I think I’ve calmed myself down enough now so that I am not shooting boogers out of my nose with my sobs to try to write down how humiliated I felt tonight when an obviously overwrought, understaffed and poorly trained Stewart’s employee falsely accused me of not paying for my gas.

See, I had to stop for gas after staying very late after school tonight and before I had to go run around again with the typical night of sports mom practice pickup and drop offs.

Knowing the closest gas station to my job is the Sitterly Road location, I stopped at a pump, took of the gas cap off, put in my SEFCU card, the pump turned on, I selected Regular Unleaded and expected to put $20 in my tank and head home. Of course,  as my cold arthritic hands often do, I missed at $20, so I went to $20.05 and stopped.

Staring at the $0.99 coffee with any gas purchase sign on the gas pump in my hand, and with pangs of hunger racking my body (See I missed lunch today as it’s Regents Week starting tomorrow, and I was running to drop off stuff all through my office period!) I decided to go back into my truck,  get my purse and grab a quick cup of tea and those addicting chicken salad sandwiches on white bread. I left my truck near the pump as it wasn’t busy and walked into the store.

After filling my cup, I grabbed my sandwich, went to the register and took out my receipt after asking if I could get the tea for $0.99 if I didn’t pay cash for my gas. She said, “Did you put $20. on pump 8?” I said, “Yeah here’s my receipt,” to which she said,”It’s not clearing on the computer.” I said, “Well I showed you my receipt it’s OK right?” or something to that effect and she mumbled “Yeah,” so I walked out, holding the door for the woman who had been sparring with me for the creamer as per usual, I  used the last of the half and half and had to throw out the container closest to me.

I put my purse, tea and sandwich in my truck and was about ready to get in when the other employee came running out after me, yelling, ” I need to see the receipt. Your pump is showing you didn’t pay!” She was rude and accusatory and many people outside looked at me as if I was trying to steal gas! I was shocked and said.”Yeah here’s my receipt.” I then showed her my receipt and, never apologizing, she mumbled something about a lot of drive offs, and begrudgingly walked back into the store.

As I got into my truck, it really started to hit me. I was falsely accused! I could feel the anger bubbling up in me like the chili in the pot they were stirring inside the store when I went to the counter to buy my tea and sandwich.

I was feeling all kinds of things, mostly humiliation, embarrassment and anger. Someone at Stewart’s Corporate Offices needs to know about this!  What if I didn’t have my receipt? What would she have done, call the police?

I didn’t know her name, so I was going back into the store and getting it. I was going to show her that I don’t steal and I don’t lie and that she should apologize.

Well things went from bad to worse. I went back in to get her name because she made me feel humiliated and no one treats me like that. She still didn’t apologize and actually started yelling at me saying that she didn’t need to listen to me yelling at her.

All she had to do was apologize to me –  “I’m sorry,”  would have stopped it right there. Yeah I would have been mad but I would have been better, but  she just turned her back on me like I was nothing and walked away further humiliating me.

Then I was got mad. I said stuff like, you don’t treat me like that, who do you think you are, I’m a teacher at the school around the corner.! Why would I buy a sandwich and tea if was going to steal gas!

Then I heard “Why don’t you leave you slut!” It was a man’s voice. I couldn’t look up.

WHAAAAT?

Then I heard her call me a bitch. Then I called her a bitch. Not my proudest moment.

I couldn’t believe it! I’m a slut; a bitch? Just for wanting an apology? For asking the employee her name so I could follow up?

Furious, I stormed out. Tears erupted from my body. I called corporate and left a message for their customer service team. I was sobbing at this point.

Then I thought, “I want to speak to someone now.” I called the number back again, tears streaming down my face barely able to contain my sobs so much so that the woman I spoke kept saying try to calm down, try to take a deep breath.

I told her I had to drive home and that my phone was going to die and that I had to drive my son to practice.

When I got home I received a call from a store manager who immediately apologized. He asked me if I could tell him what happened. Crying, I retold the story. I could hear him gasp. He couldn’t say I’m sorry enough. For the first time an employee actually said something that I believed.

However, he was mistakenly called as it was not his store. He even went on to say that he would call the District Manager whose store it was and explain to him what happened so that I did not have to get myself upset. He apologized over and over again. He also said something about bringing it up at the Corporate Office customer service meeting tomorrow.

Soon after, I received a call from the District Manager and I was feeling my tears turn to anger again. Having to recall this a 4th time and hearing his disdain for my side of it and backing up his employee of 10 years, I was shocked. He said he would pull the tape. He said he had lots of drive offs. Not really what I wanted to hear, my phone died mid conversation and I sobbed all the way to my son’s practice and back.

When I returned home, I had received a call back, not from the District Manager, but from the first manager making sure that I had his phone number and if the district manager didn’t call me to feel free to call him.

After trying unsuccessfully to contact the District Manager again, I called the first manager and wanted to thank him for his call. I left him a message that I my phone had died when talking to the DM and that I  appreciated his compassion and follow through.

As hours have passed, I think of all my friends of color, my students, my friends. If I don’t follow through, these types of situations can continue to happen.

Stewart’s DEFINITELY needs to retrain their employees about accusing people falsely, how to process whether or not someone has potentially forgotten to pay and to just teach their employees HUMILITY!

Do I want her fired? No. Do I want an BIG LOUD apology from the highest levels? YES, YES I do!

I will be teaching my students about this. I will be reminding them to ALWAYS get a receipt, to get a name, to be sure before accusing someone. If they make a mistake, to be humble and apologize.

See this slut and bitch never forgets. but she will eventually forgive. Might as well make it a learning opportunity…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love sports. They were such an important part of my life from as long as I can remember, and I daresay, they still are.

Sportsmanship is Alive and Well

Upon reading this article, my heart just broke a little more; a feat I didn’t think was possible.

See, I was the first child of an athlete. My baby gift was a Johnny Unitas signed football. My treasured toy was my Dr. J. red, white and blue basketball. I really never played with dolls. I liked to play basketball. I loved to ride my bike for miles. I shot BB guns, ran the pastures around my house, and swam in the community pool.

I was a awkward, lanky, nerdy, exceedingly tall girl, that never quite fit in anywhere.  My home life with a constantly working father and a manically depressed and often abusive mother and disabled sister were not idyllic.

Sports and being a part of a team, were my escape. They were a place where I kind of fit due to my  height and genetic gifts for sport.

At 18 I blessed to Zing with my hubby, a former D1 baseball player and ice hockey lover, who grew up, a lot like me, just skating on the flats, hiking, camping and fishing, and playing in the sand lot.

We have been blessed with 5 incredibly wonderful children. We expected that sports would be a part of their lives. We allowed them to try all kind of things. Their sports glory or failures were not about us. It is about their development as a human. It was about being a part of something larger then themselves.

They mostly gravitated to their father’s sports of baseball/softball and ice hockey (although I have one volleyball player!) He and I have volunteered to help all children on the teams, no matter their ability. We love sports and obviously having kids (lots of them) in our lives. It seemed a natural progression to continue to be involved and share our love of sports with others through coaching, volunteering, driving kids to practices and games if necessary, just being present.

But something changed. Sports became big business. At young ages parents are sold a bill of goods that little Jonny or Mary, if they go to the right camps, play on the the best teams, buy the best equipment, they will have this magical, transformative experience. In what I have witnessed and experienced, the reality falls far short of the promises.

Gone are the days of multi-sport athletes. Children are being pushed to focus on one sport earlier and earlier. Countless studies have shown that it is bad for children, yet it persists.

Early Specialization: Nine Reasons Why It Is a Bad Idea

Why? It makes people money. It make parents feel good. It makes children feel good – for awhile.

What happens when winning becomes EVERYTHING? What happens when you no longer can win? What happen to you when you trounce an opponent so badly that you crush a person’s soul? Longitudinally – what, in being someone that participates in that trouncing, does it do to your soul?

Winning is fun. But should it be the focus of youth sport? Shouldn’t youth sport be geared to learning? Having fun? Becoming a better, healthier YOU?

Winning is fun, but sportsmanship is better. Let’s teach our children that shaking hands after a game is more important than the score. Let’s stop the madness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

baseball, Catholic, children, coaching, family, growth, hockey, hockeymom, love, momoffive, motherhood, skating, sports, sportsmanship, truth

Simple Gifts

children, faith, family, love, momoffive, motherhood, truth

If you ever sang in a choir in NYS (and Western Massachusetts) you’ll immediately have the song in your head. Simple Gifts

Yesterday, my life was filled with many simple gifts.

One in particular touched my heart and those in my family.

My son’s shoes “disappeared” yesterday morning. A frantic search was undertaken. I, in desperation, reached out to a friend, with a call. “Is there any way he could have left them at your house?!” with a voice cracking from my tears of being overwhelmed.

My son had told me he had looked in my car, looked in his room, looked everywhere, but could not find them. “I’m so sorry Mommy for losing my sneakers.” tears starting to drip out. Hugging him then, I said, “It’s OK, now let’s try and find yours.”

So rooting though the garage and house, (Now  he is already late for school and had missed the bus!) I had found an old pair of his brother’s, not too badly worn, so that he could get to school, but then floodgates of his tears opened.

Complaints of taunting and bullying, frustration and tears. Lots of tears. Lots of tears.

Gone were the worries about the sneakers and onto what was really the problem, the problem that only the lost shoes could bring to light.

Meetings, solutions and more tears  the major issue solved by 10:30 am. Solutions, advocacy, his gaining a sense of empowerment.

Me, now exhausted and trying to save strength for a long trip later on to a wake out of town, I sat down to rest.

I thought and prayed, “Dear God,  it has to be simpler than this? Why can’t we just enjoy one another, love one another, be kind to one another? Why does everything have to be a fight? Why is having new shoes so important? What is so wrong with the worn ones?”

I wanted a more simplified life. I wanted less stress. Less yelling. Less craziness.

Later on, driving with my friend, Miss Daisy, to the wake out of town,  we laughed and laughed on our long car ride and then we passed an Amish horse and buggy filled with women! They looked at us and we looked at them. Miss Daisy said, “You know they’re not all that much different than us… but they are.”

Didn’t think much of it until I got home, weary after a 7 hour round trip.

A box, with a short note:

“There is a gift receipt in the box if you need a different size or want to switch to high tops. Thank you for being a great friend.”

A simple gift.

Oh yeah, before I left, I had found his sneakers in the back of my car.

Simple gifts

 

 

Rules Don’t Apply Equally

Catholic, children, coaching, faith, family, growth, hockey, hockeymom, lettinggo, love, momoffive, motherhood, skating, sports, teenagers, truth

Happy Easter Monday!

My middle child has had a tough year with sports and in life in general. He has found that friends from childhood left him for the shiny new penny in town, he was jumped by a school teammate and the punishment was not fair and even excused away due to the other’s “rough childhood experiences” and then with great anticipation and excitement, he joined a new organization and new “old” team only to find that tigers don’t change their stripes and rules don’t apply equally.

Funny how people love to sit in their sanctimonious glass houses preaching about gratitude and appropriate behaviors while condoning cheating and cross-rostering across organizations without prior permissions – violations that caused other players to be removed from a league – and when we were faced with an abusive coach, to sit idly by in apathetic acceptance, too afraid to say anything, but expecting me to defend my child (and yours by association) further putting my own children in jeopardy?

Having learned that there is no fairness at a young age, while heartbreaking to watch unfold, will allow him to be a stronger, more faithful and more grateful person. Teaching hockey to those less fortunate, will allow him to realize that playing sports is a privilege.

So very pleased that I was told by an old friend that he did such a wonderful job with one of his young charges, I watched him wearily, but with a joyful countenance, amble to the car.

Beaming, on the way home, he regaled me with how he taught a young child how to skate and leave the security of the sled behind.

He, with great hope, untarnished by the ugliness that the has experienced and smiling ear to ear, was so joy-filled to be able to be back on the ice helping those learn to love the abject perfection of a clean sheet of ice, the coldness of the air and the sweat of your brow after crossing over a few hundred times.

While the rules may not apply equally, the love of skating will never leave his soul.

Rules don’t apply to your feelings.

 

 

Duct Tape is Silver No?

Catholic, children, family, hockeymom, marriage, momoffive, motherhood

Sitting here in my quiet house (Except for the obnoxious birds that are trying to nest in my bathroom fan duct!) I am taking pause to reflect on 25 years of marriage!

First of all I’m way too young to be married 25 years! (Which obviously makes me too old to have 5 children as well!)

Our life together has not been easy, but it sure has been fun!

Our crazy song filled minivan trips, camping, running around to our children’s sporting, music, school events – when we look back all those years ago and think , “Would we have EVER imagined our life as it is today back then?” The unequivocal answer is no – but boy oh boy am I glad it is!

What makes us closer over the past almost 31 years together, 25 of them in our sacramental marriage, is our ability to weather the storms together – to have an enduring love and faith that no matter how bad it seems, the thought of being without each other is exceedingly worse.

We have had financial and job loss, family tragedy, sick children, sick parents, sick us – but truly it is, “In sickness and in health, for better for worse.”

Sometimes silence is golden, but duct tape is silver and it fixes everything. One of our favorite shows to watch together when we first started this journey was McGuyver. Duct tape always seemed to fix everything that went wrong.

On our Silver Anniversary – I salute the marvel that is duct tape – the metaphor for everything in our marriage. Now I have to find a ladder, get rid of some birds and get the duct tape to repair the vent hose…

 

 

 

 

Is Sociopath the New Black?

Catholic, children, coaching, disabilty, hockeymom, lettinggo, momoffive, motherhood, sports

Been awhile and I’m struggling trying to come to grips with why…self doubt, anxiety, busyness, de-prioritization of my needs; I can go on and on…

What has come to a earth shattering head is my desire to remove sociopaths from my life and avoid them at all costs.

What is a sociopath you ask?  Instead of defining the negative, I am focusing on the positive or empath side (because frankly I look terrible in orange!) and engaging in putting a desire to associate only with positive people and empathetic people.

For those wanting a good read, I highly recommend the The Empathy Trap a book that absolutely enhanced my work to dismantle the negative, energy sucking and stressful people and events from my life and encourage the positive.

Another article grabbed my attention this morning was the F word ( No not one of the  swear words I enjoy using!)  – but Feminism – and after International Women’s Day yesterday, the countless same old same old Women’s Month events, political pulling of the woman cards, special places in hell for certain women, etc. I felt I should break my self-exile and speak. As a women, a wife, a sister, a mother, a friend; my roles consistently put me in a place where sociopaths are the new norm and unfortunately are perhaps the new black – a blackness of depravity of character so beyond my comprehension that I refuse to accept it as the new norm.

A very wise person told me once  “No one gives a shit whether you live or die.”

Wiser words have never been spoken! Why? Because it came with a caveat -a millisecond later – the ONLY one that should care about you is YOU!

Anger, stress, revenge, sarcasm – all can be used as motivators, but often times we don’t know how to take the negative in our lives and turn them into golden opportunities for learning and self reflection and most often these “motivators” are turned to life altering stressors that cause disease, violence and pain.

Recently a coach put his hands on my child in anger. My child responded with anger back. I resisted (albeit with extreme difficulty) to turn to my default of anger, revenge, and vendetta, and turned to prayer and self-refection to try to help my child (and myself and those around me) grow and learn. I turned to a trusted friend with strong faith to help me through one of the most difficult events I have faced as a mother.

My child is forever changed by how I approached this difficult situation. I believe he has learned a tremendous amount from it. My child’s ability to analyze and reflect and learn from this is so well above his/her chronological age and I am so very proud.

I am angry? Yes! Am I disappointed? No doubt – but my attempts to channel positivity from this and to take an educators perspective, “What can be learned and done differently when presented with a situation like this in the future?” will undoubtedly affect not only the child affected, but every child and person in whom comes in contact with my child.

I will not be wearing black – in my wardrobe nor my countenance, but most importantly not in my soul! Easter is upon us and Spring in the air and with it, the winds of change…

 

 

 

 

Common (Dis)Courtesy

children, disabilty, momoffive, motherhood, waiting

Dear Medical Professionals,

This is broad category that encompasses doctors, nurses, office staff, receptionists, schedulers, ad nauseum…

Go back to charm school because you all suck this week!

As a person with a partridge and a pear tree’s worth of disabling conditions that I have had for 10 years, I understand and have seen how much medical care in NYS has gone in the crapper since then.

Guess what? I don’t give a damn. You chose to enter the profession. I didn’t choose to be permanently disabled and have to deal with your attitudes about being in a ACA medical profession in 2015 so suck it the hell up or find another job. Our president and the media tell me the economy is very good and there are lots of jobs!

Case in point – vascular surgeon’s office. (Yes a lovely new old development in the litany of “conditions that I have” needs to finally be addressed!)

On the news the other morning they said that there was an accident backing up traffic at 7:30 am. There is more than one way off this traffic accident area in which to reach your office.

My appointment, scheduled way over a month ago, was for 10:30 am. I arrive at 10:18 am.

At 11 am when I hobble crippledly up to the recpetion area to inquire what is going on with my appointment  and I am told then, and only then, that, “There was an accident. Patients were late, the doctors were late.”  in a rude and snotty tone.

I replied, “Well I was early, and was not informed of any of this so that I could have made a choice with my time. Most doctors offices either inform the patients at check in of a delay with an apology and give the patient the option of rescheduling. You did neither.”

Honey here’s a tip – I know I’m a bitch. I wear the badge proudly. I also know that as a vascular group you are used to dealing with geriatric patients that don’t have 5 children and a busy Christmas schedule and that can wait 3 hours while you make excuses for bad business practices. I also know that most of them have hearing issues. I do too, but not when you speak that loudly and say, “I’m tired of hearing people bitch!” do not expect me to not hear you.

Really? You are tired of it. Well honey listen to me – you haven’t heard bitch but it’s coming.

You are very lucky that I’ve gone more passive agressive this holiday season and have switched off my usual, “Go F#ck Yourself” response switch.

Instead, I will choose to write to my private payer insurance company and file, yet another customer complaint form. Luckily ’tis online and I have a fill-in-the-blank template already created which I call Bitch Libs.

It is in a much nastier tone and style, but I share this from the interwebs as a close style sheet:

Grievance Forms

I also may have a nice discussion with my new physician about how his recepiontist’s attitude could potentially cost him patients or his patients their lives. Remember Vascular = Stroke & Anurism Potential

I’ve heard it’s a bulk industry (the more patients the more money)  now so that may get a response.

Either way medical people try to be nice. If you can’t be nice certainly don’t call someone a bitch as you never know all the shit that is going on in their lives. (My 12 year old daughter is going in for major knee surgery on Monday and I have very few precious hours to get shit done because I have to call 1500 times to her medical office to  fill out a form for the school which takes 1500 hours to process said form and the time and I need a date and time of THAT surgery so I can plan for the other 2 minor children and your damn vascular surgeon’s office sign says no cell phones! What is this 1990?)

Most importantly – don’t call someone a bitch in my earshot.

You will never know when I will go back to full on Go F#ck Yourself mode…

Your courteous reminder,

Mamasaurus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Ms. Pasta Arian,

Congratulations you won! I get it truly I do. Constitutional freedom of religion is what people who have fought and died in service to our great nation is all about. Woman Heroically Wins

But heroic? Ummmm I think we need a definition check because the media has bastardized it beyond belief!!!

From Websters online:
: of or relating to heroes
: having or showing great courage
: very large or great in size, amount, etc.

Missy I want to see your ancestry . com profile because last time I checked Thor wore a traditional helmet of his culture to symbolize strength and honor. A colander well…

Having or showing great courage? Courage to actually go to DMV for that picture OK but GREAT courage is going with 5 kids and making sure you don’t look like a serial killer. Nope not even close.

Very large or great in size, amount, etc. OK seriously – can we all agree not even a competition on this point?

When your religion has suffered from oppression and distain for millenia then please talk to me about you struggle! Last time I checked Pastafarians were not in “hot water” waiting to be beheaded.

Go home sister you’re drunk (mind you is was a lovely ala vodka sauce and all!)

No ditalining around here,

Mamasaurus

disabilty, hockeymom, momoffive, motherhood, Uncategorized

Starbucks Sucks at Not Offending

Catholic, disability, momoffive, motherhood

Dear Starbucks,

First you had the “discuss the person’s name” initiative which I thought was really lame but if it makes someone smile ok whatever.

Next you had the no guns in our stores mandate which I thought typical hispster company from Washington state trying to be cool with their demographic.

Then you had your Barista (AKA Moron) refuse use of a bathroom in Philadelphia to a police officer and were obnoxious about it.

Now after a policy of many years of having a Christmas themed cup you are deciding against it.

Now for those of you that think these things don’t matter let me tell you – it most certainly does.

A campaign to attack Chic-Fil-A with a “Kiss In” because their CEO did not support gay marriage did happen. How did that work out for Chick-Fil-A – soaring profits.

A campaign to boycott or craft the devil has happened at Hobby Lobby because of their stances against not covering a few forms of birth control and their strong Christian stance again the effect – increased business for a Christian company.

You don’t think it matters – it does – right where it hurts – the bottom line. Christians buy stuff -lot of stuff. We have children – more children thatn most. While we most likely will not openly protest, we will do it more quietly.

Starbucks has been closing locations left and right due to poor performance. Poor branding and corporate policy does matter.

Congratulations Stewart’s, WaWa, Dunkin Donuts, and Horton’s – your bottom lines are going to be improved this holiday season.

As to Starbucks – I will miss your hot cocoa but Merry Christmas! Oh yeah and BTW I am the demographic you should not be offending!

Mamasaurus