Archive for February, 2011

There are two places I absolutely dread going to. One is the DMV and the other is the Post Office. I was elated when the grocery store started selling stamps. No more trips to the Post Office for stamps. A dream came true when the Post Office installed a self service machine for buying stamps and postage for large envelopes. I no longer had to wait in a long endless line.

On Saturday morning I went to the Glendale Post Office to mail my tax information to the accountant. Surprisingly, there was no line. Instead of using the self service machine I walked over to the counter and waited where the line usually forms. One female postal worker was standing in the middle counter position with her back to me talking to another female poster worker who was standing a few feet away by the bins where packages are collected. The woman standing by the bins could clearly see me standing in line yet she continued her conversation with woman at the counter who did not know I was waiting. I decided to see how long they would talk before I would be acknowledged. The woman continued their conversation for a bit until the woman facing me turned and walked into the back room. Do you think she told the other woman that a customer was waiting? Of course she didn’t. Then the woman working the counter walked back and stood by the bins. After about twenty seconds the woman from the back room came out and continued her conversation with the woman working the counter. Once again she elected not to inform her coworker that I was waiting for assistance. The two women carried on their conversation for what seemed to be a few minutes while I stood there waiting. Finally the woman from the back room turned and walked away. The woman working the counter turned around and finally saw me. She approached her window and asked how she could help me.

I was utterly stunned that the woman from the back room didn’t tell her peer working the counter that a customer was waiting. Evidently her conversation was more important than a customer waiting for assistance. It was customer service at its worst. It’s no wonder the Post Office has such a horrible reputation. The cheery male postal worker with the great customer service skills in their commercials is a fallacy.

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Updates 2/25/2011

K came home yesterday. He leaves on Saturday for Phoenix for an industry conference. I think he returns from Phoenix next Friday.

K will be attending his company’s Leadership meetings in San Francisco in March. I get to fly out and be entertained on the company dime. It should be fun for me but work for K. I haven’t been to San Francisco for two years because K had business commitments that prevented him from attending the meetings last year. I’m looking forward to this mini vacation.

My cousin published a children’s book. My mother’s sister did the illustrations. This is the second book she’s published this month. The other book was on President Reagan.

I had a troubling conversation with my mother earlier in the week. She kept repeating herself and seemed nervous. I need to talk to my SIL about this.

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Updates 2/23/2011

Have you heard that the gays are being blamed for the earthquake in New Zealand?

Mike took me to dinner last night at Potager for my birthday. Alex joined us just before we ordered. While waiting for our food the rich gays that bought the mansion arrived. Alex socializes with the rich gays so they stopped by our table to chat with Alex. The rich gays ignored Mike and me. Alex was raised by parents who taught him manners so he introduced Mike and I to the rich gays and told them we live in the neighborhood. They could not have been more disinterested. No need to wait for their dinner invitation.

I’m looking into the possibility of raise in my hourly rate. I’ve had this job for almost two years and my rate has not increased. My manager said she would support my request. I’m thinking about asking for a 10% increase so that I can have room for negotiation.

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Starting To Heal

Over the last few days I stated to write about the mediation with my former employer. Each time I came to a screeching halt. I just couldn’t put thoughts to paper. The experience was too new and I didn’t want to relive it. I never expected the mediation process to be so gut wrenching emotional. I had started going over the documentation last Sunday. I had forgotten about many of the facts of the case so reviewing the documents made me angry. By Wednesday I just wanted the case resolved. I came out of the meeting angry, sad and once again disillusioned with large corporations. The mediation process is not a formal process and nobody is under oath. Each party is free to make any claim because the discovery process has not taken place. It becomes a chicken game. I was utterly surprised to find out what criteria were used to determine who was laid off. I was shocked to hear statements from my former manager. A man I once thought was ethical was revealed to be a liar. A monetary agreement was made late in the day. At the end of the process I didn’t care about the money. I was hurting and just wanted to go home and climb into bed. I left the mediation with a severe head ache. By the time I got home my eyes were blurry and red. My dinner that night consisted of store bought fried chicken and chocolate chip cookies.

I can’t go into specific details about the settlement due to inclusion of a confidentiality clause which is standard in these types of out of court settlements. I have come away from the process with a distaste for the mediation process, the legal system in the United States, lawyers in general (yes, K is a lawyer) and the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Color me a little bitter for the next few days.

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I Lied

I didn’t buy a new 7 series on the way home from mediation but I did think about it. Mike would have killed me for buying a car from a dealer instead of going through him. I was in such a foul mood that I thought about recklessly spending the money just as I was driving by the BMW dealership. Spend that much money a car brought back memories of my life in Dallas. I remember standing in the showroom of Park Place motors trying to decide if I should buy a $85,000 Mercedes. It was fall of 1988 and the 1989 new models had just arrived. I was an emotional mess and still grieving from Dale’s death. I thought that if I spent the life insurance money on a new Mercedes it would make me feel better. Thankfully, all of the salesmen ignored me. I had driven my Honda Accord to the dealership and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I did not look like I could afford a Mercedes. Little did they know I could pay cash for the car. I left the dealership without buying the car and a few days later invested the money in a mutual fund. The investment has seen a nice appreciation but a 1989 Mercedes is worth next to nothing. I think the salesmen did me a huge favor by ignoring me.

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It’s Over

The mediation took all day but an agreement was reached. I’m emotionally drained, angry and exhausted. I needed a pick me up so I stopped by the BMW dealership by our house and came home with new 7 series.

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Living Under A Rock

I must have been under a rock for the last year or so. I had never heard of the Canadian band, Arcade Fire, until I watched the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. How could I have not known about this band? I listened to their songs on You Tube yesterday while I was working at home. I love this band. The lead singer’s voice reminds me of Neil Young, another Canadian. You should check them out.

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Updates 2/14/11

K popped into town on Wednesday night. He returned to Denver to rescue a bid that was going to hell. One of the key people working on the bid called K a few days earlier from the Denver airport with the news that he was on his way to Kabul. The man didn’t give K any notice that he was leaving the project. K had to come back to get the project back on track. He worked long hours on Thursday and Friday and also worked most of Saturday. K flew back to St. Louis on Sunday morning.

I need to call my mother today. I’ve been dreading calling her. I’ve put off calling her all weekend. I just don’t want to talk to her.

It’s cloudy and overcast this morning in Denver. I’m working from home and I don’t have any motivation.

The mediation for my EEO complaint is scheduled for Wednesday. This has been dragging on for two years. I’ve got to read over the documents tonight and tomorrow night to prepare for the mediation. I can’t wait for this to be over.

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Here are a few items I found on blogs in the last few days that various public figures and politicians have said about gays:

Iowa GOP State Rep. Dwayne Alons says he agrees with The Family Leader, the right-wing group spearheading the battle against marriage equality in Iowa, that homosexuality is a public health crisis akin to smoking

Georgia GOP Rep. Bobby Franklin Compares Gays to Thieves, Adulterers, and Unrepentant Drug Dealers

Eugene Delgaudio, the self-titled Public Advocate of the United States, writes us today with the news that radical homosexual pirates were running amok at last month’s annual Gasparilla Festival in Tampa.

Former Minnesota governor and likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, siding with the Iowa group that says same-sex marriage is worse for your health than smoking.

I guess I shouldn’t nag my mother about smoking because she doesn’t nag me about being gay. I don’t recall ever committing adultery but back in the 80’s a peer’s husband accused me of having an affair with his wife in his divorce filing. Of course, it wasn’t true. I do have a notorious past involving recreational drug commerce so I have to accept that comparison but most of my gay friends have not been involved in such activities. And I’ve never been a thief or a pirate. I guess two out of five isn’t bad.

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Like CD Stuck On Replay

Patty called yesterday afternoon wanting to get together. It wasn’t until after I agreed to meet her after the gym that I found out her relationship with her boyfriend had been put on hiatus in the morning. I hadn’t heard from Patty since before Christmas. Now I was stuck meeting her and I was sure she wanted to talk about her relationship. I met Patty at her house and we talked for while and then went to dinner. As I suspected, most of the conversation was about her relationship being put on hold until the boyfriend can finish grieving for his late wife. Doesn’t this sound familiar? When we stopped by the house on the way to dinner she asked if the Mini Cooper was at the airport. Patty was so consumed with talking about her relationship that she didn’t even notice that she was in K’s new Audi. I told her K sold the Mini four years ago when he bought the truck that was traded for the Audi she was sitting in and that I traded the Acura for the BMW. Perhaps guys pay more attention to cars than women. Soon the conversation turned back to her relationship. The relationship was also the main topic of conversation at dinner. I wanted call her on the fact that she only calls when she has relationship issues but I was tired and didn’t want to open that can of worms. So I listened to her talk and missed all of the Super Bowl commercials that I wanted to watch. I got home just as the game ended.

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