I don’t know when it became acceptable for others to simply do whatever they feel like doing at any given time, speak to you however they feel or act however they want.  Today’s society drains me as there seems to be no common courtesy in the world anymore.  Yesterday I went to my local health food store.  Unfortunately, I said I wasn’t going in there ever again after something happened the last time I visited.  I spent about 6 months personally boycotting the store.  Seriously.

Until I needed some things that no one else sells.  So I made my trip up there hoping I was going to see him…the cause for irritation.  I made it into the store and poof, he magically appeared.  Throwing a comment over his shoulder as he walked by me, can I help you find anything, as he kept walking away from me.  Yes, actually you can.  I need coconut butter.  Using a simpering, irritated voice “Oh my God. You are like the 5th person to ask for coconut butter.  I do NOT have it. I have coconut manna. What do you all want it for anyway?”  As he sighs heavily like I am putting him out.  Did I mention that he is the owner?  Well he is. 

Let me tell you about the first time I ran in with my whole family to get something.  It was like 4:45 p.m. and I needed something as I eat gluten-free.  Some of my ingredients are difficult to get.  I am sometimes, erm lots, depressed when I can’t eat similar items my little family is eating as we used to make things together.  We have changed our whole eating habits for me as a dinner ritual, which is nice, but occasionally, I want a cookie darn it.  So we went in to get some ingredients only this guy has.  Seriously, it wasn’t much of a list.  I went in and they yelled out “Closing in 15 minutes.” as a way of greeting us.  No hi.  No hello.  No welcome.  Nothing.  I got my little things with my husband and kids as we were on our way to my parent’s house, and went to the counter.  From behind the counter a voice says “BETTER late than NEVER” in a seriously ugly tone.

So number one, I am doing this guy a favor by shopping in his store.  Number two, I get no recognition, no greeting, no courtesy.  Number three, it’s like I am putting him out by being a customer.  So I refused to enter the store for months and apparently he hasn’t changed because after he “helped” me yesterday, he proceeded to mention things he can’t sell now because we are getting a Whole Foods soon and people would just drive there, which by the way, is 40 minutes away right now.  So let me just gently remind you all, if you are a small store owner, a business person of any kind and someone is doing you a favor, don’t speak to them like you can’t be bothered or perhaps “don’t have the energy” to treat them right.  They will remember.  Trust me.  Treat the person how you would want to be treated.  It’s just a small thing in this world.  Kindness.  Pass it on. 



Spreading cheer…

It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day.  A smile.  A nod.  A kind word.  I’d even take Joey saying this:

That being said, I had two very different experiences this morning.  I walked into a certain grocery store, and no one said a word.  I went down the aisles, and someone was stocking the meat.  She was actually blocking where I needed to go, but I waited thinking she was going to look up.  When she turned around I smiled, and got a look of, well, nothing.  I guess I wasn’t even good enough to get a half-smile.  I went through the rest of the store, and noticed the only had those damn self-checkout things.  I dislike those things.  I want a person.

I finally found a person checking out, but the light was off.  The lady one register over peeked over like she was hiding and said “THAT register is closed, BUT I’ll take you.”  Don’t say it like you are doing me any favors lady.  What in the world.  Apparently, her clothing meant she was a manager of some sort.  Hmmm.  She sure didn’t act like it.  Then some lady came back that had been on break I guess and an older gentleman came up behind me.  He said he hated those self-checkouts and asked if this lane was open, because gee, they were hiding with the light off.  I said yes, it was, and we started talking about how robots were going to take over…ha.  No one was going to man anything anymore.  Well, I guess checkout lady didn’t much like that, but truth be told, she didn’t like anything anyway and it was only 9 a.m.   As I left I said thank you, and she looked at me like she really didn’t want to say anything, but mumbled something.

The next store, I just hummed a song and spoke to people again.  The lady stocking the supplies, she didn’t not smile, but didn’t exactly go out of her way either.  Hmmm.  Went to check out and noticed a lady who was having problems in front of a lady who seemed to be in a huge hurry.  She had pinched lips and looked perturbed.  I told this older gentleman in messy, stained clothes to go ahead of me.  He only had a newspaper and I smiled at him and said please go ahead of me.  I have a cart full.  He said thank you, and I believe the pinched lipped woman looked less frazzled after I did that.  Then a man came up with his arms full of things and I laughed and said “Do you need a cart?”  He smiled at me and held up some crazy snowmen signs and said “How can you not get these??” and he reminded me of Wayne Brady, so he made my day.  How could I not get two snowmen signs?  I don’t know Wayne, but I think you are hilarious.

As I was leaving, the checkout lady got to talking to the rumpled man I let go ahead of me, and Wayne was behind me, so I knew we weren’t in any hurry now.  Good, because we were talking about books, and I happen to like to add my two cents.  The rumpled man turned to me after I checked out and pressed a photo-copied recipe into my hand for a ham loaf he said was wonderful.  I took the stained recipe, that appeared to have his name on it, and smiled at him as he told me about the steps.  Never once saying I couldn’t eat a thing he put in it, but just nodding.

As I left, I thought about how it pays to “read” people and try to give them what they need.  Attention, a kind word, or just a smile can go a long way for people having a hard time.  What can you do this week to make someone’s day a little brighter? 



Stop crying wolf…

Have you ever pondered your friend’s status updates, posts, or ramblings on Facebook?  Sometimes, we all need a little encouragement, but recently a friend called it “egobook” and posted this “Welcome to Facebook…Where love stories are perfect. Where liars tell the truth. Where everyone brags they have the perfect life and claim to be in love with their partners. Where your enemies are the ones that visit your profile the most. Where your ex unfriends you. Where you post something and people interpret whatever they want. Repost this if you agree ;-)”.

Let’s get to the root of this post, shall we.  Love stories are never perfect.  If you have to post something all the time about how in love you are with your significant other, chances are, you are just trying to fool yourself or others.  Don’t worry, we aren’t really fooled.  Here is what you don’t get…it’s okay to be normal.  Not everything has to appear perfect.  On the flip side to this, please stop posting that you hate your life every single day.  This might cause your friends some alarm.  Or perhaps it doesn’t, but then when you really are in need of some help, no one will know.  It’s like the boy who cried wolf  fable.  Read up on it.  Ole’ Aesop was a smart cookie.

The next part is a little harder.  I don’t know that I like the word “enemy”.  That implies you have a foe who is threatening you.  Perhaps there are people out there who are jealous and want to be like you, so they try to undermine your confidence.  In this case, we can refer to them as Snow White’s stepmother, the Evil Queen.  If you are surrounded by EQ’s who constantly spy on you through their magic mirror, smash the mirror.  Well, okay, just hide them or something.  Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but just find a way out.

Lastly, don’t forget to “unplug” every once in a while.  People are starting to forget their manners.  They don’t always do what you think they should do just because it’s the right thing to do.  They don’t return calls, or e-mails, or messages, or any of the 50 other ways you have tried to communicate with them.  They sometimes appear to think the world revolves around them.  If you know someone like this, then slowly step away and see how long it takes before they realize you are gone.  They will point the blame towards you at first (see above statement about world revolving around them).  Eventually, they will come to realize you did try at least 25 ways to contact them.

In this crazy world where social networking has sprung up and appears to be here for the long haul, don’t forget that your words may linger long after you wanted them to.

“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.”  ~B.F. Skinner

The letter H…

Today’s visit to the doctor is brought to you by the letter H.  I plotted some good schemes with my friends on how to get the “receptionist” to behave, and when it came down to it today, I really didn’t care.  I almost printed off the rate your doctor reports I found and left them for him to read with comments that said his staff was rated at a one, or the poorest possible rating.  My best scheme, the one that had my friends laughing during lunch, would have been funny.  Probably not to her, but I would have laughed.  I asked them all to call the office and inquire about the receptionist job that was advertised.

Okay, so onto the next part.  He came in and discussed the tests like it was nothing using his fancy jargon.  Since I understood it, he asked me what medical school I went to.  Not that I thought that was funny, as I feel it’s important to be educated on matters of your own health.  I quoted normal ranges on some of his tests and since he ruled things out, he came to the conclusion I came to in February (refer to “Back at it again”).  I have levels that indicate borderline Hashimoto’s disease.  He did not even discuss it with me as he said he thought I should go back to my PCP.  At this point, I wanted to scream.  Instead, I calmly looked at him and told him that this has been going on for months.  My PCP was not listening to me nor did he know what was wrong with me, which is why he referred me to a rheumatologist in the first place.  All of my symptoms indicated a problem with the thyroid to begin with, and I would like a prescription now, not later.  He looked at me, took out his little pad, and wrote me a prescription.  I told him I was taking hot yoga and plan on going to a personal trainer.  He told me those were two great choices.  It is probably a good thing a nurse walked in because at that point I might have told him about Evilyn, his receptionist.  In two months, he wants to see me again.

As I approached her lair, she who-must-not-be-named was on the phone again.  She was ugly to this person as well and said really loud “I told you…” then when she got off the phone she was talking to herself.  Saying something equally venomous.  I tried to avoid eye contact like I was facing Medusa.  It seemed to work.  If needed, I carry a small mirror and could have produced it in time to avoid gazing at her directly.  All in all, I guess it was a good visit this time.  I made it out in one piece.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  ~ Edmund Burke

Waiting for the shoe to drop…

I will start by saying that I think hell had a snow flurry this morning.  While I don’t believe it actually froze over, I will say that the “receptionist” (see earlier posts) who has been quite ugly to me at my doctor’s office used the word please this morning.  I almost dropped the phone.  You see, I have been avoiding calling the office and still haven’t heard back from my tests that I mentioned in my Spondylo-what??? post.  It has been almost a month, and they scheduled my follow-up appointment for MAY.  Let me tell you that when a doctor doesn’t know what you have, and you are given two choices, your mind automatically goes to the worst case scenario.

Have you ever done that?  I’m sure you have.  Just last week at work our boss called us together for something and the girl closest to me said out loud she thought it was for something bad.  Why do we do that to ourselves?  Can’t it be for something good?  I’m sure it can, but for whatever reason, we don’t get called together for something good very often.  Day in and day out I see the signs of stress on co-workers’ faces.  It’s like we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Well, what if were a clown shoe…or maybe just a slipper?

I think it might be time to think outside of the box just a little.  I would like to know what helps you get by.  Seriously, what do you do when things are bothering you or you have lots of stress to deal with (and remember these posts are moderated).  If you are one of my three readers, wink, please feel free to leave a comment below.  It says “Leave a reply” and I invite you to tell me what helps you clear your mind.  Furthermore, if you click on the name of my blog, The Burned Hand, it will take you to my latest post and to the right it says “Email subscription”.  If you enjoy reading my posts, feel free to sign up.  Under the title “Random thoughts” you can click any of those words and be taken to posts in that category.  If you know someone going through a rough time, feel free to tell them about my blog.

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
– Mary Anne Radmacher


Today I visited my new doctor with the extremely unhappy receptionist.  Yes, she would be the one in the previous post.  I’ll get back to her later.  When you are in pain, it shows in everything you do.  I know it and I try to consciously change how I feel and act around others, but I realize my close friends know I have not been myself for months.  I apologize for my short temper and bluntness of late.  I would not have delivered things I have said in quite the same way; however, I have completely run out of patience.  Not just with you guys, with everyone.  I have become quite the little hermit when I get off work and all I think of is a heating pad, pajamas, and hot tea.  Wiener dogs on my lap are optional accessories that I like to use.

As I go through the halls to see the new doc, I take note of the fact that he has pictures of himself with his sons in Boy Scout uniforms, so I think he must be a good guy.  Don’t ask me why, but you can get a feel for a doctor’s manner by looking at their art work.  I sit for a bit and then I hear the scratchy sound of the chart slowly being pulled out of its holder outside the door.  I hear the pages being flipped and I wonder if he read any of the “book” they made me fill out and drop off before I was ever even allowed to make an appointment.  He enters and says “Wow, you’re the one with hemochromatosis and PCT???  I have never seen anyone with that, only read about it.”  Inside my head the circus music begins to go off.  “Step right up ladies and gentleman, we have a treat for you today.”  No really, it’s okay.  I understand I am somewhat of a genetic puzzle.  Puzzle was not the first word I was going to use, but it will do.  It is probably a doctor’s dream, or Dr. House anyway, to have someone like me come in and be able to converse about my condition using all the appropriate medical terms.

As I discuss my various conditions, his eyes light up like I have given him a new Boy Scout badge.  This one in HH/PCT and he can add it to his framed collection in the hall.  He does his various tests in my range of motion, and asks all sorts of intelligent questions.  He then goes into what I like to call the “doctor stupor”.  They use big Latin words and describe all kinds of things with rapid fire abilities that are meant to make you nod your head and ponder if you are dying.  What in the world does that mean?  Humm, sounds interesting.  I’ll ask him to repeat it.  What was that word you just said again?  He jokingly says he isn’t telling me again as I’ll look it up.  How does he know this?  He just met me.  Okay, so I will.  I admit it to him.  It sounds like Sero Negative Spondyloarthopathies.  I get such fun sounding words to tell everyone about.  Say it three times.  I dare you.  It almost sounds like something Harry would say while waving his magic wand (Hermione would nod approvingly if it was said correctly).

At last my adventure is almost over, just 6 to 7 vials of blood and some x-rays.  Oh yeah, and I have to check out.  Sigh.  The worst part is checking out.  I ask for another appointment from HER.  She tries to make it exactly in the middle of my work day, again.  I tell her I can’t keep taking off work for these things or I will have no time left and that I explained that when I made the appointment and she told me this first one was the only one I had to have early in the day.  It’s a good thing looks can’t kill.  She spits out “I never said such a thing and if you are repeating it you only are saying what you thought you heard.”  Deep breaths…shaking.  “You did, in fact say that last time.  I need your latest appointment as I told you before.”  I wish I had thought to turn on my recorder at that moment no matter how obvious that would have been.  “Well, I guess I’ll make a note and re-arrange the doctor’s schedule to fit you in.”  She spits this out as if she acid breath…I would have taken 20 damage at least.  Luckily, I ask her if she is always like this.  She ignores me and continues on with her tirade of nastiness to herself now.  I go to their little lab, and the lab tech heard everything.  I loudly say “Is she always like this?”  The lab tech smiles and nods.  She asks me if it my first time here.  She and I have a great chat and I mention I would like the name of the office manager.  Some random person walks by and says that Evilyn, okay so I made name up, is like the office manager.  Really.  We’ll see about that.  After I’m fixed of course.

“The world is a dangerous place.  Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”  ~Albert Einstein

Crappy Service…

On my never ending quest to wellness, I find myself wondering how people really get their jobs.  I have begun to think that they act as condescending as possible in the interview, practice putting you on hold for hours, and stand in front of a mirror talking with a scowl.  Each morning these people wake up and stub their toes or hit their heads as soon as they get out of bed.  They then take a shower only to realize the water is turning cold.  Someone cuts them off in traffic each day only to arrive at work with a minute to spare.  This must be the case. 

Why else would I leave a message for two weeks at a doctor’s office only to get a message on my own machine saying they have tried to call me and this is my FINAL chance to call them back and make my appointment?  I’m sure they forgot that they haven’t been answering the phone during office hours and that when I call them back to politely tell them so, they mention I must have called after hours.  When I point out that their message says they close at 5 p.m. and I am calling at 4:30 p.m.  Since they don’t know what their own message says, I ask them to call it themselves since they are telling me I am mistaken.  Ha.  What happened to the good ole’ days when the customer was always right?

The next week I call another place I was referred to.  I must fill out paperwork and drop it off before they will even consider seeing me.  I can do that.  I rush over to the place as I know they close early, but I can’t recall exactly when.  I get there and drop off my paperwork.  I ask when they close and she said “NOW”.  Oh, I’m sorry.  No introductions, no idea who she is at all.  I am new to this place.  She tells me to sit down.  Not asks, mind you, tells me.  Orders is more like it.  I still have no idea who this woman is.  Another woman comes out and tell me that there are only two times I can be seen.  Both in the middle of my work day of course.  Not knowing if I can do this, I pick a random time.  They are not willing to make accommodations at all.  Sigh.  I get to work the next day and realize that time won’t work.  I call back and get someone on the phone who answers curtly with no name given.  It’s not like I know who it could be anyway as the two ladies from the day before were so pleasant.  She has no idea who I am and can’t place me.  I tell her I was just there the previous evening.  “Oh, yeah, you came late.”  I ask her if she is the receptionist, and she says “yeah, let’s just say that.”  REALLY?  Let’s just say you are the unabomber shall we?  You have as much personality.  I ask for her name and she spits it out at me.  So much scorn comes through the phone I wonder how she makes it through the day.  I am pondering how to handle this “receptionist” when next we meet.  I hope I come up with a good plan.

” Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man.”  ~William Shakespeare