There’s No Resting Easy With An Elderly Parent

A lot of people rest easy knowing elderly Mom or Dad is being taken care of in a nursing home or by home health aides. But let me tell you something, if you live across the country, or you are just “too busy” to drop by on a regular basis, you are kidding yourself.

If your relative lived several states away, and you visited once or even twice a year (or not at all)…you did not “go through it” when they were ill or suffering from dementia, etc.

My mother has some very kind care givers helping her get dressed every morning. But they are not going to take care of her like they would their own mother.

My sister recently bought mom three new bras as the old ones were pretty shoddy. I do the laundry every week to 10 days – yet there will only be one bra – or none – in the laundry basket.

Mom can wear them a few days, but a week or longer is too much.

The other day when I did her wash, another seemingly brand new bra appeared. I checked with my sister, and yes, she now has more than she bought. It’s curious because this bra was in her dirty laundry basket…I loaded it into the washer so I know it wasn’t left over from another resident in the washer or dryer.

The apartment community washes her towels and sheets. Maybe they brought it in another time…at least it’s the right size.

Today I’m going to post a note asking the caregivers to put on a clean bra when Mom gets a bath. I’m finding if I want something done a certain way – or done at all – I need to post a note. It’s not enough to make a verbal request. With staff changes and shift changes, I have to be pro-active and oversee the caregivers. You can’t do that across the country or from the comfort of your own home.


Airline Pet Peeve: Name Change Fees

I understand why the airlines have to raise fees to cover the high costs of fuel, but if there’s an airline out there who really wants to be a kinder, gentler, customer-friendly airline…it should drop its name change fees.

If I buy a ticket to a sporting event or a rock concert, I don’t have to commit to the name of the person who will use the tickets. But if I buy an airline ticket, I can’t just sell it — or give it away  — if I can’t use it. Or I have to pay a big fee to use it at a later date or another departure time.

Ski clubs, which sign contracts committing to purchasing a block of tickets several months before the day of departure, incur name change fees if a member cancels out of trip and the trip spot is sold to someone else.  In some cases, the trip has not been paid for in full, and the club needs to fill the accommodations and balance the budget for ground transportation. Most of these are non-profit social organizations managed by volunteers.

And don’t tell me that there is a security risk. Everyone is checked at the airport. It doesn’t take that much time to type in a new name. With everything computerized today, let the consumer go in and change the name.

It takes more time for airline employees to explain the policy than it would to simply change a name.

Obama Making Race An Issue

Today I saw a new Obama commercial on TV. He talks about how his mom was a single white mother and he was raised by his grandparents. He shows pictures of them.

He makes it very clear that he is 1/2 white.

Which brings to mind….why is he considered African-American? Maybe we should start a new race choice: Caucasian with a great tan.

No, I’m not trying to be racist. But over the years, we’ve had colored people, Black people, African-Americans. Notice we added the capital letters…or was colored capitalized?

Maybe we should quit labeling everybody. Throw away those stupid EEOC forms where we have to check a box for heritage. Get over it Uncle Sam! Quit wasting paper and forcing people to pick a race that fits into some nice neat categories. People are people…they didn’t pick their parents or their skin color.

Should The Government Mandate Urine Tests For Assistance?

I received an interesting email today. It was regarding taking a urine test for a job. The writer said he/she didn’t mind taking a urine test…but thought anyone who wants to receive government assistance ought to be put through the same hoops as those of us who work for a living. In other words, if you can’t pass a drug test, you won’t get food stamps, welfare, medicare, etc.


What are your thoughts?

Boobs In The Office

I see a lot of boobs in the office. I don’t mean dumb people, I mean breasts, cleavage, tits, hooters, “the girls”…whatever  you want to call them. Plastic boobs the size of melons on a very small frame. You name it.

Most of the boobs are being flashed by younger women. There was a time where women had office attire and social or date attire that looked quite different from each other. But now the lines are blurred.

So here’s a question…since women dye their grey hair to look younger…should we lower our necklines in the office during a job interview so people will think we are younger too? Of course, I realize if your boobs sag too low or your skin is starting to show too many signs of age….this could be counter-productive.

Weight or breast size doesn’t seem to be a factor either. I’ve seen breasts of all sizes hanging out at water cooler. (Yes, we do have a water cooler….but I’ve actually seen more of them at the reception desk or in a cubicle.)

In the old days, there was the perceived risk of “sending the wrong message”  and “not being professional” if co-workers were being treated to too much of a peep show. The younger women – educated and professionally employed – don’t seem to worry about that today.

And tattoos…well that’s another story.

What do you think?

The Old Girl Did It!!!!

You go girl! Reporters and political “experts” keep asking Hillary when she’s going to drop out. Why the heck should she???? Look at Pennsylvania.

Asking her to drop out before the convention is the same as declaring a winner on election day as soon as the polls close on the East Coast. What about the rest of the voters? Don’t they count?

I don’t care if Hillary Clinton loses the rest of the presidential primaries…she should hang in there until the convention. No regrets.

What do you tell your kids when their baseball team keeps losing? Or when they struggle with math? Or when your homely daughter or geeky son is having trouble socially?

You tell them:

Hang in there!

Go for it!

Don’t listen to what everybody else says!

Do what you want to do. Be your own person.

You can be anybody you want to be.

Give it a try.

Don’t lose sight of your goals.

Hillary has wanted this for a long time. This is her big chance. Keep the faith. You won in Pennsylvania!!!


The Circular Career Path

While browsing through some other WordPress blogs, I spotted an entry by another blogger questioning his current career path. He wrote that he’s had several jobs in the past year and wonders where he is headed.

It seems today a lot of people are running around in circles. Rather than climbing the sometimes mythical career ladder, people of all educational and social backgrounds seem to be jumping from one job to another.
However, the reality is jumping isn’t necessarily the right word. Budgets get cut, jobs end, companies lay people off. Internet companies rise sky high and then crash to the ground. Businesses merge, sell, close…you name it…leaving employees in the wake.

Some careers are notoriously and tightly linked to the economy….real estate and construction, for example. Even health care can be affected. If people don’t have health coverage, they will put off doctor and dentist visits.

In the IT world and others, temporary assignments are a permanent fixture on some workers’ resumes.  Some companies make it a practice to fill certain jobs for only 90 days…..then hire somebody else before benefits kick in….and they do this over and over.

I recently came across my parents’ original social security cards, issued in the 1940s. I was surprised to find their employers’ names were typed on the cards. Those were the days when employees could reasonably expect to find a “good job” with a company and retire forty or fifty years later from the same place. That is a foreign concept to many employees today.

I decided to see if I could find any information on the history of the social security card. The government has an interesting website devoted to its history. One interesting bit of history was a story about Woolworth’s issuing a wallet with a sample social security card in it. The wallet manufacturer used the real number of a secretary, and over time, 40,000 people used the number as their own. As late as 1977, according to the website, 12 people were still using it. Never under-estimate the stupidity of the American public.

What I want to know is…why did the president and treasurer of the wallet manufacturer decide to use the secretary’s number (who would now be an admin assistant) …. and not one theirs? I think the answer is they had more sense, and maybe they thought it would be funny.

Back to jobs today. The term “downsizing” was coined back in the ’70s.  Merriam-Webster dates it to 1975. That’s a generation ago. Unfortunately, I think we all know people who once had good jobs and a secure future, only to be find it was all permanently derailed though no fault of their own.The economy. The job market. The mortgage crisis. The reality is while some people’s personal economy is rising, many others are falling. Or traveling in circles.