Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bearing Witness

The other day the woman who I thought was my boss came into my office and asked me to be a witness.  "A witness to what?" I asked, and she said she needed someone who wasn't her employee to be there when she told one of her employees that she was being written up.

I looked at the woman who I thought was my boss and said, "Aren't you my boss?"  She smiled, and said, "No, we work together."  I have got to get me an organization chart!

I put down my calculator, got up, and prepared to be a witness.  Only the employee about to be written up only speaks Spanish, and my colleague (I learn quick) also speaks Spanish and they went at it for about 10 minutes while I alternated between smiling and looking stern.  I got the gist of what was being said, just not the actual words.

In the end, the employee refused to sign the notice of write up, and I went back to my calculator, more confused than ever.  I'm nearly seven months into this job and still don't know who is who.  Seriously, what are my chances for success?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Point Blank

I personally don't own a gun, but believe strongly in the 2nd amendment. To me, it's all about keeping the government at bay.  An armed citizenry is the foundation of a true democracy.

Lately, since the unwarranted and inexcusable murder of children, theater goers and college students, there has been a loud chorus of people wanting to tightened background checks on gun purchasers.  Well, as far as I see it, background checks are pretty tight, and law abiding citizens aren't shooting up children in school yards.  So who's going to be impacted by this?

Law abiding citizens, who are already adhering to background checks.  In Connecticut, the murderer there applied for a gun permit and was denied.  He went home, killed his mother and took her guns.  Next stop, Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The young man was mentally ill.  Just like all the other big time murderers (Virginia Tech, Aurora, Colorado).  How come we're not talking about that?  Any reason why we aren't divining a national registry of the mentally ill, or even printing their names in a local paper?

Because people don't feel comfortable talking about the mentally ill, and quite frankly, don't know what to do with them.  They have rights, you know, just like gun owners.  So I guess we'll just have to put up the the disingenuous garbage spewed by politicians and others who don't want to address the real issue of mental illness and would rather make things harder for the crowd that really isn't a risk.

Answer: Quite frankly, stop demonizing the NRA.  Stop demonizing people who don't trust their government to not make a gun registry, a neutralizing factor should the government decide to go over to the dark side.  Stop making major decisions based on emotions, and think things through.  My experience is the people who claim they believe in free speech are all talk, and only their talk.  We need a national debate, not dictation.

G-d help us all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Coffee Catch Up

Not that I need an excuse to drink a cup of Starbuck's coffee, but when a dear friend sent me an email inviting me to join her and others for coffee to catch up on our lives, I couldn't say YES fast enough.  

Like veterans of a foreign war, my RD exam study group keep in touch.  We share our triumphs and follies, but rarely get the chance to see each other face to face.  Sunday was the big day.

It was just three of us, but the coffee was great, as was the cinnamon bun I brought along and ate alone.  (While I surely don't need the calories, there's something about a little cake and coffee that seem so right).     We caught up on each other's lives, asked each other advice, and even sat through a much needed hair styling (one of our group is an RD and a hair dresser - the best of both worlds).

Just like we needed each other when we were going through our internship and studying for the exam, we need each other now.  We are not alone.  As for me, I truly feel blessed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Seeing The Light

I've mentioned before that each day I get an inspirational shot in the arm from chabad.org - my way of staying connected to spiritually now that I work 40 hours a week.  Here's what came today:

In creating the whole of existence, G‑d made forces that reveal Him and forces that oppose Him—He made light and He made darkness.  One who does good brings in more light. One who fails, feeds the darkness.

But the one who fails and then returns transcends that entire scheme. He reaches out directly to the Essential Creator. Beyond darkness and light.  And so, his darkness becomes light.

I'm a big a big fan of the Repair Jack series of books by F. Paul Wilson and just reading this today made me believe now more than ever that Wilson must have known of the Rebbe.  The whole supernatural series is based on dark (for evil) and light (for non-evil) and what's written above could have been the plot for each novel.  

Okay, there was more stuff going on in the sci-fi books, but still, the whole dark and light thing is totally Wilson.  Now as always, time to choose sides.  

Monday, April 8, 2013


A few months back I thought it would be a good idea to get an inspirational thought a day from the Rebbe - Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of blessed memory from www.chabad.org.  Here's what came today:

Success, in the higher scheme of things, is when a soul that has alienated herself returns.  It is the ultimate demonstration of her resilience and her depth: No matter how distant she may travel, in the end she can never tear herself away.

Now that made me smile!  No matter how alienated I feel at times, I, and all of us, have the ability to be united with our inner strength.  Leave it to the Rebbe to ground me.  

Feeling Senseless

I worked five long years to get where I am today and somehow, some way, it seems I've lost my sense of humor.  I haven't really laughed at anything lately, and I need to get my groove back.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's because I'm working what appears to be 24/7.  I leave my house at 7:30 am and get home around 6 pm.  I spend the day with really disturbed people - people who are mentally ill.  And I think it's getting me down.

I miss the bus, I miss the subway.  I miss the interaction with all kinds of people - the crazy ones and the normal ones.  I feel like I barely survived Passover, and didn't spend nearly enough time with my family.

It's all about engaging with your environment, and I've been substituting chocolate bars for engagement.  Not that I'm giving up chocolate, G-d forbid, but maybe I should cut down. Get back on the treadmill.  Smile more often.

It's weird to say, but I've gone from being a student to being an adult in a matter of 6 months.  Like being a kid forced to mature.  Wouldn't you know it - I couldn't wait to be where I am now and now I wish I were where I was then.  I miss my friends, who are all busy too.

Sigh.  Smile.  This kid, no doubt, will be alright.