Posts filed under: ‘Technology‘




THE VERIZON ATTITUDE… changes in the workplace…

I can’t imagine working for anyone who threatened me.

In reading a posting on my facebook page, I read where the daughter of 1 of my facebook friends was told by her employer during Hurrican Irene-

“If any of you leaves, you’re fired.”

Meaning that if any of the employees left the job they would be terminated.

I can’t imagine me wanting to work for anyone who would even consider trying to strong-arm me like that… and particularly in a state of emergency.   But it made me think of 9/ll.

On September 11th …on the day that the airplanes flew into the World Trade Center, after the first plane hit the first tower  …many of the workers in the second tower were told to remain seated, to continue working.

But friends of mine who were inside the 2nd tower of  the World Trade Center that day… told me that when they saw that first plane hit… they didn’t care what their supervisors said… they were getting out of there.  And because many people had already began evacuating that second tower, as soon as they saw what had happened to the first tower… it for many meant the difference between life and death.

A few days ago while driving down to Atlanta, I happened to catch a news story on 1010 WINS …an all news radio network in New York City.  I had seen the picketers standing before various Verizon locations.  But I did not know what was going on.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023428/Verizon-worker-strike-Thousands-picket-line-east-coast.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/9/verizon-workers-hit-picket-lines-mass-va/

It seems that the contract for 45,000 Verizon workers had expired… meaning the Verzion worker’s contract is now up for renegotiation.  Playing hardball, Verizon withdrew their worker’s health plan when the workers went out on strike.  Verzion claim that they could no longer afford to pay for the worker’s health coverage because they were losing so much money with them being out on strike.

BALONEY.

Everybody who is doing any business with Verizon should cancel every service …or whatever have you with them.

What money is Verizon losing?

None.  In fact, with the workers out… they are saving money.  Because Verizon doesn’t have to pay them while they are out on strike.

But the problem we face today is this…    IT IS AN EMPLOYER’S MARKET.

Do you hear me?

Can you understand that?

It is like how they say it is a buyer’s market in terms of  real estate sales.  Because not many people are buying homes …and banks are not lending as much as they used to.  So, if you got money …and it doesn’t matter about what the seller is asking for …make them an offer.  They may just take it… you never know.  Because they are not getting many other offers these days.  And who knows… your’s might be their only offer.

And you see this clear across the board.   Car sales and other large ticket items… because there is less cash flow these days with so many people out of work.

And therein lays the Verizon workers dilemma.Verizon is having its way with the Verizon worker’s union because so many people are out of  work… and Verizon knows that it has the power to wheel and deal as it pleases because of the way the job market is today.

These companies have no employee loyalty.  In fact, most companies today could care less about their employees.  This is why most companies today do not even offer full-time employment anymore.  Who needs full-time employees when there are millions of people willing… able …and ready to accept part-time employment with no benefits, and wages that amount to little… but beats nothing.

There had been a time when America was sending top executives to China to learn techniques of how to create a happy and more productive working enviroment.  It would seem that those executives learned something much more valuable to them.  How to take an iron fist and hold it over the heads of your employees… and keep it there.  Forcing them to produce more for less… while compensating them little… and forcing them to smile while the company break their backs.

I dislike companies with the Verzion attitude.  My cell phone is a Sprint account… but my broadband was with Verizon.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that it is off … and has been so for some time now.  But I can’t see myself giving money to a company that will not do its employees right.

Though these companies may feel that they have the power… the truth of the matter is… no they don’t.  We do.  And our power can bring any company to its knees just as the Montgomery bus boycotts brought that city of Montgomery to its knees in the mid 1960’s, and gave way to the opening of the doors that gave us all the right to vote, sleep and eat … etc… etc… where we wanted to.  Today we get on the highway and travel anywhere we want… as African American people in America… eat where we want to eat… and book a hotel and sleep where we want to sleep.  But for years this was not the case at all.

I remember listening  to Shirley Caesar talking about that very subject on a television show that she was being interviewed on.  She said that back then when they travelled… talking about her days as a young singer travelling with Albertina Walker and the Caravan… back in latter 50’s through the 60’s.   She said-

“We had to sleep in our car.  Because back then they did not allow us (black folks) to stay in the hotels or the motels like they do today.  And we just couldn’t pull up anywhere and eat either.  Because it wasn’t allowed.  If we wanted food.  We had to go back around to the back the door and see if they would give  us some food.”

Thank God for powerful people… who knew that they possessed power.  Or we would still be sitting on the back of the bus today.

Union busting is not anything new.  One of the greatest examples of it is when Ronald Reagon decided to interfere in the air traffic controller strike, PATCO …in August 1981.  Reagon froze the air traffic controller’s $3.5 million strike fund in order to force the striking workers back to work… saying that they were in violation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifKX9EXSvrQ&feature=related

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/reagan.years/whitehouse/airtraffic.html

And if you remember any facts to this story… you will remember how  quickly many of the striking air traffic controllers were replaced.  While a the powers to be… then trained a bunch of  unprofessionals to replace to them.

And our air ways have never been the same.  They have found people sleeping and all kinds of crazy things.  And we will not discuss what took place on 9/11.

Because if the truth be told… that is still a mystery to me?

How is it that at least 3 airplanes took off from Logan Airport in Boston… and got so far off of their courses.  And nobody …not 1 person knew about it until very important buildings began to be flown into?

Something is wrong with that picture.  And for the life of me… how was it that the 2nd airplane was allowed to hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center?  This is even a bigger mystery to me?

Because before it did… every airplane and helicopter in New York City was up in the air that day soon after the 1st airplane had flown in the World Trade Center.  So then, how is it that nobody saw the 2nd airplane until after it hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center?

My niece woke me that morning with a phone call saying that an airplane had just flown into 1 of the towers of the World Trade Center.  And as she was still talking to me… some 20 minutes later the 2nd airplane flew into the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center.

How could that have happened?

After the 1st airplane into that air space…  clearly, a 2nd air craft entering into that same air space should never have happened.

First of all, the air space around the whole area of the World Trade Center  and Statue of Liberty was and is…a protected air space. Which means it was supposed to be under the protection of fighter jets anyhow. But notwithstanding the admission of the 1st air craft into that air space… clearly, a 2nd air craft entering into that same air space should have most definitely been shot down…and shot down long before coming in contact with the 2nd tower of  the World Trade Center.

But going back to the then President Reagon who decided that he needed to step in on the striking air traffic controllers… and teach them a lesson.  Reagon, of course, being the idol of ever Republican… the 1 that they most try to exemplify, and proclaim themselves to be the most like.  And I wonder if that was before or after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?

But then of course… nobody knows exactly how long Reagon had actually been losing it.  Though I must say that most of the Republican Party seems to be fit candidates for an Alzheimer’s examination.  Because truly most of  them seem to be suffering from some sort of mental deficiency…  starting with but not limited to Palin.

Something has to be wrong …mentally with a bunch of people who claim that they love something and seek so vigilantly to destroy it.  And I am talking about America.

They claim that they love America.  Yet everything they have been doing lately… and I am talking … for years now… has been done to undermine America… if not to utterly destroy it.

One of the most disastrous things to happen to the United States of America was something called George W. Bush.  I understand how wars were used in past American History to re-jump start the economy.  But George who was supposedly an economy major from that great learning institution known as Yale University, in New Haven, CT.  George having gotten into hot water somehow either on his own… or via the un-wise thinking of some of his flunkies…they came up with a plan.  The plan was to go to war.  Start some wars and the economy will take off again… the money you spent will be forgotten… and forgiven…  and all will be well.

But there was a problem with the plan.  The work place had changed.

In years past America had plenty of factories and factory workers.  But by the time George stole his way into the White House all those jobs were gone.  Those factories had been closed… and years later turned into lovely condominiums.  And if  the companies still exists those jobs didn’t… robots had moved in and replaced the workers.

Do you remember when you used to read the Help Wanted Ads and saw a train of Bank Teller jobs being offered?

Look for that now.  You won’t find it.  Because many of those jobs no longer exist.  Bank tellers have been replaced by atm machines.

The same has happened to a position called ‘receptionist.’  When was the last time you heard that word?

It is voice mail… and automated voice activated systems now.  No more receptionist jobs almost anywhere today.

Most utility companies have closed down their offices which used to handle bill paying services.  They don’t do that any more.  Oh, no…   If you can’t send it in by mail… or go to a local payment center at your check cashing center  …or corner store… then for a charge call them and they will take your payment over the phone.

In 2008 Americans voted for a change.   While Republicans are quick to say that Obama did not… or has not delivered.

Yet  on the other hand Republicans will never say-

“And we  have done everything within our power  to ensure it.”

On every issue… and non-issue Republicans have done their best to block Obama from even trying to do anything to fix the mess.  A massive and highly expensive and burdensome mess… that George W. Bush… a Republican …whom I believe will never ever be forgotten… for the mess that he left us all in.  And when President Obama has managed to get something pass them… they … the Republicans attack it like a bunch of mad dogs.

Whoever said that Barack Obama was a magician?

Whoever said Obama was Merlin?

Or even had some kind of ‘black magic?’

In case you did think that let me be the first to just say-

“Are you for real?”

Magic is an illusion.  It is based upon trickery… cunning and deceit.  Thank goodness these are not traits that are found within our President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama has never lied to us about ‘weapons of  mass destruction.’

He has never tried to pull the wool over our eyes… by blinding us with a bunch of codes that meant absolutely nothing… code RED…  code YELLOW…  (if you have no understanding of  this then you would have had to have lived in New York City following 9/11).

Obama has never tried to used 1 fear tactic to keep us up under our beds… or hid in our closets.

President Barack Obama is not the cause for why America is where America is today.   He had nothing at all do do with it.  He did not bring us here.  In fact, as quiet as it is kept… he is trying to fix this mess.   It is more than possible that he might aid in bringing us a long ways out of  this runt… if we all stop listening to lies.  Stop being deceived…  and turning every which way the winds blows.

It is Republican deceit and lies that have turned this country upside down… and not Barack Obama.

  • Corporate greed and mis-handling of business was here long before Barack Obama walked into the White House
  • Job losses many years before Obama
  • National Debt was already there… but really began running away after George W. Bush stepped into the Presidential picture
  • Problems on Wall Street with the stock market are not new… trace them back into the 1930’s

Several States now have had to fight against Republican Governors who lead people into believing that they were either the man or woman for the job… and would wholly work for them… the voters.  Telling them that they were a person with their interests in their mind and in heart… only for those voters to lament a vote that they ever casted in that person’s favor.  It ended up costing voters benefits… or their job… or a less powerful union etc.  Because that Republican political had an agenda.  And that agenda had nothing to do with the people’s minds… or hearts that they  con into believing in them with their claims of  ‘I want to serve you.’

The Republicans are so slimy they have created a 2nd Republican Party… the co-called Tea Party a group of real lunatics… formed by that lunatic queen Palin and few other crazies.  All of whom who have fallen out with one another… that is how firmly rooted they were.  Like a bunch of crabs in a barrel… all clamouring to be the top dog… and if they can’t then they pick up their marbles and go home.

They have all… whether they call themselves ‘Tea Party’ or not… they …the Republicans have all developed a seek and destroy attitude.  And that attitude did not just get started when President Barack Obama stepped into the White House… it is an attitude that they have long adapted to.

You need only to look at the 2000 Presidential Election between George W. Bush and John Kerry to see how demented the Republicans are.  They saw nothing wrong …NOTHING…in undermining the entire American practice of our right to vote… and to have ALL our votes counted.  And it was not something that they were not bold enough to do so all could see… and dared any of us to do anything about it.

So, don’t blame Obama.  This mess is not his.  But he decide to champion the cause… to try to set America back on the right course.  To raise Her from low depths She sank to under what no one can call ‘leadership’… but just say… George Bush brought Her to.

Don’t look for magic.  Look at it as it really is.  The world has changed.  And the work place and work force has changed with it.

Many jobs that people used to do… no longer exist.

Re-training people has it place… I guess.  But when they are re-trained where will they go?

Everyone is learning computers… but there are only but so many computer jobs.

The medical field is good.  In a field that had nothing but female mostly… had seen a great emergence of male.   Use to be you never saw a male nurse… but today hospitals are loaded with them.  Men are entering the nursing field in very large numbers.  And to think there was a time that such a thing… would have been seen as being sissy.

One thing is for sure… no matter what happens in this world… we all at some point or other need something medical.  As long as we are in these bodies the need for the medical profession cannot …or will ever be replaced.  But that is not to say that it too… will not evolve.  It has.

However, technology is forever changing things.  But even so there will still only be a need for but so many people to work in the medical field too… at any given time.

Radio stations have changed… television stations have changed.   Most newspaper companies have gone out of business… because few people read newspapers any more.  They get their news now over the internet… on their ipads… and cells.   And if you haven’t noticed… most news companies have cut back drastically on their staff.

For 1 of my journalism classes, my professor… a great woman… had been booted out of her position as a staff writer for a local newspaper… a job she had had for many years.  That company’s lost was of course … my great gain.  Because she came with a wealth of knowledge, and understanding about the history and future of journalism… and media at large.

But if you have noticed over the internet all the news sources seem to buy their stories from 1 source.  You can read the exact same story… word for word from 1 internet source to another.  And if you are like me… you always have a need to want to know more… but they don’t have it to give.

And somewhere along the way… they grab ahold of this attitude:   THAT LESS IS MORE.

Yeah, right…  When I want to know less…or read less… I will just stop.  I don’t need anyone deciding for me… when I have had enough.

Which I guess is the main reason why so many people like my blog… www.bsmith101.wordpress.com.  For as you can tell… I do not believe in the ‘less is more’ concept.  Nor do I just regenerate news items.  What a waste that is.  If  I follow a story… I want to read something I haven’t already read… or at the very least …give me some more details …or info on whatever it is I’ve come to your website searching for.

But going back to my thought… the workplace has changed.  It is not what it was 20 years ago… or even 10 years ago.

Remember all those customer service jobs that used to be in the newspapers?

Roughly about 20 years ago customer service became such a big thing.  There were tons of  ad campaigns about the type of  service you could expect if you did business with such and such.  Companies trained their employees to  greet you in a special way, and to service you as quickly and efficiently as they could.

Today all of that is gone to the wind.  You can stand in a line for up to 10 or 20 minutes listening to someone… who is working the only open window… or check-out line… carry on a conversation with another employee or either with the person who had been right ahead of before they got to the cashier.

Have you experienced that?

You are at the top of the line… but suddenly the ‘ONLY’ open window has a highly talkative employee… or someone looking around as though they are trying to wonder why ‘their’ window or ‘their’ counter is the only 1 open?

So, what do they do?

They slow down… as if mentally they have taken a mental stand in their mind… to not kill themselves trying to serve all the people who waiting in line.

No body cares about customer service any more.  And so… gone are these jobs.

Switchboard operators are a thing of the past too.  A little company in your area that hired local people… mostly women to man the phone lines.  But then it was for mostly doctor’s offices.  Today those people can be anywhere in the world taking tons of calls for everything from subscriptions to publications, orders for books or other products, complaints, messages, prayer requests …you name it.  But small companies in your town probably do not offer this service any more because it has been farmed out around the world.

Most of the manufacturing companies long departed …going into Mexico and other countries where the labor was cheaper.

This country really does not have a great number of blue collar workers any more.  Most of  the automobile workers were replaced by robots… or companies that sent large divisions of their manufacturing into other countries as well.

So where are the jobs?

Where are the openings that are available …or will become available for all the displaced workers who are currently out of  work… and have been so now for years?

There are none.   And nobody can do anything to change that… because of computers coming into the marketplace.  They… computers brought about an unpresidented change to what was our workplace.

The only thing you can do is look for the next big wave in the future.  That will

More and more colleges are offering on-line courses.  Have you noticed that?

Some schools are over the internet only.

I am dropping hints here.   Personally, I hate on-line courses… and feel that they are a huge waste of  time.   If you are going to sit in isolation… with no classroom interaction… then you might as well just read the book and be done with it.

But if you were considering a teaching career.  Great… but you should also consider this fact.  That soon many of  those teaching jobs too will soon be gone.  Due to on-line classes and on-line classrooms… and schools… cities… colleges and universities looking to cut their budgets.   It is coming… and soon the classroom as we know it today will  be gone forever too… just like yesterdays work force.

And with it will be gone… tenure.  Tenures will bite the dust just like pension plans… and all other full-time employment;  and whatever else they can do away with for the sank of the bottom line.

Soon even common currency as we know it will be gone too.  They are already talking about stop minting the $1 bill.  Soon it will just be all plastic… be it a debit card …or credit card…. or something else.  But the coins will be gone …and the paper bills.

Bet all those folks working at the Mints all felt that their jobs were well secured.  We have all better start to think again.

Who ever thought there would be no more pension plans?

Or health care benefits on your job?

I didn’t.

You really have to be a visionary.  You have to look deep into the future.  You must go beyond your nose… if you truly want to have a chance in the future.  You have to look deep beyond what you see.  The future is what you cannot visually see… but something coming.

Many people now do not even go into the office any more.  They can do all their work from home.  They write their news articles at home… edit news copy at home… edit books at home… and mother-frames and inter-locking networks are big things in corporations now.2ab-the-bishop-wifecover

I do see computers… and our dependence upon them growing.

In New York City they have all most totally done away with ticket booth operators down in the subway system.  They too have been View Bernadine Smith's profile on FiledByreplaced by machines… which can dispense to you fare tickets.  And while in Boston not so long ago… I noticed that they were doing the same in their subway system.

The world is becoming a place of less working people… and more automated machines.  And unless you are prepared to service these machines… or program these machines… your work history will too soon come to an abrupt end.  And you will find yourself with a need to be re-trained… to nothing.

So, when George W. Bush thought that he could jump start the economy by creating a war… with the hope that the war would create jobs.  He and his people forgot something.  All those factories were gone… and so weren’t those jobs.  And even if  the jobs could be revived… robotics still had replaced the manpower that used to produce the goods.

So, the wars didn’t work.  But only sunk us deeper and deeper into debt as the years have dragged on.  But of course …the Republicans will never tell you any of  this.  Any more than Verizon will tell you that they were happy for any old excuse to rid themselves of paying their employee’s health benefits.

Irene hit the East Coast hard… and it seems that my cousin who informed me of the storm was right.  Sadly there were a few deaths.  But thank God He saw most of us through it safely.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44304431/ns/weather/t/irene-weakens-packs-punch-it-slams-coney-island/?GT1=43001

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44304431/ns/weather/t/irene-weakens-packs-punch-it-slams-coney-island/?GT1=43001

My cousins and friends in various places… including my brother had to deal of electrical outages.  But that is the least.  Many suffered damages due to flooding and/or falling trees.

The good news is Irene wasn’t as bad as what had been expected.  To God be the glory.

The New York subway is up and running once again.  Though on our way back from Atlanta… I did notice where many of the over-passes in the New York area were being worked on.  And that was following the earthquake that hit us… before Irene came bouncing and blowing in.

Well, God bless…and enjoy the rest of  your week.  Amazingly we are at the end of August already.  Schools and colleges are already in.  I pray that all are safe and do well.

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends“pass it on…”  www.bsmith101.wordpress.com  ©2011



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Add a comment August 28, 2011

Making the most of my day… Mothership and Parenting… Michelle O’ working soup kitchen line…

amr00813I must say…if I have to say so myself…that I am so proud of me today.  Oh…I mean this morning.  I do not know what time I got up but by the time I laid back down…it was only 7:57 AM. 

I got up and had my Cream of  Wheat.   And yes…I am still enjoying it.  I had me a cup of tea…and read my Bible and then laid back down.  A few minutes later…perhaps an hour later…I got up again.  I pulled out my bucket…got the scrub brush…and pulled out the cleaners and scrubbed down the kitchen again…then I hit the doors and wall in the small hall leading towards the bathroom.  I sprayed down and lightly scrubed down the bathroom…and left it bld06569413soaking. 

Wow…yeah….  I think I should be proud of myself…and it is not even noon yet.

There is something about getting up early.  You will get so much more done for some reason or another…if you get up and get started early.  There is just something about getting up early…there really is.  I do not know what…but that makes you work a little bit quicker and harder…and you just acheve more.  And now I feel so good.  And so…so proud of myself for taking care of my parent’s house in their absence.  For me having gotten up early today..and gotten started the very first thing this morning.

I have been busy working on building my website for the past couple of weeks…and the pages are coming along well.  I am really impressed with the pages that I have created thus far.  A few years ago I decided to begin taking some graphic arts classes. 

When I was in New York and started my own homebased business, an advertising agency, Queen Bee Multi-Media Advertising Agency.  I used to hire students from the campus right around the corner from my apartment…Pratt Institute, to do artwork for me.  Pratt has a very high reputation as a good art school…which I never knew at the time…but the students on that campus turned out some fantastic work for me.  I never went to see a client without feeling proud of our presentations which they had prepared under, of course, my direction.

I represented schools, furniture stores, boutiques, concert promoters etc…  There is little about advertising that I do not know about…having also a history in radio sales, media buying, telemarketing, product placement…etc…etc…etc…  But I had always had an artistic bug.

When I was a child, I had begged and begged my mother to buy me a home study art school course.  After begging for some time my mother finally broke pr2665112down and ordered it for me.  That home study art school cost $300…and my mother ordered it for me.  As much as I begged for it…I only did one lesson of that course.  

Eventually, I gave away one of the books…of which there had been 3.  They were very big and thick…in a large binder…bound in expensive red binding filled with my untouched drawing lessons…and I gave away one of the 3 large lesson books and never touched those books again.  Something that my mother had sacrificed to buy for me…and that I had begged and begged for it.   And I did nothing with it…short of giving it away…and back then $300 was an awful lot of money…that really had to have been a sacrifice.   But she did it for me.

I guess she always recognized that I had talent…that I was gifted.  Though she would have done no less for any of my other sisters or brothers…and did.  As we all had to take music lessons…and all had various interests.  She had bought us all our own instrutments which she had purchased for us one Christmas

I will never forget that Christmas…which was our musical Christmas.  My mother must have bought everything the music store had.  Whoever owned that music store must have loved her.  That Christmas morning when we awoke…we found a large electric keyboard, piano, drum set, guiatar & amp and accordian all up under our Christmas tree. 

Before the day was out I had mastered that keyboard and could play several songs on it.  The next day that keyboard was gone.  My mother replaced it was a real full size organ.  I think back on that now and believe that she did it…because it had posed no real challenge in order to learn.   Today both the piano and the organ are still here in the house with me…and nobody plays a note on them.  That is not to say that they cannot play them…they just do not bother to do so.

My father, who had a saxaphone, a ukalie and a trumpet…which you could hear him practicing on sometimes late at night…he made me play the accordian.  When he would come home from work…I would have to pull it out  after he ate dinner that is when he forced me to practice…night after night.  None of my sisters or brothers had to practice anything before him…but me.  And he always would fall asleep on me. 

The accordian which was under the Christmas tree was my 2nd accordian.  It was the bigger version of what they had already gotten for me before a year or so ago.  And I went out every week to accordian lessons for years. 

I hated the accordian.  I loathe pokas.  I wanted to play the piano…and in the beginning I had both piano and accordian lessons.  But daddy wanted me to play the accordian…and we never argued against my mother or my father’s wishes.  So, then my piano lessons were stopped.  

As I stated in an earlier blog…our piano teacher was also my mother’s voice instructor…a little white woman who used to pay a couple of visits per week to our home…Mrs. Marlow.   She was a very nice lady…and she knew her stuff.   We were fortunate to have her.   And that she didn’t mind coming to the home of black folks…though we lived well.  At that time my parents had bought their 2nd house.  This house had 15 rooms not including its full basement…and the house sat upon a hill overlooking the waterfront…with a long driveway leading in to our house.

I liked the house…but not as much as our other house.   But it was grand…and it was spacious…but it was far more for us to clean…and especially for me…being the oldest. 

Oh, man…the living room had windows all the way around so you could look across at the water no matter whether you stood or sat.  And it had a very big fireplace…where we used to roast marshmellows…as though we were at camp.   It was fun.  And that house also had a raspberry tree growing in front of it, with a big lawn and all these beautiful trees with branchs swirling within it that yielded beautiful blossoms in the spring and summer.  

I liked it…but it was a lot of work that house…and none of my sisters or brothers had to do more of it than me.  I never held that against my parents though.  But I did against my sisters and brothers though.  They could never just drink from ‘one’ cup…or ‘one’ glass…I was washing dishes all day and night long.  I truly know how Cinderella felt.

My parents were hard working people…who always did things for as1063jemkl_1411other people…and were always doing  for us.    Their lives centered around us.  Which is why I regret never appreciating them as much as I should have. 

I appreciated them…in that I never once caused them any problems…(well…except for the time I thought I could drive…I will tell you about that in some other blog, I am sure).  I can’t say I may not have been a heartache…because I am sure that my being gay was not something hard for them to deal with…though they never once spoke about it.  I am sure they would be surprised that I am no longer in gay life.   But perhaps they had already known that at some point God was going to change my mind and my heart. 

But I never gave them as much as I should have.  Though they gave us the world…and everything else.  There was nothing new that came out that they didn’t buy…from dishwashers on.   As we became of age they bought us all cars.  And we were always going on trips. 

We went to the World Fair

Do you remember that?  

It was here in the states…in New York City that year.  Now, only the big globe of the world remains at that site as a reminder of that very huge event.  The location today is where they play the US Open.  

But we were going to this place and that place…by train mostly when we were smaller…as we grew and learned to drive…mostly by car…and on by plane.  They took us everywhere…and everything was a family thing. 

I guess they lived the life that people who work…live for.  To be able to buy whatever they wanted…when they wanted it…and to do as they wanted.  And then…to be able to educate and provide for their children…which they certainly did.   And they did it well…as well as, for their god children, neighborhood kids, church people…and those in need. 

My parents had 8 of us…and spared nothing…including correcting us when it was called for. 

Today, I think my mother would be proud to know that her $300 investment in me…really didn’t quite go wasted.   As I later taught art in high school…which is so funny that should have happened…but it did.  But I don’t think my mother saw any humor in my wasting her $300 the way I did…because I didn’t even try to pretend to do any of those lessons from that home art school once I got pass the 1st lesson. 

One day…I think I was asking her for something else and she flared up at me suddenly saying-

“You are too talented and that is why you will never do nothing.”

Which was the tail end of whatever else she had said…I cannot remember the first part of it.  But she was mad when she said it.  And I was quite young…but somehow that always stuck with me.  I don’t know if I quite understood what she meant…but I had somewhat of a clue.  That statement has made me look at everything I have ever done…or thought to do…and it governs the things I am now doing. 

Everything I have ever done is in media.  From that day…when my mother told me …‘that is why you will never do nothing’…I have sought to not  half learn anything…or half do anything…but to become proficient in everything I lay my hands to…no matter how long it takes me…or how many hours in a day or night.  But if I set out to do it…then to stick with it. 

I had to learn how spend the time learning to perfect things.  To not get up from anything that I am doing…becoming readily interested in other things…other gifts…practicing something else. 

I do not eat or drink when I am working on something.   Nor do I take lunch breaks…or go to the bathroom…nothing.  I am throughly engulfed. 

Someone, an ex-,  told me that I have tunnel vision.  Meaning whatever it is, at that point or moment of my life, that I decide that I am going to do…I become so emerged and engrossed in it.  So much so…that I only see it…think about it…and in some cases dream about it.   I eat…sleep…and drink thinking about only what I am doing…when I am working on something.  When I had my advertising business…which I still do…there have been many nights when a client’s project concept came to me in my sleep.

A wise elderly woman…my friend who passed this pass August…whom I have wrote about in a couple of these blogs…she told me that my habit of not eating or going to bathroom from morning into the very late hours of the evening was not a good thing.   She told me that I would ruin my stomach…if I continued that practice.  So, I have since been working on adjusting myself…my schedule and my body.  I would hate to cause myself any medical conditions that I could have avoided.  I had always found her wise in her counsel to me.

Yes, I was too talented…like my mother said.  I could do a lot of things…and still can.  And there is a trap to being able to do so.  Most people are good at just one thing.  So, they focus on that one thing.   But to be multi-talented or gifted…you have to struggle with balancing your gifts. 

I had to learn to direct all those gifts…or I would have become a ‘jack of all trades…and a master of none.’   

My mother saw that…and that is what caused her to flare up at me telling me what she did that day…and how she told it to me.   From that moment I began to focus upon everything I do…like these blogs which to date I have written nearly if not more…than a 130 of them since starting in mid to late June of last year.   So, if you have just started reading them…you have alot of catching up to do.  And you will have an exam in the morning…

I have always had to direct everything…just so I wouldn’t be all over the place.  Though I do not think I have quite been so successful at doing that…I have endeavored nonetheless.  But the most I can say…is that it has all been media related.  But thank God for my mother saying that to me…and at a time when I needed to hear it…or I would have never been aware of something that was so crucial for me to grasp…and to have graspped it early.

It did not prohibit me from being more or less talented.  But made me aware that I needed to channel those talents and not be flighty with them…but to engage them…focus them…and develop them to their highest levels.  So, through my years that is what I have been doing.  And from time to time…I find myself taking classes here or there…just like my mother.  

That is so funny…when I think of.  That I continue to take classes just like my mother…which is also something that I wrote about….in a blog or 2 prior to this one. 

So, a few years ago, I decided to take some graphic art classes.  The marketplace has changed so vastly with the influx of computers and software…everything is done totally differently today no matter what field you are in.  So, I began taking these classes…and when I take classes I invest many after hours outside of the class to master the thing. 

I do nothing without mastering it…and I invest the time to do exactly that…and the effort.  Which when I decided to learn video production… it required me lugging around tons of heavy and very bulky equipment.   It was not uncoummon to find me shouldering a 3/4″ video recorder deck, tripod, large light kit and large video camera trying to board a bus.  And people wonder why I have muscles now…(smile).   And I learned all that equipment…every piece of it…every cable connector…every cable…every kind of editing system, software etc…everything.

It was a joke then…people would see me coming and say-

“Here comes Spike Lee’s sister.”

They don’t laugh any more though.  No, not today…instead they ask about my film projects and what I’m getting ready to do next.  I am no longer a joke…but it did not come without struggle.  Hours upon hours of vested  time, training, exploring…learning what I was doing wrong and trying to trouble shoot on my own…and sitting there until I got it done.  Never looking for pay…but always looking to assist others so that I could learn more and sharpen my own skills.  But I did what it took…and I still do. 

Sometimes even in writing these blogs…I work on them straight for more than 6 or 10 hours…if not more…and it is usually more dependng upon what I am writing about…including searching for pictures…seeking out errors etc.  

A professional is what I am…but a perfectionist is what I seek to be.  

So, to date the classes I have taken in graphic arts are these…Photoshop, Quark and  Illustrator…and additional software I have learned is FinalCut, Adobe Primere, Director, Flash,  Dreamweaver, Avid,  Fireworks…not to mention being able to write and read html…and having learned also all the latest stuff in radio studios.  Though I played a bit  with Freehand and at some point will try my hand at InDesign.  I love playing with this stuff…exploring the capabilities.

So, I am proud of myself  for having gotten up early this morning and gotten off to an early start with my cleaning.  I am proud that the website is coming along too.  And here is a preview , at the bottom of this blog, of something which I did this past week using the skills I have learned in graphic arts.  Those Pratt students can eat their hearts out now.   But those kids taught me a lot though…when they used to come for our conferences to discuss what my clients wanted.

Thank God for my mother and father…which is why I cannot understand that girl in Florida who killed her daughter and posted drawings of skeltons and other things symbolizing her acts.  Clearly, she was troubled.  But a guilty conscience will trouble you everytime.

There is something about mothers…real mothers…that when their child is missing nothing in this world can contain them.  They act in a certain way…they become obssessed…and there is no consoling itf02506711them.  They are overtaken by grief and concern…and they are not interested in anybody or anything other than finding their child.

Once my son got separated from me.  You will not know the sheer horror that ran all through me during that very brief span of time…but it seemed to me to be enternity.  I was terribly horrorified.  I was overcome and on verge of perhaps loosing my mind.  I had lost my child in a large crowd of people at an outdoor affair which was quite crowded.  One second he was right there with me and the next he was gone. 

I felt someone had stolen him.  And that was all I could think.  I did not know which way to turn.  People were all about me.  I thought to scream out…but suddenly I looked up and across the field.  It was as though a  path had opened up…and there was my son.  One of  our neighbors had found him somewhere in the midst of all those people…and was bringing him back to me.  

I dropped to my knees and embraced my son so hard…I know I must have been crying.   I was so relieved…so happy…so overjoyed that someone had found him…and that it was one of our neighbors.  I never experienced another moment like that…as I learned like every good mother who loves her child or children…how to keep my eyes or hands on my child at all times. 

So, I certainly know the state that a real mother can fall into just believing her child is gone.  She begins grieving immediately…because she will only think of the worst scenario.

That is what I thought about the Susan Smith case.  The mother down in South Carolina…or somewhere south…that said that some black man had leaped into her car while she was stopped at a stop light.  She said that he had stolen her car and drove off with her 2 small children in the back seat.  I do not think that many people had to think twice about that story…but it was her actions following the supposed incident which gave her away.  And likewise…were the actions of this young woman in Florida.  She was out partying and having a good time.  

http://news.aol.com/article/caylee-anthony-documents/373178

When I thought of this young woman’s actions following the supposed disappearance of her 2 year old daughter…it made me think of that teenager who was at the prom and gave birth to her baby in a bathroom stall.  And how she had walked off and left the bady there in that stall.  She had returned to prom dance floor…and continued to dance and enjoy herself as if nothing had happened.  For which she only got 2 years…or something…might have been counselling.

I understand denial.  I understand that mothership may be difficult for many.  But what I do not understand is when someone…a mother…or who be it…commits such acts as these young women against innocence.  I cannot understand it.   I just can’t…I just can’t…   There are so many other options.

Parenting is a process…but some people they are just not equipped or mature enough to handle the responsibilities that it brings.  This is the reason…that I know that young kids should never be bearing children.  Everybody deserves to enjoy their youth…and have a time to grow up before taking on the task of motherhood and fatherhood way beyond the grade school level…and many times even beyond college.  I was 48 years old before I realized that I had become a woman…and that I needed to grow up and start acting like one.  Truthfully.

Not  to say…that I did not mother my child.  Oh, no…  I was at doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment…sitting in the back of  of my son’s classes when I had to…at every open house almost…and when I wasn’t my mother was.  You have to stay on top of your children (just a frame of speech…not literally)…and certainly not in a bad way.  But you have be conscious of them…what they are doing…who they are with…caring of them…and for them.   And you should never feel that they are an inconvenience to you…and k010882811certainly never give them to feel that.  

Therein lays the problem for the 3 young women whom I mentioned above.  They felt that they could just rid themselves of their unwanted burdens by doing away with them.  How sad for their children.  How very very very sad……..  Sad.

I was checking through my blogs today…I watch to see what people are reading and who has linked up with me etc…  I came upon this link in which the blogger found fault with a person who was standing in a soup kitchen line…and that person having a cell phone.  The blogger felt outraged because the person was supposed to be down and out…yet he had a cell phone.

I found that to be as selfish…as a time I was waiting in the grocery checkout line.  I never pay attention to what other people are b1462611buying…but this person near me…I believe she was just ahead of me but after the person who was checking out.  I overheard her saying-

“Did you see that?  She’s buying shrimps with foodstamps.  And do you see her pocketbook?  Honestly, buying shrimps on our money.”

Overhearing that, my curiosity was pricked…so I leaned a bit and saw that the woman had a Louis Vuitton handbag…a very nice and big one…and very nice expensive coat.  These are things I also never pay attention to.  What do I care about what people have on…as long as they have on clothes…or what type of pocketbook or handbag they have?  

It doesn’t make a difference to me.  

But I thought it a bit aburd of that the woman making the comment…that she was upset about the shrimps being purchased with the government supplied foodstamps.

Now, how stupid is that?

Even if she had gotten upset over the woman’s handbag…that would have been stupid too.

But she got upset…as if  poor people can’t…or should not be allowed to eat shrimp.  And that is not to say that that woman was poor…as none of us standing in that line knew her circumstances.  But to question what people can or cannot eat depending upon what is or is not our preceived notion of them and as to their place or circumstances in life is absolutely foolish. 

Why should that woman in that line…or anyone else in that line…or the whole store, for that matter…care whether or not that woman paid for those shrimps with her foodstamps?

Or whether or not she should eat shrimps or not?

She can eat whatever she wants.  And she had legal tender by which to purchase it.

Perhaps, it is just me.   Maybe, I’m the one obssessing.   Could be…

But I think that some people concern themselves with so many things that really…that they have no right to be thinking about.  As it is simply not their concern…or any of their business…nor their place to assess who can eat or cannot eat whatever. 

Just how dumb is that? 

But that is how I felt about that blog about a supposed poor person standing in a soup kitchen line taking a picture with his cell phone.   And here is that picture…3333560608_160d52c0ab_o11

Yeah, he was standing in a line that Michelle Obama, First Lady Obama, was assisting in at a shelter kitchen feeding needy people in Washington, DC…which I believe she does every Friday.  I imagine a bunch of people were taking her picture including the camera crew that got these shots.  If I was there…I would have taken her picture.  And then asked her-

“Can we get one together?”6a00d83451b46269e201127937de1828a4-800wi12

And whoever wrote that blog probably would have done the same thing. 

How many times do you come face to face with the President of the United States…or his wife?

“Better start snapping, baby.”

But why should anyone feel that other people…black… checkered….green…poor… or otherwise are not entitled to have certain things?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/05/at_miriams_kitchen_michelle_ob.html

That really seems stupid and quite selfish to me…and certanly demeaning.

It is the way I feel when I hear someone say-

“Well, if they couldn’t afford the mortgage they shouldn’t have bought the house.”

 And I have heard this more than a few times…particularly following the last bailout of the banks on Wall Street. 

Did not your parents struggle?

Don\’t we all struggle to pay off stuff?

Most people do.  And they are not wrong to do it.

I believe that everyone wishes they had the money to buy and pay for everything that they want…when they want it…or need it.  But that is not how life is. 

The unfortunate thing about it…is that no one knows what tomorrow will bring.  And we are all looking towards tomorrow. 

When I looked upon house after house..and business after business boarded up in Detroit…I know that those people had been looking towards tomorrow.  But none of them realized that when tomorrow came it would mean that jobs would be cut back.  They did not see that the company they worked for…that their father and grand father had worked before them…that they would be downsizing or laying them off.  Or as they call it now…’re-organizing.’

Who thinks like that? 

 The wrong does not lay with them…most of the people who find themselves in foreclosure…it lays with the mortgage companies which preyed upon people with over inflated interest rates…red lining, offering higher rates to certain people…higher closing costs…a bunch of double talk and small print…with high late payment penalties…and absorbent legal costs which they love attaching to their costs.

I don’t know if any of you have ever had anything repossessed.  But once they repossess your vehicle or house or whatever…the company then comes back at you to extract the money even though they repossessed and sold off whatever it was…and they leave it sitting on your credit reports for years upon years hindering you from getting anything else.   This clearly is double dipping…and these companies…none of them should be allowed to do that. 

Once they have repossess the object…and they have sold it off that should settle the debt.  But no…they come back after you.  And not for the debt minus whatever they got for it…but the entire debt plus all other costs. 

A friend of mine who worked for Greyhound buslines once told me how she had been sold a faulty vehicle.  She said it was a real lemon from the day she pulled it off the dealer lot.  So, she returned the vehicle several times to the dealership who in turn never did anything fix the problem. 

Finally, she became tired of trying to deal with the auto dealer…and just returned back to the car to the dealership where she had bought it.  She said that she drove right up on the lot in the middle of the day and left it there.   She stopped making payments on it…telling them as she left the lot that they could keep their car. 

Years later, however, she noticed that her pay was being garnished…it was the dealership.  They had kept the car but now they were forcing her company to withdraw payments from her pay check in order to pay them for a car which she had given back to them.  And at this point…she just folded her hands and gave up.  She let the company take her money…because she felt that it was a hopeless situation.  

There is something seriously wrong with the system that allows companies to use these kind of tricks to get over on and rob people.  Companies like that dealership abuse…exploit and use the system…to their benefit…a company that knowingly sold her automobile which was not in sound operating condition…and they knew it.

I had asked her if she hadn’t gotten the notice to go to court?   And she told me that she had not.  Without going into court to defend yourself…as I have stated in another blog…the other side wins automatically.  If summoned to go to court…go.  It is scary…yes, but go.

The most that can happen is that the judge won’t decide in your favor. 

There is always a case that you may not receive the  summon…if they have it sent to another address.   These are games that people play.   It is the game that CitiMortgage played against my parent’s property.   But they had not counted on the fact that I knew…by the grace of God…to go into court and file my own complaint against them…to stop the auction…and have since gotten that mortgage nullified and made void.  And believe me when I said…by the shear grace and mercy of God.  That is how it was done.

In closing let me just say…

“Stay away from bad deals.”

If you are interested in something…or getting ready to sign a contract for the purchase of  something and that contract is not in your favor…do not sign it.  Do not go into a deal…or debt…in any type of an agreement in which you are not at least a partial winner.  Or at the very least…where the pain is not so great. 

Sometime, we have all had to swallow a little pain…until we can fix things…like our credit.  But yet beware of the sharks…stay away from them.

In the claim I had to file against CitiMortgage…they claimed that my father had taken a loan against the house for some $27,000 at a 16.20%  interest rate.  This total agreement netted CitiMortgage over $60,000 in interest money…making the total contract for over $97,000 worth of debt against my parent’s house. 

My father would have never made an agreement like that.  And the other part of it is…he wasn’t much of a borrower.  Didn’t have any charge cards or anything like that…because he earned money to pay for what he wanted.  And that is what he did.

Nobody in there right mind would have signed a deal like that.  The company was making 3 times as such as it was giving out…that is robbery no matter how bad your credit may or may not be.  And my father did not have bad credit.  

I knew that document was a forgery even before I saw the signature upon.  So, I took the case to court…claiming that they had preyed upon my father, if indeed he had signed it.  At the time that contract was supposedly sign my father had been diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s which would have rendered him as being legally incompetent to enter any type of legal or binding agreement.  Plus my father had several bank accounts and definitely had at least one which had more money than that in it.   So, I sued…of which I wrote about in a prior blog also.

I continue to pray for you and whatever situation or condition you are facing.  Be encouraged.   And stay away from bad deals.

Well, my little siesta is over…it is time for me to go back to work.   Actually, it ended hours ago.  

I have to finish scrubbing down the bathroom.  And I am getting a bit hungry now too.   But enjoy your weekend.  

I just finished looking out and it looks like snow…again.  But it is bld04609212warm on the inside.  Though it might be that I am running a slight fever.  Been fighting off a dry cough for the past few days…but I am winning.  Well…some times…I think.

Maybe, I will just finish the bathroom…take a shower and crawl back into bed…and forget about mopping the floors tonight.  It’s late now.

Well…God bless…

Oh…yes, here is a taste of what the website will look like.  Now, you book-presentation-design-3a2-21tell me whether or not if  you think some of those classes that I have taken are starting to pay off? 

Thank goodness for a mother who was not afraid to speak truth into the life of her child.

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on “  www.bsmith101.wordpress.com  ©2009

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4 comments March 8, 2009

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