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Thursday, October 30, 2014

How does she get out of work? Let me count the ways

Earleen, a lady at my work, will not leave her desk.  This would not normally be noteworthy, except she does not have a desk job.  She has a thank-you-for-your-business-how-can-I-help-you and a work-the-counter job, and she makes everyone -- fellow employees and customers -- come to her if they need anything done.

Working with her is much like communion; People stand in line to get her blessing, she bestows upon us a work load and then she ignores us and facebooks while we work our hineys off. 

No one will confront her either because -- and this is from the self described work horses mouth --  "she is picked on, she had a bad childhood, she is constantly cheated at the drive-through, she has several hangnails, she is a woman and she is allergic to most laundry detergent and pork products.  

She also yells every conversation. 

I wouldn't want to work either.


"Actually Earleen, that was a private conversation I was having on the phone with my wife and I don't really want to..."


Earleen has effectively re-written her job description as a customer service agent so that it does not involve any customer service what-so ever.  Her latest excuse to not get up from her chair is Ebola.

She can't help customers because of Ebola.


Now, it's true that ebola is a real concern. I wouldn't be caught dead minimizing the effects Ebola has had on customer service agents world wide. I would however, put a little more stock in her reasoning had she not had an equally hyperbolic and ridiculous reason for not working just the week before. 


Apparently terrorism made her fearful to leave her seat at her desk where she should not be sitting in the first place, and uncomfortable talking to customers that she doesn't talk to anyway.

It did not make her afraid of fast food, the local mall, paying bills on company time and twitter.

The week before that she was upset at Republicans and Mormons, though she didn't really specify which of the two kept her from working. It may have been a joint venture.  The week before that it was joints.

The next logical step in her  is that she will drive through the office and her computer will be rolled up on a portable stand right to her door. When people aren't moving fast enough she will flash her brights.


Monday, October 20, 2014

A letter to a daughter gone

My darling daughter,
Thanks to the Internet I now know where you are and I can breathe again. Your pudgy parents are very good detectives thanks to SVU-TV and a few years working with inter-city youth when you were just young. I never thought I would use my hunting down skills on you.
Your mother was very upset when you left without telling anyone. She assumed the worst, and frankly, I did as well. Those were a few very frightening hours for both of us because we love you, want the best for you, and certainly don't want you in any danger.
I am relieved to hear that you have only run away and not something horrible from my list of horrible things that could happen. (Running away was number 14 on my list of bad things -- becoming a Ute fan is currently about number 35 and I don't even want to think about the top ten.)
As a dad, I think it's good that you are being assertive. I think you should have taken the reins years ago. Well, not years ago, but I am glad that you are trying to take control of your life. You always had the ability to, and I'm so pleased you see that now.

Of course, the way you did it was problematic. Not telling anyone you were going, and leaving when we were asleep was scary. Now that we know where you are, lets talk about what you need and a little about what we need as your parents while we are at it.
Concerning this boy; He does sound like a nice guy, but it might be a good thing if he and I meet in a public place for the first time or two. Right now I want to feed him to the chicken, and if that means me investing time to make bite sized pieces of him... well, I have the skills, the energy and the inclination for that.
Maybe we should hold off on introductions until you mother can hide all the pocket knives.
Right now I am just so happy that we know where you are and that you are safe that I am tempted to say, "just come on home and don't worry about anything!". But if you are home for a couple of weeks and we are having to pick up after you, I cant guarantee that I won't ask you to help.
I am OK with you taking over the basement, but I don't want to have to bring in a bulldozer once a month to clean it. If you want claim the space as yours, you will need to keep it relatively clean. If I see any raccoons crawl up the stairs I might set up an appointment, as your landlord, to spray for what-evers.
We need to get your health to a manageable level: that's first priority. But there is something else that is going to be huge. You need to find something that you are passionate about, and it can't be Facebook and phone games. There needs to be something you love to do that makes a difference, even if that difference is only in your heart.

If you come home, I will do my best to respect your space and help you find something you can live for.
I don't want anything happening to you, and your mother and I have been around long enough to have good feelings about you not being here.
So here is my "dad list" of things I can do to help you. I am a dad. Dads make lists.

See how nice a purple room can be?  
1- Get you feeling better health-wise.
2- Set your bedroom up in the basement and prepare to have a wall painted purple of some other ghastly color.
3- Help you find something she loves to do.
4- Show you every day how much I love you.
5- Don't kill the boyfriend dude.
I will abide by this. If there is something else I can do, let me know and I will add it to the list.
Now, I am going to go take a well deserved pill -- but before I do, let me sum up. Be kind to your mother; I like the fact that you have a boyfriend -- though if you think anything of him at all you will keep him away from me for a while; Way to go with showing some "ummph" and being proactive; I will try to do better.
And I love you very much.   - Dad

Annie has returned, folks.  Things are better, and I have not had to paint anything purple...yet. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Now that you've met the Mormons

Here is my review of the reviews of "Meet The Mormon" and then a few comments of my own


This week a few people met the Mormons in over three hundred theaters nationwide. As an ex-theater man and a current Mormon, I logged onto the Internet Saturday afternoon to see what the nation thought of me -- even if they hadn't met me specifically.

Local reaction first; One fraction of local news publishers loved it, and the other hated it -- a wash that was not completely unexpected.  Is it OK now to stop pretending that the News does not report to the church and the Trib does not report to Beelzebub?

My next go-to news source is generally, and was on Saturday, the New York Times, which review was titled,"A Glimpse of Mormon Diversity".
A boon that my family wasn't used

"... Mostly the idea is just that these are diverse, interesting families — as if that should be so shocking." NY Times columnist Ben Kenigsberg also commented that the PG rating was for "Implicit proselytizing".
On the other coast, the LA Times headline read "'Meet the Mormons' shows diverse lives, to a point".

"The film operates under the assumption that the average Joe associates Mormonism more with "Sister Wives" than Mitt Romney," the brief review stated, "...so the film will be an eye-opener only for subscribers to such".

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a review made available by the Associated Press that describes “Meet the Mormons” as "nothing but propaganda."

"...by being, in essence, a wholesome, sugar-coated recruiting film, “Meet the Mormons”... seems destined to preach only to the choir, the most famous of which is in that famous Salt Lake City Tabernacle."

The Hollywood Reporter stated "Although clearly not its raison d'etre, there is virtually no information offered about Mormon history, its tenets or its controversies. Instead, we're offered platitudes about the strength of friends and family, the importance of physical fitness, the joys of doing good deeds and the importance of following the teachings of Jesus Christ."

I am hoping, personally, that the film also made clear that "the importance of following the teachings of Jesus Christ" is more that a platitude to any Mormon you are bound to meet.

"To its credit," the critic continued, "the film looks good, with glossy production values indicating a generous budget".

Yes the reviews were mostly negative. However, audience response has been a different issue. Fandango's fan reviews are off the charts.

My own critical thought after having seen the movie? What were people expecting, The Cougarettes? Gandhi? Tod and Julie? 

Yeah that would have been cool.

So, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints releases a movie originally slated for their largest visitors center's theater, and guess what? It is an optimistic portrait of members of the LDS church that have interesting and diverse backgrounds.

It's produced well -- like everything the church does. (Have you seen the grounds on temple square?) Many of our youngsters serve missions for years proselyting, teaching, converting, & lobbying, and the rest of us pray for them to find those who should have already been Mormons in the first place. We're Mormons, for heavens sake -- It's what we do.

The film doesn't bring up controversies or scandals -- the ones that can be found with a google search. The film does bring up positive points in the churches favor -- much as a film about the United States produced by the United States would mention the Grand Canyon and the fourth of July but not Vietnam, or a movie about the Jazz would mention John Stockton and the 1998 NBA finals but not last years season record.

Or a film made by me about me would have had its entire budget spent on special effects to make me look like I have a chin.

The Arizona Republic, an other review that was not so positive stated that, "You'd learn a lot more if you went out and, well, actually met a Mormon." ​

Which, for the producers of this film and Mormons in general, is exactly the point!