Closing One Door…

So, I made a simple decision to go to Walmart for groceries after supper with my friend.  We finished up and I headed toward the store shortly before 8pm.  I enjoy going in the evening and it was not bad weather.  It had rained earlier and was warm and nice for Groundhog’s Day.

I spent my usual 50min to a bit over an hour gathering my $87 of groceries that I hoped would do for a couple of weeks.  When I got to the line, there was no one there, just the clerk.  She turned out to be pretty matter-of-fact with little or no sense of humor (no fun there).  I finished putting the bags in the cart.  Two women came up in line after me and began putting their items on the belt.  I slid my card through and … nothing.  I tried again.  The clerk looked at me, kinda bored and like I was, perhaps, a bit dumb, and said, “It’s a chip card.  You have to use the reader.”

She was right, but I had not had to use the reader before.  I stuck the card in the reader and pulled it out.

“Transaction cancelled,”  The machine blared back.

“You have to leave the card in the reader,”  Miss bored-and-staring said.

I complied.  We tried the transaction again.

“Do you want money back?”  I clicked cancel like I always did to switch to credit.

“Transaction cancelled,” the stupid computer replied.

“It cancelled on me,” I told Miss bored.

“We will try again.”  Good…

“Transaction cancelled.”  I was growing a bit impatient…so were the two ladies.

The bored clerk decided SHE had to come to my rescue and walked around the counter to me.

We sat the card back up and “Do you want money back?”

“Last time I clicked ‘Cancel’ to go to credit and it cancelled.”  I looked at Miss B

She stared at me and clicked “Cancel”.

“Transaction cancelled.”  Well, at least I felt a bit justified.

“You will have to use it as a debit.”

“I have never used it as a debit before.  I just did this last week.”  She reset it once more.  The ladies were impatiently being patient.

This time I clicked “Yes,” but did not enter any amount.  It just reset the screen and stared at me.

What could I do but press “Cancel?”

“Transaction cancelled.”  Even I was growing impatient.

“You will have to use it as a debit and enter your pin.”

“I don’t even know my pin!” I said with exasperation.  Miss B looked at me as if I was a dummy.

“You will have to call a supervisor up. I have never had to do this before.”  Miss B shrugged.

The supervisor was very early 20s.  I felt like I was back in school teaching.

I explained and she sighed.

“We just switched the machines over last week to the readers.  If the bank set the card up as debit you will have to enter your pin.”

At least, now, I understood why.  “I don’t know my pin.”

“I am sorry.”  She looked at me as if I could pull that pin number out of the air.

“Well, here are your groceries.  I can’t pay for them.  You will have to put them back.  I will be calling corporate and I won’t be back here again.”  I was tired and done with the attitudes.

“Sure.  Sorry.”  Said the youngster.  Miss B just looked at me.

I walked out and drove over to Meijer’s.  It was 8:48pm.  I grabbed a cart and went straight to the checkout.

The woman was nice, not still in diapers, and listened as I explained.  She didn’t even cringe when I said the “W” word.

“We haven’t set up our readers yet, so you will be fine.”

“What about after you do?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I will know my pin by then and I am still not going back to that other place now.”

She smiled a knowing smile.

I collected, basically, the same groceries and went through the checkout.  Other than the fact that is was about 8-10% more, there was no incidence and my experience there was fine.

However, when I went to the car, it was raining so hard, I stopped and just laughed.  I blamed Walmart for each and every drop that pounded me and my plastic bags as I loaded them into the car and drove home wet as a, well, wet dog.

At home, it was still raining so hard, I decided to wait it out.  I sat in my car from around 10pm-11:30pm and played on my tablet.  It stopped raining around 11, but I continued playing, too tired to get out of the car.

When I did, it was nice weather again.  I unloaded the car, put the groceries away, and changed out of the wet clothes.

I have always stood by Walmart because of prices and variety.  I am done with them.  I buy many things online now and Meijer’s will do for the rest.

Namaste,

Scott

Short story, Thanks, Susannah…

This post comes after reading Susannah’s post entitled, “Rug Burn“.

I have, basically, mailed two packages out-of-country.  The first was a large box of cheap books (yes, they cost me about 4x their cost to ship) shipped to friends in Argentina.

The second, ah, that is a much more interesting story.

I have a wonderful friend of many years whom I met on a spiritual site.  We sparked conversations and the emails began and have slowed, but not stopped, to this day.  She works at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.  I try to donate there once a year and get to catch up if we haven’t spoken in awhile.  She has invited me to visit, which I may do someday. We shall see.  Anyway, there was an author, do I say Dean Koontz?  I am not certain, but he sounds right.  She enjoyed this author and I had several duplicate copies of his books.  So, I packed up in a box and mailed it in November hoping for a Christmas present to her.  I told her it was coming.  It didn’t.  And, it didn’t….and..well, you get the idea.  I gave up and decided that something had been done wrong.

In June (6 months later) she wrote to say she received my books.  I was astounded and told her so.  Her reply was casual, but amazing to me.  She said (not a quote);

Scott, you must understand how things work here.  Your package probably arrived within a few days at the docks in Dominican Republic.  The “boys” on the docks would have opened your box, taken the books, and passed them around to be read by all.  Then, when done (around late May), they would rewrap and send it back on its way.

This upset me to no end, but now, looking back, I think how wonderful it was that Linda received my package and was happy and there is no telling how many SF/Thrill/Horror fans I made happy by sending them on their long journey.

Isn’t it funny how things really work out?

Namaste,

Scott

The 24 Hours of Dante!

Okay, it’s only funny if I tell it, right?

Here’s to the last, nearly, 24 hours.  I think I might have made Dante turn over in his grave while writing the description of an 8th circle of hell.

Anyway, went to visit Dad at the nursing home.  It is cold here; I mean cold.  Warmer then, but still cold.  As I sat with him and played some chess, I sneezed a few times.

When I got home around 11:45pm, I was still sneezing and my nose was running a bit.  I went in planning to wash the dishes and clean up from the baked spaghetti meal I made for a dinner that previous Saturday.  At that dinner, when all was done, I was almost the last one to leave.  I went down their steps and thought I was on the last one when it was second to last.  As I fell, things slowed down, I managed to push forward making it more of a slide and, though it shook my spine top to bottom and hurt shoulder and hip, I didn’t bruise and didn’t end up at the chiro.  I just was very sore.

Still sore last night, I still wanted to do the dishes.  I went to put the leftover spaghetti into the trash (I am vegan, remember?), saw that it was full, and looked at the garbage disposal.  “It will be alright,” my stroke-induced brain told me as I shoveled it into the grinder.  About 1 minute later, the drain began backing up and I worked hard at fixing that, with no good result.

So, at 12:10am, I took off into the night to Walmart.  There I managed to find about $28 in stuff for the kitchen I would “need” including some Drain Cleaner (80 oz) and a plastic strip to shove down the drain and loosen it.

Arriving home, I tried the strip first.  Nothing.  Then I poured in 1/2 the bottle (instructions for heavy clog) slowly through the sink full of greasy muck and set the timer for 30 minutes while I checked on the computer.  The timer went off and I went back in to check the sink – nothing, except now a heavy acid smell to the air.

I followed the directions and poured in the rest of the bottle and waited another 30 minutes – still nothing.

Now, angry and frustrated, I realized that I would not only have to find a plumber on Wednesday or Thursday to fix the drain so I could get to my conference on Friday, but I would not be able to take Mom to dialysis to see Dad.  We also would eat breakfast and visit at Cracker Barrel and she would shop a bit somewhere.

I headed to bed, realizing that the heavy smell of acid cleaner was in the air and I could not do away with it until, at least, tomorrow.  I got in bed and realized the sneezing had now developed into a nasty sinus stoppage with some chills added.  At this point, having stretched myself too thin over the past week, I said a prayer to God about the illness, the plumber, and the conference (it was a learning conference for fun out-of-state, kinda vacation), then went to sleep a very short fitful sleep.

Mom woke me at 8:45am to tell me it had snowed and we wouldn’t be going to Dad’s dialysis.  Secretly relieved, I told her about the night.  She gave me her plumber’s number which I called and left a message on the phone.  She told me not to go see Dad at all and I agreed (can’t have him getting sick, too).  I decided to call a good friend who does odd jobs and have him fix the drain.  I decided whoever I actually talked to first got the job.  He got on the phone and said he could be over in a short while.  When I hung up and tried to rest, the other plumber called.  I took care of that situation, letting him know I would keep his number for another time.

I decided to just get up and eat.  Sugar was 85, the lowest it has been in a bit.  I had to maneuver everything around the kitchen drains and the smell to fix breakfast and take my meds.  After a bit, I noticed my nose and head were much better and I felt it might just be an allergy attack from something recent.

Friend came around 11 and took about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  I paid him and then decided to wash the dishes…it is 5:29pm now and they have not been washed yet and my sneezing is back in spades!

So, at present, if the sneezing doesn’t get worse, I will go to the conference (weather willing).  I plan on visiting Dad tomorrow night, and I will do the dishes after posting this.

So, there, Dante…get writing!

Namaste,

Scott

The Start of a New Trend!

Ok, I think I am on the forefront of this one.

Let’s try it out:

I was on a dating site tonight and was doing one of those deals where you simply see a pic, a little info, and then choose yes or no as to whether you like them or not.  It’s fun and doesn’t hurt anything and…who knows…

Anyway, there was this woman from Cincinnati, OH (I think), who (not a quote) said something like “You know how a guy comes up to a girl in a bar and offers to buy her a drink?  Well, why can’t that happen in a bookstore?”

She goes on to talk about being in Barnes and Noble looking at a novel and how much more of a chance a guy would have if he simply bought her the book instead of a drink.  She was going to repost it until it became a norm.  Well, young lady, I am going to help!  And, I would like all of you to help me make it a norm.

Just reblog this post and get the idea going!  How simple is that?  And, you get to take the night off from blogging as you will be posting!!!  Win/Win!

Okay, let’s just make sure we understand:  I am going to try to imagine and really consider buying a book for a woman if she is in a store looking at a book and I am attracted to her, she appears single, and she talks a bit to me when I ask about the book.  Hmm…I never did drinks anyway, but I know those are what…. $6-$20?  And you might have to buy a couple to stand a chance (am I right?).  So, $12-$40 will buy a good book, and, personally, I would rather go out with a woman who enjoys reading and takes me up on my offer, than someone who just, well, drinks…(I know, she probably does a lot more than drink, but still…).

How about it, Ladies and Gentlemen?  Let’s get this going.

Namaste,

Scott

PS – mention my name just in case she reads it and wants to thank me or share a book…

Not “I’m Sorry” Again…

I’m sorry I am late!  I’m sorry I am talking so much…I AM SORRY!!!

Are you?  The comic strip below tells it like it is:

Comic about being sorry

It made me realize how much I used to say, “I am sorry.”  I felt like I was worthless, so I shouldn’t even be around others.  Slowly, I overcame a lot of that.  My stroke (more and more a blessing) tossed that out and I really no longer feel worthless or sorry about much (sometimes, that is not so good!).

I try now to live a life in which I almost always (I try for always) to tell the truth.  If you are truthful, why should you be sorry?  People don’t always want to hear the truth and I might not always know the truth, but the effort is there and I feel better because of it.

Mark Twain said, “If you tell truth you don’t have to remember anything.”  He is pretty much right there.  I don’t have to keep track of my lies because I try hard to never tell any.  There are times when that is put to the test.  However, I believe the greatest people (Jesus, Socrates…) tried to always tell the truth, so I am in good company.

But, getting back to “I’m sorry”, don’t you know people who are always apologizing.  Some almost get nothing done because they are too busy being sorry for not doing it.  It’s almost a prophecy at times.  They apologize because they “know” they won’t do it or do it well enough.

When I was teaching, I tried hard to always be honest with the students and to let them know when I appreciated whatever it was they were doing, even when they didn’t know they were doing it.  They appreciated that!  I could tell because a lot of them were just constantly told they were worthless, sometimes by adults who should have known better.  I became friends with my students – something you weren’t supposed to do as a teacher.  However, I always told them I had to be a teacher first, so they still had to behave, learn, and try.

I think most of us simply need to behave, learn, and try.  If you do those three things, truth should come easy – as should sleep.

Namaste,

Scott

 

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