Tuesday, February 24, 2009

an unpleasant incident

Really I should blogging about our chickens.

We have chickens. Two died, three survived, one may be beheaded (if she turns out to be a boy)...


What I'm really going to blog about is an unpleasant shopping experience.  I went to Sam's yesterday and picked up just a couple things (an oddity in life; Sam's is usual an expensive endeavor) and was waved into the 'customer service' area because of long lines at the checkouts. A few seconds later I was rung up and preparing to pay. I handed the assistant two bills- $100 and $1, and then started searching for some change (never a fun prospect).  Finally I found a quarter, and then the woman waiting on me asked for a dollar. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Me: I gave you a dollar.

Her: No you didn't.

Me: Yes, I did.

Her: It's just a dollar. Would I try to rip you off for a dollar? Would I risk my job for a dollar? It's just a dollar ma'am.

Me: You're right, it's not a big deal (hands her another dollar). But I did give it to you.

Her: No, you didn't.  It's just a dollar, I wouldn't take a dollar.

Me: Fine, it's just a dollar, not a big deal- but I gave it to you. (as I clear my stuff from the counter)

We both see the dollar on the countertop.

Her (as she picks up the phone that wasn't ringing): See, there's the dollar. You didn't give it to me.

Me:(seriously pissed by now) What's your name?

Her: (no response, pretending to talk on the phone)

Me: What's your name?!

Her: (gives name reluctantly) It's just a dollar, ma'am!

Me: You're right, it's just a dollar, but you didn't have to argue with me about it! (walk off)

So I made the obligatory call today and explained the situation to the manager, who of course immediately knew the employee and said this was a repeated issue. Which made me feel even worse, because she'll probably lose her job. Over a dollar.

And it was just a dollar. But that wasn't the problem. Nor was the problem that 'the customer is always right' or that I want my boots licked. I am glad I called the manager, despite the fact that it was uncomfortable and I didn't want to get somebody fired over the dollar. Because I may not always be right, but I am always a human, and I believe it is not unreasonable to ask that workers actually treat me with a measure of respect. That they don't act like it's an enormous inconvenience to wait on me. That, perhaps, they admit that they might be wrong, or at least kindly inform me that I was wrong.  

Overall, I think I would rather deal with chickens.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Enjoying my Kids

It's hard to admit this, but one of the biggest difficulties for me & motherhood is just enjoying my kids.  I can 'do' for them everyday, all day long, but enjoying them takes an emotional commitment that I'm just not always up to.
I can have fun with them- that's slightly different. That's laughing, teasing, playing- and enjoyment is part of that. But I'm talking about just deriving joy from their BEING. Not getting instantly annoyed at Anastasia's drama, but appreciating it as part of her personality (within boundaries, of course).  Listening to the way India phrases things rather than immediately correcting her English. Relishing Malachi's obnoxious sense of humour. Watching Stuart pass into puberty. Taking the time not just to be with the kids, or teach the kids, or do for the kids, or be ANNOYED by the kids, but to take joy in them too.
This is important to me because I know someday soon my kids just won't have time for me. Oh, I know they'll still love me, I'll still be mom, and hopefully be very much a part of their lives- but let's face it, how much time do each of us devote to our moms? I want to relish these years so that when I'm lonely and missing them I don't have to look back and regret all the times that I was impatient and distracted and just plain bitchy.
Having said all that, there are times when survival is the only realistic goal, and they are lucky they don't get yelled at and locked in their room for a million years! People- myself, my children, and 6 billion others- are just flipping unbearable at times. And I can easily admit that!