Sad state of affairs

Life is beyond challenging right now. I’ve had to go off work on medical leave because the unbelievable stress of the job was causing my already poor health to deteriorate even more. My normally low blood pressure was dangerously elevated and my heart was racing. I’d gone from being stressed out coming home from work to being stressed out going to work. It is impossible to adequately describe just how bad working for Stream is. Many of the things that happen are beyond belief. The pressure is intense and they treat you like dirt. They strip you of any self worth and dignity and treat you like a five year-old. Continue reading

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The Ring

Many years ago, when things were going a lot better for me, I bought a diamond ring which was from an estate sale. I paid $400 and had an independent appraisal of $1,200. I treasured that ring and only took it off when I was working doing messy renovations. After I had virtually everything stolen from me in Panama I was glad I was wearing my ring and it didn’t get stolen.

After I returned from Panama with virtually nothing the ring was always a reminder of better times and I hoped someday to be out of the mess I was in. Things only got worse for me after I moved to London and the low point was sleeping on an office floor and then ending up in The Mission, the worst place ever to stay in. I had no money and was truly desperate. I had sold off whatever possessions I had, like my pool cue, but I needed money desperately. I was downtown at the welfare office, who had just refused to give me a bus ticket to get back to the shelter, and I saw the sign for the jeweler who bought gold. He offered me a paltry $80 even though I had the appraisal. It was basically “take it or leave it” and I had no choice, so I gave up my ring. It was a symbol of how low I was.

As I picked myself up; got a job and a place to live and gradually got ahead of myself and could buy more than food, I thought of my ring and wondered if it was still there, two years later. I went to the jeweler and was delighted to see my ring, all shined up. He was asking $300 for the ring he paid $80 for. After some negotiation he agreed to sell me my own ring for $240. I have been putting money down on it as I could squeeze out a few bucks. Last Friday I managed to pay the remaining balance and get my ring back. I appreciate it more than I ever did and I feel it is a symbol that I am going to have a better life, despite all the things that are not good right now. I look down at the ring and pray someday to be back in my beloved Okanagan with the friends I treasured, maybe sitting on the lake in my boat again. I would have to get my health back and lose the weight I’ve gained, which seem like lofty goals, but somehow having my ring back makes me believe it’s possible.

The Big “C”

Even today, all these years later, I still remember how it hit me when my Dad called to tell me that my mother had been diagnosed with fifth stage melanoma and was being rushed into surgery. Thankfully, those were the days when WestJet had “compassionate” flights and I caught the next plane out and joined my brother and sister. Dad said Mum had less than a 5% chance of living more than a couple of years. It was the first time I had faced my mother’s mortality, mostly because she was so healthy. She walked five miles every morning and she was the picture of health. She was always a sun worshiper though and I remember her and my sister sitting in shallow water on their lawn chairs, soaking up the sun. Both of them always had deep tans in the summer. Mum also traveled to Yuma in the winter months, so she got even more tan than normal.
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What’s wrong with this country?

A recent survey found that over ninety percent of consumers are unhappy with customer service. Automated phone systems are often frustrating. Agents are untrained in the product or service. Offshore call centres are staffed with people who cannot understand or speak English. Large companies, mostly cable and telecom giants are viewed as greedy and out of touch with their customers.
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