Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tee-hee-hee

Y and I have been working on resumes, cover letters, and applications for jobs. He's looking for a salaried position, and has had several calls and interviews, all of which have gone well.

This week, he had an interview in Monterey, which, living in the range of the greater LA area, he thought was Monterey Park. He got himself all gussied up and left early. When I didn't hear his car leave the driveway, I was curious, but figured he was setting up the GPS and would be on his way soon.

Nope, he came back into the house and, very chagrined, admitted that when he put the address and zip code into his GPS, it told him he had a 7-hour drive ... to Monterey, up south of the San Francisco area! He never knew that there was both a Monterey Park in LA and a Monterey, CA up north.

Have to admit I got a good laugh from his discomfort. Is this one of those "live and learn" opportunities?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Synchrony

I have a notebook into which I write everything having to do with online buying. I write down people's names, all the numbers they give me, comments I want to remember -- and when I really need it, I don't have Synchrony anywhere in the little spiral bound notebook. Or the other little notebook that I used when I couldn't find my first little notebook.

I order lots of items through Amazon.com. The items ordered go directly to a Synchrony card -- a card I don't have. I've never received a statement from Synchrony, so I have no idea what the card number is, which means I cannot go to their site to receive help. I do get an online message from Synchrony, telling me I have a balance due, but I can't get into the actual site to make a payment.

This month, my bill came in and I want to pay it. In order to pay the bill, I have to know the account number, which I don't know because ... I've never received an actual card from Synchrony. I must have gone online at some point in time with Synchrony because when I went to the help site, it asked me for my user name and id -- which I don't know because I don't remember ever going online with this vendor. And, according to my little notebook, I've never gone online with Synchrony.

The good news is that Michael, who speaks with a decidedly Indian accent, offered to send me a copy of the card so I can contact the help line in the future. He's going to send me a copy of the card I am supposed to already have, rather than a new card with a new number, which is unusual. I would rather use one of my other cards, cards which I use more frequently, but my Amazon account is already set up with the Synchrony option selected (by whom?) for ease in my monthly billing cycle.

If I could just delete my past actions and start fresh, I'd be really happy, but when it comes to dealing with credit/debit cards, you have to play the game, and it's their game, their rules, and their score.

The Goose and the Gander

It’s one thing to be caught with your pants down, but it’s something else entirely to lose your dignity and your job from unsubstantiated allegations of what may have happened 40 years ago. I doubt that I know any woman who has never been harassed in the workplace, but don’t just limit that to women: probably as many men have also been the recipient of harassment but learn how to "take it like a man." If the charges against anyone are so egregious that it’s going to cost an alleged perpetrator their life’s work, the alleged harasser should at least have to be proven guilty in a court of law, not be persecuted by the court of public opinion.

Billy Bush was horrendously unfairly treated when he interviewed Donald Trump and caught not just his confession, but his cock-of-the-walk bragging about how poorly he’s treated women in his workplace. Billy Bush lost his job for doing his job, while Donald Trump went on to become our nation’s President. If anyone should have been excoriated by the press and the court of public opinion, it was Trump – not Bush.

Don’t get me wrong: no one should be harassed or subjected to unfair treatment in the workplace. It should be reported immediately and handled firmly by the personnel office of the business or organization wherein the encounter occurs. When I have been subjected to harassment, I’ve stood up to the person harassing me – and reported the incident to my supervisor. I have also confronted the harasser on the spot, letting him/her know that I would not tolerate their abuse. Usually, that’s enough to put the harasser on notice that the behaviors are inappropriate and illegal and will not be tolerated.

And if reporting it isn't enough, then take whatever action is necessary to stop the harassment, beginning with a consultation with a lawyer who accompanies you to your supervisor to discuss the allegations and explain what needs to be done with the perpetrator of the actions.

I am vehemently opposed to what’s been going on in the media, with allegations from as far back as the 1970s costing people their jobs without a hearing in a court of law to determine if the allegations are substantiated. If I were one of the many men being accused by “nameless” victims of my alleged abuse, I’d become very proactive in seeking redress in a court of law. If the allegations cannot be substantiated, the person who makes the allegations should be held accountable for falsely reporting the events—and lose their good name, employment, benefits, and retirement funds.

As my mother always said, what's sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Under the Tree

I watched Rachel Ray today, and she had Gayle King on -- Oprah's best friend -- talking about Oprah's favorite things for Christmas this year. Gayle and Rachel raved about the tote bag, perfect for carrying to the market, so I decided to Amazon it as a possible gift for my daughter and my daughter-in-law.

Well, needless to say, I was aghast to find that the "market bag" is $298. Yes, that's $300 rounded up. Now, I agree that we all need to take our own bags to the market to save the planet from plastic, but carrying a $300 bag to go shopping seems a bit over the top.

Sorry, Oprah. I know it's one of your favorite things, but I'm on a much more restricted budget than you, so my two girls will have to settle for something a whole lot more affordable.

UPDATE: Well, now it looks like Oprah was offering a bargain bag as Ellen's 12 Days of Christmas featured a Michael Kors' tote for $400. Yes, a tote bag, and not a blinged out product. Very conservative, so no bells and whistles to justify the price. Sorry, girls, but it's still a no-go.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Citizenship

Yesterday was the big day: Yucheng became a US citizen. The entire citizenship process took time, but was relatively easy to complete. He was worried about the test, but the questions asked were very basic and simple. So, the last step in the process was taking the Oath of Allegiance at a ceremony at the Convention Center in downtown LA. The drive was easy, with no accidents and/or slowdowns to add to the time, and we arrived by 12 noon as directed. We, and the 8,000 others who were there for the ceremony!

There were 4,217 people being admitted as citizens – and then all the guests and family members there to witness it. We did find a parking place in the underground garage system, but when we left, we had no idea how to find the car again … and had to ask one of the garage attendants for assistance. Had Y not remembered that the color in the garage was orange, we would have been out of luck. Once he provided the garage attendant with the color, he directed us down the block to another section of the garage where we found our car right where we had parked it.

The crowd was very well-behaved because the ceremony begins with the announcement that, for the purposes of administering the citizenship oath, we were now in a court of law. I was seated so far back in the auditorium that the judge, when he stood at the podium, looked about 3” tall! The “giant” screens that allowed the audience to see the ceremony looked to be about 1 foot by 2 feet from my distance, but I know they were much bigger than that the closer to the front of the auditorium one was seated. It also would have been easier to see what was going on if the chairs weren't arranged all on the floor level, so I had no chance to see anything that wasn't on the screen.

The good news is that the entire event was done by mass process, not individually, so once everyone did the swearing of allegiance and the court clerk banged the gavel to indicate the event was finished, we all got to leave. Needless to say, the 5,000 or so of us who exited became a huge crowd outside waiting for individuals to find their family members! I parked myself on a set of stairs at the back of the crowd and called Y on the phone to tell him how to find me.

Then, it was time to find food. Y said let’s go to Pasadena (where we were going to visit his cousin and the new baby) and we’ll eat at The Cheesecake Factory, which is one of Y’s favorite places to eat because they serve a Chinese Chicken Salad that he loves. Believe it or not, the gps sent us through the heart of LA on surface streets and it took us a full hour to get to the other side of LA and looking for the restaurant! Once we found it, we also found that there is no parking in some parts of Pasadena, so we went to a parking lot two blocks away that advertised Parking $3, but in small letters it clarified: $3 for each 20 minutes, with a total of $8 maximum. I guess no one ever told the owner that 3x20 minutes in an hour each would have been $9 total. Our dinner was excellent and then we were on to see the baby.

Trevor is adorable! He’s only 3 weeks old and he was getting a diaper change when we arrived. I asked if I could snuggle with him and spent a glorious 20 minutes or so cuddling. I have always loved babies and still do, so I was in heaven getting to hold him. We had taken a gift bag filled with little outfits, hats, and booties, along with some washcloths I had made, so Lian was thrilled. She returns home to China the end of the month. I don’t envy her traveling with a huge suitcase and a newborn.

Coming home via the freeway was a breeze as traffic had tapered off, and we arrived home safely to our little doggies, who were thrilled to have us back. More cuddling and then bedtime as I was pooped!
Great day and a special time for both of us.