Businesses Experiences

Apr. 15, 2019

One January, a friend of mine and I were out and about at a flea market. We met a woman who was telling us that she had been selling her merchandise since only November. I looked at her elaborate display, but said nothing.

She goes on to tell us, “I’m out here selling on the weekends because my 46-year-old husband was my sole source of support and he passed away November 4th of this past year. I had to do something in order to make money.”

My friend, Irene, says, “Oh no! That’s terrible. How did he pass?”

The woman answered, “We don’t know. He went in his sleep. What makes it all the more worse is that the grandchildren were the ones to find him.”

Irene looks at me, but I still say nothing so, she asks, “Was it a heart attack?”

The woman shrugs and says again. “We don’t know. We’re still waiting for the autopsy results.”

After a few more consoling words to the young widow from my friend, we move along. Finally, when we were far enough away, I asked Irene if she knew what the word crass meant. Irene states that she doesn’t and so I explain that it means rude, or lacks sensitivity.

“Why are you telling me this?” she asks.

As we stop walking and faced each other, I answer, “Because I’m going to be very crass right now...That woman probably killed her husband.”

“Oh my!” Irene exclaimed. “Why would you say such a thing?”

“Well, outside of the obvious, the spouse is usually the first one investigated in an unexplained death. Second...two months for the autopsy results? That’s usually because they suspect foul play. Furthermore, I think he could have been poisoned.”

“How did you come to that conclusion?” she asked.

“Because, they don’t know how he died,” I answer. “There’s no obvious signs of death, like a stab wound, gun shot, hung himself and so on. If it had been cancer or heart attack, they would have been able to see it when they opened him up. The only likely cause I, personally, can think of that wouldn’t leave outside and obvious signs is poisoning.”

Irene thinks a minute and says, “Yeah, and you know, she said she’s only been doing this flea market thing since November, but I do remember seeing her running a booth several times over the spring and summer months, too.”

I nodded my head. “Look at her display She didn’t just suddenly acquire that merchandise. That woman has been doing this for years and she’s cultivated it into a business.”

Irene stopped walking to turn and look at me again. Nodding her head in agreement, she declared, “And that’s why you are the one who writes the books.”

Yup, I can see her mugshot picture already.

Apr. 5, 2019

I don’t usually do political posts on my blog, but this took the cake for me. I was listening to the radio while running errands around town one morning. Hurricane Michael was causing a lot of uproar in Florida and the east coast, at the time. Of course, with the hurricane having to cross two states to reach the Carolina’s two days later, we knew it would have dissipated quite a bit before reaching us. Nonetheless, those in Florida were in great peril.

The deejay’s on the radio truly amazed me the morning before the hurricane landed. I could not believe the conversation and comments they were making. Here is the basic conversation between these two jerks.

deejay1: So what do you think about this Hurricane (Michael)?

deejay2: Well, they say it’s going to be a category 5 by the time it makes landfall.

deejay1: Yeah, that’s what the weatherman is saying and did you hear about the meeting Trump had with FEMA this morning? He was telling FEMA this hurricane was huge; it’s really big.

deejay2: I heard that...yeah, yeah, but Trump needs to stick to (trying) to run the country and not predicting the weather. Everyone else is saying the hurricane is not that big.

deejay1: I agree. The weatherman is saying the winds are almost 155 MPH, but it’s only covering a small amount of ground, so yeah, it’s not going to be a big hurricane.

REALLY? A CAT-5 AT 155 MPH WINDS? Do these people hate Trump that much that they would downplay a dangerous hurricane?

I started to change the channel in disgust when they began talking about Trump rallies and YES, they said it!!

deejay1: You know you have to go online to find a location for the next Trump rally?

deejay2: Yup, no one wants to attend them so, they’re sparse

(Really? The last one had over 100,000 attendees-they’re usually pack, so packed, they have to turn away people).

deejay1: Have you ever been to one? They’re usually pretty benign …

deejay2: ...Yeah, there’s no violence or anything.

deejay1: Exactly! What are these Republicans thinking with no violence? How are they going to get their point across? All they do is carry around those stupid signs.

deejay2: It’s crazy. It’s a crazy world out there…

I switched the channel. I could not believe what I was hearing! They were promoting violence! I was most dismayed because this was a local radio station. The liberal media does not want to admit how well Trump is doing.

The Dow Jones is up higher now than in decades. The unemployment rate is so low with people getting jobs and taking care of themselves. People are gaining self respect and self esteem by the droves, but the Democrats would have you believe this is disastrous! If this is a disaster, then please let me live in a disaster zone!

Mar. 24, 2019

At the height of the social media craze, I have learned several things about people I’ve known for years that I never knew before. For the most part, social media has created narcissism in a lot of people.

It used to be writers, entertainers, and musicians who were the front liners. Now, it seems everyone is vying to be in the spotlight. People whom I never thought were so ostentatious have really surprised me. For instance:

Billy Bob and his wife, Mary Jane, posted they were going on vacation (out-of-state) and will be gone for a week. Upon their return, they posted a wonderful post about how they’d been robbed and couldn’t for the life of them figure out how anyone even knew they were gone.

Geraldine and her husband went on a wonderful vacation to The Great Smoky Mountains. They were smart, though, and did not post that they were going on vacation. However, those lovely mountain pictures they took and posted right away to social media, obviously, were not of their own sprawling 12 x 12 inner-city backyard.

They were livid to find someone had broken into their home during their absence. “How did anyone even know we’d left the state?” Geraldine posted the afternoon following their return. 

I’ve learned that my neighbor, who usually throws the best boozed-filled parties I’ve ever seen, was a devout Christian. While the neighbor on the other side of me, who attends church religiously (no pun intended), just told off the lady across from her. That was her post: “I just told that woman across from me a few words about her dogs!”

What she didn’t post were the “few words,” that she used. From my own living room, I could hear the language and I can attest that it would upset church-going people. That woman used more foul language and cuss words than even I knew.

Rachel and I had a phone conversation and during that call, she called her toddler son an SOB, MF’er, told him to bring is effing ass over there to her. I was a little uptight about it and decided to end the call.

Following her nurturing and mothering words of encouragement toward her own son, I see she’s sharing several post about child abuse, including about how we should watch what we say to children, “after all, they learn by example.”

I didn’t realize how superstitious Linda was until I started receiving private messages “Pass this message to 15 people in the next 10 minutes to receive a bountiful reward by the end of the day.”

Personally, the fact that my feet hit the floor in the beginning of the day and not my ass on a cold slab makes me feel pretty bountiful already...Just saying.

I was impressed that Amy made several posts about women who are sleazy, dress inappropriately, and chased men around like they’re cadaver dogs hot on the trail of Jimmy Hoffa. By the way, Amy has four children, all from different fathers and she’s pregnant with her fifth. She met Baby-Daddy at the nightclub she frequents every Friday night. Pray for her.

Margery was smart. She didn’t post what was wrong at first, only that she was “Feeling sick @ Dr. John’s office.” Of course, she blew it when twenty people commented and asked her what was wrong and she answered them. They all gave her some wonderful money-saving tips for her symptoms. However, I do not think a teaspoon of honey in apple cider vinegar is going to cure her severe case of mononucleosis which she later posted that she was diagnosed with.

I never knew Tom was depressed until he started posting “Feeling sad,” which, of course, created an onslaught of questions about why he was sad and promises of “I’m here if you need me, buddy.”

Todd and Helen are getting a divorce because she caught him with Tina who is the aunt of her best friend, Roxy. Helen and Roxy are no longer speaking because Roxy is siding with Aunt Tina (blood is thicker than water). After all, it was Todd who “opened the door,” and let Aunt Tina in.

Now both sides are duking it out on social media about who was right, who was wrong, and exactly how each individual would handle this unforgivable travesty. Everyone on their friends’ list is contributing to the fight.

Meanwhile, my crew and I are sitting back, passing the popcorn, and taking bets on how long it will be before Todd and Helen are back together, Roxy is kissing butt trying to get back into Helen’s good graces, and Aunt Tina is kicked to the curb trying to defend her right to sleep with “whoever she wants to be with.”

Frank had Chicken Alfredo with a side salad for lunch. Later, he had roast beef smothered in mushroom gravy with peas, carrots, and baked potato topped with sour cream and butter. It all looked so delicious and the pictures turned out great Gee, I sure wish I could eat like that all the time.

It has truly generated a society people and falsehoods. People try to convince others that they live differently than how they really do. For the most part, I enjoy social media for the comedy it produces. I really enjoy the memes. They can be quite hilarious. Which reminds me, I once saw a meme that read, “Sit down...some of us actually know you in real life.”

Social media certainly has its place in the world of technology in which we live, but it should not be used to put out our personal information, either. While I can appreciate that it is a great way to spread news features, stories and columns, I can also appreciate it spreads a lot of fake news, stories, and columns full of misinformation.

It needs a sign up notice that reads: “Enter at your own risk!”

Jan. 23, 2019

I frequently visit a specific nail salon, Asian Nails. When they are busy, I usually leave and come back later. This action usually generates a conversation between us (customer and salon) as to why I leave and come back.

I explain that I’m busy and when I am out and about, I’m running errands and I am depending on someone else to carry me around (son or hubby). When I do not have the time to wait, I will just come back when it’s more convenient for the both of us. They accept my answer. More importantly, they KNOW I am not a customer who has a lot of time. Such was the following case…

I had a little bit of time, so I did not mind the 10-minute wait to get a chair. The young lady got halfway done with me, then abruptly got up and moved over to the chair to my right and started working on another customer.

A couple of minutes later, I asked, “Are you through?”

To which the customer, not the staff, the customer to my left, answers, “They’re trying to do two people at a time. Someone will be with you shortly.”

Five minutes after this, one of the other young girls finishes her work and pushes in her chair. I say to my son who is behind me, “No one else is waiting so she’ll be coming to me next.”

Instead, the girl walks in the back. I thought that maybe she needed a breather, bathroom break, something along those lines. Nope. I smell food cooking. She’s making lunch. Okay...she needed a break.

Five minutes later, the little guy finishes so I tell my son, who is checking his watch at this point, as he has to get ready for work, “Just a minute longer.”

The little guy pushes his chair in and moves over to the computer and starts working. So...the customer can wait, but whatever work that needed to be on the computer cannot wait.

“We can leave if we need to,” I suggested.

He answered, “No, we’re okay for a few more minutes, but don’t forget, we still have to go to the post office, Walgreens, and the Meat Locker to get something for dinner.”

Five minutes later (which totals to almost 20 minutes when you add the first few minutes I waited before questioning anything), the man next to me finishes the helpful customer to my left.

He gets up, get a bottle of water, and stands there staring out the window drinking it. Then he walks over, pushes his chair in, and walks to the back where he’s talking to the girl who is eating her lunch.

I got up and walked out. The lady up front asked, “What happened?” and I did not stop to tell her.

I feel they were rude. First, you don’t start with one customer and then leave them to go do another. I explained to my son, that’s like someone ringing you up at the store and then stopping in the middle to go to another register and ring someone else up. You need to finish what you start!

Second, if that’s not rude enough, it was even more so with three staff ignoring the one customer who had been sitting there waiting to be finished. They left me waiting a few minutes to...5...10...15 more minutes and then sauntered off to the back.

My son says, “But Mom, they’re trying to make money so they work on two people at a time.”

To which I replied, “They were not working on me at all, much less two at a time, but for the sake of argument; how much money did they make with me getting up and walking out?”

In the past, I have told them, “No, you need to finish me first before you move on to someone else. I did not come in here to be shoved aside. My money and time is just as good as anyone else’s and if you want it, you’ll need to finish what you started.”

Dec. 26, 2018

You would think that online banking is great. No more calling on the phone, being put on hold, only to listen to elevator music for the next twenty minutes.

That soon became a thing of the past when automated phone services came about. Now, we go through ten minutes of prompts, and then finally, get to the elevator music. I always loved the 70’s track and would sing along with ABBA’s Dancing Queen whenever it would come on the line.

However, thanks to technology, we can bypass all of that and go straight to the source with a simple user name and password. Armed with those two very important tools, we can now gain access to everything about our bank accounts in a matter of seconds. We can even apply for a loan if we need extra cash without leaving the comforts of our home.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. It used to be as easy as mentioned above, but now, I have to go through an act of congress to access my account. It asked for my user name and password. I gave it and noticed the “remember username,” button underneath remained unchecked.

I have clicked that box so many times it should be saying, “Hey Philippe, she’s back again!” What good is it doing when it doesn’t remember my username?

For some reason, it started asking me my three security questions. Apparently, I answered them incorrectly. It asked for my favorite song and I answered “Dancing Queen.” It told me it was not!

Me: “Is, too.”

Bank: “Is not.”

Me: (retyping) “Dancing Queen.”

Bank: “Wrong answer.”

Me: (repeating it again)

Bank: “That’s not the answer, Lady!”

Me: “YES, IT IS!”

I have to call the bank.

That in itself requires a lot of patience. In order to get a contact phone number, I have to go through a series of online prompts and questions to direct me to the correct number (which used to be a matter of a simple click of the “contact us” button). It’s the same number no matter how you answer the questions. They aren’t fooling anyone.

At long last, several minutes later, I get the number and I call only to be asked to press one for English or two for Spanish. I was held up by more questioning prompts. You know what I mean: “If you’re calling for online banking problems, press or say ‘two.’ If you’re calling to check on a loan or credit card account, press or say...” You get it.

I pressed the respective button(s) and find I must endure a minute and a half of an advertising spiel encouraging me to take out a loan for all of my personal and business needs.

After the end of the spiel, I wait for what to do next, only to find it has started over again. I am so ticked off at this point that about half-way through, to rush things along, I push zero (this prompt is invalid), and it starts the ad all over again.

I waited until the end thinking I must have missed hearing the correct prompt due to the fury that is creating steam and whistling through my ears. Instead, it started over a third time.

I decided to press the number one (rather hammer the button with my finger) to see what would happen. It worked and it connected me to an automated teller who says, “All of our agents are busy now. Your call is important to us so, please hold for the next available agent,” and then 90’s elevator music, 90’s! Where is ABBA?

By now, I’m screaming into the phone. I’m holding on to the receiver so tight, my knuckles are sweating. I yell at it for not playing Dancing Queen and insist that they turn that crap off or else find a human being for me to speak to at once, except I was using some colorful language. 

“Who are you talking to?” my husband asks, laughing at me.

“The DJ playing this stupid 90’s elevator music,” I yell. “I want to speak to a person!”

Finally...finally! A live human being comes on the line and asks me the same questions the prompts asked, only to follow it up with asking my security questions, and personal info such as address and phone number associated with the account.

Me: “What is wrong with this bank?!”

Agent: “I’m sorry? What do you mean?”

Me: “I just went through all of these prompts half a day ago trying to get to you and you’ve asked me all of these same questions over again. Why does it bother asking me online if I have to waste time repeating it back to you?”

Agent: “I’m sorry, Ma’am. I do apologize. It’s for security purposes for your protection.”

Me: “Isn’t your web address https: ‘s’ meaning secure?”

Agent: “Yes, Ma’am, it sure is.”

Me: “Well, it’s not very secure at all then if you have to ask me the same question it just asked me to get your phone number, now is it?”

Agent: (She pauses for a second and I hear her smiling on the other line.) “I guess not.”

Me: “Listen, I’m stressed, it’s the holidays, I’m old, and I’m broke. I have been trying for nearly 30 minutes to reach a person I could speak to and instead, I’m yelling at the elevator music DJ I got stuck with. I am very well versed in foul language and I was two seconds from unloading on that DJ and giving him the full experience of my expertise and knowledge in cuss words! I just want one question answered: just one!”

Agent: (Laughs openly now) “What can I help you with, Ma’am?”

Me: “Was I seeing triple three days ago or are there really three zeros in the balance column of my checking account?”

‘Tis the season!