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Category Archives: Communication

So, You Think You Know Me

I often wonder how you come up with the notion that you know me.  Too many times you have said that I am like this or I am like that.  You are only just seeing me but believe that you know what I am all about.  Let me ask you this:  Where were you:

When:  I was a child of 18 months in the early 1960s and survived an infection of spinal meningitis…at a time when the mortality rate was much higher than today.  Thankfully, I don’t remember it but apparently, I had to learn to walk all over.  To this day, I can’t stand cold showers–I was told that I was placed in ice water to battle the fever.  I have discolored and bad teeth attributed to the antibiotics used.  I was truly blessed.

When:  My parents divorced when I was four;

When:  I met my new older sisters; and subsequently, my younger siblings through the years;

When:  I was 9 or 10 — I was introduced to baseball, and I loved it; I was bitten on the finger by a garden snake while picking berries and suffered from acute appendicitis (not related to snake bite);

When:  I was 11 and 12 — I used to lay in my bed with my transistor radio under my pillow, pretending to be asleep but really listening to the evening baseball games; I dreamed of playing ball like Carl Yastrzemski;  I actually played baseball for a while but life took me in a different direction;

When:  I first kissed a girl — on the lips; my first date; getting my driver license and driving my first car;  and my first pickup truck with 3 on the column — it was missing 2nd gear;

When:  I wrestled, boxed a little and competed in gymnastics for a year;

When:  I enlisted in the Navy and left home;  arriving at boot camp; whoa — major life change!

When:  I arrived at the beach, at sundown, in San Diego, CA, on the 4th of July after driving cross-country to my first duty station;

When:  I flew in a helicopter to an aircraft carrier;  thinking all along there wasn’t enough deck for the helo;

When:  I met and fell in love with my first wife;

When:  I was at sea for months at a time — and later was divorced from my first wife;

When:  Iranian Hostage Crisis;

When: I first used a keypunch machine (1977); a computer (1981); my first microwave oven (1986) right after the shuttle Challenger blew up; my first cell phone (1987); I was studying computer programming; and got my first personal computer (1989);

When:  I visited numerous ports-of-call in many foreign countries being exposed to so many different cultures;

When:  I met my second wife;

When:  I was the third person in the world to hold my new born daughter;

When:  at 18 months old, I rushed my daughter to the hospital because she had eaten her grandmother’s blood pressure pill–I drove on the sidewalk to bypass traffic; and, at her bedside, I prayed all night for her recovery — God blessed us;

When:  I visited my mother, who had terminal cancer a few weeks before she died but because of “military operational commitments,” I could not be there when she passed but my brothers were with her;

When:  Desert Shield and Desert Storm;

When:  I got a second divorce; and lost custody of my daughter;

When: I didn’t get promoted, again — I retired from the Navy after 23 1/2 years’ of service;

When:  A heart arterial catheter angiogram;

When:  I was one of the last people to be with my former mother-in-law when she died — we had a rocky start but after her debilitating stroke, I read the Bible to her and we often prayed together in the last few months of her life;  I held her hand for a couple of hours in the hospital room the day she died–shortly after I left the hospital;

When:  I wandered, apparently aimlessly and selfishly, for several years;  searching for “happiness;”

When:  My first wife found me on the internet and after nearly 20 years we got back together;  we’ve been together for 11 years now.  She says she loves me…personally, I think she tolerates me;   😉

When:  My first granddaughter was born; I think I was about the 5th or 6th person to hold her but I was there when she was born;  there are now four grandchildren, two girls and two boys — the youngest is named after my dad and me;

When: My ex-wife unexpectedly died and I flew 3,000 miles to help comfort my daughter and two oldest grandchildren who knew her;

When:  I or my wife were out of work for extended periods of time; since 2006

When:  My mother-in-law had a stroke and came to live with us so we could help care for her; she is 87 now;

When:  five colonoscopies over the past 20 years;

When:  I draw or  paint pictures; or, (still WIP) writing a couple of books;

When:  After nearly 40 years’ as an administrator, I learned to:  publish ebooks, write a blog and build a solar battery bank by watching YouTube videos; It actually works the way it is supposed to– I’m stoked;

When: after many years of God’s prompting, I finally started ministry studies;  its not easy to find time to study, after working all day, as an olderly guy and still be able to spend quality time with my wife — she’s very understanding;

When:  that little boat has been sitting in my driveway for the past 2 years and hasn’t touched a lake yet, since I’ve had her…

These are snippets of my life — soooooooo much more has made the person I am today.  Yet, you think you know me.  You lie to me and tell lies about me; you steal from me; and, call me names when you think I don’t hear you.  I wonder, what is it really?

I know that you don’t really know me, you couldn’t regardless of how you try to portray yourself, especially at your young ages–remember, I was younger once, too.

God has told us to love one another — he didn’t say, “no matter how difficult your fellow man makes it…”

Matthew 22:35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

You probably don’t even realize that I pray for you daily but that’s okay.  I pray that God will open your spirit, your heart and your mind to the salvation of Christ Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for all of us; who is the way to eternal life.

No, you don’t know me and I don’t really know you even though I’ve been where your are and I know — for many of us, there is freedom when we surrender to the will of God, in the name of Jesus — His only begotten Son.

 

Jay 🙂

 

 

 

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Don’t Fall For It…

This is going to be short and to the point.

(Disclaimer:  I’m not a stock broker, nor am I a professional or Certified Financial Planner.  This post is based on my personal opinion and not intended to be considered by anyone sane or not, as financial advice; or characterization of anyone in the financial industry.  If you think this is about you, it’s all in your head.)

My wife is interested in her retirement account because of the stock market “correction” of the past week.  Not wanting to be the Mr. Know-It-All guy that I usually think I am, I called the Retirement Planning guy at the bank and left a message with the bank teller asking for him to contact my wife to tell her how he is going to keep her from losing a lot of money in her account.  He calls her but didn’t get her.  He left a voicemail stating that “he’s” not worried about the current downturn and that she shouldn’t worry because her account is not exposed to the Asian stocks…and, besides, she’s only lost about 4%.

Her account is not exposed to Asian stocks but according to my calculator with today’s end-of-day losses, she has lost 8% in the past several days.  Has nothing to do with Asian stocks — it is a panic sell off disguised as a correction.

When the time is right, we will re-evaluate her IRA, and I think, the Retirement Planning guy, too.

Folks, let us not panic during these sell offs, it happens.  In the same consideration, don’t fall for a broker who says, “don’t worry, it will come back.”  Yeah?  You think maybe before we retire?

Be concerned…it’s not his money, yet.

I’m just sayin’

Jay 😮

1 Peter 5:7  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Communication, Customer Service, stocks

 

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Do You Know Someone Who Suffers Spatial Disorientation?

Storage space  Some common questions in the storage world: “How much is the smallest space?” 5’x5’ … “Can I fit stuff from a 3 bedroom apartment in the smallest one?” Not unless your apartment is a doll house. What? Nevermind.

Yes, the storage world has its moments.

I am quite fascinated with the idea that so many people do not understand space and how much of it is needed to store their “stuff.” I do understand that everyone is not able to figure out space needed, that’s not my point — it really comes down to the bottom line and equating the price of storage to the space required. Just going for the least expensive and understanding that the least expensive is usually the smallest, people ask for the smallest; and are really taken back when they realize that the smallest is usually about the size of a closet or a small walk-in closet. Most people I have found don’t have a relative clue about what a 5’x5’, 5’x15’ or even a 10’x20’ space will hold.

I, in turn, have a pretty good idea about space and what it will hold. I often can fit 5lbs of “stuff” into a 2lb sock, if you know what I mean. Maybe I was born with it or maybe I just learned from experience over the years — I do my best to not make someone feel bad when they do not understand. More is in my head than comes out through my lips.

If someone is in my office, I can use my office as a reference. “Do you need this much room or something larger, or something smaller?” I will ask.  Most people understand. Some still don’t know. Why? Because they do not know exactly what they will be storing. Hmmmm…Often, people do not want to tell me what they have so that I can properly assist them with spatial requirements. Also, people “forget” what they have that needs to be stored. “Oh yeah, I forgot about the dining table, the washer and dryer or the 22 boxes of stuff in the garage.”

If someone is on the phone, I ask them to look at their master bedroom and imagine they will be stacking things from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between…now, do you need a room that large, larger or smaller? Most people understand.

When people visit me, I like to take them out to look at the space they think they will need. Again, most people understand or at least are able to choose between different sizes once they view them.

Occasionally, I have someone who thinks they can fit 10lbs of “stuff” in a 2lb sock all because they are going for prince over need. Two results: 1) I later transfer them to the right size space; 2) the dumpster get full quickly.

Words of advice when searching for a place to store your stuff:  If you suffer from SD (Spatial Disorientation) please, seek the assistance of someone who knows how to stuff a sock, pack a box, a truck or even a room. The person could be a family member, a friend or even a professional. Do yourself a favor, learn and practice specific cognitive strategies such as forming a mental representation of the environment and how stuff will fit into that area.  Do not allow your life to be disrupted because of SD.

If you know someone who suffers from SD, please for our sake, help them, guide them, teach them.

“So, a 5’x5’, can I fit a 3 bedroom house in that?” Not unless it folds up like George Jetson’s car… What? Nevermind.

Jay 🙂

 

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What Crawled Up Your..?

Today was a pretty good day.  It started with no breakfast (yes, that means no coffee or grapefruit juice) and a trip to the dentist because I broke a tooth on Friday.  It took me about a half-hour to drive a 15-minute trip; then I waited at reception for almost another 15 minutes while the patient ahead of me just couldn’t figure out her schedule when making a followup appointment.

Then, I met Renee.  Her first day on the job as the Dentist’s assistant.  She is so nice that I almost wanted to pinch her just to see if she was real.  Dr Sharon was her great self and prepared my tooth for an upcoming crown in a couple of weeks.  The greatest hygienist, Lauren heard I was in and stopped by to say hello and remind me that I’d be seeing her in May.  A new person at the front desk on my way out gave me the bad news about the cost but assured me that it could be taken care of later when the crown is applied.  Whew!

Numb faced, I took the long way to the office knowing I would pass right by the donut shop…but I didn’t, I stopped and went inside.

I waited in line behind several people.  When it was my turn, I said, “Hey, how ’bout a donut for this old man?”  She responded a bit curtly as to did I want something or not.  Hmmmm… Two other young ladies told me not to mind her and asked me what kind of donut I wanted.  Then they collaborated to find an old fashioned with chocolate icing.  When time to pay, the original person told me the price and when I handed her a $20 bill for $2.01 charge she said, and I kid you not, “So what?  No penny, really?”  I was a little surprised but said that I was sorry but I had left the house with no change in my pocket but after she gave me change then I would have some for the next place I went and thanked her.  Meanwhile, the other two jumped in asking her, “what crawled up your…” and then they started speaking in Spanish. I just said thank you and departed.

“What crawled up your…” went around in my mind as I continued my drive to the office.  After having witnessed that young lady treat the several people in front of me politely, what happened when I got to the counter and attempted a light-hearted order?  I surmised that five customers in a row must have been her limit.

Then I wondered, do I do that?  Do I treat that one customer too many rudely?  The only way to know is to keep an eye on myself to ensure that I don’t in the future.

So, I get to work and a customer is at the counter engaged with my wonderful assistant, Brittany (who was so nice to come in today on her day off and cover for me while I was at the dentist).  Something about him wasn’t right with the questions he was asking and so I stepped in to inquire how I could help him with his request.  He quickly made his exit.  Brittany informed me that he was insisting on 24-hour access but he had no reason for being on the property outside of normal access hours.  It was good that he left.  Not every customer is right.  I was pleased with the way she handled him though he was acting odd and potentially could have been a problem later.  Brittany is nice and has a great customer service demeanor.

After my regular property inspection and a little time with the maintenance guy, I had to go to the hardware store (okay it was one of those big home stores) to obtain some much needed parts to repair some broken things on the property.  I really don’t like those places because I’ve actually spent too much time there lately for home projects.  Anyway, I was expecting, or I should say, not expecting the great customer service I received from a few different employees.  People who answered my questions, showed me how something worked, looked in the back for parts, and one person even took instructions from one box and made me a copy to take with me for something that I already had but need more information.  I was pleasantly surprised enough that I had to tell the store manager.

I got back to work and received a passdown from Brittany before she departed to return on Thursday to make my life easier again.  The remainder of the day was fairly busy with paying customers and numerous phone calls, including a few time hackers.  New customers who spent a great deal of time chatting as though we were old friends; some older customers chatting also as though we are old friends.  😉

At the end of the day, I looked back and thought that all-in-all was a really good day.  Out of a long, very busy day, I only witness two rude people.  What started as a potentially crappy day wasn’t so crappy after all.  I think it may have something to do with attitude.  An attitude of a lot of people who have just come out of a long winter and decided that they are just happy that it is over.  Or, maybe there are just some nice people out there that I’ve missed until now.  Or maybe, they’ve been there all the time but now my attitude is more open so that I can see them.

Of course there was the great chat with dad on the drive home.

Jay 🙂

 

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Time Hackers…

“Hi, this is Ashley…Andrew…Dan…Bill…our records indicate…this is #Google calling…”  Ah, those famous words heard throughout the day on my business phone.

The calls that take up so much of my time during the day when I could actually be working; or properly goofing off reading posts on WordPress.com.

All of these recordings, sometimes several an hour, taking up my time unnecessarily, for what?  I dunno, because I never listen to the whole message.  Does anyone?  Really?

I consider these #robo-calls time hackers.  Yes, they are hacking into my time when I could be doing something more productive (subjective).  It used to be that caller ID would let me know when it was some odd caller that I could most often determine a #timehacker.  But now, they use regular phone numbers which means in the business world, I have to answer the phone.  Of course, if I get one of those Ads R Us caller IDs, I still ignore it but when I get one that appears as a local number, I can’t.  Therefore, wasting my time.

Occasionally, I get a legitimate sales call, “Hi, this is Fred and I’m with some company that wants to sell you something, can I speak to the owner, please?”  Much more refreshing, I assure you but alas Fred, if you can find the owner through all the corporate red tape, tell them I’d like to speak to them, too.  😉

Jay 🙂

 

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Unique Perspectives

I enjoyed a picture today on g+ shared by Rose Barbara of which two snails were facing each other on a dew-dripped plant stem.  The photo had a blurred bright green of foliage background and sharp foreground of brilliant green, brown-orange snail shells, unique tan-colored snails and the crisp clearness of dew drops on the stem.  It was in itself, as a picture, a very striking view.  Many people commented that it was beautiful or romantic.  However, that is not the first thought that came to mind when I saw the photo.  My first thought was, impasse.  Though the photo may have been staged (who knows how long it would have taken them to get there in the first place just waiting for a person with a camera to happen by), my first thought was that these two snails were headed in different directions and neither was going to get there without the other giving up their position.  I know nothing of the snail anatomy, so I do not know if they can back up…possibly not.  I can surmise that if one attempted to continue forward but decided to do it from the underside of the stem that it would probably fall to the ground–gravity sort of works that way.  In addition, if one did not turn around and both head in the same direction, then perhaps one would over power the other and slime over it and continue on its way leaving the other behind wondering what had happened–that is if snails wonder.  I wish them the best but as my cousin said, “because of that photo, they’re stuck there forever.

In another scenario, I spoke with a few acquaintances this morning about what President Obama proposed to do about undocumented persons in our country.  One person said he was fit to be tied because of the blatant disregard for the Constitution and the laws that govern the position of the president (he is a natural-born US citizen).  Another, who is a legal immigrant said that the president didn’t go far enough and he should legalize everyone and give them jobs because they work hard.  He said that it is not fair that Canadians can come and go all they want with only a driver’s license for identification.  He is from a country in Africa. On securing the border, he said that it could not be done and presented the analogy of a jar of sugar with a lid on it–the ants will find a way to get to the sugar.  Yet, another legal immigrant that said it took her 7 years to go through the system to establish permanent residency for she and her family.  She said that she felt cheated.  I spoke to a woman who is undocumented (actually, that is not true–she has four drivers licenses with four different names and addresses) who said that she is relieved because now she can legally be herself.  I suggested she hold off a little while longer until all the details get worked out.  And then there is me.  They all wanted to know what I think.  Well, I do believe that the president does not have legal authority to ignore, alter or decide to not follow the laws already on the books.  One of them asked me what I would do if I were president and the Congress failed to act.  I said that the first thing I would do, after exhausting all attempts at persuading congress, is to go the Mexican president and ask him if he would like to be annexed by the United States and then we would take care of that little cartel thingy.  If he said yes, then I would do my best to persuade the American citizens of why this would be beneficial the United States and proceed accordingly if the American voters approved.  If he said no, then I would do my best to persuade the American citizens of why it would be a good idea to conquer Mexico and change their government and economic landscape.  WHAT!  Extreme perspectives have a way of capturing someone’s attention.  And of course the look on their faces was priceless.

So, we each have our own unique perspectives in life.  Whether we see a photo of a cute snails, kittens or puppies; whether we see or are affected by weather, bad guys or politicians, we each take away a different story depending on our perspective.  Some things happen to us or because of our actions; some things affect us.

As a Christian I have a different view of life that someone of another religion or no religion has regardless of what is placed before us.  Each day we make choices based on knowledge of presented or known facts — and yes, sometimes the facts are different depending on the point of view.  Keep in mind, though, sometimes the facts are lies placed before us to persuade our perspective.

I do think many things in life could be solved by sitting down with someone over a cup of coffee with cocoa mixed in for added sweetness and flavor and sharing our perspectives without trying to change someone’s mind about something–just sharing–but then again, that’s just my perspective.

 

Jay 🙂

 

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Why Do You Read?

Reading — memories of my youth…

I accidentally came across two of my favorite short stories today while searching for something entirely different on the internet.  At English 204-DCC, I (re)read The Chrysanthemums and The Snake by John Steinbeck.

I remember these two stories in particular had an impact on me some 40 years ago but at first, for the life of me I couldn’t recall the specific reasoning I had back then.  Of course, I read them now and I can appreciate the insight Steinbeck had for his observation of people and their environment but what could it have meant to me at 15 or 16 years old?

Then, it came back to me just as though I was back in 1975, English Literature class, with 20 other long-haired, pimpled kids–I wasn’t in that class, I was in Salinas Valley in California, or the laboratory of a biologist.  I was somewhere other than my desk at school.  I was traveling.  It was then that I became aware of what reading a good or great story truly meant.  For the first time I was conscious that I could read; travel, see, taste, smell and hear what someone else was describing with words.  The ability to see and feel all of those things instilled in me a passion for adventure outside of my normal life; and that sense of adventure later became my life.

We each have genres that appeal to our nature.  I would just like to say, “Thank you, John Steinbeck…thank you story tellers.”

Jay 🙂

 

 

 

 

 
 

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