Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Observation at work

I'm in the service industry.

Throughout the work year, I provide services to my clients, and don't accept any gratuities.  Yes, there are service fees for some things, and others are done for free.

At the holidays, my clients will sometimes give me a cash "thank you" for the year.  Others give actual gifts.

And as to be expected, that has dwindled over the last couple of years due to the recession.  Times are tough!

Here is what I realized today......

Some of my less prosperous clients have given me MORE this year.  In some cases, more than they've given me in the past.

And some clients (especially one who I know for a fact has done EXCEPTIONALLY well), gave me markedly less.  And these are the clients that people would consider more successful (Lawyers, Executives, etc...)

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not being a grinch.  I appreciate ANY time a client remembers me at the holidays.  It just struck me as odd, that the ones who typically have less to share gave more.

Oh, and here's a non-work observation....  Our petsitter (who we'll be using after Christmas, and plan to give her a little extra "thank you" gift) sent our dog a Christmas card.  Not only that, she included a gift card to the local pet store!  AND - thanked us for letting her watch our dog!   Completely BACKWARDS!  It's those little things that really mark the holiday season.

Have you had any special things happen that have that certain holiday charm?


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Occupy Norfolk visits my work

Wednesday afternoon, the Occupy Norfolk protest group was scheduled to come and protest at my building.  About 50 of them showed up.

One of our state Senators holds an office in our building, but has only been here for visits a few times in the last couple of years.  This is not his home, or his normal office.

But they wanted to to be heard by him, and wanted him to come down and talk one on one with them.

Wasn't going to happen.  In fact, the police had a serious presence there, as it had been widely publicized and was planned to get "rowdy".

"Wednesday's march will be in great need of supplies, as always- Urgent items include markers, signage, t-shirts, American flags, musical instruments of every sort, especially horns, drums, and guitars. We also need donations of 2 sets of Army style fatigues and 4 sets of prison style jumpsuits. Please. Most importantly, bodies will be needed. Everyone who can make it should be there for the noon and the 2pm march. If you can't make it please send items.]"

We (the building staff) were also informed that they planned to "push" things and have arrests.

It was certainly interesting to watch as things unfolded, and at some points, it was seriously entertaining.

This officer pictured above was apparently well-known by the O.N. group.  His name (and YES, it's his REAL name) is Sergeant Lovely.  At one point, all the women protesters of O.N. started chanting -
"Hey Sergeant Lovely - You're Sexy, Your Cute, Why's your vest, Bullet proof?"
Several times.

And then the all yelled -
"Hey Sergeant Lovely - How about you OCCUPY MY HEART!"
I wasn't expecting either of these, and I bust out laughing.  So did all of the staff members that were there keeping an eye on things.  The other police officers were unfazed.  Must have heard it before.

But one of the officers had been video taping the protest, probably for their own protection.

He walked up to Sgt. Lovely and said, "Got it.  You haven't seen the last of these...."  As he walked away with a smirk.   My guess is that if the recording doesn't show up at the next staff meeting, it will show up at his bachelor party, or retirement party, or someone equally embarrassing.

It wasn't long after that, that things went south.  Five people purposefully walked up to the sculpture, banded arms together, and sat down.  They knew they were trespassing, but did so willfully.  The officers patiently warned them that if they didn't go back to the sidewalk, that they would be arrested for trespassing.  I saw one of them get up, and go back.  The other four were peacefully arrested after about 5 minutes of warnings.

All of the other protesters just yelled that this was an injustice, and how could we let this happen, etc, etc..  But let their friends get taken away anyway.  I'm not sure I understand all that.

This last picture I included, simply because the officer in the picture was a member of the State Police.  There were a couple of them supporting the city police, and we heard that there were plenty nearby waiting to show up if there was a need.  But mainly I included the picture cause he was super nice, and kinda cute too.

I wish I had thought to bring my real camera to work.  All of these were taken with my phone.

Certainly made for an interesting afternoon at work....


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Cheer

I think I mentioned already that last week was a tough week.  And it has continued a little into this week as well...  (If you see a post titled "Rental Property", then you will want to either skip it, or settle in, because it will be a RANT for sure...)

So, in the midst of this week, we were shopping in Target.  We went by the frozen food section, just to pick ups something quick.  And Ice Cream.  Cause we always have to have Ice Cream in the house.

There was a young teenage boy (my guess is 13 to 14 years old) shopping with his mother.  Instead of the typical attitude you would expect from a boy of this age who is shopping with his mother, the young man had a different approach to dealing with the monotony of shopping.

He was singing the 12 Days of Christmas!

When he got to the 4th day, he was trying to remember the lyrics.  His mother joined in and helped him out.  (We were secretly smiling at this point)

When he got to the 5th day, we joined in!  And sang through, and then again at the 6th day.  By the "7th" day verse - we were all laughing at the spontaneity of random people caroling in the frozen food section.

The best part was that the young man didn't get embarrassed and stop singing when we joined in.  He just kept going.

And gave us all a little bit of holiday cheer!

Have you ever experienced some randomness like this???


Sunday, December 11, 2011

What a week...

Well this week has been full of challenges.  Lots of them.  Big ones and little ones.

But one of the most frustrating ones has to do with Make My Christmas this year.  If you aren't familiar with MMC, it's similar to a "Secret Santa" gift exchange, but you MAKE a gift for the person whose name you draw.  And in return, you get a handmade gift from whoever draws your name.

This is my third year participating, and I've had a blast!  Of course I made quilts, and the first year I stressed about getting it done.  The second year, I enjoyed it more and had little stress.

But this year is different.......

I've got the top and back and binding ready.

I reserved the long-arm for tomorrow.

And then I got a call that the machine is down, they are waiting on a part that they HOPE will be in Wednesday, and hopefully the machine will be back up and running by Thursday or Friday.  

And MMC is due Saturday.


I really have no idea what I'm going to do.  I've got calls out to several other shops to see if they rent or know of other rentals.  But no luck yet.

I really like this quilt, and don't want to try to do it at home, just to get it done.  I won't be happy with it.

I can cross my fingers and hope for the best.  But if not, then I don't know what to do.....

Not go to the party?  
Drink a little?
Go, and give an unfinished quilt (in front of everyone!)?
Drink moderately?
Visit the recipient ahead of time and explain?
Drink heavily?

What would you do?