Saturday, November 22, 2008

Things ---

Well life is hitting a new pattern in my house. Only to change at the drop of a day. But I am rolling along with it fairly well, I think. Again everyone knows my mantra for this year. It is what it is!

I have settled into a schedule somewhat at work. It is going well. I think I will like it just fine. And you know what, it's a job. Right now that is the important thing. It was amazing getting my first paycheck. I made as much work 46 hours at my new job as I did working 70 hours, yes count them 70 hours at SBG. Simply amazing. So needless to say, I think I can make this adjustment quite easily! Yes sir!

Bruce and I are still trying to complete the downstairs bedroom/closet project. The bedroom is done, the closet is still in stages. Clearing out, patching walls, removing shelving and painting have all been completed. We have even actually agreed with very little outside intervention on how to layout the new closet system. I don't think I will tempt fate yet and go to Lowe's together to get it just yet. You all do remember, we have had 2 serious meltdowns in Lowes and they have banned us from shopping together. My plan is to get the shelving next week, so then it should be fairly simple. But again remember, we are dealing with Mr. Perfection here!

Bruce is playing golf - can you believe - this weather. Brrrrr! I just finished up a Christmas project for Alicia. Snapfish had a special for Oprah viewers. A free 20-page photo book. I did one for her from last Christmas. Her first Christmas "home" with Rob and Elijah. I think it turned out really well. I am anxious to see the book "live". I don't know how much I will get into that kind of scrapbooking. I found it very limiting. Not so many paper choices. The photo layouts did not allow manipulation of the photos, so it was a bit of a struggle. But I got a 32-page book for $20, including tax and shipping. So great deal for hopefully a really awesome keepsake.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coincidence and Irony

I was watching the CBS Evening News last night and on came a story about small towns and how businesses have been affected by this current economy. The reporter was in a small town in upper Indiana. It was a local "mom & pop" restaurant. During the interview the reporter asked the owner when he noticed things turning bad for his business. The owner replied, it started with $4 a gallon gas and then with the financial Wall Street/banking fiasco it was really a very noticeable drop in his business. He indicated that he had not yet told his employees the magnitude but was going to be having that conversation with them shortly. It was one of the worst conversations he said he was ever going to have. The next image on the screen was in the restaurant, with all the employees seated at several tables and the owner telling them that in 1 month they would be out of jobs. Naturally, this was very upsetting to many of them, who were already struggling economically.

What brings this to mind, the irony of how this scenario compares to a similar situation that affected me not so long ago. Not that I want to rehash old meat, but let's compare for a moment:

1. Small independent business owner closing business - plans and provides time to get all the employees of the company together to discuss as a group what this decision means for everyone.

2. Provides them with some small amount of notice - 30 days - to begin to find other employment.

3. Communicates with them in a compassionate and heartfelt manner that he realizes how difficult this is for all of them.

Why do these things strike a cord?

Because, when faced with this same situation, Bob McCreary who is the poster adult for Bi-Polar Disorder could do none of these things when this same scenario faced his business. I don't know all the reasons why all of the Scrapbook Garden East store employees were not brought together to advise us of the news of the store closing but they weren't. For those of us who were present, Bob read from a script. Yes, you heard me right. A piece of paper of talking points if you will. And Kathy, the supposed person who began this business had absolutely nothing to say to any of us. She kept her head lowered practically the entire time. Oh, except when one of the employees indicated they wanted to buy something, and Kathy told her she would have to buy it at the West location at another time.

Then we are told our jobs have ended immediately. No notice whatsoever. And yet, now as time goes on, I have heard that Bob and his dad (who apparently has some ownership in Scrapbook Garden) had been searching for other locations for some time prior to the employee announcement. But apparently every location had many of the same issues that the current location had.

And finally the lack of compassion expressed to the employees affected. Again, I know, why should this surprise me? After 3 years of dealing with Mr. Roller Coaster I should know better. What gets me is from the day one at Scrapbook Garden we were told it really is like a family and very close knit. I guess that applies only to the West side store since they have been there since the beginning and they have "traditions" that don't include the East store ----- and everything! In fact, I have heard that the West Store employees knew of the East store demise before any of the East store employees did.

I have to say I do not miss dealing with Bob and his BPD mood swings on a daily basis. That has been a total joy to not have to get the barometric temperature before even saying "Good Morning", never knowing if you are going to be given a glare, a very gruff, mumbled morning or be greeted in a personable manner.

I have moved on with my life and I believe I am going in a good direction. Some things leave a very definite impression on one's life.