My Dad

It’s funny when you realize you finally have the relationship with your Dad that you always wanted. I’ve had some family issues going on with my Mom, which is nothing new, so I stopped by my Dad’s house on the way home, for the simple reason that I didn’t want to go home. Two hours later it hit me that this is the way I’ve always wanted it to be.

I don’t remember a lot about my Dad as a kid. It could that my memories have faded over time, or it could be that we just didn’t do a lot together. The family pictures I have say that we actually did do a lot together, but I just don’t remember much of it. When my folks divorced in 1975, Dad moved to the West Coast and from then on I only saw him once a year.

My stepmom and he moved here when I was 32 and I thought it was really cool. For the first time in a long time, I could actually see my Dad whenever I wanted. Hell, they lived close enough for me to walk over there. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well. Dad was busy trying to get his business started and I was busy working, plus he ended up costing me a few hundred dollars when one business tanked. For the next 10 years, we got closer, but it was hard because all of sudden my Dad wanted to be a parent, and I felt I didn’t need one. I’d done fairly well for myself without him and resented him when he tried to give me advice. I also had a lot of anger from the divorce and other crap that happened over the years.

Over time, though, things started to get better. I think it was that as I got older, I realized that he was also getting older. I’d never noticed it before, but when I did, it hit me that Dad’s not going to be here forever so I can either let the old crap go or just keep hanging on to it. I decided to let go and am glad I did.

We’ve had some great times over the last 4 or 5 years, but something about today really stood out. It might have been that he just let me talk and get the toxic crap out of my system. It might have been when he said that we talk about stuff that neither of us has shared with others. It might have been the hug we had right before I left. Or it might have been that I finally realized my Dad was the Dad I’d wanted him to be all along.

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Slowly going crazy

Eight months ago my mom moved here from Florida. I had lived away from her for almost 25 years and I’ll admit that it was on purpose. To say that it’s been an unpleasant time is putting it mildly and I don’t really know how much of this I can take.

I’ve told her time and again that I cannot and will not be her caretaker. I’ve tried to establish boundaries about what I will and won’t do, but those are just ignored. The retirement place where she lives has transportation to the doctor, grocery store, drugstore, but she refuses to use it for anything but the doctor. I said I wasn’t going to pick up her meds from the store, but ended up doing it. Now she calls me whenever she has a prescription that needs to be picked up. When I said I wasn’t going over to her place to open the flowers my brother sent for Mother’s Day, she said, “then I guess they’ll die”. That’s the kind of stuff I deal with. She’s even gone as far to tell all of her friends that moving her here was a ploy so I wouldn’t have to travel to Florida if she got sick.

When she was in the hospital for two weeks she was diagnosed with acute anxiety attacks and given medication, which worked while she was in the hospital. Today she left a voicemail saying she’d already taken several Xanax, something else, and felt like taking the rest. Since I didn’t answer, she called my Dad and Stepmom and told them the same thing. Fortunately, my Dad got the phone and laid out her options…assisted living, moving back to Florida, or counseling. Problem is, this has been suggested over and over and over, but she does nothing to help herself.

The bottom line is it is driving me crazy. I started taking anxiety meds, I lost weight while she was in the hospital because of stress (she told me congrats on the weight loss), and I constantly have conversations with her in my head about her issues. I cannot keep going around and around and around with her. She does nothing to help herself, yet expects the rest of us to deal with her and her issues. Nothing I do is good enough. Of the 100 things I do for her, she remembers the one I didn’t do. I’m just not wired to put up with this kind of crap and don’t know where to turn.

If it were me…

Some of you may agree with what I’m about to write.  Some of you may disagree.  Some of you may think I’m an ignorant redneck. Some of you might want to give me a medal. The thing is, in this type of situation, what you think doesn’t really mean shit.

If I am ever put in the same situation as Coach McQueary, my response will be as follows: I will get to my vehicle the quickest way possible, I will grab whatever gun is in it, I will go back to that location the quickest way possible. I will get the child out of the way, I will call the cops. Then I will calmly shoot that child-raping motherfucker in the head. Twice.  And my only regret will be that I did not get there sooner.

Hey America!

Hey America, I got an idea…I know how to put all the unemployed Americans back to work. Let’s do something really crazy and open Customer Support Centers in the States. Wild idea, huh?? We could actually train English-speaking Americans on how to provide customer support, technical support, help desk, and any other kind of support you can think of.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the person you were talking to was really named “Billy” or “Scott” or “Sarah” or “Mary” instead of someone taking an Americanized name so I’ll feel more cum-for-tuh-bull talking to them? As a matter of fact, I’m speaking to someone named Sara right now with AT&T’s DSL Support line and I’m willing to bet one of three leggers remaining legs that this person ain’t really a Sara.

Now before you think me a racist or a bigot, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I just believe that if we’re so damn concerned about unemployment in America then the best thing we can do is employ Americans. I’m betting that anyone (and everyone) who reads this is tired of dealing with support people that a) you can’t understand, b) who can’t understand you, or c) all of the above. If I’m calling technical support, it’s because I can’t get something to work and the last thing I want to do is have to repeat myself to be understood. I’m pissed off enough as it because what I’m trying to do won’t work and the last thing I want to do is to deal with someone who can’t understand the words coming out of my mouth. And for gosh sakes, please, please, please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me your name is Charlie, because I got news for you “Charlie”, it doesn’t make me feel any better.

I know it’s not the fault of the tech support people and that they’re doing their job the best they can, but unfortunately, that’s not good enough. We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people looking for work and I bet many of them can be trained to read a script just as well as these other folks can. And the best part, in my opinion, is that I don’t have to repeat myself to be understood. Sure, they may not understand the problem I’m having, but at least they understand the freaking words I’m using.

I guess what it comes down to is I’m sick and tired of corporations bitching and moaning about shit when their only solution to money problems is to lay off the people that made them the money in the first place. How about closing all of your foreign call centers and bringing them back to the States? You’re going to be surprised at the number of people willing to take these jobs and, quite honestly, how grateful they’ll be to have them. The bottom line America is I’m tired of talking to fake Billy’s….give me a real Billy dammit!!