Monday, January 25, 2010

How Much Suffering is Too Much?

I have a very low tolerance for seeing people and animals pain. I am such a sucker for the down and out. I crumble under the tears and filth of the homeless. I once gave 75 cents to a homeless guy who had a sign that read “Homeless and Need a Beer, Aint that the Truth!” If I were homeless I’d sure want to be drunk or high too. But how much suffering do we really need to see and hear about?

Have you ever seen the commercials for the Christian Children’s Fund with the poor kids living in squalor? Their bellies are distended; they have flies swarming around their faces and dirty clothes on? They had me at shoeless. I can’t bear to watch the videos, just tell me where to send my check. The commercials must have gotten to my mom to cause she adopted a sponsor child years ago. When she passed away my sister took over the care of him. And now my sister has been sponsoring this boy for so long that he is ready for a retirement home….or a retirement hut as the case may be in Kenya. I sponsor a little girl in Uganda.

Don’t even get me started on the ASPCA commercials for the abused and neglected dogs and cats. Ya know the ones with the starving dogs with their ribs showing and missing patches of fur. The ones with the one eyed cat and mangy mutts. Did you see the part when the kitten reaches through the bars of the cage as if he is reaching out to say “Help me! Please tell me the numbers to your bank account so I can drain it” And if the pictures weren’t bad enough they have Sarah McLaughlin singing about how they’re in “The Arms of the Angels.” Heck, I’ll be your angel little puppies! I want to take all of them home and nurse them back to health right in my own living room. Hold on tight, I’m coming to get your out of there! Those nasty people won’t hurt you ever again. How much do I send? God just make the commercial stop! I have several collage roommates that can attest to the fact that I have taken in strays and lost all reasonable sanity in the process because I smelled a tiny wafting of their suffering and had to step in.

And what about the people in Haiti? My heart just breaks for them. So much death and destruction is just unimaginable. These poor people were well, so darn poor to start with before the earthquake. The news said that 600, 000 people were now homeless. But I have a feeling that the majority of them were homeless before the earthquake too. So I probably would have given money to them before the quake. I’ve seen the video of the people being pulled from the ruble and I just want to offer them a smoothie and cool shower. Some guy drank his own piss for 10 days! Holy crap! Give that man some mouthwash, a gift card to Ruth’s Chris steakhouse and a Tetanus shot! And the kids, the poor children. I have been this close to investigating getting’ me a Haitian orphan too. I went so far as to ask my hubby if he would want a boy or girl. Girl it is. But I really could have done without seeing the dead bodies in a garbage pile on Dateline. They just went too far with that.

And last but not least I have to call your attention to a book that I was given for my birthday by my oldest sister. It’s called “Half the Sky.” It’s about turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. I’m all about liberating women but I can’t stomach reading one more page of this book. It goes into great detail about rape, prostitution and human trafficking that is taking place in India, Asia and the Middle East. It is horrific and trust me I was on board with helping to create change on page one. There is no need for me to read 13 more chapters on this topic. They should have just put the title of the book and an 800 number for me to call with my credit card information on the cover. That’s enough. I’m having nightmares of these poor girls from the stories that I read.

UPDATE: I have an email from the Humane Society in my in box titled “Animals in Haiti Need Your Help”…a double whammy and I’m not opening it because I’m sure their will be pictures attached to it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why Are Sales People So Annoying?

Sales people are everywhere! In stores, gas stations, on the phone and yes even in your doctor’s office. When did sales people becomes such royal pain in the ass douchebags? I don’t remember it being this bad like 10 years ago. Everyone is so desperate for money because the economy is so bad, fine I get it. It’s like salespeople have all turned into the kids from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. They run up to you shouting “Wanna buy this, how bout that?” I get panic attacks just going to the mall. The people in the food court practically throw food samples at you as you walk by. Ouch, did I just get his with some MooGoo Gai Pan? One lady who did eyebrow threading at the mall yelled to me from her store that I REALLY needed to shape my brows, and she could help me. What? So insulting!

I went to the dentist today for a regular cleaning. Just a regular God. Damn. Tooth cleaning. Simple right? Na, not any more! They tried to sell me two sets of x-rays. Why two sets if I only have one set of teeth? The Dental Coordinator (that’s what it said on her name tag) told me I HAD to have the extra panoramic x-rays as well as the regular ones. I told her I was not paying for anything not covered by my insurance. She says “Well I know times are tough but we have to take care of ourselves right?” Thanks for the emotional check up Dr. Phil. Whatever, not paying for two sets. So the dentist comes in and looks at my REGULAR x-rays and tells me I have a few cavities. He leaves and “the coordinator” comes back with two separate estimates 1. The teeth cleaning and 2. The cavities to be filled. The tooth cleaning with my insurance is over $283!!!! It has crap in there like a Flex Care Dispensing Unit for $119. And Oraqix Cartridge for $20.00 What the hell is that? And to get my cavities filled is more than $230! Yes, that is WITH insurance. So, I left. With no work done, no sale made and an hour of my time wasted. I guess we’ll have to sacrifice diapers, tampons and fresh produce this month so I can get dental work done.

Even with all the extra crap taken out of the dental bill why was it so much money with insurance? Was another sales scam taking place within the insurance company too? When I got home I pulled out the paper work that I had from the dental insurance company and it says on their flyer:
Benefits NO CHARGE:
2 Routine Cleanings per year

I called our sales agent and she told me only certain kinds of cleanings, x-rays and fillings were at no charge. I argued that the flyer was misleading. It lead me to believe that all cleanings, x-rays and fillings were…NO CHARGE. I told her there should be an asterisks saying *only covers certain types. She said well if we put an asterisk next to each one nobody would buy the plan. And I said EXACTLY! Yet another rude scheming sales person!

A while back I went shopping for a dress for my sister’s wedding. I went to Ann Taylor, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Express, Bebe and Nordstrom’s. As soon as I walked into each store, I got some way overly eager beaver who screams “Hellllllooooo, Welcooome to ___!!!!” from all the way in the back of the store or fitting room. Weird isn’t it, to be greeted from so far away? I know it’s uncomfortable to have someone invade your personal space up close but it’s also strange when someone greets you from way out of your personal greeting parameter. And have you noticed that they try and strike up a conversation with you like an old friend? “How are we (what’s with the “we” when you are speaking to me?) today? What brings you into Express?” Umm I need clothes jackass! “Do you have a special occasion that you are shopping for? Don’t you just love that jacket? It would look great on you! What size are you?’ Leave me alone Ms. Cheesy, we’re not friends, not buddies and in fact you are the enemy and I know you are working on commission.

Then when you are in the dressing room they put their face up next to the door “Hi, how’s it going in there? I found a pair of jeans that would look great with that top you are trying on, do you like red?” OMG go away! I’m actually popping a zit on my back in here!!! Then when you check out at the “Cash Wrap” (not the plain old register any more) they try and snag a sale one more time. “Did you see the socks that went with your new shirt? They are on sale; buy 7 million pairs and get one free. The sale ends tomorrow. Are you sure? Allllright (waving socks in the air).” Then they ask for your phone number and email address! You want my digits and email? What are next are you going to add me as your friend on Facebook? This is why I love shopping online. If only I could get my dental work done in cyberspace.

BTW I give Flo a 9 1/2 out of 10 for annoying the crap out of me. Anyone else?