THe heathen’s restless.

The terror of my atheistic ways have been loosed at work. It’s on! What happened? I work at Walmart, wher I supervise the cashiers, door greeters, and cart pushers. Our new district manager, in response to the pressure exerted by the christian wrong, has decidedto make thedoor greeters wear santa hats. This pissed me off. As a supervisor, it is my job to enforce the rules and policies on the front end. Guess what ain’t gonna happen? When this first came down a week ago, I went to my store manager and told her I was in no way going to enforce this policy,and we had a long discussion about it. I explained to her that it was wrong, and against company policy, to make someone endorse beliefs they do not beleive in. This is a direct issue for at least 2 of my greeters, I have found out. She said she wasn’t aware that any one held alternate beliefs. That’s the point. She shouldn’t have to know. Finally, she said that they would not have to wear the hats if they didn’t want. It turns out that she meant it has to be expressly against their religious beliefs, and cleared through her. I found this out today, when regional management came to the store, and my assistant manager told me to get hats for the greeters not wearing any, because they were mandatory. I told him, no, they were made availableto people who wanted to wear them, but they were in no way part of the uniform, an it would not be enforced. Although behind his back, the other superviors agreed with me, he cowed one person into getting the santa hats.

Was there ever a better day for district to be visiting? I went directly to to the HR manager, who happened to be part of the walk team, and laid it out with her also. It’s simply unfair to marginalize people for their beliefs. I understand that this is backlash from last year’s ‘Happy Holidays” promotion ( which I was happy to see, and sorry to see gone). They are trying to make up for what they see is lost ground. I think it was wrong to cave, but that choice wasn’t mine. However, in their misguided efforts to get back in the Virgin Mary’s bed, they are going too far.

If they make it mandatory, then it goes against people’s beliefs, or lack thereof. If itis mandatory only for the christians, that is discrimination. Also, it’s outting people who may be trying to fly under the radar, as they either have to pretend to be something they are not, or bear the possibility of snide comments and worse from both associates and customers. I am most wooried about the customer angle, as I have been harrassed already several times about not saying Merry christmas. (Today I said Merry Spaghettiness, but no one caught it.)

I am awaiting word now from the home office, and if I don’t hear   anything by friday morning, I’m calling the Walton kids myself.

Linguistic Lashout

One of the great things about the English language is how lithe it is, how it is supple enough to be molded to fit any one person’s meaning. It is always expanding. That’s great, too. Before Shakespeare the word ‘majestic’ didn’t exist. Before Snoop, neither did ‘shizzle’.

HOWEVER, it has parameters, a list of agreed upon, though wiggly, rules. I guess I am a rule follower by heart, because the way some people abuse the language is just too much for me. It’s not even virulent, bombastic abuse that leaves bruises and boken syntax. The kind of abuse that riles me is more akin to bedsores: using ‘do’ instead of ‘due’. Or ‘to’ instead of ‘too’ or ‘two’, and vice versa. (Example sign from work: Do Too the state changing its fees, are prices are being raised….) This. Is. Ingnorant. It. Is. Wrong.

The other big thing that gets me is the use of ‘Ect.’ instead of ‘Etc.’ For novices of the english language, I will explain. ‘Etc.’ is short for ‘et cetera’, a roman term loosely meaniong ‘and so on’. Cal can tell us exactly what. ECT is short for ‘electro-convulsive therapy’, which is what I would freely give constant word abusers.

Yes, perhaps I go too far; maybe I shouldn’t carry a sharpie in my car to fix gas station signs… but then maybe I wouldn’t be me.

Did you ever see or hear anything that struck you dumb? Literally tore a hole in your universe, caused a lesion in your brain causing you to temporarily be placed in a state of unspeak? Me too. I wsa speaking today, quite genially to one of my coworkers. She is funny, has a degree in accounting, and we get along great. She is about my age and I always felt we connected, in the sense that we had similar opinions and worldviews on myriad topics. We were talking about the crazy weather last year, and how it would possibly be a harbinger for more crazy weather this winter, when she dropped this bomb: “Well, I’m glad, because weather this erratic is bound to show scientists that the Grand Canyon could be made suddenly, and that the earth is only 6000 years old.” What??? Okay, I know there are YEC out there, but I imagined they were old and stooped onver, carrying a bible around to cushion themselves when they tip over. This is a modern woman. WTF? It should cease to surprise me, but it never does. I know that many smart people put logic on hold for religion, they have to in order to keep it, I think. I believe this without ever having been an adult christian, so really I’m just drawing conclusions from observations here, but that’s the way it seems to me. The fact that ‘normal’ people delude themselves this far, though, is frightening to me. I don’t know how to react with her now. I know that seems odd, but by the same measure, I work with and respect overtly religious people every day (another coworker is a minister’s wife, and we get along great). It might have something to do with knowing what to expect ahead of time. With ministers wife, her religion is already part of the recognition package I have of her, where accountant girl hadn’t had that imprint yet. I’ve known her over 2 years, you think that’d come out somehow earlier. I know no one is interested in this, so now for a nugget that might make you smile, maybe:

A distraught young woman decides to throw herself into the ocean.

Down at the docks, a handsome young sailor notices her tears, takes pity on her, and says, “Hey, you’ve got a lot to live for. All you need is a new start. I’m off to
Europe in the morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on my ship. I’ll take good care of you and bring you food every day.” Moving closer, he slips his arm around her shoulders and adds, “I’ll keep you happy, and you’ll keep me happy.” She agrees, and the sailor brings her aboard that night and hides her in a lifeboat. Every night he brings her three sandwiches and a piece of fruit and they make passionate love until dawn. Three weeks later, during a routine search, she is discovered by the ship’s captain. “What are you doing here?” the captain asks. “I have an arrangement with one of the sailors,” she explains. “He’s taking me to
Europe, and he’s screwing me.”
“He sure is, lady,” says the captain. “This is the
Staten Island ferry.”

Today in Chem Lab

I am taking beginning chemistry, and its lab at school. Mind you, I got out of highschool 10-so years ago, and the most advanced science I’ve ever had is Applied Biology – and that was 12 years ago. My high school had 3 tracks for its students – college, tech school, and McDonalds. I was on the tech school track (read :Air Conditioning Repair) because my standardized test scores were good, but I never showed up. So my education is incomplete. Now to my story – Today in Chem Lab –

We incinerated  charcoal and got bright white sparks!! Science Rocks! We also incinerated sulphur, which was a wicked light blue. Just thought I’d share. Going back to college is one of the best decisions of my life, and I hope chemistry is always this fun (Considering its my major).

Next semester I’m taking biology. Hope I don’t have to dissect any cow eyes or anything.