Friday, April 29, 2011

Help Me Straighten Courtney Out

There is a Dollar Tree that I frequent and I encounter this chick all the time. I think I keep encountering her because it is my calling to smack the ish outta her. Her name is Courtney, she seems to be around 20?
During the Christmas season is when I remember meeting her first. The place was insane with shoppers.The lines were backed up quite a bit. I was maybe, 7th in line and Courtney was serving a Hispanic male and his wife. The man was  tryna get a balloon which are behind the counter at another register . He asked Courtney in an accented voice for the balloon, and she snapped "huh?" The man smiled patiently and repeated his question. And Courtney said "Is it a balloon that you want?" But she said it with rolling eyes and a snotty attitude. He shook his head yes. So Courtney headed over to the balloon counter and began to blow up a balloon. The man shook his head no and described the one he wanted. She took another balloon down and he shook his head no and tried to explain he wanted the 'pretty one with flowers". She obviously did not understand him so she yells across the counters frustrated"I can't understand you!" He tries again to explain and she says "look I can't understand you I do not speak Spanish". I was horrified because he was not speaking Spanish!. Eventually she got his right balloon and then after he left she said to the next person in line "those people kill me, learn a little English!" Then she rang up with an attitude a few more people in line then without a word she left her register and walked off. There were still lots of people in line. 

After about 5 minutes the two elderly ladies in front of  me began to wonder aloud where she went. They looked around and asked others in line if they knew her she went. No one did. So then one of the ladies says to the manager who was running the register beside our line, "excuse me ma'am do you know where our cashier went?" The manager looks over and asks "is she gone?" The ladies say "yes for about 10 minutes now." So the manager yells out Courtney's name across the store. Courtney appears from the middle of aisle three. "What!" she snaps. "What are you doing your line is backing up?" the manager asks. "Well, Courtney says with a tone that should have gotten her ass fired on the spot. "Someone broke glass and I am getting it up if that's okay with all of you. That is the policy correct?"  The manager says "We could have had someone else get it we need you on the register." "Well I am almost done now" she says as she returns to her register with a dustpan full of broken glass. She dumps the glass into the trash. One of the ladies says "Oops, sorry we did not mean to get you in trouble, its just that you left and we did not know if you were returning." "Its fine" Courtney says "did you think I fell in a hole or something?" I think that was her attempt at humor but it was rude.I am watching all this in disbelief.
Courtney then retrieves a clip board from under the counter and begins to fill out veeerry slowly a damage report. While we are all still waiting! She then gets a wipe and wipes down her work space. It is clear to me that Courtney is being a bitch. But I say nothing. Courtney eventually resumes ringing people out.
This week I returned to that Dollar Tree to pick up some stuff. Courtney was working and was her usual cheerful self. While she was ringing people out an elderly lady approached and stood off to the side waiting for a chance to talk to Courtney. Courtney just ignored the lady and kept ringing  people out. When my turn came I said to Courtney "you can help her I'll wait." 
Courtney turns to the lady and snaps "do you need something?" "Why yes dear" the sweet ole lady replies. She is of the age that her hands tremble. Trembling she shows Courtney her receipt and says nicely to her "I think you made a mistake dear, see you charged me for 5 cards but I only have 4." "Gimme the cards" Courtney snaps and snatches the cards and counts them. I did not see the count because I was watching the elderly lady. She hands then back to the lady and says. "Well what do you want?" "I would like to be charged correctly please" the lady says."You were" says Courtney. The lady starts to explain that she has 4 cards but paid for 5 and Courtney snaps "why are you telling me! I mean seriously what do you think I can do about it?"
"Well what should I do?" asks the lady. "Tell the manager, duh!" she rudely says
"OK" says the lady "will you call her?" "No I will not! You can tell her yourself" and with that Courtney turns her back to the lady and starts ringing me up. "Where is the manager?" the lady asks "How am I supposed to know?" Courtney responds. I really do not have time for this. Do you see my line people are waiting. Don't you see that big sign over that door that says manager?" 
"Yes" the lady answers. "Well thats where you can go" Courtney says rolling her eyes.
The lady thanks her and heads for the door. Courtney then says to me "I know that she had 5 cards, she is not fooling me! hhmmp" I was mortified. I have never seen someone so rude. I am emailing Dollar Tree to share my observations. I am mad at myself for not saying anything but sheesh I was just shocked that someone would talk that way to someone. I have decided to  start going there often just to fuck with Courtney. I wanna see if she will talk to an able bodied individual that way. I'ma ask for balloons, let her blow them up then change my mind. And all kinda ish but I need some more ideas. What can I do to make Courtney's life hell?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stolen Cheese, A Tornado, And Walmart Sucks

On April 16th we here in NC were hit with several tornadoes. causing many deaths, injuries and loss of homes, etc. While I was fortunate enough to not have a direct hit at my home, I did manage to have a lil experience on that day that is post worthy. Here's how it went down in Raquel's World..
April 16th we are at home watching the entire county plus the surrounding ones light up with warnings and watches on the TV screen. I did wait an hour or so for My tornado. I got nothing. It was also my son's Bday and as a tradition in my home, birthday boy or gal chooses dinner for the evening. Marlon chose grilled cheese and french frys. I had not gotten his cake yet so I needed to head out to Walmart. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea but after hours of all the threats and then nothing I decided to take Mason and Marlon and head on over to Walmart.
As we were getting our last items, the sky darkened and the power went out. The entire Walmart gasped at once but again I did not see the big deal, The generators kicked in and although it was dim in there, one could still see. I headed to the checkout and as my turn came up I realized I had forgotten the cheese! I cannot make grilled cheese without the cheese so I sent the boys to quickly fetch the cheese while I checked out. 
All of a sudden mass chaos ensued. People were screaming and the patrons were all pushed to the front of the store. The Walmart staff were on walkie talkies and yelling at people to  get out of the store immediately. "Everyone leave your carts where they are and exit the store" They screamed at us. I began to worry about my boys,so I headed back for them. I was met halfway by security who told me I could not go to the back of the store I needed to exit. "My kids are back there" I begin to say. But he busied himself with forcing other people out. Just when I was about to panic I saw them running towards me with the cheese! I went to pay and the security people were yelling "Everyone out! Now!" They were not nice either.
For the life of me I could not understand what the big deal was. So the freaking power is out? Okay, can we nicely be told to leave? I mean seriously Walmart screaming at people and pushing the crowd towards the exit is not very good customer service. People were panicked because trust me when Walmart forces all the patrons to the front at once you would be amazed how many people are actually there. Hundreds of them all confused, frustrated, panicked, etc. Kids were crying, people were yelling for their loved ones, people were bitching, all the while the Walmart staff was yelling "out! everyone out!" I still had the cheese in my hand. I was tryna pay but the cashiers were instructed to not ring anyone out. So what did I do? I put the cheese in my cart with the other items I had already paid for and headed for the exit. Fuck It! I had to have my cheese. And I wasn't leaving without it. If they did not want my money who was I to argue? Damned cheese is too high anyways.
We joined the crowd headed to the door only to find that the doors had locked. No power no open. I ain't gonna lie that part scared me. I sure did not want to be trapped in Walmart with a panicked and angry crowd. We had to go out a side door. Once we got outside the sky was dark and the winds were whipping. Me and the boys ran to our van. And in that moment I realized maybe there was a tornado coming and that's why they wanted us out? I loaded up the kids truly scared now and hauled ass outta there. We made it home and had a small storm and a power outage that lasted an hour or so. But apparently at that same moment there were two tornadoes on either side of us wreaking hell on the town. We were safe and we had our cheese and that's all that mattered to me.
I was pissed at Walmart. I thought they handled people so wrongly. Why would you think if there was a tornado you should make people go out in it??????? They must have thought one was coming because I have been in a store when the power went out before and they generally do not panic like that? I was pissed. So if there had been a tornado we would be kicked from the shelter of Walmart and sent out to fend for ourselves? Well ......
*F*U Walmart! Were they that worried that people would steal something? Who the hell would do that in a tornado? (ahem, I intended to pay for my cheese) As a matter of fact the guilt inspired this fb post...

So me and two of my kids were in walmart, storm hit, power went out, and panic ensued. People were screaming and being pushed out of the store. It was scary. I may or may not have not paid for my cheese.

I later heard from another friend who was in Walmart in Raleigh that the securty there actually put there hands on people and pushed them outta of the store. Including a senior citizen who was totally confused, they were yelling at her and such. Come on Walmart seriously?? This is your emergency plan? 
Here is yet another fb post a bit later.

Raquel Zakerski Reed
And by the way, Walmart sucks, they threw people out into the storm. Rudely I might add. I experienced it myself. And apparently this happened at other Walmarts too. suck! But honestly Your prices are cheap so I'll still shop there but I will wear the stank-eye while shopping.

I tried to look up their power outage procedures but was unsucessful (okay I googled it and gave up after 3 minutes) That sounds like a job for Mike. A local Lowes store saw the storm and took all the customers to the back of the store to keep them safe. Lowes was demolished but everyone made it out okay. See that here.  If anyone reading this blog works for Walmart you seriously need to read this link and maybe bring it up at the next staff meeting. I'm just saying..... This is what you should do when your customers are in danger. I wonder what would have happened if Walmart threw the people out into the storm and someone died. Himmmm?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Time Has Come

If you've been around Raquel's world for a minute, you will know that my biggest stress factor is my relationship with the RA
Oh sure I have:
road rage issues,
work drama
doctor issues,
my kid's shoot their teeth out with staples, etc. But when you are in an unhealthy relationship all that falls to the wayside. My relationship has spanned 12 years with the RA and it has always been tricky but there had always been enough good to outweigh the bad. However the last three years have been the worse. His baby mama drama has gotten out of control, his finances are out of control leaving me to support the entire family of 6 independently out of my small paycheck while he gets a new car,  he eats out  while I pack lunch each day, and he goes on vacation while I pick up extra hours to pay bills. He comes and goes as he wishes with no regard to schedules, pre made plans, or just plain ole decency. He seems completely miserable there with us. So I decided he should go. I love him but honestly just do not like him nor does he like me. I only held on this long for the kids. The thing is, yes, the kids have their dad around full time because that is the one thing RA is good at. His lack of responsibility and respect have turned me into a monster leaving me emotionally, and financially drained, therefore I have not a whole lot to offer my kids. So after much reflection I have decided ultimately that he should go. 
RA just seems to resent having to play the role of a man. He resents having to pay bills or repair things and coming home period. He seems intent on acting like a boy and since I am mid 30's and super busy raising 4 kids I have no time for boys. It is scary but only for how it will affect my kids. My oldest two (which are from a previous marriage) and I have discussed this. They have expressed feeling like RA does not want to be there with us and once the kids start seeing what I try to hide the jig is up. 
So this Sunday, the RA will be moving on yet again. That means he will probably move back to his hometown which will leave the two smaller kids (his kids) quite distressed. But I will do everything and anything I can to fill that void. I feel positive about it, after all this is not our first split. I think that once I get all his drama out of my life I will be a better parent, a least a happier one. Which ultimately will be good for us all. So here I go! Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paranoid or Justified? You Decide.

So Tuesday I had a doctors appointment.  I got a whole separate post about the waiting room but for this post we will just focus on the actual visit. It was scheduled 5 months ago. It was my ladyday appointment. Okay, Okay, pap smear. As always they provided me with great blog material so here ya go.
When I was called back I was greeted by a "med student" that would be assisting in my care today. Great I thought. We did the preliminary stuff, weight, height etc. She then took me into the room to do the temp and blood pressure. She had no clue how to take my blood pressuue. She plugged in the machine and the nurse unplugged it. The student got up and plugged it back in and the nurse informed her that it need not be plugged in. She then fumbled with the arm cuff while she tried to figure out how to operate the thing. I was tempted to show her but refrained. I inquired about my urology referral and she looked through my file and said there is no referral in here. Once the actual nurse came back I inquired with her. She said the same. I told her that 3 months ago I had came here and the doc wrote me a referral for urology and I was supposed to get a call when it was scheduled. I reminded her that I had been there about 12 times over the course of a year for UTI's and the like. (and in case you missed those fun visits you can read about them here and here) She said just ask the doc. 
The doc entered. One I had never seen before. She seemed nice enough. She too was pregnant. This is the third pregnant doc I had seen here. I wondered is this where they send docs to count down to their maternity leave? I asked her about the referral. She turned right to it and said "oh it's not scheduled yet." "Okay" I said "but its been 3 months. How long does it take?" "Dunno" she replied seeming completely uninterested and moved on. She asked me the basic questions periods, kids, birth control, etc. when she inquired about my general heath I went briefly over my history with the health department and told her I was having the same issues. She said "well your urine is fine." "Okay" I replied feeling defeated, "Well I also have a congestion that I fear may have turned into pneumonia or something can you check that out for me?" "Nope" she said "you are here for a pap." Shocked at her response while simultaneously deciding that I did not like her I explained to her again "I know I am here for that but I am sick and wondered if you could just take  a listen to my lungs and tell me if I have an issue here." "No, that would be considered a sick visit and you are here for a pap." She says matter-of-factly. "I am aware of the reason I am here however I did not schedule an additional visit for the sick thing because I already had an appointment today and do not want to have to double pay or miss double work." She said "sorry, but you can schedule a sick visit when you check out today and then when you return we will listen to your lungs, and address any issues at that time." ????WTF???? Now I'm pissed. She asks me to get undressed. I do and then she says "do you want a breast exam?" "Shouldn't I have one?" I ask. "That's up to you" she responds. Rolling my eyes I say "yeah hook me up." She does and then  proceeds with the pap. 
Once she gets in there she immediately asks "have you ever had an abnormal pap?" 
"Yes" I respond still mad about the sick thing
"When?" she asks 
"When I was 18' I say
"And the results of that?"
"Everything was fine" I say
"How about more recently?" she asks
"Nope. nothing" I say trying to communicate with her as minimally as possible since I now have determined she is a bitch. She then asks for another swab from the nurse. 
"Have you had an abnormal one recently?" she inquires
"Nope" I say. 
"Not in the past ten years?" she asks. 
"Nope" I respond thinking if this is her attempt at small talk, she sucks.
She then asks the nurse for another swab. This makes 3. "Hmm" she says as she's swabbing around in there. "
Never had an abnormal pap huh? Hand me another swab." This makes 4! Any woman knows the procedure is 2 swabs per pap. Between all the extra swabbing and abnormality questions I am getting concerned. "When was your last pap?" she asks. I wanted to say "damn bitch read my file will you" But I decide its not a good idea to talk ish when someone is in your vagina. "last year" I tell her.
"Okay you're done" 
She then says "you can get dressed and we will notify you when the results come back abnormally, I mean if they come back abnormally." 
"And the urologist?" I ask. "How long will I have to wait?" 
"Give us a call in 3 weeks if you've not heard anything." She then hands me 3 sample pills from her pocket. Her demeanor is a bit nicer now after the pap? She tells me "you can have these samples they should help with the congestion until you can get back in for another visit." 
She leaves the room and then another nurse enters and asks me if I want blood work done. "Aren't you supposed to get blood work done at your psychical?" I ask her I mean hell you are the people who keep stressing this is a psychical. "If you want it, if not then you don't  have to?" the nurse tells me.
"I might as well get my moneys worth, hook me up" I tell her 
I leave there worried about what the hell she saw during the pap that would cause the barrage of questions and the two extra swabs. The next day I get 3 calls from them. Please keep in mind that this office usually won't even return a call when you are on your death bed. So getting a call from them scared me. The nurse informs me that my cholesterol is too high. This info was provided by the optional blood testing. Good thing I said yes. I breathe a sigh of relief. I thought they were calling to say something much worse. She tells me diet and exercise and hangs up. An hour later I get a "follow up call" from another nurse?
Then that afternoon I get yet another call from the receptionist just calling to reassure me she is working on my referral but it may be May before they make any progress. Sure I say. Okay so now I'm totally freaked. It seems as though they saw something and are now realizing that maybe I was not just complaining for fun for the past couple years and they are now covering their tracks. What do you think? Am I being paranoid or are my concerns legit? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Am I The Next Brittany?

I awoke at 5:20am. Did the usual, got the coffee going, checked on the weather, started breakfast for the kiddos and one by one visited their bedsides to awake them. My mood was half decent. When I arrived at Mason's room and turned on his light he immediately said "my mouth hurts really bad." In typical RocMom fashion I said "okay that's great. Hop on in the shower." "But my mouth really hurts" he whined. "Okay let's get moving" I say. See I'm not one to entertain foolishness especially at 530am. He continued to whine his way into the shower and then the crying ensued. I went into the bathroom told him to cut the whining that I would give him some ibuprofen before school and that was that. Sounds heartless I know but the day before he had told me that he bit his tongue while playing bball. I'm sure it was a bit sore but in my house only three things will get you a day outta school, blood, vomit, or fever. An hour and a half later Mason was still whining and crying about his mouth as I pulled up to drop princess of at preschool. I certainly could not leave him there screaming so I yelled frustrated at him. "Fine Mr. Mason you will go to work with me but you are grounded because that is not a good excuse to miss school." He whimpered "okay." So all on the ride to  work I lectured to him on perseverance and being responsible. Hey it was early and I was now in an ill mood after spending my morning listening to all that crying.

At work it was busy and not with very good children either. One mom dropped her son off with a bottle of Ginger Ale and a pack of saltines. This should have given me a hint. As the day progressed this little boy informed me that he had been vomiting all night and all morning. I was pissed. I tried calling the mom, she had her phone off. About lunch time I noticed a very sweet baby was acting a bit off. I took her temp it was 102. I called her mom. Then about midday another lil girl had diarrhea. Her parents also decided to turn their phones off. What is wrong with people? Again these are not struggling working moms. These are the elite, that have nannies and such but use our service to go play tennis or get their hair done. Why? Why? Why? Would you drop off your kid sick then turn off your phone! If you do not care about the rest of the children and staff don't you care about your own child? So now I am battling sickness all around. I am still not over the last round. Needless to say  the day was not too great. Around 1:30 I noticed Mason was sleeping which is odd, he's ten, so he doesn't nap. I checked on him and he had a fever of 102. as well. Now I felt like crap about the way I had treated him.
 I was counting down the hours and was almost there when the phone rang at work. It was my older kids. "Mom, something bad happened." Michael informed me. "Oh god. What?" I said. Last time I got this call someone had stapled shot their teeth out. You can enjoy that story here. "Well, my friend came by......" His explanation is cut short as I hit him with my barrage of questions. "What friend? What was he doing there? No one is supposed to be  there when I'm not!" etc. etc. "Well John was thirsty and....." "Just tell me what the hell happened!" I said getting more irritated by the second.  "Well, John knocked at the front door and the glass broke." I said a whole bunch of bad words here, and reminded him that the last time they broke the front door glass it cost me $200 to replace a piece of glass the size of a book. I was pissed. Not only was that unsightly but it was an emergency because anyone could just reach in our door turn the lock and come on in. I was furious!
Seriously I can relate.
I arrived home to see the damage and it was not good. My house however was spotless as my two teens sat there with a horrified look on their faces. I put dinner in the oven and placed a call to the boys mother who broke my glass. I informed my son Michael that he would be responsible for paying until I was reimbursed by the parent of the vandalizer. Here's where it get's sad. See the boy who broke the window is a very nice boy but his dad is deceased and his mom has a special needs child and doesn't work they have very limited income. My son had told me before that when he visited their home they had little furniture, no car, and no food. I so did not want to ask her to pay but hell, I couldn't afford to shell out $200. I hated calling her. She told me she will pay when she gets paid at the beginning of the month. I felt horrible for her. Her kid is a nice kid and I'm sure it was an accident. After all my boys had done the same thing last year but I needed it fixed. I busied myself tryna find a cheaper way to repair the door because I could not imagine being poor already and having to shell out that kinda money for an accident. In the midst of all this I forgot dinner and it burned. Uuugghh. I went to the fridge to see what I could conjure up quickly and noticed my food was not very cold. See my fridge had apparently stopped working that day too. What the hell else? I thought.

I understand this much better now.
I called RA (David, I'm putting him back to RA status) You all know what RA means. Right? He answered and I went into a tyrade..."dinner is burnt! The front door is broke! Mason is sick! And the fridge is not working! I just spent $530 on groceries 3 days prior and they are all going bad! You need to get her now and help!" He, calm as usual, says "no biggie I'll be there soon and we''ll figure it out."  I hate "we'll figure it out!" "I wanna know what, how, where's the money coming from etc! I have to miss work tomorrow because Mason is sick and I just missed a few days last pay period I need to work!" I continue yelling.
He worked on the fridge, fixed the door for $35 which by the way pisses me off because last time he said he could not fix it and I paid $200! It was the same door. Same window! But anyways just another day in Raquel's World.
So if you spot me at your local salon doing this move. You know what's up..

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tragedy In NC

We interrupt Marlon's dedication post in celebration of his birthday to bring you this important post. We will celebrate him later because this year on his birthday tragedy struck our state.
I live in North Carolina and unless you have been living under a rock you will know that our state and more specifically my local counties were hit with dozens of super cell tornadoes this past Saturday. The last totals were over 60 tornadoes! It was outta control. Me personally, I live in Fuquay and my town was spared but the towns surrounding me, where I work and have family were ravaged. Here are some pics to put it all into perspective.

The current stats are ----22 dead 130 injured. Hundreds without homes. It is a sad time here while people try to rebuild their homes and lives. For once in my life I am feeling very lucky. I have my own personal experience from that day that I will share in a separate post. Please pray for those effected, they need it. Here are a couple videos that really show the damage.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Remembering the day that I met Marlon

It's April 16th 1998 about midday. I'm 39 weeks preggos, chilling at the house with my 2 year old and I start to have some cramping. Cramping, hmmm should I be concerned?  I am 39 weeks pregnant. This is baby number two and these pains do not feel like the pains with baby number one. Is this labor? It feels more like pressure than pain. I am confused. I call my friend she is the one who is planned to take my two year old when this labor thing goes down. But I tell her I am not sure if I'm in labor or not. I just feel odd I say. We hang up and decide I will take a "wait and see" approach. About 10 minutes pass and the worse freaking back pain in the world hits me. Now I get that it this is not good so I call the friend again she is on the way. Until she gets there I am crying on the floor trying to not panic my precious two year old. We are alone. Help is on the way but I am worried because this shit hurts. Help arrives we load everyone up. I kiss my baby boy goodbye. This is extremely hard because at this point he had not spent a second away from me, and never overnight. The anxiety from that is adding to this pain. My sister heads me off to the hospital and my husband is in route as well. On the drive over I am screaming in pain. I put on like a horror movie. Every bump in the road sends excruciating pain through me. When we arrived at the hospital I could not even get out of the car. I swore there was a baby hanging out of my vagina. The hospital staff came and got me with a wheelchair and of course I wailed all through the lobby all in the elevator up into my room, making quite the spectacle of myself. where my husband stood there in shock. See This was baby number two and baby number one's birth was calm and long and just as it should be. This was not cool. What was I birthing? Rosemary's baby?
In the room I begged for something for the pain. "No time" I was told. No time what the hell did that mean? Baby number one took 9 hours! It meant baby is on the way out. I know if you read my birthing post about Mason some of this sounds familiar but this baby was years before Mason so this was my first time in this chaos. Just to put in in perspective here are two photos that compare birthing baby number 1 to baby number 2.
Baby #2-   What the ?!@!!@?

Baby #1-     Ahh this ain't so bad. 


I was scared as hell. They put me in the bed and all natural, no pain meds no time to breathe no nothing. "Just push!" they screamed at me. I could barley breathe with the pain let alone push so the labor went on with them screaming at me to get the baby out and me screaming at them 
"I can't!" Eventually out he came. Cute as button, minus the slime and blood he was covered in.
The birth was fast, furious, painful scary and quite honestly the staff was not very nice. This was opposite of my first experience but we made it. And after going through that I could go through anything because that shit HURT!
Let me say here that the Rex Hospital staff sucked. They wiped the baby barely and tossed him (literally) onto me. No blankie, no stocking cap, no nothing. He was so cute and still is. He did not cry he just looked at me sweetly. I should've know then that this boy would be something else. They left the baby and me. I was shaking in shock because this happened at record speed. My brain was still in the car driving over and my body was here birthing humans. The baby shivered constantly as did I. I shivered because my body had been traumatized, and I was in pain, the baby shook because he was freezing. I asked for a blanket to cover him and they said he did not need one. They busied themselves with cleaning the room. I eventually had my husband get a blankie out of our suitcase and I wrapped him myself. The staff  did not appreciate that. But I did not care. We named him Marlon Kyle. I will tell you all about him in a post tomorrow, for he is a very interesting child.  After all I have to share my readers time with other bloggers so that is the birthing story of baby number two...Marlon. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Incompetent Educational Planners Part 2

Thanks to everyone for the comments on yesterdays post about the IEP team. Due to my frustration and aggravation with this group of yahoos I decided I no longer would be a slave to their ridiculous meeting times and inflexibility in working with me, so I refused to meet until they did what they were supposed to do six months ago. I mean the nerve, You had a responsibility to complete something, had 6 months to do it, you didn't, and now you want me to assist in the covering of your ass?  Umm Nope. They send you home these "invites" which have a date and time to meet. You have 4 options: 

1-yes I will be there
2- no I will not but will reschedule (which I attempted to do)
3- I will be available via phone
4- the team can meet without me

I have done a phone IEP meeting before and I did not like it, Different people were talking and I did not know who was saying what.  I like to see people face on when I am dealing with something as important as my child's education. So number 3 was a negative. Again they are inflexible with meeting times so number 1- negative. And number 2- impossible. And the 4th option, that's just like playing russian roulette. Why would I allow a group of people, some who barely even know my child, decide what is best for him? Especially when you have proven to not  really be interested in him but more so your deadlines.So I emailed the case manager and shared my feelings on the matter and told him again I would be willing to meet when you have done your part. He then sent me a  paper to sign saying that I declined the meeting. (to cover his ass I'm sure)
By signing that paper I would have given them something to use against me to later say "see she didn't even come in to meet with us" eluding to the opinion that I did not care. So instead of checking a box and signing I wrote a lovely little note on the bottom stating that the reason I could not meet was the schools inflexibility not mine. And I shared some other thoughts as well. The case manager emailed me and said he would send a new form home and he would prefer if I just checked the box and signed. No I said because checking no just says I won't come it doesn't say why and I think why is super important because I am quite sure having dealt with several different IEP teams that they should be way more accommodating. He then went on and on and said all the textbook shit people say when they are watching their moves and eventually in the interest compromise I agreed to a phone conference.
I gave him some dates and times and of course none were good for him. One of them being 3pm on a Tuesday. That particular time would not work because "the staff is not on campus 40 minutes after school". That is probably part of the problem. I reluctantly agreed to a 2:15 phone conference. I verified my cell number the date and the time. I stressed the importance of informing me if we would have to cancel b/c in order to do this conference  I would need to bring in a staff member to cover me at work specifically for this phone conference. (we do not get a lunch break)
215- no call
230- no call
240 nothing 
250 nothing! At this point I am pissed. This is exactly why I refused to take the entire day off for this shit!
3pm my business phone rings as I am checking out a customer. Our phone is up front where the customers come in and out. It is the case manager.
"Hi Ms. Reed, he says are you ready for conference?" He offers no apology no explanation. 
"No, are you near a clock?" I ask him
"Sure" he says
"Can you tell me the time?" I ask
"Sure it's just after 3" He replies, obviously not catching on.
"The same 3p that I requested to begin with." I say snarkily "Our meeting time was 2:15, and why are you calling me at work?"
"Uh, well Ms. Reed we got held up with another meeting, so sorry about that, let's get started"
"No I am at work I now and have to work over an additional hour to cover the hour I just took off for the meeting. So I am now working and cannot possible do this."  I am totally peeved.
"It will only take a few moments" he says
"Nope. Sorry" I reply
"Well I understand Ms. Reed and again I apologize but things happen, you do not have 5 minutes to spare?" he asks me as if I am being ridiculous. 
5 Minutes? That's all he had to plan my kids next 6 months of his education!
"No. I had an hour to spare at 215 but now I am working" I snap
"I understand. Can I just ask you a question?" he says
"Sure" I say annoyed as hell
"It appears that _____ is struggling in Language arts and we feel that such and such and such
would you agree Ms. Reed?" The case manager asks
"I would"
"Give me sec to jot that down, and it appears that blah blah blah...." he carries on 
And the it hit me. This slick shit was attempting to hold the conference anyways right now!@?!? Once I figured that out I said to him "listen I am at work do not send me your availability I will send you mine".And with that I hung up. I have not heard form then since. It has been two weeks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

IEP- Incompetent, Educational Planners

My son is on an IEP plan at school. IEP stand for individualized educational plan. Should stand for Incompetent, Educational Planners. The objective of that plan is to alter educational settings for kids who need the extra help due to mental/psychical disorders. My sons "disorder" is ADHD. He is not a bad kid just a really hyper kid. Not so hyper you  wanna drug him but hyper enough that it takes  a little effort to get him to focus. Anyways, the IEP process mandates that a  team of "professionals" meet at certain intervals to discuss my child's needs and a plan of action to ensure he is successful. These "professionals" usually consist of a "mentor", several teachers, an IEP case manger and whomever else is deemed necessary. I have a whole plethora of issues with this team the main one being that their primary goal seems not to be to help my son but rather meet paperwork deadlines.
At our last meeting we had discussed my sons option for a mental/psychological exam. He had one when he was way younger and it outlined some issues that were helpful in planning his education going forward. It is now time to reassess if I so choose. I was informed of that but it was quick like..."Ms.Reed-it-appears-that- __________-is-due-for-another-psychological-work-up-but-we- won't- -worry-about-that-onto-page-two." It was so fast that if I had blinked I would have missed it which I'm sure was the intent.

Heres how it went after that
Regular print= case manager

Whoa pump your brakes mister? Why are we not worrying about that today?
Well I do not see the need.
As I look over the criteria for determining when such an exam is necessary it is clear that we meet most of them.
Well we are not seeing those issues here at school.
Really? Because if you'd like I can pull up several recent emails from the teachers complaining about those same issues. (there is silence as he realizes he is not dealing with some fool)
Well quite frankly I don't think it is necessary at this time.
Well I do
Well it would mean lots more paperwork
Well we can discuss it when we meet again in 6 months 
There is no need to discuss. I can decide if I want it irregardless of your recommendations right? ( I actually read the parents rights handbook they gave me a couple days prior)
None-to-pleased  he responds...yes
Well write it down because  I do want him retested, I think it will be helpful
The vision I have of what our case manager has been doing for the past 6 months
Fast Forward- 6 Months later- I receive a call from the case manager
Ms Reed its time to meet again 
Okay but I never heard from the school psychologist
Well we can discuss the need for that (we did 6 months ago)
We already did
Can you tell me why you want him retested? 
Sure and I provide him with several sound reasons, one of them being that I am his mom and it is my right.
Oh okay well let's get you in for a meeting
I do not see the need to meet at this point, we have met three times this year and each meeting is basically the same thing. And sad to say nothing changes so I feel it would be beneficial to my child to meet after the evaluation when we have some concrete information we can use to plan for him.
Well we can meet again then too but we need you to come in and fill out some papers, we have to get some forms in before next week. ( forms they had the past 6 months to get done)
okay sure. I am available ....and I provide him several dates and times
None of those dates/times work for us. We can meet you Tuesday at 11am.
Nope, 11am is no good I have a job buddy and that is smack in the middle of the work day 
( I have previously taken entire days off of work to accommodate their inflexibility, only to be rushed through a speed 15 minute session because they all had classes or lunch coming up)
He gives me some other BS time to meet
Nope I say, I can meet before work, after work, I will get off early or come in late but cannot miss an entire day of work for "paperwork" ( paperwork that they sat on their asses with and are now tryna rush me up their to cover their slackness)
After realizing we were not going to be able to agree upon a meeting date/time we agreed to a phone conference. Which will be discussed in an upcoming post.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Calling All Parents...I need some advice

I am a big rule person. I set the rules and they must be followed. I do allow my children's input and sometimes am willing to compromise, but not much. Lately I am having to debate the rules with my youngest son. You would think that I would be battling my high schooler but nope its the elementary one that takes issue with my rules??? In my home It has been my rule that girls are off the table til middle school at least. I have provided my children with a dating timeline that is acceptable in our home. Here it is:
Elementary School- You can like a girl, flirt, at the most hold a lil convo or text exchange via the phone but that's it. 
No "boyfriend/girlfriend" stuff. No dating, no long everyday convos.
Middle Schoool- You can like a girl, maybe even have one over.
If you wanna have a "girlfriend" at school that is cool. 
There will be no "dating". 
Any time spent with a girl will be in group settings or with adult supervision. 
High School- You can have "girlfriend" but in order to hang out with her I need to meet her and her parent/s. 
Going out on an actual "date" I am still undecided about that. We have decided to deal with that when it becomes an issue.
I think I will make that decision on an individual basis. 

So that is how I run my house and deal with the teen boys and their female relationships. So far, so good they have followed these rules and no one has really had to deal with any complex emotions that they may not be mature enough to handle. And I still am not a grandma so this is working for me.

All of my boys are rather cute and get a decent amount of female attention. Some definitely more than the next but then came Mason. If you will recall Mason is the youngest of the boys. Mason is 10 and in fourth grade. Still, to me, a baby. although these rules have yet to be challenged by the other boys, Mason is debating them with me daily. Mason has decided he will have a girlfriend. I sat Mason down to go over my allotted dating timeline and he really did not agree. Not that that matters much. It appears Mason has a "secret girlfriend". Not to worry because again Mason is 10. He goes to school, then track out camp and then home with mom so his 'realationship" is basically a schoolyard mutual crush. The other big debate we are having is cell phones. Apparently Mason is the only child above 1st grade that doesn't have a cell phone.. Mason has been bugging me to get him a cell phone but I got a rule about that too. No cell phones til middle school. Although it does seem like I am the only parent that feels that way. 

And lastly, I am in need of a bit of advice here from seasoned parents. It has always been my rule that my kids cannot ride with another teen driver. This is very challenging now that I have a kid in high school because he has several friends that drive to and from school and since he walks home I suspect he has "caught a ride". He admitted to this once we talked about it,but in typical teen fashion he believes that it is fine. I am so scary-concerned about this. Our town has teen awareness day coming up in a couple weeks. I am taking Michael. The day is focused on teen safety, specifically teen drivers. He thinks it is lame but I don't care, we are going. Am I being crazy on this? Again no one else's mom seems to mind if their kids catch a ride with another teen but I am scared outta my mind about this.

So I am polling my readers for advice. Help me out guys/gals.

 Where do you stand on the teen driving/riding issue? And how did you manage it?
What are or will be your rules for dating?
Will they differ depending on the gender?
How about the appropriate age for a child to have a cell phone?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm Back...Well Barely

Oh good grief-
You guys can only imagine the HELL that has been Raquel's World for a week or so. So much hell I could not even blog. Let's see where do I start?
I have been SICK, SICK, SICK...I had a round of strep-throat, a touch of the flu, and a headache for 3 days, and now I believe I have Thrush...WTF!!!
If you recall our job laid off the majority of our staff and we are now down to a VERY small crew. As usual when I warned my boss this was not the way to handle it because flu season was coming and one of our 4 staff members was also moving, cutting back so severely would leave us destitute in the event anyone or one of our 20 kids (we all have 4 or more kids each) became  ill. No one listened and we all became ill around the same time the one staff member was moving and it is also our busiest time. So my week was a mixture of calling out sick and feeling guilty for the staff that was stuck, and dragging my ass in sick-as-a-dog and getting stuck working by myself. Uggghhhh. It was not good and since I could not take more than a day off at a time I never fully recovered. In addition to that it was a very busy week at our job so, not good, not good. I am still not well. I cough as if I smoke 5 packs of Marlboro Reds an hour, and you do not even wanna know the things I have coughed up this week. Or do you? I would love to tell you but it could very well be TMI.
Okay add to that the fact that in my home/personal life I am having DRAMA! Drama. Drama. Drama!!! It all has been just too damn much to bear. I'll save that for another post. On top of that we had out of town guests for 3 days and on top of that my insurance canceled, for no good reason. Actually looks like they made a mistake, shocking huh? So I am currently mid battle with my insurance company.
I had a new lovely staff member due to start last week to save our sinking ship and I was so excited we would all be able to get a sigh of relief but to my horror she emailed the night before she was due to start and said she had a better offer and would not be coming. Oh good lord.. I could go on and on, trust me this is all the PG version of life lately but, I'm back. In a zombie state no less but back so hopefully I will get back in the swing of things and get some posts up this week. I have some really good stuff to share.
Anyhoo,, that's whats been up with me. I guess I'll get to reading and see what's been up with you all. Oh and by the way if anyone knows any good home remedies for thrush please let me know. I am already taking acidophilus pills and eating yogurt.