Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Tired of playing post office"

On Monday, we got slammed with about 500 customers. That is quite a lot for our little CPU. There were only two of us working from 1:00-6:00. Barely time to breathe. At the end of the day, my boss said that she was "tired of playing post office". 99% of our customers are very nice. But that other 1%? Not so much. And some of them are so damned needy!!!

Love it when someone walks up with an armful of stuff and says "I need to mail this". Well, no shit. You also need a box, or other container. Tape? Well, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to charge you if your box isn't taped. We have to buy it, so you'll have to buy it from us. And, no, boxes aren't free either. Unless you want to send it priority mail. The USPS provides those boxes for free. The catch is that you have to ship it using their priority service. Yes, it's a little more expensive. But, hey, free box!

Need an envelope to mail that letter? No, those aren't free either. Sorry, copies also aren't free. Ten cents apiece.

Why do people think that we have to provide everything for nothing?

And there is no such thing as "regular" mail. I show you the options on the screen after your package is weighed. I show you that the choices are first class or parcel post, priority and express. When you say "Just send it regular", I want to scream. Did I give you "regular" as an option? Do you see "regular" on the screen????

And if you put your return address on the center of the package right above the addressee, don't be surprised if the damn package is mailed back to your house! Oh, and when addressing an envelope or package, please remember to leave room for the damn postage at the upper right corner! It amazes me how many people do not know how to address a package or an envelope!! Here's a tip: Return address on upper left hand corner. Addressee: center vertically and horizontally on the package. Postage: Upper right hand corner. Got it?

Yes, I am beginning to understand the term "going postal" much better these days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


My plan is to whip this sorry old body into shape by the end of this year. Impossible? I hope not. I am now working five days a week. Eight months ago I didn't even have a job. And I've joined a gym. And I'm trying so hard to get myself strong and healthy. I have to believe it is still possible to save myself. I'm determined.

Yesterday was a killer day at work. There were only two of us working from 1:00-6:00, and the people wouldn't stop coming! Imagine kicking over an anthill. All the ants come pouring out, one after the other. That was my day yesterday. I felt as though I had been slapped around all day. A constant stream of people. Letters to mail, packages to ship, questions (some of them really stupid), complaints about the new mail rates (yes, I know. you are not the first person to complain), no time for small talk.... It got to the point where I was ready to scream if I saw one more car pull into the parking lot! But we survived. I was never happier than when 6:00 came and I could put up the "CLOSED" sign. And, even then, a car or two pulled up and people tried to get in.

Battered and bruised, I left work. When I got home, I changed my clothes and looked at my desk, and the couch, and the television, and gave myself a pep talk. If I sat down, I knew I wouldn't move the rest of the night. So I grabbed a small bite to eat, and grabbed my workout bag and headed for the gym.

Twenty minutes on the treadmill, listening to my iPod, and I was already feeling better. A couple of months ago, I couldn't even imagine that it could be so. Ninety minutes later, sweaty and sore, I left the gym and felt revived. I couldn't believe it. But it was so.

I have a long way before I am in shape again. And the shape may not ever be what it was when I was 30. But I am determined. And it feels good. Pray that it lasts.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Saved her again

In the last six months, I've had to save my mother in the middle of the night four times. Mom has Type II diabetes and is on insulin injections. She's had it for about 20 years. Her mother, and her mother's mother also were diagnosed with it after menopause. That is one inheritance that I would love to refuse. It is a major reason that I am on a quest to lose weight and get healthy! (So far I am down 7 pounds and working out 3-4 times a week. Only about 25 more pounds to go!)

Five years ago, my son was diagnosed with Type I diabetes (juvenile diabetes). While he was in the hospital, we went through five days of 'training'. He was included in the training at all levels (he was twelve years old at the time). And he knows what he has to do, and when he has to do it. My mother either never had the training, or she just doesn't 'get it' because she really messes up her insulin doses these days. There are differences between Type I and Type II, but no difference in the way insulin is dosed and how it works. Of course, mom also takes oral medicines which affect the insulin and that is one thing I don't understand. I admit that. But, she doesn't know to adjust the insulin doses, nor does she eat enough after she takes it! That much is a given.

It is a scary thing to be jarred awake in the middle of the night by a ghastly moaning. Mom's blood glucose levels have been as low as 43 on these occasions. Imagine someone absolutely drunk, with no control over themselves and that is what it is like. Most of the time, I am able to get her to drink some orange juice or coke. But the last two times, she hasn't even been able to sit up. I keep a couple of glucagon emergency kits in the house (my son's doctor prescribed them). Two of the last incidents, I have had to use them on her to bring her sugar levels up. (I've never had to use them on my son).

Mom never adjusts her insulin dosage. She waits until she sees her doctor (every six months). My son wears an insulin pump, and he knows how to adjust his basal insulin rate according to a formula he learned from the doctor. He covers any food he eats with extra insulin according to an insulin-to-carb ratio that he was taught. He knows how to read food labels, and he is good a judging carb amounts in the food he eats outside the house. My mom? Not so much.

My son tells her not to take her insulin dose so late at night! I tell her not to take a dose at night. It's supposed to be taken before dinner! You are supposed to eat within twenty minutes of the dose. And the dose should be adjusted according to your blood glucose levels....... She doesn't understand the amount of carbs needed to level out the insulin and when to eat them. She doesn't understand how to adjust her dose, no matter how often we try to help her.

She just doesn't get it. My biggest fear is that someday she isn't going to be able to moan loud enough for me (or anyone) to hear.

The incidents have been happening more often lately. My sleep is almost always uneasy.