Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, writing

Tales of Truth – The Covid Diaries

First things first. To all the health care workers, I don’t know how you’ve done this for over a year now. I’m in awe of you all. Thank you is not a strong enough sentiment.

In my part of the world, we have been in lockdown since Boxing day 2020. A stay at home order was imposed early January and fingers crossed it is supposed to be lifted February 10th. Although I work retail, our store sells shoes and safety footwear to essential/front line workers, so yours truly has been working the entire time. We are open by appointment only for front line/essential workers and for any other customer, we are offering curbside pick up. Yep, selling shoes curbside, in Canada, in the winter. Yep, it’s different to say the least. I try not to complain, for I am still working, shortened hours, but working none the less. My boss treats us to coffee, takes over any irrational customers, in person or on the phone, we can take as many breaks as we need, I am fortunate and I know it. That being said, it’s been, interesting. At the end of my 6 hour shift I feel as if I’ve come off a 12 hour shift. Physically I’m fine, mentally, I’ve hit a wall. Curbside sales are now handled via text, email, phone call or facetime. At any given time I have 3 phones on me… I feel like a cross between a stock broker and drug dealer.

The majority of customers have been great. Patient, kind and grateful for the service we are providing. Unfortunately, of course, being retail, there have been some customers that make Karen seem like Mary Poppins. Being me, I’m gonna let you have a glimpse behind the curtain and share some of the experiences of my co-workers and myself. I can’t make this shit up.

  • at least once a day we receive a call from someone wanting to come in the store. We ask them if they are working and when they say no, we explain we offer curbside and that instore shopping is by appointment only and for essential/frontline workers. Then they proceed to ask us to lie for them. Yep. They actually say “Can’t you just say I’m essential, I really want new running shoes and I always try on at least 10 pairs to find the perfect one.”.
  • We’ve had people come in for a scheduled appointment turn around and tell us they are retired, that they aren’t working. *Cue manager intervention and direction to curbside service.
  • We’ve been yelled at and the f-shot shouted at us over the phone because the customer thinks the “lockdown/stay at home order is bullshit!”. …sigh
  • We have to tell customers to put their mask on when we deliver their shoes curbside.
  • I’ve been told I don’t know what I’m talking about when I explain the lockdown/stay at home restrictions and regulations
  • Many products are on back order, because of Covid. At least three times a day, myself or one of my co-workers is yelled at because of it. My favorite retort is “That’s what you said when I called on Sunday!” …we are closed Sundays.
  • When we take the purchases out to the cars, it’s so much fun when the customers exclaim “Sure is cold eh? You gotta be freezing!” and continue to chat as they are in the warm car. Sometimes I inch forward in hopes of catching some heat from their vents.

As I said earlier, most of the customers have been great. Grateful for their new footwear so they can go to work and get the job done. Jumping out of their cars, mask on to get the boxes from us so we don’t have to be outside longer than needed. Tipping us for our service. Asking us how we are doing. I had a gentleman ask if he could go get me a coffee. Elderly customers telling me I brightened their day, staying on the phone with them for 30 minutes helping them replace their slippers.

I can’t believe it’s been a year that I’ve been writing about Covid retail. A year. Although it’s been tough, and dealing with the public hasn’t been the thrill ride of my life, I do have to say, every day, at least one person, a perfect stranger shines a ray of hope into my day. Genuine kindness expressed. Genuine concern and compassion has been shown. Yes, we need a vaccine. Yes, we need to wear a mask. Yes, we need to sanitize/wash our hands, and yes, especially now, a year into this pandemic, kindness can be a cure too. Kindness may not cure a virus, but it can cure a beaten down spirit. It can bring warmth to your heart and a smile to your face. One of my favorite quotes goes a little something like this, “Your kindness may be the only glimpse of god someone see’s today.”. A simple act of kindness can give someone the energy to keep going, give them hope of better days to come. Be kind, plain and simple.

health and wellness, Sunday Confessions, That girl in the red coat, Women

Sunday Confessions

Truth – (noun) the quality or state of being true

 

I have a truth to share. I talk a big game about being true to yourself, believing in yourself and setting your sight on what you want and going for it. Most days, I hit a home run in that department. Some days, I am not capable of getting up to bat. Over the past weeks I have been in search of divine intervention, answers to questions I can’t seem to even articulate, yet I know they are there. I have been taking on the responsibility of other people’s problems, thinking that I could change things for them … like I really have that kind of power. I have found myself comparing myself to others, their achievements and what not. …I know, I know. Not even a month ago I blogged how comparison is the thief of joy. I’m just a woman trying to speak her truth and own it.

I read a quote years ago along the lines of “when you are feeling depressed, first check that you are not surrounded by assholes”. I have come to realize that I have been allowing the negativity of others and their snide, passive aggressive “compliments” to seep into my daily thoughts. I cannot stop what people say, I can stop what I let it do to me. I also had to remind myself that I can offer advice or my opinion, I cannot control what the other person will do with it, if they will heed my advice and help themselves, or just dismiss it all together and , in the end, it’s completely on me if I let myself hold onto the hurt of feeling dismissed. Trust me, as I sit here and write this I am wishing I could lay blame on others, the easier route in the short term, harder for the long term.

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Beginning at 11:00 a.m. I sat and watch the coverage of the ceremony. As I was watching the elderly veterans, I found myself wanting to kick my own ass. Here I am, a woman, living in a free country, allowed to vote, to walk down the street, earn a living, own a home, have an education. All because over the past 100 years, people I would never know or meet, gave up their lives for my freedoms. When I stopped and thought for a moment, really let it sink in, I realized that I should be grateful that I can have my moments of missing the mark, of wondering what if, of feeling like I am a failure. Why should I be grateful? I have the time to have these thoughts, to process them, to get them out of my system and keep on keepin’ on. Seriously. My biggest problem today is how I feel about myself or how I let someone make me feel. For the last 100 years men and women died for freedoms they never got to relish. Today, all over the world, children are being forced into war, families are being ripped apart at the border because they are fleeing such countries. Women are walking 2 -10 miles a day in hopes of getting clean water. Families in first world countries are one paycheck away from losing their homes. Hell, I am a woman who is able to speak her mind and has the freedom of speech, something I shall never take for granted, for there are women around the globe risking their lives just to be able to get groceries by themselves. Needless to say, I have gained some perspective.

We all have bad days. We all feel inadequate at some point. We all feel dismissed or ignored. We all fall victim to comparisons. In the end, it’s up to us to gain some perspective, take a hard look at ourselves and who we surround ourselves with, and most of all, to be grateful, for the up’s, the down’s and the all around’s.

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

It’s been awhile

First and foremost, I gotta thank you all for your patience and your support over the past weeks. It has been over 3 weeks since my newest tale, yet you all kept reading my tales from the archives and sharing my tales, and for this I must thank you. On to the tale at hand.

It’s a new year. (Yes, I realize it’s February). I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I tend to make up my mind and go forward, no matter the date. This year, as I was sitting in the emergency room with my hubby (no worries – not his heart – he broke his ankle on New Years Day),both of us were joking and giggling with each other. One – of the absurdity of his luck, and two – it was the first time in 2 years we were at the hospital in the early morning instead of the wee small hours of the morning and he was waiting to be fitted for an air cast, not hooked up to monitors and being poked and prodded. It was then and there I realized it’s been awhile since I gave over and was just grateful. I resolved to myself to go forward with love from now on. Decided that whatever got in my way, negative or positive, I would thank it, and give it love. When push comes to shove, we have no control of what will happen, we only have control of what we think and how we deal. I will admit, I have had a few moments of weakness, like the day I told the 5 foot snow drift to fuck off because the snow kept blowing back in my face. – hey – hubby broke his ankle the same month Mother Nature decided to show us what she was really made of. Back to the tale at hand.

The weather in my neck of the woods has been cold, snowy and not very sunny. So, I understand why some people are grumpy, but at the end of the day, we can’t control Mother Nature, we can only control our nature. I have heard, over and over about how unfair it is that dinner plans had to be changed because of bad weather. I have heard about how unfair it was to come back from a sunny vacation to a snowy mess. I have heard how unfair it is that now your hair is dry and frizzy because of the weather. All of these things are worth a pout or two, and then it’s time to move on.Think about it, these are all things you have control over. You do. Dinner plans may have been changed, remember – ┬ádinner will still be eaten. You miss the sun & surf of your vacation, remember – you got to go on vacation.Your hair is dry and frizzy, remember – with the proper products, your dryness and frizz will be a thing of the past. Over the past weeks dear friends have endured things they have no control over. They have lost both parents, have lost their friends to illness and addiction, have lost their beloved pets, have broken their wrists (and ankles) – these are things that are deserving of more than a pout or two…your frizz…not so much.

I do believe it’s time to be thankful. It’s time to give it some love, what ever it may be. Frustrated at the wind chill factors? Be thankful you have a home – many are hoping they get to the shelter on time for a bed. Pissed off that your hat made your hair frizzy? Be thankful for the frizz, then go through your closets and donate the coats and hats you no longer wear to your local women’s shelter. Ticked at the traffic jam? Be thankful you are not in the accident that caused the traffic jam and send some love to those who were. Frustrated that you are always shoveling? Be thankful that it was a broken ankle and his heart is on the mend.