Hello! Welcome to my blog! Here I post my thoughts about my family and whatever else I feel like talking about. Feel free to comment!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Episodes in stupidity..

I went down to my work office today, to try to get a copy of my paycheck stub from two weeks ago, as I lost it and I needed a copy of it for income verification for my children's Medicaid. The two women I spoke to were very rude, and told me "I couldn't get it." This is the letter I am sending with signature and delivery confirmation to the owner of our franchise. I don't know if he'll get it, or if the women in question will get ahold of it before he does, but I have to say something. Our payroll woman, Lynn is known for being rude, not just to me but I'm not going to take this treatment quietly.

November 2nd, 2010

Mr. Mzowski,

My name is Helene and I work at the Marion store on 6th Avenue, store 5014. Today I went down to the office to try to receive a copy of my paycheck stub from October 18th, as I had lost my copy. I needed a copy of my income for the month of October as it is time for my annual review for my eligibility for my children for Medicaid.

When I went down to the office in the morning, the first person seen told me that “we didn't have the paystubs, you do.” I said I understood that, but I had lost my stub from two weeks prior and I needed a copy of it for DHS. She said “you would have to talk to Lynn, but she's on the phone.”

I waited for about 5 minutes, and when I did get to talk to Lynn, she said again that “we don't have the stubs, you do.” And I said again, yes, I understand, but I lost the stub from the 18th, and I need it for a DHS verification. And they said that they couldn't do it. They said that DHS can send them a form and they can fill it out, and that “we need to start keeping track of these things, I'm tired of filling out those forms”.

I believe I know of the form that Lynn referenced. That is for DHS when you start a new job, and DHS sends a form for the employer to fill out to verify income to see if you still qualify based on income. That is not the form I am filling out. This is a yearly verification of my income and I am supposed to send in copies of my paycheck stubs for the month of October. I received this form in the mail on November 1st and it is due back on November 5th, so I really do not have time to wait.

I do not understand why I could not have a copy of that paycheck stub. I understand that it is my responsibility to keep track of my own financial documents, but sometimes things do happen and things get misplaced. I can't imagine that there is no access to that there at the office, and that it would take that much time out of their day to look that up for me.

I am sending in my form with the paycheck stub from November 1st and a note telling them that I was unable to get a copy of the October 18th paystub, along with the office address and phone number, and I hope this will suffice for them.

I was not pleased to have driven all the way down to office from Marion, having to bring my child with me only to find out that I could not get what I needed.

I don't know what can be done about this issue now, but I did want to let you know about the disrepectful treatment I received today.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another daughter update...

More news from the Heidi front...

Heidi finally had her appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician on Monday the 23rd. She didn't actually see the doctor for very long, but with the little time the doctor seen her, and talking to us about her, she did say that Heidi does fall into the spectrum of Autistic behaviors.

Okay, so now what? It's mostly just observation, for now. Heidi started preschool August 18th, and even though it is only for 2.5 hours 4 days a week, she loves it. Her teachers know about her needs, and they are working with her with and through Grant Wood Area Education Agency. She might go to some speech therapy, and other one on one interaction to see what she knows, how she expresses herself, things like that.

We have more papers to fill out and another doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks. I won't update on every appointment, but if something big happens, I'll be sure to update.

On the home front, like I said, Heidi loves school. She's getting into the routine of getting ready, and she loves music time and playing outside. She usually doesn't want to leave. It probably doesn't help that sometimes I have to park near a big playground she can't go on. :)

She is talking more, although still not as clearly for her age. We celebrate the small things like saying complete sentences, and I watched her pour her own glass of milk the other day. (That task still requires some supervision, however.)

She is still so sweet and innocent to the way people look at her with her behaviors. She doesn't know she shouldn't scream while picking up the son from school, that she shouldn't just go up to other kids and get right up in their business. She doesn't care if people stare or scowl. In that way, she is innocent. In other ways, such as getting into mischief at home, such as getting into the blinds or tearing the sheet off the bed again, she's not so innocent. But, that's Heidi. I want to protect her, as any parent does for their child, but I also have to let her go to a point and let her explore the world.

This is just the start of a process for us. Thank you all for your support as we work on this.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My family has been going through some rough times lately.

My daughter, Heidi might be autistic. It hasn't been officially diagnosed, but we're just starting the process with doctors to see if that might be the case. She's 4 years old, with about a 2 year old or less mentality. She doesn't say more than 40 words, and just this week I got the longest sentence from her ever. "I love you mom." She babbles nonsense, and screams loudly when she doesn't like what you say to her.

She crouches down and refuses to move when she doesn't want to walk. I often have to pick her up and carry her when she does that. She doesn't respond to most verbal commands, "Stop, please," "No, please." She runs at full speed, anywhere and everywhere. She has no fear.

She likes to be in her own little world at times. She likes to stack things, like books and blocks, and line things up, like cars and toys. She likes to imagine and talk to her special toys, and focus intently on certain tasks. (usually involving something not allowed).

She can be mean. She throws fits if it isn't done her way, I've been hit and kicked more times than I can count. She has a fascination with knives and forks, and would rather stab a pen through a paper than draw with it. She beats up her big brother, when he has something she wants. I try to curb this, but it isn't always easy. Sometimes it feels like I have a pet more than a child, with her behavior.

I'm getting better at figuring out what she wants, but it's hard when she just looks up at a section of the counter. There's 30 things on that counter, it could be any of them. And she can't tell me what hurts when she's sick, if I can't see it, she just cries and says "ow ow ow."

I hate it when she refused to get up off the floor, or screams at the grocery store, and people stare and sometimes glare. I can't help the way she is. I wish I could. But I still love her just as much as my son.

My daughter looks normal. She doesn't look like anything is wrong. She's tall for her age, and I've heard she's very cute. I call her Dastardly Cute. But I don't call her Sylar girl for nothing. She's cute and sweet when she wants to be, but, like Sylar, she's wired a bit differently inside as well.

Her Doctor referred her to a Developmental Pediatrician, for "developmental delays and questionable autistic", as I overheard. I'm not surprised. I'm a little sad, because I know it will be a struggle. But it's a start.

I just want people to know what's going on to try to understand and to not judge. Please.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It takes all kinds...

I have worked in the fast food industry a long time, and have seen a lot of strange things from customers over the years. I had an interesting encounter last night with a customer, that I want to share.

Right now I am working as an employee at KFC. (A fast food chicken place.) It's not the greatest job in the world, I make $7.35 US Dollars an hour, and I struggle to get 20 hours a week. It's not hard work, really, I run the register, pack food according to the customer's orders, and clean and stock in the store. But, it's a job, and while it's not always what I want to be doing, for now, it's what I do.

The weather was unseasonably warm for Iowa yesterday, so we were pretty busy between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. I was at the front counter, taking the orders for customers that would come in the lobby. A man came in, he ordered the new Double Down grilled sandwich, just the sandwich, to go. No big deal, except that almost immediately after ordering, he starts on a what will become a 20 minute diatribe about just about everything.

Now, a bit of a disclaimer here. I'm going to post as much of what I can remember about what he said here, in italics. I don't remember it all, as I've been groggy from a head cold, and the back part of the store can be very loud. He wasn't talking too loudly, so I didn't catch everything he said, but I do remember some things quite clearly.

It started with trying to complete the order transaction. He said, this is so slow, and I inferred that he was talking about the whole Iowa way of life, how we take our time to do things, how we're unhurried as a whole. He also mentioned that he was from California, (I think he said the LA area) and how things were so much faster and more streamlined out there. He said, this is the hot tub time machine, this is 1985! Even our credit card machine didn't meet with his approval, as he looked over the counter to watch my run his card. Too old school, I guess.

Then, as he waits for his food, he goes on about how can we do this to ourselves, how can we treat our bodies this way. Our bodies are temples, and if we don't respect them and ourselves, how can we start to respect others? I do understand that, I really do. I am about 60 pounds overweight, and I know this. I know that I should take better care of myself, and I don't like the way I look right now, but that's just the way it is. And I'm the only one to blame for that, and the only one who can change that.

If this guy was so concerned about his health, he was at the wrong restaurant in the first place. KFC is not known for its health food. He ordered the Double Down Grilled Sandwich. It has 460 calories, and 1430 milligrams of sodium, which is actually more sodium than the Original Double Down Sandwich, which comes in at 540 calories and 1380 mg for the sodium.

But he just kept going. And I was not needed in the kitchen at that time, and other employees were packing food, so I didn't have any escape route. I had to listen, as best I could given the conditions, to this man.

Here's what I remember. Something about how being fat is like just seeing the tip of the iceberg, you only see about 10 percent of it, it's the other 90 percent that you can't see. And that trickles down to other aspects of their lives, such as their religious views, their work ethic, how they treat other people and maybe even how they treat their kids.

Also in there he got started on how some people (I'm not sure if he meant us low level employees, or just in general, ) wind up on welfare, and I (the man) would have to pay for it.

During most of this speech I am trying to keep up, nod and smile, or at least try to say something back. I couldn't get a word in edgewise, and if any of you know me in real life, that's a rare occurance. And I'm supposed to be nice and polite to the customers, so asking them what kind of crack they are smoking, and would they please SHUT UP isn't really very good business practice. I was also trying to edge my way into the kitchen a couple of times, hoping they would need my help, but to no avail.

Next on the list was that he had lived in Europe for ten years, and Americans are the most ugly, overweight disgusting people. Finally after he did get his sandwich, he come up with this. Really, is there more cottage cheese here than the dairy section? Then he left.

I was very relieved, to say the least. And in our defense, at the time he was there, only one other employee besides myself could have been considered "overweight", so really that comment about the "cottage cheese" was unwarranted, in my opinion. While I was rather busy after he left, when I had more time to think about this encounter, the more odd some of his statements seemed.

I know Iowa isn't LA. Things can be slower here, a little more laid back, a little less fast paced. But this isn't Bedrock, either. We have high speed internet, iphones, and other technology too. Yeah, traffic isn't as bad on Collins Road in Cedar Rapids as it is on 405 in California, but that doesn't mean we're totally backwards.

Another point, because I'm fat, I have a bad work ethic, unfavorable religious views, and it possibly reflects on how I treat my kids? Yeah, I don't think so. I might not have went to law school, like he said he did, and I don't have the best job in the world, but I work hard at what I do to try to provide for my family. I don't feel like it's always enough, but I do what I can. As for my religious views, my faith may waver, but it's still pretty strong. And I believe that everyone has the right to believe in what they want, despite what I myself believe. And if I had been able to speak my piece, I would have said something about how I love both of my children very much, and my weight has nothing to do with how I treat them. At all.

The part about being on welfare caught my ear too. I know that there are abusers of the system, but I also know that it can be helpful to those that need it. I myself was on Medicaid (state aid) for both of my pregnancies, and my children have been on some sort of state sponsored medical insurance their whole lives. I am grateful for this, as my son was in the NICU for the first week of his life, with a bill running well over $100,000, and my daughter is going to be needing special developmental care, and neither me nor my husband can afford these costs out of pocket. And as for this man having to pay for something if I get hurt? Sorry, not for me. I have no health insurance. If I need medical care outside of getting hurt at work, I'm paying for it out of pocket, and at full price. And my cousin/godmother, who has been living off of disability for 15 years for job related injuries, is triple doomed because she's living on government money, has medicaid, and is morbidly obese? I guess she's got another strike against her as well, as she's been recently been diagnosed with cancer, and the state of Wisconsin will have to cover those medical expenses.

So, Mr. Customer, feel free to go back to California and your fast paced, fit, beautiful lifestyle. And if that gets to be too much for you, feel free to go back to Europe and live. At the very least, please stay out of my workplace. And don't let any doors hit you on the way out, either.