Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The end of repugnant cookies...

I felt that this post was necessary today whereas today is Data Privacy Day 2009!!!

I know that over the last several years the fact that Google tracks your every move down to the day you cut yor toenails has been the cause of much contrvoersy. Well for those of you that feel you have something to hide the answer has arrived. Now there is a search engine that will truly anonymize your search results. It is a (not so) new Netherlands-based search engine named ixquick. Just for the sake of full disclosure: The Dutch search engine does actually use two cookies, but one expires after 90 days and the other expires at the end of each search session.

Otherwise if you are a huge Google advocate you can download Google Chrome which is their web browser. You would then hit 'Ctrl+Shift+N' and it will open what they call an Incognito Window. 

Wither of these options can come to be very useful if you need a stealth mode. For example, if youa re planning that dream vaction for Valentines Day. Or, if you are moving out of the country to avoid paying a speeding ticket...lol (Poor reasoning I know...I am in a funky mood at the moment.) Either of these options will not store data of the websites you were at and both options will delete any (and all) cookies upon closing out the window. 

Purported error...

I think that when people call in to an organization for assistance in reference to a matter; they instantly assume that the person that answered the phone is the cause of all their problems in life. Sure it is a major pain to call in using your valuable time, sit on hold, and then have to explain your entire story to the representative that is there to assist you.  However, you should not scream, yell, cuss, and/or argue with the aforementioned individual there to assist you. Keep in mind, that that individual is a consumer just as well and has likely experienced the same issues that you are dealing with. Additionally, it is possible that this individual has likely never (I repeat NEVER) heard of you, seen your account, or even had the slightest knowledge of your existence prior to answering your phone call. 

I would also bet my annual salary that there is a 90% (probably higher) chance that the person at which you are dealing out incomprehensible amounts of hate and anger had nothing to do with the issue that you are having with that said product or service. Some that read this may say, "Hey you are customer service it is your job." WRONG pal! As human beings we should ALL be kind and respectful to one another. Typically the person you are speaking with on the other line is paid a minimal amount for their services anyway. 

You also want to get pissy and angry with someone in India (or any other country) trying to assist you. Look, I understand the frustration with our jobs moving to other countries; oftentimes not being able to fully understand what that person is saying and a communication barrier where they do not understand anything we mention outside of their script...just to name a couple. I get that. 

But, with that being said...it is no wonder some individuals in other nations hate us...look at the perception they must have and the "word of mouth" that would be spread. 

P.S. - One more thing...what I have found to be true in most aspects of life over the last few years is that people are not willing to be accountable for their own actions. For example, someone gets their vehicle repossessed. They call up and scream and yell and blame the company. Well, YOU are the one that did not make your payments as agreed upon within the terms of your contract. These companies also do not go out and repossess your car after being just a few days late. You are either a repeat offender and/or you are VERY past due. Some arguments are as follows: "No one ever contacted me." - well you should have contacted the company with updated contact information when you moved and/or changed your number. "I lost my job." - that is truly unfortunate but when income stops for a business, as it does when people stop paying their bills, they too can go out of business (or file bankruptcy) and then be out of jobs. "I did not know the terms of my contract." - ummmm really? You should read documents you sing. If you choose not to (as most individuals do) then do not use it as an excuse. 

OK I am done ranting...I hope you all learned something...lol

P.S.S - OK I am not done. I want to be sure that everyone that reads this understands that I have been the person yelling at the representative in the past so I feel I can rightfully write this whereas I have been on both sides. I was simply taking my anger for other issues in life out on some poor unknowing individual. 

I would also like to add that I have had a vehicle repossessed in my past. Only I knew it was MY fault and not the credit company's so I had to suck it up. This occurred at a time after I had realized I am accountable for my own actions so no one there got yelled at! LOL



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Disingenuous promises...

I find it amazing how common an occurrence it is in our society today to have individuals promise to let go of the past and "start over". These same individual then stridently do the exact opposite. 

In fact, I do not just see it with individuals today but also spreading into our corporate world. Look at all of these companies wanting a bailout. How do we expect these organizations to ever change if they are "bailed out"? 

How do we ever expect them to truly change their business practices unless you let them fail and then be forced to restructure? Not to say that it is not possible to make the necessary changes for survival without a helping hand...but seriously....is that what we are seeing?

IAG being caught on two different occasions at resorts holding so-called restructuring conferences where they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in one weekend. You have banks getting billions in bail-out money then laying off thousands of employees, just to turn around and purchase other companies in the industry. Then the latest we have is CitiGroup spending $50 million to purchase a private jet that seats twelve! Am I the only one pissed off about this?

John Maxwell once said, "You will never change your life until you change something you do daily." 

We are humans..the most intelligent species on the planet. Should we not be challenged to grow every day that we are here on earth? Now I will be the first to say I can work on this concept myself. However, can we continue to let people in our lives and businesses in our society to do the opposite and rely on the rest of us to protect them? 

We all need to change that something we do daily for the better and then get passionate about what we do. Another great man named John Wesley once said, "Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn." That is so true! I have witnessed it myself, with me being the one burning with passion and enthusiasm. It is an amazing thing. 

Well, just on a tear and trying to get back in mode of posting here regualrly. Had to write about something...lol I hope everyone is having a great 2009 thus far. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Enervation to auspicious beginnings...

Well, here we are. My first blogoversary! I figured with this I should begin writing again. It has been far too long since I have regularly posted entries in here. 

Well the last year was definitely filled with all kinds of change, adversity, etc. 

January: at the time I began writing in this blog I was just coming out of a state of pretty severe depression that was a result of a time in my life of obfuscation. I had never experienced depression before (whereas I am a predominantly happy go lucky kind of person) so it took me a while to even figure out what was wrong within myself. During that time I also began consistently experiencing migraine headaches that would last days. It was what some would call a low-point in my life. The turn around began when I flew into Texas for the holidays. I was able to visit my mother and sister and try to get my thoughts worked out. It worked...I went back to my home in Virginia after the holidays with a new sense of motivation. 

February: I decided I was moving out of Virginia and back to Texas. I gave my two weeks notice to my place of employment and began packing my things. 

March: On the first of the month I found myself back in my home state with a new vigor for life. On the eighth my mother invited me to go to Church with her which was another good move. 

April: By now I had quit smoking and was rarely drinking. I had replaced those habits with yoga and lifting weights. 

May: Still continuing a frustrating job search but keeping my spirits up throughout that time. I continued to go to the gym regularly and do yoga as often as possible. I also began spending more time at church volunteering by working with the children's ministries and the singles home group ministry as well. 

June: By now I am continuing the aforementioned activities, exercises, etc. I also got myself a job (though not ideal was a job none-the-less). I also joined a flag football pick-up league that was here locally and got involved in being a co-organizer for that group as well. 

July: The month that changed everything and will go down as one of the greatest months of my life. Not only did I get a new job that I enjoyed much more than the previous...on the sixteenth of this month I was contacted and discovered I have a son (Andrew)! An emotional roller coaster would follow; but, I knew that I had to keep focused now that there is a child in the picture. 

August: Continued to get to know Andrew and his mother which was very fulfilling for me. Although i had missed out on the previous three years of his life I was enthralled with knowing I could be there for the years to come to help to raise him to be a good man. I also continued to excel at my new job by leading my department for the month. 

September: Month number two of leading the department at my new job; due to that fact I also got a promotion! But the best part of the month was when I flew out to meet my son. I also must thank the Guerrero's for providing me with that plane ticket so I could go meet my son. It was the most amazing weekend. His mother has done a fantastic job of raising him. He is very well behaved and so happy. I did not want to leave to come back home.

October: I continued to struggle for a while after going out there. I was under a lot of stress. Starting the new position at work, still living with my mother (which was supposed to be very temporary), and the pain of not being able to see my son. For a while I could not even go to my friends houses that had children because it was too difficult to be around children. But, I got through it and continued to move forward at work as well. 

November: At this point I was just counting the days to when I would be back in California to hang out with Andrew! There was stark contrast as to my emotions after leaving California in September. I knew now that I would once again be spending time with my son again. This time I had more than a week to do so!

December: The time has come. The first year I get to spend my birthday, Christmas, and Andrew's birthday with him! The anticipation was so intense. I finally got out to CA and to get to hold him in my arms was a great reward for months of patience. I made the best of the time I was allowed to see my son and tried to be near him at all times. Knowing the value of time and knowing that we had such a small amount of it together made it that much more important to me. Also knowing that I have no idea when I am going to be able to see him again. 


Now we are in a new year that will be full of new beginnings and changes. I am pledging to make this the best year of my life and make great strides in the direction that I have to go. I also intend to begin posting again and more often as a place to vent my thoughts and reactions to things in the world. Happy New Year all!

 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A lesson to be learned...

When you look around and see all the fighting and division in our nation; even our world it is often times confusing. Watch this video and tell me that this is not how all species (especially humans) shoudl interact with one another. 


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

THE SILENT SERMON

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his preachers visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow,once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, 'Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.'

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little.  Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.