What do you guys think of this?

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/12/31/state-highest-court-hear-case-former-umass-student-convicted-fellow-student-fatal-overdose/AOqHXbo7p4YixNtPow64eJ/story.html

I don’t think the friend should even spend one night in jail. It was the person who took too much of the heroin who actually overdosed. It wasn’t like the friend forced him to take too much. The friend did not “prescribe” the heroin. He supplied it, an act of compassion, actually, when you think about it. He was helping out his fellow addict. Both of them NEEDED the stuff.

Now if a doctor prescribes something and you are harmed, does that doctor end up in jail for a year?  When we add the element of the prescription, it’s like you have doc permission. It feels “okay” to take the drug, even though it very well may be harmful to you. The prescription gives us the illusion of safety, and also fools us into thinking we aren’t taking drugs at all. We’re taking “meds,” right?

Don’t be fooled. If you are taking prescribed Klonopin, you very well can be addicted. The stuff is no less addicting if it is prescribed. A prescription doesn’t alter it or make it safer, but a lot of people are fooled into thinking this, aren’t they?

If I recall correctly, the doc who put Rebecca Riley on all those drugs was never faulted and is still practicing. Wow, that is sad.

Welcome to 2019. Happy New Year.

How to tell if a workplace is toxic

In my book I am inserting a chapter on employment for those returning after a long time being out of work. One thing we are not good at is detecting whether a place of employment is toxic. I do not like to apply that word, toxic, to a human being, and I will not, but for sure a workplace can get that way.

There’s a major difference between calling a single human toxic, which really means you’re calling that person mentally  ill (think about it!), and calling a workplace toxic, which usually means badly managed in some fashion. I studied this in a management class. There are reasons why a workplace gets toxic, ranging from the management being too lax to the management being too controlling, and various in-between combinations.

The group being managed may be too large for the management team to handle. Or they’ve allowed cliques to form, subgroups that they did not plan on that ultimately harm some of the workers and undermine the leadership. The top brass may have bad ethics or fail to follow the ethical guidelines they supposedly eschew.

Corruption can happen at any level but usually is handed down from the top. If the top brass are corrupt (bad morals, stealing from the company, dishonest practices, etc) then this will then pass on to all the employees under that management.

Outright mutiny is possible, but when is this likely to happen? Is it really that probable that all employees are crooks or rebellious to that extent, for no reason? One example of mutiny is a work strike. But strikes happen when workers get together and decide, “Hey, this is wrong.” If workers were happy and treated well there would be no need for a strike.

How can you tell if a workplace is toxic? Are the only toxic workplaces those shit jobs you end up with that pay $8 an hour?

Go look up Seattle Symphony. Check out around 2007. These folks are renowned musicians. Look what happened there! This is a prime example of a toxic workplace.  Clearly poorly run, poorly managed, leaders playing favorites, rampant retaliation, gossip, backbiting, etc. It looks worse than junior high and Facebook combined!

This is a toxic workplace, an example of one that has employees (orchestra members) with long contracts who know each other very well, maybe too well. Reading about what happened makes me glad I got out of the music business….leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Now looking back at my brief stint at a toxic workplace last January, I realize now I did not see the signs. I missed the obvious because of my inexperience with workplaces in general. I should have quit after my first day on the floor (my 60th birthday!) when my supervisor, Marquita, deliberately singled me out and bullied me, and would not stop even after I asked her to. Nicely. The fact that the other management made excuses for Marquita, repeatedly ignored or diminished the seriousness of her bad behavior. This was a sign of a toxic workplace. Since I was sitting so close to her all shift I overheard all the gossip between her and the other supervisors. They were such idiots that they assumed I couldn’t hear (well, she can’t see, so likely she’s deaf and brainless, too….people really do think like that!). They were constantly yapping. I did not appreciate having to hear it all.

Of course I should have quit and not stuck around.  The biggest sign of Toxic Workplace is that they’re always hiring. They’ve got a permanent “Help Wanted” sign out there, always advertising, constantly sending you emails begging you to come in and interview even if you tell them you have another job, No Thanks. They’ll hire anyone! Trainings happen every two weeks or every month since hardly anyone is retained.  People come and find out how bad it is and leave, or if they look like they’re going to be trouble, like maybe they’re a little bit smart or insightful, they’re fired faster than they can quit. Even management seems to be unable to retain anyone. Many of these companies fold or morph into something else, or appear to be something else…don’t be fooled.

I was indeed fooled, though, because I had no way of knowing what a healthy workplace looks like. I was amazed when I got to my current job and found out that this is what work is supposed to be like. It’s not an ideal job but I feel that it’s reasonable…reasonably so. The pay is excellent and I very much like my supervisor…or maybe I like her on some days and not others.

I have not seen the company do anything really bad. Mistakes? Yes. But nothing that, so far, hasn’t been remedied. A goofed paycheck now and then is not the end of the world especially if they straighten it out promptly. They goofed my “stats” this month but I have the real data which I backed up and saved. I did my own calculation and told them their figures were off. I suspect they will be a little more careful before trying to pull the wool over my eyes at this point. They are less likely to criticize based on guesswork anymore, as I have informed them I keep my own records (that was a hint!).

I have experienced isolated incidents of poor management behavior, but it’s rare and not the norm. For instance, one of the trainers blew her top at me during a training. She totally lost it and started yelling! She did not use swear words, but she was definitely out of control and unprofessional. However, I am shelving this one for now. We don’t see the trainers past the training and they aren’t the “floor” managers, so seeing as I will not encounter this woman again (and there were witnesses! How embarrassing for her!)I have nothing to worry about…actually, she doesn’t either and is likely glad she won’t see any of us again.

Overall, they pick good leaders, people who are well-experienced and capable. A company that makes occasional infractions is not a toxic workplace, it is a workplace run by human beings. A company that repeatedly ignores infractions or deliberately silences or harms workers is going to be problematic to work for. The key is being able to recognize the difference as soon as possible and make a timely decision.

Yes, I have tried CBD, and this is why I don’t recommend it (or not recommend it)

I have never known an essential oil that did anything it claimed to do. NONE! Lavender oil did nothing for insomnia and actually kept me awake due to the terrible odor. Same with holy basil oil (holy basil as an herb is useful, though!).

CBD oil is so overpriced that it is a sin. I bought a bottle during the time I was absolutely desperate to get a decent night’s sleep. I tried using one of those infusers, putting it on cotton and stuffing the cotton into my nose, putting it right onto my skin under my nose, and finally, snorting it and drinking it (diluted with a little sesame oil so it wouldn’t burn me). What was the result? No effect on sleep. None. No effect on anything else. No magic, no evidence that CBD oil does anything but stink.

Here’s an article confirming my own conclusions, which I admit were based on my own self-experimentation ONLY which, I suppose, you may argue is only one person’s experience (as they say, “anecdotal evidence”)…..

Click on the pic above to get to the New York Times article.

Abuse of HIPAA law by Allegheny County Jail as reason to withhold information, possibly coverup of wrongdoing, deliberate stalling

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2018/12/27/Family-of-Allegheny-County-Jail-inmate-who-died-push-for-answers/stories/201812270147

What is Allegheny County Jail hiding? Here we see they are yet one more institution using HIPAA as excuse to withhold information. Are they really protecting a dead person? Obviously, not. They are using/mis-using the law to protect themselves.

Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabs, therapists, outpatient doctors.  Now, jails as well. All using HIPAA to get themselves off the hook.

What needs to change? We need to see to it that the loopholes written into the HIPAA laws are changed, and the part of HIPAA that actually works, or is supposed to work, is properly followed. HIPAA is detrimental to patients and their families if these changes do not occur.

2018 is almost over!

It is hard to believe. This year is almost over. What have you done this year? What have you accomplished?

Me? I turned 60. Finally out of my 50s at last. I was awfully glad of that. I’m still alive, still kicking. How about you? If you are reading this, you’re alive. Don’t argue!

Let’s see. What else….I got hired. I got fired for the first time in decades. I found out, for the first time, what a “toxic workplace” was and survived getting bullied by my supervisor. I’m fine.

I experienced my very first scam job in February. I have seen a few scams since then. There are a lot of scams out there, especially in the work-at-home genre. Beware.

I attended life coach school in 2017, but it was in 2018 that I made the decision that I did not really want to be a life coach after all.

I started the project, “Forced Psychiatry,” which has not been fruitful as I have not had enough submissions to publish the book. Mostly this has been because I expected Mad in America to help out by agreeing to publicize in their blog section, but they did not agree and in fact, refused to allow me to do so, due to editorial favoritism. Had they agreed, I imagine the project would have gotten off to a decent start. I am on the verge of ending it, sadly.

I gave a number of decent speeches for Toastmasters. I entered their speech contest also, and competed at the Area level. I gave a speech at the Area Christmas party also, which came off very well, I must say!

I found out my blood levels indicate I don’t have long to live. After that, I ran two road races. I came in 8th in one of them and won in my age group. I got another blood test about a week ago which showed I have even less time to live. Then, I went back to the gym and ran 5k and wondered if those tests mean anything at all.

I started and have almost completed my new book, Life After Lithium.

I have a decent job that I have been working since May.  I just picked up a second position with the same company. Because I am working as an independent contractor SSA counts my work months back-dated as since January. This means I have completed my nine months trial work period as of October 1st, and no longer “qualify” as dis-abled. This also means that they are likely to send me a statement around February telling me they are stopping my “benefits” and that I owe them money. When they send me a statement telling me I’m not dis-abled, I’m framing it.

I purchased the frame already. In the dollar store. Because I’m cheap.

I dated for about three weeks. I got cataract surgery and now I can see. I injured my food and that healed in ten days. I had a tick in my scalp. I went to the clinic (not far from here) and a nurse took the tick out for me. They gave me antibiotics which were likely unnecessary and I had a mild bad reaction to them, which did not require medical attention but was annoying.

I made new friends. Which makes me happy. I made more friends than I lost this year.  Is that a selfish thing to do?

My credit score went up. I have to check it because I think it went up again, too. This is inevitable if you become employed, folks. Up up up the ladder. It does feel good. If you have better credit you qualify for all sorts of goodies. Never mind I’m getting older and when I am 65, I get to ride all the buses for free. Nyah nyah.

 

 

 

ABUSE!!! Patriots assigned 1:1 to Josh Gordon prior to suspension! Privacy invasion!

Here’s the article:

https://patch.com/massachusetts/watertown/s/gkxw6/josh-gordon-slipped-patriots-security-before-suspension-reports

So there you have it. Abuse. I can’t tell you how horrible it is to be on 1:1 monitoring and not have one private moment to yourself. People who have never been through this don’t have a clue how invasive it is. Of course, it depends on the 1:1 people, but imagine being stared at 24/7 for weeks on end.  People have inborn need to be alone now and then, like, say, in the bathroom, right? In the shower, when you are dressing, etc, and during other times of day also. Imagine NOT ONE PRIVATE PHONE CONVERSATION. Not one! Imagine being fucking “followed” like you’re a toddler. Infantalizing and insulting, too. The only human beings who should ever have 1:1 are babies, but even babies can be left alone in their cribs if they’re asleep.

So that was the answer the Pats had to “fix” the situation…I don’t have a bit of respect for what they did. No wonder Gordon didn’t succeed. No wonder he rebelled. No wonder. They treated him like shit, that’s why. And look how gracefully he left…wonder what he was really thinking inside.

1:1 babysitting isn’t an answer. It’s abuse. Get with it, Pats.