Dog Days of Fall

Its November. The weather here is stuck in Summer mode. Matching or breaking previously set record highs. Almost daily thunderstorms. Yard work really is a chore, either too hot or too wet. A/C runs continually, tea won’t stay cold, mop the floor just to drag in a fresh coat of mud. Did I mention its November?

On the bright side I don’t have to manually water the garden each night. Plants that normally would be difficult in November are thriving. Weeds are also thriving, but that’s okay. Into every-life some rain must fall. Flowers on the Okra plants hint of upcoming stews. Bright green Kale glistens in the morning dew. Trimmings from an overgrown Rosemary bush are hanging inside just for the aroma, I could never use it all for cooking or garnish.

Rainy nights make for great sleep. Tomorrow it will be back to work, but this week is split by Veteran’s Day, so there will be a brief respite. I actually enjoy my job most of the time and although there is always a wrinkle in our plans we seem to find a way to work through it.

Not sure what the future holds. Today, I plan to sit on the couch with my dog and enjoy the moment. The weather will change in due time. Did I mention its November?

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Good to be King or Lonely at the Top

Today I was awakened by my work cell phone at 6:30 am, 5 hours before the start of my temporary shift. The call was to notify me that 2 of my normal 7 am to 3:30 pm workers would not be in today. After only 4 hours of sleep, my sleep pattern is still in sync with my normal 3:30 to Midnight shift, I had to react and react quickly. I contacted my 2 part time workers and offered them an opportunity to work some additional hours to provide shift coverage. Thankfully, they both accepted my offer and I was able to go back to bed until 9 am.

I arrived at work to find that there were multiple complaints earlier this morning. This meant that in my absence, after my temporary exit time of 8 pm, the night crew I normally supervise chose to take shortcuts and not provide the level of service I expect from them. Most of my crew did everything they are required to do. A small portion did not. Performing maintenance on a 220,000 square foot building needs to be conducted on a tight schedule and I found myself behind because a few workers took advantage of my trust. Of course, they made excuses for not completing their work, but I didn’t fall off the Turnip Truck yesterday. Without supervision these workers simply chose not to perform their assigned duties. End result being I was pressured to correct the discrepancies. This led to workers on the day shift being angry at the night shift workers. I had to act as a referee between the workers.

There were many other issues that made my day unpleasant. My physical therapy session went badly. Several new projects were dumped in my lap with expected completion dates, yet lacking any funding. Several pieces of equipment were reported as broken. Due to all the distractions I was not able to conduct interviews to hire additional staff.

In the past a day like this would have led to me drinking myself into a stupor. Self destruction as a means to escape. However, tonight when I got home my neighbor had a flat tire and asked if I could help. I quickly forgot about all the problems I was dealing with at work and proceeded to offer my tools and knowledge for his cause. In a relatively short period of time I had repaired his tire, forgotten my frustrations, and felt a sense of accomplishment. He offered to pay me and I refused any money. I believe neighbors should help neighbors. God will reward those who do his bidding.

So to summarize this particular piece, being a supervisor in a federal government organization can be as challenging as any position as I have faced in civilian life after leaving the military 25 years ago as a disabled veteran. Although I still consider myself an addict, I believe that my faith in GOD and willingness to help others will help me maintain a purposeful life.

If you have read this, I thank you. Although I hope that people will read my blog I use this as a way to put my feelings in print. By putting this out I am able to stress less about my daily life. By reading others blogs I feel a sense of connection of our human condition.

Rarely I feel good when as a supervisor I am told we as a team exceeded the expectations of the people we serve. At those times it feels good to be king. At other times when things go badly, which is 90%, it is lonely at the top. This is the hand I have been dealt. I can only control my own actions and influence only those willing to be led. My future is what I make of it. GOD is GREAT. My son and my dog love me even on bad days.

Knee-jerk Reactions

This may upset some people. But I won’t apologize for speaking the TRUTH.

Unless you live under a rock you have likely seen the mass rejection of the Confederate Flag. Almost every entity that wants to separate themselves from the symbol misstate the very reason for the Civil War. It was NOT a war about Slavery. It was a war over Taxes and Tariffs. And, it was a war that could have been avoided. The Southern States wanted to secede from the Union. Abraham Lincoln, in 1861, said “I can’t let them go. Who would pay for the government?”

A prominent abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, concluded that Lincoln “had not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins.”  Lincoln stated in August 1852 Lincoln said “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.” He went on to say “what I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because it helps to save the Union.”

Congress passed an Act in 1864 (13 Stat. 11) to allow slave owners whose slaves enlisted or drafted into to Union military to file a claim for lost services of their slaves. In 1866 a similar Act (14 Stat. 321) was also passed by Congress. The Emancipation Proclomation of 1863 only freed slaves in the Southern, Confederate, States. Slavery in the Union States was still 100% legal.

More than 65,000 Black men, Slaves and Free, fought for the Confedrate military. The Confedrate President, Jefferson Davis, suggested there would be no future for Slavery once Black CSA veterns returned from war. He forsaw that Black Conferate Soldiers should receive land grants after the war.

Union Leaders, Generals Grant and Sherman, refused to accept negroes as equals. Confedrate Leader, General Robert E. Lee, stated “There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery is an institution of a moral and political evil” in 1851. Grant never owned slaves.

Recent News coverage of unfortunate events where Black Americans, I refuse to call them African Americans unless they were born in or lived in Africa, were the targets of terrorist like attacks has led to a mass exedus of people and companies from selling the Confederate Flag. Many Government also have removed or are plotting to remove the Confedrate Flag and other items related to those who served in the Confederate military. In my area groups want to rename our county because our county is Named LEE for general LEE. As I previously stated, he did not own slaves. One, weak in my opinion, for renaming the couty is that Lee never visited this area; my reply is that nearly all cities in America has a street named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and he did not visit every state in America, much less every city.

History, as taught in most schools, seems to slant towards the Civil War being fought strictky on the legality of Slavery. Our children deserve to know the truth. America fought againts Brittain for Freedom of Religion and the right to all taxes and tariffs to be done with proper representation. These same Freedoms are why the South wanted to leave the Union. I will fly the Confedrate flag below the US flag until it falls apart. Since most places have quit selling them I may not be able to replace the one I have.

Replace the Confederate flag with a flag of a pig on fire is not a proper solution. Mr. Stewart is wrong on this sobject, and I normally tend to agree with him.