Do I Miss Being Out In The Work Force? Not Sure…

iceposter.com

iceposter.com

Though I do miss being out in the work force, the one thing that I do not miss is the sexual harassment, the sexism and the discrimination I experienced.

Mind you, I worked in the banking industry which is pretty much a breeding ground for all the above, but, when I think back at the things I put up with, it makes my blood boil and makes me hope that my daughter does not experience what I did.

Fresh out of college I got a job at a large bank in downtown Boston, supporting High Technology Commercial Lenders (mostly men) in the business of lending a lot of money to companies such as Digital, Polaroid, GTE and many others along the high-tech beltway on route 128.

I was one of two Administrative Assistants and my duties included going on Customer Calls with the lenders.  It was a great job and I learned a lot about the industry.

As is the case in many jobs there was this ONE man who was very high-ranked who overtly expressed his power over everyone (including my boss) and his lack of dignity and obvious sexism.  While he attended a conference call near my office with my boss and other lenders, he came out and sauntered over to my desk.

He flung $5 dollars on my desk and said, “Be a doll and get me a pack of cigarettes downstairs, will ya?”  As he walked back into the conference room I sat there in shock.  Soon, I found myself getting up from my desk, taking the elevator down to the lobby store and purchasing the cigarettes he had requested.  Yes, I was fuming.  You have no idea how much fuming was being had.  But on the way back up the elevator I felt a sense of calmness.  I somehow knew that I was going to let him have it.  No matter his position, I was going to give him a piece of me (said my index finger making an imaginary z formation.)

I calmly walked over to the conference room, opened the door without knocking, did not concern myself with the voices that were on the other end of the conference call and walked over to where he was sitting.  I slammed the cigarettes and change on the table and said, “Don’t you EVER, EVER ask me to get you cigarettes again, understand?”  I calmly walked back to my desk and got back to work.

screeninsults.com

screeninsults.com

Well, little did I know that I would become famous in the entire building.  First, my boss came running out to apologize to me for what had just happened.  Then, for an entire week, employees of the bank came up to me to shake my hand and to tell me how proud they were of me.  It was incredible!  Finally, Mr. Nicotine himself (after being forced by HR) came to my desk and personally apologized for the way he treated me and assured me that it would never happen again.

Next “fun” experience, was a customer of the bank who when faced with my existence at his company for a meeting with the lender I supported, refused to conduct business.  After walking in to the conference room and looking stunned that I (a woman) was in attendance, he informed us that he would not discuss business in my presence and that I needed to leave the room.   Shocked but confident that the lender would defend me immediately and let this customer know that this was not acceptable and that I would be remaining in the room, I stayed in my seat.  Instead, the lender looked at me and asked me to wait in the waiting room.  WHAT?  Are you kidding me? Grrrrrrrr.

doughberger.net

doughberger.net

After transferring to another branch (same bank) in the town where Mr. Brickhouse and I had recently wed, I thought good things were ahead.  I was older, more confident and was looking forward to working with a more laid back clientele.

Until one of the new lenders I supported (a woman this time) informed me that the worst part of the job was dealing with all the Puerto Ricans in the city and how scummy they all were.  What?  Could you repeat that, please?  It actually was comical watching her *Sh** her pants as I informed her that I was Puerto Rican and that I took offense to everything she had just said.  She gave me the classic, “Oh, I don’t have anything against Puerto Ricans, in fact I have a friend who has a girlfriend who has a friend whose sister is half Puerto Rican and her name is Maria and she’s really nice.”  *Cricket…*cricket…

myhumorspot.com

myhumorspot.com

Last on today’s list was the absolute worse experience I ever had.  At this very same new office where Puerto Ricans were obviously warmly welcomed, my new boss turned out to be horrendous.  Apparently, according to other employees, I was a replica of his wife, but a younger version, and someone HE was determined to seduce.

First, he asked me if I was planning on getting pregnant soon and told me how he hoped this was not the case since I had just transferred to his office and I needed to “give” him at least a year before popping out any rug rats.

google.com

google.com

When called into his office, he would often close the door.  He would conduct business but would stop to ask me to put eye drops in his eyes while he reclined in his office chair, or would show me pictures of obese naked women he had taken at a show.  He would discuss sex all the time, ask me how much I liked my husband and commented on my outfits.

I fought his every move.  Soon the word around the bank was that he and I were an “item”.  OMG.  This upset me more than anything.  The thought of other’s thinking that I was having an affair, and with this scum bag was killing me.  I tried convincing people that this was not true but nobody believed me.

I immediately interviewed at another branch and got the job.  The problem was that Scum Bag would NOT let me go.  He insisted that I had given him a one year verbal commitment (with no popping of babies, of course) and that I needed to stay until I fulfilled my commitment.  That was now three months away and I did not know how I was going to survive.  He had power.  He intimidated me and others.  He succeeded in “keeping” me there until the three months had passed.

dasourcekode.com  "Speaking of Pregnant"

dasourcekode.com
“Speaking of Pregnant…”

Please tell me that things have changed and improved since!?

 

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I Can Only Think Of A Few Times In My Life, When I Have Wanted To Die

thebigfootreport.com

thebigfootreport.com

This weekend was one of those times.

And, it is not over.

Look, I am not one to complain too much but as I write this, my stomach continues to churn, cramp and burn.  

I want the misery to end.

It may sound like a lot of whining and ridiculous amounts of exaggeration, but take it from a girl who is used to pain and misery, this is hell.

I had heard of this Norovirus in relation to cruise ships (aka, floating petri dishes) and something about miserable passengers at sea, swaying back…and forth…with the waves, wanting to jump overboard to end their torment. 

blogspot.com

blogspot.com

I get it now.

 I wanted to jump over-board from my son’s bedroom window and let the Earth swallow me whole (Happy Earth Day, yay, me).  I have been hiding in his room ( he’s at College)  since this wretchedness began on Sunday, to reduce the spreading of this violent and eager to multiply,  parasite.

 My daughter was the first victim.  We spent all Saturday evening tending to her as waves of misery took control of her tiny body.  She had nothing left in her.  Dehydrated and weak.  By Monday morning, she looked half human half vampire with no trace of fluids in her body.

Then, it was my turn.  Unlike The Messiah, my last supper was consumed on Easter.  A friend brought over some ham and potatoes, bless her soul (and hope for her sanity that she doesn’t get it.)

I did not know it was possible for even my eyelids to hurt.  My stomach was an inferno, I had difficulty breathing, and the nausea consumed my every pore.  Chills, sweats,  dizziness, violent heaves, fainting episodes, body aches and more nausea.

Our neighbors had warned us.  They had barely survived the virus and had pleaded that we not to go near them.  We didn’t.  It didn’t matter.

My poor husband is now cursed with this and what’s worse is that I can barely help him.  I am still weak and cannot keep anything down, including my RA meds which I desperately need to function and the gross blue Gatorade my daughter got me.   

He has a fever and I am supposed to stay away because I need to avoid fevers on account of having no spleen.  Sigh.  We are all sleeping in separate bedrooms and trying to weather the storm on our own.  My daughter can help now, thank goodness. 

It is day 3 and my body is still rejecting it all.

Tomorrow,  I will call the doctor if my symptoms have not improved.

They say misery loves company, so I thought I would turn to my internet friends (who are the only people I can’t infect), to keep me company.  I appreciate you listening to me as I lay here alone praying that this thing leaves our home for good.

My advice to you all, is to wash your hands 24/7 for the rest of your lives and beyond.  Even in the afterlife, you should continue to wash your hands.

And pray.

In defense of Cruise Ships latitudeswi.com

In defense of Cruise Ships
latitudeswi.com

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Blog Tour of Talented Poets * Voices of Nature

Stars Above (alouette)

Starry nights shine bright
Thousands of wee lights
Constellations light the sky
Darkness shows contrast
While clouds have gone past
Suspended in time up high

Pisces and Leo
Taurus and Virgo
Constellations light the sky
Sagittarius
Libra, Pegasus
Worlds of tiny lights float by

©2014 Poetry by Pamela, all rights reserved.

This is just a sample of the poetry you will find in Voices of Nature. There are dozens more poems for you to savor.

http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Nature-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00JCRWVJU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396531395&sr=8-1&keywords=voices+of+nature+by+pamela+beckford

You can buy it here for only $.99 for Kindle – it also available in paperback ($7.19) on Amazon.

Poetry gives voice to what the eyes see and the heart hears.

Inspiration exists all around us. Beauty can be found in the laughter of a child or the blooms of a tree. Poems are one person’s interpretation of the world seen through their eyes and felt in their heart. Poetry is soul food – plain and simple.

Voices of Nature is a collection of poems that reflect the inherent splendor of nature all around us. This book utilizes a variety of poetry forms to paint word pictures.

One review said “The sheer variety of styles in this poetry book is amazing. Haiku, triple haiku, acrostic, rondeau, and so many others. Even better is that they explain the poems in the back, which is a great service to the curious reader.

Each poem is clear and paints a perfect picture of nature. Though, I have an odd feeling that both poets were tired of winter since that had the most amount of poems out of the season sections. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I did love the ‘Thunder and Lightning’ acrostic for the imagery and ‘New Day’ for the complicated style and bringing an odd sense of serene closure to the book.

I would highly recommend this poetry book. Even if you’re not into poetry, the pieces for every season will probably have you going ‘I thought the same thing.’

Pamela previously released a collection of love poems titled Dreams of Love with several five star reviews. She has been writing for a short time, but pours her soul into her poetry.
41aaaE1RQvL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Kirsten collaborated on a collection called Hope’s Flight.
51yB5yGKzUL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

This is a collection created by two poets – Pamela B and Kirsten A.
Both women enjoy exploring various topics and poetry forms. Many forms are represented in Voices of Nature (along with a short description of the forms for your convenience). Buy Voices of Nature for only $.99 today and experience the wonders all around us.

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What I Plan To Do When The Kids Are Gone

minniepauz.com

minniepauz.com

As you may have heard by now, my youngest will be heading to college this fall.  My son will be a Junior and is 4 1/2 hours away and my daughter will be 5 1/2 hours away.  Although she is never home now and we already feel that the nest is somewhat empty, there are still traces of offspring spread throughout the house.   I know that I am going to miss them terribly and that I have yet to realize this fact.

However, in preparation for the fall, I decided to come up with a list of what I plan to do with this new-found freedom:

1.  First and foremost, I plan to run (wellmostly saunter) around the house completely NAKED and not afraid!  Not afraid to be caught by the kids or their friends and not afraid about scarring them for life.

2.  I cannot wait to swear like a drunken sailor.  YES!  No more worrying about the kids hearing me or having to use lame words like sugar, fudge and jeepers.  I plan to swear in English and Spanish and do it loudly and with real feeling!  So excited, I can hardly contain myself.

3.  You bet your little nalga that I will be making-out with Mr. Brickhouse at all times of the day and night, without worrying about the kids being completely grossed out.

colourbox.com I will continue to wear red lipstick

colourbox.com
(I will continue to wear red lipstick)

4.  I am looking forward to telling my dumb jokes without fear of being criticized by my teens. Mr. Brickhouse does not know it yet but he will listen, fake laugh and pretend that they are funny.  (If not, #1 and #3 will NOT happen.)

5.  I will sing (while naked) as much as I want, to whatever lame song I want to sing to (particularly, It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls.)

6.  I plan to binge on all the junk food my brickhouse tummy craves.  I am talking the real good stuff! Snacks that are processed to death, loaded with synthetic trans fats, overflowing with corn syrup, food coloring (the orange stuff in Cheetos – yum), hydrogenated oils,  aspartame, saccharin, nitrates, MSG, genetically engineered flavors and an abundance of preservatives.   Nom nom nom…

worldwideinterweb.com

worldwideinterweb.com (relaxing Cheetos bath)

7.  I will no longer use the kids’ sippy cups (even though they are 20 and 18)  to disguise my mommy juice.  I will chug drink right out of the bottles, mostly so I do not have to do dishes – which will also be eliminated.  Can you say, eat right out of the pots and pans?

8.  I will freely perhaps experiment with certain (not available to me yet) medicinal alternatives like herbs, vitamins and such…when wine, sangria & gin fall short of their ability to successfully numb my arthritic pain.  Or, just because.

9.  And finally, YES, I will be doing what you have all been thinking about since you saw the title of this post, with more…frequency and perhaps with an uninhibited freedom, typical of couples residing in a childless home.  I am of course talking about:

 USING OIL BASED HOUSE PAINT!  

There, I said it!

Any other suggestions?

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RRRRROAR!!

 

sportslogos.net

sportslogos.net

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar
(Katy Perry)

*****************

It certainly has been a long fighting 4 years of High School for me my daughter.  I would not exactly say that there was a lot of dancing through the fire – per say,  it was more like trampling and stomping through the raging flames with eager… determination.

She has definitely roared louder than a lion (or 20 all at once) and has championed through hormonal fluctuations, honors and AP classes, sports, part-time jobs, hormonal tantrums volunteer projects and a mother’s disabling condition.

Known for her cautious adventurous nature, reserved yet self-assured demeanor, dogmatic but inquisitive persona, my baby is a go-getter and has always had a mind of her own.

The thing is, the louder she roars, the more love from me I know, she needs.  Eager to be independent, she still loves it when I tuck her into bed.  She fights my meddling ways but craves my attention and acceptance day after day.  She is deeply annoyed by my every move but (I pray) she looks up to me for my endurance, strength and ability to cope with life’s battles. 

5689-Gagged-Woman-With-Tape-Over-Her-Mouth-Clipart-Illustration

As we approach the end of her Senior year, having survived the college application process (well, it’s not completely over yet), I couldn’t be prouder of my little tiger.  This, in spite of the fact that this past weekend while at her top choice college visit, she ‘taped’ my mouth shut with duct tape so that I wouldn’t say a word to anyone and ‘killed’ my husband with her scornful un-approving look after he high-fived the receiving line on campus.

1246239_o

She will always be Ali-Cat to me even though her roar is far from the meek meow of a kitty,  except that now I will add the word, wild to her name.  

Ali-WildCat!  

She has been accepted to Villanova University and has chosen the Wildcats as her peers for the next four years of her life!

survivingcollege.com

survivingcollege.com

Now if you’ll excuse me,

It is my turn to ROAR!

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Brickhousechick Award

Happy Birthday Susie!

Happy Birthday Susie!

It is not often that I award someone the distinguished Brickhousechick Award.  Not because none of you are deserving of this honour, but mostly because I forget all about it (brain fog).

Today however, is a most magnificent day!  

Susie at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride, celebrates a birthday!

So what, say you? (hey, that’s mean)

A year ago, Susie’s life took a dramatic tumultuous twist when she found out she had breast cancer.

As it does to anyone hearing the dreaded C word, the news came as a tremendous shock.  After all, she was a wild ride type of gal (said her blog)!  She was athletic.  She ate healthy foods.  She did everything right!  What in the world had gone wrong?

She underwent a double mastectomy and is now, CANCER FREE! {insert huge applause here}

The amazing thing was that although Susie went through very rough periods throughout the year trying to grapple with the news and recover from her surgeries, her attitude and faith remained in tact.  She continued to fight on and work her butt off to get herself back in shape so she could resume her wild and active life.

If that isn’t a BRICKHOUSECHICK, I don’t know what is??

I have come to love this woman I have never met and wish her continued happiness, health and funky dance moves!

Feliz Cumpleaños, Amiga!

Join me in wishing her the best!

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Laughing Fits

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Anderson CooperThe Ridiculist

I will never forget the time Mr. Brickhouse and I attended a weekend Pre-Cana retreat as a requirement to marrying in the Catholic church.  Many other couples were in attendance at this beautiful old Monastery.  Of course, the boys slept in one building and the girls in another.

Why my thoracic diaphragm decided that on that weekend it would go haywire and erupt in involuntary audible contractions, is beyond me.  It started with short little random outbursts.  I remember thinking, Brickhouse get it together, the priest is addressing the group. We were at the beautiful church attending a Mass when I made the fatal mistake of looking over at Mr. Brickhouse.  He looked back at me and that was it.  The levee burst breached so forcefully, that no amount of sand bags could have possibly stopped the blast of laughter that erupted out of my small Catholic mouth.

Shhhhhhhhhh, pleaded Mr. Brickhouse, in a look of horror.  Nope.  There was no shhh-ing to be had.  I tried looking down and staring at the pews.  I tried thinking of horrible tragedies I knew about. There was no turning back.  I covered my entire face with the palms of both my hands in an attempt to muffle the gurgling sounds.  That did not work.  I tried burying my head in Mr. Brickhouse’s jacket but that only brought more attention my way.  

God, please make it stop! I am so sorry for sinning in your house of worship.  

321goproject.com

321goproject.com

My shoulders began to shake uncontrollably as I gasped for air.  The side of my stomach ached and the tears of laughter came  gushing down my face.  I am pretty sure there was a lot of snorting going on as well.  As tough and poised as Mr. Brickhouse tried to remain, I broke him down.  Now, we were two Pre-Cana students hysterically laughing in the middle of Mass where the echo only amplified our seizure-like movements and noises.

That we were awarded the Pre-Cana completion certificate, was truly miraculous.

And then there was the time my mother accompanied me to one of my birthing classes because Mr. Brickhouse had a meeting that night.  I was pretty pregnant by then, as were my classmates.  I was aware that pregnant women came in all shapes and sizes but, WHOA.  This one particular woman had a rather peculiar shape.

Rather than her baby bump protruding from her stomach and thus the front of her,  somehow, the protrusion came entirely from her derrière.  There was hardly a pregnant tummy to be seen.  The almost at-term baby, seemed to be resting comfortably inside her buttocks. From the looks of it, it was going to be a rather HUGE baby.

worldstarhiphop.com

worldstarhiphop.com

Well, I was used to her unique shape from earlier classes but my mature and dignified mother, had never seen anything like it.  All it took was a loud whisper (because my mother never learned how to whisper softly) in Spanish from her, commenting on the baby coming out of the woman’s butt, to open the gates.  How my water didn’t break right there and then is incomprehensible. 

The instructor stopped the class to ask if we were alright.  We had to step aside and leave the room, for the night.

They say that laughter produces endorphins which can reduce pain, increase blood flow, reduce stress hormones and boost our immune system.

What they do not warn us about is that it may cause long-term embarrassment, child-like behavior, loss of bladder control and high likelihood of offending others.

However, the side effects seem to be a lot less severe than the side effects I get from my cocktail of medications.  

Maybe laughter truly is the best medicine.

Here is Anderson Cooper ‘losing it’.

And make sure to click on this video of the immensely talented, Tim Conway & Harvey Korman in ‘The Dentist Skit’ where Harvey actually wets himself from laughing when he wasn’t supposed to!

What laughing-fit stories do you have?

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