Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Holidays...

It's that time of the year again and with it come the same old arguments and beliefs about others taking Christmas away. I had one woman; a friend of my husbands; try to tell me that it's now illegal to put a Nativity Scene up in front of your house. When I pointed out to her all the beautiful Nativity Scenes that I have seen in the last few years, she told me that it was people defying the law.....right.

Last time I looked, we still live in Canada. And whether you like it or not, we are a multicultural society with many strong beliefs.

So...I did what I always do. I researched the so-called law, in order to let her know that she can put out her nativity scene without worry of the anti-Christmas police banging down her door and arresting her.

I was raised with the Baptist faith. As a child I used to love to explore the different faiths of my friends and that continued into adulthood. I love having an open mind and that is exactly what I feel I've gained from this experience. And I can feel very proud to say that I passed those same values on to my own children and they will continue to do the same.

First, I need to start by saying that nobody is out there trying to take away Christmas. There is no green grinch just waiting to pounce on your Nativity Scene or whatever you may display to celebrate what the season is for you.

I believe that faith is a very important part of us and something that is essentially needed for our emotional health. But it is also very personal and should never be opened to insults and criticisms.

It's been many years now since I stopped believing in the Christian faith and my reasons are irrelevant. I've always been very Earthy and feel my best when communicating in some way with nature.

At the same time, I have the ability to listen to somebody tell me that God is with her always. And I can believe that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I don't believe in the same God so why would I believe this to be true?

Because it is true for the person speaking of it and I do not believe it is my right to try to take away somebody's core values and beliefs. At the same time, I appreciate and expect the same courtesy.

There will always be Christmas every year because it's too much of a tradition to have it ever fall by the wayside. However I'm sorry to have to say this to the Christians, but you don't have the monopoly on the holiday season. And you cannot force others out because we don't believe what you do.

You have to face the facts that many of your Christmas traditions were originally traditions for a pagan holiday. If anybody robbed any other faith of their beliefs, I'd say it was the very opposite of what you are taught to believe.

In ancient years the Winter Solstice was
celebrated by many Countries, many cultures and many beliefs and in many ways, including Yule Winter Festivities during late December to early January beginning on the day of Winter Solstice (usually December 21st).

Eventually the Christian holiday, known as Christmas was absorbed into the Yule Winter Festivities, taking
with it many of it's traditions, such as the Yule Log and the decorated tree.

According to Wikipedia the official date passed on to the people to celebrate was December 25th after the Julian calendar was adopted.

It would be a very special holiday season indeed if people would open their minds and look at the faiths of others as just that...different faiths. Everybody has a strong belief that their faith is the true faith. That is a good thing. We all need strong faith, especially during difficult times.

But keep in mind that during this period, Christians are not the only people celebrating. When I wish somebody "Happy Holidays", it's generally because I don't know what their faith is or how they will celebrate. If I know somebody's faith, then I will wish them happiness for their celebrations without prejudice.

We all have a right to our beliefs. Please remember that when you are getting frustrated at how you may feel your beliefs are being stepped on, remember we all can feel that way.

Happy Holidays to one and all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Work at a Call Centre...

From the time I was about Eighteen years old until I was Forty, most my working life was taking the call.

I started out early in an answering service in Toronto. Back then we used the old cord boards. I didn't enjoy it very much at all and thankfully, after a month or so, was transferred upstairs where my job entailed taking the calls and paging them out; as well as monitoring alarms (fire, burglar, etc.).

I worked with a fun, wonderful group of women and even though we were all cooped up together in a room smaller than my living room; I can honestly say we had a good time. I still have fond memories of those days.

Over the years, my office skills increased and I often held the position of receptionist/switchboard operator. I learned to work a variety of switchboards and in the end was also programming them.

Fast forward to the present. I have two very talented sons who both work in a Call Centre. They take calls to give tech support to people who are having difficulties with their computers. I know it often takes a lot of patience to do what they do, not to mention constantly having to upgrade their knowledge each time there's a product upgrade.

Imagine...trying to give tech support to someone who barely knows how to operate a computer. I know how much patience is required to carry that out.

My older son is bilingual; he speaks French as well as English. My younger son is a musician. He's taught himself the drums, guitar and banjo; though he still has the common sense to realize you can always learn from others.

The reality is that Call Centres are probably the biggest employers in our city, if you add them up together. The people who work in these Call Centres are a variety of all ages & talents.

I always give credit to the people who occupy these positions as I know from personal experience, that they are mostly underpaid and treated with little respect. Overall, they're labeled as robots who can't do anything more than answer the phone. And it's not only the higher ups who treat them this way but often the general public. Often it's the very people they are trying to assist when they take that call.

Both my sons have made some good friendships at their place of employment. One of these friends is Gordon Phillips; another musician. Gord is not only a talented musician and writer but he also saw talent in my younger son, Andrew.

Gord wrote a song though we like to refer to it as an anthem. He approached both Drew and Barry about it and we all loved it. Drew was to sing the main vocals, as well as playing the drums. Barry's job was in what he does best. He did the recording.

As the project was in the beginning stages, Gord had a surgery date approaching. He was suffering some nerve damage and my husband, Barry literally had to duct tape the pick onto Gords fingers. But he played the bass and his talent flowed.

Gord also gave Drew a lot of coaching to bring out the best in his vocals. Drew did the main vocals, while Gord did the back up.

They brought in two people for the guitar. Adam McGlynn also works at the same Call Centre as Drew and Gord. He came in a few times to add some guitar to the song. He was great and more than happy to do his part.

Now like most creative people, Gord was very particular on how this song should sound and he wanted more in the kind of add to Adam's tracks.

And so Kyle Mason was brought in to add those extra tracks. Kyle is the only person who participated in this project who does not, nor has he experience working in a Call the best of my knowledge. But his tracks were incredible and I could certainly understand why Gord wanted him.

Then it was all left to my husband Barry to do his magic.

The project is finished. And, it's catching on to Call Centre people all over. How could it not?

Let me introduce to you the Call Centre Anthem:

I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do. And if you take that call ... or if you ever have...This song is for you!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Officer Bubbles???.....

I've never been one to protest. Oh I have my own personal set of values and I certainly am not a fan of this moron to whom we've given the title of Prime Minister. I think I just can't trust my own reactions when a peaceful protest turns to something that I consider unjust. Especially when our police force takes on the role of bully and decides to take on someone who is obviously making her protest as peaceful as possible.

I've been somewhat following the news coverage of the recent G20 summit in the GTA. I'm not going to even bring up the topic of all the wasted tax money that could have been used elsewhere. That's why we had peaceful protests to begin with.

What really bothers me the most is how our tax dollars were spent on paying bullies to harass the peaceful protesters and perhaps, as theory has it, even started much of the violence.

My husband just brought my attention to a very good example of these paid bullies. Mind you, I've seen quite a few examples up to this point.

But this one really takes the cake.

Bubbles: My two year old grand-daughter absolutely loves bubbles. They're fun and are often wonderful for many events.

I've not yet heard about being careful with bubbles because "they could take out an eye".

This is the case of Officer Bubbles.

A woman was at what appears to be the front of a barricade of bullies. She seemed to be in pretty good spirits, possibly enjoying the energy of what was going on around her. She was making some kind of statement in her own peaceful way.

She was blowing bubbles.

She even appeared to have stopped her violent bubble blowing when confronted by one of the paid bullies.

I have to use the word, bullies, as that is the role these particular type seem to enjoy. Childhood bullies often take a role of authority in their adult life as it feeds into their own feelings of superiority.

In the following video, you can plainly see how this guy is taking great pride in his bully role, even to the point of arresting the woman, after her bubble blowing had stopped. I did not see one bubble touch or injure this guy.

As much as I hate to say it, this brought out a lot of anger in me. It also made me even more aware of why I don't protest.

I know I would not have been as compliant as this woman. Oh, I'm sure I wouldn't be blowing bubbles in this guys face, though I'd be very, very tempted. I do have enough common sense to avoid a charge of assaulting a police officer with bubbles. But I know I would have ended up in some type of verbal argument with the idiot.

My only hope in this story is that Officer Bubbles becomes the object of ridicule; not only online but in his own station. For I know in this society, had I been there and told him exactly what was on my mind, I too would have been arrested.

I think all I have left to say about Officer Bubbles is....what a bloody power tripping moron.