Sunday, November 22, 2009
My Guys are Freaking Awesome ... ALL of Them
Okay, so it’s probably been no secret that things have been sort of blecht lately, on both a general and personal level; it’s a bit difficult to sit down and blog about shitty situations, so I just don’t blog at all under those circumstances.
These past couple months? Full of fear and splendor, with the splendor by far outweighing the fear, so “Yay, Splendor!” But prior to that the fear part sucked shit. A lot.
First I discovered my house (my home, people) needs some costly repairs, and that got me down for awhile … but, what the hell, right? Sometimes shit has to happen so we can appreciate the flowers we’ve been too busy to stop and smell. And it’s nobody's fault but my own that I’ve anthropomorphized my poor baby home and now feel as though she’s in pain (my crazy bad).
So anyway, once I was fully entrenched in feeling sorry for myself, Dad went and had a horrifically bad weekend involving a heart attack, cardiac cath, and quintuple CABG utilizing CPB (shudder). Wow. If that doesn’t take the wind out of anyone’s sails of self-pity I don’t know what can.
Well, Dad has been doing terrifically well since, with an early hospital release and exceeding of expectations on the recovery timeline, so “Yay, Mom & Dad!”, because if anyone thinks he’s done it alone that’s just plain crazy talk right there, is what it is. And I'm not saying anymore about it because it's just too frightening to contemplate the possible alternatives.
Anywho … everyone, and I mean everyone, is well aware of the economy (or lack thereof); we’re paying more for everything, and receiving less in exchange. And the big muckety-mucks who control the world (harkening back to my “Ten Rich White Dudes” theory) are trying their absolute bestest to get and retain more than their fair share (see both the credit card and the prescription drug industries). It’s depressing is what it is. With a huge clinging dollop of WTFedness thrown in for good measure.
Then there’s the plant, where we’ve contacted the Salvation Army to adopt a local family that we can maybe help out for Christmas. Yes, I said it, “Christmas” … not “holiday”, not “seasonal” … it’s Christmas, people. If you want to call it something else, be my guest. You’re welcome to your interpretation of the season. But for me? It’s Christmas. I’m not raining on your parade, keep your thunderclouds away from mine.
Our family of seven is local, and very young. Mom and Dad have five young’uns, and their list of needs and wants makes my soul weep. Needs are clothes, but wants, even from the children, are also what you and I, and I daresay most, would consider “needs”. Where are the requests for toys? What dreams do these children harbor? I’ll tell you what: they dream to be warm and fed this Winter, and that’s pretty much all they dream of. When I think of all the merry Christmas’s of my childhood, not a one includes even the shadow of a thought that if only I could have a warm coat I’d be happy.
So, we put up a tree in our lobby, and the ornaments have the age, sex, and a gift … anyone who wants to contribute can grab an ornament. By the end of that first day there were only three left. I hit up a few of our vendors, with whom we spend ridiculous amounts of money, for some of the necessities. They’re in (if only partially, but still). Then, one of our guys asked of it was okay to donate gift cards? Absolutely! These gift cards, by the way, were just passed out to the plant because we’ve recently accomplished a safety goal. Each is a $15 card for either WalMart or Price Chopper (a local grocery chain). Of 98 possible donations, 23 were dropped in immediately. Won’t have a final count until after all three shifts are polled, but that? Was most awesome in it’s awesomosity, people!
I have to explain; our guys aren’t exactly rolling in dough. Our operators hail straight from the community and are mostly non-caucasian. Some have their GED or an equivalent, but quite a few don’t. Many can hardly read as they were employed before that was a Condition of Hire. A few are on a work visa. For most this job is a dream come true with benefits and Union representation … but their hourly wage is nothing to write home about (although some do, as they send a portion back home each week), and I’m hard-pressed to understand how they can live off it, especially with families.
But they do, and they care enough about others to donate what little they have. How freaking awesome is that?!?! Totally freaking awesome, that’s how! And the guy who originally asked about donating the gift cards? Well he inadvertently initiated an even bigger donation, as our HR guy liked the idea so much that he sent a plant-wide e-mail to our distribution list, of which the company president in NJ is a member, so we all got a reply from him stating the company would match whatever our guys donated in gift cards.
WOO to the HOO, people!
We now have so much in donations that we contacted the Salvation Army on Friday afternoon to ask for another family. And she was so happy she had answered the phone, because she’d just come from a meeting where they were discussing the 35 new families that had signed up for help this year, and they don’t know how they’re going to be able to help all 35, but we’ve just taken one off their hands. I don’t have all the specifics yet, but I do know our second family has five people in it, and we’ll do our level best to rock their Christmas as well.
And the thing with my house? Still needs work, but my guys started brain-storming how to help me out of this one, even going so far as planning to come out next Spring to set my baby to rights. I love family, especially my most awesome one.
So how does this tale end? I want to believe it’ll go something like this:
“And so good times were had by all.”