Wisdom

Televangelists Need to Go Away and Let Paula White Be the First

At my former job, there was a co-worker who raved about televangelists. At first, I would listen to her out of courtesy, but I’d also discreetly brush off her recommendation to give their sermons a listen. This was a very intelligent lady, so I assumed she must have heard about Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker as well as other controversies of the past….and present. It puzzles me why she was such a big fan of these money whores.

One day, I decided to heed her recommendation and flipped through various Christian channels. I became enthralled with sermons from various preachers, as the words and messages they exude are truly stirring and on-point. Until….

…the code words start to invade. Specifically, words like “partnership” to make their avarice seem less noticeable. Often, televangelists give a good talk until they spam you with the partnership babble, making whatever they preached about become tarnished and less valuable.

(Note to investigative journalists: where are you? Put an end to these frauds already! I know, I know…..there are so many to choose from!)

Every televangelist has a product to sell, and many of these products do not come cheap. If you want to hear the sermon live in person, tickets are just as expense as a rock concert. I believe I would find it equally pleasing to spend that money to see my favorite band. It humors me a great deal how televangelists think they’re rock stars, when the real rock star is the very Man they always preach about.

Thankfully, there are podcasts that you can listen to for free. It costs nothing to hear about His wisdom. I’d rather listen to a podcast than watch it on TV. There are commercials (for me, ONE commercial is too many), and often there are commercials spamming the viewer with DVD’s, books, and sermon tours. It’s almost as if these televangelists are preaching to the masses exclusively for the money – and they know the public will fall for this nonsense as they don’t want to piss away their chances getting through the pearly gates.

Shame on you, public. You should know better.

I wonder how many people will give in to the disgust called Paula White. Paula White, by the way, was my co-worker’s favorite televangelist. I wonder what she thinks of White’s latest request to give up your January salary or prepare to receive God’s wrath. Never mind. She would stick up for Paula White. There is a reason we don’t talk anymore.

The God I’ve been studying is nothing like what Paula White has recently dispersed. Real heralds of His wisdom simply don’t go around with threats and/or bombard their parishioners to purchase their products every chance they get. The last church service I attended started with the priest urging the parishioners to stay after the sermon to hear 20 minutes worth of information with regard to money making opportunities exclusive for the church, and he had a bit of an attitude. Tithing is one thing, but people are confined to a little something called a “budget,” a necessary evil I fear that some priests just don’t understand. Televangelists understand perfectly, and they pray on the public’s fear accordingly.

I will not help Paula White in any capacity. I won’t even assist by giving her contact information for the best plastic surgeon in the country (yes, I have access to that information, not that she or anyone else will benefit). Paula White is a representative of hate, acting as His “supreme herald” that also threatens you. I am more than willing to risk the “penalties,” and I will encourage others not to give in to the threatening nonsense.

Support your local church, but any church that demands a certain percentage of your salary raises a major red flag. It’s why I stopped going and prefer to watch Sunday Mass on television. It is my strong belief why church attendance has been down the last decade. There’s too much solicitation and not enough wisdom. And Paula White has none of it.

 

FICTION: The Trip to the Grocery Store

The following short story is a work of fiction. It is based off a photographic writing prompt submitted by Writer’s Digest. I do not know if my story will be selected, but I had fun writing it. Here it is for your reading pleasure. Constructive feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Thanks for reading.

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TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE

By Judie Lynne

Old people typically don’t get involved in amateur games. Yet, here I am, just another elderly person taking his frustrations out on the world. Personally, my time is limited, and tomorrow is never promised. Therefore, I choose to take it out on the miracle of the high tide. I want Audra to hear what I have to say.

A trip to the grocery store was all it took to force me out of my cocoon. A woman with a perfected mane of white and silvers captivated me at the express checkout lane. I’ve seen her before, but I’ve never struck up the courage to concoct even the simplest greeting. Hauntings of my dear Audra intermittently surface, looking at me from above the clouds with a modest wave and an air kiss. She would want me to continue living my life, but when you have spent over 40 years with the same person, they are your entire life. But I challenge myself to move on with a brave face and a kind heart, because she would want me to be at peace.

Lately, striking up conversations with cashiers have been challenging. It seems that the store has made some cutbacks in payroll because there are only two express cashiers working on a busier-than-usual Saturday morning. As a result, there have been stalls in the express lanes that increased the waiting times. One day, I recognized the woman in the line next to me and thought that would be a good time to break out of my sheath, as well as to ease any tension lingering in the air. I turned to her and gave her a gentle smile:

“Good thing I wore my comfy slip-ons today.” I said, with caution.

“Yeah, they must be short-staffed today. The lines aren’t usually long this early in the day.”

An ice breaker…yes! Since I captured her attention, I figured to keep the momentum going. After every couple of sentences, the line from both lanes moved forward a couple of inches. In a short time, we discussed weather, cost of living, and retirement. I sensed that she was feeling less threatened and was comfortable enough to continue the conversation elsewhere. We decided to exchange information after checkout.

She was first to complete her purchase. I was one person behind her, and luckily, I only had a few items to purchase. Once done, I met up with her again at the entrance. She gave me another courteous smile, and handed me a piece of paper with an address that wasn’t familiar to me. I thought it was a bit odd, but I didn’t want to come off as a braggart, so I didn’t question her.

We agreed to meet again later that evening, at an oceanside café I’ve never heard of before. I figured it must be a relatively new business. After all, I don’t really get out much after Audra passed. I was ready to start living again. As I was getting dressed, my gaze shifted to one of my favorite photos of Audra, and I reflect…. she was clapping for me from above the heavens.

Due to the unfamiliarity of GPS, I parked the car near our meeting place, and decided to search for it on foot.

Over an hour past the designated time of meeting, and I still can’t find the place. By now, I am getting winded from both anxiety and fatigue. How can I possibly justify this embarrassing this period of senility, if and when we finally meet? I decided to bow down to my embarrassment and ask a passerby where this café is located.

“Oh, they closed up last year. They’re no longer in business.”

I decided to take my frustrations out on Audra in a spiritual sense, who I suspect was behind this cruel joke. I muttered under my breath, over the reconciling auditory raptures of the high tide. Oh Audra, how can you be so cruel? A discreet tide surfaced upon my bare feet seconds after my muttering. I looked up to the horizon with light tears. Even in death, I cannot stay mad at my Audra.

 

 

Why I Won’t Be Sad if iHeartRadio Were To Go Away Forever

Happy 2018 to everyone except the manufacturers of “smart” devices and its developers.

I’m glad the youngins’ think that smart devices are all that, but really, they are more trouble than they are worth. Here lies yet another reason why older generations cannot get on the same page with the youngins’.

I originally had the afternoon planned exclusively dedicated to a writing project I am currently working on. Instead, I wasted time fiddling around with an app to get my “smart” speaker to work. This speaker is controlled using the app by the manufacturer. Since I don’t load my personal music on the app, I use streaming music services i.e. iHeartRadio. I was situated in my “writing” mode when all of a sudden the app stopped working. After a couple of hours uninstalling, reinstalling, powered off and on, changed passwords–you name it–I was on the verge of tears. All I wanted was some fucking music.

There is no other way to get this speaker to work. It is not bluetooth enabled, so the only way to get it to work is to use the manufacturer’s app. iHeartRadio being the culprit, insisted with an automated message that places the blame on me by insisting my network connection is not working. I call bullshit.

So when I checked their Facebook page, it revealed numerous customers that were having similar issues. iHeartRadio never owned up to their follies until after these complaints surfaced. To make matters worse, they respond with the typical automated bot response.

I am tremendously irked by the idea of “smart” devices in general. It’s a surefire way for manufacturers and developers to obtain your personal data by forcing the consumer to use apps for their devices to work. Even when you do get them working, you’re “punished” with a non-working app if you don’t update it regularly, and they don’t give advance warning.

I eventually gave up on iHeartRadio, and signed up for Spotify. When I tried to stream it via the manufactuer app, I got an automated message to say I must have a paid, premium subscription to use it this way. Well, fuck you! Give me back my wired, sub-woofer Sony speakers. Or bluetooth. I mean — come on — I used to be able to press the “on” button to my stereo, and voila….music in an instant. This afternoon, at least two hours were wasted just to get any kind of music to play.

It annoys the everliving shit out of me that young people don’t see these smart devices as problematic. Well, if they are willing as to give away their bank account information for a smart device to work, (or any device that wasn’t too complicated in the first place), more power to them.

Meanwhile, my Saturday will be spent returning this piece of crap “smart” speaker and exchange it for a bluetooth, making sure to not infest it with anything iHeartRadio.

New Spin on Resolutions: Practice Kindness

If anything for 2018, practice kindness. A little kindness goes a long way.

Allow me to start off wishing everyone the merriest of holidays. Here’s to an even better 2018.

Even if you had the most fantastic year ever, what made 2017 so fantastic? If it was truly fantastic, I hope it was for the right reasons, such as:

  • Getting married. Again, congrats. However, I am a stickler for eternal bliss and not fond of disposable marriages. Anyone who demands a formal wedding in today’s culture will construct huge cynicism from outsiders that you’re just doing it to be “princess for a day.” Most brides don’t care (now) what the outsiders think, but twenty years from now (or less)  when you want to file for divorce because you’ve suddenly fell in love with another (wo)man, you’ll prove skeptics—including myself—indubitably accurate. Heed my personal adage: I’d rather be queen for a lifetime than princess for a day.
  • had a baby, especially if it’s your first. Congrats! Please teach them manners such as please and thank you. You can even choose to make please their first word, even if they pronounce it “peas.” Cute, no? In addition, as much as you adore children, I hope you are not using them for insurance purposes later when you file for divorce. To me, it sounds like the planning of a person that lacks morals.
  • Graduation: high school? Yay! Sadly, the high school mentality stays with us the rest of our life. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer so you can laugh in their faces at every one of their mishaps.
  • Graduated college? Yay! Now you are officially out in the real world making your way through life. And a lifetime of student debt. I’m sorry.

I type with genuine honesty that I tend to gloss over such things such as marriage, children, and graduations. Outside of my family, I simply don’t find it a big deal. Humans get married and divorce everyday and children seem to be popping out at every turn (as if the human race think they’re rabbits), after awhile the outsiders get burnt out with the news.

(More opinion about the marriage aspect at a later date.)

Here is what I wish for in 2018 for all, including myself:

  • Do a good deed. (Even if that old lady thinks you’re robbing her when you’re really helping her cross the street, apologize and walk away. At least you tried.)
  • Make up for that grandma flub and volunteer. Go to Volunteermatch.org where you can enter your location and your area of interest. A list of organizations that are in search of volunteers will populate.
  • Continue with the Starbucks “Pay it Forward.” I’ve been a recipient of it a few times, but I’ve never thought to return the favor. That will change in 2018. I no longer get coffee via the drive-thru, I’d prefer to enter the store to order coffee and simply pay for the person behind me. If there’s no one behind me, then I will pay for the person in the drive-thru (there’s always somebody in the drive-thru).
  • Initiate forgiveness. This is especially true of family members. Who started the fight or who was right or wrong doesn’t matter. You’ll be rewarded with a greatest sense of serenity and possibly closure. Any words exchanged during that heated argument belong in the past, and none of it matters. That’s why it’s called the past. Leave it there where it belongs.
  • Adopt a furbaby at your local animal shelter (but only if you are willing to commit to the time and money). Animals are not disposable. They are messengers of God doing everything they can to instill unconditional love, peace, light, and joy. They are not meant to be treated like your ex-girl/boyfriend. The reason these babies are in shelters because their owners didn’t see them that way. Don’t be the asshole to disappointment them for the second, third, 15th, or 20th time.
  • Talk to strangers. You don’t have to become best friends, but sometimes a simple “howdya do” is enough to brighten someone’s day. You don’t know everyone’s story and perhaps they enjoy the interaction from passerbys. Even if you find yourselves stuck in line at the grocery store’s “speed” checkout, poke fun at the situation with a smile just to ease the tension.

In a world gone astray with schisms, narcissism, and avarice to alarming degrees, I believe practicing simple acts of kindness throughout the year is crucial more than ever. It seems our current President works hard at dividing this great nation with every little thing he says and tweets. I take great pleasure in turning that nonsense around and throw it back in his face. Imagine how much impact we can make as a nation if we all engaged in a bit of compassion.

Here’s to a fresh start. Happy 2018!

 

 

 

 

The Job Search Culture; Yes, Santa Claus Is Real

For many years, I maintained a blog that was designed to document the intricate details of my job search. Having experienced the job search in both the antiquated and the digital realm provided stark differences in recruiting practices. It’s interesting how we have evolved from the good old days of the classified section of the newspaper, where jobs in dominating industries were plentiful. It’s interesting how we have evolved from interviewing direct with the supervisor to a snooty millennial recruiter who knows nothing about the job—or even skill sets—they are trying to fill.

That blog is no longer in operation because I have since found a job, thus there’s nothing left to record. But that won’t stop me from reminiscing from time to time. Remember the 99’ers? Yes, they were all the rage, and my blog is filled with 99er-related anecdotes. Where are they today? No longer making headline news, that’s for sure. Because of the low unemployment rate, I suspect all is right with the world. Or is the job search bullshit and finger pointing being twisted in a different way?

Ah, good times. Right 99ers?

The recent news of Facebook and Verizon’s blatant age discriminating practices have re-opened the doors for harsh critique of hiring and recruiting practices. These anomalies include:

Online job boards: there’s absolute no way to distinguish if they are real jobs or the ‘ol bait and switch. For example, have you ever come across a posting where all the criteria and education requirements have been met, only to be turned down by saying that job is no longer available. That’s a good way for a company to collect your information, and spam you with products and services for later use. In 2009, these ads were rampant. Today, they’re not even posted by humans. Recruiters resort to software and program bots to do the dirty work for them. These same bots maintain their blogs as well. The wording of many job postings today is mundane and robotic:

Get yourself out there!

Get your job search back on track!

10 Tips To Dominate That Interview!

We’re On the Hunt for Amazing Talent!

Why Companies Give You the Post-Interview Silent Treatment

Why It’s Always Best To Send a Thank You Card After the Interview

….etc.

Just go away, already.

Job coaches, or anyone who thinks their advice is persuasive enough to allude the jobseeker the job of their dreams: Job “coaches” do not offer “advice,” they spew clichés. Yes, they do. I have many of them documented in my previous blog…..from 2009 on.

Boost Your Resume with Robust Keywords!

Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck! (I wish I had a nickel every time I heard this).

Clean Up Your Online Presence

….etc.

All clichés. Don’t listen. Do your own thing. But do spellcheck. And, for the love of God…..it’s résumé——>noun. Not a verb! As far as cleaning up your “online presence,” NO, fuck that.

When my husband was looking for work, I couldn’t wait for him to stumble throughout the job market as I have. During my reign of unemployment, he had no concept of the challenges I faced on a routine basis. I’m not only referring to the rejection. I’m referring to the constant scrutiny of perusing through a barrage of fictitious job postings so I can find that one email address that was addressed to an individual instead of a generic, i.e. recruiting@brokenpimphands.com email kind. I have never applied for a job online unless I was promised an interview.

Yes, that’s right. In the age of constant security breaches and digital hacking, why in the holy mother of shit devils would I volunteer to send my private credentials to the far off land of the dark cyberhole? Don’t treat your information like a used piece of toilet paper. Protect it!

In the late ‘90’s, I was employed as an Administrative Assistant with an IT recruiting firm. For five years, I worked diligently with Lotus Notes. In it, there was a database of job applicants, and there were hundreds of them. The majority of recruiters at that time were recent college graduates (millennials). They were provided daily notifications of contract assignments from whichever client they were recruiting for, which consisted of Motorola and Lucent Technologies. These assignments included information such as: length of contract, and key skill attributes. The recruiters plugged whatever key words the client listed, and boom, numerous résumés would populate. So then, how did the recruiter prefer one résumé over another? It’s an enigma. I guess you have to make a wish on a shooting star that your résumé gets picked. To summarize: as soon as the online job application became prevalent in the job search culture, I already knew. So no, I’m not going to have my information linger and waste away in the land of hacks and vulnerabilities.

I’ve warned my husband about this practice for many years, and he would look at me as if I’m speaking a different language. One day, he was venting his frustration over the lack of response.

“Did you apply online?” I’d ask.

“Yeah!”

“Mm hmm.” I gave him the side eye and went about my business. Nothing more needed to be said at that point.

Time again, I encounter similar frustrations from job seekers over the lack of response from online applications. I can’t say I fathom any empathy. Why would you ever expect anything from a machine? Then, consider you have humans working behind the machines. That’s double trouble. You’re depending your livelihood on humans incapable of distinguishing the difference between you’re and your:img_2746

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “The Job Search Culture; Yes, Santa Claus Is Real”

Facebook, Verizon Flagrant with Age Discrimination

I recently encountered this article from ProPublica. Huge companies have become carelessly obvious about a specific age group they want as employees. I’m glad these companies are shunned in the public eye for engaging in age discrimination, but this information is hardly new. As one tweet pointed out, companies have been age discriminating since the economy crash of 2008.

This is NOT an exaggeration. I’ve been blogging about these abhorrent practices since 2009. The following is a sample from my previous blog that discusses this very topic.

At that time, I maintained a Linkedin profile page (it’s now deleted, it was NEVER useful except to collect unsolicited invitations from scamcruiters™). For giggles, I would peruse the forum to see what recruiters were saying about the “lazy jobseeker.” To my horror, I found the below thread.

(Side note: Thank goodness, I was smart enough to post some excerpts instead of posting a URL. If I had posted the URL, chances are very good it would be a non-working link today.)

Continue reading “Facebook, Verizon Flagrant with Age Discrimination”

The Betty Crocker Brownie Mix

©Judie Lynne 2017
Brownie mix from Betty Crocker. The package clearly states instructions for a 13×9 pan. We went with 8×8. Imagine how much more flimsy it’d be if a 13×9 pan were used.

In an effort to steer clear of the bots generated by the company’s reputation management software (yes, that is really a thing. Google it for more information.) on Facebook and Twitter, I am documenting this in my blog and hope the word gets around through other means. No amount of free coupons can erase a company’s underlying devious tactics for a hopeful, profitable happy ending.

The package is concise in terms of servings. It is specifically designed for a 13 x 9 baking pan. It comes pre-mixed, and the only ingredients to be added are oil, egg, and water.

For those who have been using mixes for years (be it Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines), we know that the temperature of the egg doesn’t make a huge difference for pre-made cake or brownie mixes (or maybe it does. If you take it to that extreme, you’re an outright prude. You’re already using a pre-made mix). Yet, the end result would indicate otherwise. This brownie mix barely met the specifications of an 8 x 8 baking dish.

While I realize you might be thinking that I am doing this exclusively for show, that I may be excluding other factors (like not using the entire mix) and that my goal is to extract millions of dollars from the company for domestic and culinary emotional trauma, I invite you to test for yourself, and/or seek other examples of manufacturers ripping off consumers.

Let’s start with potato chips. Recount the number of times you’ve purchased a bag of chips to find half the bag filled with air.

Same for cereal.

If you’re feeling extra spunky, bake a package of Betty Crocker brownie mix, and be sure to follow the instructions for a 13 x 9 pan. Observe the end result. Was it extra flimsy? If it was, then suffice to say, Duncan Hines is ripping you off by way of deceptive marketing and advertising. Like the majority of food manufacturers, they are using less ingredients but charge you more on the grounds that Joe Q. Public won’t know the difference.

This practice has become the norm (across manufacturers in almost every industry, but food especially) so that CEO’s continue to get their plentiful quarterly bonuses.

I’m lying?

 

Skip the BS: The Office Holiday Party

Nothing grosses me out more than coming across photos of company holiday parties. Just.gross.

From the holiday sweaters, the dumb reindeer antlers, and the idiotic duck faces (made by people over the age of 21). Many of the folks hold their drinks of choice in their hands, with fictitious grins that cascade across sweaty faces and are about to be swallowed up by their atrocious holiday pre-lit attire. No, I will not call 911….. you chose to wear that dumb shit on your own.

Many will argue the purpose of these company parties is to spread the holiday sentiment amongst co-workers. You’ll soon learn by the time we enter the New Year, all those holiday sentiments and cheery facades will disappear the moment you rub a co-worker the wrong way (literally AND figuratively).

Consider the fact we already spend more time with co-workers than family. Nothing and no one will have your back as much as family. The downtime granted to us ought to spent wisely. For those of you with children, you already know where I’m going with this. If not, here’s a hint: they’re five when you leave for the office party. By the time you come back, they’ll be raging teenagers.

Don’t like being at home? Then that’s on you. MAKE IT WORK. Spend the downtime with your family or take up knitting. Leave the fakers at the bar stumbling over their asinine “festive” apparel.

For those with 8-hour days, five day a week office jobs, that is all the time that is required. Anything beyond that is outright intrusive. Don’t you dare give in to any mind tricks by management/co-workers, such as: aww, you’re not going?

NO! I’m not going. I prefer to spend it with family.

You’re gonna miss all the fun!

I seriously doubt that.

You’re gonna miss Doug in his homemade Santa sweater with blinky lights!

But I’m sure I’ll see pics on Facebook, no worries there.

But we hardly ever see Doug because he is out on the field most of the time!

I see Doug more than my kids. Doug is not and will never be missed.

The bottom line: It is imperative to set boundaries. You stay in your world and I’ll stay (happily) in mine. Keep your fake ass smile away from me. Keep your nasty, pre-lit, raggedy ass Christmas sweater and headband antlers to your damn self. Charity begins at home, and that’s where I intend to keep it.

Thanks Canucks!

I don’t know how it happened, it just did. I suppose I should be thankful for the sudden jump in blog traffic, because I didn’t pay anyone to do me extra favors. I haven’t purchased fake followers or likes, and the previous days show views are not anywhere near the spike total.

But thank you, Canadians. The majority of views originated from our neighbor to the north. The Canucks like me…..how about that!

Meanwhile, I had to wipe off dust on the previous days. It makes me wonder if WordPress combined all the week’s views and rolled them up into one day.

Or maybe Justin Bieber is telling all his friends and family all about my blog. Or Alanis Morrisette (I prefer that it’d be Alanis….she’s more my speed).

Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, internet.

Happy Friday! And have a merry merry <insert holiday here>!

The Incompatible Jew (A Personal Essay)

In the spirit of Hanukah, I’d thought I’d share the following giggle: My husband loves to poke fun at people’s instinct to respond with religious affiliations than geographic details. For some reason, this has become prevalent as more people are caught responding with the wrong answer. For example, one might ask:

“What nationality are you?”

“I’m Jewish.”

“Oh, alright then. Show me ‘Jew’ on a map.”

I take partial blame for this indiscretion. I can show you where a mass population of Jews reside, but I cannot locate an actual piece of land called “Jew.” Regardless of where or how the term originated, when you ask for geographic details and the person responds with a religious affiliation, it sounds weird.

Continue reading “The Incompatible Jew (A Personal Essay)”