Church for an agnostic

In 1991 I was 16 years old and I was what is known as “born again”. I got saved. I was introduced to what it is like to be a independent fundamental baptist at the age of 16. By the age of 22/23, I was 100% a baptist and fully brainwashed  into one of the sub-sections of the IFB churches – which was First Baptist Church of Hammond Indiana. Before 1991, I was not religious nor did I consider myself even “spiritual”. Before 1991 – I considered myself just a teenage girl. In 1987 when I was 12, I questioned whether I believed in gods. It was when I was 12, when I told myself that God could be a woman if he wanted to be. I asked “Why does everyone say that god is a he? Why do all these people say that god is a “he” Don’t they know how to think for themselves?”

Between the age of 16 through 21 I was slowly brainwashed.  Enter age 22 and I decided to go to a right winged baptist bible college. I was in a baptist prison for 4 years. For three years of those four, I desired to be there.  My 4th year –  age of 25, I magically woke up to the nightmare that I had put myself into. I thought I wanted this life of being 100% submissive to a husband and being told what to do – when do it, and why to do it (or not to do it). I had had enough of being told that I could not wear boots that go up to just below my knees on a cold day with 2 feet of snow outside that had 5 feet snow drifts. I was tired of being told that I couldn’t tap a a dude should just to get his attention.

By the time 2001 rolled around I left Hyles Anderson College around June 1st. It was the same year that Jack Hyles died. I was tired of hiding my bisexual curiosity and I was tired of pretending to be something that I wasn’t.   My values did not match that of the baptist church that I was in.

I came back home to Southern California in June 2001 and I was confused, angry and alone. By the time 2002 came around, I was introduced to bars, drinking and dancing. Sometime before May 2003 I had blown a rod through my oil pan in my Sentra. I think it was Jan 2002. I had no money to get a rebuilt engine for $700. I had alcohol at home and I started to drink coffee with alcohol daily. I did that for 6-12 weeks. I slept in to 9am or 10am daily. I’d lay on my bed all day long.

By 2003 I was smoking marijuana every week (every day if I could get my hands on that much money for the month or week). I was in a bad car wreck in May 2003 and I was on my way to work. I had just gotten hired as a temp on Friday and Monday was my car wreck. I was not high when I was driving to work. My car went out of control and my car was totaled via landing in a ditch. I had no money to get a new car. I did have access to my mom’s car.

I was still attending a baptist church during the entire time. It was not until 2008 that I started to question what my values were and where I stood in the area of religion. I was 33 years old in 2008. But that’s when I started to question things. And question things I did. I became a full fledged atheist in 2013. I had came to the conclusion after all of my anger outbursts (those were between 2007-2011) to this “god” that “loved me and died for me” — was full of shit. I was watching many many videos on Youtube from a group of athiests that had a radio show. Now, I can’t remember the name of the show.  It was not a radio show. It was a TV show based out of Texas and they’d have callers – call in and discuss why they believed in a god or why they – didn’t believe in a god.  Most of the time it was Evangelical Christians that would call in and state their case of why they believed and why everyone else should believe too.  But it didn’t work with this group.  The group kept on saying “The burden of proof is for you to prove to me that your god really does exist” and what the atheists were saying – made complete 100% sense to me.  Everything they said was logical.  And they also didn’t put down people saying things like “Well, your an asshole for believing in god” or “Your a dick since you can’t prove to me that your god exists”.   They’d used sound “Judgement” (for lack of a better word) in telling people that since they were a Christian, they must prove to atheists (and anyone else that does not believe in their god) that this god does indeed exist.  Christians on the show – would just site bible verses over and over again.  It got so freaking old. I had to decide If I believed in this god or if I was on the side of “evidence” is what is needed to prove that any god exists and the logical stance for me in 2013 was – to declare myself an atheist.

Since I had the conclusion on god – that god can not= love.  God = Love  was an equation that made no sense to me.   I said to myself “So if someone – lets say 5 kids were raised in a family with no gods, you mean that family has no love for their children? You got to be KIDDING ME!”  That
if love – sometimes hurts…..I couldn’t prove that any gods existed and I certainly couldn’t say that I KNEW for sure that I’d be going to heaven when I die…so since I couldn’t say or even THINK that – I knew that I could no longer consider myself a Christian.  I did a lot of thinking between 2008 and 2013. But I also had a lot of anger between 2008 and 2012. It wasn’t until 2013 – the year of my total hip replacement – that I had a change in attitude. My attitude was keeping people away from me. And it had nothing to do with me being an atheist. I was not positive at all. Everything with me was negative. I don’t think I ever meet anyone as negative as I was. Really. The reason I never meet anyone so negative – as much or more than I was – was because all of those people – also – like me – had no friends.

2011 – It wasn’t until 2011 that I left the baptist church all together. I left since I knew my values were never going to match that of any baptist church. I knew I was bisexual in 2011. I knew it. How could I continue to be going to a church like this and pretend to be a straight woman? So I left. And I told them why too. I started going to a Congregational church in 2011. I went for 8 weeks and then stopped. 2011 was when I started going to a new church (open and affirming- meaning they are open to gays) and I went for all of 2 months.

It was a part of the United Church of Christ, not to be confused with The Church of Christ – which is somewhat very similar to baptist churches with all of the damn freaking DOGMA.  I knew that I had to get away from the baptist churches if I was going to stop my anger

I stopped going to the UCC Church in Riverside sometime in the fall. I didn’t attend any church from the fall of 2011 to fall of 2015.  Fall 2015 I started attending a Congregational Church in town. I was shocked to see someone that I knew. Apparently she was going to this church for about 40 years or more. Her daughter and my high school buddy – does not go. She is an agnostic. I think she also has other things planned on Sunday.

I decided to declare myself an agnostic in 2016 since I knew I could not claim that I know anything about gods. I could not say that I knew for sure that gods don’t exist. I can’t say that there are no gods, since I don’t know if that’s true.  So I started going to this church in fall 2015, BEFORE I declared myself an agnostic. I didn’t go every single Sunday in 2016 since I worked some Sundays in the Spring and even less in the summer.  I started to take care of my mom in the summer of 2016 which made it hard for me to watch any football the entire 2016 football season. Football and church with me – don’t mix.  It’s either football or church. So half the year – I’m in church – the other half – I’m watching football – unless I’m taking care of my mom. Which I take care of her at least 8 hours a week. That’s only cooking her meals and going shopping for her and driving her to doctor appointments.

I have been going to my church for a good 6 months straight every Sunday. The church I go to reminds me of a Catholic church that practices Lent. I never been to a Catholic Mass. Just two Catholic funerals and I suspect the Catholic Mass is similar to a Catholic funeral. But I’eve never been to a church that puts ashes on your forehead. Baptists don’t do that. Re-pending of sins is really not all that much talked about either in baptist churches since we all knew that Jesus washed away all sins when he died on Calvary. And all baptists knew that we all were fine as long as we accept Christ as our Savior. All we baptists also knew that if anyone else was not born again – they were for sure – going to spend the rest of their afterlife  – in a real fire and brimstone hell. We all KNEW IT. Or we acted like we knew it.

The church I go to does not say that anyone must be saved or born again. Yes, they used the name of Jesus Christ. Yes, they love people in the name of Christ. Yes, they do push ashes on foreheads during Ash Wednesday and Lent. I went to Ash Wednesday and I LOVED IT! I loved the message. No, my pastor does not yell when preaching. NO, my pastor does not preach again sleeping with women. No, she does not preach again sex before marriage. She does not even “preach”.  She gives more of a heart to heart talk with us. She encourages us to go and love others  – and she does it in the name of Christ. She would never tell a non-Christian that they are on their way to hell. She knows that she does not know the fate of many man, women or child. She’s too smart to say something like that.  She loves people.

For me – church is essential since it keeps me from being judgmental of anyone and all people that may be a baptist or a catholic or anyone that believes in a god for that matter. When I became an atheist, I was a FIRED UP, ANGRY atheist and I raised my fist to god in anger. That was not a true atheist since If I was – who was I raising my fist to in my rage? I don’t know, but it had to have been the IDEA of a god. Or the people that told me that there was a god somewhere. Or may be I was raising my fist to myself since I was the one that believed all the stuff at the age of 16 and 18 and 23. May be I was raising my fist to the men behind the pulpit and mad at them for acting so male sleazy piggish.  You know what I mean.

So I go to church to keep me loving others. I don’t ever want to fall into the anger trap again where I’m calling people names and “weak” for believing in a god – any god mind you. I don’t ever want to judge a baptist or anyone that has faith of any kind. I used to have a hard time saying or singing the word “GOD” in church when we sang.  I didn’t say that word for 2 years from 2015 and 2016. I just started to say the word “GOD” in 2017.  It’s no longer a big no no word for me. It holds no power over me. And I’m glad I’m not angry anymore.

So may be I’ll see you a First Congregational Church this Sunday. And may be I won’t.




Federal Poverty Limit Guidelines

Based on Federal Poverty Limit Guidelines if you are single with no dependents and if you earn $16,242/yr gross, then you qualify for Medicaid/Medical. But if you earn $16,243/yr gross, then you will need to go to Covered California and pay anywhere from $1 a month up to $63 a month for your health plan AND you will have to pay out of pocket for all of your monthly CPAP supplies, plus pay out of pocket for each and every doctor trip, AND pay for any medications you take. Did you get the difference?

That is one dollar more between $16,242 and $16,243 yearly gross income. And being just one dollar over could make it to where you don’t have Medical anymore and now you need to pay $?? for your prescriptions if you take any and if you are older than 50 – more than likely you will be taking some form of medication each month.  CPAP supplies anyone?  There is no guarantee that your new insurance will cover the cost of CPAP supplies each month ( and you will need to get nasal cushions each and every month).   What, you think you will be able to afford paying anywhere from $14 to 40 every single month for your nasal cushions?  That means paying $$ each and every since month you pay out of pocket for your medications too since if you get the $1 co-pay plan, you will pay MORE out of pocket!   Nice huh? Nasal cushions, and every 6 months paying for headgear.  It depends on the insurance you get if what you need is covered.

You see what the Affortable Care Act did do, was it expanded Medicaid for all of the people that were – unemployed non-disabled males, and underemployed non-disabled males working part-time PLUS, it expanded it to unemployed non-disabled AND non-pregnant women/no children, and underemployed non-disabled women. So before Obama came around, if you were a low income woman that was not pregnant/no children and not disabled, you didn’t have any healthcare – unless it was through out own choice or through your employer. Now of course that made some sense since employers didn’t really offer healthcare to their part-time employees AND people understood that if you are low income, you will not be able to AFFORD healthcare. Plus, it is common sense to know that if you are low-income, you are probably going to be eating poorly since all of the crap that we shouldn’t eat (things with sugar in them etc) are very cheap.  So the very people that need healthcare – don’t have access to it.

So what Obama did was TRY To remedy that issue by expanding Medicaid/Medi Cal to all of the poor single people and poor married people with no children (that were not disabled). But what he didn’t know was that this Affordable Care Act would hurt the people that are just making above 138% of the FPL.  So if you are making just over 138% of the federal poverty limit (for your family size), according to the Affordable Care Act, you should be able to afford the payment options that the government has set for you.  It was the ACA that set limits or caps on the payments. So you either pay $1 a month with a high amount of co-pay whenever you see your doctor. Or you may pay $83 a month every month even when you only go to see your doctor once every 10 months. It also FORCED ALL PEOPLE to have medical insurance and I think it is wrong. You don’t force people to have medical insurance. I now have a new doctor and by choice I am seeing him since he is a naturopathic doctor. By choice I am still using BiPAP for my sleep apnea and yes, for now – Medi Cal is covering the cost of my BiPAP supplies. However, should I be forced to pick a doctor from Medi Cal? I don’t think so. If I didn’t have sleep apnea, I’m not sure I’d want to see any doctor that practices general western medicine. I think I’d rather have catastrophic medical insurance. And if you are like me with much more income than me, you would be able to afford to see a naturopathic doctor more often than me and you may be even going to get acupuncture at your own expense since IT IS YOUR CHOICE whom you see. Let’s say you are at 300% of the federal poverty limit. for a family of four you and your wife together earn $72.750 a year.  If you don’t have insurance through your job then you need to enroll you and your three other family members in through the marketplace which NOT Affordable.  You don’t want to pay for A Bronze Molina 60 HMO $396 per month. If you believe in Chinese medicine and the government is telling you that you and your wife both are required to enroll into a government sponsored health plan, then why would you enroll in it if you are not given other options? If you enroll all four of your, then you’d be paying almost $400 a month for something that you and your wife will never use! Who does that? So now you only enroll your two children at the tune of $196 per month. Better, but you believe that you should allow your children age 10 and 14 – the choice that you give to yourself. Do you think you should have to enroll your children into a government sponsored health plan, if your entire family wants to practice chinese medicine and doesn’t want the general western medicine that only treats crap after you get it? I don’t think you should have to.

And not to mention changing doctors is a hassle in and of itself since you have no clue if the doctor you chose – is uh – a good doctor with good bedside manners. You got some book in front of you and now you do “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” and pick whatever doctor is close to your job or your home. You get to your doctor after about 4-8 weeks of signing up and after being told from someone else “He is not seeing new patience” and bring in old documents that you need “such and such ” and that you were diagnosed with this and that and sleep apnea and you had a prescription good for a year from Feb 2016 to Feb 2017 and now it’s August 2016 and what do you need? A new prescription from your doctor to inform your new DME supplier that you need this stuff. PLUS you HOPE that your stupid doctor puts in all 12 (or 24) CPAP nasal cushions so you don’t need to return in 3 months to say “Oh, you only filled that out for 3 months, I need enough for a YEAR” (Most insurances cover up to 12 or 24 nasal cushions a year or 1-2 nasal cushions a month).

Before all of this happens you need to call your new insurance company to find out if they even COVER the cost for CPAP supplies and before they will check, I’m sure that you will need to see your new doctor script to prove to him that you need CPAP!  You may even be told “I need to do a sleep study on you” even if you last sleep study was done in a sleep lab just 15 months – even if you show the evidence of that sleep study with papers.

Now for anyone that has never been in any situation like this where you earn 138%  or 139%of the FPL – and you’ve always earned 400% of the Federal Poverty Limit – God bless you. You know people that an get you that wonderful career in accounting and you are gifted and blessed with an income of $80K a year for you and your wife.  If you have 4 blessed children and you have a white picket fence, then you and your wife together earn $150K a year and you are living in the sweet spot. You have no need for fuss. You got money and you don’t need to worry about anything.  You got Whole Life Insurance on yourself, your wife, and all your children are on the 20 year fully-paid up plan that way when they turn 21, they will have a fully paid up plan and will have a nice amount of cash built up in their life insurance plan.  You have that 401(k), you got the house and the two cars and a boat.  You were born to wealthy parents that taught you how to take $1 and how to invest that to make it $100. Your parents taught you how to lie and how to sell and swindle.  Invest, Invest, Invest you say.  You never knew what it is like to live on less than $2K a month. You never knew what it was like to live Pay Check to Pay Check and say “I can’t pay for ABC now. I need to wait until two weeks from now to pay for it since I don’t get paid again until two Fridays from now”.

And I’m SURE Mr. Senator and Mrs. State Senator doesn’t know what it is like to live pay check to pay check. I’m sure you are paid $80K up front just for showing up to Washington 6 times a year to discuss matters – that matters to the American citizens. You work all of about 28 weeks out of the year if that. Congress takes so many breaks I wonder if you even know what it is like to work 40 hours a week and come home tired after working 9 hour days.

I must say that the people that WROTE the Federal Poverty Limit Guidelines working for the Department of Health and Human Services are the people that  I’m talking about right now (above).  Policy makers.  You don’t know what it is like to be at the income of only 139% of the federal poverty limit or $16,243 a year for a single person.  But you are reading this and you are saying “Single? I’m married. I have a wife!”   Okay, you don’t know what it is like to earn 138% of the FPL for an income of two – which is only $21.983 a year.  And that is just minimum wage if you work 40 hours a week. I get it. You make $5K a month salary and you have  two little initials following your name. Those are “JD”  since you went to LAW SCHOOL and you passed the state bar exam.  So you don’t have ANY IDEA what it is like to live on poverty wages, but you wrote the law for everyone ELSE living paycheck to paycheck.  You make sure your own family is covered, but everyone else? Who cares. You don’t know them.

I’m guessing you wouldn’t be able to afford that BMW if your income was 150% of the FPL.   Let’s try it if you were making only 138% of the FPL.   But you say “No, I’m the State Senator that wrote the numbers on that FPL and I’m not only married, I have three beautiful children.”  Alright sir, I’d like to see you try to live at 139% of the FPL with only $39,205 a month for a family of 5.  Hey, YOU WROTE THE NUMBERS Mr. State Senator! Not me.  You are the one that said “If you earn over 138% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you don’t qualify for Medicaid anymore. You need to go to Covered California or go to and apply there” where you find out you need to pay anywhere from $1 a month up to $80 a month.  How answer me this. How will you afford to pay that insurance (mind you, that $80 is only for YOU, the working man)? If you want health insurance for all 5 of you, you may just need to pay $300 a month. How will YOU do that if you only make just over 138% of the federal poverty limit? You got a home mortgage at 1,500K a month (adding up to $18K a year), you got your kids (all under 5) childcare at $350 a week (17,500 a year for 50 weeks a year since you only work 50 weeks a year). Oh did I make a mistake in my calculations somewhere? Did I not say that you only earn $39,205 a year for a family of 5?  I’m sorry, I just calculated $35,500 a year in expenses and I haven’t even covered food for your children, gas in your car for work, and I didn’t add up any money for your health care insurance.  But with this very realistic view of life, I just left you only $3,705 a year to cover food for your family, your entire families health insurance and – opps!  Gas in your car.  How will you pay for all of this with only $39,205 a year? I don’t know. But YOU Mr. Senator, wrote these laws on what should be 138% of the Federal Poverty Limit and ONLY you can fix it.  May be you should take a look at these numbers again and see if 150% of the federal poverty limit would be a more appropriate level of income to tell someone that they make enough money to get on Covered California.  At least with 150% of the FPL, You’ d be at $42,641, which would give you an additional $3,436 per YEAR.  Which would give you $286 a month “extra” if 150% of the FPL was the “set number” for meeting the requirements for Medicaid and EBT benefits. What would you be able to do with just $286 more per month? I’m sure you’d be able to put that into your car for gasoline. OR may be you want that to go to health insurance.  Oh, but you can’t do that, since in reality, you only earn $39,205 a year and you don’t even have enough for food!  But you can’t get EBT either. Why? The income requirement for EBT are LOWER than 138% of the FPL. You need to earn less than 133% for EBT benefits so you got to pay out of pocket for food for you and your family.

You are an idiot to think that anyone can make it on 138% of the FPL or live on 150% of the FPL.  You need to make the Federal Poverty Limit around 200%  ($23,540 for a single person with no dependents/$48,500 for a family of four) to qualify for anything, since earning less than that is living in poverty.  What I mean is, instead of starting the chart at 100% which is only $11,770 for a family of one/$24,250 for a family of four – you need to make the first column 200%.   Do some minimum wage studies and calculate inflation with how minimum wage has rose of the last 30 years.

Let me copy and past something from a link I will post. 

“In 1999, a single mother struggling with this question sent an email to the Health and Human Services employee whose job it was to calculate the federal poverty line. She wrote:

I am a single Mother and work two jobs which equal about $18,000 per year. We barely afford rent, electric, cable, phone, water, food, taxes and vehicle expenses. [But] the federal poverty level is $11,060. My daughter and I have zero, no, zilch money left after paying the bills for medical or clothing. How on earth does the Federal Government expect us to pay for cars….There just is NOT enough money left at the end of the month for a car payment….Please tell me…how they expect people to live on under $20,000 per year.”

Well, Mr. Gordon Fisher, that about sums it up and that was back in 1999. If you take a simple calculator on the BLS website that is inflation calculator and put in some numbers, you will find out what you need to earn today. So I’m putting in $10,800 with a starting year of 1980. If you make only $10,800 a year in 1980, you’d need to earn a total of $301,211.48 a year in 2016 dollars to keep up with INFLATION. That means inflation has rose about  300% since 1980.  What about the Federal Minimum Wages? Wages have not kept up with inflation.  Let’s take what I used to earn in 1996 and see what it is in 2016 dollars.  In 1996 I earned about $12,000 per year.  I was working full-time and for part of the year, I worked 66 hours a week and I only earned about $7.16 an hour and I had raises every 4 months since I worked with a union that made sure we got .15 cent raises every 4 months.  In today’s dollars, that is only $18,212. 77 per year.  So if I was working a minimum wage (CA is $10 an hour) job and working a full 40 hours a week, I’d be making about $20K a year and just over that $18,212.77 and guess what? My income/hour wage increased, but I didn’t GET anywhere Mr. Gordon!   I’m just about making the same buying power now!  I didn’t gain anything.  My step day was making about $27,000 per year in 1999.  The same buying power today? It takes all of $38,592.82 to buy the same stuff from 1999.  If you make less than $38,592 today, then you make LESS (since you have less buying power in 2016 dollars) today than you did in 1999.

Mr. Gordon, I’m trying to replace my step-dads income . And I can’t do it on $10 of minimum wage. I’m in student loan debt and working part-time with this income is not cutting it at a non-profit. With my MBA and skill level, I should be making at least $40K a year and there are no corporate jobs in Riverside County. And for the high school graduate, minimum wage must be at least $12.50 an hour. Right now in 2016, not by 2020. By 2020, inflation would erode that $12.50 away to nothing by 2020.

So my question is why in the hell are Federal Poverty Guidelines still based on a woman named  Mollie Orshansky, a civil servant working for the Social Security Administration back in the 1960s?  Do we need to live in the 1960s?  Do we all need to go around with no car? A  car payment is just out of the question for MY FAMILY.  We can’t afford a car note at the tune of $250 a month. We can’t do it on our income and believe me when I say that making $26K for a family of two is NOT a lot in 2016 dollars. I need to be making about 3K a month in order to afford all bill and yes, I’m including a car payment and Whole Life Insurance or Long Term Care policy for my mom so she will be able to pay for Long Term Care if she needs it when she in her 80s. If I want to take care of her, then I will need to pay for it.

“In 1965, the Office of Economic Opportunity adopted Orshansky’s thresholds as their poverty cut-off, and in 1969, her thresholds were made the government’s official definition of poverty. Also in 1969, a review committee made up of representatives from many government agencies decided the thresholds would be indexed to the Consumer Price Index, not to changes in the cost of food or the share of a family’s income spent on food. Since that time, the method for calculating the poverty thresholds has changed little”. So my question is.  WHY HAVEN”T THINGS CHANGED in 1969? Pray tell me this! I pay out of pocket for food now and I didn’t know that earning less than $1,300 a month gross was “A lot of money each month”.  I spend about 20% of my NET INCOME on food each month. I can’t afford to pay more than $211 a month for food. If I did, everything else wouldn’t get paid! However, other expenses are just not paid. For instance, I can’t pay each month for all of my mom’s bills or all of her credit cards. I wouldn’t be able to pay all of the utilities. I pay two utilities and that is INTERNET and that is a NEW utility of today. The other I pay is a basic cell (flip) phone which I don’t use to text. I talk and that’s it.

Let’s take a look at the non-profit group called Wider Opportunities for Women. “Their Basic Economic Security Tables, or BEST index, takes into account expenses that the federal poverty line doesn’t, including housing, utilities, child care, transportation, health care, household goods, emergency and retirement savings and taxes”.

So for my family, we don’t spend money on retirement savings since I don’t make enough income for that, nor does my mom. We have 0% going toward retirement. We have no childcare since I don’t have a child (not that I don’t want one). Healthcare we spend less than 5% of our income on that since we are on Medi-cal and if I earn over $16,243 next year I will be spending about 10% of my income on healthcare, may be more. I know I spend over 20% of my NET income for my own transportation. When I wasn’t working regularly, I earned about $90 a month and about 80% of that went to gas in the car each month.Household goods could include so many things. We can afford tissue for the bathroom and paper towel. We had to use the plastic bags from the grocery store as our trash bags for over a year since we didn’t have an extra $10 a month to purchase those 13 gallon trash bags at the store. It wasn’t until I was working a steady part-time job that I could afford to pay $7 for a box of 24  13 gallon bags.  We don’t have an emergency fund. If we had to fix our cars, we’d be up shit creek without a paddle. We have carpet that may have possible mold on it and we can’t afford to get new carpet. So we let it sit there under plastic. It’s been there since Mia peed on the carpet back in 2011 or so.  I’ve tried to clean it up back in those days, and nothing happens. How much will it cost to fix that? I don’t know. Vacuum it up and the black spot is still there. A steamer? That costs more money which we don’t have. When you have possible mold, I’d call that an emergency and what do you think it is doing to our health?

I think it is time for me to write to my Congressman woman and see what kind of response I will get if any.


Why I will not do work potlucks any more

I used to feel so very – well – forced to sign up for a potluck each time I found a new job. And it always seemed that my job had a potluck about 1 week after I was hired – BEFORE my 1st paycheck.

  1. You may say “Oh, so just go and get some money from your bank account, no big deal”.   Well, it’s not like I have extra money laying around to feed others.   I only have enough for feed MYSELF!  Why?
  2. I have been on foodstamps since 2011 or so.   I don’t use MONEY to pay for my food.  I use EBT.  Plus, you can get EBT (Cal Fresh) when you are working as long as you make less than $1,276 per month.   That’s ONLY if you are single, no dependents.  If you are married or have dependents, that threshold goes up.  How much? I don’t know.    . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . How I cam to this conclusion:   When you make only $1K a month or may be even less than that, you are going to go out of your way to make and BUY some food that someone else is going to eat? You got bills just like the rest of them!!   Why should you making $1 or $2 over min wage have to pay for THEIR food?  It’s not right to ask someone to contribute to a potluck.  Specifically, if they haven’t even gotten their first check yet.  (If you are low income, you may not be able to afford it after you get paid since your bills may require you to BUDGET STRICTLY and if you are on EBT, you may not have any extra money to buy food for a potluck).  What if you are asked to buy cups? You can’t get them with your EBT.  Plus, are you going to buy food for the potluck using YOUR EBT BENEFITS?   Uh, some may “Sure, I’ve done it”  . . . But you are told THOSE ARE YOUR EBT FOODSTAMPS.   That EBT is not for others to eat YOUR food. So I’d advise you to NOT use your own EBT for your company’s potluck.  I personally think that co-workers should never feel bad for no contribution and a manager should always say  “If you don’t have the money to contribute, don’t feel bad” . 
  3. I am going GLUTEN FREE.  I’m doing an “elimination diet: for 3 weeks. This means I’m cutting out gluten for three full weeks starting today.  I don’t feel tired after eating a salad UNLESS it has 1.5 cups or 2 cups of Kale in it.  As long as I”m easy on the Kale, I don’t get tired. Kales does reduce your thyroid function.  So I need to be careful with how much Kale I eat. Do you realize that GLUTEN is in pasta, pizza, wheat, cereals and everything “bread” on the market? Bagels? I’m sure their is gluten in it.  Why should I have to bring something for you to eat (such as chips), If I know MOST Of what will be there – I CAN”T ENJOY?  I’m TIRED of BEING TIRED and having BRAIN FOG.   Each time I eat something with gluten in it (such as wheat bread) I’m TIRED and feel like I have brain fog.   Why should I be around people that are enjoying their food and saying to me “Dig in, have more”  when I don’t want to even eat that food.   Do you know how many people bring in chips and things that are not healthy?  Why should I have to change my diet and eat what someone else brings in?    I know what I enjoy eating and you know what?
  4. I LOVE my diet.  I love eating large salads. I love eating my grass feed beef. It is high in omega 3’s that why I eat it. I love salmon.  I love my rice cereal such as Rice Crispys and peanut butter in it.  I know, but that’s me.  The only part of my diet I don’t like is feeling tired after I eat wheat bread or eating mac and cheese that has gluten or wheat in it. (I do buy Amy’s Mac and Cheese and that is gluten free, but I don’t always have enough EBT to purchase that all the time. I usually purchase only 5 “Tv dinners” a month, they are expensive.  Therefore
  5. I always always always BROWN BAG my lunch.  I see others going to some lunch truck when I had factory jobs in my 20s. It would cost about $5 per day to do that – and that’s JUST for lunch.  I know. I paid $5 once since I forgot my lunch. The last time I went out to buy a lunch was about  3 years ago.  It’s a waste of good hard working money that can go toward gas in the car.  And my car only gets 25 mpg.    Making your own lunch is much much cheaper and why anyone would pay $5 a day or $25 a week when you can make a sandwich, some veggies and maybe a fruit would do.  That’s like a woman that goes to Starbucks to pay for a freaking $4 latee DAILY since she is too good to make a cup of coffee at home.   Miss “I got money to burn in my pants”.   Shoot.   Oh, my rant is done now.   . . . . . .Plus, you eat less when you get a 30 minute break. I know. Most of the jobs have been 30 minutes. It’s only been in the last 3 years that I’ve had jobs where I get an hour for lunch. It’s nice, but I’m very used to a 30 minute lunch break. It’s just enough to eat and run.  I don’t need an hour lunch. Too much time for work gossip if you ask me.
  6. I can’t eat MSG. It makes me so very tired to the point that I need a freaking nap and I never ever ever – take a nap. I wake up at 4:35am on days I work and 4:50am on days I’m off. I stay up all day long until 9:30pm.   I don’t take silly kid naps. The only time I need a damn nap is when I eat MSG and that happened on SuperBowl Sunday when I had some chili with MSG in it. Luckily I had it at 11am and I had to lay down at 1pm for one hour.   I hate MSG. I hate the way it makes me feel. So I’m not eating it!  If I don’t know if what you brought to the potluck has MSG In it,  why should I “TRY IT” to see if it makes me sleepy? Are you going to get sleepy if I eat something with MSG in it? NO. I’m the one that will get sleepy, not you. 
  7.  So If my job says “We are having a pot luck” I’m going to say “NO THANK YOU, I’m on a special GF diet.”   I bring in my own lunch daily so no harm for me to miss the potluck. You don’t have anything I’ll miss.




Standing up for ones self

It has recently come to my attention that I have a bad habit. I’m not even sure if I can call it a habit. However, it is a behavior that I seem to constantly do – or not do depending on how you look at the situation.

I read page 1-3 of this article a few days ago. It is about being a push over at work.

Being a pushover at work

Once I saw that this article didn’t really give me the information I wanted -rather quickly I found another one.  how to stop being a push-over

Now I know after reading that . . .I am a pushover. And I have been one since at least 2004. I have a history of being very easy to manipulate from others. Not only co-workers.

When I was working for a residential treatment center I remember being a push-over. I was first hired in the day treatment department as a educational assistant or para-educator AND a driver ,  then I transferred over to residential/dorms after 2 years. I remember being “easy” with the kids and letting them take over me and I wouldn’t put my foot down with them. I noticed that other staff were more stern with them and of course I wondered why. I didn’t understand that you have to be stern with youth and you need to be like that with them from day one.  As you get to know the individual youth, you can loosen up. But ONLY after you get to know them.  And while I was there, those kids really had me tired around their little hand.  It was horrible. I never stood up for myself.

Then this contused well into 2014. 10 years later. It happened when I was at a rehab center for women. I found myself in a situation when I was a new worker and of course I wanted to please my co-workers and get along with them. I don’t want to displease anyone. I was (still am?) a people pleaser to the point that I couldn’t get my own job done. I don’t know why I was like this.   What happened was a co-worker asked me to help her with ONE of her duties.  She even showed me how to do it. It was so simple a teenager could do it.  Log in all of her “students” behavior in a log book. She asked me to transfer some numbers from a page to a book.  Now, here I am a new employee –  I was only there two weeks when she asked for help.  I didn’t know ALL of my duties and I didn’t know how LONG it would take for me to get all of my duties DONE.

But I jumped at the chance to help this co-worker of mine. I didn’t want to make her my enemy. So I said “YES”. The problem is, it was not my job to do that. I was not hired to do THAT job. My job was to meet the needs of the women in the center. That job took me about 45 minutes and in that time I could have gotten the mail and read the mail. This job required someone to read all mail coming in and going out. It was a prison program so if you’ve ever worked in a jail, you will understand.

By me doing this person’s job, it caused me to not be able to get my work done. I didn’t learn the first time since she asked me again to do the same thing – a few days later. Since I wasn’t busy right then and there – she assumed that I wouldn’t have to do anything in a half an hour.  This job I had was very unpredictable. I could be very busy for 5 hours and then nothing for 1 hour. But I didn’t know that until week 4 or 5. Some things I had to do once a month, some things I had to do twice a month.  Some things I had to do daily. The things that I had to do twice a month were harder to schedule since they didn’t have a set time I needed to do them. They just had to be done twice a month – didn’t matter when. Other things I had to do at a set time. Door Knock had to be done at X time daily. Chores had to be at Y time, daily. Snack had to be done at U time, daily. This women didn’t know what time I did those things. She had other duties. She never saw me do them since she wasn’t around to see me work. And I wasn’t near her watcher her work.

But I allowed her to run me over and treat me like crap. And she did. She treated me as if I was her bitch and I allowed her to do it. She asked me three times to help her out before I went to my boss and asked her “Should I be helping out so and so with such and such”. I was not “NO, that is not your job, that is her job”.  I remember once I was asked to do an assessment on a client of hers, and I wasn’t trained to do it. It was easy since all I had to do was ask questions and I had the questions there in front of me. But I’m not an alcohol counselor. It wasn’t my responsibility to get it done. She just didn’t know how to manager her time properly to get everything done in 45 hours she was given each week.  I guess this got back to her since after I went to my boss, this woman seemed to treat me differently.  Of course I didn’t stand up for myself. I could have said something like ‘You know, I know you need these keys, but do you need to yell at me from across the hallway like I’m a dog? If I need these keys and someone else has them, I walk to find them and come up to them properly and ask them “do you have the keys?”  Can you do the same with me?” But I never said that. She got me fired. She now has a new job. I have no clue if she got fired. But she got me fired since I had had it with her attitude of treating  me like crap and  – you guessed it. I blew up in her face since I didn’t stand up for myself.

It happened again when I was in life insurance. I didn’t stand up for myself when I needed the training. I didn’t say to anyone “You know, I’m not getting the information/training I need from so and so – to do my job properly”.  I was getting some of what I needed from the training videos that I had to watch on line from the company laptop.  However, more than 70% of the duties in life insurance is finding people that can AFFORD whole or Index University Life insurance. The other part (fact finding once you have a solid prospect) is so very easy.  I never asked in 4 weeks “Hey, I need help. My manager is not helping me. If I don’t get the help I need in finding people, then I’m not going to be able to make any appointments to sell life insurance and I’m not going to meet the quota”. I just tired to do it on my own and I NEVER questioned my manager. I just did what he said. I cold called business owners. Did it work? No. I never got any appointment by cold calling business owners. I called my friends too – and my friends don’t have the income to purchase life insurance.

I had the interview back in August 2015 with this certain insurance company.  I was asked ‘How many people do you “know”?   Key word is “know”.  I didn’t ask them two key questions” Well, how well do you want me to know them?”   I told them “I know many disabled people that don’t work/can’t work”.  I guess they didn’t believe me!  

They didn’t ask me “How many people do you know with an income of at least $4K a month”.  They ASSUMED that the people I knew earned that kind of income.  OR they just didn’t care how much my small circle of acquaintances  earned and they were planning on trying to get what they could from the people I barely knew.

I didn’t know in August 2015 how much income one would need to afford whole life insurance. I had no clue!   I know now. I didn’t know I should have done with math with my manager on week one of my job:

Monthly out going

Rent $800

Utilities Water with trash & sewer/gas/electric : $250 (winter electric bill)

Food: $450 (for a family of 3) Yes, this is on the low side

Car payment: $250

Gas in car: $350 (low end again if you live in Southern California)

Home owners insurance: $87 (if broken down monthly)

Car insurance: $49 (two cars, older couple)

2 Credit cards: $170  + $2,406 NET

Non food needs monthly: Dog food, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, garbage bags, make up. $120

$2,506 net needed to live. No going out to dinner with this.  No renting movies with this example. I know $2,506 a month net is about 3,500K monthly gross. And there is not “fun money” in this above example.  Should I have done with math with my boss in week 1 or 2? Had I known what he was planning on doing I probably should have.

So of course I’m not going to ask a question like this “How much of an income do people need to have each month in order to afford a 100,000 policy of whole life insurance from your comapny?”  What kind of person asks that question on a job interview???

My boss and his boss didn’t really understand how much money it takes in order to pay for basic needs.  Everything up there is a need besides the dog food and neither is life insurance.  If you WORK for a living and you live in Southern California, a car IS a need.   If you have a car, you got to have liability car insurance. If you own a home, you got to have home owners insurance. Life insurance is not a need.   Life insurance is always the first bill that gets cut first if you loose a job.  People must eat. And the thing was, my boss was so rude to current clients that are on SSI.

I know what it is like to live on much less. But what I didn’t have was a VOICE to express what was needed to be said to my boss that was treating the current clients so poorly.   Asking them “So you make $900 a month, what do you pay for food, rent, car insurance, et etc. . .”

then the conversation was ” So you can afford pay $40 more a month for this insurance — right?”   then it changed to  “So let’s see, you can you get on food stamps? May be they can help you with your food since you need more life insurance” What a crock of shit.  I did NOT say that out loud. I thought it.

If I was assertive with my boss I would have said  “Boss, this is totally wrong and unethical. This lady is your current client. You are not trying to help her out.  She clearly does not make enough income each month to afford more life insurance.  She is making $900 a month. Do you know how hard it is to live on an income like that? Have you ever make $900 a month in today’s money? What’s worse is she already HAS two policies with your company. What more do you want out of a lady that makes $900 a month? Jesus Christ, I can’t believe I’m watching you treat her like this!  I can’t stay here and watch you beg to this woman to pay an extra $40 a month when she can only budget $90 a month for food. Do you know what $90 of food get’s you? Two weeks worth of food. That’s it.   A month of food costs about $190 for one person.  You have no idea what this lady is going through!  I’m ashamed to have worked under you for these 3 weeks. I’m going back to the office right now and inform so and so about this. The conversation with this woman should have stopped when she said “I have an income of $900 a month”.

And I SHOULD have said that in front of the woman. But I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut and this kind of crap happened so many times with my boss where I watched him beg current clients to pay for more insurance when they made less than $2,500 a month gross.  It’s horrible how he treated them.  What was worse was I didn’t speak up

I guess if you don’t own a car you can deduct  $649 from that total above.  ( -$250 car payment, – $49 car insurance, -$350 gasoline) And if you rent an apartment instead of owning a home – you can deduct $87 since you don’t have home owners insurance.  So instead of having a monthly need of $2,506 net you only need  a total of $1,770.00 net or may be around $2,500 gross each month.   However, I’m not counting the cost of you needing to take the bus to work and that could be $100 a month or more.  Then and only then you might be able to afford a $100 payment for $100,000 of whole life insurance.

Why do I keep on saying $100,000 whole life policy? Because when you go into life insurance, the ONLY thing you will be pushed to sell is the big whopper of 100,000 whole life or indexed universal life.   If you are lucky enough to get on section 8 housing, hey, your rent pay only be about $690 a month (based on an gross income of $2,300).  (As of 2010 there is a waiting list to get the voucher needed to get on this federal program. Not enough very low income homes).  Section 8 housing California FAQs

Now that I came back from that rabbit trail,  now you know why I need to learn to stand up for myself.  I can’t be just letting people run all over me.

I need to learn to say is “NO”.  I need to learn to say it when I’m asked by a co-worker to help them with something, when I’m a new employee.  I need to say it when I’m not sure about something or if I just don’t know the answer to something.  I can also say “You know. I’m a new worker here and since I’m new, I’m not entirely sure how long it will take me to get all of this stuff done. Can I come back to you later and let you know if I have time to help you out?” And I MUST ASK on a job interview  “What about helping other staff? If I’m asked by other staff members in the same department to leave my work and help them – is that my responsibility?”

There is a point where you MUST learn to ask for help when you need it.  know that when I’m hired, I’m hired to do a certain job and that job may not be “Help all other staff do their job responsibilities”.

I have finally found my weakness. I was TOLD from another supervisor at my last employer.  I don’t ask for help.   “Sandra, you are so good at what you do. You just need a little help. You don’t stand up for yourself.  You need to speak up when you need help!  You are good on the phones. You speak clearly. You need to learn to stand up for yourself”.

That is the objective this year.  LEARN HOW TO SPEAK UP.

Do not call list

The audience to this is the person GETTING the telemarketing calls. If you had a telemarketing job before, you will probably be shaking you head “Yes” as you read this.

I had a job in telemarketing last summer. It was solar. I used to do telemarketing in 1997 for an insurance company, but I was not an agent.  It’s still telemarketing.

There are some major differences between the current telemarketing job I have now – and the one I had in those days.  The main point of this is to teach you to how stop getting phone calls from unwanted telemarketing phone calls. Believe me, I don’t like telemarketing calls either.

I’m not going to go into how I got the other telemarketing job in 1997. That is another story.

I started this telemarketing job on Sep 29th 1997.  It was my 1st telemarketing job ever and I was 22 years old.  I had to wait a full month before I could start working at this telemarketing company. I do need to inform you that this company had a contract with Hyles Anderson College at the time and I found out in 1997 that if I wanted to continue to attend this college, I had to work at this Americall telemarketing place. There was no other place I could work at due to the belief of the college that the women must be “protected from the world” while working. Either  that or work at TrueGreen doing that telemarketing job.

This college kept all women out of the world to “protect them” from “the world”.  And I believe it was  a cult.

I worked at Americall for 4 years – minus one summer. The summer of 1999 I was in Milwaukee working at K-Mart.  Summer 1998 I was at the college the entire summer except two weeks when I came home to California. Summer 2000 I worked both the telemarketing job during the entire summer  AND I was a security guard from 12am to 4am for the college. I slept from 4:30am to 9am.

This job in the summer of 2015 allowed me choice!  I do have a choice of where I work. Choice is one part of LIFE. And without choice, that is no life.   If you don’t have a choice, you have no say in your life.  You can’t direct your life with no choice.  Telemarketing is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. People don’t understand that real human beings with children, with parents, with blood are on the other end of  the phone!

So let’s go into what was different about the two.

At Americall, I had to say at the end of each call “Thank you for your time, if you have any questions please call 1800 —- ” If someone hung up on me, I still had to say that stupid phone number. Each and every call I had to end the call like that. What kind of weird rule is that?

I also had to give three rebuttals. One time the conversation went like this (after my three rebuttals).

Me: “Okay, ma’ma. You said you are not interested three times. If you have any questions please call –

Other person “No, I have no questions”

Me: “Okay ma’am if you have any questions please call 1800 345-

“No. Stop.. I do not have any questions, why don’t you hand up?”.

Me: “Lady, I’m not allowed to hang up on you. Now if you just freaking shut up and listen to me say this number. I must end each phone call with with number. And you keep on interrupting me each and every time I try to say the entire number. Now will you let me give you this number and if you want you can hang up on me.

“Oh, okay”.

“if you have any questions Call 1800-345 – 2344. Okay?


Me thinking : Thank god she shut up.  I got in big trouble with that lady. She wouldn’t keep freaking mouth shut and she didn’t get it. All I was doing was doing MY JOB. It was my job to say those words. It’s not like a telemarketer WANTS to call you. We are MADE to call you if we want to keep our sucky job. I mean, I’m sure there are people that do quit, but I quit only after I found another job!

It’s not like we want to keep calling the same people over and over again. Blame that on the stupid computer system that the boss has.  He is the one that needs to buy new leads every 3 weeks. Telemarketers have no control over who they call. Why? Because it is an automatic dialer and it is a COMPUTER.   Telemarketers don’t push any buttons. There is no phone.

If you know what a computer monitor looks like and a computer mouse – then you know what a telemarketer is looking at all day long.  I never saw any list of 10,000 name or numbers on it. With this lady, she didn’t know it was MY JOB to say that number to everyone. She just wanted me to hang up and if I hung up on her, I could have been fired.  If I didn’t give her the number I would have been written up.

Mind you, if the person was irate, we also could NOT hang up on them at Americall. I just took the head set off of my head and let them cuss out the head set.  I didn’t hear them. They thought I did.  Once a person hung up, sometimes we had to wait 2 minutes before another call came in. Talk about a waste of time.

People on the other end of the phone do not understand it is OUR JOB to REBUTTAL (or called another offer) and do it again and again and again. When you are a telemarketer, your employer is not  paying you to say “Okay, you are not interested, that’s fine, bye”.   No. No No.  When you are a telemarketer, they are paying you to say something else in response to YOUR OBJECTION. 

When I got the telemarketing job in the summer of 2015:

  1. Didn’t have to say “Thank you for your time if you have have bla bla bla”

2.  I could hang up on people.  Irate?  Yelling at me? I can hang up. Cussing? I can hang up! If they speak Korean? I can say “we will have someone else cal you back” and hang up. If they ask me what color panties I’m wearing, I can hang up.

3  Rebuttals. I had to give an infinite amount of rebuttals to each caller.  This solar company was CRAZY what was asked of the telemarketer. I mean come on. Really? 10 rebuttals after the same person says “I’m not interested”   I know that people are not going to say “We can afford it”  since it is NONE Of the telemarketers business if the person can afford it or not.  I know that people are not going to say something like “We looked into solar and we decided we don’t want to wait 15 years to get our money back from the investment”. What are you going to say?  Number one thing that people say is “I”m not interested”.

And you know what that means to telemarketers?

Forget telemarketers!  I’m talking about the telemarketers BOSS.  It’s them you have to pray for, if you pray.  THEY ARE the ones that say “keep going, keep asking them, keep on them, don’t give in, don’t give up, keep going, keep reading . . .” bla bla bla.  To the telemarketers BOSS,  When you say “I”m not interested” it ONLY means, ” can you call me back later, I’m busy now, but I’ll give you time later”.

No you don’t want a call later. You probably don’t want a call ever again from any solar company, insurance company or Kirby vacuum cleaner person.

Saying “I’m not interested” doesn’t matter since ALL telemarketers have a rebuttal list to say in case of someone says   “I”m not interested”  If you have cancer and/or are dying, it may be best to say something like this  “Can I please speak with your sales manager?”  You should be able to get one since all telemarketing departments have SOMEONE on the floor that is some type of manager.  A supervisor or someone in some type of authority.  Then you say “I don’t appreciate these phone calls all the time. I’m dying and I ask that you put me on your internal DO NOT CALL LIST.  I’m not going to buy whatever it is that you offer. I don’t care how good it is or how much it will save me”.   The only way to make them stop is to inform them you want your number on their internal do not call list.  It doesn’t matter if you are on the National Do Not Call list. Why?

Telemarketing jobs are a dime a dozen.  People come and go with the wind and I’d say most last an average of 12 weeks.  And the boss knows this – and the boss person pays for your information online.  How much? The boss can get a list of leads (say 600,000 numbers for $60K).   And a call center may have 60 people in it working two shifts  – one from 8am to 2pm and another from 2pm to 9pm.  How long do you think it will take for all 60 people to call all 600,000 numbers? Not long if one person (one computer) can dial out 400 numbers in just 3 hours!  If one worked 9 hour shifts, that’s 1,200 numbers per day and multiply that by 60. That’s 72,000 calls made in one 9 hour day by 60 people.  Wow.   9 HOURS FOLKS. That’s not from 8am to 9pm. You got to understand the business. Your lead cost the boss all of 4 to 10 cents to get your name, number and may be even your address. It’s cheap and they know it and they don’t care if you own your home or not. They don’t know if you are in the market to pay for $120 a month for some universal life insurance. They will call you anyway to try to make a sale off of you. Don’t believe that they are “pre-qualifed leads” if you are TOLD THIS from your boss. Hog wash.  They are not leads. They are only PHONE NUMBERS.

You also got to understand that when you are on the phone saying “hello, is anyone there? Hello? Hello . .”  that the telemarketer can’t hear you! That’s right. They can’t hear you at all.  Not until the telemarketer hears a little “blip” and I’m sure YOU  – the one reading this thinking “When will these telemarketing phone calls end?”   You hear that blip too. How do I know you hear it? Because I hear it when I get telemarketing calls as well!  I heart that blip all the time, each phone call the dialer made for me!   It got so very irritating to hear that all the time. But that sound is telling the telemarketer “Okay now talk, go”.

The “lag” in the system is with ALL automatic dailers.  All of them. The lag could be 5 seconds, or 10 seconds.   And many times – MANY times, if YOU hang up before the telemarketer can HEAR YOU – then that just makes the telemarketer put the call under “Hung up”. You don’t want to be listed under “Hung up”.  Why?  What does that do for you ?   You get the LUCKY prize.   The computer puts you back into the phone list to be called in about 7 hours. Sometimes if you are really lucky, someone will call you back in 24 hours.  The exact same thing happens if you don’t answer your phone. The person will just put you down and “no answer” and the computer will just re-fill your number into the system.  Like a water fountain.  Not new water. It is the same exact water from yesterday in that water fountain. Same “leads”.  Why? YOU never answer your freaking phone and you keep on seeing that same stupid number every single day.  I wonder why.  You MUST answer your phone when you see a number you don’t know to STOP the telemarketing phone calls.

Do you really think anyone wants to be calling  you at 8am?  People work nights. I get it.  I loved it when people ask me “do you know what time it is?” Well of course I know, do you think I’m a freaking idiot?  I have to clock in at 7:30am and I have to get on the stupid computer and put this ugly head set on my head at 8am. SO YES, I know what time it is. Every single telemarketer that calls you, they know what time it is in YOUR time zone. I promise you. Telemarketers are not stupid.  Desperate for some kind of income, but not stupid. They may be older around 55 years old, but not stupid.  And it’s NOT illegal for anyone to call be at 8am or at 8:59pm.  They can’t call you BEFORE 8am and they can’t call you AFTER 8:59pm.

If you want the phone calls to start at 10am and end no later than 6pm, then I suggest you write your congressman and may be he or she will come up with a bill for that to happen!  Wouldn’t that be great? Only get phone calls from 10am to 6pm that way you can ENJOY you evening ? But that aint gonna happen if someone calls you about life insurance.  Most people are HOME at 6pm. and I don’t think any other industry (solar is very hot right now) will go for that either.  MOST people are home and awake at 6pm. So I’d say write your congressman so the phone calls can start at 12:30pm and stop at 8:30pm.  That’s only 8 hours of phone calls you can get per day.  And most people are not home during the day so it’s not going to hurt the telemarketing company.

Do you know how many answering machines and voice mails I got while working at Americall for 4 years? Most of the people I talked to was from 5pm-9pm.

Did you know that telemarketers have a quota to make as well? They do. And if not meet, they may be written up.  If they are, they will be MORE pushy with you on the phone! Do you think they want to lose their job? Not unless they have something else lined up already and can afford to quit or just not make any appointments that week.  Not all telemarketing jobs are like this with a quota.

Now that you know a little more about telemarketing jobs and about the people behind the jobs, just ask the manager to put you on their internal do not call list. It’s the only way to get that company to stop calling you.  Just know, that there are probably 100 other companies that will call you in 3 days.


Limiting Carbs/Low carb diet

I found an article through an email I get from Prevention. I thought it was encouraging people to drop and stop a high carbohydrate diet. I was wrong. The article was more of a warning to not go the other route and drastically LIMIT your carbohydrate intake.

I’ve heard from others that the Adkins Diet is very limiting on carbs and limits one to only (about) 57 carbs per day.  I don’t think I’ve ever consumed only 57 carbs per day.  I don’t normally count carbs per day. I’m a calorie counter.  However, I decided to count carbs a few days out of the week. It seems I constantly consume around 150 carbs per day.  If I eat more, I may intake 160 carbs.  I don’t eat much pasts. For me, I know I gain weight when I eat pasta, so I just stay away from it.  If I’m going to eat noddles, they are going to be whole grain. However, I just don’t have a taste for them anymore.

If you have been reading most of my recent posts, you’d see my breakdown of my cars (all carbs, including vegetables, whole grains, everything). You’d also know that two health coaches misunderstood me when I told them I eat about 150 grams of carbs per day. They misunderstood me and what they heard was “I eat about 150 grams of SUGAR per day”. Again, I don’t count sugar grams either. I count calories.  Those few days I was counting carbs, I also counted protein and sugar. I eat about 30 grams of sugar per day. I was told that people only should have about 20 grams of sugar per day.  I don’t use Equal, I don’t put sugar in my tea. I use honey instead since it is a lower glycemic index. Agave nectar has 16 grams of sugar in one serving. Honey has the same amount of grams (sugar) in one serving. 16 grams. Wow.

Yesterday morning I had about  24 grams of fiber by 12pm.  I’ll write down what I ate yesterday so you know what 1,550 calories looks like. Mind you, I did not count my carbs this day, nor did I count my total fat content or my total added sugar yesterday.  This day I don’t think I had any of my favorite vegetables (kale, broccoli and spinach).

5:12am  16 oz water

7am 1 serving high Fiber oat bran   (hot cereal)    150 calories  (7 grams of fiber)

coconut oil 1 teaspoon in oat bran             40 calories

1 serving agave                                             60 calories  (and 16 grams of sugar)

Psyllium Whole Husks           7 calories  (1/2 of serving)  Spelling is wrong and I’m too lazy to look up how to spell it Psyllium correctly.   This amount has 2 grams of fiber

Rice cake (1)                            45 calories

1/2 serving of peanut butter   100 calories

That was breakfast

Snack:  10:30am

28 Almonds (1 Serving)       170 calories  3 grams of fiber

11am/12pm Lunch:

Cottage cheese  1 serving (1/2 cup)  110 calories

pears (1 serving)                                 60 calories 2 grams of fiber    (14 grams of fiber so far)

2 slices of Ora-wheat Double Fiber bread  160 calories and 10 grams of fiber

Lunch meat Turkey 4 slices (one serving)  60 calories

1 serving of mozzarella                         80 calories

Mayonnaise Best foods 1 serving         90 calories  (not low fat, I don’t eat low fat)

I may have put spinach on my sandwich and just forgot to write it down. I don’t eat an entire serving of spinach on my sandwich.

That was lunch

2:30pm Snack

1 Popsicle  60 calories  (not light, not sugar free)

5pm Dinner

Chicken breast   skinless  200 calories

1 serving of soup added to chicken breast in oven   100 calories

1 serving green beans in with it  100 calories  (2 grams of fiber)

Later 7pm ish

Green tea  0 calories

2 tea spoons of honey  in the tea  40 calories

1 rice cake      45 calories

That is 1,550 calories for the day and I splurged due to the ice pop I had. My total fiber intake this day was 24- 26 grams of fiber. Based on  1,500 calorie diet, one should get about 21 grams of fiber in. If I ate a 2,000 calorie diet I’d need 25 grams of fiber.   I never eat 2,00o calories. If I did, I’d gain weight and my body does not need any more pounds. .

I write down what I eat each day and count calories each day. I admit it is  very time consuming. It’s not hard, it just takes time to measure every single thing out in measuring cups, and measuring spoons. If I had a electric scale, I’d also measure ounces for my lunch meat.  (4oz is one serving).  The cool thing about measuring things out is – if you enjoy something and have it regularly, you get to know what 1/2 cup of cottage cheese looks like.

Counting calories works. If you want to lose weight, counting these numbers up – works. How does one know how much s/he ate without writing every single thing they had?  It is very easy for me to get over 1,600 calories.  If I just have 6 meals a day –

breakfast at 5am, (200-300 cal)

snack 7am, (100 cal)

snack 11am (100 cal)

Lunch 1pm  (300 cal)

Dinner 5pm (300 cal)

Snack 7pm  (200 cal)  that is 1300 calories.

I have actually found out that I lose weight if I eat much smaller portions more often. When I take a long break from eating (5 hours plus) I find I gain weight.  An example would be if I get to work at 8am, I leave home around 6:50am to fight the traffic, I have breakfast at 5:30am within 1 hour of waking up.  Yet, I can’t eat until 12 noon since I didn’t pack some kind of 200 calorie granola bar to eat before 12noon.  Well . . .that’s too long of a span and I could overeat at lunch and then gain weight. I don’t ever need to eat a meal that is 600 calories – unless I only eat 2 meals a day and a small snack.

Calorie counting is not for the faint of heart. So far as of this writing, 9 pounds and one inch from my mid section. And I’m not planning on counting carbs.

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