Time for Time

Time is either running away from me or standing still. The clock in my truck keeps on eking ahead a minute and a minute and a minute. Now it’s fully 12 minutes fast. It keeps me on my toes cognitively, as me reading the time is never just one step. I have to look at the time, subtract 10, and then subtract two from that. We recently “fell back” for daylight savings time, so my vehicle clock is no longer one hour and 12 minutes off, just the 12 minutes.

The coffee maker at the house, now I’ve set that ahead by 10 minutes. That’s to put a jolt for anyone who looks at it as they’re getting ready for the morning. Yes, as time goes on, the jolt affect isn’t as strong. But like the clock in my truck, it serves as a cognitive exercise. The coffee maker clock time variance is a man made construct. I have no explanation for the movement of the truck clock, minute by minute.

Now, the conference table in my office, it’s a free for all. I have a collection of four clocks on this table. One is 7 minutes ahead, one was one minute ahead. The other two, they are 100% correct twice a day, one at 2:30 and the other at 12:30. Of these two stopped clocks, one was brought on board in this stopped fashion. I liked it’s style and shape, and did not mind that it was a wind up clock without the key for the back provided . That didn’t stop me from taking it from the Goodwill and depositing it in my office. Now the round silver clock atop a large silver spring. That one was working when I got it. But , perhaps the battery wiggles lose after it’s been bobbling around , which is quite often, as each time the table gets even slightly moved even by leaning on it to write, this clock wobbles and moves. I stopped making sure the battery was tight several months ago.

I had added an interesting “backwards clock” to the mix some months back, but I just couldn’t figure it out. I never did figure out if it was working properly before I took it back to the store. Were the hands supposed to move backwards? The numbers were in reverse order, so I felt the hands should move that way, too. It seemed as though sometimes the hands moved forward and sometimes backward. I never figured out the “formula” for interpreting the real time, and returned it to the store in frustration.

The folks I meet with regularly in my office have grown accustomed to asking me which clock is right . Heck, I often speak out loud, “hey Siri, what time is it?” , awaiting my I-phone’s patient and accurate response.

My computer and desk phone also provide me with the time, albeit a four minute difference between the two , and thankfully the date, too! And they don’t stop or gradually move ahead. Guess that’s always a good back up.

So, as the time speeds up or just plain stops, I will continue to work hard to focus on and stay in the here and now.

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Emissions Testing Time!!

The six different chairs form a loose semi circle. It is an unusual group of folks. A woman in a blue jump suit, short on the bottom and low on the top. Flip flops, of course, with bright red toe nails. “Flop, flop, flop” her feet say as she leaves- she has been summoned to the front counter.

Next a man in athletic pants, black with three white stripes down the outside of each leg. The material looks like the kind that makes that swishing sound when you walk.

Next, the man in the rocking chair. Grey scruffy beard, dark brown moccasins with black socks, tan baseball style cap, and orange metal water container. Oh, wait, Mr. Athletic has put his feet up on top of the coffee table. Nice. His legs are probably sore from all the exercise. Let him rest.

Next, the gentleman with a wrinkly blue button down short sleeve shirt tucked into dark blue dockers. Blue sneakers seal the deal.

Three folks watch the Price is Right closely, while Mr. Athletic scrolls on his phone. Hold up. Mr. Athletic is up, well at least part way. His feet are off the table. Seems like the magazines he was resting his feet on have gotten his attention. Now he flips through a Sports Illustrated.

The weather gets all of our attention. Severe thunderstorm warning for the entire state . Yikes. It does look ominous outside.

Wait. Now what? The 1992 Toyota Camry is all set. He’s the man with the orange metal water holder. He’s been told this is his last year, no more emissions tests. What? Aren’t the older vehicles more at risk for pollution? I guess if the car has lasted 15 years, no further emissions testing is the reward.

New arrival. Man with white hair and matching white mustache and purple shirt and tan khaki shorts. Tan moccasins. What’s up with the moccasins? Laughter rises from him at the news reports of the most recent Trump news.

” Honda CRV , who is with that?”

My time has come . I leave my spot in the semi-circle. Until next time, folks.

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Today I saw a something that caused me to pause. A boy, 14, maybe 15 years old. He was getting something out of the passenger side of the car he and his mother were in. He then went back to the front of the grocery store where a veteran was collecting money and put money in the jar. He then looked into the eyes of the veteran, thanked him for his service and shook his hand.

On my way out I put my money into the jar. I then looked into the eyes of the veteran, and thanked him for his service as I shook his hand.

A wonderful sight to see; a 15-year-old young man with such respect . A 15 year old young man serving as a role model. Two very different generations separated by time, but not so separated by the values of respect and honor.

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Secret Shopper

Today I saw a sweet sight. A boy, maybe 11 or 12. He was circling the gift card station at Stop and Shop while seemingly looking around to be sure a certain someone wasn’t around. Then he took out his brightly colored wallet and made a quick count of the bills filed away. After tucking his wallet back into his pocket, he took one quick last look around before he plucked just the right gift card off the rack and tucked it carefully underneath the items in his basket. With just 3 days away from Father’s Day, I have my suspicions. How sweet that he is so careful to ensure the element of surprise. And, how amazing that he is using his own money to buy his father a gift.

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Today I saw an interesting product; a hair brush on one side and a mirror on the other side.  Never the two shall meet.  Look-Brush-Look-Repeat.  Interesting.

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Zero Stars

Robin’s Review for a Local Consignment Shop

I began by calling the number listed on the web to check for today’s hours. The gentleman who answered the phone paused for a moment, and said “I guess we will close around ‘1:30-ish’ “.  Okay, so it sounds like a rather casual atmosphere.

Upon my arrival, I saw that the hours posted in the window said that they closed at 2 PM. Unfortunate for the customer that comes between 1:30 and 2:00 pm.

The store is a small store, with things organized in an intuitive fashion (pun intended). I browse the store for a while. I settle on a pair of pants and a unique jewelry holder. I had grabbed some cash on the way out of my house, sensing that this smaller operation would be cash and carry. Yes, they only take cash; no checks, no charges, no debit cards. I hand the gentleman a $20 bill for an $8.50  purchase. After rifling through the cash register drawer for a moment, he hands me back the $20 bill and instructs me to go down to the pizza shop five doors down to have it broken. I ask for clarification, “Are you going to walk down to the pizza shop to break the 20 or do you want me to walk down to the pizza shop to break the 20?”  He said he wanted me to.

I was confused. But, I am the customer. And, there are two other men here in the store working with him. Out of the three of them, one of them can’t walk down to the pizza shop to break the 20? This is customer service? I took my $20 bill and walked out of the store. I did not walk to the pizza shop.

Later that night, I was talking with my husband and kids about this experience over dinner. My youngest son was focused on the $8.50. My husband pointed out, rather accurately I must admit, that in fact the store had lost much more than that. I’m a frequent shopper at consignment shops, so this store lost ongoing business from me.

The next day I called the store to share my experience, just in case the fellow I dealt with yesterday was in fact not the owner, I was sure the owner would want to know about this “customer service”.  The number rang for a while, and then a machine picked up that says simply “the mailbox for this number is full and cannot accept messages”.  No professional message indicating the business that it is attached to. No hours. Never mind no ability  to leave a simple message. Wow. This one will go on my Never Again List.  Zero Stars out of Five Stars.

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Two-For-One Special

One place where there’s really not room for a two-for-one special would be at a stop sign. Just because I’m facing you and am taking a left turn in front of you doesn’t mean that two of you get to go at once, one after the other. Each driver needs to stop individually at the stop sign. No, just because the fellow in front of you stopped doesn’t mean that stop counts for you too because you’re right behind him and going straight, too. One at a time, please!

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