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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Let's All Do the Napoleon Rag

Saturday morning brings us dogs defending us from things floating on the breeze and telephone calls from people that we don't know. Who wanted to sleep anyway? Oh yeah, US!

The weather forecast for beautiful downtown Fallon shall be: An extra dose of sunshine with 55 degrees of warm enough for me, with zero cents chance of raining on my parade and winds NNW 10 to 15 mph gusting to there and back. Tornadoes: unlikely, Blizzards: unlikely, Hailstorms: unlikely, Locusts: unlikely. Forecast: Me likey.

Today will be less about stories of the past and more about right now.

I have been taking note of the increasing number of people bringing their little dogs; Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Papillions, Pekinese, mini-mutts, etc., into restaurants and other places. When asked, they always claim that they are Service Dogs. Before you get in my face, I am aware of service dogs for people who have seizures. I have a friend who has a dog which very successfully helps him with his Aspergers Syndrome and dealing with people. I know that there are strange exceptions, but they are rare.

The real service dogs have to go through a certification process and not only wear a vest, but must carry their certification card with them when working. Check with anyone who travels with a Seeing Eye dog, etc., they have it. Those who abuse this privilege afforded to individuals who need their canine companions are doing a great disservice to people who actually do need help. They are also in violation of health codes and in some places it is against the law to misrepresent a service animal.

"Poopsie", does not HAVE to come in with you just because you are a nut and the dog eats off of your plate at home, or like one lady that I delivered mail to, has its own chair and table setting, and wears a bib.

In response to this phenomena of tiny service animals I have decided the following:

I need to make a little bitty blue service vest for Napoleon, and of course keep him on a leash, I AM a responsible pet owner after all! He can help me stay calm and not bump into people (I think they will move when they see the blue service vest), and although he won't bark and yip through the entire meal like a certain chihuahua did yesterday, I feel certain that he will keep the unwanted intrusions to a minimum. He is certainly very well housebroken (only goes once a week), and never bites anyone. Napoleon never ever barks or makes any sound that you can hear, and can curl up in the smallest places and really keeps out of the way. I am sure that people will respect that he is "on duty" and will keep the attempts to pet him to a minimum. Remember kids, "Always ask before you pet a service animal!"

When challenged at the door of the restaurant, (like ALL service animals not leading a blind person along behind them should be) I will attempt to get the teeny-tiny pocket open on that ever-so-small service vest... "Here just hold Napoleon on his back so that I can use my big clumsy fingers to open ... What? Go ahead and sit anywhere I like?" Why yes, Napoleon IS my Service Scorpion!

You get my point. Hostesses and wait staff are afraid to challenge people bringing in their little dogs because it will cause a confrontation and a "scene". But they aren't alone in this.

People who are bold enough frequently get their way. America has become the land of avoidance and looking down. The "Show me" state motto has become the "I don't want to know" country. We have difficulty with our children, especially our teens who need solid rules, boundaries and limitations to guide them. Parents are terrified of confrontations with their own children. The kids learn quickly that they can bully their tired parents and get what they want.

Employers push workers into working free overtime, sales people push buyers into taking "good enough" instead of what they wanted. People come to our doors and get us to buy things we don't want, just so they will go away and the confrontation will end. We eat raw burgers and cold chicken, rather than complain.

Let's All Do the Napoleon Rag!

Confrontation! We need to take back our ability to stand up straight and meet the world eyeball to eyeball. Remember the most powerful tiny word in all languages. NO.

If you are a union shop, you should report any request or attempt to get you to work "off the clock" to your shop steward. This includes taking work home or running errands for work on your own time. If you aren't union you can avoid a lot of this by saying, "just a moment, I need to clock back in before I do this..." Protect your self, the money that you aren't getting, is coming out of your pocket by your own hand. Say NO. You won't be fired for not working for free.

When a sales person tries to manipulate you into taking something that is not what you wanted, that is the time to whip out your ... word. NO! Look them in the eye and say that this is what I want and I will speak to another sales person or take my business elsewhere. Your resolve to protect your own rights will see you through this. A sale lost will bring zero revenue. Who wants to tell the boss that they lost a sale by not giving the customer what they wanted to buy? Your money, your call.

When the waitress/waiter brings you something other than what you ordered, tell them NO. I am working hard on this one myself, but I am doing it. You have the right to get what you are willing to pay for. If the bacon isn't cooked the way you want it, send it back. And send it back again if necessary.

The sales person or religious missionary at the door? Tell them that you are NOT interested and close the door in their face if that is what it takes. This is YOUR space, including your doorway. No one has the right to bully you. If it is the Mormon Missionary boys tell them that you know their mailman and if they don't go away he will tell their Bishop about the Playboy subscription he delivers to their apartment, (It doesn't have to be true, the idea will make them run like rabbits.)

The kids...

I will give the same advice that I gave to my own kids. Children need parents, not more friends. You can NOT guide your children into adulthood by trying to be their best friend. Someone HAS to be the adult. Being the adult quite often means making decisions and rules based upon your experience and knowledge, and can, and WILL be unpopular many times. Too bad. Love means doing the RIGHT thing, not the popular one. Confrontation will happen.

"I hate you" is a popular teenage chant. My answer was, yeah, sometimes I hate me too, but you still aren't going out. Someone HAS to be the adult. It is better to establish rules and stick to them, than try to continuously adapt to the game being played on you. And you ARE being played.

Talk to your children all of the time. Stay in their "business". Trust me on this one, I lapsed in this area and found out that my offspring had taken up shoplifting as a "way to be popular" game. Stay "all up in their bid-ness" or you may learn too late what path they were distracted into. It can and does happen to anyone.

We all want to go to their graduation and not their incarceration, or worse, their funeral. Life is fast and hard these days and choices are tough enough to make for adults. Remember rules, boundaries and limitations, they are the guard rails on the road of life. Kids will push to find the edges but having them established will keep them going forward.

Once more; Someone HAS to be the adult. Make it be you and not your child before they are ready.

A judge once made an adult choice for me and I ended up in a karate program instead of a juvenile detention camp. It was a good choice. I haven't written that story yet, maybe I will if there is sufficient interest.

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