“We’re All Sick of It”

I donate blood through the American Red Cross. You can tell when it’s time to give again because they bug the shit out of me with daily calls and emails until I sign up to give.

They caught me this weekend and convinced me to donate at a local blood drive that was held yesterday.

There were no signs outside the elementary school where I was told the drive would be held. No signs down the hallway directing me to where they were set up. When I finally found the Red Cross staff I found out why: they weren’t set up. My appointment was for 2:30 PM. There were a half dozen of us waiting to donate. Every member of the donation team was in a sour mood. Some seemed downright hostile.

I left.

I put up with a lot of shit every day at work, when I shop, when I drive down the road. And I dunno, maybe I’m wrong, but if I’m giving up my time and a part of my body, the least you could do is treat me nice. Hell, I’d be OK with your being a neutral party. But nope, no hostile nurse is gonna stick a needle in my arm. Ain’t gonna happen.


Need a smile? Check out Esther the Pig on Facebook and Twitter.

I read an article about the grilling a Congressional committee gave to the airline CEOs. One congressman said, “We’re all sick of it.”

You’re damn right we are. I am, anyway. 

I’m sick of being told that I’m not as smart or as worthy as a man, even though I’m smarter than the vast majority of them. Yeah that’s an egotistical statement. It’s also true.

I’m sick of the poor being blamed for being poor. I’m sick of those of us who have a whole lot more demanding our political representatives take away every opportunity the poor have to dig themselves out of their poverty and hand that money over to rich assholes who already have more money than they’ll ever possibly know what to do with.

I’m sick of racists, misogynists, and internet Trolls. I’m sick of Bernie Bros, Trumpettes, and Russian hackers.

I’m sick of people bitching about the attitudes of everyone else, when their own attitudes suck worse than a dozen lemons.

I work two jobs. I have a home and a car to keep up, cats to care for, and a dog to mourn. I’m in debt up to my ass. I need a new car. The older I get, the more tired I am. Hell, we’re all tired. We’re overwhelmed.

And when it’s taking every ounce of energy I have to maintain, the last thing I want to have to do is put up with your shit.

Yes, the political climate sucks, but do you have to bitch about it every day, all day long? Have you nothing else to talk about?

I’m going to show my age when I say this, but as a kid I was taught the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have do unto you. And while I’m nowhere near perfect, I do try to follow it more often than not. You may not can tell through my writing, but I do make an effort to be nice to at least one person every day.

So here’s a novel idea: How about for one day you put your anger, your worries, your fears, all up on a shelf and leave them alone. Then go out into the world and be nice to others. Be nice to everybody, even those who obviously don’t deserve it. No, I’m not asking you to be a doormat. I’m asking you to be nice to people. And maybe, just maybe, ONE of those many you are kind to will pass it on. Maybe that person will not cut off a driver on the way home. Maybe that mom or dad won’t yell at their kids. Maybe a desperate person will decide suicide is not an option today. Maybe someone who had no hope will find a glimmer of hope in your smile.

And maybe you’ll see how good it can feel to give of yourself to others with no strings attached.

Don’t worry. Your angst will still be there waiting for you when you go back to it.

If you do decide to give it a try, come back and tell me how it went.

32 thoughts on ““We’re All Sick of It”

  1. Recently I’ve started to suspect that 90% of the political problems in this country stem from people having a lack of gratitude and a dearth of humility.

    I feel so thankful for every blessing I have and just feel like an ungrateful SOB if I let myself whine too much about things I don’t like. Heck, last year I was medicaid eligible and realized that I was still in the 1% richest of the world’s population.

    1. Yeah, every time I start feeling fear over my financial situation, I remind myself that no matter how bad it gets, I’ll still live better than the vast majority of people on the planet.

    1. It is a curse, I fear. I have often wished I were able to act like other white women, but alas, I cannot do so and live with myself.

  2. My husband use to donate blood all the time, he had a similar rude experience, and that was it. I honestly think it’s easier to be nice to everyone. You never know what people are going through. Negative people bring me down, my older sister is the biggest whiner on the planet. Everything wrong in her life is everyone else’s fault. We’re estranged and I am so fine with that. Great post.

    1. A part of me says I’m being petty and I should think of those who need the blood. But hell I’m not a saint here. I give a lot. I need to receive now and then too.

  3. Years ago I found a bookplate that said, “I shall pass this way but once, therefore, any goodness I can do, any kindness I can show, let me not defer it nor neglect if; for I shall not pass this way again.” (a rip-off of John Donne) I try to live it. It’s my life motto. I don’t make it much of the time. I get judgmental. I have grumpy times. I’ll never have enough money and my family reminds me that it was my choice to go into an extremely low paying line of work (human services/social work) when I could have gone into finance or gotten an MBA.

    I do my best to accept others where they are at (excluding the local KKK group members) and not get too impatient about people attempting to convert me. I spend a lot of my time writing (as a business venture) and not talking much.

    My recent random kindness is sending a bunch of unopened spices from Penzeys that I’m never going to use to a truly impoverished friend of mine in the deep, deep south so that she can use them in her cooking. She loves to cook and they have almost no stores there in their ½ horse town where she is trapped to to her profound poverty. If she could only get her oven fixed (no money) she could open a home baking business.

    So I do what I can and think of her when possible. I can’t help everyone, but I can help someone. I can talk to the homeless, I can help foster dogs, I can teach classes on writing to students at a local black college who get no input from the greater white community. I do my best to make others smile when I can because life is hard (at best) and I’d rather laugh than cry.

    Thanks for reminding us to be kind. We all need a boot in the butt about it now and then.

    Take care of yourself and your kitties and spend the time you need in grieving.

  4. It’s stunning you and others were taken for granted especially when the need is always so high and you were absolutely right to leave. It’s hard to comprehend why people feel compelled to be so entitled and thoughtless more often than not these days. Life is hard enough without having the clueless adding to it with crap like that.

  5. I like your idea… but I probably need a bank vault for anger,worries&fears… they will not sit on a shelf to give me only one day without them ;o( But I cross my fingers that you will have such a day…. hugs to you…

  6. I know exactly what you mean Jen, and it’s hard sometimes when everyone seems so hostile. I always do my best to be kind and patient. Life seems so unjust at times, but I do go along with what you said about doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you – I was brought up that way too, so maybe I’m showing my age as well. There’s no reward in being hostile to people although I have heard it said that ‘hurting people, hurt people’. Maybe that’s what it is with the world today, it’s full of hurting people; it’s no excuse of course, but it would explain a lot. Having said all that, I think I would have felt the same as you, you wouldn’t want to become a human pin cushion for someone to take their angst out of.

  7. Mad Cow! What. Wait. I so hoped you were going to suggest we all go donate blood……as that is always my smart retort! Then I explain, I can’t donate blood as I travelled to the UK in 1994. When there was a mad cow outbreak! That is my version of a smile for you in this tough time. Hope it cheers you, even for a second……..

  8. Well said, Jen. I do admire your guts and determination. You are a strong woman. You have my admiration as always. Love the idea of being kind to others to start a ripple of kindness. What a concept that many do not follow at all! Sorry your blood donation experience sucked. That’s so wrong when you’re being kind donating. I wouldn’t want a hostile nurse coming at me with a needle either. Get away from me!!!

    Thinking of you as you grieve your Rumpy. i miss him, too. Such a sweet doggy. Sniff.

  9. Oh Dear…I did not know about Rumpy. My heart goes out to you. I know how heart broken I was when Jasmine left me. It does you good to vent like that. Am sure you feel a lot better now. Big hugs from South Africa.

  10. Ditto.
    I have a friend who donates blood as often as possible – for years.
    Now they are getting so pushy and demanding…from a kind volunteer. It irritates the heck out of me – especially since the blood bank sells his blood and profits from his kindness and consideration – they could at least be nice to him!
    We need to go back to teaching, insisting, and posting that Golden Rule in schools, and courthouses, and police stations even. Bet almost every religion/life philosophy has a similar phrase/verse/quote. A harmless phrase that made so much difference. Can’t be a winner, everyone, if you do not understand kindness and consideration counts above all.
    (Do not get me started on the Red Cross – horror stories and bad behavior by the big organization across several decades and generations here….their volunteers are a different story)

  11. Because of one of my church members, I used to donate blood at a local hospital. It was a blessing! Basically, when blood is used there a patient can ask that friends and family donate to replace the blood they used. The staff there was very kind. I don’t know if it was because the hospital is a church hospital but when I am not treated as a human person, I am quite a letter writer who reads name tags aloud so the wearer KNOWS I’m memorizing it for later use. They would tell me what was going on and they acted as if they cherished me coming in every 3 months because I was a universal blood type donor.
    I have not been a fan of the Red Cross for a while–at least since 2005 and moreso since our south Louisiana floods of August 2016. My church took in people at our family life center—some of whom the doors were closed on at the Southern University mini-dome arena that the RC was using to shelter folks. They sent the run-over folks to us, which tells me they knew we were there and taking in people. They sent nothing to help us as there were not RC staff there. That was a blessing because when we sent an email blast out to church members friends and family, beds, clothes, and food came pouring in from all over the country. Meanwhile, at the Red Cross, folks were eating cold sandwiches from styrofoam boxes. if you ran food over to the dome, they would not take it because it was not from an approved vendor. We had culinary ministry folks in our church’s kitchen cooking hot meals 3 times a day. Folks donated clothes—some brand new! A T-shirt company even had slightly irregulars they gave out for free. We had three Sunday school classrooms full of donations so that the folks who stayed with us could shop for men’s items in one room, women’s items in another and children’s item’s in the third along with toys and books.
    When the state announced that all shelters would be consolidated, we fed our guests one last hot meal after church service as it would be their last hot meal before being bussed to the other side of the city. We loaded them up with as many bags of clothes and toys as they could carry.
    One of my church members had volunteered for the RC some years ago and verified that she heard some of the young volunteers laughing at people who needed help because they were poor uneducated folks from south Louisiana with their accents peculiar to the area. She told me she had to hold on to her church teachings to keep from slapping one of them. She also said that in the area they do no seem to want Black volunteers and will give them the worst assignments.
    No, I do not have the best opinion of the Red Cross.

  12. I have always followed the Golden Rule. I always volunteer to help. I don’t as a rule ask for help in return. I am afraid that I will be disappointed and turned down. I unfortunately found that to be true. People are willing to get help, but they don’t like to reciprocate.It is going to be hard to say no to people, but i am going to learn how to say no.

  13. We are also angry a lot, sick to the point of physically vomiting, but no matter what shit we are going through, we are always polite and kind to strangers; people in the service industry; and no matter how hard it is? those in the medical profession who have kept my husband in pain for nearly two months with bullshit excuses. I’m glad I found a man who isn’t a jackass even when writhing in pain. Yes we still protest in the right ways for failures of government (I’ve got Ireland’s mess and the US mess to fight against). Forgive my language or edit it, but there is no reason to be an asshole about it.
    And Jen? We already know you are smart as hell, you wouldn’t be you if you were an eejit 🙂

  14. Gee nice way to treat people Not!I would have done the same as you Jen I would have walked too,not that I would give blood…..I have an extreme fear of needles the make me feel sick to the bottom of my stomach.But that is no way to treat some one how has given up their time to do a good deed.Many hugs to you lovely lady,xx Rachel and Speedy

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