A Trip to Market Basket Gone Sour

I went to Market Basket today with my three kids in tow. I normally try to plan shopping for a weekend or a day when I have no children but today there is no school and Friday is the day when money hits the bank account to get some amount of food for the home. This week it was especially important that I go grocery shopping to at least get thru the weekend because we had peas and egg noodles for dinner last night we are that out of food here. A grocery trip at some level was required today. I always plan a “grocery shopping with kid(s) in tow” based on the best time of day for them. As a parent we all know when the best time of day is for our children to go anywhere, especially the younger ones. My boys have their “times” that work for them and I chose to shop in that time frame.

BE Quite BrandyWhat I never expected was for my youngest to start acting up. It all started when we happened upon the aisle that Lunchables are in, those things cost like near $2 now and I am not buying them. My kids know this, a Lunchable is a rare buy for me and today was not a rare day, today was a shop to get as much as we can within a tight budget while having three kids in tow. The youngest was not having it, neither was the seven year old … yes my two sons decided to start acting up. I was able to deter my seven year old from a total mood swing but the baby of the family was not giving up his demand for a Lunchable. At this point, I had bread, eggs and something else in the cart – oh milk and creamer. I was ready to just leave the store as is and let the kids deal with no food. Of course my daughter started to get upset because she didn’t want to go without food for the few hours she is home today just because her brothers were starting to act a fool.

Finally I was able to get the little man to the cart, walking hand in hand with sissy and brother as we ventured on to finish a grocery shopping trip for just around 10-15 items. Each aisle or two the little guy found something he “must have” or felt running ahead down the aisle was an okay thing to do. I placed the little monster in my cart and he sat there for the majority of the rest of the shopping experience and then it happened… both boys had to go pee. I had to take the little monster out of the cart to go pee with his brother and sister. Upon return from the bathroom he wanted one more chance to be good and walk with sissy and brother .. I allowed it. He was fine the rest of the time.

As we went toward check out the little K man realized that I was not going to the candy sample area, while my daughter is always allowed to get a sample, there was no way this little child was getting one so everyone was unable to get that candy sample. While the older two kids were not too happy and were really upset with K-man for being that way and ruining it for them, they were handling it fine. We got into a check out lane and the older lady customer in front of me kept looking at my young child in an odd way, she gave me looks and was just clearly not happy that my five year old was being  naughty over me saying NO to candy. K-man can act way worse than he was, but he certainly was being ridiculous. K-man proceeded to occasionally toss off a ramen noodle package and try to grab other things to toss on the floor. Then he proceeded to just head butt my arm the whole time during check out whining like he reverted to the age of 2 (or younger) … however this child NEVER acted that way when he was younger – this behavior started when he turned FOUR. His behavior over the past two weeks has become just HORRIBLE and it’s driving me insane but never has he acted like this in a store!

During checkout I was only paying attention to my kids, making sure K-man stayed with me and not running away and making sure the boys were not going to get into any fights. Who I was not paying attention to was the old dude bagger …. who my daughter noticed had been rolling his eyes and SLAMMING my groceries into the cart with the BREAD & EGGS at the bottom of my cart!! The smooshed grocery wasn’t noticed until I left store crying. Yes I left the store in TEARS …. I may have even dropped an F bomb lowly while I walked passed my bagger old dude and said something along the lines “right roll your eyes because you know … children are perfect and if you have any I BET THEY ARE F’IN perfect” .. I proceeded to say that to ALL of the check out lanes as I walked in TEARS a total wreck not even able to watch  my child because I just had to get OUT OF THAT STORE.

It took me about half an hour to calm down enough to CROSS THE STREET to my van with my kids because my eyes were so full of tears, my body was shaking so badly …. my older two kids hugged me and were so livid with this old dude bagger. My youngest was in his normal five year old “world revolves around me” mode and couldn’t understand why Mama said NO yet again to something he WANTED (merry go round ride outside of Market Basket). I had had enough I was done. I cannot believe that anyone who clearly doesn’t like children would be in this type of position. After talking to my Dad I found out that not only was this man rude to me today, but that my sister may have had a stuation with this same bagger the other day.

I am not sure how to complain because 1) my bread was not smooshed that badly and 2) I did drop an F bomb to the guy leaving the store in tears. I feel I didn’t handle the situation totally 100% properly either. Mind you .. yes my baby was placed on couch and not allowed to do ANYTHING for a couple hours once I returned home because I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH HIM EITHER.

So I ask you all this … is it right at any time to be treated in such ways when your child acts slightly naughty? I have been in grocery stores before where my mood disorder child at age 6 was screeching, violent and just plain out of his mind due to medication being off … and never have I been treated like this man treated me today and my groceries…. I feel that no one deserves this. I work hard, damn hard for the money I bring home to feed my kids and I do not wish to have my groceries having a chance of getting ruined because some old man bagger doesn’t like kids…. it’s wrong on so many levels.

I am at a loss of what to think and feel. My mind is in shock that a man of that age would even do such a thing, I expect that from some of the teenagers that work at Market Basket not a grown man who is well up there in years.

The Joys of Self Employment

Working from home is a blessing, and honestly I am not so sure “anyone” can do it, even though I have said that in the past. The reason I am starting to believe that not everyone can do it is because it’s extremely difficult to step away from work when it’s family time if your office is in your home. All too often I have to shut down my computer because I will be tempted to come in and do some work during family time. I am just that into my work and addicted to making money.

Being self employed has it’s ups and downs. For sure, trying to collect payments from clients really can stink some times. Especially when you see the bill due dates and yet these people still have not paid you. I am lucky to work with amazing people directly but some of the firms I have worked with take forever and a day to submit payment. Sure sometimes things happen making payment delayed and I totally understand that but when a big firm was scheduled to pay me on “x” date and still has yet to pay me nor communicate what is up to me? Well that’s a fail in my book.

Juggling my kids new schedule this school year alongside my work has actually proved to be quite easy. Although the few hours I get here and there may seem like nothing to you all who work a forty hour week in a workplace somewhere, you would be shocked as to what I can get done in just one hour of silence in my office, or with music blasting in the background. I can write many blog posts, articles and even complete a ton of invoicing in just one hour.

With the youngest being in pre-K four days a week, I find that I get one full day without kids as he spends two mornings a week with his Dad, I also get four days a week with that few hours of afternoon silence to work. I have stopped working weekends as much, because I was burning myself out. Although I am blessed to do what I love and am passionate about for work, everyone has their own limits and needs a break.

So while my breaks usually involve returning to Mama duty from my home office, I do try to take weekends to recoup from a fun filled week of being self employed. I believe that being self employed gives you more confidence in your own self, after all, I am pretty confident in myself and my skills.  I wouldn’t trade the juggling that I call a really well rounded schedule for anything in the world, not even an office position in a nice friendly workplace.

The Key to Successfully Working From Home

Working from home is becoming more popular these days, as families are faced with creative ways to earn income to put food on the table and pay for the bills required to live these days. While working from home can be an amazing adventure and quite lucrative at times, it requires some key components and a sense of motivation within your own self to fully rise to being a successful work from home parent.

Choose a Private Work Area

When I first starting working from home I had a corner area in the middle of the living room in my old house. This wasn’t very private, however, it became my starting place for working from home after my ex husband had quit his job. It proved to be a great place for beginning but now I do have a private home office just off of my bedroom and it provides me with a better focus during “work hours”.

If you have to choose an area that is near the main living quarters of your home, try to make it as private as possible and ensure the family realizes if you are sitting at that area on the computer that they respect it is your work time and to not interrupt unless necessary.

Lay Down Some Working Hours Ground Rules

This is the harder part of working from home, you see all too often work from home parents are juggling children and their work. You have to really set ground rules, expectations {of yourself and family}, and be sure that you are not ignoring your children in order to get some work done. If you must work while your children are unattended, then be sure they have a creative activity that they can do while you get some much needed work done or are having a movie time, or even nap time for a couple of hours to ensure you get dedicated work time while not neglecting the children.

Be sure to set a work hour time and shut down when that time is over with. Whatever work is left after that time can wait until your next “working hours” start.

Do not Answer Personal Phone Calls or Messages

Try to make sure anyone you would normally talk to isn’t going to be calling during “work hours” or better yet, shut that phone ringer right off. Do not look at texts, do not ramble on Facebook getting into some in depth random conversation during work hours. Shut down anything that is not work related if at all possible to ensure you are not dragging your personal life time into working hours.

This may take some practice, heck it has taken me four years to not answer that phone if my family calls during working hours, but it needs to be done.

Image courtesy of pat138241 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Choose Jobs and Tasks that you Can Handle

I get it, when you start working from home, it’s hard but then all of a sudden everyone and their brother want to hire you to do something for them. Be sure to not only take on jobs or tasks that you are qualified to handle but make sure you have the time available to complete these jobs and/or tasks for new clients. It’s easy to think you can do it all, but you are one person and a parent on top of it so do not take more than you can handle.

There will be a day and time when you can handle more, take baby steps so to avoid collapsing, you want to succeed not burn yourself out.

Love What you Do

Just have fun with it, working from home can be a very rewarding career both emotionally and financially as long as you set goals, stay dedicated and follow the few tips I listed here in this article. Working from home means you can do whatever you dream of doing; blogging, freelance writing, direct sales such as Avon and others, and even become a virtual assistant. Whatever you want to be, you can be, when you work from home. Dream big, reach for the stars and stay on path to ensure you have success working from home!

Why it’s important to have health and safety training

The modern workplace is safer than it has ever been, and part of the reason for this is that in recent years many businesses have chosen to make a concerted effort when it comes to health and safety education and training.

The health of a workforce is down to the employer supplying the necessary equipment, conditions, and training to ensure a safe working environment.  Employees have a duty of care to themselves and their colleagues, and need to ensure that they use equipment properly and follow all instructions and training provided to them by their employers.

Key areas for health and safety training

There are several key areas that should to be considered when planning health and safety training for a business.

Fire: Fire safety is a very important consideration no matter what the size of your premises.  You should ensure that there are regular fire drills, and all members of staff should be familiar with the emergency exits and all procedures connected with safe evacuation of the building in the event of a fire.

Hazardous materials: If your business involves the handling of chemicals or other hazardous materials, proper training in the safe handling and use of hazardous substances is vital.  Everyone who works with these substances needs to be aware of the specific dangers associated with any material, as well as how different substances react with each other. The proper storage of hazardous materials is another area that must be considered when a training plan is being implemented.  When dealing with hazardous materials, formal training and qualifications may be required to ensure that the relevant staff members have a complete understanding of all of the above concerns.

Electrical: Electrical safety is another key part of most health and safety training programmes.  Every workplace will have electrical equipment and it is important that this equipment is regularly tested and maintained to the highest standards.  Staff should be instructed on the safe operation of all electrical equipment.

Machinery: Working with any type of machinery requires proper education and training.  Whether the machinery in question is part of a production line, a specific type of vehicle, or a hoist or lift the workers operating them need to be aware of the hazards they present to both themselves and to other people in the area where the machinery is being used.

An awareness of general hazards is also crucial to the operation of a safe workplace.  Tripping hazards, the handling of heavy goods, proper disposal of waste and garbage, and the storage of non-hazardous materials are for the most part not complicated or dangerous, but employees still need to be aware of any potential hazards and perform these tasks correctly.

Records and audits

No matter the industry, keeping clear and concise records is crucial; complete records should be kept of any training given to staff, and the maintenance of electrical and mechanical equipment.  Should there be an incident or accident, a full investigation should be performed to determine the cause(s) as soon as possible and a report should then be generated detailing why the incident occurred and what steps have been taken to ensure that further incidents will be avoided.

Regular health and safety audits are also crucial in helping to ensure a safe workplace.  They can be carried out by trained staff within an organization or by individuals brought in from outside the company who have specific expertise in health and safety.  These audits help to focus managers and employees on keeping the workplace as safe as possible, and it is important that any recommendations made as the result of an audit are carried out as quickly and thoroughly and possible.

Charge Clients for Every Work Hour

You arrive for work in the morning at the office and clock into the time clock, from there every minute you work is tracked by your employer. There is no worry about “how many hours did I work” or “did I take my break today” because your employer keeps track of all the small details in their human resource department.

When you work from home having the time clock track all of your work hours is not an option, although you can track your own working hours using software like TimeLoc, you still need to be sure to clock every possible hour you worked for each client to ensure you are being paid for work completed.

Working from home is an amazing, fast growing industry these days and with the economy so up and down it seems it’s the only option that gives peace to entrepreneurs that they will have a consistent, steady job.  Since you are working from home to pay your bills and possibly support your family you must make sure that your time is being paid for so that in turn you can support your family fully on a home income.

Be sure to charge for phone conference hours, whether it be a Skype call or a text chat on Google Talk, you must be sure that your time speaking with a client is being charged. As with any job speaking with your supervisor is paid for, so why would you think otherwise when running your home business?

Whether you choose to bill for emails back and forth is up to you, but most work at home entrepreneurs don’t charge for the email correspondence between themselves and a client.  The hours that count are; phone conversations, research time, time dedicated to complete the project, and those hours spent doing immediate work for the client.

Make sure you are being paid for your hard work. Your clients will appreciate your professional, consistent billing ways just ensure that you release your billing terms with each client prior to contracting with them so that they know what to expect come end of work week when you send out their statement.

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