Tuesday, July 31, 2012

To Boldly Go...Where Perth Has Never Gone Before...

As I mentioned on Facebook last night, today's post is about some things I have never talked about before, but I have some strong opinions about them, and I want to be heard. So, here I boldly go......

I write here in my blog to voice my perspective on life, on things I see or hear, or just to generally think aloud about what's on my mind at the moment. But the longer I have traveled this path I am on, the more I have begun to realize that my perspective is not enough. I see the world from one tiny viewpoint, as you the rest of you, granted, but the problem I see is that there is so much more happening than I or most of us can perceive, it's almost useless to take those perceptions as "truth".

Think about what you see on the news everyday. Death, destruction, this or that is the next thing that can kill you, oh look, another crooked CEO or politician has been indicted for fraud, or money laundering, or just plain heinous acts of cruelty or violence. Same sex marriage, this person loves it, this person hates it, they all publicize their very strong opinions on it. Personally, I myself am beginning to wonder why it is we have to "claim" a particular gender at all. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I have reason to believe that when we are not actively incarnating in a human body, in our spirit form we do not have a "gender" at all, or, we can choose which one we appear to have.

I just feel like all this "stuff" that we concern ourselves with here, during these lives, is scarcely the point of living. So what if two men or two women want to get married? It's their lives, let them deal with the ups and downs of marriage just like the rest of us, why does it have to be some big huge issue? So a group of humans were taught as children that a marriage is between a man and a woman, and that means that the rest of the human race HAS to think so too? Whatever, SCREW YOU and that book you love to quote to make yourself feel important, and take your tiny view of the world and keep it to yourself, and leave the rest of us to do the same! I'm sick of hearing about it! Let people do what they want, just as YOU get to do what YOU want!

See what I'm getting at here? How can my view of the world be taken as anything but my own opinion to anyone else who reads it or hears about it? Why then do some people think that THEIR view is the ONLY way? And why do they think they have the right to tell the rest of us how to think, and how to live? Who made them any different than me? My perspective on life is no better than anyone else's, and I don't see how even a large group of people with the same perspective can say that they are "right". There's so many other ideas.

I used to be like that. I used to think that I "knew" stuff. I was so sure about what the truth was that I believed it in my core. And I'm not talking about religion either. I'm talking about science, philosophy, anatomy, physics, you name it, I had ideas in my head that I KNEW what made the world go around. But the more I learn, I am finding that I "know" less and less. The perceptual ability of we "meatbags" is limited to only a short band of the light spectrum, and a similarly small band of the sound spectrum. We (on the whole) cannot perceive anything outside of what our paltry senses feed to our brains, but there is a shit ton of things going on right under our noses that we cannot in any way, shape, or form even detect, let alone understand if we could. We have been able, with technology, to verify that. However, we don't have the ability to see beyond what that technology can "see", so how do we know if there's MORE? We don't.

I am completely fed up with the human race. We piddle along, squabbling and fighting over things that don't even matter, instead of trying to better ourselves, trying to find out what's out there, and maybe even along the way evolving into something more than just primitive primates in a steel, glass, and concrete jungle. We believe in gods, and spirits, in thousands of forms of "deities", but instead of trying to find ways to become like them, we decide to do harm to our fellow man in the NAME of these gods, as if we have the right.

I believe that I am a spirit, incarnating a physical body at the moment, and even though the vast number of the world's "religions" have the same idea, no one seems to be concerning themselves with what is happening in the world that spirits inhabit. These are our own people, us, those not incarnating a body right now, and yet no one seems to want to bridge the gap, and those that do are called freaks and mentally deranged. Why? We all seem to believe that we either came from there first, and/or will be going there when our time as a human is done, so why is it considered "wrong" to want to see what their existence looks like? Why can't we try to pursue the realm of the spiritual without it becoming some freakish side show? It's just as real to us as the physical world is, so everyone says, especially those who proclaim to be religious, but any mention of someone attempting to communicate with spirits or to find a "doorway" to enter the spirit world is considered taboo, or just plain crazy. And I want to know why.

I myself have no extrasensory perception, I don't see ghosts, I don't hear voices, nothing. At least not to my knowledge. It could just be that I don't yet know how to listen to them or see them. But either way, I know and have known people who could, and I have not seen them as freaks. Rather, I have seen them as having been given a wonderful talent, one that I hope to have someday, if I am capable. There is so much to be learned from the Other Side, because they are not bound by the constraints of a physical existence. To be a spirit means to be perceptive beyond our imagination, to see into the past, present, and future all at the same time. It means being something more than a person worrying about who marries men and who marries women. It means more than the "9 to 5" drudgery we've gotten ourselves stuck in with all of our "civilization". It means more than worrying about how you will look in that outfit when you go out to meet your friends. There's so much more out there that has nothing to do with being a physical being, and I want to learn about THAT, I am DONE with all this garbage that is of no real use to anyone. I could not care less about who the next "American Idol" is going to be. I want to know how to evolve into something better. I want to know how I can learn and progress as a spirit, not a human.

Physically, I am male. Mentally, I am androgynous. I have no gender, or rather, I am both male AND female. So if I find a companion, that person is a companion, not a gender. If I decide I want to officially make that person my lifelong companion, whether or not that person is physically male or female makes no difference. That's MY perspective on the matter. I just wish the rest of the humans saw it that way.

I don't know what's out there. I don't know for a fact that there even is such a place as the "Other Side". I don't know anything about what anyone else is thinking, nor do I know how they feel. I am just me, and I leave everyone else to do what they want. I live very much in the moment, because I have found that I cannot take anything I saw or read or heard "before", and predict what will come in the future, even moments from now. So have your squabbles, take your life and live it how you want, it's your life. I don't know how it will turn out, I only know that I am fed up with what I see. I'm fed up with what I am. I want to learn how to be better.

If you've made it this far down in the post, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion, my perspective, on some very "sensitive" issues. I do not often broach such subjects, because I have feared alienating my audience. I have a different feeling about it now, I'm no longer afraid, I'm not worried at all. If a person wants to, they can read my posts or not read them, whether they agree or not. People don't come here to get their own opinions, they come here to read mine. So, I have done it, I wrote the post, and I am planning on writing similar ones in the future.

Here's to boldly going where I've never gone before.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Laborious Nights....My's fun, but not easy....

As you may have seen earlier today, I promised a post about what it is I do at night, working for the largest retail chain in the world. (If you didn't see the post on Facebook, check out my fan page, and like it, to be able to see those status updates.....the link is there in the sidebar.---->) I am officially a "Frozen/dairy stocker", but I also double as a "Dry food-Gm stocker", where the "Gm" stands for "general merchandise", which is what most of the other stockers are called. The reason there is a difference between the names is because in years past, there was a different, and slightly higher, rate of pay for those working in the "cold" areas, but now everyone is paid at the same level, but the name remains. There is also the difference because in some stores, if you are a frozen/dairy stocker, that is all you ever work, those two departments, but, in my store, that is not the case at all, as I will explain later.

So what's a typical night like for me? Two words can sum it up very nicely, and those are VERY BUSY lol. We clock in at 10 p.m., and proceed immediately to one of the price checker terminals situated throughout the store, but we're not out to check any prices. We scan the bar code on the back of our name badge, and a screen comes up with a list of the tasks we will have to perform that evening. They are touchscreens, so we just touch the word "start" to start the task, and touch "complete" when it's done. The first task on the list is always the "meeting". The meeting is where the entire crew comes together (usually in the back of the store, in "Site to Store") and the overnight assistant manager on duty tells us about any relevant information we need for that evening, and anything problems or issues that have come up that we need to address. Personally, I like the meeting, because it gives me a chance to find out who's at work that night, because with a crew the size that we have, you can tell a lot about how the night is going to go by how many people are there, and who they are. If that doesn't make any sense, allow me to elaborate.

Many stores in this gargantuan retail chain employ a crew of about 30 to 40 people to stock the store each night. Just ballparking a figure in my head, I'd have to say that there are about that many areas or departments that have new freight that comes in every night, so having one person for each DOES make sense. However, the amount of new freight varies widely for each area, some have a lot, like softlines (the clothing), where all the "departments" are grouped together as one, or in the case of MY usual department, dairy, a very large department in itself. Others are much smaller, such as the stationary department, which is only a few short aisles, or even, believe it or not, electronics, which is one of the departments in which much of the stocking is done during the day. What I'm getting at here is that in some stores, there is a system in place where the same person stocks the same area every night, and they are not asked or told to go to any other area(s) that they are not usually assigned to. This means that while they are very very good at stocking "their" area, it is pretty much all they know how to do. Send them to another department, and they could not do it nearly as quickly as the one who does it every day. If a department usually has more freight than one person can run in a normal shift, then there is a mini "crew" of 2 or even 3 people that have that department, every night, for the same reason, because they know it, and can get it done faster. Sounds like a great system, right? Well, let's just say there are pros and cons. Let me explain how it's done at my store, and you'll see what I mean.

What MY store does is to take a much smaller crew, probably half the size in fact, and do the same amount of stocking in the same amount of time, because most of our crew can work just about any department in the store, and do it well, because they are trained to know just about the whole store, or at least be familiar enough with it to do any area they are assigned. A crew that can do that is a much more efficient crew, and is much more flexible, for management, since they can assign jobs to anyone, and everything gets done in a timely manner. It takes a certain type of attitude on the part of your personnel to be able to pull that off, a dedication to getting things done, wherever one is assigned, and it's not for the faint of heart, or those not good with change. That alone to me is why I believe that the crew I work with is one of the finest in the business, and I would even venture to say that you could take us, as a crew, to one of the stores with a much larger crew, and stock THEIR store faster and more correctly than their own crew. So when I say I like the meeting, because I can see who's working and how many people are there, it tells me a lot about how busy we are all going to be that night, and/or if we are going to be doing a lot of "jumping around" to different departments to get everything done.

As you can probably already see, it is not an easy job, far from it. It is one where you have to be constantly moving, constantly working, and not allow yourself to be tempted to stand around and talk with your coworkers, or "goof off", because you know you have work to do, and only so much time in which to do it. Because there's another little gem this "system" has in place that is a key motivator. You are actually timed in each task you start, from beginning to end, and each task has a designated time in which it is supposed to be accomplished. Take dairy for instance. On a typical night, there will be 3 to 5 full pallets of new freight to be run, sometimes more, sometimes less. The freight manifest that comes in with the trucks when they are unloaded has a count of exactly how many cases of freight has arrived, and with that number, factoring in a number of cases per hour a person is expected to be able to run, a number of hours is generated, and that's the "time" you are given at the beginning of the night, for each task you are given. For me, it usually means anywhere between 4 and 12 hours worth of freight. And yes, there are nights in which you are expected to get more hours of freight done than there are actual hours in the shift. And it's entirely possible to make that happen, trust me, it all depends on what it is that you get. The reason? Because not every case you receive can actually go on the shelf. Some will inevitably be "overstock", and is set aside to be put on the shelves in the backroom. And when there's 12 hours of freight, you can bet there will be a LOT of overstock.

Anyway, without getting any more boring than I already have, trying to explain the intricate workings of the inventory management system, let me just say that on most nights, I have the opportunity to take whatever comes in on the truck, and get everything that will actually go on the shelf into its proper place, so shoppers have something to buy when they come in the next day. For me, it's a great sense of accomplishment, and at the same time, a challenge, because no two nights are ever alike, even if you work the same department. And then, there's a lot of nights, when you have no idea where you may be working, as has happened to me lately. They've hired 4 new stockers, and they are training them, in various areas of the store, so I have been out of my "element" so to speak. For a while now, I knew I would be coming in and working the dairy department, as I would be the one "on duty" that was the most familiar, and therefore the "best" at it, and I was content with that. But now, I never know what I'll be doing from one night to the next, and it's a little unnerving sometimes. See, as much as I've just talked about my "crew" working anywhere in the store, on many nights, we don't have to, and we stay in pretty much the same areas, or close at least, such as working one or another grocery aisle, which, once you've done them all a few times, any or all are very easy to go back to later.

But anyway, the last week or so has seemed even busier to me, stocking areas I am not as familiar with as dairy, and on top of that, last night, they had one of the new people stocking dairy by himself for the first time, and he was really quite lost, I felt bad for him. He took over 2 hours longer than his designated time to finish, which is really pretty good, considering how new he is at it, but of course management doesn't see it that way. They expected him to be finished in the time allotted. They prefer to throw someone in the "fire", so to speak, to see how they will handle it, and it's really how they see if someone will make it, under the system they have in place. Those that won't usually quit within their first week, because they either can't get used to working overnight, or it's more work than they care to do. Either way, I know if he stays, he'll be good, but to only be able to watch, and not help, well, it was hard. I wanted to show him so many things, to help him learn it, but I had my own work to do, and could only mention little tidbits in passing, because I did have the good fortune of being assigned to the deli wall freight, which is stacked together in with the dairy freight.

To bring this increasingly lengthy post to a close, I will say that I enjoy what I do, and do you know why? Don't you hate it when you go into a store, that you KNOW carries the things you love and want to buy, and you get there, and they are out of whatever it is you came to get? Yeah, I do too.

That's why I do what I do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A little remodeling, and hopefully expansion

Hello folks, I hope you're having a good Wednesday morning.

I'm in the process of doing some work around here, on the blog, I've already changed the button, so if you have a button collection on your blog, feel free to pick up the new one. I'm also on the lookout for a new layout; I like this one, but it doesn't really fit my sense of "perspective", which is what my blog is all about, my own unique perspective on life.

I'm also doing some work on my fan page on Facebook, because I have not done very much to promote my blog, and while I love having you 43 followers I have at the moment, I would very much like to have more. If you have not seen my fan page, click on the link in the gadget over there in the right column, and while you're there, "like" it, and you will then receive my posts on your Facebook wall, rather than having to come to Blogger to see them.

So, that's about it for now. Keep an eye out for the changes, as they are coming soon, and I hope to see you here for the "grand re-opening" of Perth's Perspective.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's been a while.....

Hi folks, nice to see you again. It's been over a month since I last posted. There was not much to talk about. There was nothing new in my life, things are still "go to work, come home, sleep at some point, go back to work" most of the time.

That's not to say that things haven't changed in my mind though. Daily events have a way of changing one's mind, sometimes slowly, and sometimes all at once. I've had both this last month.

I turned 41 on Monday, a week ago, and that's about the most noteworthy thing that's happened to me in the last month. Saturday night however, I did finally come to the conclusion that I have to completely quit drinking. I was only doing it on my days off, rather than every day, as I did when I was a lot younger, but, physically, my body can't handle it anymore, and I don't like who I become when I drink either. So, that's the end of it.

That was the "all at once" change of mind I had. The other changes have taken place more slowly, but they are no less life changing. I have come to realize that through all these years of life, I still had not truly done anything just because "I" wanted to do it. So I did a few things that I wanted to do. No one suggested them, I came up with them on my own, and I did them. Sure, I asked for feedback, because these "things" I did were cosmetic changes, but the ideas for them came solely from me. It's a step in a direction I intend to take for the rest of my life. I am going to make my own choices, and stop following what others are doing just to try to fit in. I have my own life, and I am my own person, and I can do what I want without having to ride someone else's coat tails, or have someone else's approval.

You might just say that I know longer care about what anyone thinks of what I do, I'm just going to do it, if it feels right.

And hopefully, I have another 40 years left of this life to find out where that will take me.