Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Hidden Truth

 Jan and I were over in Juneau a few weeks ago. I had to go in to the doctor for a physical. There really wasn't much physical stuff involved, aside from taking my blood pressure a few times, having me stick out my tongue,and pressing on my overblown gut. Fortunately I didn't have gas or it would have been a more interesting experience. There are times when it really doesn't make sense to jostle, prod, poke or otherwise disturb the patient. Although I'm sure that most general practitioners have seen it all, for the sake of the patient, it's good to be sensitive to what they have to say. I well remember a friend who was in the naval hospital for some kind of operation or test, I can't recall which. In any event, it seems that he was given a drug that made it difficult for him to communicate with the doctors and nurses. As I recall, he was given a barium enema by a burly nurse whose bedside manner was a bit brusque. He was supposed to be getting some x-rays of his lower tract I believe. For whatever reason this nurse kept poking him in the gut. He tried to tell her to stop, but she kept at it, poking and prodding and generally being rough. Finally all the harsh treatment bore fruit and he blew. Even in his altered state he claims to have had a good laugh when he saw the nurse behind him coated in the remains of the barium enema dripping off her glasses. As the saying goes, payback is a bitch. None of this has anything whatsoever with the post I wanted to write, but at my age, when I think of something I have to mention it or it might be lost in caverns of my mind for a long period of time, perhaps never to resurrect again. The main point of this post was that while we were in Juneau, we went shopping. It's a common thing to do for those of us living in the outlying villages here in Alaska. The cost of goods is so high that it's imperative to shop when you go to one of the larger towns. The local stores aren't totally to blame. The freight company, in this case, Alaska Marine Lines, has taken advantage of the monopoly that they have to gouge the outlying areas. I believe they're still charging a fuel charge, similar to the airlines, even though the price of fuel has dropped dramatically. Anyway, we were in the Juneau Fred Meyer store picking up an assortment of canned goods and other odds and ends, and Jan asked if we wanted to get a few cans of peas. I happen to like canned peas on occasion, so I said yes, and she grabbed four cans. What we didn't realize, until we actually served them with a meal is that they were unsalted. I've eaten raw peas off the pod, and they have a sweet flavor. I don't know what they did to these peas in the canning process, but good Lord they were nasty! I thought I could work my way through what I had on the plate, but there was no way. I suspect that the label would have had more flavor. Really, if stores are going to carry foods that are unsalted or otherwise unaltered to make them taste good, they should have a special "flavorless" section. That way unsuspecting shoppers don't grab up one thing, thinking it is another. In all fairness, the can does say no salt added, but there is so much advertising on everything, we just passed over it somehow. Have you noticed on TV when an ad comes on for something like life insurance for only $9.95 a month, that they like to say that you can't be turned down for your health or age? That's all fine and dandy, but what about all the writing underneath that is so small you'd have to sit right under the screen with a magnifying glass and be a speed reader to take it all in? It's actually kind of deceptive. Do politicians write these ads before they start their political careers or what? It's like what has happened with so much in the grocery stores. Cereal boxes are still the same physical size, but the amount inside is smaller. Same with my favorite pizza. You buy the pizza thinking that it's filling up the whole box, but after opening it, there's only a half a pizza inside. It's kind of like buying a ticket for a plane. You pay for a whole seat, but actually you're only getting about a half of one. Is it any wonder that flying is one of the most stressing things anyone can do? It's not the fear of crashing that bothers most people, it's the fear of being stuck in the middle seat between two fat people. What ever happened to getting what you paid for? Like the saying goes, you can polish a turd, but that doesn't make it a diamond. There is a lot to be said about all the modern conveniences that we enjoy, but for my money, I'd gladly go back to a time when there was integrity in the workplace, when what was advertised was actually what you got; and, if for some reason you didn't get what you paid for, the business owner made it right. If this political season has shown one thing, it's that Americans are tired of being lied to, whether by our politicians, corporate giants, or canned peas suppliers. No one is innocent. How about if we start speaking the truth about what we're portraying- about ourselves, our businesses or our government. How refreshing would that be?


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Jill. I'm always surprised what the end result is.

  2. Integrity in the workplace is more and more rare. Sadly. Glad you threw those peas out!

  3. HI Shannon- I just returned from a grueling task with Jim Dybdahl hauling a raft up from Angoon that's going to be used for an oyster operation here. Jim is the embodiment of integrity in his work and dealing with people. We were both just exhausted because of the task, but it was so nice to work with him and see such a good example of professionalism. He's such an asset to the town.