May 21, 2021 – Unclean Hands

Before I begin, I wanted to share that I received my 3rd Covid-19 vaccination yesterday. Yes, you read that right. It’s my third time around the block. I’ve been staying up on the research for immunosuppressed individuals (such as myself) and how many are achieving the desired results (antibodies) after receiving an additional dose/vaccine by a different manufacturer (when the first and/or second vaccination made no difference whatsoever). As I was perusing the health section of ‘headline news’ the night before last, a story was featured about a doctor who was also an organ recipient. Apparently, he achieved the same results I did after the initial two doses of a vaccine. And by that I mean nothing happened (aka it didn’t work like it was supposed to). However, after getting administered the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, his body actually responded as it should and started creating antibodies like nobody’s business.

Needless to say, when I heard how his body responded (after viewing the video twice just to be sure), I didn’t waste any time reaching out to my own doctor to obtain his authorization for a 3rd dose. After getting the ‘all clear’, and making several calls to numerous pharmacies in the area, I was able to find one that had the J&J vaccine readily available. I did run into a few speed bumps along the way, unfortunately. I learned that the more I ‘shared’, the less enthusiastic the pharmacists were about giving me an additional dose. I actually thought it would be helpful to provide a little of my back-story (about having a kidney transplant and not developing antibodies after receiving the initial vaccine) but all it served to do was confuse people and complicate matters (when it wasn’t necessary). Fortunately, after getting shut down by two different pharmacies, I learned to keep my mouth shut. When I recognized that ‘less is more’, I had no trouble receiving the vaccine from a third pharmacy.

So what was it that I intended to talk about today? Oh, yes…’unclean hands’. It’s less of a literal term and more of a figurative term in this case. And in case you’re wondering, it has nothing to do with Covid-19 or hand sanitizer. When I use the term, I mean it from a perspective of ‘if you have dirty hands, you’ve got no business slinging mud at others’. Judge Judy has used the term on quite a few occasions. When she uses it, it generally applies to when a shady plaintiff sues a shady defendant. In most cases, both parties are usually dismissed and nobody ‘wins’. The only thing either manages to do is make an ass of themselves on national TV. By the way, who are these people that feel it’s necessary to ‘fight it out’ in Judge Judy’s courtroom? Do they like to be humiliated and publicly shamed? Don’t tell me it’s the measly amount of money the show’s producers pay them for their appearance. And what’s Judge Judy’s hang-up with pitbulls anyway? Why does she hate them so? We had a pitbull-mix and he was the smartest, sweetest dog we ever had.

Wow! I’ve really gotten off track! I’m telling you, I’m not sure what’s going on but I feel like my brain is scrambled. My thoughts are all over the map. I’ll start out in Australia, drinking a Foster’s and eating a vegemite sandwich, and then a couple of seconds later, I’ll find myself in South Africa. And just as I’m getting comfortable walking along the beach and taking in the views in Cape Town, I’ll blink my eyes and wind up on an iceberg in Antarctica (surrounded by penguins). What the heck is going on? I really think I’m starting to lose it! Ok, back to ‘unclean hands’. The reason I wanted to talk about this particular topic was because of something that occurred earlier this week. And before I get ahead of myself, I would like to acknowledge that my hands are anything but ‘clean’. I’ve got plenty of dirt under my fingernails (so to speak). To be quite specific about the events that took place on Monday, it all had to do with ‘Safeway Monopoly’. Yes, I know, you’ve got to be sick of hearing me talk about that blasted game. I completely understand. I’m sick of talking about it myself!

Long story short, I earned a lot of ‘tokens’ by playing the game (i.e.; marketing ruse) and I later redeemed the tokens for prizes. One of those prizes was $25 off a grocery purchase. If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m a ‘receipt checker’. I like to know what I’m paying or what I paid and 9-times-out-of-10, I check the receipt before I exit the store. It’s a good thing because had I not done it today, I would have paid double for my granola. Anyway, I can assure you, I’ve checked every single Safeway/Albertson’s receipt since I redeemed my tokens for $25 off a grocery purchase and it has yet to happen. Not cool! I called and tried to speak with a customer service representative at one of the local Safeways about it but I don’t think the lady working the counter really understood my question. And when I asked if she had a number I could call to get it straightened out, she was unable to provide one. I even went to the shopplaywin.com website and tried to find a ‘contact us’ option but was unsuccessful. As a last ditch effort, I drove to one of the local Safeways and stated my case.

Holy smokes! I just have to say that those people are extremely trusting!! All I did was approach the customer service counter, inform the attendant that I never received $25 off my purchase (after redeeming my tokens through the Monopoly Game), ask if she had a number I could call, and just-like-that, she opened up the cash register and handed me twenty-five dollars! To say I was surprised is an understatement. I responded with, “Thank you! I didn’t expect that!!” Honestly, that never happens! After I walked away (in amazement), I started to think about how somebody could really ‘make out’ were they to, I don’t know, go to all of the outlying Safeway/Albertson stores and use that ‘line’ with the customer service attendants. I am sure it wouldn’t take much effort to walk away with several hundred dollars. Personally, I couldn’t do it, I have way too much of a guilty conscience. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t think about it. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to ‘help myself to the till’ but I’ve never taken advantage of those opportunities. What I find interesting is how many people actually do.

People do it all the time! Seriously! I’ve heard about more people embezzling from their employers or stealing from their partners than I care to admit to. The parents of my friend ‘M’ were hoodwinked by their accountant to the tune of $50,000! How is it that people can rationalize stealing thousands of dollars, whereas, I cannot even fathom stealing as much as a penny? Was it the abbreviated Catholic upbringing? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve ‘justified’ engaging in dishonest practices, but when it comes to dollars and cents, I simply cannot do it! When the guy bought our boat a few weeks ago, he accidentally gave us an extra one hundred dollars. He promised me the amount was correct but encouraged me to count it (for my own reassurance). I counted the money three different times because it kept coming out over and when I told my husband, he counted it a fourth time. There was no doubt that the guy had given us too much money. Had I kept it, he wouldn’t have known any different, but I would have. And had I spent it, everything I bought would have had bad juju attached to it.

Did I give him back the money he overpaid? Heck, yes! I don’t need any more bad juju, thank you very much! I’ve got enough as it is. I could have used that money for all sorts of things but I would have ‘paid the price’ in other ways had I kept it, so I was more than glad to return it. It’s not the first time something like that’s happened. When I was a customer with Wells Fargo, one time when I used their drive-thru banking option, the teller gave me $300 extra. Three-hundred-dollars EXTRA! My first thought was, “This person should not be working at a bank.” My second thought was, “I’m giving this money back because even though this person is a knucklehead and shouldn’t be working at a bank, I don’t want to be the reason they had to pony up $300 of their own money when the till doesn’t balance at the end of the day.” Could I have used that $300 for some auto repairs or groceries or clothes for my kids? I could have, but each time I lifted the hood on my car or pulled a Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar out of the freezer or admired my oldest son’s new pair of jeans, I would have felt like sh*t. And you know what? It’s just not worth it.

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