Punxsutawney, PA

Published writer who loves writing about relationships and parenting. I am also an avid reader, artist and photographer who loves to create. Oh and if you are a horror fan you can find a ton of my stories published out in the world today!

4 followers

Dealing with a Toxic Work Environment

news cover

You're sitting in your car in the middle of the parking lot as the clock begins to tick when it suddenly becomes apparent that sooner or later you have to get it. You try to fight it but in the end you have no choice but to get out and make your way to the office. After clocking in your day has officially begun and there is no turning back. It is during this time you find out who has called off for the twentieth time this year, who decided to take a PTO day and who has marked you with a bullseye on your back. It’s just another day in what you refer to as hell but what experts would describe as a toxic environment. Sure there are call offs but when most of those call offs are due to workers not wanting to come to work because of stress it gets to be an issue. When co-workers decide to take a day or two of PTO it may be refreshing for them but stressful on the other’s who have to do their work and their own. Though much of the blame can be placed on the current Pandemic most cases of toxic work environment have happened long before that. So what is a toxic workplace? A toxic workplace is defined as a work environment where the people and work atmosphere are extremely negative. That negativity becomes so stressful that workers often turn on each other. The tension one fills at work can oftentimes boil over into their personal life. Though people will often say to leave work at work it is a saying that is easier said than done. When it comes to toxic behavior in the workplace it isn’t just a few harsh words here and there. It’s more. The warning signs of toxic behaviors include destructive gossip, passivity, tearing others down, backstabbing, narcissism and sabotage. One of the major issues facing the workforce at the moment is being short staffed. This allows others to often take advantage of you. One such example of a toxic work environment occurred while I was working as a nurses aide at a hospital. The nurses on the unit would often be on their phones while I was forced to take care of fourteen patients. When I sat down to do my charting a bell would go off and I was told to go and take care of that patient even though they were just sitting there. As I got up to walk away I heard them snickering and whispering about me. Later that day a bed alarm went off and I was the only one who ran to rescue the patient. The end result was the patient and I ending on the floor. My back was badly injured and it took me screaming for help to get anyone’s attention. My supervisor refused to listen and I had no choice but to go to employee health. The end result was a permanent injury I can never fix. This is just a few details of a toxic work environment. When you have co-workers who are unwilling to help or can’t be bothered to help, that is a problem. When you find yourself crying in the bathroom because things are too intense, that is a bad sign that something is wrong. I used to cry the whole way home because I couldn’t stand working there anymore. So what do you do when things get bad? The most important advice I ever got was to document everything. Get a tiny notebook and document everything that has happened and include specific dates. You then hand it to your supervisor and if nothing is done you move up to human resources. When still nothing is done it is time to hunt for a better job. Now if you are intent on keeping that job or feel you have no other choice then are some helpful tips.

Read full story

How Bullying Affects One's Mental Health

news cover

On the first day of high school I had this sinking feeling that my too short for his age and highly functioning autistic son was going to struggle. At thirteen other kids tower over him and as someone who lacks the right social skills the bullies overpower him. I didn’t want my feeling to be right in fact just like any other parent I wanted it to be wrong. After all, I myself had been bullied all through school so I knew what it felt like. When he came home all upset I knew something was wrong. He had been getting shoved and pushed around during gym. It escalated to the point of him being pinned to the ground. I immediately rushed to the school the next morning. I was told the problem was dealt with and the bully was separated from him. But then a few more bullies popped up and I suddenly realized that I was heading into deep waters. I suddenly found a lack of communication at the school. No one wanted to really acknowledge the big problem. In this day and age during a deadly pandemic it seems that everyone is obsessed with mask mandates and vaccine mandates. No one is paying attention to the bullying issues happening in the schools. Even more disturbing is that when it comes to bullying adults are just as guilty. Just check out The New York Times every time it mentions the COVID vaccine. Just read the articles on mask mandates and those referred to as Anti-Vaxxers. Adults are ripping each other to shreds over those issues and if you don’t agree they will gladly rip you apart as well. It comes as no surprise that some children are acting out while others are being terrorized. The truly sad part is that some still have the mentality that kids will be kids. Authority figures aren’t stopping to really see what is going on which leads me to the definition of bullying. Bullying is not only hurtful teasing but it is force, a threat to abuse and aggressively intimidate or dominate another human being. Bullying has long lasting effects on one's mental health and can lead to a variety of different problems such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, emotional problems, damage to one's self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, not wanting to eat, behavioral problems and substance abuse. These problems can lead a bullied child down a dangerous path. It can leave them feeling their is no hope and has actually led a few to commit suicide. When faced with this issue long ago I ended up with post traumatic stress order, depression and anxiety. It is something that has followed me for years. You are reminded by the past and the fact that there is no way to erase it. Someone once told me that a bully is someone who lacks confidence in themselves and who may have behavioral issues themselves. Perhaps they come from an abusive environment. But does that make it acceptable for them to bully and hurt your child? No it doesn’t and until the school enforces the so-called “Zero Tolerance for Bullying” rule there will continue to be issues in the school. I have since removed my son from public school and have opted for the cyber school route instead. However, I can see the sadness in his eyes over the fact that he won’t be able to join the Art Club or Technology Club. It breaks my heart and makes me angry at the same time. I can only hope that someday the school administrators will put their foot down and put an end to bullying. Until then it is a stand that many of us parents will have to make.

Read full story

Parents Wage War Against Mask Mandates

Across the country the Delta Virus continues to sicken and hospitalize thousands of people. Whereas the first wave mainly struck adults, the second wave is now hitting children. As someone who works as an office assistant at a doctor’s office we have been seeing an alarming rate of children coming for COVID tests. Many of those tests are coming back positive. It only takes one infected person to compromise the health of those around them. So when you send a sick child to school you are playing a game of Russian roulette. Is it just the sniffles? Is it allergies? Or is it that dreaded virus COVID. I saw this problem coming way before it did. I knew with so many families going off on vacations to the beach, other states or even countries that something was bound to happen. When you place yourself among hundreds of other people who aren’t wearing a mask and who may indeed be sick you are placing yourself at risk. Now you come back from vacation and your child says “Mom, I don’t feel well.” It’s the first day of school and you just assume that it's the first day jitters. You don’t think much about it until you get that dreaded call that your child is in the nurse's office and is running a fever. You call the pediatrician who of course has to go by the CDC guidelines and recommend your child be tested. It comes back positive and when it does the school is alerted and every child your child came in contact with has to be quarantined and tested themselves. With school’s seeing record amounts of cases and kid’s having to be quarantined it has come as no surprise that governor’s are cracking down. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has declared that on September 7 masks must be worn by every student and teacher. The school mask mandate has sparked a war among residents in not only my town and state but across the country. It has divided parents with some being against it and some for it. At school board meetings across the country parents were voicing their opinions and concerns on the topic. One of the main concerns being that one’s child will be forced to wear a mask all day. Now with most schools not having air conditioning this will also prove to be a challenge as students are already miserable in hot classrooms. Add a mask and you are bound to have more issues. Now on the other side you have the parents who are vaccinated and believe all children should be vaccinated. Since this isn’t happening they fully believe in students wearing masks and if they had it their way everyone would wear them everywhere. So the fight has begun and at one local meeting the parents were in a fit of rage over the board backing mask mandate. This issue will no doubt continue to divide families as some parents begin pulling their kids out to cyber at home. An even bigger problem, however, lies ahead. It’s been stated that unless there is a valid medical reason a child must wear a mask. Doctor’s offices are already getting calls from parents who want a letter from the doctor excusing their child from wearing a mask. However, we have been told that we must stick to the mandate and that unless the child has a severe condition we are not allowed to write letters for every kid whose parents request one. This will no doubt lead to parents pulling their kids out of the practice and taking them to a doctor who will write that letter. So whereas this pandemic began with destroying an economy that still remains crippled it is about to cause the breakdown of schools and doctor’s offices. As a parent myself I have to look at it from both views. My son and I both had COVID back in February and whereas he had a mild form of the virus I ended up with COVID Pneumonia and still health issues to this day. I understand the fear and I understand that families don’t want to go through this and that it poses a great risk to everyone involved. But I also see it from the other side. For a child like mine who has anxiety and has panic attacks, if he has to wear a mask too long it’s going to be a challenge. Masks are claustrophobic to some of us myself included and one wonders just how strict this mandate will be. Will they have to wear them at their desks? Will they have to wear them at the gym? Or in the lunch line? Will they have to wear them during sports practice? Just how strict is this going to be and will it be of any help? After all, we still saw COVID cases even when kids were wearing the mask. So will it really help? There are still so many questions that haven't been answered.

Read full story