Listen to LaTonya's World

Welcome to the Tuesday guest blog. Every Tuesday "On Balance" features the views of a guest writer. It could be your neighbor, your boss, your most loved or hated poster from the blog, or you! Send me your original, unpublished story (300 words or fewer) for consideration. Obviously, the topic should be something related to balancing your life.

By LaTonya Poole

Today, we're trying a different type of Guest Blog -- an audio interview with LaTonya Poole, full-time government employee, mom of two kids under ten and entrepreneur. So, put on your headphones or shut your office door and
hear about LaTonya's life juggling work, motherhood and starting her own business, N The Loop On-line.

Editor: Jonathan Forsythe -- washingtonpost.com, Reporter: Leslie Morgan Steiner

LaTonya's premier online clothing consignment store is N The Loop On-line.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  January 30, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Guest Blogs
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Comments

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Good for her!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 7:18 AM

Where's the insight in this? Gee, she works a lot and has a hard time finding quality time with her kids, tries to make it up on the weekends. She is exactly like everyone else. Waste of time.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 7:38 AM

THIRD!

Posted by: AND NOBODY CARES | January 30, 2007 7:46 AM

Why is it audio?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 7:55 AM

No speakers on my PC. Can anyone give me the gist of the story, where she works, etc.?

Thank you in advance.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 7:57 AM

Sorry, but I need an option to read her thoughts. I just can't hear very well. Her experience is valuable and hearing/reading what she has to say is important.

Posted by: dotted | January 30, 2007 8:27 AM

How about you find an intern to rattle off a transcript? Otherwise I'm guessing we won't see more than 30 comments (not counting ones writing that we can't hear/don't have access/etc.)...

Posted by: lead balloon | January 30, 2007 8:38 AM

For those of you that lack software/hardware:

Leslie conducted an interview in a Q/A format with Latonya
This is my summary of the discussion, (not a transcript):

Background:
Full time procurement Specialist for US government
8 year old girl attending elementary school
3 year old goes to daycare

challanges:
time management, most of time spent in car. When she arrives at home there is barely enough time to do dinner and get ready for the next day.

Quality Time is spent on Weekends. extra curicular activities have been cut in favor of family time and her kids help her out with her consignment business.

She started a new online consignment business. She likes to shop and ever since she has been a little girl, she has had the hobby and talent of buying and reselling things.

She Likes to work consignment. She doesn't want to be a stay at home mom, and would still work if she won the lottery.

Greatest Joy:
Watching her kids grow up. Every day, something new.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 30, 2007 8:40 AM

I hope her online business works out, it sounds like a good idea.

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 8:54 AM

not a good format. not interested in sitting here listening to audio

And I'm always leery of "government employees" who are also entrepreneurs. I've known of too many who are actually running their business on the taxpayers time/dime while not doing the job they're paid by us to do!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 9:18 AM

"And I'm always leery of "government employees" who are also entrepreneurs. I've known of too many who are actually running their business on the taxpayers time/dime while not doing the job they're paid by us to do!"

I second that.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 9:20 AM

The following comment is rated for:
[X] Off Topic
[X] Personal

Missicat, I've always enjoyed reading your posts because they are pleasant or remarkably witty. However, due to the unfortunate nature of my voice software, your posting name, until last week, has been pronounced as "Miss Sicket", which does a total injustice to your personality.

I finally change the phonetic annunciation of the letter sequence "Missicat" to be pronounced as "Missy Cat".

Much better! And now you've become more beautiful than ever before.

Just thought you would like to know...

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 30, 2007 9:23 AM

That's neat.

I greatly admire people who have full-time jobs and find the energy to do something else as well. Wasn't "Moby Dick" written while Melville was a Customs House agent?

Any thought of becoming an eBay reseller? We had a relative move out of her home and into an apartment, then a nursing home and stuff keeps coming to our house. We know it's worth something but the whole thing of selling it seems so hard.

Posted by: RoseG | January 30, 2007 9:30 AM

Wow, maybe I haven't followed this blog too long, but there are a lot of bitter, cynical remarks this morning. I could really pick these comments apart, but I'll just say it seems that half of you have this "what's in it for me" attitude. Well, guess what, every article in this blog will not be for you or about you. This article could possibly inspire some other parent to pursue the goals/dreams they have of starting a business. The title of the blog is "on-balance" and Ms. Poole talks about how she balances her career goals with her family obligations. Seems very appropriate to me. If its not for you today, visit again later in the week. Otherwise, if you can't say something uplifting, don't waste space for the rest of us.

Posted by: caligal | January 30, 2007 9:32 AM

Don't like the format - I don't have headphones at work and sit in an open area, so I can't listen. Please post a transcript.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | January 30, 2007 9:34 AM

"And I'm always leery of "government employees" who are also entrepreneurs. I've known of too many who are actually running their business on the taxpayers time/dime while not doing the job they're paid by us to do!"

...versus spending how much time on this blog every day?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 9:45 AM

Um, we could all talk about something other than the blog, but vaguely related. How do you guys feel about consignment/thrift store shopping?

I was raised with it and when I was little I hated having second-hand things. In high school when I was responsible for more of my own purchases, my friends and I LOVED thrift stores and spent many a Saturday digging through them. My apartment today (especially my kitchen) was furnished at thrift stores and garage sales with some really nice things (I got a Brita pitcher and filters still in the box for $2 at a garage sale and a beautiful hardwood, art deco desk for $30 at GoodWill).

Posted by: running | January 30, 2007 9:56 AM

The other problem with the audio blog is we can't go back and pick the person apart word by agonizing word. What fun is that?

Posted by: lead balloon | January 30, 2007 9:57 AM

I'm a fan of thrift stores too, but in the process of moving with little more than the clothes on my back, I have to sell a ton of stuff. Anyone have any ideas on how to sell my furniture/decor stuff?

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 10:05 AM

For the folks who have larger items to sell - try Craig's list.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 30, 2007 10:08 AM

Fof4 - thanks!;-) Glad you fixed that, would hate to go through life (any part of it) as Miss Sicket...

Mona - Have you tried craigslist?

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 10:13 AM

...versus spending how much time on this blog every day?

Posted by: | January 30, 2007 09:45 AM

Some of us have jobs where our performance is judged by our productivity - what a novel, capitalist concept. If I choose to spend 20 minutes, total, on this blog per day, that's my time and it's my call. I'll generate business and respond to client calls when I choose and if I don't do it today, it'll be this evening or on Saturday.

When a government employee wastes time between the hours of 7:30 - 8 and 5, that time is never given back to the taxpayers, per se. She goes home at 5 regardless. There is a difference.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 10:16 AM

"I've known of too many who are actually running their business on the taxpayers time/dime while not doing the job they're paid by us to do!"

Right and what about the ones that conduct their busy social lives on my dime? Weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, school field trips - all carefully scheduled and micro-managed on the taxpayers' time and equipment. The woman in the next cubicle has been "doing her taxes" for weeks!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 10:25 AM

Don't like the format today. Toodles!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 10:26 AM

Boooo on audio - Not very conducive to a working environment. Usually there are 80+ comments by now. Thusfar no one has said anything terrible substantial. I think this experiment failed.

Posted by: Smitch | January 30, 2007 10:28 AM

Well of course she's running her other business on government time, we all know that government employees are not required to produce anything, to remain employed only requires that you show up,and then get along with your fellow employees. Thats why she is such a super person and mom, congraluations.

Posted by: mcewen | January 30, 2007 10:30 AM

Offtopic alert..
Anyone planning on getting Microsoft Vista?

Posted by: MIssicat | January 30, 2007 10:30 AM

I too am a thrift-store/garage sale junkie. I've bought fireplace andirons ($15), a 40-gal fishtank and stand ($80), lots of clothes and toys for my 18-month-old...

These methods of buying are a godsend for those of us raising children. My mom, brother and I used to go garage-saling every saturday morning in the summer. It was so much fun!

I still love going.

Kudos to today's interviewee for her motivation to start a new business. It's very admirable. You have to have a lot of drive and ambition to keep that going. Her children will learn a lot from her passion for working!

Posted by: Rebecca | January 30, 2007 10:33 AM

I wish LaTonya well in her on-line consignment venture. I know people like her that practically make a second living out of buying and selling personal items - whether it be on ebay, at consignment shops, mother's groups or plain old garage sales. It takes patience and practice to get good at it - so I admire her for that quality.

Posted by: cmac | January 30, 2007 10:33 AM

I think some non-feds on this blog need some misconceptions corrected. I have been a fed for 20 yrs and have never worked on a staff where I could leave just because it was quitting time. If there was work that needed to be done, we stayed until it was done - many times without OT or comp as was the agency's internal/informal policy. We are not all 8 to 4:30-ers who take every minute owed them in breaks and lunch.

There are good employees and bad employees everywhere, and I don't think it should make a difference whether it is the taxpayer's dollar or the shareholder's dollar at stake.

Posted by: Fed Employee | January 30, 2007 10:34 AM

Yeah, craigslist is the way to go.

BTW Mona, I just caught up on yesterday's blog and I can't believe how many people were so up in arms about flying with cats! I'm allergic to cats (which sucks because I would love to have a few!), but I've never had a problem. I carry Benadryl where ever I go just in case.

Just know that most people don't have a problem with it, and I personally wish I saw more pets in the cabin! Last month flying to Nashville, there was a little yorkie in a pet carrier in the ticketing line. People were stopping and cooing and smiling. He made everyone's flight.

Posted by: Meesh | January 30, 2007 10:34 AM

"I've known of too many who are actually running their business on the taxpayers time/dime while not doing the job they're paid by us to do!"

The only government employee I have known who ran their own business out of their government cubicle was not only fired, but was escorted out in handcuffs by the police.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 10:35 AM

my lord - as if govt employees are the only office employees who borrow the fax, the copier, or the magic markers for personal stuff...or waste time on the phone...or surf the internet....or spend hours on phone arguing with insurance company...or file a refinance application....

some people can do that and be productive - there is a standard of prodution in all jobs - and some can't.

the people who can't do that are those working in service or manufacturing who don't have desks, phones, computers, or breaks....

Posted by: wasting time at work | January 30, 2007 10:36 AM

Some of us can't listen in (I work in a cubicle and plugging in headphones to my computer would raise some eyebrows), so I vote not to continue the audio-only idea.

Posted by: 215 | January 30, 2007 10:37 AM

"Well of course she's running her other business on government time, we all know that government employees are not required to produce anything, to remain employed only requires that you show up,and then get along with your fellow employees. Thats why she is such a super person and mom, congraluations."

Yep, and naptime is at 10 followed by juice and cookies (paid by the taxpayer of course). Sorry that we can't cut it in the dynamic business world where no one ever slacks off even for a second for fear of sending the entire economy into an irreversable downward spiral. Getting sleepy, going to crawl under my desk for awhile.

Posted by: govtboy | January 30, 2007 10:39 AM

Leslie,

Trying something new is usually a good thing, but in this case, I think it's sad and unfair to the guest blogger. She deserved to have her story heard just as everyone does, but you assume that everyone who visits this blog has audio on their computers and an office door to close!

Not everyone is as fortunate to have those things.

Perhaps it would have been better to include this as an alternative. Still have the guest write her piece to post, and give the option to view it (or additional material) through a different medium.

Another idea: alert the bloggers the day before, so maybe they have some time to prepare?

Just a thought.

Posted by: to Leslie | January 30, 2007 10:44 AM

...versus spending how much time on this blog every day?

The diffrence is that you don't have to buy our product--whatever it is. So if we blog, that is on our company. If a fed blogs or whatever, that is on my dime.

(Not to be read as any critism of today's guest)

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 10:44 AM

From the 10:35 post:

The only government employee I have known who ran their own business out of their government cubicle was not only fired, but was escorted out in handcuffs by the police.

Yup, second that. During my Fed days, I had a former boss (GS-15) who used a Government computer to run her liquor store. That led to a conviction in a Federal court. Oh, and it also led to the loss of her Howard County liquor store, since you can't hold a liquor license as a convicted felon.

I worked as a Fed for 17 years, and have now been in private industry for 7. There's very little difference in the work forces. Lots of dedicated, hard working people more interested in getting the job done than watching the clock, and a few bad apples giving everyone a bad name. The only difference is how easy or hard it is to get rid of those few bad apples.

Posted by: Army Brat | January 30, 2007 10:51 AM

I guess there are alot of fed haters here - some of us work very hard and read while we are waiting for something else (ie, copier to warm up, etc). Too bad we aren't such paragons of virtue like those in the private sector - the Enron guys for example.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 30, 2007 10:53 AM

whoa, the nastiness towrds government employees is really surprising or maybe not. how about government contractors who run a business while on the taxpayer's dime? i've known several.

Posted by: quark | January 30, 2007 10:55 AM

Thanks KLB, Miss Sicket, and Meesh!

The regulars on this blog are the reasons I keep coming back. :-)

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 10:56 AM

From "private industry":

The diffrence is that you don't have to buy our product--whatever it is. So if we blog, that is on our company. If a fed blogs or whatever, that is on my dime.

Nope - that's only true if the employee, private or Government, doesn't get the work done. When I was a Fed, I was typically in the office from about 0630 (after I got married; earlier when I was single) until about 1730. Count 'em; that's 11 hours. So if I took 20 minutes to read something or respond to a post, how exactly is it your dime?

Ever since I got out of college and didn't have to work pumping gas or bagging groceries, I've insisted on - and only accepted - jobs where the criteria is "doing the work and making the customer happy", NOT "putting in X hours".

Most people I work with - Fed and private life - are the same. I grant you that that's not true of everybody, but it's true of a lot.

Posted by: Army Brat | January 30, 2007 10:57 AM

From "private industry":

The diffrence is that you don't have to buy our product--whatever it is. So if we blog, that is on our company. If a fed blogs or whatever, that is on my dime.

Nope - that's only true if the employee, private or Government, doesn't get the work done. When I was a Fed, I was typically in the office from about 0630 (after I got married; earlier when I was single) until about 1730. Count 'em; that's 11 hours. So if I took 20 minutes to read something or respond to a post, how exactly is it your dime?

Ever since I got out of college and didn't have to work pumping gas or bagging groceries, I've insisted on - and only accepted - jobs where the criteria is "doing the work and making the customer happy", NOT "putting in X hours".

Most people I work with - Fed and private life - are the same. I grant you that that's not true of everybody, but it's true of a lot.

Posted by: Army Brat | January 30, 2007 10:59 AM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 10:59 AM

So how about all those readers who read klb as being an MD, rather then from MD??

That rivaled miss siccet. And I will also be reading missicat as mis siccet now. smile...

Posted by: dotted | January 30, 2007 11:03 AM

Army brat,

I did work in the fed gov't for a while and at that particular workplace, many people did nothing but watch the clock. My wife works as a contractor for the state gov't, she knows of many clock watchers there also. I have heard many first hand accounts of indviduals who come to work for a state or federal gov't agency. The newbies are told to slow down, lest the newbies embarrass the long time employees.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 11:05 AM

Thanks KLB, Miss Sicket, and Meesh!

The regulars on this blog are the reasons I keep coming back. :-)

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 10:56 AM

HEYYYYYY! *sniff*

Posted by: MISSICAT | January 30, 2007 11:05 AM

"If a fed blogs or whatever, that is on my dime."

My tax dollars pay for many things that I will never use or benefit from personally, but I recognize the important work that many feds do everyday. Sure they might waste some time that I am technically paying for in some very small personal way, but who the heck doesn't waste some time on the job - this is real life after all, not some TV show where the characters are on the go all the time. Cut them some slack.

Posted by: getreal | January 30, 2007 11:08 AM

I've noticed that more & more people I know are involved in at home retail sales - baskets, Pampered Cheff, candles, sexy panties & bras, you know - girl stuff and a reason to throw a party that men won't get caught dead at...

But anyway, I understand that a business owner has 3 years to cut a profit before the government considers it a hobby...

Meanwhile, the owner can claim tax write-offs such as new computer, software, phone, DSL connection, gas mileage, entertainment expenses (tickets to ball game), ect...

Surely, there is somebody on this blog that has experience with these kind of gigs and can explain a little more about how I can save a little more on taxes if I get the hookup. I don't mind paying my share, but preliminary estimates indicate that I'm really going to get spanked by taxes next year if I don't come up with something quick.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 30, 2007 11:09 AM

"The newbies are told to slow down, lest the newbies embarrass the long time employees. "

This happened to me in the private sector. The union steward told me to slow waay down, because I was making the old timers look bad.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 11:09 AM

"Sorry that we can't cut it in the dynamic business world where no one ever slacks off even for a second for fear of sending the entire economy into an irreversible downward spiral"

If we don't produce in private industry, our personal economy does goes into a irreversible downward spiral. We actually get fired! Or in the case of Enron, put in jail.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 11:11 AM

to private industry:

Bummer; sounds like your experiences were very different than mine. As I noted, the main differences I've observed between public/private sector employment is the difficulty of getting rid of an employee who is watching clocks more than keeping the customer happy. In the private sector, it's fairly easy to do, as long as it's done for job performance reasons. In the public sector, a supervisor has to really, really want to get rid of an employee who's doing too much clock watching. So they tend to stay a long time and sometimes present the external image of an organization. And I don't doubt that one or two clock watchers has told a newbie "don't make me look bad", but the smart newbie files that advice exactly where it's appropriate. (And FWIW, I've heard that same advice given in the private sector as well, at some pretty high-tech and high-performing companies.)

(What, talk about today's blog topic? Get back on topic? Okay, how about this - it's fine to post an audio file, but please only if there's a written transcript. A number of people have pointed out that it's not always possible to listen to the audio file, for whatever reason.)

Posted by: Army Brat | January 30, 2007 11:13 AM

Father of 4

Don't you get some kind of tax breaks for being blind?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 11:14 AM

What can I say? Unions sometimes have more Byzantine work rules and regulations than any gov't.

I recall a post from a few days back from a fed worker. He (or she) stated that he was busy working on a report that no one would see or use. How is that for productivity? Why would that person continue in such a job? Other than to put bread on the table.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 11:16 AM

Father of 4

Don't you get some kind of tax breaks for being blind?


Do you get one for being an idiot

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 11:17 AM

Well, I was in the army and worked at the post office. This is my direct experience and then, as I said, I have many first hand accounts as I know alot of federal and state employees.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 11:19 AM

Okay, Missicat, that's the last time I call you Miss Sicket. I did think that story was clever and funny, though. ((hugs)) Truce?

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 11:25 AM

Actually, that is very funny - wonder who else gets a creative nickname that way??
Think of the possibilities. :-)

My father was in the gov't his whole career, and he put in some serious hours. He was in the SES, that may make a big difference.

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 11:32 AM

Since we broke a record for comments yesterday--over 500, let's try for the least amount of comments today!

Posted by: First Comment | January 30, 2007 11:42 AM

I've noticed that more & more people I know are involved in at home retail sales - baskets, Pampered Cheff, candles, sexy panties & bras.

These are NOT businesses, they are ways to bother and badger your friends and neighbors. Everyone hates people who have these stupid things, but are too polite to say anything. I love the SAHMs who say they "work" because they do Pampered Chef - hahahahah.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 11:43 AM

[I have many first hand accounts as I know alot of federal and state employees.]
But you don't know all of them. Plenty of private sector jobs have regulations about using your workstation computer for personal use...like this blog; your boss isn't paying you to read the Post. So why don't we just agree that there are good and bad employees everywhere. BTW, those government employees pay taxes just like you do. And even if you get paid for performance your boss could say that the 20 minutes you spent here is 20 minutes you could've been producing for your company.

Posted by: not a fed but... | January 30, 2007 11:48 AM

11:43, same with Mary Kay, Avon and "Home Interiors." Anyone else ever heard of Home Interiors? My whole family does this garbage. Their homes are full of it. I have one or two pieces I received as gifts, and they're both so girly my roommate refuses to let me bring them out of my room (I used to have more, but I gave it away). Imagine tons of fake flowers, prints of bad art in gaudy gold frames, cozy little country scenes of weeds growing out of a mailbox with a little bird on top, statues of deer and majestic eagles. They eat it up! They waste their money on this stuff, and they don't even get paid for it. They get "points" for hosting a party, which are redeemable for--you guessed it--more junk. I've tried telling them I prefer a minimalist approach, but every time I move into a new place, it's "Oh--can we buy you more stuff now?!?!" Yeesh.

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 11:50 AM

Why don't we stop the sweeping generalizations about government workers? If you REALLY want to stop the waste of your tax dollars start checking on the spending bills that Congress approves. That Alaskan bridge to nowhere used up way more money than some low level GSer ever could. And that's just one example of waste, there are several billion more.

Posted by: pork projects | January 30, 2007 11:52 AM


Gee thanks, Meesh. I'm glad you don't worry that emergency inhalers and antihistamine might not be enough to hold off a severe asthma attack, should you be forced to stay exposed to a virulent allergen for hours in an airplane away from medical help. Those of us who do worry are just so . . . petty, huh? Hey, please keep that wheezing down while you expire . . .

I'm glad the topic came up, as it would never have occurred to me to ask my air carriers about this, and I will from now on. Unfortunately, though, I don't trust airlines who allow the practice to keep accurate track of which flights will be safe or not, so it just adds another crapshoot to life.


>BTW Mona, I just caught up on yesterday's >blog and I can't believe how many people >were so up in arms about flying with cats! >I'm allergic to cats (which sucks because I >would love to have a few!), but I've never >had a problem. I carry Benadryl where ever I >go just in case.

Posted by: KB | January 30, 2007 11:52 AM

Mona - Home Interiors? Are they still around? eeek. They make my eyes bleed.

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 11:53 AM

Mona, the deal with cat dander is that the particles are much smaller and stay airborne much longer than dog dander. My husband is allergic to both cats and dogs, but much more so to cats.

That said, as long as he was seated away from a cat in an airplane, I doubt it would bother him unduly.

Posted by: Lizzie | January 30, 2007 12:01 PM

If people are going to sell stuff I would much prefer them to give me a catalog and I will look and see if I want to buy something. Going to the house for a "party" is never fun. I do like some of the Pampered Chef stuff but I guess you can do as well at Williams Sonoma.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 30, 2007 12:02 PM

My employer does specifically allow for personal use and I am judged on job performance not hours attended.

I do agree about the bridge to nowhere!

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 12:05 PM

I went to a silbada (?) jewelry party last night. I had a good time. I've gone to a few Southern Living at Home parties too. I see it as an excuse to connect with people I don't see day to day, but are in the neighborhood. Maybe even meet new people. Anything to make/renew connections is good.

Posted by: dotted | January 30, 2007 12:10 PM

KB, everything in life is a crapshoot. I'm also glad you got the information you need to make an intelligent decision on which airline to use. It was pointed out yesterday that Southwest does not permit animals (except guide dogs) anywhere on their aircraft, so you could fly with them. They're a reasonably good airline (not my cup of tea, but they are pretty much always on time or early, weather permitting). It surprised me how many people with "severe" allergies didn't notify their airlines (people with peanut allergies do this, so I figured people with pet allergies would too)...but it just showed my self-centered nature, as I live with pets and not allergies. I guess this is one more issue where we have to strike a balance between people's conflicting wants and needs. Regardless, snark and name-calling and self-righteous up-in-arms defensiveness gets us nowhere...positive and productive communication is the key.

Again, I'm glad you are now aware that some people fly with pets on board. Now when you fly, you can choose an airline which doesn't allow this. :-)

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 12:10 PM

Mona and the rest,

I too HATE those sell at home pyramid scheme parties. They're shark like and prey on your guilt as a friend.

I have a friend who's gotten into them and now it seems the only social thing she does is those parties. I get regular invites to food/clothes/jewelry/scrap booking(!) parties. I haven't worked up the guts to tell her I'd love to see her, but not at something I feel is a shakedown. How have you guys dealt with this issue?

Posted by: running | January 30, 2007 12:11 PM

running, et al:

Yep, Home Interiors is still around. It only took a few replies of "no thanks, my apartment is too small, and I'm a broke student" to get the invites to recede. That, and I live in a different state. Still, I get offers every time I move...thank god my next move will be to California...I'd like to see them try to reach me there...bwahaha...

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 12:14 PM

The scrapbooking shakedowns are the worse! Who has time for this crap? The stuff can burn in a fire, is easily damaged, ect. Better to put the photos on disc and store 'em in cyberspace and/or a safe deposit box.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 12:17 PM

You feel like those parties are a shake down? Wow. I don't feel any pressure to buy anything. I must be lucky or something.

Posted by: dotted | January 30, 2007 12:17 PM

Running, I know what you mean! I used to not know anyone who hosted those at home sales parties but now I do! :-( I went the first time, am not going to the latest event and I tend to keep my wallet firmly in my purse.

I have an aunt who is quite successful at Pampered Chef but she came from a retail background (family owned a gift store). She built her business by a lot of networking -- would do a free cooking demonstration at the library/community center to meet potential new hostesses. I have never attended a single party she has given or ever felt pressure to buy.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | January 30, 2007 12:23 PM

running: sorry, I forgot to reply to your query about how to fend off invites. Try these, some of them worked for me:

--Sorry, my husband feels emasculated by all these beautiful things. If *HE* decorated the place, it'd be all neon beer lights and stolen traffic signs.

--Oooh, I LOVE (insert name of scam here)! But I'm so broke; I have to pay off student loans/attorney fees/medical bills/car note/mortgage....

--Thanks, but my place is full of stuff! I'd have to get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new stuff...hey, would you like some of my old stuff?

--That sounds fun, but I have to, you know, WORK and make a living. How about happy hour Friday night, though?

--How about forwarding me a catalog, I'll look at it on my own time, and instead of the party, I'll take you to lunch?

--Oh darn, I already HAVE a sterling-silver plated widget with a rhinestone-encrusted smooshy! Thanks though!

--I'm on a diet. Let's go running instead!

--Sure, I'll come to your party and buy something, if you contribute to my (insert name of charitable organization fund or school charity thingy here)

--Oooh, Tupperware! Perfect for my niece's Girl Scout cookies! Hey, who wants Girl Scout cookies?!

--Makeup? Sure! The more you buy, the more you save? Awesome! That reminds me...wanna buy some Tupperware?

ad nauseum. I'm sure you can add your own to this list, as will I, if I can think of any. The one that worked most for me was: I can barely make rent/my apartment is too small/I have to pay for tuition and books. My family always felt so guilty about spending money on gaudy junk instead of paying for college that it didn't take much for them to back off.

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 12:24 PM

I can never find a matching container and top in the cabinet for leftovers. I think all companies that sell that stuff change the sizes of the containers every 6 months.

Except for Cool Whip, and the non-dairy whipped cream comes free!

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 30, 2007 12:31 PM

I enjoyed this audio interview. It brought something different to the blog. Although I'm not sure I would want to listen to the audio interviews daily, it adds a nice touch. It's sometimes nice to hear other mothers' points of view about the hustle-and-bustle of everyday motherhood.

I checked out Latonya's on-line consignment website. Looks like a great business idea for people who love to shop premier designer brands but don't want to pay full price. Good luck, Latonya!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 12:34 PM

Some people feel obligated to buy at these parties when it is obvious that the host/hostesses have gone to a lot of trouble and expense with the food, drink, decorations, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 12:37 PM

I like Home Interior.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 12:58 PM

I used to have a friend (key words: USED TO), and the only time she'd ever call me was to try to sell me Mary Kay. She'd even couch it: like "hey I'm having a bunch of girls over for drinks on Friday, wanna come?" and then it would turn out to be a Mary Kay fest. Eventually I just stopped returning her calls. I probably should have been straight with her as to why, but there was a bit of a political situation there (my mom is good friends with her mom), so I just let the "friendship" die. She's apparently still confused as to why LOL.

Posted by: StudentMom | January 30, 2007 1:08 PM

I've known of too many who are actually running their business on the taxpayer's time/dime while not doing the job they're paid by us to do!"

For those who think only government employees work on the taxpayers/employers'' dime.

I worked for the government for 24 years and saw very little of it.

Unfortunately, I've worked in the corporate world (information technology) for 5 years and that's all I see. Engineers, developers, etc all consulting on the employer's time and dime. Not to mention those of you at work, yet on this blog - oh, that's me, well I'm at lunch....

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 1:09 PM

and how will your cd with all those family photos escape the fire that destroys the paper? who's to say that 20 years from now the software will be able to read the cd? however, i do think that putting a copy of those pictures on a cd for safekeeping isn't a bad idea.

i have 5 photo albums my grandparents made. i treasure them & am thankful that my grandmother(s) and grandfather took the time to put them together. i have a picture of the last queen of hawaii, fdr when he was secretary of the navy & pre-polio, and several of general black jack pershing. true, my son or grandchild(ren) may toss my scrapbooks but i hope not.

Posted by: quark | January 30, 2007 1:17 PM

I have no idea what to say, KB. I did not mean to belittle your apparently deadly case of cat allergy. For your sake, I hope you check the flights ahead of time to make sure that it is not an issue because there is no regulation banning pets on most flights.

FWIW, I was surprised at the number of people who just plain didn't want animals in the cabin, much like the people saying they didn't want kids in the cabin. I did not say that those with allergies were whining; I was merely pointing out that I never had a problem with my allergies.

Posted by: Meesh | January 30, 2007 1:19 PM

I second the aversion to home buying parties. I have typically not gone to these things--not interested enough to spend the time, can find other ways to socialize with friends, not interested in the products (for the most part).

I once had a friend who began a home business--I think it was Pampered Chef. She'd moved to another town, several hours away, but called me one day to talk. She mentioned her new business, and we talked about it for a bit, then the conversation moved on as I told her I had just gotten a job offer out of state and was preparing to sell my house and move. Soon her cell phone went dead. When she called me back she apologized and said they'd hit a dead spot (was in the car with her husband) in cell phone service. Then she said, "So we were talking about Pampered Chef." And then proceeded to ask me to run a party at my house. Foolishly, I agreed, feeling pressured to say yes. Later I really thought about it, and decided that I wasn't willing to invite my friends to do this sort of thing when I wouldn't go it I had the choice, I didn't really have time to do any organizing, and wouldn't want to have it in my home as I was packing up and had it on the market. So I called and explained that it couldn't happen because I was too busy with my move. She then suggested that I could have a nonparty--where I just would pass out the books and take orders. She made it very hard to say no, which I suppose is a great quality in a salesperson (although I did stick with my no).

My other bad experience with home sales businesses is that my cousin has one, and she called me once to encourage me to join her, so that I could quit my job and love my children the way I was supposed to. ????? Never mind that most of these parties are at night, and that my kids are in school, so afternoon/night time is the time I can see them anyway.

Posted by: single mother by choice | January 30, 2007 1:27 PM


Thanks Mona. What bothered me more than the conflict between needs (inevitable when lots of people with very different everyday lives are crammed into the shared living space of an airline together, and locked in) was the attitude that those with health objections were just being self-centered and troublesome --- sort of like the reaction some omnivores have to the mere existence of vegetarians.

Anyway, I'll check my usual airlines (Delta and Airtran, as an Atlantan). BTW, I haven't heard an early boarding call for travelers with young children in many many years, so variation between carriers seems to reign.

Anyway, a big difference between this and a peanut/anaphylactic allergy is that any single exposure to peanuts/anaphylactic allergens can instantly become life-threatening, and those with a history of those reactions know that their lives are subject to a single life-threatening exposure any time (though they all first had reactions that came out of the blue, too --- I think people really overestimate how failsafe the protections of others can always be.) I've never really considered my cat allergy to be life-threatening, because I've always been able to *get away* from the cat, then bring my symptoms under control with rescue inhalers and antihistamines. It's the issue of not being able to get away from continued exposure that is new and unexpected. Frankly I don't know what would happen with a cat in the cabin, whether I could control the reaction or not, but I'd rather not find out.

I appreciate that you're doing your best to not put others at risk. I wish I trusted the airlines more on this, but I don't . . .

Posted by: KB | January 30, 2007 1:28 PM

Anyone working for a publicly-traded company is ripping off share-holders (including mutual fund holders)--not too different from ripping off the taxpayer now that so many people own mutual funds through 401Ks. Also, many companies in the D.C. area are contracted by the federal government, so not only those employed directly by federal agencies whose noses are not to the grindstone are ripping off taxpayers.

Posted by: To privatesector | January 30, 2007 1:28 PM

I meant to say that anyone employed by a publicly-traded company who is goofing off or running a side business is ripping off shareholders. I hope no one took it to mean that all employees of publicly-traded companies are ripping off shareholders.

Sorry for the faux pas.

Posted by: To privatesector | January 30, 2007 1:35 PM

I hate those parties too. The worst part is that they are always billed as a "get together" except many of these people have never even had me or my family over to their house and now suddenly they desperately want to socialize with me??? I make it a blanket rule not to ever go and I tell people that. If they like me they will have me over without anything to sell, if not, then I save $50.

Posted by: moxiemom | January 30, 2007 1:37 PM

I worked for federal government for 6 years and private for 4. No difference in my mind. There are federal employees who have very demanding jobs. Put in a lot of extra hours for no compensation. There are some feds who merely watch the clock. Know what, same with private industry. The only difference is in private they do a better job of hiding it. I don't know any federal employees running a business from their government offices. That is a huge federal offense. Anyone blogging is ripping off their company. And federal employees pay federal taxes too! They have every right to waste their federal dollars if they want to. The reason so many people in private industry complain about government employees is they wished they had the government jobs. If you want one, go out an apply. As long as you don't have a criminal record and is a US citizen you are more then welcome to apply. As far as those home business parties, I hate them and don't go to them now. I just find it kind of rude to ask your friends to gather up some clients for you. I figure if your product is worth selling, you shouldn't have to beg for buyers. I think the only thing sad about the guest speaker today is that she said that basically they don't have any time to do anything else but eat dinner and get ready for the day. I think people should have flex schedules. Even if it means brutual early morning commutes, you could get out of work by 3:30 and arrive home by 4:30. That would give you 4 solid hours with the kids before bed time.

Posted by: foamgnome | January 30, 2007 1:45 PM

I'm not a fan of the audio format. I usually allocate myself about 3 or 4 minutes or so to skim through this blog and the responses.... I don't have the time to listen to a three-minute audio interview.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 1:48 PM


I apologize, Meesh. I must have woke up too close to the hair trigger setting this morning and taken your post the wrong way. Yesterday was an all-purpose attractor, to child-haters, parent-haters, pet-haters . . . I wasn't thinking that your response could be spurred more by the pet-haters than those with allergy concerns . . .

To clarify, I'm happy to see pets out and about in the world; my kids especially *love* the opportunity to pet dogs after asking the owner, cats I keep at a distance but wish no ill. My only concern was the surprise forced confinement with an allergy-inducing animal . . . hopefully it's a surprise only to me . . .

As if airlines weren't unattractive enough before, with the totally uncontrolled delays, overnight cancellations, now difficulty carrying food and water, now potential for allergens, . . .ugh. With the lack of accountability/control, and the ever more crammed seating that gives everyone so little space that their territoriality reflexes are heightened . . . I certainly don't fly if I can possibly avoid it. I remember flying being much more pleasant.

Posted by: KB | January 30, 2007 1:50 PM

KB, thank you for the info. With this and yesterday's blog, I am a lot more educated about allergies than I was before, and I appreciate it. My only experience with pet allergies is with a few good friends; my best friend comes to my house occasionally and can never stay more than a few hours, even with mounds of Claritin and Benadryl. I cherish each moment she is in my place, because it's so sweet of her to put herself out just to visit me. Of course, I usually end up meeting her somewhere so that she's not stuck at my place.

I guess I wonder, also, about the possibility of triggering an attack by sitting next to a severely allergic person sans pets; because as any cat lover knows, the hair is impossible to completely remove, and dead skin cells, etc, remain on one's person even after leaving the cat behind. I wonder if that is just as bad as a cat stowed under a seat with a carrier with a blanket on top of it...because it's not as if the cat will be hurtling down the rows, shedding its fur everywhere. Or is cat dander so small and in such copious amounts that it doesn't matter what efforts one takes to contain it? I promise I'm not being sarcastic, I really want to know and value the information everyone has given me so far. I am not looking forward to this flight, and I want to cover every base and make sure that everyone's experience is as pleasant as possible.

Delta, AirTran and United allow pets in the cabin. If you have flown with them before and not had a problem, you should be fine, because people travel with pets quite often. I don't fly much but I have seen pets on about half my flights, and those are just the ones I noticed. Still, pet owners are required to inform the airline of their pets, so you should be able to find out from the airlines if your particular flight will have an animal on it. I really do want this flight to be pleasant for all, and I don't wish to cause anyone undue harm.

And the perception that those with health problems are looked upon as a burden, as you suggest, is truly unfair. How many of us have rolled our eyes as a wheelchair-bound individual rolled like a snail in front of us? And I hope I didn't come off as undermining the health problems of those who have allergies. If I became defensive, it was because one poster in particular took my decision to fly with the cats as a signal that I valued my "pampered pets" more than the lives of other humans. While I do defend my decision not to place my pets in cargo, that does not mean I don't respect and (try to) understand the ailments of others. Flying is inconvenient enough; the last thing we need is to make it even worse on each other. Luckily, most of the posters on this blog were very helpful, offering advice and opinions, even if they disagreed with my choice. That's why I love you guys. :-)

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 1:54 PM

well said Mona at 1:54...

Posted by: dotted | January 30, 2007 1:59 PM

Just a quick comment a little off topic - just to let those of you who are storing photos on CDs that CDS are NOT a good medium for storing said photos. They begin to disintegrate after about 6 months - and the marker you use on them makes it worse. The best way to store photos? That is a really good question. A portable hard drive is better than a CD. We have a couple - one at home, the other in the safe deposit box. We back things up every so often and switch them out.
Anyway - just an FYI

Posted by: WAMC | January 30, 2007 1:59 PM

Really like the idea of posting a transcript of the interview as well. Thanks for all the feedback -- first time we've tried an audio guest blog. I like the idea because of its flexibility -- I come across a lot of people who want to tell their story but don't necessarily like the written format.

Posted by: Leslie | January 30, 2007 2:03 PM

Thanks for the tip, WAMC - had no idea.

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 2:06 PM

Lelsie, I think your right that people would rather just tell their story. Written transcript would be great too for the readers.

Posted by: foamgnome | January 30, 2007 2:06 PM


Just a quick comment a little off topic - just to let those of you who are storing photos on CDs that CDS are NOT a good medium for storing said photos. They begin to disintegrate after about 6 months - and the marker you use on them makes it worse. The best way to store photos? That is a really good question. A portable hard drive is better than a CD. We have a couple - one at home, the other in the safe deposit box. We back things up every so often and switch them out.
Anyway - just an FYI

----------------------------------------

are you storing your CDs in very damp place or in some other strange condition?
This sounds very wrong to me.
I have CDs that I created that are more than a few years old and work just fine.


Posted by: to WAMC | January 30, 2007 2:07 PM

How sad, finally we get a story that the average person can relate to and, amazingly, most of the folks here can't relate. I'm sorry, but, I, for one, am tired of all the whiney back-and-forth between those who have the privilege to decide whethter to stay at home or not (myself included, although I tend not to be whiney).

Thank you Leslie for finally thinking of the average woman. Unfortunately, based on the lack of response to the content of LaTonya's statements, I doubt that you will venture into this area again. Too bad.

Posted by: BEN | January 30, 2007 2:15 PM

The reason so many people in private industry complain about government employees is they wished they had the government jobs

Sorry, do not agree with this. I cannot recall anyone in my industry going over to the gov't side of it. The gov't side does not pay as well.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 2:21 PM

I just did a quick google scan & the quotes I see give much longer.
Kodak claims their CD-Rs are good for 100 years - but others caution you should look at 10-15 years as a limit instead.
Apparently there are a few shoddy brands that have had quality control issues - but 6 months should not be acceptable (you have been ripped off.)
Sunlight & humidity can cause trouble.
There is a difference between how CD-Rs (dye) and CD-RWs (phase-change technology) work - most of the archiving suggestions I see are for CD-Rs

I doubt that the mechanics of a portable hard drive will last longer than a carefully stored cd - though they are faster and more convenient for regular large backups.

Sorry to bore everyone else...

Posted by: to WAMC again | January 30, 2007 2:24 PM

For a lot of fields, it is a trade off of money versus time. Private industry may pay more, in some fields, but not if you look at the per hour price your actually getting paid. In some fields, believe it or not, you can make more in government. DH left private industry four years ago and his salary went up 40% initially. It was a difference that some IT fields in private industry do not move on to IT management. Again, just because they don't move over doesn't mean they aren't jealous. Why would you waste all your energy worrying about how the federal employees spend their time, if you aren't inherently jealous? BTW, the biggest waste of federal dollars was probably been the current war.

Posted by: foamgnome | January 30, 2007 2:29 PM

I think the issue is that her situation is SO relatable that there's not much to say, not unlike the volunteer topic last week. Everyone agreed that she was good and that was about it. The lack of controversy or conversation should not be indicative of lack of interest - just the fact that her life looks a lot like mine.

Posted by: to BEN | January 30, 2007 2:41 PM

"Why would you waste all your energy worrying about how the federal employees spend their time, if you aren't inherently jealous? "

Because this is my tax money that could be better spent on something useful. For instance, not building that bridge in Alaska, or processing my tax return faster, or taking 4 days to give me my stolen car report rather than 8 weeks. Or just given back to me. Being envious has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 2:46 PM

private industry: Then you should put your energy into getting the most bang for your buck. You are not going to get anywhere complaining on a blog about fed employees wasting time at their job. That is probably not going to save you any more money that you spend in tax dollars. Go after the big waste of government spending, war, pet projects, roads that never get built, special contracts awarded at inflated prices. As far as I can see, all you do is complain and it gets you no where. They are not going to fire more fed employees (by the way down sizing under Reagan, cost the government more money). My theory is the government is going to waste your money anyway.

Posted by: foamgnome | January 30, 2007 2:53 PM

private industry, just stating the obvious here but the federal government has nothing to do with your stolen car report.

Posted by: DC lurker | January 30, 2007 3:02 PM

KB, I remember flying being more enjoyable too. I used to love travelling with my family as a kid and teen. Then it seemed that people stopped being nice on planes. Now every time I get on a plane I am totally anxious. I don't know why I hate flying all of a sudden, but I bet that the reasons you mentioned are part of it. It also doesn't help that I'm tall, so I am constantly uncomfortable. I always request the emergency exit row, but it is invariably already full. Do other people request this row to be more comfortable? Wouldn't it be nice if airlines saved it for people over 6 feet tall? But I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Meesh | January 30, 2007 3:05 PM

Dude, where's the Jokester? If there ever was a time we needed him/her, it's now...

I'm almost tempted to get Fo4 going on about his penchant for giving cleaning supplies for gifts, just to have something exciting to discuss.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 3:05 PM

Meesh: good luck getting the exit row - airlines tend to reserve it for frequent flyers or charge additional fees for it. United created their premium economy a few years ago - it reminds me of the seat pitch 15-20 years ago when everyone got that much space!

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | January 30, 2007 3:11 PM

No, please don't get Fof4 started on any topic...........

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 3:13 PM

"Thank you Leslie for finally thinking of the average woman. Unfortunately, based on the lack of response to the content of LaTonya's statements, I doubt that you will venture into this area again. Too bad."

I can only speak for myself, but the lack of response is because I can't listen to the audio. Please print the story.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 3:18 PM

No, please don't get Fof4 started on any topic...........

Posted by: | January 30, 2007 03:13 PM

oh, you are so lovely.

Posted by: so annoying | January 30, 2007 3:23 PM

I used to sell Tastefully Simple - it's easy to prepare gourmet foods, like appetizers and dips. It was good food that pretty much sold itself. I quit because I didn't make any money. I had to buy it all up front then sell it at home parties. I was $3000 in the hole in no time flat. I quit two years ago and still have some of the products!
The meetings were what I imagine a cult meeting would be like. Very strange and a little to hyper for me.
But, the food is good - so just buy it on ebay. Same with Mary Kay and all that other home party stuff. Just tell your rep that you buy it online cheaper. ha ha

Posted by: jump back | January 30, 2007 3:27 PM

What's with the crack re people in wheelchairs getting onto planes?

I got so seriously ill (pneumonia) last year while traveling abroad that I had to be wheeled everywhere en route back to the States (where I went directly from airport to hospital for a week). I was grateful to be wheeled through airports, boarded early, carried in the wheelchair up/down plane steps (no same-level ramps till I got back to the US), seated near a bathroom so I could manage the few steps to it. If other passengers were annoyed, well, I can promise them that I felt a whole lot worse than they did, because I was the one who was so sick. What did they expect me to do, stay in a foreign country alone and not fly home for several weeks till I'd recuperated?

Posted by: catlady | January 30, 2007 3:30 PM

I used to love flying also, now seriously dread it. I have been invited to go to Ireland this summer, but the thought of dealing with the airlines may just keep me home.

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 3:36 PM

"What's with the crack re people in wheelchairs getting onto planes?"

Catlady, relax. No one was making a comment suggesting that wheelchair-bound people shouldn't fly. I never mentioned the word "plane" or "fly" in reference to people in wheelchairs. I think you may have taken my comment out of context just a bit. I was lamenting the unfairness of people who DO undermine others' serious illnesses. In that regard, I was agreeing with KB, when she mentioned that it seemed that some posters only cared about themselves and that people who are ill "suck it up" and "stop whining." I was simply pointing out what a shame it was that we treat people so cruelly. I certainly never said or implied that people in wheelchairs shouldn't fly.

"And the perception that those with health problems are looked upon as a burden, as you suggest, is truly unfair. How many of us have rolled our eyes as a wheelchair-bound individual rolled like a snail in front of us?" Maybe it was the "truly unfair" part that confused you. I wasn't saying her perception was unfair; I was saying that people who are cruel to or impatient with those with health problems are unfair. I went on to suggest that many of us do these things, and that is unfair as well. I apologize if my poor phrasing misled you. I certainly think that people in wheelchairs, blind people, people with allergies, people with kids, whatever, can and should do whatever they want, within the confines of the law.

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 3:43 PM

Thanks, Mona. You make good points, all.

Posted by: catlady | January 30, 2007 3:51 PM

:-) No problem. Glad we cleared that up, and I hope there's no hard feelings.

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 3:54 PM

Here's a quick story for your at work entertainment about my otherwise dull and boring life:

The last time I flew, it was on my honeymoon. My doctor fixed my one good eye so I would be able to see for the last time.

The surgery involved cutting my eye open, sucking out the fluid and replacing it with freon. Then I had to lay on my belly for a week while the freon gas pushed up against my retina so it could reattach to the back of my eyeball.

When I boarded the jet, my eye was still about half full of freon gas and half full of clear liquid. My eye sort of looked like a front loading washing machine.

Then came takeoff. As the jet went higher and higher, the pressure in the cabin went lower.

And the pressure in my eye got greater and greater. The pain got severe enough, I almost passed out.

And my eye got bigger and bigger as I thought it would explode all over the place.

I looked like Bill the Cat.

Then I barfed into an airbag and everything was OK.

What a way to begin a honeymoon!

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 30, 2007 4:00 PM

Thanks again, Mona. I'm new to chats like this, so am just starting to see how hard it can be to type "on the fly" for a posting, without inadvertently creating an unintended meaning that might be slightly different from, or even the opposite of, what we meant!

Posted by: catlady | January 30, 2007 4:00 PM

Thanks again, Mona. I'm new to chats like this, so am just starting to see how hard it can be to type "on the fly" for a posting, without inadvertently creating an unintended meaning that might be slightly different from, or even the opposite of, what we meant!

Posted by: catlady | January 30, 2007 4:04 PM

Wow, Fof4, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that story...

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 4:07 PM

Thanks again, Mona. I'm new to chats like this, so am just starting to see how hard it can be to type "on the fly" for a posting, without inadvertently creating an unintended meaning that might be slightly different from, or even the opposite of, what one means!

Posted by: catlady | January 30, 2007 4:09 PM

Thanks again, Mona. I'm new to chats like this, so am just starting to see how challenging it can be to type "on the fly" for a posting, without inadvertently creating an unintended meaning that might be slightly different from, or even the opposite of, what one means!

Posted by: catlady | January 30, 2007 4:13 PM

"private industry, just stating the obvious here but the federal government has nothing to do with your stolen car report."

I was speaking of all gov't- fed, state and local. The state of Alabama in particular for my stolen car report. But it will turn up in the FBI crime stats for 2006.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 4:14 PM

Thanks again, Mona. I'm new to chats like this, so am just starting to see how challenging it can be to type "on the fly" for a posting, without inadvertently creating an unintended meaning that might be slightly different from, or even the opposite of, what one means!

Posted by: catlady | January 30, 2007 04:13 PM

Catlady - Mona definitely knows about typing on the fly! Remember the "your husband is my boyfriend" entry, Mona?

Sorry, couldn't resist ;-)

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 4:36 PM

Missicat, for a story like above you're suppose to say "Awe, poor Fo4" and pat me on the head.

Catmommy, sorry for the soapbox crack yesterday. I thought for sure you were a driveBy and wouldn't ever show up again.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 30, 2007 4:42 PM

Father of 4 -
Awww!

*pat pat pat*

Posted by: Missicat | January 30, 2007 4:46 PM

Wow you all are so mean on this board. Everyone has their own experiences and LaTonya was kind enough to share hers as a working mom via audio. So what it's a different format than what you're used to. I'm sure you wouldn't like someone cutting up what you do to balance your life. I won't be visiting this board again because I'm afraid you all will judge me too.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 4:47 PM

Father of 4,
Thank goodness your eye didn't explode. You could have been sued by the people sitting near you who would have been upset by the spectacle.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 30, 2007 4:47 PM

Missicat, how could I forget? I'm glad everyone got a good laugh over my mistype. I did too, once I realized what I'd said. :-P

F04, awww, that really does sound like a terrible experience. My eyes are extreeeemely sensitive; I don't know how you handled that without wanting to tear your eyeballs out. Eesh. Glad you got to see a bit on your honeymoon, though. Maybe the barfing helped release the pressure on your eyeball?

Posted by: Mona | January 30, 2007 4:50 PM

Even tho I am a nurse I still cringe with stuff around the eyes. Who would believe I can actually put a contact lens in. It must have been terrible for Father of 4. Was it worth it?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 30, 2007 4:54 PM

Was it worth it?

Probably. Even if he didn't get enough lovin then, he sure has made up for it since.

No worries!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 4:57 PM

to WAMC:

No - I am not storing CDs - I don't use them for storage. I have a masters degree in info science and hubby is very tech oriented and neither one of us would use Cds to store anything of real value.
The truth of it is that all mediums are vulnerable - there just aren't any guarantees.
The portable hard drives have their own issues - the connections are vulnerable but we are not using them on a daily basis so the chance for damage is lower.
I just want people to do a little research and figure out what works for them. Most importantly, people need to store their back-ups off site - it doesn't do much good to have copies of things if they are all stored in the same place and that place burns or is flooded or whatever.

Posted by: WAMC | January 30, 2007 5:05 PM

private industry, I hate to tell you, but when you slack off at work, the lost productivity is ultimately reflected in the price I pay for your company's product. I'm private industry, too, and it's amazing to me how few people grasp that concept. They complain about government workers stealing their tax dollars; meanwhile, they're stealing their fellow consumers' dollars.

Posted by: RM | January 30, 2007 5:10 PM

"the lost productivity is ultimately reflected in the price I pay for your company's product."

I am very familiar with that concept. My original point is that you do not have to buy my company's product. With any level of gov't, I have no choice but to pay for the product.

"Go after the big waste of government spending, war, pet projects, roads that never get built, special contracts awarded at inflated prices. As far as I can see, all you do is complain and it gets you no where."

You are assuming that I do not voice my opinion on this to my elected officials. Have you ever read an appropriations bill? I have or at least I tried to do so. To find the wasteful spending you have to have a PhD in governmentese! (Just for fun, try reading a UN Security Council resolution!) Many earmarks are hidden in unrelated bill which even the congress complains that they have not read the bill and do not know what they are totally voting on! The only way we common citizens find out about these is when the press reports on them. But by that time, the bill has already passed and been signed into law. The new speaker of the house tells us that she will force the sponsoring individuals to identify the earmark and his part in it. So we should see a lot more of these pork projects identified before passed into law. Well, at least I hope it will be this way.

Posted by: private industry | January 30, 2007 5:49 PM

Gotta say that there are both types of govt workers. My mil retired after 15 years because she could not STAND the lazy people she had to work with (not all, just the lazy ones who couldn't get fired). She is the type to work 12 hour days, the weekend, etc. She works in the private sector now and tends to fire people rather than put up with them. Good thing I am not a govt type--I tend to watch the clock (mainly because I take medication and need it at specific times!). Anyway, my DH is a govt worker and even works from home when he is taking a sick day or is off. I have no idea what private sector people make, but he is not complaining. Of course, there are people in his office that fit the stereotype!

Posted by: jane | January 30, 2007 7:55 PM

Sometimes even Congress doesn't read the laws before voting on them. I think one member claims to have read the voluminous PATRIOT ACT, despite its significant threats to civil liberties, dubious ability to stop crimer or terrorism, and likely unconstitutionality.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 9:18 PM

If so many feds are hardworking, why is it ridiculously complicated, inefficient, and time-consuming to get anything done involving a federal agency or office? From the Post Office, to Social Security, to Medicare, to getting a passport -- the feds make everything three times more difficult and four times more time consuming than it needs to be. Any business that worked this way would go out of business very quickly.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 30, 2007 9:26 PM

Am I the only one people think is a crazy spinster with 20 cats?

There are two other cat people on today, and nobody is calling them hideously ugly and bitter old women who nobody could ever love.

Posted by: catmommy | January 30, 2007 9:31 PM

that's because the other two cat people didn't say snarky, self righteous things about children, now did they?

Posted by: well catmommy, | January 31, 2007 12:14 AM

My mil retired after 15 years because she could not STAND the lazy people she had to work with (not all, just the lazy ones who couldn't get fired). She is the type to work 12 hour days, the weekend, etc.

people who work like this make balance hard for everyone else. You should work better not harder.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 6:56 AM

It's been preying on my mind that we tended to get off-topic a good deal yesterday instead of discussing issues in LaTonya's World. Here are a few points I'd like to make by way of summing up.

1. LaTonya was kind and generous enough to share her views with us, for which we should thank her. I feel we owe her the courtesy of commenting on the substance of what she said.

2. I infer that she's doing a good job of imparting a work-ethic to her children, both through her federal job, which provides health insurance and other essential benfits, and from her part-time resale business. I also notice from the audio that she's soft-spoken and uses a calm but firm tone; presumably she's the same way toward her children (well, most of the time!).

3. LaTonya laments an insufficiency of "quality" time with children. But I suspect she makes quality time out of even being with them in the car, as well as at breakfast and dinner, and at her consignment shop.

4. She makes no mention of whether she attends to any of her side business on her federal job time, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she does not abuse her work phone or computer access. But clearly chatters feel it's important that employees should not do excessive outside activities when on their employer's dime/time.

5. Finally -- and I'm just guessing here -- I suspect from what LaTonya did NOT say that her children are vastly better behaved than the 3-year-old whose tossing off the AirTran flight along with her parents consumed so much of our typing the day before. I'll bet LaTonya doesn't even have time, let alone any inclination, to brook such nonsense from her kids -- and that they already know it!

Best wishes to LaTonya, and thanks again for sharing!

Posted by: catlady | January 31, 2007 7:06 AM

I would love to have read LaTonya's comments and likely would have posted on-topic; however, the choice to go all-and-only audio eliminated that option. I look forward to seeing a guest-blog from her or anyone else who's an average, every day parent, in the future, in some form that I can read.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 31, 2007 10:03 AM

Thank you for alienating your deaf readers by not posting a transcript. It's bad enough videos aren't captioned, but at least we have some small clue from the footage of what the main idea is. Audio, however, is totally inaccessible. Congrats. Discrimination because of ignorance at its finest!

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 31, 2007 3:00 PM

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