Carroll Krause, dying of cancer, reads the ingredients of “Ensure”

Exopermaculture

Brilliant, Carrol. Thanks so much for this concisely drawn description of America’s so-called container “food.” In the comment section she adds:

I would guess that it’s gotten this bad because nobody bothers to step up and say “Wait, this isn’t right.” Call me a rabble-rouser, but at this point in my life I see little benefit to being polite and demure.

FOOD? OR VILE GLOP?

September 1, 2015

by Carrol Krause

storiesbycarrol

ick 2

Last week I was having problems with my digestion, so I stopped eating for a few days. The kind folks at Hospice were alarmed, and sent over a sack filled with different kinds of nutritional “foods” that are designed to keep the life-force strong. Hospice had the very best of intentions, and I am grateful for their concern. Although I do not wish to malign them in any way, the stuff they sent over was not real FOOD. In fact, I’m outraged at the…

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Distancing

Today’s post is a selection from Every Day’s a Good Day: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession, scheduled for release February 2016.

Distancing

In most real life situations, and especially relationships, distancing is discouraged. Often, people use this create space when feeling overwhelmed or smothered. The downside is that it minimizes authentic interaction and can cause more damage in the long run.

However, in certain stressful situations that occur in retail or with customer service related problems, using this technique for specific occasions can help us diffuse the situation and stay calm.

Much of the time during a difficult moment, one of the parties becomes angry and the problem escalates. When the emotions are raging at full boil, with no resolution in sight, the tenseness and emotional turmoil often permeates the circumstances and without restraint or control, both parties can soon be embroiled in a furious debate.

This is where distancing becomes a useful tool for the person that wants to retain a professional demeanor. If we can mentally take a step back and distance ourselves emotionally, it can help us remain calm and removed from the emotional drama threatening to envelop us.

Personally, I’ve used this method, both in the challenging position in my municipal employment, and also during my seven years of retail. At the moment that I create a distance between myself and the other party who is upset, I also like to place an invisible, protective wall around myself.

Different protective walls can be used. Many like to picture an invisible brick wall surrounding them. Or a clear, impenetrable barrier. My own favorite is to picture a healing, calming spirit of white light surrounding me that helps me remain steady and composed, while protecting my spirit from the barbs being thrown my way.

The psychological effects of detachment that benefit us in a difficult work related positon are:

  • Helps us gain, and improve, our emotional self-control
  • Helps us maintain a polite behavior
  • Helps us remain true to ourselves, and be less swayed by social influence
  • Helps us experience less emotional reactivity

Just remember to leave this tool at work. It’s not one that you want to bring home with you, nor do you want to use this for extending periods of time. Long term this can produce undesirable symptoms in our relationships with others.

But for a now and then use, to diffuse angry interactions with customers and clients…priceless.

distancing

My Wildest Dream – TT picture prompt

TT_bannerIt’s November, which means National Novel Writing Month, so for Tuesday Tales this month I’m jumping to another WIP, My Wildest Dreams. This tale follows the prequel, A Second Chance, where Jenny survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest and desired to honor her second chance by living an authentic life. She decided she wanted to own her own herb and garden store. Join us as we catch glimpse of her here as she follows her wildest dream, with the help of her best friend Carla.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt, one of two selections: a country barn scene, or a roaring fireplace. I chose the barn as Jenny and Carla are on their way to a llama ranch. Return to Tuesday Tales here, to read the other snippets from talented writers.

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TT_December 2015 picture prompt

Carla rushed into the shop, her long, still wet hair streaming behind her. “Sorry, I’m running late.” She halted halfway to the counter. “You ready to go?”

“I’m ready. But Dillon’s not here yet.”

“Call him,” Carla suggested.

“I did. Twice. I’ll try again.” I pulled my phone from my back pocket and pressed his name on my screen. When the call went to voice mail – again – I tapped end call and dropped the phone on the counter in disgust. “I should have known not to trust leaving him here on a Saturday by himself,” I muttered.

Dillon came bursting through the side door like a cyclone, with words flowing out in a flurry. “I’m sorry I’m late…flat tire…left my phone at home…couldn’t call…”

“It is what it is,” I told him. “You’re here now.”

“As long as the ladies don’t ask me how to make anything. I can’t help them with girly requests.”

I smiled, thinking about how slow business had been since I opened. “If anything comes up, call me.”

We headed out for the llama ranch, leaving Dillon in charge of the herb store for the day.

The directions weren’t complicated. There were turns here and there as we traveled the farm to market roads the back way to Ponder. The rural scenery was green and lush as the intense summer heat settled into north Texas yet. I enjoyed seeing the verdant farmland.

Traveling down what I thought was the correct road, the asphalt ended and a dirt drive pointed the way to a red barn setting in the midst of towering post oaks. But…no cars. No signage. No obvious pasture land.

I eased to a stop and turned to Carla. “You see any llamas around? Did I miss a turn somewhere?”

 

My Wildest Dream – Tuesday Tales ‘nasty’

It’s November, which means National Novel Writing Month, so for Tuesday Tales this month I’m jumping to another WIP, My Wildest Dreams. This tale follows the prequel, A Second Chance, where Jenny survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest and desired to honor her second chance by living an authentic life. She decided she wanted to own her own herb and garden store. Join us as we catch glimpse of her here as she follows her wildest dream, with the help of her best friend Carla.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘nasty’. Return to Tuesday Tales here, to read the other snippets from talented writers.

TT_banner

*******************

Carla called Thursday night. “Have you seen the weather reports?”

“You know me. Do I watch the news? My TV hasn’t been turned on for weeks.”

“There’s a big storm heading in. It should be here late tomorrow night.”

ice storm“How big of a storm? Enough to keep us from moving furniture this weekend?”

“Oh yeah. If it happens like they say. Of course, half the time they’re wrong anyway. The reporters are predicting temps in the high teens and possible ice.”

Just when I thought we were going to make it through this winter without any nastiness. I stood in the kitchen opening cupboard doors, scanning the pantry contents. I checked the refrigerator to double check if there was anything I needed, in case the reporters were right.

Usually I was set fairly well and could eat of my cupboards for a good month or two, except for a few perishable items. This time though, trying to keep my expenditures notched down in readiness for my new business venture, I hadn’t been purchasing as much in the grocery store as I typically did.

Out came the list and I jotted down a few necessities to run out and pick up the next day.

By the time I got to the store the next morning, it seems that multitudes of others had the same idea. Except that they’d gone earlier than I did. The loaf of bread I’d written on the list? That wasn’t going to happen. The bread shelves were bare. I tossed a pack of hamburger buns in my cart and considered myself lucky. The milk racks were in about the same condition. There wasn’t very much left. I found a small container of chocolate milk and added it to my meager collection. I made it to the eggs before they were wiped out and picked up two dozen. Water bottles also were in scarce supply. I found a gallon jug of a pricier brand and scooped it off the shelf. The soup cans were just as picked over, but there were a few selections still waiting for the late vultures.

I hoped the forecasters were wrong.

They weren’t.

The television was turned on that evening, to stay abreast of the news. I watched the storm progress, up from the gulf and north through this huge state. The house got colder with each advancing hour. To avoid the heater running so hard trying to keep the house warm, I dropped the thermostat a few degrees and added a sweatshirt.

After a while, I opened the front door and peered out, shutting it quickly when I saw the white tempest outside. February weather. It was not my friend.

I called Carla. “Well…guess we won’t be moving furniture this weekend.”

“Nope. But look at the bright side. I’m off work. Not that I’d drive there in this anyway. And you don’t have to try to get to Crafty Hands in bad weather anymore. So we both can stay home and be warm. And safe.”

icy viewWhen I peeked out the windows the next morning, I was glad to see the storm had past. I also had to admit that the pristine, icy world it left in its wake was beautiful. As long as I could view it through the window of my warm house and didn’t have to be out in it.

Not a single vehicle had gone down the street. The landscape in front of me was almost like one of the gorgeous snowy scenes on a Christmas card. But instead of white fluff surrounding us, it was a white layer over top of a nasty, icy crust.

icy roadTexas shuts down during an ice storm. The Midwest and the East laugh at us, as they keep on with life in their winter wonderland. But ice…nope, this California girl does not drive in ice. I was glad I’d gone ahead and picked up a few groceries.

For four days I couldn’t get out of my driveway. Not that I tried the first few days. The temperature never rose over twenty-four degrees. It was cloudy and dull, not a speck of sunshine to brighten our world – nor warm the icy layer cast over us.

By the second day, one or two vehicles made tracks down the street. I could hear one crunching along early one morning, making its way down the street very slowly. It sounded like a diesel, so it was probably four wheel drive. I didn’t care enough to get up and watch. I stay snuggled under my warm covers.

By the fifth day, the sun finally broke through and the temperature rose to a high of thirty three.

The down time gave me a chance to catch up on crafty projects for the store. I took advantage of that and worked up everything I could, until I was down to projects that needed one more piece, one more bottle of paint, one more item before it was complete. And I wasn’t going to go slide around on ice for a small bottle of acrylic paint, that’s for sure.

I pulled out the calendar to review the schedule I’d penciled in. There was no way I could open in one week. Without being able to move the large pieces in, and losing four days of making it to the shop, I’d lost too much critical time. It was going to be close anyway. But the ice storm had set me back too far.

Maybe I could move the opening to mid-March?

From past experience, I also knew that after a storm of this magnitude it would take a week or two before the world returned to normal. Not only had we cleared the grocery store shelves of produce and goods, trucks bringing new merchandise couldn’t get in to deliver their goods either.

I decided to push the opening back to April first. April in north Texas is nicer weather. People are excited to get out and about after a cold winter. And gardeners are starting to put in their first crops.

Count to 10

Breathe and Count to 10COUNT TO TEN

Our mother’s advice to our younger selves still comes in handy, as much as we hate to admit that we can hear her words echoing in our adult ears.

“Take a deep breath and count to ten.”

“Count to ten before you respond in anger.”

“Count to ten before you act rashly.”

Her words still apply today, even though we’re not fussing with our siblings, or having arguments on the playground.

Count to ten before we hit ‘send’.

Count to ten before we answer our manager’s rude request.

Count to ten before we respond in anger to the irate customer that’s been battling with us for the past five minutes.

Although, it’s probably a good idea to count quietly inside our head and not out loud – in the interest of not riling the customer, or manager, any further.

When you’re having one of ‘those days’ and you’re tempted to blast the next person that crosses you, pull up a little mom advice from years ago and try it out. Count to ten. It’s not an answer for every situation that plaques our work environment, but there are times that these three little words are worth their weight in gold.

My Wildest Dream – Tuesday Tales ‘cup’

TT_bannerIt’s November, which means National Novel Writing Month, so for Tuesday Tales this month I’m jumping to another WIP, My Wildest Dreams. This tale follows the prequel, A Second Chance, where Jenny survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest and desired to honor her second chance by living an authentic life. She decided she wanted to own her own herb and garden store. Join us as we catch glimpse of her here as she follows her wildest dream, with the help of her best friend Carla.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘cup. Return to Tuesday Tales here, to read the other snippets from talented writers.

*******************

There we were, driving up 377 towards Denton, a route we’d taken so many times together. Chattering a mile a minute, we were catching up after the horrid retail time was behind us. On a cold January day, there’s not much sightseeing to be doing in this area. The scenery looks much the same. Dead and bleak.

Before I knew what was happening, Carla pulled the car onto the shoulder and almost screeched to a stop.

“What’s wrong?” All sorts of imaginings raced through my mind. Flat tire. Overheated. Hurt animal on the side of the road.

“The old bank building!”

“The brick one?” Which other one could it be? There was only one old bank building in Argyle, the brick one sitting on a corner, a relic of the past. We’d both admired it every time we drove through this area. It always sat empty and neglected, looking forlorn as if no one loved it anymore.

argyle bank“There’s a ‘For Rent’ sign on it.” Carla was already opening the door and sticking a leg out.

I joined her behind the car and we hiked back to the corner. She was right. A huge sign hung in the large window. ‘For Rent’ with a number. I patted my pockets. Of course, no pen and paper. I debated about jogging back to the car to grab one out of my purse, until I remembered the cell phone in my pocket. I quickly snapped a picture of the sign.

“There. Now I have the number.”

I don’t think Carla heard me. She was already up by the building, peering in the other window.

My mind was whirling with the possibilities over an old historic building like this. And I hadn’t even seen inside yet. I’d be in heaven if I could have my business here.

One problem existed. “Except, there’s no space for gardens.”

“But the old bank…”

“I know. It would be great. But I need to have plants growing too.”

“Look at the huge lot on the side though. Maybe some of that is part of the property.”

“Maybe.” She was right. The bank was flanked by a large open field on one side. The back side had a dilapidated asphalt area that appeared to have been a parking lot at some previous point in time. It would be necessary as there were only spaces for about three cars on the front street side of the building.

The area on the side street didn’t have any parking. A deep gulley run alongside the building. Hopefully it was adequate to carry heavy rain waters away and keep them from flooding the building. I thought about it as if I were already a tenant here.

Pretty presumptuous, Jenny. You haven’t even called about it yet and you’re already making plans for having a business here.

The field and the area behind the old brick building might come with the rental. They might not. There was only one way to find out. Of course, dialing the number on a Sunday afternoon only got me to voice mail. I left a message and crossed my fingers.

I walked up to the doors, set in the angled corner of the building as was so common then. Cupping my hands around my face, I tried to see through the dusty window. Not much existed inside. I could barely make out the empty shell of a large ‘L’ shaped space. Directly across from the front door, there appeared to be an interior room with a large, ornate door going into it.

argyle bank vault“Hey Carla. C’mere. Is that the vault back there?”

She reappeared from wherever she’d been exploring and looked it. “Yeppers. Looks like it. It’s so dark it’s hard to tell. But when I worked for the newspaper that was located in the old bank building in Roanoke…years ago…that’s about where their old vault was.”

“Wish they said how much the rent was on the lease sign.”

“Don’t cha’ know it. I’d love to get inside and look around.”

I wandered around the side of the building, towards the back parking area. To call it a parking lot was rather grandiose. It could do. The ragged edges of what used to be a structured parking lot didn’t have any remaining striping. However, it was better than parking on a dirt or gravel lot. And there was plenty of room around the sides that could potentially have planting areas surrounding the old lot. Without the formal edges that many commercial spaces utilized for plantings, it could be a unique, rustic space, complementing the vision I had for my herb business.

Visions of having my herb and garden shop situated in a historic bank building filled my thoughts for the rest of the day. Every time Carla said something, I’d have to reel myself in back to the present and have her repeat whatever she’d said or asked.

Brownies for Hikers #PCT #trailangel #brownies #hikers #Wrightwood

browniesAfter their first season as trail angels, opening their home to thru-hikers coming through Wrightwood, California, Sue Holman wonders if her family will ever want to eat brownies again.

Brownies proved to be a popular dessert. For Sue, cooking for a houseful, the brownies made a quick and easy dessert. The hikers, after being on the trail for several hundred miles by the time they made it to Wrightwood, appreciated the tasty, chocolaty snacks.

Here’s a short excerpt from Trail Angel Mama. And sending a special congratulations to Zach (Face), who completed the trail on September 15th and made it home in time to become a daddy to a sweet, precious munchkin.

************

A mid-May snow storm in Wrightwood left four hikers cold, wet and looking for a warm room for the night. We got a call from Zach and Mike headed right into town to pick them up. By the time he got there, they and their packs and sleeping bags were soaked through.

A roaring fire and a hot dinner greeted our guests when they arrived. It was an easy meal for me to fix; baked spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. A batch of fresh baked brownies was a dessert that everyone enjoyed.

With our tummies full and the fire keeping everyone warm, we sat around exchanging stories. These newest four were a diverse group, as I’m seeing most are.

Zach, or ‘Face’ as he’s called on the trail, isn’t a newbie hiker. He hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2011. He’s 29-years-old, from Mississippi and likes to garden and make homemade mustard.

Jack, with the trail name ‘Catwhacker’, is a 25-year-old from Oregon. He’s an environmental engineer and he’s taking this time on the trail before he starts his master’s program in August.

While female hikers traveling alone may be the minority on the trail, it’s not unusual to see them. Rachel, or ‘Gazelle’, is an adventurous 23-year-old from Canada. She lived in Asia for a year and wants to live in New Zealand in the future. She’s working her way, a mile at a time, back toward the Canadian border and home.

Ram was the oldest in this group of four. He also traveled the furthest of this group to hike the PCT, being another one that came from Israel.

As much as we all enjoyed meeting one another and sharing stories, our hikers were exhausted. After hiking a 29 mile day, through a light snow storm over Mt. Baden-Powell, then eating and sitting around a fire, energy levels dropped and we all headed to bed by 9:00.

This guest room of ours is starting to get a work out.

************************

Trisha Faye, along with her trail angel sister Sue Holman, wrote Trail Angel Mama. After the Holman’s experiences sharing trail magic to thru hikers in the Wrightwood area of the Pacific Crest Trail, the whole family now advocates sharing magic with others – whether they’re on a hiking trail or just on the journey of life.

Barn Cats #barncats #ferals #straycats #cats

barn cats2Not every cat can find a forever home.

I wish they could.

If every cat had a warm, loving family to snuggle up with every night, life would be grand. But the truth is, not every cat is meant to be in a house, living in close proximity with people and children.

The Humane Society estimates there are 30 to 40 million feral and stray cats. Most of these are not accustomed to human contact and usually too fearful to be handled or adopted. They are not good candidates for family living. However, many of these might make good barn cats.

Barn Cats, Inc., out of Lewisville, Texas, is one organization actively relocating feral cats as barn cats. They find suitable locations such as a farm, horse stable, warehouse, plant nursery or other outdoor location where the cats roam free, keeping the rat, mice and snake population down, in exchange for a safe home.

If you’re not near north Texas, their site has a listing of other barn cat organizations.

barn catsWhile different groups may have their own qualifications, Barn Cats Inc. primarily accepts feral cats, not friendly cats suitable for pets, from urban situations where they are in danger. The cats must be at least eight months old. Preference is given to cats that are threatened by poisoning or shootings, hoarders, and other similar serious situations that require immediate attention.

If the cats come in together, Barn Cats, Inc. places them together. They feel the cats have a better stay rate if they have friends or family with them.

Rehoming feral and stray cats is a mission of love. Expenses always seem to exceed resources. Especially when you start factoring in medical checks and services. Barn Cats, Inc. is always open for donations – either in monetary form, or in supplies. Some of the supplies that Barn Cats, Inc. is always open for include:

  • Dry or wet cat food (Friskies, Purina One, Whiskas)
  • Bags of clay litter (non-clumping or clumping)
  • Cat beds and small blankets
  • Automatic Feeders and Waterers
  • Cat Toys
  • Cleaning supplies (paper towels, Anti-bacterial cleaning spray, trash bags)

So, as much as I’d love to take in every cat or kitten I could, it’s not feasible. Other options are out there though – rehoming some feral cats as barn cats is one of the choices.

******************

Abandoned kittens continue finding their way to Trisha’s north Texas home. After Scooter and his two sisters were saved from a feral life, she thought that was the last of the new arrivals. (They share their story in Scooter’s Tale.) But…after that came Jasper, and then Onyx. This past April little Piper joined the family after her feral Mama moved the kittens before a big storm, but didn’t come back for Piper. A month later Onyx’s sister, CeeCee, walked in the house (very pregnant) and hasn’t left, even after giving birth to six coal black kittens – who now rule the household and think they’re related to gray tabby Piper.

My Wildest Dream – flavor

It’s November, which means National Novel Writing Month, so for Tuesday Tales this month I’m jumping to another WIP, My Wildest Dreams. This tale follows the prequel, A Second Chance, where Jenny survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest and desired to honor her second chance by living an authentic life. She decided she wanted to own her own herb and garden store. Join us as we catch glimpse of her here as she follows her wildest dream, with the help of her best friend Carla.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘flavor’. Return to Tuesday Tales here, to read the other snippets from talented writers.

TT_banner

*******

“Speaking of herbs for cooking…let’s go eat. I’m cold. And starving.” Carla rubbed her stomach to emphasize her words.

I checked to make sure the baggies were sealed and dropped them into a crunched up shopping bag I pulled out of my pocket. “Where to?”

“Where else? Waffle House?”

I smiled, thinking to myself that I should have known. Carla’s choices consisted of Waffle House or Mexican. Oh, occasionally she went the Barb-B-Que route, or chose burgers or a Sonic chili dog. But nine times out of ten, it was one of her two favorites.

Soon we were out of the woodsy area and seated in a booth of our favorite hangout. We each scanned the menus, although probably neither one of us would order anything different than what we usually got. Carla asked for coffee as soon as we sat down, while I only asked for a water.

As soon as the coffee was poured, Carla wrapped her hands around the steaming mug. “No iced tea today? Too cold for you?”

“They don’t have a flavor I like. Now, if they had a nice raspberry or peppermint tea, I’d be all over it.” I realized where we were and started laughing. “I’ll have to take a picture of our meals and send it to my sister.” I pulled my phone out of my pocket and sat it next to my water glass, to remind me.

waffle houseCarla chuckled. “Yeppers. She’ll be jealous. Elisabeth really likes to eat here when she visits, doesn’t she?”

“Her and my niece, Shelly. They both like it. Although I don’t know which they like best. Waffle House, Babe’s or Reno Reds.”

“How’s your sister doing?”

“Fine. Of course, the school year’s started up, so she’s back at work.” I stretched my legs, glad that we were finally sitting after our hour in the woods. “I know she likes her job. But I think she likes her summers better, with six weeks off.”

“Is she coming back next summer to visit you again?”

“I hope so. Since I didn’t make it to California this year, I was glad she was able to make a trip this way.”

Carla raised her coffee cup as the waitress approached the table with a steaming pot of fresh coffee. “When she comes out again, we’ll have to go to Babe’s again. I enjoyed meeting her and spending some time with her.” She busied herself adding sugar and creamer, then looked up with a thoughtful look on her face. “She’ll be able to come and see your herb shop if she comes back next summer.”

“Ha!” My response burst out, surprising us both. “I doubt I’ll be operating by next summer.”

“You never know. You could be.”

“November…December…January” I ticked the months off on my fingers. “It’s only eight months till June. I’ll never have everything ready by then. I doubt I’ll even have enough money to even have a place to rent by then.”

“Sure you will. You’ll find someplace.”

“That I can afford?”

“Of course.”

“And then I have to order stock. And make things. And buy dried herbs. And package product up. And…” My chest heaved as a long, slow sigh of frustration escaped. “I don’t know if I can do it by then. Heck. I don’t even know if I can do this at all!”

“Yes you can. I have faith in you.”

“More faith than I have in myself. I’m seriously doubting whether I can really do this or not.”

“What about all those positive thoughts you’re always talking about? All your talk over the past year about living an authentic life and doing what you really want to do? About celebrating life and living it to the fullest? Where did all that come from?”

“I know. But do you know how much money I’m going to need? Money I don’t have.”

“Then I guess you’ll just have to buck up and figure out a way. You can do it. Write up a bunch of those affirmations you’re always talking about. Stick ‘em on your forehead, plaster ‘em all over your house.”

Crazy friends. Don’t you just love it when your best friends parrots your words and throws them right back at you? I shook my head and tried to rub my frown lines off my forehead. Fortunately our meals arrived, giving me some time to think.

I hated to admit that Carla was right. I was so discouraged and overwhelmed, that my dream seemed impossible. I wasn’t using my own words on myself. I was looking at the negative and kept repeating these negative thoughts to myself. Where was the positivity that I talked so freely about? I was doing the same thing that I berated others for doing – the old adage ‘Do as I say and not as I do’ hit too close to home right now.

Boundaries & Professionalism #rudebosses #boundaries #professionalism #work

Today’s post is a selection from Every Day’s a Good Day: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession, scheduled for release February 2016.

Boundaries & Professionalism

yelling bossRude and berating bosses and managers – they’re out there. I think everyone has at least one horror story in their past of what it was like to work for a tyrant. Do we speak up? Do we voice our opinion about how that isn’t the way to treat an employee? Some do. But I venture to guess that most of us don’t have the nerve to call them on their behavior. Instead, we grumble about it, rant and rave to our friends, bite our tongue, toss down antacids and try not to pull our hair out as our stress levels ratchet up through the roof.

Or, we simply walk away. Or run.

That’s me. I reach my outer limits of what I can tolerate and simply quit.

There is another method. One way to try to work with a superior like this is to calmly set boundaries – with a professional demeanor – and let them know that you won’t tolerate being treated like this.

Now I know that some people have no problem with this. They stand up for themselves in all aspects of their life and this is just one more arena. Those people are probably reading this and scratching their heads in amazement, because they can’t understand how it is that the rest of us don’t use this.

Of course, there’s also a third group of people. Those that have no problem at all letting the boss know what they think of their obnoxious behavior and emphatically stating what they will and won’t tolerate. The employees in this third group though, while not condoning rude treatment, also don’t always respond in a courteous and professional manner themselves.

I can think of several co-workers in my past who fall in this category. I don’t really want to be like them either. I’d like to think that I can remain above the yelling and the name-calling that sometimes ensues.

EDGD02_rude bossesA respected writer I follow posted a blog entry about a time in her early career where she had to deal with a nasty editor. She reports that she turned the situation around, and eventually had a good relationship with that editor by keeping it professional and drawing boundaries.

She tells how he made it clear – in a very loud voice – that he was not happy with the quality of the piece she turned it. After he threw his little tantrum, she calmly told him that it wasn’t alright for him to yell at her and she wasn’t going to tolerate it. She says that she told him she would treat him with respect and expected the same behavior from him.

At first there was silence she says, and then he said ‘ok’.

She then proceeded to question why he thought the work was substandard, asked what she needed to do to fix this piece and turn in higher quality pieces in the future.

It turns out that there was an item she’d missed. But now she knew what she needed to do…and found out by replying civilly to the beast.

She recommends that if you’re dealing with a volatile boss to not give up hope, stay calm, don’t run and draw boundaries, while keeping it professional.

Is your boss or manager someone explosive like that? Have they forgotten how to treat employees with respect? Do you go home at night with a curdled stomach from having this abuse heaped on you?

Try this out. Ask for a meeting with them. Try to talk this out in a businesslike manner and set some boundaries, letting them know that you won’t tolerate their continued abusive treatment. But don’t stoop to their level. Maintain a courteous demeanor.

You may just walk out of work tonight with your head held higher. Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!

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