senior scribes

I Deserve
By Mona Lease

Hi, all!! I was up at 5:30 am last Saturday morning. I was perusing Facebook. The bar ran across that tells me there is a list of people I might know. I perused it, too. Wonder of wonders and a real blessing - I ran across a woman for whom I used to work. I contacted her, we caught up - she reads this column. So - welcome aboard this humble little column - glad to have you!! Then the memories started.

She ran an answering service. I forget how many customers were on the "board" (switchboard). I remember she worked a couple of other jobs so my hours were never the same - which made life interesting - for me anyway. A veterinarian on the board always kept his rules the same. A caller to the vet said he was a client, his dog was sick and the vet needed to see the dog today - a Saturday afternoon. The vet's rule was: "If I have not seen the pet in the last 6 months "Saturday" is not an emergency." The caller said he had just gotten the dog last week. I advised the caller of said rules. He got mad at me, yelled, said his dog did not deserve to suffer, said he was going to talk to my boss...which he did the next day. When I worked again a few days later - my boss and I discussed it. It seems the vet received a call, too. The owner of the pet had cussed and yelled at the vet's office help - to no avail. Rules are rules.

To deserve is a funny thing. It works a lot of different ways. The dog did not "deserve" to suffer. The vet did "deserve" time off to relax, clear his mind, etc. My boss did not "deserve" to have to rehash what we already knew. We all "deserve" more money for the jobs we do. You could say I "deserve" to get paid to write this column but, I don't. As far as I know - no one gets paid to do their job at countynewsonline. We do it because you readers "deserve" to know the truth - to read a few jokes - to know about our problems in Darke County, what our "powers that be" plan to do to help, and to know what local citizens who have banded together intend to accomplish. At this time - concerning our heroin problem - someone has turned the old Point bar into a haven for hope and help. I find that sort of "oxymoronic" - like freezer-burn. To look at the word - how could something freezing...burn? But it is possible to be so cold that it will burn. And for the old Point Bar (Cafe?) to be a haven of hope and help when it might have started a few problems? Maybe it will work! I truly hope so.

Back to the "deserve" thing. Little kids "deserve" to have a safe home life - a safe neighborhood in which to grow, to make "first friends" or to take a walk. Retired Senior Citizens "deserve" to be safe in the home that took them 30 years to buy. The young couple starting out "deserve" to live in a nice neighborhood in which to start their family. No one "deserves" to have windows broken out of their home. Everyone "deserves" to be able to work and invest their money in say...a rental property. No one "deserves" to have their property devalued because what was once a nice area has become crime-ridden. No one "deserves" fill in a few.

And curious to me: "Deserve" kinda holds hands with responsibility. In the story about my old job: My boss took responsibility and had all the information on all of the customers on the switchboard. It was all kept on file cards. It was my responsibility as an employee and any other employee's same responsibility - to make regular periodic checks to see if anything had changed. That is the very thing that saved us. The vet heard about the Saturday caller. He had never seen the dog. He was happy not to have been called to an animal whose health history he did not know. My boss was happy not to hear her business and employees had done wrongly. I was happy to have had the right information to make a good decision.

So I wonder: The above job was 15 years ago and what started off as a business relationship has turned into a friendship of mutual respect. Is this how any relationship survives - you meet someone, follow a couple of rules always (responsibility?) and an understanding develops of how we conduct business (friendships)? And maybe we all "deserve" to be different in our dealings but respected because we took responsibility?

Remember the kiddies and our service people. Take good care of the furry and feathered ones out there. Be safe and healthy. See ya next time. Ever Toodles!! MONA

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