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Given multiple embarassing incidents in the past few years, how is morale in the Secret Service?Even before the series of embarrassing incidents that have since come to light in the news, the morale in the U.S. Secret Service agent corps was very low. The management rarely led by example; Supervisors were authorized to stand post, to assist with protection assignments and conduct investigations... They never would. In addition, the bureaucratic paperwork was overwhelming; form after form after form was expected to be filled out for the most mundane things.... I had a fellow agent who printed up the "TPS Cover Sheet" PDF Form that he found online (the one popularized in the film "Office Space") and would turn it in with every document that was required. That's what it felt like... Documents that were sent in were required to have three, sometimes four, copies. If you had receipts for something, those were required to be taped down onto a clean piece of paper individually, and then have additional copies made.... You can imagine how long this would take when an agent who was out on the road for two or three weeks during the campaign (which was a very normal rotation) had returned with three straight weeks of hours worked..... Keep in mind, agents weren't billing by the hour; they were already paid. This was just monotonous documentation to see how many hours were being used in an agents life. Ultimately, that information would go to management and they would use it to squeeze more work time out of an already-exhausted employee. After Colombia, the agency started to "crack down". More paperwork, more documentation. Agents I know have told me that the agency has since started an "Office of Integrity" to police employees who are staying out too late on a road trip or filling out their paperwork improperly.... So you can add "paranoia" to the other issues, I suppose.
What is the best advice your father ever gave you?I fell in true love in eighth grade or that's what my stupid brain told me back then.I was obsessed with this pretty girl! one grade below. Being a complete nerd, I only stole a few glances. But eventually we got to talking and I confessed my feelings for her, she did the same too.I was elated, I wrote cute notes for her and did a lot of other crap. Now word got around and people started teasing me. Eventually, people crossed a line.I'll skip the details, but I got into a very serious fight, that was blown out of proportion for all the right reasons. They were talking about getting me expelled. It was nasty.My dad was called. He was briefed about everything, I was the talk of the school, Every single teacher who thought of me highly now looked at me with disgust. How could one of the smartest kids in the school do this? I was being made an example of.My dad took me back home after spending an hour in the principal's office. I was expecting an earful and multiple slaps.We signNowed home, he asked me to get showered, have a good nap and told me he was taking me somewhere. I was scared. But I just listened to him.He took me on his bike in the evening. I had no idea where. But then we hit the market and we stopped at our favourite fried chicken stall. He got me a full plate.Dad: So you've hit the age haven't you, What did you like about her?Me: *silence*Dad: *smiles* You either answer me or you give up the chicken.Me: *Secures the plate* I liked her because she is pretty.Dad: Nothing else? *Chuckles* I figured it might be like that. Now listen here son, you're young, It's fine to have a few crushes, it's normal at this age, I had a phase too, but until you're in college don't act out on them. It rarely lasts. Take it to heart. You are a good kid, you're above all this.I won't stop you once you're in college, it's a good time to get into a relationship, you'll learn a lot about life and yourself.And the most important part. Don't chase women. You're a Man. Let them chase you. You're a good kid, you'll definitely have a girlfriend in college. If she wants to stick with you she'll stick with you. It's pointless to run behind someone. Someday you'll meet a fine Woman who is not just a pretty face. She'll treat you well. Don't hurt yourself in this vicious cycle. Let this girl in school go. If not her, someone better will come into your life when you least expect it. And it doesn't just apply to women :)Me: *mouth wide open*I always thought of my dad as strict, but I realised that day, His eyes glowed bright and warm, but with a twinge of sadness. I realised and learnt a lot that day from a man who has been through it all.Looking back on it, 8 years later, he was right. Sure I went back on his words a few times but it turned out as he said, never worked out. I wish I had realised sooner in life. I wasn't prepared to accept the bare truth. I thought being persistent would get me everything.No. He was right. Always.His predictions were spot on.Including the fact about a fine woman walking into my life when I least expected it. She stormed into mine. :)
What is the craziest lie a customer has come up with when calling your work to complain about you?I was working as a Census taker for Statistics Canada during the national census of 1996 when one member of the public made a false complaint against me.To give the necessary background: Each census taker was assigned a different territory. We were each provided a detailed map of our own territory, clearly marking out its boundaries. Every residence within that territory was depicted on the map as a little square or rectangle. And for each street within our territory, it listed the relevant range of house numbers for each side of that street (e.g. one territory might end at numbers 49 and 50 Random Street, the next territory started across the intersection at numbers 51 and 52 Random Street.) If everyone got together in a huge field, they could potentially piece together a cool, giant detailed map of Canada.A big part of our job was physically delivering a census form to every separate lot within our territory with a residence on it. If the map showed a lot with a newly built home as empty, a form still needed to be delivered to that residence, and then we needed to mark the missing residence on the map of our territory. The maps were extremely accurate, and I had to mark maybe one new home on mine.The census was meant to be a snapshot of Canada on a particular day. If someone owned multiple residences, they needed to fill out the form for each property with information for that residence as of census day. So if the entire family stayed in one house on that date, the information for their second house would be that it didn’t have any residents as of census day — there was no need to fill out any of the additional data on that form. If someone’s son spent that date in the spare house? Then the form would reflect that the second home had one resident as of that date, and that son’s data would need to be entered on that form.People didn’t have to fill out the forms on the spot, but could mail it in (at no cost) by the deadline, some date following the “census date”. If they had any questions about filling out the form, I could try to answer their questions while I was at their door, or they could call the help line provided on the form itself.There was a different, and longer, census form for farms. It collected some agricultural data as well as data about the residence and its inhabitants. If someone groaned about having to fill out the longer form, I’d point out that they only needed to provide estimates for most of the extra questions (statistically, if someone slightly overestimated one figure, someone else would balance that out by underestimating). I’d also point out they could probably get all the information they required from their last income tax form. If someone hadn’t kept their income tax form and was concerned about providing any inconsistent data? I told them not to worry, because Revenue Canada is not allowed to see their census form, Stats Can is not allowed to see their income tax form (which is why they don’t just take the data from that), the data is all aggregated and, again, Estimates Are OK.This groaning was far from universal — strangely enough, I had to talk some people who had a hobby garden in their backyards out of trying to claim the longer agricultural form to fill out — but I quickly became used to having some people act reluctant about accepting the longer agricultural form.So, on with the story at hand: During one of my trips I came to one farm with clearly only one entrance to the residence, from a road well within my territory, to a home well within my territory. With agricultural form in hand, I knocked on the door and it was answered by a woman. I explained I was here to drop off a form for the census. She looked at the form then told me she will not fill it out. No explanation. She just said she would not fill it out.This wasn’t entirely unusual or unexpected (although up to that point I faced zero resistance — only, in a couple of cases, some antsy migrant workers hurriedly running off to hide in barns.Some people think they aren’t required to respond to the census and consider it to be the government being too “big brother”. So I politely explained to the woman that all the information she provides will be kept private, and won’t be shared with any other government authorities. I was about to explain there are benefits to the census, e.g., ensuring that the appropriate level of health services, police services, etc, are provided to different areas. But before I could, she again said “There is no requirement for me to fill out the form.”So I read to her from a paper we were provided politely explaining that a census form is required to be filled out by every residence in Canada.Then she says she was already given a form. I asked if someone came up to this property? (Because that would mean another census taker erroneously came into my territory). No.Finally, she explained that she had received special permission from someone in the government to not fill out the agricultural form. Taken aback, I asked her where she got that advice from, and she said she had spoken to someone from the census office, and she was told that she wouldn’t be required to fill out a form for this address because they already had a form for another part of their farm operating out of the neighbouring territory.So, I thought to myself “why the hell didn’t you tell me this to begin with instead of wasting everyone’s time?”, but instead I said to her something like “Okay, I was completely unaware of that. How about I leave a form with you, and you give my supervisor a call at this number. Then if you don’t need to complete the form, just throw it out. He can also let me know if I don’t need to get a form back from you.” She seemed very agreeable to this. So I apologized for taking up her time, and headed off.This was in the days before everyone had mobile phones. So instead of driving home, calling my supervisor, finding my way back to where I had left off (which wasn’t at a convenient intersection), and getting back to the job at hand, I decided to continue going door-to-door and following up the next morning.The next day, before I could call my supervisor, he called me.He was a former highschool principal whom I had the pleasure of working with on other contract jobs with the government (Elections Canada, specifically), so he knew me fairly well. He said to me “Hey, I got a complaint from a woman. Don’t worry about it. I know you, and I think this is completely out of character, but she complained that you were very rude and aggressive. She said you threatened to call in the police and get her fined if she didn’t take a form from you, and other things that strike me as very unlikely.” So I told him my side of the story. He said, “You did the right thing. We verified that part of her farm operation is in the next territory, she’s already received a form for it there, and Stats Can doesn’t need her to fill out a second form. The other operation doesn’t have a separate residence, so she can fill that data in on the one form. I told her she can dispose of the form you left with her, and we’ll follow up on her complaint. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of that. Keep up the good work.”
What does the postal service do with letters to Santa?Although USPS began receiving letters addressed to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago, it wasn’t until 1912 that Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized postal employees in New York City to respond to the letters, and invited the people of New York to join in, through a program that came to be known locally as “Letters to Santa.”Today, the popular holiday program is known nationwide as “Letters to Santa.” The exception is New York City, where the city’s own “Operation Santa,” the largest in the country, responds to more than 500,000 letters each year. Thousands of volunteers work with Post Offices to respond to letters from children of all ages listing their holiday wishes.Here are the Guidelines of this holiday program:USPS has a policy for “adopting” children’s letters addressed to Santa designed to protect their privacy. Individuals who would like to adopt letters are asked to do so in person, present valid photo identification and fill out a form that includes the list of letters they are adopting.Here’s how it works. A person wishing to adopt a letter can go to a Post Office, select one or more letters to take with them and sign the form. The child’s address on the envelope will have been blocked out and the letter assigned a number.After the individual fulfills the child’s wishes with a gift, he or she returns with the letter and gift to the same Post Office and pays the postage for the package. A postal employee will match the number on the letter with the child’s address, apply a label to it and put the package in the mailstream.Letters to Santa
U.S. Congress: Have you ever contacted your congressman for assistance?They really go to bat for you.But before we begin, make sure what you're asking for your congressperson can actually help with. Trouble with the payment of Medicare premiums? They would love to help.Boyfriend in prison? Members of congress are strictly prohibited from interfering in the judicial process in anyway. You've had it up to here trying to obtain a visa for a relative? Sure thing. Your neighbor won't shut his dogs up? No .Can't navigate the bureaucracy of a state agency? No, but they'd be more than happy to put you in touch with your state representatives you will in turn be more than happy to help you with that. It's an emergency you need help, like, 10 minutes ago? They will do the best they can to help, but they can't work miracles. Please try to give at least two weeks, at the very, very minimum, if the case is at all time sensitive. Basically, help with a federal agency? Yes.Anything else? Probably not. But still call to check just in case. There are exceptions. For example, they can help with the banks during foreclosures. Now how to contact your congressperson in the way that is the easiest for both you and them.Keep in mind that senators have two different offices- legislative and district. The legislative office is in Washington DC and the office most people think to contact. But you're going to want to contact the district office. The district office has on staff professional whose sole purpose is to assist constituents with federal agencies.The most efficient way to request help is to:Go onto his or her official (not campaign) website (it will end in .gov). On it there should be a, hopefully, easy to locate a tab.Or just right on the page It should say something along the lines of "Get Help with a Federal Agency" or "Serving Wisconsinites"or "Constituent Services" There it will give you instructions on how to contact the office. Most likely it will give you several options (online, call, letter) Call them. You'll get a lovely intern or staff assistant who will listen to your story and pass it along to the people who will actually handle your case. Don't demand to talk to that person right away, because there is nobody actually handling your case yet. It will get passed along and assigned to the appropriate staff member, who will then get back in touch with you. Make sure they get your contact information. Figure out if you need to fill out a release. When you call, ask if the type of case you're requesting help with requires you to fill out a Personal Authorization Form. If it does, snail mail, fax, or send it to them as a pdf as soon as you're off the phone. Paperwork is annoying, but it's a pretty quick form and required under the Right to Privacy Act. The release should be easy enough to find once you've clicked on the constituent services tab but if you're having trouble you know the phone number!Gather all appropriate documentation. The more information you provide regarding your situation the better and faster they will be able to help. A lot of the delays during the process are caused by waiting for constituents to gather and find all the necessary papers, records, etc. The process will go much more smoothly if you have it all ready to go. Wait. Someone should be back in touch with you in a timely fashion, though understand that your congressperson represents hundreds of thousands of people, or millions if you contacted a senator. The caseload at most offices can be quite signNow, but they do their best to work as quickly as possible. Generally, if someone still hasn't gotten back to you in two weeks follow up with a phone call. Work with the office. A staff member will signNow back out to you and then start to work on your behalf. Some disputes are simple. Some are complex. A lot have favorable outcomes. Other's, unfortunately, don't. Bureaucracy sucks, no getting around that. But try to stay patient throughout the process. Every caseworker I've met works hard, but they have heavy workloads. Unfortunately delays in a system as large as the federal government are often unavoidable, more often than not the caseworker will be just as frustrated as you are with the agencies out in DC. Best of luck as you begin this process!
What screams "I'm a helicopter parent"?As a teacher, I took pride in the fact that I could always find something to like about each of my students. Then, in the early 2000s, I had a student who during the first week of school could only be described as unlikable. He was obnoxious to the other kids, he bragged about his possessions (this was a poorer area that was becoming gentrified), and he readily made fun of other kids in very cutting ways. If a child attempted to stand up to his verbal bullying, he would immediately start crying and tell on them. He rudely questioned any rule, routine, or assignment and would attempt to negotiate with me to get out of regular classwork. His first week of school he’d already made himself somewhat of an outcast and was a frequent flyer in time out.After the first week of his behavior, I called his parents in for a conference. They brought the student and his sister to the meeting. The parents seemed appalled that I found any of their child’s behaviors questionable. I was told, “You don’t understand today’s kids. They’re used to doing things their own way and getting what they want.” They also told me that they were proud of the fact their son was assertive, because both of them had been raised to be quiet and compliant, and they hadn’t gotten very far in life with that. The conference ended with both parents asking to volunteer in my classroom and nothing being solved.Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to say no to parental “help” in my classroom because parents were encouraged to be involved in the school and they’d already filled out the volunteer forms in the office.Mom’s way of “volunteering” was coming to eat lunch with her son in the cafeteria. Every single day she’d bring him the fast food of his choice. After about a week of this the teacher on lunch duty came to me and told me that she had caught the mom berating another student and calling him a “little shit.”Instead of barring her from volunteering, the principal decided that she should only volunteer in a setting where she was supervised and suggested that she come read to my class 30 minutes a week. I scheduled her for reading each Friday at the end of the day before the buses arrived. The first two weeks, it worked out fine, but the third week she showed up out-of-the-blue on a Wednesday afternoon to read. I was just about to give a test. She told me her son said that I told her to come at this time. I guided her to the hall for privacy and I told her I hadn’t asked her to read today. She went through a whole “my son doesn’t lie” diatribe and huffed off to the office to tell on me.I could tell many more stories (like how the Dad began having lunch with him each day and was caught giving money to kids at the lunch table to play with his son at recess). I’ll just end this with it was a long school year for me!!
What are some brain hacks that a neuroscientist or a psychologist knows that most people don't?You can rewire your brain!This is possible due to Neuroplasticity.Neuroplasticity refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury To be honest, the brain is a dynamic entity undergoing changes all the time. As you read this innocent sentence, some neurons in your brain have fired and some synapses have become stronger. Voila! Your brain has been rewired a bit. But I am not talking about these sort of 'boring' changes which occur all the time.What if I told you, your actions can physically alter your brain? Some parts become larger than usual while some parts begin performing tasks they normally don't?László Polgár is the father of the famous "Polgár sisters": Judit, Susan and Sofia. He is an expert in chess and believed that "geniuses are made, not born". Before he had any children, he wrote a book entitled Bring Up Genius!, and sought a wife to help him carry out his experiment. He found one in Klara, a schoolteacher. He home-schooled their three daughters, primarily in chess, and all three went on to become strong players. Susan Polgar became the first female to earn the Grandmaster title.Because of her intense training, her brain had encoded chess board configurations and she was able to not only recognize these configurations but also what moves she had to do from there to win. Show her a random chess board setup that is infrequent her brain is just as slow as normal chess players. So what was happening? A scan of her brain activity showed she was using the part of the brain that recognizes faces to identify chess board configurations. This part of the brain is really developed in humans and face recognition is something humans are really good at. The hours of practice she had put in playing and studying chess had radically changed ho she used her brain to play it.Some of you might be thinking that it was because she got her training from childhood that she was able to become an expert and this fact is useless to someone older.Not really. Recent studies have shown although neuroplasticity declines it still can be made use of in older ages.The Sea Gypsies are a seafaring people who spend a great deal of their time in boats off the coast of Myanmar and Thailand, have unusual underwater vision -- twice as good as Europeans. This has enabled Mokens to gather shellfish at great depths without the aid of scuba gear. How do the Moken do this? They constrict their pupils by 22 percent. The brain orders the body to adapt to suite its needs. Another example of neuroplasticity has been found in London taxi drivers. A cab driver's hippocampus -- the part of the brain that holds spatial representation capacity -- is measurably larger than that of a bus driver. [from Neuroplasticity: You Can Teach An Old Brain New Tricks ]As children we have lots of free time and our brain is really quick to grasp new skills and ideas. To make signNow changes to the brain as grown ups one needs to exercise it regularly and focus on really specific tasks like learning to play the guitar or solve spatial puzzles. Because of the constraints of being social and other reasons, people miss out on this. It has been observed that spiritual leaders and prisoners of war have been able to develop extra-cognitive skills simply because of the immense amount of time they put in meditation, mental exercises and thought experiments. Plasticity can also be observed in the brains of bilinguals (Mechelli et al., 2004). It looks like learning a second language is associated with structural changes in the brain: the left inferior parietal cortex is larger in bilingual brains than in monolingual brains.I'll end with some interesting bits from The Brain that Changes ItselfLearning and brain exercises slow age-related mental declines. For example, education necessitates extra branches among neurons to accommodate the new information; new branching increases the volume and thickness of the brain that would otherwise decline with age.Physical exercise promotes the creation of new neurons in the brain. Yet another reason to start that walking program.Specifically designed brain exercises have been shown to improve brain function in children and adults with learning disabilities.The brain undergoes measurable, physical changes as we think. Computer technology can now use these measurements and changes to allow paralyzed people to moves objects with their thoughts.Researchers at UCSD have used imagination and illusion to restructure brain maps and ‘trick” the brain into managing phantom pain and some forms of chronic pain.Performance can be improved through visualization because action and imagination can activate the same parts of the brain. People have learned to play the piano or achieve greater results in athletic endeavors through mental practice. Is it time to visualize eating a nice salad?[from Neuroplasticity Research Shows “Old Dogs” Can Learn New Tricks!]
What was your experience being a bank teller?What you experience as a teller seems to vary on not only the bank you work for, but the branch you work in. For instance, my experience as a teller is probably very different than those in a lot of other bank branches because I work at a branch that has a lot of higher end clientele. We do a lot more catering and hand-holding than other branches do, and sometimes have to bend the rules a little to get things done.My day starts with me putting up my stuff in a secure area in the break room. If I’m opening, I disarm the alarms and do the morning walk-through with another teller. Then we deal with all the daily duties like getting the work together from earlier that week to send to the main office, putting together the sell for the armored truck, or auditing one of the many machines or vaults we have.I get out my drawer, boot everything up, finish putting the Nightdrops in the system, and then I wait. The morning is usually slow, so we spend a lot of time talking and trying to entertain ourselves… or trying not to fall asleep. Businesses show up a little later in the morning usually or throughout the day. And from there its an array of change orders, trying to sort out the mass of bills and checks sometimes neatly put together and sometimes crammed in a bag with such little care that it could take you 5–10 mins just to sort into some sort of order. But you get through all that and then you wait some more… and you wait some more…. and you wait some more… Given, a lot of branches are actually busy, so there is very little waiting involved, and much more trying not to lose your mind. But this is my branch.There’s a lot of checks being cashed, checks and bills being deposited, and people asking what their balance is. You get the occasional person bringing in their change to cash out. Or you get to let someone into their safe deposit box. That’s all the easy part of being a teller.The hard part is the questions you have to answer and the regulations that you have to follow. Telling people “I’m sorry I can’t do that,” and then having to try and explain why, because they don’t understand. It’s a lot of filling out forms. If I had a dollar for every slip I’ve had to fill out for someone I would’ve nearly doubled my paycheck every month. All of that is monotonous, though. And it can drive you crazy after a while. But the part of my job I really enjoy are those rare instances when I feel like I can actually really help someone. To put in the extra mile and teach someone who’s concerned about counterfeit 20s in her yard sale how to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake. To teach someone who doesn’t know English very well how to write out English numbers on his checks so he can pay his employees. It’s painstakingly going through every transaction with someone on their banking statement and showing them the result until they’re satisfied. It’s teaching high school kids how to fill out their first bank deposit form. It’s letting someone know their driver’s license is about to expire. It’s always been the small things that really make the job worth doing to me.But in between all of that, there are the vast arrays of paperwork that have to be done every day. Phone calls for all the check, debit card, and foreign currency orders. Followed by writing out hold logs. Trying to fill private banking’s little tasks. Occasional product phone calls can be assigned, which can take anywhere from one minute to an hour and thirty depending on the number of calls and the type. There’s filling out the occasional credit card application for a customer or a direct deposit request form. Then there’s the federal reporting forms that have to be filled out occasionally depending on the circumstance. In our branch, we also get a large amount of loan work that gets sent our way, so that takes up some time as well—completing their transactions and being essentially front-line secretaries. There are of course sales goals to fill, but at least in my bank, my job doesn’t rely on me signNowing my goal.Even with all that seriousness, some of it can be very funny. Like the truck who ran over lane 4. Or the fact that our ATM is constantly on the fritz and has a taste for eating people’s checks. Or when we’ve accidentally sent two tubes to the same lane. Or that guy who came in wanting to withdrawal $2000 in 1s for a wedding… or someone who chose to deposit an entire tub full of coin. There are days when I go home wanting to scream, and then there are days when I smile from ear to ear, but in the end, I love my job. It may not be an end game for me, but I have very few complaints. I work for a good company, and for now, that’s good enough for me.As for advice… the only thing I can tell you is… try to find joy in the small things. Be kind and people will often be kind to you.
Hospitals: What have been your best and worst hospital experiences as a patient?It wasn’t me, it was DH.DH was active-duty military, which meant he went to the military hospital and saw military docs. He was a Drill Sergeant at Ft Sill, Oklahoma, gone all day, most evenings, often weekends; being On the Trail means never having to say “I’ll be home for supper”. For three years.Near the end of his middle year, he started getting sick. No fever, but nauseated, feeling like absolute crap, abdominal pains. The Family Medicine Clinic doc said “Gall bladder” and sent him off for a HIDA scan with CCK- a fancy way of watching the gallbladder work. Basically, you don’t eat, you go in and they put an IV port in you, then send you off to eat a nice, fatty meal- we chose burger and fries. Back at the scanning lab, they injected some chemicals and laid DH out under a huge metal pancake with a monitor attached. We watched as particles moved mostly this way, and some few that. Results were read by the Family doc- not gallstones, but, rather, his gallbladder didn’t work. He was sent up to the Surgery docs.But our surgeon, a Captain, didn’t believe the scan results- too unusual, he said. Can’t be it. By now, DH is vomiting daily, losing weight and turning an alarming shade of yellow. His bili count never went above three, but three is high enough- should be near enough zero to make no difference. The surgeon kicked him back downstairs, this time to Internal Medicine.Internal Medicine took a look, said “Gallbladder” and sent him to the surgeons. The Captain said, “Nope”, and sent him back downstairs. This went on for a year, with DH continuing to lose weight, feel like crap warmed over and vomiting all the time; every doctor that looked at him said gallbladder- except the surgeon. It was miserable.Then one doc gave him a script for a smooth muscle tissue relaxant, sublingual. I cannot remember the drug’s name, but I remember it worked like a charm. He could take one of those and feel almost normal for the rest of the day. Good stuff; DH was living on those things. The Captain got tired of seeing him, though, and so sent him to Brook- the Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas. That lasted a month, and they scoped DH from stem to stern, including two more HIDA scans, a sinus scan, liver biopsy and a digestion timing study. DH is seven minutes slow digesting food. He was also still yellow, which fascinated the Brooks docs- they got daily bili counts. DH got sick of it all, signed himself out while being told his Commander would be informed (to which DH said, “Good- he called me yesterday to ask when I would be back online!”) and came home. The surgeon finally said, fine, he’d remove DH’s gallbladder.Day of surgery came, DH was scheduled mid-morning, but the way that hospital ran, he didn’t go in until nearly 3 in the afternoon. By the time he got to his room, it was suppertime, and the nurse asked the surgeon if she should get DH a tray. Surgeon said, “Yes, but he’ll probably vomit it back up.” I pulled out our handy-dandy prescription bottle of magical pills and said, “I brought these.” Surgeon replied, “Those won’t work anymore with his gallbladder gone!”Now wait a second. If the pills worked when you swore it wasn’t his gallbladder, why won’t they work just because you’ve taken his gallbladder? That makes no sense. Not to mention, it is because of you not believing actual laboratory tests- the surgeon once said to me, “I can send you down there and it would probably say your gallbladder was bad, too!”- that it has taken a year and a half to get his gallbladder removed, him being dog-sick nearly every damned day of it. You know what? Thank you for puncturing the holes in his abdomen and removing that little sack of tissue, but just go away now- your work here is more than done.And he’s had no trouble like that ever since.But, remind me to tell you about his brush with kidney cancer- THAT was another good one.