In memory of my step/adopt father, Antal Végh, who came to this country in 1956, at the age of 19 and died only eight days before the 40th anniversary.
What would my dad say now, if he saw the country he escaped to in 1956, to have freedom, in the wake of communism in Hungary? I wonder what he would think of his daughter, standing in line at Kroger, in New Albany, Ohio, for thirty minutes around 8pm because they only had one cashier. No more “Three’s a Crowd,” customer service rules there (from a long ago commercial). An impromptu and unplanned demonstration, you might say, was going on with those of us in line. We refused to use self-service because most of us were in our 50’s and 60’s and understood what self-service meant. We lived through having the luxury of gas station attendants who washed our windows and changed our oil for free. What started with one lane for “self-serve” at a gas station went to all self-serve and people in a kiosk who couldn’t care less about your car.
I had the unfortunate experience the other night, while at the same Kroger’s dealing with an angry kiosk employee. I had rapped on the window because I kept saying hello and she didn’t answer. I peered through the window around the corner and saw her standing there, out of view. When she got to the window she replied “You didn’t need to tap on the window.” I replied that I had tried calling out and she did not respond. Kroger Fuel will not accept Master Card, so I have to go to the kiosk to pay. I know what happens to pin numbers at the pump, by ne’re-do-wells. So, what would my dad say to my having to stand in line for food? He refused to go to any restaurant, when he was alive, if there was a line. This is because, in Hungary, he remembered food lines and would never approach one ever again.
The cashier at Kroger’s was a woman, I will say 60’s, all by herself with a bagger. We all had pretty large grocery loads and she told me that the line had not stopped since she arrived that evening. She had not had a break. She did appreciate that we cared enough to protect her job during this inflation. Her name was Diane. She deserves an award for good customer service, because in our generation, we understand the value of this. She also deserves to be recognized for being left alone. The 20-year-old looking boy, who I assume was the manager of the evening, was a couple of aisles over, unprofessionally dressed and seeming upset. I hope he was pissed at us for NOT using self-serve. These younger people don’t get the point of saving peoples jobs during an inflation. They don’t get the fact that customer service is tantamount to human dignity, socialization, good mental health. What will handicapped people do with self-serve? What will the elderly do? What will people with arthritis do? Being forced to go to CVS, Kroger, etc… and do the work of paid employees now. While standing in line, I learned that Fresh Thyme is now cashier-less, so I am boycotting this store. I also learned that Kroger is buying out Albertsons – so the cashiers there will all be losing their jobs soon.
We are human beings. The pandemic should have taught us how much we value socialization, interaction, in-person, customer service. Instead, it taught the opposite. People got lazy on the job, people stopped wanting to work (I am not sure how they pay their bills), people began to take poor customer service for granted (kids yelling in the background of their agents phones).
Besides self-service being on the rise and companies not caring about their customers anymore, we are dealing with other lack of freedoms in this country and children are targeted. Even though the public school system has been around since 1839 and has never had an issue of gender dysphoria, suddenly, post-pandemic and return to school all hell is breaking loose. Suddenly, in the wake of on-line classes, kids are coming back questioning their genitalia. Teachers, psychotherapists, doctors/hospitals (47 in our country), are all colluding with each other; going against the parents and enforcing doctrine to groom and mutilate children’s bodies. This is child abuse. Children do not have the ability to make a decision about their bodies and shouldn’t make a decision or be talked into a decision. Their brains are not fully functioning until they are about 20-something. All teens go through an identity crisis, which is why we do not use the “Personality Disorder” diagnosis category (DSM-5 and previous editions) until they turn 18 and become an adult. These adult professionals need to be investigated. I am wondering what their agenda really is. Are they closet sexual perverts? They need to be closely examined, and yet they are not. Only the conservatives, strangely enough, are becoming human advocates on behalf of these children.
I again ask the question (from my previous post), why do liberals think it is horrible to mutilate women in Africa but not children in America? Like President Biden, who eats ice cream on camera and says there is no economic problem in America and then starts saying we should be worried about other countries. Why? We have enough problems here. And, we are dealing with inflation and people losing their jobs all over the country. It is “Made in China,” and factories closing down all over again. Why do we continue to target skilled but not college-educated laborers? Why did President Clinton sign a pact to send our jobs to China? We had laws to protect child laborers but now the children in Asian countries are being enslaved for our products? A bit ironic that liberals worry about mutilated women in Africa but don’t care about child labor in third world countries.
Recently, in fact, yesterday, the CDC voted unanimously now to force vaccines for COVID on children to enroll in school. This is a vaccine that is not really a vaccine as it has not been properly tested and has certainly NOT been tested on children. Children have not been at-risk of this virus and this has been clearly stated numerous times. Yet, once again, they are being abused and this is from the government standpoint. Again, only the conservatives are stepping up, at election time and demanding that parents be given the right to make this decision. The government should not do this.
What did my dad come to America for? Did he escape communism only to have freedoms taken away from his children and grandchildren? He smoked cigarettes and this is where it began with taking our rights away. People are treated horribly that smoke – however, ironically, during the pandemic alcohol establishments were left open. When you speak to liberals about this, they say “Well, an alcoholic could die if they don’t have access to alcohol.” Really? Too bad. And yet, they “liberals” were forceful in laws to get cigarette smoking banned from buildings, public establishments, etc… They care about alcoholics but not cigarette smokers? I don’t see their point.
Laws are also being passed to make doctor’s lie. Literally. If they have an opinion about something, keep it to themselves or lose their license. Especially about COVID. “Spreading COVID lies?” Doctors are liars now? They don’t have a right to an opinion? I spoke to a retired doctor and she informed me that this COVID law is not the first one. We discussed how HMO’s and other insurance programs had changed the way doctor’s interact with you. I was reminded that my doctor used to spend a lot more time with me in the office. I knew we spent more time in hospitals, but since I had only been in one once, overnight – 42 years ago, I had not thought of this point. Pushing people out of the hospital, as fast as we can. Opening up in-office surgery centers to get cut up and sent home – don’t forget to have someone who can drive you; pre-conversations. This was customer service being taken from us physically and mentally a long time ago. Doctors do not care about their patients because insurance won’t let them. Is this what my dad came to America for?
Psychotherapists have become very lazy during the pandemic and opted to not pay for an office and work from home. Some Employee Assistance Programs jumped on this band wagon during the pandemic. Insurance companies haven’t stopped allowing us to do tele-health, therapists now say “It is the future.” No, it is poor customer care. I can not work with the energy of my client over the video. I hated it but I did it for clients during the mass hysteria in the beginning of the pandemic. Before too long, they requested “Can I come in,” and I told them I had never shut my doors. When my client is in a crisis, they need to see me in person. They need to feel my energy. Sometimes they ask for a hug. Especially now, when they lack human connection in the world. I even had a client, recently, who just reached out to hug me, unconsciously. I set a boundary to explain but realized that this was part of therapy at that moment. They seriously needed human connection. They were very deprived and that was what our discussion was about with their spouse. If it weren’t for the fact that it was a man and it was the first session, I would have allowed it. I generally do if they ask, but first session, you have to be more cautious. We have had more discussions about it since. It was a valuable moment. It taught me how much human connection is lost in our society, or reminded me.
I was reading a newsletter on LinkedIn by a guru I follow, in the U.S. It was talking about human connection and I responded by saying something similar to the last paragraph. A man from New Zealand, in the Maori tribe, responded that he agreed with me 100% about psychotherapists. He told me a phrase that his people use that speaks to human connection. I think it was similar to the French saying “tête-à-tête.” We need to be face-to-face as clinicians. We need to be focused on the health and well-being of our clients and their needs. They don’t want telehealth. It seems easier for them and some have become unresponsive to going back to the office. They have become so isolated and trapped in their homes – even more reason to get them out of their homes and down to our office. Psychotherapists are keeping people in their homes by colluding with their health issues. They are not doing their jobs and are not in touch with how telehealth is impacting the person.
Okay, there are times when telehealth is good. When I am a single woman, very ill and want to talk to my doctor, I don’t want to get in my car and drive to their office. If I am handicapped and have problems driving. There are always limited exceptions to the rule but not every time. Non-profits got lazy and cheap long ago and pretended that “in-home counseling” was the norm and what economically deprived people wanted and needed. I saw immediately how inappropriate this care was to my clients. Doing therapy in their home, with Uncle Bob lurking around the corner, rodents running around the house (or cockroaches in one severe case), and don’t forget bed bugs. I literally had to carry a folding chair to one house because it was so filthy and unhygienic, while my client sat on her dirty mattress. How exactly did this help my clients? Insured people get to walk in the door of a psychotherapist office and get out of their home for fifty minutes to be treated one-on-one by a clinician. Why can’t underprivileged people do this too? Customer service is important to the well-being of our nation.
Again, what did my father come here for? He left a country steeped in communism – the government telling people how to live their life and enforcing laws on them. It began with the Young Pioneer Scouts in the classroom – forced scouting on children, who were indoctrinated in the mass hysteria of communist beliefs. They went home and told their parents what they were supposed to think. They turned people in, including adults. In China, with one child policy, “Grandmothers” scouted for mothers who dared to get pregnant a second time and enforced abortions took place (I saw a documentary while in grad school in the late 90’s). The mass hysteria of the pandemic was forced policies that sprung up overnight, literally. Suddenly, retail clerks were yelling at you to put masks on. People were staring you down if you coughed or did not wear your mask. People were harassed in companies all over.
I literally had some girl in my gym (after it finally re-opened), harass me for not wearing a mask in the locker room. She was more than six feet away (with a wall of lockers in between us) and I was eating my Luna bar after we had both got out of the pool – sharing chlorine together. Then she harassed me for bringing my own hair dryer in and drying my hair – in the middle of winter. I had to rinse my hair in the sink because the showers were locked up and was not about to go outside and get sick (isn’t that what we worried about?). And, we think there is no communism in America. American’s have never experienced communism so they don’t know what it looks like when it is present. My family does and so do thousands of other Hungarian-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and refugee families and descendants from other communist countries. It is here. My dad came here to provide a better and safer life for his family, only to have exactly what he left behind showing up now. I thank God my dad is not alive to see this. I thank God that he did not have to witness what I am seeing right now. He would be devastated.