After putting great thought into transcribing some documents from my family history, I found that some content contained some ethnic slurs. I mortified myself as I was typing the transcription, I would NEVER use these words! What to do? What would you do? Read on…
When I decided to add a series on my personal blog about my grandparents and their letters to each other spanning the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, I was pretty excited. What a great way to share my family history.
I asked my mom for the letters and she brought them to my house Thanksgiving 2018. In December I got all set with the direction I was going to go, I pulled out old photos, my grandfathers journals, and his life story “The Life Story of a lucky Tennessee Sailor that Lived to Retire”. That , with some historical research would give the letters some interest to people other than my family
Should I censor, or not censor?
I decided to transcribe some excerpts from my grandfather’s life story to fill in some blanks in the letter’s storyline. When I started reviewing the parts I was going to use I realized he used ethnic slurs, common in the 1940’s, throughout his writings. And, in the 3rd installment I was faced with censoring his words in the transcription, or leaving as-is. I decided that censoring the words would not work because it would be the same as pretending these prejudices never existed. Our society has come a long way since world war 2. To cover it up by censorship or erasing it all together is the modern day equivalent of burning books. BUT on the other hand, not everyone agrees with me and I certainly do not want to hurt anyone. Either way is a sticky-wicket.
I solicited advice from a good friend, she suggested a disclaimer. I did some research and came up with the following wording I can copy into the pages as needed.
This entry may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. These transcriptions are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.
Should I warn, or not warn?
During my research I found that my disclaimer was actually called a “Trigger Warning”. That opened a whole new can of worms, do I or don’t I? There were lots of articles arguing both sides. Then I found the following analogy, it had been copied and pasted several times and I don’t know who the original author is, but it was perfect. I am a person with many food and environmental allergies, and have been told things like “It’s all in your head” and “exposure will cure you!”.
I decided to use the Trigger Warning. The blog series is “Pauline’s Letters” I linked them to the sidebar in this blog.
If you found this blog looking for someone to guide you on your own sticky-wicket, I would say to decide for yourself, it’s your blog. This is my blog, just my opinion… and meandering scribble.
Do you work for a non profit? I volunteer for one, our Old Bills campaign is “Meet a Member”, it was my turn to blog about me. Please read on.
I played the flute from 5th grade until I graduated from High School, then played in the Bishop California Community Band a couple times right out of high school. I moved to Jackson for a summer in 1980 and stayed, life, work, family, children, and Jackson Hole activities filling my life and my flute collecting dust in the closet.
In 2004 I was sitting in the stands at my son’s little league game. One of the other moms, Nancy Ninnemann, who I also know from Boy Scouts, was talking about paying the flute. I told her I played the flute in High School, she immediately said “why aren’t you in the Community Band”. After a bit of arm twisting I agreed to come to a rehearsal.
I had not played with an organized group in almost 25 years and had not played more than a few notes in 20 years. I pulled my flute out of the closet and put it together. The Cork on the head joint was loose but it still worked and I could play a scale from memory. Remembering how to play it was like riding a bicycle, no problem. However remembering how to read music proved to be a bit more challenging, I pulled out my fingering chart and went to rehearsal a couple days later.
When I arrived at rehearsal there were about 30ish musicians there, other than Nancy I only knew one other person, Cecilia Bellinghiere, also from Boy Scouts. Nancy had a chair and stand ready for me, and when I sat down she handed me a folder of music. OMG! What did I get myself into? Lots and lots of lines and black dots, I was completely overwhelmed. I looked at Nancy and said “Middle line is a B, right?”.
One of the pieces we rehearsed that night was The Liberty Bell by John Phillip Sousa… lots of black dots were on the page. I must have had the ‘deer in the headlights’ look on my face, Nancy assured me I would recognize the tune. We began… the Monty Python Theme! And right where the Monty Python Theme stops and spits a raspberry the conductor, Don Cushman, stopped us. If I had only known these people like I do now I would have filled in the empty air with the classic raspberry.
I practiced often that spring, windows open, torturing my husband and neighbors. I remember after a week or so my husband comment that it’s starting to sound like music. YAY, it was coming back. I went to a few more rehearsals, performed in a parade, a concert, then summer break. During the break I sent my flute at a shop for a tune up.
Even though there was a near 25 year break all that knowledge was still there. The marches on little pieces of paper are harder to see than I remember, I have to blow up them to read the notes. Playing pieces I had memorized in high school was a little weird too. I would get to a part I still remembered then lose where I was on the music in front of me. Within a year I purchased a metal piccolo for parades, eventually becoming 2nd piccolo, and roping my husband into pulling the band on a trailer in the local parades. In 2012 we lost our primary piccolo player, Norma Foster, to cancer, I moved to her chair, I think about her often and always try to live up to her example.
It’s 2018, I have two jobs, a weekend ski pass, my husband and I spend most summer weekends in our RV, we fish, bicycle, and I have band. I’m the Librarian, Vice President, the JHCB Website Administrator, and a much better musician than I was in high school. As busy as my life is, I can not imagine my life without music, music is good for the soul. And the friends I have made in Community Band are like an extended family.
Did this make you reminisce about your years in High School or College Band? Do you miss a life with music in it? Why aren’t you in the Jackson Hole Community Band? Rehearsals are 7pm at the Center for the Arts, in the performing arts wing. Dust off your instrument and join us. Don’t live in Jackson Hole? Many towns have a community band, do an internet search and see what’s near you.
Keep the music alive!
Please remember us at Old Bills 2018.
In 2018, you can give beginning August 1st until 5 pm on September 14th. We hope you can join us Saturday, September 8th, for Old Bill’s at the Jackson Town Square!
What is Old Bills?
We cannot thank you enough for your support!
Thank you from all of the Jackson Hole Community Band Members.
2018 – 2019 Season
- Old Bills Fun Run
- Halloween Concert
- Tuba Christmas
- Holiday Concert
- Wyoming Special Olympics – 50 Years!
- Spring Concert
- Old West Days Parade
- Independence Day Parade & Lions Club Breakfast Concert
- Jackson Lake Lodge Patriotic Concert
As a general rule of thumb when it comes to telemarketers I do not engage. If they are polite say not thank you or we are not interested and hang up. If it is a recording I just hang up without saying anything. BUT if the person rude or try’s to tell me a bald face lie I get a little more creative.
In this case I received a call with no caller ID, the guy asked for Tim (the owner) I asked who was calling and he BELCHED in my ear then did not answer. It wasn’t even a good one, it was girly. I asked again who was calling, he answered “Tim.” Thinking he misunderstood me I asked again, he replied again, “Tim.” I said “This is Tim calling for Tim?” He said yes. I asked what company he was from, then he replied with the name of OUR Company. I said “hold please” and put him on hold until he hung up. Dit ship.
Whenever I find something misfiled I just smile and say “Cat Hearing”.
Oh Julie, you can’t herd cats!
A friend said that to me just last night! Cat Herding? Yup, it’s a thing, it is on my resume, and there was even a cute Superbowl Commercial about cowboys herding cats.
What is cat herding? According to the Wikipedia it’s an idiom denoting a futile attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are inherently uncontrollable – as in the difficulty of attempting to command a large number of cats into a group (herd).
In my experience it is leading a large group of individuals of all ages and professions that are volunteering their precious time when they have better things to do…. and completing a task. Simple? Nope. But since I put it on my resume I better put my money where my mouth is. So here are my tips to cat herding.
Be a cat lover:
The group you are leading are people who have generosity donated their time, and likely people you are friends with. Be respectful of their time, and be sure to thank them purr-fusely. If you have that one cat who shows up and helps for everything, but is terrible at completing tasks, thank them and assign them a partner.
Offer pizza. I almost always delegate this job. Getting organized and giving instructions uses up the time needed to get a count and order pizza. Beer is good too, but only for some groups, be wise.
Have the cat toys ready:
Be as organized as possible before they show up. For example, when I have a music folder stuffing task I have everything laid out and ready to stuff before the volunteers arrive. Sometimes delegating a small task in advance to someone who wants to help but can not make it to the event.
Cats like to play:
Your volunteers are a group of like minded people who will also want to visit with each other. Remember this isn’t their job, it’s their free time they are giving up for your organization. Be part of the fun while gently guiding them towards the goal.
Cats will often ignore you:
There is always that small group, such as the back row in a band, that are busy gabbing and do not hear the details. Be prepared to give instructions several times, I usually make some sort of handout.
Cats will be cats:
They like to do things their own way. This is the hardest one, some volunteers will only do things the way they think it should be done, or not do a task if they think it is not needed. Resort to begging if necessary, try saying “Please do it [this] way, I find it saves me time in the future”, or assign the task to someone else. But in the end, they are volunteers and be happy they arrived to help.
The Stray Cat Strut:
People have various schedules, some will never volunteer. Don’t agonize over finding the perfect day or place. Set the time and place and get to work, work with what you have, and remember to have fun. I have not had a fail yet.
Don’t be a Grumpy Cat:
Cats are not perfect, if you need the job to be done perfectly, or imperfections bother you, either hire someone or do it yourself. And yes, their are certain things I will do myself to make my life easier.
Cats are loyal:
If you are a good herder, the cats will return to play the next time.
Happy Herding =^..^=
“Is this the party to whom I am speaking?”
When watching Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In with my parents in the 70’s, Lilly Tomlin’s Ernestine was one of the characters I remember the most. I’m not sure if it was her 1940’s garb and silly demeanor, or just her snort that made me laugh. Who knew I’d spend so much time on the phone as an adult. I even worked as a switchboard operator twice. The first time was in 1980 at the Snow King Resort. It was an old switchboard with wires and plugs just like Ernestine used.
At work, the telemarketer, robocalls, spam, scam, and crank calls out number the legitimate business calls, it’s crazy! Some of the callers get around the no call list because you have done business with them before or currently do business with them, some are just scams, I even get the occasional crank call. I was wondering if anyone has done a study on how much these calls are costing businesses in man hour dollars. I did a search and found many links on hiring a telemarketer, and many on stopping those telemarketers. (I’m still looking for that study.)
You are not dealing with just anyone’s fool. I am a high-school graduate. – Lilly Tomlin, as Ernestine the Operator
Over the years the telemarketers have com up with some pretty ingenious angles to suck you in. I’ve given up on getting rid of all the calls, unfortunately it’s part of life these days. I stay on the phone long enough to make sure it’s not a legitimate business call, then hang up. Some are very good at sounding legitimate, but most are easy to figure out. My favorite? A computer yelling at you “DON’T HANG UP!”. But guess what, I hang up.
Why would anyone want to buy anything from these unscrupulous people? Why would anyone want to do business with a company that tries to trick you on the get-go?
Here are a few basic tips:
- General rule of thumb: Don’t engage – just hang up.
- If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Nothing is free, you are either a customer or a commodity. If someone is offering you something for free, you and your contact info are the commodity.
- Once you take a survey you have done business with that company and they can now legally spam call you.
- If you are entering a contest that requires all your contact info read the fine print. Many times you are authorizing them to sell your info to their associates, which could be telemarketers.
- Google is not calling you (unless you asked them to).
- Don’t say “Yes” if a caller asks you “Is this [your business name]?” after you just answered the phone introducing your business. Scammers record it and use the recording to authorize whatever they are selling.
- Educate your employees. Among other things, scammers call and ask your employees for info on your copier to send an “updated manual”, then send one with a big bill.
- Never give out or confirm your banking or credit card info to someone who called you.
How may I, in all humble servitude, be of assistance? – Lilly Tomlin, as Ernestine the Operator
It’s frustrating weeding out the calls but sometimes it can be dealt with on a more humorous level if you get a real person. No sense on getting stressed out or angry over something you have little control over. But remember, that real person trying to sell you something is likely just a person like you or me with a really crappy job. I only mess with real people who are rude and/or obviously trying to scam me. I started a blog series, “Ringy-Dingys” to share some of the more memorable calls in my career.
Please follow my blog and feel free share your unusual telemarketer stories long the way.