Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Recent ruling for Hobby Lobby

I am currently taking a management ethics class as an elective for my masters degree in HR Leadership.  Our text book was talking about "Standards of Conduct".  I thought the recent ruling for Hobby Lobby fit right in to what the book was talking about.  So much so that I wrote my discussion post about it.  I thought I would share.

----------My discussion post, with references in case you want to check my work :)---------------------
Chapter 1 explores various means and tools for working through ethical decisions. Which of those do you find the most useful or compelling, and why?

I found the idea of Standards of Conduct to be very intriguing.  I think this can be a tricky situation to maneuver through.  Our textbook states “When the rules change, or the shared values disappear, problems emerge” (Wicks et al. 2010).  While reading my Facebook feed the last couple of days, I find a great number of my friends up in arms about the recent ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby being exempt from certain portions of Obamacare based on religious freedom (Gerstein and Nather. 2014).  Regardless of how I personally feel about this issue, I find it interesting that so many companies are coming under attack for upholding their idea of ethics, dignity, and integrity. 

It is widely known that Hobby Lobby is a Christian owned company and holds Christian values at the heart of their business.  This has come into question for other companies too.  Ethics made headline news when Chic-Fil-A came under attack for their moral views also.  In a New York Times article, entitled A Chicken Chain’s Corporate Ethos Is Questioned by Gay Rights Advocates, the restaurant change was hailed as “among only a handful of large American companies with conservative religion built into its corporate ethos” (Severson. 2011).  The company came under attack by the gay rights community because the company sponsored a marriage seminar put on by an outspoken anti-homosexual organization (Severson. 2011).  This caused some to criticize the chain and its patrons as “anti-gay” (Severson. 2011).   However, the article went on to say the company president put out a statement saying “we serve and value all people and treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect” (Severson. 2011).

It appears, to me, more and more these days that we cannot disagree with each other and still be generally good people.  Our textbook talks about open societies embracing differences of opinions (Wicks et al. 2010), why can’t we have differences of opinion and still coexist with each other?  Why can’t a business run on their ethics without treading on someone else’s rights or feelings?  I feel as though, in the case of Hobby Lobby, if an employee wants the contraceptive care option and cannot get it through his/her employer, he/she has the freedom to find an alternate employer or purchase his/her own health insurance to cover that portion of his/her health.  Much like I have to find a health insurance that meets my needs or I have to cover the cost myself. 

Overall, I think it is becoming more and more difficult for companies and even individuals to have differences of option that go against the opinion of the masses, or those who are the loudest.  I think we, as a society, need to embrace differences of opinion not as an attack against us personally, but as a different way of thinking.


Gerstein, J & Nather, D. (June 30, 2014). Hobby Lobby Decision: 5 Take Aways. Politico. Retrieved from: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-decision-5-takeaways-108467.html

Severson, Kim. (January 29, 2011). A Chicken Chain’s Corporate Ethos Is Questioned by Gay Rights Advocates. New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/us/30chick.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Wicks, A.C., Freeman, R. E., Werhane, P.H., Martin K.E. (2010) Business Ethics: A Managerial Approach, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Friday, December 20, 2013


So often we hear that we need to watch our words and be careful how we say things because we can offend someone without even realizing it.  I find this to be a little frustrating to have to walk on egg shells around the world. 

Just this week, in a staff meeting, we were told to be cautious about what we say and how we say it because there are many different people from different places and cultures and it can be offensive without the intent being there.  There is a Miranda Lambert song titled "All Kinds of Kinds".  It talks about all the people we may think are nut bags, but how it takes these people to make the world go round, I totally agree with that!

With that said, I have to say that I have made friends with many people from different walks of life.  I grew up in a very small town with pretty much 0% diversity.  I was asked last year how old I was when I saw my first black person.  I found that question to be kind of interesting.  My parents raised us to love people, regardless of what they look like.  One of my very close friends as a little girl was Korean.  It is just interesting to see.

When I went to college, I was exposed to a whole new world.  People from big cities were all looking at me like a crazy person who had been sheltered my whole life.  I made a very good friend who was of a different race than me.  One day, we were sitting at her house and she started wrapping her hair (she is mixed with "black girl hair").  Wrapping hair at night keeps it straight.  She told me what she was doing, in a reassuring tone.  I told her, ok...she said "you are looking at me like I'm crazy."  From there, I loved being able to ask my ignorant questions, without judgment!

Since then, I have moved a bunch of time, and I have found many friends who accept me for me, and all my crazy questions.  Recently, with this move to Germany and my working in my office, I have been exposed to even more culture.  My office mate is from Brooklyn, until she moved to Queens and then her family moved to the south.  Another of my new friends is from Alabama, raised by a single, strong, black momma.  And finally, another friend raised in TX, with great manners and properness :).  These three ladies have allowed me to talk and ask questions that others may find offensive.  Due to our relationship, we can speak openly and they can help me become less ignorant.

Yesterday, while eating lunch, we were talking about the difference between white mommas and black mommas when it comes to disciplining our children in public.  We used the stores on base as our example.  There were 2 white moms there, myself and another girl.  She brought up the point that if we spank our kid in the food court, the police are going to be there in a hot second, however if one of the other three ladies (all black) "whooped" there kid, no one would say anything.  I find that so interesting. 

I remember, one day at the post office in the hospital, H was acting up and a swatted her hind end...I didn't even think twice about it until after I had done it...then I kind of looked around to ensure I wasn't going to get in trouble.  Thankfully no one was there to report sad behavior.

No, please don't get me wrong (or get offended by this) I don't agree with beating your kids.  I do believe people abuse their children without ever laying a hand on them...I do not agree with that.  I do, however, think children should have a healthy fear of their parents.  What I mean by that is, children should respect authority, regardless of who the authority is.  Authority figures should never have to "earn" a child's respect...that is ridiculous to me.

I was talking to a woman one day who equated saying "well I was spanked and turned out fine" to not having to wear seat belts or use car seats when we were young...this I disagree with.  I think the spanking is the immediate result of the bad decision.  It is like Pavlow's dogs...when the bell rang, they thought there was food.  I remember thinking about whether the punishment was worth the misbehavior.  I think this is healthy.

My dad said that he was not or friend growing up, he was the authority.  But once we were grown up, he said that he wanted to raise his kids so that we could be friends when we were grown.  If you raise a jerk, you won't want to be friends with him when he is grown.

Likewise, if you are a child's friend and do not teach them how to respect authority, for the mere fact that the person is in authority, you will have trouble all the days of that kid's childhood.

By now I am certain I have offended many people.  This is what I say to that...stop being offended.  If someone is expressing a view or a feeling, and they are not doing it violently against you...either walk away, stop reading the article, or tell them why you are offended and open a dialog.  Just screaming at each other is not a dialog!  People have different thoughts and feelings and ways of expressing them.  If we were all the same...it would be a terribly boring world.  Another quote from my dad, "if everyone agrees, only one man is thinking."  So, think for yourself, stop trapping people into offending you, and learn as much as possible to avoid ignorance. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Last day at this job

Notice has been given, a replacement hired and trained, and today is my last day as a SAHM!  I start my new job on Monday morning working for the Air Force.  This is a new adventure for me, for sure. 

As with any job, I am leaving this one with mixed emotions.  I have learned so much, made great memories, been completely frustrated and out of my mind, but it was a good experience overall. 

Since February 1st, I have been a SAHM, H was 23 months old.  She was learning more and more words, getting into things, and getting ready for potty training.  Now, she is 29 months old and she is a little person.  She has a mind of her own, much like her mom, and wants everything her way.  She has learned how to use the potty, but sometimes doesn't...I believe sometimes out of spite for said mom.  She loves tv, Dora especially.  I can sing all the words to the Dora intro, I know almost every word to the movie Tangled, and I know what movie she is referring to when she says "rella", "puppies", "Mice", and "balloon". 

This job has allowed me to learn another language, H-ish.  I feel often that I am the only one in the world who knows this language.  This must be a marketable skill :)

What I will not miss: Meltdowns in the grocery store, fits because I put the wrong movie in, yelling because I didn't give her the right cereal, fights over nap time, cleaning up poop, cleaning up her room after said naptime doesn't go well and she destroys her room.

What I will miss:  sleeping late, random hugs, kisses on demand, funny actions like flying off the couch, successes like using the potty alone, more words in English.

I know I will still have time with my baby girl, it just will be much less.  I know that we will all adjust.

Why I am not a SAHM:  I have great respect for those who are SAHMs, I know I really am not the best at it.  With that, the reason I choose not to be is due to the example I had as a child.  My most amazing mother got her degree when I was 4 and her masters when I was 13.  She worked hard and showed me what that meant.  She was successful and always learning to become more marketable.  She actually got her first job teaching because she had taken a computer class in college that the other candidate did not.  She did it all.  She was there to tuck us in at night, made dinner every night, spent time with us, and encouraged us to be independent people and reach for our dreams.  She taught me hard work and perseverance.  She never gave up, she kept going.  I know a lot had to do with my dad pushing her, but she did it...she went to the classes, interviews, work, and meetings.  She did it. 

With that example, I feel very strongly that I need to continue the cycle on to H.  Everyone who knows H knows she is very head strong and stubborn.  She doesn't want help, "I do it".  I want that to continue.  I want her to see that she can do it.  She can work hard and achieve her dreams.  But at the same time, I will encourage her in whatever her dreams are. 

With all of that...it is with joy and sadness that I leave this job, like I have left so many.  I will go from full time to part time and will work my butt off during my hours of work!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ugh, 2!

As you all know, I have become a Stay At Home Mom (SHAM).  This was not really a choice for me, but rather a default since I can't seem to find a job.  I know I seem to complain about this a lot.  I am not cut out for this line of work and I am big enough to say that...again.

Well, while talking to my good friend, a few weeks ago, she stated something I hadn't thought about...she said that most SHAMs get to start with an infant, not a 2 year old!

I have really been thinking about that the last couple of days...boy is that right.  Today, I was in the shower and H was standing outside the shower doors just screaming because I wasn't letting her in.  Let's be clear, the shower is very small, it is a 1 person shower for sure!  So, no, I was not going to take the time to undress her and have her come into the shower with me, and then yell because she didn't like where the shaving cream was on the wall...ugh.  It was easier to just let her scream outside the shower. 

I was thinking about what she was like as an infant and how wonderful she was.  Well...I think it is true that you forget a lot of the bad stuff because I KNOW she was annoying to me as an infant too.  I think what makes it more annoying now is that she knows what to do, how to do things, but doesn't want to.  She just cries and whines until she makes me do it! 

Well, today was a very trying day for mommy!  We started whinning at 8:25 and she has continued to whine even now at 6:45.  I can't put her to bed because then she will be up at 2 ready to play and I have a big day tomorrow.

That brings me to another thing!  I have Red Cross Volunteer orientation tomorrow!  I am so beyond excited!!!!  It will give me a chance to get out of the house, be social, and h can go to be social with other kids.  The ONLY downside to this is...wait for it...I am not getting paid.  At this point, it is worth it just to get out of the house and get some exposure to people.  I am really hoping this leads to a paying job, somewhere!

I will be working (volunteering) in the hospital Rick works at, so that makes it easier too...at least I won't have for have lunch alone all the time.

Anyway, that's enough for now...tomorrow is another day and it will be fine.  My mom's suggestion was to create a journal to write down all the things she is doing, the only problem with that is that it may not be all positive for her to read in the future. 

Today's entry would read:
Today you learned how to open your bedroom door...this is not the best life skill at this time because that means you can escape my captivity and continue to bug me.
Also, you are learning the very important life skill of pulling up and pushing down your undies so you can go potty by yourself...it works better when you have pants on...for some reason.

Oh well...some day!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What do you do?

I haven't written in quite some time, some due to the lack of internet connection (order service on February 14th, received service March 28th)...I don't ever want to hear anyone complain about slow service again!

As many of you know, we have moved to Germany...I'm sure you are sick of hearing about it.  This post will probably not be very positive, I apologized now for that! 

Due to the move, I requested to be placed on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) from my job at Ft Knox...what that means is that I am still considered a Federal Government Employee, I am just not working.  The benefit to this is that I don't lose my status, I can get hired easier, and I keep my seniority.  Well, in theory.

I requested 90 days of LWOP to start on 1 February 2013.  I had applied for many jobs prior to coming over here, I had sent my resume to the director of the office here that is like my office at Knox, nothing.  Then the government ran out of money...great!  So no one was hiring...well, they were still announcing jobs, I was still applying, I was still kinda holding out hope to get picked up in the office here like the office in the states.  I requested to be registered for a program that helps spouses obtain employment quicker, it is like a priority consideration list.  Well, long story short, they don't do that here because they don't HAVE to.  UGH!  Then I found out that there was some not so nice stuff being said about me to the director here, so that would explain the reason I never heard back from him.  That makes me extremely frustrated as the information provided was about the time I was here last when my life was completely unstable and I was young and making a bunch of mistakes.  Since that time, I have gained knowledge, experience, and balance.  oh, well...to each their own.

Now I am applying for jobs, I was being a little picky, but then all stops were off because I needed something.  I was still being a little choosy in what I would apply for.  Well, my 90 days are up in 17 days, so I asked for an extension, 60 more days...I really asked for an extension until October, but she gave me 60 days.  That puts me to 3 July.  I haven't had an interview, a phone call, NOTHING!!!  I'm not quite sure why, but I am getting very frustrated.

So, I turn to my amazing mom for support, her advice is to enjoy the time I am home with H.  Yeah, that ended about 50 days ago!  I am not becoming bitter, feeling frustrated, useless, and abandoned.  I feel like I am not valuable enough to get a job, which makes me crazy.  I know I have great skills and I know I should be content where I am at, but it is not working very well for me.

I have said many times that I am not cut out to be a SAHM...people I know tell me that too, so I know it isn't just me.  I feel like I am a worse mother to H.  I feel like she may have more quantity time with me, but the quality has diminished.  I find myself unmotivated, unproductive, and slobby.  I take a shower just so that I don't feel like I have accomplished nothing when Rick comes home at night.

Yes, I cook, I take care of H, I provide her with love and support, teaching her life lessons (like how to pull your undies up and down), but I don't feel fulfilled, I don't feel useful, I don't feel like I am contributing to society, or the household.

Rick doesn't care really, he knows I want a job, not because we cannot make it on his pay, but because I find joy in working.  I find my identity in working.  Maybe that is the problem.  Maybe I am not getting any offers because I cannot identify myself with my job, I have to be more than just a job, mom or otherwise.  I have to find ME, not something else.  Ok, that is what I am going to work on and toward.  Finding an identity outside of SGT Konish's wife, H's mom, and a Federal employee...I have to be more...I have to be Sara Konish, and figure out what that really means!

I will keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2 Weeks and counting...

Two weeks ago we landed at Ramstein Air Force Base, Ramstein, Germany.  I was ready for this new life, it was going to be totally different, but I was ready...so I thought. 

I haven't worked since January 31st, well I haven't worked at a paying job.  I took a 90 day leave of absence to accompany my military spouse to our new duty station...this is what they put on your personnel action when you do something like we are doing now.  With that, it buys me 90 days to move, get settled, and find a job.  That, or come off the rolls and have to start all over.  At the end of the 90 days, it is as if I quit my job, the job I have loved for almost 8 years.  The job I have become so good at and have taken such great pride in and found such great self worth doing.  But, I digress. 

I have a new job now (at least temporarily).  I am a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM).  If you have been reading my blog, you know this is quite a challenge for me.  I have always prided myself on not being a SAHM, not because I thought it was weak or bad, or for people who could or wouldn't do anything else...or really just for hippies.  I didn't want to do it because I knew I would be bad at it and I am not normally one to do things I know I won't be good at.

Enough of that, I have already talked about that before, so I will go on...

I have had some frustrating days here, the last two weeks.  I have been super frustrated with pretty much everyone, Rick, Halaina, the personnel department, housing, no vehicle, everything and everyone.  I have had to adjust to a new live, a new lifestyle, a new job, and a new place.  I feel disjointed.  I have been watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy lately and I feel like my body is in two different places, needing to be shifted back together and pinned in place.  Like I was thrown against a wall and hit my head and have to relearn everything again.

Today, I had a glimpse of grace and hope.  Last week I was very upset and depressed.  I didn't think I was doing anything right.  I was failing as a mom, I was failing as a wife, I was failing as an employee (because I couldn't get a new job), and I wasn't doing as well in my class as I want to be.  Well...today I think I became a better SAHM.  I was irritated because I had to sleep in H's bed with her 1/2 the night, so I didn't get much sleep, so when she was up and excited at 8:00, I was irritated, I wanted more sleep.  Then we watched some of her shows, she calmed down.

Last night I made a plan for what I wanted to do today.  I wanted to: workout, go for a walk, do my homework, and finish Grey's.  I have accomplished all but two things on my list.  I worked out and finished Grey's. 

I learned some things today.  It is easier to workout when H is asleep because she likes to go between my legs while doing lunges and that causes a problem when I continue to step on her fingers over and over again.  Zumba is better for her than bootcamp.  She gets bored with it easier and goes to sit on the couch.

She really likes tortillas for lunch, not so much what she ate the night before for dinner.  I know she gets that from me.  I have a hard time eating things too many times in a row.  I will have to be sure and not do that to her tomorrow.

Last night was the first time I got to shower alone.  I didn't realize how much I missed that until this afternoon when we were showing and I heard the sentence no mother wants to hear while showering with their child. 
"Yeah, baby?"
"I poopy"
"You pooped?"

Ugh, a big turd in the shower!  So, yes, I did spend 10 mins trying to get it to dissolve down the drain rather than pick it up with toilet paper and flush it down the toilet.  All the while H was rubbing my tattoos...sometimes she thinks she needs to scrub them off. 

We decided to have brinner tonight, breakfast for dinner.  I started cooking the bacon.  I have never really cooked bacon before and while I was doing it I realized i have no idea how my husband likes his bacon.  So, I did my best.  I learned I really want an apron (now that I really understand why women wear them...my mother never did).  I also learned that you have to drain the grease between batches or you will burn the crap out of your hands.

When Rick got home, he decided to tell me he doesn't even like bacon.  This could be seen by the bacon he picked out for me to cook (pretty much all fat).  I said "What?? Why did you buy it then?"  "Because whenever I see people cooking breakfast, they are cooking bacon."  Yep, that's mine.

After dinner, I cleaned the kitchen, I have done laundry, and then it was time to just sit for a bit.  Rick thanked me for the way the house looked like and said that I do have a lot of self worth stay home with H..."as long as I don't killer her". 

Based on today, I am feeling better about being a SAHM.  Granted, I am dying to get back to work, but I appreciated my child more today.  I got to spend time with a tiny person, listen to her say "I Love You" every time I kiss her.  Watching her put on her fairy wings and carry in a 1.5 liter bottle of water without spilling it, and poop in the shower with me.  I love that little kid.  She is growing up so fast, so I am glad I can spend this blink of an eye with her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Saga of a new SAHM

Ugh, many of you know that I am not a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) naturally.  I have worked since I was 16 and find great pride and joy in working.  I love it.  I, personally, believe that it also helps Halaina.  I feel that it allows her to be social, learn more, and be on a structured routine.  I know she gets more from the daycare than I can give her at home.

Well, now we are in a different place.  I am not working due to the move.  This has caused some issues.  With this, I am staying home with H.  I am pretty positive she knows something is different, but her whole life is different, so she may not be really in tune with this being the issue.

Naturally, I am a pretty lazy person.  I thrive on a routine also.  I am not a self starter.  I don't do well with tons of free time.  I have always said that if I was a SAHM, I would be 500 lbs, sitting on the couch, eating bon bons, watching Judge Judy.  Funny side note...the German word for candy is bonbon.  This is proving to be true, although I am not 500lbs and Judge Judy doesn't air over here anymore (at least not on AFN).  I have been feelng that I am getting lazier and lazier. 

There are some serious issues I have been noticing since we have been here, one is that I am not getting as good a grade in my class as I feel I should.  This may seem minor, but it is just one more thing on the plate.

We are living in a 2 bedroom apartment type extended stay hotel.  Rick gets to go every day and do something new.  I stay with the crazy.  Ugh!

Yesterday, I was having a mini melt down about how I felt like I was failing (even though it was the closest thing to an actual schedule day H has had since we got here).  I started talking to him about how I felt like I was failing and he said that my problem is that I have these expectations on myself tat he does not.  He told me he is not expecting things to be this way or that way.  I am so thankful for an understanding husband who will put up with my craziness.

Today, he came home from work very early, let me sleep, and took care of H.  It was amazing!!!  I am feeling better, I have a plan, and we will get through this.

I contacted the personnel office here and they gave me some news that doesn't makes sense, so I am following up with that.  I am going to apply at 2 branches of the bank.  H is going to German day care (kindergarten).  We are going to make this work.  We have only been here 1 week, but I am confident there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

We have a house to move in to, we will move on the 25th.  We are moving right along.  Oh, and I can officially drive in Germany now, which also makes me less stir crazy.  This may sound funny, but it helps knowing that I can just get a car and drive somewhere!!! 

Anyway, we will get through this.  More to come on the SAHM of Halaina Konish...who isn't very good at it!