Friday, July 10, 2009

Northside Hospital, Walmart and AT&T

Today I wanted to tell you about some of my experiences with these big corporations whose names you see in the title.

Northside Hospital - I have been treated like a king. I must admit that I am a complaining type of person but at that hospital there was simply nothing to complain about. Well, I could always say that there was no jacuzzi or sauna but I was sick, so I wouldn't be able to use them anyways. I was in a room with a 37" plasma TV, comfortable bed with 6 different buttons for adjustments of height and angles, a "nurse" button, which calls a nurse who responds within 5 seconds, I had my own private bathroom with shower, a wardrobe and chester drawer, hot meals were brought straight to my bed, I had wireless Internet and many more. I simply felt like in a 5 star hotel. They even gave me a bunch of supplies to take home. Simply perfect. I am still thinking if I could complain about something but I can't figure anything out. Even the nurses were young and pretty.

Walmart - Everybody knows what is Walmart and how it looks and how it is there so I am not going to write about this. I am just going to write about the incident at Walmart pharmacy recently. I am married for over a year. My wife sent me to the Walmart pharmacy to pick up medications for her. When I went there and asked for the medications by providing my last name, the pharmacist (who was 10 feet away from me and was looking at me) told the cashier "Please tell him that the medication was not called in yet, I will call the doctor". Then, the cashier, who was 6 feet away from me told me "The pharmacist said that the pharmacist will call the doctor. Please wait". This was completely awkward. The pharmacist could simply tell me that directly. I was right there. Anyways, after waiting for over 30 minutes and not being called, I went back to the window and I asked for the medications again, but this time by providing my wife's maiden name. And here it was - they had it, without having to call the doctor or anything. I told the pharmacist that they need to update their system because we are already married for over a year and the pharmacist told me (yes, this time he was talking to me directly): "I apologize for the problem. Next time please remember to provide your wife's maiden name". I was surprised... I said: "But your system has incorrect name, please update it". Then the pharmacist repeated same thing he said a while ago and continued his work. This was so weird... Based on what he was saying, I must remember to provide incorrect name for the rest of my life and in case I forget, I must wait another 30 minutes and wonder what's happening. They rather that than them spending 2 minutes and updating my wife's last name in their system. I finally asked another pharmacist to update the system and she agreed. Alternatively, I could just start using another pharmacy... they would have correct name from day one. Just a weird situation I wanted to share.

AT&T - Everybody knows AT&T also and their pluses and minuses but I have another weird situation to share. My cell phone broke. I bought it new 11 months ago. Therefore I was still on a warranty. I went to AT&T for a replacement phone. When I went inside of the customer service area, I saw no customers and three clerks doing something on their computers (probably chatting with friends or shopping on eBay). I was welcomed nicely, I told about my broken phone and one of the clerks said that the system shows that my phone is refurbished and refurbished phones have only 3 months of warranty. I was surprised because I bought it at Best Buy and I was sure I bought it new. He also said that I need to call the place where I bought the phone, that I have no warranty and that there is nothing he can do about it. I thought Best Buy and AT&T were able to communicate with each other. There were three men doing nothing and I was told that I am the one who needs to call Best Buy. I felt like they just wanted to get rid of me. I did call Best Buy right there while all three of them went to the back of the store (probably to smoke a cigarette). The Best Buy people told me that they never sold this type of phone refurbished so it must be new. When I finished talking to Best Buy, I told about it to one of the clerks and he shouted to the other two men who were still in the back of the store "Hey guys, this guy is still here... he says the phone is new". I felt a little bit intimidated by being called a "guy" and that I am still here. They surely expected me to leave. However, an amazing thing happened... the two clerks came and processed the warranty exchange without any problem. Apparently "there is nothing I can do about it" was a straight lie. First of all, he could call Best Buy instead of telling me to do it and expecting me to leave, and secondly, he apparently could still process the exchange even though the system was saying that the phone is refurbished. Or there was another lie - the system wasn't saying anything, but they simply wanted to get rid of me and continue doing stuff on their computers. One thing or another, they lied to me and they were not trying to help me at all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Religion - Good or Bad?

Some people believe in God, some people don't. Some people are more religious, some less. In every culture, in every part of the earth people believed in something greater and more powerful than themselves, something they never saw or heard but believed it is there. What does the belief do to us? Is it good or bad?

Religion is not necessarily all about believing or not believing in God or more gods. It is an ideology that basically affects your entire life - daily prayers, things you should and should not do, weekly or daily services, holidays, people you should and people you should not marry etc. Why do people allow religion to take over their entire lives? Some people do it because others do it, some people do it because it makes them feel better, some are simply scared.

Some religions say that God or gods will punish them in life, some say that God or gods will punish them in after life. It is unbelievable how all these religions contradict one another yet still each individual believes only what their own religion says. And all other religions are wrong. It is unbelievable but it makes sense. Yes, it does. What does not make sense though is people being part of some religion while they do not really believe in everything what that religion says.

So why does it make sense to believe in something while most of other people on this planet do not believe in it? Simply, because it is your own personal belief. What do we believe in? We usually believe in something that cannot be proven. If something is proven, it would be stupid to believe that it is not true. Once we prove that 3 x 4 = 12 because 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12, it would be stupid to believe that 3 x 4 is something different than 12. Therefore, we believe in things that cannot be proven, like "does God exist?" for example. And since it cannot be proven, let all people in the world believe in X and I will believe that they are wrong and I will believe in Y instead and nothing will change it. And also it makes complete sense - nobody can prove X and nobody can prove Y.

What does not make sense though is being part of a religion and not believing or not agreeing in what that religion says. I could be a Christian but Christians believe that Jesus (Jesus is one important guy in that religion - don't screw with him) was Jewish and I for example wouldn't believe that he was Jewish. Does it make sense for me to still be a Christian? It doesn't. Religions usually want to have many members - more members they have, better it is. So if it is some small difference in your belief, it will be fine with them. But in reality if your religion is X, it means that you believe in everything what that religion X says - not half of what it says, not three quarters of what it says, but everything.

What also does not make sense it telling yourself you believe in something while you do not. Some predefined Christian prayers start with "We believe in...", which tell you what you believe. But can you really tell yourself what you believe and then really start believing in it? Sure not. Go ahead and tell yourself that there is a pink elephant flying above your head. After you say that, maybe you will look up to make sure the elephant isn't there, but it doesn't mean that you believed in it. Taking into consideration how detailed beliefs some religions have and also taking into consideration what different people believe, there is no way that 20% of people in the world would believe in the same thousands of things that the particular religion proclaims. This simply means that the most popular religions in the world are made of members who really do not believe in what these religions proclaim.

Now let us go to the last and most important question: are religions good or bad? Religions are good in one sense and bad in the other and it only depends on the amount of the good and the amount of the bad it causes. Being a Crusader and killing people in the name of God is not a good thing. Being a terrorist and killing in the name of Allah isn't either. Letting people find their way in life after relative's death, divorce, depression etc through "connecting with Jesus" (I suggest looking it up, but it simply means by having an imaginary friend) is actually a good thing. When something bad happens to people they tend to go towards religion and many times that helps. Many religions (but not all of them) teach people what is good and what is bad better than the law or parents for example. Are religions good or bad? I would say both - it just depends what religion and at what time.