Day 252: The Man and the Luck of the Asians; ‘Luck’

I suppose I should be grateful that today’s prompt wasn’t ‘corned beef’ or anything but we’re still kind of hitting the nail right on the head here, aren’t we? Subtly, thy name is not WordPress.

Well while everyone else is being kissed because they’re Irish or celebrating that the Pope said they can eat meat on a Friday or out in the fields looking for four-leaf clovers, I wanted to talk about some lesser known Asian superstitions that pertained to, you guessed it, making sure you had some good luck.

Snakes on a Plane

More common I suppose in the Philippines than say, the US, but perhaps also relatable for the Irish, it is said in the Philippines that if a snake crosses your path this will bring good fortune. Unless it bites you. Or you’re on a plane.

Chinese Sweep

In both China and the Philippines, when and where and how you sweep can determine your good fortune or bad. For example, in the Philippines it is considered bad luck to sweep at night or whenever people are playing cards or gambling, for fear of sweeping away good luck. In China for the Lunar New Year the house is cleaned top to bottom but sweeping is done inward and then gathered in a pile to be brought out the back door, as the front door is said to be where good fortune and grace enter.

Teru Teru

Teru teru bozu are little white dolls made from cloth or paper. They are especially popular among Japanese schoolchildren as they are supposed to help influence the weather. Hang a teru teru bozu right side up to ensure good weather, or hang it upside down to try and encourage bad. Great for right before school field trips or final exams.

Money Wallet

In almost all Asian cultures, when giving either a wallet or bag as a gift, it is customary to put some small change or at least one bill in it, to help ensure good luck and prosperity. The same is true for the coming year; everyone in my family will make sure there is at least some money in our wallets to start the year with.

Santo Nino

In any and all Filipino houses or businesses you will most likely find a statue of the Santo Nino (child Jesus). This supposedly brings good luck. The supposed origin of this is when the Philippines was still a Spanish colony, the Spanish set fire to most of the city of Cebu as punishment for hostile actions by the Cebuanos wanting independence. After the fire, amidst the wreckage, Spanish soldiers found the statue of the Santo Nino remarkably and miraculously unscathed.

Ema.jpg

Ema are wooden boards that the Japanese can purchase at Shinto shrines. The Japanese use these boards to write their wishes, after which they hang them at the shrine for the gods to receive and fulfill. It is fun when visiting shrines to read what some people wish for. You will see students hoping for good results on their college entrance exams, couples wishing for a long and successful relationship, or workers hoping for a new job or promotion.

Fresh Off the Boat

Wearing red in China is considered auspicious and can bring the best of luck. That is why celebratory garments are often red and on the Chinese New Year gifts of money are given in red envelopes to impart good luck and good fortune. The same is true of oranges, which are often given to elders or in offerings.

Koinobori

Children’s Day is a holiday in Japan that is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month (May 5th). It is a time for families to celebrate the happiness and health of their children and to wish them good luck to grow up strong, healthy, and successful. A common practice on Children’s Day is to fly koinobori, which are kites that are made to look like the Asian carp. This is from a traditional folk tale about a little carp that swam upstream and became a dragon.

Of course, being a gambler, I have my own set of superstitions for good luck and good fortune whenever I’m at a casino. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it. I think pyschologically it helps me to deal with the complete lack of control over my actual results. Before I open up my cards, I always rub them on the table face down and over the money. I tell everyone I am about to hit the tables because I don’t want anyone to think about me and miss me, or else I might lose because they want me to return. If I want the dealer to get a high card, I yell ‘monkey, monkey, monkey’ to scare a high card to the top of the deck. Don’t ask me why.

Hope you’re all lucky and happy and healthy. And if not, grab one of these superstitions and get to it! And remember…

Paddy not Patty.jpg

Day 252

Man: 219 Loneliness: 33

Day 238: The Man and the Signs of Bad Fortune?; ‘Desire’

God I really wish I had better news today. But it’s gotten so bad it’s almost to the point of comical. Or I’m delirious.

So taking some of your advice, I didn’t wear my Power Rangers shirt today. Even though it was a new shirt and it had the original MegaZord on it and it looks so cool. I dressed smartly and professionally, with a sweater over a long sleeve button up. It was my favorite outfit back when I was a teacher. Woke up early, had a good breakfast (egg salad sandwich, because you know, no meat Fridays are gonna be a thing for a while), and got to work with six minutes to spare.

And then I turn on my computer. And see the email.

She’s still out sick. My boss decided not to come in again.

Not only that, but one coworker has ‘caught’ the same illness and the other is in Staten Island. Which means I came in to basically having to run the whole show by myself. Could’ve taken my time. Could’ve stopped by some place and gotten myself a coffee. And unlike the past couple days where, like any good worker would do, I just left whenever I desired, I know I have to stay today because of Flash Friday and the bar. I feel like I’ve been held hostage by my hopes and dreams.

It’s not too-too bad. I’ve been watching YouTube videos, catching up on shows on-demand, and since it’s Flash Friday I can walk around the building and count on every department having put out some sort of spread. Hahah. I’m terrible as a ship without a rudder though, because I will absolutely take advantage of the situation.

It’s alright though, because Monday I’ll come in early (again) and look my best (again), maybe I’ll even wear the company tie with my uniform, and I’ll talk to her. She’ll have had the weekend to rest, recuperate, and I’m sure she’ll be in a better mood.

Right? Right? Right?!

Well…

Then IT happened.

I’ve been closely monitoring all of our support pages and doing a pretty damn good job answering the requests as soon as they pop up. I mean we’re talking milliseconds of delay. But one happened to slip by me. A consultant wanting to know if we had Spanish versions of our forms to give to clients who did not speak English. Okay, no big deal, we don’t and it isn’t our responsibility, but I see my BOSS has already answered much to the same effect. No, sorry, not company policy, etc.

Consultant wants to know what our ‘work around’ is for this.

Okay well to be honest we don’t have one, and I do feel like it shouldn’t be our responsibility to have to accommodate in this way. In a lot of ways our consultants are their own businesses and need to take on their own responsibility by either insisting that clients come in person or offer to translate over the phone. As a child of immigrants, I know they taught themselves how to assimilate and recognized of their own volition the necessity of knowing the native language in order to succeed and work. I believe anyone with the desire can do the same.

But you know, I’d say it diplomatically. My very fiery tempered and short-fused boss said something to the effect of ‘get a translator or buck up’.

I’m watching this with my jaw on the floor because this exchange is getting out of hand. And anyone who knows my boss would have stopped right here and we’d all just go on our merry way.

But no, this crazy woman from some random store in the country who only works part-time and doesn’t know when or where to shut up has to get a word in edgewise along the lines of ‘oh well I think that was very offensive and I think you should take that down because if someone out of this company saw this you would be in much more trouble than you can handle’.

Oh. My. God. Her hair is probably on fire right now. I’m going to be stuck in this chair for the rest of my life.

The ENTIRE exchange has since been taken down with no record of it existing (except for the screenshot I saved because, well, this was hilarious). But there is no way she’s in a pleasant mood right now and I have no idea what the weekend is going to do. Thanks a lot DEBORAH. What kind of crazy amount of damage control am I going to have to do. And I swear to god if my boss’s son loses his hockey game this weekend it’s all over. I have to take a heavy interest in this woman’s personal life now because who knows what mood I’ll be dealing with when I go ‘hey I want to improve my life’. She’s probably wringing her hands together right now over a cauldron plotting revenge.

So like, what am I supposed to take away from all this?! Four days of trying to talk to her, four days of missed chances because she’s sick. And on the last day there is this crazy Workplace exchange/meltdown. Am I fortuitous that I didn’t try to ask her today before she got completely derailed, or is this further sign of avoiding this conversation? What in the world is happening right now?! I will have to tread very, very, very lightly on Monday. Oh my god. I don’t even know when the next good opportunity is. I can’t tell if I dodged a bullet or got loaded into a cannon.

I’m going to drown my sorrows in drinks at work, and then I’m going to hang out with a friend and her strange group of friends and watch Logan. And if they quit on me early, I’ll go out and just keep it going by myself. This has been a strange week.

Day 238

Man: 205 Loneliness: 33