Monday, October 29, 2007

Watch out ... Doreen's on a rampage

I just got down off my "high horse" a little bit ago. I need to share an experience I had today so you know why I was even one to begin with.

Rick and I went to Mt. Vernon to the medical center so he could have some blood work done. Right as we were pulling into the hospital/medical center we ran across some construction work. At the construction site they had a flagger directing traffic with her stop sign in one hand, a walkie talkie in the other and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. After a little scrambling, she put the cigarette in her hand with the walkie talkie in it and used the cigarette as her pointing device to direct us through the construction. Shortly after we passed, she dropped the cigarette and squished it on the pavement with her foot. I'm sure I didn't just tell you some amazing, unbelievable story. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you've all witnessed something similar to this before. The epiphany I had was "No wonder people don't want to donate to lung cancer research, they think this is what lung cancer looks like". A disrespectful, flagger, who not only used her cigarette as a pointing device, but also littered right in front of us. What ever happened to smoke breaks? Or smoking during lunch? I was very irritated to say the least. So, when Rick got out of the car to have his blood work done, I got out and walked up to the Fisher & Sons construction trailer and asked if I could talk to whoever was in charge, then gave the poor guy an earful. I don't expect the world to quit smoking because I feel cheated. I understand the power that nicotine has. I don't think smokers ever put a cigarette in their mouth with the intent to hurt or punish someone who never smoked. What I want to change is the stigma. I decided today was the first day of that mission for me.

Tomorrow I'll be calling the Department of Labor and Industries to find out the rules for flaggers. I'm sure they have rules. They can't drink on the job. They can't wear headphones. They can't use cell phones. They must wear safety clothing. Wouldn't you think smoking could be considered a distraction? I've decided that whenever I drive by a construction site and the flagger or heavy equipment operator is distracted by a cigarette, I'm going to call the construction company and complain. I'm also going to contact our legislature to see if we have any state laws prohibiting smoking on construction sites.

I've always told my kids....Pick your Battles....I've just picked mine. I want the face of lung cancer to change and if I have to do it one flagger at a time...I'm up for the challenge.

Rick came down with a terrible head cold (I can see a light at the end of the's just a little dim right now) so he didn't go with me to celebrate my mom's birthday. She had a wonderful day with my Aunt and Uncle then met up at the American Legion with all her friends. It was nice to spend the time with mom and dad and to see how much they are loved by so many people. The kids are all getting together tomorrow night to celebrate with their Grandma! Hope your birthday was a happy one, Mom.

Don't forget that November is Lung Cancer Awareness month....I'm going to remind you everyday. We don't have a pink ribbon, but we do have a we're going to use it for all it's worth.

Dreaming Big,

1 comment:

CFCINA said...

Hi Doreen,
I can't STAND IT when I see flaggers smoking and you are SO RIGHT about the fact that they can't drink--so WHY should they be allowed to smoke?? Please let us know what you find out when you call Dept. of Labor!

Glad you mom's birthday celebration was good!

Hope Rick feels better!

Can't WAIT to meet you & see Angie again on Saturday. I'm SO EXCITED that you guys are coming down to Portland to speak at our Relay U. YOU & your entire family are the reason I Relay!

Take care and see ya Saturday!

~ Kathy Cina
Hillsboro, OR
ACS Volunteer -- Relay For Life Region J Council