The Contest

Check out Ellen Sandbeck's papercuts of the Buddha on the Facebook page "A Buddha A Day." Choose your favorite image, then send a wonderful piece of your writing, one page or less, on any topic, to You may win the original papercut of your choice!

Winning entries will be posted on this page.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winning entry from Peter Berryman

Myanmar Myopia

Behold the bespectacled Buddha of Burma
The granddad of geezerly gazing about
A keen 20/20 his eyes looking inward
But 20/200 his eyes looking out

Peter Berryman

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winning entry from LaDonna Robinson

I work in a call center.  That’s the gentle way of telling my family that I am now a tele-marketer.  It’s not a glamorous gig, but most days it’s moderately entertaining and it allows me to write and continue eating, something of which I’ve become rather fond.  I work for a really good, progressive company (obviously, they were intelligent enough to recruit and hire me) that provides above industry wages and a full benefits package plus free parking, which in Duluth is a pretty significant perk.  We have exceptional training in providing exceptional customer service to our exceptional customers and clients.  I would like very much to pass along some of that exceptional training to some of the exceptionally rude people that I am blessed to encounter on a semi-daily basis.

Yes, I do speak fluent Sarcasm, but I really mean it when I say that I am blessed to speak with some of these less-than-pleasant humanoids.  Among other things, they remind me that my husband, his boss and my mother really are nice people.  They remind me that there are apparently many occupations in the world that I am glad I don’t have.  And they most frequently remind me that a good sense of humor is an invaluable tool when dealing with anyone.

My current work project has me calling business energy accounts to see if they might be interested in receiving a non-binding price quote from another company to supply their power needs.  I’m not trying to get them to buy anything, just offering to have someone who is an energy expert contact them to see if there might be a way to sweeten their bottom lines by helping them reduce costs.

I should at this point mention that while I am a non-Christian, I am not an anti-Christian.  There is a difference, and I just want to make sure, gentle reader, that you know I am coming from a position of love and acceptance of all belief systems.

Today my phone list blessed me with many calls to religion based organizations.  I also had a rather large number of public and private schools in the mix.  For the most part I found the people who answer telephones at schools to be cheerful, pleasant and helpful.  If the contact name I had was incorrect many of them went out of their way to help me find the person with whom I needed to speak. 

Sadly that was not the case when I found myself on the phone with people from some of the religious institutions on my list.  At one church the automated answering system utilized Lurch from The Addam’s Family’s voice.  “You have reached MOST (pause for effect) Sacred Heart Church.  The office IS closed from noon until 1:00 pm and NO calls are answered.  IF this is a TRUE emergency, you may dial 555-555-1212.”   That was it … no “thanks for calling, have a good day.”  No offerings of blessing for anyone of any religious flavor. 

LaDonna Robinson