Posted Fri March 16, 2007 1:44 pm, by MA Loper.
This is MA Loper's personal blogger.
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A lot of useful information that many of our regulars have stated from
time to time, but also some new info that hasn't come up before (Hair
cut tips? Tip Jars at Starbucks?)
OK, this has been running through my mind for the past few weeks
because all this talk about Socialism and Capitalism and "Occupying
Wall Street" has reached a fever pitch as we move into another
Let me just be frank, this is the land of the free and the home of the
brave, not the land of the FREEBIE and the home of the ENTITLED. As
Americans, I think some people have gotten it twisted and don't
appreciate how fortunate they are to live here and have the
opportunities that we do. They have started to buy into the hype that
they are "OWED" things in life, and that's just a shame.
Look around you. Do you have a job to go to every day? I know lots
of people who don't. Are you reading this on a computer? Lots of
people don't own or have access to a computer and surely cant afford
Internet service. Do you have a roof over your head, food in your
belly and a warm bed to sleep in every night? Again, lots of people
aren't that LUCKY!
I'm reminded of the conversation I had with my Ex husband several
years ago (obviously before we split). At all of 35, he found himself
applying for SSDI and declaring himself disabled for some stupid
choices he made that negatively impacted his health. Now to be fair,
his problems were severe, but not completely debilitating, and it's
not like he could point to anything else (environment, other people's
negligence) as the cause of his malaise - he did it ALL to himself!
His justification for being disabled at 35 and sitting on his butt for
the rest of his life was that "He'd paid into the system for years and
he was 'owed' this."
Now I'll give him that he came by this fallacious belief honestly.
His own mother, a single parent who got little if any support from his
father, declared herself "completely, permanently disabled" at 50
after what most would consider a relatively minor accident at work
that she decided she didn't want to return from. Oh to hear her tell
it, she worked and she toiled all her life to raise them boys alone
and by God, she was gonna sit down and let someone else take over for
a while. Whatever.
So she spent the rest of her life (nearly 20 years) not paying a cent
of her own money for food, or medical care or even most of her
utilities. You know who paid for all that? You, me and everyone else
who still works! Can you imagine if all that was added up what it
would amount to???
And savings? What savings? When she passed away from lung cancer 5
years ago (after smoking 2+ packs a day for 50+ years and telling her
Doctor when he advised she quit smoking to avoid making her cancer
worse to "stuff it"!) the only thing she had to her name was a house
here in Cleveland that was so low in value that the city didn't even
collect taxes on it from the estate!
There wasn't even a dime to be found anywhere to bury her butt, so the
responsibility fell to my Ex, his siblings and her brothers and
sisters to cover.
But SHE shouldn't have to worry about such things! She's EARNED the
right to not care and let someone else pick up the tab, right?
Now meanwhile, I have 2 kids with this man, her son, that I'm TRYING
to instill GOOD values in. But how do you do that with their own Dad
sitting home, mostly healthy, and their grandmother never working a
day in all the time they were alive contributing to sucking the system
Now, I can't entirely complain about the system. After all, if it
weren't for his disability, I wouldn't get a DIME from him to support
our kids. I don't LIKE having to take my support this way, but I
guess it's better than the alternative. HOWEVER, I would NEVER say
that I am OWED this. If Social Security dried up tomorrow, I'd still
have to find a way to take care of my boys, even if his butt doesn't.
That's what I signed up for when I had them!
My own father, who with his own health ailments, really should have
retired 2 years ago, but he's holding out for another year to reach
his full retirement age (65) to avoid losing more money by applying
for retirement early.
He had a pretty decent 401K while he was married to my Mom that he
exhausted after they divorced because he had child support to pay for
and it didn't leave much for him to live on (he was one of the rare
ones that actually took care of his own no matter what). Admittedly,
not the wisest choice he could have made, but given the circumstances
and the limited options, at least he didn't sit down and wait for
someone else to take care of things for him!
So again, why is it that I can figure out that all these people who
are rushing to get on welfare or unemployment or disability just don't
get that the money isn't FREE? It has to come from somewhere. Am I
just some cold, realist who thinks no one should be helped if it's
taken from someone else? Of course not.
I know there are some people out there that genuinely need the help
and I'm not begrudging a helping hand to get someone back up on their
feet - i.e. My sister's friend who developed Leukemia at 10 and her
single mother had to quit her job and go on Welfare in order to get
her treatment. That girl is 22 today and a graduate of Northwestern
University and she EARNED her way in with scholarships!
But to sit back and EXPECT it? No. That isn't the American Way.
And do I think that a lot of companies and the multi-BILLIONAIRES
could do more to give back to nation? You betcha! As Elizabeth Warren
stated in her viral YouTube video last summer, "There is nobody in
this country who got rich on his own. NOBODY. You built a factory out
there? Good for you! But I want to be clear; you moved your goods to
market on roads that the rest of us paid for. you hired workers that
the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because
of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You
didn't have to worry that maurading bands would come and seize
everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this
because of the work the rest of us did."
I can't say I entirely blame them, though - not wanting to pay for
people who do nothing, but expect everything. But again, everything
to it's appropriate place. Things would be a lot easier around here
if people would stop being selfish and only thinking of themselves and
look at the bigger picture. Live by 2 simple rules: Don't take what's
not yours and if you have some to spare - SHARE! Is that really that
hard to do?
but a recent convo here got me thinking about the whole abortion
debate. When I was growing up, I was always pro-life. My Mom (who
ironically enough was an obstetrical nurse) was pro-choice. I
couldn't understand that at all. How could someone who's whole life's
work is bringing babies into the World be FOR abortion???
I argued (in all of my teenage wisdom) the facts of the terrible,
awful things that happen in abortion and that it's a human life that's
being taken. She wasn't being swayed, but not because she was
pro-abortion. Most people fail to understand what a huge gap there is
between supporting the right to CHOOSE and choosing abortion. They
are so hyper focused on the ABORTION part of it, that they completely
miss the CHOICE part.
As I got older, it made more sense. I know my Mom would never have
had an abortion, nor would she ever counsel or encourage someone she
knew to do such a thing - but she wasn't about to tell someone they
couldn't or shouldn't if they believed that to be their best (or only)
option. We can't walk in someone else's shoes, nor can we take
responsibility for the outcome if continuing an unwanted pregnancy
turns out badly.
I actually had to comtemplate such a horrible "choice" when I was
pregnant with my second son. We found out early in my pregnancy that
my husband had some health issues that could potentially affect our
unborn son. Even though I'd waited almost five years for the chance
to have another baby, I struggled with whether or not it was fair to
bring a baby into the World that I knew was going to have to face some
pretty daunting health challenges. Was I being selfish to give him a
life like that just so I could have another baby? Would my choice
cause him to have a miserable, pain-filled life? Luckily, I was
determined that the fact he was there was reason enough for me to keep
Today, he is a perfectly healthy (albeit a handful!) little boy and I
thank God for him every day. But I can't help but think of what I
would have done if the odds had been much worse and I hadn't at least
had the option to end that pregnancy. How would I feel now if he WAS
miserable and in pain every day of his life?
I watched a great show (which I've mentioned before) called 30 Days
with Morgan Spurlock. In the series people with diametrically opposed
backgrounds are brought together to experience the other's life and
(hopefully) come away with a little more understanding.
One lady lived in a Christian mother's shelter that was run by a group
of pro-life advocates for a month. She was staunchly pro-choice
(again, NOT pro-abortion!). The thing that struck me is that this
woman went into the experience with an open mind and attempted to
understand the mindset of her hosts. But when she asked legitimate
questions to try and understand better, she was usually met with
little explanation and a LOT of rhetoric.
Further, the hosts (a minister and his wife who ran the shelter) were
deadset on changing the woman's mind and refused to listen to her, no
matter how much compelling evidence she provided.
Ultimately, the woman walked away having more respect for the
pro-lifer's stance, but still holding firmly to her pro-choice
beliefs. The hosts, seemed visibly disappointed that they hadn't
managed to "convert" her way of thinking and rather sarcastically
commented that they would be praying for her.
Personally, I don't believe ANY pregnancy is an accident. The fact
that we can create another life, to me, is nothing short of amazing.
Something like that could never be a mistake.
Just because JJ suggested it (and shamelessly sucked up to boot!)
Here's the WIR for July 23, 2011!
1. America's Favorite Pizza and Worst Customer Service? – Parenting -
2. thanks so much – Like, My BFF, Jill, She was totally crushing on
this really hot guy and then, like, OMG!! Mummy and Daddy said “Let’s
go shopping dear!” YAYZ!!!!! And so we went to Abecrombie and, like,
everyone was so SUPER SUPER friendly to us, seeing as Daddy flashed
the triple platinum, black diamond AMEX at them. And to think, all
those clothes were a deal at ONLY $2000! DUH!
3. Charmin Toilet Paper – Need TP for my bungholio!!!! HEH HEH!!
4. SCAM WINDOW STICKER ON HYUNDAI – I hate when car dealerships TELL
you they’re ripping you off!
5. ge money supervisor took my case personally, and went out of her
way to decrease my limit thats illegal – And then she came to my
house, tied my dog to a tree, put sugar in my gas tank and peed on my
6. Knowledge of Coupon Policy and Customer Service – You need to
apologize to me for making me feel stupid for pulling out my
handy-dandy, laminated Target coupon policy, arguing with the cashier
and the GSTL and holding up the line over $0.40 off a roll of Scotch
7. Being treated unfairly at PetSmart – I wanna tell customers their
dog died and still be promoted and sent to school too!
8. TALK IS CHEAP - EDWARD DID YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAID? – Mark: Bugging
Costco for a damn security camera since June 2011!
9. Brand New Defective Item & AMAZON won't help !!!!!!! – Well of
course it’s new - a year ago! But I never used it, and now it’s
broken! So why won’t you stand behind your OBVIOUSLY defective
10. NEW COSTCO SUPER CENTER HAS ONLY 2 ELECTRIC CARTS FOR DISABLED
CUSTOMERS – Just goes to show, there is no reward for coming in
11. treated badly at top mapl road – Don’t tell Grama Donna to hurry
up or she’ll snap you with her bag and beat you over the head with her
cane and then yell at Management for coming to your aid!
12. Refusing Service to Cyclists – I just can’t understand why I can’t
ride my Schwinn through the drive through. I was polite and let that
dump truck and that taxi go before me!
13. Complaint regarding: 4309 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood Florida
Location – At what point does it make sense to STOP ordering from Papa
John’s, when you KNOW they have yet to get your order right – EVEN
14. Whole Wheat Options!!!! – Q: Why doesn’t a low quality,
inexpensive, fast food restaurant like McDonalds have more healthy
options? A: BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS THEM, YA TREE HUGGING FREAK!!!!
15. Kirkland Bacon Bits are Dangerous – My dentist says to tell you
16. Poor experience at CVS - I'll teach you not to have a garbage can
out front, CVS!!
17. Rude confrontation with a senior member of your management. –
Seriously? I mean honestly. This isn’t even funny anymore.
18. Injured at Days Inn – Alcohol + hot tub = FUN!
19. Disgusting pulled pork sub from Subway – And you thought it would
be good BECAUSE. . . .?????
20. food quality and etc. – We are loyal Burger King customers, but we
wil no longer eat here unless you accept our expired coupon and get
some better catsup (Really? Does anyone still call it that? I haven’t
seen that term used since my GRANDMOTHER was alive and that was like
30 years ago!)
21. Appalling customer service from Budget Car Rental – Sorry, I just
can’t even come up with anything on this one – those employees were
idiots and have no business working in the public segment!
22. Netflix price increase is a very bad idea – Please make me feel
good about your service! PLEEEEEEEZ?
23. Feel like I have been slapped in the face! – Because shopping
carts in high end retail shops are TRES GAUCHE!
24. Delta's Padding Of Their Bottom Line Ruined Our Vacation and
Father's Day – Extremely long and unnecessary rant from an overly
entitled family who can’t appreciate how very fortunate they are, but
yet, want to complain about the same travel woes that plague everyone
these days. Stand in line honey! You aren’t the first to have a bad
vacation and you won’t be the last! OH! And tell your spoiled,
thankless children that life doesn’t always go as planned! SUCK IT
25. Credit Limit – I really don’t understand this! Why are people
publicly begging to go into debt?
1,) 12 years and I am suspended and told I can never come back
I mean, it was only a few HUNDRED people I ticked off over the years!
2.) Used Car Auto Loan
What's a girl gotta do to get a loan on an overpriced TWENTY ONE YEAR
3.) Nike kicks off holiday season with poor service
Because in the magical land of Nike, there is an ethnic-specific sales
associate for each customer, but sadly none for me. Boo Hoo!
4.) Is Target Anti-Jewish?
Mind you, nothing specifically happened, I just got a funny feeling
they're like that!
5.) Cyber Day Shipping Scam! Includes text from online chat
I told Prince I was gonna tell EVERYONE how horrible KMart/Sears is
and even though he helped me and did EXACTLY what he promised, I still
bashed the company anyway.
6.) Rude confrontation with a senior member of your management.
CAN'T THIS LETTER DIE ALREADY!! SHEESH!
7.) Unhappy Wal-Mart customer
No shock there!
8.) Lured to Wal-Mart under false pretenses
And forced to buy JUNK!
9.) Treat your employees like humans not numbers!
Dontcha just LOVE helicopter parents?
10.) Target's Gift Card Giveaway Has a Serious Flaw
Because there really is no such thing as a free lunch!
11.) All I want to do is PAY MY BILL, Sprint!
and mah 2 front teef!
12.) trident- cleans and protects teeth while ruining your health.
ZOMG!!! It's the 2nd coming of the prohibition!
"is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue. . . "
14. ) Boycotting Home Depot!
I'm still not sure if I agree with this or disagree with it, but at
this point, I'm so confused that I have a headache!
15.) Christmas carols ALREADY Sears?
Fa La La La La HA HA HA HA!
16.) Sears should be CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day
Because I am not about to roll my fat butt off the couch after eating
all that turkey to go shopping and I don't think I should have to miss
any really great deals because of this!
17.) Account number showing on paper statement
Because god forbid they let me know WHICH account they are contacting
18.) Allow The REAL God of Heaven to bless your employees through
prayers of REAL Godly people
Christianity = FAIL!
19.) Over Salting the French Fries
Yes, because too much salt is the WORST part of deep fat fried
20.) Assistant manager rude to my infant son!
WHAT??? Pizza Hut isn't responsible for providing entertainment for
my "screeching and screaming" toddler while the food cooks?
21.) Poor Customer Service
This is why companies don't make policy exceptions to the
22.) Why Is My Business No Longer Valued?
What part of "Minimum Purchase Required" was confusing you?
23.) Why is the customer responsible for inaccuracies at the store
There actually was no inaccuracy, I just can't READ!
24.) What Can You Do for Us as President, John McCain?
AGAIN! Another letter that needs to just DIE! Obama has been in
office almost 3 years! Can someone PLEASE disconnect the life support
on this one?
25.) Rip Off Pizza Joint and only Average Pizza
David should really avoid pizza places!
by The Illustrious JJ Fiskins Fri July 22, 2011 @ 10:02 PM
Far too many times, I read letters on this site that just absolutely
blow me away with the outlandishness of the demands, arguments and
situations they present. In fairness, some are genuinely valid and
need to be addressed, but I think some OP’s may misunderstand what the
expectations for a company are and what things they as a customer
ideally should do. Yes, that’s right, I said THEY SHOULD DO! Believe
it or not, the road actually goes both ways in Retailville!
Here are a few key rules that every consumer should be aware of. Not
to say that companies don’t have their own set of rules that should be
followed, but it’s hard to expect good customer service without
knowing what constitutes a good customer.
1. This is perhaps the most important rule of all! You are not
entitled to freebies, discounts or any other “perks” just because you
live and breathe. Companies offer incentives to INCENT (or bring in)
customers to shop with them. Not everyone may be able to receive them
(limited offers) and sometimes you will have to do a little work (go
to a certain store, show up by a certain date or purchase a certain
number of items) in order to qualify for the discount. But nobody
OWES you anything. There really is no such thing as a “free lunch.”
All those gimmies and trinkets and discounts and rebates have to come
from somewhere and the mere fact of your existence is not always
reason enough for you to get them. This goes for people who show up
"just a few days after" a sale or coupon has expired. You have to
follow all the rules and jump through all the hoops to get the reward
at the end. If you don't, you get zilch!
2. The definition of the term “loyal” states:
“1: unswerving in allegiance: as a: faithful in allegiance to one's
lawful sovereign or government b: faithful to a private person to whom
fidelity is due c: faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or
product 2: showing loyalty”
Therefore, customers who threaten to never ever, ever, ever, ever,
ever patronize a store again if they a) don’t get their way b) have
one bad experience or c) walked out and never bothered to tell someone
in the first place are not “loyal” customers! In fact, most retail
and service organizations are well aware that the customers and
clients who make the biggest demands for bonuses or privileges they
aren’t due are rarely the customers who have the best standing or have
been the most “loyal” to them.
And if you make a mistake with the bank or a creditor that costs you
fees,understand that they set forth rules when you opened the account
stating that if you botched your finances,they could charge you fees.
No matter how trivial you think the error was, unless you can prove it
was not your fault,you should expect to pay the penalties and take it
as a lesson learned. It really does pay to be a responsible
3. Again, following that logic, while it is not required for a
customer to speak up at the time of an incident, there are several
reasons why it’s a good idea:
1) It gives the store the chance to deal with the situation right when
it’s happening, thus giving them the opportunity to satisfy everyone
2) If you choose not to speak up, it calls into question how serious
you really were about the situation. Occasionally, people will avoid
speaking up at the time, claiming that they don’t like confrontation
or “just didn’t feel like it” but then insist that the problem was so
egregious and heinous that they are “due” some sort of “compensation”
for the injustice they suffered. But again, how bad did you really
suffer if you couldn’t be bothered to speak up at the time and
actually get the problem handled?
3) How would you feel if you were a manager and one of your employees
was doing a bad job? Wouldn’t you want to know BEFORE your boss was
told by some angry, irate client so you could do your job? Believe it
or not, so do most managers!
4. If you sign an agreement, any agreement, your signature indicates
that you read, understood and AGREED to everything they put forth. If
you blindly sign things and then complain that no one ever TOLD you –
Sorry, but that’s on you. Not being verbally informed is never a
5. There doesn’t need to be a sign to make it so. Where, exactly, did
the notion that something is not valid unless it is in print come from
anyway? A policy is a policy is a policy, no matter where it is or
who invokes it. Stores exist to run a business and good businesses
establish policies that serve not only the interests of the customers,
but the company as well. They're in business to make a profit, just
like you are when you go to work each day. To bend these policies and
rules for any reason (no matter how “good” you may think your reason
is) puts the store and its employees at financial and possibly legal
6. NO does not = rude, mean, unfair or poor customer service. Just
because a store chooses to adhere to their policies and won’t bend for
your unique, special, extenuating circumstance does not mean they have
done anything wrong. Sure there is no harm in asking, but know when
to walk away. If you know up front about a policy (Customers are
charged $35 per NSF transaction) or even if you are informed of it
after the fact (being refused a return because it is beyond 90 days),
if they fail to grant your request for that “one time” exception, be
prepared that the answer very well could still be “No.” You asked.
They said no. Let it go already!
7. Use common sense. Yes, people do sometimes make mistakes; after
all, we are all only human. But that doesn’t excuse anyone from using
the good common sense they should have been born with. Yes, it might
not say that you can’t leave your child unattended in a public place,
but it’s not a good idea. You can’t read all the magazines from cover
to cover in the stores, either. You can’t buy a car, drive it for a
year and then be surprised that the dealership will only give you a
fraction of what you paid for it and you shouldn’t jip a waitress on
her tip because your food tasted bad but you never let her know and
then left in a huff like she should have read your mind.
Some things we should all as adults just instinctively know. No one
should need to tell us, it doesn’t have to be in bold print and the
answer should be clear. There’s something to be said for accepting a
little Personal Adult Responsibility in our day to day dealings.
8. What good is a written apology? If you have been arguing with a
company for any length of time and they are not doing what you want,
what benefit is there to them forcing some alleged executive to pen a
mea culpa begging your forgiveness and swearing that you were right
all along? If they haven’t already made it right by now, how are some
insincere words on a piece of paper going to solve things? A forced
apology is no apology at all.
9. Understand that a few bad apples really DO spoil the whole bushel.
This was one of my Grama’s favorite saying when I was a kid. She was
basically saying that while things may seem harsh or unfair to you
personally, it only takes one other person’s stupidity, ignorance or
selfishness to wreck it for everyone else. Kind of like in grade
school where one kid said something snide to the teacher, so the
entire class had to miss recess for it!
Yes, everyone recognizes that YOU would never stoop to shoplifting or
fraudulent returns or lying to get something you aren’t due. But that
certainly doesn’t mean that others are above it. If a rule is
especially stringent, you can bet your life that it’s because a
company lost money because of it and needed to ensure it wouldn’t
continue to happen.
Additionally, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
There are apparently a lot of “thin-skinned” consumers out there that
have such a hyper inflated sense of ego (or paranoia) that they
immediately jump to the conclusion that everyone MUST be insulting,
degrading, or humiliating them if they are held to a policy or rule
that they believe shouldn’t apply to them. Believe it or not, it’s
truly not personal. No one is saying you are a bad parent or on
welfare or a homeless bum if they tell you that you’re bound by the
same rules and policies as everyone else. They are applying their
policies evenly and fairly and in order to be able to say that,
everyone must be treated just the same. No exceptions.
10. Last (but certainly no least) the customer is NOT always right.
Yes, customers are the lifeline of any business – esp. in today’s
heavily service driven marketplace. But no one OWES you anything
because you have a credit card in your hand or a few dollars in your
wallet. & just to set the record straight, no one individual person
pays all a company’s salaries, no matter how much you think you spend
there. Want to see the quickest way to get crappy customer service?
Tell some clerk she better do what you want because you’re the reason
she has a job!
“Customer Service” does not mean that anyone must 1) drop everything
they are doing and tend to your needs the second you arrive 2) bend
any rules or provide any unearned benefits or 3) tolerate
disrespectful behavior or kiss anyone’s backside. No, cashiers should
not be on a cell phone or engaged in a personal conversation with a
co-worker when you are trying to get checked out. And no, stores
should not be closing earlier than their posted times. However, it is
not your place, nor your right to get belligerent or irate because a
cashier failed to smile at you and tell you to have a nice day, nor is
it good form to show up 10 minutes before close with the intention of
a full out shopping spree. Regardless of what some people’s mothers
may have told them as a child, the Earth definitely DOES NOT revolve
around any of us.
And another thing that peeves me, even though this is far less
incendiary than breaking “the rules”, is not including all the details
in a business letter. When contacting a business, always err on the
side of too much information and write as if you are educating your
subject. Don’t assume that higher ups (or anyone else reading your
letter, like PFB commenters!) will automatically know what you are
talking about if you leave details out. It’s a good bet that if the
people on this site reading your letter are not able to follow the
story, the company rep reading it won’t be able to either. But do
leave personally identifying info out – account numbers, addresses,
phone numbers - no one needs an already bad situation compounded with
So there you have it – my rules of the road for the modern consumer.
It's too bad they don't teach this stuff in school! Can you imagine
how few complaint letters would be posted if they did?
I understand that some people truly get irrate when they are not
permitted to make a return. Some may even have really good reasons
and be deserving of being granted their request.
But this guy wins the award for taking it WAY over the top!
The oddest part is that the guy is from Louisiana. So why was he
trying to return goods at a WalMart in Southern Florida???
No wonder they told him no!
So I landed a new job as a Wal-Mart greeter, a good find for many
retirees, but I lasted less than a day......
About two hours into my first day on the job a very loud,
unattractive, mean-acting woman walked into the store with her two
kids, Yelling obscenities at them all the way through the entrance..
As I had been instructed, I said pleasantly, 'Good morning and
welcome to Wal-Mart. Nice children you have there. Are they twins?'
The ugly woman stopped yelling at the kids long enough to say, 'Hell
no, they ain't twins. The oldest one's 9, and the other one's 7. Why
the hell would you think they're twins? Are you blind, or just
So I replied with a smile, 'I'm neither blind nor stupid, Ma'am, I
just couldn't believe someone actually slept with you twice. Have a
good day and thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart.'
My supervisor said I probably wasn't cut out for this line of work.
So I recently got DirecTV back in my house again (after a 2 year
absence). It's nice and annoying in a way because while I have more
options, many times, those options are repeats.
The DVR is also a nice touch. I can set and forget and watch whenever
I have a free moment.
But the thing that had me questioning my newly acquired monthly
expense was flipping through and coming to the NASA channel.
Now, at first, I thought, "Cool! movies and documentaries about space!
That should interest my boys more than 16 Disney Channels, Boomerang
and Cartoon Network!"
But alas, the first show I tuned into "Video File," was nothing more
than video footage of the space shuttle, sitting dormant and days away
from lifting off. It was just sitting there - no one working on it
and nothing to indicate it was live other than the passing clouds and
an occasional bird flying by.
That was sad in and of itself, but when I scanned back across the
channel later in the evening, they were STILL showing the SAME view of
the shuttle, but now at night time. With spotlights.
Now WHY did they need to waste an hour of programming on that and did
they really think that anyone would sit there and watch it? I could
completely understand if they were about to lift off or land, but in
this instance, the activity was DAYS away.
I just want to know from DirectTV or maybe from NASA - Who thought
this would be entertaining and how much did it cost them to purchase
these hour-long segments of nothingness on a private cable provider?
My $50 suddenly seems hyper-inflated!
"Extend my coverage at no additional cost for 1 more month because I
had to reschedule the Dr's appointment."
"It is quite a way from home that we drove and then had to turn back
without seeing the movie. I believe a few passes to another movie
would make us happy."
Where exactly did the idea that mishaps and poor service should equate
to freebies and gimmes? It seems as if a few kindhearted, service
concerned organizations opted to toss a customer a "bone" (so to
speak) to make up for an isolated bad incident and now suddenly
everyone thinks that every little infraction, perceived slight or bad
experience entitles them to something.
With all due respect, the customer is NOT always right!
My Grama used to always tell me "There's no such thing as a free
lunch!" I took that to mean that I was not owed something for
nothing. I had to earn it. Had to come by it the honorable way. No
one owed me anything and no one was going to pay my way.
So where have we gone wrong?
Why do SO MANY people feel that they are "owed" things?
What kind of example are we setting for the younger generation when
they see that throwing a tantrum and making a scene will get them what
they want? Isn't that exactly what we try NOT to teach them as
Don't get me wrong, I think bad service is inexcusable, but that
doesn't make it compensable either!
We should not be legislating things that should be common sense.
Here is this clown, who by anyone's logic, should understand that you
can't stand around Target reading a magazine all day. Yet he has the
gall to insist that because there is no posted policy, that he is
prefectly within his right to do so.
I'll give you another great example - Ohio is considering a new law
that would make it illegal to send text messages while driving. Well
But is making it illegal to do this going to stop people from doing it
anyway? Not likely.
In theory, rules like these are good because it forces people to do
the right things, but you can't legislate common sense. All that does
(as is illustrated here) is create the idea that it's not necessary to
think for yourself or use your head because if it was really
important, someone would TELL you not to do it.
No one told the Octomom that it wasn't a good idea to have a bunch of
kids she can't take care of, so what is there to stop her from
thinking that it is perfectly acceptable to have FOURTEEN kids with no
means to support any of them? Kids can't grow and thrive on love
alone, no matter what her deluded mind thinks!
People need to think twice before they agree to pass more stringent or
restrictive legislature like this. You might not want to see certain
things going on in society and on the surface, it makes sense that you
shouldn't do these things, but banning it or outlawing it is not going
to solve the problem and probably won't make it go away anyhow. Look
at Prohibition. Alcoholism was reported to be WORSE in the 20's than
at any other time in our country's history.
Think about it. Does anyone truly believe that people who are dumb
enough to do the things that get outlawed (like drugs and drinking in
excess and murdering people) are going to be stopped by a ruling or a
I'm thinking no.
Dear Loved Ones
As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year
there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the
celebration will be repeated. During this time there are many people
shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV
commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that
my birthday is
getting closer and closer.
It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people
think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many
years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all
that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the
reason for the celebration. Family and friends get together and have a
lot of fun, but they don't know the meaning of the celebration.
I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The
dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted
nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were
many, many beautifully wrapped gifts. But, do you want to know
something? I wasn't invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn't
send me an invitation. The party was for me, but when that great day
came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face .. .. and I
wanted to be with them and share their table.
In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all
close their doors to me. Since I wasn't invited, I decided to enter
the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner.
They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling
jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time. To
top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white
beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on
the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying: "Santa Claus, Santa
Claus!" as if the party were in his honor!
At 12 Midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my
arms waiting for someone to hug me and ... do you know ... no one
hugged me. Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them
one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked
to see if, maybe, there was one for me. What would you feel if on your
birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one? I then
understood that I was unwanted at that party and
Every year it gets worse. People only remember to eat and drink, the
gifts, the parties and nobody remembers me. I would like this
Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life. I would like that
you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to
this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you. Today,
I only want that you believe this with all your heart.
I want to share something with you. As many didn't invite me to their
party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one
ever imagined, a spectacular party. I'm still making the final
Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for
you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a
reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my
great guest book. Only those on the guest list will be invited to the
party. Those who don't answer the invite, will be left outside.
Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part of my great
See you soon.
I Love you!
P.S. - Please share this message with your loved ones,before
by Russell Sheppard Tue February 12, 2008 @ 7:12 AM
Not that I'd want to support the morons who think Christmas and the
Holidays should ONLY be about Christ, but the whole PC crap and the
constant backbending to avoid even the remotest appearance of
offending anyone has just really gotten out of hand and is grating on
my last nerve.
For those of you who aren't aware, the ACLU, (the American Civil
Liberties Union) is suing the U.S. Government to take God, Christmas
or anything Christian away from the holiday.
With that in mind, I humbly propose supporting the following idea.
The ACLU has no more right to take the Christ out of Christmas than
the zealots have to cram him into it.
Help put Christ back in Christmas! Send the ACLU a CHRISTMAS CARD this
year. As they are working so very hard to get rid of the CHRISTMAS
part of this holiday, we should all send them a nice CHRISTIAN card to
brighten up their dark, sad, little world.
Make sure it says "Merry Christmas" on it.
Here's the address, just don't be rude or crude. (It's not the
Christian Way, you know.)
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
Two tons of Christmas cards would freeze their operations because they
wouldn't know if any were regular mail containing contributions. So
spend 41 cents and tell the ACLU to leave Christmas alone.
I have been mildly obsessed with the Nikki Catsouras case ever since I
saw the 20/20 ads on TV.
For those who might not have seen it, here is the story:
18 year old girl has a fight with Daddy, swipes the keys to his $150K
Porsche Carrera and goes out on a joyride at about 100 mph on a
Trying to pass a Honda doing 70, she clips their car, loses control of
the Porsche and slams nose first into a toll booth. Needless to say,
she didn't make it home to face the consequences.
But that isn't where it ends. The CHP investigators take incredibly
graphic digital images of the crash, including some very gory images
of the girl's remains. (Trust me, I found the pics and they are VERY
Somehow those images got leaked out of the department and wound up
posted to the Internet where some boneheads thought it would be
"funny" to send the images to this family. Someone even went so far
as to create a bogus MySpace account as a twisted homage to the girl.
Very tacky and inappropriate to be sure.
So the parents are SUING the CHP for leaking the images, claiming
emotional distress and invasion of privacy. Now, while I think it is
horrific that the photos got leaked at all and it's even worse that
some punks thought this would be a "cool prank" I can't say that I
necessarily agree with the parents.
They say they want their privacy and Nikki's dignity and memory
respectfully maintained but then they go on a major, prime time news
show and plead their case in the court of public opinion, which only
fuels more interest in the images. Nikki was killed over a year ago.
Why pour Kerosene on a smoldering fire?
And why aren't they doing more to go after the people who are actually
harassing them? Kind of seems strange to blame the CHP for doing
their job. No, they should not have leaked them, but they also are
not responsible for what some morons do for fun.
That's like blaming God because you're overweight or too short or bald
and people laugh at you!
Furthermore, I have to wonder how "sweet and innocent" this girl
really was. Most people would never dream of being so cruel and
heartless in the face of such tragedy. I have a sneaking suspicion
that either this girl or her family were not well liked. I'd hate to
think that perhaps she was a spoiled brat that people would be so
heartless to her memory, but it sure does look suspect.
Apparently, kids at her former HS, where her younger sister was
attending (they have since pulled her out to homeschool her for her
own protection) printed and posted the horrific images on the sister's
locker. Again, what kind of twisted person does that to someone who
is described as being "sweet?"
I had classmates killed tragically in HS and NO ONE would have posted
images or sent messages harassing their parents. So were we just more
civilized back then or was there more to this story than we're being
by Adam D Sat December 15, 2007 @ 3:01 PM
by ~Fiƒi-la-ƒlea~ Mon December 17, 2007 @ 10:44 AM
Well, it is now officially Thanksgiving morning, which means the
Holiday season is now upon us. So after you all finish gorging
yourself on more food than you would normally ingest in a week, watch
lame parades and football games (who the hell is playing today
anyhow?) and watch Grandpa snoring in his favorite chair (he looks
more and more like a party favor every year!)here are my suggestions
for how to make the most of every retailer's favorite holiday - Black
(I REFUSE to say Super!) Friday
1) Spend the week before Thanksgiving scouring Internet sites like the
Sure, they all pretty much look alike and have the same ads, but you
never know when you might hit the jackpot!
2) If you aren't a football fan, spend the post meal hour plotting
your route (Khol's opens at 4:00 a.m.,so it's best to start there to
get warmed up for the real crowds at Best Buy at 5:00 a.m. and Toys R
Us at 6:00 a.m.) and planning which items you need (iPods, Wii's,
diamond jewelery, and the Lexus that guy always gives his wife every
year with a red bow around it!)
3) Go to sleep at 7:00 p.m. Set your alarm for no later than 1:30 a.m.
Believe it or not, some people will start lining up at the stores as
early as midnight. If you really MUST sleep (turkey will do that you)
take a blanket and sleep on the sidewalk. Come on! It's only 4
4) Take the ENTIRE carafe of coffee with you - you're gonna need it.
If coffee isn't your thing, a minimum of 6 cans of Red Bull is an
5) Most BF shoppers roll out of bed with unkempt hair, no makeup and
wearing pajamas or sweats. But don't underestimate the power of
cleavage and a tight pair of jeans (Guys, 5 o'clock shadow and a tight
pair of jeans are your best bet.) At this ungodly hour, the right
outfit and a little shameless flirting can make some poor pimply stock
boy your personal slave.
6) If at all possible, bring a partner. As I mentioned, the lines
start early and it helps if you have someone to park the car 2
counties away while you wait in line to get into the store. Bringing
cell phones or PTT devices is also a good idea. That way one of you
can wait in the 5 mile long check out line while the other grabs the
goods, or, you can hit opposite sides of the store with especially
7) Police and security have little patience and even less sense of
humor at this hour of the morning. Bringing donuts can be a great way
to help get further in line or keep from losing your place while you
hit the little girl's room.
8) Black Friday is NOT the time for courtesy, politeness or
pleasantries. If some slow-ass old biddy is blocking a display, knock
her out of the way! This is serious business and there is no room for
ambling, plodding or shuffling along. The tortoise doesn't win this
9) Screw the shopping carts. There is no way in hell you'll be able
to maneuver through thongs of bodies 8 deep and if you have a partner,
you hopefully won't need one. (This is also where the sucking up you
did to the cop and the stock boy can pay off BIG TIME). However it is
important to note that sometimes the best treasures can be found in
carts that some lesser shopper abandoned or foolishly walked away
from. (Hey, finders keepers,I always say!)
10) Even if you don't think you'll need it, if it's a hot item at a
great price (i.e. Bratz dolls for $5 or video games for $10) GRAB
THEM! You would be amazed at the markup you can get for toys on eBay.
And the beauty of it is, if you can't unload them by Christmas, under
most stores return policies, you'll still be well within the time
frame for making a return, but MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE DAMN RECEIPT.
You have all been officially warned. I don't want to hear any whining
and bitching on December 26th about staff members who were
"uncooperative and rude" because they would not "work with you" or
"make an exception."
However you choose to kick off your holiday season, make it a good
I'm not sure I can remember what started all this potato nonsense, but
it's really getting old.
Last thing I remember, someone wrote a letter whining about the lack
of potatoes at Wendy's and then next thing you know, we all have
"potato" names and Clete/Jonas (whatever the hell his name is)
apparently declared himself "Mr. Potatoehead" (fitting, No?)
But I am so on overload at this point that I'm thinking of changing my
nickname to MAshed Potato.
by The Great Potato Erik Tue November 13, 2007 @ 4:57 PM
I am at a loss for the OP's who believe it is better to silently storm
out of an establishment without making the local management aware that
there is a problem.
It reminds me of the whiney kids in grade school who, instead of
showing maturity and dealing with issues head on, ran and tattled to
the teacher in the hopes of getting the other person "in trouble."
And that just SO speaks to the mentality of some of the OP's. They
don't really want to rectify the situation. They either want to see
what they "can get out of it" (like our friend the "negotiator") or
they are looking to publicly humiliate the staff and management at the
To me, that seems so juvenile - not to mention self centered because
it shows that they think every little slight is personally aimed at
them. As if they are just SO IMPORTANT that employees of any major
corporation would plot to screw them over.
So to those who think it's a "waste of time" to go through the "proper
channels" when making a complaint or trying to get a problem resolved,
just remember this: Nobody likes a tattle tale!
To all my fellow Mommy's (and the Daddy's who help too) on "Our" day.
Hope the kids all did something extra nice for you.
& to all the "kids" (e.g. Zachary, Blackrack, etc.) tell your parents
thanks for raising such great kids!
What a craptacular weekend!
My M-I-L passed away about a week ago and we had to transport her
remains to her brother's farm in West Virginia for burial.
Surprisingly that was the most pleasant part of the trip.
I truly felt like the proverbial "city slicker" around here. We
couldn't take showers and were advised not to flush the commodes
unless necessary because their wells couldn't take the increased use.
And silly me, my hubby and I brought "funeral attire" (suits, dress
shoes, nylons) to treck up a hill in the mud to the little cemetery on
their land. We were the ONLY people dressed like this.
So by Saturday, I was surrounded by a lot of strangers that my husband
hadn't even seen in 20 years (we've been together 18 years & I've
never seen them around!), I was feeling quite slimy - oh yeah and it
rained all weekend.
On top of that, my M-I-L's sister passed away suddenly on Thursday, so
there were even more people than originally expected as they felt the
need to congregate to grieve.
I guess some people would think its nice that the family all came
together like this, but all I could think all weekend was that I was
actually GRATEFUL that my family has little to do with each other.
I really do not have any interest in having ALL my aunts, uncles,
cousins, and other assorted kin in my hair while I'm grieving the loss
of a parent. I'm sure it will sound bitchy, but let them grieve by
themselves and I will grieve by myself.
While the situation is tragic to be sure and I feel awful for my hubby
& his siblings, the irony is that my M-I-L was not an especially
sociable person herself and I can just imagine her looking down on all
this nonsense, puffing away on her cigarette, and shaking her head in
Why do people completely ignore people's wishes once they're gone?
Isn't that disrespectful to their memory?
by Twinkle Toes (is back!) Thu May 3, 2007 @ 8:15 AM
One of my biggest pet peeves is when friends and acquaintances blindly
forward exaggerated or outright fictitious stories to me via email.
To counter this irritating trend, I usually will respond back to
everyone on their distribution with a link to a Snopes article or
urbanlegends.about.com the refutes the message I know its incredibly
bitchey, but 95% of them are so blatantly ridiculous that I can't
believe anyone would truly believe it.(Yeah, like Bill Gates is going
to send me a new PC loaded with Vista and Office XP if I forward some
dumb email to 500 friends!)
But while perusing the latest entries, I stumbled across the
Apparently this family's 14 year old dog passed away and their 4 year
old had taken it hard, so she decided to write a letter to God to ask
him to look out for their beloved pooch.
I won't spoil the rest of it, but what happens next is about the
sweetest thing I've ever heard of a stranger doing for another
Nichole had emailed me earlier this week about March of Dimes and
Leanne has been so busy helping out her friend who lost everything in
a fire that it got me thinking. We had such a great response and
feeling with the Compliment week, what would it be like if we devoted
one week to "Good Deeds?"
It wouldn't have to be grand gestures - something as simple as holding
an elevator for someone or paying the toll for the person behind you.
But it would be really cool if we all tried to do at least one good
deed and then reported back about it here on the blogs.
I look at it this way, its springtime, I've been cooped up in my house
since December (God I hate Cleveland!) and I am ready to get out there
and feel alive again!
This little letter really inspired me, so what do you all think?
Could we have a sort of "Pay it Forward" week?
by TwinkleToes Thu April 12, 2007 @ 12:10 PM
I swear - post Compliment Week and the letters are even more absurd
Where do they find these people? Is there some sort of special club
for the reality-challenged?
There's one who doesn't have the good sense God gave her to go speak
to a manager when all the "child friendly" carts are inaccessible (I
can just see her with a roll of quarters trying to get at the carts in
the front!) Another one who spews ignorance and intolerance, but is
worried about a public school district promoting the "Gay Agenda."
Still another who can't understand why they won't let him make a
purchase in a store over the phone with a credit card and then pick up
his merchandise days later.
And lets not forget the one who can't hold on to her child and then
expects the hotel she's at to comp her because her son tripped on a
Welcome to the world of delusional and demanding!
In the year or so I've been back actively participating in the Planet
Feedback community, I've come to learn some things not only about the
retail and service worlds, but about myself as well.
A few years ago, I was pretty much just like many of the OP's who come
to PFB to blast some company that had done some horrible disservice
and deserved nothing less than divine punishment for their perceived
transgressions. I may not have been as "gimmee grabbing" as others,
but by God I was NOT going to take bad service lying down!
Ironically my first letter was to CompUSA over the 6 weeks my PC spent
in their shop "supposedly" being repaired under the extended warranty
we purchased. We got the impression that they were taking their sweet
time fixing it because they knew they weren't getting any additional
money out of us due to the warranty and there were plenty of other
PC's that were being billed by the hour to be worked on first. I
honestly was not looking for any kind of gimmee or freebie - I just
wanted my computer back in working order!
Because of that one letter (which not so coincedentally got sent to
the corporate, regional and local executives of the company) I wound
up with a BRAND NEW PC to replace one that was 2 years old. I was
Then in my days working part time as a Guest Service Associate at
Target, I would see clients everyday with problems and complaints.
Some were completely valid and yet got caught up in the policy and had
to be turned away, dissatisfied. Others had the audacity to come in
to our store with blatantly false claims trying to get refunds or
exchanges when they clearly weren't in compliance with the posted
I actually had one guy show up with a heavily used vacuum, no box, no
receipt and he wanted to exchange it for a brand new one! After
quoting policy to him and having him throw what amounted to a tantrum
in the store, the LOD capitulated and allowed him to have another
From this, I understood a little better the corporate side of it, but
I was still apt to believe that big corporations stick it to the
little guy moreso than the other way around.
But it took reading and responding here on PFB to really bring both
sides of this experience together for me - and I think its made me a
much better consumer for it.
For those of you who are new to the boards, I am not some heartless,
corporate drone who always backs the company line and believes all
customers are nothing but nuisances. Ironically, my "9 to 5" isn't
even IN the retail segment! But the philosophies that apply to
customer service are universal, no matter WHAT segment you work in -
Make the customer/end user/client happy, but always watch your bottom
I still believe in backing the consumer - the "little guy" if you
will. But now I have far less tolerance for the people who seek to
screw Big Business with their overblown, dramafied accusations and
complaints and their ridiculous demands for compensation in any form
(free meals, gift cards, refunds, etc.) Those who seek to bilk the
system just don't understand that they do so to the detriment of every
other consumer out there.
It stuns me the lengths some OP's will go in defending their POV, even
when 20 other commenters have called them out on it. People who
wonder why some companies have such stringent, bordering on ridiculous
policies and procedures need look no further than some of the letters
posted here to understand why.
It might seem harmless to a letter writer to make outrageous demands -
after all, the companies have plenty of money! But if you look at it
this way, how many other people do you think have their hand out at
the same time as you. While you may be only one person complaining
here, you have no idea how many other people with valid or invalid
beefs with a company are also demanding to be comped at the very same
time. That adds up.
And where do you think "ABC Co." will find the funds to finance all
those demands from their customers? By passing on that expense to
EVERYONE ELSE by raising their prices, closing stores, laying off
people. That might seem like an exaggerated scenario, but trust me, it
Our society today seems to have the mindset that every inconvenience,
every disappointment, every "no" is compensable - I blame the lawyers
(no offense LadyMac!). But really, just because you had to wait 10
minutes for a table for your party of 13 or just because the clerk at
the grocery store didn't bend the company's policy of not accepting
diapers for exchange, or your child tripped over a 2' high sign
BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T WATCHING HIM(!!!) does that really ENTITLE anyone
to some sort of windfall? I don't think so.
So bottom line, understand that there is a big difference between
making a company aware of a situation for the sake of helping them
correct it and making them aware of a situation with the hope (or
insistance) that they provide some sort of benefit in return. Think
of it this way, what would YOU do if it was YOUR company?
by Russell Sheppard Tue February 12, 2008 @ 7:17 AM