The Airing of Grievances

Before my relatives panic, this post is not the airing of FAMILY grievances, but rather a small collection of annoyances that have been piling up on my desk over the last couple of months awaiting an opportunity to get them posted on the blog.  It occurred to me today that this would be a perfect time to get this done.  And why is this the perfect time… well, in tribute to the classic Seinfeld episode, it’s “Festivus for the Rest of Us”.  Taking the risk this post will make me out to be a heartless, puppy kicking grinch, I begin…

  • To Peoria news stations, stop reporting on the fictitious high unemployment rate the area is supposedly experiencing.  Why do I believe this is a waste of air time?  Well, this opinion is due mainly to one indicator that is almost always a positive side effect of high unemployment – the Service Meter.  High unemployment by definition implies there are multiple applicants for just about every job – especially in the service industry.  This in turn means the employer has a choice when hiring.  For example, an employer, could say, choose an individual that has higher math skills to fill a numbers related opening like a cashier.  Additionally, it could be a tipping point if one applicant is very positive and cheerful for a position that interacts directly with a customer.  But alas, this doesn’t seem to be the case around here.

    Example #1: A few of us went out to lunch at a local restaurant that begins with an A and ends with an S that serves cheap Italian food.  After completing our meals we headed to the lobby area to pay.  A friend ahead of me was joking about the condition of his penny looked (looks like it had been found by a weekend warrior with a metal detector) and was glad he could finally get rid of it.  It occurred to me that I didn’t have a penny meaning my change due would likely result his penny heading to me.  I gave the cashier my $6 for the $5.27 bill.  As soon as she rang it in, a friend behind me gave her two pennies to apply to my payment (jokingly to prevent me from getting the bad penny).  What proceeded stunned us both.  She literally stared at her register tray picking up random coins and looking dumbfounded.  After about 30 seconds my friend told her the change would be 75 cents which was met with “Thanks, I’m just not good at this thing”  I would have laughed if I wasn’t mortified.  Of course, this is the same restaurant that charges more for two half loafs of bread than one whole loaf (trust me, there is a picture of that menu coming in a future blog).

    Example #2: Linda and I went to a Burger King to get a quick bite to eat while shopping in the area.  After struggling to get my order taken (see the hamburger grievance below) we proceeded to wait for our order to be filled.  We waited and waited and waited while they worked on getting the chicken sandwich cooked – note, we were the ONLY people in there.  Meanwhile, they have my hamburger done sitting on the non-heated ready shelf.  Pretty soon the manager grabs up our fries from the heated fry shelf, slaps it on a tray and sticks it up on the non-heated shelf and proceeded to head for the bathroom.  For the next 10 minutes I stood there staring at my cooling fries and hamburger.  Eventually the chicken finishes cooking.  Sure enough the chicken and hamburger are put on the now cold fry tray and handed to us.  Needless to say, we demanded warm fries (note, manager never did come back).

    Example #3: We made a quick run to McDonalds to get something to drink before Linda’s doctor’s appointment.  The drive-thru was pretty busy (maybe 8 cars lined up) so we went inside to make our order (where there was only one party ahead of us).  Our total order was one small hot chocolate and one small Sprite.  I didn’t clock it, but I had to wait over 15 minutes for them to actually make my hot chocolate.  That 15 minutes actually felt more like 30 minutes having to endure their conversations:

    Hit the jump to see the rest of the grievances:
    Continue reading The Airing of Grievances

Saturday Night Dead

It appears we need to brace ourselves for supposed Change.  As a result, I’m going on PROMISE WATCH, which basically means I sit back for 4 years and see if a single election promise materializes when one is actually held accountable for actions.  I had to chuckle yesterday as I read about “Obama Girl” demanding favors for her efforts to her candidate elected.  Then the automakers jumped up from the table and started demanding the money they were promised ahead of the vote.  This is definitely going to be interesting, however, I have to send my condolences to the writers at Saturday Night Live.  I honestly have no idea how they are going to survive without having a republican to make fun of every week – although that horse has pretty much been dead for the last 3 years.  And since they’ll never poke fun at “one of their own”, they will simply be left with “smelling cat butt” (Ironically done by Kelsey Grammer a die hard Republican).   Time to change I guess… that being the TV channel off of NBC.

Congratulations and best of luck.

Book Recollection: Steve Martin – Born Standing Up

It has actually been a couple of weeks now since I finished this book, so unfortunately, I do not have a lot of content for this recollection.  This of course really means that there was not a lot that really stuck with me in regards to this autobiography.  I have always liked Steve Martin so I was actually pretty excited about reading the book.  When I was younger I remember always watching SNL with my brother Ron and it always made us laugh – yes, there was a time many many years ago when SNL was actually funny – I gave up on that show a couple of years ago because quite frankly it is boring and stupid – if there is something entertaining they beat that horse until it morphs into grating … but I digress.  I am also a proud owner of many of his albums (large black vinyl disks that have little grooves in them which are translated into sound via a diamond tipped needle that rides along in the grooves … help for the cyber generation out there).   This book is a fairly quick read and flows very conversationally.  Here are the few things that stayed with me:

  • Steve started his standup at a very early age working a little comedy/entertainment side show at Disneyland – was close to where he grew up
  • He definitely worked very very hard at his craft and althought it looks spontaneous he actually plans out many of his acts.   This even included taking the people out of the theater to provide a more interactive experience – guessing the theater owners didn’t exactly warm up to this idea since it left the seats empty
  • Worked for the Smothers Brothers variety show
  • His shtick was to appear totally out of synch – jumping from one logical thought to a completely different one resulting in the audience continually thinking about what was to come next
  • He has now strengthened his relationship with his sister
  • His motivation was continually trying to earn his father’s respect who apparently didn’t think much  of his career choices.  I do not think he ever obtained this before his father passed away.
  • He is still extremely funny since more than once I laughed out loud at something he had written

That’s it.  Nothing to earth shattering.  Again, it is a very quick read and worth the time to get some insights into a true comedian.  I was a little shocked by the high marks in the Amazon rating system (around 4.5 at the time I looked).  I would probably put this closer to 3 myself compared to the other books I am reading at the moment.  In fact, I hope to post a true 5 star book recollection tomorrow.

Here’s to the life of the one and only Wild and Crazy Guy