Wednesday, September 19, 2012


A self proclaimed expert on attitudes, during a leadership conference, said this:

"70% of what one worries about never happens- 20% of what one worries about turns out better than one expects-10% happens just as you thought it would or worse.So identify and worry only about that 10%."

I would like to add something this motivational speaker failed to mention. The source of frustration and worry does not really come from the details contained within the 10%. The worry and frustration emanate from the FACT that this 10% happens over and over again and is usually caused by the same people over and over again.

I have realized that I am become, have become, or always have been an frustrated old fart. Maybe I was even born an FOF. I guess that could happen.

Sometimes life is a boiled egg that won't peel. You know what its like to peel an egg like this. The shell just breaks off in little sharp pointy egg-shell triangles, usually taking a good part of the egg white with it. So you find yourself leaning over the sink chipping away trying hard not to break through the membrane that is cemented to the edible part of the egg. And don't you just hate it when the egg somehow gets stood on one end in the pot and the yolk settles to the bottom so when you peel it the shell rips away the thin egg white exposing the yolk? No deviled eggs after all.

My recent eye doctor appoint was like peeling an egg. A recent trip to a market specializing in 'world furniture, pottery, and foods' that they don't actually have in stock - they were an unpeelable egg.

Maybe its because I have that rare combination of inborn traits - like I am in constant fear of disappointing my boss and losing my job, coupled with a profession in the service industry- that makes me so intolerant of those in the service industry who fail to provide good service.

Maybe. Maybe I fear the world is in trouble because I see those around me who are much more patient than me.Can they not see commerce and social functioning grinding to a halt? How can they be so tolerant when it comes to waiting in line, discourteous sales staff, ludicrous customer service processes like special discount cards you have to have with you or you get a marked up price. Really? Because I visit your store without my special discount card butter is really $4.98 a box. Really?

How about those business who refuse to do business with you unless you give them your telephone number and address. I'm not giving you that. I don't care. Like, Do you want my money or not?

How about a doctor's office that requires 8 pages of New Patient forms to be filled out which includes questions like : Emergency Contact Not Residing in the Your Home____________________. Tell me doc, what good is it going to do you or me, if I start to die in your office, for you to call my brother 600 miles away? You just gonna tell him I died? I get it. You want collateral in case I don't pay my bill! This isn't a new patient information form, this is a gawl-danged credit application!

Another thing that really bothers me - maybe I've come to expect too much too fast and this is all my fault - is when a store displays something for sale but never has it in stock and they won't sell you the floor model. Really? Another rain check. Thank you no. If you ain't got it, don't waste my time and your floor space displaying something doesn't exist. I recently tried to explain to the manager at this store that if they do not keep things in stock, they are losing sales. She didn't care. I won't go back.

Another box electronics store, saw my last dollar when Patt and I approached the "Help Desk". This desk was inappropriately labelled. It was really the "I won't Help Desk". We needed a new battery for the laptop I am typing this post on. We took the battery to the store and before I laid it on the "Help Desk", the GEEK behind the counter said, and I quote,

"Nope. Can't help you."

Okay. "Nope. I'm not giving you any more of my money. I hope YOU enjoy standing in the soup line when your company crashes and burns!"

Here's another one. What about those mega stores with 20 checkout lanes, 10 of which are close, 8 are self check outs, and 1 is the express lane? I think it is admirable that these stores hire people with special needs but do they really have to have them man the express lane? Really? It's not fair to the shopper and it's certainly not fair to special needs cashier! And why, when the one normal lane has a line that stretches back to the electronics section, is the manager standing there by the ATM machine, looking like a middle aged batman with their radio and all sorts of survival gear on their belt? Why don't they do something like, I don't know, open up another frickin' lane?! And don't get me started on the self check out. Now, not only do I have to bag my own groceries because the special needs cashier will invariably leave out the one thing I really needed and I won't realize it until I get home, but I have to act as your cashier free of charge! I think they ought to give you a discount equal to the mark up you have to pay for forgetting your discount card, just for doing their work for them.

And don't get me started on the coffee shops where you have to stand in line surrounded by yuppie larvae while their mother orders a double tall, low fat latte, with half skim milk, half water, sweet and low at precisely 140 degrees. Just order a dang hot water for pete's sake!

 And I could go on for hours describing my frustration at the dry cleaners that no longer actually clean your clothes on site, but send your wardrobe lord knows where, the banks and government offices that are only open when people with jobs are at work, the auto parts stores and the grease monkeys put in positions where they have to speak with the customer - really, it is difficult to find one of these gear heads that can put a cohesive sentence together, and you can just tell - I mean, you just know - that they don't give a grinding 2nd gear whether your car is over heating or not.

I'll give you one more before my head explodes:

The frickin' Dali Llama is visiting Syracuse New York on the same weekend that Patt and I need to go to Syracuse. Because life is like a boiled egg that doesn't peel, we are having to drive to St. Louis MO first, spend two nights in a hotel there, and then drive back past our home to NY. What was he thinking planning a trip when we've got this going on? Sheesh! Talk about inconsiderate. Never the thought he would be like that. Any way, my real argument is with the hotel rooms who, taking advantage, to the extreme, of the law of supply and demand, have raised, in some cases, doubled their rates! Who in their right mind would pay $208 for a room at the Hotel 5 - I don't care how long they keep the light on for me. Frickin' Dali Llama.

You know, I'm glad Andy Rooney is dead. I mean, for his sake. Can you imagine what would happen if he were alive in the middle of this bee-hive of dysfunction? Why, it would kill him! Wait! Oh my goodness! I am Andy Rooney...

If you don't know who Mr. Rooney is - get on that internet deal and google Utube. I am sure at least one of his classic rants is posted there.

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