Friday, March 13, 2009

It is a Ladies Room So Act Like One!

I must speak on a topic that may seem objectionable to some, for this rant is a long time coming. Not a day goes by that I do not encounter some deplorable sight in the ladies room at work. Most days when I enter, I go through the stalls like Goldilocks – this seat is too wet, this bowl is too full, and this one is just right! Without getting into gory detail, I am amazed at the things I have seen. It would turn the strongest of stomachs and it has. On one occasion I pulled one of my male co-workers into the ladies room just to witness the debauchery. He ran out, hollering, trying to rub the massacre from his eyes. He has not been the same since.

I can rant for days about this subject and give endless pointers on etiquette in the restroom, but I will just stick with three major problems. Ladies, just because it is a self-flushing toilet does not mean it will take care of your business. Turn before you exit and give it an all clear. A courtesy flush is always appreciated. Also, do you squat at home? No reason to squat in the workplace. Studies show there are more germs on the handles of shopping carts than on public toilet seats so sit your ass down. As soon as one squats we all have to squat! Lastly, American Standard does not manufacture garbage disposals. It is not the place for your monthly items, candy wrappers and excess wads of paper goods. No amount of courtesy flushing can rid the world of these non-flushable objects.

I must admit, there are days when I walk out of that ladies room, very embarrassed and ashamed to be a woman. I try to rationalize, think to myself, there are statistics out there showing men are lazier then women, they do not pick up after themselves and they need to be reminded to clean up. It is only for a brief moment I feel better because I know when nature calls at work, these stats, all flush down the toilet.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lazy Winter Days

As you know, I drive to work and often grumble about the hazards of the road. During the winter these hazards increase; snowy, icy conditions, trucks spewing out salt or sand, frosty limbs cracking off trees from the bitter cold. By far the most perilous is the lack of clean up after a big storm. No, I am not talking about the roads, but the vehicles that are actually being driven. I have never seen such lazy, inconsiderate people, driving the highways and parkways after a snowstorm.
The major offenders, as you may have surmised, are the SUVs. The drivers of these gas-guzzlers only clean the areas they can see or reach. As a result, the top of the vehicle becomes a virtual arsenal. As they accelerate, the snow flies off, blinding the driver behind them, pummeling them with blobs of snow the faster they go, causing them to veer left and right, dodging the projectiles as if they are Han Solo piloting the Millnennium Falcon. In the days to come, as the snow turns to ice, the offensive vehicle upgrades to a death machine!
To my utter shock and annoyance I discovered smaller vehicles are just as bad (you can ALMOST excuse the SUVs!). The day after a big storm, while cruising along in the left lane, a snow-covered compact car cut in front of me. Covered in snow from front to back, the lazy commuter did manage to clear a six-inch diameter of window so he could see out the back. As he tried to pick up speed, the snow blew from all directions, blinding me. I was incensed, but before any large chunks could disengage and pound me, I sped by, glaring at him, wondering whom the moron was behind the wheel. I could not believe this vehicle was on the road.
I am sure I have heard somewhere this is illegal, but I have never seen anyone pulled over, getting a ticket for a snow- covered vehicle. It is a goldmine out there after a storm! As we enter the month of March, another snowstorm has battered the east coast. Coming in like a lion, it looks like I will spend the first week of the month dealing with these yahoos once again, hopefully for the last time this winter season.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Technophile or Lunatic?

There are days when I am so overwhelmed by the technology around us; the constant updates and new inventions. It is really mind numbing and I think there are times I may subconsciously resist learning anything new. I often wish I could be more like my mom in this case. I envy the fact that she does not have a computer or e-mail address and find it endearing that she will now and then ask me to “look on the Ebay” (her word for Internet) for information. There are frustrating moments in life when I wish I had not gotten on that technology train and just remained standing in the station with my mom.
The other day I was sitting in my car at a red light and noticed a woman at a bus stop. For the life of me I could not figure out if she was talking on a cell phone or if she was conversing with the voices in her head. She had long (clean) hair so I could not see if there was a blue-tooth on her ear. She appeared to be well dressed; no shopping bags filled with valuables. As I watched, her head bopped and her lips moved; she was quite lively in her conversation. I was very intrigued, curious to know if she had one of the latest cell phone gizmos or if she had gremlins running through her head. As the light changed, I rolled past and gave her one last glance. It would have to remain a mystery.
The animated stranger did get me thinking, however. There has been such an explosion of technology and it can only get more overwhelming the older I get. I figure the technology train can only go in one direction and that is on the express track to Loopy Town. I have a corner all picked out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pardon My Space

As you know I hate shopping and that includes, in particular, grocery shopping. I try to time it so I can grab a cart and run through with a well-planned list as if I were a contestant on a game show. It works out very well, usually no casualties. One Sunday morning I was awake at 6:00am so I thought it was a fine opportunity to venture out to the supermarket.
I arrived at 7:30am and with luck there were few cars in the parking lot; newspapers were just being stacked and produce clerks were the only ones making their way around the store with bleary eyes. Even so, I hastily made my way through the store with my short list. In record time I found a checkout clerk standing idly by waiting for my purchases and me; I started unloading the cart. I was surprised when an elderly man came up behind me and started doing the same; where on earth did he come from?
I moved ahead to do some packing; anything to help speed up the process. I stood at the credit card machine and planted myself there until the transaction was complete. Well, it seems my line mate had moved up too, right to the front of his items where I was standing. He cozied up right next to me while I was trying to enter my credit card information.
I could not help but say something and all he did was excuse himself, not moving an inch. What was this all about? I am sure he was not trying to steal information. Did he think I was going to bag something from his line? Is that the reason for the sentinel behavior? Proper line etiquette is to stand at the end of your grocery line until the person in front of you is done. Was it my place to teach him? I thought I could avoid this situation by shopping early on a Sunday, but the one rude guy had to find me. Don’t get me going on the one lazy person I met out in the parking lot, inches from the cart return, who was too lazy to return it. I’ll save that for another rant.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Official Apology

As we enter this first week of Black History Month and we celebrate the emergence of our rodent friend Phil (well did he or didn’t he?), I would like to wish you all a belated Happy New Year and also apologize profusely for my absence. Between the Holidays, work (oh so grateful!!) and consecutive illnesses, I have been too busy to enter my rantings as often as I would like. While I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions, from this day forth I resolve to blog at least once a week. RANT ON!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

PINs, Passwords and Pandemonium

These days we are all in PIN, password, and user ID overload. It seems we need one or all of these for everything we do - banking, credit cards, air travel, shopping, etc. It is recommended you use the same ID and password for all your personal transactions, but it is almost impossible. Some require characters, uppercase, lowercase, combined with numbers, symbols, and cryptograms. It can get quite confusing and bewildering.
To me the best, however, is the “secret question” or sometimes, “my favorite things”. It used to be something as simple as your mother’s maiden name or the city where you were born. This system was set up as an added security, but I believe it is just a way to torture the consumer even further. It became evident as the questions started getting more difficult and very broad, such as your “high school mascot” and “your favorite food” (no, Jeb, you cannot use the same answer for both questions!).
My cousin was recently trying to get her credit in order, dealing with someone named “Bob” with a distinct foreign accent. From the very start she had problems because “Bob” would not let her access her credit information. She could not remember her “favorite food”, which she selected years ago when she set up the account. She named several possibilities, from various food groups, but came up empty. She said for all she knew at the time, all those years ago, she could have been eating a banana. Maybe she needs to try word association – credit report equals tandoori chicken. No offense, “Bob”!
One day at lunch a coworker shared her recent calamity with her bank. She was trying to do some banking on the phone, but was having trouble because her husband had set up the account. The customer service rep (“Bob”?) insisted she reveal her husband’s “favorite color”. After naming every color in the rainbow and being rejected, she finally called her husband on another line to ask him for assistance. Well, thank God this was not an INS interview because someone would have surely been deported!
This new system was ever so apparent to me when I had to choose my “high school mascot”. Since I went to Catholic school all my life, I do not recall having a mascot. I selected the first thing that came to my mind, not thinking I would ever be faced with that question. Well, it was a very frustrating day when I needed immediate access to my account and could not for the life of me come up with the word FERRET! Note to self: Just because it sounds funny does mean you will remember it - WRITE IT DOWN!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Drop, Roll and Shop

We have now entered my least favorite time of year and I only say that because it requires participation in one of my least favorite American past time, SHOPPING! I hate the whole process; driving to the indoor mall, jockeying for a parking space, hunting for the perfect gift for that imperfect someone, dodging impatient crowds, nasty, uninformed salespeople and always standing in the wrong line (save that for another rant!). It is regretful because I have always loved Christmas, but it has become quite barbaric, as we have seen this past Black Friday.
I am sure you read or heard on the news about the poor security guard that was trampled to death just inside a Wal-Mart. It seems the crowd could not wait for the doors to open during the designated hour. What were they giving away? A deed to a house? The keys to a new car? I read there was a woman in the crowd who was eight months pregnant. What was she thinking? Not about herself or her unborn child obviously, but about the five dollars savings on that DVD player.
Nothing would get me out of bed at 4am to stand in front of a store with a crowd of people who could potentially murder me for the chance to get through the doors first and get their hands on the latest Elmo doll. Is there really that much of a savings on Black Friday that you cannot get on other days during the holiday season? I do not believe it.
My friends laughed at me because I would not venture into a mall on the Sunday after Black Friday to see a movie; I called it Black Weekend. I think from now until after Christmas the sales will be just as plentiful, the malls will be just as crazy and people will be even more uncivilized. Funny how this shopping season coincides with hunting season each year. It seems to me there are many similarities.