Return to the Jungle, or Pizza Man

•November 14, 2006 • 2 Comments

waitinglineThe setting for this adventure has been altered slightly to protect the guilty.

I was on a quest to find a lost item. Its location put it beside a small strip shopping center. I parked and immediately went to where I guessed it was. Failing to find it I returned to the car to call for more specific details.

Everything sounded like it should be easy to find. I was returning to look again, when a youngish chap stepped out of the pizza joint in this shopping center and asked in a demanding tone, “Can I help you?” I confess, even a 70, I don’t take well to arrogant young toughs ordering me around, but I replied politely, “No thank you.” He then stepped in front of me and repeated in a harsh tone, “MAY I HELP YOU!.” I replied in a sterner tone, “NO! Thank you.”

At this point I’m not sure what he said, while blocking my path, but it must have been something to the effect of ‘What are you doing.’ At that time I was about 70 or so feet from my destination and simply walking on the sidewalk, so I replied something like, “I’m not sure what that has to do with you.” He said, in a tone you’d tell a dog to stop chewing on your best chair, “You’re in one of our parking spots.” As I later realized, every parking place in that little center was marked for a shop – there was no open parking. I was actually parked near or beyond the far left wall of the pizza place. Nonetheless I instantly said, “I didn’t realize that and I’ll move immediately. I couldn’t help but notice there were 3-4 empty parking places directly in front of the pizza joint. [It was mid afternoon, accounting for why he had nothing better to do than hassle me.] I turned and began walking back to my car to leave. He shouted after me, “I’m calling the cops on you.” I continued to my car as I retorted, “Screw you too.” [Expletive changed, for public consumption.] He yelled, so now you cussing me, aye — what’s that about.” I said, “Because you’re a snot,” and got into my car. He yelled, “It’s good you’ll me dead in ten years old man.” As I was pulling away, he made a production of reading my license plate while calling someone on his cell phone. As far as I know business-reserved shopping center parking space violations are aren’t yet criminal offences (soon probably), so I don’t know who he intended me to think he was calling.

I rarely wish I was 30 again, but had I been today I would have made a yeoman’s try at waxing the parking lot with this young wisenheimer.


Waiting Line Brouhaha, Part 2 — A Prequel.

•November 12, 2006 • 2 Comments

waitinglinePlease Click Here and read Part 1 before reading this.

When I arrived there were about 10 people in line. For this place, that’s a long line. I know the line moves slow here, so I said to the guy at the end of the line, “Gosh, this is a very long line. I think I’ll come back another day.” He replied, “It’s moving pretty good today.” So, I stayed.

A minute of so later a young woman walked in and joined a guy midway forward in line. A short while after that two young girls join the guy who, in Part One, was later joined by the middle aged lady and the chap with whom I had the encounter. A few minutes after this a young man arrives and joins a young woman in front of the first woman who’d come in late.

So, once the guy with the two children in Part One arrived, all these people had been added to a line I’d been waiting in for 10 minutes. And, he was the fourth person to join this same chap at the head of the line. It takes 1-2 minutes to serve a customer there, so collectively these people added about 8-12 minutes to the wait time of a line I was originally going to walk away from, because it was too long to begin with.

Does this change your mind about who you thought was behaving badly at the end of Part One? If so, why?

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Waiting Line Brouhaha – Part 1

•November 10, 2006 • 1 Comment


I’m relating this anecdote in two parts and asking you to decide which person, if either, was out of line (pun intended). I’m posting this because I’m really not sure who was behaving the least civilly, me or the other guy. I’m interested in what others think

Please don’t read the second part until you have decided your answer to part one, and please don’t post comments until you’ve both parts. I’ll post part two tomorrow

Recently I went to a sandwich shop to pick up a sandwich for lunch.

At this place you go through a single file serving line. As your turn arrives you tell servers, in an assembly line fashion, your choices for each many ingredients and options you want on your sandwich.

I’ve been waiting in a moderately long line (for this place) with about 8 people ahead of me now who’re waiting to been served. A middle age lady walks in and joins the person who will be served next – that is, joins the person at the front of the line. I say nothing. About 30 seconds later a 30ish man arrives with two children of about 8 years in tow, and joins the same people. I say in a moderate tone “The end of the line is back there.” He ignores me. So I say in a louder voice “Uh, pardon me. The end of the line is back here.” At this point he turns and begins making sarcastic remarks. About that time a lady who was already being served said to me “Oh, he’s my husband.” I say, “I didn’t figure he was a stranger.”

At this point he says “Okay, I’ll just have my friend order for us,” left the line and walked up to me and began hurling ugly insults. He threw in “Whatever happened to southern hospitality?” To which I replied “It doesn’t apply to rude people who jump line.” More insults, followed by, “I was in line a few minutes ago and left to do something.” I reply, “I was in line day-before-yesterday and left. Does that put me ahead of you?” More insults, followed by, “It’s people like you who are coarsening society.”

I wanted to ask, ‘I wonder who’s coarsening society most — people who jump line or people who point out line jumpers?’ But, he seemed to have wound down, so discretion prevailed.

The End, Part One.

I tried to be accurate/neutral, but I’m sure I must have presented this in a light favorable to me. The question is, who was out of line here? Decide before reading part 2.

fone phollies

•November 8, 2006 • 2 Comments

I have a hearty dislike for inconsiderate Philistines who carry on cell phone conversations in close quarters like restaurants, waiting rooms, etc. I’d vote to bring back smoking, if I could ban this exceptionally rude, obnoxious behavior. If you do it, shame on you.

A friend and I meet for lunch to chat. A group of 5-6 people choose a table next to us. They’re talking kind of loud. Just as my friend goes to rest room one of these people gets a cell phone call and begins talking loud for 3-5 minutes. This causes the rest of this party to raise the volume of their discussion so they can hear themselves over over her. It was hard to carry on our discussion near them before she got on the phone, it would now be next to impossible.

When I speak loud I have a booming voice that’s known by friends to penetrates walls. I decided if they were still operating at this volume when my friend returned I’d hold my own phone to my ear and say in a very loud voice “I CAN’T HEAR YOU! SOMEONE HERE’S TALKING LOUD ON A CELL PHONE.” This would have resounded throughout the restaurant dining room. Luckily for us both, she ended the conversation just as my friend returned.

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the “check” out line — scenario #2

•November 7, 2006 • 1 Comment

10 items or less-rSame woman from “check” out line scenario #1 , but this time she’s in the “10 Items. Cash Only” line because it’s shorter. She only has one item. Because of the nature of this line she has 2 people ahead of her, but again, unaware she’ll have to pay for the gum she repeats her act from scenario #1 and reach for her purse only after her 27¢ total shows on the register.

Express lines attract inconsiderate people who want to cash checks. By buying only a pack of gum they get out quicker. Grocers don’t enforce the no checks or 10 item limit. Presumably because they don’t want to upset the cheaters, somehow worried that rude people, intimdators and bullies won’t come back, while courteous people are mild mannered and will tolerate the boors, and return to be crapped on again and again without complaint. Besides, if they do their job they’ll have to confront the rude a**holes who will likely hose them over for deigning to point out the antisocial behavior — and that’s stressful. Whereas, if they ignore these nasties, the odds of trouble from the silently suffering is small. Years ago I used to go to the store manager and ask them to do something about the problem. There replies were so insipid I can no longer remember them.

I think most people are shopping there because it’s the most convenient place to shop, and only unreasonable people will go somewhere else, cutting off their nose to spite their face. So, asking the rude and inconsiderate to get in the correct line will only drive away unreasonable people, and who wants unreasonable customers anyway.

THIS JUST IN: I may have met the champion checkout line inconsiderate. I was at the big box home center and a guy did the “wait ’til everything else is complete to reach for his checkbook” trick. But, he topped this off with an astounding bookkeeping act. I’m not sure what all he was doing, but he leaned over, engulfing the checkout counter while he updated god know how many records. He did the check register and some other page in the first checkbook, then pulled out another checkbook and made copious notes in it, then went to some other kind of record book and made a lot of notes in it. I only started timing him when he started on the second checkbook but after that point he was on top of that counter for 2 minutes 20+ second. This must have made three and a half minutes he held the checkout counter hostage.

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the “check” out line — scenario #1

•November 6, 2006 • 2 Comments

Somehow I notice this most in grocery checkouts, but it happens in all kinds of checkout lines.

You’re behind a person with an basketful. She puts her stuff on the conveyer. Her eyes glaze over and she stares into space waiting for the person in front of her to finish checkout and for her stuff to be rung up. The clerk turns and begins checking her items — meanwhile she continues to stand idly by. Ring up complete. Total calculated.

Now, discovering at this last moment she has to pay for her groceries, she reaches for her purse, opens it and rummages around for her checkbook. The checker, having nothing else to do now I guess, begins chatting with the lady. This distracts her from her search. Finally, she finds the checkbook and begins very carefully writing (preparing?) the check. Then she tears it out — this can take up to a full minute. I’ve seen what must be some of the most careful tearers in our galaxy. She hands it to the checker. The checker completes the check verification ritual. Then and only then, the lady starts bookkeeping her check register, right there at the checkout station, while checker and I standby.

It’s amazing how many people have never bought groceries or written a check before, thus each step catches them completely by surprise.

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god, what a slooooow, cranky & frustrating website

•November 6, 2006 • 1 Comment

i can’t understand how this outfit stays in the blog business. i’ve been working on this blog off and on for about 4 days. first, it is almost always slooooooooooow to do any action. often its actions (saves for example) just time out and I have to go away and come back another time. frequently these actions fail completely and you get messages like

503 Service Unavailable



We just got a “503 error”. Please try refreshing the page

of course refreshing never works and whatever you’ve done, no matter how long it took, is lost. and if, as happened to me just now, you are in the process of reconfiguring your blog presentation you have to walk away with a godawful mess representing you, until this cranky site starts working again

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