Shawn in cyberspace: My "Grrr..." is to those irritating Web sites that require me to "become a member" or "create an account" in order to do business with them (or sometimes just to ask a simple question). Usually these misguided places believe they're actually doing me a favor -- an arrogant person from one site claimed he was making my life easier. Do these Obliviots not realize that I already have enough online accounts? I really don't need one more. Here's a clue for the owners of such sites: If you're not content to take my money and send me my purchase, someone else is. There is nothing you have that I cannot either do without or find somewhere else.
Lisa in Ohio: I am working my way through college as a server at a well-known chain restaurant. With the holidays coming up, we will see lots of gift cards. My Grrr is to the people who pay with a gift card and then think they don't need to tip because their balance is zero! I waited on a family of four with two young children, ran my legs off, gave excellent service, their kids left a huge mess on the floor. Their bill was $52, they had a $50 gift card so their actual bill was only $2. They tipped $2 and made the comment that they tipped 100 percent because I had done such a great job! GRRR! Servers in Ohio make $2.13/hour plus tips. I pride myself in a job well done. A big thank you does not pay my tuition!
Tammy B. in Shelto, Wash.: Grrr to Greg D. on extending vacations by calling in sick! That's not an extension, that's a LIE! Back when I was working retail in college, a big sale was scheduled the same day as our graduation. You guessed it, I received my B.A. in the morning, then diligently worked a 3-11 p.m. shift. Grrr to my oblivion co-worker who called in "sick" then showed up the next day with a sunburn! Come to think of it, several months later, the same co-worker was led away in handcuffs for stealing from the store (another Grrr in itself). Integrity and character are worth more than any day off!
Beverly in California: They haven't taken the "Christ" out of Christmas by spelling it Xmas. X is a Greek acronym for Christ (as in IXOYE). Enjoy your Xmas!
Gregory C. in Happy Holbrook, Ariz.: While I agree with Pam from Science Hill, Ky., that one cannot understand many of the outgoing messages children leave on the answering machines, I feel compelled to ask, "Haven't we come far enough in civilization to realize that just about ANY noise before the "beep" pretty much means, "Hey ... you know what to do and when to do it'?" I mean, unless we are dialing a business with their insane multiple-choice responses, we should pretty much realize that all we have to do is leave our messages after the tone. Really. No Grrrs! needed when the Grrrer only has to use a little bit of common sense. And, in case you're asking, the answer is NO -- my children are not allowed to babble on our answering machine. I think they're cute, too, but why add them to the list of annoyances in the world? Happy Holidays, everyone!
Jennifer in cyberspace on women stars looking alike: You forgot Paz Vega looks like Penelope Cruz ... at least in the movie "Spanglish." I refused to believe it was NOT Cruz until I saw the credits!
Mike P. on the bathroom valet: …and what exactly is the etiquette regarding at what point you reach in your pocket and pull out a dirty dollar bill? Does the valet prefer that you wash your hands first? No doubt! But money is already pretty germ-coated, isn’t it? I don’t particularly want to wash my hands, reach in and grab a wad of bills, pull one out, then go back to the table and pick up the bread loaf to tear off a hunk. But the valet -- how must he feel when someone walks away from a urinal (or stall), grabs a stick of gum or a splash of Brut and drops a bill in the basket without washing their hands? You know it happens. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "money-laundering,” eh?
Debbie H. in Wyoming: Paris Hilton looks like Ruth Buzzi ... hilarious!!! Thanks for giving me the best gut-laugh I've had in a long while!!! I LOVED it!
Mary Beth V. at a deli near you: Here's another species of oblivion I've encountered recently. The Deli-diots are those people who can stand in line for 10 minutes staring at a menu without having a clue what they want to order when they arrive at the front of the line. They then proceed to waste everyone's time by asking what kind of meat, cheese, bread, sides, etc. are available while pondering each decision as if weighing the evidence in a murder trial. It's a ham and swiss on rye with cole slaw -- not a matter of life and death.
Ron W. on a flight near you: Apart from the inconsiderates who feel the need to pull out a phone during landing, I grrr at the idiots who stand up during the taxi to the runway which results in the plane being pulled aside and put at the end of the line. Before you put your overhead baggage in the bin, take out what you need BEFORE the initial stages of takeoff! And also, what is the incessant need for people to recline their chairs as soon as they board the plane? You'll just have to put them in the upright position before takeoff! Grrr to those people, and especially those who respond angrily to flight attendants who have to constantly remind these buffoons, as if they didn't know, that their seat backs must be upright and tray tables locked before takeoff and landing! Finally, to all airplane "recliners": it's tight in coach, is it necessary to recline your chair all the way back, bounce around in your seat or do other annoying things to the person behind you? Let's be considerate, people!
John C. in cyberspace on T.O.: I just love the way that (some members of) Congress (want) to interfere in the world of football. It is an excellent way for my tax dollars to work. If it isn't bad enough to see a person who is paid millions to bad-mouth his boss and then get upset when he gets punished, but when Sen. Spector is threatening to send the matter to the Antitrust subcommittee for investigation, it makes me Grrr! If I were to pull the same thing as T.O. did, I would be in the same boat -- looking for a job. I guess that when you whine enough and have friends in high places, you get the attention. I guess that Sen. Spector will refer Budweiser to the antitrust committee next for being the KING OF BEER. You know how we hate monarchies. I hope that T.O. keeps having to look for a job like a regular person and hope that Sen. Spector will keep his armchair quarterbacking at home vs. us having to pay for it like we did baseball. By the way, the Eagles and NFL labor group were in agreement that the punishment fit the crime.
Rich Rose in cyberspace on my Sienna Miller conspiracy theory: Think about Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant. We didn't even know her until the hooker scandal and then she is all over the place including getting a cosmetic contract with Estee Lauder. Interesting comparison I think.
Kristen in Tulsa: My Grrr goes to my good friend Sarah who has lost her identity. Her sing-song cell phone message says, "You've reached Danny's wife and Cobin's mom. Leave a message." She never even says her own name! It drives me nuts. Maybe if I can get enough Strakalogue readers to back me, she'll change the horrible thing.
Paul B. in Tampa, Fla.: The only Grrr I have is that people use the Strakalogue to vent. If you have a problem with a certain situation, you should address it yourself. Oblivions do not know what they are doing so … let them know. Tell us about what you said to the people who were causing your Grrrrr. If I’m doing something that bothers someone else, I would love to be told so.
--Paul, that would be good right up until the time you tell someone what they're doing is annoying and they try to beat you up, or worse. The Strakalogue is a safe vent.
Sue at an office way too familiar to a lot of Americans: Grrr! to my boss who secretly polls the entire office to see if the most incompetent person employed there should be promoted. After much feedback about this person's shortcomings (and practical ways those weaknesses can be strengthened) and even alternate suggestions of "Why don't we wait and see who else applies?" the boss fills the position with the nimrod because she doesn't want to look bad by having the position stay open for a couple months. Well, thanks, boss, because now the incompetent has been in power for three months, and has set more fires than a pyromaniac in a fireworks factory. He has destroyed morale, caused more work for everyone with his incompetence and generally made work miserable for all of us. Now she wants to demote him, and is asking us to give examples of the problems he has caused. Gimme a break! Next time don't ask for feedback on an applicant if you are not going to heed it. Grrr!
John of the armed services: Your GRRR to the people who wear heavy perfume is right on the money. It drives me nuts. It is nice that people don't want to smell bad, but some take it too far. We (my friends and I) have named this area around the heavy perfume user a P.E.Z. or Perfume Engagement Zone. Once caught in someone's P.E.Z., it's over, you will have to cough, gasp and wave your arms like crazy to get out of it.
Rick in Minneapolis: Your comments about the bathroom valet really struck home with me. It bugs me to no end how tipping in the U.S. has gotten so out of hand; so automatic; so guilt-ridden. Gratuity is a reward for meritorious service, but in the U.S. it is an obligation regardless of service. It has gotten ridiculous that anyone who remotely provides a service expects to receive a tip for doing their normal job. You won’t find this in other countries of the world.
VIDEO: Watch Mike on "The Real Deal" webcast.