Here are some of your responses to Mike's last column ...
Rich from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, writes: Mike, I feel your pain with respect to missing family time. Imagine missing four, six or 12 months in a row … that’s our military (me included) serving our great nation.
Mike C. from Omaha, Neb. writes: Mike, just read your piece on sacrificing family time and dealing with the yahoos in PR who try to tell you how to do your job, and I gotta say — AMEN, brother. I have spent almost every waking moment of my daughter's 16-plus years in a similar (albeit, much smaller) capacity in the newspaper business. If I had a dollar for every big moment in her life that I have missed because a meeting or a ball game had to be covered or some other event that required a reporter's presence, I'd be a rich man. This last summer, I finally decided that I have had enough of it and I got out of the business. I'm now doing some non-journalism related work that is paying the bills while I get to spend more quality time with my child. I haven't regretted the decision for one second, and have no intention on going back to that again anytime soon ... at least until she graduates in May 2008. Enjoy your child's years and keep up the good work.
Brain B. writes: As much as I would like to feel sympathy for you missing your adorable daughter's Halloween parade, I can't. I do feel bad for your wife and daughter. You picked your job knowing all of the time constraints it would put on your personal life. You get upset by people who you feel lead you down a twisted interview. Hey, that is no different than countless sales folks who receive verbal promises from clients only to find out later they were duped. But what really GRRRs me is that you inferred that missing your daughter's parade would be justified if the interview went the way you wanted it to go! Mike, as much as you think she understands your job's time constraints, she doesn't. At the end of day, she will just remember you were not there. Don't blame the bad interviewees. As adults, we are responsible for setting our own priorities. If our children are our priority, we will make time for them, even if it means putting aside our work for a few hours.
Alan M. writes: I completely agree with you. Missing family time due to work is the worst part of the job. I have missed not only 12/16ths of my daughter’s birthdays but also her birth due to “the job." I don’t complain much because I chose the job. What Grrrs me are the people that point out that I chose the job, therefore I have NOTHING to complain about.
No Fan of McPhee in Boca Raton, Fla., writes: I am so sick and tired of Katharine McPhee's exaggerated opinion of herself. Could it be that she's not aware that she did not win "American Idol"? I just read the following in a People magazine (online) article that was discussing the return of Whitney Houston to the public eye: "It's her first big appearance since the breakup," McPhee, 22, said on the arrivals carpet about Houston. "I would love to sing with her, but unfortunately all eyes are on me." No, Katharine — all eyes are on Whitney Houston. And you, Katharine, are no Whitney Houston. Face it, you're not even a Taylor Hicks!
1 LT in Va. writes: Grrr on Sen. Kerry for telling college students in California that if you do not study hard, make good grades and graduate that you will end up in Iraq! Hello, Sen. Kerry, as an officer in the United States military it is a prerequisite to have at least a bachelor's degree, which means I would have had to study hard, made good grades and graduate. You obviously have not looked at the enlisted corps either, because most of my enlisted soldiers in my unit are either A) Working towards their bachelor's degree, B) Have a bachelor's degree or C) have a Masters degree. And do not forget Sen. Kerry that this is an ALL VOLUNTEER MILITARY and that there is no draft. A kid can flunk out all he wants and will not be picked up off the street to go to fight in the war. I think that you owe all of us serving in uniform an apology for degrading our service to this country because apparently to you, you have to be dumb before you can fight. Keep writing Mike, your column is the best!!!!
Ann E. writes: I've never seen anyone else mention this before, but it Grrrs me to no end! At work, our restrooms are adjacent to the elevator bays, the drinking fountain and occupied workstations. When exiting the restroom, some of my able-bodied co-workers insist upon using the wheelchair access button to automatically open the door for them. The door then remains wide open for about 30 seconds allowing anyone at the water fountain and people waiting for the elevator to be treated to a symphony of audible bodily functions. Call me a prude, but it is embarrassing. Just because these bodily functions are natural, there is no reason unwitting passersby and clients should have to listen to it. I can just imagine the conversations outside the restroom: "So, Mr. Valued Client Sir, while we're waiting for the elevator [tinkle tinkle tinkle], I'd like to run [plop plop] an idea by you [gaseous explosion] about the…." [flush drowning out rest of conversation……]
Candis T. writes: As far as people leaving the toilets unflushed, that’s a major GRRR of mine. Many times I have entered the ladies' room at work and have come across unflushed toilets. I just couldn’t understand how hard it could be to flush a toilet, it’s like taking the last cup of coffee and not making another pot, it’s just not that hard! Well, the other day I had an epiphany in the bathroom. After finishing my business and being somewhat in a hurry, I promptly flushed the toilet and headed for the sink. In my haste, I never looked back after I flushed, but happened to glance over my shoulder as I was leaving and noticed the toilet didn’t flush. I was the culprit of the unflushed toilet! It suddenly dawned on me that if I had flushed the toilet without looking back, others probably had too, just assuming everything had flushed appropriately. GRRR to those pesky water saving toilets on the third floor, you have to flush them two or three times for them to work!
Gary in Jacksonville Profanity GRRR: Tonight as I was waiting in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport for a connecting flight home, I was astounded at how many people I overheard on their cell phones talking loudly using obscene language. These weren’t arguments, just normal conversations laced with frequent use of the F-word. It is utterly disheartening these days to hear people with such a dismal command of the English language resorting to gutter-mouth obscenities to fill their conversations. If the best they can come up with are junior-high-grade “cuss” words to use in their adult communication, then I submit that they didn’t learn enough of the English language to begin with! It is sickening to hear adults use such filthy language in regular conversation all the time. It shows a total lack of propriety and civility, not to mention self-control and maturity.
Terry in Bristol, Va., responds to K.C. of Oceanside, Calif.: Oh, K.C. Tch, tch, tch. So, only the Republicans are responsible for these personal attack campaign ads, huh? You are obviously watching your TV and listening to your radio from the left side of the room. Here where I live (on the border between Virginia and Tennessee), we are forced to listen to both the Allen/Webb (Va.) AND the Corker/Ford (Tenn.) stinko ads. Yes, we’re also tired and disgusted by this “new campaign strategy.” But, trust me, it ain’t just the Republicans!! I change the TV and radio channels when this junk comes on. I would be interested in hearing how the candidates stand on the real issues so I could base my voting decision on that info. Silly me.
Cas responds to Paul M.: Hi Mike, I read every one of your columns and all the Grrs people write you. I have never been so shocked by the Grrr you posted by Paul M. I have lived with a type I diabetic for 20 years. He has never once urinated in public. My husband and I cannot stand when people use their diabetes as an excuse for bad behavior or getting out of their responsibilities. Diabetes is a disease that requires diligent maintenance of your health. It takes a lot of work, but it can be done. My grandmother once told me, "Never pass up the opportunity to use the restroom." Maybe Paul should use this mantra or, if he can't make it from bathroom to bathroom, there are products on the market that he can use ...