Your Grrrs: June 21, 2005

This week's Your Grrrs were compiled by FOX News intern Michelle Seigel:

Elizabeth T. Cox from Quantico, Va.: Typically, I am not a fan of the media, but your opinions cause me to smile in agreement while easily gliding through your prose. Being a mother of three small children, I couldn’t agree with you more about making folks accountable for their actions. At what point did parents stop instilling this basic skill in life? I think part of the problem is we “celebrate mediocrity,” as Mr. Incredible would say. We feel the need to hand out trophies to every participant on a sports team for simply completing the season when in actuality half of the kids either acted like complete punks or gave less than 50 percent in effort. The elementary schools give out awards for good cooperation, attitude and responsibility. Huh? Shouldn’t this be expected of our future adults? Mind you this happens three times per year… giving most kids in the school a chance to “be a winner.” Keep up the good work, you’re an excellent journalist. Oh yeah, I really like what you have to say about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Give the guy a break, he’s in Paris and he’s in love. Why can’t he just act like a guy enjoying his life for once? And besides … he just swept a tall, gorgeous, young and smart gal off her feet. So far I don’t a see a downside to their relationship

Sheila in Iowa with her Grrr: I'm just going to throw it out there ... I'm tired of so-called "famous" people getting so much publicity — what a bunch of gossip grannies the news has become. There are "real" people with "real" problems out there that I'd like to see someone cast a spotlight on! Are there any news people out there, or do you just follow each other around like a puppy dog every day waiting for that "celebrity" bone to chew on. There was a "press conference" for Cruise and Holmes? Give me a break! Press conferences are for real reporters with real news stories about events that could affect all of us, not actors. I'd like a report on how much money each one of those supposed TV stations, tabloids, etc. spent for that one event and I'd like to see them skip the "press conference" and report that they donated that amount to a charitable cause. Thanks for listening!

Grouch in central Florida: I am so sick and tired of these no-brainer TV commercials here in central Florida. First it's some car dealer trying to make you believe that he is actually going to give you a car for less money than any other dealer. In reality, when you do the math, they actually give you nothing. And then the TV commercial for the appliance sales company that explains that his products have round edges and filtered water, filtered cubes and filtered crushed ice, like no other refrigerators have those features. Salesmen with their grandkids, dogs, you name it pushing their products and they all yell and wave their arms around. I can now hit the mute button without looking.

Patti in Missouri: Sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day. My husband seems to be working every waking moment. His managers have admitted that he does his job and at least three other people's jobs. They told him they were going to lighten his load, and did, for about two days, then started dumping other stuff on him. I work a full time job, take care of three boys, and take care of the four dogs that my husband just had to have (three of them over 80 pounds), while he is either working or sleeping. Sometimes it is not the employee's fault that the work doesn't get done. Sometimes it is the manager's fault for not managing the workload so that there are enough people to take care of all of the jobs. If my husband were ever fired or did quit, it would take the company he works for at least four people to replace him, because he does try to do it all. Sometimes I get rather resentful of it because he is more concerned with his job than his family. In some cases, the employees are underpaid and overworked. But these are usually not the ones who complain about it. They just try their best to get their jobs done, and try to make their managers look good. And when they are able to get all the work done and are completely exhausted, their managers are the ones who get all the credit and all the bonuses while the employees just get a measly little raise each year.

Nikki from Ceresco, Neb., writes: I'm glad you brought up the topic of women dressing with no self-respect. I'm only 20 and not a prude by any means ... but I get so frustrated when I see women (and young girls) dressing in Barbie-size clothing while simultaneously demanding respect, campaigning for "empowerment" and wondering why men act so shallow! So to all the ladies who purposely dress immodestly: You are perpetuating the objectification of women. You are demeaning yourself and making the rest of us look bad in the process. If you sexualize yourself with the way you dress, don't get upset when you're treated like a sexual object. Advertising your body doesn't make it more special or beautiful; on the contrary, you're only implying that it's for sale.

Shawn Norris in Florida with his GRRR: Monday morning I came into work only to find 15 spam messages from the same company for the same product. I clicked the "remove from list" button and went on with my work day. I kept receiving the same e-mail and just kept deleting it. Finally, after I received 15 more of the same messages, I became frustrated and looked up the customer service number on the ad. I called this number and the representative from this company apologized for the inconvenience this was causing me and the interruption in my work day, but advised that there was nothing he could do to stop these e-mails. I said I understood and asked him for his e-mail address. He stated that he would be happy to give me the customer care e-mail address. After forwarding about 30 of this company's e-mails back to their customer care address, I received an e-mail back stating that I should at least give their company time to remove me from the mailing list. I apologized in e-mail to this rep for the disturbance this may be causing to their work flow and then proceeded to forward "new" e-mails that came in from their company directly to her. Needless to say, this turned a very frustrating situation into a humorous one for me. I would suggest this to anyone who gets as grrr'd by spam as I do!

Jon in Cyberspace: I need to respond to your Grrr column today. Usually you are spot on with your Grrrs, and I enjoy your column immensely. However in today’s column, where you mentioned employees of businesses being incompetent and what not — having worked in IT at a large international financial firm in Maryland, I have to say that it is not always a case of incompetence. While there we were regularly subjected to 60+ hour weeks, paid at 60-80 percent of the salary for our positions and expected to perform complex computational tasks with horribly outdated equipment. Sometimes we would be told by those with very little direct IT experience how to do our job. This working situation caused many of us to try to leave and caused one of my co-workers to have a heart attack. I currently work at another company that treats its employees wonderfully and gives us what we need to do our jobs well. So my Grrr goes out to the companies, and their leadership, who keep employees from having what they need to do their job and then blame it on their employees.

Kelly in cyberspace with her Grrr: There was an article in today’s FOX News about the death of the 4-year-old boy on the Disney World “Mission to Mars” ride. In the article was a comment from Safer Parks president Cathy Flacker that said, "Parents can't possibly assess, you know, whether their 4-year-old child is suitable for a particular motion on a ride. They don't have the expertise to do that." The ride is very intense for adults, which is why there are warnings posted. This is indeed a tragedy, but completely preventable had the mother used just a little bit of common sense. Certainly this parent, as I hope any parent, could in fact assess that their 4-year-old child is just that, a CHILD. Children do not belong on adult rides, period. Just because the boy was tall enough does not mean the ride is appropriate for him. That’s why most amusement parks have rides specifically for children — for children to ride them. The blame does not lie with Disney, the blame rides with the boy’s mother.

Chris from Albuquerque, N.M., on Terri Schiavo: Now that the autopsy is in and it is proven that Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state, why do her parents now decide that having the feeding tube removed is not the problem, the events leading up to her collapse is now the problem. Does anyone, besides me, wish these people could say, "We were wrong about everything and Michael was right." People have lost the ability, for the most part, to admit when they made a mistake. Terri's family is continuing the smear campaign against Mr. Schiavo to what purpose? In the words of Bill O'Reilly, "This is truly ridiculous."

Kate in Fla. writes: Please realize that "bathroom stalkers" are not consciously targeting the stall next to you. More often than not the search is for a stall with a dry, clean seat; adequate toilet paper; and a toilet that has been flushed by the previous occupant. If the only clean, stocked stall is next to yours, then that's where I'm going to end up. When public restroom maintenance improves and/or the public learns some basic toilet stall etiquette, then I'll worry about keeping my distance. 'Til then, it's not about you, it's about MY comfort. And on a totally different topic, could I ask a general question to people who drive in Ohio? Do Ohio drivers and drivers who pass through Ohio not know what directional lights are, what they are for, and how to use them? Are they optional equipment on cars sold or driven in Ohio? If so, no one told me that when I moved here. Or maybe everyone who drives in Ohio (except me) is telepathic? Just wondering, since no one seems to use the darn things and it makes the daily commute quite exciting.

Meghan from New Hampshire with her Grrr on Hollywood: The best approach I have found with Hollywood is to try and ignore it. I only watch movies that I think are worth viewing, and I go to the movie theater about once or twice a year. (In contrast, my brother-in-law devours pop culture and watches almost every movie that gets released.) I don't appreciate Hollywood's impact on our country's culture and on our children. And I especially don't like it when stars act as if they are political experts and think the rest of the country cares about their la-la-land views. If Hollywood disappeared tomorrow, I would miss a few movies, but I think we would be a lot better off.

Ryan K., Captain of USAF on why I can't use my MP3 player on planes: Your June 16 column states that you don't understand why you can't listen to your MP3 player during takeoff and landing, especially with all the technology in use nowadays. The reason why not is especially because of all that technology. A commercial aircraft relies on every sort of computer, radio and satellite imaginable to know where it is and where it's going. These electronic systems are all tested separately and together to ensure they work without interference. They are not tested to ensure your MP3 player doesn't cause interference. They are definitely not tested to ensure your MP3 player and the 100+ other people's MP3 players on board do not cause interference. In the most critical two stages of flight (takeoff and landing), is your need for Chris Cornell so great that it outweighs the safety of the aircraft and all the other passengers and crewmembers onboard?

Mike V. in cyberspace: Oh, the MP3 thing. I've been working in the field of electromagnetic interference for over 20 years, and I can tell you that the issue is very real. The problem comes from the very long bundles of cables that run the length of the plane, usually right behind the side walls or under the floor. They can't shield these cables because energy from a lightning strike would travel over the shield directly to the flight instruments. That would be ugly. So, these cables are susceptible to electromagnetic interference from all those microprocessor driven devices like PCs, MP3s, personal DVD players, etc. Obviously, they don't want any false readings during the most critical parts of the flight, takeoff and landing. I once worked on
an instrument problem caused by flushing a toilet in the aircraft. Anyway, there you go.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on