Your Grrrs: March 7, 2005


Thomas in NC: Why does the media like to associate the term "diva" with any of women who somehow manage to make the news today? Whether it is that spoiled brat Lindsey Lohan, the rather-hard-to-figure-out Britney Spears or the convicted criminal Martha Stewart ... the news media LOVES to refer them as divas.

The dictionary defines diva as, literally, a goddess. It is of Italian origin. Now I know a woman or two who can truly be called a goddess - my fiancee whom I love, my mother who raised me and nurtured me. And I know there are many women around the world - doctors, nurses, nuns, politicians, philanthropists, volunteers, etc. - who work to make the lives of others easier without thinking of themselves first and foremost.

And that, in my opinion, is beautiful and loving - like a true goddess, a diva. Now, as for the Hollywood brats, pop-star burnouts and wannabe Wall Street players (Martha!) ... I have a few titles for them. But "diva" is DEFINITELY not one of them. GRRRR!

--Thomas, while I agree with your sentiment, I will quarrel with your characterization of Lohan as spoiled. She might be a brat, but with a father like hers, spoiled doesn't pop into mind.

Mark in VA: Traveling often, I've seen tons of airplane oblivions and obliviots, but these parents take the cake. A couple with a toddler were seated behind a woman who was trying to relax and read a novel. The parents actually allowed their child (who did not have his own seat) to jump up and down on the tray table like a trampoline, grasping on to the seat in front of him, shaking the chair of the enormously patient woman trying to read.

I even watched her get hit in the head a few times with a water bottle that the "destined to be an oblivion by upbringing" was holding. There were many other incidents, like allowing the child to wander off for minutes, letting him play with half-full drinks which spilled and standing in the aisle where he was not easily visible to people passing through to use the restroom. Throughout the flight, the father read a newspaper while the mother was off somewhere in oblivion land. Unbelievable.

Matt, Redwood City, CA: Well, Mike, you did it. You made me angry at your column last week. I'll skip going on and on about how much I love your column usually and how non-partisan you usually are and ... oh, sorry. Anyway, I thought Chris Rock's jokes were right on the money about Bush. It doesn't matter that Gap owns Banana Republic ... average Joe Citizen does not know that.

The point that you quickly dismissed is that an employee of any company who did anything remotely close to what Bush has done to this country, as the country's elected leader by the taxpayers of this country whose tax money pays his salary, in other words, he is our employee ... sorry again. If any Joe Employee did what he did, lead the country from a surplus into a serious deficit and lead the country into a war that quite frankly had very little to absolutely nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks based on "facts" that turned out to be absolutely false and then say that Iraq is leading terrorist attacks after-the-fact, would be fired on the spot, not given an extension of the contract.

The only reason there is a high terrorist figure in Iraq is because of the war Bush started that the rest of the world was against. The point Chris Rock made was right on the money, and your statement that "a war that began when his home turf was attacked and nearly 3,000 innocent people were killed" is absolutely wrong.

The war on terror did begin with that attack; however, the war in Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the war on terror until after it began. That is what this country needs to hear and face, the truth.

Chuck in Cyber-Space: Chris Rock was sensational! I found his Bush-bashing bit comparing the Gap to the war in Iraq witty. I admit I wasn't thrilled by the new format, and maybe the show's producer should step down after 12 telecasts.

Ashley H in Cyber-Space: A good Grrr would be Martha Stewart and her prison stay. You send people to prison to teach them not to break the law and instead she gets a new career launch. She gets to stay at her home all day and still makes $900,000 a year and a new TV show. I'm not saying house arrest would be easy, but it won't have the same effect on her that it would on others.

Her house is probably the size of a small town with all the accommodations she could ever want. Martha didn't get rehabilitated, she got a new opportunity to make more money and advance her career. When she gets out she'll have this sob story about how hard prison was and that she has learned her lesson. All she did in prison is what normal people do everyday. Now the little decorating contest must have been a little humbling. But to say she got what she deserves would be going a little far.

Dan in Hibbing, MN: Just a quick comment on Blockbuster Adam: He will never be unemployed long unless he wants to be. And the Gen Y'ners? They will forever complain about Adam getting ahead while they don't.

Shad in Cyber-Space: Your comments about what passes for popular music and the young people who expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter were right on target. While I may only be 22, I can't stand what most of my generation has become. My mother and father never before nor do they now buy my way through life. It made me sick in high school when scholarships were handed out to the kids whose families had more than enough money to pay for higher education or to the kids of administrators within the school district.

That was truly the first time I was blasted with the realization that my generation (at least a large portion of) was truly a bunch of sheltered babies. From the time I was 16 I've worked, and often I was working to help pay the utility bills and buy groceries since my parents continually had their hours cut.

Now there were other factors involved with my parents' financial problems (debt, divorce, etc.), but the point is while I was working to help keep my family afloat financially I had many other kids who were getting brand new cars and such from their parents. Upon graduating while I enlisted in the Air Force post-9/11, these guys and gals where busy dropping out of their free college and going to work for their mommies and daddies. The "the world owes me everything" attitude of my fellow young people truly makes me sick.

--Shad, I hate to say it, but it sounds just a bit like the pot calling the kettle... Whether or not one's parents have the money for college shouldn't negate the achievement of earning a merit scholarship, and who cares what kind of car everybody is driving in HS? That being said, thank you for joining the Air Force. I hope you are a great Airman.

Rebecca in Cyber-Space: Hey, Mike - love your column - even when you write about GW Bush. My Grrr is these suicidal maniacs on motorcycles who zip in and out of lanes with about 6 inches of clearance. I've almost hard a heart attack because they come out of nowhere. San Diego just announced a crackdown on them and I'm thankful! I don't want to participate in their madness. Oh ... and Michael Moore is king...

JP in Dayton, OH: My Grrr! is the banks, credit cards, etc. whose ATMs and customer service basically ASSUME that a person who cannot speak English is the primary user or caller. It is an INSULT every time I go to an ATM and have to 'select language' first. I'm switching banks because of this. It took me a while to get PO'd about this, but I'm THERE !!!

Joanna in MN: I really enjoyed reading your "Grrr" about the Oscars. However, I was quite annoyed with Hilary Swank's acceptance speech. Not only was it terribly long but to thank your lawyers and your publicist? Give me a break!

Dr. Larue (not one of my fans): I hope someone will be there when you are down and be sure to kick you good. You espouse the virtues (by default) of a world void of compassion. This is probably because you have enough comfort to feel smug. And don't tell me how you earned your comfort. When you are kicked when you are down, you will deserve it.

--Dr., keep enabling your self-pitying patients. I'll continue to take the self-responsibility route, thereby earning my comfort, and when I'm down, kick away. I'll get back up.

Molly in Cyber-Space: This is in response to the "counter clerk" who wrote in a few weeks ago, the one who works in the RV park. I would just like to say that I pray for her employers' and customers' sake that she was exaggerating in how she treats her rude customers. I have been in the hotel/restaurant business for 20 years, and while I understand her business may not be as customer service-oriented as, say, a hotel or restaurant, I would, however, like to remind her that she is still in a SERVICE capacity and that she should always treat people like they are not only her customers but her GUESTS.

It always amazes me how people forget that they are there to provide a service to their GUESTS and should go above and beyond their expectations. I do understand that there are at times those few guests who may not be the most enjoyable, but if they upset her so much to the point that she has to make rude and tasteless comments then she is clearly in the wrong business.

To be a great customer service representative in any industry, you have to truly enjoy making the guest happy. The appreciative ones more than make up for those few undesirables. Keep up the good work!

BJ in Grand Junction, CO: Your column never fails to hit home with me. Here's a GRRRR response to Jennifer in Kansas City, Mo., an employee at a doctor's office who GRRRRed about inconsiderate patients and "princess" housewives. As an aside, I am not a housewife.

GRRRR! to all of the Obliviot "godlike" doctors' offices that book their appointments impossibly close together, then get upset when I don't just drop everything and wait for half an hour to an hour after my appointment time to be seen by the doctor. I'm sorry that you are all so busy that a small thing like scheduling appointments a reasonable time apart, then letting a patient know if a doctor is running late, is such an inconvenience to you.

HOWEVER, it is your fault that you are oblivious to your patients' time and that they often have to take time away from work to keep doctors' appointments. Also, please don't think that putting me in a small room bereft of any reading material newer than Life Magazine's coverage of WW II makes me feel that I am being attended to, while your office demands that I drop everything I am doing to wait an inordinate amount of time before the doctor sees me.

I, who by the way, thought ahead and made the appointment. If anything, the waiting makes patients a little perturbed and less likely to be pleased with the care they receive because the importance of their time is ignored. I am sorry to say that this is how it is, but you as the doctor's office needs to be responsible for your patient scheduling and the timing of appointments. I don't have enough hours in the day to be kept waiting obscenely past my appointment time for a doctor who didn't have to tend to an emergency, but rather was more interested in overbooking than respecting my time.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and contributes as a features reporter on "FOX Magazine," and occasionally as a news cut-ins anchor on FOX News Channel. Read Mike's Bio.