Your Grrrs!: Oct. 25, 2005

Your Grrrs!

A. Neil from Mew City, N.Y.: Grrr! Why do TV news anchors have to introduce stories by telling what the news story is about and go on and on verbatim with what the tape they are introducing is going to say? When the anchor cuts to the tape on location, of course, the tape says exactly what the anchor had just said. Why doesn't the anchor just give a short intro and then go to the tape? Could it be possible that the news anchor really has nothing to say and is just filling up time? Or wasting ours?

Veronica from New Jersey: Instead of complaining about the way the phone is answered, you should be happy that you got a person. So many companies have switched to automated answering machines. A real person is better than trying to find your way through a series of menus only to realize somewhere along the way you hit the wrong key and have to start all over.

Vanessa from Atlanta: In my office building, we have a parking deck that requires a card to get you in. You have to use the card every day to get in. I get so Grrr'd! first thing in the morning when people pull up to the card reader and then I watch them search for their card. Why not keep it handy in the many cubby holes cars offer since they know they are going to need it? Or make sure it is close by when they are at a red light on the way to work?

Christine from New York: What is the deal with people chatting on their cell phones in public restrooms? It has gotten out of control lately, especially in the workplace! I mean, if they're going to do so, shouldn't they say to themselves, "Oh, someone just walked in, I should get going." But they don't, Straka, they never do! They just blab away as if this private area is their own personal phone booth. And it's always the most insipid stuff, too. Not like I'd want to hear that their pet died or something but, come on, you can talk about shopping and men later! And what really makes me wonder is who are they talking to that's not saying — when they hear the toilets flushing and sinks running — "are you in a BATHROOM right now?" There MUST be some other place to go talk on a cell phone. Just don't do so in a bathroom! It's gross!

Daniel in Lansing, Mich.: I read your column every day and let me just start off by saying thank you for opening my eyes to all the Oblivions in this world. I work with a great many of them. I especially like the ones that take the last of the coffee and don’t make a new pot. Hello! Well the reason I am writing you is because this past weekend I went to a movie with my wife. We went to see "The History of Violence." I know what you are thinking — "bad choice." I now realize that. My point is this: After spending $15 to get in, I then spent $10.50 for a large popcorn and two sodas. As the young girl behind the counter was filling the popcorn bag, my wife asked if she could put some butter in middle of the bag. The young girl said "Yes, but it would cost an extra 50 cents." "What? Are you kidding? The butter is free if you put it on yourself by the soda filling station,” was my response. "It's our policy, sorry," said the young girl. My wife not wanting me to make a scene in front of all the other people spending an extra 50 cents on items they otherwise offered for free in different parts of the building agreed to pay the 50 cents. Well, my moviegoing experience was off to bad start, and the movie had not even started yet, and once the movie started it only got worse. So, Monday morning I wrote a letter to the cinema informing them of my distaste of the nickel and dime-ing me at the concession stand. They have not responded to my letter, and it is of little concern to me if they do. I’m not looking for a free ride to the movies; I wanted to let them know that I will no longer be going to that cinema for any reason over 50 cents. I know what you're thinking: "50 cents, give me a break.” But it’s the principle of it all.

Sarah from Austin, Texas: Grrr! to Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers for saying the new dress code imposed by NBA commissioner David Stern is "racist." I didn't realize wearing jewelry could now be an indication of your age or race.

Warren from Illinois: Grrr! to the people in stores that I see using food stamps to buy food and then pulling cash out of their pockets to buy those scratch-off tickets they need so badly. Not to mention that many of these people I see are also only buying unhealthy junk food with the food stamps.

Dawn from cyberspace: One more Grrr! from a receptionist, please. My weekly frustration is salespeople who stop in unexpectedly and then get upset when whoever it is they wanted to see is unavailable. Would it be so difficult to call even one 1/2 hour ahead to see if the person is even in the office that day? I work at a healthcare facility, and you wouldn't believe how many salespeople come in without making an appointment ahead of time and then become rude and snotty because the administrator, nurse, doctor or anesthesiologist can't just drop everything they are doing to meet with them.

Jamie from Maryland: I was at the mall, and trying to leave. I had a baby in the stroller and my 3-year-old by the hand. There was no automatic doors at the entrance, so I had to push open the door with my behind, and pull the stroller through after me, making sure I still had a hand on my son. There are people approaching the door. Do they offer to hold it for me? No. They stood there and watch me struggle out the door, and then had the nerve to expect me to hold it for them! Now, there was more than one door, so they could have just used another one to get by me. But no, they just stood there, and waited for me to hold it, like I didn't have anything else going on!

Lisa from Illinois: Who are the geniuses who decide where to put the baby changing stations in public bathrooms? At our local Wal-Mart, they used to have it on the wall where if you were using it, you would prevent anyone from getting in or out of the handicapped stall to the left and two stalls in back. They recently remodeled, so I was sure they would be correcting the problem. WRONG! They have now moved it down the wall to the front of the bathroom where the stalls begin. So now if you are using the changing station, you prevent anyone from getting to a stall at all. This could turn into a messy situation!

Shannon from Woodland, Wash.: My wife and kids were at the beauty salon getting their hair cut. I walked in to get a couple of my kids when they were done but noticed the lady who cuts my hair was not busy at the moment. I asked her if she had time to cut my hair and she said she did, but apparently my wife didn’t hear any of this. I sat down and the gal put the white thing on my neck to catch any loose hair and then draped the hair apron on. My wife turned around and asked, “What are you doing? Are you getting your hair cut?” I said “Nope, just trying things on for the next time I come in.” Duh!

Anthony from Arizona: My Grrr! goes out to all the airlines that no longer board people with small children first. According to the airlines, too many people complained that these people were getting special treatment. I guess the people complaining have never traveled with a small child and are not aware of the extra time it takes to board. The boarding process is much easier when the surrounding seats are empty and you are not having to avoid bumping people. I am still not sure what the people that complained thought the special treatment was. Here is a little tip for them: The plane is not going to leave without you whether you board first or last. By complaining, you have actually caused the boarding process to slow down and I hope you are the ones who miss your connecting flights when the plane is delayed.

Imani from Indiana: My Grrr! goes out to the people behind me in the checkout line who think it's OK to breathe down my neck while I am trying to complete my transaction. I don't know how many times, after I have placed all of my items in my cart, I go back to write a check or swipe my debit card and have to excuse a person's dumb butt out of the way because he or she is in my space. If they are so worried that the cashier might accidentally swipe your item(s) along with mine, they should use the little plastic divider provided for the purpose of showing the cashier where to stop. If they are in a hurry, they will just have to wait your turn like everyone else.

Dave from cyberspace: My Grrr! is with joggers — the ones who put everybody in danger by choosing the narrowest roads with the most hillcrests, blind corners, no shoulders and the height of rush hour as the perfect time to go for their daily run. On more than one occasion I've had to make a last-ditch effort to swerve my car to avoid mowing down one of these people, and I drive as cautiously as I can, given the fact that I can't see around the bend or over the hill. I'm all for sharing the road, but isn't there some responsibility on the part of the pedestrian to use common sense and not put themselves in harm's way, or cause a head-on collision when people have to swerve into the oncoming lane to avoid killing the jogger?

Barbara from Key Biscayne, Fla.: I went to the bank, which is located in a very busy shopping plaza with a horseshoe shaped parking lot that is one-way. There are plenty of signs telling anyone who might not know. They have painted arrows on the pavement in case you still couldn't figure it out. Fast-driving Mr. Porsche ImporTant and I almost collided on the curve as I carefully made my way around (in the CORRECT direction!) looking for a space. As I approached the end, I saw a car backing out of a space. I carefully made my way forward with my signal on, and I spotted Mr. Porsche speeding up from the wrong way. I had the advantage, because he had to wait for the car to complete its turn after backing. I triumphantly entered the prime space in front of the bank doors, leaving Mr. Porsche to find another spot.

Carter from Alabama: It seems that the media does nothing but denigrate those people who have made sacrifices to protect us. It also seems that if one dies, they look for dirt instead of what was actually done. Sell news? So few papers write about such things that I am forced to look at many sources to find out what happened. Sell newspapers? Grrrs to those who publish what will bring them money! Anti-Grrrs to those who print news from both sides. Double Grrrrs to those that print opinion as news.

Randy from Orlando: Regarding the pop-ups during programming, they used to be just a simple semi-transparent station logo. Now they have gone totally overboard with moving graphics and sounds. It is to the point where I need a pop-up blocker for my TV just like the one for my personal computer.

GM in cyberspace: I agree with you about the mixed change and receipts. When my sister started working at the local Wal-Mart a few months ago, I told her how annoying it is and she has been giving people their receipts and change separately. One down, 3 million to go...

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, writes the Grrr! Column and hosts the weekly "The Real Deal" webcast on and