Monday, January 13, 2014

Has it really been that long?

I can't believe it's been this long since I wrote anything here. I have plans for a couple more Star Trek Posts, another Tolkien post, and a few other scattered ideas and I don't know why I haven't gotten to them yet.

I will start working on those this week but for now, I have a few things I wish to vent here where nobody is going to see them. I have said since the beginning that I don't want this blog to be a rant-fest. I would rather talk about things I like and share them with anyone who comes here. There are, however, a few things though that have been bothering me for some time and I need to vent them out so that I can move on.

First, does anyone know what the solid yellow line on our streets is for anymore? Every day there is at least one or two selfish "I am more important than the rules" morons who insist on crossing a solid (double) yellow line to make a left turn where they shouldn't. Without fail they end up in the way, blocking traffic on one side and nearly crashing into cars legitimately entering the left turn lane from the other direction. There is always another, legal, way to get where you want to go. Use it! I have said many times before that the solid (double) yellow line should be like a slot car track and if you cross it there is an electric shock sent up through the steering wheel and into the driver. I don't know how many accidents are caused by people illegally crossing the solid (double) yellow line, but I bet it is more than a couple. Folks, you are not that important. Get out of the way and take the extra 30 seconds it would take to safely and legally get where you want to go. I drive an older car with a lot of insurance and I will not get out of the way for you anymore. For those of you who do not know What a solid yellow line means take a look at this.

Second, What has happened to the service industry in this state? With an unemployment rate of 8.8, it would seem to me that anyone who has a job should be overjoyed and not the sullen, angry, or unmotivated person that they are. I worked in a number of service jobs over the years. Heck, I still do and while I am far from perfect, I would be top 5% compared to most of the experiences I have had recently. I understand that working at McDonald's, Rite-Aid, or Target isn't exactly what most people's dream job but any job worth doing is worth doing well. I see it time and time again, the employee either doesn't care enough to bother putting any effort into the job, or isn't trained well enough to respond to customers as if they matter at all. I try very hard to shop/eat/frequent local or independent businesses whenever possible but they make it very hard to continue when not only is the service/food/product more expensive than the big brand franchise stores but the service is bad as well. Don't get me wrong, the level of ambivalence that you get from employees of the big brand chains is staggering but usually, it isn't obnoxious just uncaring. That being said, I miss the days when an employee would wait for a customer to pass before pulling a big cart into the aisle or actually move out of the way to let a customer pass. I can't count how many times I have nearly been run down by employees moving stock around a store as if I have no business being there. Customers are a valuable resource, and a finite one they should be treated as such. No, I do not believe that the customer is always right. Sometimes they are mistaken, but you don't win back very many customers telling them so. Hey, everyone has a bad day, I certainly have more than most but still, you need to remember that without customers, you don't have a business.

Lastly, what is it with "sports parents" you can substitute any sport here, soccer parents, wrestling parents, football parents, etc? My goodness people, these are games, not life and death battles. The purpose of youth sports is supposed to be physical fitness, sportsmanship, and learning to play/work with others (teamwork). I just don't understand the parents that put so much pressure on their children to "win" that anything less is met with screaming and insult. I have seen parents bring their children to tears over losing a wrestling match by reprimanding them so fervently it borders on abuse. As if the child doesn't feel bad enough having lost in the first place, society reinforces this enough all by itself. This isn't always older children either, I have seen this done by the parents of 6 and 7-year-old wrestlers, I mean really, is this necessary? I don't believe that youth sports should be everybody feel great, there should be winners and there should be losers. They should keep score. There should be a first and a last place. These are important lessons that children need to learn before they hit the cold cruel world and expect jobs to be like that. I also expect that children should put an effort into whatever they do (the whole if it's worth doing it's worth doing well thing again). But this ridiculous win at all costs, you are nothing if you aren't a winner mentality has got to go. You see movies where this is the case (see The Karate Kid, etc) and you think, that's just movie writing, the world isn't like that. But it is and I just can't agree with it. Let your kids be kids, teach them about hard work, don't let them quit just because they think it's hard, but for crying out loud, stop tying your own importance to the success of your children. It isn't fair to them and you're creating a generation of adults that won't care about anyone but themselves and that's not good for anyone.

OK, That's enough ranting for this year and we aren't even through January yet. I promise you won't have to read another post like this for quite some time. I really don't want to turn this site into rant central and those of you who actually know me know how hard that is for me.  ;) Check back soon for more gadgets, books, and movies as I get back to what I love instead of what I don't.

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