Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Two bad phrases
I was jumping around the Internet and I ran across this blog with a great post entitled "Two Phrases That Destroyed American Culture" (ViolentAcres)
The two phrases are "The customer is always right" and "You have to earn my respect".
The first, "The customer is always right", is a phrase that's good ONLY for that particular customer. It usually means that:
1) the employee will have to work harder to please that ONE customer.
2) the owner/manager will be stressing that employee more.
3) other customers will receive LESS work in terms of quality and amount.
I have been on the receiving end of this before, and I always hated it. Not because I was wrong or right, but because (just as the post implies) the customer is usually a friggin' jerk about it.
The second, "You have to earn my respect", is too often spoken by someone who either doesn't deserve the respect he's demanding and/or is someone who's been disrespected and is now trying to take it out on the poor sap who is unfortunate enough to be standing in front of him/her when their panties got into a bunch.
Too many people get full of themselves and think that somehow they're better than anyone around them, that the world owes them something. Whether it be because they have money, or they have a certain title attached to their name, they believe that somehow it's okay for them to behave like jerks and treat treat people like crap.
I much prefer the other saying "You have to GIVE respect, BEFORE you can earn it".
When I was in high school, I used to work at an ice cream shop in Penn Station (NY). One day a customer asked me for a chocolate milkshake. I prepared said milkshake, served it up with a smile, collected payment, gave change and even said "have a nice day". After taking care of the next customer, my manager calls me over and I see the customer with the milkshake sitting on the counter. My manager tells me that the customer is complaining because the milkshake wasn't thick enough. I tell my manager that I prepared it the way I was trained, two scoops, some much milk, so many shots of syrup and to the blender for such and such amount of time. The customer now has other complaints "he works too slow", "he blended it too long", "he gave me the wrong change", "he walked away before finishing up with me", etc...
The regional manager happens to be walking by, hears the customer and decided to "handle this". He tells the customer he'll take care of him, prepares a new shake with about FIVE scoops of ice cream, to make it real thick. He takes a LONG time as the blender has trouble handling that much ice cream. He gives the customer the new shake, berates me in front of my manager and the customer, then refunds the customer his money saying it'll come out of my paycheck. I'm thinking "Okay, he's only doing this because the customer is here".
NOPE! He continues to talk smack after the customer walks away!
He even quotes that line, "The customer is always right"!
NOTE: He once yelled at me for giving away a scoop of ice cream that was too big. ONE scoop. That was only SLIGHTLY bigger than an average scoop. For a guy that worked in the station. That ALWAYS came by for a cone. AND... it was his birthday.
I say "If you want me to prepare shakes like that, no problem. I'll add as much ice cream as the customer wants." He starts calling me a smart ass, that I better not "cut into the profits", that I should be happy he "gave me a chance", blah blah blah. I tell him "If I have to pay for that guy's milkshake... from MY paycheck... then he should not complain about me giving away a little extra ice cream." He tried to reassert himself by threatening to fire me. As a high school kid, I didn't want to lose my job, that would have been the end of the world for me. But, I said "I can always find another job. I'm a GOOD, HARDWORKING person."
He dropped it, because... of course you can't give away as much ice cream as the customer wants! That would be incredibly stupid. He knew he was wrong. It's one thing to try to make the customer happy, but the customer, at the very least, can be mistaken. And by going above and beyond what's appropriate, only leads to spoiled customers.
That same customer came back now and then, making complaints, trying to get more for his buck, pushing the limits... Eventually, my manager told him to take his business elsewhere. And I was SO happy to be there when he reported it to the regional manager, who had to say "Yeah, you can't always make everyone happy."
The customer is definitely NOT always right, and you SHOULDN'T expect to get respect if you don't give respect.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When I first noticed this spray paint around the neighborhood, I realized that someone was spraying the dog poo that was left lying around. I thought it was some kind of spray to kill bacteria.
But then I noticed that it didn't wash away, and that it was just neon spray paint.
Then the other day I saw this:
Ahh.. it's a "neighborhood dog poo vigilante".
Monday, November 17, 2008
Who do you think you're kidding?
First, John Walker Lindh writes to President Bush (yes, GEORGE W. BUSH), asking for a pardon. A PRESIDENTIAL pardon! Yes, John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban"! That's ballsy, to say the least.
Then... Prince, or "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince", or "The Artist", or "Love Symbol #2" (that's the trademark name for that unpronounceable symbol he used as a name for a while.. which is a combination of the symbols for male and female), or whatever he's calling himself today... declared that "God is against homosexuality". For real! THIS GUY said THAT! The same guy who wore "butt-less pants" on TV! Yes, Prince. The same guy who made a lot of money off his androgynous, homosexual character! Or, maybe it's just me?
I'm not saying you can never change your thinking on a subject, or even say you're sorry you thought a certain way about something... BUT DAMN! I mean is it me? Or, do these guys have huge balls?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Obama and me
Damn, that sounds cute. (no homo)
I made the decision to sign up to Twitter mostly because I read that Obama twitters messages to people. How cool is that? The President(-elect) of the United States of America twitters messages to the average citizen? It's almost like a modern-day version of FDR's fireside chats.
I added linked to Obama's twitter, and then... he linked back to me! Obama... is following what I'M doing! AWWWwwwWWWESOME!
Note: I know it's probably one of his staff, but that's cool.
I am so happy that Obama won. I think he'll be this modern technology age's president.
Note: He hasn't sent a message since he won the election, but I know he'll start again once things settle down.
What is it to you?
A nice commentary on gay marriage by Keith Olbermann. I like how he puts very plainly, and even puts it in context to how marriage was viewed in the past.
Monday, November 10, 2008
IT'S NOT A HOLOGRAM!!
One of the things to come out of the 2008 Presidential Elections (OBAMA, BABY! YES!) is the new "hologram technology" by CNN.
A real hologram, is a three dimensional image in front of the viewer. Wolf Blitzer did NOT see Jessica Yellin in front of him. He was looking at a monitor where he saw the broadcast image (what we saw).
Again, Wolf Blitzer did NOT see Jessica Yellin in front of him. And it's not like they didn't know, because they explained it! There were cameras at the remote location, duplicating the positions, direction and focus of the cameras at CNN's local studio. A computer then cut Yellin's image (note the red circle she was standing on) from the remote video, and superimposed her image into the local video (with Blitzer).
It's the same as when the weather forecasters are standing in front of the green screen. They are actually looking over at a monitor to see what they are pointing at. In 300, green screens were used extensively and so well, most people thought those scenes were real.
They even gave it look bluish aura, and a kind of "crappy hologram-ish" feel, like the hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars. Anyone watching a major football game can see WAY better computer effects.
So why do that? Why mislead the viewing public? Why make give the image a less "clean" look?
To make us think that it was a real hologram. To make us think it was more advanced than it really was. To make us want to watch CNN more. Just another bit of "sensationalism". To make us see more of this "pretty, shiny" technology, so we think their coverage is better than the next reporter's. They want to seem "cutting edge" while doing the same amount and quality of work.
Next, they'll probably start making up their own news events. Then they can be "FIRST ON THE SCENE".
Okay, okay... just one more, maybe.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
I have to stop posting about Obama. It's too much.
NO IT ISN'T!!!
YES WE CAN!! YES WE DID!!
Okay, the reason for this post is about this website:
There is some very nice work up there. Check it out.
I was looking at some webpage somewhere that mentioned the other candidates who were running in the 2008 Presidential election, and came across this guy:
Lee L. Mercer Jr.
HOLY BAT-SHIT! You have to read the guy's own official website! You'll almost think it's a joke. The stuff on there is simply insane. EXCEPT THIS GUY IS REAL!
His story is almost like something plucked from a science fiction story. Here are some highlights:
- he's a "Negro American Citizen"
- the army implanted a chip in his head
- he's constantly being educated via that chip
- he's developed his own learning method
- he has "a doctor degree Phd." in multiple fields
- those degrees will only be presented in a court of law
- the U.S. Military Police and Federal Police are writing biographies of him
- we are all under surveillance by the "Eye Spy Community-Military Intelligence (All Three)" 24 hours a day.
- he wants to be paid "zillions of dollars" for his contribution to that organization
- after he balances the federal budget, he will refund all of the surplus money to each and every American citizen!
Also, he wants to prove President George Bush, as well as other government officials, have been impeached for torturing him and his family.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Sarah the Goat
No, not "GOAT" as in "Greatest Of All Time" (I reserve that for Earl "The Goat" Manigault and Muhammad Ali), but as in "scapegoat". Sarah Palin is a scapegoat.
A lot of Republicans seem to be blaming McCain's loss all on Sarah Palin. Basically, it's "she's dumb", "she a loose cannon", "she too controversial", etc...
Okay, she didn't know Africa was a continent. She doesn't believe in the Greenhouse Effect. She thinks prehistoric man fought dinosaurs. She fumbles and can't give a straight answer. She uses "maverick" WAY too much. This could go on forever.
But the question is... WHO PICKED HER?
She was picked for being a reason. And now that that they lost, they want to blame her for being... "Sarah Palin".
Now she has to go back home to Alaska and deal with all the crap that's come out. If she survives, she should start getting ready for a VP run in 2012. Get some experience, get some knowledge, but DON'T lose the looks.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
OBAMA WINS IT!
NBC and CNN have called it! Obama wins the Presidency!
As soon as the polls closed on the western coast, it flashed up on TV and both their websites. "Obama Wins!" McCain has already called, conceded, and congratulated Obama.
I don't know if America has "shed it's racist ways" or if we have collectively decided it's time for change, but.... it's time for change! Obama winning the presidency opens the door for anybody... really and truly, to do anything. This was a historic run. Not just because a black man is President, but because of things that have happened during his run. Members of the Ku Klux Klan OPENLY endorsed Obama! We had a woman run for Vice President! On the Republican ticket! There are states that have NEVER voted for a Democrat, much less a black man. This truly is time for change.
Once again, CONGRATULATIONS, MR. PRESIDENT! And thank you, Barack.
"No, no, no. Thank you, Gerk."
I'M CALLING IT!
As it stands right now... MSNBC has Obama at 174, wait..... whoa, make that 195 to 76 for McCain. And I'm calling it.
My prediction (if you want to call it that) is Obama wins. He's just 85 electoral votes short of the needed 270. If things stand where they are, and he takes Florida,
CONGRATULATIONS, PRESIDENT OBAMA!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Same ol' election tricks
Since election time is here, it's also time for the usual dirty tricks again.
"Republicans on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednesday", that one is almost funny.
Two women in New Mexico have been threatened by a private investigator with deportation.... even though they're both U.S. citizens! The investigator was hired by a New Mexico GOP lawyer, and (of course) he's denying everything. In some places, fliers have been posted that warn that one could be arrested when they vote if they have outstanding parking tickets they will be arrested.
Defective voting machines, long lines, last-minute polling location changes, flashing police car lights, construction detours, etc.. You name it, it's being done.
If it wasn't so illegal, so unethical, so immoral, so wrong... it'd probably be funny.
"HAHA, I tricked someone out of their right to vote." Those are probably the same people who take lunch money from mentally retarded kids... and enjoy every minute of it.
"I'll scare them with threats of being arrested." Yeah, sure "if you didn't do anything wrong, you shouldn't be afraid." SOUNDS logical. But then why is the average law-abiding citizen afraid of an IRS audit? Just thinking about one, makes your butt pucker, right?
"We'll make sure the lines in that neighborhood is extra long, so they'll get fed up and go home without voting." These are the some of the same people who preach about what's right and look down their noses at people.
Tampering with elections is a crime. Just because one isn't caught and arrested doesn't mean what they did is okay. He's like a thief who hasn't been caught yet. In the end, is that how you want to win an election?
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Opus' final opus
Today, Berkeley Breathed published the last episode of "Opus".
For those who don't know, Breathed is the creator of Bloom County (which borrowed heavily from Doonesbury), Outland and Opus. Which were all great social and political commentaries.
"Opus" ended with the main character, locked up in an animal shelter, realizing his time had come and he was going off to his "final goodnight". Note: In August 2008, Opus was "contacted" by the creator (Breathed) to say his "circle of life" would soon be closing.
The last few strips, featured Steve Dallas (another Bloom County character), looking for Opus, to keep him from "going away" to his "final paradise".
Breathed's final Opus strip shows Steve Dallas finding where Opus had gone, and seemingly being happy with it. It also featured a link at the Humane Society (which Breathed supports) to you had to visit to see the final panel. humanesociety.org/opus
It was a very nicely done ending, and reminded me of a few other memorable comic strip endings. Such as Calvin and Hobbes (ending) and Peanuts (ending).
Totally F'ed Up
How messed up is this situation?
This guy (Michael Shergold) in England receives a phone call from his local Social Services office to learn the following:
a) he had gotten an ex-girlfriend pregnant.
b) he has a five year-old son.
c) the ex-girlfriend gave up the baby for adoption.
d) the boy is with a foster family.
e) they're just about to finalize their adoption of his son.
f) he cannot step in to claim any parental rights.
g) he is forbidden to see, much less have any relationship with, the child.
h) the child has a life-threatening illness and requires a new organ.
And all of this ends with the following line:
"Since you're a blood relative, and would naturally be a perfect match, could you donate an organ to save his life?"
OH! MY! GOD! That takes GREAT BIG BALLS OF STEEL! I mean, either the caller has no heart, is a total idiot, or lost the coin toss to figure out who'd make the call. If I was Michael, I would hunt down the jerk that made the call. If I was the caller, I would pray HARD that he never finds out who I am. Just making that call would earn you an ass-kicking! At the very least!
But again, is that not one F'ED UP situation?
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Comics and Politics
Elections are just FOUR days away! And as an avid comic book guy, I can tell you that the comic book industry is involved like NEVER before.
CBR has a page about some of the more interesting examples. It's entitled "Nerdarchy in the U.S.A." I have to admit that Obama is really made to look good, while McCain is generally portrayed as "old creepy guy". But as usual, comic book art tends to reflect the perceptions of the general public. Regardless, they're dope.
Is it the artists picking up the general public's thoughts, or the general public being influenced by the artists? I don't know. But dammit if it don't just feel right.
Before the elections started, I told one friend (AYCE) that I truly respected McCain, for what he went through as a P.O.W., for what he represents, for what he can be. I also added that I was afraid of what he'd become during his run for the presidency. And sure enough, here's McCain, in the last few days of his campaign, acting like a jerk. If he had just maintained his integrity, if he hadn't fallen into the usual "dirty politics", if he had run as a "good, American soldier"... I would have had a really hard time choosing between him and Obama.
But Obama is, in my opinion, the best hope for America. McCain has shown that he's just going to be "W's successor". He's not going to be a "maverick". Obama, and even Palin, have shown they're mavericks. Except that Palin is a joke. But I truly think that someday, she could become a viable Vice-President. But McCain... I'm sorry, he's become "creepy old guy".