Thursday, November 29, 2012

F the little guy.

Small business America sucks.

There, I said it. And you know what?  It's true.

It is no wonder that big-box businesses and publicly traded companies are trampling all over the little guys. My whole life I've been taught to frequent the mom & pop stores, to give THEM my business because it means something to them. If I go to the big places, it's a faceless corporation. Ideally, that sounds really does. But in reality, it's not worth the hassle to go to the little guy. And this is coming from a guy who worked for a small family business!!

Time and time again I try to go "go local" and time and time again I get F'ed in the A with a big D. And when shit goes sour, it's like pulling teeth to get ANY kind of action/response from the little guy. You would think the opposite would be true, but I've not found that to be the case. You know why? Because there's no "quality control" and there's no recourse.

When dealing with the little guy, if that one person doesn't answer his phone, return calls or reply to an email...that's it, you're hosed. Period. No recourse, no higher authority to report it to, no where to turn to get the issue corrected, and you're out the time and effort invested in that one little place. With the bigger places, there is always someone else to talk to. You can get a hold of someone else to get help or information from, someone else to work it out with. You don't have to start from scratch every single time.

Now, I'm not a hard consumer to please. I'm not talking about having unrealistic expectations or making impossible demands. I'm talking about basic stuff, like:

*Not having moldy/rotten product on your shelves. And when you do, don't make excuses for it being there! (Actually happened at two different places!)

*Give a realistic window for delivery of goods/services and show up when you say you'll show up. Note: I'm not talking windows in terms of hours here, I'm talking DAYS! Oh, and don't drag your damn feet when trying to set a second multi-day window.

*Don't be an assuming D-bag, and blatently tell me I'm wrong without even CONSIDERING there may be exceptions to the norm.

So there it is. These recent experiences have left me with the decision to frequent retail giants whenever possible.

Had these run-ins (and many more that I didn't even bother to list) occurred with multi-layered organizations, I would have been able to straighten out the situation immediately with someone else and been able to move forward. But since they occurred with those already at the top of the chain,there was no where else to go and I was out the time & energy invested and had to start back at square one at another place.


Ok, hold it now. I'm pretty sure I ruffled some feathers. While the examples given are absolutely true and from small mom & pop businesses, I haven't exactly given up on little businesses entirely...just yet.

I'm uber-frustrated from all of these things, but family-business is in my blood. For the most part, I WANT to do business with them, but sometimes they make it so damn hard. For those that are reading this that own a business, please take these sentiments to heart.

You NEED your customers whereas the big boxes don't. There are PLENTY of people who will spend their money at a retail giant because it's convienient and it doesn't take any effort. Not to mention, it tends to cost less too.

I'm not saying you have to be your customers whipping post, but good customer service goes a long way and can be what makes or breaks future income.

To end this on a "let's here it for the little guy" note,  I started frequenting one of the businesses mentioned above again (the one with the assuming jackwagon). Why? Because I was in a pinch and needed to go there.   And when I did, I got some great customer service.  Granted, it wasn't from the same individual but I cleared the air with the manager, and will give them another shot.

As far as the other examples go:
-I will NEVER frequent the two places that had rotten/moldy food again as that just skeeves me out.
-The delivery of services example is an ongoing debacle.  Hopefully it ends well...... 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shhhhhhhh, puppets are talking!

I haven't been posting blogs here for a few reasons, mainly because Facebook is SO much quicker and easier (although you can't really put out the whole story there) plus I actually think I might be growing up a little! I have been feeling more mature and less vulgar and spiteful lately and haven't really felt the need/urge to let some of those verbal bombs off......until tonight. We had a little experience/incident today that has motivated me to dust off my little corner of the 'net and go off on someone.

So this is your fair warning: If you want to keep your thoughts about me positive and you hold me in any kind of regard whatsoever, please go to another site as I'm about to get REALLY negative.


Ok, you've been warned:

A few days ago, Ian asked me what ventriloquism was. How it came up, I REALLY don't know..but I explained it to him about how it was somebody controlling a puppet, using their voice to make them talk and told him how cool it was. Sure as shit, the very next day I saw in the paper that a library in a neighboring town was having a ventriloquist/puppet show geared towards kids this week. I told him about it and he was really excited as we were JUST talking about it. So off we go, in our happy little world, to see a ventriloquist in the children's section of a library. JUST TO MAKE THAT CLEAR: We were going to see a puppet show in the CHILDREN'S SECTION of a library.

We arrive in the children's part of this particular library, which is a place I used to take Ian for story time and crafts when he was little. As expected, it was the same children's librarian that has been there for probably 30 years. I think her official title is "Fundamental And Topmost Bookkeeper In The Children's Headquarters" of the library. But as you can see that is WAY too to keep it short (and for my amusement) I'll just refer to her from here on out by her acronym: the FAT BITCH of the libarary.

We walk in and there are probably 50 kids there eating dixie cups of free ice cream provided by the FAT BITCH. She sees & recognizes me, comes right up and says hello, asks me where we've been, why we haven't been going there, etc, and then gives the kids ice cream as she moves on. What a hostess! She makes sure that all the kids has some ice cream (this is key!)

After everyone has eaten their treats she takes the microphone and tells everyone to settle down and that the show is about to begin. The show starts and the ventriloquists first act involves an old lady puppet talking about the difficulty in naming her women's group from the town of Suffering Heights. Really? What the fuck? Like I said, there are like 50 kids in the audience, 95% of which are under 9 years old. This bit goes on for no less than 5 minutes, all the while the FAT BITCH is in the back cackling it up at the jokes.

The ventriloquist puts that mess away and begins talking about how she travels the world and has been asked to bring a new puppet when she goes to Romania later this year. I'm fucking lucky if Ian can find the right part of the toilet bowl when he takes a piss and she's talking about think Romania is on these kids' radar??? Not only that, but she goes on to talk about this particular puppet...and then says "but you'll see her later. Right now you'll meet...." and starts talking about another puppet. Why fucking bring it up at that point in the show then?? Ugh. Sure enough, sitting there in the back is the FAT BITCH clapping and being all proud of herself for putting this shit-show together.

Ok, enough about the ventriloquist. Let's get to the meat and potatoes of this thing and talk about the stupid fucking FAT BITCH. Any parent worth their salt would not be surprised that after about 15 minutes of this crap some of the kids started getting antsy. Why? For those who don't have kids (or who may not be worth their weight in salt) A)a lot of this material was WAY over their heads, so they were bored and B)Theey were all fuckin' sugared up!

Some kids started wiggling around, some started talking to each other (or to themselves or even to no one in particular!), and some, heaven forbid, got bored and walked away. *GASP*! The HORROR! Well, FAT BITCH would have NONE of this! She started going around fucking shushing anything and anybody that wasn't perfectly still. Telling the kids to "settle down" and "pay attention to the show".

Twins less than a year old in a stroller behind us got an evil look. A one year old on my friend's shoulders who was talking to himself got the finger to the lips and a "SHHHHH" from the FAT BITCH. AND She even had the nuts to go up to kids who went off to the corner of the library to play (because they were bored) and shush them and told them to go back and sit down to watch the show! Really, lady? Really? How fucking engrossed in yourself are you?? You're that big of a fucking spotlight whore that you need everyone to suck in and suffer through this craptacular that you planned and put together? These kids (who were our friend's daughter and friend) did the right thing by getting up and walking away since they weren't interested...and you fucking drag them back into your arena?

And that's not even the worst of it! At the same time all of this was going on, Ian also got bored (the puppet was talking about the theory of relativity, or some other kid-friendly topic) so he asked if he could try to go and find Star Wars books. I figured there was no harm in that, since the other option was to have him sit there and be bored....and most likely cause a disturbance to those around him. So off he goes scanning the shelves QUIETLY for something that interests him.

Well, if you know Ian, you know he isn't the most coordinated kid around and tends to get tunnel vision when he's focused on something. As he was searching the back of the library for the books, he tripped on the power supply to the ventriloquists equipment and shut off her microphone. It was actually pretty damn comical: I was watching him and he was walking along the shelves not looking at the floor. All of a sudden you hear him go "oooph!", see him disappear behind the bookcases that were between us and then hear the ventriloquists mic go out. She turns around to see what happened and Ian pops up, looks around and just blurts out "Sorry...i'm just looking for Star Wars books!" Classic Ian!

Well, that really set FAT BITCH off! She goes up to him, grabs his hand and as she is leading him back she tells him that he shouldn't be looking at books while the show is going on.

She brings him back to me and I let her know it's not his fault, that I gave him permission to go look at books...she fucking tells me that he can't do that because the library is closed during performances!

YOU CRUSTY, OLD, IRRELEVANT GARGOYLE! In this day and age, you should be jumping for freaking JOY that they are there in your library! If these KIDS (your customers) stopped coming to the KIDS section of the library, your dinosaur ass would be unemployed! And lets be honest here, it's not like you're booking top talent on David Letterman.

And in case I haven't made it obvious, these are KIDS! They wouldn't even sit still and be quiet for a GOOD show....especially after eating ice cream that YOU gave them! Way to fucking set them up like that, you douchenozzle.

Don't get me wrong, I get it that there was a "performance" going on and she was trying to keep order. That's not lost on me. What I DON'T get is her high expectations in this instance: It was a free show for kids of all ages in a public building. If people had to pay for tickets, I'd get it. If it was advertised for kids "10 and up" or "appropriate for 4th graders and older" and I was the jackass that brought my 3 year old and 1st grader thinking they could handle it, no problem. But getting that worked up for what it was? I think it's time to put that FAT BITCH's cranky old ass out to pasture.

You know what, I take that back....I think it's time to put MY fat, cranky old ass out to pasture. Today some lady hushes kids during story time and I spend 3 hours writing a blog about it. FML.

Timing is everything

We were at the store today and Leah saw bouquets of flowers for sale. Her eyes lit up, she gasped and said "ooooooooh flowers! How pretty! Daddy, we should buy them for mommy!"

I replied "That's a great idea, honey. I'm sure she would love it, but she is visiting her friends and won't be home for a few she wouldn't see them while they are still fresh and pretty. So I don't think we're going to get them."

I shit you not, she didn't miss even half a beat when she came back with "well, we can get them for me then!" while giving me that "will-he-go-for-this?" look.

She had everyone within earshot in stiches. I have no problems saying no to her when she asks for things, and don't get rattled by her crying...but that was too damn funny and worth the money. (Don't worry honey, we were at Aldi's so it's not going to break the bank!)

The thing is...I'm not sure if I'm seriously amused or seriously embarrassed by the fact that I have NO flippin' idea where we keep the flower vases in our house. I've been looking for 10 minutes and still can't find them. Huh....maybe that means Allison should get flowers more often.

...or we need to keep the vases in a more obvious place.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Paddy O' Clause

Yesterday morning (on St. Patrick's Day) Ian woke up at the butt-crack of dawn and immediately began searching for gold that a leprechaun supposedly left for him.


Allison and I both kind of laughed it off, not sure what he was talking about. After school he was the first one off the bus and immediately wanted to run home. Usually Mr. Social likes to hang around and play at the stop, but NOOOOO, not this day. He grabbed my hand and wanted to make a beeline for the house. His reason? "I just KNOW that a leprechaun left me something at home. I just haven't found it yet! All I found this morning was our normal old stuff, nothing new. You need to help me look harder!"

Double WTF??

Ian insisted that everybody else in his school got something from a leprechaun that visited their house overnight. Some kids got toys, some kids got candy, and some got money. He just KNEW that the leprechaun wouldn't forget him. I asked the older sister of another boy who is in Ian's class, and sure enough, he got stuff. She said it was a family tradition, for them to wake up to find stuff.

I have NEVER heard of this before. And lets just say that Ian didn't take to it kindly when I told him I was pretty sure there was nothing new for him to find at our house. Ian ran ahead during the walk home from the bus stop so I gave Allison a quick call to tell her about the recent "tragedy" of an oompa-loompa looking mo' fo' forgetting to indulge our kids with needless gifts.

We both agreed that we weren't going to feed into this. With Christmas, Easter, and the tooth fairy....where do you draw the line? What, is a groundhog going to leave presents in February? Will gift cards to your favorite toy store magically appear in trees on Arbor Day? Don't even get me started as to what could happen on Flag Day!

I guess that makes us the meanest parents in the world. Or as Ian says, the worstest parents. Oh well.

I promised that I'd write here more often, so there ya go!

Coming soon will be my shameless begging asking for support for a good facebook friends know what I'm talking about!!

Until then, beware creepy green midgets offering presents. They've gotta be up to no good!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mmmmmm, spam!

WTF is with all the spam in the comment section?? Maybe that's a sign for me to blog more!!!

Sorry I've been horrible with this, as Facebook has seem to have taken over for my outlet of observations. There I let them out a little at a time as opposed to blogging about them in depth here. I DID start a new post about a month ago, but never posted it as I wasn't thrilled with the way it went.

I have a ton to say (but not a whole lot of time to say it) and will get back to posting here. Deal?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This morning, for some reason or another, Ian woke up in a rotten mood. He was angry at the world, demanded things left and right and was just downright foul. Someone had definitely pissed in his cheerios. I wrote a comment about it on my Facebook page, something about him sneaking out in the middle of the night and going shopping at the Jerk Store.

Thankfully his mood changed and we were able to have a decent morning together while Leah was in school. In that time we went to the grocery store, and while there I saw that a whole entourage of corporate honchos decended upon the store. They walked in and were milling around the front door just waiting for an underling to acknowledge their presence and come greet them. And I'll tell you, the 'underling' that greeted them looked nervous as all hell.

These guys had an air about them that just amazed me. They walked over to the fresh green beans and patted them down, shuffled them and stuck their arm deep into the container. They marveled over the cardboard display of the oranges and how it was a great thing and how it was really sturdy and evolutionary. (dude, it's fucking cardboard!)

Blackberries firmly attached to their hips, these guys were cornering the local workers 3 to 1 and grilling them about......I don't know, grocery store things. I DO know that these employees did NOT look happy that the suits were there.

Apparently the boardroom team broke up into divisions because they dispearsed throughout the store tackling different objectives. As I stated on my Facebook page, I overheard one greasy looking guy on his blackberry in the coffee aisle threatening someone's job. What is so important about Folgers coffee that is worth axing someone?? The hell if I know. Another guy was marching up and down the dairy aisle checking out all the yoplaits, gogurts, chobani and whatever else there was to leer at.

When I was done with my shopping and was out in the parking lot, I asked the 'cart guy' about this whole thing. He didn't know what was up and said that he's never seen that many corporate people there at once.

The purpose of this isn't to pit workers vs. management or paint the local grocery store as the victim. Honestly, I've grown to emphatically not like this particular store, but went there today because their 'kids club' (where you can drop off your kids while you shop) was open whereas the one at the other store I usually go to was closed. As far as I know this store is a health hazard waiting to be exploited, and the management team was there to save the public's health.

What I DO know is that I'm SO thankful I'm not in that world. You know what i did after I left the grocery store? Ian and I killed some time by singing songs in the car and playing games. We picked Leah up from school and came home for lunch before playing football out in the yard while waiting for the bus to bring Ian to school. Granted, it was a very abbreviated version of football since I feel like shit right now, but you get the picture!

After the bus took Ian away to school I brought Leah inside, read a book to her, and tucked her in for a nap. I then made my way downstairs and crashed on the couch for a much needed 2 hour nap myself.

As much as I'll complain or joke about Ian's terrible behavior (okay, to be fair I'll say the 'kids' behavior....but c'mon, how often do I complain about Leah??) I always try to keep in mind what I left behind and how happy I am NOT a part of that anymore.

Nope, my world doesn't suck at all, and for that I am Thankful!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stupid Habit

I have lots of stupid habits, most of which are non-sensical.

For example, whenever I go food shopping I put the eggs in the front seat. This separates them from the rest of the groceries and keeps anything from falling on them and squishing them on the ride home. In my crazy mind, this is logical.

The flaw of this practice came to light today when a stupid-assed fisher cat ran in front of my car. Trying to avoid creaming the dipshit, I jammed on my brakes. This in turn sent 2 dozen eggs flying into the floorboard of the passenger side of the vehicle.

Fortunately (or not) I went shopping at BJs today, so all the eggs are wrapped together in celophane. I'm guessing that is why I didn't find liquified chicks splattered all over the place. I didn't detect any breakage while carrying them into the house, but I guess I'll find out when I open the package.

I can tell you one thing for certain: The next four legged fuckface to jump in front of my car won't hear tires squealing in an attempt to stop.