Grumpy Greeters

walterI want to be a “mellow dude” I really do.

I want to walk in the sunshine, to be of no great hurry on my journey through life, to stop and smell the flowers, to pause at the curb and purchase what it is that little kids are selling, even if it tastes bad, to bask in the joy that life has to offer.

I desire to pet an old dog, watch the shape of a cloud materialize and see something no one else sees.  I really want to be p-a-t-i-e-n-t.

And then I leave the house.

Yesterday I was accosted at Wal-Mart again by a door person, a greeter, a whatever, and I am still fuming about that.  My parrot ran out of food, so I had to trot over there to pick up a 14lb. bag of food for her and as I was leaving the store, this person walks up to me and barks, “I need your receipt.”

Which kind of irked me, I am tired of these so-called greeters treating me like I am some kind of common thief (I mean, who steals bird seed for cryin’ out loud?) and the words, “Please or I am sorry for your inconvenience” are clearly not in their vocabulary.  It is not the providing the receipt that is my problem, it is the manner and tone that is exhibited to me in order to produce it.

I get sick of that.

So I fished out the receipt and handed it to this bozo and I said, “You can keep it.” And then he barks at me again, and says, “YOU cannot leave this store with that item without a receipt, it is store policy.”

Which seemed to do nothing but add more gasoline to the fire.

So then I said, “Store policy huh?” and he said, “Yes, it is store policy and YOU cannot leave the store without THIS receipt.”  So I somewhat begrudgingly take the much valued receipt, stepped outside the parameters of the doorway, and then inquired of him, “ Am I now out of the store?” and he said, “Yes.  Yes you are.”

I then crumpled up the receipt into a small ball and dropped it on the ground and said, “This is my policy, I took my index finger and pointed it at a part of my anatomy and told him he could kiss it if he was so inclined.”  Which clearly did not make his day, but then again, he wasn’t adding much to mine, so I figure fair is fair.

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So I ask him, “Now tell me something Einstein, I just recently walked by all three of you minimum wage brain trusts, and not one of you greeted me, isn’t that store policy?”

No answer.


You enter into these stores, purchase the material and the clerk fails to de-magnetize something or remove a theft device and when you go thru the detectors and they go off, the Wal-Mart dogs of commerce go berserk.  It is almost as if they unleash a rabid pit bull into a audience of postal carriers or something.

After checking you out, they “dismiss you” without so much as a care.  They seldom ask for anything in a polite manner, bark or demand the receipt, and I may be cranky or just outright out of line, but I am tiring of Wal-Mart and the knuckle draggers they employ to work the door.  Wal-Mart can kiss the part of me that goes over the fence last; I am really burning out on Wal-Mart.

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Just once, one time, I would like to have a pleasant shopping experience at Wal-Mart, but I kind of doubt it.

Rainy days are often like that …  I am often like that …

Sorry.

OOO

Another Mantic Interlude

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This post will be “One Hundred percent A.I.G. free” and there will be no mention of Rush Limbaugh, Larry King or Jane Fonda.

Now I ask you … “Where could you get a better deal than that?”

To all my rowdy friends in the Internet world, I hope that you had a great weekend, and that things went well for you and yours.  I spent the majority of mine (if anyone cares) hanging around the house and no trips to the Big Town.

Like Mama sez, “it is a lazy snow-day, go away boy, you are bothering me.”

So I just assumed a low profile and that was that.  I became “Polar” as my grandson would say, which is for the uninitiated, “Beyond cool.  Colder than Ice.”  Spent the majority of my time trying to retrieve my email system that went south, and it only took two and one-half days to get my somewhat illiterate, un-edumaycated computer assisted dumb butt back into working order.

Bought a new laptop, I am now also into the wonderful world of Microsoft Vista and I am working on the learning curve on that.  Which is okay if you are young and quick on the uptake, and we all know my answer to that, don’t we?

Unfortunately, I did manage to somehow lose most all of my email addresses of those folks who were communicating with me when I made a data transfer.  So if you see this, read this, come across this on a bulletin board at the local laundry, stuck up there with a piece of plastic in the shape of a Pear or Banana, get back to me.

I am somewhat excommunicated but still online.

computerThe weekend was not fraught without its fair share of problems.  My old printer went south on me this past week, it had served me well, first purchased in November of 1998 I have no earthly idea as to how many reams of paper has gone thru this machine.

It was an HP model 722 Deskjet I believe that is what it was called.  Figuring that I had such good fortune with HP then it just seemed natural to pick out another HP for the replacement.

So I trot off to China-World and I find one on the shelves for under $40 with taxes included.  I pay for it bring it home and open it up and start unhooking wires and all that.  Getting down like a reptile and crawling around in the dust of man, hooking and hooking in the limited space area under my desk.

First thing I find out is the thing has TWO INKERS a #22 and a #21, the #22 is there (color) but the #21 (black is not).  I didn’t care for this at all, but it is not the end of the world, I go back to the store, and I purchase the errant cartridge, $13.47 plus tax.

Now I have both inkers installed, I hook up the power cord, little green lite comes on, everything is working out swimmingly.  I look around for the printer cable, it turns out that this model has a USB port type printer cable, it is not there.  I search the box again, it is not there.  Now this … This has a profound tendency to hack me off, I look at the instruction sheet and it reads:  “You may or may not have a printer cable, and might have to purchase one separately.”

Are you kidding me?

You sell a printer and it does NOT HAVE A PRINTER CABLE?

Carefully I inspect the box (which evidently every consumer in America ought to do when purchasing an American Product these days) and low and behold, there it is.  “Requires USB printer cable, not included.” In somewhat smaller print than the rest of the nomenclature on the box.

I go back to China-Mart and locate the USB printer cable, $14.80 plus tax, and take a guess who manufacturer of this particular cable …. Yeppers …. you guessed it.  HP.

computer-duckNow here is the rub.

If I had bought a printer that was manufactured by say the Japanese, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that the machine needed in order to function would be in the box.

It would be all there, and I might even add, possibly contain a note of thanks for purchasing their new product. It would NOT be missing key items and parts needed for proper printing.

This is lousy business, no matter how you look at it.  HP can kiss the part of me that goes over the fence last, I am not buying another thing from HP and I suggest the very same thing to you.  Unless you just happen to be into aggravation, unwarranted frustration and haven’t any better ideas as to where to spend your time and money.

As my grandmother used to say, “always look for the rainbow.”  All is not lost, there is good news in some of this.  At this particular juncture in time, I fail to see it, but I know it will improve, if not naturally, then maybe I will have to “help it along.”

Now I am off to see if I can find a link for HP on the net, and I am going to send them a copy of this article and then wait for them to reply back to me and tell me it was “the Viet-Namese-Dude who packed it” he is the guy that screwed it all up.

So there you are, today’s wonderful little post-it-note from my corner of the yard.  Another diatribe on America, a fine and proud country who now has unfortunately plummeted to the status of third-world-knuckle-draggin-boobs, a disorganized clump of business incompetent greed hungry dollar mongers, a country that is now where most people don’t know what they’re doing, and a lot of them are, like HP, really good at it.

Printers without ink AND printer cables, what a novel idea.

A little less than honest I would say, but then again, what do I know, I am just a consumer.  And the rest of the world wonders why we have to bail these American companies out?

OOO

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A.I.G.

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Remembering a time when life wasn’t all that good for me, and I found myself staring into the mirror, and the guy on the other side said to me, “Baby, you aint much, but you are all I got.”

Kind of stayed with me a long time, that thought or that moment.  If all of this comes crashing down on America, all we are going to have left is each other, that is a sobering thought.

Where are we going to meet, what is going to happen to the majority of folks left over in the ruble of what was once a mighty industrial power?

Where do we meet to discuss things, all of the Starbucks and the local coffee shops, donut shops, all of them are struggling to keep the doors open, what happens when they like the rest of it, fail?  We need some place, those of us in the larger community of citizens with who we actually do share a common fate to meet and discuss issues.

I always believed that Federal Intervention in the marketplace should be essential, that there should be a series of checks and balances in place, to make it all flow, to allow it to work.  The first priorities of any intervention should be to preserve jobs and protect American taxpayers.  That is how, I believed it should work.  But it didn’t, not this time.

Under the deal that government gave A.I.G. which was buckling under by demands for cash from its trading partners, A.I.G was supposed to fare well.  It didn’t.  The government gave them $85 billion dollars on a line of credit.  Which at that time, I thought was a staggering amount of money, but it turns out, this was just pocket change.

So we “bailed out A.I.G.” which was supposed to work.

At the same time however, the government also saddled this outfit with a high excessive interest rate of more than 14%.  Now I know, a lot of you are smiling right now and saying to yourself, “Aw, that aint nothing, you ought to see what I have to pay MasterCard.”  But 14% for a business, is high, it is not astronomical in number, but yet, it is still high.

This is where the government, our government, blew it.

The high rate the government said “was to insure that A.I.G. would pay back the loan quickly” by selling off some business units.  But all it really did was protect A.I.G.’s business and/or trading partners.  It did this at the expense of A.I.G. employee’s and at the expense of taxpayers.

Now A.I.G. so burdened by interest payments will more than likely have to liquidate itself making jobs impossible to keep and decreasing any real likelihood that tax payers will ever be repaid this enormous sum of money owed them.

The insurance giant now in Federal receivership, this week sold A.I.G. Private Bank, which caters to wealthy individuals around the world.  Dubai-based Aabar Investments paid $254 million for the bank.  Investors were not impressed, with A.I.G. shares falling some 7.5% to just $1.86 a share.

A.I.G. has kept taxpayers and shareholders “largely in the dark” since receiving a $152 billion federal lifeline, and its promise to repay the government seems to be losing credibility.”

The company itself was more useful as an employer and a tax payer than it is as a failed business venture.  Its attempted rescue, this hastily thrown together bad deal should have reflected this truth.  Looks like we got the short-end of the stick again.

So it appears the party is over, and it is time to pay for the band.  Bailout recipients are not new to this idea or practice; they do it all of the time.  Struggling companies that have sought bailout money from the federal government this fall were among some of the biggest sponsors of the Democratic and Republican political conventions held in late August and early September.

Politics as usual, when companies such as A.I.G. and CitiGroup helped underwrite the conventions.  In total, private interests donated $118 million for the conventions, more than three times the amount that was used in public money (some $16 million) that was received.

These are the same wonderful people who are now calling for the dismantling of the UAW and demanding the head of the union’s president.  Republicans.  Who have a tried and proven track record of business practice in place for all of America.  Slave wages, total domination of your day to day life and their hand in your pocket each and every time you look the other way.  The band played, the crowd locked arms and swayed, all the time chanting USA! USA! USA! …

Conventions are events where people of the same interests or from the same corporation or political party, get together to exchange pertinent information.  Discuss past activities, evaluate performances, formulate new and improved policies, set short and long range goals, meet important people, and appoint committee members who will be effective in carrying out directives.

That is why they all bring their golf clubs, why they always have plenty of pencils and paper, but are constantly out of swizzle sticks.  But all good things eventually have to wind down and it comes time to settle up.  You can bet your last dollar it won’t be coming out of their pocket.  I mean hell … Someone has to pay for it all … Why not you?

For the better part of the year, this year, I have had very little money in my pocket.  Next year isn’t really looking all that good either, about the only good thing I can find in all of this, is I have the wallet paid for.

See you at the Do-nut shop, providing they can find a way to come out the other side and walk out into the sunshine of what some are referring to as Mr. Obama’s New Deal.

But … Before you decide to leave the house to head out on this new journey in January … I would grab a light jacket just in case.

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