Please Wait To Be Seated…

You and your sweetie are out for an evening of fine dining.  The work day is over and you want to relax and take it easy and let someone wait on you.  Kick off your shoes without actually kicking off your shoes.  As the Host/Hostess leads you to the table they have selected for you, and it is not to your liking, what do you do?  Do you take whatever is offered and say nothing, or do you speak up and ask for an alternate table?  Is it okay to tell a restaurant hostess you would rather sit somewhere else other than where they want to place you?

This is a semi-important subject to me, and I actually have my own set of “rules”…

  1. The behind-the-scenes “rotation” is none of my concern. As the customer I’m there to enjoy my experience. That’s why I’m paying extra money to eat out rather than stay home. Work it out behind the scenes. That being said…
  2. I will always be polite in my request.
  3. I will always try to state my preference up front right when we walk in, whenever possible.  The exception being as stated in the beginning, when I’m being led to a dissatisfactory table.
  4. I will never… ever… request a room or separate section that is obviously closed.
  5. If the place is super busy I might say something like, “I’d like a booth, if possible.” Emphasis on the “…if possible”. I have preferences but I try to be reasonable, too.
  6. Once I have accepted the seat, it would take a huge extraordinary circumstances for me to request to move. It’s been done, but very rare.
  7. If just the two of us, or with another couple I generally prefer booths. But if I’m in a larger party I hate when they try to stuff us all into a “long booth”. Eff that, that’s extremely uncomfortable, then I want a table.
  8. The only reason I need is I have preferences. I don’t have to justify it beyond that.

So, yes, it is perfectly acceptable to override their seating chart and request something different.

Electric Vehicle Mandates (Probably) Won’t Affect The Grump

California has issued a policy to ban sales of new vehicles with gasoline engines by 2035.  The Grump has mixed feelings about this, but is not automatically opposed.  That being said, this will probably not affect The Grump, and not just because he doesn’t live in California (for good or for bad California sets the standards nationwide and what they do everyone else follows along).  My reasons are less rebellious…

  1. The Grump is cheap.  He values quality and reliable vehicles, but is not willing to keep up with rising new vehicle prices, even without the added current cost of batteries and such.  The Grump has owned two brand new vehicles in his lifetime, the last in 1999, and swore years ago he’d never buy brand new again.  Instead, he has been buying quality used vehicles 1-2 years old where the worst of the depreciation has already occurred.
  2. The infrastructure isn’t there… yet.  This move may hasten infrastructure development, and that would be good, but it’s simply not there right now.  The Grump has no desire to get stranded in eastern Wyoming because there isn’t a charger nearby.
  3. Batteries are freaking expensive!  This is the not-so-secret fatal flaw of the technology right now, and this makes the overall vehicle expensive.  Many people have been shocked at the cost of a battery replacement.  The Grump is not programmed for surprises like that.

Now, would The Grump ever purchase an electric vehicle?  Meh, maybe.  The Grump would be open to it, but honestly all the ancillary factors need to be worked out and make it practical and workable for ME.  The Grump is not willing to ride the cutting edge and work out all the costs and kinks for everyone else.

Passwords

The Grump was talking with his wife this evening… Grumpette???… and this was our topic:  Internet passwords are a minefield through which there is no rational and effective way to navigate.  Many people like to use the same password for everything, which we all know is not secure, but even if you want to do that no two sites have the same criteria so you can’t do that anyway.  Then there’s two-step authentication, which The Grump grudgingly admits is a good security measure, but it’s a pain in the butt… especially when my phone is in another room and I have to get up to retrieve it.

Now, most sites aren’t too bad, you pick a password and go,  But some are infuriating.  Your “conversation” with the website goes something like this…

  • Website:  Please choose a password.  (And that’s all it says.)
  • You:  abc
  • Website:  Passwords must be between 8 and 16 characters.
  • You:  abcdefgh
  • Website:  Passwords must contain at least one number.
  • You:  abcdefg1
  • Website:  Passwords must contain at least one capital letter.
  • You:  (sigh)  Abcdefg1
  • Website:  Passwords must contain at least one special character.
  • You:  (eye roll) Abcdef1$
  • Website:  No, that that special character.  Chose from the following special characters: @
  • You: (grumble) Abcdef1@
  • Website:  That password is already taken.
  • You:  😐  Abcdef2@
  • Website:  Thank you.  Please proceed.

Ummm… Why didn’t you list your criteria BEFORE I started all this crap?  I mean, really!

Footnote:  I have never used the above passwords, nor even close, nor will I ever.  Go away.

Hmmm… I’m Skeptical

In our daily travels we come across statements from businesses and corporations that, after time, simple aren’t believable anymore.  You see or hear them for so long you know they can’t be legit.  So let’s cut to the chase and list a few…

  1. Many years ago when I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, I would drive by this apartment complex every day.  It was a three-story complex, and on the side near the top, at least 40 feet up, was a permanent “NOW RENTING” sign.  It never moved, never was covered up, never was brought down… always there advertising apartments for rent.  Now maybe they were saying an occupied apartment was an apartment they were “renting”, but that seems a tad deceptive.  Playing fast and loose with the intent of the phrase.  <shrug>
  2. I have been going to my doctor for over 12 years now.  Whenever I call I get the following message, “Please pay attention, as our menu options have recently changed.”  😐  Except they haven’t.  Ever.
  3. A common lunch for me is to order a sandwich and have it delivered to my work.  It cheap and convenient… well, it’s convenient.  The sandwiches aren’t groundbreaking, but they’re fine and I’m lazy, so it all works out.  They’re a national chain and their website says, “We are currently running longer than normal delivery times.“, for every store, every day, at all hours.  It’s a permanent message.  It’s a meaningless message.

The apartment complex wants people to apply even if they’re full.  The doctor’s office wants you to listen because too many people don’t.  And the sandwich shop wants to be able to say, “We warned you it might take longer.” if something goes awry.

Problem is, messages like this do more harm then good.  Not unlike the boy who cried wolf, spread false information enough and no one believes you anymore.

This Is Me!

“Personified.”  In puppet form.  I am both of them, all rolled up into one ultra-sweetie guy.

These two are great examples of how I view and react to life.  You want sarcasm?  I’m you guy.  You want inappropriate reactions to awkward situations?  I’m there to spout an off-color comment.  And of course with a true charming wit.

Here’s some examples of how I might react to a random situation…

Fozzie: Now, tonight, I’m gonna try and put something new in my act.

Statler: Yeah, like comedy, maybe.

…or…

Statler: I like that last number.

Waldorf: What did you like about it?

Statler: It was the *last* number!

…or…

Statler: Well, how do you like the film?

Waldorf: I’ve seen detergents leave a better film than this.

Then there’s this…

Or, maybe I was talking about this post.  😉

Why Are You Here?, Part Uno

The Grump is a participant of social media groups for social interaction and entertainment.  They can range from serious and political to irreverently humorous to specific topics such as tv shows, etc., and there’s always some schmuck wanting to ruin everyone else’s fun.  You have to ask, “Why are you here?”

For example:  The Grump belongs to a Andy Griffith Show Facebook fan page.  People discuss the show, ask questions, and generally interact, all light-hearted and fun… well, mostly.  Some of the questions are simply “what if” type scenarios.  One “what if” scenario might go like this…

George will ask: “Why didn’t Andy fire Barney for always being incompetent?”

Time-out:  Ok, we all know it wouldn’t have been funny if Andy had fired Barney and everything were totally serious.  We all know it is a farcical situation comedy that relies on the absurd to succeed and entertain viewers.  To continue, time-in…

In pops John:  “Because that’s not the way the show was written.”

😐

Really, John?  That’s your contribution, Caption Obvious?  Pretty sure everyone knows this.  You are not helping or even legitimately contributing to the spirit of the conversation in any meaningful way.

John, dude, why are you even here?  Why did you join a discussion group if you want to discourage discussion?

5 Things I Will Never Understand

We don’t need no pre-amble, let’s just get to it.  The title is self-explanatory.

1. Why my printer cannot scan when it is out of ink/toner. I totally get why it cannot print or make copies, but why can’t it scan?  Why can’t fax?  The conspiracy theorist in me says it’s for no other reason than to force you to get out and buy more ink/toner.  That’s the big money-maker for them, anyway.

2. Typing states in forms.  When filling out a form you literally fill out every line… except the state.  You get a pull-down, instead.  You’re on a roll typing then have to come to a screeching stop and pick an option.  Eh, I guess they figure most people don’t know their state’s two-letter abbreviation.

3. Why there needs to be a “cancel” button on a toaster.  What the deuce?  Back in the day… when I walked to school in the snow uphill both ways… you simply pushed the lever up.  And it worked just fine.  Why wouldn’t that still work?

4. Why “the little people” donate to political campaigns.  After the election you are no longer important to them.  Plus, “neck-and-neck” races end up being 10 point blow-outs, anyway.

5. Why people thank Facebook group administrators for approving their membership in the group.  Is there a skeleton in your closet as to why they might not?

So there ya go.  A handful of life’s mysteries.

…and Go!

Stop it.  Just stop it.

Where you see this is primarily on social media, someone asking for a recommendation, i.e.: “Who is the best toenail clipper in Metropolis… and Go!”

Excuse me?

Fuck you.

I’m not your little personal assistant.  Asking for ideas and recommendations is cool.  Adding this tag at the end that treats everybody in the world as their personal concierge service is rude and tacky.  Just stop it.  You’re not that special to expect everyone to jump at your whim.

Even if you’re not appreciative, you should still show some couth and act like you are.

I can say truthfully when I see “…and go!” I will pro-actively NOT “go”, but I also know it’s something of an empty stubbornness on my part because you will invariably get 45 different people offering 45 different “bests”, which makes me wonder what people get out of it anyway… but that’s another topic for another post.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Concert Etiquette

Attending a loud rock concert is supposed to be a fun event. Oh, it has its drawbacks, i.e. tight crowds, price gouging for souvenirs and refreshments, herding around with the random masses, partial hearing loss for a day and a half, etc., but we’re willing to forge ahead for the entertainment. Right?

One would think. Yet some don’t seem to know this. There is a definite lack of consideration for others. People’s attitudes in everything anymore seems to be, “I got mine, fuck you!”, so why should a concert be any different?

It’s time we be reminded of some “guidelines” for concert attending. Some of these also apply to movies, sporting events, and other places where large crowds gather and attention to the event is desired.

1. Arrive early enough to get your souvenirs, get your refreshments, use the potty, and be in your seat when the lights go down and the music starts. A band often starts their set with a popular song, and here you are climbing over people and/or making them get up and move around awkwardly because you can’t manage your time. Sorry, not sorry, that’s rude.

2. Relating to one item in #1, potty before you sit down. Potty during intermission. Potty after the show is over.

3. Why are you attending a concert if getting up every 15 minutes to go get another beer is your #1 priority?

4. Hate to break it to you, but that audio/video footage from your phone is going to be crap. Too many people have no idea other people behind them actually want to see the show and will hold their phone up to record entire songs. Newsflash: I don’t want to see the show through your phone screen. Live in the moment, if you have to raise your phone above your own eyes, just… don’t.

5. Shades of point #1, the show is about 3 minutes from being over… the band is rocking and concluding with an over-the-top finish… and here you are climbing over people and/or making them stand up and move awkwardly around, missing the show’s climax… all because you want to “beat the traffic” on the way out. Really? Seriously? This is, by far, the most selfish and inconsiderate thing you can do at a concert.

6. …and I will catch crap for this, but… SIT DOWN!!! Especially if you’re in the balcony or far enough away from the stage the performers will never see you standing anyway. If you want to dance around and stuff, more power to ya, but go to the back and do it there so others can enjoy the show in their own way as much as you want to enjoy it.

Why The Grump Does Not Do Third-Party Delivery

It’s been over a year now since I stopped using third-party delivery, but from what I’m hearing things haven’t changed much. I bet you’re wondering why, aren’t you? Well, I’m here to tell ya… 😉

It’s expensive. Not only am I tipping, which is fine in and of itself, but the delivery fees are outrageous, and I have seen times when there are two fees. It can approach doubling the cost of the meal. Granted, the fee by itself is justified as they have a business, too, but there is a limit and they pass it.

Inserting a “middle-man” confuses everything if there are issues that need to be resolved. I once had an order double-billed to my credit card. It took over four months to get someone to give me a refund for one of them. The delivery service wanted to push it off on to the restaurant, the restaurant wanted to push it off on to the delivery service. Basically, both of them just wanted me to go away. Only after writing a snail mail letter to the restaurant telling them they now had all the money from both charges and explaining what happened in detail, did they send me an apology and a refund.

Some services impose themselves on restaurants without permission. Some of these also use outdated menus, deceiving the customer.

Delivery drivers can be unprofessional. I was pre-tipping because it was during the pandemic and I wanted contactless delivery, but I would read delivery drivers online say they wouldn’t even accept an order unless there was a huge pre-tip involved. Ya know what, buddy, screw you, you don’t deserve my business at all. Yes, I tipped and I tipped well, but my order shouldn’t have to depend on the whims of some self-entitled punk-ass kid.

Quality of service itself is spotty, 50/50, at best. I have indeed had some great experiences, but I have had some absolutely horrible experiences, too. One driver let my food sit at the restaurant for 25 minutes before she left the restaurant, then delivered two other orders across town before dropping mine off (I was watching her tracker and the clock the whole time, and I bet she accepted three orders and waited for them all), 55 minutes after the restaurant signaled it was ready, which by then was ice cold. This was the end for me, it was after this experience I swore off third-party delivery. So instead I pick it up myself or I stick to places that do their own delivery. The no middle-man aspect, especially, is huge. To the point above regarding the double-charge, with no middle-man they have to deal with me.

Having said all that, I do believe third-party delivery has a legitimate future, but that day is not today. The industry needs to mature and work out the kinks. When it does, I’ll probably come back.