Rant: Stadium Naming

How much importance do you place in stadium names? How much effort do you put into keeping up?

For example, Yankee Stadium is Yankee Stadium. Say “Yankee Stadium” and everyone knows what you’re talking about. Same with Dodger Stadium. Even Wrigley Field is named after people and/or corporation, and Fenway Park is named after the neighborhood it is in, but they still have long-standing history and and tradition and are immediately recognizable.

But what about the more recent trend of stadium names changing every few years based on nothing more than who is willing to pay the most money? Guaranteed Rate Field, anyone? Third name for the same place, btw. I still call it Comiskey Park. If you were to walk up to me and mention a game in Truist Park I’d have to ask you which team or city. No lie. “Truist Park” means nothing to me.

I still call Oracle Park “Pac Bell Park”… it never had a legit name so I go with the first brain dead iteration. Oracle is what, the 4th or 5th iteration? I am a long-time Oakland A’s fan, yet as far as I am concerned they still play in the Oakland Coliseum (I know, originally Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, I’m not doing tongue-twisters, either), and always will. O.co, my ass.

Basically, stadiums names have become absurd and for the most part meaningless. When the name right’s holder sends me a check I will comply. Until then I feel zero obligation… Braves Field it is.

Rant: Everything’s a Chore… ATMs, Passwords, and Bears, Oh My!

Everything’s a chore

Computers and technology were supposed to make life easier.  Computers and technology were supposed to give us more free time.  Granted, most of us aren’t churning our own butter anymore, so there are certainly benefits to our modem lifestyle in the information age, but it’s not all a cakewalk, either.  Now, the following examples aren’t life threatening, they aren’t going to bring you to your knees, and they most certainly aren’t the most important thing you will deal with.  But they are annoying, frustrating, high blood pressure inducing… and they are most certainly unnecessary time stealers, and they’re all a byproduct of computers and technology.  Here’s just a few of them…

Getting a new debit card

I am the Treasurer for a local Toastmasters club.  The old debit card had expired and I got a new card in the mail.  Called and activated it and set the PIN.  So far, so good.  Then kept getting declined when I went to pay people’s dues, so I called the bank. Turns out I have to use it at an ATM as a second step, then it would work fine. *sigh*  Ok, thank you, I cheerily said.

So, I had to get in the car, drive to a bank, check my balance, and drive back home. Then it worked fine. *smh*

“For your protection…”

Last Saturday I had a photo shoot and on my way out of town stopped at a convenience store for some drinks for the ride.  My debit card (from a small local credit union) got declined.  Hmmm, that’s weird, I know there’s plenty of money in the account.  I try four times, declined every time, so I pull out a credit card and pay.

I then go to the ATM at said credit union which happened to be right next door.  The ATM looks suspicious like when I computer has been reset.  Had to go to the photo shoot, so I can’t call the credit union until Monday… which is another pet peeve of mine… you want people to abandon big banks and go local, then have someone to answer phones and deal with people during off hours.  But I digress.

Monday morning and I try the card again.  No go.  Good thing I had cash on me, which I normally don’t anymore.  I decide to visit said credit union branch in person.

To cut to the chase, through three visits to their ATM, and two visits inside to talk to a person, it turns out there was a “scheduled maintenance” (skeptical, there is no email evidence of such in my email) of the system on Saturday morning and my card usage was bad timing.  Then, because I tried four times, which is one more than the maximum of three allowed, my card was locked.

I’m sorry, but if it’s YOUR down time, then shouldn’t YOU be aware enough to make sure these things don’t happen?  Plus, back to the big bank vs credit union thing, big banks don’t have down times for “scheduled maintenance”, yet small banks and credit unions do.  It’s the 21st century, get with the program.

Passwords

How do you do your passwords for internet sites?  Do you have one for everything?  Do you mix them up?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what you want to do, you can’t do that.

You can’t have a single password for everything (which they say is a bad idea).  All require letters, but some require at least one capital letter, some require at least one number, some require at least one “special character” (i.e.: !@#$%, etc., and not all allow the same special characters), and none all have the same requirements, it’s a mix-and-match, so even if you wanted to have one password you can’t.

So, you have many different passwords.  Ok.  How do you remember them all?  Do you write them down on a piece of paper or a computer file?  They say you’re not supposed to do that either, btw.

How about one of those password organization sites?  I would think the chances of that getting hacked is greater than little ol’ me getting hacked.

There is no perfect answer.  And don’t even get me started on requirements to change my password every so often.

Money and ATMs

One of the great things where small banks and credit unions shine over the big banks is doing the small things to make life easier for the customer.  (That’s you and me, btw.)  One of these things is allowing ATM withdrawals in $5 increments.  This is so handy.  Sometimes I just need $5 or $10 for something small, and there is no need to force me to drain my account more than necessary.

Within the last year two of my credit unions have changed their policy and now only allow $20 increments.  This does not serve me well, and removes one of the key points for being with a credit union.  If I’m going to be treated like I’m at a big bank I might as well do business with a big bank and gain the added benefits, like the ability to call on a Saturday evening and talk to someone and get my issues solved.  (See what I did there?)

Conclusion

This turned out wordy.  😛

Rant: How strong are your convictions?

Facebook is many things to many people, and one of those things Facebook is is something of a political discussion forum, like it or not.  People post their particular views, other people respond, and all that’s fine as long as people aren’t abusive.  And here’s the rub, some take forceful responses as something they aren’t prepared to deal with.

Call me crazy, but I would think if all you want is a forum from which to spout your opinion, and are too thinned-skinned to suffer feedback, then maybe a public forum like Facebook isn’t for you.  You should probably start a private blog instead of creating something like a public Facebook account which is designed specifically to be interactive.

Here’s a hint: If you post something that other people can read, those other people may respond… and they may not agree with you. Shocking, I know.  Grow a thicker skin and get over it.  If you find yourself blocking or unfriending people over it, maybe your convictions aren’t as strong as you think they are.

/rant off

What Adults Do

Our society is getting too soft, and it’s evidenced by how we are willing… or not… to do certain tasks.

Call me “old school” if you want, but there are things every adult… especially men… should know how to do whether they want to know or not.  One of them is changing a tire.  If you are 18 years of age, and you own and/or drive a vehicle, you should know how to change a tire and you should have done it at least once.

Spare me that you have AAA or some other roadside service.  Don’t be so soft.  Are you an independent adult, or not?

Now, once you know how, I don’t care if you use a roadside service, that’s fine.  But if in a position where said service is not available you won’t be stranded and helpless.

I also believe that everyone, including women, should be routinely checking their own oil and water.  It’s your vehicle, be responsible for it.  Again, if you come to me and say your oil is low, ok, I’ll go fill it, but you need to be responsible and aware of your own vehicle.

Summer is here, and why that’s not necessarily a good thing

Yesterday was the first day of Summer, and The Grump© is not happy about it.  Don’t get The Grump© wrong, The Grump© likes long sunny days just as much as the next (third-)person… and that’s why The Grump© is not happy about it.  Hear The Grump© out.

When The Grump© lived in California Spring started in mid-February, even in the northern part of the state where The Grump© lived.  That was nice.  Gave everyone plenty of time to enjoy it.

In Iowa, Spring might start in early March or it might start in mid-May, like this year.  Iowa has had almost exactly one month of Spring… and now the days are going to get shorter and shorter for the next six months.  The Grump© feels cheated.

😐

The Grump© loves Iowa, only a few things that suck… this is one of them.

Happy New Year, indeed

Hoo boy!  Back on 31 Dec 2019 I published “Happy New Year???”, where I talked about people always complaining about the then-ending old year and looking forward to the new year, yada yada yada.  And 2020 started well enough.  Just another year, but things were going decent.

Then all hell broke loose.

The coronavirus and covid-19 came along and the whole world, pretty much literally, has been turned upside down.  Half the people in my company are working from home.  “Shelter in place”, aka ‘stay the eff home!’, orders have been issued.  Stores are closed indefinitely, which affects people’s livlihoods of both employees and employers.  It’s not fun.

*sigh*  2019 never looked so good.

Who cares?

YOU DO!!!

You see this on social media a lot, especially when a media outlet of some type posts something, anything, then a predictable number of people will trot in and attempt to display their aloofness at the topic. They seem to have this deep-seated insecure need to show other people how superior they are by not bothering themselves with such trivial matters.

Your actions blow away everything you just said, and here’s how…

  • You pro-actively came here and/or are a member of this site.
  • You took time to read it.
  • You took time to answer and type “Who Cares?”
  • You took time to come back and read responses (you know you did).
  • You took time to respond… and keep responding… if someone challenges you.

If you truly didn’t care…

  1. …you wouldn’t have posted to begin with. You’d have just walked on by.
  2. …you wouldn’t come back to read responses.
  3. …you certainly wouldn’t take time and effort to respond and answer a challenge to you.

So just shut-up right now. You care. Get over yourself.

Do I Really Need That?

This topic needs a new category because methinks it’s going to come up more often:  Old Age.

I don’t know if it’s actually increasing as I get older or if I’m simply noticing it more because the consequences are in my face, but I seem to be dropping things left and right.  Sometimes I’ll drop something, pick it up, drop it again, pick it up again, drop it a third time, then stand there and think… do I really need this?

I mean, as I get older things as simple as bending over… and getting back up, just sayin’… are somewhat of a chore.  As I get older the prospect that what is now on the floor can just stay there gets more and more appealing.  I can kind of understand how an older person’s home becomes a hoarder’s paradise.  The person’s mindset could very well be, “Meh, I didn’t need that anyway.”

Soap Box: The Opposite of Bad Tipping – the Entitlement Mentality

Wow.  Just… wow!  No tongue-in-cheek tonight.  I’m serious.  A ‘Soap Box’ post.  This is the second post in a row where we talk about tipping, and this one wasn’t planned, but I read something tonight that annoyed me so much I felt the need to comment on it immediately.  Before we start I want to make sure a couple things are clear regarding my attitude about tipping.  The Disclaimer, if you will…

  • I tip.  I tip well.  Most often 20%+.
  • I don’t begrudge paying a tip, per se, but I do get annoyed by the constantly moving target aspect.
  • All but five states (I think) allow tipped employees to be paid less than minimum wage.  I think that’s wrong.  Minimum wage should be minimum wage.  (I don’t think tips should be taxed as income, either.)
  • The biggest annoyance regarding tipping in general is how it’s turned into an entitlement mentality.  That’s what this post is about.  I recently read on a forum where a server talked about how the tip was her money before the customer even gave it to her… but this is even worse than that.

I am going to do something that may or may not be kosher.  I am going to post this person’s post from another forum in it’s entirety, as posted and unedited.  I feel that to properly understand the depth of unethical behavior here it all needs to be said.  (I’ll elaborate further down.)  I am not including the name, though I suppose if you’re internet savvy enough you could probably find it on your own.  So, without further ado, here we go…

The question was:  How do waiters and waitresses handle “regulars” at restaurants who are terrible tippers?

The server’s answer was:

I handle them in a very simple way. I slip a service charge on their receipt. I always go under the “usual” good tip, I put 15% on. I get paid solely in tips. I don’t get tips, I basically don’t get paid. One bad tip isn’t going to ruin my day. But if I wait on you hand and foot to get $2 on an $85 bill and you do it every week, you bet I’m going to put a service charge on.

I had this couple that always came in. I was actually cashiering this night, another server got their table. We all know how horribly they tip, and dread getting them. They take up all of our time, asking for suggestions, pretending we forgot something when they never asked for it in the first place, multiple refills, etc. They tip $3 no matter what the bill is. I’ve seen their bill go up to $78, still a $3 tip. She put a service charge on them. Oooooh boy. They came up me at the front and demanded to know what this charge was. I told them “it’s an automatic service charge, it’s an automatically calculated tip to your server.” She was livid, “this is WAY higher than I would normally pay! Why is this on here?!” Uhhh m’am it’s because your bill was $45 and you still would have tipped her $3. I notice she went back and forth from the kitchen to your table at least 7 times with a smile. I think she deserves at least a 15% tip.

I don’t feel bad. We make $2 an hour. Until that changes and we get paid fairly, you can afford to leave a decent tip. If you can’t, don’t go out to eat. If your server sucks, by all means leave a small tip. If you leave $3 every time, I’m going to put a service charge on. And no, I won’t take it off and neither will my manager.

EDIT: I turned off comments because I’m not looking to argue. I wrote my answer, if you have a different opinion then write your own answer. No, automatic gratuity is not illegal. There is no legislation against using service charges. Usually they are only added to large tables, 6+ people at 18%. (hence, my adding 15% is a low amount) The IRS made a decision that starting in 2014 automatic gratuity would be a service charge, meaning it does not count as a separate income as a tip to the server, it goes to the restaurant and they have a choice in giving the money to the server as a tip or keeping it for themselves. This means the customer does not have a choice in paying this amount. Since posting this I’ve gotten multiple comments saying this must be illegal, I felt a need to clarify.

Again, just… wow!

I get there are bad tippers.  There are also wonderful tippers.  I’m not defending bad tippers, especially chronic bad tippers. If you’re a chronic bad tipper, screw you, you’re a cheapskate, but it’s still your money until you decide if/when you tip.

Think about the hypocrisy.  If someone tips  35% does she chase them down and give back the excess?  Ha!  I bet not.

She talks about her actions being legal.  I question that.  Maybe.  I know service charges are legal when stated up front, but afterward as a surprise, and at random based on her whims?  (I would have spoken to her manager at another time, and if that didn’t get satisfaction I just might file a small claims suit against the restaurant solely to make my point.  She’s an agent of her employer and it would get her employer’s attention, more so than if I sued her.)

Notice at one point she says, ” I notice she went back and forth from the kitchen to your table at least 7 times with a smile. I think she deserves at least a 15% tip.”  You think?  YOU think?!?  Not only are you deciding if they tip, but you get to decide how much?  Entitlement much?

She turned off comments to her post.  Basically she knows her attitude is sketchy and she doesn’t want to have to defend it.

This, THIS, is exactly the type of entitlement mentality that our tipping culture has degenerated to, ‘If you don’t give it to me I’m going to take it.’

Needed Drive-thru Etiquette

Rules.  The world needs damn rules, and the sooner the better.  You know, when the world is too lax and needs to be tightened up a bit.  Except, of course, when the world needs to lighten up and not be so anal about everything.  How do you know the difference?  It can be tricky, I’ll admit, but The Grump is here to guide you, never fear.

There are three rules that need to be enacted for proper drive-thru etiquette and an efficient drive-thru experience.  Those rules are…

  1. No more than two meals per vehicle.  That’s right, don’t think you can carry the little league team in your SUV-cum-station wagon behemoth vehicle and order custom meals for ten kids.  Two meals, that’s it.  If you want more, park and go in.
  2. No substitutions.  No customization, either.  You get it pre-assembled.  As is.  You don’t want lettuce?  Tough, you’re getting lettuce.  Does it come with bacon as a standard item?  No?  Tough, no bacon for you.
  3. Credit cards only.  No fumbling with cash, and certainly no digging for change.  Not necessary when using plastic only.

Your experience… especially if you’re the vehicle(s) in front of me, should be pull-up -> bark your order number -> pull-up to the window… no need for two windows now… pay your money, grab your bags, and go!  Easy peasy.

I guess there’s a #4, also:  Know what you want before you pull up to the menu board and speaker.  Don’t sit there looking at the menu of items you’ve seen for the past 20 years trying to decide.  If you don’t know what you want, a large arm comes out and pushes your car aside and allows the next car to order.  Back to the line for you!

With these simple rules your drive-thru experience will be much more pleasurable and stress-free.  🙂