I’m simultaneously amazed and unsurprised at how frakking stupid so
many people are. As Rand so ably portrayed in fiction and her essays,
the number of individuals who evade the clear meaning of what a piece
of writing says; who focus on nonessentials and ignore the essence of a
message; who never acknowledge or admit their glaring errors, even when
demonstrated; who engage in reprehensible behavior in dealing with
"public" issues that they would never tolerate in their private lives;
who evade principles, evidence, logic, and reason; the number of such
people in both the general public and even in the ranks of so-called
"libertarians" and "Objectivists" is astounding.
They know who they are.
The Customer is a Pain
While on Xmas vacation visiting my in-laws, I read an article about
declining customer service. According to the story I read, young people
prefer to chat on the phone or focus on themselves rather than those
pesky and annoying customers. Their expectations differ from those of
their parents and grandparents as to what constitutes proper behavior
in a such a setting.
I’m “happy” to report that such an attitude exists among some older employees, as well.
The other day, I went into a local chain grocery store to buy some
snacks. The motto of this store is “a smile in every aisle.” Yeah.
Maybe. Anyway, I got the products I wanted and went to the express lane
to check out. Two of the items I had were — I thought — on sale: “11
for $10” the handwritten tag had read. When the woman checker scanned
the boxes, the register rang up a dollar each. Not exactly a huge
difference, but a policy of this store is to give the customer an item
for free if the scanned amount does not match the shelf price. So I
mentioned the discrepancy, thinking I might save myself a couple bucks.
Gee. You think the gnomish little witch smiled at me at said, “Why
don’t I check that for you, sir?” If so, you haven’t been paying
attention. She blinked her dull eyes and pointed to the computer
screen. “It rang up as a dollar,” she said, as though this were some
Now, what I wanted to say was, “You stupid, !#$$%%. I can f*cking read.
I know what the f*ck it rang up. I wouldn’t have mentioned it if I
thought it was correct.” Instead, I stopped myself and simply repeated
what the shelf price had read. She could have said, “Oh, sorry. Let me
check that for you.” But, no. She simply said once again, “It says it’s
a dollar,” as though repetition of an inanity somehow renders it
golden. This person has worked at this store for years,
so she is well aware of the policy on price mismatches.
But, hey, to deal with that meant a disruption in her routine. She might actually have to make an effort to fulfill the store’s own
policy (one I applaud, by the way; gives an incentive for customers to
be alert to what they are actually being charged for sale items). A bit
more of this, and she feebly called out — twice; softly — a manager’s
name as he walked by. So I said it loudly enough for the guy to
actually hear me before he vanished from sight.
So the guy checked; said one had to buy all eleven items and
have a coupon before the price was effective. I shook my head. This
chain had said years ago that coupons would no longer be required for
their specials. Plus, the fine print must have been very small, indeed,
to include all that extra information. It was not obvious, even after I
looked the tags over twice.
Regardless, though, too many employees view us mere customers — those
who actually provide the income for their salaries — as an intrusion
unworthy of consideration. Keep it up, and these nimrods will achieve
their goal of a customer-free world...as they line up at the
unemployment office...where they will receive the kind of customer
“service” they so richly deserve...
Smoking Fascists, Part ∞
The bastards never go away. New bans around the world are squeezing
liberty into smaller and smaller boxes. France has banned smoking in
any “public” (i.e., privately owned) businesses. California joins other
states in making it illegal for people to light up in cars when
children are present. They say the penalty will only be imposed if the
vehicle is stopped for other reasons, such as speeding.
What a bunch of BS. They said the same things about mandatory seat belt
laws. Now, lack of a cinched belt alone is enough to have the highway
Nazis pull you over.
Of course, California leads the way in fascism. The eco-fascists feel
are right at home with the smoking fascists. Banning plastic bags.
Banning incandescent lights. Banning smoking in apartments or on the
beach or sidewalks. Its all from the same mindset. Ditto the fascists
who violate freedom of contract by mandating new minimum or, worse,
“living” wages. Or who force feed us “recycling” or “alternate” energy
or bans on “illegal” immigrants (a violation of freedom of association)
or forcing people to be tested for HIV or how people must use gift
cards or get a dental exam or...
Well, the list is semi-infinite.
To hell with it. Ninety-plus percent of Americans are fascists, eager
and anxious to force other people to do or not do whatever those
fascists want. Gang warfare on a national scale. None of them care that
the prez now has the “legal” authority to declare “marital law”
whenever he frigging pleases. (See Bovard here
.) They’d probably applaud...if they knew.
Whatever I Want
To tie in with the first entry above, I’ll relate a lovely incident
that occurred at a Florida state park campground on New Year’s Eve.
It was our second night tent camping southwest of Jacksonville.
Excessive noise was banned after ten in the evening so people can get
some sleep. But, hey, who gives a sh*t about consideration for other
people, right? A group of assholes who reinforced every stereotype
about redneck, yahoo, cracker Southerners decided that they
wanted to drink and yell and ram around all night to “celebrate” the
new year. And they did. For hours. Literally yelling “yahoo” over and
over and over and over. Racing a motorcycle back and forth and forth
and back. Music. Yelling. On and on.
One bitch even had the temerity to “invite” my wife and an older woman
to “join them” to “celebrate,” the mere invitation apparently granting
these jerks a license to do whatever the f*ck they pleased. To hell
with the scores of other people and families around. To hell with the
fact that we all paid to be there. To hell with the rules.
Even though the cops showed up twice, nothing beyond some words
resulted. We discovered the next day that the sheriff never bothered to
inform the park ranger (who said
later that he would have
kicked the troublemakers out; maybe). Whatever. The fact remains that
those who broke the rules suffered no real consequences while those who
obeyed the rules had a miserable night.
Since the cops did nothing, I wish there had been some of that
stereotypical Southern justice administered. Smash that frigging bike
to hell. Slash their tires. Break the windows on the RV. Burn the
tents. Beat the ever lovin’ shit out of those creeps.
But, no. if any of us had done that, we
, of course, would have
been the ones hauled off to jail. A perfect microcosm of what is
happening in our society. The criminals in Washington and in the
various state and city governments do whatever the hell they please,
making the lives of anyone who objects into a horrible nightmare, while
those daring to stand up for what is right are turned into “traitors”
and “criminals” tossed into jail to rot.
Justice? What’s that?
(from Don't Get Me Started!