From Hero to Zero (An Instant’s Blink)

April 30, 2008

All right.  This post is very upsetting.  It also represents one of the first times I am launching a direct personal attack on someone with whom I am personally acquainted.

A little bird told me Robin’s are wimps.  They inspire confidence with their proud, red-chests, then disappoint you when they choose not to live up to it.  We’ve been Rooked by the Robin.

My wife is pregnant.  She’s due in 6 weeks.  There is a baby shower this weekend.  Her father has chosen not to attend.  Why?

Simple.  There was an ugly divorce over ten years ago.  The father can’t get over it.  He is full of piss and vinegar.  He kept a big, thick journal full of all the nastiness which took place during the divorce.  Rather than letting it all go and moving on with his life, he prefers to pull out the journal and stoke his fire.  He loves telling everyone (strangers too!) all about how much of a nasty person his ex-wife is.

“She’s not even human.”  That’s the popular line.

Keep in mind – the father has remarried & has had another child.  So he’s moved on with most aspects of his life, except for his hatred toward his ex-wife.

His new wife has mental problems (I think!).  I fear she suffers from undiagnosed schizophrenia.  Suffice it to say that she does everything she can to push everyone away from her and her NEW family.  She refers to her sons (from another marriage) as monsters.  She has kicked all children (other than her new daughter) out of her house.  She yelled at me in front of 30 people at one of their (weird) family functions.

This is strange.  They weren’t speaking to my wife before we met.  However, once they became aware that she was involved in a serious, mature relationship, they invited her back into their home.  I was the HERO who brought them all back together.  They would be proud to have me as a son-in-law.  I was the best, in their eyes.

That all suddenly changed one night last October, shortly after we learned about the pregnancy.  I expressed some sensitivity towards my wife’s Mother’s (the Ex) feelings.  Well, they would have none of it.  If I didn’t know that Mom wasn’t a human being, then our relationship was based on lies and would never last.  They couldn’t believe I would care about Mom in any regard.  Blah, blah, blah.

Anyways, the night didn’t go well after that.  I won’t be pushed around by anyone.  So I stood my ground, defended the sanctity of our relationship & in doing so, mortally offended that crazy bitch’s lack of sensibility.

Since then, the invitations to dinner have stopped – we were there briefly for Christmas, the Superbowl, then Easter (three weeks after the actual Easter).  I was yelled at during the Easter party!!  That’s the most attention either of us have received from the step-mother since October.

At this Easter party – there were a whole bunch of people we’d never met before.  Neither Dad nor step-mom introduced us to anyone.  Neither of them asked or commented on the progress of the pregnancy.  It was also my birthday, which was completely ignored until I was three feet from leaving, at which time the Father gave me a bottle of Crown and wished me a Happy B-day!

Anyways – here’s the point:

The Father has decided not to attend his daughter’s baby shower because the ex-wife, new boyfriend & former mother-in-law will be there.  The step-mother can’t attend because she is working in a government office on a Sunday afternoon.  I don’t even think I should have to comment on how unrealistic this seems, but we don’t care, we don’t really want her there anyways.

His excuse for not being able to attend is the trouble he’s apparently experiencing trying to find a babysitter.

Well, wait a second.  He received the invitation a month ago (or more!).  If he ever entertained a thought of attending, he would’ve made an effort to find a babysitter at that time.  He didn’t, which indicates he never planned on going.  He’s just playing some stupid game to make himself feel/look better.  It’s so see-through.

The saddest part is – the father is a really nice guy.  I know he loves his daughter.  I know he wants to know his granddaughter.  But his new wife is mentally ill.  She won’t let him.  Well, hang on, “won’t let him” is not the best way to describe what the father lives with.  He can do whatever he wants, provided he is capable of enduring the incessant nattering from his new wife.

She will lay into him, rag on him, nag, nag, nag, until he finally gives in.  She won’t relent until her point of view is accepted as reality.  I’ve seen it in action.  He’s inadvertantly told me about it.  I know it to be the truth.  So, after nearly ten years of marriage, he’s finally figured out that the best thing for him to do is avoid her ‘wrath’.

For this reason – he is a wimp.  I feel sorry for him.  He is losing the most important things in his life trying to keep her happy.  He is tossing his own happiness into the black-hole of her misery.

The long-term ramifications of his actions are clear to me.  He won’t have a relationship with his grand-daughter, which is precisely what step-mom wants, and this will hurt him.  Step-mom will not hold, touch, see or meet our daughter until she receives professional psychiatric attention.  She is not a grandmother & will never be in a position where she could act like one (if she even could).

So…sorry, but we don’t want to invite negativity into our daughter’s life.  Shit, she will experience enough of it just by growing up.  I don’t ever want to have to explain this to my little girl.  I don’t want her to know that her grandfather’s a puss & that his wife is a hateful, spiteful, unreasonable wench.

I am so friggin’ mad that he could do this to his daughter.  I am so friggin’ upset that she was hurt by him in this way.  I know, come Sunday, his absence will hurt my wife.  She will conceal it & try to make the best of the situation (as she ALWAYS does), but her day has been ruined.

There’s no gift he could give (or send) that could make up for what he’s taken away.  I don’t think he understands that.  I don’t think he understands that when he met me, he met someone who is stronger, feistier and more righteous than he could ever be.  I won’t let him forget this.

 


Fine Gold Jewellers (potential scam)

January 24, 2008

For Christmas & Anniversary (expensive gift!) my girlfriend gave me a ring, white gold, really nice, but a little too big.  Free sizing with purchase, though.  We brought the ring back to the store (Fine Gold Jewelers) for a fitting.  They told me it would be a day or two, or a week!  Pretty definite timing!

A week goes by and I don’t hear anything.  Another week goes by and I still don’t hear anything.  We go into the store (two weeks to the day I dropped it off).  They don’t have it.  Store manager tells me he’ll call Head Office and let me know status the next day.

I get a call on Monday morning.  This particular ring cannot be re-sized, so they have to cast a new one & that’s what was taking so long.  They would have the ring on Tuesday night.  I was busy, so didn’t go until last night.

The Retailer pulls the ring out of the envelope and my immediate (Blink!) reaction was – this is a different ring, smaller.  I tried it on & it didn’t feel the same.  My girlfriend & I find the original ring in the display cabinet.  It’s more lustrous, larger and thicker.

It turns out that they cast a smaller ring – 1mm in width and 1mm in depth.  And…why wasn’t it as lustrous?!  I don’t think it was the same quality metal.

So, I THINK this is the possible scam.  They sell their product at 50% off & offer free fitting.  When they ‘resize’ the item, they ‘shrink’ it down in an attempt to regain some value from their sale price.  Their mistake in this case was trying to do it on someone who has an uncanny ability to recognize size, distance, dimension, etc.

I have to wait another week for another new ring.  We’ll see what happens this time around.

In the mean time, I thought I would do a web search on this particular retailer.  Lo & behold – there is a 2002 ruling by the Competition Tribunal concerning the deceptive marketing practices, which cost the owners $25k in a single fine.  The nice thing about that link (above) is that you can view the original (signed) documents regarding the ruling against Fine Gold Jewellers & The Diamond Co.

Apparently, they have a perpetual 50% off sale, but the original list price is inflated (meaning the retailer does not sell any products for the pre-sale list price).  The regular price is the sale price.  The pre-sale list price was doubled (roughly!).

BEWARE– if you’ve ever purchased anything from this retailer and had it re-sized (or whatever), try to compare it to the original you purchased.  Check the display piece for the product you purchased.  There is a possibility that you did not get what you purchased.


Passport Canada (Serious Security Breach)

December 8, 2007

As an addendum to the post about Ontario Driver’s Licences, new security features & encoding citizenship information.

Read about how critical personal information was available to the web-viewing public on Canada’s Passport website.

And the government (doesn’t matter which level!) thinks it can provide security.


High-Tech Ontario Driver’s Licenses (Another Sham)

December 7, 2007

Ontario released it’s new high-tech driver’s licence today.  It is supposed to be much more secure than existing licences, with new security features like:

  • A two-dimensional barcode
  • Rainbow printing
  • Raised lettering of the licence’s number, signature and date of birth  
  • Just wondering – aren’t all bar codes two dimensional?  Every one I’ve ever seen has height and width – otherwise there wouldn’t really be anything to scan.  But the other features sound secure…I guess.

    But here’s the kicker – the Ontario government is hoping that US Homeland Security will allow the new (secure) licences as legitimate travel documents (in lieu of passports).  However, in order to do so, citizenship information must be encoded onto the driver’s licence.

    Whoa!  Let the profiling begin.  For instance, the government could analyze traffic offences vs. country of birth.  Insurance companies might figure out that certain countries produce poor drivers for Ontario conditions and surreptitiously hike rates.

    Or//

    The government (specifically, law enforcement) could generate a list of all driver’s from Iraq, Iran or whichever country might be defined as a threat (?!!) to the west and do what?  I don’t know, but the fact that a list such as this could be generated is frightening.

    Not sure it’s a good idea to lump most (all) personal information into a single source.  We’re worried about identity theft and the solution is to put more information in one place?!  That’s kind of like grouping all the planes at Pearl Harbor into the centre of the field.  It solved a small problem (local sabotage) and opened the door to a much greater problem (bombs from the sky).

    Just a few passing thoughts.

    If you want to read the full story.


    Once I had a bunch of moral fibre (but it went through my system pretty quick)

    November 7, 2007

    I don’t know the first thing about seconds.  The truth of the matter is I like throwing Frisbees to myself.  I love the dignity of the parabola.  The golden equation, the sum.  Some is too much.  Chocolate smiles too sweet to smudge with a touch.  Lick it, lump it, like it.  When did fudge become a mistake to make?  I rub my eyes full of glittering flies.  Blue.  Electric.  Eclectic, almost like electric if you don’t pay attention.  I’d be surprised if most people’s attention could span a puddle. 

    We’re getting Googlephrenic.  The idea of disgoogleplexia is heightened by infinity plus one.  The numbers never end.  There is nothing but empty space.

    I wonder if they’ll ever have McDonald’s Restaurant theme parks for all the little chubby kids.  Eat your shorts for good, nutritional Christian values.  It’s not supposed to make scents, but it stinks no matter how you slice it.  I recommend using your hands and ripping, but that doesn’t always work out for some of the saucier things in life. 

    What can you do about googlephrenia?  I don’t know, Google it.  The spinning wheel, karmic in nature, stops on a dollar.  Bits of a puzzle up the barkers sleeve.  Religion is so medieval.  Shit.  Think of something else.   You know what I meme? 

    Know, no, I mean, now, how brown cow?  If they made chocolate milk, I’d be sucking those teats ’til the farmers came home.  I don’t want to offend Hindus.  I rather like the art.  Beautiful intricate colours.  I don’t know anything about famine, except for the guilt I feel from cheating on the thirty-hour version.  Fuckin’ charity, what is it these days?  A corporation under a different guise. 

    Shit stinks.  I think that’s why we call it shit.  We say so many things smell like shit, but they don’t really all smell exactly like shit, not even all shit smells the same.  That would be weird.  What would the world be like if we spoke with our mouths, but ate with our bums?  The food court would be a lot uglier. 

    What does crude mean to you?  What does rude have to do with crude, other than the price we pay?  I’m on a plane, wake up snickers, I have a sweet suite to suit all my wants, but none of my needs.  All these weeds.  How is cleanliness close to godliness?  Priorities ward back, beckon thee to reckon thee. 

    A yahoo is a beast of burden, a human slave to horses.  Is this what you want?  Horses are fleet of foot.  We’d be too, if we stayed on all fours.  That would be strange, huh?  Quadrupeds, eating out of our asses.  At least there’d be some time when we weren’t talking out of them.  Too many people talk shit.  Not a bad breath statement.  I might have something to say about that, but I locked all the workers out of my olfactory.  Commie bastards.  None of them can play the drums worth a ruble. 

    America is going down with their dollar and sense.  If life without a gun in my face means death, then death it is, ’cause you can’t control anyone or anything for long.  If I’m going down because of you, I’m taking you too.  Ya dig? 

    I once had a nightmare about digging holes.  Each hole was assigned an numeric value, more like an algebraic equation.  The nightmarish was that no matter how many holes I dug, I couldn’t surpass a certain sum.  I woke up sweaty and terrified.  I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.  2001 was on TV.  I should give that movie another shot.  I was in a poor frame of mind.  I shouldn’t live with regret, but that would mean I’d have to forget.  What?  Not sure.  No matter how much I forget, it never changes the regret.  Some things are carved into bone. 

    Once I had a whole bunch of moral fibre, but it went through my system pretty quick.  That’s the title.  That’s how things are named in these here parts.

    Funny thing is I don’t know what’s mine and what belongs to someone else.  I don’t know if plagiarism applies to a memory without footnotes, end notes, ibids or et als.  We’re all crazy.  We can’t agree on cake.  I like the icing that gives you a cocaine like sugar high.  You know the icing in which you can crunch the granules of sugar.  Still mostly empty space.  Hard to picture.  Harder to imagine.

    All apologies and a thousand more, but I’m still going to slam the door.  I don’t want to see you anymore.  You’re a whole other whore.  None of this real.  Nothing I feel.  The opposite of love is indifference and I am finally indifferent.  It doesn’t matter, because matter is mostly empty space, like an excuse.  No substance other than forgetting.  I’ve lost count of the leaves in the trees, but the planes are lining up ninety seconds apart on the skyway.  Nothing is forever, not even energy as we know it. 

    The truth of the matter is that I like white chocolate cake with my name scrawled in sweet icing sugar.  I have a big belly.  So there we are…word count 856.  666+190.  I wonder what the six-hundredth and sixty-sixth word was?  I should’ve paid attention.  My attention span is a short toothpick bridge.  Everything is a joke, especially this, that and the other thing, like an algebraic equation for holes, the variables are yours to tell.


    Business & Religion

    September 20, 2007

    Moral question – what happens when someone’s religion interferes with your business?

    For instance, I have a supplier who failed to meet their commitment to deliver to me by a certain time – first it was yesterday afternoon, then by 10am this morning, then by 1pm, then 2:30pm.  I gave them the benefit of the doubt and arrived at 3pm.

    The job was still not finished and no one was actually working, most of the staff were busy praying.

    I respect people’s choice to believe in something – I don’t care if it’s religion – but if the choice interferes with thier ability to fulfill business commitments, then how understanding should I be?  Not at all, some, a little bit, completely?

     They made to commitment to me.  They blew it because you were busy praying for ‘whatever’, presumably a better ‘metaphysical life’ or ‘afterlife’. 

    Ironically, thier non-action in their ‘actual life’ may have a practical cost that will directly influence their material well-being.  I may be less inclined to use this supplier in the future, not because of any religious affiliation, but because their ‘word’ is unreliable.

     Funny someone who is pious enough to pray daily would inspire so little ‘faith’ in their ‘word’ (commitment).

    Business and religion do NOT jive, unless you’re in the very profitable business of religion.

    And this is what it boils down to – people don’t think they need to BE pious if they are ACTING pious.  Respect thy neighbor, only if thy neighbor is me!

    You have to do more than put on a minx coat to be a minx…you know what I mean?!

    How would you feel if someone failed to fulfill a commitment because they were busy experimenting with mathematics (or some other hard science unrelated to the business at hand)?

    You’d be upset because it’s a waste of your time. 

    And science MIGHT actually have something positive in store for humanity, the Universe or something.  I’m not convinced ‘religion’ can make the same positive claim!


    The Downside of Balconies

    September 16, 2007

    I live in an apartment building.  It’s nice, quiet & there aren’t too many bad apples in the building.  Well, except for the people who live above us.  They sweep their balcony over the edge and onto ours!  At some point in the summer, either a dog or a human urinated over the edge, stinking up and staining part of our balcony.  But the event that broke my silence was about a week ago.

    I woke up and went outside for my coffee and cigarette.  After a few minutes, I realize that I am almost resting my elbow in some orange gunk.  It was kind of like carrot soup.

    Someone had vomitted over the edge.  I was on the verge of doing so myself!  I fancy myself logical and deductive.  I examined the dispersal of the ‘vomit splatter’.  Our balcony had one concentrated spot.  The balcony below had two, but close together.  The balcony beneath that one had two – these ones spread out even further.  And so on.  I think four balconies were affected.  None of them had the one concentrated spot.  It must’ve come from the balcony directly above.

    Further to this – they had a mop resting over their railing for the better part of a week afterwards.  Someone cleaned up a mess up there!

    Since then, they have not apologized.  They have not offered to clean up the mess.  Nothing.  I find that very rude.

    I offer the following picture as proof that this is a true story.  Beware…this is a picture of vomit.

    vomit-apartment-shift-003.jpg


    Visionless Sight

    September 7, 2007

    ‘Think outside of the box’.  I friggin’ hate that phrase, it’s very much ‘inside the box’.  In this age of technology, the individual has to be well-rounded, so why aren’t we thinking outside the ‘sphere’?  The ‘box’ is so unimaginative in terms of words, even the ‘cube’ is better.

    Someone who can’t think outside the ‘sphere’ demanded that someone else think outside the ‘box’.  It’s a simple case of the ‘pot calling the bong sticky’.

    Vision is a mental condition where sight is one of the five senses.  The blind CAN lead the blind.  Those who can see don’t always know where they are.


    The Greater Toronto Smash-Up Derby

    July 25, 2007

    Failing to signal a lane change in Ontario costs the offender two points on their driver’s license.  If this were actually enforced, some people would lose their license on the way to work in the morning.  I’ve seen some people make seven or eight lane changes within a few blocks and not signal a single one of them!  I should mention that six or seven of those lane changes were unnecessary.

    Another one is failing to turn into the proper lane.  If you’re making a left turn, you should be aiming for the left lane of the roadway you’re turning on to.  If you’re making a right turn, you should be aiming for the right lane of the road.  More often than not, people turn into any lane but the one they’re obligated to by law.

    Every week day for the past couple of months has seen a serious accident on one of the major highways in the Greater Toronto Area, usually resulting in at least two lane closures.  Every day there is a serious accident.

    I realize that hundreds of thousands of people commute to and from Toronto on a daily basis, but the accidents are more frequent and of a greater severity now then they ever were before.

    I think there are too many distractions inside and out of vehicles.  People are not wholly concentrating on driving.  Cell phones, LCD screens and whatever else people have going on, reduce road safety.

    I would like to roll video on all the stupid things I see people doing with their cars.  I could make a daily 44 minute comedy show out of it with fresh material for every show.

    The new trend of stopping fifteen feet short of the thick white line at intersections when the light is red is driving me nuts.  Pull up to the line.  Better yet are the people who stop their car three lengths behind the car in front of them, then slowly inch forward, bit by bit, until the light turns green.  Friggin’ come to a full stop.

    When you stop at an intersection, you should be able to see the back tires of the vehicle in front of you.  This is considered a safe distance.  If you can’t see them, you’re too close.

    People are idiots when they drive for many reasons.  Some people are afraid of the roads and drive hesitatingly slow.  Some people can’t read the road signs.  Some people don’t know how to coast (coasting is a condition in which neither the gas nor the brake pedal is under pressure) & are always tapping their brakes.  Some people are angry with other drivers and and let their emotions control their car.

    A few things – those who are supposed to enforce the traffic laws should do so without selectivity.  Seemingly small offences like failing to signal lane changes, turning into the wrong lane, etc., are as important as the more serious ones, such as speeding, failing to stop, and what not.  It starts with the police, but the real enforcement is in the courts.  Slack justice will produce slack drivers.  The judiciary has a responsibility to support the police in their efforts to serve and protect.

    Automobile manufacturers could do something to make our highways a lot safer & I don’t think it would be too technical or expensive for them.  GRADUATED BRAKE LIGHTS.  The harder you’re pushing the brakes, the brighter your brake lights will be.

    Here’s a question that has been asked before…if the maximum speed limit is 100km/h, then why are vehicles manufactured for faster speeds?


    A lot in life and parking.

    June 3, 2007

    I had a guy groove me at a stop sign when it was my turn to go.  “That prick cut me off!”  Then he pulled into the same plaza I was going to and nearly hit two pedestrians.  We parked pretty much face to face in the parking lot.  He got out of his car in a hurry and walked briskly to the door, almost as if he had to beat me there.  I didn’t really give a shit, but I was a little upset about being grooved at that stop sign, not to mention his carelessness with the pedestrians.  “Big friggin’ hurry!” 

    I strolled along.  He got inside the Dominion, then dilly-dallied around the entrance and became an intrusion in my path.  He proceeded to walk slowly and in such a way that made it difficult for me to get past him.  That was a little weird, I thought this guy was in a rush.  I finally squeezed by and went down the coffee aisle.  He stood at the end of the aisle and watched me for a bit, then moved on.  I grabbed the coffee and a few other things.  I was in there for about ten minutes.  I lined up in the express lane, which is closest checkout lane to the exit.  Little note, I had precisely eight items. 

    Anyways, the lineup took about five minutes.  I step up to the cashier and in my periphery I see this friggin’ guy lingering about.  He doesn’t have anything in his hands!  He’s been there for fifteen minutes, was in a big enough rush to get there that he cut me off and nearly hit two people and he hasn’t got a single thing in his hands.  He’s there for no apparent reason.  I pay for my goods, grab my bags and head for the exit.  Guess who’s walking right in front of me in such a way as to make it difficult for me to pass?  It was almost as if he was waiting for me to finish at the checkout before he decided to leave. 

    We finally emerge into the parking lot where I can hustle past him.  He starts walking faster like it’s a race to the cars.  By now I’m thinking, “Screw you buddy!  I’m beating you out of this parking lot.”  I boogie to my car, open the door, fire the bags onto the passenger seat, jam the key into the ignition, press the clutch, fire it up, throw it into first and fly.  I didn’t beat him to his car, but I did beat him out of the parking lot. 

    This does not, however, explain what the hell that guy was doing in the first place.  There are only two things I can think of.  He could’ve escaped from an institution of a mental health orientation.  Or he’s just some guy who gets beat up by life every day and does these small things to get even and noticed all at once.  Either way, buddy was messed up.  Quite possibly one of the most irritating human beings I have encountered but never had the pleasure of speaking to.  He inspired such negative feelings in me from that one action at the stop sign and everything about him became the epitome of irritation.  He pushed all the wrong buttons in me and I wanted to pummel him.  I exercised restraint. 

    What the hell was he doing?  Why was he at Dominion when he didn’t need anything?  Why was he in a hurry at some points and not at others?  For instance, he stood looking at the 25 cent candy machines by the exit for a couple of minutes before I completed my transaction.  I don’t understand.  Could it all be a figment of my imagination?  Was he there at all?  Maybe he didn’t cut me off.  Maybe he didn’t nearly hit those pedestrians.  I could’ve been in an agitated or irritated state and manifested him from the depths of my frustrations.  It’s quite possible I’m the one who escaped from the asylum,stopped taking my meds and have become a menace.  Shit, what if I cut him off?  Are there people looking for me now?  Trying to return me to the general safety of a padded cell.  Are you reading this?  Am I writing with my mind or my fingers?

    Nothing is real.  When am I?


    Chaos at Canada’s Wonderland

    May 23, 2007

    We went to Canada’s Wonderland on Victoria day.  Beautiful weather with sunshine and cool breeze.  Bad day to go to Wonderland, though.  It was busy as hell.  People everywhere. 

    Positive things first.  Drop Zone is a great way to get your blood flowing.  I walk off that ride and I am shaking!  Exhaling on the way was the best way to maintain control and watch the scenery.  I held my breath the first time and it hurt the organs floating around in my belly!  Vortex for speed and Top Gun for maneuvering (& speed!).  You have to sit in the front of both of these roller-coasters for the full experience. 

    We were there for eight hours and managed to get on five rides.  Thank goodness we bought seasons passes, otherwise it would have been a terrible waste of $52 (each) plus parking.

    Here’s the frightening thing – the rides kept breaking down.  Top Gun was down for at least 10mins of every hour.  Vortex was stopped for about 20mins and then some empty trains were sent around the track…for testing I guess.  If you’re self-destructive, such as myself, this only adds to the thrill and excitement of the ride.  However, if you are among the more cautious folk, then watching this while you wait could be very disheartening.

    Here’s the irritating thing – punk ass kids kept budding into the lines & no one would ever say anything.  Second last ride, my girlfriend and I snapped.  She mentioned something to one of the Wonderland Employees (WE), who promptly called security.  The security guards were reprimanded by the miscreants’ mother and the budders were allowed to stay in the park. 

    Last ride (Drop Zone), same thing happened.  This time we were with my girlfriend’s mother, who is wonderful in these situations.  She spoke out loud and adamant.  She attracted everyone’s attention, including the WEs attending the ride.  It was hilarious.  They asked her to point out the offenders, but she was hesitant.  Someone else spoke up, “You mean the CHEATERS?  You looking for the CHEATERS?”  The WEs encouraged everyone in line to BOO until the two budders left the line.  Everyone did.  These two guys had to fight through the crowd and leave the ride.  When they did, everyone cheered.

    Here’s the thing – I don’t think anyone would have done anything about it.  No one spoke up until my girlfriend’s mother made a stink and the WEs proved they would do something about it.  Then people joined in.  If no one had spoken out, everyone would have taken it on the chin and walked away upset.  I don’t understand why people don’t stand up for themselves (when they are not in their cars!).

    I’ve seen this so many times before.  People are agitated about some situation at work or school.  If their complaints are legitimate & justified, I will take a stand with them.  I will do this whether I stand to benefit directly or not.  I do it for the principle of fairness and the sake of a potentially good fight, plus I am not a huge fan of the status quo.  I approach the boss, the professor, or whoever and present the case.  The others are inevitably called out to stand with me, usually by the boss, professor, or whoever, and no one makes a peep.  I’m left looking like an agitator with my foot in my mouth. 

    The lesson I learned from these experiences (and there are many in my past!) is to look out for myself and leave people to wage their own wars.  I pick, fight and win my own.  I’m good at it, lots of practice.