Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user laurabl

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

92 Comment

  • Rant: Just when we were talking about speed cameras, I received my first ticket in the mail yesterday. I am not denying I was speeding, but considering how fast I was going, I don’t think I realized what the posted speed limit was or maybe I was trying to get around a car briefly. Either way…balls.

    Rave: Beautiful day today!

    • msmaryedith

      (OP from yesterday) Ugh, sorry to hear it! I really and truly had no idea that the speed limit was that low there. Hope yours wasn’t as high as mine!

      • Not quite, but still $125. I almost wish I had gotten pulled over by a cop. Seems lazy to just to take my picture. Come on, cops! 🙂

        • No way. I much prefer a camera to having to interract with an arrogant man who apparently enjoys nothing better than making a woman distraught. And being held up for 45 minutes while he does god knows what back in the police car.

          • Probably watching porn. There’s an event venue across the street from me that regularly hires DC cops for security. They usually sit outside my apartment building watching porn on those laptops they keep in the passenger seat. Money well spent.

          • 11:42 Anonymous – how do you know they’re watching porn? Do you look inside their cruisers to see what’s on their laptops?

          • you can’t be serious.

          • Yeah, I’ve never seen it but it must be easy to spot as you walk by. I’m surprised these guys are so brazen.

        • msmaryedith

          I hear you. And I can’t help but think that if I had gotten pulled over by a person, they would have been understanding enough that they would have knocked it down a bit.

          Whatever, now we know.

  • Anyone know what the heavy police response was all about in the condo complex on the 200 block of Farragut NW last night? What’s the easiest way to find out what police are responding to? Perhaps just curiosity, but there were a lot of police cars and vans on the block.

    • If you ask on the police list serv for your ward, they’re usually pretty responsive. I see these questions all the time.

  • Rave: Gorgeous, gorgeous weather. Getting a $16 haircut at a fancy salon today, thanks to my WTD voucher.

    Rant: My shuttle never showed up this morning. Normally I don’t mind the walk, but today I was loaded down with laptop and documents and I was wearing bad shoes that sliced up my ankles. And I got in half and hour later than I’d intended.

  • Rant: People who stroll in a leisurely, Sunday-stroll fashion in the middle of the platform of busy, line connecting metro stations during rush hour. Yes, your daughter is the light of your life, but she’s not the light of mine. You, her and your partner walking abreast while a dozen people are held up from getting to their train is inconsiderate no matter how you look at it.

    A bit of a stretch to call it a rant, but this isn’t Minor annoyance/Revel.

    • I’d call it a rant. You really need to lighten up.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m with you on this. The people walking 3 abreast with no idea that people want to get around them are so annoying. Also annoying are the people with the wheelie bags that don’t pay attention to where the bags are and trip people or roll them over people’s feet. The wheelie bags are particularly dangerous because they are almost all black and the metro stations are so dark. Saw a guy the other day trip over one and land on a bunch of people. I guess they broke his fall.

      I just want people to be more aware of their surroundings.

      • I can imagine the rant of the family you are talking about: Self-absorbed DC careerists who shove their way through the city, generally making my vacation unpleasant.

        I’m guessing these were tourists. I make it a policy of being tolerant of tourists. One, I envy that they are on vacation, and two, I like to be treated nicely when I go away.

        • and three, they are our guests.

        • I’ve seen a lot of people who appear to be locals doing this too. They really should know better.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I’m nice to them; I like them to come visit too. I don’t shove around them, I just wish they would notice their surroundings.

          • +1. Nobody is being rude to them or hurting them or ruining their vacation. In fact, more to the point, they are SO oblivious that they’re completely unaware that locals who are just trying to get to work are annoyed. They drift along in blissful vacation ignorance. I wouldn’t worry about them.

            More power to them and their vacation. Just please step to the side.

        • Wrong on both guesses, KenyonDweller. They are commuters (I see them often), and neither I nor the inconvenienced people behind me were rude or pushy to them.

          PoP, for the love of God, please do something about the rapid posting messages. It’s been 3 hours since my last post.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            Sorry about that, the site is going to have a massive overhaul (fixing all the bugs) in late Aug./early Sept.

          • If you see them often, why don’t you just say something rather than bitching on a blog, which will do absolutely nothing to solve your problem. As I say to my 4-year-old, use your words.

          • Looks like you’re the one who needs to calm down, friend. This is a blog entry created specifically for online bitching. Did you miss that part?

            R-A-N-T. Like you’d tell your 4 year old, sound out the letters…

      • Also, people with big handbags/backpacks that take up lots of space. When I walk by them on the escelator, I purposely brush against the bag to let them know they need to try to make space so people can get by them.

        • saf

          Wow, just a bit passive-aggressive, eh?

          • Yeah, it is, but I gotta say it’s one of my pet peeves as well.
            What gets me is women with those giant purses who shove them to the back so they’re not in the way…IN FRONT. Well, ladies, your huge bag is blocking everybody BEHIND YOU. You might as well walk through a crowd with both your arms stretched out at shoulder height behind you…

          • No, not passive-aggressive at all. Just plain aggressive.

  • Seeing the value of my slowly long built up 401K go down 20% in the last two weeks.

    Am I over reacting by thinking of going to cash before we see another market crash like March 2009 ?

    • I would say probably yes, unless you are planning to retire in the next 5-10 years.

      I’m sure many will disagree with me though.

    • I’m certainly not selling in a down market. That’s how you lose money.

    • Stocks have gone up in the past two days. I would say ignore that little dip that we had and keep positive. Or you can diversify into cheaper stocks with good histories. But do not cash out unless you’re retiring soon, like GDopplerXT said.

    • If your 401K literally declined by 20% in the past 2 weeks, then your investment elections are far too volitile and you need to change them.

      I am not saying you have to switch everything over to t-bills, but every 401K program, even the crappy ones have numerous funds of varying risk to select and most let you change your elections all the time, so leaving it static is not a good idea. For example, while averaging a decent 11% return yoy, my 401K declined 3% in the past 3 weeks.

      Your 401K isn’t something you should set up and forget about, it needs to be managed.

      • Horsepoo.

        If you aren’t a professional, don’t actively manage your portfolio. You’re more likely to screw yourself than if you just let it ride. Most people screw themselves by missing the crash, taking money out, and then missing the subsequent rebound.

        If you didn’t predict the crash, then just leave it where it is.

        Pay someone to help you set it up, then forget about it until you’re ready to pay someone to readjust it.

        Also don’t pick stocks, get a good broad market index fund with low fees.

    • unless you’re like 68, yes, you’re wildly overreacting and probably need to take a class on finance.

    • Don’t sell and go to cash. That’s how you make your loss permanent (or make it a lot worse). If this is retirement savings keep it invested. Within a little time, you’ll be back in positive territory. Even though it may seem like it takes a long time, this will seem like a little blip by the time you retire. Just maybe talk to a financial advisor on how you should be diversified. You should have a strategy and stick with it, not try to react to the market – unless you’re a pro, you’ll likely just lose even more money by trying to time things by ending up buying high and selling low.

      • Many people just assume they’ll average 10% annually — they will, if their time horizon is 100 years, but over a 40 year period that’s not necessarily the case. “Blips” like the last decade are only likely to average out over *extremely* long periods of time. There are 20 year periods in the past where the stock market yielded almost *no* return at all (in inflation adjusted dollars). If you just let your money sit in an ETF for the next 20 years, you run a very real risk of losing money. Why waste 20 years of your life?

        Obviously, I’m not a fan of passive investing. 😉

        If you’re not going to invest the time to become an active investor, you’re going to lose lots of money occasionally. At the very least, set a basic stop loss — after an X percent loss, you sell no questions asked. Stop has to be big enough to allow for normal (95% of the time) volatility.

  • Rant: Mutual decision by me and my employer to leave my awful, awful job.
    Rave: I’m better off without it: terrible bosses (two who date each other!!) a sub-30k salary, and weeks and weeks of no work, despite trying to fill my hours.
    Rant: ex-boss told me there were communication problems, despite her never attempting to actually communicate with me.
    Rant: Re-entering the job market in a difficult field. I’m looking to do development or consulting in Eastern Europe in Russia. Seems to be nearly impossible for an entry-level/recent grad, even with a couple summers of internship experience.
    Rave: Could be my opportunity to go work abroad in Georgia (what I’d like to be my regional speciality)
    Rant/Rave: BF is out of town, but I have great friends encouraging me/telling me I’m not in fact worthless…

    Apologies for spilling my guts. This happened yesterday, so despite hating the job, it’s still a bit of a shock.

    • Eastern Europe and/or Russia *

      • Good luck with everything, my commiserating job-hating friend! Take this as a sign and go out and do something positive. Nowadays a job is a job is a job.

        • Thank you 😀 Although some people on here have bashed you for whining, your posts have often made me feel like I’m not the only competent/educated/motivated person here that is completely and utterly frustrated.

    • There might be NGO jobs looking for your background/experience. Have you done any searching in that area?

    • “even with a couple summers of internship experience.”

      Ha, I think I see your problem.

      • Thanks, but at this point its all I’ve got, along with a year’s worth of unrelated job experience. It’s not like I don’t see this problem too…but it’s the Catch-22 of “how do you gain experience if you need experience to get a job.” You have a great day.

    • ANY job is hard to get when you’re entry level. I had 3 internships and a year of experience working for the federal government full time, but no one wanted to hire me because by their definition I didn’t have experience. Hang in there and be flexible with your job requirements. Even as an electrical engineer six years ago I had to apply for hundreds of jobs before getting hired.

    • Bear

      Any interest in Albania? There’s a USAID governance solicitation out right now, and I imagine that some of the NGOs and/or consulting firms in DC are trying to ID consultants to either help in the proposal process or for the project–provided your prior experience is in the region.

      • Yes! I do have an interest in pretty much anywhere you could classify as Eastern Europe or Central Asia. Thank you for the heads-up, Again, my prior experience is internship related for the most part, but I worked directly with USAID contracts at the State Department (primarily Moldova and Tajikistan) at one of them. I will investigate- thanks Bear.

        • Bear

          No problem! My org isn’t bidding, but there are the usually a few well-known firms around town who go after these things. Search the DevEx jobs board for “Albania” and you’ll be able to figure out pretty quickly who’s going after the project. They might only be advertising for high-level positions, but it’s a good starting point.

  • Rant: I was hoping to see JB Smoove at the Improv tonight, but the show sold out before I could reserve tickets.

    Revel: Weather, acoustic gig tomorrow, Montgomery County Fair opens this weekend. I want to see the piglet races!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Matchbox for supper tonight to celebrate my sister’s birthday!

    Rave: Finally get to give her, her bad-ass birthday present.

    Rant: Work.

  • Rant: Messing up an email I toiled over to a potential job opportunity – I sent the email only to find that my email notes were located two lines under my signature. So stupid.

    Rant: Alarm didn’t go off this morning, but in hindsight, whatever. I was 15 minutes late to work. Rat ran over my foot as I walked down the steps.

    Rave: Gorgeous weather.

    Rave: Having my own web domain and soon to be buying hosting so I can get my side gig up and running!

    • I hate that. I made a similar mistake the other day on a cover letter. I also have friends who have hired people in the last couple months make comments on facebook or twitter about how a resume or cover letter with even the slightest typo goes straight to the trash. The callousness with which they treat peoples’ lives and futures–as if they’ve never made a mistake in their lives–really irritates me.

      • They’re not paid to care about people’s lives and futures. But for the sake of their company they shouldn’t give so much weight to typos. Sure, it’s a sign of carelessness, but mistakes happen and a lot of extremely competent people make them all the time. In my field it’s nice to be able to write well and carefully, but it’s certainly not necessary.

        • If you don’t take the time to make sure there are no typos in your resume, what kind of employee will you be? Not as good as the hundreds of other applicants who made no mistakes in thier resumes or cover letters. When you are selling yourself, you have to make a great first impression.

          • Yes, but what if the guy who made the typo has better experience, education, verbal communication skills, and so forth? It seems that employers would be shooting themselves in the foot if they instruct HR to ignore resumes and cover letters that have mistakes.

        • Typos, incorrect CC-ing, etc in an email is totally forgivable. Mistakes like this on something like a resume or cover letter is a completely different matter. These documents make the all-important first case for hiring you, or at least bringing you in for an interview.

          Employers get inundated with applicants and if you’re not taking *extra* care with what is the most important communication you have with them, then what would indicate to them that you would take any care with your day-to-day work.

          I’m not saying that a mistake should send your resume directly to the trash, but let’s just say it’s a big strike against you, especially if you’re in contention with other comparably qualified applicants.

          I think I take more care proofing my emails to family members than some people do on their resumes and such (based on what I’ve seen).

          • Also, you can usually tell the difference between a mere typo/careless mistake and someone who just doesn’t write well at all.

      • “The callousness with which they treat peoples’ lives and futures–as if they’ve never made a mistake in their lives–really irritates me.”

        You sound like a recent grad. Welcome to the real world where employers are not your parents and, yikes, they expect you to be able to write a resume and cover letter and have someone else read it over. Guess what, contracts get lost by these types of mistakes and if you really believe it’s your “life and future” at stake, then maybe you should be a little more careful with it yourself. As someone who has supervised junior employees, there’s nothing worse than spending an entire day pointing out their inane mistakes, wasting your precious, billable time. You don’t sound like somebody I’d want to hire.

        • sorry, a little harsh rant for a Friday, but this sense of entitlement from junior employees who think all they should have to do is show up for 8 hours a day to collect their paychecks pisses me off.

        • I’ve never heard of a contract being lost over someone’s typos.

          They DO matter on proposals, but you have a team of people working on those.

          • “but you have a team of people working on those”

            So, in other words, why pull your own weight, since there are other people there to take up the slack and fix it for you?

          • I work in communications and if we present sloppy work to clients or send something print with mistakes (not even necessarily typos), then they will not hire us for other jobs and they will not renew our contract. So, yes, business is lost this way.

          • No, I mean there are many pairs of eyes reviewing it so it’s unlikely that a mistake would make it through to the contracting officer.

            Truth be told, I rarely make typos myself; even the occasional facebook post gets proofread to death. But every organization has players that focus on the bigger things, and they’re just as valuable as those of us who give a lot of attention to detail.

          • Depends on what type of work you do. Someone in my lawfirm got fired due to typos, the client was a good client and insisted on it. He was embarrased by the doc he handed out. This is the real world folks, and not the MTV real world. Employers receive hudnreds of resumes, and yes, we throw those out that aren’t perfect. You don’t deserve a job, you earn it.

          • Of course it does depend on the type of work. It’s less of a big deal with engineering. I can see it being very relevant in law because every word matters absolutely.

          • “You don’t deserve a job, you earn it.”

            I love this!

        • I think you nailed it. The generation that all got ribbons and trophies just for running in the race.

          • I would just like to point out, FWIW, that I spend a decent amount of my (junior-level employee) time correcting my boss’s typos, grammatical errors, and generally inconsistent writing.

            Let’s not keep kicking this person while s/he is down. Lesson learned.

    • msmaryedith

      I was only hiring an intern, but I recently received a number of emails/letters/cover letters with varying levels of mistakes. Some were egregious, but I completely overlooked others. Hopefully they’ll overlook it. At least they can tell you planned it out!

    • Eww on the rat. I hope you weren’t wearing sandals or anything flesh-exposing.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I completely missed the rat part. @neednewjob I totally commiserate on the rat thing (the other stuff too). I had a rat charge me at a bus stop and run over my shoe. Thankfully, it was winter, so closed toe shoe, so I didn’t have to cut my foot off. I did spend a long long time trying to figure out how I was going to make it into work. I’d just blown all my vacation days on something, so calling in rat was going to cause issues. I finally made it to work, late and scarred for life.

    • good luck with the side gig!

  • Rave–Passed PMP exam!

  • Rant/Rave: My cat’s BMI is 81. 12″ tall and 17lbs will do that to you.

  • Rave: Friday!
    Rant: Best Buy in Tenleytown has employee stationed at entrance who watches a monitor & operates cameras in order to keep an eye on all parts of the store. Last night I noticed that the guy working the camera was using it to follow/spy on attractive female customers. He’d even zoom-in in order to get a look at their cleavage! I’m going to try video taping it next time and showing it to the manager. I’m tired of women being objectified everywhere!

    • Then put your boobs back in your shirt.

      • I guess the notion that women don’t deserve to be ogled and objectified is rather lost on you.

        Camera is likely mounted near the ceiling, which means he can get good cleavage shots even if the women are covered to an extent that would satify your personal level of modesty.

        • That’s exactly what happened, the cameras are in the ceilng and he was positioning them so that he was looking down their shirts.

          • I hope you do complain to his boss if you see him doing it again, even if you can’t get the video proving he was doing it. At least he/she will know to be on the look out for that behavior.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Yes please report that whether you get video footage or not.

  • Revel! The photo you’re using is from a very successful fundraising event held last night for the Neighborhood Farm Initiative in Georgetown.

    More photos are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurabl/sets/72157627413122418/with/6034263964/
    NFI is here: http://www.neighborhoodfarminitiative.org

  • Rant: So freakin’ bummed that we’re now like months into a horrible tragedy in Africa where families are just leaving their kids to die on the ground because they have no other choice. WTF!

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