Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user slightlyworn

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.

103 Comment

  • Cigarettes in DC are now above 7$ a pack. Smokers are paying for your children’s education. You should be saying “thank you to smokers”.

    • You, sir, are an idiot. If you honestly can’t see how much smokers hurt the nation in terms of healthcare costs for themselves and everyone around them, you need a serious readjustment. As far as I’m concerned, anyone stupid enough to smoke should have to pay $50/pack.

      • me

        So, morbidly obese people should have to pay more for a double cheeseburger too? You have to be consistent. Anyhow, when you sign up for medical coverage, you have to list if you’re a smoker or not. If you are, your premiums are higher. And if you list that you’re not, but then you have to get medical care for a smoking-induced disease or ailment, then you can be denied coverage.

        • anon. gardener

          +1.1 billion served

        • So people that have to work near smoke that get lung cancer should tell their insurance companies that they smoke so they don’t lose their insurance for saying they don’t smoke but they have lung cancer? I can detect smoke from 1/2 a block away or more. ALL smoking should be banned. Even in private indoor space. It is insidious. The government needs to get the balls to do the right thing, which is ban all growth, manufacture, and sales of any tobacco products. Period.

          • me

            Calm down. The government SHOULD do a lot of things, but that, my friend, will never happen. Sorry to be a buzzkill to your buzzkill.

          • anon. gardener

            People get lung cancer for many reasons. Smoking, or inhaling smoke, is just one of them. There are plenty of people who smoke but never develop lung cancer (though they may develop other kinds of cancers or health conditions). Yeah, smoking is bad for you. But so are lots of other things in our environment.

          • sounds like a true statist stassy officer.
            The govt. was not created to wipe your a@@#$# either.

          • America, land of the free, unless you want to smoke tobacco. Lets also ban alcohol and sugar, then everyone will live forever to pay taxes and reinforce our new found Communist society! Hail Putin!

          • uh, anon. gardener, 85% of lung cancers are in smokers.

        • Maybe for individual policies but for most group plans, all pay the same so the non-smokers are subsidizing the poor choices of the smokers.

        • absolutely food like a double cheeseburger should have a tax on it. that’s a no-brainer.

          I have friends who have immune disorders, asthma, and cancer all because they grew up in a household where the parents smoked OUTSIDE.

        • The logical difference between meat and tobacco should be obvious to you. You could maybe argue that the gov’t *should* be able to control how many steaks or pastries an individual can purchase (which would be crazy), but the reality is it’d be practically impossible to implement portion control for grocery shoppers. So it’s a moot point — not a relevant argument.

          The fact stands that everyone subsidizes smokers’ illnesses through taxes and increased insurance cost. That’s the truth — you can dance around it all you want, and it’ll still be the truth.

      • Our president is an idiot as well then, because he is a smoker too. If we didn’t smoke, you’d be getting taxed more. The next time you’re in traffic on your eco-friendly bicycle inhaling diesel fuel out of a trash truck or metro bus, feel justified in your egotistical stance on smoking.

        • The undocumented Resident is an idiot,smoking or not…

        • sorry about your horrible lifestyle choice. I just had a friend die of lung cancer, you should really quit now. there is a huge difference between smoking and other environmental pollutants. to bring the old lazy “you live in a city and breathe pollution” argument is to effectively say that you’re too close-minded to have an actual conversation with.

      • Don’t worry, alcohol is next after that, perhaps they should tax drugs too, then you’d end up paying your fair share. Let he who is without sin tax cast the first stone!

    • I love how many in this country are now arguing to ban tobacco while simultaneously arguing to legalize cannibus. No one mentioned it in this thread so I thought I’d throw it out there for the sake of discussion.

      • Thats because studies show that even smoking JUST cannibas is safer than smoking JUST cigarettes. There are a number of reasons but i’ll assume if you think about it for a few seconds you’ll realize at least a few…Also, to think smokers add so much to healthcare costs but to ignore the obesity issue is quite misguided. Obesity is as disgusting as smoking and just as easy if not easier to fight. Tax the hell out of cigs, soda, fast food, sweets, and processed food for all i care.

        • We are trying to get this 1c per oz of sugar drinks put into place in DC. Need to keep on this one, such a good idea. Read somewhere that if all sugarry drinks were taxed 1c/oz, that right there would get rid of the obesity epidemic. Make a can of coke an extra 12c each, and all of a sudden it is prohibitively expensive.

          When a 12 pack of coke is $4.44, and the Diet Coke is right next to it for $3.00, pretty easy choice for many consumers.

          • The problem is that when they did this in NY, taxed conveniently rose on Diet Sodas too. Your logic is flawed. Just raise income tax and stop all of this sin tax BS. The reason why people buy tobacco and alcohol is because of a lack of money to solve their debts and obligations. Raising the cost of goods only makes the problem worse. STOP IT.

          • The two reasons people buy tobacco are because 1) they are addicted or 2) because of peer pressure.

            It has nothing to do with debt.

          • “The reason why people buy tobacco and alcohol is because of a lack of money to solve their debts and obligations. Raising the cost of goods only makes the problem worse. STOP IT.”

            You can’t seriously be this dense.

          • I’m not a mind reader. Whatever the Anon poster above me *meant*, they said: “The reason why people buy tobacco and alcohol is because of a lack of money to solve their debts and obligations.”

            Which is wrong. It’s also wrong to say that lower taxes on cigs would improve anyone of limited means’ life — if that’s what that person is trying to say. The idea is that people who can’t afford exhaustively comprehensive health coverage shouldn’t be giving themselves cancer — price them out of the market.

  • Rant: Walking into the office I work in and not even being acknowledged. I am an intern and graduated from college in December. I graduated from an excellent university and I’m currently working on my Master’s degree. I have a higher level of education than most of the people in my office but due to the fact that I’m new to the real world I guess that makes me some sort of unintelligent little minion that gets charged with folding letters. At the end of the day, I’m still a human. I wish people would acknowledge that and give me a chance at a real job. I just want to do something that matters.

    • Oh man. I am reminded how I was when I got out of school. The only advice I can give you is: just because you went to college doesn’t mean you know more than the people that work in that office. I started out as a secretary after college (albeit in a position that required a bachelors) and worked my way up. There’s no room for pride in the real world.

    • maybe it’s because you have a chip on your shoulder about how supposedly educated you are??? sorry for the harsh wakeup call, but it’s your intelligence and ability that should get you far, not your degree… thank goodness for that b/c a lot of those kids coming out of gw sure seem stupid.

      • me

        Agreeing with this. There are so many people just out of school now that want a bunch of recognition for their degrees like they’re Andy Bernard. I would maybe say to cool it with the attitude, because no one likes the guy that thinks he’s hot s*** and better than everyone else, ESPECIALLY when they’re just starting out. I’m sorry, but you’re an unpaid intern, which often is considered by many to be the bottom of the food chain. I’m not saying that’s valid, but that’s the way it often is.

        • I guess my post came off wrong. I am no expert. Like I said, I am a fresh graduate and the only real life experience I have is the fact that I grew up surrounded by the field that I chose to study. I do not think that I am “hot s***.” The final line says that I just want to do something that matters. How is that a bad thing?

          • me

            I understand you “want to do something that matters”. However, look at what employment looks like nowadays. People are lucky to have jobs. People with advanced degrees are waitressing and being baristas to get by. You have an opportunity somewhere that could lead to paid employment there, if you do a good job at whatever they’re having you do, which could very well include stuffing envelopes. You’re fresh out of school, and I have many acquaintences who have been out of GRADUATE school for 8-10 years and are struggling to get into something that they really want to do and would make them feel like their work really matters. I realize you’re impatient, but you gotta realize that this is common in this economy.

          • not a bad thing at all. maybe just keep making the effort to forge relationships with people at work? even if it’s just saying hi, small talk, going to after hours events when they’re held, asking where you can help out if your workload is light, etc. etc. work hard, keep proving that you’re there to learn and it’ll happen for you. a lot of times the work culture is a problem so you just have to do the best you can in that environment.

          • Good luck in your job search. Hang in there and don’t worry about the crappy jobs. I’m sure you’ll have your share until you find something you like.

    • You get menial tasks because people need to build up trust in your work. If they can trust you to do mundane, relatively low-priority tasks, they will eventually trust you to do more “important” work. We have ALL been there. I have a Master’s and I actually enjoy the occasional “folding party” at my office.

    • I’m sorry to say this anon, but everyone has to pay their dues. I have a Masters degree as well, but I had to answer phones and fold letters as well when I first got out of college, but just try to do the best job at whatever task they give you and do it with a smile. It will get better.

    • Ah the young Millennials who don’t like having to pay their dues like the rest of us did. Everyone has to start at the bottom. Get used to it.

    • Actually – yes once you get out of college and into the real world you start as the guy who folds letter. It sucks, but if you’re the guy who takes on the crap work without complaining you’ll end up being the guy who has the trust of the office and gets some cool shit after awhile. Or you can walk around with that chip on your shoulder and continue to fold letters until the end of your internship.

      • No chip here. I do everything they tell me to do as quickly as I can and to the best of my ability. Maybe I’ll get a job by January. Until then, I will continue working at what I’m doing! I’m thankful that I’ve even had the opportunity to live here and do what I’m doing. Some people will never even get that.

    • It sucks your officemates/co-workers ignore you. Sounds like a fairly dysfunctional place if people can’t be bothered to say hello.

      That said, work is often times what you make it. If you want to work in a welcoming place, try asking folks how they spent their weekend. If you want to make a difference, start thinking of new ideas for improving the way your organization does its business.

      I’ve had many interns at my office who strangely expect they will be handed the keys to the boardroom on the first day. Those types of folks generally have trouble finding paid work at my office. The ones who do best (i.e., get an offer to stay at the organization, find a paid job elsewhere in the industry) are those who make an effort to know the other workers, who listen to what people in the office say about the business, and who make relevant suggestions about improving the way work and projects get done.

    • GiantSquid

      When you walk in, do you say ‘hello’? Do you greet your co-workers, ask them how their weekend was, make small talk around the coffee maker/hot pot/water cooler? Or do you just skulk in the door and exude an attitude of ‘I’m better than this’?

      I switched careers and had to go back to the bottom of the totem pole. It was humbling being in an intern ‘class’ with people almost ten years younger than me and for a while I was very prickly and resentful. Then I figured out that wasn’t making the best impression, people just tolerated the acknowledged grumpy folks in the office, and made an effort to be a little more outgoing and interested in the folks I work with every day. After my internship, I was hired on as staff.

      You may not be able to do much with the tasks you are given, somebody has to do the crap work, but they are a different form of education.

    • Did you acknowledge them?

      • Yes, I do. I always have a smile on my face. How could I just neglect to acknowledge someone? That would just be rude of me.

        • I guess I’m confused as to how this goes down. I work in a rather large office building so I don’t say hi to everyone I pass on the way in the door in the morning. They don’t say hi to me and I think we’re all okay with that. If someone says hi to me, I say hi back. So I’m confused as to whether you are saying good morning to people and they are not responding (which seems very rude, but highly unlikely) or if you are just silently stewing that people are not giving you the unsoliceted morning greetings. Which seems fine if you don’t say anything to them. In summary, I need more evidence before I am going to declare all of your co-workers horrible people.

          • Haha! They are not horrible people. I’ll just keep telling myself they are just caught up in work. The offie is small. I can typically count the number of people on one hand.

          • just for the record, I think it’s pretty unethical to “hire” an unpaid intern. horrible horrible business practices on these people. you should take as many pencils and post-its as you can.

    • Not so long ago I was a unpaid intern. I don’t think you were being ungrateful – just explaining your credentials and the desire for more opportunities to further your experience. It’ll come.

      At my first paid job, as a Executive Assistant – which I thought I was too good for (I look back now & think that job really taught me a lot), my coworkers were adamant that all recent college grads should be grateful to have retail jobs. My question to them was…why spend all that time/effort/money on college then?

    • “You’re born, you take shit…
      you get out in the world, you take more shit…
      climb a little higher and you take less shit,
      until one day you’re on that rarefied atmosphere and you’ve forgotten what shit even looks like.
      Welcome to the layer cake son…”

    • Honestly, please get over yourself. You’re a fresh college graduate and the sense of entitlement you have is ridiculous. Pay your dues, put in the work and effort needed and you’ll get the respect and recognition you deserve in time. These things don’t happen overnight but take years of putting in hard work.

      I’m always reminded of the scene from season 4 of Mad Men when Peggy complains to Don about the Cleo Award. What he tells her is something every 20-something needs to hear.

      I’m a 26 year old female in the early stages of my career and hearing the complaints of people my age who demand respect and high salaries without working hard makes my ears bled.

      • I’m not sure what the OP said that made you think he/she has a ridiculous “sense of entitlement.”

        Is it that much to expect of folks to say hello when you walk into the office on Monday morning? Sure, Mondays suck, but they suck less if everyone can be pleasant to everybody else.

      • Wow, I never demanded any sort of high salary. I’d be incredibly excited to even score a job that pays 25k a year. I also think respect is an important thing that each person in our society should have. I respect everyone. Does this mean that due to the fact that I just graduated college less than a year ago I deserve no respect? I’m not asking them to hire me and give me a corner office paying 100k+ a year and give me a personal assistant. I just want a job that matters, and helps pay the rent. Geeze, people are such bullies.

    • Welcome to the world of work. Now get back to folding those letters.

      • WOW! Everyone took turns spanking the poor woman for just wanting more responsibility and more acknowledgment. She is there UNPAID so clearly she is not LAZY or ungrateful. She seems like a really nice, focused, responsible young woman. No need for all the sarcasm, all the holier than thou soapbox speeches about how things were in 1965 when you got out of college and had to trim the hair off of horses balls, this is a different time. Stop with the notions that she somehow needs to lower her expectations and be grateful that she can afford to buy tampons and that she has an UNPAID internship that many would kill for because frankly, most young people aren’t interested in unpaid internships after college, BUT GUESS WHAT? SHE IS! Kudos to her! In this economy, I completely understand her desire and push to better herself, and if that means coming across as aggressive and a bit self entitled then so be it. She paid thousands for higher education, so stop lynching her for wanting a bite out of the fruits of her labor. She is doing the RIGHT THING by getting experience and didn’t even ask for FINANCIAL COMPENSATION so a “GOOD MORNING” in return should be in order from those pompous assholes.

  • Rant: Round two of knee surgery scheduled for next Friday.
    Rant: Mom has neck fusion surgery on Wednesday in Philly and I don’t have any PTO to go up and be with her…
    Rave: I’ll be up there this weekend and I have wonderful family and friends who will be with her every step of the way.

  • Rave: A chill weekend where I didn’t force myself to go out or do anything I didn’t want to do. Sheer bliss.

    Rant: Very very tired. Barely slept last night.

    Rave: Fall weather this weekend?

    Rave: Going to Ocean City to get away.

    It’s the little things in life.

  • Rant: It is still hot and sticky this late in September, and yet there is no sun.

    Rave: Cardinals are making a playoff push!

  • Rant – Back from vacation. Very sad.
    Rant – I HATE flying. HATE! Last year I read up a lot on how planes fly and it calmed me down A LOT, but a lot of the fear came back on this trip. Blech.

    • I hate flying too. Reading Ask A Pilot column on Salon helps, and I always try to remember that planes are meant to be in the air. Standing on the ground is an unnatural state for them!

  • Rant: lenwood johnson

  • Rant: Had a job interview about a month ago that went really well and still haven’t heard anything. Sent a follow-up email to the HR rep who said she would look into where they were in the process and get back to me. She hasn’t. I get that I didn’t get the position, but at least send a thanks but no thanks email.

    Double rant: I have a feeling that I was solely interviewed because the agency thought they get information out of me that could be used against my agency during trial. I can’t prove this of course, but many of the questions they asked me were too specific to my current field and not relevant to the new one.

    Rave: I kept my answers generic as to not lend them any information they have no right knowing.

    Rant: I still feel used as a result.

    Rave: I have a job now that I don’t mind most of the time.

    Rant: I’m underappreciated and very underpaid.

    Rave: 10 more months and I get to quit and move to Hong Kong.

    Rant: I will most likely be working in some mindless position that offers me no challenges there.

    • I’m in the same boat (minus the being used for info part…). My interview was 8/31 and I thought I rocked it. I’ve sent 2 emails to HR which went unanswered. I called HR once and she said they would have something “by Friday”, but that was 2 weeks ago. I just want to know if I didn’t get it so that I can stop wondering if they’re going to call me.

      • Good luck to you!

        Maybe this is common business practice now, but it seems ridiculous to take people’s time and then not give them an answer. Especially when I know they didn’t interview more than 5 people for the position.

  • Rant: Two drunk guys were passed out on Park Rd last night at about 9pm. One was sprawled all over the sidewalk. Yay Fiesta DC.

    Rant: Saw 3 bicyclists without lights or reflectors while driving home around midnight on Saturday. Do those people just have a death wish?

    Rave: Got a really good run in on Saturday. It always amazes me how few people are on the trails in Rock Creek Park.

    • Really? What time do you run in RCP? I ran on Saturdy morning and Sunday afternoon and it was PACKED (especially on Saturday) with all kinds of exercisers. Glad to see the park getting such use!

      • Yeah, I feel like RCP is always pretty packed on Saturday mornings. It seems to clear out a bit by early afternoon which is when I normally go running there. I’m guessing Sunday gets more people throughout the day?

        Plus, RCP is a pretty big place, and many dirt trails don’t seem to get a ton of traffic (except for the folks walking their dogs off-leash **rant**)

      • You might be talking about different trails. The paved bike path is always heavily used but the many foot trails through the woods are the most sadly underused resource in the city.

  • Rant: Carpet beetles

    Rave: at least they aren’t bed bugs?

    Rant: Baking soda isn’t doing the trick

  • Exactly. I meant the single track foot trails like the Valley trail and the Western Ridge trail. They’re hardly ever used compared to the bike paths and are really pretty decent trails.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Bought my niece the most amazing blue eyeliner for her dance this weekend. It looks awesome on her.

    Rave: “fork boy”

  • Rave: had a great time at the Wilco show at Merriweather last night.

    Rant: super tired today as a result.

  • Neither a rant nor revel….but am moving to the Hill in a few weeks and am curious of folks’ thoughts about either Results or Wash Sports Club–I will visit both, but just wondering what peoples’ experiences have been. Thanks!

  • Rant: Little man had a stomach virus and a fever all weekend!

    Rave: He is much better today (yeah for fast healing)!

    Rave: When he is sick he is cuddly, while normally not at all cuddly. (I admit I love the cuddly part!)

  • I’m a member of the Downtown Results Gym and I love it.

  • Rave: had a birthday party to celebrate my 50th, and it was so much fun!

    Rave: finally installed a new ceiling fan in the living room.

    Rant/Rave: my twin boys turn 18 today. Uh-oh. But we’re going to the Melting Pot for their birthday dinner.

  • claire

    Rave: Great weekend, did a whole lot as my boyfriend’s sister is in town – highlights were the solar decathlon (we went twice, and I’ll probably be back, the houses are ridiculously impressive) and apple-picking.

    Rant: Was too busy to cross anything off my to-do list, and now I’m going to be swamped this week and next weekend.

  • Bike Owners in Columbia Heights: Beware of leaving bikes outside of residences overnight, even with secured locks such as U-locks.

    On Thursday, 9/22, I was alerted to a loud noise in the front of my house in Columbia Heights. The time was about 4:00 am. I looked through the pane of my door and observed someone attempted to use a cordless tool, perhaps a small sander, to cut the U-lock that secured my bike to the porch iron railing.

    I knocked on the door and the suspect ran away. The suspect was a black male with dreadlocks. He appeared to be between 16-21 years old, 5′ 6″ to 5′ 8″ tall with a dark complexion.

  • Lots of Rants: I’m sick as hell; threw my back out 2 weeks ago and it still isn’t right; a friend died of ovarian cancer and didn’t tell anyone she was sick (I know privacy is your right but damn; another friend reports to federal prison tomorrow for embezzling from the company (how stupid).

    Raves: I leave for Florida on Sat sick or not; nothing beats a Nyquil induced haze.

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