Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Néstor Sánchez Cordero

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. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

Rave: It was great to see so many familiar and new faces at last night’s happy hour. Thanks to everyone who made it out despite the bad weather. And thanks to Acre 121 for being great hosts. For those that were looking to donate to the St. Baldrick’s foundation, you can do so here.

97 Comment

  • Rave: An awesome response from Jezebel on the all-male reproductive health panel. http://jezebel.com/5886986/all+woman-panel-has-some-great-ideas-about-mens-sexual-health

  • This election is going to be hilarious.

  • Just found out my coworker’s wife died unexpectedly this morning. Also heard 43 year old Andrew Breitbart died early this morning. What a day.

    • I’m sorry to hear about this loss. Do you post comments CH columns frequently or is it just a sad coincidence that someone else wrote something similar?

      • Not sure what “CH columns” are, so I think it is probably a coincidence. Thanks, though. All of the people at our office are in shock.

  • Rant: That a man with a cane actually had to ask for a priority seat on the metro….pathetic.

    Rant: No work at work. No upcoming projects, no current projects, nothing. Seriously bored out of my mind, and am getting serious about a job search.

    Rave: I have one of my favorite outfits on today! And I have bare legs! Yay warmth!

    Rave: Husband has a job interview today!

    • em

      When I had a broken foot, I often had to ask for a priority seat even with the visible prompt of using a cane – people don’t pay attention or feign ignorance in hopes that someone else will have to give up their seat.

  • claire

    Rant: Didn’t make it out to the PoP happy hour last night. Maybe because I work a bit later (usually until 6) and out in the suburbs (hooray reverse commute), but I just don’t understand how people do happy hours! I always need dinner asap when I get home… oh well, maybe next time!

    Rave: Made the oatmeal-coconut-peanut butter balls someone (Elza, I think? Who, if I recall from the one happy hour I made it to, actually shares my name?) posted on here, and they are so delicious and addictive! Thanks again for the recipe! Next time I think I might try using maple syrup instead of honey.

    Rave: Weather today is so nice! I’m beyond ready for spring!
    Rant: Stuck in a windowless office all day.

    Rave: I’ve decided I should try to smile more. As someone who suffers from chronic bitchface (see this comic: http://blog.krisatomic.com/?p=1617 ), I think this might help me not intimidate people so much. And also help me be a more positive person.

  • Rave: Taco night last night

    Rant/Question: Does anyone know what was going on down Benning Rd. last night? I assume it was a fire with the amount of cop cars, fire trucks, amublances and such that kept coming down the road for over a hour. I don’t think I have ever heard that amount of sirens for so long.

    • Yeah, I heard all that too. Also wondering!

    • Not sure exactly what happened, but it was on 20th Street between E and Gales. Loads of fire trucks, squad cars, fire marshall trucks, etc– but didn’t see any smoke or smell anything suspicious.

    • Pop, do you know anything about this? I know the majority of your readers that love H St. so, dare not cross the starburst onto Benning but there are those of us that live out that way that love the site. And there are more and more people moving out that way.

      • WFD 2004 Rosedale St. E10, E08, T13, T07 responded.

        • So what does that really mean?

          • Working Fire Dispatch. i.e. the first engine got there and there was actually smoke and fire. E= engines, they put water on it. T=truck, they open up the structure. So, working fire dispatch which resulted in 2 engines and 2 trucks. Most WFDs also automatically dispatch the Rescue Squad (big truck with extra crew in the back, no on board water) and EMS (ambulance).

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Hmm, I have a post about a shooting and arrest at 17th and Constitution Ave NE but I think that was earlier. What time did this incident occur?

      • It was about right after I got home and was making dinner so maybe call it around 6:30ish. I have heard a lot of sirens before but this was something else. You would have thought a hole block was on fire or something.

        I checked the 5D yahoo group and nothing is there.

  • Minor Rant: Only one in my family without a smart phone. Therefore, when everyone texts back and forth in a group message, I just get tons of individual text messages!!

    Rave: Two year anniversary of my Uncle’s double lung transplant. He’s healthy and happy and we’re so lucky to have him here :-D.

    Rave: Bare legs (beware though, they’re pasty white!!)!! Bike ride in the beautiful weather!! What a nice March so far!

  • Rant: Didn’t make it to the PoP happy hour either. A combination of bad weather and a packed schedule through next week made me want some chill time. I hope to make it out to the next one though.

    Rave: After getting semi-upsetting news that the company I work for as a temp (for 4 months) is on a hiring freeze, I decided to force myself to not be upset and instead took it as a sign to light a fire under my ass about applying to other jobs. Thank you to everyone who gave me advice about making myself stand out…

    Rave2: I applied, and followed up with the supervisor of the position, to 2 jobs last night, and got a call for an interview for one already! Now I just have to work up the nerve to ask for a reference at my current company (same industry) which I’ve never done before.

  • msmaryedith

    Are there any updates about the cyclist from the accident the other morning? I hope he is ok.

  • Any news on what happened at 16th and Lamont this morning (8:30ish)? Dozens of cops and an ambulance, surrounding (I think) a metrobus.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Another cyclist was hit by a car. He refused treatment from the ambulances on scene.

      • I don’t mean to be an idiot, but why would one refuse treatment from the ambulance on the scene?

        • Refusing treatment just means they checked you out and think you’re fine, but you have the option of being taken to the hospital. For liability purposes you have to say you’ve refused treatment if you agree that no treatment is needed.

  • Rant: Sometimes (and it seems it’s happening more frequently these days) my job gets so frustrating that I want to throw my hands up and just quit. I have a “catch-all” type position so I get a million different types of tasks to do without any rhyme or reason. I work for 35 different bosses (I am not exaggerating, although some are more boss-like than others) and not a single one of them acknowledges that I may be busy with someone else’s work and that I can’t always drop everything for them. I get paid less than the secretaries (even though I have more education and am considered management) and when denied a raise I was told that what I make now is “pretty darn good for my age.” I get excluded from Administrative Professionals Day because I am not a secretary but what I do is almost exclusively administrative. To top it all off, I asked if getting a Masters degree would lead to a raise and a more defined position with an assistant and was told yes and then strongly encouraged to do it (a few of my bosses even wrote recommendations for me). So, now I am spending gobs of my own money and sacrificing my social life at night to get this Masters degree but instead of my job becoming more structured to what we decided on, it seems new tasks and new responsibilities will just be tacked on to everything else I already do.

    • Is your raise and clarification dependent on your graduation from the program? Good luck with getting what you deserve, it sounds frustrating.

      • Nothing was ever formally decided. I was told that I make good money for my age but if I triple this one particular part of the business then I can call myself Queen and make whatever I want. I said I’m going to need some of my time freed up from trivial projects and that I’ll need some training/education to make it happen. I asked if they’d help pay for a Masters and they said they’d chip in about 10% of tuition. As for freeing up my time, that has not happened nor does it look like it will happen. Before ending the conversation I said that if I go through with this Masters it’s going to cost me a lot and I’ll become more valuable. I asked if getting the Masters alone, without tripling the business, would result in a raise and they said yes. Basically now, having finished one semester, they are putting more responsibility on me that is relevant to the degree I am getting but it is in addition to everything else I have always done so I am extremely busy and only able to half-ass everything. I don’t believe they will give me a big enough raise when they finally do and I very highly doubt anyone will be hired underneath me to help me out. Even though I don’t want to leave, I think I’m going to have to once I graduate in order to get paid what I am worth and have a position that utilizes my education. I just feel like I am stretched too thin here and not at all appreciated. When I asked for the raise I had worked here for 2 years and had completely re-vamped the marketing efforts, re-created logos, built two websites (with no experience just teaching myself as I went) and doubled the part of the business I am now supposed to triple. I got nothing for doing all that even when I could prove that comparable positions elsewhere pay, at the very least, 20k more than what I make. I should just be thankful that I have a stable job (I would be extremely hard to replace at this point) and that they are helping a bit with tuition. I just need to be patient.

        • yuh oh. what’s your Masters going to be in?

          • PR and Corporate Communications from Georgetown

          • Interesting. So why are you the one doing logos and websites? Or did you just mean managing those projects? It doesn’t sound like this place is well run. You should get your degree and go somewhere better. If people aren’t totally supporting you, odds are they’re not being supported either. Maybe you can go into your next salary talk aimed with what other people in your position with your experience make? That makes it hard to ignore that they’re underpaying you.

          • And I’d question the mind set of the company that makes an employer learn about website design on their own instead of hiring a qualified web design firm to do to the work. They seem cheap!

          • I do logos, graphic design, marketing, PR, website development and content creation, event coordination, you name it. I was actually excited to learn how to build websites and didn’t mind that task at all. I just want to be appreciated for all the hard work I do and how far above and beyond I go. I don’t manage these projects, I actually do them, start to finish, by myself. It’s hard to find comparable positions because I do so many different things but each position I do generally makes more than what I get paid – and I went in armed with that fact last time. It didn’t work.

            I have good days and bad days – today just happens to be a day when they expect the world of me and how little I get in return is glaringly obvious.

            I’m making great connections through my grad program so if things don’t shape up here it shouldn’t be too hard to find a more suitable job.

            Deep breaths. Ranting about it did make be feel better though. =)

          • woah. with all due respect, you should either be a graphic designer or a pr/communications person. you won’t get where you want to go by being a jack of all trades master of none. I’ve seen this a million times. as maria mentioned above, any company that is using a staff member who is not qualified to do these things is suspect.

            as you are studying communications and not design, I suggest you try to get a position in the future that has you doing actual communications. and since you have “experience” with design, you should be able to then manage projects where you hire actual designers to do what they are experts at… just my unsolicited 2 cents.

    • Their presumption that what you make is “pretty darn good for your age” is unbelievably ageist and offensive. Get out of there.

      • I know, right? The only downside to my age (late-twenties) is that I haven’t hardened up enough yet to say “fuck you” when I really ought to.

        • That’s one of the most important lessons you can learn. The power of “no” is strong. It doesn’t have anything to do with age either — I think some people are just afraid of not being seen as nice. Guess what? People respect you more when you stand up for yourself.

          • I would also add that an equally important lesson is that there’s a huge difference between “no” and “fuck you” (and the corresponding amounts of respect you get in response).

      • Yeah, I’d quit this place the second I found anything better. If you’re underpaid, no reason to stay.

        • I would never say “fuck you” but I do need to learn to stick up for myself a bit more than I do now, respectfully of course. That’s definitely something I will work on.

          • I know you’re ranting and getting it off your chest, and that can be a good thing if it relieves pressure so you don’t pop at work. That said, a few comments: I am sure you didn’t refer to ‘trivial projects’ when you spoke with your bosses – they don’t want to hear that. Also, if you feel that your workload is such that you are half-assing it, you need to have a very frank discussion with your supervisor – not to complain, but to explain that you can’t do your best work – because you don’t seem to be empowered to say ‘no’ or to prioritize your various boss’s requests. Bottom line is, this doesn’t sound like a very supportive place to work, but I would grit my teeth and do what it takes until you get the degree – don’t focus on the current short comings, just get ready to move on, calmly and professionally. It might take a couple of years, which I know seems too long, but it will happen. As you go through the degree you are likely to learn about other options for the future. Get the degree, get the tuition reimbursement, then use the school connections, and get out — BUT land a new job first. (PS – Be sure your employer won’t require you to pay back the tuition benefit if you don’t stay with them for XX years – some do.) Good luck.

  • Rave: Got to bike to work in the beautiful weather this morning.
    Rant: Have to be at work instead of enjoying the weather.
    Rave: At least I have a window to start longingly out of all day today.

  • Rant: Class group project, arg!!! One of our group members tried to cheat us by submitting a paper to us with some other person’s name on it?!?! Project is due Monday and now we have to spend the weekend working on the project because of that idiot group member.

  • Rant: What the hell am I doing with my life? I feel like all signs point to “get out of DC” but the thought of starting over somewhere new all over again is daunting. I have not lived in the same place for more than 2 years since high school. I want to be settled and plant roots but random curveballs have prevented me from doing that here, and I’ve been here for almost 3 years. I don’t usually believe in “signs” but some of the things that have happened to me are just plain weird and I feel like something is telling me it’s time to leave DC. But where to go? I think the one place that would allow both my husband and I to have lots of career opportunities is NY/NJ but….blah.

    • this sounds exactly like me. i feel you on the career road blocks and possibly needing to get out of dc. good luck with it.

    • ooh, do share specifics. you know us, we love to give bad advice wherever possible. I have a hard time believing leaving dc is a good thing since job prospects here are better than anywhere else in most industries. I have a lot of friends who always think the grass is greener, but in the end they find out that wherever they end up, their discontentments follow.

    • I am ready to leave DC. A lot of my friends have moved out of the Baltimore/DC area or have gotten so tied down with jobs that I rarely see them anymore. Don’t believe anyone who says, “So what? Make new ones.” In a metropolitan-type city, big or small, making new friends is no small task. Thankfully, I have some good friends who are settled in the New York area who love the city, and are encouraging me to get up there (I’ve been bitching about this for years.)

      This will be my third year living in this city and I truly feel my time is up. My job’s hub is in New York, I love the culture and arts scene so much more than here and am ready for the City That Never Sleeps. Thus, I have created a countdown clock for my departure: Feb. 1, 2013 — I move to New York City!

      Life is short. Don’t settle.

  • Rave: finally made it to a PoP happy hour, albeit late. it was nice to meet those of you that I met. Cheers!

    Rave: went for a nice little trot around the ‘hood this morning, but should have ridden my bike to work. Alas. Sometimes I just want to sit on the Metro and read.

  • Rave: The weather!
    Rant: This week’s project: a 350 piece mailing. Makes me more depressed every day. I can do more than this!
    Rave: I have a lunch date with an 80 year-old Jesuit priest…!
    Rant/Rave: Happy hour tonight for a friend who is moving to NYC. I want to move to NYC……..

    • what’s stopping you? it’s a great city. if i didn’t have such wonderful family and friends ( and free museums) here, i’d move there.

      • My main fear is that, coming from a quiet, polite, Midwestern state, I won’t be able to hack it in the big city. I’ve been here for 7 years (holy crap!) as of tomorrow………….and while I LOVE DC, its not like I’m necessarily tied to much.

  • RAVE: About to take a nice long walk during my lunch break! Maybe I’ll pick up an iced green tea along the way.

    Rave: No rants! I’m feeling good and excited for the weekend.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Can’t think of any affordable gifts to buy parents. Found an amazing gift for mother, but way too spendy.

    Rave: Guilty TV night!

    • whats affordable?

      • Emmaleigh504

        about $30 each, the amazing thing I found was $890, not even a stretch in budget would work.

        • oof. that is a stretch. i’d try the Appalachian Springs store at union station or Art Spring in silver spring. both great places for gifts.

        • as someone who is probably your parents age, let me assure you we would rather you didn’t spend a lot of money. There comes a point in life where truely it is the thought, or a very nice note in a card, that counts.

          • Emmaleigh504

            My parents are like that. Even if I made millions my mother would rather me save my $ then spend $890 on 1 gift. She might expect me to up my gift budget to $50, but more than that would be too much.

            I just want to find them something nice that they will like, which is getting more difficult since, as my father says, “I’ve got everything I want, except maybe a piano.” I bought him a piano ornament 1 year, so now he has one of those. (My mother would kill me if I bought him a real piano that made noise.)

        • Tickets to something they would enjoy, especially something they might not usually do. A concert, cooking class, paintball – think “experience” more than “thing” something fun and novel.

    • are either of your parents into cooking/gardening? Territorial Seed sells grow your own mushroom kits that are really cool for about $30. They have one that tastes like lobster!

  • I see people make reference to the “wonderful friends” they have in DC. Where does one find these wonderful friends? We’ve been here for several years and have yet to make true friends. (and yes, we had friends where we came from)

    • haha been living here 4 years and can’t seem to find them either..

    • Neighbors, people you met at a trivia night, friends who go to sporting events that I share interest in, former co-workers, people who i met through shared hobbies, striking up a (nonflirtatious) conversation while eating a dinner at a pub. So many places.

      It gets harder as you get older. DC is not special in this regard. Making friends is a skill we never really learn – as kids, we’re friends with neighbors, schoolmates or people in similar activities. So… do the same as an adult.

    • Have a kid 🙂 Once mine hit preschool, we plugged into a network of other parents and met some really great people. Before that, yes, it was tough as an adult far from my home town to meet people. I’ve never been one to make friends with coworkers.

      • Um, no. haha But yeah, I can definitely see that being a way to meet people/other parents. Won’t be doing that though (getting a little too late anyway).

    • My friends have been neighbors, then was opened up to their world of friends. If you take any sort of classes at local universities it is super easy to meet friends there. Work is great, too. I’ve also made some good friends through the organization where I volunteer weekly. The fun part is meeting friends of friends and expanding the circle that way. We have BBQ’s and other parties at our house a lot and are liberal in our invitations, this has also lead to an expansion of good friends. You do need to do a bit of work in finding friends, but they are out there.

    • binpetworth

      I think it often depends on where you work–I’ve been fortunate to have been employed at two places with a lot of people around my age, with the same life circumstances, who have the time for happy hours, board game nights, etc. While I can’t vouch for what KenyonDweller says (I’m single sans kids), I think being single helps in that you’re not tied down to accommodating someone else’s schedule.

      That said, I’m always up for meeting new people, so get my details from PoP if you want 🙂

    • Not exactly inviting over our friendly local crack dealers from the block. :p

      But in all seriousness, we’ve met people, exchanged emails/numbers, followed up/invited them to do things, and nothing. It’s really discouraging. Been here eight years and find it such a lonely and miserable city. There were probably 40 people at our going away party when we left our previous city, and if we had one here today there might be 4.

      Re work, it definitely depends on your office environment. That has not been a good source for either of us here.

      • Almost all of our friends are people that live in close proximity to our neighborhood. I find it much easier to stay in touch and plan things when you live close to each other. We have met a few people that live out in the suburbs and it just doesn’t seem to work.

      • What about an alumni group from your university? I went to a big sports school, so although I’m not super crazy about football and/or basketball, it’s an excuse to get together with people from my college and have a good time.

    • talula

      I hear ya. I moved to DC about 5 months ago, and I haven’t really made friends here yet. My co-workers are mostly older than me, they have kids and live out in the burbs so they are not interested in any type of happy hour or after work activities. My apartment building is large and people tend to keep to themselves. I think the most substantial relationship I have here is with the guy who makes my coffee every morning.

      I know there was just a PoP happy hour yesterday (unfortunately I couldn’t go) but maybe there should be “I’m new to DC and I need friends” happy hour?

      • msmaryedith

        Talula, are you a reader? I have a book club with a group of very nice girls–we’re mostly between 25 and 32.

        • talula

          Why yes I am! I actually recently joined a book club through a friend I knew in grad school, but would be very interested in joining another to meet some new people (and I like reading).

          Is there a way PoP can hook me up with your contact info?

        • Emmaleigh504

          I like to read, and I’m a librarian, can I join your book club?

          • I’m looking for a book club, too! Can PoP share our contact information with each other?

          • msmaryedith

            You are welcome to email me–msmaryedith at gmail is an account I have for junk mail, so send me a message there and I’ll email you back from my real account. We meet about every 5-6 weeks and just had a meeting Tuesday, so we haven’t even sent out the Evite yet.

    • It took me a long time to make ‘wonderful friends’ in this city………………..and I’m so grateful to have found them! That being said, 95% of my friends come from church. If anything, it’s a great place to meet some nice people!

  • Rave: DC enforcing the new “All Must Pay” law at meters starting today. I see all sorts of Maryland and VA cars with handicap placards and tickets today.

    Rant: At least near my office, DC has not removed the stickers on the meters that say handicap placards get 4 free hours of parking.

  • Rant: Was too sick last night to go to the PoP happy hour, which I’d been looking forward to.

    Rant: Still feeling sick today.

  • It’s not you, it’s DC.

  • What is up with Brown’s Bakery on GA Ave? Did they close permanently? If so, that is my Rant.


  • Rave: Had a lovely lunch out with friends from work.

    Rant: The lunch was for one of my favorite colleagues who is leaving DC.

  • Rant: Spent all day yesterday and all morning today fighting with a database program to mine data for a project that could get good attention if it comes together right. The program is notorioulsy slow and difficult to work with, and I was getting no where with the deadline looming.
    Rave: After lunch, for no apparent reason, everything changed – the program became extremely responsive, and I got all the info I needed – 1pm – 3pm was probably more productive than all morning and all day yesterday. Phew.

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