Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012

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.

95 Comment

  • me

    Rave: I am getting super excited to see my best friend from college this weekend! SO excited.

    Rant: I have an honest question for you guys. What is an appropriate thing to say in an office environment to someone who eats so loudly and messily all of the time and is less than 4 feet away from me (we share a very small office with no wall between us)? Talks while eating and smacks so loudly that food goes everywhere. The noises drive me bonkers. She eats all of the time, so I can’t leave the office when she eats. We aren’t allowed to have radios/iPods in the building, and I tried wearing earplugs, but my manager saw me and told me not to do that in case a client saw or wanted my attention. While she isn’t senior to me, she has been here longer and is a few years older. I honestly can’t think of a nice way to bring it to her attention that I can’t concentrate and am very grossed out by it! My manager says to just deal with it, as I asked her what she thought I could do. I honestly can’t think of a nice way to put it. Any thoughts/help?

    • There are 7 billion people in this world now; very few people can afford to have their petty hangups respected.

    • Agree. Toughen up, Princess. It’s part of sharing space. You have habits that are annoying to her as well.

      • this is a patronizing and ridiculous comment. it’s not an unreasonable complaint.

        p.s. stop eating at your desk, your coworkers think you are disgusting.

        • It’s not patronizing; it’s a bonk on the nose that sometimes reality is accepting that life isn’t always about “me”. I share space with a woman who sings constantly. She is aweful yet I don’t say a word because it makes her work day go by more pleasantly. I’ve learned how to tune it out. It’s part of life learning how to coexist.

          • if you find it awful that just means you’re a pushover. I don’t find your solution to be some sort of zen you’ve reached.

            and I’m sorry, but calling someone princess is a jerk move.

        • I am not a pushover. It’s not because I am afraid to put on my big girl pants and to something but because I choose that her pleasure in singing is greater than my displeasure in hearing when I can compensate relatively easily whereas for her to stop reflexively singing would be rather difficult.

        • You just made me laugh. You are being as patronizing/dismissive as you accused me of being; by saying you weren’t going to engage you did engage; you went to the standard defense of attacking the messenger rather than the message.

    • Are you for real? Grow up.

      • me

        Yeah, I am for real. Talk to me when you speak to someone and they are spitting food on you, in your face, and I actually got some granola spat in my eye this morning. That was fun.

        • So what did you do when the granola hit you in the eye? Did you mention it at the time or did you do the thing where you both pretend that no one noticed?

        • anon. gardener

          if you just recently started sharing this space, you could say, I notice that you eat at your desk a lot – is there not a break room here? In a nice, I’m just looking for information kind of way. Other than that, what other people said – if you have a phone call to make, you can say you need it to be quiet for the phone call, and the noise she makes is distracting, could you stop for 5 minutes. I think the key is to be very specific – this is distracting right now – and refer to the noise of the food wrappers/bags, not her mouth. Any reference to her physical person is just too sensitive and bound to be taken the wrong way.
          and a little light joking isn’t necessarily passive aggressive if you use the right tone.

        • Really? The person spit granola in your face and you still don’t know how to handle this?

    • more constructively perhaps, why don’t you tease this person a bit about it? that’ll at least draw attention to the issue, without blowing it up into something big.

    • To me,

      Honestly, I don’t think there’s much you can do beyond “dealing with it” and learning to work/focus/absorb into your own thing when co-worker eats. I say this because it sounds as if you’ve mentioned something to your manager and your manager says, “…deal with it.” The manager’s response pretty much sets the tone for how this issue will be handled. To be fair, it would be a tough situtation for a manager to come down really hard on someone for their eating style or preferences but depending upon the atmosphere of the office, s/he could pull co-worker aside and say something but that has to be a really cool, comfortable, laid-back atmosphere and many managers won’t be willing to do that. I don’t know what your relationship with your colleague is but if it’s good, I think it would be ashame to risk upsetting that for the sake of his/her eating habits, as unappetizing as they may be. If you do not have a good relationship with your colleague, then maybe some of your resentment is being routed through this issue (a possibility). Either way, the only time I think is similar set of circumstances that you could say something would be either if smell is too overpowering, you might be able to say something about that specific food smell, though colleague could simply ignore your plea. The other time you might be able to say something would be if you need to focus and can’t do your task with a lot of noise (e.g., if you’re reading something that requires a lot of concentration). In this case, it would be helpful to state that the problems lies with you (e.g., “I’m not able to concentrate unless the room is quiet.”). Good luck.

    • Wow, I can’t believe people are giving you flak for this. The jerky comments above must be from gross open-mouth eaters themselves.

      It’s my worst nightmare that I’ll have to work next to somebody who makes loud, disgusting eating noises all the time. I really feel for you. I wouldn’t really know what to do, but maybe you could explain to her that you have a particular sensitivity to eating noises and it makes it extremely difficult for you to concentrate on your work? Maybe say you were wondering if she wouldn’t mind eating in your break room or wherever your office has a space for that?

      If that doesn’t work, I think you should have another talk with your supervisor and say it’s affecting your concentration and work and you’d really appreciate if you could wear headphones while she’s eating. I can’t believe your manager brushed it off… I’d immediately make a “no eating at your desk” rule.

      Good luck!

      • Additionally, if you can’t wear headphones because clients come around… how ridiculously unprofessional is it that this woman is constantly eating at her desk?!?!!!! maybe you can play that angle?

      • agree with your first comment whole heartedly. no need to respond in a condescending, rude manner. if you don’t like the question and/or think someone’s acting like a princess, then don’t respond. it’s just common courtesy.

    • I’m also laughing at all the flack you’re getting for this comment–doesn’t everyone rant about petty stuff on here?!

      This would drive me absolutely crazy, as for some reason I have a weird sensitivity to eating noises. My coworker crunches ice every single day and it makes me want to break down into tears, haha. Nothing I can do about it, of course, as it bothers only me.

      That said, you might just have to deal with it. As someone else said, perhaps you could frame it in terms of looking professional in front of clients. Is there someone other than your manager that you could speak to about your concerns about people eating messily at their desks in general, and not targeted at this person in particular? Maybe HR could send a reminder that employees are expected to eat as covertly as possible if they have food at their desks.

      Otherwise you probably have to deal with it, as I do. 🙂

      • Well the Internet is where neurotics come to share there neurosis. But asking for advice for elevating “living-in-my-head” chat to real-world action deserves a reorientation to reality.

      • The sound of people eating popcorn (esp. at the movies) is the worst!

      • Re: crunching ice.

        If your co-worker crunches ice, there is a possibility that s/he could be anemic. People with iron-deficiencies tend to be ice-crunchers. Otherwise, s/he could just like to crunch ice.

        • I don’t even think she knows she does it. She just gets an iced coffee every single morning and slowly crunches down on every single ice cube over the course of several hours. AAAAA.

          As I said, it i just a weird hang up of mine. I also HATE when people bite carrots super loudly. Yo, it isn’t that hard to eat a carrot without making dramatic echoing crunching sounds. Sigh. Nothing I can do.

      • I think I like Elza’s advice the best of all I’ve seen so far.

        A couple of jobs ago, when I moved into a bigger cubicle and thus had new cubicle neighbors, the co-worker on one side of me asked if I could type more quietly.

        I was dumbfounded. I’ve been typing the way I type for about 20 years and I don’t think I could change it if I tried. Plus I think of keyboard noise as one of those things that comes with an office environment.

        Since as we were allowed to wear headphones/earplugs if we wanted to, I didn’t see how whatever typing noise I was making constituted any kind of big deal. I felt affronted that she’d brought the issue up, and it hurt my feelings.

        I don’t think there’s a nice way to confront your colleague with the fact that her loud eating is bothering you. Unless you can get the manager to take it up with her on the grounds that clients might find it unprofessional, I think you probably have to tolerate it.

        If you do confront her, you risk seriously damaging your working relationship.

    • Maybe you could try to find a polite way to discuss it with the coworker? You could explain that she may not realize it, but her eating habits are somewhat disturbing to others. If you said it in a private setting and in a non-patronizing way, it might go over well. I’ve found that the majority of problems (especially office-related issues) can be solved by just talking to the person in question in an honest and non-catty way.

      If that’s not an option, maybe you can talk to the manager again about possibly banning eating at one’s desk. It is kind of gross…

    • The reason why you can’t think of a “nice” way to call your officemate’s attention to something personal to her that you find offensive is because there is no “nice” way to do that. Even if your complaint is objectively (in the eyes of most people) or only subjectively (in your eyes) reasonable, there’s no way to word it that won’t be insulting to her in some degree. So if you’re only willing to say something if it can be said in a “nice” way, you’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it. If you’re willing to offend her, a simple “I apologize if this comes off as petty or offensive to you, but it really bothers me when you . . . .” is the route you should take.

    • binpetworth


      Have you considered getting a white noise machine to use in your cubicle/desk? I have one at home and it works wonders for cancelling out the neighbor’s radio/TV. That way, you’re hopefully able to avoid your noisy chewer’s smacking noises without neglecting any clients that try to get your attention.

    • Ugh – I can’t stand it when people talk with food in their mouths. It’s harder to understand what they’re saying and really, I don’t want to see your half chewed food when you’re talking to me. I can’t help but say to myself – didn’t anyone tell you to close your mouth when you chew?

      Somewhat similar, when I was in a meeting with someone who was smacking their gum nonstop I prefaced my request for her to stop by saying that I’m sensitive to certain noises which makes it difficult to hear other people. She stopped, but somehow I think gum smacking is less personal than the way someone eats their food.

  • To the photographer (johnmcochran2012),

    May I ask where this photo was taken? The snail is cool – love the blue head. And the veins in the leaves are so sharp – beautiful.

  • Rave: New Job!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rant: The people I work for don’t seem to understand that after you give 2 weeks notice, one has A LOT of administrative nonsense to deal with, and continue to load me up with high priority, tight-deadline projects.

  • Rant: Daughter is home today with a fever, pink eye, cold and post-nasal drip cough and the doctor’s office can’t see her till the afternoon. Ear infection? Reaction to live MMR vaccine? Random bug?

    Rave: Husband at home with her today so I can get some big projects done and take tomorrow if need be.

    • Probably just a cold or virus, since no fever. Since they are “home” I assume there is some sort of day care, which means this happens all the time. Two secret treatments – candy cane for a cough (menthol) and popsicles to hydrate.

  • Rant: Someone stole our clean can before I was able to put our house number on it. While looking around the neighborhood, we checked the house a few doors down that is undergoing major renovation. Chained up in the backyard are about four clean cans, including one that looks suspiciously like ours. Does the six-digit number on the can provide any identification that the city can track? If so, I’ll write down the numbers from all of the cans and report them.

    • Yes, the whole point of the numbers is that the city keeps track of which one was delivered where. In fact, if your can gets stolen the only way to get a replacement is to tell them that can ID. Report the numbers to DPW and let them take action (they actually seem pretty serious about this in my experience, those cans aren’t cheap)

    • Just cut the chain and steal it back.

      • Not cool. I need to 1) be sure that it is ours and 2) if the others are also stolen, make sure this guy’s contractors get busted and the other cans returned to their owners.

  • Rant: Popcorn in the office- I think it should be a rule that if you make popcorn in the office, you HAVE to share with everyone! It’s just so cruel to keep it all to yourself! 😉

    Rave: Good people over for dinner tonight at our house. Lots of things to get together but I’m really looking forward to yummy food, drinks, and good people filling up our living room.

    Rave: NYC this weekend! Seeing War Horse and an off broadway play my friend is in. Also taking Mom out for a Mother’s Day dinner- not sure where though. Any suggestions for a fun, not too expensive, veg friendly restaurant north of the theater district, Columbus Circle, Upper West Side vicinity?

    • I know you said, UWS but if you’re willing to travel to the East Side, you might consider JoJo’s; it’s mid-60’s on the East Side and might fit the bill for what you are looking.

    • if it makes you feel any better, microwave popcorn has a ton of toxic chemicals in it. you should never eat it.

      • I know! I make popcorn all the time at home in a pot with oil and such so I’m not a microwave popcorn person. But… it smells so good!

  • Rave: I’m in Haiti! At least I think that’s a rave. My hair might disagree, as it has completely freaked out in the humidity. It will be in a bun for the duration of the trip.

    Rave/Rant: I got a job offer from a competitor firm, and it could be a really good opportunity. But I have a good thing going at my current job, so I’m really torn about what to do. I need to decide by close of business today and I’m kind of freaking out about it.

    • You could always tell your current company and see if they could match it!

      • saf

        That’s rarely a good idea. While they might match it, they will never see you the same way again. They know you’ve been looking now, and they know that you will probably continue looking.

        • an employer should assume that every hardworking/smart employee is looking for their next best job – that’s what a career progression is. I’m always open with my supervisors that I look. If they think I’ll ever be happy doing the same thing (and earning the same pay) for the next 40 years, they are insane.

      • I think this really is case-by-case and may vary widely by individual and by situation (employer). You have to know whether you are a valued employee and whether or not you would be easy-to-replace, you need to factor in the climate of your organization, you need to consider that some managers will “know” that you should always be on the look-out for better opportunities, some will not value the knowledge that you are looking and that information could be used against you at some point in the future, especially if your manager/employer has been good to you (whatever that may mean to you).

      • This is a tough one. I’ve been in this situation twice. THe first time my then-boss knew I was looking because the company had kinda screwed me – gave me a big “promotion” after years of hard work, with no accompanying pay increase (not my direct supervisors fault). When I got an amazing offer someplace else my boss said he wanted me to stay and would try to get the higher-ups to match it. They offered a paltry raise because thats all they could afford, but I had already decided I wanted to leave anyway. The second time this happened I wasn’t entirely happy with the then-current job but I wasn’t looking either. A great opportunity landed in my lap. Friends and co-workers suggested I give my boss a chance to match. She was stunned that I even considered going anywhere else (she was under the false impression that anyone working for her should be so grateful), and needless to say did not even attempt to match it (despite the fact that money was no object for the company in question) and basically told me to take the new job. So in this situation, if I had wanted to stay at that old job, giving them the chance to match in the hopes i’d get to stay with a higher salary woud’ve back-fired. Thankfully I loved the new job and didn’t regret leaving, but its always a bit of a risk.

  • Rave: Warm weather.

    Rant: I think I have an addiction to electronics — not even kidding. I have to have my laptop open at home just to see ‘what’s going on’ — even when I get home from work after working on a laptop about 9-10 hours daily! I am not a fan of this whatsoever, but can’t help but feel most people have subscribed to this lifestyle by now.

    Rant: Sleeping. Haven’t slept well since the breakup. I just feel really lonely at times, which annoys me as I am a rather strong-minded, independent woman. I just miss the company.

    Rave: Time.

  • Rant: People, especially those who lack common courtesy.

    PSA to the crappy blue SUV driver on my block:

    If you have to park on top my car (and I do mean literally – I came out of my house this morning to find your bumper not only in contact with, but thoroughly wedged over the bumper of my car), then you cannot fit in that space! Don’t park there!

    Among other things, you’ve likely trapped at least one other person (me) who now has no space to pull away and you’ve also created someone who would very, very much take pleasure in keying your car (also me).

    Fortunately for you, most other people aren’t such assholes and I didn’t even leave you a scathing note, let alone touch your car, but you may not want to continue to test the tolerance of your neighbors.

    How about PoPville pools our money to start Susan G. Komen-like campaign… maybe orange can be the color of the-get-damn-clue-that-you-impact-other-people movement?

    I officially hate this morning.

    • I’d like to implement a “Reply All” tax at work….any sugguestions? If I had $1 for each, I could retire….

  • Rave: the people I played for in NYC last week liked my playing so much that they made a last minute decision to fly me to Houston for their gig on Friday rather than use a local guitarist.

    Rant: my flight leaves at 6am….from Dulles.

    Rave: Texas BBQ is in my future! Anyone got any Houston tips?

  • rant: North Carolina.

    • Then there would be 30 other states to which you would also be ranting.

      • Yes, and I have and will continue to rant about those as well.

      • Well none of those other 30 states decided to enact ridiculous legislation yesterday, so the timing of the rant solely for NC is perfectly understandable.

        • To Identified,


          I wasn’t complaining that k was only ranting about NC. Just a friendly reminder that there are 30 other states, too. Of course, NC is super fresh.

  • Rant: I wish my boss would close her office door when discussing my projects with other people. Even if she’s not saying anything negative, I can’t concentrate when I keep hearing my name.

    Revel: I love when I discover new bus routes that make it suddenly so much easier to get places! I’m so in love with the 42 and 43 routes through Adams Morgan, who knew those existed?!

    Revel: I now only take the metro once a week, to get to a class in Bethesda. I’ve completely converted to buses, bikeshare, and walking, and my life is so much better. I hate being trapped underground on the Metro, especially in the summer.

    • “I’m so in love with the 42 and 43 routes through Adams Morgan, who knew those existed?!”

      This made me laugh a little because I think these are among the most traveled routes in the Metrobus system. These lines arouse very strong feelings among those who ride regularly, and there’s even a blog named after the 42. So the answer to your question is, “a lot of people.” 🙂

      But I know what you mean, it’s pretty cool when you find out about a useful bus line that you didn’t know before.

      • Yeah I meant that comment in a self-mocking way. But its true! When I discover a “new” bus route its like I have made this game changing discovery that was a secret to everyone until that moment, haha.

      • I completey understand! I always joke that the D6 “changed my life.” That route gets me to so many of the places I need to be.

      • And the 96/97 buses to RFK from U St. Love taking the bus to a DC United match, rather than the metro. Takes longer, but I prefer buses.

    • Funny story. When I first move to DC I lived in Adams Morgan and commuted on metro to Bethesda. I would always walk down to Dupont metro on 18th or 19th st and then back up to metro. It took me a year and a half to realize that there’s a 42 bus that goes up Connecticut with a bus stop on my block. yeah…

      • I always laugh at how bad I used to be at DC transportation/geography. Years ago as a wee intern I once waited for 15 minutes in the Farragut North station for a train to…Dupont Circle. I think I thought that it was impossible to get anywhere DC without the metro, even on foot.

        • talula

          I am guilty of this same mistake when I first moved here! I also didn’t realize that the Farragut West and Farragut North stations are just a block away from each other and can be used as transfer points. (They looks so far away from each other on the Metro map!)

    • Glad to hear that more people are beginning to appreciate the bus system, if it gets more riders then Metro may stop cutting back on service. You were lucky to discover this just before tourist season starts, it will save you a lot of stress. While there are some problems with it occasionally, people are generally more polite on the bus than they are on Metrorail.

      • I have experienced the opposite. Perhaps I used to just be on a particularly horrible bus line, but when I used to live on H St., commuting on the X2, which was the only option of public transit out there, was atrocious. There were without fail several of the following: loud, obscene teenagers, screaming teen mothers, rap music played through phone speakers, people munching on disgusting fast food, horrible smelling people, and rude middle-aged men hitting on me and all the other girls on the bus. Now, my commute from the metro is about half the time of the bus ride (even though I live in VA now) and people are mostly considerate and quiet. I realize the X2 is particularly bad, but the metro is almost a relief now.

    • Back in the early 90s, they also had the 46, which went from Mt. Pleasant to the Kennedy Center. That was a good one, as well.

  • Rave: Started Crossfit a few days ago and I am loving it!

    Rave: Was dropping off my girlfriend at the Petworth Metro this morning while people were crossing the crosswalk and some lady couldn’t wait the extra 2 seconds. She tried to pass me and clipped my mirror. As I screamed out the window she drove off. Just a little scrape on my mirror, not really worth the police report… but still annoying.

  • Rant: I’m 35 weeks pregnant and thought the baby had dropped permanently, which was causing major pain when walking since last Friday.
    Rave: He repositioned! I can walk without (much) pain! I’ve never appreciated walking so much!
    Rave: On the bus this morning, about 15-20 PK4 year olds got on for a fieldtrip (with their teachers). Listening to 4 year old conversations was a great way to start the day.

    • Re: your second rave.

      Were you on the same bus as me? I couldn’t believe that a group like that would use a Metrobus for transport, but it was fine. And the kids were well-behaved and having a good time, so I decided to do the same.

      • Maybe? It was the 63 and the kids were from Haynes. I was also really nervous when I saw them all piling in, but had a great time listening to them and they were really well behaved. And I was amazed at how well the teachers had them under control.

    • This happened to me 3 weeks ago. As we pulled up to the stop they were getting on, you could see people one the bus (including me) do a “Gulp, ooohhh boy” kinda look. Then they all piled on, and the ride ended up being awesome. The kids were excellent, and their conversations were adorable. You could see all the adults smiling as each exited the kiddie coach.

    • I taught kindergarten and pre-k for 6 years before leaving to do music full-time, and all my friends lamented that I would no longer have “all those awesome kid stories” to tell over beers. Kids at that age are really cool: still sweet and innocent, yet just beginning to figure out how to tell jokes, use sarcasm, work the system.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: The production of fine chemicals.

    Rave: Dill and violets.

  • claire

    Rant: Stayed up late last night to get in an assignment for my online class under the deadline – but it was a programming assignment and the whole program had to run before submitting so even though I started the submission with a couple of hours left, it finished 15 minutes after the deadline! So frustrating!
    Rave: Relaxed work environment where my boss understands I’m taking a class (helps that my coworker is taking the same one) and said in advance she was okay with me coming in a little late today.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: turning an old point and shoot into a monster camera. Can’t wait to go home and play with it!

  • rant: there’s a lot of people unhappy at their jobs in these posts. how do you guys do it day after day? i’m going bonkers.

    • for me, riding my bike to work everyday makes me not mind the miserable shipwreck of bullsh!t that is my office.
      also, I drink lots of champagne.

      • Wine, my fabulous husband, wine, my paycheck, wine, great friends, and just a little more wine.

  • Went into Sad Safeway this morning. As I was in line, I heard the cashier telling an Asian woman in line to wait where she was because “We have to do that when we go to your store. Well, we’re not in your store now.”
    Thank you Marion for screwing up the world just a little more.

    • Marion doesn’t produce these people. These people produce Marion.

      • I don’t know… seems a little more complicated than that to me. Maybe a mutually reinforcing relationship?

        Would the cashier have said what she did if it hadn’t been for what Marion Barry said a few weeks ago?

        • I don’t think so. In Petworth I see more Ethiopian shops than Asian. That’s just crappy service anyway.

  • Rave: got into law school!
    Rant: not looking forward to increase in migraines because of law school!
    Rave: maybe I’ll be able to get Botox to control the migraines!

  • Rave: Today is my Monday–3 day work week!

    Rave: Had **AWESOME** weekend in San Antonio! Did lots of fun and touristy stuff, hung out w/a good friend I haven’t seen in 3 years (stationed in Guam/Navy), met his family (finally), had great food AND bought cowboy boots!

    Rant: Got stuck in Atlanta overnight but Rave: was then able to fly straight to DC instead of BWI!

    Revel: Said friend has professed his love for me many times over the years but I always had some excuse or other. Now, after spending the weekend with him and experiencing the sides of him I didn’t know…I wish I hadn’t been so stupid back then. And now…well, he is currently stationed in Hawaii so unless I feel like moving there to see if things would work (IF he’s even interested anymore)…

    Rave: Going to see one of my favorite bands tomorrow night, in town from Des Moines!!

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