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 and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

220 Comment

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Anyone else having some problems with google/gmail this morning?

  • Rant: given a “block the box” ticket this morning at Connecticut/M Street. Traffic was backed up because the cop had parked his vehicle in the rush hour travel lane, reducing the roadway from 3 lanes to 2. Anybody think there’s a chance to fight this? Even though the ticket says “do not send payment” when contesting by mail, do I risk having the fine double by not paying?

    • The fine won’t double as long as you respond to the original citation within 30 days.

    • Did the cop make you pull into the intersection without any room to exit it?

      • No. The cop was blocking the lane I was using (a rush hour travel lane/parking lane during non-rush hours), but I couldn’t see him because I was behind a few other cars and a bus. After the bus switched lanes to go around the cop, there was no way for me and another car behind me to clear the intersection. I got stuck half way in the cross-walk after the light changed. I’m not arguing I wasn’t in the intersection or somehow had been forced to block the box, it just seems pretty unfair/unjust/entrapment-like for a cop to use a police vehicle to create a condition that generates traffic congestion, then hand out tickets for the results.

        • >> “there was no way for me and another car behind me to clear the intersection”

          At Conn and M St?! You could have taken responsibility for your actions and made a right turn to allow traffic to flow through the intersection at the expense of your own time.

          >> “it just seems pretty unfair/unjust/entrapment-like for a cop to use a police vehicle to create a condition that generates traffic congestion, then hand out tickets for the results.”

          Yeah – why would we possibly want police making traffic stops?! “Listen, judge! I know I got nailed by that speed camera, but this doesn’t the city need to take fault for building a road on such a steep decline?!”

          • Gee, thanks for the public flogging. Very appropriate to jump to conclusions about how “responsible” I am for my “actions,” particularly when I was in the midst of rush hour traffic and don’t have the same cat-like driving reflexes you apparently possess. And btw, your speeding analogy is flawed. I’d say today’s situation would be more like getting pulled over after accelerating to get out of the way of a tailgating officer who had lights flashing and sirens blaring. Having regularly driven this stretch of CT Ave for several years, the intersection does clear of southbound traffic when all three travel lanes are clear. A cop violating parking laws by blocking the lane during rush hour just to “teach people a lesson” doesn’t seem like good law enforcement policy to me.

          • NO. That cop could’ve tricked and then ticketed anyone and everyone in that case. It just happened to be annonny who got caught. There’s no reason annonny should derail their daily commute (turn right on Connecticut) because a cop was parked in an otherwise perfectly available lane. With the amount of traffic and confusion at that intersection on weekday mornings, it would’ve taken annonny all day to get back on track. Especially when it wasn’t annonny’s fault to be stuck in the intersection in the first place. Definitely contest it.

      • +1. I was taught that you don’t cross an intersection unless there is room for your car on the other side. Most drivers around here seem to have missed that page in the driver’s ed manual. Sometimes even the most careful driver gets stuck in the box, and if you get a ticket, well, just suck it up. I don’t see how it’s the cop’s fault that you didn’t make it through the intersection, and I wish they did more ticketing of box-blockers during rush hour.

        • I think the backside of that lost page of the manual had the instructions about using turn signals.

        • Yup. You avoid blocking the box by waiting until you can make it through the intersection. That’s not to say I haven’t misjudged traffic in front of me and gotten stuck myself, but I’d accept the blame if I got a ticket under those circumstances.

    • KSB

      That’s a tricky one, annonny. I’d be inclined to fight the ticket if for no other reason than to get the rationale for a cop blocking 1/3 of the through lanes in rush hour! I’m a stickler for making sure I have room to clear the box before proceeding into the intersection but probably 25% of the time, I proceed into the intersection just as another car is swerving into my lane to avoid being caught in the box themselves which, of course, leaves me hanging out. It’s annoying as hell and definitely an inexact science.
      I feel your pain.

      • This very thing happened to us this morning. We waited til we were sure we’d be able to pull through and just as we started to pull through, the cab in the next lane (who didn’t have room to pull through) swerved in front of us, leaving us blocking the box. It’s an inexact science as KSB said, and absolutely infuriating when you try to do the right thing but still get hung out by people who are not trying at all.

    • Did the cop stop in the intersection after you had already entered it?

    • DC Cop here: always fight the ticket. if the police don’t show up, they’ll dismiss it. Also, look at the ticket carefully and see if anything is incorrect — if it is, you can have the ticket dismissed as defective. Otherwise, you’re no going to beat the ticket. The burden is on the officer, at BTA, to provide “clear and convincing testimony,” to the ticket. If he or she shows up, and swears to it, you’re cooked. If the ofc shows up, “admit with explanation,” and use the fact that the police were blocking the road as a reason why the examiner should wave the points. There is no excuse under the law for blocking the intersection or the crosswalk no matter who causes the delay — you cannot enter an intersection in dc unless you have a legal place to go.

  • Rant: Feeling depressed (or acknowledging that I am going through a stint of depression)
    Rave: Doctor’s appointment next week – glad I at least still have the motivation to take care of myself
    Rant: Last time I had bad dreams and sexual side effects from my anti-depressant prescription. I am hoping to try something else. (Suggestions welcome)
    Rave: Let’s hope it works!
    Rave: I am still feeling better than when it was at it’s worst.

    • Ugh, experimenting with meds is the worst. I’m glad you are seeing your doc and I hope that you find something that works for you soon! Have you tried Wellbutrin? I have had a pretty good run with it. None of the usual brain med side effects.

      • I second the Wellbutrin recommendation! It worked as well as SSRIs (Lexapro, Paxil, etc.) for me, but with no side effects. Good luck with finding something that works for you!

    • I’m still dealing with depression but am slowly (hopefully) conquering it. I chose not to go on medication for the exact reasons you’re experiencing: side effects, bad dreams, dependency, etc.

      Others here had suggested it and it’s been working for me but exercising a lot helps. Opening up to friends and having them help out also has been a big positive factor.

      Good luck to you!

    • Try regular exercise.

      • OP here. I do try to exercise and when I do I feel better – I’ve just had a hard time getting out of my own tracks lately.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Regular exercise is great, but keep in mind that some people need more than just exercise and clean living. Good luck!

          • Thanks for saying this! So many people seem to think exercise is the answer to all of one’s possible woes. It works for some, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

          • Ditto. It’s also hard to go exercise when just getting out of bed is a daunting task.

          • Seconded. Exercise does a lot of good for a lot of people, but it is not some magic cure-all for depression. Some people have chemical imbalances that will only respond to meds, and there is nothing wrong with that. And when you’re deeply depressed, getting the motivation to go to the gym can be extremely difficult.

        • One suggestion – have you explored the possibility of exercising with a group of folks (walking club, aerobics classes, yoga, etc)? That has helped motivate me: I am much more likely to get moving when I have a structured/scheduled meet up rather than an individual goal of “more exercise.” Good luck, I really empathize, since I know how hard it can be to break out of the depression cycle.

    • Blithe

      I echo the recommendations for regular exercise. I also think that when you’re depressed — or off-kilter in many ways — it’s important to ramp up your efforts to stay healthy: Eating well and regularly; getting enough sleep; maintaining positive social interactions; doing things you like — such as writing in a journal; listening to music; doing yoga; making time for playful, enjoyable things. These things always matter, and are easy to let drift when we’re feeling stressed and challenged. Have you also considered talk therapy? It can be very helpful — either on its own or in conjunction with meds.

  • Rave: Biked from Silver Spring to NoMa last night after work, the weather was awesome. And I must be getting fitter as the big hill in Fort Totten right before the MBT did not kill me like it usually does.
    Rave: After hanging out at a friend’s in NoMa, went home, opened all the windows and balcony door on my apartment and listened to music while reading. Felt awesome.

  • mtpgal

    Rant: I’m having shoulder/back problems. A friend recommended her physical therapist and my insurance doesn’t require a referral, but I’m not sure if I should go to a doctor first? Has anyone else had success with PT on shoulder/back issues?

    • I have. You should probably go to an orthopedist first to determine what is causing the problems. Most PTs would probably not want to treat you without a physician seeing you first.

      • you can just go directly to a PT — therapists actually spent years fighting to allow patients to “direct refer” themselves instead of having to go through a physician. and (speaking from extensive experience) orthopedists generally want to recommend surgery as a first option, when many times PT will improve things dramatically. at least with PT you don’t burn any bridges.

        • epric002

          probably want to check with your insurance. i don’t know that most plans will let you self-refer to a PT.

        • I agree that the surgeon’s focus is on surgery and that the PT can often help avoid surgery. I have had this experience too. I have had several different issues over the years and have avoided surgery each time with good PT. However, many PTs will want a physician’s diagnosis so that they have a better idea of what they are treating. This is also my experience, particularly when back problems are involved.

  • Rant: A friend of mine showed up at QUALIA COFFEE at 7:30am with her dog to buy a cup of coffee. Despite opening at 7:30, she was told that she couldn’t buy a cup of coffee because it wasn’t brewed yet. Really!?!! Here is some advice, if you open at 7:30am, BE OPEN. Neithr of us will be back despite living close. The Coupe or new Safeway Starbucks it is!

    • I’m curious as to why you included the fact that she had her dog with her.

    • One and done huh? all righty then…

    • I get why your friend was annoyed, but, if this was a one-time thing (and it sounds like it was), I don’t get the level of anger and the all caps. Perhaps the person who arrives to brew the coffee was running late this morning? Is there anyone here who has never (not even once) been late to work? Is there more to this story? Were they particularly rude to her? Has this happened frequently? I feel like I’m missing something.

      • Disagree. Like me going the gym Saturday… opens at 0730 but no one was there til 0745. I pay $80 a month. Be there.

        • Apples and oranges. They opened on time, just didn’t have coffee ready (which they should, given they’re a coffee house- i know). And you’ve already paid for the service, s/he hasn’t.

          Not defending Qualia, just don’t think your analogy works.

          • the analogy works. no service during quoted service hours.

          • Agreed, the analogy doesn’t make sense. The gym should also have more than one employee scheduled to open and employees should be scheduled to get there before opening time, so in that case, they were running more than 15 minutes late.

            That being said, even in the case of the gym, I don’t get being this upset over one offense. I guess I’m just not as high strung as the OP and Anonymous at 10:43.

            Also, as I clearly stated, I get why the OP’s friend was upset, but the level of anger doesn’t seem to match the offense.

          • Wrong. There was service at Qualia, just not full service.

          • if the coffee shop service is to sell coffee @ 7:30am…what service did they provide by not having any to sell?

    • You’re one of those people who regularly “breaks up” with friends over little slights, and “cuts off” family members over perceived insults, aren’t you? Grow up.

    • Agree – if the sign says 730 then you have to be ready to serve at 730.
      I’m actually shocked that a coffee shop doesn’t open till that late. When I worked at a coffee shop we opened at 530am.

      I appreciate that qualia is in DC – we need good local coffee shops in addition to Sbux, Cosi and ABP, however I would appreciate if the alternative was much more attractive product and SERVICE wise to Sbux.

    • So you had to wait a few minutes for coffee. So what? Businesses have off mornings sometimes. You’re only hurting yourself if you never go back. Qualia’s coffee blows SBUX out of the water.

    • I’d rather wait 5 minutes for Qualia coffee than drink Starbucks on time for free.
      And could you have ordered an Americano? That only takes the time required to pull a shot (if you didn’t want to wait for a hand pour).

    • I’ve stopped going there (as well as Peregrin on 14th) because their coffee just isn’t that great and their food selection is weak. I support local businesses but in this case I recommend Java House at 17th and Q. My first real job before college was as the opening barista for near minimum wage at a coffee shop in California. You get there early (or pay someone to get there early) so the espresso machines are primed and there are full pots of brewed coffee ready for opening. In my case I rode my bike to the shop before dawn. So I guess they are “local” but too cheap to pay somebody $4.13 to get there a half hour early.

      • Since this seems like a one-time occurence, I was under the impression that they typically do pay someone to get there early, but that person was running late. (I was thinking the person was supposed to arrive at, say, 7:00, but arrived at 7:15 and, therefore, was still opening the store at 7:30.)

      • Food at Java House sucks too.

    • I feel like I need to clarify the situation re: Qualia. The door was unlocked as it was passed 7:30am and they were therefore open. Upon entering, she was asked “what are you doing in here.” Ummmm, because you’re open?!?!!! When she answered, I would like to buy a cup of coffee, she was given a look like what are you stupid? Then, the able ensured with the person saying there is no coffee.

      If you wanna open at 7:30, BE OPEN AT 7:30. If you wanna get there at 7:30, brew coffee and be open at 8… Then do that. However, when you are open, you should be prepared to be open and conduct business.

      This isn’t a one and done thing. As many have stated, this place has many issues… Snobby attitude, small sizes of coffee, poor food and small space. Some people may like it, I don’t.

      I challenge anyone to experience what my GF did today and not leave annoyed. Qualia sucks.

  • 1) If you’re looking for any moving boxes, we have a few good ones from some internet purchases – one really large, a few medium…look in the forum for how to get ahold of me.

    Rave: cooler weather. Will it stick around?
    rant: starbucks’ working on one espresso machine this morning at work…20-30 minute wait for a drink.
    rave: knowing this, and not waiting…will go back for my PSL.
    rave: not caring if people I work with are feds or contractors. Only caring if they work.
    rant: it’d be nice if they did.

    • And you are a fed, right?

      • yes. Our hallway is about 50/50 (though, most are military so they don’t count). I work with a lot of “I’ve been here for 38 years, I’m done working”

        • Point is that it is easy to be so egalitarian when you are in the advantaged position.

          • I don’t understand how i’m advantaged – I’ve had a pay cut over the last few years and that was before furloughs. Once I consider furloughs and the upcoming “pension contribution” increase, it’s a bigger cut.
            My POINT was that everyone has their job. I have shitty benefits, a shitty work environment and everyone here – regardless of color badge – has basically the same environment. Only difference is most of the contractors here (specifically here) make more money but earn less leave. I don’t consider a poorly paid fed with no power to be “advantaged position”. I just consider not having a chip on my shoulder advantaged.
            PS: I was a contractor before I was a fed.

          • Yeah, I don’t know what would make a fed advantaged. We all do the same work, make more or less the same amount of money, and get more or less the same benefits. I’m a contractor, but I used to be a fed. For the most part I share a corporate culture with the feds I support, not the other employees in my company who work in the private sector or support a different agency.

          • Not to unfairly generalize, but contractors sometime are paid more because they have more (in-demand) skills.

            Disclaimer: I work in the civilian sector. I’m sure there are a lot of dummies (on the contractor side) in DOD purely due to scale, but in civilian I can count one (or two) federal people in each branch that are effective or would last more than a year working in private.

          • Here are 2 big differences:

            1. Contracts end and alas, leave the contractor unemployed (happens a lot). Then it’s back to the job boards and bottom of the food chain –awful.
            2. Contracting firms have no pensions and most offer a paltry 401Ks.

            Then there’s the no paid sick leave (and other benefits, see Emmaleigh’s rant from yesterday for others) , the issue of working for an often client that controls your destiny and a firm that makes more money by paying less, and other unhappy circumstances. It’s different – and worse.

          • the benefits depend on the contract. I don’t have a pension, I have a 401k-like system. As I said, the biggest difference is leave. However, as a pregnant lady, most contractors offer paid short term disability. We don’t have that….so our “generous” sick leave is an insurance system for actual long term illness or recovery (AKA materntiy leave for some of us).
            I don’t interact with any contractors that have more skills – I interact with people are retired military, got contracting jobs and that’s that.
            People put up with shitty benefits and then begrudge someone who has slightly better (not great, but slightly better) have a chip on their shoulder – the goal should be better benefits for everyone, not being all angry because someone earns more sick leave.
            And yes, contracts end. RIFs also happen. Welcome to 2013. 2014 is going to suck, so best start saving now.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I just want a chair that’s not broken. (No, I am not allowed to bring in my own, I asked.) I would be way more productive if I weren’t falling out of my chair every few hours because it’s busted. Good thing no feds can see me not working when I’m on the floor, they might complain that I have a chip on my shoulder.

          • epric002

            to anon at 12:29- which contracting companies don’t offer paid sick leave???

          • “to anon at 12:29- which contracting companies don’t offer paid sick leave???”

            Yeah, that’s definitely not the norm.

  • RANT: Had to take the day off work for my final wedding dress fitting yesterday out in Columbia MD (no evening or weekend hours for fittings, of course). My mom left her job to meet me there for the appointment. After 20 minutes of waiting around at the store, we were told that they could not find my dress. Finally they discovered that it was still with the seamstress. Seriously?! Now I have to make another trip out there. I’m a patient, easy going person…but that pushed me to the brink of becoming a bridezilla.

    Rave: Getting married in just a few weeks, then it’s off to Aruba!

    • wow – they should really make saturday hours. that’s insane. Or, take the dress to someone else who works saturdays? sorry to hear it’s annoying!

      • Yea, I wish I had taken it somewhere else, but I think at this point it’s too late. I’ve already paid for the alterations and they are supposedly finished by now, although I have no way of knowing for sure.

        • Could you ask, given the inconvenience of the failed appt., if they could make an exception and see you after work? Night be worth a try. Good luck and congratulations!!

    • happened to my sister and then they lost the dress a week before the wedding and told her they’d find it and meet her at Heathrow with the dress before her flight – needless to say she went into 100% bridezilla mode.

  • Oh – one more rave….a husband who is great at putting Ikea furniture together. He said, “I can’t do much during your pregnancy, but I can put together furniture! It’s like my own placenta!” He’s so adorable.
    Rant: putting together furniture before baby is here. It’s against every custom in my Jew-book, but if you don’t live near any family, I don’t think it’s realistic to wait until the last minute. We can just hope it all goes well from here on. But it is a difficult custom to overcome

    • HA! I agree w/ your husband. I felt so “dad-like” this weekend doing baby prep! Got the crib put together, finished up sanding all the paint off an awesome old aluminum medical cabinet my wife found, and got the car seat base installed. We ALSO went to IKEA this weekend. Was totally normal at 9:59 am and turned into a freakin’ zoo at 10:00. We ended up spending two hours there, got a few things we hadn’t planned on getting and not getting the one thing we went to get.

      • “[G]ot a few things we hadn’t planned on getting…” At IKEA? Nevvvvver!

        • I’ve only been to IKEA once or twice, but I have the opposite problem. I come in looking for something specific and walk out empty-handed when it doesn’t meet my expectations. Or I get overwhelmed by the sheer size of the store and the layout so I leave.

        • I consider it a win when I don’t have to RETURN to Ikea. We failed…went back labor day because I got the wrong part to the “unit”. Sigh.

    • “It’s like my own placenta!” LOL

  • Rave: The Gang returns (sort of – new station, same show) to Paddy’s Pub tonight!

    • RANT: Cox thinks I should pay $10/month for FXX since it’s in their Sports/Info premium package. So I can’t watch. Ugh.

      • Verizon better not do that to me!!!

        • I’ve heard Verizon is doing the same thing. If you previously got Fox Soccer, you will have FXX because you already pay for that package (Sports and Info on Cox). If you don’t subscribe to that premium package, you have to, or you won’t get it, at least for now. Cox is blaming Fox for this and I’d guess Verizon is too.

    • hung with Charlie this weekend! he is an old friend from home. ….well i mention this solely because I want POPville to think im cool

    • Does anyone know if Comcast gets this? I think I have the digital starter package, but they don’t mention FXX on their channel lineup.

      • Comcast definitely carries it, at least in DC, but I’m not sure if it’s in the digital starter package. We’ve watched in since it went live and I want to say it’s near FX (which is 824 for us).

  • Rave: Phone interview went well yesterday and I’m on to phone interview #2.
    Rant: Recapping it with my girlfriend last night, she thought I should have stated a higher figure when asked what my current salary is. I don’t like lying, and it’s a lateral move, and I’m comfortable with my current salary, and it’s what someone with my education and experience in DC should be making. The last time I switched jobs I was turned down by a lot of potential employers for wanting a salary on par with what I’d been making, and I don’t want to lose this opportunity. I’m obviously not money-motivated, but now she has me wondering if I should be trying to negotiate a higher salary and if I’ve lost that chance now.

    • I agree about the salary – here, they ask for pay stubs from your previous job to confirm that is what you made (fed agency). You should get a bit of a promotion, but it’s not worth risking having to prove what you previously made and them seeing you fudged it. But don’t sell yourself short in negotiations – just don’t lie. which you haven’t!

    • saf

      Never lie about your salary. It can be checked.

      However, don’t let that stop you from negotiating. Do you read Ask a Manager? She has great advice on that topic.

    • I think you made the right call! They could get in touch with your current employer for references and check all the numbers they want. And there’s no saying you still can’t negotiate upon receiving an offer. Good luck with the next interview!

    • Ok, I feel better now. 🙂 Thanks everyone. I actually didn’t know that recruiters could contact the current employer to verify salary. My girlfriend has changed jobs many more times than I have, and the strategy has gotten her a very high salary over the years, but her field is hotter than mine so I think she that’s why she is able to get away with it.

      • epric002

        whether salary info is provided is up to the employer (some will only confirm employment), not the recruiter. i’ve gotten around answering the question directly by giving a range within which my salary falls.

        • Additionally, some employers use third-party consumer data services (like Equifax Workforce Solutions) to verify employment and salary. Regardless, lying about salary or anything else on a job application is never a good idea…too much risk it’ll bite you in the butt and just make everything worse.

  • Rant: Hey, who was with me at the 14th and Columbia Circulator stop this morning when the bus…randomly didn’t stop? It stopped and let people off, but then before anyone could get on, the driver closed the doors and sped off with an almost empty bus, despite the obvious crowd of people chasing after him. Super weird. Maybe he was distracted. Maybe his mom just died. I should give people the benefit of the doubt.

    Revel: It was bus #1149 if you want to complain to someone.

    • homerule

      This nearly identical situation happened to me twice last week, only the bus didn’t even stop. The driver just blew past us, even though we were waving them down!

  • Following up on yesterday’s R&R comments about a “do it yourself PoPville happy hour” – I’m proposing next Wednesday Sept 11 at Acre 121′s outdoor patio.
    A combination of the “introvert’s happy hour” (suggested a few weeks ago) and the “hard to meet people in DC” happy hour from yesterday.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Are extroverts who like to meet people invited?

      • As long as you don’t dominate the conversion or make endless small talk!

        • Emmaleigh504

          Why would you assume I would do that? I like to meet people, aka learn about them.

          • Then you’re an introvert, most likely.

          • Emmaleigh504

            No, I am most definitely an extrovert, I just like to learn about other people. And my momma raised me right, monopolizing conversations isn’t polite.

          • saf

            Anon, I think you are using the word “introvert” in a very strange way.

          • I want to take my 6 year old on a hike this weekend, assuming this weather holds. But she’s prone to car sickness, so I want to keep the driving to a minimum (within an hour, maybe?). We’ve wandered all over RCP, Roosevelt Island and lots of the MoCo park system. So looking for something a little more remote; more challenging, but not super challenging, ’cause she’s six.
            Recommendations, please? Would be nice if there’s someplace that wouldn’t be completely mobbed, but I understand that if I don’t want to venture too far, I’ll give up the solitude aspect.

          • No, I’ve read a number of books and articles on introversion. Some of the qualities of an introvert are disliking small talk and a tendency to not dominate conversations. One of the strongest qualities of an introvert is being interested in people and actually listening to them, as Emmaleigh is doing.

          • Sorry, no idea why this appears as a reply. I’ll re-post at the bottom if PoP wants to remove.

          • Anonymous @11:52, I’ve read several books on introverts and extroverts as well, and the bit about actually being interested in people being a quality exclusive to introverts is just blatantly untrue, as is your assertion that extroverts like to dominate the conversation. Out of curiousity, what books have you read?

          • Quiet by Susan Cain most recently. I’m not saying extroverts *like* to dominate conversations, necessarily, but it just happens because that’s how they connect with people.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Anonymous @11:52 I think Ms Cain has led you astray about extroverts.

    • I am an introvert who needs to be around people a lot (which I realize makes zero sense). I’d come! As I posted recently, my first found of friends from when I moved here 4 years ago is dwindling; I need new friend projects.

      • epric002

        am genuinely curious- why do you think you’re an introvert if you need to be around a lot of people?

      • Maybe you’re an ambivert. The best of both worlds! grin

      • Introvert doesn’t mean shy, it means you don’t like being around a lot of people. Some of the most outgoing people are introverted, while some of the most shy people are extroverts. I would recommend reading the Atlantic article from a few years ago about introverts.

        • epric002

          +1- am an introvert who is definitely not shy. husband is an extrovert who can be shy.

        • + a million
          There are so many misconceptions about introverts. I was labeled as “shy” for most of my life even though I don’t have social anxiety at all, and it was very crippling.

          • I completely agree and I’ll add that there are so many misperceptions about extroverts as well. I think a lot of people have a need to prove that their personality type is “better.”

          • Of course there are misconceptions about extroverts as well. But extroverts don’t go through life (especially the formative years) being denied opportunities on the grounds that they have a non-existent psychiatric disorder.

          • Extroverts are denied opportunities due to misperceptions about their personality type, as well. I’m not sure why you think that’s exclusive to introverts.

          • Anon 11:55 and Anon 12:09, I’m interested to know better what you’re referring to. I’ve always been shy, and no doubt “missed out” at times because I wasn’t more assertive or outgoing. I’m still that way as an adult, but it has never occurred to me to think of it as crippling nor has anyone ever suggested that it’s some kind of social disorder. I’ve come to realize that some opportunities go to whomever takes them, and I’m just not the kind of person who takes them. Are we talking about different things here?

          • I’ll give some examples from my childhood:
            1. When someone in my 1st grade class stole the crayons from everyone’s desks, and the teacher decided I must have done it because I was quiet and that’s something an antisocial (i.e. quiet) person would do.
            2. Not being allowed to join the drama club in middle school because the teacher thought I was too shy (even though I love performing and don’t get anxiety over it).
            3. A history teacher deciding to not do class presentations because of me (even though I love public speaking and don’t get anxiety over it).
            4. Being denied entry into the Gifted and Talented program, even though I was at the top of the class intellectually, because the teacher thought I couldn’t do public speaking.
            5. Being forced to go to a speech therapist, even though I didn’t have a speech impediment.
            6. Being forced to go to a psychologist to talk about my shyness, which accomplished nothing because I wasn’t shy (fortunately the psychiatrist I also had to see was astute enough to realize this so I didn’t get put on medications).
            7. Not being able to demonstrate my leadership skills, ever, because someone louder and pushier was always assigned to be the leader.
            8. Always having to work in teams, and constantly getting the message that there’s something wrong with me because I work better alone.
            9. Guidance counselors pushing me to go to a tiny liberal arts college because I wouldn’t do well in a big school (fortunately I didn’t listen to them).
            10. Being denied entry into middle school Spanish because someone decided I don’t talk enough to be good at languages.
            These weren’t traumatic experiences, for the most part, but they certainly held me back from exploring some of my natural talents and interests at a younger age.

          • KMB, what psychiatric disorder(s) are extroverts typically described as having? I wasn’t aware there were any. Maybe you can share some experiences where you were treated unfairly or were misunderstood because of your extroversion. I’m honestly not trying to play the victim here, but all I’ve seen my entire life is a society that rewards the extroverts and makes it harder for introverts to succeed.

          • Anon 12:38, you say you’ve “always been shy”, while I’m talking about being introverted but not shy. So yes, we’re talking about completely different things.

          • Anon 12:09, thanks for elaborating. I don’t know how different we are in “shyness” but very different in experiences – I certainly can’t recall anything like that happening to me. Sounds like you had to deal with some not-so-good people growing up.

          • From what I’ve learned from other introverts, these experiences are not unusual. In other parts of the world, and in other times, being quiet was not considered a bad thing, but modern American culture practically demands that everyone be the life of the party.

          • Anonymous @1:12, ADHD is definitely the most common one, but some people mistakenly thinks extroverts have bipolar disorder, as well. (Bipolar disorder can sometimes manifest with only mania and “normal” states, but no depressive states.)

            I’m not sure how specific of examples you’re wanting, but I think it’s obvious that extroverts are often taken less seriously than introverts (maybe it’s not obvious to you, though.)

            As far as specific examples go, here are a few from my life:

            1. When I was in kindergarden and someone was laughing during and talking during a quiet time-the teacher had no clue who it was, but it was blamed on me because I was one of the more talkative students.
            2. Being strongly discouraged from joining Science Olympiad in elementary school because I wasn’t a “serious” person.
            3. Teachers looking the other way/not punishing students who made fun of me because I was, “so happy and outgoing that I could handle it.”
            4. Not being allowed to join the accelerated math program in 4th grade, despite scoring off the charts on my test, because I was a “fun” kid, not a “serious” one.
            5. Several teachers being convinced I had ADHD when I actually didn’t. (Thankfully the doctors I was sent to were able to see that the teachers were incorrect, but, unfortunately, it seems like now many doctors are quick to diagnose ADHD when it’s not there.)
            6. Also not being able to be the leader, because my ideas were never listened to (again, this goes back to the perception that I was fun and not someone to be taken seriously).
            7. Always having to work alone, and constantly getting the message that there was something wrong with me because I preferred to work in teams. (It was implied that I just wanted other people to pass the work off on.)
            8. Always having to share a room in my sorority house in college because I was extroverted and didn’t “need” along time like some of my fellow sisters. (Typically, those with most seniority got the singles, but a few other sisters and I were made to share while underclassmen got their own rooms.)
            9. Being given extra work because I “had so much energy.”
            10. Being denied a promotion at work because I was constantly “socializing” and not getting work done, despite the fact that I simply did work much more efficiently than my peer who received the promotion. (My direct boss, the one who actually saw the quality of work we did, was quite upset that I didn’t receive the promotion, but the decision was made by someone with whom I rarely worked directly.)

            Admittedly, I just flipped some of what Anon 12:09 said on some of these to show the other side of the coin, but these are all things I’ve experienced/continue to experience. Her/his post triggered some of these memories in me.

            I think certain segments of society make it more difficult for introverts to succeed and others make it more difficult for extroverts to succeed. I’ve been completely dissauded from pursuing my interest in STEM fields (though I feel I have a fair amount of natural talent in these fields) due to my extroversion (back to the same recurring theme that extroverts are, “all talk, no substance”). It’s really not a big deal and my life has continued, but it annoys me when people are unwilling to recognize that people on both sides of the specturm are unfarily judged.

          • KMB, thanks so much for taking the time to respond! I still believe that extroverts have it easier in life (for example, studies have shown that extroverts are perceived as being smarter, more physically attractive, and more competent) but your examples have been enlightening. I guess we all have stigmas to overcome.

          • You’re welcome! Even as an extrovert, I’ll admit that we probably do have it easier in a lot of ways, just not necessarily in every situation. Your comment about the studies interests me-I’ll have to check that out more when I get home!

        • Introverts can enjoy being with crowds and large groups of people but will need time alone to recharge. Extroverts recharge by being with other people.

          • This. Introverts don’t necessarily dislike being around a lot of people, their energy will just be spent afterwards and they’ll need to recharge.

          • Emmaleigh504

            And extroverts can be shy (I am).

          • Yes, this is exactly me. I recharge by being by myself and need a lot of down time. However, if I isolate myself for too long (as is my natural tendency) I become a crazy, crazy person. I need both.

            When did the whole introvert/extrovert dichotomy come from, I wonder? I can’t imagine there is actually any scientific that we really are hardwired this way. It seems made up.

          • If any human isolates themselves for too long they become a crazy, crazy person. No one’s saying introverts never want to be around people.

          • I’ve always been an introvert, as a child I was also shy. I’m still an introvert but I’m not shy.
            I believe you’re born with a preference towards introversion/extroversion & this preference doesn’t change over time. Being shy/outspoken is a behavior that can change.

          • Introversion and extroversion come from Jungian theory – it’s also an essential part of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (and other models of human behavior)

          • There was an interesting article not long ago (I think either in the NYT or the Washington Post) on how there’s actually no solid psychological grounding for Myers-Briggs… but there’s a huge industry based on it, and a lot of people have vested interests in it.

          • textdoc I’d be interested in reading this article about the MBTI. What I’ve read about it indicates it is both valid and reliable.

          • The article:
            Does it pay to know your type?
            By Lillian Cunningham, Published: December 14, 2012
            Very interesting reading, IMO. A couple of jobs ago I was in an office where there was friction… so the bosses brought in a trainer from HR and had us do MBTI testing. The thing was, the friction wasn’t really related to MBTI types; it was related to one person being a real b*tch!
            I think MBTI can be useful in some ways, but I didn’t realize until reading the Washington Post article how much of an industry it had spawned, or how much skepticism it was regarded with by academic psychologists.

          • Thanks for posting the link – interesting & not entirely accurate. For example, author says MBTI is “unequivocally positive” which isn’t an accurate representation of how the types are described.
            It’s not a solution to a problem but a means to an end. As you describe, it’s being used as an intervention when the real issue isn’t being addressed.

      • I also need to work on getting new friends! I really don’t have an opinion either way on my intro/extro vertedness, but I want to make new friends.

    • +1 – can we wear nametags with our Popville handles? I mostly just want to read “Sir Douchey” on someone’s chest.

    • saf

      And the rest of us?

      • Emmaleigh504

        I think the rest of us should have our own more fun happy hour without all those people! It will be epic and then we can be all neener neener neener in the RRR the next day. (before I get crucified, I’m totes joking!)

    • A happy hour for introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, named post-ers like Sir Douchy and all the anonymouses 🙂

  • epric002

    rant: my fed boss does.no.work.
    rave: glorious weather this morning.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My fed boss likes to give me helpful tips on mico-managing my team. He also did this when he was a contractor boss. He’s just not happy if everyone isn’t micromanaged.

      • epric002

        i just wish he’d do SOMETHING. so tired of every single thing being tasked to us. would love to reply to the next tasking email with “why don’t you take this one on?”

        • Emmaleigh504

          But he is doing something! He’s delegating! I’m kidding. I hate bosses who don’t pitch in.

          • epric002

            yeah, if he spent 1/2 as much time taking on a.single.task as he did forwarding emails with new tasks, and asking for updates on the tasks he’s not doing, and asking for status briefings on the tasks he’s not doing…oy. this is not a new problem, but the effect is cumulative and one of these days i’m going to say it!

      • Considering how much you post on this site all day, every day, I’m glad I’m not your boss.

  • Rant: Rather large homeless guy ranting pointedly at me while I stood outside the Columbia Heights Metro Station making dinner plans on the phone and then getting up in my face once I finished and demanding to know what I was doing (buying cat food) and if I had a dollar (no).
    Rave: the young man on the escalator across the street, heading up to the Target, who turned and asked “you know what the difference between you and me is?” (I’m tall, white and middle aged and you’re short, black and young? We looked like a buddy movie waiting to happen.) “You got patience. I’m a short guy, but if he woulda got up in my face like that, I would have laid hands on the man.” “I didn’t want to get my good suit messed up.” We both had a good laugh. The cat enjoyed dinner.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: People
    Rave: People
    Rave: French Market Coffee

  • Blithe

    Rave: I had my first-ever bahn mi yesterday from a serendipitously located food truck. WAY yum! Now I have fantasies of munching my way around the mid-Atlantic trying out all the bahn mi options. lol.
    Rave: With official approach of fall — which always feels like the start of a new year for me, I’m going to get more consistent about diet and exercise and trying to live a healthier life. Which means that bahn mi will be a great occasional treat — NOT a way of life. Wicked timing!
    Rave: I spent yesterday listening to several blues guitarists — and really enjoyed Elizabeth Cotton’s music. I’d never heard of her before, even though she lived in DC for awhile.
    Rave: I realize that one thing I miss a LOT living in DC is water. In NYC, the Hudson was just a few blocks away. In Baltimore, the harbor is steps from my front door. I plan to spend the next few months looking for water in DC. So far I’ve found the canal in Georgetown, a tiny stream in a park in Friendship Heights; and bits of Rock Creek. I wish the ford was still there! I’d welcome suggestions of favorite water-spots to check out if anyone has any.
    Rave: No rants today! I feel focused and goal-oriented. Yay!

    • If you’re a fan of food truck banh mi, I highly encourage you to venture out to Eden Center. Better sandwiches for cheaper prices.

    • Venture out to SW and SE… There’s the SW waterfront. Marina Cantina is a nice happy hour spot. Or hit the SE waterfront that now has kayaking and such by Navy Yard.

      • Yeah, I have water just a few steps from my front door in SE. It’s not just a Baltimore/NYC thing. You said you found the canal in Georgetown, but did you check out the Georgetown waterfront? It’s very nice. SE and SW are quieter alternatives (I highly recommend the Yards Park). If being close to the river is a priority you might want to consider moving down here!

    • The sandwiches at the little bahn min shop in Langley Park (can’t remember the name, but it’s next to a huge Asian market on University Blvd) are cheap and delicious.

    • There’s lots of great Blues guitarists (and other musicians) in the area. Check out http://www.dcblues.org.

    • You do know that the city lies at the convergence of two large rivers, yes? Go to the Georgetown waterfront, Yards Park, Hains Point, Old Town Alexandria, Maine Ave, Anacostia RiverWalk trail, Kingman Island, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Great Falls (both sides) etc. etc. There are a TON of waterfront areas to enjoy, and with the exception of that last one they are all Metro accessible. I’m actually baffled how somebody here for more than a couple days and not sequestered in a hotel in far NW and without access to a MAP could miss this.

      And the Bay is 40-60 minutes away, with beaches and everything! 2 more hours in the car and you’re dipping toes in the ocean.

    • Blithe

      Thanks MUCH to all of you for your many water-related and bahn mi suggestions! To the “baffled” Anonymous — DC has changed a LOT from the very segregated, very southern city that I lived in as a child. So, yeah, I KNOW that the rivers are out there — but I’ll be venturing to places that, for a variety of reasons, were not terribly welcoming places to be the last time I truly lived in the city. Also, I moved to NYC and Baltimore as an an adult — intent on exploring my new city. I’m now approaching DC as a a city that’s new-to-me — and trying to venture beyond the limits of my NW Petworth childhood. You’ve given me a lot of new-to-me options — and I really appreciate them all! Especially the Metro-accessible ones!

  • Rave: Slow roasting the buckets of cherry tomatoes I picked this weekend – some to freeze for later and some to enjoy for lunch.

    Additional rave: Working from home today means sitting on the front porch with my laptop enjoying the blue skies and sunshine.

    Rant: Daytime mosquitos. Need to bring out a fan.

  • On my mind: I watched Tommy Wells and his friend – entourage, whoever he was – get turned down for an outside table because they just wanted a drink (and outside is for dinner patrons only) on Monday night at the Pint. I found it pretty hysterical because the host clearly did not know who he was. After going downstairs and stepping outside, Wells and his friend came back inside and hung out upstairs for a bit in the bar area. I wouldn’t expect the Pint to be the type to give special treatment but, with all the DC-pride in the neighborhood, it was entertaining to watch it all go down. Who knows, maybe Wells got a free drink out of it if anyone noticed a 20 year Councilman and mayoral candidate was patronizing the establishment.

    • I hope he was graceful about it and didn’t make a fuss and expect special treatment just because he’s a politician.

      • Nope, not at all. In fact, that was the one (very important) aspect I forgot to mention (thank you!). He handled it with grace and no show of expectations one bit. When he was turned down for a table he just smiled and said okay, and basically said he’d take a look around to find a spot.

    • Last month I was at Room 11 when Tommy Wells showed up. He and his companion sat down at the table next to me, and he immediately apologized to those around him for assuming the table was available, and asked if someone else had been waiting for it. We assured him that it was indeed free.

    • The more I hear about this Tommy Wells, the more I like him.

  • Query: Can anyone recommend a good spa for massages? Preferably in DC proper. I want to get a gift certificate for a birthday present.
    Rave: Beautiful weather.

    • I’ve had two prenatal massages at Spa on the Hill. FANTASTIC. I assume their non-prenatal is also fabulous. That, or Bliss. But Spa on the Hill is cheaper (There’s one at Bliss I love, but its $$$).

      • I got someone a gift certificate to Spa on the Hill and she said she liked it. It’s slightly hard to find– near the Eastern Market Metro but tucked in an odd corner– so make sure the recipient knows the area well.

    • All the ladies I know like to get gift cards for Red Door in Friendship Heights.

      • I wouldn’t because it would take over an hour to get to Friendship Heights from where I live. I think location is important to consider when buying a spa gift certificate for someone. If it’s stressful or difficult to get there it defeats the purpose of the gift.

        • I think that would apply to any of the suggestions. Obviously everyone does live close to everywhere. Honey Badger asked for something in DC proper, so I suggested something in DC proper. Sorry it doesn’t work for you personally.

          • Sorry, but the way you answered the question (“All the ladies I know”) implied that you took a one-size-fits-all approach, and sometimes gift-givers forget that a gift certificate should not feel like a burden to the recipient. I just wanted to remind the OP that an average spa that’s next door is probably more appreciated than a highly rated spa that’s a pain to get to.

          • I thought Friendship Heights was MD?

          • Friendship Heights straddles the D.C.-Maryland border.

          • Anon 4:50, fair enough, you make a good point, hopefully any gift giver would consider that. I answered based on what women I know have told me, not based on my gift-giving philosophy.

            Anon 4:54, I don’t know how clearly defined the boundaries are but at least part of it is in DC, and that’s where Red Door Spa is located.

          • The Friendship Heights Metro is literally on the border. One main exit is on the District side and the other main exit branches out into multiple buildings in both MD and DC.

            Red Door Spa is directly across the street from the District-only exit. I’ve also heard good things about it. It’s not too difficult to find street parking in the area if that affects your decision.

    • How much are you looking to spend? The second best massage I’ve ever had (second only to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland) was at the Mandarin Oriental, but it was expensive. Nusta Spa on 20th between L&M is also great, and, while not cheap, definitely more affordable.

    • Nusta and the Mandarin Hotel are both good suggestions. The “pre-spa” experience at the Mandarin is awesome, they have the hot tub/crystal ice room/relaxation snack room etc. Nusta is very convenient, and they hire their staff away from places like the Four Seasons, so good place to go.

    • Thanks for all the suggestions! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a massage, so I’m not sure what the going rates are these days, but I’m looking to spend somewhere between $100 and $150 for a 50 minute massage.

  • RAVE: Amazing experience at Burning Man. It was totally worth all the time, effort, and money I spent to get there. I saw things I could never have imagined and made some new lifelong friends. More than anything, it was the people I met who made the experience so wonderful. Can’t wait to head back.

    RANT: Back in the office today after 2.5 weeks off of work. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience. And I’m exhausted.

  • Rave: Love the weather
    Rave: Going to see my best friend for her birthday this weekend
    Rave: Back to back short weeks/long weekends
    Rant: Coconut milk does froth like regular milk – dairy free now so this stinks.

    • I don’t understand your rant about coconut milk. Coconut milk is dairy-free, right? So why wouldn’t its frothing like dairy milk be a good thing?

      • Yeah, that confused me too. I think he meant to say coconut milk doesn’t froth. Kinda surprising because you can make whipped cream out of it! I’ve had cappuccinos made with soy milk or almond milk so you might want to give those a try.

  • Rave: awesome 2nd date – he came over, brought dog, i made pizza; we binge watched Top Gear after sitting in the park
    Rant: i’m so bad at waiting for people to text me back – then i text again, and it just makes me look crazy…….gahh….

  • Rave: Two years ago today my wife and I got married.

    Rave: My daughter is four months and she turned over the other day.

    Rant: We just decided that we were going to go out to dinner but can’t decide where. Any suggestions on a very nice dinner (wife is a vegetarian, not pescatarian, vegetarian ; )?

  • Used my moka pot to make coffee but poured the coffee into a cup that hadn’t been cleaned well.

    The moka pot was still hot so I used my drip coffee maker to make a new cup but the filter caved in putting grounds into the coffee.

    Gave up and made a cup of tea.

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