Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

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.

105 Comment

  • Dear Federal workers, while you’ve been off, 14th street has turned into a shitshow of construction obstacles. Sorry you were stuck in traffic from P St backed up to CoHi this morning. Someone shoulda sent a memo.

    • Seriously. I’m all for economic development, but it’d be awesome if they could not close a lane on each side at the exact same time.

  • RAVE: Duh, gubment OPEN
    RANT: Leaving not-so-Safeway near Potomac metro last night, saw a guy walking shadily and looking at me while I was collecting my groceries. He walked off, but kept looking back at me. And when he saw me walking to my car, he turned around and started walking my direction. My gut said this was no good so I turned back and walked back towards where there were people.
    RAVE: Safeway employee saw me, she asked what was the matter, i told her I didn’t feel safe and she walked me to my car. She saw the guy staring at me (he was still waiting!) and told me to always go with my gut. He started walking towards us (hands in pockets) and then saw her and stopped, and walked to the exact opposite side of the parking lot. She waited til I got in my car and drove away. I wish I had gotten her name!
    RANT: Call from my card company that someone in Oregon was making fraudulent charges with my card. They were all declined though. Thank goodness. This is the THIRD time in 3 years I’ve needed a new card.
    RAVE: Card protection.

    Happy Thursday everyone!

    • Re: your Safeway story. That is SO SCARY! So glad you were aware of your surroundings and serious props to the Safeway employee who helped you.

    • Wow, thank goodness you listened to your instincts! This reminds me of that crazy story of the guy who tried to shove a woman in her own car trunk in a grocery store parking garage. This was last year I think. So freaking scary.

      • Yeah, it was crazy because he saw me turn around and I walked out of his eyeline, and waited like 30 seconds. Then I went to see if he was still there and he was just staring right at me. I don’t usually ever feel threatened but my arms are full of groceries and all I could think was “WHY ARE YOU LURKING OVER THERE AND WAITING FOR ME?” I honestly didn’t want to know the answer to that question.

        And yes, props to the young lady that helped me. She didn’t question my hesitation at all, and showed zero fear. She walked on my right so he would have to go through her to get to me. When he saw that she was there to walk me to my car, he got lost quick.

        • Wow….the fact that he scrammed when he saw you were with another person is a pretty good indicator he was up to no good. Really serves as a reminder to all of us to be aware of our surroundings and trust when we feel something isn’t right!

        • Please call Safeway and speak with the manager to commend this employee. Even if you don’t have her name, you could describe her, the date and time. Manager could probably figure it out. This was WAY beyond the call of duty, and she should be recognized for it. Glad you were safe!

        • would you have felt more comfortable if you were armed?

      • I remember reading about that other incident, and I think the police (or someone else) eventually clarified that that other person was grabbed on a nearby street and it was not, in fact, in the grocery store (Trader Joe’s, I think?) parking garage. But I agree, still scary either way.

    • Glad your not-so- Safeway rant ended well! You might not know the name of the brave person who helped you, but I’m sure that the store manager knows who was on that shift, and could easily identify her. That was very brave and very kind of her to help you!

    • Wow, that is scary. That guy sounds sketchy as hell and not even subtle about it. I’m glad you were so alert to the danger and that the employee was able to help you get home safely.

  • Rave: The end of the government shutdown!

    • It’s amazing how government agencies and companies expect us to pay taxes on time, to show up to work on time, to pay bills on time, and to give them 2 weeks notice, yet they can break their agreements and commitments to us at any time they please. Thousands of contractors aren’t even getting paid though they worked through the shutdown, many have lost their houses and savings. Things like this deeply undermine what it means to be an American. Much more damage was done by this than people will ever know. Goodbye personal rights and freedoms, pay up suckers… *sigh*

      • Who loses their house in two weeks?

        • Many families have already been affected by previous furloughs and are already on the edge. Missing a pay check could easily be the last straw interns of a mortgage, or set off a cascade of late fees in the case of credit cards and other bills. I’m sure you recognize that a lot of families are living from paycheck to paycheck – unlike many affluent dinks and sinks. It doesn’t take much empathy or imagination to answe your question.

          • Sorry – that’s IN TERMS. NOT interns.

          • “Previous furloughs?” You mean 1995?

          • Agree – I’ve already been furloughed this year, and the pay check situation stinks. Then I think about how horrible it must be for a family to have to play catch up – not everyone gets paid a lot, of even well – and many people, especially with kids, are already struggling after pay freezes and other furloughs, to pay for the basics. I don’t think they’d likely lose a house over this right now, but the ripple effect is sad

          • Sequestration has caused a number of federal employees to lose 20% of their pay. My cousin has been affected by both sequestration, which she will not ever be repaid for, and the shut down, which thankfully she will be repaid for. But when you’re already down 20%, delaying a pay check has to be tough.

          • I have friends who were furloughed not too long ago because of cuts due to the sequester level budgets. That furlough affected one member of the family for several days. This furlough, which affected two family incomes was their second hit in about 3 months.

          • epric002

            previous furloughs as in earlier this year. DoD civilians were furloughed once a week for a good chunk of the summer.

          • previous furloughs = this summer. I had 6 unpaid days, every agency who implemented them did so differently.

          • If the working class were better organized this stuff would not always be so lopsided against the worker. An organized labor force keeps the needs of working families above the needs of profit and bureaucracy.

        • I’m not a federal worker and so thankfully wasn’t directly affected by the shutdown. But I can say that my household would definitely be stretched thin by missing a pay cycle. It does indeed set up a cascade effect to one’s budget that’s hard to recover from.

        • houseintherear

          This is such a ridiculous argument. Whether or not a person lives paycheck to paycheck is nobody else’s damn business. Everyone has different circumstances in their lives and a holier-than-thou attitude is not helpful or necessary. SHUT IT.

      • Uhm- maybe I’m wrong but didn’t this just affect ONE pay cycle? For me I get paid on the 1st and the 15th, which means that only my oct 15th(2 days ao) paycheck would’ve been affected. I don’t see how this would cost people to lose houses and savings this quickly. I’d like to think people would try their harderst to hold on to their cash and or ration it out until they knew they’d be getting paid again. (i understand everyone’s circumstances are different, but….)

        • And then there are families where two or more incomes were affected by the shutdown….

          • Yes, but again if they were on a bi-weekly plan, Only within the past week would their checks have been affected. It seems like the next week or two coming would be the hardest for them, not the past two weeks.

        • Though I get paid well, and pay my bills on time and don’t necessarily live check-to-check, I’m able to step outside my limited view of life and understand that others don’t have the same circumstances. Lots of people right now are living check-to-check, they have unexpected family expenses, they work hard and never take vacation, they struggle to make ends meet, despite my own personal prosperity, i can understand I may one day fall on hard times and suffer from the same consequences. One missed check, even a late check can hurl a person into financial ruin when they’re living on the edge. If you can’t understand that, you’re just being selfishly or defiantly ignorant, and it makes no sense explaining things further. Apologies for being blunt if it was an honest question.

          • A-freakin’-men!
            Lots of people – including some people who get paid well – live paycheck to paycheck. And don’t forget that there are a bunch of federal employees who were already getting smaller paychecks because of the sequestration furloughs. I’m sure it’s not easy to go from a full paycheck to 80% of your paycheck to no paycheck.

          • Again- I’m not disagreeing that people live check-to-check and finances vary…I was responding directly to your statement of (People losing homes and lost their savings). If I’m not mistaken, everyone should’ve gotten atleast one pay check beginning of Oct that covered their already worked hours, No? usually there is two weeks in between pay periods, which means regardless these folks had to wait 2 weeks before receiving their next check, which as I said would have been within the past week. SO this leaves them a week without any new income. maybe I’m wrong.

          • the pay check feds received on 11 Oct would have been for about 50% of their normal rate (6 days of work). The next pay period for most is the 25th. That’s a long stretch living with 50% of your income, especially if you are a two-fed (or two contractor) family with a child/children. Hope that makes a bit of sense.

            not sure how back pay will work for those who were working the whole time or for those authorized back pay legislatively, whether lump sum check or added to their next check. No idea. But if it’s a different check, and it’s treated like a “bonus”, you get taxed to hell on it (about 45% vs your normal rate) so that would hurt people too.

          • ^ you just made my point…I’m not denying that people will be affected, I was simplying countering Jack’s statement that many have “lost their homes and savings”. I don’t see how that was possible, when the losses were from futures earnings not current.

          • well, if you don’t have a safety net and your mortgage is due, yet you only brought home 50% of what you budget for, you can easily not be able to pay a mortgage. We had to move money from savings to pay ours, but we purposely have savings – even though I believe Congress’s failure to do their job shouldn’t = an emergency on my part. But having lived through it these past few weeks, trying to live very “thinly” in order to save money, I can see missing a payment. I mean, I would prioritize payments and put mortgage first, but not everyone knows to do that.

          • Well said. Sad that it had to be though….

        • A lot of people in this town live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have enough of a rainy day fund that missing one pay cycle is not a big deal. And from what I understand, government contractors are not being reimbursed for the time off like government workers are. So yes, there are people who are taking a huge hit because of this.

        • You do realize that the guy selling hot dogs at the zoo probably doesn’t have savings, right? Or the janitors? Or the folks that make just above minimum wage at the cafeterias? Not everyone who was off work makes 60,000 or more in the government. Think of all the food service workers at the Smithsonians–when you make 10 or 12 dollars an hour and pay the rents in this area, you probably don’t have much savings.

          • Yes I do realize that. I never said I didn’t. I myself donated leave to cover others whom contracts were affected…..But I don’t think ANY one person lost their HOME!!!

            So again I stand that Jack5 comment about many have lost their homes to be an exerated statement…

          • While I certainly appreciate that many people live paycheck to paycheck and that times are hard all over, if anyone is living so close to the brink that they lost their home because of a single delayed paycheck, they were going to lose their home soon anyway.

          • @dcreal That’s because you fixated on one part of my statement rather than the big picture which so many people (usually in proof-reading or legal-based professions often do). If you miss one payment on your mortgage on a fixed income, when you’re living check-to-check, you often lag behind on payments for several subsequent months which does lead to losing your home. Several people were already on payment plans for their mortgages which have now lapsed because of the interruption in their income. Obviously I didn’t mean that foreclosures happened within a 2 week period. I shouldn’t really have to explain that that’s what I meant to someone who understands that other people in this world make less money than they do.

          • dcreal – There was an article in the Post this week about some of the Feds affected. One woman could not make her rent this month because she did not get a paycheck and had to move in with her mother. Sure, she didn’t lose a home she owned, but she lost the place she lived and the place she called home becuse of stupid partisan bullying. It doesn’t matter that we now know she will get paid in a few weeks. Her rent was due and her landlord kicked her out. And that is a Fed who will get paid back – not a contractor who won’t or one of the many people who work in the service industries who lost work while the feds were gone.

          • @dcreal: there was an article in the post yesterday that included a woman that was moving back in with her mother because she wasn’t able to make rent that was due in October. So, at least one person did…

          • There is NO legal way for someone to be kicked out of their home or rental home within the same month for NOT paying their rent. Everyone is served a notice where they have to show up to court and explain and or give them a chance to pay the back rent.

          • dcreal: I’m with you. The bluster exceeds the facts. Stay strong!

          • I think the main issue is that Jack5’s hyperbole about the people being tossed out into the streets undermines his original and valid point that the shutdown had wide-ranging effects.

          • @dcreal – you’ve clearly never lived on the razor’s edge, or had family who did. Lucky bourgeois you. I’m one of those people who had savings and could weather this storm, but someone like my mother, who lives with my disabled sister, could not. The delay of her paycheck (or loss entirely, for the contractors and affiliated positions that will NOT get back pay) would have launched a terrible escalation of missed payments, late fees, etc. Maybe people haven’t literally lost their mortgages in the past 16 days, but the end result of this is that in 3-6 months, the domino effect could very well mean that someone will.

            Some of the working poor do live that very close to the edge. Is that so hard to grasp?

  • Rant: Cops around GA & New Hampshire yesterday evening pulling lots of people over apparently for car registration issues. Looked like a SWAT operation.

    Rant: Traffic back in full effect, happy the shutdown is over though, wish I got that paid vacation.

    Rant: Meetings scheduled early, when everyone in the office regularly shows up late. I told them it wouldn’t work. I was the only one there for a meeting I didn’t even schedule.

    Rave: Cousin had a baby! Amazing… Makes me feel a bit behind the curve though, I’m 9 years older than he is. :/

  • epric002

    rant: it requires saintly patience to order breakfast sandwiches from the place at work. i cannot fathom why each sandwich order requires a conversation/argument with all 4 of the people “working” the sandwich line. at least they made my sandwich correctly this morning. harumph.
    rave: shut down is over!
    rave: dinner at domku last night as a pre-thank you to my lovely SIL who will be dog sitting for us this weekend. (hi SAF!)
    rave: doggies. i just love them. and am so amazed at how much our rescue has blossomed in the almost year that we’ve had her. a loving, safe place does wonderful things 🙂 oh and her doggie cousin staying with us has helped out tremendously too.

  • Rave: In the new ads for Children’s Hospital that are plastered all over metro, the bear mascot now has normal pupils in its eyes. Good riddance, Bear of the Damned.

  • Rant: More and more random bugs have been showing up in our apartment, which – ick. Our building changed management earlier this year, and I’m fairly certain it’s not due to our cleaning habits…

    Hopeful revel: Has anyone here had experience with WC Smith management (specifically The Frontenac, though we’re looking for cat-friendly one bedrooms in general)? We’re tentatively exploring our options, but the prospect of packing up all our stuff and making a move, albeit a close move, makes me want to just curl up in a ball unless I know the place we’re heading is a great one.

    Definite revel: Cooler weather next week! That combined with the absence of our chain-smoking downstairs neighbor means that we can open the windows with abandon. LOVE that.

    • I used to live in the Frontenac and LOVED it. The building is cat-friendly and I never had insect issues (but that might have been because of the cat!). I had a studio but it felt like a one-bedroom due to the sunroom with French doors. I kept my bed out there. I really, really loved that building and only moved because I bought a place. If Claire is still the manager – she’s great.

    • Agree with Marie! I loved living in the Frontenac. Was there for four years – only left because of a break-up. Had a one-bedroom and still miss that apartment.

      • Thank you both! I’m checking out a unit tonight, and will be meeting with Claire. Here’s hoping they have something available by the time our crappy building actually lets us move …

  • Rave: Urban Evolution – Aerial Silks class with Aco is amazing. It was so much fun, and so challenging – I’m superbly sore this morning.
    Rant: I can only get there once a week, and it’s down in Van Dorn, which may not be far, but when you rely on metro to get from CoHi to there…..it’s a trek….
    Rave: Picked up mini cupcakes for the grad students — cake day for October birthdays!
    Rants: Doing Paleo, so they’re just sitting on the table, taunting me…

    • Re: Urban Evolution, sounds interesting. I’d be curious about the adult gymnastics class. But, Van Dorn!!! Yikes. I thought you said Van Ness at first. That’s a serious haul.

      • Yeah, it’s a haul alright – I nearly fell asleep on the metro on the way home because I was so sleepy and sore! But it’s a blast!

  • gotryit

    Rave: I biked home through rock creek park yesterday (I know, such a rebel).
    Rant: The multi-use path does kind of suck – I can see why some people would prefer the road, but I’ll probably just take my tougher bike with some not-so-skinny tires if I do it again.

    • gotryit

      almost forgot the biggest rant from that ride
      Rant: Moron in lycra who blew a stop sign right in front of a truck in the middle of making a left turn. You came within a foot of getting creamed – you’re lucky the driver saw you and stopped quickly. And I caught up with you anyway after coming to a full stop. Jerk.

  • Rant: While on my bike this morning, a driver behind me honked at me for actually stopping at a stop sign. What was I supposed to do, bike into the speeding cross-traffic on Georgia Ave and get creamed so they didn’t have to wait for me? It feels like I just can’t win sometimes.

    • gotryit

      You can’t win with everyone all the time. Unless they’re physically threatening you, it’s sometimes better to just let the impatient honks go. It’s their problem, not yours.

      • You’re right, I should just let it go. Lately though it seems like I’ve been the target of more frequent harassment from drivers. In the past few weeks I’ve had drivers shout out their windows at me when I wasn’t doing anything wrong, including the guy who felt the need to inform me that I needed to “get that sh*t off the road, you ain’t a m*****f***ing car!”, and then followed me for another block continuing to shout obscenities at me. It’s hard to not let it get to me sometimes…

    • That’s obnoxious. When I’m driving and I stop for a pedestrian at a marked, but not with a light, crosswalk and the person behind me honks or gives me the finger I just try to laugh at them and their pettiness. Sometimes it works, not always.

      I don’t think they don’t want you to go splat on GA Ave, they just want an alternate reality where everything goes their way. In the absence of that, they honk.

      • Something similar happened to me the other day. A few kids were riding their bikes in circles in the middle of the road across the intersection. When the light turned green, they did not move out of the way but continued to ride around in circles. I was first in a line of cars, so of course I had to wait until they got out of the way to proceed. This precipitated a series of angry honks behind me, but I’m guessing (hoping) those people could not see the kids and thought I was just sitting there for the hell of it.

        • epric002

          highly likely that they were honking at the kids on bikes, not at you.

          • Maybe, maybe not. But you raise a good point that when you hear a honk you don’t actually know where it’s directed, so a) don’t take it personally and b) just double-check to make sure you’re not missing something.

  • ListenIng to federal workers complain about the shutdown and getting paid late when I will not see one cent of back pay. But I dare say nothing publically or else i’ll be shown the door. Really makes me angry.

    • Preach. They got their feewings hurt, but pretty much everyone I work with didn’t get paid and won’t be. They chewed through whatever leave they had (if they were allowed to use it), lost benefits, and couldn’t apply for unemployment. And this morning I got to listen to two feds complain about having to come back and why couldn’t they wait until Monday? Feh. Eat it, feds.

    • It’s Congresses way of misdirecting your anger by making the worker bees fight amongst themselves (“Not fair!” “Everyone should suffer equally!”)
      Congress’ corporate masters do this everyday. Focus your rage at the Capitol building by actively working to unseat those that did this.

      • Thank you! I wasn’t aware that federal employees were the one that created the 2 tier system of contractors and feds. Be pissed at those that make the decisions.

        • Emmaleigh504

          People can be pissed at Congress for creating this whole mess and be pissed at the insensitive comments of the people they work with/for at the same time.

          • I definitely agree with you when it comes to the feds that were complaining that we had to come back on a Thursday instead of waiting until next Monday. But feds can’t complain at all about the shutdown? That’s ridiculous.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I think feds have every right to complain about the shutdown, it wasn’t a cakewalk for them either. But contractors who are not getting paid are going to get pissed at them for it. Perhaps they could complain when they aren’t with the contractors, or recognize that the contractors are hurting, too. A delayed paycheck really sucks and can do a lot of damage, but it’s better than no paycheck.

  • skj84

    Rave: Government is reopened! While I wasn’t affected, a lot of friends were.

    Rant: This is petty, but my best friend talks about her boyfriend all the damn time. Almost every conversation we have seems to reroute back to him. I’m glad she’s happy, but i need varied converation!

    • I feel your pain about the boyfriend themed convos….I’ve taken to avoiding blissed out people who don’t seem to realize the constant barrage of happy news about boyfriends, so’s, etc., is tiresome and discouraging for us single types.

  • Rave: thanks to all Popvillers who recommended vets to me yesterday! I took Charlie the kitten to Atlas Vets and couldn’t have had a more positive experience. She is now feeling much better after some fluids, anti-nausea shots, and super bland food and is almost back to her bright, scampery self.

    Rave: girlfriend getting paid again since congress got it together for the time being

    Rave: I have a healthy kitten and a new love, just in time for the fall snuggle season.

  • rave: back to work
    rant: for some reason my cell phone now doesn’t get service in my office.

  • Rant: softball drama. Why do grown men have to act so childish?

  • Rant: Kind of regretting becoming a landlord.

  • Rave – to all the businesses who offered shutdown specials: I only took advantage of a couple (Range, Pulpo) but the bartenders were super gracious about the whole thing and I was appreciative.
    Rave – The Secretary of Agriculture and staff greeting employees on their way into the USDA South Building today.
    Rant- co-workers who publicly touch other’s stomachs and inquire in front of everyone whether one is pregnant. I thought everyone knew that was not cool (both the touching and the inquiry. “Nope, just a little chubby” was my answer, but my answer could have been much worse).

    • So sorry for the inappropriate questions and touching – what idiots! If it makes you feel better I got divorced pretty young and I got “You’re name change…you got married, Congratulations!” at least 25 times. So awkward for everyone when situations like this require a response. Good for you for being gracious.

    • One rave I forgot – thanks to my friends/family who bought me food/drinks during the shutdown. YAY!

    • – I usually respond to rude/ overly personal questions with : “why do you ask?” Followed by a lengthy pause. It gets my point across – without adding more rudeness to the mix. And there are very few good answers to my question!

    • I agree that the stomach touching and pregnancy questions are waaaay off base; I experienced a rotten variation this morning:
      a co-worker (quite senior to me) gave my stomach a pat and just out and out told me that I need to lose weight! (Believe me, I already know it.) At least another co-worker, even more senior, gave this person a scolding for asking, but still – unacceptable!

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