Mostly Harmless

Mostly about my amusement

Category: Just Stupid (page 1 of 12)

That time, and that time and the other time

Hey, remember that time when

  • Reviewing a male IT candidate to hire, in the closed room meeting where someone said “Don’t hire him, he’s about the right age for having a baby”?
  • Or that time in another closed room meeting someone else said “I’m going to remove points from that candidate because he’s a man“?
  • Or that time someone else said “I don’t like his attitude, he’s bossy”?
  • Or that time the women crowded around the one man in the room and talked over him? His idea was eventually the one that solve the problem but a week was wasted because he was a man. You remember that time, right?
  • Or the time a women got in a man’s face at work and started screaming at him because in her native culture men don’t talk to women with authority?
  • Or that time at work when women questioned a man’s sexual preferences behind his back because he was effective and managed his project well?
  • Or that time when an extremely well qualified man with certifications, training and experience came to present his company’s product and all the women did was fawn over his looks? That meeting where the women could not even remember the product name or function?
  • Or my favorite, where a man and all of his work was dismissed with a one syllable word that’s not ever used in polite company? You have to remember that time.

None of that ever happened, you have to replace all the above male references with female.

Once you’ve done that, then you have to realize that it happens all the time. I’ve seen it and I’ve almost always replied with “Stop and take that back. I’m not kidding, you will be reported to HR.” The one time I didn’t was when another two coworkers beat me to the punch.

The amount of bullshit professional women deal with is exhausting to look at. To. Look. At. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live with that nonsense day in and day out.

No actually, I can imagine it. I married the smartest woman I know. I do that weird thing where I like to listen to women and I talk to her all the time.

I’ve heard what it was like for her to be a professional with a) an MBA in International Business, b) a second MBA degree in Advanced Accounting, c) being a CPA and d) many years of experience in corporate america managing a department of 40 people. It wasn’t easy for her ever and the misogynistic nonsense was a constant drag. It was a real and tangible component of every work day.

How different would the world be if the playing field removed that nonsense? What else could women accomplish if they didn’t have to deal with the weight of this crap and microaggression?

*Re reads Lily’s education and experience*

Wow. Did I marry up.

I’m a man in an industry that caters to, coddle and promotes men. I get the benefit of that just by showing up. I’m not diminishing my accomplishments. But I have to acknowledge that another group has to work harder than I do to get to the same place. By default. That’s just stupid and stamping that out has to continue.

This whole post is because I read the comments. I do not think that a few vocal trolls replying in large volume indicates how a community is in reality. But it is the trolls that will cost any group of people members from joining or staying just to avoid that bullshit. That would be the worst and I do not ever want to see that in any community I associate with.

Ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling jailed for leaking – BBC News

“There has to be a clear message sent to other people at the agency,” she said, explaining that intelligence officers should understand that they, too, will be punished if they disclose classified information. “There’s going to be a price that will be paid.”

Source: Ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling jailed for leaking – BBC News

Unless you are David Petraeus. Then you don’t have to worry about punishment.

“If anyone else drives the car, we will impound it.”

Nice blog post title. That’s the memory that sticks out from my Dollar Rent A Car experience. It turns out that Lily and I do not react well to being treated badly when doing something innocuous like renting a car. I’ll explain.

Oh, and if you do rent a car? Call your insurance company and credit card first. You may not need to pay for extra car insurance from the rental company.

VIVA LAS VEGAS!

Recently my family went on a vacation to Las Vegas. Our flight was delayed so we arrived about 1 AM New York time and everyone from the flight was tired.

McCarran airport organizes its rental car companies offsite and we took a quick shuttle bus to the location. When we got to the Dollar counter the gentleman pulled up our reservation, looked at our ID, credit card, etc.

Soon we got down to brass tacks.

Him: “Which of these insurance plans do you want?”
Me: None of them, thank you.

The plans were arranged on a card like so.

  1. Buy this one! This one! Me! Be safe! Safest!
  2. Meh. OK then, suit yourself. But I hope nothing bad happens for your sake.
  3. You. Cheap. Bastard. You suck. See if I care.

You get the idea. The minimum plan was an additional $25 per day that we didn’t need.

Him: “What? What? You are going to drive the car with no insurance?”
Me: We have that covered via our car insurance and the credit card.

Did I mention that Lily and I have traveled before? Not our first time at the rodeo.

The credit card I used covers almost up to the KBB value of the rental car and that’s a secondary insurance. With our main auto insurance it covers more; we called both companies and checked.

Him: “Where are you from?”
Me: New York.
Him: “Well, this is Nevada, not New York. It’s different here. Your coverage doesn’t work here.”

Gee, thanks buddy. I thought we were in Newark, NJ. I’m sure you know what you are talking about.

This led to more scintillating conversation where both my wife and I were treated like idiots. The rep behind the counter kept interrupting us, explained to us repeatedly that we had to select and buy an insurance option from him.

Him: “You are going to rent this car without insurance??”
Me: No, we have-
Him: “Do you understand that if ANYTHING happens to this car we will come after YOU?”
Me: I expect that-
Him: “Are you prepared to replace this car?”

Seriously, that happened. I get that they feel that they need to “inform” the customer. But I work in support too and that’s never an appropriate way to talk to people let alone customers.

Me: So, you are refusing to rent us that car?

Now that sped things up. He began to angrily process our reservation. Honestly, he was acting like we were stealing food from his family.

Him: “Who is going to drive the car?”
Me: Just me.

And that’s when he said it. I’ll just make this a little bigger to stress that.

impound-the-car

I snorted out loud at that one. For a second I really wanted to get into it with this malcontent and ask “Even if I use valet parking and how would you know?” but we were wasting enough time. We didn’t come to here to spend time with Dollar Rent A Car.

I do all the driving on vacations. I like to, it’s not really a problem for me. I would have preferred to have added Lily as a driver but I didn’t want to prolong this any further.

While waiting for my papers I did shoot off this tweet.

Twitter is a good venue for complaining.

Hello? Dollar Rent A Car? This is not how you ever treat customers.

It’s just a car rental. While that may be a big deal for a car rental company, it’s only something I do maybe once a year. And I did accept and drive off with the car so I wasn’t mortally offended.

Next time I need a car? There’s no chance that I’ll even consider Dollar again. It’s not that I think Dollar a “bad” company but after that first impression why would I ever give them my business or recommend them to anyone?

When I’m the customer you only get one pass at me with your stunning ignorance and bad attitude.

There is no anonymity on the Internet

Well, at least in the U.S. there really isn’t. This morning around 2 AM EDT a troll followed me from a topic on the WordPress forums from Denver, Colorado.

He’d poked around for about 30 minutes with his Android tablet using Firefox (likely from his parents basement) and left a racist contact form submission about my wife and how I “struck out with pretty white girls and ended up in the bottom of the social barrel”.

There’s something really sad and pathetic about someone posting that from their parent’s basement after midnight their local time.

None of that bothers me; trolls on the Internet have been around forever. I’ve heard that in the work place (though that was 20 years ago) and hey, it’s the Internet.

Had he left anything remotely threatening then instead of a blog post I’d be preserving log data for law enforcement and making some calls this morning.

What irks me is when a plugin developer follows me home to continue an argument or leave a “<EXPLETIVE DELETED> YOU!” message. When that happens I don’t get angry but I do get disappointed. It doesn’t happen often as most WordPress developers are cool.

Troll are bad. WordPress developers losing their mind? More sad than anything else. I expect people who contribute to the community to be better than that. 😉

I’ll take “Find a new radio station” for $100 Alex

On the short ride to the train station just now I just heard this stupidity.

“If you were a single woman what would you prefer your ex-boyfriend tell people about you and why you broke up?

  1. You’re a bitch
  2. You’re a slut
  3. You’re crazy

What do you think?”

The two women on the show liked options 2 and 3. The guy who asked the question thought option 1 was best. I’d have paid money to hear one of women say something like “Really? Are you out of your mind? I don’t date lowlifes.” That may have happened, I switched to another station before I could listen to more.

Yes, it’s FM morning radio and not NPR but seriously? I mean pre-teens tune into that station. I don’t think my 12 and 10 year-olds listen to that station but I’m going to check.

Jan looks for coffee on the train and find none. That’s a pity.

I tend to jump around the radio looking for music and often settle on the current “they’re not WLIR from the 80s but they’ll do today” station. At least not-WLIR plays a lot of Green Day and Foo Fighters. They’re not really better but the music selection is alright.

Normally the first station is all about yucks and phone pranks. There’s another Long Island FM station that has insane reality TV type setup morning nonsense and I don’t even bother with them anymore. I get the appeal of low brow humor (insert fart joke HERE) but that’s just too stupid.

There’s low brow and then there’s misogyny and that’s not funny at all.

I must be on a Jon Stewart roll

Okay, if you follow Fox news and you buy into the whole “class warfare” nonsense, then you too are an imbecile. You can still watch Fox news (no idea why myself) but don’t buy the spin.

When Warren Buffet talks about closing loop holes, people should understand that he know’s what he’s talking about. He should be the sort of person Fox would listen to: self-made and wealthy. He’s a smart and very successful. So now he’s a socialist…? How did they form that conclusion?

Read up on it over at the Atlantic Wire. Naturally they have videos and those are worth watching. It’s fun to note that you can’t even talk about raising taxes with some people but they have no problem raising taxes on everyone else.

Oompa Loompa for President?

I’m finding it really amazing that this extremely talented con-artist talks about running for the office of the POTUS and the press just eat it up. What next, Howard Stern for office?

And don’t think I’m being negative by referring to someone as a con-artist; except for banks (who likes them anyway?) I don’t think he’s ever needed to pilfer from old ladies. It’s not easy on him going on a press road show while pimping his television program.

What does this character have that qualifies him for office? He appeals to the racist birthers, he’s a to-big-to-fail business man, and he has a show on TV. Oh, and he see hatred coming from the eyes of Bill Crosby.

Except for demonizing President Obama, does this bad comb-over qualify get Tea Party branding? I thought they were for smaller government and debt, not “let’s make a deal because I can’t pay my loans”. It is true that he is wealthy and gets away with a lot, but does the “Tax Enough Already” crowd see this man as their candidate?

The only good thing for the GOP is that the other nuts in the field are beginning to look rational and sane. I can easily see Rudy starting his new campaign with “Hey, at least I’m not that guy!”

Arizona shooting

Not a good week for Arizona.

“The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately Arizona I think is the capital. We are the Mecca for prejudice for prejudice and bigotry,”

via ABC News: Police Hunt for ‘Person of Interest’ in Tucson Shooting

Yesterday a deranged murderer interrupted a gathering arranged by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She was shot and is in critical condition. 6 innocent people were killed including a 9-year-old child.

The Not-Our-Fault reverse blame game started immediately. Some shrieking radical right-wing blogs wasted no time declaring that the shooter was not one of theirs. This always starts with “the victims are in our prayers” but degenerates into “the left are scum”. This is not a surprise since I rarely come across a conservative blog that’s not a radical pool of nuts. Some of the sites I frequent were actually subdued. The commentators? Not so much.

That doesn’t surprise me. Blog comments are easy and do attract the radical fringe.

Naturally, many people are pointing the finger at the half-term governor. I think that’s only partially correct. When you have political protests and people talk about armed insurrection, they’re culpable for atrocities like this one. The half-term governor is more at fault because she claims to be a leader.

Leaders take responsibility, so except for some quaint statements I’m not anticipating much from her.

You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater and claim no responsibility when someone get’s trampled in a stampede. That the shooter may not be Tea Party inspired doesn’t change the fact that they were encouraging people to do this.

Do you think if this happens again, the radicals will stand up and say “yep, that one was ours. Here’s his membership card.” Also, why is this not being called a terrorist act?

I’m just asking. Don’t worry, I don’t like to incite violence either.

Is Arizona’s new motto “Latinos Not Welcomed”?

I’m beginning to believe that Arizona’s State Government just hates anything remotely Latino.

For all of that and more, Mr. Acosta’s class and others in the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched.

via Arizona Orders Tucson to End Mexican-American Studies Program – NYTimes.com.

The emphasis above is mine. I question why they leave any other program’s alone. Maybe they’re just aiming for the low hanging fruit? I mean, seriously, “Programs that promote the overthrow of the United States government are explicitly banned”? The curriculum covered that?

Good thing Arizona doesn’t manage CUNY.

One of the things that has always infuriated me is that there are legitimate concerns and questions about the United States immigration policies and enforcement of those policies. But the wingnuts on both sides of the debate always go to the extreme, so nothing gets done and nothing changes.

Take this exchange in Arizona as a perfect example: this is targeting Mexican’s by people who just don’t like anything Mexican. They conveniently exclude (for now at least) other “non-American” material just to express their dislike.

Aside from targeting on minority (or not minority!) what does this accomplish?

Nathan’s Hotdogs and “those Chinese”

This past Saturday the family and I went in the evening to the Christmas Tree Store in the Tanger Outlets at the Arches. The kids didn’t have dinner so first we stopped at Nathan’s Famous for food. I’m a fan of their Chili Dog.

My wife had a different than usual experience: she was insulted and treated badly. She’s since then received an apology on the phone from both Tanger Outlets and the Nathan’s franchise owner. They have both offered her coupons and vouchers to make up for the treatment. She doesn’t care about that, she just wants an apology via email.

Except for removing the name of the person who insulted her, here is the complaint she sent Nathan’s famous as well as Tanger Outlets.

Dear Nathan’s Famous Corporation,

I want to file a complaint regarding certain members of your staff at the Tanger Outlets at the Arches Deer Park location.

What happened to me was discriminatory, disrespectful, and insulting. The behavior of the Nathan’s staff was absolutely uncalled for.

Looking at the time on my receipt, on Saturday December 4, 2010 at 5:27pm I was with my family at the Tanger Outlers at the Arches Deer Park location. I ordered Clam and Chips for myself and some other food for the family.

When we got to our table I discovered that the clam was very rubbery and didn’t taste good.  I went to the counter and I explained that I wanted something else or a refund.  The cashier who took my order was very nice and professional but I guess she needed to ask for approval from some senior staff.  That’s when a man named —— (that was the name on his shirt tag) commented “Next time, when those Chinese order make sure they know what they ask for.” He said that as if I don’t speak English and didn’t know what I ordered.  Yes, I am a Chinese American and I am one of “those Chinese”.

Even the female cashier was taken aback by ——‘s comment and gave him a look.  —— then said “Did she know what she ordered or what?”  The cashier said “Yes, she ordered the clam and chips.” I then explained that I in fact knew what I ordered but didn’t like the food and wanted an exchange or refund.  He said “This is how clam tastes you know.”  I said “No, clam taste better and not rubbery like this.  I don’t like it.”  —— then started walking away to the back and kept saying about “She didn’t know what she ordered” and “Those Chinese”.  That’s when I said “Do you have a problem with Chinese?”  He angrily and loudly responded “NO” and walked away.  I told the cashier that I wanted it replaced with fish and asked to speak with the store manager.

I soon found out that the manager was not any better.

The manager came to the counter and I started to explain to him that I don’t like to be called ‘those Chinese’ and I was not happy with the way I was being treated.  It was discriminatory and disrespectful the way —— talked to me and I wanted to file a complaint.  The manager’s response was “OK, so?  You are making a scene here.”  We went on back and forth like this for a few minutes.

That’s when I had enough and I called my husband over. Obviously “those Chinese” didn’t matter to him either and the whole situation was “just so” not a big deal to him.

I explained what happened to my husband. He tried to calmly speak to the manager at first.  You see my husband is not one of “those Chinese”. He’s Caucasian and we are both U.S. citizens.  My husband said “I understand.  I used to work at White Castle so know how it is.” But no matter, the manager wouldn’t hear it.  He interrupted and said “She’s making a scene.  I don’t know if this is your girlfriend, wife, or what but she came at me and is making a scene here”.

That’s when my husband said “Do you have a number for your headquarters so we can call them?”  The manager said “Yes, I have the number but she’s making a scene here” and he started to lecture my husband again. At that point my husband said “That’s enough.  We are done here.  We will look up the phone number on the Internet.  Let’s just walk away.”  And that’s what we did, with my replaced fried fish.

I strongly believe that I was discriminated against by being labeled “those Chinese” and treated disrespectfully by both —— and the manager.  I think the least the manager can do was to hear my complaint and acknowledge that ——‘s comments were wrong.  Instead all he cared about was for me to be quite and leave and not make “a scene”.

I can understand someone like —— without approving of his insulting behavior. It is possible that —— simply does not know any better.

However, the manager is a professional with your corporation. I assume that your company maintains EEOC training and familiarizes the management on recognizing and preventing discrimination. At a minimum his actions certainly do not represent good Human Resources practices. It’s not how you treat a paying customer.

Simply put, your manager knows better and behaved insultingly to a now ex-Nathan’s customer.

While my wife has received a phone call and an apology, she is still waiting for an apology via email.

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