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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.
When my first wife and I separated I lived in an apartment building for a time. One of my neighbors was a young man from Chicago who had a car alarm so sensitive that a hard rain would set it off. The weekly 5am garbage truck going by or any poor sap accidentally brushing it getting into an adjacent car would also make it wail.
After many complaints from other tenants and management asking him to stop arming it, he got upset and moved out. He could not believe that locking his doors in that town was all the security that was necessary. Especially since the cost of the alarm was equal to or greater than the value of the vehicle.
I had never owned a car with any kind of an alarm until I got my current Subaru. I kept hearing it go off while I'm at work, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized there was a button on my key that sets it off, and when I'm going around here with my keys hanging from my belt, the button keeps getting bumped.
I hate technology.
I had a '94 Jaguar XJS convertible, and, after dinner at a neighborhood steak house
as I was walking toward the car another driver clicked his key chain alarm, setting my ride's
horn off. It took thirty seconds for me, fumbling for my keys, to disable the alarm.
Calamares, bah. Fried rubber...
I may have said this before, but car alarms are not only irritating, but borderline useless vis-a-vis what they're supposed to do. When was the last time you heard a car alarm go off and said to yourself, "Egad! Someone's automobile is being burgled! I must alert the constabulary!" No, more likely you grumbled about those friggin' alarms that go off every time a fly coughs on the next block, or some such. I feel that any carjacker worth their cat's paw would know how to case an interior for the mostly likely valuables and skulk off in a matter of seconds, even if they did set off the alarm.
I can see how a vulnerable person might wish to trigger her or his car alarm to attract attention to what (s)he deems a threatening situation. You know, like a person being stalked in a mostly empty parking lot at night.
I suppose I’m just lucky in that I can’t readily recall the last time I was awakened or otherwise disturbed by a car alarm.
Business relationships characterized as “communities,” or, worse yet, “families.”
Of course I’d rather be on friendly terms with the people engaged in commerce with me, and many of my deepest and most lasting relationships were made on the job or in one sort of business arrangement or another. After all, we had at least *that* much in common right off the bat.
But it’s downright inorganic (phony, really) to force the matter onto people. Maybe we’ll become friends, and maybe we won’t, but either way, that’s not why we’re here. The pretense that it would be just rubs the wrong way. It cheapens the meaning of “community” and “family.”
As the sages of Motown put it, your lovin’ gives me a thrill, but your lovin’ don’t pay the bills.
I've never had a car alarm, never had a car stolen either, been broken into a couple of times and attempted theft too. Can't go anywhere without the rotary arm. Problem with that today is that engines now have electronic ignition making the rotary arm redundant.
It's a shallow buzzword world. And it gets shallower every day.
My saddle burr for today is mission statements.
If you feel the need to post a huge sign in the lobby assuring me you're an honest guy only out to serve your community I'm immediately assuming I need to be wary.
Couldn’t agree more. It might be good business in the long run to do right by people (depending on the business, of course, and how long the run), but let’s not pretend that the point of going to work is at base anything other than making money.
Remember Google’s “Don’t be evil”? Protest too much, eh?
As you observed, “community” and “family” are reduced to marketing buzzwords.
It’s not just commercial interests so torturing the language, either. In Seattle, now one of the most expensive, gentrified, family-unfriendly locales in the country, the city government has a Department of Neighborhoods, the central purpose of which is “community building.” Seriously. First you price out the families (among major cities, only San Francisco has fewer children per capita), and then you slap on a high-priced panacea in the form of another city department and pretend that does something to mitigate it. The phony ph**ks.
Long before car alarms became common, my parents owned a Pinto (they also owned a Vega, so they had the maximum exposure to automotive mediocrity). When the air temperature would reach precisely -2 F, the car horn would go off. This usually occurred around 4 AM. It would continue for a minute and then stop, and would start up again after about 10 minutes. This process would repeat until either the air temperature would rise above -2, or my father would run out of the house cursing and swearing, to disconnect the battery.
I have relationships with some co-workers past and present that have transcended the workplace and have actually become "family" in nature -- but this happened in spite of the workplace, and occasionally as a matter of personal solidarity in direct opposition to the workplace, and not because of it.
Mission statements make me vomit. If you have to explain to the world what you're doing, you probably aren't doing it. "Don't Be Evil?" The Boys don't know how to be anything but.
Do other countries have an equivalent to our BSI? It means British Standards Institute. You will see BSI followed by four digits, (there's a lot more than one,) the digits are usually followed by the letters EN &/or ISO, meaning that they are European and, or, International. Companies spend small fortunes to gain these recognitions, they are assessed, certified, audited, verified, product tested, it goes on and on. Then they have to prove that their supplier is of equal standing and quality and on the bandwagon rolls. Finally, when they have successfully gained the coveted accreditation, they can print it on their stationery, their vehicle fleet and on any advertising.
A few pages back we exchanged tales of woe about the transport industry and how long it took for consignments to reach their destination. Every carrier that I know has some sort of services accreditation for quality, care and punctuality, yet the reality is exactly as Loungers described: Pathetic, hit & miss, loss and damage. Our utilities all boast quality accreditations, so do most service industries and yet the reality is, the consumer is only of value when the time comes to renew the contract. Makes you wonder if auditors actually do anything or are palms being greased?
I don't know what it is, but I have never seen Mr. and Ms. Bourgie Q. Bourgeois act more out-and-out hateful toward service-sector workers than they have this holiday season. We expect to get attitude and short-temper from people when seasonal tensions are running high, but never to the extent where I see a normally-pleasant, rational middle-aged woman screaming -- as in a red-faced tantrum -- at a 16 year old kid who didn't get her order Just So. Or the haughty, thin-lipped sneer of contempt from a woman who is told how a certain procedure works, which is not the way she wants it to work. I've talked to a friend who's a waitress at a local middlebrow restaurant and she says she's never seen it worse either. It's not just frustration, it's the actual flat-out hostility -- the real, vicious, pig-biting rage -- that these people seem to need to show to people just trying to do their jobs that really does defy all reason. Is this the world we live in now? Merry Friggin' Christmas, and may they all get rocks in their stockings.
That is the automobile equivalent of a cel phone butt dial.
How do you know they are members of the bourgeoisie? Perhaps they are successful proletarians dressed up for Christmas and your prejudice slots them incorrectly. Us working class people dress up on occasion too.
Not at all. I live in a small town, and know most of these folks by name. Which makes their abusive behavior even more unacceptable.
This goes beyond the usual garden-variety occasional jerk with a chip on her shoulder we always have to deal with. There's something genuinely hateful in the air right now, something that's not-just-me seeing it. And it's exhausting.
There’s shabby behavior aplenty. We cellar-dwellers dish it out ourselves on occasion.
George Packer, in a recent essay, calls our attention to a troubling trend he calls “the moral authority of the oppressed: I am what I am, which explains my view and makes it the truth.”
It’s no less an appeal to authority than that of the more comfortable classes who think their status trumps.
Too many of the people I run into here are acting like dogs who are scared someone's going to take away their bowl of Alpo. And most them have already eaten more of the Alpo than I'll ever see in my entire life.
On the other hand, I don't see too many waitresses going into Mr. and Mrs. B. Q. B.'s workplaces and complaining in a loud, aggressive voice about their tips.