1 in 20 Delivery People Is a Jerk

I make what seems to me to be a rather simple request. Try this and see what you think.

I am blind and will appreciate it if you will put my packages and such to the right of the door as you step onto the porch, under the window. Thanks.

What do you think? Is that clear enough?

95% of delivery people seem to have no issues with this request. I open the door and step to my left and find my packages with my foot. Easy Peasy.

For food delivery, the note adds “Please ring the door bell and hand the food to me so I don’t accidentally step on it or drop it.”

Easy enough you might think. Me too. And most delivery people are fine with this little accommodation. So why does one now and then just set my food directly in front of the door and leave? I’ll let you judge about just how annoying it is to step on my bag of food that I have paid $20 for, plus a 25% tip — and usually more.

Yes, the note is always there for them, right in their delivery app. Yes, at least 95% of the drivers take care to handle my stuff as requested. It’s the occasional driver that just puts my delivery wherever he or she feels like putting it that leaves me frustrated and feeling around to find my stuff. Most grocery delivery people will even offer to set my groceries inside but there is that occasional jerk who just dumps my stuff somewhere and runs. I then have to play hide and seek with my package or whatever else I have ordered.

It would be bad enough if I could see. I might not like looking around to see where my stuff was dumped this time but at least I could look around and probably spot it. Since I can’t see, it is occasionally the next step up on the exasperation scale. I think it’s a gripe well worth griping about.

There isn’t much else I can say, but it feels like I would like to keep griping. Maybe if I gripe long enough and loud enough, the delivery gods will intervene on my behalf. Sure, the right left challenged sometimes put my stuff on the wrong side of the door but that’s definitely not gripe worthy. At lease they tried. I’m just ticked off with the few who obviously don’t give a damn whether I find my stuff or not. For them, I have no kind words. I know that if I don’t have something nice to say, I should say nothing at all. My mother told me all about good manners and being polite. Heck with that! It’s my stuff and I’ll gripe if I want to; and I most definitely am griping about this unacceptable example of just plain laziness.

OK, I’ll settle down. I have it out of my system for now, at least until the next time I eventually find my stuff on the sidewalk and not even on the porch. For now, let’s wrap this up with one of Kevin’s cool toons.

Down With Inflation … No Buying on Tuesday

I heard that inflation comes in two flavors: Pull and Push. I may have them reversed but Pull is when there are supply shortages and push is when we buy more than supply can handle. Either way, inflation is when things that cost too much cost even more.

So, what to do? Since I can’t do anything about the supply side, I’m thinking that we should all agree to just not buy anything on Tuesday unless we really can’t avoid it. I figure that Tuesday would be the easiest day to stop buying, but if you think another day would work better, toss in your suggestion. I suppose we could each pick our day, but I think it will work better if we all agree on the same day. Let’s give Tuesday a try.

We’ve all been told that a little sacrifice is a good thing and No Buying on Tuesday qualifies as a little sacrifice. What do you think? Are you ready to give No Buying on Tuesday a try?

I know it will be pretty easy to fall off the wagon but hang on, together we can do it. Thanks for being a No Buying on Tuesday team member.

Getting Back in Shape Sucks

When I hear someone mention getting back in shape, only one picture immediately comes to mind for me. That is of some middle age fellow jogging along huffing and puffing, looking totally forlorn and close to collapse. He is like the little engine who could but can’t anymore.


Well, that is what used to come to mind. But what’s coming to mind these days is even more gripe worthy. It’s me not adding posts to this blog or episodes to this podcast. Sure, Gary is still Griping but is just too damn lazy to sit down at his keyboard and microphone and do what he knows he aught to be doing.


There; it’s out there so here’s the deal.


I was going along, keeping a pretty good pace posting and podcasting and then…. I’m not quite sure what happened. A situation came up that was using a lot of my time and focus and seemed more important than posting and podcasting. Please don’t be offended, but it seemed more important than talking with you. I’m feeling ashamed of myself but that’s the truth of it.



Were that all there was to it, I would apologize and you would likely say, “No problem,” and all would be well. But that definitely isn’t all there was to it.


That situation I mentioned only lasted for a couple of days but I kept obsessing about it for days on end. I would know that I should be posting and podcasting but just kept obsessing. And even when the obsessing started ramping down, I wasn’t posting or podcasting. Now what’s the deal with that?


I think it may be the same thing as with brushing my guide dog. Every morning I feed him and let him out to do whatever he does out there. When he comes back inside, I immediately brush him. I brush him whether I feel like it or not and whether he wants brushed or not. I just do it every morning. Sure, I know that it won’t be a problem if I skip a brushing now and then, but I don’t. What’s with that?


I think that if I skip a day brushing him, it will become easier to skip brushing tomorrow and so on. If I relax my routine even one day, I suspect I might eventually just quit brushing him at all. That is unlikely but I fear it might be true.


Going without posting or podcasting, going without talking with you runs a similar risk. I might just stop showing up and that would be sad for me. I hope it would be sad for you too, but nonetheless, I would be missing out on one of the best parts of my week.


So what’s happening? I’m nothing like an expert or anything on things like that but think it’s one of those slippery slope things. There are a few things that I think are important and really want to do. They have different requirements but the main thing is that they take time and require an increased level of physical, mental and/or emotional energy and attention. For that I need to be in shape and need to stay in shape. But there is a catch. It seems like there is always a catch with anything I really want to routinely do.


To stay in physical shape, I need to exercise regularly and routinely. If I don’t it’s nearly guaranteed that I’ll be off my game when it’s time to do what I really want to do. If my game is more mental than physical, I still need to exercise. But here it is usually called practice. If my game is more emotional such as art or music or perhaps some type of counseling or support, I still need to be in shape and stay in shape. Just as when I drop off with physical activity, if I drop off with mental or emotional activity related to my game, I fairly quickly am less able to do what I value doing.


This is the real catch. Most anything that I want to do well requires that I stay in shape, almost without exception. If I don’t do what I need to do to stay in shape, then the likelihood of doing what I do well is somewhere between low and laughable.


I’m not sure which is most gripe worthy, letting myself get out of posting and podcasting shape or having to get back in shape. Either way, it sucks. It needs done so I’ll do it. Although getting back in shape is seldom all that much fun, being in shape is totally terrific. And there is that cherry on my cake … Spending time with you.

Does Anyone Follow Through?

Over only the past three days, my gripe factor has risen to what is probably an intolerable level. I am going to have to take it out on someone. It goes like this.


Driveway Seal: Last week, I talked with an apparently helpful rep at a driveway seal company who told me that they would be out to seal my driveway this week. She would call on Monday to confirm which day they would be here. No call on Monday.


She did call on Tuesday to assure me that they would be here the next day early in the morning. They did not show.


I figure I would have griped about that but waited were it not for the other two gripes that were already festering.


Attorney No Call: On the very same Monday that the driveway seal lady was to call and didn’t, I talked with an attorney about an estate issue to see if he wanted to help me transfer some property. We talked a while and he assured me that he would send me a representation agreement that afternoon by e-mail. It’s two days later and no agreement by e-mail or otherwise. I am starting to think that no one actually does what he or she says will be done.


Ugly Yard: A little while ago, I walked out my front sidewalk for the first time in a while. I have a lawn company that is supposed to keep my yard looking nice, grass, trees, flowers, bushes and such. I could not walk out the sidewalk without pushing back the bushes growing across the sidewalk and on my way back in, I tripped over a large clump of grass extending out over the sidewalk. I can’t see but assume that the rest of my yard is in an equally unacceptable condition.


Add this to my third robot vacuum cleaner dyeing and my gripe factor is moving off the scale.


Here’s my question. Does anyone do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it? OK, many do but way too many don’t. Just how tolerant should we continue to be? Should we give everyone three strikes before we move on?


Here’s my plan, keeping in mind that my gripe factor is quite high at the moment. I think I will find another attorney, another driveway seal company and a new lawn company. And as for that robot vacuum, it might be easier to just vacuum the old fashioned way.


Here’s the glitch. I could easily end up with a different attorney, a different driveway seal company and a different lawn company who are as unreliable as the first three or maybe even more unreliable. I guess I will wait at least until next Monday to see if any of the three give any sign of following through with what they said they will do.


Getting my gripe on has its up side. It helps make sure that I don’t just roll over when people disappoint or tell me that they are going to do things that they have no intention of doing when they say they will do it. It has its down side as well. Having my gripe on can also easily make me make the worst of two bad choices. I can make a new choice that is often as bad or worse than my first choice.


I’m thinking about this as a new policy. When dealing with businesses, I will generally give them a week beyond when they said I could expect a call or follow up. If they still don’t call or follow up, I will move on to another business that can do what I need done. If I can’t move on for whatever reason, I will escalate my gripe to someone higher who might actually help. If that is not an option, I will just have to accept the fact that I am royally screwed.


Samsung Soundbar Not As Advertised

About three months ago, I got a new Samsung soundbar for my deck. My only goal was to have great music when relaxing outside. And great music I got. The sound was awesome. – Definitely nothing to gripe about.

But wait! The ad clearly said that my new soundbar would work with Alexa. I thought that meant that I could tell any of my Echo devices to play music on the deck and music I would get. And music I got for about two weeks, and then no more. Alexa would tell me that music was playing on the deck but it wasn’t true.

OK, this was probably just a small glitch that would be easily corrected. Still not much to gripe about. I called the Smart Things app support line and politely explained that my soundbar had played on wi-fi for two weeks but quit playing. The equally polite support person assured me that he would help me fix the problem.

Three or four support calls later, still another polite support person told me that she would be happy to help just as soon as Amazon support checked to make sure that the problem wasn’t on their end. — It’s starting to become gripe worthy.

As you might expect, the Amazon support person was at least as polite as the Samsung folks and just as eager to help. I was assured that they would move my issue up to senior support and I would get a response in a day or two. You likely guessed correctly: No response in a day or two. — The gripe quotient is increasing.

At this point, I have received nearly two months of support and had the pleasure to talk by phone to nearly a dozen very polite support folks. They all continued to assure me that they would help me get my soundbar connected by wi-fi to Alexa and my music would soon be playing.

Let me note that on virtually every call, I mentioned that the soundbar had played nicely for two weeks and that it still played nicely if connected by Bluetooth to my iPhone. Although there was a noticeable reduction in enthusiasm and confidence, the support folks politely stuck to the notion that my soundbar would soon be working just fine over wi-fi with Alexa and my music would be just a request to Alexa away. – I finally told the last support person I talked with that they win. My patience was down to zero.

The gripe factor had gotten way to high for me to continue. I was pretty sure that I was too far over the top to continue being polite with people who were not resolving my problem. I had concluded that I was a victim of false and misleading advertisement.

Even so, I kept obsessing about my soundbar. There had to be a way to make it work. And then one afternoon, I discovered that an Echo Dot has an unexpected feature. I can play it through its internal speaker but also can send its output to an external speaker by Bluetooth. Aha, I could send its output to my soundbar. If I did that, I could tell Alexa on that Echo Dot, or on any other Echo device on my wi-fi network, to play music through that echo and the music would play through my soundbar, on my deck. Even better, I could put that Echo Dot in a virtual room called “Deck” and music would play on my deck simply by telling any Echo device in my house to play music on the deck.

It gets better. I can also use the Amazon Alexa app on my phone as a remote control for the music on my soundbar while I am relaxing on the deck swing. The soundbar now plays music from any source that Alexa supports including Apple, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify and even Tunein radio. Now just how cool is that? Way cool, even if I do say so myself.

I must confess. I had totally gotten my gripe on, to the point where I either through in the towel or risked behaviour that even I would disapprove. The extra Echo Dot I had to buy not withstanding, I did get a perfect solution to a problem that I should not have had. I think the ad should have said that the soundbar will probably work with Alexa over wi-fi for a couple of weeks and then you are screwed.

I’ll bet you have a gripe of your own about something that just didn’t work like it was advertised to work. Feel free to share your gripe worthy experience with our readers and podcast listeners. Email Gary@GaryGripes.com.