What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Pay at the pump. Look, I did the B-school thing. I get the business model you’re using. I know that the average convenience store doesn’t make jack squat from selling gasoline… you make your money when people come in and buy a slurpee or a hotdog or a case of beer. If I’m paying at the pump, though, that’s probably because I don’t want to come in to the damned store. Can you knock it off with playing twenty questions before letting me buy a little gas? No, I don’t want a car wash. Why they actual eff do you need to know what my zip code is? I don’t care one way or another if you print a recipe… except when I say yes and then your little printer-in-the-pump is out of paper or ink or isn’t working for whatever reason. I just want to swipe my card, fill up the tank, and move on. I don’t come in and ask your employees their home address, what exactly goes in the chicken salad or if they can just put my beer in a paper sack instead of plastic. Please can we just complete our transaction and go our separate ways? I’d be willing to pay a few cents more a gallon just for that small mercy.

2. Working late. It’s hard to believe I ever sought out jobs where 12 hour days were the standard. Now I’m older, wiser, and my overtime rate isn’t worth a damn. I admit it, I’m a jealous guard of my personal time, but the other side of that coin is that I do my level best not to drag my personal life into the office. It doesn’t matter to me if its five minutes, fifty, or five hours. It’s not about the money. Time, once spent, is irrecoverable – money, by contrast, flies off the presses all day every day. What’s even more noxious is the assumption that I can just stick around as if there’s not another thing in the world to do. If you’re going to burn up my time, I’d appreciate at least an acknowledgement that it’s an inconvenience that’s been noted. Don’t worry, though, I’ll make sure the scales balance, but it will be balanced at the time of my choosing, regardless of what’s convenient for anyone else.

3. Palmyra. One of the greatest archeological treasures in the world has fallen to lunatic Islamic forces in Syria. It’s gotten some coverage. It will get a little more when the looting and destruction start in ernest. It’s the kind of place that’s worth defending, but mostly the world with shrug and wring its collective hands when millennia of history are smashed, bulldozed, or sold off onto the black market. I don’t have much use for radicals of any stripe, but for the ones who destroy history just for the joy of seeing it burn, slow death is too good for their ilk.

Having the world to yourself…

I think Sunday mornings are my favorite part of the week. Even now when the days are shorter and the sun isn’t quite up at 7AM, I like being awake and moving. That brief hour between 7 and 8 is one of the very few times in a typical week when it legitimately feels like you’ve got the world to yourself. There’s no traffic moving yet, no email rolling in, no tweets, or Facebook posts that need liking. There’s just me, the dogs, a fresh pot of coffee, and a blog. It’s a pity that all days can’t start off like that.

This Sunday, I’m offering up the last of the posts from July 2008 and the first post from August of that year. There’s a nice little rant on July 28th if you’re interested in finding out why I don’t mind the price of gas being a little high. July 27th is a quick note on why I think formal term limits for Congress are a bunch of bunk. The other three posts in the set are a little more spur of the moment thoughts that never quite got fully developed, but still make of decent enough reading. As if I’d say there was every a post you should just go ahead and skip over.

Updates from the archive are the first productive thing I try to get to on Sunday mornings. Once they’re live here on WordPress, I feel like I can get on with Sunday – so enjoy the posts this morning and remember to check back tomorrow to find out what happens on Monday that will inevitably deserve to be written down for posterity.

Gas Lines…

Coming home from the office this afternoon, I swung into the Costco parking lot so I could feed my 5.8 liter beast. The first sign of something being not quite right was the guy standing in the middle of the lane waiving people away from the pumps. No problem, I think, I’ll just go around and come at the pumps from the other side of the lot. No dice there, either… another guy in a orange safety waiving traffic around. Stopping to ask what the hell the issue was, all he did was point to the 30-40 car deep line waiting to even pull up to the pumps.

All I can say is what the hell are people thinking? I know there’s a hurricane and that refineries in the Houston area are going to be shut down for a few days. I also know that prices are going to spike by 30-45 cents because of that… But waiting in line for 40 minutes to get gas $.30 a gallon cheaper than it will be tomorrow just seems silly to me. I mean, just do the math… for me: 30 gallon tank x $3.45/gallon = $103.50. Same 30 gallon tank x $3.75/gallon = $112.50. Sorry gang, but my 40 minutes on a Friday afternoon are worth a damned sight more than $9.00. I’m just sayin’.