Foul Monday

I am in such a mood that the fact the post title will stop many people from reading is no deterrent to my writing this post today. Speaking of not reading…the first installment of “Threes And Sevens” was met with indifference. It had easily the fewest views of any of the first eight posts I published this month. In fact, if it hadn’t been for an unusual number of referrals from Twitter and the “obligatory” few searches by people who still don’t seem to know that Cristy Lee is no longer part of Barrett-Jackson broadcasts, Saturday would have produced the fewest views for a day with a post in well over two years.

Only Mark offered a comment on Threes And Sevens: 1927. (Note: Dirty Dingus McGee sent a comment that I didn’t see until after I published this post.)  I welcome thoughtful comments and they don’t all have to be complimentary. I know some things about automobiles, but I sure as hell don’t know everything. NO ONE knows everything about anything. Albert Einstein spent the last 20 years of his life chasing a unified field theory. Basically, the only way people can learn is to acknowledge that they don’t know everything.


For nine years my wonderful wife and I used Ooma for VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service. To be honest, for the first two years Ooma didn’t work that well as it habitually dropped calls. After many discussions with their tech “help” one “high-level” technical assistant changed one setting in a parameter file and that solved the issue. We thought about dropping Ooma many times during those first two years, but didn’t want to go back to using the local cable company who had been charging us three times as much for phone service. As for why we felt we needed a VOIP connection, we lived in a house with a poor cell phone signal due to all of the tall trees and, frankly, I just didn’t want to leave my connection to the world subject to the vagaries of cellular communication.

A little more than a week ago our original Ooma box began to fail as we were unable to retrieve voice mail. I thought nothing of using Ooma’s website to order a replacement. The new box arrived Saturday. Despite being on the phone for hours on Saturday and Sunday with many “customer service” representatives and “high-level” technical assistants, the box simply would not work. The last straw was waiting for a half hour yesterday in an effort to speak with an assistant without ever reaching one.

I hung up, called back and after waiting more than 20 minutes was finally connected to a “customer service” representative. I told them I had had enough and wanted to return the new box for a full refund and to close my Ooma account. This rep offered to connect me to a supervisor. I basically said, “What good would that do at this point?” Long story short, as soon as Ooma processes the return of the box (thankfully, the closest UPS store is open on Sunday), our Ooma account should be closed.

I am just sick and tired of companies that are staffed by people who can’t do anything except read from a script, by people who don’t really want to work and who don’t care about their jobs. I am sick and tired of every day handing me another obstacle. Once again, I realize I am not living in Ukraine or starving in Africa. I am still mentally worn out from dealing with crap every single f*cking day.


Another reason this day has me in a foul mood as it was on April 11, 2011 that I began my stint working at a large financial services firm. My tenure there lasted 288 calendar days.

I hated that job. If it hadn’t been for the fact that my wonderful wife also worked there so we commuted together and ate lunch together almost every day, I wouldn’t have lasted 28 days. If that position is representative of life in corporate America, then companies are complicit in the poor morale and apathy of most workers.

This day is also another painful reminder that I was never able to establish a rewarding and fulfilling career after my 20+ years in baseball. That’s a significant reason why this blog is important to me and why it is disappointing when readership numbers fall short.


Speaking of complicity…although my self-inflicted sunburn is finally showing signs of healing, I am pissed off to no end in my complicity and stupidity in getting sunburned in the first place. This experience is making me reconsider my plan to completely shave my head in preparation for the Arizona summer.


Maybe this will make me smile:


See the source image


On the other hand, this picture is another reminder of the constraints in my life. At least for now, I basically have to choose between buying something like this, which will mean a higher insurance premium, or having the second and final tune for my Z06, which will cost much more initially, but will not mean a larger insurance bill, will save me money on gas as I will be able to go back to 91 Octane fuel and should give the car about 1,000 HP at the crank. I hear you: “first-world problems…” At present, words are inadequate to describe how much I yearn for an unconstrained life, even if for just a month. Yes, I know: EVERYTHING in life involves trade-offs.








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8 thoughts on “Foul Monday

  1. I’ve decided that in most interactions in life, I’m going to be fucked: in some situations I’ll get dinner afterwards, in others my name will be written on the bathroom wall. We are still waiting for the remodelers to respond to why the gas line was installed incorrectly and the walls were not left in “paint ready” shape as per the contract.
    Companies today do not want expertise; they want people who know the company fight song and wear the beanie cap. I work for a company that has a person who has such an accent that he has to repeat himself to EVERYONE he speaks to, and although he was a specialist in his country, he knows very little about how things are done in the U.S. While yours truly, who has 13 years of experience across multiple areas and with relationships with the experts in my geography, have to play cleanup in Maine and NH until the new hire with no experience goes through training. Screw it, I’ll take mid six figures a year to sit on my ass and start learning a side gig.
    Of course, our territory has hundreds of not thousands of health care providers who could be using our product and SEVENTY are consistently. Two million people in America are candidates for the product, yet only 38,000 are taking it, for a product that saves lives.
    At least my toilet works…


    1. Thanks, Doc. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Gore (as in Gore-Tex, not Al) principle of keeping offices small can be applied to countries. Maybe the US is simply too big to function efficiently.

      I agree that too many US companies want employees who blindly drink the Kool-Aid and don’t care about getting their staff to their highest value role ASAP. Got to pay your dues…what a bunch of BS.


      1. Quick story: one of my previous employers believed in “The *****Way”, which was basically the asshole in charge is always right, including when he/she says it’s raining when they’re being pissed on. This is the same company that kneecapped two of the greatest drugs of the last thirty years, costing their stockholders at least $6-8 billion dollars a year in revenue for at least the next five years (NOACs and SGLT2s…cough cough), and yet NO ONE paid a price. In fact all the decision makers moved up or moved on. Oh wait I’m wrong; stockholders and the ground troops got BOHICA’ed royally.


      2. Funny, but sad and true at the same time, Doc. I think a lot of the crap in corporate America, or even in Academia, is simply those in power protecting their turf and has nothing to do with the good of the institution. No one will ever convince me I’m wrong about that, either.


  2. “those in power protecting their turf”

    This is true in both corporations and in government.

    I did some work for a company about 15 years ago, looking to improve the operation and efficiency of a steel processing line. The owner, who lived several hundred miles away, had cameras everywhere in the facility. A few here and there I could understand, to protect against theft, but pointing at the restroom to see who was spending what he thought was excessive time there? It was shortly after I came to the realization that he mainly wanted ways to get more work out of the people running the line, as he decided against the upgrades suggested as they would “cost too much.” I crunched the numbers based on the increased production, and the cost would have been met in just over 18 months We did, once, go do some repairs on the line. He sent me an email asking “why am I paying to have some people who spend time not working?” Trying to explain to him that sometimes one person has to wait for another to finish a task before that person can perform theirs, was like trying to explain trigonometry to a hog. He even tried to beat us up the the final bill, insisting that there was “at least 40 hours of people doing nothing” based on him watching the video feed.

    We never did any more work for them, always being “booked up” when he would call.


    1. Thanks for sharing, DDM. Loved “like trying to explain trigonometry to a hog.”

      I briefly worked for a boutique law firm that specialized in securities litigation. My “boss” had cameras in the office to spy on her “underlings” as well as cameras at home to spy on her husband and her children. The sense of joy when I was in her office, handed her my key fob and said, “I quit. Bye-Bye.” was tremendous. They had to hire two people to replace me.


  3. Wow! Due to my traveling and move out from Arizona, I’ve been way behind in my blog reading… This conversation thread is a wake up and back to the real world. Yes, we have first-world problems, and we are lucky to not have the problems in Ukraine.
    Having written that, I know the struggle of which you speak. Even retirees have issues. I am on the board of our condo association here in Fargo and we’ve had many an issue with poor performance from our management company. We’d love to fire them and hire a company interested in doing a good job for us, but those companies have their own headaches, and there really is only one game in town. It appears we are stuck with them even though our contact with the company left for better conditions and now we have a higher level manager attempting to do his job and the job of the person who left.


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