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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Peeves (page 2 of 4)

Things that annoy me in general and in specific.

A Tale Of Two Commutes

It was the worst of commutes, it was the even-worse of commutes.

Mine: Trudged (through five more inches’ worth of snow than any forecast had predicted) for twenty minutes to reach a MAX station at which dozens of people had already been waiting for quite some time, only to wait another twenty minutes for a train to arrive. (Note that three outbound trains’ operators made a point of assuring us that an inbound train would arrive “in a few minutes.” Few. Right.) Train arrived, it’s SRO of course, the floors were slick with snowmelt, it’s dark, the windows were fogged, but hey at least we were moving, right? Wrong. Each of the first six stops after I boarded involved a wait of some sort… including one which lasted twenty minutes… during which the operator left the train for about ten of those minutes. Eventually the train chugged its way to downtown Portland, through which the going was dreadfully slow due to a combination of problems on the Steel Bridge and idiot drivers who thought nothing of blocking a train’s path so they could sit partway through an intersection.

Transit time totals? Twenty minutes’ walk plus twenty minutes’ wait plus ninety minutes on the train itself (boarded at 5:40, disembarked at 7:10) plus the rest of the walk home equals two hours thirty minutes.

Which is nothing. Because…

Kylanath’s: Get off work at 3:40-ish. Arrive at bus stop to find people already waiting for a bus… any bus of several… to arrive. These people have phones with which they check Tri-Met’s transit tracking system, and with which they call Tri-Met, only to hear nothing about problems with any of the scheduled lines which service that stop. Lather, rinse, repeat… for four solid hours. Finally a bus, any bus, arrives. At 8:00pm. Driven by the driver who normally shows up at 4:00. After an unusual route through ugly-as-hell traffic, arrive downtown after 9pm and choose not to race for a #9 which might have serviced Broadway but probably was going to whip around at Union Station and head out Powell again. Instead, board a Green Line MAX train… which switches to being a Blue Line train at Union Station! (I imagine several passengers were a smidgen… annoyed.) A slow slog across the river and a massive delay at Rose Quarter later, and finally get off the train around 10:00.

Transit time totals: Let’s call it a quarter hour of getting to the bus stop, four hours waiting for a bus, another couple of hours actually riding vehicles, and another quarter hour walking home from the train station for a grand total of six hours thirty minutes.

In short: Way to go, Tri-Met! You were so very prepared, weren’t you?

(No, seriously, how do you not service a stop for four hours? Without adding any of the routes which service that stop on your so-called “service alerts” page, even? THE HELL.)

So, that was our Snowpocalypse 2009 experience. What about you?

What’s this, the Iditarod?

Here’s another dose of “English FAIL” for your amusement:

Sometimes, the spellchecker isn’t enough to save a sign’s maker from embarrassment.

These have been up on a residential block near Kyla’s place for months while an ugly-as-sin lump of condominiums goes in. I finally remembered to take a picture before construction completed…

Nobody uses spellcheckers anymore…

I followed a Google News link out of idle curiosity, and heck, I haven’t even made it to the actual news article yet. Why? Well, tell me what’s wrong with the text you see here (click the image for bigger-making):

I’d think that they’d take little matters like getting the byline right a bit more seriously, but apparently I’d be mistaken.

(Screenshot taken because I wager that it’ll be fixed by the time anybody else gets there…)

Four More Days?

If LiveJournal could’ve waited four more days for their money, I’d have uninterrupted paid access to that service. Unfortunately they wanted to bill me on the 31st of January… and I cannot afford that.

Timing and luck. The hallmarks of my life.

(At least they emailed a reminder beforehand or I’d have really been in a world of financial hurt.)

The Letter, Not The Intent

The scenario: Working with one of our biggest vendors on the product that all of our techs (and several of our big clients) use every day on an annoying bug related to virus alert generation, I had to nudge our rep this morning because it’d been a week since any activity took place on the ticket other than a note that “this has been escalated to a feature specialist, you should receive an update shortly.”

By the by, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve received that bit of tech support boilerplate then I could afford to take both of my girlfriends out to a very nice dinner, each. I’m in the habit lately of updating tickets solely to ask, “Is it SHORTLY yet?”

Anyway. Our rep emailed back to say that he’d escalated us to the head of support, and that if I didn’t get some kind of response by the end of the day, I should notify him. Okay, great. I hate feeling like I have to play the squeaky wheel game, but at this point I just want the situation resolved. (For the curious: The antivirus system is detecting a false-positive “virus” file and generating two alerts into the system every two minutes for that lone file. We have to clear out thousands of alerts every day from the file… which, of course, I’ve left in place so the tech support guys can look at it!)

Ten minutes ago I took a phone call from their support staff. No, he wasn’t on the phone to help me with the problem. He called to tell me that someone’s looking into the problem and that I’ll receive an update via email when things are resolved.

Well then.

So, I was contacted “by the end of the day,” considering that they’re on East Coast time and it’s coming up on 5pm there. Mission Accomplished. On the other hand… I just received the verbal equivalent of the email boilerplate!

Do you ever get the feeling that you were being placated… badly?

For the Want of a 9V

Beep. Wait. Beep. Wait. Beep. Wait. Beep.

This is the pattern of sound in my home right this minute. I’m not there now, but I know that the beeping continues because, it turns out, we don’t have any 9V batteries in stock. I’ll be hitting the store during lunch, indeed, so that when I eventually get home I can do something about the smoke alarm at the top of the upper stairway.

The one that woke me up at about one-thirty and interrupted my sleep many times until my alarm finally went off, that is. (I’d also like to thank the waste management service for the nearby apartment complex for emptying their dumpster at quarter ’til six in the A.M. Rock on with your bad, noisy selves.)

Am I tired? Oh yes, yes I am tired. It’s going to be a long, long day. The only “arrr“s you’ll be hearing from me will be growls of frustration…

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