Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bureaucrats’

Dear Readers:

You know how excited I get when I have a guest post. Today, I’m pleased to present one from Disgruntled Danny, a lovely-despite-the-moniker person I met while pursuing my passion for a particular U.K. band.

He’s pissed about the lack of road repairs in Chell Heath, the borough he’s called home for 12 years.

Here he is, in rare form. Enjoy!
Beth

 

“Harry Pothole and the Tarmac of Terror” and other tales
Guest post by Daniel Harrowven

Misery, frustration and disappointment. For most British people these are our default settings, but on a Friday morning in early May these emotions were amplified.

The reason? I had just read the results of the local government elections and, as feared, my local councillor had been re-elected.

For the last nine years, since my councillor was first voted into office, Chell has gone from being “a little bit rough” to a town that can now offer visitors an experience akin to Kabul circa 2003.

How did this happen?

Chell Heath is a Safe Seat. Many of the families in the area have lived here for generations and they always vote for the same political party. They are afraid of change. As long as nothing improves, they can continue to blame all their problems on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (She was forced out of office in 1990 and has done nothing at all since 2013 on account of her being dead.)

I was inspired to act whilst driving home one evening. Listening to the latest CD by Jesse’s Divide, I suddenly felt my spine shatter, thumbs dislocate and the CD skip, causing me to wonder whether I had suffered a brief blackout.

No.

I had driven over one of Chell Heath’s impressive (and growing) number of potholes.

Danny recreates his death-defying drive.

In mainland Europe and the U.S.A., drivers drive on the right of the road.

In the U.K., drivers drive on the left of the road.

In Chell Heath, we drive on what is left of the road.

The following day, I went back to the pothole and had my long-suffering wife photograph me pretending to punch the pothole.

Disgruntled Danny, Superhero

I posted the photo to my Facebook wall and the Facebook page of my local council.

And became an Internet troll.

Lately, my trolling has taken the form of movie treatments and posters fitting the pothole agenda.

 

Here’s a medley:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How much of a stir has this trolling caused within the council? Have I been asked to remove the posts? Been offered a meeting to discuss my grievances?

No.

I have had no response whatsoever.

Not even a “Sod off and bother someone else.”

But one person did take notice. Rathi Pragasam, the woman who ran against my councillor — the woman for whom I voted — found my pothole series amusing. So it came to pass (that sounds a bit biblical!) that Rathi visited me recently to discuss my rantings.

To be clear, she is not elected, has no power or authority in the ward, but within 24 hours she had contacted parliament (WTF!), arranged funding, and now the potholes are due to be repaired in the coming weeks.

All more than anyone on the council did.

I understand that there will always be bigger problems than some holes in the road, but little victories make life slightly more bearable.

And writing this has been a joy, because for 40 minutes I, a British person, have not had to talk about Brexit.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Dear Lottery God:

My chicken sacrifices to you are getting nowhere. (Granted, they are of the grocery cutlet variety — I’m not a monster — but still.)

So I’m making this public plea.

My family and I need your help.

Our savings have been wiped out as fast as the Dothraki horde in the Battle of Winterfell.

Why? Here’s a short list:

1. A replacement retainer for Dominic. Yes, already. He had the new retainer for exactly a week before throwing it away with his lunch trash at school. [HEAVY SIGH]

2. New shoes for Dominic. He now wears a size 11. 11! At the age of 14. You saw the photos from my last post. Puberty, thou art a bitch to the budget.

3. Income taxes. Effing Pat.

4. Truck-repair expenses. Eddie’s truck is 16 years old. That’s about 112 years in our capitalist, material culture. But I’d rather fix it than take on a car payment and higher ad-valorem taxes. Call me old fashioned.

5. A speeding ticket. Don’t yell at me that this is my own fault. I promise I wasn’t speeding — I was on my way to see some important people perform in Athens but I was driving in heavy traffic! (It’s Atlanta, after all.) I disputed the ticket, but the Chamblee Municipal Court judge was not having it. I shouldn’t have even tried. She tacked on $50 extra to the fine because I had the nerve to go to court instead of paying outright. Harumph.

Those who say “money can’t buy happiness” must already have money. I promise I would do good things with the winnings. I’d send some family and friends on well-deserved vacations, fund important initiatives for others, give money to my four alma maters for student scholarships.

Oh yeah, and buy a villa in Spain on the Mediterranean. You know. As you do.

May the odds be ever in my favor.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter (and for helping me stop wasting broilers),
Beth

 

Read Full Post »

Dear Pat,

As much as I admire your gumption to keep working long past retirement age, I think it’s time for you to consider calling it quits.

Monday was rough, but I thought our tax-prep nightmare was over.

I was wrong.

Yesterday, you sent this:

Eddie drew the short straw and went to get the new forms to mail.

As it turns out, your words were misleading: We still owe lots, but we now owe less thanks to your fix. Great! Thanks!

But why would you tell him that we should now call the IRS to find out exactly how much we owe? Come on, Pat. Isn’t that your job?

So I’m going to subtract the “refund” from the old amount and send a check for the result.

Pat, this experience has, quite frankly, sucked.

And we had to pay for the sucktitude. At least it wasn’t more:

No charge for your mistake? How generous.

You could have at least tried to make it up to us with another free pen.

Pat, I’m afraid it’s time for you to hang up your spurs. Go enjoy fruity drinks by a pool somewhere. Aren’t there great grandkids somewhere who need you?

Please, think of the children. And my sanity.

All my best,
Beth

Read Full Post »

Dear IRS/U.S. Government:

We truly are long overdue for tax reform — if for no other reason than the fact that I wouldn’t even wish my H&R Block experience on my worst enemy. Not even on Mitch McConnell, and you know how I feel about him.

Usually, TurboTax and I hang out together for a few hours. I emerge grumpy but satisfied. And I always complete the process weeks in advance of the April 15 deadline.

This year I felt there were too many variables — selling a house, moving retirement funds, freelance work — for me to feel comfortable on my own.

Friends have used H&R Block, so I decided to take a chance. Let me just say this: With friends like that, who needs enemies?

This experience was beyond awful.

I’ve mentioned before that I am Tracy Flick. I had all my receipts categorized and added up. All my documents orderly. Everything laid out in sections in a folder.

I made an appointment two weeks ago to drop off my stuff.

I was assigned to Pat, someone’s great grandmother. She went through each piece of paper with me at 1/4 the speed of a regular person.

Then she told me she’d call me if she needed more information. Over the next week, she called and sent cryptic emails every day.

Today — FILING DAY — she told Eddie and me to come in at 7 to sign. That’s right in the middle of Gideon’s baseball game. But we went.

We sat in her cubicle and watched her work for TWO HOURS.

We watched her call in backup. Repeatedly.

Eddie was dismayed.

I was dismayed.

And then I took a catnap.

We asked her if we could leave to get Gideon at his game.

She dismissed us with a wave of her grizzled claw.

We returned at 10. On a school night. Y’all, I go to sleep at 10.

The door was locked. No one appeared to be inside.

But then from the back, a person emerged and let us in.

I regret to report that Pat still wasn’t done. She had to call in managerial backup. Again.

It’s now 10:40. We just left. We were the last people there. We are much poorer and completely exhausted, but compliant with your rules.

And Pat gave us a pen as a parting gift. For real.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, fix the system so it is easier for everyone.

I never want to go to here again.

Kthxbye,
Beth

Read Full Post »

Dear Fellow Women:

This week has been illuminating. It’s clear we are going about this whole “gender equality” thing the wrong way. We feminists have been advocating for women’s rights on the basis of equality.

We’ve been wanting people to play by what we think should be the rules (you know: logic, respect, fairness, etc.). But really, we need to be playing by rules already in place: men’s rules.

So here’s the deal: Let’s learn from the Kavanaugh debacle. Don’t get mad. Get even.

1. Deny, deny, deny

This is very freeing. You can do anything you want — especially when you are drunk — and just say you didn’t do it. Boom. Maybe you really did forget. Maybe it wasn’t a big deal to you. Maybe you did it and don’t want to remember. It doesn’t matter. Just say you didn’t do it. Or you don’t recall. Or your accuser is crazy. You know, go full gaslight. The beauty of this is that people will believe you, the perpetrator! Just get super defensive. Don’t stand down — double down!

2. Accuse, accuse, accuse (i.e., the best defense is a good offense)

If you are ever in a jam, make sure you say that the person is making it up for fame. Clearly that works. I know all of us can name every one of Bill Cosby’s accusers. We want autographs of these world-famous women. Who wouldn’t want to be famous for being sexually assaulted? #squadgoals

3. Girls will be girls

We’ve all heard “boys will be boys” so much this week. I always thought that meant chasing each other with stick guns and farting on each other’s heads. But apparently it means that guys can do anything — ANYTHING — when they are 17 and younger, and NOTHING will happen. Clarification: white guys.

So ladies, do whatever you want as long as you are 17 and younger. We all will back you up and say, “Girls will be girls.”

4. Time is on your side

Oh you did something years ago, and someone wants you to answer for it? Pbfft! Who has time for that noise? It was 5, 10, 35 (insert number) years ago. You are important now. You have a whole amazing career ahead of you. Just remember that YOUR career path is much more important than your accuser’s career path and mental health.

5. Take what you want

You think a dude is hot? Grab him by the penis. Try to get inside that bathing suit. Lock the door, drop your skirt, and make demands on your male coworkers. Put your needs/wants first. Don’t think twice. Men need to watch what they wear, how much they drink, where they park, where they jog, what they say. This is your world now. You might even get to be president of the United States someday! (And if they don’t like it, just tell them they’d look better if they smiled more.)

There. Problem solved. I’ll take my thanks in gift cards for bathrobes, cigars and scotch.

Welcome to the jungle,
Beth

P.S. You are a man, and you’re mad at me now for generalizing? Get over yourself. I do not hate men; I hate the double standard. Also, unless you’ve sexually harassed someone, I’m clearly NOT TALKING TO OR ABOUT YOU!

P.P.S. You are outraged at my post, and you want to tell me that there really are false allegations. I’m sure there are. But only 2-10 percent of all rape reports are found to be false. Only 35 percent of rapes are ever reported. Why? I’m sure Christine Blasey Ford can tell you exactly why.

P.P.P.S. You don’t understand sarcasm? You’re reading the wrong blog.

P.P.P.P.S. Of course I am NOT advocating for any kind of sexual assault. By anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. Good grief! See P.P.P.S. above.

 

Read Full Post »

Dear Climate Change Deniers,

I know that nothing I say can change your mind, but I can’t sleep unless I try. (I mean I can’t sleep anyway, so … )

Here are my boni fides: I have five college degrees: B.A., B.S., M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D. (not bragging; just offering facts). The second is the one you should care about as it is in Geosciences.

That’s right. I’m a meteorologist.

(Uh oh, trigger warning: a scientist — member of the intellectual elite, blah blah blah.)

I know evidence when I see it with my own eyes. Even without other scientists (and even NASA) saying over and over that global warming is real, I see proof in many ways.

Increasing intensity and number of tropical storms is just one. I mean, just look!

WTF?!

So it’s really hard to deny that climate change is real.

Still with me? Let’s move on.

The second argument is whether it is caused by fellow two-legged menaces. Like most rational humans, I believe it is. That doesn’t really matter, though.

Shouldn’t we still engage in practices that will improve the environment as opposed to destroying it?

Shouldn’t we still explore alternative fuel sources?

Shouldn’t we still recycle, pick up after ourselves, eschew straws in favor of sea turtles and the like?

We all have to live here on Earth, you know. Despite Elon Musk’s attempts, Mars is still not an option.

It’s not like it really costs each of us much more to be responsible land dwellers.

Plus, there are plenty of jobs in new technologies, so it makes fiscal sense.

Come on, folks: Work with me here. Let’s be rational and make some progress together.

You want to, right?

It’d be a lot cooler if you did,
Beth

*Brian Klaas, The Washington Post

Read Full Post »

Dear British TV Producers:

It’s like you know me — like you are developing stuff just for me. As I’ve mentioned before, there is nothing that makes me happier than an evening of British TV.

Last time I visited, I became addicted to “Naked Attraction.” That still is on the list, but I watched new shows too this time:

The Only Way is Essex
Kind of like an upmarket “Jersey Shore.” Nothing happens in any episode, though.

Love Island
Like the “Dating Game” got it on with “Big Brother.” Again, nothing seemed to happen except folks hated on Dr. Alex.

8 out of 10 Cats
Game show? Talk show? Hard to tell.

Would I Lie to You
To Tell the Truth” meets Jimmy Fallon’s “Two Truths and a Lie.” I’m a fan of David Mitchell (with his beard, of course), so that led to …

Peep Show
What an odd show. It’s a little like “The Office” with a dash of “Spaced.”

“Peep Show” Mitchell (aka Austin Powers) vs. Lying Mitchell. Am I wrong?

Mock the Week
The Daily Show” with “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Friday Night Dinner
A sitcom where two adult sons come home each Friday for dinner with Mom and Dad. I wanted to murder the idiot sons.

Four in a Bed
Innkeepers visit and rate each others’ establishments to “win.” Insults and hard feelings ensue. Who brings a UV light to check the toilets before staying at a B&B?

Who is America?
Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest venture. As if I’m not embarrassed enough. How can I explain two sitting Republican congressmen, Dana Rohrabacher (California) and Joe Wilson (South Carolina), wanting to arm toddlers? I can’t. I’m going to tell people I’m Canadian.

And “Naked Attraction.” I just can’t get enough. Hannah* found me watching it while I was eating breakfast. What can I say? I like to start the day off right.

In fact, I’m a little jealous of host Anna Richardson’s job. In what other career path could you utter these memorable phrases?

You’ve seen everything they’ve got to give you. What’s your choice?

You have quite a pair of balls on you. That’s quite a pouch.

How do you feel? You’ve got six vaginas staring you in the face.

Not very many. That’s for sure.

Keep up the good work,
Beth

*Friend with whom I stayed on the trip. She and her husband Dave love to introduce me to new shows.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »