Saturday, April 17, 2010

Off with Her Head!

Join me for a boycott of Starbucks. This week I happened to schedule four different meetings at a Starbucks half way between my office (kitchen counter) and my meeting partners offices (kitchen tables). Never again. Not only is the coffee overrated and overpriced, but the overly-complicated WI-FI is not free. In a country where there are over 11,000 Starbucks outlets with revenues in the billions, there is no excuse for customers having to pay for internet access AND having to figure out how to access it.

This was just one of several “big company” and “big government” policies that earned my ire this week.

On Monday, I deposited a sizable check in my business checking account at Wells Fargo. The check was from a Fidelity account. They put a 10-day hold on the funds. Ten days. When I asked why, it was because I had had four overdrafts during the life of my account. Maybe the overdrafts are a result of banks putting a 10-day hold on my funds (and then charging me exorbitant amounts in penalties which then causes more overdrafts).

Those fake-friendly Wells Fargo folks (with the grating, scripted spiel every time a customer walks up to the window “Good morning, how’s your day going so far? What do you have planned for the day? Is there anything else I can help you with? Have a great day!” GAG!) told me that it was for my own protection. Hmm. Thanks big brother.

On Wednesday, I had another run-in with a behemoth. Qwest shut down our internet service for the third time this year. Under the guise of consumer protection, Qwest uses a system that shuts down your internet service if it detects a possible virus on one of the computers in the house. The first time this happened, we had my son’s hand-me down computer cleaned up. Well, despite our warnings he must have opened one of those goofy forwards that 10 year-olds like to send to each other, and so once again, the whole rest of the house had our internet shut down. So we unplugged that laptop, gave him his sister’s old Mac…and went about our business. But that particular morning I plugged the old computer in to find a document that was on it….and the ubiquitous Qwest sniffed out our sorry little laptop and shut us all down again. UGH. And I run an internet business. I feel like this is how quarantining used to be handled when my mom was a kid. If your second cousin once removed had a suspicious rash, everyone was sequestered.

The Denver parking police are also on my list. Yesterday while at a doctor’s appointment for this crummy sinus infection (maybe that’s what has me on such a rant ?), I got a parking ticket. Huh? I had just fed the meter for an hour’s worth of time and was gone 20 minutes. So, I double-checked to see if I had fed the wrong meter. Nope. It was because I had turned into a slanted spot from the other direction and left my back left tire on the white line. No one was parked next to me on either side…and even if they had been, the spaces were sized like most Americans. But apparently, the parking Nazis decided that they had nothing better to do than give me a $25 ticket. And on tax day for goodness sakes.

My real-life big brother used to wield his power in much the same way. There was never much rhyme, reason, or rationale to these occasions; they would occur willy-nilly as the whim struck him. Like Wonderland's irrational Queen of Hearts, he'd suddenly decide it was time for a reminder..."and off with her head!"

Although I have always been an incessant rule follower (see last blog post, the rules and the rule-makers are starting to piss me off. Isn’t life stressful enough as it is? Haven’t they proven that stress causes disease? Maybe if our new healthcare plan just outlawed overdraft fees, parking tickets, extraneous charges, (and how ‘bout homework too?) all of us would be healthy, wealthy, and wise.


  1. I totally agree that Starbucks is over rated, overpriced and just hardly worth the stop. I know taste is an opinion and everybody deserves their own opinions, but really? Why would you pay so much for something you can buy anywhere else at half the price?

  2. I switched to tea. Not only are the merchants mostly small business women, but there is something truly peaceful about a cup of tea. Something independent and slightly radical. Of course, tea once represented the quintessential Big Brother: the Company of Companies, the British Empire's foundation --- never mind. Authorities come, and authorities go. Very much a part of the Wheel of Life....

  3. Sounds like a crummy week! I bought a great espresso machine (from Starbucks, but still...) and now I almost never go there. I make great lattes at home every morning. The parking police are definitely on my least faves list, especially in Cherry Creek North. They pounce on meters that are just 3 minutes overdue, ARRRRGGGGH.

  4. Ha!!! I love this!! I'm right there with you, sister!! Feels good to get the gripes out!!