I'm irritated at Verizon. First of all, they have these commercials - "Can you hear me now?" We switched to Verizon two years ago because circumstances demanded it - my son's girlfriend had them and it was switch or pay $300 monthly bills. Then I get my new phone up to the room I rent near the university and find out I'm in a Verizon dead zone. Cingular worked there but not Verizon. I finally gave up and got a "Pay as you go phone from Cingular" and gave the Verizon phone to my wife for emergencies. No, Verizon, we can't hear you.
Now they are offering a new fiber-optic service in Merrick that has television, phone and internet packages. I got the ad in my bill. Great! Except that it's not in my part of Merrick. We haven't even got DSL yet. When I called Verizon about this, they patiently explained that we are in the part of Merrick that they don't care about. "I guess I'll just wait for DSL," I said. "No, we don't wire DSL anymore." So, an entire generation of internet service has come and gone while Verizon is not giving us service.
I'm also irritated at the grocery chain ShopRight. They had a store a few blocks away from us next to the WalMart. Years ago, they closed the store for "Renovations." I guess they wanted to get it right because it's been years now and they haven't done a thing. Now and then workmen will be there, but they have put up signs telling us that we can't ask the workmen any questions. Meantime, other stores in the shopping center have left. I wrote their web page a few pointed remarks, and they wrote back explaining that it isn't really their store. It's owned by a franchisee, whose identity they won't disclose, and that they "can't remodel the store because there are "Problems with the building," and they can't do something radical like fix them. They said that they will pass along my opinions that they are hurting our neighborhood and our property values to "Mr. X." I told Shopright that I will never spend another penny at any of their stores until they do something. Hopefully, they will sell this to a real grocery store like Stop and Shop.
On a similar note, let's talk about the local Post Office. A while back we went on a long trip and told the Post Office to hold our mail. Fortunately, our neighbor was alert because some days they held mail and some days they didn't. When I called the Merrick Post Office to complain about this, I was told something absolutely preposterous. "The mailmen don't like your route." It's too big or something. My Dad was a mailman for twenty years, and I never heard anything about how they give better service to routes they "like." They served everybody - rain, sleet, snow, etc., except it was Phoenix so it was pretty much just rain. For years we had two mail deliveries - the first one from the mail man and the second when we gave the wrongly-delivered items to our neighbors. Lately, we've been having pretty good service, so I guess the new mail man likes us.
I'm irritated at the state of handicapped parking passes in Long Island. They are handed out like aspirins to old people who walk better than I do. My son has cerebral palsy and actually is mobility-impaired. We went to Trader Joe's and Commerce Bank in Merrick yesterday, and found every handicapped spot taken, although you couldn't see anyone inside with the slightest problem. Commerce Bank was the best - they had exactly one handicapped spot at their Merrick Road location. We've actually been glared at for taking up a handicapped spot by old people who seem to be saying "You're not old enough for this spot." They're handicapped spots, not Elderly spots.