Friday, February 28, 2014

Guess Why You Don't Have A Mate or Friends?

I think that it's ridiculous the number of people that I encounter who have entitlement issues.  Being active on Twitter and Facebook will subject you to so many people who no idea what it takes to be a decent human being yet alone maintain a relationship or a friendship.

Since when did "I get what I want or else" become the standard for relationships/friendships?

Reality TV is the epitome of what not to do in a relationship or marriage.  The reality shows that are centered around family basically show one spouse trying to one-up the other.  It's all about leverage.  One person is constantly trying to have his or her way without any regards to the other person's feelings.  It's the most pathetic way for any couple to live.

Sadly, our kids are being brought up in this environment and yes, they will be worse.  Why?  Because it's all they know in regards to how relationships work (unless their parents teach them otherwise).  People around 30 years old and up grew up with shows like The Cosby Show or Family Ties.  They know what a normal family looks like.

People between 20-30 grew up on Martin, Living Single, Seinfeld and other shows that promoted shacking or fast-moving relationships.  You didn't see too many marriages in the 90's in regards to popular sitcoms.

People under 20 watched The Simple Life, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of (Insert City Here), Love & Hip-Hop, etc.  They've seen nothing but dysfunction in regards to relationships and family structure.  They see constant examples of people disrespecting their mate, family, friends and even themselves.  They think that if someone isn't doing what they want them to do, then it's okay to do things to hurt them emotionally, verbally and in some cases physically.

That treatment has now become the standard for a lot of people.  If someone says something to hurt their mate's feelings, then there are no apologies.  There is no understanding.  Just a "sucks to be you" attitude is all you'll get from the offender.  Because if you don't agree with them then you're their enemy.  It's personal.  You're against them.  "How dare you not see my point of view although I don't care about yours!"

When it comes to friendship, if you find yourself not caring what someone thinks of you, then something is wrong.  I'm not saying that a person's opinion of you defines who you are, but I am saying that something is fundamentally wrong with someone who is okay with having enemies.

How many of these ignorant memes have you seen on IG:

"Trust gets you killed?" Uh, who are you trusting? Scarface?

I'm not even sure if I know what this means, but it had a ton of Likes on IG.
Excuse the language on the photo, but I wanted to show the pure ignorance that exists in cyberspace.  IG is a place where people with absolutely nothing to say have an audience.  It just reinforces the bad attitudes that we see in society.  If your friend seems to be spending more time with other people than you, then you call them "fake."  If your mate doesn't do the things you want them to do, then they're disrespecting you.  Relationships and friendships grow harder and harder to maintain every day because people just can't see that their attitude is the problem and not the people around them.

I spend a lot of time chatting with people online and talking to them on radio shows and podcasts.  They all ask the same questions about having friends or a significant other yet refuse to believe that everything starts with them.  Whenever I ask about what they bring to the table they go into defense mode.  It's always someone else's fault.  SMH.

What brings about that sense of entitlement that makes a person think they're always right?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

@DirecTV Has Lost Its Mind

They're always nice to new customers to get you sucked in.
My DirecTV bill was $141 this month. That's more than my electric bill. I don't get it. Well, then again, yes, I do get it. I'm the victim of "nickel and diming." Of my $141 balance, only $89 of it is for actual television. The remaining $52 comes from add-ons.

Now, I will admit that some of the add-ons are optional, so I always have the right to refuse them, but others are mandatory.

I have four HD-DVR's, so I pay $6 per month for each. Why four HD-DVR's? Because it would be the same price had I gone with four standard definition receivers. Speaking of HD, that's an additional $10. Despite the fact that HD is free "over-the-air" and has been around since the late 90's, DirecTV has upcharged it. So, that's $34 per month right there on top of the $89 for actual television.  Even if I had an RVU compatible TV that didn't require a receiver, I'd still get charge $6 for "having a compatible TV."  How crooked is that to pay the same price even when you don't have an HD-DVR?

Oh, and I almost forgot that since I have a certain type of HD-DVR (one that isn't super-slow) that I have to pay a $10 fee for an "Advanced Receiver." Twice. That's right. Two charges. I'm not sure why I get charged twice, but I just do. They told me that the price for an Advanced Receiver is $20 and that my bill is correct on that. Then there's an additional $3 for Whole-Home service which allows my DVR's to communicate with one another. Then I have Showtime which is $14 per month. I will be canceling it as soon as I finish this season of "House of Lies." It's a shame, too, because I mainly used Showtime and HBO to watch Boxing. I dropped HBO in December and will be doing the same with Showtime. It's too expensive with options like Crackle, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix. As for Boxing, I'll just have to give up on watching the big fights and settle for the up-and-coming fighters on ESPN, NBC Sports and FOX Sports.

Lastly is a fee for $8 that offers some sort of protection on my electrical equipment or something. I don't recall ever asking for this charge, but it's been on my bill for a few months now. I'll remove that once I call to remove a DVR and Showtime which will save me $28 just from doing that. Now, I do get some credits: $6 off for my primary DVR, $5 promotional credit on Showtime since I tried to cancel it in December and got talked out of it because of a discounted offer, and some other miscellaneous $5 credit. So, my bill could actually be higher than $141 if it were not for these credits.

And don't forget that you have to pay $199 - $399 to "use" their HD-DVR's.  That's right.  You don't own them, you lease them.  So, despite paying that ridiculous amount they'll charge you that aforementioned $6 per month to use them.

Look, DirecTV, I understand that the TV networks are raking you guys over the coals. These "fee fights" you've had with the television networks that are being greedy and wanting more money is affecting you. However, you have to realize that these add-on fees are very frustrating to your customers.

I've been with DirecTV since '97 and my bill has gone from $60-something per month to more than double that now. To top it off, my brother has super-fast internet service and HD programming with Verizon Fios for under $100.

It's frustrating to say the least and I will eventually have to divorce DirecTV. I stayed this long because of the NFL Sunday Ticket, but there are now other options for me to view the games every Sunday. I can also use Hulu, Netflix and an antennae to watch the shows that I normally enjoy. As for sports, well, I guess I'll have to go online for that as well. I can't let DirecTV hold me hostage any more. Although I live in a small neighborhood without a lot of options, I can't pay $141 per month for "TV service" despite the fact that I can afford it.

"It's the principalities of it, Smoky!"

  Are you sick of companies "nickel and diming" you to death with "service" fees?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Do You Pick Up Hitchhikers?

"Don't mind the axe. I'm a lumberjack!"
Back in high school, I was riding with a couple of friends of mine to a school event.  We're going up the interstate when up ahead there was a guy sitting down with his thumb out.  Now, hitchhiking may have been big in the 60's and 70's, but in the late 80's, it was the first 5 minutes of a slasher movie.

I was sitting in the backseat and I sat up and directed my attention out the front window once the driver, Greg, started to slow down.  "Greg, what are you doing, man?" I inquired as I wondered if he was pranking the hitchhiker or actually stopping.

"I'm going to give this guy a lift," he replied.  "He looks cool."

"What do you mean he looks cool?" I started.  "How do you know he's cool?"

"I mean, he looks like he needs a ride," Greg responded looking in the rear view mirror at me.

The passenger, Henry, said nothing as he sat in the front seat.  By this time, we're about 50 yards away and the hitchhiker notices that we're slowing down so he starts to stand up.  "Greg, don't pick this dude up, man!" I said getting more nervous.  "He could be crazy!"

"Chill, Q," Greg started,  "we're only a couple of exits from the school, so at least that will help him out a bit."

Now I'm really nervous.  This fool is going to actually pull over and pick up Charles Manson on the side of the road.  Since I'm in the backseat alone, this psycho will probably end up sitting next to me which isn't cool.  Why?  Because I'm the only black guy in the car!  And we all know that the black guy is always the first to die!

Desperate times calls for desperate measures.  "Greg, if you pull over I will punch you in the back of the head!"

"What?" he replied not sure if I'm kidding or not.

"I'm not playing, Greg!" I said with a quiver in my voice.  "I will punch you in the back of the head!"

Evidently, Greg could hear the fear and seriousness in my voice and see it in my eyes in the mirror.  I was a man trapped in the back seat of a car with very few options.  I was going to punch him in his head.  He increased his speed and we blew right past the confused hitchhiker.  "Lighten up, Q," he replied.  "That guy might have really needed a ride."

I didn't reply as I sat back in my seat.  I could hear my heartbeat in my head.  I really was going to punch Greg in the back of the head... repeatedly.  He has no idea to this day that as he was slowing down the car that he was just 5 mph away from getting punched in the back of the head.

I don't take chances with my life, but I was going to risk an accident over having Jason Vorhees in the backseat with me.  Unfortunately for hitchhikers in need, axe murderers have messed the game up for them as far as I'm concerned.  I don't stop for hitchhikers.  Period.  I don't care if it's a woman and she looks like Tika Sumpter.  The moral of the story is: if you pick up hitchhikers then you'll get punched in the back of the head.  Don't get punched in the back of the head.

Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker or have been a hitchhiker?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Doesn't This Just Tick You Off?

Okay, so I'm leaving a school play on Monday.  My lady's youngest daughter was in "Little Shop of Horrors" and I had to watch the young, future star do her thing.  I walk outside after the show and make my way to my car.  Keep in mind that it's 20-30 something degrees and the wind is blowing hard than Monica Lewinsky.  When I get to my car I see that some woman has parked so closely to me that I need a can opener to get into my ride!

Doesn't this just tick you off?  Don't you hate it when you park correctly between the lines, but some no-driving hack parks an inch from your side mirror?  Now I'm faced with a dilemma: do I get into the passenger side and climb over the center console into the driver's seat or do I sit and wait in the freezing cold until the inconsiderate driver comes out of the school?

I chose the latter.  I really wanted to see what the reaction of the man/woman would be as they walked to their vehicle and saw that they only left me five inches to get into my car.  Well, that was a mistake.  I waited.  Waited some more.  Even waited some more.  After close to 15-20 minutes, I see the headlights flash on the SUV indicating that someone was approaching it.  I glance up and here comes a late-30 or early 40-something mom trotting across the parking lot.  With her are two kids who appear to be around 12 and 16.

Immediately my attitude evaporates with the presence of the children.  I may enjoy being a snarky and sarcastic individual, but I do not clown people in front of their children.  It sets a horrible example for the kids and it's just low class in nature.  However, I do stare at her until she makes eye contact with hopes that she at least will apologize.

Boy, was I wrong.

"I was in a rush.  You know how that is," is all she said as she climbed into her vehicle and shut the door.

She got in her SUV and pulled out of the parking spot so that her kids could get in.  Her daughter, who appeared to be embarrassed, smiled at me as she approached her passenger door.  I complimented her on her singing during the play.  She had a lengthy solo and her voice reminded me of an unpolished version of Kelly Rowland.  She said "thank you" and told me to have a good evening with an apologetic tone.

Her mom pulled off and I got into my car.  At this point, I'm not even cold any more.  My temperature is elevated because I'm firecracker-hot that this heifer barely acknowledged me as she got her Humpty Dumpty self in her truck.

As I'm warming up my vehicle, I couldn't help but think about how inconsiderate some jerks are these days.  If she didn't know after backing into the spot that she was too close to my car then she definitely should have known when she walked past my car to get into the school.  If you're too busy to look where you're parking then you don't need to be driving.  That's just how I feel.

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