Snarky Behavior

Entries tagged as ‘snarky behavior’

Almost Famous

September 11, 2008 · Leave a Comment

I’m in the media holding room at the ServiceNation Summit, where Obama and McCain will speak tonight.  I got a press pass through the Huffington Post, and two people have approached me with “you look familiar… should I recognize you?” 

It’s soul-crushing to say no, but I think the beard and glasses make me look like a real serious internet star.

Categories: graduate school
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Rant: Kinkos

August 14, 2008 · 5 Comments

I detest you.

I detest you.

Hoo boy.  Adult language to follow.

Fuck Kinkos.  Fuck those rent seeking bastards.

The last time I had to use Kinkos, it was at approximately 1am in the morning.  My stats group and I had put the finishing touches on our 400 page research report, and the University printing center was closed.  We called around, and found a Kinkos open 24 hours on Broadway… not to far away.

Fast forward to the Kinkos.  For some reason, the store was filled with really old people who looked medicated out of their minds, as if a nursing home had taken a field trip.  There were geezers shuffling around, at the computer kiosks, typing away their memoirs or putting together scrap books from their army days and God knows what else.

We debated the best method to print out our report.  If we asked for the customer service support, it would be placed in a queue and not available for pickup until the next morning.  Unacceptable.

We waded through the living dead to our very own “self-help” kiosk.  To use the machine (at $15 per hour or $.25 per minute), I had to first put “credits” on a card.  Mind you, the going rate of the US dollar to Kinko “credits” is 1:1.  I couldn’t just, you know, pay for it afterward, as is customary in every other business in America.

As I was putting $20 into the credit machine, my classmates were playing the “poor student” sympathy card on a staff worker.  He kindly agreed to print our report on the spot at a significant discount. (Note:  I refuse to credit Kinkos here… this was a reflection of the generoisity of the employee, not the company he happened to work for).

When it came time to pay, I handed the employee my Kinko “credit” card.  “There’s $20 on here,” I said.

“We can’t accept that.”

“What do you mean you can’t accept this?  I bought it here. It has your company’s name on it.”

“Oh, I know.  The credits are only good for the self-service stations.”

“Ok then.  I want to refund this then.”

“I can’t do that.”

“And why the hell not?”

“We don’t give refunds on the credits.  You’ll need to come back when there’s a manager present.”

“Oh, ok.  Fuck you then.”  (Note:  I didn’t really tell him to fuck off, but I did sarcastically roll my eyes and sigh in frustration.  Yeah, I’m a bad-ass).

Here’s the thing:  the only time anyone really ever needs to use Kinkos is when they are absolutely desperate.  Short deadline, no other options.

Kinko’s?  They know this.  They know you have no other options, that you’re on deadline, that you probably have an expense account anyway.  They know you’re probably traveling out of town, have a big presentation that needs to be printed/faxed/collated/mailed immediately, and that you’ll pretty much pay any price to make sure it gets done. “Inelastic Demand,” as we call it in Economics.

And so they price gouge.  Boy, do they price gouge.

The price gouging I can live with somewhat.  It’s America… where else are you going to find a printer open at 1am?  A valuable service, no doubt.

But WTF with the Kinko “credits”?  I take perfectly good money that is liquid, ubiquitous, and can be used anywhere, and turn it in to a card THAT CAN’T EVEN BE USED TO PAY FOR SERVICES OR PURCHASE GOODS FROM THE SAME GOD DAMN STORE IT WAS BOUGHT FROM?

The last 6 months I have carried around $20.00 worth of Kinko “credits” in my wallet.  I tried to give it to a friend as a sarcastic birthday gift, and she DECLINED it.  The thing has ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE TO ANYONE WHO DOESN’T BELONG TO A CONVALESCENT HOME THAT TAKES MIDNIGHTS TRIPS TO THE LOCAL LATE NIGHT COPY CENTER.

What pisses me off is that everytime I go to Fed-Ex/Kinkos, I bring it up with the manager.  I try to buy packaging tape, or to pay for an overnight delivery, to no avail.  Of course, I never get a cash refund.  That would be silly.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because today I had YET ANOTHER terrible experience with those bastards.  I was the only person in the store at 6am.  I needed 4 versions of a 35 page documented printed double-sided in color.  A simple request.

45 minutes and $84.69 later, I had my documents, and a sour mood.  These are the problems I encountered, in order:

  1. Person behind the desk told me should couldn’t process my job for me, even though I was there when the store opened, before the sunrise, and the only customer in miles.
  2. The Dell computer at the Self-Help kiosk began charging me by the minute, even as it was slowly sending memory requests to perform simple tasks such as “viewing the contents of a folder” and “opening a pdf.”
  3. The print settings are customized by Kinkos and do not include the intuitive “double sided” one-click feature.  Buried within properties, they have a “print along edge” option, which is the gateway to double sided printing.  So while I’m spending 5 minutes searching for this, it’s costing me $.25 per minute.  Keep in mind:  I have a blog, I use a computer every day… I’m on the long tail of the bell curve in terms of computer proficiency.  But maybe that’s just how they suck all the old people in for days at a time.  Again, fuck those guys.
  4. I find out that there is a “laptop” station which is significantly cheaper, at $6 per 15 minutes, so I bust out my laptop and set it up.  By the time everything is functioning, I adjust my chair slightly and the serial connector which is SCOTECHED TAPED to the payment processing server disconnects, abruptly ending my session.  I yell at nobody in particular.
  5. FINALLY a print 1 version of the report, and take it to the color copier, which I assume is cheaper than the “Self-Flagellation” station.  Of course, I wouldn’t be able to price compare, since there is NO PRICING INFORMATION ANYWHERE.

The staff member, of course, has at this point ducked into the back office.  If I were a worse person, I would take my pound of flesh from Kinkos in the form of highlighters, stock paper, and bubble packing.  Disgruntled, I insert my credit card (which I now discover can be used in lieu of the worthless Kinko’s “credit,” and pray that the bill is not too much.

It was, but I had a 9am meeting and our color copier is down.  Pardon me, I’ll be filling out my expense report.

Categories: Snarky · work
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Aspirational Goal

July 31, 2008 · Leave a Comment

To be a first page Google hit for the search term “snarky.”  Right now I’m page 2, #16 overall.  This post should help.

EDIT:

I’m third page, #25 overall on Yahoo! and third page, #21 overall on MSN.  And here’s an interesting article on the history of snark*.

Categories: Snarky
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2 Fundamental Rules of Internet Communities:

July 17, 2008 · Leave a Comment

1.  People do not like change*.

2.  If change occurs, people will complain**.

*Unless you’re Google or Apple, because you either have slow roll-outs or hugely anticipated releases.

**Until they collectively decide they like it.  See:  Facebook News Feed.

In other news, CBS ‘Big Brother’ Forum Fans Call for a Boycott! El pueblo… unido… jamas sera vencido!

I still don’t get it.

Categories: Snarky
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Rules of Thumb

June 26, 2008 · 6 Comments

If it takes less than 5 minutes to write/respond to an e-mail, do it.

If you receive an application/form/bill that has an extended deadline, fill it in when you receive it.

If you get a text, respond immediately.

If you get a forwarded e-mail, send a one sentence response confirming you read/looked at it.

If you get an Evite, and you’re not sure if you can go, wait until the follow-up reminder.  Responding “maybe” is like saying “if nothing else better pops up.”  Always leave a witty response… it’s not just expected, it’s the law.

If you use g-mail, archive an e-mail as soon as you’ve responded to it.  Only star e-mails that you can’t get to right away (i.e. those that take longer than 5 minutes of your time).

If you’re inviting people to something, either use Evite or start using Google Invitations.  It’s nice to have events automatically stored in your calendar.

If you screen someone’s call, send them a text letting them know why you can’t pick up.

If you’re running late, send a text letting someone know how far away you are.  If you’re underground (on the subway)… time stamp your text, because it might not get sent right away.

If you join a GoogleGroup, start using filters/labels so that you can triage your gmail.

After the age of 25, stop posting obscenely drunk photos of people on facebook.  Not just tagging, POSTING.

If someone has something in their teeth, and you’re a friend, just tell them.

…feel free to add to the list.

Categories: Opinion
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Financial Aid

June 15, 2008 · Leave a Comment

I’ve spent the entire weekend diligently searching for scholarships for the coming year.  As a straight, right-handed, White agnostic with no leadership or community service activities, I surprisingly qualify for very little when it comes to financial aid. 

As a result, I’ve resorted to scouting out short writing competitions.  I’m currently applying for the following:

Texas Goat and Sheep Raising Authority Congressional Letter Writing Contest

Applicant must write a letter on “Is Environmental Education Biased?” to the state senator and state representative from his or her district. Letter must be pro-American agriculture and pro-private property rights.

 Don’t judge me.

Categories: Uncategorized
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1 Year Anniversary!

May 4, 2008 · 2 Comments

Snarkybehavior was started nearly a year ago in May with this post. . .

At the time, it was a diversion from work, an opportunity to write something every day.  Actually, in retrospect, I was feeling particularly violated and self-righteous over my jay-walking ticket, and I wanted to rant to everybody without ranting to anyone in particular.

A year and 233 posts later…indeed, the mile-stone seems rather pathetic… I still haven’t found a consistent purpose for the site, and its really devolved into a place to post youtube videos.  And I think I’m fine with that.

Anyway, for the benefit of the 20 or so people who regularly read my site, the 20 others who sometimes drop in, and the randoms who from time to time stumble by, I’ve decided to let you all “peek behind the curtain”.  Happy Anniversary!

Page View Tracking

Page Views by Month

My page views have hovered around 1500 per month, although I’ve picked up significantly in the last month.  In terms of unique visitors, wordpress doesn’t give the depth of analytics that blogger did, but it equates to about 30 unique visitors per day and 100 per month.

Not bad, I guess, considering I don’t really comment on other blogs or link back to my site.  Most of the traffic comes in directly or via facebook… although I do have 8 subscribers to my feed. Visitors for the most part come from 3 areas:  DC/Virginia, New York and California.

Most Popular Search Terms

It always cracks me up to see what search terms lead to my site.  I’m most proud of “Superman sexual act” and “hood fashion”.  However, the most common entry pathway to snarkybehavior is via a google image search, and the most common searches are for my posts on Hillary Clinton and Jessica Alba.  I’m not sure whether to be proud of that fact or embarrassed.  Anyway, here’s the top 10:

hillary clinton 717
earth lights 142
ashy larry 129
young hillary clinton 93
jessica alba 74
young hilary clinton 50
hillary 49
ucla 48
jessica alba 2008 45
hillary clinton young 44

Most Popular Posts

The top 10 most read posts are mostly inflated by the image search fly-bys, but some of them are legit.  “If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life”, which was my take on a ridiculous craigslist posting that had been forwarded to me, was my first big “hit” and resulted in a flurry of activity.  Unfortunately, I had included the guy’s name attached to the e-mail, when in fact he had not written it (he had only forwarded it on), and he got in some trouble with the HR folks at the investment bank he worked at.  I think the poor guy still google searches his own name to see if it lands on that post.

In Defense of Kobe was on the wordpress front page for awhile.  I like to think I helped him win the MVP.

2007-2008 UCLA Bruins – Basketball Previ 548 More stats
If you wanna be happy for the rest of yo 353 More stats
“Fit for the Classroom, Fit for the 278 More stats
Doing No Evil 196 More stats
In Defense of Kobe 187 More stats
Why is Tide the most expensive detergent 162 More stats
Cuban Art 161 More stats
Doing Good vs. Doing Well 156 More stats
About 150 More stats

My Favorite Posts

Considering I named the site Snarky Behavior, I really haven’t been all that snarky.  Because it’s such a public site, I feel obligated to justify the intermittent snark with semi-cogent commentary.  Which gets boring and are my least read posts.  By far, the posts I am most proud of are:

Throwing a House Party

This Date in History, August 14

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting!

To the confusion of our enemies!

-Jon

Categories: Uncategorized
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Andy Rooney in 60 Seconds

April 22, 2008 · Leave a Comment

“If I had time to take care of a cat, I wouldn’t get a cat, I’d get a dog.”

Categories: Uncategorized
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Thoughts on Cloverfield

February 7, 2008 · Leave a Comment

1.) It was eerie watching this movie at Lincoln Center. I got the distinct impression that the New York audience was uneasy watching its city get dismantled. The cause of the destruction may have been sufficiently far-fetched to distance the plot from 9/11, but the visceral reminders of concrete clouds billowing through the streets made my stomach churn. The Blair-Witch style cinematography and embarrassingly written dialog didn’t help.

2.)  I “experienced” 9/11 remotely in Los Angeles… as did Director Matt Reeves. For us, it wasn’t a lived experience. It was an imagined experience. That is, we could only imagine the terror and panic that accompanied the collapse of those enormous towers.

Now that I’m a New Yorker, I didn’t like seeing what an emergency evacuation of Manhattan might look like. I didn’t like watching the Empire State Building collapse, or the Brooklyn Bridge snap in two. I can understand the entertainment value to someone in the mid-west, or even the appeal abroad. But as a New Yorker, the whole Godzilla genre seems like it cashes in on a deeply perverted, recessed desire to see retribution enacted on what is portrayed or otherwise understood to be American “hedonism,” as embodied by the financial capital of the world.

This seems like the same destructive fascination that motivated Nero to allow Rome to burn, or me to introduce Earthquakes in SimCity.

3.)  I’ve written before about how shallow the Hollywood imagination has become when it comes to conceptualizing potential enemies to the American superpower. Most 4th of July movies involve “War of the Worlds” type scenarios where our destruction comes at the hand of extraterrestrial forces.  This tendency is boring, unimaginative, and dumb.  And, as my Italian friend points out, “it’s amazing what you Americans will think of to justify your military spending.”

Categories: Uncategorized
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Andy Rooney on: Umbrellas!

February 6, 2008 · 3 Comments

The other night my friends and I caught an episode of 60 minutes, and for the first time in probably 10 years watched Andy Rooney pontificate on what’s important to him:  Umbrellas.

Allowing for the fact that Andy Rooney probably jumped the shark some 20 years ago, and ran out of fresh material (at least) 10 years later, this commentary screams “Alzheimers.”  I’m no agist, but Rooney needs to be put out to pasture.

On one level, it’s sad that the 60 minutes franchise keeps trotting out Rooney as its closer.  Some people were just not meant for a high definition age, and Rooney headlines that list, along with Barbara Walters and Rudy Giulliani. and  But on another level, his unintentional comedy is unrivaled.  So I’m going to start analyzing some of his 60 minute pieces on youtube.

Let’s deconstruct some of his gems on umbrellas:

The umbrella is one of man’s greatest inventions.

On first take, it seems Rooney mailed this week in.  It was raininig, he didn’t have any ideas, so he took the “let’s appreciate something we take for granted” approach.  As a lazy person myself, I can’t hate on this technique.

However, I think that Rooney really isn’t aware of other MAJOR inventions that shape the way the rest of us live.  It’s not apparent that he’s even aware what broadcast television is.

Someone needs to sit Rooney down Austin Powers style and have him watch tapes of the last 30 years.  Start with floppy disks, and eventually show him the iPhone.  Then he can talk excitedly about the possibilities of the internets.

“For example… I’d be lost without elastic bands.”

What does Andy Rooney depend on elastic bands for?  Keeping his catheter attached?  Putting his hair up on long runs?  Rolling his drug money?  What a weird thing to survive on.

“Even the Reverend Al Sharpton gets wet when it rains.”

I’m sorry, did you just accuse Al Sharpton of smoking PCP?  Seems like a good rainy day activity.

“An umbrella is a one man job.” 

Wasn’t it Rooney who originally coined the phrase:  “A hand job’s a man’s job… yo’ job’s a blow job”?

… and so on.

I just looked up a search on Rooney… there’s some great videos out there.  This is going to make for a great running segment when I don’t have anything else to write on.

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