Thursday, August 4, 2011

Perhaps I Suffer From Overexpediency

I've been trying to give money away recently. I know that in this economy, that might sound strange, so I'll say that I've been trying to give money away in targeted areas. Apparently, it's not as easy as one would assume.

Let's pretend you are a small business owner and someone approaches you and says, "I would like to hire your business. Here is what I need. Please put together a contract and I will sign it and give you money." In my mind, a reasonable turnaround on that request is 24-48 hours - at the very least, there should be some form of communication within that timeframe. Similarly, let's pretend you want to BUY A CAR. Does it seem like a week should go by without the dealer getting back to you. And when he finally does, is it odd that he is responding to a voicemail you left from two weeks prior and that, in the interim, you met and spoke with him in person?

I feel so conditioned by my own past employment to assume that any request made is already 24 hours late and that everyone plays catch up meaning the sooner the request is fulfilled, the better, but I'm having to rethink this.

(As an aside, it is humorous to note that when the dealer finally did get back to me, albeit with the "woah, didn't anyone call you?" excuse on his lips, he then wanted me to make the decision within 2 hours so he could pad his monthly quota for July. Oh, sorry, didn't quite do that, did I?)

The problem, however, with wedding vendors, for example, is that I (and el padre) are interpreting this lackadaisical method of entering into contractual obligations with us, as unsound business practices which, according to the wedding books, is not something you want in a wedding vendor (of course the wedding books have also counseled me to start my facial and mani/pedi reginmen SIX MONTHS before the wedding, so perhaps not all of their advice is gospel). Don't these people want our money? And can I be assured that if we give it to them they will show up and do the job they were hired to do? Would I be better off hanging out at Home Depot on the morning of the affair and hiring day laborers?

Or maybe I'm just not spending ENOUGH money. Perhaps if I was inquiring at the Ferrari dealership, there would be more handholding, buttkissing, and returning of phone calls. Perhaps if Joel Robuchon was personally catering the party, I could expect things to happen tout de suite!

Or perhaps I'm just too high-strung and this time lapse business is normal and I'm the weird one (well me and my dad). I'm just having difficulty getting my mind around this.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dear God, Why?

As we rattled up the Garden State Parkway from the beach Sunday evening, something distracting occurred (and it wasn't our attempt to validate stereotypes regarding the owners of white pickup trucks and priuses by checking out the traffic beside us). I hit one of my radio presets, 101.9 and was greeted by a playlist consisting of No Doubt, TLC, and John Mellencamp, as well as informative listener call-ins describing how much women love chocolate. This was unusual as I rely on 101.9 for a steady diet of STP and Soundgarden, making me feel oh-so-high-schooly. Since there is literally no other radio station in the tri-state area that plays Soundgarden (dear 104.3, the very words "Get the Led Out" and "Out of the Led and into the Pink" give me palpitations requiring immediate mental health intervention), this was quite distressing. Still, I held out hope that this was a special Sunday Night Suckathon of Top-40 hits from a 1997 BC sorority house.

Then I listened more closely, specifically to the station identification. The numbers were right, but the call sign wasn't. I was no longer listening to 101.9WRXP. I was listening to 101.9WEMP which played, please don't be scared, adult contemporary. [Insert stream of expletives]

Because what the radio landscape needs, second to more Top 40, is more adult contemporary.

Sure, the old-timer in me did have to occasionally change the channel when some young whippersnapper hard rock band came on the station (or when they played Nirvana), but on the whole, I was mightily satisfied with my Temple of the Dog and Jane's Addiction fixes. In fact, if pressed, I would have said 101.9WRXP was my favorite radio station.

Now it's gone. Gone gone gone. And I have no defensible reason to shell out money for satellite radio as I just don't spend hours a day in the car. Devoted partner makes fun of the fact that I can listen to 1010WINS's 22 minute coverage for more than an hour, but now there seems to be no other choice. Much like when MTV stopped playing videos and VH1 only played adult contemporary ones, and I just stopped watching videos altogether, I fear that this marks the end of my brief FM radio experiment.