The Airing of Grievances 2012

festivus pole peppermint pigs

bitter | sweet

The drawing's now closed. Winner's have been emailed! And the grievances are now closed.

As we have in past years, we're celebrating Festivus early this year -- complain, if you must -- with a traditional Airing of Grievances. (You're on your own for the Feats of Strength.)

So, gather round the unadorned aluminum pole, let it rip, and let it go. You'll feel better.

But here's the deal: grievances can not include personal attacks, nastiness, or creepiness. (You'll know it when you see it.)

To balance the bitter with the sweet, we are again giving Peppermint Pigs to three people who air their grievances in the comments. The winners will be picked randomly.

The Editors have already aired their grievances after the jump. We're looking forward to hearing yours.

Merry Festivus.

Important: To be eligible for the Peppermint Pig drawing, your comment must be submitted by 11:59 pm on December 18, 2012. You must include a working email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. One entry per person, please. Winners will be notified by noon on Wednesday and must respond by 10 am on December 20.

Grievances aired by AOA Mary

Mostly, I have to say, I'm pretty lucky and pretty happy. I don't have a lot to complain about this year. That said, here are a few things that bug me if I think about them.

I can't tolerate it. And yes, I see the irony.

Social media as a vehicle for whining/complaining/being mean.
People sometimes seem to forget that there are other people at the other end of their comments.

Having to turn the commercials down
Really? Do you think I'll buy it just because you tell me about
it louder? Guess what? Not gonna happen.

Christmas trees without candy canes.
Why would you skip the cane? It's candy, on a tree, in your house.

Grievances aired by AOA Greg

I have a lot for which to be thankful, a fact that's been reinforced this year by seeing how life has just turned things upside down for some many people. But...

I walk a lot -- because I have a dog, because I ride the bus often, because I just like it better than driving. And it kills me (not literally, I hope) how many streets lack sidewalks. This is true even in places like the city of Albany. That neighborhood bordered by Route 85 to the east and Western Ave to the north is a nice neighborhood -- but, amazingly, it has no sidewalks!

Not yielding to pedestrians
(See above about walking.) I acknowledge that some pedestrians do stupid things: dart out from between parked cars, pay seemingly no attention to traffic lights, and so on. But it's rare for a week to go by in which I don't have an encounter with car that's a little too close while crossing a street at a marked cross walk. It's often because someone didn't come to a stop while turning right on red, or just plain ignored the yield to pedestrians signs on New Scotland, or simply wasn't paying attention.

Unwiped tables
I work in a lot of cafes and coffee shops, and more often than not the tables have crumbs, random leftovers, or they're just plain dirty. I realize you're busy. And you end up taking a lot of crap from people you shouldn't have to (seriously, a lot of this problem is the result of inconsiderate customers). But sending someone out to wipe down the tables every 10-15 minutes would be great -- and much appreciated.

Loyalty cards
If it's on sale, just give me the discount. I don't want another card. And I don't want to be asked for the hundredth time whether I have my ExtraAdvantageSuperAwesomeHappyDiscountClub Card. I don't.

Festivus pole photo: Flickr user M. Keefe


People who don't seem to understand how a stop sign works. Also, tailgaters.

The sudden surge of Round-Abouts (rotaries, traffic circles, etc) and the complete lack of understanding as to how to navigate them by the general public.

First I have to say that I agree with the loud commercials - I end up muting them since they're so loud, so it really doesn't do any good for anyone!

Both of my grievances have to do with IMPATIENCE and really just overall grumpiness.

As a graduate student, I have worked a lot of food service/retail jobs in my 23 years. People who get all huffy because their food took an extra three seconds or a line was a few people too long are the worst. First, you don't have anywhere that important to go. Second, if you do I'm sure they will understand if you tell them why you are running a minute or two late. Third, to the grumpy people - the people who you yell at because of these things have no control over it. So, get over yourself and maybe just enjoy you time so you don't have an aneurysm by your 40th birthday. :)

Another related grievance - the person behind you who honks as SOON as the light turns green. FYI, if you do that I'm just going to sit there until it turns yellow. Again, you don't have anywhere that important to be.

Blinkers, directionals, those lights that aren't your taillights but are in the same location. People should learn how to use them. Especially when pulling out of parking spaces.

Also, people who don't pick up their dog's feces. The Albany mayoral candidate that supports mandatory DNA testing for all city dogs and increases fines for errant poops is one step closer to getting my vote.

Also, also, to the people who leave the underwear/clothing on the garden fence in front of the Knickerbocker Apartments, you embarrass yourself. The same to the management that apparently thinks dirty panties are acceptable garden decorations.

Also, also, also, people who don't EVEN LOOK at the traffic light before they cross the street, and then glare when you slow roll into the intersection. Is getting hit by a car some weird hobby I'm not hip to?

Merry Festivus!

Riding in the left lane on the highway. Seriously, stop it. It's called a passing lane for a reason. GTFO.

Drivers who run red lights!
I have had drivers behind me pull around me and go through a red light as I slowed to a stop.
On numerous occasions while walking the dog in the morning and crossing Washington Ave.,I have seen drivers not even slow down for a red light.
Shouting my displeasure at them doesn't relieve much of my frustration.

Inconsiderate dog owners who don't pick up after their dogs. C' it really that hard? Gross? - Yes. Necessary? - Yes. And if you disagree, then don't own a dog! You're making the rest of us dog owners look bad.

I too consider myself lucky, shouldnt have too much to offer but in the spirit of the holiday: The traffic on 787 as a result of that summer long construction project near the 90 interchange. you were the worst.

The lack of focus people have- there are others around you, be mindful when stopping dead in your tracks to stare at something, namely your phone. You're going to get hit!

Bikes on sidewalks, cash only restaurants and burned coffee.

Buy 1 Get 2 free sales. Just give me a fair price. If I need 3, I'll buy 3.

The line dictators at Hannaford. Ugh.

Seconding tailgaters and all aggressive drivers in general. I do no favors for tailgaters. Enjoy my fine collection of bumper stickers.

Pretty much the entirety of the NYS legislature (lol @ them thinking anyone cares about their coalitions. just do something. anything.)

impatient people. I'm pretty sure I encountered the only cranky woman in all of Vermont, who cut a line at a bagel store, threw her money on the counter, and said rudely, "Is this where i can buy JUST bagels?" (Most people appeared to be ordering complex bagel sandwiches). Props to the counter person for hurrying her out, but wtf, woman?

My only grievance for the year is that everyone in Albany with a DSLR camera is calling themselves photographers these days.

drivers on 787!!!! the left lane is for passing. people just sit in that lane and don't move. so i have to be the jerk that passes them on the right.

The overuse of traffic circles tops my list not only because they are a hazard wrought with people clearly confused and just going for it, but also because my husband in particular hates them and goes on a tirade every time that he has to drive through one.

I also despise the overuse of social media in personal relationships. Pick up the phone or meet someone out for coffee once in a while.

Adults who are really loud on buses and trains. Shh.

The flagrant red light running that occurs all over albany (lower case).

Second the lack of sidewalks.

My main grievance this year is people not understanding what Asperger's/Autism entails and stubbornly refusing to listen when I try to tell them.

Fictional holidays.

The inability of drivers to merge onto 90 near UAlbany during my morning well as the lack of ability drivers exhibit when it comes to using traffic circles when I get off exit 2 on my home.

Hey, office workers! Your phone has a nifty feature called "vibrate." Here's how it works: when you receive a call, your phone will shake instead of playing your stupid ringtone.

Oh, yes, I'm aware of how much time you spent programming the phone to play In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida when your mother-in-law calls, but we really don't want to hear that -- especially not when you leave your phone on the desk and go take a crap or something, and then it goes on, and on, and on.

If you are not sure how to activate the vibrate feature on your device, please consult the manual. Otherwise, your phone might magically disappear or accidentally fall out the window.

Different standards in the same office. Everyone should be held to the same high expectations, and it shouldn't matter who you know, just what you know.

Aggressive drivers. Ditto most of the comments above.

Really annoyed/alarmed by the level of condescension bred by Facebook and Twitter. It's so easy to get swept up in the soap-boxy fb blog-post-linkage flood that occurs every time a major news story breaks. I'm guilty of this, too. It sucks.

Basically: everyone, chill out!

People who preach tolerance and say that I should have the freedom to believe what I choose, but then scream at me "You voted Republican? YOU'RE KILLING US !!!!"

Rob! THANK YOU for your comment on ringtones. Seriously. If you have to have your ringtone on, at least don't make it on the loudest level, and, do me a favor and when your phone is going off and you're deciding whether to answer it, at least hit the silence button so I don't have to listen to it!

Good news for you, AOA Mary!

Hmm, I definitely second a lot that has already been mentioned, especially anything related to social media trolls.

I know it's a busy shopping season and hence the mass of traffic at the intersection of Wolf/Central, and I'll admit occasionally going through a stale yellow light-- BUT red is red people. STOP driving. OH- and then you're in the middle of the intersection and I can't move, and so I miss my green light? I have some choice words for you in my car, believe me, and they don't involve wishing you a merry Christmas.

Thanks, AOA, for the vent-session. :)

When restaurants are under new ownership and are no longer delicious. I'm looking at you, CCK. It's like losing a good friend. A good friend who made delicious hot and sour soup.

Red light runners. I love walking my dog, but the drivers around the Madison/Western split and St. Rose are ruthless.

Aggressive and inattentive drivers have really been ticking me off lately. Drivers who turn on their high beams when I'm walking facing traffic are especially annoying - can't figure out that logic. Blind the pedestrian who's already risking her life to get somewhere on foot. Great idea. I do pick up after my dogs and want those drivers to know that I'm armed with poop if they really want to get aggressive with me.

Something I've always hated about this area are the crappy road signs. Street signs are impossible to see. Streetlights on strings don't provide a place for a cross-street sign so you can see what intersection you're at until you're passing through it (b/c the street sign on the corner is small and almost illegible - if it's even present) - streetlights on poles with large cross-road street names above the intersection make it so much easier to navigate through town. Fuller heading North doesn't appear to have a sign to tell you what lane you need to be in to get on Washington Ave extension until you're already in the roundabout (unless I missed it in the dark). Exit signs for interstates or high speed roads are sometimes located right at the exit which can be impossible to see if you're in a small vehicle surrounded by SUVs, pick ups or tractor trailers. After living here for a long time you get used to all of this stuff but it's really hard driving in Albany when new to the area.

And despite my ranting here I am sick of the negativity online - especially in the Table Hopping comments. While sometimes entertaining, it boggles my mind how hurtful people can be.

Dog poop everywhere in the wintertime.

@AOA Greg,

Divers who don't yield to pedestrians are bad. But while we're airing grievances... a big UP YOURS to drivers who stop when they have the right of way and then try to wave pedestrians across the street ("Look at me, I'm a good person with good intentions!") ...into oncoming traffic from the other way.

The only people behind the wheel I take orders from these days are the ones steering tugboats. ;)

I'm going to chime in against the red light runners as well. I shouldn't have to wait at my green light for an extra couple of seconds just to make sure you're not going to t-bone me at the intersection!

Also, "salmon-ers". These are the bicyclists who ride AGAINST traffic. You give the rest of us a bad name!

I could do with without so many people "being offended" so easily and often. No one like to have their sensibilities affronted, but there are far better uses of our mental and emotional energies than "being offended."

people who are always on their smart phones. they bump into you on the street because they're not watching where they are going. they don't socialize when your'e out with them.

What about the people who don't even cross at crosswalks?! Some folks walk right out in front of you when your driving, they don't even look and they don't even care.

People who don't mute their cell phones in appropriate places, like an office full of cubes. If your phone is within reach, you will notice it vibrating, blinking, whatever. I don't need to hear your ringtone, or your meeting notice chime, or your incoming text noise. I'm especially talking to the iPhone people, because that's the easiest phone on earth to mute. There's a tiny switch right on the side.

Yuppies moving to Troy, I like my greasy little city the way it is, thank you very much.

Clifton Park Hannaford dropping several allergen-free products that I used to buy there every week shortly after their "grand re-opening" and refusing to carry them when asked. Screw you, Hannaford. If you're going to be like that, I'll drive all the way to Honest Weight and deal with their teeny tiny aisles.

Everyone in the left lane is going 80mph. Everyone in the right lane is going 60mph. A truck in front of me in the middle lane is going 61mph and making me very angry. Speed up or change lanes!

My neighbor smokes so much that our apartment smells like smoke. I am allergic. My other neighbor sings in the shower on the other side of the wall while I'm taking a bath and it makes me feel uncomfortable. It sounds like Klingon opera.

Two words: Bird crap. Welcome to Center Sq!

I really wish my neighbor wouldn't let her little dog run loose in the neighborhood. Not only is it annoying when he digs in my garden (and certainly they aren't picking up the poop!), but he's going to get hit by a car one of these days. I feel bad for the dog and annoyed at the owner who doesn't seem to care about the dog.

Semi automatic assault weapons owned by private citizens. It's just plain wrong.

The Dunn Freakin Memorial Bridge roadwork!!!! Please just let it end. I can't take it anymore!

The fact that it is kind of difficult to find affordable housing in downtown Albany. Albany, I love you, but honestly $1,200/mo. for a one bedroom apartment isn't exactly worth it to live in Center Square, with limited parking may I add. Where's the incentive to draw in urban dwellers?

Oh, and Facebook. Remember when it was used to just to inform all your acquaintances of how drunk you got last night?

Cars (small ones, like a FIAT) being ticketed for parking more than 12 inches from the curb, when it was not a problem. No, this did not happen to me, happened to a neighbor.

The government's allowance to own semi-automatic weapons, the lacking of a good charcuterie shop in Latham, and folks that do not follow the driving laws when entering and exiting Latham Circle.

Neighbor in the city of Albany who uses power tools (mower, leaf blower, chain saw) before 8:00 (!!!) in the morning on week-ends. And Albany cops who treat me like the Wicked Witch if I complain.

Also the Times Union filling its pages with free (to it) social media junk ("articles" made up of blog comments and tweets) instead of original content and real reporting.

Why do stupid people come out of the woodwork and congregate in malls and stores during the holidays???? How ironic for it being the season of peace and love....people become inconsiderate, rude and down right nasty!

That the HWFC is using non-union labor for its new building.

That someone in Center Square parks a truck with SportsCuts logos all over it and the motto "It's Good to be a Guy!". What is this, Hooters for hair?

That we don't have Zip Cars (and not some cheap knock-off, I mean Zip Cars) in Albany.

My grievances were originally going to center around the 'Albany Style' (look up that old 7" EP comp cover!) way of driving, but this past weekend's event has squarely focused me on guns. Here goes:

My airing of grievances is aimed squarely on my friends who believe that the answer to saving more lives is to have more and more guns, everywhere. Nobody sees that the law of unintended consequences says that this would end BADLY. I have little faith in armed people to be able to not fall into a game of brinksmanship. Look at the current 'stand your ground' case in Florida. Jesus Christ.

These same friends also have no sense of irony. When I try to call them out by saying things like "Atom bombs don't kill people, people kill people" and "a Gatling gun in every classroom!", they tend to cheer me on.

Guess this is more of a sigh than a feat of strength. I am too tired.

I have to second the roundabout comment and sadly I am sadly one of those inept at navigating them... New Years resolution?

I am upset that Time Warner Cable doesn't carry the ID - Investigation Discovery channel. It's a guilty pleasure and I miss it.

Secret Santa gifts that suck. No one wants your crappy leftover gifts. Just buy a gift card, cause that's really what everyone wants.

Parents who allow their children to act like animals in public places. You can tell when a kid is having a one off, bad day tantrum - it happens, I understand. But when a kid is clearly not supervised, never punished or even taught to have respect for people it's a poor reflection on the parents.

people that run red lights

folks that honk as soon as the light turns green

not having any Ethiopian restaurants in town

People who are still reluctant to come to Troy, due to something they heard about it 5 years ago. Come one people, our city is rockin'! Come check it out!


Stop throwing crap on the ground when you're finished with it. Find a trash can or hold on to it until you get home.

Also, the flower pots in front of my house, and my mail box (!) are not trash cans! I know you're trying to do the right thing by not just tossing your trash on the ground, but dirty diapers in my flowers pots and sticky juice bottles stuck to my mail makes me very unhappy.

This rant also applies to people that flick they cigarette butts out the car window - if you're going to smoke, deal with your mess. AND pet owners that lets their pups crap everywhere - if you have a dog, deal with your mess.

Bicyclists who complain that cars don't share the road with them, but then hug the shoulder when passing pedestrians.

Are you a vehicle or not?

If you are, them move over before you hit someone!

If you aren't, then get off the road.

Bad customer service. I understand people have bad days, but some places I visit weekly (i.e. grocery stores/ gas stations).. I notice that they are either extremely rude, for no reason, or just give off this "I hate my life" attitude. Quit! Quit it!

There are probably more, but that just annoys me.

Also, my roommate was just talking about these pigs.. & I didn't get her a Christmas present.. yet.. or a birthday gift. hah.

Bad roommates - -UGH!

Road rage. When someone freaks out because they don't understand how a roundabout works...and that's somehow my fault? IT JUST MAKES ME CRAZY AND MAKES ME WANT TO....

Oh man, I've become one of them...

People who think guns are the problem and not the people who are committing crimes. People get stabbed, let's outlaw butcher blocks that hold more than five knives.
People who think that no one else has anywhere important to be. Just because you have no aspirations in life, doesn't mean the rest of us don't. Move out of the way and get me my food in a timely manner.
Lazy people that leave their shopping cart in the parking space next to them. Walk the extra ten feet to the cart return and maybe you won't need the ride on cart in five years.
And many more dealing with stupid people, but I will save those for my family.

People who think semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines would ever have been included in the 2nd Amendment had they existed in 1791.


Loud TV commercials.

Thanks for letting me vent AOA!

Stopping in the middle of parking lots to wait for the guy walking to his car to leave so you can get a parking spot 2 closer than the one already that's actually AVAILABLE

Not being able to get a ticket to a big concert without having to go through the scalpers

Two year old temper tantrums....seriously, you're objecting to pink over the yellow cup. It matters? Really?

The phrases "I want" "Gimme" and general "Whining" (see 2-year old above)

Taking the elevator instead of the stairs to go 1 flight and then commending me for my "healthy" lifestyle...that's not healthy! That's impatient!

My grievance is how high the volume is for the beep, beep beep of CDTA buses when the doors open/close and bus is lowered.

So loud as to be a danger to one's hearing

Rudeness and impatience. Intolerance and greed. Partisan politics. Smart phones at work. Taking up two parking spaces because you don't know how to park your %$*#ing gas guzzling truck or SUV. Robocalls.

Anyone who litters anything, ever. There is a special place in hell for these folks.

Why doesn't Chipotle have Queso cheese and Moe's does but I hate Moe's? Fail.

Casey is out of town, so I'm going to be a good friend and answer for her. "PEOPLE WHO POOP ON CHURCHES IN TROY."

Bodegas who just make up their prices as they go. I paid three dollars for tums last weekend. It was an emergency. I'm still mad.

December rain. Give me some snow already, would yaaa? Sheesh.

People who double-park on Central Ave. and block an entire lane of traffic (all the time, but especially when there are open parking spaces). If you can't parallel park, you should not have a license.

Reply-all email exchanges at work, that continue on, and on, and on, and on.

People who takes themselves too seriously.

Sending sick children to school is mean to your kid and everyone else's kid. And I don't mean borderline, sniffly tykes who are only a bit off. I mean sour-smelling, fever-flushed, glassy-eyed little sickos who are at the nurse by opening bell.

Bicyclists who don't stop at red lights or otherwise follow the rules of the road drive us all nuts. So do car drivers who do the same.

In a just world, ashes would be scattered all over the people who throw cigarette butts out windows and on the ground.

And finally, if you feel the need to defend an inanimate killing machine over a human life, I don't want to hear it, because it makes me ill.

People at the grocery store that choose to socialize in the middle of an aisle. I'm all for community and chatting with folks you run into at the store, but could you do it in front of the case of offal instead of right in the middle of the cereal isle?

People cutting across lanes during rush hour traffic - I'm glad that slicing & dicing through traffic at 7:45AM on 787/90/87 (take your pick) saved you two minutes on your commute. Now stop it.

Impatient people. C'mon, do you really mean to tell me that you can't wait 1 minute for me to make my left turn?? I consistently get buzzed by passing traffic (passing on the shoulder) on Rt 155 as I turn into my home street. They are going 45 mph and my little boy is in the back seat of my very small car. I fear for our lives! As I think about it, I may just call the local PD. These people are mean!!!

the overabundance of pizza joints in the area. we've counted at least 16 that we know for sure will deliver to our area. inevitably 3 or 4 of those change ownership each year. let's get a little more variety!

the lack of sidewalks is irritating.

The CDTA for replacing the 90 with 3 busses some of which don't run late at night.

People who text while driving. Or reach for items in the back seat while driving. Or attempt to apply makeup while driving. Maybe make the driving a priority, no?

My neighbor who lets his tiny white dog outside off-leash and allows it to chase cars up the street, causing everyone who lives here to have to inch along to avoid it. This problem will become compounded when we get our first major snowfall because the little rat blends right in.

Rachel from Card Services. So much hate!

Media coverage of the Newtown tragedy. Leave those people alone and let them grieve privately.

Always feeling itchy after I visit Clifton Park.

I don't have any grievances to air, in particular. However, if the title of this post was in any way a reference to the Titus Andronicus album of the same name, I want to be the author's best friend.

I know the contest is over, but I think I just hit upon some grievances to air.

First, people who complain about the red light runners year after year without considering that there are too many red lights in the first place. Every major thoroughfare (Western, Madison, Washington--but not as bad, and Central) has this issue. Come up with a more rational traffic plan, police it early on, and the rest will take care of itself.

Second, the terms "entrepreneur" and "entrepreneurship" being bandied about in every conceivable context both within "business" and without. The concept to which these words refer has been stretched out to a point where ironically, instead of losing much of its meaning, has now come to signify the intrusion of "business" and its "philosophy" of competition and profit at all costs into areas of human life where it is inappropriate.

I do not know if this is conscious in the minds of the users or not, but the effect of this misplacement is to allow practices that are tolerable in one sphere of life (but shouldn't be) to become gradually acceptable in others (where it also shouldn't be). Words matter and should be treated as though they do.

Also, someone please retire "Tech Valley" and anything related. Enough already--the gig is up.

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