The Airing of Grievances 2013

festivus pole peppermint pigs

Something sweet to go with the sour.

The drawing is now closed! But if you'd still like to share your grievance, go right ahead.

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

What are your small annoyances, complaints, or frustrations? 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, as is tradition, we will give Peppermint Pigs to three people who air their grievances in the comments. The winners will be picked randomly.

The Editors have begun the Airing with 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 10 am on December 24, 2013. 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 Tuesday and must respond by 5 pm on December 26.

AOA Mary
This year I'm feeling particularly grateful for what I have: A super supportive husband, wonderful friends, family and the community of wonderful people we're in contact with through AOA. That said, there are a few things gnawing at me.

I admit, I'm a little overboard with the empathy thing sometimes, but it seems like something the world could used more of.

The Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas Debate
Please don't yell at me for saying happy holidays because I don't want to offend someone who doesn't celebrate the same holiday I do. No matter what words I use, I'm wishing you joy.

Breyer's Ice Cream
Dear Breyer's ice cream people. Why, oh why did you mess with perfection? Please put my childhood all natural ice cream back the way it used to be.

AOA Greg
I'm thankful I don't have much to complain about, but...

Unshoveled sidewalks
No one likes to shovel snow, I get it. But not shoveling your sidewalks is unsafe and inconsiderate. And in many municipalities, against the law.

Drivers who don't stop at pedestrian crossings
If a person's waiting to cross at the crosswalk, and there's one of those signs telling you to stop if there's a pedestrian, you should stop. I'll give you a friendly wave for doing so.

The unreturned cart
As a former cart gatherer, this one probably irks me more than it should. But just put your shopping cart in the corral after you unload your stuff to your car. It'll take all of 30 seconds.

Festivus pole photo: Flickr user M. Keefe


Common Core. It makes my kids cry and makes me feel like an idiot because I don't understand it either.

People who block crosswalks when parking their car! Serenity now!

Greivance: Pothole patching in Troy.

I know it's a hard task, and a cliche thing to grieve about, but it seems that Troy is using black quinoa to patch their potholes. Looks good on the surface, but they are back to "not patched" in about a week.

Santa will not be happy when he bottoms out trying to get off 787, and I only know of one place in the capital region that fixes sleds.

People who tell me I should be married/have babies by now.

Wishing everyone joyful Festivus and happy holidays. I love the spirit of giving in December and wish the feeling would last all year. My main grievances:

Inconsiderate drivers on the highway...who don't check their inside rear view mirror after they pass you and cut in too early.

Pop Christmas music...played incessantly in the stores from mid November through Christmas. Give me the classic carols; instrumental versions of some newer songs would be okay too. How many times can you hear "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" before you pull your hair out?

Intolerance...of folks to recognize multiple points of view. I'm tired of "my way or the highway" attitudes.

I'm thankful for many things including my health, my fun job, having a lot of things (sometimes too many things) to write about, and chocolate.

But lately I've been pretty annoyed with:

Owning a car - It's convenient but I'm realizing I'm putting money into something that a) will breakdown eventually anyway, and b) everyday offers me a chance, if not a small one, of getting into an accident. If my job did not require a car, I swear I'd sell the vehicle I have and just rent one when I wanna do road trips.

Negativity - This is pretty broad but I think that word just about sums up my annoyance with people who don't see the good in situations or aren't thankful for the things that do go right.

Citizen Editors - We have citizen journalists and now we have citizen editors. I know I missed that one spelling error in my article and I already know I forgot how to spell that person's name for that video. I'm hard enough on myself already. Sometimes the input is helpful, but usually it is not. I'm not talking about any particular instance. This is an observation from over eight years of writing at a newspaper.

People who take massively full grocery carts through the self-checkout lines because they don't want to wait in the regular line.

That kind of entitlement is annoying on the best of days, and it becomes hugely frustrating when the store is super busy with holiday shoppers.

I'll second AOA Greg's snow shoveling grievance!

I'll add Northway commuters who can't seem to get the hang of either entering/exiting the Twin Bridges, and/or the one who don't seem to fully grasp the concept of merging.

We're the only shoppers in the store

When grocery shopping, it's great to chat and catch up with someone you haven't seen in a while. But please, please don't block the aisle with your carts -- just move over to the side.

Greedy, ungrateful people: I constantly hear people whine that their Christmas Bonus wasn't large enough... be happy you have a job, be happy your boss gives you extra money on top of your salary.

I also get extremely annoyed when going out of my way (admittedly, sometimes over the top) to do a random act of kindness for a stranger and they look at me like I'm crazy. It's a scary world when you get crazy, confused looks from people when you do something nice. Please just smile and say thank you.

The Albany Dog Poop Season
Clean up your dogs poop! I don't know if its just more visible in the winter, or because of snow piles pushed closer to the middle of the sidewalk but it's like a freaking minefield! Don't own a dog if you aren't willing or able to clean up after it.

Advice Asking
I work in animal medicine and friends and acquaintances often solicit my advice on things. Sometimes it's annoying but I put up with it to be polite. For the love of God, if you're going to bother me for my professional opinion on what to do the least you could do is show me the respect and your animal the consideration by following my advice. At LEAST give me a nickel for when I have to say "I told you so." I could have gone on a vacation by now.

Smoke Detector
My neighbors smoke detector has been beeping for a new battery for three months. Three. Months.

Drivers in the right lane of a highway who won't move over to allow traffic from the on ramp to're all jerks

I agree with the shopping cart thing. If you're in that much of a hurry that you can't spend 30 seconds walking it back to its little corral then you are selfish selfish selfish

7 words: The left lane is for passing only

grievance: People who complain about the area, while making no effort to uncover its awesome. If climbing mountains, seeing waterfalls, going to little museums, historic sites, and hearing dope local music isn't your jam, OK. But don't be lazy with where you live. That's huge. At least make an honest effort to enjoy your backyard, before you figure out if it's for you.

I'm ready for feats of strength!

That stench that enters your car on 787 when passing by the Albany sewage treatment plant. Can't they do something about that? It's like all of Albany just farted in your car.

I believe in treating others as I'd like to be treated, so I do find it an 'annoyance' when those others aren't like-minded...

Otherwise, drivers blasting through the yellow light long after it already turned red tops my list.

Happy New Year AoA.

I have to preface my grievances by saying that I too am thankful for many things this year, including my health, my family and loved ones, and my cat. That being said, my grievances are as follows:

Road Spray-I hate hate hate this time of year when the roads are wet but it's not raining and your windshield gets covered with lil dots of dirt that dry up and smear all over when you try to clear them off. I go through gallons of windshield washer fluid!

Crappy Drivers-Let's face it, I'm the only one who knows how to drive in this city ;)

And, seconding a few others' grievances, Ungrateful, self-centered, unkind people.

Why can't people just be nice to each other!?

Folks who are constantly fiddling around on social media even when they are currently collocated with friends for social purposes.

Grievance: People that make left turns onto Wolf Road when leaving the Trader Joe's parkinglot during rush hour. I'd rather go home than watch you play Frogger with your car.

Going to State street in the middle of the day, barely finding a parking spot, and coming back an hour later to see every car (including mine) with a $50 'snow obstruction' ticket.

Snow emergencies in this city feel less like trying to get a job done and more like a field day for the city to stuff its coffers with revenue. It seems especially true when you consider the fact that for 24 hours you can only park on one side of the street, and then after 8 pm the other side. And you'd better believe that there's tow trucks and parking attendants waiting at 8:15 to start hauling cars away.

You're really going to plow State Street in the middle of the day? Get real.

Ladies, if you live with a man and he shaves daily please do not steal his razor for to shave whatever parts you shave with it (Mrs. Dave, I am looking at you).

I knew I forgot something!

The pitifully small parking lot of Trader Joes!!

State Workers
Why are they all classified as lazy? Some of them are, like any other job but some work-hard. What about the hardworking state workers? Am I doing this during worktime???

The Elevator Challenged

There are 6 elevators that go to 10 floors of my building, yet there are some people who will hold an elevator for a friend who is more than 2 minutes away from getting on while there are other people on the elevator with them. I swear it's not the last ride up to the 17th floor ever. They can wait. Or you can wait for them to catch up with you before you get on if you can't be separated for more than a minute. The other people in the elevator with you didn't get on just to listen to the sweet sweet music of the elevator alarm.

Self Congratulatory "Helpful" People

Occasionally I'm too engrossed in a task or a conversation to bless you for your life changing, yet unsolicited assistance. If you bring me pages off of the printer that I haven't had the chance to go grab because I am taking a business call, shouting "YOU'RE WELCOME!" as you walk away is pretty unwarranted. That also goes for you, huge lady at the supermarket, who moves my cart aside to make room for her considerable bulk, chick who took my wet clothes out of the washer and tossed them to the side so hse could put hers in, and guy who steps on my shoelaces to teach me a lesson about tying them. I DO NOT WISH TO BE WELCOMED BY YOU.

Space Squanderers

Particularly on State Street, but all over Center Square there are people who park an extra 3 or 4 feet further from the fire hydrant/no parking/loading area/corner than they need to. They leave only half a cars worth of space in front of them, so they are effectively taking 2 spaces, and screwing up the parking lineup of any cars that park behind them. WHY DO YOU NEED THAT EXTRA ROOM? Was the fact that you didn't have to parallel park and can pull straight out of the spot when you are ready to leave not good enough for you?

That made me feel a little better actually.

Just before the end of 787 south (where it hits Southern Blvd./ McCarty Ave.), the left-most of the three lanes ends. This area gets backed up at the end of the workday, and almost everyone gets in the middle or right lane and waits patiently in traffic, because, hey, we're all trying to get to the same place and we learned not to cut in line in grade school. But every single evening there's a couple of people who race up the left lane because, apparently, they don't deserve to have to wait in line like us regular folks. (And it's not that they're new to the area because there are signs and they're squeezing past the good samaritans that are straddling the line to try to keep people from doing this). Personally, I think we should be allowed to shoot cars like that with paintball guns. Then the police could just give tickets to all the pain-splattered cars for being jerks.

OK, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel better now.

The Colonie Center parking lot!

Grievance: Time Warner Cable. UGH.

Unreturned greetings. I wave or say yellow to people as I walk or pedal by. I have learned after eight years here that greeting people on the street is not generally a local practice, but I'd hope that my neighbors, even ones who don't yet know me, would understand what I am trying to do and return a greeting. It might help get us off the list of America's most unfriendly cities. We're 7th! That's horrible! We can turn it around!

BAD TIPPERS and general nastiness towards waiters. Don't take our your anger on these hard-working, extremely underpaid members of society. Say please and thank you!!

Work. Work sucks. End of story. All my grievances start and end with work - terrible drivers, bad traffic, expensive gas, workplace politics, general idiocy and buffoonery, the ATM that isnt run by the company credit union and charges employees of the company (who are, incidently the only people in the building barring a few vendors) $2.25 to use is the cherry on my grievance sundae

Erie Blvd and Wolf Road please fall into some massive sink hole.

When the sidewalks are clear, get out of the %$$#! road!! And use the crosswalks!!

People who think I should be driving too fast for conditions in my little sedan, just because they have a false sense of security in their huge 4-wheel drive vehicles. Tailgating during a snowstorm actually just makes me go slower.

Northway drivers who get butthurt because you pass them on the right, since they're blocking the passing lane. This is NOT illegal in NYS, read your driver's manual!

People not letting drivers in during rush-hour traffic, more than a mile down the line. I understand not letting line-jumpers in right near the merge, but not everybody drives in Albany every day to know the roads and understand 2 mile long backups occur, and I see people being jerks like this to cars with out-of-state plates.

Dog walkers getting mad when they're caught walking with the dog off-leash and then their dogs decide to come sniff me. Not my fault I'm delicious-smelling.

I don't even know where to begin with my adventures with the new healthcare sign-up. Awful.

Every time I hear "you're overqualified". Yes, I know. And yet, I can still do the job!

The iHop near the Albany Airport's food. Ugh.

It's been a pretty good year and while I am content, this holiday seems as if it needs a time out.

Stop with the Santa race debate! Santa is real; he is the embodiment of all that is kind and good in this world. Every race, gender and orientation can experience that.

And please shoppers, Christmas is the same date every single year. It shouldn't be a surprise. So on Dec 23, it is not the time to start shopping for rare sizes that need to be ordered online. I can't get it to you by tomorrow and yelling at me isn't going to change that. No. I am not driving to the distribution center and picking it up for you.

I'm grateful to know and love my family and friends, and that we're all relatively happy and healthy.

But those other people who give strangers a bad name - Grievances!

I work in a building that supposedly exists on a smoke-free campus. But constantly, daily we have to battle smokers who are too stubborn, lazy and/or inconsiderate to go off property.
Not only that but they hide in a semi-enclosed space by the handicap ramp and the smoke gets sucked right in the building when the doors open.
Shame on you!

All of the griping about supermarkets.

People who look down upon shoppers with kids, like kids shouldnt be allowed in stores. Will you come over every time I have to shop and babysit them for free? Then we have a deal.

"Oh, your name is Arielle. Were you named after the Disney Mermaid?"
"Oh, you teach Zumba? You mean like that secret brothel up in Maine?"
"Oh, your husband works for a bank? BOOOOOO!!!!"

No no and no times infinity.

To all residents, businesses and governments: Shovel your sidewalks. I can't tell you how many people, senior citizens even, forced to walk in the middle of the street because you people can't be bothered to make a pathway for pedestrians!

Also, on 787 North, why do I see people constantly change lanes left at Exit 9, just as they realize they're in an exit only lane? Don't you people live here? Everyone should have figured out that right lane ends, and yet every ten seconds, someone panics because they realize they're about to go over the river.

1. People that smoke a cigarette and keep the cig in their mouth the entire time they smoke it. Sorry I want to smack you!
2. Drivers that can't take a 90 degree LEFT turn to save their lives and keep their car out of my lane. Sorry I want to smack you!
3. People that say "you know" and "like" 100 times in a conservation. Sorry I want to smack you!
4. People that call you ONLY when they need something. Can't we just talk for once. Sorry I want to smack you!
5. Lazy Cops who don't make any attempt to hide the fact that they could care less about your stolen property. Sorry I want to smack you!
6. Weatherman who yell and scream like we've never experienced 6" of snow. Sorry I want to smack you!
7. The airfare prices at Albany Airport after we spent 70 million to make the airport more affordable. I can't figure out who to smack!
8. Politicians that look us in the eyes and tell us lies without any hesitation. Sorry but I want to smack you the most!

Otherwise all's good... Merry Christmas!

Taxes! Enough said.

To my neighbor, your leaf blower habit is intolerable.

Do you really need to clean off the lawn twice a day? Is it necessary to blow the dust off your car? Aren't there times when a broom is a more sensible tool for bits of dirt and debris on the front walk?

But what really bothers me is that your infernal machine has caused me to think you're an idiot.

Styrofoam peanuts
Source of extreme frustration and bad for the environment. There has got to be a better way!

People who get on Alt 7 in Troy and drive 50 in the passing lane ALL THE WAY TO LATHAM. And then glare at me when I pass them on the right. Driving the speed limit.

Billy Fuccillo ads on TV and radio. I hit the mute button or change the channel


-My new job makes me hate the computer so much that I don't even want to update AT when I get home.

-Slow walkers in the middle of the sidewalk that, just as I'm about to pass them, cease walking in a straight line and veer off into my walking space.

-The City of Troy's inability to have a clear Snow Emergency protocol... this is basic city government Ish, guys.

-Every single other person in Trader Joes when I'm trying to shop.

-Slow drivers in the left lane, especially on alternate 7.

Is there a designated space where we're all going to meet for feats of strength later? I'd much rather that than drive 2 hours to visit family!

Smarmy engineers who think that there is only one way of doing something and will not consider critique of their opinion.

Sisters who argue with , lecture and , ignore me!
Those things on a road that are supposed to cause traffic to go faster , and smoother? I forgot what they are called?
Oh, yeah, round-a-bouts!

This week i have misplaced my glasses 10 times, my track phone once, and, my elastic hair scrunchee once?
Having three barber shops , and NO BEAUTY SHOPS wilthin a mile of my house? What's with that?
Having all the good movies come out at the same time!
Having to chose which movie will leave the theatre first, so i can see it before the next snowstorm.
Having the batteries die on my remote control for the t.v.
Getting a chipped filling at the same time as i am having a temporary crown put on the other side.
Discovering i HATE MY NECK when i looked in the car mirror. Thought i was being pranked.
Please don't award me the peppermint pig i have spontaneous reflux, thank you Mary, and Gregg.

I thought I had no grievances until I read the comments, and one was revealed to me: People who still call it "Alternate Route 7." It was an alternate for a very short time, and was already NOT an alternate when I moved back here in 1989. May be time to give up that designation.

If you want to join me in continuing to call the downtown monstrosity the Knickerbocker Arena, by all means . . . but calling a designated route "alternate" confuses the hell out of people when you give directions, because it won't appear that way on maps, signs or in any recent memory.

1) Among other traffic-related things, drivers who can't figure out how 'zipper merging' works.
2) All of the lights in Clifton Park…WHY DO THEY HAVE TO BE SO LONG!?
3) People who can never make a decision, even minute ones. When I ask 'where would you like to go for dinner', please for the love of god just put some input in for ONCE!

Whew I feel way better! Happy holidays ;)

Yes, I know that the deadline was a few days ago, but......people who walk their dogs in my neighborhood, and let them either a) off the leash, or b) lengthen the leashes, so the dogs can defecate or wee on my front lawn. It's private property. Let your dogs do their thing on the that little green strip on the other side of the sidewalk. Thanks. :)

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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