The Airing of Grievances 2014

festivus pole peppermint pigs

The drawing is now closed! But if you'd still like to air your grievance, please do.

Once again we're celebrating Festivus with a traditional Airing of Grievances.

So, 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. And it's good to get it out before facing your relatives and that one uncle who gets all his news from Facebook shares and email forwards.

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 two 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 5 pm on December 23, 2014. You must include a working email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. Normal commenting guidelines apply. One entry per person, please. Winners will be notified by noon on Wednesday and must respond by noon on Monday, December 29.

Coming up with new grievances was tough this Festivus. I guess that is a good thing. But it seems year after year the same stuff gets to me.

It's so easy to lash out about a person or a situation when you can't see their faces. It's disappointing to see people use social media as a way to belittle or break down others instead of a way to build them up and make things better. Sure, tell the truth, but can we tell it nicely, and with sensitivity.

I see a lot of shows in the Capital Region and it's frustrating when you want to get a drink or something to eat afterward but the kitchens are all closed. I have sympathy for the staff and owners, and I understand why many close down early. It would just be nice.

We live in Upstate New York. Snow happens. Please shovel.

Also, where is my flying car?

This has been yet another year in which events have demonstrated just how small these complaints are, but for the sake of the Festivus spirit...

Forcing people to use the drive-thru ATM
It irks me that some banks force you to use the drive-thru, even if you're a pedestrian, because that's the only ATM at the bank location, or they've closed the bank lobby early.

Saying "Albany" when you're not really talking about Albany
This happens all the time in the media, in large part because of politicians. Someone's upset about something related to the state and they say, "Tell the people in Albany that (insert issue)" or "Albany is the problem..." Of course, they're referring to the state government (or some aspect of it), but it irks me that the name of the city is constantly getting smeared by this phrasing. And on top of that, it's just sloppy and contributes to a generalized, unproductive antagonism toward government. Got a problem with something the state or the legislature is doing? Totally understandable. But be specific. Is it Andrew Cuomo? Is it a particular agency? Is it a specific legislator? Name names. Leave Albany out of it.

Festivus pole photo: Flickr user M. Keefe (CC BY 2.0)


Erie Blvd. Still the worst road in the area - even though they managed to pave some of it.

8th street in Troy north of Hoosick is getting pretty bad... speaking of Troy. .. everyone that holds office from Mayor to the Council are all worthless.

Drivers who run red lights and pedestrians who ignore green lights.

2 geographically-related complaints:

Trying to cross the 787 on ramp at North Pearl St in Downtown Albany. There is a pedestrian signal, and I use it, but it shows its walk signal at the same time that both traffic flows on North Pearl have a solid green. People turning onto the ramp should yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk with a cross signal, but they don't. Especially at rush hour.

The sidewalk on North Pearl St between Van Tromp St and the entrance to Capital Rep. Spring through Fall there are always massive, disgusting piles of pigeon droppings in several lines from the far edge of the sidewalk to the curb. Get a pressure washer in there once in a while.

Northway traffic coming to a halt at 3:55pm around exit 4 NB for no apparent reason. Why doesn't DOT redesign the Wolf Rd on ramp already?

I wish the thermostat in my office would work properly... it's either Satan's nether-orifice or ex-planet Pluto's shady side.

1.) Traffic lights in Albany timed (or not timed) in a way that you hit every red light on major avenues.

2.) Cars (taxis especially) that double-park with their flashers on when there is a spot RIGHT FREAKING THERE!

3.) Gross rainy weather for Christmas.

4.) I second the Albany hours grievance. Lark street is like a ghost town on Sunday nights.

Too much cynical negatively - especially concerning any new business into the area. We need to change this around this year and be more supportive and welcoming as a city/region.

Drivers in Mohawk Commons- not every side of each intersection has a stop sign, drive accordingly!

Driving toward the end of 787 south, the left lane ends, and drivers are warned far in advance this is happening. Yet every single night a-holes fly by the middle lane of traffic then try to merge at the last minute. I can't stand that "me first" attitude that causes the rest of people waiting their turn traffic to back up even more.

The taco situation in Albany - as in, there are no good tacos to be found. Plz send help.

How about the parking lot at Colonie Center? The lanes are so narrow and the spots too small!

1) Not getting a raise (not even cost of living) let alone a holiday bonus at my job because my boss doesn't know how to run a profitable business
2) Getting really sick of the over-saturation of sushi restaurants in the area
3) People being downright rude, self-important jerks despite it being the "season of good will"

That Crisan and Crisp Cannoli are closing so close together. A devastating holiday season for those with a sweet tooth.

The lack of delivery options of Indian food in Troy.....and the entire City Council.

OBLIVIOTS: people -- idiots, really -- behaving in such a manner as to suggest they are oblivious that they inhabit the planet with 7 billion other people, some of whom want to use the same freakin' grocery aisle, city street, or sidewalk as they do.

There. I feel better.

My HUGEST grievance is the epidemic of double parking which occurs in Albany. One of these days they're going to catch me on a bad day and I'm going to smash right into them just to make a point.

From a retail workers perspective: When you greet a customer who walks into the store and they immediately respond with "I'm just looking!" Like damn lady, I was just saying whats up.

Crisan is closing! And Dali Mama still doesn't have a new location. Gaaah.

The forced closure of Nosh to make room for more parking.

People saying terrible things about news stories in the comment section of facebook.

-Drivers who zip thorough red lights when I'm a pedestrian; pedestrians who don't cross at a crosswalk (even though it's only TEN FEET AWAY) when I'm a driver
-People who have twice (sometimes three times) the household income my two income household has, but still want me to give them a discount/complain they have no money
-People who are rude to wait staff or retail workers

Probably a unique complaint here, but the lack of signalling by drivers makes me crazy, especially when many main roads do not have a left turn lane. It's a general rule applied to a specific situation here, but the idea is, just be considerate of other people.

Also seconding the taco statement.

1. People who live in Upstate but complain about the winter weather. EVERY year! Are you new?

2. My winter weight. Damn you, Winter Weight!!

An electorate that would allow a clown like Ted Cruz to be a Senator

Paper grocery bags that are so flimsy they tear open everytime you pick them up.

Oh, and that we apparently live in a society where we need to say out loud that lives matter.

Why do we not have Uber/Lyft here yet? There are no decent taxis around here. The taxis we do have are unreliable and seem to charge whatever the hell they want. It usually costs me $20 + tip to travel 2 miles in a cab.

The same people who lament the loss of small shop owners in America tell me they usually eat at Applebee's and Olive Garden. Do your neighbors and yourself a favor and patronize local restaurants when you go out to eat.

Lack of films starting at 5:30....

Why can't a good restaurant open up east of the Hudson, outside East Greenbush- we really, really need it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@CAOD....shouldn't be a problem. All you really need is Shalimar anyway. :)

Here's my vent. I hate:

- When my sister-in-law comes into a holiday family gathering and bellows out to all the school-age cousins, "How are everyone's grades?" while my two kids, who try so hard but need a tutor for pretty much every subject, have to sit there looking sheepish.

- Albany pedestrians who cross the street right when they see a car coming, just to make a statement.

- National news outlets that refer to anything in New York State outside of Manhattan as "upstate New York."

- May a special circle in hell be reserved for the execs at ABC Family Channel, who have been broadcasting "Elf," "Home Alone," "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and the Jim Carrey version of "The Grinch" ad nauseum since shortly after Veterans' Day.

Thanks. I feel better now. Happy Festivus to all.

no heat in my office
The pedestrians crossing at random times in downtown albany

OK, I've had the worst fall EVER...
1. Husband had an infected tooth thing & emergency root canal = $300
2. Car needed $700 to pass inspection.
3. My dad died.
4. My mom's basement flooded 3 days later.
5. Husband got a hernia at work, needed surgery & was out of work for 5 weeks without a paycheck.
6. Plumbing leaked in our house causing poop to end up in kitchen cabinets.
7. I herniated a disc in my back & could barely walk for 2 weeks (& we have a 2 year old. Thankfully my mother-in-law was able to stay with us & care for him).
8. Giant tree branch fell during Thanksgiving storm and smushed our sailboat mast leaving the boat worth it's scrap value.
9. CRAZY people moved into the other side of our duplex
10. Husband's last paycheck from work before surgery wasn't deposited according to SEFCU but according to the company, it was. Still hasn't been resolved.
11. Cat is feeling the stress & compulsively licking herself nearly & driving me crazier.

I mean, we had a relatively nice, uneventful & successful year then BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM... Thank goodness for those muscle relaxers!

I'm adding a comment just to throw in an extra chance at the drawing for ^Sally. While a peppermint pig isn't going to fix her grievances, maybe it will make her holidays a little happier. (Good luck, Sally!)

The parking in Troy. It sucks frankly. You can't find a spot and when you do you have to move every two hours and even though there are lots you can't buy a permit to park in them.

Pedestrians who cross in the middle of the street. Central Ave is the worst for that.

My rant for the year is largely just me venting for no other reason that it makes me feel better just to get it out. That being said, to the throngs of students crossing at Holland Ave and Delaware, perhaps you should pay more attention in school and you would have learned the BIG RED FLASHING HAND on the traffice signal means do NOT cross. It does not mean saunter across the street at will, refusing eye contact lest my laser beam eyes stop you in your tracks. It also doesn't give you license to scowl and cuss as if daring me to hit you. DOLTS, the lot of you, DOLTS i say!

I don't have much to complain about, but there are some in the community who irk me:

-Those who celebrate ignorance on local talk radio and the advertisers who suppport it.

-The leavers of shopping carts in super market parking lots.

-Able bodied citizens who insist on using electric doors intended for the disabled.

People behaving badly in traffic- be they pedestrians, bicyclists, or drivers.

If I win, please give to to Sally. Jeez.

The permanent rough road sign on 85.

manspreaders on the bus

Those who do not wipe off mats and machines at the gym after using them. The disinfectant bottles are right there! Paper towels are available in abundance! You just watched me wipe down my mat! Your sweat is not the nectar of the gods!

Central Avenue and the drivers who neglect any sort of traffic laws while driving down it. AND the pedestrians who forget about crosswalks and think zig zagging while everyone is at a stop light is appropriate behavior.

787. I would very much like for it to disappear. Albany could use waterfront property to build a resident and tourist friendly area similar to Troy's riverfront park.

My only grievance would be that a lot of people seem to be know- it-alls lately. They pontificate without the education, experience or data to back up their claims and/or beliefs. They're really just bullies with Google.

I am also posting in hopes that ^Sally^ can get a Peppermint Pig. that woman has had one awful season.

Smokers in the bus vestibules, smokers right by entrances to anything, and who (at *best*) look at you defiantly or incredulously when you POLITELY tell them "Please, there's no smoking here" and you point to the sign in front of which they're usually standing.

potholes. worse than the ice and snow, the cold, budget problems, bakery closings, missing packages, lack of good delivery: potholes make no distinction between highways and local roads, parking lots and driveways, streets and alleys, and they will never, ever be fixed in a timely manner. if they are, they don't stay fixed for long. they make days sour and rack up expenses, as potholes have a magnetic appeal for cars, which are inevitably pulled towards them, like some kind of black hole.

Also, I agree that Sally could use a break. Nothing more fun that taking out your frustrations on a peppermint pig.

::hugs:: hang in there!

I wonder what drivers think they are accomplishing by riding your bumper extremely close and/or flashing their high beams at night? I'm going the speed limit, at least. If I'm going too slow for you, riding my bumper is only going to make me go slower, for safety's sake. Use your brain.
PS- I'm not trying to offend you by not driving 20 mph over the speed limit. I did not set out on my journey to hold you up personally.

I agree with some of the other commenters: Sally deserves a pig more than anyone!

(But since we're complaining, I do wish people would step back and look at how their actions and beliefs affect their communities, nations and world. I know it sounds very hippie-dippy, but it's so easy to forget that we're all part of one living, breathing ecosystem and if we, say, cut education funding for decades, it's actually going to have an impact down the road.)

Oh, man, thank you, gang. I don't mean to sound like a total downer, I promise we're actually feeling optimistic & at this point we can only laugh at our ridiculously bad luck.
But good stuff happened too! Husband's surgery went perfectly, he's back to work & even got some OT in this week. Our son is healthy & happy. Our kind landlord cut us a break on rent. My back is mostly feeling better. Our awesome friends & families pitched in with baby-sitting, groceries, lawn care, snow removal, Christmas presents for the kiddo & booze. We're grateful beyond words for the amazing people around us.
But. Yeah. Sheesh. What a freaking awful autumn!

(Another vote for Sally, please, if I happen to get picked.)

Mine: use of adjectives as nouns to refer to a specific population ("the poor," "the homeless." This is dehumanizing and reductive. We are people, not just a current life circumstance.

Similarly, adjectives like "special needs" as in "a special-needs child." It is not so hard to put the person first and then include the qualifier and it is much more respectful.

My socks are Quitters!!!!

give the pig to Sally

Aw man I want a peppermint pig but I've got nothin to bitch about right now :)

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