The Airing of Grievances 2015

festivus pole peppermint pigs

The drawing for the Peppermint Pigs is now closed!

This week many people will celebrate a holiday that brings us all together... to complain.

Yes, Festivus is near. And we will once again commemorate the day 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. It's good to get it out before facing your relatives and the questions about why you're not married/don't have kids/aren't making more money and that one uncle who only gets his news from email forwards and Facebook.

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 will begin the Airing after the jump. We're looking forward to hearing your grievances. (You're on your own for the Feats of Strength.)

Merry Festivus.

Important: To be eligible for the Peppermint Pig drawing, your comment must be submitted by 11:59 pm on December 22, 2015. 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, December 23 and must respond by noon on Monday, December 28.

Mary's grievances

With every passing year I realize how little I really have to complain about. But, hey, it's Festivus, so in the spirit of the holiday, a few things that drive me nuts.

People who bolt from the theater or concert hall before the curtain call is finished. Performers work hard, and even the few who are making good money, likely went through many years of struggle to achieve success. So it drives me a little nuts when people who paid for a ticket run out as soon as a show is over -- or in some cases before a show is over -- so they can be the first ones to the parking lot. Stick around, applaud a little and say thank you. It's part of the whole experience of a live show.

Road bullies
You're doing the speed limit -- maybe even a few mph more -- and someone comes up on your tail, rides your bumper and and flashes the high beams because you're not going fast enough for their taste. Don't be that guy.

Why can't you eat all you want without getting fat. Or diabetes.

Greg's grievances

The way we talk to each other
One of the great things about the internet is that it's allowed all sorts of people to talk with all sorts of other people they might not have otherwise had to the chance to meet. And on the whole, I think we're all better off for that. But it's also exposed that we collectively are bad at having important, nuanced, or critical discussions with each other online about stuff that matters. (That's probably true in person, too.) Sure, some of that might be a result of format -- Twitter's too short, you don't have to look a person in the eye while leaving a FB comment, and so on -- but blaming the constrictions of format for the problem is letting us all off the hook from trying to be better. Our complaints, criticisms, calls for change, expressions of dissatisfaction don't have to demonize, demean or threaten other people.

It makes me a little twitchy sometimes to see how much litter there is around our area, even in residential neighborhoods. I suspect some of this has to do with the way people put their trash out at the curb. Trash in trash bags! Trash bags in garbage cans! Lids on garbage cans! We can do this!

There are about 2-3 months out of the year when tomatoes are in season around here and taste good. So why do so many restaurants insist on using slices of unripe or tasteless tomatoes on sandwiches all year long? Considering the cost and what I'm guessing is in the not-small environmental impact of growing this tomato-like matter in an irrigated desert somewhere and then trucking it across the country, it's just not worth it. So stop. Explain why, if you feel like you need to. I don't think people will miss them.

I'm as guilty as anyone of letting myself get sidetracked by frustration or annoyance. I need to do a better job of reminding myself that in the big picture of things, I have it pretty good. And I should be thankful for that.

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


Now, I'm not entering, but- YES TO TOMATOES. I saw your comment and had to heartily agree. I'm very picky about them and only eat them during the season or if they're canned/preserved. I think that's the reason so many people "don't like tomatoes"- they've been exposed to too many poor, tasteless, mealy nasties in their lives.

Oh...actually...and inflatables. I just really, really dislike inflatables.

Thanks for the thoughts, and laughs.

I know we're all in a rush these days getting to where ever we need to go just to hurry up and go somewhere else but can we be a little more aware while we're in our cars. I feel like a lot of people think that STOP signs are optional these days. People in cars in general need to stop and think- like the 'gentleman' who pulled up and parked beside me yesterday way too closely and then proceeded to jam his car door into my passenger side window. Um, I wonder had I not been in the car, would my mirror still be attached?!

Luckily, most of the year, I let these things roll off and not affect me. The more I think of them now, the more annoyed I'm getting...

Developers buying Troy, part and parcel, and using my tax dollars to subsidize the impending gentrification. Our City is in financial ruins, raising tax levies on our current taxpayers, and yet we give away tens of millions of dollars in "business incentives" and tax rebates to developers who are flocking to Troy anyhow.

I'm asking Santa and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York to end the Troy tradition of insider business dealings, corrupt government officials, and a City Council which rolls over and gets its belly rubbed in exchange for treats.

My grievance is traffic related, but the complete opposite of above. People, when you get on Alt 7 Westbound from Troy, please do not drive 50 mph in the passing lane all the way to Latham. The speed limit is 65. No one says you have to go the speed limit, but for the love of God, please move over.

Yes, Yes, Yes to all of yours!

I'll second the inflatable decorations too.

My personal grievances...

1. lying
2. Info that's WAY TOO PERSONAL published on social media
3. gossip

People - that thing on your steering column is a signal and it's not optional!!! Yeah, that is my grievance for the year.

The nastiness and name calling of our current presidential campaign. My grandmother always said if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all so they should all shut up and realize that our children and grandchildren are listening and learning how not to be civil to each other.

Happy Festivus!!

Hugging has gotten out of hand. I hug my wife, children and good friends, but not people I just met - when did hugging replace the handshake? No more casual hugging.

This is an annoyance, complaint, and a frustration: Rivalries among residents of cities, suburbs, and rural areas about which is the best place to live, along with hostility and blame towards those who choose to live where you don't.

Washington Avenue Extension:

Maybe you can finish up...get the traffic singles working properly.
My goodness it took less time to build the original road, 45 years ago. I get the feeling that this was a political patronage job. BUT it is Festivus...what the Hell...everybody sing.

The gunfire in Troy seems to be moving up the hill and at all hours of the day and night. I know these young fellas are doing their part to keep tourism down, the rents low, and the parking easy, but crimminy!, some of us have to work. If the gangs could please keep gun-play to a decent hour-- at least hold off on the full automatic after 10pm on school nights?-- that would be great! Enjoy Troy!

So frustrated by the tons of people who take their left hand turn from the right hand side of the road on a one-way street; just always thankful not be going right, and therefore being all the more frustrated by thee who be on the wrong side of the road.

People who use corner gas stations as a cut through to avoid waiting at a light. Stay on the road, buddy!

The predictable flooding after heavy rain on Western Avenue at Styvesant Plaza.

The I-87 overpass at Exit 15 in Saratoga/Wilton. This construction project seems to go on forever and some of the workers will reach retirement age before it is done. They seem to put on extra crew and close additional lanes at rush hour.

Also, a variation on the road bully: people who drive very slow on two-land roads in the Adirondacks, then speed up when you finally get to a passing zone.

Traffic - and the people that complain incessantly about it.
People that tailgate me on the thruway when I am already tailgating the car in front of me – back off! I can’t drive over him/her!
People that love their “walkable city” that complain about people from the suburbs that complain about there being no parking in the city and also say they will never go to the mall because it is too far of a walk from the parking lot to the crowded mall.
Selfies. Can’t stand the premise of needing to take a picture of yourself. The word “selfie” is damn annoying too.
People that bring their fish leftovers into work for lunch and stink up the office the rest of the afternoon. Leave your stinky fish at home!
The local TV news that give the evening drive time traffic. If I am already home and watching your crappy news broadcast, chances are that I don’t care what the traffic will be like on my drive home.
That’s enough for now. My head feels like it is going to explode.

I could write a book of grievances since getting pregnant and giving birth to our daughter this year. Two of my biggest:
1) People, especially strangers, feeling they have the right to comment on my body. Really, when is it ever appropriate to tell a woman she looks like she's "ready to pop"?! Even better when the due date is still months away.
2) People who either glorify or criticize my husband for being a stay-at-home dad. When a mom does it, no one thinks twice about it. With a man, he's either treated like a saint or looked down on for not "working." Enough with the sexism - the arrangement made the most sense for us and we're doing just fine.

Bills that go up and up and up and wages that stay flat. It's getting tough out here.

First World Grievances:

1. Really, Adele? I haven't bought a Compact Disk since 2004. But hey, at least my car's CD player is getting some use now?

2. Netflix, please bring back the first 12 seasons of Law & Order: SVU. All I want for Christmas is Elliot Stabler's biceps.

Holiday light displays with music. I know you need to outdo everyone on the block, but seriously, you're not impressing anyone with the ice cream truck quality music that accompanies your mash up of half-functional lights and figurines. We get it. You LOVE Christmas. Now please keep it to yourself. And away from my tender ears.

Loud agreement with Greg on tomatoes, and perhaps even worse are the local restaurants and sandwich shops that still use synthetic tomatoes during our local fresh tomato season.

And, while agreeing with Graceful_J, it's not just on one way streets. There are way too many folks who take a wide swing to the right before making any left turn.

And, having grown up outside New York state, I learned early on the *rule* "Keep right except to pass." I believe that NY is the only state where it's not illegal to just get out into the left lane and sit there at whatever (lower) speed you please. It's extremely frustrating, and I'm sure the left lane slow pokes cause quite a few accidents.

I'd like good old timey customer service to come back in style.

Notice to lunch restaurants in Troy, SMILE! and if I've been in your restaurant every day for several weeks in a row at least acknowledge that you've seen me before. Jeese!

My grievance? People who take more than three back-and-forth moves to parallel park. If you can't get within 12 inches of the curb in three tries give up and move on.

In a similar vein to Harold's issue with hugging, what's with casual friends/acquaintances people saying "love you" instead of "bye, nice seeing you, glad you could come to the party" etc. I mostly say I love you to my family and rarely at that--stop imposing your insouciant love on me, people!

I am one of the drivers in the left hand lane on Alt 7. I am in the lane because it is my intent to get onto the southbound side of the Northway, and there is only one lane when you get to Route 9. I am usually going between 68-72. My grievance is the idiots who fly up onto my butt, lay on their horns and flash their lights, and flip me off solely because they want to do 90mph. Well, I ain't movin'.

When folks street park leaving half a space between cars, thus reducing the total parking capacity by a third.

Also known as "Asshole Parking."

"Indoor-outdoor" cats who stalk my bird feeders. I'm looking at you, Mittens.

Attention Capital Region (and fellow coworkers who I am overhearing a conversation right now):

If you are complaining about the "heavy rain and wind" you seriously need to STOP. It is going to be in the 60's on Xmas Eve....I haven't taken out my winter boots, scarf, or gloves yet and it is almost January....That is all.

Same grievance as last year-- people who refer to Route 7 between Troy and Latham as "Alternate 7". If it's an alternate route, where's the primary? It's especially frustrating when local news media, and even sometimes DOT officials insist on calling it that.

*Jay Walkers*

More specifically, Jay walkers who are bad at it. I don't care if you cross the street where you're not suppose to but for the love of god don't just start walking then turn to me with this cocky look on your face like "you'll stop, yeah, thats right..".
I usually open the window and say "Oh geez, I wonder what that big RED HAND means, could it mean go? Hmm.. idk, I'll probably have to go back to traffic safety school to learn more.."

*Entitled Drivers*

Oh yeah, you're welcome for letting you into traffic even though you saw that "left lane closes" sign about 2 miles back. This is why I should go back to driving a car I don't care if it gets hit. Oh what's that? You wanna get over? Do me the favor, your paint on my car will probably bring up the value of mine.

Wealthy parents who cheap out on holiday gifts for the people who care for/teach their children, then broadcast this sad fact on social media- usually in the form of a brag about their frugality. Ugh. I'm not even a teacher and it makes my skin crawl. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow.

It's funny, yet not surprising, that the main complaints are regarding driving.

Two grievances:
1. All the construction on all the interchanges, highways and regular roads.
2. People who don't hold the door for you OR you hold the door and they don't thank you.

Thanks for letting us vent :)

Currently: my neighbor has a tiny yappy dog always barks/bark-growls at me (and anyone I am with) . I am a dog lover and always stoop down to allow the dog to sniff me so that it can learn that I am a friend. Instead of introducing herself to me, introducing her dog to me, or even apologizing for her dog's unfriendly behavior, my unfriendly neighbor just barks at her dog, "come over here, Stalin!"* and acts like I don't exist. I'm so terribly shocked that you have an unfriendly pooch.

* name has been changed to protect identity of yappy dog.

You don't need to kiss my butt, and yes, I know your job may suck, but if you work in a store and I'm handing you money? Part of your work is to say "thank you." It's a little thing.

Panhandlers at intersections. It is unsafe to be on the corners of busy intersections dodging between cars. It slows down traffic. I don't understand why the cops aren't cracking down on this.

To my fellow motorists that insist on giving money, there are plenty of good agencies and nonprofits who can offer appropriate assistance to people in need (Homeless and Traveler's Aid and Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless). You should be sending your money there instead of rewarding this extremely dangerous behavior.

Yes, it's stolen from Seinfeld but I get annoyed when drivers don't give you the "thank you wave" when letting them turn in front of you while sitting in traffic.

Ooh, I thought of another one. Retail workers who say "I can help who's next." That sentence makes no sense. Try "I can help whoever's next."

My #1 Grievance: Neighbors who don't understand how to recycle. Albany has a wonderfully easy recycling program which allows you to throw everything into one conveniently large bin *with a lid*, AND will drop one off for free at your doorstep! I don't understand why 1) my neighbors insist on placing a garbage bag full of "recyclables" on top of my recycling bin with a note that says "Recycle". They will not take that! And 2) why you choose to steal my downstairs neighbors' recycling bin from the sidewalk, rather than calling the city for a free one of your own. This stuns me every single week. This is 2015! Learn how to, and understand the city's recycling program... it's not hard! And we're lucky we have one!

No one saying "Good morning" at work, cheerfully!

My grievance? People who just can't let the little things slide, as evidenced by some of the comments here.

Especially when it comes to driving or "jaywalking". Just relax folks, you may be freaking out over something that will take a few seconds. Is it me or do people have the least tolerance for inconvenient situations while they are driving? If driving is so stressful, maybe walk, ride your bike, or take the bus next time if you can.

People who try to turn left out of the Trader Joe's lot on Wolf Road.

Mostly I'm just thankful that this year wasn't a bag of crap like last year (no deaths, floods, injuries or broken down cars).
1. 9W is so full of idiots. I'm regularly caught behind someone going 10 under the speed limit. Gaaaaaa
2. When my mother, or anyone else but particularly my mom, over-parents my kid. Unless he's in actual danger, bug off!
3. Every time my boyfriend's cousin posts a pic of her kids, the kids look like crap but her giant McMansion/Mercedes SUV/the Eifel Tower/enormous pool is in clear view.
4. People who think chain businesses are local because they employ local residents.
5. College "kids". The term, not the actual students.

& why do my neighbors daughters play in front of my house? We live in a rural area, the houses are far apart. Screech in front of your own damn house.

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