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Letters to Entities That Have Annoyed Me, and One I’ve Forgiven

June 16, 2005

Today I share my recent peeves because maybe then I can stop brooding about them. I’m not entirely crabby though–I can be un-bothered, too.

Sahalie (formerly known as Early Winters):

I noticed the blurb on the cover of your catalog: “No sales tax in 49 states!” The fine print said “see order form”, so I did. I thought perhaps I’d see an announcement detailing how you were going to pay the sales tax for me and wondered which state you were excluding. I was disappointed. It turned out there was nothing special going on at all. You are simply collecting sales tax for the state in which you’re located (in which you have a nexus, as the recovering CPA in me thinks of it) and not collecting it for any other state–the same as every other catalog company I deal with. If I order from you, I’ll still have to pay the tax, just not until I file my Michigan 1040, same as when I ordered from you the last time That’s hardly blurb-worthy, since what you’re really saying is: “Business as usual!”

Maybe you think I ‘m a big sucker for actually paying the “tax on remote purchases” as Michigan law requires me to do. Maybe you’ve seen me routinely violating the speed limit and think I’m an unrepentant scofflaw. You’re mistaken. Yes, I speed, but only when I think conditions allow me to do so safely. (Sometime we can discuss the validity of this approach, but not right now; right now we’re focusing on you and how you are annoying me.) I can’t think of any reason I shouldn’t pay my taxes. After all, the state needs money to fix the roads so I can continue to drive fast on them.

National Wildlife Federation:

When I saw the little box from you in the mail, I thought it was a set of greeting cards. I was hoping there’d be some in there I could actually use instead of having to put them all in the recycling bin as I do with many of the “no obligation but it would be very nice if you would send us some more money” cards I get because they are just too tacky or ugly for me to imagine ever sending them to anyone I know. But the box didn’t contain cards; it had a DVD in it. A DVD I didn’t ask for, and which you demanded I either return or pay to keep. If I decided to pay, you decided that meant I was interested in previewing other DVDs in the series. You are delusional. I appreciate that you included a return postage label, but would have appreciated it a lot more if you hadn’t bothered me in the first place. I may have to stop sending you money entirely. If you send me some cards with cute pictures of squirrels on them, that would help mend our relationship.


I noticed there are now 200 tissues in the pop-up boxes I buy for my car and my office instead of 175. That would have been cool if the change meant I was now getting more for my money, but a quick comparison between the new and old boxes revealed no change in the square footage of facial tissue contained therein. You made each tissue smaller. That in itself is not a problem, since I generally do not use the entire surface area of the tissue when blowing my nose or blotting my lipstick. The problem is the way the box dimensions have changed to accommodate the taller, less wide stack of tissues. I used to be able to get four boxes on the shelf where I store them, now I can only fit three. You know what that means? I’m going to be shopping around to see if other brands better fit my space. There’s also the issue of the box I keep in my office, carefully refilling it because you decided to discontinue this design that so beautifully coordinates with my wallpaper and desk lamp. Now that I won’t be able to just open a new box and slide the whole stack of tissues in old, there’s no reason for me to stick with Kleenex brand.

The Detroit Zoo:

I was a bit put out that you didn’t notify me before the baby polar bear made its public debut; I had to find out about it–a month later–from Google. Surely that event was important enough to send an e-mail to zoo members. I know I haven’t opted out, because you show up in my inbox all the time. I was considering sending you a complaint, but then I heard about the baby wolverines, and I can’t stay mad at you now. I laughed out loud when I read that you named the kits Sparty and Bucky. I imagine it’s only funny if one is a Michigan State or Ohio State graduate, but since I am I’m quite tickled.


It seems to me there was another organization that I was peeved at but then softened toward, but I can’t remember any details. I may have to start carrying a notepad with me at all times so I can keep track of things. That wouldn’t help with everything, though. Like where I put my clothes–I wasted minutes yesterday searching for a particular shirt, looking in the dirty laundry and the clean laundry and the shelves where it’s stored when it’s not in the laundry, only to find it in a stack of Mr. Karen’s shirts. I guess that day I was sorting by type of clothing first, gender second. That would work better if we were the same size and shape.


Addendum, 27-Jun-2005: I’m sorry, Kimberly-Clark. I happened upon a box of the old-fangled 175-count tissues in the back of a shelf at CVS this weekend when I stopped there to get another color of my new favorite nail polish (Revlon Colorstay Always On, in case you want to try it) and was surprised to see when I got it home that the tissues were the same size as the ones in the new box. I’m not sure what it was I saw at Kroger that night that led me to think the new ones were smaller, but whatever it was, I was wrong. You didn’t pull a fast one on the tissue size. The box size is still a problem, but since I pass approximately 256 CVSs in the course of a normal day, perhaps I can find a few more of the old ones to tide me over.

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