10 Things I Hate Part 31

10thingshate

1 – I hate when I’m stopped in traffic and decide to be nice by letting someone in from a driveway or side street, only to have them twiddle their thumbs about it. When I decide to let you in, it’s a limited time offer. I’m not going to wait all day for you to mosey into traffic. I’m being nice here! Take advantage of it now or I’ll ram you! I actually get annoyed when people pantomime-ask if they can sneak in front of me when it’s obvious that was my intention. I tend to ruin any goodwill derived from being nice with my impatience.

2 – I hate when I pull into a parking lot to find a bunch of people parked over the lines like total assholes, then, when I come out from the store, all the other assholes are gone and I’m the only one parked like an asshole. I want to shout to anyone in earshot, “There were a bunch of assholes here who made me park like this when I got here! I swear, I’m not normally an asshole!” Then I quickly get in my car and leave in shame before I get any more “you’re an asshole” looks.

Douche.
This is a picture of a former coworker‘s normal parking job, but it illustrates my point.

3 – I hate when the car behind me honks and the car in front of me thinks I was the one who did it. If I honk, you’ll know it. I don’t like being blamed for someone else’s actions, even if it is just a honk.

4 – Website pop up boxes on mobile phones. I hate visiting a site on my phone only to have a box pop up say, “sign up to our email list, get a free case of the herpes!” It’s annoying, but simple enough to click on the X when you’re on a computer. This easy task becomes nearly impossible on a phone. It takes a ton of scrolling and zooming just to find the X, let alone click the damn thing. By that time, I’ve forgotten why I even went to the website in the first place.

5 – Strangely labeled bathrooms. Ladies and gentlemen, men and women, even guys and gals, or simply this will work:

jTxErLpTEI don’t want to have to think about which room to use. I just want to pee. I can’t stand nonsense like this:

31barcelonast9 33petitpalaisth6
12bparismalewo9

A full bladder tends to blot out my symbols knowledge, so I don’t know off-hand whether I’m an arrow or a cross. Neither of those is particularly intuitive of the female anatomy. Using logic, I’d say I’m a cross since that’s where the arrow would aim like a target, but I don’t want to have to use logic or think of my lady bits as a target just to pee. If you’re going to use a symbol, please, put words there, too.

6 – Vacuuming. I hate it. I also hate the word since it’s hard to spell. Does any word really need two Us in a row? Greedy. Anyway, with carpet, a dog and a cat, I have no choice but to vacuum every week. I probably should vacuum more than that, but once a week is standard. When I empty the canister–a task I find both disgusting and oddly satisfying–there’s enough fur in there to build another dog/cat from scratch every week.

7 – People who don’t understand how lines (or queues for my peeps over the pond) work. At convenience stores, 7‑Eleven in particular, it’s an unwritten rule that the queue goes along the counter away from the door. This is a diagram of the layout of your typical 7‑Eleven and the way the line is supposed to work with the black dots representing people:

Screen shot 2015-06-25 at 4.14.39 PM

Most of the time it works that way, but then comes the outlier who is somehow completely unfamiliar with the rules of convenience stores and lines up through the aisles like so:

Screen shot 2015-06-25 at 4.12.55 PM

Which of course causes everyone else to go into a panic thinking that maybe they’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. NO. I don’t care how gross those hot dogs on rollers look, you stand there. It’s the unwritten rule. Line up by the rolling hot dogs, dammit!

8 – Work meetings. I had forgotten how awful they are. At my old job, say I needed to go over something with my boss or vice versa, I would walk into his office and ask if he had a minute. If he said no, he’d call me when he did. If he said yes, I would sit down in one of the several chairs there, explain the situation and get a verdict. The whole process would take no more than a half an hour, usually 10-15 minutes.

At my current job, in addition to the process outlined above, we also have monthly production meetings, which are scheduled in advance, include everyone involved in production (that’s at least 8 regular and 4 or so rotating), take at least an hour, and accomplish precisely nothing except wasting an hour. But we all get typed up meeting minutes afterward so we can show how little we actually accomplished.

The worst is that instead of having the meeting in the conference room where there are plenty of chairs, the manager holds it in her office where there are only five chairs. If you don’t get their early or bring your own chair, you don’t sit.

9 – Extremely obtrusive panhandlers. I don’t mind if you ask me for change when I’m walking into a store, but do not come up to my car, knock on the window, and demand money from me like I owe you. No. You get nothing. Or worse, get indignant about it when I say no.

10 – Lists that claim to have 10 things on them, but then when you read them, there are only 9. It throws my mental calculations, such as they are, all off. Can’t you count or are you just lazy?

More Things I Hate

Canine Eugenics

Philip_Reinagle_-_Bulldog

I’m a fan of mutts. I’ve never had a dog with a simple answer to the commonly asked question, “What breed is your dog?” The answer to my current dog is typically a little shepherd/boxer/pit bull, etc. or simply mutt, depending on how sociable I’m feeling. Her origins are unknown. Even my vet said, “I see at least seven different kinds of dog here.”

I’ve never bought a pet from a breeder. I always adopt for many reasons. First, there are so many great animals in shelters who need good homes. For every purebred German shepherd or French bulldog out there, there are a dozen mutts in cages at the local shelter whose time is running out. It breaks my heart that I can’t adopt more of them.

Second, puppy mills. While there are reputable breeders out there who treat their dogs humanely, there are many evil bastards who force their breeding stock to live in cages and never see daylight.

I’ve seen the results of puppy mills first hand. A friend at the dog park adopted a purebred Rhodesian ridgeback who was thrown out on the street when she was too old to breed anymore. She had several serious health problems and was about 40 pounds underweight. They estimate that she was 10-12 years old, and she had spent her whole up to that point in a cage making babies that her owners then sold off at a profit one at a time. She died less than a year after she obtained her freedom. I refuse to contribute to that.

Third, mutts are not inbred like every purebred dog on the planet. Because my dog is made up of many different kinds of dog, she won’t have difficulties due to selective breeding–the process by which humans breed other animals and plants for particular traits. I’m not saying my dog is altogether healthier just because she’s a mutt, but she’s less likely to have specific health issues that come from being purebred.

Purebred is just a nice way of saying inbred.

Selective breeding is a nice way of saying eugenics.

And here comes Godwin's law...
Uh oh. Godwin’s law already…

Eugenics is frowned upon for humans. We associate it with Hitler and Mengele and Dr. Death and lampshades made out of human skin. Part of the reason we disapprove of this practice is because, as the Nazis proved, “desirable heritable characteristics” are a slippery slope of subjectivity. Another part is that it’s inhumane, unnatural, and leads to unforeseen complications. Also, Nazis suck.

The Nazis thought that the most desirable humans were, well, people like me: tall, blonde, Nordic creatures with pale, white skin, and light eyes. But, besides Hitler, who’s to say that I’m any better than someone who’s short and dark? Certainly not me. Because of my genetics, I’m prone to skin cancer, light sensitivity, depression, and migraines.

In fact, simply because I’m of predominantly Finnish ancestry, I may be susceptible to 39 genetic diseases:

The uniformity of Finns, created by several centuries of isolation and intermarriage, results in a large set of hereditary disorders. So far researchers have identified 39 such genetic diseases, many of them fatal, that crop up in the unlucky children of unwary carriers.

Isolating a culture with inbreeding isn’t all that desirable in humans, yet we pay for the privilege of having an inbred dog. We parade the results of our inbreeding around in dog shows and hand out prizes for the best canine eugenics. Why is a practice considered monstrous when done on humans applauded when used on other living things?

pug

Through selective breeding, pugs got smaller, shorter, a more squished face, and acquired all of these potential health issues: eye injuries; breathing difficulties; inability to efficiently regulate their temperature through panting; fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing; weakened immune system, etc. Actually, there’s too much to list here, just read these paragraphs on pug health issues.

bulldog

Today’s English bulldog is prone to many of the same health issues as the pug as well as many others: difficulty breathing; regulating temperature; hip dysplasia; cysts; infections and mites in their skin folds; and a severely shortened lifespan (one study showed that only 9% of them die of old age). The overwhelming majority of bulldogs are delivered by Caesarean section because their heads are too big to fit through the birth canal. Again, the list of health issues is too long; read this.

Most French bulldogs are unable to breed naturally. They have very slim hips, making the male unable to mount the female. 80% of all French bulldogs are the result of artificial insemination and Caesarean section. They can neither impregnate nor give birth on their own. If humans didn’t intervene, French bulldogs would go extinct.

Siberian huskies are predisposed to a variety of autoimmune disorders, many of which affect the skin, as well as glaucoma and cataracts.

German shepherds are very prone to hip dysplasia, where the leg joint’s ball and socket don’t fit together properly, which causes pain, arthritis, and problems walking.

Boxers have a higher risk of lymphoma and mast cell tumors. Labrador retrievers are prone to obesity, beagles to epilepsy, dachshunds to back problems, Doberman pinschers to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

And the list goes on. Every dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club has a higher risk of some sort of medical condition than other breeds. All of them.

That is the result of selective breeding. We did that. We created these problems for these dogs by inbreeding them to death. We made it so the English bulldog can’t exercise without risk of dying. We created French bulldogs that can’t breed naturally. We did that. We created a marketplace where people keep inbred dogs in cages their whole lives just to breed more of them. We hand out prizes and money for the best examples of inbreeding.

At the dog park, I heard a purebred boxer owner tell her dog to stop playing with my “dirty old mutt” and play with another purebred boxer that was there instead. I wanted to scream at her that at least my dirty old mutt’s father probably isn’t also her cousin, grandpa and brother.

I find the practice of canine eugenics disgusting and absolutely monstrous. Don’t even get me started on the mutilations (there’s really no other word for it) of these dogs to have them meet breed standards, e.g., cutting off their ears and tails. Dogs communicate with body language and tails and ears are a huge part of that. How the hell can you justify a breed standard that requires an animal to be mutilated? That’s not “standard.” I refuse to be a party to it. I refuse to buy a dog from a breeder or butcher a dog, not for any medical reason, but purely for looks. I’ll stick with my mutts with ears and tails the way they came.

Even if you’re only interested in a specific breed of dog, there are rescue organizations out there for nearly every breed imaginable. One dog park regular only has Airedale terriers, because he likes big dogs and he’s allergic to dogs with fur instead of the more hair-like fur of the terrier. All of his dogs have come from an Airedale rescue.

Also, breeders often dump dogs they can’t sell at the shelter to make the rest of us deal with it. There are perfectly healthy purebreds sitting in shelters for a fraction of the cost, just because their ears don’t flop the right way, their coat is the wrong hue or a myriad other purely aesthetic (read: salable) reasons.

I’m not saying that purebreds are destined to have health problems. Nor am I saying that I’m right and you’re wrong if you have a purebred. Supplemented by fact as it is, this is still just my opinion. The reason for this post is that I want you to think about all of this the next time you go dog shopping, so that you can make an informed decision.

For whatever reason, if you feel you must buy a dog from a breeder, do the research. Find a reputable breeder and research the breed. Do not, even if inadvertently, support the practice of puppy mills, because the last thing we need is more dogs dumped at shelters.

Alright, maybe I am saying it: please, don’t shop, adopt.

I made this and you can buy your own here.
I made this. You can buy your own here.

An Open Letter To WordPress Part 2

wordpressfaIL

Dear WordPress.com,

It’s been just over three months since I wrote my first missive to you about all of your ridiculous changes. In that three month period, that letter was read several thousand times. It was reblogged and shared over 100 times. It has 411 likes and 457 comments, mainly from people who agree with me.

Also, in that three months, not one person from WordPress even acknowledged its existence. You didn’t even respond when I portrayed your “Happiness Engineers” like so:

HAY GUYS, AR IMPROOVEMNTD AR GREET@!
HAY GUYZ, IMPROOVEMNTD R GREET@! (sheilabridgeblog.com)

So, by default, I guess your “Happiness Engineers” must be over-enthusiastic puppies. While we’re at it, would you like to hire my dog? She’s excellent at destroying perfectly good things, and if she could type, I’m sure she’d use lots of exclamation points, so I think she’d make a great “Happiness Engineer.”

She was about
A future Happiness Engineer.

By the way, “Happiness Engineer” is just about the least apropos job title in history since we are still very unhappy. You have engineered nothing save the destruction of any customer satisfaction and good will.

There have been many changes since I first wrote to you, but none of them are good, so let’s revisit all the ways you are sucking at business, shall we?

Post Editor

I don’t want to go all sweary on you in the first section, because you might stop reading here (my potty mouth could be why you didn’t respond to the last letter), so feel free to replace the Ms in the next two sentences with Fs when you read it.

Muck your post editor. Muck it right in its muckhole. It sucks in every single way that a thing is capable of sucking. It sucks now just like it sucked when you rolled it out a few months ago, only now, you’ve even taken the option away to switch to the old one.

I tolerated this for a while, until the other day when I went to add more posts to the Editors’ Picks widget (FOG Favorites in the sidebar) that is peculiar to my theme from this box…

…which does not exist in your new nightmaresauce Beep Beep Boop editor. Instead of merely clicking on “Edit,” I had to click a thousand more times and do a thousand searches in the “All Posts” section of the dashboard just to use features THAT I PAID FOR. Muck you.

So, I complained again in your forum. Here’s part of what I wrote:

Screen shot 2015-05-03 at 11.08.46 AM And your response:

Screen shot 2015-05-03 at 4.29.05 PMNo reason, no explanation–just, “We’ve decided not to add these,” right before you tell me what I already told you I know.

Also, apologies and exclamation points don’t typically work well together. “I apologize that I ran over your cat… twice!” Can you see how that might sound insincere? Exclamation points work best with exclamatory statements (hence the name), e.g. “Beep Beep Boop is poppycock!”

Then, there’s this:

Screen shot 2015-05-03 at 4.37.16 PM

Why are you getting rid of features like post revisions and copy a post? I use both of those a lot. I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason for any of this. You must be tired of all of these complaints by now, but seriously, WHY?

Guess which editor I’m using to write this post? Go on, take a guess. Don’t be shy.

Notifications

You know how I look at my notifications? With this bookmark: https://wordpress.com/notifications. I never use your idiotic drop-down menu if I can help it, because it’s absolutely pointless. Reading comments in a squished column on the far right is rather inconvenient, unnecessary and quite dumb.

Do you realize that most people leave more than two-word comments? Yet, two lines is all the room you’ve afforded each comment in the menu. It’s not that the notifications archive at the link above is all that either, since I still have to click on each comment individually, but at least I can see the whole comment at once.

If done correctly, comments are a conversation. And I don’t mean a conversation like this: “Great job!” “Thanks! “High five!” but a real conversation with actual sentences. Your stupid drop-down notifications thing does nothing to foster conversation. In fact, it hinders it.

You did add the “you already replied to this comment, dummy” arrow back in, so thanks for that, but you shouldn’t have taken it away in the first place. Other than that, you’ve improved nothing about it since you foisted it upon us.

It’s hard to improve a pile of dung, because at the end of the day, a pile of dung with perfume on it is still just a pile of dung. In case you didn’t catch that, yes, I mean to imply that your notifications menu is a pile of dung.

Since you still insist that all we need is a perfumed pile of dung instead of real functionality, I’m just going to quote what I wrote last time. It’s still salient:

Comments are an integral part of having a blog. The conversation starts when we hit publish. What on earth would make you think that a dumbass little drop down menu incapable of expanding would be good enough?

Stats

Now that I’m going through this, I don’t even know why I’m writing you a second letter, since so much of the first one is still valid, including this:

Ages 3 and up.  Caution: choking hazard.
Ages 3 and up. Caution: choking hazard.

For your information, I don’t use your new stats page, because I’m a professional graphic designer and it offends my design sensibilities, but for the purposes of this post, I just took a look at it.

I see you’ve reduced the line spacing and squished another column into the space for one. Why would you squeeze two columns on the right, yet leave the ridiculously large left-hand column that doesn’t need to be there at all?

What is better about your new stats page from your perspective? Really, I would like to know why you think it’s better, because I’m not seeing it. There’s nothing better about the information that’s contained there and there’s certainly nothing better about the design. It hurts my eyes.

Miscellany

Just so we’re clear, your improvements are still unwanted, dumb and not even improvements, but since my Gram used to say there are no complaints without alternatives, here is what I would like you to do.

Post Editor:

  1. Get rid of Beep Beep Boop in the regular web interface. If you want to leave it for mobile users, that’s fine. I don’t care, since I don’t write posts on my phone.
  2. Barring that, add the functions that we need to it, including post revisions, copy a post and theme-specific options that I paid for.
  3. If you’re unwilling to do that, give us the option to switch to the classic editor again. Having to go through the dashboard just to edit a post is incredibly frustrating and time-consuming for no reason.

Notifications:

  1. If you insist on leaving the stupid drop-down notifications, put the link to the notifications archive back. Seriously, put it back. Having to read my comments through a bookmark is ridiculous and so very 1990s.

Stats:

  1. Hire a graphic designer. That page is ugly as all get out.

General:

  1. Stop taking features away from us.
  2. Stop using exclamation points in your oblique responses. Exclamation points don’t make us any happier to hear that you’re ignoring our questions and opinions again.
  3. Give us a reason why.

So, there you go. There are your action items for the next quarter. I look forward to getting all the things you’ve taken away from me back.

Thanks in advance,
Goldfish

P.S. In case you’re still not getting it, here’s a visual metaphor:

fail779

WordPress is the horse. Your “improvements” are the tree. Your customers and source of income are the rider. Cut down the tree.

10 Things I Hate Part 30

10thingshate

This is part 30, which means I’ve hated 300 things! Yay! Or alternately, wow, that’s really sad.

1. Stupid work signs. I refuse to acknowledge signs with bad grammar and spelling in two languages.
IMG_0407
Why is “to prevent sewege [sic] damage” a sentence fragment in parentheses in two languages? I don’t even…

Then, there’s this hilarious attempt at a kind of irony. It tripped, missed that pile of irony entirely and did a belly-flop into another stinking pile. Then this dumb sign got up and tried to carry on with a big smear of irony across its stupid face.

IMG_0414
Dear fucktard who made this sign, have you even seen Office Space?

2. Girl Scout cookies. I just got suckered into buying a $5 box of cookies, which are now labeled as “VEGAN!” That label means that I’ll enjoy them just a little less than I would have had they not been labeled that way, even though they’ve probably always been “VEGAN!”

From their website:

(girlscouts.org)
(girlscouts.org)

You’re seriously going to tell me that spending $5 on a box of cookies helps a girl learn about money management? Well, guess what: I bought them from her father. He walked around with an order form, pleading with his coworkers to help his kid out with sales. He took my five dollars and put my name on the form, and he will bring me my cookies. In this entire transaction, I will never even interact with his daughter.

Also, spending $5 on a box of cookies is not a sound financial decision. It’s actually terrible money management. I can get better cookies cheaper elsewhere. The only benefit is that they’re delivered to my desk at work.

3. Obvious mini commercials built into television shows. Thanks to Draliman for reminding me of this one. This is all too common lately, what with people downloading everything or watching it commercial-free on Netflix et al. Advertisers are desperate to have us see their awesome products, so they pay television shows to have their characters use it and talk about it. I couldn’t watch more than a few episodes of Netflix’s unnecessary remake of House of Cards because of all the totally obvious advertisements lying around. They’re getting sneakier about it, yet it’s still so very overt.

4.
Speaking of television, I hate remakes. Why does Netflix’s House Of Cards even exist? The original is soooooo much better. Why is it when I surf Netflix for something to watch, I see Being Human (UK) and Being Human (US), Shameless (UK) and Shameless (US), etc.? Why is any of that necessary?

It’s bad enough that movies like The Departed blatantly rip off excellent foreign films like Infernal Affairs (then win awards for thievery), but at least you can kind of blame it on language (since Americans are too dumb to read subtitles, right?). But, why are there so many remakes of UK television? We speak the same language. I refuse to watch anything with (US) after the title. Shameless is right.

5.Cubicles. Who the hell thought this was a good idea? I know, let’s make people sit together in a big open area, but we’ll put up half walls to give the illusion of privacy. Um, no. There is no privacy in a cubicle. None. There are no doors and everyone can hear everything from what you’re eating for breakfast to your stinky farts. I miss my office.

6. PC keyboards. I hate them and I’m surrounded by the bastards. I have a keyboard, too, but mine doesn’t blast 101dB @ 2.83V / 1m with every press of the damn key. Why do PC keyboards have to be so friggin’ loud?

7. Multimillionaire tight-fistedness. This applies to everything from not wanting to pay taxes to trying to take health care and benefits away from the working poor in favor of the “job creators.”

When Male was in town, I took a day off (unpaid). It was just a happy accident that the day I took off was the same day they held their incredibly tardy “holiday party” in mid-January. All the bigwigs flew in to the left coast. Apparently, they catered lunch with terrible, inexpensive, and not too plentiful food, and gave a bunch of speeches. They handed out certificates or something for people who’ve worked there five and ten years (nobody survives longer than ten years). When I went back to work on Monday, my coworkers told me that they called my name in a raffle. “Oh? What did I win?” “Nothing. When they found out you weren’t here, they called another name.” Cheap bastards.

8. Taxes. Ugh, taxes. I finally got all of my W2 forms from my employers last year, so this weekend, I’ll do my taxes. I used to have an amazing accountant, but he died a few years ago. Since then, because I am poor and don’t have any deductions like kids or mortgage, I have been doing it myself. Even in the comfort of my home, doing taxes is painful. It’s such an awful antiquated system.

9. Sales calls on my cell phone. They’re usually robots that start speaking before my voice mail message is done, so by the time I hear the message it’s just “…1-800-BLOW ME now to take advantage of this special offer!” Or worse, sales text messages. I wish I could give you an example, but I delete them, because they piss me off. You hear the little text message chime and think, “Ooh, someone loves me!” Then, you look and it’s an ad for hooking up with hot singles online. Screw you! Get off my phone!

10. I hate rushing somewhere only to wait. The last time I went to the vet, I woke up late, grabbed my ornery feline, and rushed to the vet’s office with uncombed hair and one shoe. Then I sat there for a half an hour. Why do doctors always run late? Seriously, can’t they figure out a schedule by now that takes all that into account?

More Things I Hate.

It’s Not A Competition

(theresurgence.com)

I heard an interview today with an author discussing her new memoir about growing up in Africa as a white woman during a period of civil unrest.

In the interview, she said she heard about someone who experienced anxiety, because they were forgotten at a rest stop for a few hours as a child. The author said something like how can you consider that trauma? What I went through was much worse, yadda yadda yadda.

Unfortunately, as the interview was on the radio, I can’t get you an exact quote of what she said (it probably wasn’t “yadda yadda yadda”), so I won’t bother telling you the name of the author. Who said it isn’t as important as what was said anyway.

She disparaged someone’s pain by comparing it to her own. What irritated me most about this was that her comments then made me compare her trauma to my own, even though they couldn’t be more different.

I’ve heard people, even on this blog, compare my experiences to their own, only to downplay their pain by saying something to the effect of, “What I experienced is nothing compared to what you went through…”

Which, of course makes me think, well, what I experienced was nothing compared to what Malala Yousafzai went through. I was not shot for believing that girls should have the right to an education.

I was not born into slavery simply because of the color of my skin like Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth.

I wasn’t kept under house arrest for 15 years because I believe that my country should be free like Aung San Suu Kyi.

I didn’t have to fight for the right to vote like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

I didn’t have to hide from Nazis for two years, only to die in a concentration camp at the age of fifteen like Anne Frank.

I live in a free country where no one skin color is better than any other. I can and do vote in every election. I have freedom of speech and I can wear whatever I want. I have just as much right to an education as any man. I could even run for public office if I wanted to.

I suppose it is human nature to compare our lives to others. Humans relate everything to ourselves. It’s how we understand things. If it weren’t for that ability to compare other people’s experiences with our own, we wouldn’t have empathy.

Still, it is not a competition to have the shittiest life. It shouldn’t be. It doesn’t matter if I have PTSD because I was bound, tortured and raped as a child, or if I have it because I was forgotten at a rest stop for a few hours. All that matters is that the damage was done, I’m still alive to talk about it, and I am not the only one.

If you have trauma, if it causes you stress and worry and impacts your life, it’s valid. It does not matter whether it’s less or more severe than another person’s. Pain is pain, period. The only reason we should be comparing our stories is so that we can try to understand each other better.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about suffering, it’s that it is universal. No matter who you are, there is always someone worse off (and better off) than you. We should never denigrate or downgrade someone’s pain. It’s bad enough that the perpetrators do that; we don’t need it from other victims.

An Open Letter To WordPress

wordpressfaIL

Dear WordPress.com,

I am loath to write yet another letter to you, since I typically prefer to spend my time writing actual blog posts, but I’ve been bitching on Twitter and in your forums to no avail, so maybe you’ll pay attention to a blog post. It’s not likely, but hey, you never know.

Please, stop. Just put down whatever you’re working on and stop with the futzing. You have been tinkering under my hood long enough and you know what? None of the “improvements” you’ve made are actually improvements.

Below, you will find explanations as to why your improvements aren’t improvements sorted conveniently by feature.

Post Editor

Let’s talk about this “Beep beep boop” post editor nightmare with less than half the functionality of the old editor. Thankfully, you haven’t taken away the old editor yet. However, I fully expect that one day, I will go to write a post and my only option will be “Beep beep boop,” whereupon I will throw another hissy fit. Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 8.31.02 AM No. I will not. I don’t want to “switch to the improved posting experience.” It’s not because I’m a Luddite who’s resistant to change. It’s because I do not want easier; I want better. I want full functionality, which so far, the old editor has provided. The new editor doesn’t have half the bells and whistles, including theme-specific options that I paid for as part of my premium theme.

Not to mention that, when you unexpectedly dumped it in our laps, I couldn’t write or edit posts for two days. Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.59.43 AM I do not write posts on my phone; I write posts on a computer. If you want to make it easier for people who write posts on phones and tablets, here’s an idea: fix your terrible mobile app. Why are you catering to mobile customers in the regular web interface when there is a mobile app anyway? I don’t need your warped version of “easier.”

By the way, closing the forum thread on the new post editor while the conversation was still going was just rude and pretty much the opposite of good customer service. Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.58.58 AM

Notifications

Second only to the dumbed-down post editor changes, this is the worst “improvement” yet.

It used to be fairly easy to manage comments. I could see what comments were new and to which I had already replied. If I wanted to see all blog comments on a page instead of the little drop down menu, I just clicked “see all” or whatever the link was called. From there, I could sort by comments versus likes versus reblogs. I could see only the comments that were unread. I could reply, approve and delete.

Where is the notifications archive? Am I just not seeing it hiding amongst the countless redundant menus and links (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start), or did you get rid of yet another useful feature I use constantly without asking or telling anyone?

There is no link to a notifications archive, so you’re implicitly telling me that my only options are the stupid little drop down menu, or the cumbersome and clunky dashboard comments page, which I never used, because it shows me all comments including my own and it doesn’t tell me if I already replied to a comment.

When I reply to a comment now, there is no arrow showing me that I already replied. I have no way to know if I already replied to a comment other than going through the comments on a post or relying on my faulty memory.

Do you have any idea how many times in the past few days I’ve re-replied to comments I already answered? Neither do I, because I used to count on you to keep track of that.

I miss you so.
WANT.

Comments are an integral part of having a blog. The conversation starts when we hit publish. What on earth would make you think that a dumbass little drop down menu incapable of expanding would be good enough? Also, clicking “back” all the time as opposed to a pop-out menu is just straight-up retarded, in both senses of the word.

It’s like you keep saying, “Eh, fuck it. They won’t even notice.” We noticed. These changes are unnecessary frippery purely for the sake of doing something. Do any of you back-end developers even have a blog? I don’t think you do. If you actually used your service, you’d know that these changes are incredibly stupid.

UPDATE: Yes, I know I can go to https://wordpress.com/notifications and my lovely notifications are all ducky, but I shouldn’t have to. I am so very tired of your “here, use this complicated workaround for something that was easy before we messed with it.”

HERP DERP.
HERP DERP.

Really?! Are we in the 1980s? Keyboard shortcuts are not a solution. This is how I’m picturing you now:

cat-like_typing
(fascinationplace.org)

Or maybe more like this:

HAY GUYZ, IMPROOVEMNTD R GREET@! (sheilabridgeblog.com)

I will grant you half a point for adding the reply arrow back in. It’s only half a point since you never should have taken it away in the first place. I’m still waiting on a link to the notifications archive.

Stats

Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 9.08.09 AM Yes, I’ve tried it and I’d hardly call it upgraded. Taking away information is not an improvement.

While I do like seeing how many likes and comments I’ve gotten in a certain time frame, there is some important information missing like visitors versus views, views per visitor, best ever views, total views, followers, shares, comments, tags, categories, and posts written. The old page gives 30 days of data at a glance, the new one gives 10. There’s no link to compare yesterday with today. You’ve gotten rid of most of the reasons I even bothered looking at stats.

Do I really need to know that I published X number of posts today as the first box under page views? I’m fairly certain I know how many posts I’ve published today. If I don’t, I have bigger problems than your new diminished stats page.

How sad.
IMPORTANT INFORMATIONS!!!!1!

And, as to the design, what’s with the light blue text, and the one column layout with the giant boxes and ridiculously large line spacing? There’s so much more scrolling involved to get to less data. It looks like Fisher-Price’s My First Stats Page.

myfirst
Ages 3 and up.  Caution: choking hazard.

UPDATE: Still missing: best ever views, shares, a link to compare yesterday to today, and totals for views, comments and posts written. Are you even listening to our complaints? You’re going to make me break out in all caps here: FOR FUCK’S SAKE, STOP TAKING THINGS AWAY FROM US.

Miscellany

You may remember these from Twitter: Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.58.04 AM Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.57.42 AM Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.57.01 AM Yesterday, I went to edit a post, and the edit function in the drop down menu was gone: Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 8.47.59 AM That is how I edit since my theme doesn’t have an edit button on individual posts. It was just gone.

Today, it’s back.

Seriously, what the hell are y’all doing in there? I pay you money for this. I am giving you money to take away functionality and break things that work fine. Are you sitting on the stack of money we pay you, laughing at the long con you’re pulling on us? That’s how it seems.

If you’re going to change things, that’s fine, but do not take away functionality. You should be adding functionality and features, not taking them away or moving them around so we have to click five more times to get to the same place.

I’ve been with you since 2009. I used to be a WordPress fan. I am responsible for at least one person switching to WordPress, because I used to very much like your service. I’m reconsidering my decision now. I would switch to the self-hosted option, but I like .com’s community and it seems like you’ll eventually roll out the same idiotic changes to .org anyway.

Stop futzing. Stop tinkering. Stop taking things away. Stop moving them around so we can’t find the important things we need. You should be making our blogging experience better and easier, not more complicated and limiting. Just stop.

Thank you,
Goldfish

P.S. If you are contractually obligated or required to meet a quota of things to take away from us, feel free to stop ping-backing me when I link to a post on my own damn blog. Please, for the love of goats, take it away.

An Open Letter To WordPress Part 2

10 Things I Hate Part 29 Holiday Edition

10thingshate
  1. Facebook. Once again, Facebook makes my list. And yes, I know this doesn’t have anything to do with the holidays, but it just happened yesterday, so deal. This time, Facebook makes my list because it said that Gold Fish wasn’t my real name and it wouldn’t let me sign on without changing it. On my phone, I tried to trick it into changing it to Goldfish, but I guess I accidentally typed “Fush” instead. I tried to change it again and it said I can’t change it for 60 days. So, I’m “Gold Fush” for two months. Seriously, FUCK YOU, FACEBOOK. I don’t want to use my real name. I have stalkers.
  2. Christmas music. Everywhere you go, there it is. With all the amazing music ever made in the world, why is it that for two months out of the year, we have to listen to the same two dozen songs over and over? I am so sick of the same damn music every year that I could claw an elf’s eye out.
  3. Jumping the holiday gun. I went to Macy’s in October with my sister for some reason. They had Christmas decorations up before Halloween. Not A Punk Rocker posted a picture yesterday of a Valentine’s Day display up before Christmas. Why don’t we just have a holiday section all year round? You could go buy Christmas stuff in July. That’s where we’re headed.
  4. The last-minute rush. I had to go to the store last weekend for some last-minute things I needed for the impending arrival of my parents. Everyone else was there. All of them. Seriously, people, you know Christmas is on December 25th, so why must you still be Christmas shopping on the 21st when I just need to get some cleaning supplies?
  5. Shopping jerks. The holidays seem to bring out the worst in us. At the store last weekend, I had three people cut me off in the parking lot and one person steal a parking spot that was rightfully mine. Then, someone cut in line at the register.
  6. Fruitcake. Seriously, what is that? Fruit and cake are both delicious on their own, but when you mash them together, it turns into gross. Yet, people still buy it. Ick. I have an hypothesis that there really are only a few fruitcakes in the world. They just keep getting passed from person to person year after year, because nobody wants to eat something older than earth with a denser molecular structure than Osmium. Before there was Homo sapiens, there was fruitcake.
  7. The prices. Items that are selling for $5 today will be $2 next week. There’s the Black Friday dip, then prices steadily increase until the 24th. On the 26th, you can buy the same crap for half off. This also applies to travel. My parents are coming out for two weeks because it was cheaper that way. Thanks a lot, airlines, for jacking up your prices around the holidays so I have my family hanging around for thirteen days.
  8. The “War On Christmas” nonsense. Seriously, Christians, chill, please. Nobody has started a war on Christmas. If they did, they lost the war since it’s everywhere. We say Happy Holidays so as not to exclude anyone. Also, since New Year’s Eve is one week after Christmas, it gets lumped in there. When I wish someone Happy Holidays, I mean Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year and any other holiday celebrated in the vicinity. Sometimes, I simply mean enjoy your time off. Christians, I say, it’s not all about you. There are other people in the world with other beliefs and that’s okay. Unbunch your panties.
  9. Decorating. It seems an awful lot of work for just a few weeks. Since my mom is coming, I went whole hog this year. My sister and I went and got a real tree. Some poor tree was happily living somewhere until some dude chopped it down, dragged it to the city and sold it to some sap (me) for $40. In another few weeks, it will be in the trash. Somehow, that just doesn’t seem right. Poor little tree.
  10. This is not a happy time of year for everyone. Since people always have and always will continue to die, regardless of time of year, some people are suffering loss. Some are battling their own demons. Still others are living in war-torn regions or they don’t even have homes. Think a little more about the people who are less fortunate than you are. That’s the real spirit of the holidays.

More Things I Hate.

10 Things I Hate Part 28

10thingshate
  1. Negative political campaigns. Instead of focusing on the issues and how they would handle them, a lot of politicians run their campaigns on muckraking. They throw poop at their opponents hoping that some of it will stick. Whatever happened to political platforms? It seems the American public is voting more against candidates than for them.
  2. Daylight saving time. I’ve written about this one before, but I don’t care. I still hate it and will continue to bitch about it every six months. I had to change 10 clocks in my house and car, which meant figuring out how to change 10 clocks in my house and car; not all clocks are created equal. Whether I lose or gain an hour, my circadian rhythms are all off. Either I have to force myself to sleep earlier–which, as an insomniac, never goes well–or I have to wake up earlier. But most of all, I hate how it’s dark when I get out of work now. It makes me feel like I wasted my whole day at work, which I have, but it doesn’t have to rub it in.
  3. Car maintenance. In the last month or two, I’ve had to change a blown out brake light and add engine coolant to my car. Neither was particularly difficult, but I’d never done them before on this car. I had to research which products worked best and figure out how to do it. I spent $6 on two tiny light bulbs and $24 on a gallon of special BMW engine coolant that I had to go to a BMW dealership to get because no one else sells it. Of course, BMW takes special BMW engine coolant, because everything on BMWs is more complicated than it needs to be and more expensive. Remind me never to buy a fancy European car again, even though I do very much love my car. It’s so much fun to drive. One might even say it’s the Ultimate Driving Machine®.
  4. Coupons. I’m really good with coupons online. I coupon code like a pro. It’s in person that I fail. I will buy a product that has a “Save $1 off this product now!” instant coupon on the front and then forget to use the coupon all of five minutes later when I check out. I’ll get it home and see the dollar I could have saved still attached to the front of the product unused. Derp.
  5. Morning breath. Seriously, what is my mouth doing overnight that it smells like that in the morning, just a few short hours after I brushed my teeth with minty fresh toothpaste? Do spiders crawl in my mouth overnight and have a stinky party leaving their stinky spider party refuse all over my mouth lawn?
  6. Morning hair. In addition to the spider party in my mouth, the spiders apparently have a weaving party in my hair since it occasionally looks like a bomb exploded on my head in the morning. My straight fine blonde hair that normally just hangs there without any body at all, sometimes looks like I’m a member of an 80s hair metal band, but without the headbands and shoulder pads:
    Poison (zimbio.com)
    Poison. Yes, indeedy.
    (zimbio.com)

    What the hell am I doing in my sleep to produce such gravity-defying results? The worst is when I stumble outside to walk the dog, forgetting to tame the spidery wildness of my noggin mop and run into neighbors. Mornin’. \m/

  7. Dribbling coffee down my shirt. I have done that twice already this morning. I’ve been drinking beverages my whole life and coffee since my late teens, yet I still can’t get it quite right. Fortunately, I’m wearing a black shirt today.
  8. Random strangers touching me. I don’t mean accidentally bumping into or brushing against someone (although that typically alarms me, too) since that can’t be helped living in civilization. I’m talking about the kind of touching that is intentional. When someone talks to you and puts their hand on your arm or shoulder. I don’t know you. Don’t touch me, please.
  9. Red lights for no reason. There’s a light near the dog park I go to that I always seem to get stuck at. Everyone going the same or opposite direction as me has to stop at this light. Almost every single time, there will be one, two or zero cars crossing at this light. The bulk of traffic has to stop for hardly anyone. The one or two people will go as soon as their light turns green, while the rest of us sit at a red light for another minute for absolutely no reason at all. Although, one night, there was a traffic jam when three whole cars crossed the intersection!
  10. Running out of things I thought I had more of. I have a bin under my bathroom sink with extras of toiletries I use all the time. Because I’m terrible at remembering to buy things, I need that buffer zone of having extra. The bin has extra soap, Q-tips, shave cream, shampoo, etc. When I run out of shave cream in the shower, I replace it with the one under the sink. If all goes well, I put shave cream on my list of things to get, so I’m never entirely out of anything. Sometimes, the process breaks down and I get distracted by something shiny before I can put it on my list. Then, for a while, I have zero shave cream and hairy legs.

More Things I Hate.

10 Things I Hate Part 27

10thingshate
  1. Thievery. I’ve been doing a lot of designs for my Redbubble shop. Whenever I post something on Redbubble, I do a search to see what else is on there in the same vein. I like to check out the competition, but only after I’ve done my own since I don’t want to be unduly influenced. What I’ve discovered is a lot of theft.

    The top-selling tiger things are Calvin & Hobbes stuff. Out of the top selling T-shirts on all of Redbubble, only one is an original design, and the rest are all knockoffs of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sherlock, Pokemon, Harry Potter, etc.
    Screen shot 2014-10-07 at 11.17.10 AM
    In the interest of full disclosure, even I am not innocent. I have one design in my store that isn’t entirely my own of the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings logos smushed together. I wanted it as a T-shirt and I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I made it myself. Sadly, it has quickly become one of my best selling stickers.
    Dwing

  2. Mediocrity. In the process of checking out the competition, I have seen a lot of unique and awesome works from really talented people. I’ve also seen more crap than I’d care to shake my shaking stick at. Not that my art is all that, but I’m pretty sure it’s not godawful, since strangers keep buying it. I’m not going to call anyone out, because that’s just mean, but there are misspellings. There are things that you can’t even be sure what they are. I know art is subjective, but there are pictures of other people’s cats on there. Why in hell would I want to own something with someone else’s cat on it? Is anyone really so into cats that they want an iPhone case with someone else’s cat?
  3. Time. I hate how linear it is. I hate how sometimes, like during a workday, it drags on forever, while other times, like when you’re having fun, it flies by. I hate that, unless we figure out some bionic/cryogenic/cloning/sciencey stuff, I’ve probably lived more of my life than I have left, at least, with my brain intact and no need of adult diapers. Make it count, people.
  4. I hate that nearly fifteen years into the 21st century, we’re still squabbling over race, gender, nationality, religion, sexual preference or whatever other dumbass arbitrary thing makes people hate and want to kill each other. I’ve always said that there are enough reasons to hate people individually without resorting to stereotypes.
  5. I hate that so many of us are shackled by our own demons, myself included. I would really love to never think about all the awful things that have happened to me. I would love to put them in a box, lock it up and never look at it again. I’d love not to have PTSD, anxiety and depression. I hate that because we have such big brains, they’re so easily broken.
  6. I hate that so many of us don’t know how awesome we are. We look in the mirror and think we’re fat, ugly or have too many unicorn horns (we really only need one). I hate that our society bases so much of its own worth on appearances instead of what really matters: brains and hearts. You have a good brain and a nice heart. Forget about your hair. Hair is a dumb concept anyway.
  7. Homophobia, both the word and what it represents. Homophobia isn’t a phobia. Being scared of heights or spiders is involuntary, and actually quite rational, when you get down to it. From an evolutionary perspective, heights and spiders were good things to be wary of, because they presented a clear danger. Hating gay people is not a phobia. There is no evolutionary basis for it. It is a man-made construct and it’s just bigoted and dumb.
  8. Begging the question. I’ve written about this one before, but you people still insist on using it wrong. Every time you say, “that begs the question,” when you really mean, “that raises the question,” a little bomb goes off inside my brain. I can no longer hear what you’re saying, because I’m deafened by your word bomb. STOP SAYING THAT.
  9. Salespeople. I work in an office with a bunch of customer service representatives. I can hear their conversations even over my headphones since one of the hallmarks of salespeople is that they’re loud. They’re also disingenuous. The difference in personas is remarkable. They’ll be all chirpy on the phone with a customer and when they’re done, they’ll talk to coworkers. Their voices drop half an octave when talking normally and all the chirpiness is gone. It’s all so fake.
  10. Rude drunks. I went to a party last weekend and my friend’s girlfriend was drunk. She became a total harpy. In a five-minute conversation with another friend, she said at least half a dozen jaw-droppingly rude things. If drinking turns you into a mean girl, perhaps you should slow your intake or you just shouldn’t drink.

More Things I Hate.

Separation of Friends & Business

graycat-iphone

I believe in a firm wall between church and state, and not mixing friends and business. Sometimes, it doesn’t always work out, despite my best efforts. Here are two examples.


I have a friend who is shit with money, specifically, paying me for work I’ve done and other friends for money he borrowed.

He seems to forget that about five years ago, he asked me to design his girlfriend’s business–all of it from the logo to flyers to business cards and a website. I did so and even gave them a friend discount.

It took them–I say them, but it was really my friend since he decided to take responsibility for it–months to pay me a quarter of what they owed me. Like so many others, within a year, the business failed. In my friend’s head, since the business was no longer in business, that meant that anything related to it, e.g. the design work I did, was no longer relevant, ergo I never got paid for it.

I wrote it off as bad debt. I learned my lesson on that and decided never, ever to do business with that friend again.

Fast forward to a month or so ago, and this same friend asked me to design his business–all of it from the logo to flyers to business cards and a website. I turned him down. I told him I was too busy with the new job and all, which was partially not even a lie. The real reason, and the part I didn’t bother mentioning again, was that he still owed me money.

Being an asshole, he gave me no end of shit for this. “You’re always complaining that you don’t have any money, and here I am trying to throw some your way and you turned me down.” It was a damned if I did and damned if I didn’t situation. I think I made the right call since at least I didn’t waste time designing things I’ll probably never get paid for.

After weeks of hearing him bitch about how I turned down “free money,” I lost my temper one day and told him that I would never do business with him since he still owed me money for the last job.

He was entirely shocked as if I told him that I had Elvis propped up in my closet.

“What job?”

The girlfriend, the business and going out of, the logos…

“Oh, that? We paid you!”

“No, you paid me about a quarter of what you owed me.”

“But we went out of business!”

“How is that my problem? If you take your car to a shop for tires and your engine explodes two minutes after driving away, that’s not the tire shop’s fault. You still have to pay for the tires on your broken car. In fact, you can’t even drive away on said tires until they’re paid for. You used my logo for about ten months without paying.”

So, now he’s mad at me. And I cannot honestly give two shits. Let him be mad. I really need some better friends apparently.


My sister got a new iPhone 6 to replace her perfectly good iPhone 5, which was actually newer than my perfectly good iPhone 5, because she’s not a big fan of having any money in her bank account apparently.

She wanted a case for her new iPhone. Redbubble, where I have my wares, already has cases for the iPhone 6. She took a look at the ones I have on there and said she would order one of the cat cases, but she didn’t like the black or brown or white cat I have on there. She has a gray tiger tabby, you see. She asked if I could make a gray one with stripes.

Sure, fine, whatever. So, I turned this…

Screen shot 2014-09-26 at 10.33.14 AM

…into this.

redbubble-iphone

I didn’t time myself, but I think it took about twenty minutes to change the colors and add the stripes, then another ten or so to upload the files and add it to Redbubble. It wasn’t particularly difficult, but that’s still a half an hour of my time, which for freelance design work, I would have charged $25 for a half hour.

I showed it to her that night and she didn’t like the purple, even though purple was one of the colors she requested as a background when I asked her. “It’s too lilac.” So, I changed it to this, which took another ten minutes of my time to change colors and upload the files…

graycat-iphoneI showed it to her that night and she was happy with it and wanted to order it. Fine. Great. Order it.

“Can you order it?”

Sigh. She ordered it through my Redbubble account.

“Wow, your discount saved me tax and shipping costs, plus a little extra!”

“It’s not a discount. You paid the manufacturing cost. The part you’re not paying for when you order my things through my account is my profit. That’s my profit you saved. You paid me nothing.”

“Oh. Well, you don’t have to be so grumpy about it. You’re still getting your design out there. I’ll tell everyone where I got it.”

Great, so all your coworkers can come to me and order things “at a discount.”

All told, when you add up my time and deduct the profits I lost for ordering it wholesale, it cost me almost $50 to design a phone case for her. I’ll have to sell about eight of them to break even.


This is why I hate being a graphic designer; people don’t want to pay you for your time. This is also why you should never mix business with friends and family. Just say no.