"Living With Life's Frequent Irritations"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, August 1, 2014

Sometimes I have to vent. There are things that just bug me, and I bet they get to some of my readers also.

I’m a great pet lover but I’m not happy with a few pet owners. Some of them think if no one sees their dog poop, they don’t have to pick it up. Those who have very small dogs have a mentality that, because it’s a very small pile, it’s OK. People who walk two or three dogs at a time are often the worst offenders. Perhaps they can’t afford those little pick-up baggies.

I don’t suppose anyone likes to clean up his or her property when someone’s pet leaves a deposit. One day when I observed an event I told a man to pick up after his dog. His reply was, “If I wanted it picked up, I could do it myself.” (No kidding, he said that). So after he walked off, I did pick it up and walked up the road to his property and left it on his porch.

He stopped walking by my house after that.

Another thing that annoys me is my bills. I have contracts with phone, electric, cable and various other companies. Most contracts are for an agreed amount, for a set period, for services rendered. The contract amounts are usually quoted by a company representative on the telephone. That’s fine. It helps us plan a budget and saves the company the expense of mailing.

My gripe with these quotes is they never include all the extra “variable” charges: taxes, government fees, line use, surcharges, etc. All of the extras in some cases exceed the actual cost of the service. It’s a certainty the bill that arrives in no way resembles the quoted amount.

Another irritating bill is the water bill. Those of us who travel to a warmer climate must shut off our water or be subject to large fines if a leak occurs. We then have to pay a ready to serve fee all winter long and if you question this practice you are told, “the water is treated and runs through the pipe that serves your property.” When the water pipe was installed, we were charged by the foot for the pipe to be installed. Seems like if water is being used that is passing through the pipe I paid for, I should be reimbursed for the use of my pipe.

Another irritation is senior discounts and, yes, many companies offer them but you have to ask for them. Some are very little but some add up to a nice amount. Why, if I received a discount last year from a company, should I have to request it again or I don’t get it? Do they think I’ve found a way to become younger each year or do they hire a new person that can’t add? They also may hire a new person who is good at saying no when I made my call this year. Good news, one of my discounts actually went up.

Trick mail is another pet peeve of mine, it’s a growing trend. The mail states you have a gift coming or have perhaps won a prize. If you call a number given, you can claim it. When you call, they attempt to sell you something in addition if you wish to claim your (usually) worthless prize. No, I never did this, but know those who have responded.

During every election, all the totally unsolicited political flyers received, which are very expensive to produce, are such a waste. Many don’t make it past the recycle bin at the post office. We are guessing they are deductible as a campaign expense. Here is an insight: on the flyers, they proclaim an intention to stop government waste, now that’s an oxymoron.

One final comment, it’s your privilege so be sure to vote Tuesday, Aug. 5. Good news, robo calls will ease up and you will have some room in your mailbox for the good stuff.

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