1928 - Alderson High School - 1968




Alex McLaughlin - February 1, 2013


One of the more frustrating things in life is when you are looking for a parking space and someone has taken up the last space because they have used two paces two park. This happened to me just last week. This time there was a red Tundra truck that was much wider and longer than most cars. I did an unscientific survey and found that the Tundra was only one vehicle out of a hundred ten in the hospital parking lot in Charleston that required two spaces. My survey is subject to a measuring error because all parking spaces do not have the same width and the spaces in this lot were relatively wide. The point being that while these occurrences are maddening, they are infrequent.

Idiots that park in two spaces are not a recent occurrence. Almost 40 years a go Mary Jo had a friend named Bill. Well Bill would not get mad he would get even. If he saw someone taking two spaces, he would paint a yellow stripe on their tires to remind them where the yellow parking line was and that they had taken up two spaces. On a couple of occasion when my common sense was on a sabbatical I have left notes on the window shields of double parkers to give them a piece of mind. Now in my more advanced age when I encounter the double parkers I merely mumble for a couple of minutes about those stupid no good people and shuffle on.


“Very sorry Mr. Alex for your being upset, but you have a problem we can not fix.” One of the other frustrating things in our lives is the help desk that will allegedly help you with problems with your computer or other electronic devices. If you ever have the opportunity to call a help desk, try to avoid at all cost. . You might want to punch your self in the arm or in the eye with a ballpoint pen instead. It will be less painful. I have had a couple of good help desk experiences over the years. Most are very frustrating Their chief modus operandi is to implement an automated phone system that will so frustrate and confuse you that you will start cussing at the automated voice and eventually throw the phone down. If you are convinced that the sons of guns are not going to get you down, don’t be so sure.

Nothing compares to the help desk for Dell Computer which has been outsourced to India. I bought a Dell laptop with a Windows Office Suite. When I started my computer up I learned that my Windows Office Suite was a demo only for a month and that I would have to pay another $100 for the suite. Well I felt that I had been hosed so I called the Dell Help desk to get a free copy of the software. I felt they had had run a bait and switch to get me to buy a computer. Over two hours, I have an unlimited calling phone plan, I spoke to 8 different Indian representatives of Dell or I spoke to the same Dell representative who used 8 names. . I was very polite and I would say,” You are a very nice person but you are working for crooks”. They all said the same thing, “Mr. Alex we are very sorry for your inconvenience but you are wrong. You paid for computer and you received your computer. But I will let you talk to my supervisor Vishnu or my supervisor Rama Krishna “In the end I got a $20. discount. While I was extremely disappointed, I later realized that I am probably one of the few Dell owners who probably ever got any rebate and I am probably in their call center’s Hall of Shame. (The stupid American who did not get turned away by confusion, bad karma and eastern intransigence.)

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