Thou Shall Not Make Decisions

September 2, 2008 by The Constant Complainer

Have you ever wondered to yourself – what in the heck was that person thinking?  I know I have.  The funny thing is that I seem to be having that feeling more and more these days.


I’m not the world’s greatest decision maker.  Like everyone else, I’ve made some poor ones.  But what I can say is that I have worked very hard over the years to bring a rationale, patient and analytical mindset to the table.  I can certainly attest that in doing so, it has served me well on a number of occasions.


Let me be clear, I’m not talking about strategic business decisions.  I’m talking about basic decisions that affect you and me.  Below are some individuals I’d like to recognize from my travels this past week.  They should definitely not be making any major decisions…


The first award for brilliance goes to the garbage men that work for my city.  It is always fascinating to me that I can put some trash out one week and they won’t take it, but yet it if I put it back out the next week, they will.  I don’t know that I have ever seen anything in writing from the city with respect to what garbage I can put at the curb and what I can’t.  So, like anyone else, I just put most things out there.


For example, a few weeks ago I put some sticks at the curb.  The garbage men drove right by.  I called the city and they told me the sticks should have been picked up.  I put the same sticks out the next week – and even made them into a bundle and tied them with a rope (as my neighbor had suggested).  The laughable part was that my other neighbor put the exact same thing out, and they took his but not mine.  I called the city again and was told that a “special” pickup would occur on Saturday specifically for sticks and branches.  That Saturday, I literally stood in my yard as the guy drove right by and didn’t pick up anything.  This past week, for the third time I placed the bundle out there and they took it.  It doesn’t make any sense.  The same thing has happened with grass clippings and basic junk that I placed at the curb.  It became clear to me that the garbage men do exactly what they want.  If they feel like taking it, they will.  If they don’t feel like taking it, they won’t.  And who, besides The Constant Complainer, is going to call the city and complain.  Nobody wants to get their driveway snowplowed in the next winter.  I guess that will be my punishment.


The second award goes to the manager of the local grocery store where I shop.  This past Friday night, we had to run up there to buy a few items in preparation for the holiday weekend.  It was raining pretty hard when we arrived, so we got out of the car and ran into the store.  The lobby area was absolutely soaked, there were puddles, all the carts were wet, people were slipping, there were no employees attending to this area and of course, there were no wet floor signs anywhere.  Even though we were trying to be careful, my wife slipped.  She didn’t fall, but twisted very awkwardly.  She was fine, but I did the right thing, went to the Customer Service desk and mentioned that they might want to look into this issue.  The representative was very nice and walked over to the manager, who just so happened to be standing right there doing nothing.  In response to my complaint, as I walked through the store, I overheard numerous overhead calls for assistance in the lobby.  I saw two employees carrying rugs from the back of the store to the front.  There were people running up to the lobby with mops, etc.  When we left, I’m surprised they didn’t shuttle us directly to our car.  I thought their response was all fine and good, but I question why they weren’t proactive about the problem in the first place.


The last award goes to the woman who sat next to me during my haircut tonight.  I walked into the salon and the first thing I heard was this woman talking about how her daughter received a detention today (on one of the first days of school) because her shorts were too short.  This woman was going on and on about how her daughter was so upset because now they were questioning her participation in cheerleading and other school functions, etc.


As is the story of my life, I get seated right next to this woman.  So then I have to hear it over and over as she tells the story to every person that walks by.  “Can you believe that?”  “She’s only in high school.”  “Her shorts weren’t that short.”  The comments went on forever.  The first thing that became clear to me is that this wasn’t the first time there was an incident with her shorts.  Because I can’t see the school doing anything but warn her for a first violation.  Second, if the mother had seen the way she herself was dressed, the discussion and argument would be over – because clearly the daughter was dressing exactly like her mother.  I just wanted to say to this woman – hey, have you seen my blog called “Kids – A Product of Their Environment.”  Maybe she could have learned something from it.


The moral of the story is that there are some people out there that just shouldn’t be making decisions.  We all know people like that.  Maybe it’s time to out them, speak up and tell them so.  Additional nominations for the week can be shared below…

All Posts / Family/Lifestyle / General Moaning


  1. Dan S. says:

    I hate to say it, but the people who make a decision to not make any decisions are quite possibly the ones who are using their brain.

    I’ve been in several positions where I’ve been told, “If you don’t do anything, you can’t get in trouble for doing the wrong thing.”

    This mentality was especially prevalent, at contractor jobs that would have me working with Federal Employees, or as I like to call ’em, recipients of the golden egg welfare check!

    It’s true, these were some very high paid welfare recipients, granted, they weren’t really on welfare, and had to report to a specific place so many days a week, but the most difficult part of their job, was in trying to look busy.

    The higher up the pay scale, the more difficult your job of doing nothing.

    It was laughable.

    On those occasions once or twice a year, when we’d make some serious hardware or software changes on systems that would effect tens of thousands of people…

    …the supervisors who worked for the Federal Government, and would be responsible for making decisions at various points, especially if things weren’t going as planned, and a decision needed to be made NOW! Well, those supervisors were nowhere to be found. Eventually, someone would tell you that they scheduled vacation, personal, or some other kind of leave for an unknown amount of time.

    OK, if the supervisors would be there to make a decision, it would somehow not be based on logic, but on personalities, as far as who thinks what’s best.

    Some civilian technicians who knew more than the supervisors could ever hope to know, even if they studied the problem for the rest of their lives, would be blown off, because the jack ass working for the feds, “don’t like that fool’s attitude.”

    Anyway, I’ve worked at several federal installations besides the Navy, and they’re basically all the same, in that they made me sick to pay federal income tax…

    You could grab any fool from any position in the post office, who might be about one insult from going out to his car, grabbing his gun, and killing as many co-workers as possible, pick him up out of his position, and drop him into some other spot in the Federal Welfare rolls, and nobody will be able to tell if that person belongs there or not. Because, to judge that person’s abilities might require making some sort of decision.

    Federal workers make the Teamsters seem like, self motivated, risk taking, go getters, trying to climb the ladder to success!

  2. Sugar says:

    I know that at my previous job( which was in the retail business) if associates did anything on their own or thought for themselves, a manager would yell and say that it was wrong. But if they didn’t think for themselves, or show initiative, they would get yelled at for that too. It was that it wasn’t how the “manager” wanted it. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t in certain situations.

    A friend of a friend’s little sister just bought a new cell phone. Come to find out, that she is getting a new one in 3 months. When I asked her why she was getting a new one when she had already just bought one, she responded: “I wanted this one, but the next one is even cooler.” She has no money as it is, but she’s going to buy out of her plan that she just got, to get a different phone. I’m guessing that it is going to cost her well over $300.00 for this. She works part time and can barely afford anything as it is. She doesn’t think.

    Another was a story about a single mother who’s house was being foreclosed on because she lost her job and hadn’t made a payment. Well the reason is because she bought the house for over $400,000.00! She had to take out 2 mortgage loans, one at 12% and the other for 20% on the left over amt of the mortgage that the first loan didn’t cover. She admitted that she couldn’t afford the house anyway, but her realator “thought” she could get re-financed in 3 months for lower payments. How stupid.

    This is where some people don’t think.

  3. The Constant Complainer says:

    As an update to my readers, here is the latest regarding the Guest Post from last week on the Ohio Healthy Families Act. The post was called “Silly Legislation at Its Finest.” At 9:15 a.m. today, Issue 4 was removed from Ohio’s November ballot. Very interesting! It will probably become a Federal issue now, depending on who gets elected!

  4. Dan S. says:

    Take a wild guess on who is going to swing which way, on that issue…

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