Wednesday, March 30, 2011

it's true what they say...nothing is ever completely free

I have never written a letter of complaint when I have been disappointed with something at particular establishment.  I’ve composed various letters to senior management in my head, of course, but I’ve never actually taken action and sent one because I am not a fan of confrontation.  And I’ve heard the whole “one droplet in the ocean creates a ripple which creates A GIANT TIDAL WAVE” comparison but let’s be realistic here.  It rains all the time in the ocean and tidal waves are rare.  Plus, I highly doubt that Map Quest is going to change their new website layout because it takes Laura Darling over here seventeen minutes to figure out where to click in order to simply “get driving directions.”

            (Seriously though, anyone else hate the new Map Quest site?)

Anyway, my lack of letter writing changed today.  This morning I wrote a letter to B101 radio to express my disappointment in their new campaign, “No Ballad Weekends.”  I’ve discussed this at great length before, so talking about it further would just be beating a dead horse.  However, thanks to technology I can see what google searches bring people here to Oh Laura Darling, and judging by the number of those who arrive by googling “No Ballad Weekends,” I do not stand alone.  This weekend I heard Usher and Pitbull on Philly’s Soft Rock Station and that was the straw that broke this ballad loving camel’s back, and ultimately caused me to write and mail a very honest letter in which I threw down the “now you’re just like all the other stations” gauntlet.

Oh yes I did.

Also, that paragraph included three instances of four legged animals.  A personal best!


My mom, sister and I had a girly weekend this past weekend, which means we spent a great deal of time shopping and were serious about our eating.  Plus, Emily and I were truly gifted with the fact that my mother chose to bestow upon us another pearl of wisdom…“You can indeed control your emotions and actions, and you cannot let strong emotions dictate your actions.  For example, sometimes you will wake up in a bad mood.  That happens.  However, it does not give you permission to get into your car, speed to the nearest convenience store, smash your car through it, and then tell the policeman, “OOPS…bad morning.”  

Ladies, feel free to laminate that gem and stick it in your wallet to pull out in a time of need.

Anyway, before we went to church on Saturday evening we stopped by the library to pick up a few movies for our marathon that night.  If that doesn’t sentence doesn’t tell you what a wild trio we are, I don’t know what will.

As we were walking through the library to get to the move section, we passed what has become my new pet peeve.

Rental books.

If you’re thinking, “All books at the library are rental books,” you’re not alone.  I too thought that way until I was recently introduced to this new, harsh reality.

Because these rental books are different.  They are the ones you have to PAY to take out of the FREE public library, and I’m just as annoyed as I could be about the emergence of this trend.  

Most of the rental books are new releases, books that are currently very popular, or the ones that have been part of Oprah’s book club.  They are the books that the library KNOWS people (except for me because I refuse on PURE PRINCIPLE) will be willing to shell out a dolla for, which I’ll admit is clever and tricky on the part of the library and shows that they have put some serious strategic thought into this money making scheme.

Since I’m on a letter writing roll today, I think I might compose one to send to the library to share my thoughts on making patrons pay for certain books.  

I have the salutation ready to go:  Dear Township Free (except when it’s not) Public Library.

 It’s just the body of the letter I haven’t totally figured out.  I can’t use my signature line, “Now you’re just like all the other libraries.”  Unless, of course, libraries nationwide have adopted this controversial new feature.  And if that’s the case, this uphill battle will be far steeper and more complicated than I imagined. 

I might even need some Map Quest directions to lead me.

Oh boy.


Teenage Bride said...

don;t even get me started on the new mapquest.... i despise it.... ugh

Chloe said...

So funny!
Do they really do that in public libraries??? OMG!
But I'm a very experienced writer of letters of complaint!
Anytime there's something I dislike or I'm disappointed with... LETTER OF COMPLAINT.
And it works. At least it has worked for me.

Nicole said...

LOVE this post! Goodness, I could go on a letter-writing rampage some days! Completely agree with the new mapquest. I always click the "go to classic" button because I can't deal with the stupid, new layout. Whew, you got me going! :)

Cathrine said...

Mapquest took me once to a road that didn't even exist and was in the middle of a creek. My mom in the mini-van we thrilled.

Courtney B said...

Oh no. I was just telling Hubs I want a library card so I don't have to spend money on all these books I want to read. Looks like that plan just flew out the window!
Maybe it would be worth it to get a gps? :)

Jenn W said...

paying for books in a free public library...that is NOT okay. and when did mapquest change? i use it all the time at work to plan my boss' trips. is it gonna take me forever now?!

Michelle said...

HAHA don't get me started on mapquest! I always go on a letter-writing rampage! When I get annoyed, I always say "I"m writing a letter about this!" HAHA

ae said...

Good for you! I am a big proponent of the strongly worded letter.

Seriously. A public library charging for books. Outrageous!

Jessica said...

haha that's soo funny. I never use Mapquest.. expedia is easier in my opinion!
and I have never heard of having to pay to rent a library book- that is NONSENSE!!

stephanie said...

mapquest sucks. there's one place in portland that it never accurately gets people to; it's a music venue and it's kind of funny when the musicians mention it, because everybody in the room pretty much knows what they're talking about. my dad got used to telling me how to get there from this one wrong exit, haha.

&& rental books? NOT COOL.

Jamie Lane said...

I can’t use my signature line, “Now you’re just like all the other libraries.”

That made me laugh out loud.

Things to Do said...

I cannot wait to hear if you get anything back from the radio station. In honor of your plight, I will break out my CD of Monster Ballads this weekend. It's the least I can do!

Rebecca said...

I totally agree about the new mapquest. HATE IT. I've only written one complaint letter in my life. It was to Bill Clinton. Yep, I went straight to the top. I think I was twelve. As you can imagine, it was very effective.

Kristina said...

I have been reading your posts from my phone but haven't been able to comment until today! PAYING for books that aren't LATE?! NOT OK! I understand late fees, they need funding somehow but paying to rent a book - why in the hell would I do that when I could buy it used instead or heck download it to my kindle app on iPhone? Yep. No thanks. Write a letter. I will too and it's not even my library!

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LCR said...

alot of good points. Mapquest sucks- you tell 'em girl! I haven't written a complaint letter either, but i imagine after reading this post, you could be very persuasive.

{Selma} Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

I never liked MapQuest and also go for again, this can be confusing too. :( And write the may not change much (you never know what they do with those) but you will feel much better afterwards. :) And sometimes, yes, sometimes those letters are very powerful.

Baby Sister said...

Cute new header!! I didn't know they had the whole "rental books" thing going on. That is just ridiculous and uncalled for.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

YES! I love that you wrote the radio station a letter. I am all about writing a letter when something is awful or bothering me and I think it might help!