Sat, Jun

Excuse Me If I Vent


MY THOUGHTS - I’ve finished watching all the new Hallmark movies…TV news is so depressing…the price of gas precludes joy rides…even Trader Joes is out of some of my favorite things.

I finally had to face some of the projects I have procrastinated about this year. 

As a back story, one of my granddaughter’s just finished finals at her University.  Even though I knew she had probably aced them all, I called to see how she had survived. With six grandchildren from 16-23, I have learned what Grandmothers can get away with and when to keep your mouth shut. 

After the initial greeting she said “Grammy can I please vent”?  Of course, I said yes, and she proceeded to complain about the finals, the way they were told to prepare, how great the TA’s were etc, etc., etc.  Fifteen minutes later she said, “I feel better now.” 

I figured if she felt better by venting, maybe I should try it instead of just telling my dog how frustrated I was.  So, with your permission I am going to vent.  I know I am not alone in this and I’m sure millions of you are going through the same frustrations.  I am listing them in no particular order of annoyance.    

Where to start…


 Frustration 1: Last September I went on a specialty tour of Paris, Normandy and

Amsterdam. It was right before the Covid Boosters were given, but I had received my two shots, it was a small tour, and everyone had to show their vaccination cards to both the tour directors the airlines and each country had its own requirements to enter.  I had visited those places several times, but the tour theme was interesting, and as much as I love my house, I would have an opportunity to meet new people from throughout the country. 

After being home, since the beginning of 2020, it felt really exciting to pack a suitcase for a different destination.  We all needed to get a Covid test before returning to the U.S.   I had a slight cold, when day before the tour ended, we all got tested.   I was the only one out of the 23 people, who tested positive.  I was given a choice between staying at the same Hotel for ten days or going to the Hospital.  The Hotel won! 

Both the tour Director and his Amsterdam representative were wonderful.  The Hotel Pulitzer couldn’t have been kinder.  I did remark to them, it was the first time I stayed in a five-star Hotel where I had to make my own bed and clean my bathroom, since no one would come near me, including the House Doctor.   By the way, if you are visiting Amsterdam, The Hotel Pulitzer is the place to stay. 

Before I left for this trip, I did something I had never done before; I bought travel insurance. The insurance company to whom I paid a hefty premium, sub- contracted to an international medical group, who in turn sub- contracted to a company that has adjusters and reviews payments.    We are almost at the end of March, and I still am waiting payment for my Covid expenses. 

The frustrating part, happening in the majority of large companies, are calling this “customer service”.   One hears a recording explaining how they are experiencing a great number of calls and will get to you as soon as possible.  You listen to Muzak for twenty minutes or more and then you either get disconnected or they ask that you leave a message and someone will call you back.  It never happens!!!!   I have heard instances where clients and customers have waited hours and never were able to talk to a real person. I sent all of my documents and receipts in December.  I called daily, sent emails etc.  I still have not received reimbursement even though the claim was covered.


Second frustration: I have Direct TV.  One day It stopped working.  I did the usual reboot, unplug etc.  When I finally got through, after three days of calling tech support and using my online account email, they said they checked, and no one was available to come out (it was a problem with their equipment) for another week.  The week passed. The day of the appointment, at the end of the four-hour window, they texted me that they weren’t coming, and I should reschedule.  Didn’t bother to give me an alternate date. Almost a week later they did show up, spent fifteen minutes, fixed it, and told me there would be a charge.  Why should I have a charge to fix their equipment?  I don’t own it.  If one rents an apartment and the roof leaks, the landlord is responsible for getting it fixed. 


Third frustration:   Like many of you, I donate to various causes.  There must be a company that buys the donor lists and resells it to a zillion other non -profits.   I have received snail mail from organizations I didn’t know existed.  I do not need more address labels.  I seldom use the post office.  I don’t need another shopping bag, blanket, notepads calendars, or any of the other items they include.  Why are they spending money on this “marketing” strategy when they can put the money towards their various causes, instead of filling up my mailbox trying to make me feel guilty.    Yes, there are a zillion great causes and I am sympathetic, but I can’t donate to that many groups.  A thankyou note by email, is the only thing I need for the groups to whom I do make a donation.


Fourth Frustration:  I am on a Do Not Call List for both my landline and cell phone.  I must receive at least ten calls daily with “Unavailable” as the calling name.  I have won millions of dollars in un-named lotteries from all over the world.  My car has been out of warranty since the day I bought it.  I already have my medical plan for 2022 and all the other services people want to sell me.  I have been involved in telephone sales and it is a tough job.  Most people just don’t answer if they don’t know who is calling.  A serious caller will leave an intelligent message but the boiler room groups never do.


Fifth Frustration:   Political email over kill!  Each day, I receive at least four political solicitations from famous people to “The Sky is falling” group.  Am I the only one that gets annoyed from all the various political groups asking for $20 or more so they can meet their budget by the end of the day…the week…or the month?


Sixth Frustration: This one is probably the most frustrating and the most important.  It is our  inept and corrupt City, County, State and Federal governments.  When Editor Ken Draper asked me to start writing again, he said, “You have opinions?”  My family is sure I have an opinion or solution to everything, but frustratingly enough… I don’t.  

 I do read a lot!  I recently read a series of four books from an author I’ve never heard of, Mikael Carlson.  You would think it was written yesterday because his fiction is our truth.  Some of you told me that you had read the Ken Follett book “Never” that I had discussed in a previous article.   That was a real downer, and the Ukraine crisis makes it too close to home. 

This is definitely more uplifting. The series is called : I Candidate, I Congressman, I Speaker, and lastly, I American.   There are ideas and actions contained in each of the books that could be adapted to today’s turmoil.  I was sorry when I finished the fourth book.   I wanted it to continue. 

Thanks for letting me vent…I do feel much better!



(Denyse Selesnick is a CityWatch columnist and a former publisher/journalist/international event organizer. Denyse can be reached at: [email protected].)