SOLVED!: What’s Wrong with this Picture?

I intended to post the answer to my question by last Tuesday.  Unfortunately, the unexpected death of a wonderful person I know last weekend short-circuited the writing portion of my brain for a few days.  I may later write about her, here,  in a separate article. But for now, back to the daily grind…


Ok, lettuce solve the question I presented here at What’s Wrong with this Picture?  The problem was contained in a Doonesbury comic strip below.  The only hint was that those with a current San Gabriel Valley or Pasadena, California background would find it easier to spot the problem or “solution”.



As I expected, I stumped everyone. Frankly, with this problem I’m not surprised: the subject covered journalism and specifically referred to a reporter spelled in the strip as “Geraldo.” 

Without further delay here is the problem with the above comic: the reporters name is misspelled as “Geraldo”. And, frankly, this comic probably pronounces it as “Heraldo” which is probably an improvement on the “correct” Geraldo.  That’s common & I don’t mind that.  It’s not a very common name.  Some may even find it difficult to pronounce it on the first try.

However, anyone who reads the newspaper in the San Gabriel Valley/Pasadena area would know the the correct spelling is ‘GIRARDOT.”   I’m not a name dropper, but as in Frank (or, Francis) GIRARDOT, the author/renaissance man/writer/crime fighting editor/reporter, and someone whose writings are followed by anyone from cops to politicians to even a Rockefeller, at our Pasadena Star News newspaper!  He’s been at this since at least last century so he must know what he’s doing.

My friends I don’t always have time to read a newspaper, but when I do, it’s Frank Girardot’s Pasadena Star News. And now you know, the rest of the story. Just some of Cafe Pasadena’s Believe It or Not!


Gotta Get Going. Stay Thirsty My Friends



Customer Disservice III

Lemme sea…what should eye talk bout now?

What about love?


Lettuce instead talk bout sumthing much more common: the latest installment of how the customer Disservice world turns & turns on the poor customer. This one in particular.


Our rosy city of Pasadena periodically holds FREE recycling/shredding events at the Rose Bowl.  One of their best government services.

Others, like the big retailer Office Max, will also do your shredding for a FEE.  At a rate per pound.  Coincidentally, I’ve used both the government and the private option.  Lemme give you my experience at Office Max.

Their current shredding rate is .79 per pound.  So, if I go with 4.25 pounds of paper the cashier will charge me a total of $3.36, for example. 

If I take that same 4.25 pounds of paper on another day, to another cashier, I could, and have, be charged $3.16, for example.

Or, that 4.25 pounds could cost me $3.95! How? Well, by another cashier is how that adds up.

I’ve been charged for the exact item, oh, lemme count the ways:

  1. For the exact pounds.
  2. Rounded to the nearest dollar.
  3. Rounded UP to the next dollar


I asked one cashier why he was charging me a certain way.  Then I told him my previous experience at Office Max. He said his way was right.  Then I said the department supervisor calculated my fee another eay.  His reply was he’s the manager and he’ll just have to set the others right.  Funny that his name tag didn’t give him the title of manager.

But, what do I know…I’m just the customer.  And if you ever read somewhere how the customer is always right – it’s only true in the world of theory.


We See Genius



The Price is Not Always Right is what I’ll call this Disservice to the customer.

You think you know what the price is, but you really don’t. And the reason is because the seller also doesn’t know what their price is!  Oh, they each think they know, but you find out they really don’t.  Or, worse, they do know the right charge but hope you don’t know!


One method to deal with this problem is to go into a buy/sell transaction ready to switch into the “everything is negotiable” philosophy.  Everything.  Even fixed prices can be as fluid as variable depending upon the seller and your willingness to play their game for your advantage.  Which I’ve done, including with shredding!

Have you, my loyal readers/commenter’s, experienced “surprise” pricing?  How would you respond??

And so we’ve come to the end of another chapter in the unending disservice to the customer.



Gotta Rest My Head. Stay Thirsty My Friends