Things That Make No Sense

Things That Make No Sense

by Kenneth W. Meeks

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Overview

Things That Make No Sense deals with everyday occurrences experienced by everyone as they go about their daily lives. Some things just don't make any sense at all!
Many of the stories included here deal with common events such as unresponsive or poor customer service, which is becoming all too frequent these days. Some of these instances can probably be characterized as funny, some as unbelievable, and others as simply irrational. Sometimes the only appropriate reaction to one of these annoying events is disgust.

Things That Make No Sense is an entertaining and amusing collection of sixty of the most ridiculous of these actions and decisions that author Kenneth W.
Meeks has observed. No doubt everyone has had experiences similar to those recounted here-or even more unbelievable than the ones included in the book.
Prepare to be sympathetically irked, incredibly entertained, and ridiculously amused!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450248990
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/27/2010
Pages: 260
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)

Read an Excerpt

Things That Make No Sense


By KENNETH W. MEEKS

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Kenneth Meeks
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-4899-0


Chapter One

Radio Station WLKI

I live in Angola, a small town with a population of about 9,000 in the northeastern tip of Indiana. Angola is famous for its large number of natural lakes. It is claimed that there are 101 lakes in the region surrounding Angola, located in Steuben County. Angola is also the home of Trine University, a small, private university specializing in undergraduate engineering education. Trine University engineers are highly respected and vigorously recruited by employers throughout the tristate areas of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. The town has one radio station, WLKI. For years, the most popular radio program was the morning show, broadcast from 5:00-9:00 am every weekday morning. The radio host was an extremely likeable, middle-aged guy named Andy St. John. Andy was from Fort Wayne, Indiana, just down Interstate 69 from Angola, and he had worked at WLKI for a number of years. Andy was very active in the local community, participating in and supporting events such as the Fourth of July parade and an annual bowling roll-off to benefit local charities. Andy's partner on the morning show was the WLKI newsman, a gentleman named Jim Measel. Andy and Jim got along well on the radio, often joking with and teasing one another. Jim liked to tease Andy about being bald. Andy would tease Jim about his golf game. They were a good pair, and everyone enjoyed listening to them in the mornings while having breakfast and getting ready for work and school. They called the program simply The Morning Show.

Sometime in 2008, the radio station was sold. The local businessman who had owned and operated the station decided to retire. The station was bought by a group of businessmen who owned a series of other radio stations in the tristate area. A new, young man took over as the manager of the station. Not long after that, we began to realize that the new ownership was intent on making some highly significant changes to the station's so-called format. Almost overnight, the music heard on the station changed. The station proudly proclaimed with numerous on-air announcements that the listeners would not be hearing "the same old music anymore." The ads stated that listeners would "be the first to hear new releases here." Another change that was implemented was a major revision for our dearly beloved Morning Show with Andy and Jim.

With no previous warning at all, Andy was suddenly replaced by a much younger morning host. He mentioned one morning that he was in his late thirties. The station's Web site indicated that he was from Virginia. Rather than the good mix of music that Andy used to play, listeners were now subjected to more of the popular hip-hop and modern rock. The program was even given a new name: henceforth it would be called The Breakfast Club. Although Jim was retained for this "new and improved" morning show format, all he did was a short newscast every half hour. There was no more banter back and forth between Jim and this new guy. Although unstated, it was obvious to listeners that Jim did not feel any rapport with the new morning host. The new station manager decided that the morning show emphasis would be changed to focus on younger listeners. This young host seemed to be trying to mimic the popular TV and radio host Ryan Seacrest. Rather than focus on local events and happenings in the area and at the university, as Andy and Jim had done, the new guy kept us updated on the latest things going on, such as the popular TV show American Idol. He also felt the need to give the listeners in the morning a complete rundown on the TV programming scheduled for that night. I thought to myself that he was encouraging listeners to watch TV in the evenings rather than listen to WLKI!

Well, as you might expect, people who had grown up with Andy and Jim on the very popular WLKI morning show were not excited about the new manager changing their show. Their attitude was probably something like mine, and I said to my wife, "If we are interested in what is happening on American Idol, we will simply watch it. We do not need a five-minute summary on the latest bickering among the judges!" I am convinced that the new station manager had managed to upset and alienate many of his loyal morning show listeners with these changes. When I very respectfully questioned him via e-mail about these changes, he bluntly told me to find another station! This is an excellent example of a decision by the new management that made no sense. I am reminded of the old adage, "If it is not broken, do not try to fix it." The Morning Show with the team of Andy and Jim was the most popular and successful program on the radio, with thousands of highly satisfied listeners tuning in every weekday morning. Why change something that was so successful?

Chapter Two

Telephone Service

In 1966, I made a Mediterranean cruise as a naval officer on a guided missile frigate. We made several ports of call, including Naples, Italy. One day I went to the United Services Organization (USO) in Naples to try to make a telephone call back to the United States. After making the call with some assistance from one of the nice ladies working at the USO, she gave me a little information about the phone service in Italy. She explained how fortunate we were in the United States to have the best telephone service in the world. In Italy, families had to wait up to six months or longer to get telephone service in their homes. She said that the cost was so high that most Italian families could not afford a phone. The connections were so poor that it was often hard to understand what the other person said. I left the USO that day thinking how fortunate we are as Americans to be able to get high-quality, reasonably priced telephone service from the American Telephone & Telegraph Corporation (AT&T).

Little did I know at that time that a few years later our government would make radical changes in our telephone system. By 1984, the government had decided that AT&T could no longer operate and control our nation's telephone systems. AT&T was essentially broken up into smaller companies called "regional bells." These regional companies eventually evolved into such companies as Verizon Communications Inc., Qwest Communications International, and a whole host of other new players. AT&T was no longer the nation's foremost telephone communication provider.

By 1996, the government began intervening once again in the telephone industry with the passing of something called the Telecom Act. The objective of this legislation was to make the entire telecommunications industry more competitive. It essentially destroyed the once-powerful AT&T. Analysts today argue among themselves as to whether or not the corporation will even survive.

When I returned to the United States from an overseas tour of duty in 1986, I needed to apply for a new telephone in my military quarters on the naval base in Charleston, South Carolina. I found out that I had to go to some facility in one of the nearby shopping malls and use one of their phone booths to place a call to some other office (where it was, I do not know) to apply for a phone. I had to answer a whole series of questions about the telephone service I wanted, the kind of telephone I wanted, the name of my local service provider, the name of my long distance provider, and what types of extra-cost amenities I wanted. Then I had to answer another series of questions related to my credit-worthiness, where I had previously lived, the type of telephone service I had there, and so on. I spent over twenty minutes on this phone just trying to apply for a telephone! This was my first experience in trying to get service since all of the government intervention. I thought to myself how simple it had always been in the past to get new service when we made our frequent moves as a military family; all we had to do was call AT&T! Now I was subjected to over twenty minutes of interrogation and asked many questions, most of which I was ill prepared to answer.

When AT&T was providing our telephone service, we got a one-page bill each month that was very easy to read and understand. The last telephone bill I saw recently had approximately eight pages of charges. I cannot even begin to explain or list all of the various taxes, levies, and different types of charges. It is impossible to try to understand the charges for your telephone service. Several articles have been written in consumer magazines warning consumers to examine their telephone bills very carefully because some of these new companies are grossly overcharging their customers. They have made the bills so lengthy and complex that the average person has no idea what he or she is being charged.

As an example of these crazy telephone bills, consider the following notification I received in the mail from Sprint:

Dear Valued Sprint Customer: Beginning in September 2003, your bill will include a 99 cent monthly Carrier Cost Recovery Charge each month you have any Sprint long distance charges or usage activity on your bill. This charge will help Sprint recover various costs, including the costs of administering relay services for deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers, the North American Numbering Plan, other regulatory compliance items, and certain property taxes. This charge is not a tax or otherwise required by the government.

My translation of this is that Sprint has simply decided to raise my bill 99 cents a month. According to the notice, this monthly increase is to cover a multitude of costs, including something called the North American Numbering Plan. I have no earthly idea what this is!

Although some people might not agree, I am not a fan of the deregulation and the other major changes our government has enacted into law regarding our telecommunications industry. I had no complaints when AT&T was providing my telephone service. Life was much simpler in those days, and we were the envy of the world with our wonderful telephone service. Now I do not even know the name of the company that provides our service, and I have long since stopped trying to understand our complicated bill each month. I do not even look at it.

All of the government intervention into this area has made no sense. Our Congress simply gave in to political pressure from powerful lobbying groups to dissolve our beloved AT&T. There was nothing broken with our telephone system. It was the best in the world. I do not even know what description one would use to characterize our current system!

Chapter Three

Facebook Photos

According to an article that appeared in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, newspaper The Journal Gazette on July 6, 2009, the wife of the newly appointed head of Britain's highly secretive MI6 intelligence agency has posted on Facebook photographs and other personal, family details. There were pictures of the agency head posing with his children and playing with a Frisbee on a beach.

British government officials considered the posting of this information a security lapse and ordered the wife to remove it immediately. Some politicians were also upset about the release of such detailed information concerning the head of British intelligence. Details that his wife posted could possibly place her husband, as well as her family, in grave danger. The article provided no clue as to why she had posted the personal photos and other family information. Surely she knew that material such as this might be useful in the hands of those seeking to harm her family or her husband. To post this information on her Facebook page for the entire world to see certainly made no sense at all. What could she have been thinking to do something like this?

Chapter Four

Cell Phones In Church

I attend Fairview Missionary Church in Angola, Indiana. It is the largest church in the area. Normally, each Sunday there is a note in the church bulletin that requests people turn off their cell phones during the church service. The note explains the reason for this: it is disturbing and inconsiderate to others to have your cell phone go off during the service. Often the pastor will also emphasize this request as he is giving the church announcements prior to the sermon.

Although the church sanctuary is quite large, the acoustics are remarkable. You can hear people talking to one another all the way across the sanctuary. When a cell phone goes off, it can be heard more clearly than a person's voice. Of course, it disrupts the service, especially when the pastor is preaching.

Despite the constant request for worshippers to turn off their cell phones during the service, some people do not do so. Apparently they are so addicted to their cell phones that they are not willing to turn them off for even a one-hour church service! It happens all too frequently during the service: someone's cell phone will start playing. Just this past Sunday, a young man's cell phone went off two pews in front of me. Obviously embarrassed, he quickly jumped up, snatched the phone from his belt, and went running out of the service to take his call. To make matters worst, he was near the middle of his pew and had to work his way past a lot of people sitting in the pew with him.

The unwillingness of people to turn off their cell phones-or at least put them on silent mode or vibrate-in the church service is hard to understand. It makes no sense for them to disrupt the service for others trying to worship.

Chapter Five

Cell Phones and Driving

One of the most recent things that I have noticed that makes no sense is people trying to drive a truck or automobile while talking on their cell phones. I recently read an article that said some people will send and receive text messages while driving. This makes even less sense than just talking on a cell phone!

My understanding is that a few states have passed laws making it illegal to use a cell phone while driving, although it is still legal in most areas of the country. Congress has discussed passing some sort of law banning this unsafe practice; however, the lobbyists for groups such as cell phone companies and realtors have successfully prevented any action so far. Realtors argue that they must be allowed to use their cell phone, even while driving, to conduct their business.

In my opinion, driving is a full-time job requiring the use of both hands and one's complete attention to the task at hand. Hundreds of deaths on our nation's highways were attributed to cell phone use while driving. Often only a slight distraction is all that it takes to cause a serious accident. When one is driving, one has control over a four-thousand-pound missile going at a high rate of speed. Why would anybody choose to put into danger their own lives, as well as the lives of anyone traveling as a passenger, by talking or texting on a cell phone while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle? Anyone who puts himself or herself in this dangerous position is doing something that certainly qualifies as senseless.

Chapter Six

Tropicana Orange Juice

I have been drinking Tropicana orange juice all of my life. Tropicana's familiar cartons of orange juice featured a beautiful orange with a straw sticking out of it. The name "Tropicana" was written in an arch shape in big letters over the orange. The cartons had appeared this way for many years and were easily recognized at the grocery stores in the coolers along with other brands of orange juice. These symbols on the cartons represented what could be called the trademark for this product. Tropicana has for years been one of the top brands of orange juice, famous for its wonderful, wholesome taste.

Sometime in the year 2008, somebody within the Tropicana organization decided that these symbols needed to be updated. Some executive-perhaps someone in a department such as brand and marketing-made the decision that the cartons needed to be changed. Maybe some young, new, junior executive with a degree in marketing, along with a newly acquired MBA, convinced top management to make this rather bold decision to develop a new look for the cartons. At any rate, the new cartons began to appear in the supermarkets and grocery stores in early 2009.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Things That Make No Sense by KENNETH W. MEEKS Copyright © 2010 by Kenneth Meeks. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

1 RADIO STATION WLKI....................3
2 TELEPHONE SERVICE....................7
3 FACEBOOK PHOTOS....................11
4 CELL PHONES IN CHURCH....................13
5 CELL PHONES AND DRIVING....................15
6 TROPICANA ORANGE JUICE....................19
7 NEW COKE....................23
8 RYE SNACK CHIPS....................25
9 WONDER HANGER....................29
10 SURE ANTI-PERSPIRANT DEODORANT....................33
11 COLLEGE BASKETBALL HOT SHOOTERS....................37
12 THE NAVY VERSUS AIR FORCE FOOTBALL GAME....................39
13 CRAZY NCAA RULE....................43
14 DIVISION III SPRING FOOTBALL....................45
15 FOOTBALL OFFICIAL....................47
16 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PASS DEFENSE....................51
17 SPORTS PAGE ARTICLES....................53
18 SPORTS OFFICIALS....................55
19 UNIVERSITY VANS....................59
20 CHANGING CLASSROOMS....................65
21 ACCREDITATION BOARD FOR ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY....................69
22 POLICY ON SERVICE AWARDS....................73
23 CONCRETE CANOE RACES....................75
24 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY....................81
25 BUILDING RENOVATIONS....................89
26 BACK STABBERS....................93
27 ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS....................99
28 INTERSTATE EXIT NUMBERS....................107
29 INTERSTATE HIGHWAY CLOSURE IN PENNSYLVANIA....................109
30 OHIO TURNPIKE ROAD SIGNS....................111
31 FALLING ROCKS ON THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE....................113
32 NAVY NUCLEAR SUBMARINE....................119
33 THE NEW CHINESE NATION....................121
34 VIETNAM WAR EXPERIENCE....................125
35 MACARONI AND CHEESE....................131
36 TV AUDIO IN BARBECUE RESTAURANT....................135
37 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED....................139
38 BUYING A NEW JAGUAR....................141
39 AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIP CLOSURES....................147
40 U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION....................153
41 AMERICAN CONCRETE INSTITUTE....................155
42 ELECTRICITY OUTAGE....................157
43 HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION....................159
44 FORT WAYNE VETERANS HOSPITAL....................165
45 SHORTCHANGING VETERANS....................169
46 AIRPORT SECURITY SCREENING....................173
47 FAIRTAX....................177
48 MICHAEL JACKSON'S DEATH....................181
49 PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER....................183
50 NAVAL PETROLEUM AND OIL SHALE RESERVES....................185
51 CUTTING GRASS....................193
52 COMPUTERS....................199
53 PENNSYLVANIA BANK....................203
54 TECHNICAL SERVICE....................207
55 CABLE TV SERVICE....................211
56 THE RUNNING COMMODE....................217
57 MAY CROWNING....................221
56 KMART STORE CLOSING....................225
59 THE GRAND HOTEL....................229
60 SALARIES....................235

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