Tuesday’s Tirade

Even though I have not been really doing this for long, I thought I would try out something new called, Tuesday’s Tirade. I figured a lot of Monday people are already generally cranky, so no need to anger that group even more. Wednesdays are out for me, because it’s typically known as hump day and therefore, as far as I am concerned should not include anything negative. Thursdays and Fridays don’t work for me either, because any negativity this close to the weekend is just plain wrong, so Tuesday it is. And, instead of going with Tuesdays rant I will go with Tuesdays tirade in keeping with you folks that like a little alliteration… hmmm, try and say that 10 times fast.


Paid In Full

I saw something the other day that just about sent me over the edge. We received a bill from our water delivery service at work that included; “Paper printing costs – $1” Further down was a fuel charge for $3. I suppose I should just shut up and pay. This is an outright form of legalized extortion. Just to clarify, extortion is demanding and obtaining something through force, but it is also making somebody endure something unpleasant, and this? This fits the bill.

Typically we are all used to complaining about bank service charges for service that is almost non-existent, but paper printing costs? Really? What’s next? Oh, I know. How about an extra service charge levied against my extra water use when I need to do a double flush. We’ll just call it the BS charge. Oh, sorry if I planted a displeasing image in your head.

I understand that printer ink is expensive, but I do not go around charging my clients extra for my ink use. Then again, banks, utility, and cable companies and the like are asking us to agree to have our bills sent electronically, otherwise we will be charged a yes, you guessed it – a “Paper Billing Fee” – which is usually around $2 per client. But yet a ream of paper of 500 sheets typically costs about $9 bringing the cost to about $0.18 per sheet. Somebody is getting hosed here. So if we use their paper, we pay and if we use our paper and ink if we need to print these bills, we pay for it. Perhaps we could start billing these companies for our paper and ink use. What do you think?

A service charge by any other name is still a service charge. It is generally agreed that it is a fee added to an amount already paid for a particular service or product. These extra charges have been veiled under numerous terms. In the past I have had to pay value added fees, service charges, eco-fees, administration fees, recycling fees, paper printing costs, fuel charges, late payment charges, account maintenance fees, overdue fees, annual fees, improvement fees, and last but certainly not least are “Inactivity fees” incurred when there is, well, no activity on your account. In this last case I was being charged for nothing.

I don’t know about you, but I think in the past couple of years I personally could have charged a no activity fee to someone, anyone who was willing to pay for my laziness. Or for on those days when my synapses were not connecting leaving me staring at a blank page leading me into a downward spiral of procrastination. Inactivity fees levied all over the place.

And, if airports can charge me an “Airport Improvement Fee” every time I fly, then why can I not charge everyone on the planet a Lynn King Improvement Fee. After all, I have quit smoking and started an exercise program, and that can only result in a reciprocal function, wherein a better me results in a better you, don’t you agree?

To pay your Lynn King improvement fee, just show me your inactivity fee and we’ll call it even. Bill paid in full.

Just One Foot in Front of the Other

The New Year’s Resolution Run has come and gone, and I ran it. Rather, I walked and ran it. Fitting, because technically it was a walk/run, but I think they meant you to choose either walking or running, and not both. However, I don’t think race organizers ever have a problem with the walk/run group of people that I currently belong.

It was a bitter -24° Celsius with the wind chill. Of course I had made it worse by thinking the wind chill temperature, caused by my extremely fast running, is actually lower. Did I say I walked and ran? It was more of a walk/shuffle thing with me. In my case, my ability to move from point A to point B rarely (read never) produces an atmosphere conducive to extremely fast running, let alone falling wind chill temperatures.

Laboured breathing, lungs that seemed like they were on the verge of freezing, seemingly glacial temperatures, and thinking that I just need to keep moving one foot in front of the other. The alternative would be if I slowed down too often frostbite might set in. You’d think I was trying to run on Mars or something.

What was I thinking wanting to start running in winter? This whole thing did seem like a good idea a few months ago. Part of the problem is that I did all my training indoors on a treadmill. Probably not such a good idea when your “fun run” takes place in the December climates of Quebec City. And really, who called this thing a “fun run” anyway? At this time of year in Arctic like cold conditions, it’s more of an extreme run… without the distance. I think calling this a fun run is kind of a misnomer. Of course it is all relative.

And relatively speaking, the course was just five kilometres, but to me it felt like it would never end. I completed it in 45 minutes. Was I disappointed in my time? How could I be? I was only too happy to be finished and able to finally go inside. Also, my time mattered only in that, I knew that this being my first 5K I would be setting a personal best. I also know that since I am just starting back in the running game, after a long hiatus, I could be possibly be setting personal bests for some time. Things will only get better.

Of course there is an upside to all of this. I got off the couch and I finished. One of the last few in the pack of runners, but I finished. My next goal is to complete a five-kilometre run without stopping. That would be something. Little steps. For now that is all I take, just one foot in front of the other.