Bus bust: Young man panhandling on Lex/52-53 on a balmy January day. His cardboard sign appealed for “$44 more” so he could take a bus to Memphis to visit his sick mom. A man walking by stopped, read the sign as the young man seated on the sidewalk was nodding out. The passerby had some questions for the man with the sign: “Is it round trip you need? How much is the whole ticket? Did you pay anything?” Squirming, the seated man asked, “Hey, you giving me some money, or what?” The man standing replied, “Just a minute, buddy, if you didn’t order the ticket, maybe you can get it cheaper on Velocity or gotobus.com. They’ve got good prices.” Live and learn.
Google bungle: Everybody hates phone solicitations. Our only edge in avoiding them, besides not answering, is Caller ID. Not to be avoided, however, some Google solicitors have been using faux caller ID’s. Bad enough that they do that, but to use a phone with a Caller ID with the name of a hospital. That’s a bad, bad thing to do ... and does any solicitor really think that, when someone picks up a call with a hospital ID and find out it’s a Google solicitor,they are going to do anything but cut them off? I don’t know the pay arrangements Google has with its solicitors - maybe just getting someone to pick up gets you a reward - but they should come up with a better training model.
Become your dream: You’ve probably seen it and maybe wondered what it was all about. Discarded mattresses, bed frames, file cabinets, tables inscribed with the words “Become Your Dream” and a fish jumping out of water painted on it. Although I’ve never seen it myself, the furnishings and decoration have appeared on the Upper East Side over several years. Back in 2010, a young man who lived in Murray Hill blogged about it and explained how it inspired him when he first saw it on a discarded mattress and then years later when he saw it again on an old Ikea dresser. The second sighting, he blogged, had the name of the artist written next to the words and the fish: DeLaVega, as in James DeLaVega. The famous artist had been spreading his words and fish out of tank painting throughout the city for many years. On East 95th/1st and 2nd he painted a mural. It was there, as the man on the blog noted, in 2010. Don’t know if it’s still there. According to the 2010 blog, DeLaVega isn’t responsible for every “Become Your Dream” and fish drawing, but others, inspired by his words, want to spread the message and continue on.
Petco, please: I’m a big fan of Petco, particularly when there’s a 55-cent-a can sale if you buy 20 cans of Fancy Feast. Despite advice from friends to the contrary, my vet says Fancy Feast Classic is the can of choice for my Betty and Gracie, both 14, to supplement their medicinal food along with some chicken. Betty’s a diabetic. Gracie’s got renal problems. Molly, the 4-year old, is not on meds so she gets her Fancy Feast with fresh chicken. As a pet owner and human being, I’m a big fan of helping homeless animals through charitable contributions and giving to individuals who feed, foster and otherwise care for homeless and feral animals. So I’m never happy when I go to pay at Petco’s cashier and before my credit card will be approved, I’m asked on the screen, “Do you want to help a homeless pet?” Options, yes or no. Of course I want to help a homeless pet, but I don’t want Petco to do it for me. And I don’t like clicking “no” I don’t want to help a homeless pet. Can you say it nicer, Petco? Or maybe say you’ll match all contributions? Or post a sign saying how you’ll help me help a homeless pet? All good. Just keep me in the loop and don’t make me say I don’t want to help a homeless pet, okay?
Not fit to be a Burger King: 11:30 PM on a rainy Saturday night. Laden with bags from Fairway next door, a man enters Burger King on East 86th. About 10 customers at eight different tables eating. Man entering calls across to the staffer at the register (who was the supervisor) to find out how late they were open. Supervisor says “One.” Man confirms by repeating, “One.” Supervisor nods yes and holds up a finger indicating one. Man orders two burgers, fries, pie, cold drink, hot drink, and sits down with a book. Fifteen minutes later, supervisor announces that they are closing in 15 minutes. Just having finished removing food from bag and starting to eat, the man asked the supervisor why were they closing at 12 when he was told closing was at one. The supervisor waved his hand and ignored the question. As the man angrily discarded the rest of his meal and walked to the door, a staffer came to unlock the door so he could leave. The man said he didn’t understand why he would have been told that closing was at one. “Oh, he probably doesn’t know that the time was changed from one to 12 midnight,” she replied. Maybe Burger King should get rid of their late night supervisor who doesn’t know what time the place closes. And makes no accommodation for food that had to be tossed because he doesn’t know what’s happening and then is dismissive of a customer. In fast food lingo, there’s no value added to treating customers badly.