Not Always Right… Right?

Over at Not Always Right, retail workers share their best horror stories of bad, abusive, or stupid customers. (Don’t worry, there’s a companion site for lazy, stupid and ill-mannered workers as well.)

But here’s a story that had a short life on Facebook, and even though it’s now gone from the company’s website it deserves to be shared. Widely.

Liberty Bottleworks is an American company that manufactures metal bottles and tries to do so in an ethical and responsible manner. Have a look at a rant from a disgruntled customer and the response she got from the company co-founder and COO:



I would have hit “Like” a hundred times for this post if it were possible; the response from the company officer was firm, steadfast, measured, and well-deserved. I run a business or two myself, and I’ve always tried to give top-notch customer service, but this kind of douchebaggery is beyond the pale. The customer deserved to be reamed out but good.


Now, if you’re in business for yourself you probably understand why this exchange was deleted from Facebook. Right or not, deserved or not, it’s probably not the kind of thing the firm cares to dwell on or have appearing on their website on a permanent basis. But I’m sharing it here because there are far too many customers in the world who seem to think that the retail universe revolves around them, and that they have the right to be as mean, snarky, snotty, and abusive as they please without fear of retribution.

Well guess what… it just ain’t so.

Retail workers appreciate beyond measure a management that will stand up for them when customers become rude, abusive, or unreasonable. It happens, sadly, in far too few concerns. But as for me and my house, I give Liberty Bottleworks a 10/10 on the awesomeness scale, and will patronize them any time I need something they can provide, just because of this (not to mention all the other good reasons that they deserve my business.)

The Old Wolf has spoken.


“He who saves one life saves the world entire.”


On the eve of World War II, Sir Nicholas Winton organized the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia. While Sir Nicholas gives credit to many others who helped in the rescue effort and endured even greater dangers than he, the UK press dubbed him the “British Schindler.” There is no question that his efforts were pivotal in the saving of many lives.

In 1988, the BBC aired an episode of “That’s Life,” a program that fluctuated between humorous pieces and deadly serious issues. The clip below features Sir Nicholas and an entire audience of people who, directly or indirectly, owed their lives to him.

Hankies at the ready!

The Old Wolf has *snif* spoken.

The title of this post, by the way, is a quote from “Schindler’s List.” It was derived from the Talmud:  “Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”

-Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9; Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a

You defile your religion

A new statement by Taliban Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid indicates that the organization is still gunning for Malala Yousafzai, the brave young lady who defied the cowardly thugs and encouraged girls in Afghanistan to become educated, and was shot in the head for her troubles.


Shahid said, “She accepted that she attacked Islam so we we tried to kill her, and if we get another chance we will definitely kill her and that will make us feel proud. Islam prohibits killing women, but except those that support the infidels in their war against our religion,” he added.

I say the following things to someone who would feel proud for killing a young lady who wants only to raise the condition of her fellow citizens:

“Shahidullah Shahid, you are haram and apostate. You know nothing of Islam and its precepts, you have failed to understand the Qur’an that you claim to revere, and you defile the faith that you profess to uphold. You are a disgrace to good and honest Muslims everywhere.”

For one Muslim’s look at the extremist mentality, I refer you to this previous post.

Apparently, Malala is a serious contender for the Nobel Peace Prize. Nothing would please me more than to see her be awarded this recognition of her immense courage. Whether she wins or no, her bravery serves as a beacon of inspiration for young women around the world who want to better themselves, and she deserves a place of honor in the annals of history.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Johnny Depp: Mensch

Reblogged from

Johnny Depp never travels without Jack Sparrow costume


Johnny Depp never travels without his Captain Jack Sparrow costume. The 50-year-old actor often surprises sick children in hospital by arriving dressed as his character from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and makes sure he has the costume with him at all times, just in case. He told E! News: “Sometimes you go to kiddie hospitals and things like that. I’ll just sneak in and go and surprise a bunch of kiddies through the different wards…It basically turns into a two-, three-hour improvisation and it’s really fun. So I travel with Captain Jack.” However, Johnny doesn’t think he will be doing the same thing with the costume of his latest character, Tonto from The Lone Ranger as he worries it wouldn’t get through customs. He explained: “That bird going through customs is going to be weird, isn’t it?. I’ll just put a handle on top of it and it will be a handbag.” Johnny – who has two children, Lily-Rose, 14, and Jack, 11, with ex-girlfriend Vanessa Paradis – reached the milestone age of 50 on June 9 and insists he doesn’t have any problems being half a century old because he is just glad to still be alive and appreciates every day of his life. He recently said: “It’s great. I mean, I think any day you wake up and you’re still around is a good thing. Every time you could take a breath and exhale and inhale again, it’s a good thing; 50 is like, ‘Sure! Why not?’ ”

I love this guy. I can’t imagine how much happiness he has brought to so many people, especially the young. One brilliant example is helping a young lady lead a mutiny at her London school.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Bad Company / Good Company

Bad Company

“Too big to fail” apparently means “continue to screw the consumer.” Despite a rash of revelations about how big banks, most notably Bank of America, have resorted to outright criminal behavior to squeeze money from consumers, their abominable tactics continue.

A small example:

Our mortgage is with BoA (not the original lender, but mortgages are still basically hot currency and almost all are sold to other servicers as soon as they are issued). We’ve had the mortgage since March of 2011, and have always been current with the payments. The loan is actually in the name of my now-deceased mother, because I had an employment gap and banks would not even look at us despite having sufficient income.

So this month it turns out that our payment was a bit late – teaching hours have been down this last month, and Social Security doesn’t kick in until August. This morning I got a call from Bank of America; it was a dun call, and they wanted to make sure I knew there was now a late fee due, and when would the payment be made? 4 days past the due date.


Up yours, Bank of America.You don’t start dunning people if a payment is 4 days overdue. [1] It makes you look cheap, grasping, and insensitive. Oh wait, that’s what you are… my bad.


Good Company

Tales like the above are all too common these days. Corporations are looking only at the bottom line, and they couldn’t care if they lose a significant percent of their customers to increase their bottom line (I’m looking at you, Netflix.) Customer service – this is an oxymoron these days, as the level of service at most companies is bare bones, outsourced to India or the Philippines, and you’re lucky if you can get anyone on the line that knows how to solve your problem, let alone give a rat’s south-40.

Happily, there are the exceptions.

Back in 1996 we bought a living room set from the now-defunct Granite Furniture Company.

(♫ Granite’s on the railroad tracks,
Greater Savings, that’s a Fact
Buys in carload lots for you
Try the Granite, you’ll save too! ♫);



Granite Furniture Ad, Deseret News and Telegram, September 5, 1960

it’s a great set and has provided good wear for almost 20 years. Some years ago, however, one of my oldest son’s friends accidentally snapped off one of the recliner release handles on the sofa (you know who you are, Bing), and we’ve been unable to use that side of the couch as a recliner since then.

On a whim, I looked around inside and found a tag indicating that it had been made by Action Manufacturing, Inc. A bit of Googling let me to the Lane Furniture Company – apparently they either acquired them, or Action was always a subsidiary. Anyway, I dashed off a note to Lane from their website, describing the problem and giving the model and ID number of the piece. Less than a week later, I had confirmation from their service department that a new handle would be sent out to me… no cost, under warranty. I just about messed my britches in astonishment.

Today the parts arrived. Not one, but two handles… so I have a spare if another one ever breaks.


A huge shout-out to Lane Furniture for making awesome furniture, and for standing behind it for so long. Thank you, from a very happy consumer.

[1] If any of you feel tempted to leave comments about how BoA is within their legal rights, I’ll just delete said comments, and say rude things about you behind your back. Times are tough, and we need more people like George Bailey, and far fewer like Henry F. Potter.

There are more of us than there are of them.

With regards to the horrific tragedy in Boston today, Patton Oswalt said:


Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and loved ones. So many lives will never be the same as the result of senseless madness; thank you, Mr. Oswalt, for uplifting and affirming words in this moment of terrible sadness.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

I have seen The Picard

A friend of mine posted a link on FB to the “Civil Rights” speech of Jean-Luc Picard found in “The Drumhead.” The words quoted were:

You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a schoolboy: ‘With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured…the first thought forbidden…the first freedom denied–chains us all irrevocably.’ Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom…and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.”

In response, another individual posted the video below, a compilation of some of the most awesome things that Patrick Stewart was given to say over the course of the show:

It’s hard to find sufficient words to express how much I love that collection of quotes – it admirably illustrates why I still love ST:TNG with all my heart.

(Returning to reality for a minute, a large hat tip is owed to the writers who put those words into Patrick Stewart’s mouth; you can’t come up with ideas like that unless they are part of your own psyche, so my thanks to the awesome men and women who crafted these episodes and gave Sir Patrick such stirring lines to say. Now back to your regularly-scheduled fantasy.)

Now let it be said that Patrick Stewart is not Jean-Luc Picard – despite his massive popularity in that rôle, he’s an accomplished Shakespearean actor, a knight of the realm, and has a wicked and irreverent sense of humor. But he’s also a pretty awesome human being.

Speaking of his experiences as a child, Stewart said,

“Our house was small, and when you grow up with domestic violence in a confined space you learn to gauge, very precisely, the temperature of situations. I knew exactly when the shouting was done and a hand was about to be raised – I also knew exactly when to insert a small body between the fist and her face, a skill no child should ever have to learn. Curiously, I never felt fear for myself and he never struck me, an odd moral imposition that would not allow him to strike a child. The situation was barely tolerable: I witnessed terrible things, which I knew were wrong, but there was nowhere to go for help. Worse, there were those who condoned the abuse. I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”

So on stage and off, in character or not, the following expresses how I feel, allowing the character to stand for the man:


The Old Wolf has spoken.

Clara Luper

Clara Luper, an Oklahoma history teacher, ordered thirteen Cokes at Katz Drugstore in Oklahoma City on August 19, 1958 for herself and twelve children, ages 6 to 17. Lunch counters in Oklahoma, like much of the South, were segregated. This wasn’t just a request for drinks, but a request for civil rights.

Waitresses ignored them. Other patrons did not: leaving the restaurant, pouring drinks on them, cursing at them.  The group left after a few hours without their drinks. They returned the next day and were served their Cokes, and burgers, too.

“Within that hamburger was the whole essence of democracy.” – Clara Luper

Note: This took place a year and a half before the much more famous sit-in at the Greensboro (NC) Woolworth’s on February 1, 1960. Luper would continue her fight to desegregate public spaces in Oklahoma City. She was arrested 26 times between 1958 and the passage of Oklahoma law to desegregate. (Passed two days after the Civil Rights Act.)


Found at Frog Blog