Rant Warning: When Was the Last Time You Ate?

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costco samples

It has been a while since I had a good rant, and I would like to credit my blogging buddy, Mr. 1500, for getting my creative rant juices flowing. Like him, I am a very observant person. You could ask Mrs. Frugal Rules and she’d likely say that I am TOO observant, but alas, being so observant means I often see things that make me wonder what on earth some people are thinking and why they do the things they do. While it’s easy for me to notice many things that puzzle me, it also means that I often notice things that warm my heart. For instance, as I type this, I notice the two oldest Frugal Rules in a bubble fight that is making the littlest Frugal Rule squeal with delight. For today’s post though, I’ll be focusing on the things that more so drive me nuts.

I know that I have written about this before, but haven’t people eaten for the past two weeks before they step foot in a Costco? I mean, seriously people, must you line up and clog the aisles to get your mitts on a half inch square of fake bacon (or facon as I refer to it) or a spoonful of yogurt? I like to get something free like everyone else, but if you’re THAT hard up then maybe you shouldn’t be spending the money for a Costco membership. Getting the sample is one thing, but if 10-15 people are already standing in line for the free whatever, for the love of Pete move on so the rest of us can get by!

I love my kids and will do anything for them. Any parent of a little one will know they love and crave repetition. However, that repetition can be a bear to deal with. Case in point, if I hear the theme song from Jake and the Neverland Pirates humming on our Netflix one more time I may pull whatever little bit of hair I have out of my head.

HostGator…oh HostGator! If you weren’t aware, half of the internet was broken last Friday. Sadly, the issue was spread amongst many different hosting companies – HostGator, Bluehost, JustHost, etc. – all companies under the umbrella of Endurance International Group, or EIG for short. Now, I know that things like this happen and expect that to a certain extent. Having it happen is one thing, but being in the dark about it is another. My problem isn’t so much with the outage, but with the complete lack of communication on HG’s part. I would understand it if they were a one man shop, but they’re a huge company that provides hosting services for hundreds of thousands of sites. Is it really that difficult to communicate with your clientele during serious outages to give updates as to what is being done? Isn’t there a group of people that can man Twitter or send out group emails with updates as to what is going on? Apparently there’s not, and as a result, many of us with HG went hours on Friday not knowing when our sites would come back up. It makes me wonder just how many employees were needed to reinstall the plug that apparently had been pulled! Or, just how many clients HostGator thinks it can jam on its servers. As someone who earns income off their site, it was incredibly frustrating. As a business owner, it made me wonder just how many clients they would be losing as a result of their lack of care and concern. Thankfully I’ve found another hosting service that we’ll be moving our sites to in the very near future. My new host treats server traffic like an 8-lane freeway on a Sunday afternoon and not the 5 in Los Angeles at 5 p.m. on the Friday before a holiday weekend. I’ll cut this short so it doesn’t become a HG hatefest! 🙂

Why is everything “newsworthy” always “Breaking News” and why on earth is it forced down our throats for weeks ad nauseum? You’d think that by watching any of the major news stations there was only one thing happening in the world, but they’d rather not cover the real news. Thus, why I get more and more of it from NPR.

I know that everyone is busy, but is a little time management that difficult to undertake? What chafes my hide is someone showing up to a meeting and getting no notice or apology. Happening once or twice is one thing, but if you’re regularly doing it then it’s time to shape up. Oh, and that smart phone you have your nose buried in…it likely has multiple clocks on it.

We have a stretch of road outside of Omaha that has been under construction for over five years. In all my years of driving it I have yet to see anyone working on it. I have driven on it at all times of day and night and there is never anyone there, yet they have cones all over the place and the speed limit is cut down to 50 mph. Government inefficiency at its highest. Maybe they could throw some money our way and fix some of the axle breaking potholes in the city…just a thought. 😉

Why in the hell do airlines overbook so much?! I understand they want a full flight, but when you oversell dozens of tickets it gets a little out of hand. My youngest brother flew out here a few weeks ago and was told he was on standby even though he had bought the ticket three months prior. He got bumped to a later flight and ended up arriving at 3 a.m. Thanks United, I wanted to stay up all night!

I know grocery shopping can be crazy, especially if you’re with kids. But, why on earth do some people find the need to stop and camp out in the middle of the freaking aisle for minutes at a time? If you need to find something, I get that, but do us all a favor and pull over to the side so others can get by.

The Home Shopping Network. We have a certain family member who sends us crap all the time and that’s exactly what 95% of it is. Thanks to being inundated with this crap we’ve gotten put on all sorts of mailing lists which just get thrown instantly into the recycling bin. It’s not all bad though, we’ve sold a number of said items on Craigslist and made a little bit of coin off of it.

Why do some people find the need to email bomb you to death? We know someone who sends us easily 10+ emails/forwards a day. Apparently, Obama has myriads of “secret” tax plans, there really are three families ruling the entire world, and Bigfoot has been cited…and he’s mating with Nessie…aka the Loch Ness Monster.

Captcha that requires a PhD in hieroglyphics to decipher. Enough said!

Oh, the inventor of the double Captcha should be shot!


What have you observed lately that drives you nuts?


Photo courtesy of: Mark Krynsky

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

Latest posts by John Schmoll (see all)


  • Leslie Beslie says:

    Actually, the inventor of the double captcha, well specifically Google’s reCaptcha, is brilliant.

    I’ll sum it up a little. First, even though there are two words, you only need to get one correct to submit the form – that word is the actual captcha to prove you’re a human. The other word is a brilliant way to take advantage of a task people are already doing (typing out scanned words) and using that for the greater good, in this case to help digitize print media (ala Project Gutenberg).

    From the link: “reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read by computers to the Web in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher. More specifically, each word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is placed on an image and used as a CAPTCHA. ”

    There have been thousands/millions of print media (books/newspapers/articles) scanned in and pdfs created through OCR but sometimes the scanner recognition gets it wrong. So they still need humans to type the words and correct it. Since you’re already typing a captcha word, the creator figured why not throw one of these OCR words in there that can help us digitize this stuff faster. It can be wrong and that shouldn’t affect you submitting the form.

    Obviously this is why the captcha word is usually: “Zh2kL” and the second word is more like: “bloom”. That is a real word from a real text! Once I learned all that, I thought it was amazing and I love being a part of it. Hopefully this will give you some insight so you’ll be less grumpy about it πŸ™‚

    • Troy says:

      Oh wow I didn’t even know that. That’s really neat! But if they need to show the word for us to type it, doesn’t that mean they already know what the second word is? Why would they need us to type it?

      • Leslie Beslie says:

        Troy, The words it shows are ones that the OCR software could not understand; it alerts you when a word cannot be interpreted.

        Here’s straight from the site:
        “Each word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is placed on an image and used as a CAPTCHA. This is possible because most OCR programs alert you when a word cannot be read correctly.”

        “Each new word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is given to a user in conjunction with another word for which the answer is already known. The user is then asked to read both words. If they solve the one for which the answer is known, the system assumes their answer is correct for the new one. The system then gives the new image to a number of other people to determine, with higher confidence, whether the original answer was correct.”

    • John says:

      That’s interesting Leslie, I did not know any of that and it does not surprise me one bit that Google was involved.

      That said, I must be hitting the sites that require the second one to be correct as well. I know HootSuite is that way and it drives me nuts. πŸ™‚

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Haha these are great! My most recent rant is this: why do some people feel the need to whistle/make noise in their cube all. day. long. Why?!? Don’t they realize we have a fairly open office environment and it just maybe drives others crazy?

    • John says:

      Oh, I remember that one. It drove me bonkers. Being in a cube is bad enough, but listening to people make inane noises makes it even worse.

  • Catherine says:

    Haha oh John. I love this. I. Also looking into switching hosts and TOTALLY understand the grocery aisle rant is for people who smoke in crowds. In this city iy is illegal to smoke in public spaces yet walking to work on a very busy streey there were 2 people smoking in front of me. Barf. Also morons who smoke with a stroller with a kid in it. AHHHHHH!

    • John says:

      I hate the smoking as well. I try to be understanding as I know it can be an addiction, but man does it bother my eyes.

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life says:

    Excellent rants! I agree with almost all of them. Thanks for starting my Wednesday off with a little humor.

  • cashrebel says:

    Its good to know that the internet was broken for other people as well. Seriously, how hard is it to send an email? I thought I broke something and was trying to fix it!

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    Ha! Great rant!

    I agree about free samples. People act like they’re starving or something just to get a tiny ramekin of yogurt. My kids LOVE free samples like they are some sort of special treat! =)

    • John says:

      I agree Holly. Sometimes I just want to stop and ask someone when their last meal was, but my wife stops me.

      Our kids love the samples as well, though we’re slowly weaning them off of them.

  • pauline says:

    I have given up with captcha. But the worst one is the one on Blogger, with two pictures, and then you have to put your details all the time because the site can’t remember it. Those I just read on RSS and unless it is your best post of the quarter I don’t bother saying hi.

    • John says:

      Oh…I HATE those Pauline! I do the same basic thing. It shouldn’t take jumping through all sorts of hoops to leave a comment.

  • MonicaOnMoney says:

    Lol! I know Costco is just crazy on the weekends especially. I’ll try a sample or two as I walk by but I know what you mean! And really, is shopping at Costco really frugal anyway? It can be if you’re stocking up on toothpaste or something you’ll really use. But do I really need 96 fruit roll ups?

    • John says:

      It is crazy on the weekends! You can be frugal at Costco – it just requires you being vigilant about what you’re buying and not falling for all of their “deals”.

  • Matt Becker says:

    Haha, the huge lines for the Costco samples fascinate me as well. We love going because my son gets incredibly excited for all the different samples now, but if there’s a line for something we just walk past and come back to it later. Nothing there is really that special.

  • Kostas says:

    Great rant for what it is worth, I especially enjoyed the bit about people camping in the middle of aisles. Gets me crazy every single time I go shopping!

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    LOL, the airline part reminds me of Jerry Seinfield’s rant to the car rental gal: “Sir, we know why we take the reservations.” “Apparently, you DON’T know why you take the reservations”. πŸ™‚ Great rant, John. I always feel like you’re venting on my behalf when you write these. πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Ha ha, GREAT Seinfeld addition Laurie! Yes, it’s exactly like that! Glad I could channel my inner Laurie. πŸ˜‰

  • Sean @ OneSmartDollar says:

    I can’t stand when there are a ton of people waiting for samples. I will admit I love them, but if they are not available I will continue to do my shopping and circle back and look again later.

  • Michelle says:

    Haha love this post! I don’t know what’s up with all of the hosting problems lately.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    This rant is hilarious and one that I can definitely relate to. I hate grocery shopping with a passion. People suck at having any shopping etiquette whatsoever. I’m always having people cut in front of me in lines, etc. And you know what I hate? The MATH captchas. Just put a check box!

    • John says:

      I agree Daisy, there is little in terms of shopping etiquette and it seems like they’re always shopping at the same time I am. πŸ˜‰ Yes, PLEASE just have a check box!

  • Thomas | Your Daily Finance says:

    Great rant John! i guess once they are done at Costco they move the darn party over to Sam’s! The captcha is crazy and who has time to figure this crap out. Yeah and these hosting companies buy five different names and you think you smart moving from one to the next and they own all of them. Go figure! Whats been driving me nuts is people speeding like crazy to pass one damn car only to be side by side at the stop light. Cmon if you already late for work you should have left on time!

    • John says:

      Oh, I hate that too Thomas. I always just have to laugh when I see that. I like to shoot a glare at them, but my wife usually stops me short. πŸ™‚

  • Alexa says:

    I noticed that half of the internet was down last week too. I use GoDaddy and have not had a single problem. One of my big pet peeves is people who bring their gigantic coupon binders in the grocery store and park their carts in front of stuff I am trying to get to while looking through their coupons for 15 minutes. I am not against couponing but I am against people who don’t have respect for others. Get out of the damn way!

    • John says:

      Yea, I am not a fan of those either. Is it really THAT difficult to bring the coupons you want to use as opposed to a novel?!

  • No Waste says:

    It’s a dicey proposition, picking the right checkout lane that is.

    You’re playing Russian Roulette with your cold and frozen items..

    Will THAT person have coupons and challenge every other price?

    Will THAT person realize they forgot fourteen things and be “right back”?

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    Well John, I have been looking forward to this rant since last Friday. I knew it was coming and you delivered my friend. Nice work. I can agree with all of these. I know the reason behind the double captcha and I think it is pretty neat and you only have to submit the one word to get it to work. Still, pain in the ass.

  • Keren says:

    I’m not sure this comment field will allow the mass amount of rants I could post right now. My biggest rant would be about people who are completely negative about every facet of their lives. Every single thing is a problem and needs to be complained about. To me. Near me. Around me. Shut up people! You’re alive, breathing, and seemingly healthy!

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor says:

    I’d like to line up along with your double Captcha inventor the regulator who mandated the beep-beep-beep alarm on trucks and heavy equipment in reverse. I wonder how many people have been driven insane by the beeping cacophony from a construction project near their home! Probably far more than the number saved because they heard the beep and jumped out of the way of the bulldozer!

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    Well since my Internet is still down and I’m becoming more and more nearsighted from typing on my phone, I could start there but I’ll include the very fake “I’m so sorry about….. That you get whenever you call the Internet provider. No you are not sorry. Just ask how you can help me and stop saying you’re sorry.

    • John says:

      Sorry the internet is still out for you Kim, I hope they get it fixed soon. And, yes, I hate the fake apologies as well – just tell me what you’re going to do about it already!

  • Budget and the Beach says:

    “Captcha that requires a PhD in hieroglyphics to decipher. Enough said!” OMG I know! I really hate it when I have to fill these out. But I try to remind myself that the fact that I reading this on a mac tower (1 of 2 of my mac computers) is making capthca a first world problem. lol! But since we are on a pet peeve roll, I hate it when people throw their cigarettes out the window of a car or just toss it on the ground. I mean do they not think that’s littering. I once yelled at a guy at yosemite national park for tossing it on the ground when there was a smoker’s garbage can three feet away. He was stunned and went and picked it up. lol! GOOD!

    • John says:

      That drives me nuts as well Tonya! It happens a lot more here in Omaha than it did in San Diego, My wife still gets upset about it because of the risk it poses in SoCal for fire risks. Just use an ash tray people!

  • Karin Mitchell says:

    I hate people who let their dog do its business and then do not clean it up. Do I want to step in it or clean up my child’s shoes when they step in it, or even worse, their hands when they fall?

    • John says:

      Oh, I hate that as well! We have it happen in our yard a lot because we’re on a corner lot. Sometimes I’ll just stare out the window when I see someone allowing their dog to do their business to make sure they take care of it. Thanks for stopping by Karin!

  • Nick @ says:

    Sorry about the hosting troubles John! That sort of thing drives me crazy and I don’t even make any money off of my site!

  • Shannon@EatLaughPUrr says:

    Great rant, John! I’ve worked with people who went to Costco for lunch … i.e. eat all the free samples they could! It is frustrating when the lines make it hard to maneuver around. Their samples aren’t THAT great. πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear about your hosting problems. I noticed that a ton of sites were down last Friday. It is strange that such a huge company doesn’t have any easy way to communicate with their clients. I’ve experienced downtime too but they’ve always been good about communicating at least.

    • John says:

      We have a few friends that do the same thing Shannon and I just don’t get it. They make good money, but still feel the need to go get “free food” at Costco 1-2 times per week. I agree, it seems as if it wasn’t a priority for them – which will likely cost them customers as a result.

  • jacob | iHeartBudgets says:

    ~golf clap~ Well done, sir. Well done. I couldn’t agree more, especially the starving Costco crowd. I mean, there’s like freaking $1,50 footlong hotdogs on the freaking way in. Just buy one and get over it!!!!

    And the bluehost thing sucked. Especially because I wrote a 5-year-anniversary piece I wanted to surprise my wife with, and everytime I tried to load it for her, IT WAS FREAKING DOWN! Ugh. Let me know what hosting you’re going with, I’m thinking of possibly switching as well.

    • John says:

      Thanks Jacob! And yes, if people are really THAT hungry, they can go for the nasty $1.50 hotdog that could feed small village!

      Yes, Friday was a massive cluster! From what I can tell, the hoster I’ll be moving to is much better than the current one. I’m going to be moving to BigScoots which is much smaller but seem to offer great service.

  • Lindsey @ Sense & Sensibility says:

    I completely understand what you mean about Hostgator. I abandoned ship with Bluehost two weeks ago for very similar reasons. And like you said, it’s the communication thing. Would it kill them to just update Twitter with a few useful facts and timelines? Apparently. Good luck with your new webhost company.

  • anna says:

    LMAO, I loved this!! I completely agree with people taking up the whole aisle (or going mosey speed and taking up the center so you can’t veer right or left without saying excuse me… I despise mosey speed!!). My biggest complaints are when people are on their cell phone and crossing the street mosey speed – I get that it’s your turn to cross, but have a tiny bit of courtesy and at least speed up so people can turn right! I also don’t understand when people talk while in the public bathroom stall – I don’t really need to know that you’re SO over him (plus, it’s just really gross).

    • John says:

      Ha ha – mosey speed. I have a new favorite term! Yes, I agree, I don’t need to hear what’s going on in your personal life while you do your business. πŸ™‚

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses says:

    Ooo I heard about the Host Gator crisis. What hosting services are you going to go with next time if you don’t mind me asking?

    • John says:

      Yes, it was a mess! I believe that I’ll be moving to Big Scoots. They’re smaller and seem offer great service.

  • Todd @ AllThingsFinance says:

    John thanks so much for writing about HostGator’s communication deficiencies! We are close to a move as well. You should include who you are planning on moving on to!

  • Kyle | says:

    I love a good rant….so I really appreciate this post John. I have to throw out the name MediaTemple as a solid hosting alternative, I have had them for years and they are never down and have good customer service.

  • Mackenzie says:

    Always a fan of your rants, John!

    The Costco sample thing is really ridiculous. People will wait as long as possible to get a sample that resembles an inedible hot pocket. Unbelievable…. πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Thanks Mackenzie!

      I agree, it is ridiculous. Do you really need to wait around to get some piece of fried crap that’ll cost you $20 to buy anyway?

  • Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) says:

    LOL these are my favorite posts of yours! I was JUST complaining about stupid captcha codes to hubs. I was like, the next one I see, I’m unsubscribing!

  • Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa says:

    I love reading a good rant! It makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one who goes on huge rants.

  • jefferson @SeeDebtRun says:

    I am sure you feel better after getting that out. πŸ™‚

    I have definitely noticed that some folks try to get their whole lunch at the Costco sample tables.
    Drives me crazy as well..

    • John says:

      Yes I do Jefferson! πŸ™‚

      Yes, taking one sample is one thing…a whole meal – that’s just sheer craziness.

  • Mr. 1500 says:

    Nice ones!

    I’m telling you, someday there will be a Taquito stampede at Costco and someone is gonna get hurt!

    • John says:

      Thanks Mr. 1500, though I fear I can’t match up to you though. πŸ™‚

      Lol, Taquito stampede…I am going to use that sometime.

  • Derek Chamberlain with says:

    I got caught up in the BlueHost issues the other day. It freaked me out for a while until I realized it was their whole system. Hopefully it doesn’t happen that often.

    Great rant!

  • Cara Lyn Erickson says:

    Spot on! I totally agree about the food samples at Costco! You’d think those people couldn’t afford their own groceries with the way they line up for those things. My dad is totally one of them though… he goes on Saturdays and makes laps getting all of the samples so that he gets free lunch. Haha! Ridiculous!

    Thanks for submitting to the make me laugh blog carnival hosted at ChickenScratch today!

    • John says:

      I KNOW! We see people here and you’d think they were destitute with how many of the samples they take it. Oh well, it’s get fodder for a laugh.

  • Prudence Debtfree says:

    I’m going to take a risk and challenge you: What about the idea that nothing and no one has the power to upset you unless you give it permission to do so? Is it possible to observe all of these things without becoming irate? May there be many more bubble fights among the young Frugal Rules to warm your heart! And may they dissipate the annoyance of the less charming things you observe.

    • John says:

      Thank you for your comment Prudence. You know what, you’re right. πŸ™‚ However, I think you overlooked the tongue in cheek tone of most of the post though. πŸ˜‰ Very few things in life truly make me irate – many things make me question the “why” behind the action – like near stampeding for a half taquito or mozzarella stick at Costco out of fear that you may not eat for another three weeks – but few things make me irate. πŸ™‚

      • Prudence Debtfree says:

        I did miss the tongue in cheek! I thought you were seriously peeved. I clearly have to work on my powers of discernment. If you had added some of those smiley faces in your post, I would have figured it out : )

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