Category Archives: Rant

A tale of a few clothing stores

There are a few stores in my town where I have recently bought clothes. Three are in the same shopping center and one is closer to the downtown area. I’ve written about one of the stores at the shopping center before — that one is my favorite. I like all three though, and like the parking situation.

Those stores have people who work in them that are kind, honest, empathetic and non-critical. They help me find exactly what I am looking for and tell me if something is not exactly right for me. They also at least recognize that I shop there often.

The store nearer downtown is a different story, and I’ve spent my last dollar there. I’d noticed it years ago, but since it seemed to only sell underwear, I never went it. Finally, though, when I saw a sign outside mentioning Cut Loose, one of my favorite brands of clothing, I stopped in. The front of the store holds tops and the back of the store has a rack of jeans — one brand I like is featured there (NYDJ). The rest of the store has underwear and pajamas.

I have found a couple of items that I really liked and wear there — a pair of jeans and a top. I prefer it when no one helps me, when I can look through the store on my own and decide if I like something or not. However, usually either the owner helps me or her associate does. Once I had both helping me when I was trying on bras. They also grabbed a bunch of tops for me to try on and exclaimed how wonderful they all looked on me. I ended up buying a number of tops, plus the bra that day. At one point during my fitting, one of the woman suggested I exercise. I’d never had anyone tell me that (except doctors and my kids and husband). I was offended, but still purchased the items.

Of the items I bought that day, the only thing I’ve worn much is the bra. I keep trying on one item, but it just is not me. The others, well, I have worn them once or twice, but they are not me either.

I’ve continued to go to the store, sometimes buying items, usually not. The most recent visit was my last though. I’d been to lunch with a friend, and parked in the parking lot where this store is located. I figured I had some time left on my parking stub, so went to check out what was on sale. The owner was there and asked if I’d shopped there before — I was masked, so I understand that she didn’t recognize me, but when I dropped my mask, she still didn’t. That’s okay. She asked my size, and pointed me to what she called cute tops in the front. I found nothing cute, in fact everything was pretty tacky.

I mentioned that the jeans I were wearing (same brand as they carry) were size 4. She told me they were too long. I countered that I liked my pants long and she argued if they were shorter they could be rolled up to become capris.

Anyway, I’ll stick to the nicer and easier (and free) parking shopping center stores and forget this one exists.

WordleBot is a smug, pompous, conceited botsplainer

Sure, after I finish playing Wordle I do not have to check WordleBot’s egotistical analysis of my daily attempts but I do anyway. Call it hopeful (maybe WordleBot will praise me) or maybe self-destructive (WordleBot often shames me for not using the same guesses as it does), but I check in with WordleBot about 95% of the time. The only times I don’t check is when I’ve made a very stupid guess.

The NYT WordleBot introduction page has this to say about WordleBot:

“WordleBot is a tool that will take your completed Wordle and analyze it for you. It will give you overall scores for luck and skill on a scale from 0 to 99 and tell you at each turn what, if anything, you could have done differently — if solving Wordles in as few steps as possible is your goal.”

Josh Katz and Matthew Conlen, New York Times

The thing is, WordleBot never loses. But WordleBot doesn’t play the hard version either. It’s always using words that do not have the letters previously uncovered. I always play the hard version.

Another gripe I have with WordleBot is that it’s happy to give me positive reinforcement if I do worse than it, but if I get the correct word in fewer tries than WordleBot it tells me I was very lucky. Not “Congratulations, you beat me!” but more like “Eh, lucky guess.”

Today, for instance, I guessed the correct word in two tries. WordleBot guessed it in three. Here’s what WordleBot had to say:

“You got it! But, with 10 solutions still to choose from, this was a very lucky guess.”

WordleBot July 19, 2022

I am not alone in my criticism of WordleBot. Back in April (before I knew about WordleBot), Christopher Livingston over at PC Gamer wrote an amusing article with an equally amusing title, The official Wordle companion bot is here to tell you how bad you are at Wordle. Also in April, Mashable’s Cecily Moran wrote NYT’s new ‘WordleBot’ will passive-aggressively insult your strategy. Finally, Alice O’Connor, associate editor at Rock Paper Scissors wrote an article about WordleBot called Wordle’s official WordleBot analysis make me feel even more foolish.

Why is it so difficult to leave positive feedback?

Complaining is easier than complimenting. At least for one company and at least in my (recent) experience.

Yesterday morning was rainy — not raining necessarily, but moist and the ground was wet. I was also expecting a delivery of flour. I was keeping an eye out for the FedEx delivery truck while I went about my day for two reasons, the first was because I was hoping the delivery would arrive by noon since I needed to make some bread and was out of an ingredient that was in the order. The other reason was because of the rainy day. I worried that the delivery person would toss the package on the porch and the bottom of the package would become damp which could then seep into the flour.

The doorbell rang around 11:30 am and when I answered the door, saw my package leaning up against the house so only one edge touched the wet porch. I was so happy with the delivery I immediately called FedEx to provide positive feedback. I was on the phone for half an hour, with someone who at first didn’t understand that I was not complaining, but complimenting. When he seemed to understand this, he didn’t know what to do, so asked a supervisor. The supervisor was no help, so after some long waits on the phone the FedEx help person said they’d call me back “within an hour”.

The call never came and meanwhile I turned to Twitter where I followed FedEx’s help feed and posted the following:

“a delivery containing flour was delivered on a rainy day. The FedEx delivery person did everything right: rang the doorbell, placed package near the house and tilted so only a small edge touched the (not covered) porch. How can I make sure he knows I appreciate it?”

It’s 23 hours later and no one has replied but since my message they’ve replied to at lease 350 tweets — I got tired of counting.

I get it, but it’s frustrating when you want to provide positive feedback and there seems to be no way to do that.