Letters to the Editor 02-11-14

PAYING FOR THE PRIVILEGE?
Mark Twain’s infamous character, Tom Sawyer, in the book, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” was being punished by his Aunt Polly for some mischievous misdeed by being required to paint the fence. Tom despised painting the fence, especially when all the neighborhood kids were enjoying the beautiful day.
So, clever and resourceful Tom devises a plan. In a brilliant stroke of marketing genius, he not only persuades his friends to paint the fence for him, he actually gets them to pay him for the “privilege” of doing his work!
Now, before you shake your head and snicker at the naive gullibility of Tom’s friends, consider this: Tom’s little ploy is virtually the same trick that today’s retailers have played on us, their unsuspecting customers, with the introduction of “self-checkout'” stations.
We customers, tired of waiting in long lines to check out at woefully understaffed major discount retailers, grocery stores, etc., are now flocking to the self-service lanes, where we scan and bag our own purchases, all in the hopes of making a speedier exit from the store.
Retailers are attempting to cut costs by hiring fewer cashiers to operate the registers and, instead, have installed these self-checkout stations that allow customers to act as their own cashiers and baggers. In effect, they have utilized the Tom Sawyer deception to hoodwink customers into paying them for the privilege of doing the retailer’s work for them!
Think about it. When you use a self-checkout station, the store doesn’t pay you, or even offer you a discount on purchases, while you are performing the same job the cashier is doing at a nearby checkout counter. Yes, the tradeoff is supposed to be a quicker checkout experience, but that appears to be an empty promise since customers usually end up waiting for an attendant to assist them with some malfunction, or when purchasing some “restricted” item requiring a manual override.
Where will this all end? Who knows? If this trend continues, someday the oil companies will probably even figure out how to con us into pumping our own gasoline, and paying them for the experience.
Kurt W. LaRue
Findlay

DON’T CITE FOR FAILURE TO CONTROL
It is rumored that we will be getting another snowstorm soon. My question is, where are they going to place all of this snow?
I have a small car and my visibility is hampered due to the high piles of snow. If the piles of snow get any higher, then many other drivers may have the same difficulty. It is especially a problem at intersections when you have to inch out to see if the coast is clear and hope you do not get hit.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone would invent a vehicle that would blow hot air out the sides and bottom and melt all of the snow as it travels down the road? Then the melted snow could run down the drains now, before the rains come and cause more flooding.
Another thing I’m not too happy about is all of these weather-related accidents that receive citations for failure to control. I don’t think it is right.
The people do not deliberately wreck their cars when they lose control because of ice and snow, causing damage to trees and poles as well as other vehicles. I can remember when accidents of this type were chalked up as weather-related and the person with the wrecked car was not further punished with a large fine.
Believe me, it is scary!
I had such an accident years ago on an icy road that had a sideways dip in it, and suddenly I was flying into a fence and trees. I made the mistake of hitting the brake when I started skidding and I went faster. The sheriff came out and he didn’t charge me with reckless driving.
It cost me enough in repairs to have my car operating again. My husband repaired the fence and that’s all that was asked. The insurance should cover the costs of repairs. They (insurance companies) charge more than enough to the public every year, even if you never have an accident. That’s why they are so wealthy.
People shouldn’t be charged an additional fee when they are not at fault due to weather conditions.
Rachel Kingery
Findlay

COMPANY GIVES COMMUNITY MUCH
I had vowed never to write a letter to the editor about Terry Cook’s continual rantings about hemp, etc. But his last one about Marathon’s building plans (letter, Feb. 7) was too much.
I have several questions for Mr. Cook:
Who owns the business? Answer, Marathon.
Who owns the land? Answer, Marathon.
Who made the building plans? Answer, Marathon.
Who’s putting up the money? Answer, Marathon.
Marathon is investing money in a large green space, giving money to Findlay City Schools, and has been giving back to the community in many different ways. There is no obligation on their part to do so. No one makes them be a responsible community citizen.
When you start providing the money, talent, and livelihood for 2,000 people, then you can do whatever you want. Until then …
Charles Gerringer
Findlay

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