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Ovation: The 78th National Doughnut/Donut Day!

National Donut DayToday, the first Friday in June, is National Donut (or, if you’re not counting keystrokes, “Doughnut”) Day! The Chicago Salvation Army likes to take credit for establishing the tradition in 1938 to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. Long story short … war rations were gross, so the ladies of the Salvation Army, known as the “Donut Lassies” would bring soldiers free donuts in an attempt to boost their spirits and the practice grew to be an annual fundraiser for its services. Today will be the 78th annual celebration and some of our favorite donut makers will be giving away sweet gifts to mark the occasion! For example …

Dunkin DonutsDUNKIN’ DONUTS locations worldwide will be giving out a free doughnut with the purchase of any beverage.

“Donuts have a special place in our country’s history and culture, creating moments of delight, lifting spirits and bringing people together at work and at home. We are proud to celebrate this timeless favorite on National Donut Day with our loyal guests by once again offering a free donut with the purchase of any beverage, and pleased to share this offer with all of our donut fans all around the world.” – Jeff Miller, Executive Chef and Vice President of Product Innovation, Dunkin’ Brands.

Krispy Kreme At Winston-Salem, NC-based KRISPY KREME, guests will be treated to one free doughnut of any variety at participating U.S. and Canadian store locations.

“National Doughnut Day is a fun and engaging occasion to celebrate the joy of Krispy Kreme with our fans both in our shops and online.” – Dwayne Chambers, Chief Marketing Officer, Krispy Kreme.

Last year, more than 100,000 people claimed a complimentary treat at Krispy Kreme shops and thousands of fans also shared their #NationalDoughnutDay excitement via tweets, pics and posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

ShipleyAt participating SHIPLEY DO-NUTS locations, customers will receive one free glazed donut between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and they are, once again, partnering with The Salvation Army by donating a portion of store sales to the organization. At least one location in the Houston, Texas, area will be hosting a donut eating contest

EntenmanENTENMANN’S, whose chocolate-glazed is quite possibly my all-time favorite donut, is holding a sweepstakes where by simply entering you could win free donuts for a year! Plus, for each of the first thirty thousand entries, one dollar will be donated to the Salvation Army! No purchase is necessary to enter or to win the sweepstakes. The only thing better than a free donut day would be a free donut YEAR!

Visit the National Donut Day website and enter your zip code to find hot fresh donuts in your neighborhood!

Jiffy LubeBut wait! To help you avoid having to use a spare, or a “donut tire”, JIFFY LUBE is also celebrating National Donut Day … by offering free tire air pressure checks at participating Jiffy Lube locations! At locations in the Houston, Philadelphia and Florence, SC markets, customers will also receive complimentary donuts all day today while they get their tires checked! Pretty clever if you ask me!

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Copyright © 2015 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com

Diatribe: Being Charged A Reburial Fee After Floodwaters Unearth Your Wife’s Coffin.

flood_levels_expected_to_rise__0_1433247129We lost our cat last winter.  He was almost fifteen years old.  He’d been slowing down for a few months and could no longer hop up onto the sofa to watch television with us.  We’d bought a little stool for him to use so he could get up onto the bed to sleep at our feet and his trips down the steep flight of stairs to his litter box were taking him noticeably longer, but he was a stubborn old cat and very set in his ways.

When his time had finally come and our veterinarian had helped him comfortably take his final breaths, we brought him to the space we had prepared for him in the pet cemetery beside the shed in our yard where we carefully covered him with a heavy concrete slab so that nothing would upset his final resting place and, just as importantly, give us cause to see him again due to the unpleasant antics of passing fauna or inclement weather.

Last week’s intense flooding in Houston, Texas, caused the coffin of Carolyn Lee, buried in 2007, to float to the surface of Riceville Cemetery.  Widower, Richard Lee, received even more disturbing news when he was told that he would have to pay a discounted reburial fee to rebury her.  He couldn’t believe what he was hearing since his wife had been laid to rest in a sealed concrete vault!  But when he arrived at the cemetery he recognized the casket which had floated at least fifty yards before stopping along a guard rail.

“I didn’t want to look inside because I’d never get that out of my mind.” – Richard Lee

Apparently, the vault wasn’t sealed correctly and there were no built-in holes to allow floodwaters to pass in and out.

“Clearly something went wrong here.  Bodies are not supposed to come up.” – Annie McAdams, Attorney for Richard Lee

Lee has sued the funeral home that buried his wife.  His lawsuit not only alleges negligence in burying her but also says it caused him anguish after his wife’s “charcoaled and sunken” face was described to him.  An injunction has been filed on Lee’s behalf to keep the grave site clear while investigators try to figure out what happened and determine if others buried there were done so properly so this never happens to another family.

Meanwhile, another local funeral home has stepped up to the plate and will re-inter Lee’s wife free of charge.

I sure miss our cat. And I’m really glad there’s no chance that I’ll ever see him again.

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Copyright © 2015 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com

Ovation: Finnegans Reverse Food Truck.

finnrftAs a teen, I worked with my grandfather to begin an “open pantry” in our church’s basement.  The idea was to collect non-perishable food and make it available to those in the congregation, and the surrounding community, who found themselves “down on their luck” and unable to feed themselves or their families.  Pa was a handy carpenter and I helped by making signs and organizing shelves so that we made the best use of the small space we had been allotted and folks could see what foods were available.  The project was one of the first of its kind to address the needs of the hungry in our small town.

Still today, according to Feeding America, a nationwide network of member food banks, one in six people struggle to get enough to eat.

I still think it’s important to give.  The US Postal Service makes it easy once each spring as part of their “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive when mail carriers pick up food at individual mail boxes along their routes and many local food banks go into overdrive during the holiday season when people often feel the most charitable, but hungry people are among us all the time.

We need more organizations like Finnegans and their Reverse Food Truck.

Rather than serving food, like most food trucks, Finnegans does the opposite … it accepts food donations.  Like a food drive on wheels, the location of Finnegans Reverse Food Truck can be tracked via Twitter or Foursquare! If you’re hosting an event or want to have a food drive at your place of business arrangements can be made for the Reverse Food Truck to make an appearance.  Of course, Finnegans accepts online donations via their virtual food menu.

“… barring any scheduling conflicts or traffic jams, we’ll do our best to help out.”

I made a donation to my local food bank just yesterday at the grocery store where the cashier simply had to scan a bar code to add the amount to my grocery bill.  If every one of us added one dollar to our grocery bill every time we shopped, imagine the difference that we could make … and we might not even notice the difference in our wallets. Food for thought. ;)

Reverse Food Truck Banner

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Copyright © 2015 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com

Diatribe: “Happy Valentine’s Day. I Named A Roach For You”

Seal It With a HissSingles Awareness Day is just around the corner and the world is awash in all things red and pink.  What used to be a day set aside for gentlemen to bring their special ladies a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers has turned into a national holiday of enormous proportions … a marketing extravaganza to bridge the gap between Superbowl Sunday and March Madness.  A trip to any supermarket reveals that just about anything can be sold in a heart-shaped package.

I saw a commercial during the news this morning for Heart-Shaped Pizzas!

Jet's Heart Pizza

It just goes to show that, when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, there’s something for everyone … even those with a soft spot for Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.

That’s right.  Continuing its Name-A-Roach program begun in 2011, the Bronx Zoo is once again offering us the opportunity to name one of their hissing cockroaches in honor of our special someone this Valentines Day.  For a ten dollar donation, our valentine will receive a unique certificate of honor featuring the name of a roach named specifically for him or her.  Plus, our donation will benefit the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Yay!

Not.

We don’t celebrate this holiday at my house but, if we did, I’m pretty sure I’d be in a heck of a lot of trouble if I presented my loved one a certificate announcing “Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey, I named a roach for you.”

Then again, this might be someone else’s cup of tea.

What do you think?

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Copyright © 2015 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com

Ovation: Alfred Ajani’s Pay-It-Forward Train Station Job Search.

AjaniToward the very end of my college career, I attended a few seminars that the school offered centered around topics like “Building a Resume” and “How To Prepare For An Interview”.  That was pretty much the extent of the recruitment and staffing industry.  Many colleges and universities had a couple of people on staff called “placement agents” whose job it was to work with large, often local, companies to help graduates find work after receiving their diplomas.  It behooved the university, after all, to have a high percentage of graduates in the workforce right after graduation.

Everyone else embarked on their own job search by building a resume and preparing for interviews.  Back then, this meant printing resume’s on special paper with matching envelopes and scouring the want ads … in the newspapers … for potential employment.

Anyone who’s embarked on a job search recently knows that there are, literally, dozens of online job search engines claiming that they can help find the perfect job for you.  Since most of them are free, those who are unemployed or unhappily employed could spend endless hours completing questionnaires and updating profiles to be included in employment databases and career building websites around the world.  Or, they could take a more unconventional approach like Alfred Ajani used to successfully begin his career after he graduated from Coventry University in Coventry, England, last year.

Last August, Nigerian-born Ajani, 22, after applying for more than three hundred positions with little luck, put his marketing degree to work when he tried his luck standing in London’s Waterloo train station holding a sign with his qualifications written on it while handing out his resume.  He caught the attention of recruitment company Asoria Group, who offered him a position via LinkedIn.

“I knew my idea would work but didn’t expect the media attention so I have stayed humble. Most graduates are going to have to go to extreme lengths to get the job they want.” – Alfred Ajani.

Last week, Ajani returned to that same spot in the Waterloo train station with a new sign.  This time it came with a very different message … “Now Hiring”.

“I didn’t expect to be so popular. If I see anyone at the station with a sign I will do my best to get in touch with them.” – Alfred Ajani

I remember sending out dozens and dozens of resumes and collecting rejection letters in a folder as they came back to me in the mail.  I can’t imagine the agony of being rejected three hundred times and admire this young man for her determination and humility.  His advice for today’s job-seekers … “Don’t be scared to try something new. Safe is risky.”

It appears that his advice might be worth taking.

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Copyright © 2015 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com

Diatribe: Assh*le Brown’s Comcast Bill

Asshole Brown's Comcast BillOne day last week we noticed a van in our neighbors’ driveway.  It belonged to the man with an extension ladder who was installing a satellite dish on their roof.  Apparently, they’d decided that it was time for them to make the switch away from cable.  We’ve thought about it, too, over the years because the only cable provider available in our neighborhood is Comcast.  I speak from personal experience when I say the company’s reputation for notoriously bad customer service is warranted and I don’t blame them one bit for switching.

We, too, need to make changes to our service but have been dreading the telephone call followed by the drive to their “center” and the wait in the long line just to explain the situation once again.  I can only imagine the private hell that Ricardo and Lisa Brown of Spokane, Washington encountered before someone at Comcast took it upon themselves to change the name their account to “Assh*le Brown”.

Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott reported that Mrs. Brown had called the company to cancel the cable portion of her family’s service to save money.  As anyone who’s ever tried to cancel cable television service knows, they don’t like to see a customer go and the company’s “retention specialists” very aggressively work to convince you to change your mind.  Comcast does not make the cancellation process easy for their customers … that’s for certain.  Sometimes a customer has to get a little angry to get the results that they want.  We have to fight back a little.

When their next monthly statement arrived in the mail, she saw that her husband’s first name had been changed to Assh*le.  Not surprisingly, calls to the cable company and even a visit to a Comcast office couldn’t get the name changed.

Eventually, Comcast confirmed that the statement was and that they would take action.

“We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change.  We have zero tolerance for this type of disrespectful behavior and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine what happened.  We are working with our customer to make this right and will take appropriate steps to prevent this from happening again.” – Steve Kipp, Comcast Spokesman via email.

Comcast plans to fix Mr. Brown’s last name in their system, terminate the employee responsible for the name change, give the Brown family a refund for the previous two years of service and add two more years of service for free.

What an ordeal.

And now they’re stuck with cable for two more years.  Maybe our neighbor knows something we don’t.

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Like this post? Follow the blog and get involved in discussions! Find “Follow via Email” on the right side of the page.  There’s also an opportunity to follow on Twitter and/or LIKE our page on Facebook so you won’t miss a daily post.  Click on buttons at the end of each post to share on other social media sites, too!  Thanks for reading!

Copyright © 2015 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com

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