Permission Not Granted (nor sought) 8

I was never asked nor did I give permission to any of the following and yet I have to live with the consequences.

Invasion of the Privacy Snatcher

Google never asked my permission to take a photo of my house.  (I would have said no.)  No one needs a photo of my house to find their way here.  Maps and street directories do that job well. I also give directions to my house willingly to people I wanted to know.  Hel-lo!

Dump-de-dump-dump (TV)
FCC never asked me whether I wanted to switch from analog to digital TV.  Was the switch and the resultant mounds of old television sets that had to be disposed of environmentally sound?  I think not. Was this switch necessary?  No.

Now you see it, Now you don’t (Food)
Stop ‘N’ Shop (on Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester) never asked if I liked the fresh fish counter before they took it away.  There are several other things they used to carry that they’ve also eliminated – why I don’t know (like fish stock, peanut oil, certain brands of ice cream and cereal).  Some of these items are carried at the Stop ‘N’ Shop in Quincy but that’s less convenient for me.

Bright Idea NOT
The Federal Government never asked me what I thought about its decision to phase out incandescent light-bulbs in favor of energy-efficient company fluorescents.  I wasn’t given a chance to vote on whether there was an alternative to the CFLS and the mercury they contain. (Turns out there is an alternative, the Super Saver energy-efficient halogen light bulbs manufactured by Sylvania in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.  “Unlike compact fluorescent light bulbs, halogens do not contain mercury, but they meet the energy-saving criteria of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.”  Read more at Made in USA: Energy-saving halogen light bulbs.  

Another one bites the dust (local bank)
Wainwright, my local bank of choice, which finally opened a branch in my neighborhood only a year or so ago didn’t poll me when it decided to be acquired by Eastern Bank, a bank I never really heard of until the take-over.  They’ve already changed one of the favorite things I liked about Wainwright – being able to make withdrawals in $10 increments.  Now, it’s $20.  Sometimes $10 is all you want, need, or have.

Customer Dis-service
None of the major companies polled me to ask what I thought about their getting rid of actual operators to answer phones and questions nor did they have me weigh in on the self-service stations that have popped up everywhere – making so many citizens scan and pack the items they are buying.  I’ve blogged about this before but it bears repeating – you are doing what used to be a paying job for someone else when you use the self-checkout system.  You don’t get a discount for doing this.  Hey, no one comes and does my job – why should I do someone else’s? (I don’t; I stand in line and wait for a real live human being to scan and bag my purchases and engage in small talk.)

I’m sure there are other things I could gripe about, but that’s enough for today.


If you liked this post, you might also like:

Banking on Impatience: Why I don’t Use Self-Service


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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8 thoughts on “Permission Not Granted (nor sought)

  • Jim

    For the most part I agree with you, but what else is new? So I’ll pick on the item that I disagree with…bagging groceries…I can’t think of a more foolishly pampering and ludicrous commercial practice, someone bagging my groceries while I stand there and watch…how utterly spoiled we are after spending a few dollars…I bag my own. I don’t like the self-cashiering, but that’s because the technology stinks. If the self-chechouts worked well I’d go through them every time. My groceries are my business…speaking of privacy.

  • Candelaria

    Wow.  Surprised at this take from you.  For me, not bagging groceries has nothing to do with my or others being lazy.  It has to do with the fact that working in the grocery store is an entry level and supplemental job for high school students, mothers, ex-offenders and senior citizens.  There are fewer and fewer jobs for this population and bagging groceries and clerking is one of them.  There are people who worked in Stop ‘N’ Shop and CVS who no longer work there now.  Groceries haven’t gotten cheaper.  When the first bag-it-yourself store came to Boston, Edwards, it touted the fact that bagging your own saved them money and they would pass the savings on to the consumer.  Ditto for Save-A-Lot and the Aldi’s chain (in the midwest).  This isn’t the case here.

    As always, thanks for your comments.

  • Jim

    I appreciate that perspective, but I didn’t say that we should eliminate bagging jobs. There are plenty of people who actually need help bagging..i.e. old people, people with kids who need attention, people with huge orders, and I think there is room for those entry level jobs. Eliminate the smart and able minded baggers…they could be doing something better. There are also many other opportunities for entry level in supermarkets, i.e. carriage fetchers, stockers, clean-up people. I don’t think it’s all or nothing. How many times have you seen a perfectly capable person standing around while their order piles up at the end of the grocery conveyor and a bagger is nowhere in sight? We (Americans in general) have a strange habit of acting helpless in that circumstance and worse yet, viewing the lack of a bagger as poor service. C’mon.

  • Candelaria

    I see your point but disagree.  I have come to expect to have my groceries packed and so I wait for them to bring someone over to pack them or for the cashier to do it (in my cloth bags).  I feel that waiting may put more pressure to get more baggers on.  I don’t see the other entry-level jobs replacing this one.
    Anyhow, enough on this.  Thanks for commenting.

  • Michael Trent


    I used to have an account with Eastern Bank. They were mostly in the South Shore. I took my account there after BayBank was swallowed up by Fleet that was swallowed up by B of A—or was that another bank?

    Michael T

  • miruspeg

    Another excellent blog post Candelaria and I enjoyed reading the discussion between you and Jim too.
    I have to say I am 100% in agreeance with you on keeping the jobs open for school students and other groups that have difficulty finding work. There is way too much automation in today’s world.
    Thanks again for highlighting some of the things that are disappearing from our lives. I hope human kindness is still intact!

    Big hugs
    Peggy xxxxx

  • Candelaria

    Human kindness is definitely intact throughout our world in every day acts and extraordinary ways.  It’s just that the good things are heralded as much as the bad. Thank you for your kindness in making this comment.