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Arizona issues Arizona social issues Mobile technology

High Noon at the Nail Saloon

My son recently treated me to a much-needed pedicure at the neighborhood nail saloon–er, salon–which was much calmer than an earlier visit a few years back! So I thought I’d repost this older blog. The salon has new owners and employees who were alternately shocked and amused when I mentioned the events below!


Every now and then, I have a manicure or a pedicure.  So it was exciting for me and my neighbors when a nail salon opened right around the corner from us.

Not long after they opened their doors, I went in to ask if they were interested in getting a website. The staff didn’t seem to understand, or maybe they weren’t interested so I didn’t employ my usual charm and persuasiveness. But I took a brochure.

The Nail Salon Owner Likes My Dogs

Some weeks later, a woman who I think is one of the owners stopped me as I was walking by with my dogs. She fell in love with them. Not enough to get her off her mobile phone, but enough to shoot questions like “what kind of dogs are these?” “where did you get them?” and my all-time favorite, “how old are your puppies?”

Most impressive was that while petting them and making personal comments about Dino and Bella (“he’s kind of fat, isn’t he?”), she continued a lively conversation with someone in, I think, Vietnamese. I was impressed with this display of bilingual multitasking. I mean, I can’t even chew gum and write at the same time.

The Nail Salon Became the Nail Saloon

This past Good Friday, I decided to get a pedicure. My boyfriend asked if I’d accompany him, his mother, and his brother to Good Friday evening services. Since I’d never been to a Greek Orthodox service, and he’s been diligent about attending my Sedars, it sounded like a great idea and nice thing to do with his family.

But my feet were a mess, the weather was warm, and I wanted to wear my cute Tommy Hilfiger chunky sandals. It was time to visit the nail salon.

For the record, the service was great. It was more than half-full when I arrived but there was enough staff for someone to take me right away. The pedicure chairs were leather (maybe fake, I really don’t care), comfortable, and had all those kneading and rolling settings. The attendant brought me a cold bottle of water–a nice touch. I chose a pedicure spa treatment that included…well, you don’t need the details but let me tell you, that cheese grater thing took off about an inch of dead heel skin and my feet have never felt so good.

Enter the Nail Saloon Battlers

I had barely noticed a rather large woman on her cellphone when I entered the salon. But about halfway through the treatment, I heard her loud and clear and trust me, I wasn’t listening for her. I had my earbuds in, listening to the classic rock station on my own smartphone. I may even have closed my eyes for a minute or two. Until I started to hear snippets about a problem at work, something about a lawsuit, and a lot of talk that really shouldn’t be out on the public airwaves:

  • “I will send you a memo with bullet points detailing everything that happened.”
  • “I understand they intend to sue. I have a defense.”
  • “That just isn’t true!”

And on and on. And louder and louder. I looked at the woman working on my pedicure, and she looked at me. She and her coworkers looked at each other.

Drawing of a mobile device with a slash through it - turn it off!
Turn it off dammit!

Finally, a tall slender woman who’d walked in maybe five minutes earlier got up and said, loudly, (I’m still wearing my earbuds) “I’m sorry, I just can’t relax in here with her shouting.” And off she stalked to the front, stopping at the cash register and adding “I will still pay for your time.”

At that point, Loud Woman finally ended her conversation. I returned to listening for tickets to see Heart at the Celebrity Theater. Then the shouting started. Thin Woman yelled at Loud Woman for being selfish. “You’ve ruined everyone’s afternoon. No one here wanted to hear you on your cellphone. This is not the place to take calls like that.”

“I had to take that call. You have no idea why.”

“Oh yes I do. I think everyone here does. And no one wanted to hear your sorry-ass business problems.” She looked at the rest of us gaping at them. “How many people here think she’s behaved selfishly?”

We all raised our hands. The employees froze.

The Fight is On – Words and a Big Gulp Fly!

Loud Woman did look embarrassed for a moment as she turned to look back and saw everyone’s hands in the air. “If I behaved inappropriately I apologize.”

Thin Woman was on a roll. “You behaved like a real asshole. I came here–we all came here–to relax. No one can relax with you shouting your shit all over the place.”

“You can’t talk to me like that!”

“I can and I am–because you are an asshole! What kind of example do you think you’re setting for your daughter over there?” (points to a girl of about 11 or 12 who was sitting quietly on the other side of the salon. I had noticed her texting through a manicure).

Now I know, and the owners should have known, that when you start dragging someone’s kids into an argument and comments on how you’re raising them, that’s fightin’ words. And sure enough, a fight broke out.

Thin Woman stepped around the cashier, who was trying to block her way, to face Loud Woman, whose feet were still in a tub. There was another exchange, a dare to repeat something that was duly repeated, and Thin Woman lunged toward Loud Woman.

By then, the single man working there–possibly a co-owner–raced over and physically separated them. A second later, the cashier–the same woman who had admired my dogs– jumped behind Thin Woman to pull her away. At the same time, Loud Woman threw her Big Gulp at Thin Woman drenching her and the owners.

More shouting, and Thin Woman departed.

We customers all looked at each other. “Well,” someone said, “not what you see every day at a nail salon.”

Photo by Mike “Dakinewavamon” Kline

Categories
Arizona social issues

Donald Trump and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Here’s a bittersweet irony: my book Donald Trump in 100 Facts was released in the UK on the US holiday honoring  Martin Luther King, Jr. Just days ago, Trump was reported to have used one or another similar insult to describe Haiti and African nations.

Donald Trump in 100 Facts He Doesn’t Discuss

My book on Trump, written somewhat tongue-in-cheek in line with the rest of Amberley Books‘ 100 Facts series, was an attempt on my part to identify actual facts about the man. I didn’t research rumors or suppositions that had yet to be proven or disproven. Instead, I looked for verifiable items I hoped would provide more solid insights into the man. I didn’t rely too much on his tweets and pretty much ignored outbursts reported from within the walls of the Oval Office. After all, we were advised throughout 2017 that we shouldn’t take what Trump tweets or says too seriously.

That left out words from Trump’s own mouth although I did look at a few of his books to note where he seemed to go out of his way to mislead. The most egregious, I think, comes from his first book (and I might add, a “yoog” best-seller) The Art of the Deal. Here, he repeated the family fabrication created by his father Fred Trump Sr during the Second World War that the Trumps, who hail from Germany, were Swedes. (Fred worried how his Jewish tenants would react if they were to learn of his own father’s German birth, as I discuss in Fact #19.)

Later, Donald participated in a documentary of his father’s hometown, Kings of Kallstadt (mentioned in Fact #16), where viewers are introduced to a cousin who serves as the family historian. By then, of course, Trump was no longer hiding his ancestry. His daughter had converted to Judaism upon her marriage to billionaire boy Jared Kushner. Speaking to a group of Jewish Republicans in 2015, he attempted to link himself to them: he was “a negotiator, like you folks” (Fact #38).

Racism Comes From Within And Can Be Disarmed

Is Trump a racist? I honestly believe he is and that he’s ok with it.

That said, I also believe that most people harbor some racism inside, whether it’s racial, ethnic, even geographic. I certainly know I struggle with this and I was not raised in an outwardly racist environment. Sure, there was pushback against any discussion to integrate the nearly all-white public schools in my hometown with the majority black schools the next town over. But from my point of view, and I was routinely criticized for being “too sensitive” and “too serious,” the few nonwhite kids at school weren’t singled out because of who they were. They were classified like the rest of us: jocks, AP class material, drama/artsy, etc. But again, that’s my point of view. I certainly can’t speak for anyone else.

I’ve worked my entire adult life to catch myself when I realize I’ve seen, heard, or read something that sets off internal alarms that veer toward racist thoughts. I believe most Americans conscientiously work to correct these near-instincts. I say “near,” because racism is learned: at school, at home, on the job, while looking for a job. Certainly, there are circles of “deplorables” who encourage racism and insist it is an instinct, even a protective one. I reject that notion. If we are indeed the creation of a God, higher power, or cosmic conception, we are, as my friend John Kiriakou says, better than this. We are meant to evolve intellectually as well as physically.

Donald Trump has not done so. He explicitly rejects any attempt at self-improvement, believing he is already as close to perfect as one can get. (He may even believe he is perfect!) There is no off switch on The Donald, or an internal editorial board. He “tells it like it is,” people said early in the Presidential campaign. Which we learned means he ignores whatever self-restraint he may have once had and let loose the demons most Americans were working to overcome or at least contain in public. It’s OK, he told a violent minority, to be racist. He even tried to equate neo-Nazis rallying in Charlottesville, Virginia with nonviolent counter-protestors, one of whom was run over and killed by a so-called “alt-right” enthusiast.

I Tried, And Failed, To Find Much Good About Trump

The more I researched and uncovered, the more alarmed I became and I was already pretty high-strung over the concept of President Trump. I made a conscientious attempt to identify a certain number of “positive” facts and fell short of my goal. There just aren’t many such instances to report on the man.

For example, I recalled hearing back in the 1980s that Trump was paying for medical treatment for the young AIDS patient Ryan White. Upon researching this, I found several interviews with White’s mother denying this and a concurring rumor that Trump also offered his private jet to speed White to whatever treatment center he needed to access (Fact #54). I ended up writing about how Trump was sympathetic to AIDS patients at a time when much of the nation was thrown into hysterics—certainly a positive fact—but I wonder how open-hearted he would be today if HIV/AIDS had emerged in, say, 2015.

In 2014, he tweeted:

Trump said in 2014 that helping people with Ebola is good but has consequences.

“The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!”

It’s OK to do the right thing but be prepared to suffer the consequences. How unlike Dr. King, who traveled far and wide to lead marches, speak out, and risk arrest (and he was arrested many times) and of course made the ultimate sacrifice—along with countless others like Medgar Evers, Rev. George Lee, Herbert Lee, Rev. Bruce Klunder, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and far too many more.

Arizona Voters Rejected, Then Approved MLK Day

I’ve known for years that Arizona refused to observe the MLK holiday. What I didn’t know until today is that citizens forced two referenda on the issue.

The holiday itself was established in 1983 as a Federal holiday effective 1986. States, including Arizona, went on to approve it. But in 1987 a new governor, the infamous Evan Mecham, rescinded it saying his predecessor, Bruce Babbitt, did not have the authority to declare a state holiday. The state legislature couldn’t agree on whether to re-establish the holiday.

Citizens stepped in to voice their opinions, as Kaila White reminds us (or in my case, educates us) in her article that appeared in The Arizona Republic on MLK Day 2018. 15,000 Arizonans marched outside the Statehouse on MLK Day in 1988, a few months before Mecham was impeached for campaign finance violations (he was later acquitted of criminal charges).

In 1990, the question to observe MLK Day was put to the voters, who overwhelmingly rejected it. Voters got a second chance in 1992 and approved the holiday by a comfortable  37% margin. Arizona is the only state to approve the holiday via a voter referendum.

I like to think that in the end, goodness wins out, or as Abraham Lincoln put it, the “better angels of our nature” take over.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Arizona business Arizona issues Arizona social issues

Laboring on Labor Day

Be honest. What did you do on Labor Day?

Like many Americans, I worked that day. Of course, since I’m self-employed, I didn’t have to work but no work means no pay for freelancers.

Labor Day used to celebrate the American worker and labor unions. But “union” become a bad word back in 1981 when President Reagan fired unionized air traffic controllers who had gone on strike for better wages and working conditions.

Labor Day is No Longer a Workers’ Holiday

Labor Day isn’t a day off for many workers. According to USA Today, about a third of Americans are working today. Most work in retail, which pays on the lower end of the scale.

Many stores are open, and as far as I can remember, have been open on the Labor Day “holiday.” The holiday is a draw for those who want or need bigger-ticket items like a late-model car. Or as the Scribe from New Jersey sings, to buy a new used car.

But in the old days, workers had to be enticed to work on Labor Day. Even part-time workers were asked, nicely, to work the holiday, with promises of time-and-a-half pay. Today, I’m not so sure that’s the case. A Bloomberg BNA survey says one-third or workers are required to work on major holidays like Thanksgiving. Most will get some monetary award for working on that particular holiday.

 

Retail Work Isn’t Very Nice to Employees

Most retail establishments don’t recognize any holidays at all. Even grocery stores stay open well into the July 4 and Christmas Eve holidays. Some will close early “to give our employees time to enjoy” the holidays.

I worked a retail job a few years ago, when I signed up for holiday work at my local Target. I understood there would be odd hours during holidays.

I didn’t really mind the work itself. The customer service training was interesting. I liked the discounts they gave employees, and my coworkers were nice. But management rules eventually ended my “career” there. I just didn’t have the physical stamina for one part of the job.

shoe display at retail store
As a Target worker, I feared nothing, not even the shoe department!

It wasn’t lifting boxes, cleaning up the shoe department, or stocking shelves that got to me. I didn’t mind those at all, and let me tell you, it was hard for management to find anyone who’d work in the shoe department.

I was defeated by working at the register, a task required for all non-management employees.

A thinly-veiled anti-union training video we watched during our training extolled how much fun it is to work in different areas. It didn’t discuss that standing on a hard floor in one place for more than an hour can be hard on the body.

I changed footwear and wore supportive sneakers and inserts, even those fancy Dr. Scholls gels, purchased with my 10% employee discount. When there were no lines, I’d walk away to straighten out the gum and other stuff stocked near the register.

I still ended register shifts with hip pain bad enough to make me walk with a lurch, like I’d been injured.

I asked if I could buy a padded kitchen mat sold in the store to use at my register. I already had one at home in my kitchen, and it was great. Nope, not allowed. No reason given.

Then there was the water issue. My register trainer told me we could keep bottled water at the registers as long as we only drank when no customers were around. Then a manager cited me for doing just this. I explained what my trainer had told me and mentioned I also take medication that dries me out. I pointed out that we do, after all, live in a dry climate here in Arizona and most people need to frequently hydrate.

I was told to get a doctor’s note. My disbelieving doctor took the time to write out a note, which I duly presented.

In the meantime, another coworker, a guy about my age, fainted on the job. It was probably from dehydration. He quit after that.

Later, we met up to talk business (he’s a photographer) and he told me how embarrassing the whole ordeal was for him. The store insisted on calling paramedics. Everyone saw him get carried out on a stretcher.

I ended up quitting because my hips continued to ache. Nowadays, I notice that Target employees are permitted both a padded support mat to stand on and water at the register. And that manager is gone, too. I have to wonder if it was her decision or Target’s to deny these modest supports to employees. Too bad there wasn’t a union rep I could ask.

When I gave my reason for resigning, no one offered any suggestions to alleviate my discomfort.

Right to Work? Really?

Since Arizona is a “right to work” state, it’s nearly impossible to get union protections here.

“Right to work” means that anything a union negotiates for members benefits all workers, regardless of whether they belong to the union. The argument behind “right to work” laws is that no one is forced to join a union.

Once upon a time, it was normal to be unionized if you worked an hourly job and or a job deemed particularly dangerous or sensitive like air traffic control. Unions protected employees from outright abuses like forcing them to work off the clock to meet quotas. They guaranteed breaks and ensured overtime pay. Unions also made sure employees had benefits and decent pay—enough to actually live on in the area in which a job is located.

In their early days, unions ended the practice of 12-hour shifts, six days a week. They ended child labor and got safety regulations put in to make workplaces less dangerous for everyone.

There are now laws that provide some of the protections unions used to give. But no one is watching out for the labor force. Businesses, whether retail, service-oriented, or in another category, have a much stronger hand in negotiating salaries and benefits against a lone hire.

In fact, today’s employees don’t have a right to work, at least not full-time. In our right-to-work state, employees can get laid off or otherwise dismissed from a job without any notice at all. Yet most employers require employees to agree to provide notice before they leave: they actually make them sign contracts to guarantee this. And businesses here don’t even have to pay for unused leave when workers are laid off.

The Irony of Labor Day

We still celebrate Labor Day, sort of.

Most of us use the time to catch up on work. Students inevitably have assignments due right after Labor Day (we start school in August in Arizona). People spend at least some of the time working on or cleaning their homes. Fewer people are going out of town or really taking time off.

People say unions got greedy and corrupt. Some did. So did some businesses. Today’s executives earn about 300 times more than their typical employees, even when they’re “forced” to shrink their workforce or require employees to take furloughs, which are forced, unpaid time off. Locally, Honeywell has become infamous for this practice.

Many businesses seem to have abandoned the concept of being a great place to work. They accept high turnover as a norm.

The worst ones don’t even care about worker safety and no one calls them on it until their coal mines implode. Remember the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, and BP/Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico? Workers are killed, and local environments become disaster areas. This is what happens when we don’t have unions and we’re busy shrinking government oversight staff.

No one is looking out for most of us, a sad irony when a day meant to honor labor is in reality just another workday.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Arizona business Arizona education Arizona issues Arizona social issues Arizona Tech Communiy Mobile technology

Still Outsourcing Local Talent?

I attended the Phoenix Mobile Festival recently, an annual event for people who develop apps and technologies for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and wearable technology like smart watches. While I’m not a developer, I like to keep up on mobile developments. Since this was a local event, I was very surprised to hear a speaker praising outsourcing, a scourge that’s hurting Arizona’s efforts to become a tech leader rivaling Silicone Valley.

Banner for the Phoenix Mobile Festival
Is a technical conference the place to talk about the joys of outsourcing?

Is This the Time to Advise Talent Outsourcing?

I missed the first half of Fred von Graf’s session on “Secrets to Building a Million-Dollar Business.” I was learning about complications and time travel.

Normally, I welcome business development talks because Lord knows I can use advice on building this business, getting new (paying) clients, and networking. The title of von Graf’s session struck me as silly and cheap, but after checking out an Android development session, I figured I’d make room for a real developer and went into the Million Dollar session.

There I sat, horrified, as this person advised, over and over, to look overseas for tech teams.

I didn’t think people were still hot on outsourcing. I had read that a lot of companies have pulled out and are hiring US workers, whose training and, I suspect culture, match theirs more closely. In fact, I’ve read about companies in India that are outsourcing for US talent!

It came up from a question about where to find freelance tech teams. To get a really good idea of who works well on your project, von Graf advised hiring three teams to do the same project and pick the one that did it best.

How can I pay for that? another person asked.

Easy. Hire teams from overseas. “Their price points are much more competitive then you’ll find in the US.”

von Graf then spent several minutes extolling the virtues of overseas teams. He went on to say that he tells all his clients to hire overseas, where the work can get done for so much less. He groused about his one single client who refuses to hire foreign labor. “He’s spending so much more than he should,” he said, shaking his head.

I was livid, practically shaking.

Don’t Outsource Arizonans!

It made no sense to me. Here he is, in Arizona—a state that desperately needs jobs and encourages people to get educated for tech jobs—telling businesses in Arizona to outsource these very jobs.

von Graf isn’t unfamiliar with Arizona. He’s active in Scottsdale’s SkySong tech community. He’s been featured by GrowSouthwest, a company that nurtures entrepreneurs and independent businesses “everywhere,” but does that mean outside the Southwest, or the entire US?

I was a little relieved to hear grumbling about outsourced jobs from the audience. No one, though, challenged the idea.

Infusionsoft, which hosted the festival, is well-known in Arizona’s tech sector. It won the Pioneer Award from the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation. “This recognition is further validation of the impact we’re having on the global small-business community and the tech sector here in Arizona,” Infusionsoft’s CTO told the Phoenix Business Journal.

After the session, I discussed what I heard with two vendors at the site. One mentioned he had used overseas vendors from Poland and India. They didn’t work out so well. “We ended up redoing a lot of the work. They just couldn’t understand what we wanted.”

The owners of another business, both from India, was also bothered by outsourcing. “We only hire people in the US,” they told me. True, their clients were mostly state governments, but they also showcased a growing number of US businesses.


I’m sure von Graf is a good guy. He encouraged people to contact him after his session. He’s eager to share what he knows and to mentor small businesses in the tech sector.

But shouldn’t that also mean keeping potential jobs in Arizona? Does every business have to make a million bucks? And will this only happen by outsourcing jobs elsewhere?

 

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Arizona issues Arizona social issues

Traffic School Graduate

Traffic School
I survived and graduated.

Not long ago, I received a ticket taken by photo radar for allegedly running a red light in Scottsdale.

I have nothing more to say on the matter.

In order to make any impact from the ticket (other than financial) a moot point, I signed up for Traffic School, which costs $210. It’s even more expensive online, but still less than the cost for the ticket and it removes the possibility of points getting assigned to my license.

Bad Attitude in Traffic School

Rather than lose an entire spring afternoon to traffic school, I reserved a seat in a Saturday morning class that began at the ungodly (at least to me for a weekend) hour of 7 a.m. Luckily, the class was held at a La Quinta not far from where I live and even better, a buffet breakfast was available in the lobby when I arrived. I helped myself to coffee and a chocolate chip Otis Spunkmeyer muffin, ignoring the glare from the front desk clerk. Hey, I’m a traffic criminal, don’t mess with me this early in the morning!

Nico had told me not to be late, as he had been for his Traffic School class which locked him out along with the other latecomers. I arrived a full six minutes early only to learn that the instructor wasn’t going to actually start until 7:30, after he’d signed everyone in. I wasn’t pleased with this.

 

Strike 1, of course, is the fact that I was actually there.

While the instructor was checking people in waaay past the 7:00 start time listed on the school’s website, I overheard him place a call on his cell to inquire about a student whose attendance was ordered by the court. It was impressive enough for me to send out another tweet:

 

One of the other “students” here @#trafficschool was ordered to attend by the court for doing 90

— The AZYankee (@AZYankee) April 27, 2013

I have to admit, the instructor seemed like a pretty good guy. He said he was a former state trooper, and had investigated about 800 accidents, some fatal, in addition to doing the usual traffic cop duty. Then he let someone in at 7:32! WTF, I thought to myself. As he’d clearly stated his thoughts on cell phone use during the class, I had to refrain from tweeting this one.

Fun Facts From Traffic School!

I did learn some things about traffic violations in Arizona, in particularly, the one to which I plead no contest.

  • Insurance rates in Arizona are among the highest in the nation (#5, in fact) due to the high incidence of red-light running that result in accidents.
  • Peoria’s red light fines are the highest in the state.
  • Phoenix leads the state in issuing citations for red light violations. Mesa is third, and Tucson is fourth.

The reason that so many drivers are tempted to run lights is that the grid system in many towns encourage it. You see green light after green light, and increase your speed to ensure that you aren’t stopped at a red light. In fact, by going over the speed limit, you make it extremely difficult to actually stop at an amber light and the amber lights are pretty brief here.

Also, the photo radar cameras snap the instant your car enters the area beyond the crosswalk. The instructor suggested that at the very least, we should slow down to the speed limit as we approach a green intersection so that braking is at least a possibility.

I also learned a few things about seatbelts that I’d like to pass along to libertarians who feel seat belt laws are an example of the  “nanny state” at its worst.

  • You won’t be pulled over if you aren’t wearing a belt. There has to be another reason to be stopped but cops are pretty good at finding one.
  • The instructor had been at rollover scenes where  drivers and passengers were standing about because they had worn their seatbelts.
  • He’d also been to several rollover scenes where people who were unbuckled had been thrown from the vehicle and killed. Unbuckled persons are most likely to be killed in an ejection from the car.
  • Except for two suicides, he never unbuckled a dead person from a seatbelt. Why someone intent on killing himself would buckle up is an interesting point I decided not to inquire about.

Did you know that when you drive past a school that’s in session, you only have to maintain that very low speed until you pass the crosswalk? Many of us, myself included, thought it was a sign-to-sign rule. You can go back to your normal speed after the crosswalk although I’ve noticed police cruisers near many schools.

By the way, looking for speeding near a school is the assignment most despised by police officers.

I learned that there is such a thing as criminal speeding.

  • Criminal speeding is when you’ve gone 21 mph over the posted speed limit on surface roads
  • On highways, criminal speeding is when you go over 85 mph
  •  The criminal speed designation is 86 mph when the speed limit is 75 mph

A few miscellaneous facts that might be handy if you get on Let’s Ask America:

  • Failing to come to a full stop at a stop sign is called a “California Roll”
  • The triangular area near freeway entrances and exits is called the Gore Area
  • I’ve never seen anyone get stopped for it but the fine for violating HOV laws is a cool $200

Because the state requires traffic school to last between four to four and a half hours, we took just one 10-minute break. Most of us went to the Circle K next door, where I couldn’t help noticing the Manager’s Special:

Breathalyze This!

I took another muffin from the La Quinta lobby to give to the lady sitting next to me, who had been complaining about how hungry she was when she saw me eating my Otis Spunkmeyer muffin.

The last part of the class centered on drunk driving, a very serious offense in Arizona. We probably have the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation. Suffice it to say that if you are arrested for a DUI, expect about eight hours in lockup. And that’s if it’s your first DUI.

I was interested to hear that the law used to require a minimum of 24 hours in lockup but the legislature changed the definition of  “a day” from 24 hours to eight. I can’t imagine why, can you?

The Breathalyzer administered roadside for DUI pullovers is not the determining factor on your state of drunkeness. The official drunk score comes from a bloodtest given at the police station. Breathalyzers indicate if there is impairment to the slightest degree, and that is something that a driver can be charged with, even if his or her blood alcohol level is below the state standard for legally drunk.

My advice is, just keep it to one drink or none if you’re going to drive. It’s just not worth it.

And slow down at those amber lights.

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