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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Peculiar Client

I have a number of people who work with me. If you drew up an organizational chart, you'd see more of us listed horizontally than vertically: We're all interdependant.

That's what I like about owning my own business. When I own my own business, I am experiencing a rough equivalent of a true democracy with no dictatorial bosses.

Every cog has it's own function. One of mine is specializing in extremely complicated and difficult paperwork. Although I've always been sales-oriented, I have had the chance to develop my detail skills as never before.

When it comes to paperwork, I am the acknowleged expert: So, many of the people who work with me will ask me to sign up a client for them as part of my services. And thus begins my tale:

A week ago I got a client who has a really strangely named company. The equivalent to this company's name would be Beef Hooker Roofing. I kid you not.

So I called the man. He had a perfectly good American-Scottish last name, so the last thing I expected was a thick Mexican accent! The call went like this:

Saur: Mr. McDonald?

McDonald: Yais?

Saur: I'm calling on behalf of the XYZ company. They told me that you are expecting a call from me. I understand that you want to sign up with them, and as I'm an expert in their paperwork, they asked me to call you.

McDonald: Nono, we ahnt interested *something unintelligable* no sank you.

*CLICK*

So, I called Mr. McDonald back and tried once more. I got him to understand me that time, and he said he'd call me back, but I didn't hear back from him. So in frustration, I called the XYZ Company that originally sicced me on him, and asked them to call him to smoothe the way for me.

When I got in touch with Mr. McDonald next, we made arrangements for me to get the paperwork over to him. He said he'd get to work on it right away. Over the next week, an employee of the XYZ Company stayed in touch with me, to let me know that Mr. McDonald was working away at it.

As I hadn't received the paperwork by today (our deadline), I called Mr. McDonald this morning.

Mr. McDonald picked up the phone and said "allo?"

I said "Hi Mr. McDonald, this is Saur: The one that is overseeing your signup for the XYZ Company?"

He said "Ah yes, Isabel. Call me back in an hour, dahling."

Isabel?

And it's the first time in a long time that a client has called me darling. OR Isabel. Ah well... it's better than Sweetcakes.

I called Mr. McDonald back in an hour. This is how the conversation went:

McDonald: Allo, dear!

Saur (hesitantly): Ah, ...hello! Mr. McDonald!

McDonald: I, uh, tella you what, howsabout you call me tomorrow?

Saur (cheerily): Well, Mr. McDonald, that's fine with me, except that today is our deadline for the paperwork. As long as you don't mind putting everything off another week, it's fine with me.

McDonald: Ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) You steel thaer?

Saur: Yes. Is everything OK?

McDonald: Yes [something unintelligable]... ah... (pause) you know, that's a somesing that'sa difficult [something unintelligable] but I've been thinking that yes... ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause)

[office phone in the background rings shrilly, twice]

McDonald: ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause)

Saur: Mr. McDonald? Why don't you think about it and call me back?

McDonald: OK, that'sa goot idea.

I'm really worried about how to communicate with him about the signup, however. If our communication is this poor now, imagine how hard it's going to be to explain anything legal.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Rental Car Accident

My car had to go back to the shop on Friday (I think my mechanic is having an affair with it, because there's really no reason that the AC should continue to have problems since it's been almost completely gutted and rebuilt!)

So what to do? Naturally I chose to rent a car. Again.

I got a good deal from Hotwire and luckily I got Avis. In my experience, Avis is the best of the rental car companies (and I rent cars often). As I've said in the past, you are a fool if you rent from Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC). To read of my experiences with ERAC, go here.

However, the prices for rental cars this weekend were the worst I've seen in years. The rental car companies tell me they don't know why - all they know is that they're as shocked as anyone to see economy cars for $99 a day! I got mine at $35 a day (usually the price of a mid-size sedan) and I considered myself lucky.

So Friday morning I toodled off in a tiny 2008 Chevy Cobalt from Avis. (NOTE: Do NOT buy a Chevy Cobalt unless you're OK with zero leg room in the back for the passengers. Although you could fit someone ON the back seat, they cannot have legs).

Saturday I picked up my friend John. We were to grab lunch and go to a local art show. It was pouring rain by the bucketful.

We were on a little road leading out of a mobile home park and restaurant, sitting still, waiting for the massive Toyota Tundra in front of us to turn right.

While we were waiting, I was glancing down idly when suddenly John yelled "Look out! He's backing up!!!"

I looked up in time to see the truck back up ON TO MY HOOD.

My mouth dropped in disbelief. Luckily the driver figured out what had happened and pulled the truck forward immediately, because I was in such shock that I wasn't thinking clearly enough to get out of the car in time (if the truck had rolled over us completely).

We all popped out of our vehicles. The woman who had been driving was a tall, slender blond with spiked hair. She was wearing a gay pride t-shirt, denim jeans, and sneakers. She came running back to me. "Oh my god," she gasped, "is everyone OK?"

"Yes, are you OK?" I asked, and I gave her a hug. She was shaking.

"Yes," she gulped. "I am SO sorry! This isn't my truck - it's my friend's truck, and I'm not really familiar with how to drive it!"

"Thank goodness you admitted it," I said, "because this is a rental and I only have my own insurance on it. Since you've admitted it, your insurance will cover it. Thank you, thank you!"

She (we'll call her "Ellen") nodded unhappily. John told us to wait there, and he would call 911 to get the Florida Highway Patrol out to take the report (The FHP takes reports for minor fender benders).

Rain poured over us, soaking my Polo shirt and making my jeans smell like old canvas. Even taking shelter in the car gave me little comfort, and the car interior was coated in a fine mist of rain.

Suddenly Ellen realized that she didn't have her drivers license. She ran over to my car, stuck her head in the window, and asked to jot down her information. She said she was running home to get the license as she didn't want to be ticketed for not being in posession of it. Ellen also said she had her 4-year old daughter with her.

John and I pointed out that she might get ticketed for leaving the scene of the accident, but she said she'd rather take her chances. We dubiously took all the information she cared to give us, and I jotted down her license plate.

We waited about an hour for the police to arrive. About then, Ellen showed up again with her license and without her daughter. We had just called the FHP and discovered that we had a wait time of up to several hours! So the three of us discussed the potentially long wait and called the local sheriff's office instead. They obligingly sent out a car.

However, when the deputy began to take our information, Ellen suddenly developed 'amnesia' and couldn't remember exactly what happened (obviously she was told by someone to admit to nothing). Luckily I had a witness: Can you imagine what mess I would be in if I didn't have one?!

It was bad enough as it was.

Because we were on private property (and not a public road), all the deputy could do was to take down our information. When an accident is on private property, the police will not assess blame or hand out tickets, which can make it harder to fight a claim.

Ellen might have been worried because her insurance had expired. However, Avis will be going after the insurance belonging to the owner of the truck, who happens to be a relatively wealthy woman who owns her own company in the Tampa Bay Area. I actually know the woman, distantly. We'll call her "Amy".

This morning I ran into repeated snags. First, I had to go to the Sheriff's office to get the information in person. Once I had acquired that information, I called Amy's insurance company (Geico). They told me that the policy was non-existant, so I left a message for Ellen asking her for the correct information.

Ellen text-messaged me, saying "Sorry about the wrong info - not at all intentional. Amy can be reached at xxx-xxxx. if her ins isnt cooperative - please let me know what the estimate is."

(Happily, that sounds as if she's understood that she will have to take responsibility for the accident. I was not looking forward to the time and expense of a small-claim court case.)

So, instead of pestering Amy I tried again, and got a more experienced operator this time. She told me that Geico recently changed some policy numbers and when she did a little searching, she was able to locate Amy's information the second time around.

I spent the next couple of hours filing claims with Geico, with my insurance company (just in case Avis went to them first), and with Avis.

I'm happy to say that Avis and the insurance companies were very professional and nice about the whole thing. I'm just hoping that we can get this solved as quickly as possible. I'm also very greatful that no one was hurt. And now I can add a new experience to my resume: I've been backed over by a Toyota Tundra.

And what can you learn from this experience? Take the car rental insurance that waives your deductible fee even if you have rental car insurance on your policy. If *I* had, I wouldn't have been sweating over this as much as I did ...since my deductible is $500.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ask Me About My Monkey

Today I decided to go grocery shopping at Sweetbay, which is the newest supermarket chain to pop up in this market. I only had a couple of things to buy, so I quickly ended up at the cash register.

The girl who was waiting on me was a slender blond girl who was complaining to everyone that she was on a diet and her stomach hurt. When it was my turn to be rung up, I cast about for a different conversational topic and was startled to find that she was wearing a pin above her right breast that read "Ask me about my monkey."

I did a double take! Yup, sure enough: That's what it said.

"Er, your pin says to... ask you about your monkey...?" I said hesitantly.

"Oh yeah, that," she said in the latest perky Popular Girl accent (which always sounds vaguely nasal to me). "Ya know, I've been getting a lot of funny looks about this pin! I guess it does sound rather salacious."

Yup, she said salacious: I was surprised! Give the girl some brownie points for using the word and a bonus for knowing what it meant!

"We all have to say something for that badge," she continued.

I looked a little more carefully and could see that the badge was a pre-printed one which has "Ask me about" printed above, and then you have to fill in the blank below with something you like to talk about. Since all of the writing on the badge is mechanically printed, I am guessing they must do it using a printer in the back office. I'm sure this is management's attempt to make the experience a little more personal.

"OK," I said. "And... your monkey?"

"Oh, I have a ring-tailed lemur," she answered. "Now of course I realize that I should've had them put "Ask me about my pet monkey." Oh well." She shrugged a little bashfully.

And I wondered what sort of manager would let a young blond girl leave his office with a tag like that.

A salacious one, I'll bet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Our Food Supply

In May of 2006, I wrote an article on the FDA, and their inability to protect us in everything from our medicines to our meats.

In March of 2007, I wrote an article on the dangers in our food supply.

This is becoming an annual event. Like a zombie in a low-grade horror flick, this issue just won't die.

Now, of course, we have the largest meat recall in history and I still see a lack of panic in the press! And despite the war, the elections, and the economy, our food supply should truly be the #1 concern in the minds of every American as it affects each and every one of us like nothing else does; from the very young to the very old.

Some of the press are eagerly writing that there is no discernible illness detected as a result of this SNAFU. Well of course there isn't. YET.

If these cows were afflicted with mad cow disease, and people injested the meat, then it can take years for them to evince the symptons of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease* (the human variant of mad cow disease). And there is no escaping Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: Once the symptoms begin, it's a rapid death sentence.

Once again, we see how our foods are imperilled. Once again, will we choose to ignore it?


* There are two types of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD): The classic (which appears more commonly among the elderly) and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) which appears in younger people. It is more likely that vCJD would be acquired through eating the meat of a mad cow. However, don't be gladdened by this: The symptoms are the same.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Encourage Canada to Become a Refuge

From March 13th through the 16th, disenchanted veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars will be in front of Congress, testifying to the atrocities they've seen. They will, hopefully, make a powerful case for immediate withdrawal. You can read more on this upcoming event at IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War).

As with Vietnam, this will surely stir up a great deal of anger on both sides. There will be people who call these soldiers mere cowards but when you hear a little bit of what they've seen, you will understand that they have been forced to view a very different version of the war than what the Bush administration would care to admit. If you'd like to hear what they have to say, there's a video on their front page.

Sadly, many of these troups cannot stomach the war any longer. They say they have seen too little good and too much hypocrisy. However, due to an agreement between Canada and the US government, there is no more refuge to be found in Canada. And, without Canada, there is no escape for the conscientious objector who can be forced back into combat situations or punished severely for refusing to fight.

Certainly Mexico is no friend to the US citizen: They send their own citizens to compete with us in our homeland, and have a tacit agreement with the US government which allows this to continue. No refuge is possible in Mexico. But there still might be in Canada! Nearly two of three Canadians are in favor of U.S. war resisters being allowed to stay according to a recent poll. And yet, the Canadian government still abides by their agreement to send back all conscientious objectors and deserters.

If you would like to do something to help these conscientious objectors, go to Courage to Resist and sign the letter and make a donation, or copy the letter, personalize it, and email it to:

1. Prime Minister Stephen Harper at pm@pm.gc.ca

2. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley at Minister@cic.gc.ca

3. St├ęphane Dion, Liberal Party, at Dion.S@parl.gc.ca

Friday, February 15, 2008

Local Police Abuse Wheelchair-Bound Man

By now many of you have heard of the wheelchair-bound man that was abused by our local sheriffs. If you haven't, you can catch the story here.

The Story in a Nutshell: A Tampa Sheriff deputy arrested Brian Sterner, a quadriplegic, on a traffic violation and hauled him into their headquarters. She claims she didn't believe him to be a quadriplegic, but it is obvious that there is a great deal of spite when you see the video which shows Brian being dumped out of his wheelchair.

The deputies involved say that this was the easiest way to frisk him. Anyone who has retained any humanity will be instantly disgusted when they view the cavalier treatment that Brian is subjected to. Perhaps those who participated merely despise and discriminate against the handicapped (this would be my guess).

I have a friend who's wheelchair-bound and he says he is continually disrespected. There have been many times when he has been at the store, waiting in line, when people take advantage of him by butting in front! He thinks they do this because they're under the impression that he's retarded. (He is only 41 but had a stroke a couple of years ago which almost killed him and left him with speech and movement difficulties.) But if they're treating him poorly because they think he's retarded, it is certainly no excuse (although it may be a reason).

This Sherriff's deputy is a black woman, and the victim is an emaciated white man. I can guarantee you that if their roles had been reversed, Jesse Jackson would be down here hollering for the news crews. But shouldn't he be just as incensed over this obvious discrimination?!

Deputy Charlette Jones has been suspended during the investigation. (Note the illiterate spelling; this isn't my mistake. She has her parents to thank, apparently).

Two others (who witnessed her actions and even walked away snickering) have also been placed on leave. Of course Charlette should be fired and prosecuted for abuse. A fitting sentence would be to fasten her legs to a wheelchair for a year. Perhaps she would learn what it's like to be subject to true discrimination.

Of course at the end of the year, Charlette would be able to walk again. Too bad her victim doesn't have the same future.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Christian Book Store

I was browsing in a Christian bookstore yesterday, as I had a little time to kill. They're going out of business, and I was hoping to pick up a discounted children's Bible for a friend who would like to have one.

I had made it halfway through the store when some voices I'd been hearing faintly were raised significantly. I came across three women having a political discussion. It was heating up, and now the entire store rang with the echoes of their voices.

There were two white women and one black woman. Most of the 'discussion' was really one-sided, and was being carried on loudly by a skinny white woman with an earnest, pinched face, glasses perched on her nose, and gray hair pulled severely back into a braided pony tail. She resembled an anxious librarian.

"I'm telling you," she announced shrilly, "That the Holy Spirit himself told me that Barack Obama is demon possessed!"

This announcement was met with long "Ohhhhhs" as the other women took it all in, nodding in approval.

She continued "YES! He is in the clutches of the Devil! There is not a Christian out there that should vote for that man! Hillary's not much better, but if Barack gets the nomination, it's over for us as a nation! It is! Why, I voted for Huckabee and he is a God-Fearin' man! But the Holy Spirit told me, he told me himself, that Barack Obama is pure eeeevil! And there are more black people that should be getting behind me on this! Black people could sway the election if they would just wake up! They're more worried about race than if he's a good candidate!"

The others made various approving noises, and it continued on in that vein for a while.

Although the woman was obviously a cuckoo short of a clock, I do have to confess that I did vote for Huckabee and am leery of Obama's ties to the Muslim faith. But as I listened to this woman drone on at the top of her lungs, I watched other customers moving about the store, skirting the three women like skittish colts.

This had been going on for at least 10 minutes by the time I'd had enough. I couldn't even concentrate enough to find the book I was looking for and customers were leaving the store. Those women were obviously aggressively determined to cram their views down everyones' throats, like it or not.

Finally I shouted (I had to shout in order to be heard over the woman) "Ladies! Ladies! Is this discussion really appropriate in the middle of the Bible store? What's the Bible verse about not offending your lesser brethren...? There may be some people who are not in agreement with you here, and you are being needlessly loud and offensive!"

The other white woman straightened up, said loudly "Well! I would've thought that surely here everyone would be in agreement!!!"

I have never had the experience of someone looking down their nose at me before, but she drew herself up, puffed out her chest, straightened her chin, and peered at me in the same manner as a hungry chicken peering at a worm.

"Uh huh," I said in a mild tone edged with steel, "I guess there's no knowing, is there?"

She snorted, wheeled about on one heel, and marched up to the front of the store: I kid you not. It was almost comical.

The black woman shot me an apologetic look and quietly vaporized. I was left alone with the librarian.

"Well!" she also gasped, tossing her braid to the side, "I don't know about you, but the Holy Spirit told me this himself, and *I* LISTEN to God!"

"Well," I retorted, "it might have been a spirit, but are you sure you were listening to the Holy Spirit?!"

At this her eyes goggled and she hollered "I KNOW my LORD! I KNOW his VOICE! I KNOW what he is SAYing to ME! I have a PERsonal reLAYshunship with MY LORD!"

"Great!" I said cheerfully. "Isn't that nice? How wonderful for you!" I stepped away from her and went back to browsing among the books.

To this she could have no further reply, so she stomped off angrily.

There was a refreshing, supreme peace for a couple minutes while I began to scan the titles again. It was broken by a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a tiny little old lady at my elbow.

"You're my hero," she said in a thin, quavery voice before she tottered off into another aisle.

As I left the bookstore, I saw the librarian on duty behind the cash register. Now I know why they're going out of business.

I wonder if the owner knows, too?

In the Bible, it says that the only unforgiveable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which results in a straight ticket to hell. I hope the librarian is weighing her words.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Economic Stimulus Package

First a little housecleaning:

1) If you participate in Ebay at all, please sign
this petition and join the boycott.

2) I was quite surprised when Mitt Romney stepped down. I see only marginal differences between McCain and Hillary and I will vote for Hillary if McCain takes the nomination. I am, by the way, a moderate Republican but I am liberal in areas McCain is conservative in, and conservative in areas he's liberal in. I feel no connection whatsoever with John McCain and am not one of those do-or-die party loyalists.
(I'm not mentioning Huckabee here because I don't think he has a chance. I would have voted for Romney in the Presidential elections, which might surprise some of you).

It's a Friday morning in February and the fog and gloom is outdoors and it seems to permeate the day.

Yesterday I dropped off a few business checks at the bank and stopped by a major outlet store where I often find good deals to sell on Ebay.

As I am a regular, I have made 'friends' with some of the employees there and we often chat about miscellaneous things as I shop. This time I was speaking with William, an 81 year old man with a sparkling wit. I adore William, and would marry him in a minute if he weren't already married and 81 years old. William is one of those rare men with a marvellous personality that lights up a room. I have never asked what he did for a living, but I assume it somehow involved interracting with the public.

William was rather grim that day, however. Somehow the discussion fell upon the economy (perhaps because there were so few shoppers there). He told me that he and his wife were seriously discussing cutting back and saving. We discussed the reasons for doing so. We also discussed the conundrum Americans as a whole face: Should they be spending or saving instead?

Of course we are told we can't stop spending. The new economic stimulus package which was passed yesterday is created based on the hope that spending will increase with a better tax refund.

On the other hand, some pundits are pointing out that people lose jobs during recessions and depressions and they're recommending that everyone start saving for the potential lay-offs.

What to do?

There are no easy answers right now, but personally I am leaning toward cutting back on spending for now.

Meanwhile, it's fine to give us back some of our money, but it doesn't alter the fact that we're in terrible debt as a nation. Is Congress also going to stop all this horrific spending?! They're spending money like a lottery-winner in a whorehouse. Until they can control themselves, the root of the problem will continue to exist: Trim the tree down to the ground, but you haven't destroyed it until you've uprooted it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

McCain, Romney, and Huckabee

Why are people voting for Huckabee over Romney? By now, it had been predicted that Huckabee would be no more than a fleabite on the hide of the Big Elephant.

At this point, most conservatives dislike McCain (which is why over 60% of the vote is going elsewhere). *I* am moderate, but I am moderate in the areas McCain is not, and I am conservative in the areas in which he is liberal. Apparently many Republicans agree with me, so McCain may not be electable. If the race comes down to McCain vs. Clinton or Obama, many of us will throw the election to the Democratic candidate because the difference is negligable and we'd like some true change and a fresh party in the White House may be just what we need.

The Republican candidate needs to be distinctively different from the Democrats if he's to garner Republican loyalty. Despite popular opinion, I don't think McCain can win. So we are left with two candidates: Huckabee or Romney.

Before I say any more on this subject, I'd like to make a caveat. I have some friends and acquaintances who are Mormons, and I have nothing at all against them. A fellow blogger (3 Score & 10) is a good family man, interesting writer, and someone I am always happy to see over here at my blog. My favorite talk show is Glenn Beck (a Mormon), and generally Glenn Beck represents my views over 90% of the time.

However, Mormons are still considered to be misled (at best) or a cult (at worst) by many people. There are few (if any) Protestants or Catholics who will place them in the category of "Christian", despite Mormon protests to the contrary. As is commonly said, "If I stand in a garage and call myself a car, I'm still not a car."

This religion has beliefs that deviate greatly from the mainstream such as:

1) Jesus and Satan are brothers (see renowned Mormon John A. Widtsoe's work Evidences and Reconciliations, Pg.209).

2) It's OK to marry multiple wives (even though some of the Mormon leadership backed away from this doctrine eventually because too many of them were getting into legal trouble). Their church split over this doctrine, and hardcore Mormons still practice polygamy.

3) There have recently been many books out on the wide-spread child molestation that goes on in the Mormon culture. Yeah, yeah, the Catholic church has also had it's share of child molesters. However, we're dealing with a flaw in the Mormon church at the moment. We can table the discussion of the Catholic church's failings for now.

I do want to point out that the molestation in the Catholic church primarily revolves around their priests. As for the Mormon church: Although there have been cases in which boys have claimed that they were molested by church leaders, there are many young girls who have reported being molested or are married off very young. Why? Because the Mormon religion has many loopholes which actually encourages this for some sick individuals. And, after all, if their founder (Joseph Smith) had multiple wives (some very young), it's difficult to argue against the practice.

Yes, the more modern Mormons (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or CLDS) are eager to distance themselves from the other branch of Mormonism (the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or FLDS) and I am sure that the FLDS has more victims of molestation. But the FLDS can rightly claim that they continue to follow their founder's teachings to the letter, and many people wonder how much CLDS really differs from FLDS.

It's one thing to have the head of the Senate be a Mormon, as the American people didn't elect him to head the senate. But when it comes to electing the head of the USA, most voters hesitate because of all this.

And that is where Mitt Romney's problems stem from. This may also be why Mike Huckabee is so adamantly opposed to him and so willing to hang in as long as he can. On the other hand, perhaps Huckabee simply dislikes Romney's polish and Ken doll good looks.

We now see that there are many voters who are also united in their dislike of Romney. And though there have been cries for Huckabee to quit, perhaps we need to honestly ask ourselves if Romney is electable.

The sad truth is that none of the candidates are our Dream Date.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Ebay Boycott

After my post yesterday, an anonymous fly-by posted this:

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*

Worldwide eBay Boycott February 18th through February 25th, 2008.

We the concerned eBay buyers and sellers on eBay are protesting eBays announced new fee increases and feedback policy changes. We do not believe that these changes will have any positive affect for buyers or sellers and will result in increased prices, less choices and disharmony within the eBay community.

We also are in complete agreement that eBay's policy of allowing dogs and cats to be sold on eBay in China for slaughter purposes is both cruel and inhumane and must be stopped immediately.

We urge all people's to not shop or sell on eBay during this worldwide boycott.

Please spread the word.

Thank you.


I checked into it, and the post is 100% valid. And yes, the part about Ebay allowing dogs and cats to be sold as food is shockingly TRUE. It's amazing to see Ebay kowtow for the almighty Yen.

In the past there's been talk of Ebay boycotts and they didn't pan out well. Some sellers said it would only hurt them and impact Ebay little to nothing at all. However, that's assuming that there aren't going to be enough pissed-off sellers to make it effective.

This time, I'm betting there are.

Yes, the boycott will hurt sellers for a week. But it's only a week! How many of us have taken vacation or had an illness that prevented us from listing for a week? And yet we survived it! We can do this.
And during that time, perhaps we will start selling on Amazon.com or Ebid.net and we'll do ourselves a favor by working with an ethical company who charges considerably less! After all, if the buyers know the sellers are elsewhere, they will surely follow.

I learned something new yesterday. Ebay's claim that they're dropping fees is deceptive. They'll actually be increasing their final charges, which will more than make up for the fee drop they're trumpeting. That means that not only will sellers be treated as garbage, but they'll also be charged more for the privilege.

Thanks, but no thanks, Ebay. I'm joining the boycott.