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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Weekend-style

Friday
March 22, 2002

I think the post office in Ybor City, Florida is the worst in the U.S. Quick history lesson here... See, there used to be a normal-sized, fully functioning post office just a few blocks from where I sit and type this right now. But then in the summer of 2000, a terrible fire (sparked ironically by construction on the very apartment complex I now live in) destroyed several blocks of property... and the post office went up in smoke.

Now, there's a trailer that's serving as a "temporary" post office. They have a drawing of what the "new" post office will supposedly look like up on the wall inside the aforementioned trailer, but there's not any construction going on that would back up this plan.

On top of that, the place only seems to have one person TOTAL working at any one time. One time I saw two workers there and I was in shock. It didn't happen again. I've seen ridiculously long lines, like almost to the door, due to the lack of staffing. On top of that, if you want to send something Priority Mail -- tough shit if you need the packaging to go with it (normally provided by the post office as part of the cost). Best bring your own box there buddy. But, hey, there's a post office in walking distance, glorified trailer or not.

And while I'm in a bitching mood, here's a big UP YOURS to all the bastards who decided that they'd call the newsroom last night to complain that my station was showing UCLA/Missouri instead of Kent State/Pittsburgh. Granted, I'd rather see the Golden Flashes stick it to Pitt as well, but you will never please everyone in a situation like that. So as I busted my butt trying to put together a newscast (as I do every night I work), I had to field calls from the people who thought complaining to a newsroom would get their game switched. Yeah, like I have time to listen to you bitch with your theories on why we should be showing Kent St./Pittsburgh because they're on the "east coast", and we're on the east coast (albiet hundreds of miles away).

But it could have been worse. Back in the early 90's, WEHT in Evansville, Indiana was a CBS affiliate (they switched to ABC in 1995). That was before my time at the station, but veterans told me about a terrible dilemma they faced when Indiana and Kentucky played AT THE SAME TIME. Now that might not mean much to you, but in Evansville you're talking about the two most popular teams (even over the hometown Aces). And IU and UK fans don't exactly get along well, generally speaking.

Now I don't know which game they ended up showing, but whatever the case I'm glad I wasn't in the newsroom that night having to answer the phone. The jilted side poured in the phone calls, absolutely livid about the choice. Death threats were made. DEATH THREATS!?! Callers threatened to be waiting in the trees with sniper rifles. Yes... this is the business in which I've chosen to work...

Speaking of the NCAA's, there were some great games last night. The Duke/Indiana game had an insane finish (you never EVER foul with under 10 seconds to go, up four with an opponent shooting a three-pointer). Duke's out, Pittsburgh's out, and now all Oklahoma has to do is beat a #12 seed (Missouri) and the winner of a #5/#10 game (Indiana/Kent State) to land a spot in the finals. If it comes down to OU beating Maryland, as I predicted... well then I'll win the WSAZ pool. At least I think so.

This weekend needs to be good, because next week at work is going to be brutal beyond belief. My Associate Producer, Neal Boling (who is an invaluable part of our team) has next week off on vacation, which solidly puts me behind the 8-ball all week. I won't elaborate beyond that, but just trust me, it's no fun.

Next Friday night, Bar Tampa in Ybor City will be the place to be. I won a contest for a free party there. Free admission, free beer and free food all night for me and whomever I choose to invite. This deserves its own space, and I'll have plenty more on it next week (including the crazy story on how I entered the drawing in the first place, making the win all the more improbable).


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