Update On My Issues with WMATA
After contacting WMATA about how I got overcharged for parking at the White Flint metro garage earlier this month, I received refund instructions and was able to reclaim my $3.50. However, in their explanatory email, there was no acknowledgement about my suspicions on the cause of the problem.
Well, it happened again yesterday. Yes, I’ve sent another email about the overcharge, and I’m now 100% certain that my initial suspicions were correct.
I entered the metro system yesterday afternoon from Bethesda with $21.90 on my card. Exiting the system at White Flint, my card was debited the $2.60 peak rate and the remaining balance on my card was $19.30. Since my autoload threshold was $20 (note the past tense), the next tap would add $20 to the card. That next tap came about 5 minutes later as I drove out of the White Flint WMATA garage. The autoload happened, but so did the $8.50 non-rider parking rate.
So again, I’ve email WMATA requesting a refund, and reiterating the problem. I suppose they consider people who don’t realize that this problem exists is another stream of revenue or something. In the meantime, I’ve disabled autoload, a wonderful convenience that just isn’t worth the hidden surcharge.
My bigger gripe is with how governments and quasi-governmental agencies are so completely tone deaf when the citizenry tries to help by pointing out problems in their systems. I have the same beef with Alert Montgomery, who cannot send a coherent SMS message if my life depended on it (which, theoretically, it could) and completely ignored my attempt at suggestions on how to improve it.
Hey, guys, you’re here to service us, your constituents and riders. Pay a little attention, why don’t you?
WMATA Is a Bunch of Incompetent Hacks
…or Why I’m Probably Going to Disable Auto Reload
Tuesday night, when coming home from @WordPressDC, I got charged the non-rider rate coming out of the White Flint WMATA garage instead of the rider rate. This is the second time that this has happened to me, and the last time it did (in March), I barked about it on Twitter. @WMATA’s response was to call the parking office. I never followed through that time, but I did today.
Let’s say the woman I talked to on the phone was supremely unhelpful. (I know, you’re shocked.) She clearly had no interest in understanding what happened or my theory on why it happened. She directed me instead to email the parking office for a reimbursement. Okay, done.
But back to my theory on why this is happening. I have my SmarTrip card set to auto load $20 every time the balance dips below $20. I think getting off the metro Tuesday night triggered the recharge threshold, and when I tapped the card on the garage exit gate, it recharged the card but forgot that I had just gotten off the train minutes before. I recall that this was the exact same scenario the last time this happened.
In my email, I implored WMATA to fix this bug in their system. I’m going to give them a chance to do so, but if it happens again, I’m going to cancel Auto Load. The convenience of not having to deal with the add fare booths is not worth $3.50 a month.
So a last-minute tweet from @nacin saves me from attending a @WordPressDC meetup on the wrong day. I end up having to cancel my RSVP since I already had plans for the right day. Now those plans just fell through, and I can make @WordPressDC after all, but there’s a waitlist. Current status: >:-(
The one birthday perk i would’ve liked yesterday would’ve been for #MrTony to have read my email. But since I’m not from Kuala Lumpur or Djibouti or Guangzhou I guess there was little chance of that happening. I guess I need to get used to disappointment. I can take it because I’m a man, I’m 40!
A Quick Roundup of CSS Grid Frameworks
I was looking for a CSS grid framework I had heard about a few weeks ago, but had lost the URL to. Thanks to @johnbhartley, I finally found it, but not before compiling this partial list of CSS grid frameworks out there. In no particular order, and without commentary:
- Blueprint CSS
- Foundation by Zurb
- Twitter Bootstrap
- 960 Grid System
- Fluid 960 Grid System
- Mueller Grid System
- Responsive Grid System
- Zen Grids
- Gold Grid System
- One% CSS Grid
- 34 Responsive Grid System
- Responsive Grid System
- 1140 CSS Grid
- Profound Grid
- Gumby Framework
Yeah, just a few.
Hey recruiters! Here are some tips for not making me think you’re lower than a used car salesman:
1. Don’t misspell my name.
2. Don’t fill your email to me with stupid sounding superlatives like “ultra-new” and “ultra-cool”.
3. Don’t send the same exact email to BOTH my personal AND work emails. Heck, don’t send ANYTHING to my work email, k?
4. Don’t send me job opps for AOL.
That’s all. Bye.
So I was thinking the other day how one should never have to query the database directly from a template in WordPress.
Then I found a situation where I needed to do just that.
Then I discovered that no, actually I didn’t need to query the database directly after all.
This is the commit message I wanted to enter:
“fixing a really STUPID bug that’s only in CHROME (not even Safari, WTF?) where the popup title (a.k.a. the railway title) was overlapping the logo BECAUSE THERE WAS A FRIGGIN’ NEGATIVE TOP MARGIN.
I mean, what the hell? negative margins, even though they make me somewhat uneasy, are perfectly valid and within the rules of CSS. So why the fuck is Chrome freaking out on them?
And it’s SPECIFICALLY chrome. Safari is just fine, thank you very much. Crap, IE7 EVEN DISPLAYS CORRECTLY WITH THE NEGATIVE MARGIN!!!
So I’ve deleted the -3px top margin. If anyone misses it, I’m sorry, but there’s no freaking conditional comments for Chrome, so WTF else can I do?”
This is the commit message I actually entered:
“Fixed a Chrome-specific bug where a negative margin caused one element to overlap an element that was supposed to float beside it. Solution: deleted the negative margin.”