Jewish World Review Nov. 3, 2003 / 8 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Neil Cavuto

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Consumer Reports

I can't "wait" to get back at you! | I just want you to know that I'm sick of it. All of it. The lies. The fake promises. The constant teases. I'm not talking about Iraq. I'm talking about movies and airlines, restaurants and doctors. I'm talking about promises made, and promises never, ever, ever kept.

I'm sick of all of them and the fraud they've foisted on us all. They are liars. They are extortionists. And worse, they don't care. They don't care about their lies, or their distortions. They don't care about time. No, more to the point, they don't care about our time.

The movie theater that says a show starts at 8:30 p.m., when, in fact, that's only when the ads start (usually no less than three, wildly loud and incoherent, over-the-top, inane pitches to blank-faced teenagers). And they're usually followed by no less than four, usually six, trailers to upcoming movies. Then, lo and behold, the feature presentation itself -- now close to 9 p.m.! In that time, my once piping hot popcorn butter has cooled to the consistency of Elmer's glue and my soda has turned flat.

The doctor who pencils me in for a 9 a.m. appointment, but who apparently has offered the same appointment to three others in the same waiting room, all in varying degrees of discomfort. (I swear the woman sitting next to me had expired by the time her name was called, since efforts to get her attention failed. Either that, or the numbing indifference in the office itself lulled her into a catatonic stupor.)

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The airline that promises its 10:10 departure to Las Vegas is on time, that pre-boarding will commence at 9:30 (indeed, it's written in black-and-white on my boarding pass). But the plane hasn't even arrived at the gate, and once it has, no one seems to be in any rush to empty it, clean it and move it. It leaves a full half-hour late, yet miraculously arrives only five minutes late in Las Vegas. I've heard of padding, but this packing makes the girth around my waste seem Twiggian by comparison!

The restaurant that has accepted a 7 p.m. dinner reservation, only to tell me upon arrival that it will be a few minutes until my table is ready, so "please feel free to pay an un-Godly sum for one of our way-too-watered down drinks at the bar in the meantime."

Here's the kicker though. We accept it all -- the theater that lies about when a show starts, the doctor who lies about when an appointment starts, the airline that lies about when a plane leaves, and the restaurant that lies about when a meal commences.

Lies. Lies. Lies. Deceit. Deceit. Deceit. And why do we take it? Imagine if any of us acted this way in life and routinely did to others what they do to us? The possibilities are stupefying.

"Sorry, boss, I know the job starts at 9, but what the hell . . . 9:40 is still in the nine hour, right? Thanks for being such a good sport!"

No way! No one in his or her right mind would buy it, and I sure as hell wouldn't do it. Why?


Where have we gone as a society that we accept lies as part of business in society? I say it stops now.

Movie theaters, if you say "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" starts at 8, I want to see it at 8, or you'll have a tough time distinguishing between what's happening on your screen and what's happening in your theater!

And Doc, you either stop the multiple booking thing, or start finding a new place on your sorry physique to try out that new stethoscope!

Airlines, tell me the real time you're taking off, or I'll let you know in no uncertain economic terms where you can get off.

And Jacques, my condescending maitre d', you either have my seat ready or be looking after your own!

I'm being funny here, but I have a point. We accept too much. And it's because we're too nice. So quit being nice! We accept lies because they assume we can't handle the truth; so they pad and cajole, they wink and distort.

Some day, someone will say, "No, I'm not going to your movie. I'm not going to your restaurant. And the good doctor can take a good, flying leap." But until any of us pipes up, all of us will be put down. We will get what we deserve. And the people who time things for us will forever laugh at us.

Until someone says, "I'd sooner miss a show, than be made a show," we are only doomed to chill at a bar or endure pointless soda commercials at a theater. It's not what we ordered. It's not what we were promised. And if it doesn't change, it's not what we will ever, ever, accept.

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Neil Cavuto is managing editor of Business News at FOX News Channel. He is also the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and "Cavuto on Business." Comment by clicking here.


10/27/03: What would we die to know?
10/20/03: Smile while you work
10/13/03: Dull man walking: Why Gray was too gray
10/05/03: Who says we're so depressed?
09/29/03: Thanks, but no thanks
09/22/03: Big Companies vs. Big Government
09/15/03: Terrorists and idiots: Financial lessons learned
09/08/03: Watch out, Mr. President
09/03/03: Tips for Empty Nesters
08/25/03: Friends and hypocrites
08/18/03: When good news goes bad
08/04/03: PHONY BALONEY!
07/28/03: The meaning of a pin
07/21/03: We are what we eat
07/14/03: Don't like it, don't keep it!
07/07/03: The check, and the recovery, is in the mail!
06/29/03: Who says Al's our pal?
06/23/03: The big pitch for the "big get," no big deal!

© 2003, Neil Cavuto