Sears fail, week two

After last week’s Sears delivery fiasco, I expected UPS to send my garage door opener back to Sears following three failed delivery attempts, and that’s exactly what they did.  Given that my package was en-route to somewhere in Illinois, I worked up the ambition to call Sears again to try to figure out my next steps.

Sears Tower in Chicago Illinois

Sears Tower in Chicago Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I called them up, and wound up speaking to a chap named Mark.  I’m sure that’s his real name.

As you might imagine, one of the more singularly frustrating parts of this entire endeavor is that I get to explain the entire story to each Sears customer service agent I speak with, each and every time I call them.  “Customer Service”, evidently, doesn’t include taking any damned notes to keep track of what customers are calling about.  After walking “Mark” through the entire UPS-fail story, I concluded by asking him, “So, where do you suppose my garage door opener is right now, Mark?”

Mark actually surprised me at this point, because he got it right — “It’s on its way back to Sears,” he said.  “Excellent, Mark,” I said.  “How might we attempt to fix things at this point?”

“Well, I can have UPS send it back out again.”

Mark’s clearly a glass-half-full guy, because he was pretty sure that some divine power was going to intervene in order to make that delivery successful where the prior three attempts failed.  “I don’t think so, Mark.  How about you send it to a store, and I’ll pick it up there?”

And here’s where it got kind of weird.  “I’m sorry — once the package has been shipped UPS, the only thing we can do with it is ship it UPS again.  I can’t send it to a store.”

“Really, Mark?”


“Ok, Mark,” I said.  “Can you go find me a supervisor?”

While I was waiting on the line for Mark to find me a supervisor, it occurred to me that if I could find a store with this damned thing in stock and know that I could get it for the same price, I’d probably be better off just going there and picking it up in person — *if* I knew that my first order was properly terminated and refunded.

“Hi,” said Mark.  “I’ve got a supervisor on the line.  I’m going to go ahead and transfer you.”

(hold music)


Yup — really.  Mark hung up on me.

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Sears / UPS megafail update


Sears (Photo credit: justj0000lie)

It’s day three of my Sears & UPS delivery debacle, and the hits just keep coming.  Yesterday, I posted a transcript of my chat with a Sears customer service bot, where I tried to get them to change the delivery instructions on my package from Sears.  Sears marked my delivery as “signature required”, you see, and I’m at work and unavailable to sign for the package.  I’d like to have UPS hold the package, and I’ll go sign for it at their facility.

Not too difficult to accomplish, one might think, but this goal is so far eluding both Sears and UPS.

I tweeted link to the post yesterday, copying both @Sears and @UPS.  Encouragingly, representatives from both teams contacted me quickly to offer their assistance, but sadly, neither one of them has been able to make a lick of difference.  I’ll start with Sears.  They followed me instantly and asked me to DM them my contact info.  Good enough, so far — at least they followed me so I could DM them.  I sent in my contact info, though, and received a public reply on twitter indicating that I was “next in line”:

Sears Cares Sears Cares
@dlambert Thanks for the information. The next available case manager will email you to assist. Thanks again, Dianne cc:@Sears

That was at 4:30pm yesterday.  I haven’t heard a peep from them since.  So that sort of wraps up my experience with Sears — er, sorry — “Sears Cares”.

My experience with UPS is a little more interesting, but no less ineffective.  In their case, they also asked for my info (to be sent by email) and then looked up my tracking number and confirmed (just like Wednesday night) that they couldn’t make any changes to my shipment because “Sears has restricted the package”.  I took that opportunity to craft an email to UPS in the hopes that the person I was dealing

with *might* have access to an actual decision-maker:

Thanks – that’s exactly what I heard from UPS customer service last night. I understand that this problem originates with Sears, but inasmuch as it makes you guys look bad by association, it might be nice if you had the ability to override a boneheaded move by one of your customers.

English: A United Parcel Service Van (package ...

Somewhere, my package is riding around on a brown truck.  Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hopefully, the social media team at UPS has a little better access to decision-makers there, because someone should review what’s gone on here. At this point, my package has been cruising around Columbus on a brown truck for the better part of the last two days, and despite my best efforts, plus the those of at least one customer service rep and yourself, we’ve been unable to get the package to stop in one place long enough for me to catch up with it and sign for acceptance.

Although I can see how this problem *began* with Sears, UPS sure appears to be part of the problem now. Prior to this episode, I’ve always had great experiences with UPS. You were the first shipper that let me receive email updates on delivery status (years ago), and I’ve used your online systems on many occasions to hold packages for pickup in exactly this sort of situation.

I cannot believe that this is a freak use case — for either you or Sears. Maybe this is an opportunity for someone at UPS to have a strategic conversation with someone at Sears so you can coach them up a bit on how to do logistics well (that’s what you *do*, isn’t it?). I truly believe you guys are capable of helping Sears with this, and I also believe that with your help, they can be a better customer for UPS.

Sadly, it appears that wasn’t the case.  Here’s the response I got from UPS:



I can appreciate the perspective you have as the receiver of the package and how difficult this situation is. Unfortunately the restrictions placed on the package are a contractual decision made by Sears for this account. I apologize that we have no way to hold the package for you.


Thank you,

(name withheld)

So, there you have it.  It’s now delivery day three, and UPS’s tracking info shows that my package is once again, somewhere on the streets of Columbus on a brown truck, and I’m powerless to intercept it.

I’ll try reaching out to @Sears and @UPS once more, and update my results here.

In the meantime, remember — “Sears Cares”.

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Customer Disservice

Normally, I’m a pretty big fan of UPS.  Over the years, they’ve delivered a lot of stuff to me, and they’re usually pretty reliable.  I wasn’t too surprised or dismayed to see that a package I’d ordered from Sears had failed its first delivery because Sears marked the package “signature required”.  Now, if Sears had indicated that they were going to require a signature, I’d have sent the package to a Sears store to begin with and avoided this whole problem, but I was pretty sure this wouldn’t be a big deal — I’d just tell UPS to hold my package at their distribution center and go pick it up.

So, I logged on to UPS and found I had the following options for my package:

(1) Send the package back to the sender.

Yup.  That’s it.  No #2.  So, I called UPS, and it turns out that they couldn’t hold my package because Sears “won’t let them make delivery changes”.  No, I didn’t understand that, either.  They recommended I contact Sears, and the first contact info I found for Sears was a “chat” option, so I fired that bad boy up, and here’s what transpired.

I’m not making this up:


Please wait for a Sears Customer Service Representative to respond. This chat may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes. Thank you for holding.

Hi, my name is Ramon, and it is my pleasure to assist you today. May I have your name?

Ramon: I see you have placed an order with us.  While I am pulling it up, please tell me how can I help?

you: I had this order shipped to my home via UPS. It’s marked as “requires signature”, but I’m not at home during the day.

Ramon: Good Evening.

you: I just called UPS with the info notice number so I could have the package held at a UPS location, and they said they couldn’t make changes because of something Sears has done w/ the order.

you: The only option they’re giving me is to return it to sender.

Ramon: Thank you.

Ramon: I will be happy to check the order for you.

you: They’re going to make another attempt to deliver the package tomorrow, but alas, I’m going to be at work again tomorrow.

you: What I need to do is to have it held at the UPS counter so I can pick it up there.

you: I’ve never had any problems at all making that happen via UPS with a tracking number, so I’m really not sure what’s gone wrong here.

Ramon: I would suggest you to contact our UPS team at 1-800-742-5877 and you can pick up the item from the UPS hub.

you: I just spoke to UPS at that number.

you: They said they couldn’t make changes to delivery because of something Sears had done on this shipment.

you: I can’t change any delivery options, so I can’t have it held.

Ramon: Someone above 18 years of age will be able to pick up the item

Ramon: I am sorry.

you: Yeah, great. I’m over 18.

you: The problem is that I can’t have UPS hold the package at their location so I can pick it up.

Ramon: Someone above 18 years of ages is necessary to received the item.

you: HEY!!

you: I’m over 18!!

you: Are you reading this?

you: It’s not going to do anyone any good to put the package on a truck again tomorrow morning, ok?

you: I need it held at the UPS location.

you: I cannot accomplish this with UPS because Sears has told UPS they can’t change delivery options.

Ramon: I mean, if you are not able to receive the item as you will go to office, anyone above 18 years can received the item.

you: If I go to the office w/o the package being marked “hold for pickup”, it will not be there — it will be on a truck.

you: Therefore, I need to have UPS hold the package for me to pick up.

you: UPS has already said they will make three attempts to deliver the package. One has occurred.

you: The next two will fail, because I work.

you: You know — to pay for the stuff I just ordered from you?

Ramon: I will forward this issue to our UPS team and will contact you back with the address for picking up the item.

you: So, I’d like to have UPS *not* put the package on their truck tomorrow, and I will go to where the package is.

you: Ok, that’ll be fine.

you: Will you be able to email that to me?

you: Please send updates to [my email address]

you: Thanks.

Ramon: Ups team will send you an email.

Ramon: I am sorry, just to check , are you still their online with me?

Ramon: I’m sorry, I didn’t receive a response. You may call 1-800-349-4358 or try again later, whichever is more convenient. Thank you for visiting us at

Thank you for chatting with us. Please click the “Close” button on the top right of the chat window to tell us how we did today.


[Update – Jan 17]  I called Sears back when I had a chance and spoke to a human being.  This guy claimed to have made a change to have the package held at UPS for me, but I just got another tracking update from UPS saying that they’d made another delivery attempt today, and that the third and final delivery attempt is scheduled for tomorrow.  Of course, my plans for tomorrow still include working, so I don’t expect that endeavor to go any more successfully than the prior two have.  Sigh.

Tax credits considered harmful

As we teeter on the brink of the Fiscal Cliff, we’re once again hearing calls to simplify our tax code.  If all the loopholes were closed, say proponents, we wouldn’t have high-rollers getting away with disproportionately light tax contributions.  I’m not sure that simplification will solve all our fiscal problems, but I do believe that complicated tax codes benefit the well-off more than the working class.

Moreover, this isn’t just true for individuals — it’s at least as much a problem with corporations.  At a Federal level, large corporations have a growing influence over our elected officials.  Energized by the “Citizens United” verdict of 2010, our most recent elections were the costliest in history, with a lot of that new money being injected via super-PACs that can veil the identity of contributors.  Due to the secrecy afforded those contributors, it’s impossible to say how much of that new money, exactly, comes from corporations, but it’s a lot.  Corporations can’t tell candidates how they expect them to vote, of course — that would be corrupt!  If a candidate happens to infer some intent, though, and take that into consideration when legislating tax code, for instance — why, that’s just a case of a representative doing what he can do to help his constituents.  Corporations, after all, are people, too.

Companies who aren’t large enough to make a splash at the Federal level, though, can still throw their weight around locally.  Frequently, these days, we see this take the form of local tax credits.  Typically, these take the form of an exemption to some or all local tax burdens that are granted to companies who meet some criteria.  The most common systemic criteria, of course, is relocation into a tax district, and tax credits for this are common enough that you’ll see them listed on web sites for cities around the country.  Individual companies are free to negotiate deals like this on an ad-hoc basis, too, in return for either relocating or not (“give me a credit, or I’m outta here”).

Such is the case for USA Vinyl, a Hilliard, OH company that just announced it’s moving to Groveport, OH.  Just in case you’re not familiar with the geography around Columbus, OH, by the way, here’s the move we’re talking about:

Now, in practical terms, what are the impacts of this move?

  • A whole bunch of Hilliard employees are going to have to drive down to Groveport every day, or find new work.
  • Any employees that do choose to commute are going to have to drive along a stretch of Hwy 270 that’s currently under construction and horribly, horribly buggered-up right now, so you can count on them spending hours a day sitting in stop-and-go traffic burning gas in their SUV’s.  I’m not going to go as far as to suggest that the extra traffic will be noticed on top of the mess that already exists, but it can’t help, either.
  • USA Vinyl will expend a bunch of time and energy coordinating a move of 22.2 miles, rather than making vinyl products, but it’s worth it because they’re going to save a bundle on taxes over the next five years or so.
  • There will probably be a moving company or two that enjoy a great quarter.
  • Hilliard will miss out on some local tax revenue.
  • Groveport will also miss out on some local tax revenue.


In both cases (Hilliard and Groveport), that missing revenue will have to be made up somewhere.  Services will be cut, or other businesses and/or citizens will be asked to make up the difference.  These communities, then, are rewarding the companies who are willing to uproot themselves and leave a community for a new tax break, and shifting the burden to the citizens left behind.  And it’s happening everywhere.

Perhaps the worst news of all is that once this sort of thing begins, States and municipalities can find themselves locked in a sort of death spiral.  It’s tough to see an employer lured out of your backyard and not want to turn around and do the same thing to someone else.  It’s worth exploring the possibility of ceasing all of these incentives, either by convention or legislation, but of course this would only work until someone somewhere decides to step over the line again, and of course ultimately, there’s always off-shoring that stands to trump all the deals happening here in America.

Ultimately, I believe this is one of those cases where we’d like to be able to look to our elected officials to bring a strong, long-sighted perspective to bear on the problem, and to understand that a strong, balanced local economy is a powerful deterrent to companies who might be tempted to sneak out under cover of darkness.

That’s why we elected them, right?

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News flash: employers need to help with skills gap

I’m certainly not a fan of all of Gov. John Kasich’s policies, including the “frack, baby, frack” approach he’s followed with Ohio’s shale deposits.  But fair is fair: in an announcement today, Kasich told Ohio businesses that the so-called skills gap they’ve been complaining about is a shared problem, and if they want to see a higher-quality labor force, they’re going to need to get involved with the State to help develop skills in time for their eventual demand.

John Kasich

John Kasich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d actually take this a step further, in fact.  I believe that in an awful lot of cases, businesses are looking for super-specific skill sets, where they’d really be far better off to look at broad aptitudes combined with a personality, work ethic, and determination to gain specific skills as needed.

Why?  When you shop for specific skills only, those skills are useful only as long as those specific needs remain static.  Upgrade a machine or even software, and your workforce now needs to either learn new skills or be replaced with a workforce that’s presumably already been trained on those new skills.

A cynic might observe at this point that businesses that continually shop for specific skills only looks an awful lot like a business that wants workers that someone else has trained (without paying for it) over and over again.  That’s not fair, either.  Paul Krugman pointed out yesterday that if businesses were really looking for specific skills, you’d expect, all things being equal, that employees with those skills would be seeing big pay hikes, and we’re not seeing a whole lot of that.

So, yes, business leaders — if you want an effective work force, you really need to consider the sort of skills you’re going to need in five, ten, even 20 years, and think about what you’re doing to help build that pipeline.  If you’re successful, by the way, you’ll also wind up with a serious competitive advantage compared to the folks that aren’t doing that sort of forecasting.


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Big companies; big failures

Today’s HP news is absolutely priceless.

Sorry; that came out wrong.  Actually, the news carries a price tag of close to $9B, with $5B attributed to an $11B acquisition completed last year.  HP alleges that there were “serious accounting improprieties” at Autonomy, leading HP to overpay for the acquisition by — let’s see — pretty close to 100%.

Meg Whitman speaks at the Tech Museum in San J...

Meg Whitman speaks at the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA February 17, 2009. Photo by Max Morse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is this great, or what?

A catastrophe this huge can’t be that simple, though.  Although this news is still fresh off the press, here are a few points to ponder as more details leak out:

  • The two HP execs who championed this acquisition have left HP, though former CEO Leo Apotheker managed to leave with $25M in his pocket.  Interestingly, though, most of the Board that approved this acquisition, including current CEO Meg Whitman, are still with the company.  Can they all really just get themselves off the hook by throwing their former execs under the bus?
  • Whitman is keeping those buses busy; she’s also throwing Autonomy auditor Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu under there, too.  Clearly, this doesn’t look good for Deloitte, but can there be more to it than that?  After all, it wasn’t that long ago that we discovered that the credit rating agencies we trusted to grade the risk of all sorts of financial instruments weren’t really doing their jobs.  So, let me make sure I’ve got this right:  credit agencies who were paid by the companies they were grading were a bit too “optimistic”, and now we’ve got an accounting company who was paid by Autonomy who “missed” accounting improprieties.  I’m sure that’s a coincidence.
  • Five billion bucks is hardly covered by “oops”, especially if someone really was cooking the books.  Watch to see if anyone winds up paying any serious fines, let alone serving jail time.
  • Again, even if there were people actively trying to pull off a gigantic scam, there were a whole bunch of people at HP who swallowed this pile of rubbish hook, line, and sinker.  Conclusion: HP’s management is working at a level that’s way too abstract for them to grasp what’s really going on in their company.  Funny; the same thing seems to have happened with some of our big banks a couple years ago, too, didn’t it?

And finally, one last thought:  a loss this tremendous is only possible for a company as huge as HP.  They literally just declared to shareholders and the rest of the world, something to the effect of, “Yeah, there’s some $8.8B that we were carrying as assets yesterday, and today we’re telling you it’s gone, ok?”  Oops.  And that’s it — life carries on for HP and their 300,000+ employees (that’s half the population of Alaska, by the way).  The really great part?  Today’s $8.8B charge follows an $11B charge last quarter.

Absolutely hilarious, isn’t it?

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When a vote isn’t a vote

One of the greatest points made in Larry Lessig‘s book, “Republic, Lost” is that corruption may be evident by appearance even when no actual laws have been broken, and in the case of our government, one of the ways this shows up most profoundly is when we erode the fundamental principle that each citizen’s vote in the Unites States of America carries exactly the same weight as each other citizen’s vote.

Sounds pretty simple, but is it true?

Lessig points out with great effect that when money starts changing hands, most visibly in the form of campaign donations, specific people and corporations begin to lose their anonymity with respect to our elected officials.  In short, if I write a big enough check to my Congressman, I may not actually be entitled to expect him to vote the way I’d like, but I can be sure he’ll know who I am and how I feel about positions that are important to me.  This, as Lessig points out, pretty quickly starts to look a hell of a lot like a duck, if you catch my drift.

But that’s small-potatoes stuff.  I read an article today that absolutely blew me away.  There’s a fella named David Siegel who’s not a big Obama fan.  So much so is he not a fan that he sent a letter to the 7,000 employees of Westgate Resorts explaining that if Obama is reelected, this would represent a threat to some of the jobs that these 7,000 people presumably wish to keep.  In short, Siegel implies, vote against Obama, or else.

Now, I’m no lawyer, but I’m frankly floored that this is even legal.  Beyond legality, however, I’m troubled that a CEO acting as an agent of a corporation would express political motivations this overtly.  It’s not unusual for CEOs or even entire corporations to be pretty forthcoming about their political affiliations, of course, but as citizens, I believe we should give some thought to what, exactly, this is doing to the power of our individual votes.

It’s clearly troubling all by itself when corporations and big-time campaign donors (who happen to represent corporations) wield undo influence by virtue of these donations.  That’s bad enough.  But when a single individual attempts to strong-arm 7,000 employees into voting with him (or else!), we’re seriously at risk of losing any claim of democracy at all.

Again, if this isn’t illegal as hell, I’d really like to know why it’s not — beyond the cynical explanation that keeps popping into my head.  Anybody know the answer?  I’d love to hear it.

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A trillion bucks? Says who?

I read a tweet today claiming that the US has spent $1,350,000,000,000 spent on war in Afghanistan & Iraq — that’s $1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, and that this money would be sufficient to wipe out world poverty for ten years.

Pretty provocative thought.

If you’ve read this blog before, you can probably guess my first reaction:  “How do you know that?”  These are exactly the sort of “facts” that get tossed about with abandon with no concern whatsoever for whether there’s any truth to them, and in my opinion, that really doesn’t help make our public debate any more productive.

So, then, how might we verify this number?  At a bare minimum, we’d like to see it from multiple sources.  So, here are some of the top google hits for “how much money spent on war in afghanistan and iraq?”:

Do you know how much a Trillion Dollars is?

Do you know how much a Trillion Dollars is? (Photo credit: ClaraDon)

In this case, one big bias remains — all these results were found via Google.  Now, I love Google as much as the next guy — maybe more — but if you’re going to be responsible about understanding where facts are coming from, you can never forget the potential for them to add bias.  For what it’s worth, in this case, I checked for the same question and found similar (but not identical) results.

Next up: interpretation.

Reaction #1 — I think we know where the $1.3 trillion quote came from.

Reaction #2 — There’s a phenomenally huge variance here.

Reaction #3 — It doesn’t matter.  In my opinion, when you start looking at numbers this big, it’s pretty hard to wrap your mind around the difference between $1 trillion and $5 trillion.  In this case, it certainly appears that a number North of $1 trillion is credible, and I think that’s probably precise enough for most of the arguments that are likely to ensue as a result.  Just remember that it’s pretty hard to place any real precision on this number based on the brief research we just did — there’s still a pretty huge spread of claimed dollar amounts across the five sources we dug up above.

I’ll leave the actual argument about whether this chunk of money has been well-spent for another time or another venue.  My point here is that if we claim to be responsible citizens and responsible decision-makers, we need to be critical of numbers like this.  Tonight, we’ll watch the first Presidential debate between Obama and Romney, and you can bet there will be numbers tossed out.  Make sure you listen critically — to both sides — because you can’t form any meaningful opinions based on shoddy facts.

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Corporate Socialism

Here’s a quick read for you, courtesy of Yahoo Finance — it’s a pretty interesting take on how our tax code favors those with the resources to milk it.  The article interviews Pulitzer Prize-winner  David Cay Johnston, who explains more about this practice in his book, “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use ‘Plain English’ to Rob You Blind.”

Johnston explains that although the US nominally has a prohibitively high corporate marginal tax rate (39.2%), very few corporations actually pay taxes at that rate, and the greater the resources of the company, it seems, the more tools they have at their disposal to reduce their burden even further.  Our tax laws allow all sorts of creative accounting practices, and if companies can afford to throw accountants and lawyers around, set up offshore companies, etc., they can make billions in tax burdens evaporate — all legally.

Along with actual tax law, Johnston says, are all the one-off deals that corporations cut with States and municipalities to shirk their local tax burdens.  We hear about this all the time — big companies moving from one State to another — or even just threatening to move — in order to extract a deal from a State and/or city.  “Cut us a deal, or we’re leaving and taking all these jobs with us.”

So, what’s wrong with this picture?  Let me (try to) count the ways:

  • Big companies can throw their weight around in Washington.  If there’s a loophole they like, you can bet that some Congre$$men know about it.
  • Big companies can throw their weight around locally.  If Sam’s Bagels threatens to move its store and 3 employees to another town, I really doubt that this will hit the City Council’s agenda, but if Big Auto, Inc., threatens to move 1,000 jobs, you can bet they’re going to get a sweetheart deal.
  • All the grousing we hear about the 39% corporate tax rate is really a load of you-know-what — at least if your company’s got a decent team of accountants and lawyers.
  • These tax practices are incenting companies to get good at accounting tricks — not to get good at building product or servicing customers.  Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to see us build companies that are good at contributing to our economy and society, rather than being good at evasion and obfuscation.

Now, before you accuse me of blindly raining on big companies — let me assure you I’ve got nothing against big companies (or individuals who work tax loopholes) per-se.  I do, however, have a problem with big companies that wind up with an unfair advantage just because they’re big.

A waste of oxygen

Every day, we meet people we don’t see eye-to-eye with.  We watch news programs and listen to talk radio debating everything from steroid use to budget deficits.  One of our most sacred rights in America, in fact, is our ability to hold and express all of these varied positions.

Normally, I’m a pretty big proponent of diversity and tolerance, but sometimes, wrong is just wrong.

No, I’m not talking about this morning’s shooting in Colorado.  I’m talking about a staggering number of drivers in Florida that can only be considered sad excuses of human beings.  I saw this yesterday in a Gizmodo article, which described an experiment set up by Mark Rober to see if people would actually swerve out of their lane on a highway in order to run over a rubber decoy of a turtle, snake, or spider.

As you might expect, most drivers simply drove right on by, but a full six percent of them swerved off the highway to hit the decoys.  Not only were these mouth-breathers putting themselves and other drivers in danger by swerving in the first place, they also demonstrated a fairly stunning level of psychological dwarfism by going out of their way to kill an animal just because it was there.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear about a lone gunman blowing a gasket, I’d love to know what went wrong, but I’m able to rationalize it as an isolated random act.  But six percent of the drivers we pass by every day?  Out of roughly 200 million drivers, that’s a full 12 million knuckle-draggers that are clearly missing a couple lug nuts.  Personally, I can’t think of a better argument for stem cell research than to figure out which chromosomes these poor souls are missing.

A couple more interesting factoids: 89% of the psychopaths were driving SUV’s, and rubber animals unlucky enough to show up near a road leading to a local gun club were almost twice as likely to be run over as their counterparts on the main highway.  I’m sure that’s just a coincidence though, right?

Go watch Mark’s video to see the whole experiment unfold for yourself.