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cross polling

I think my web poll is an interesting one this week, so I'm cross-polling (heh) it here in livejournal to see if I get similar results. I'm a little puzzled by what's winning among spacefem.com visitors, but let's discuss this after you take the poll:

What's the worst thing to do?

Park in a handicap space
Not tip waitresses
Talk on a cellular phone during dinner with someone
Make a little kid cry
Not rewind the rental video when it's done
Run a website that sends SPAM e-mail

See, according to my web site, here's what everyone thinks is the worst thing to do:

1. Run a website that sends SPAM e-mail (36%)
2. Make a little kid cry (30%)
3. Talk on a cellular phone during dinner with someone (12%)
4. Not tip waitresses (10%)
5. Park in a handicap space (9%)
6 Not rewind the rental video when it's done (0%)

Not what I expected at all.

Call me weird, but I think not tipping a waitress is one of the most worthless, asshole things you can do. I've never even been a waitress, but I've had friends to did it, and their $60 paychecks did not help with school expenses. Even if I get a miserably horrible waitress, I tip 10%, I can't believe this came in at #4.

Parking in a handicap parking space is the next worse, in my book, the fact that this came in at #5 is just weird. Maybe it's because people didn't take the poll seriously, because my site isn't really serious to start with? I would never, ever park in the handicap spot, that's positively awful! It doesn't matter that there are usually too many and they're usually empty, you are a worthless sack of dog shit if you park in handicapped spots without being handicapped.

Not rewinding the rental video is pretty stupid and inconsiderate. I'd put that next. Then I'd put SPAMMING. Yes, it's bad, but it doesn't hurt anyone. Then I'd rank talking on a cell phone, and making a little kid cry would be last. Whoever thinks that making a little kid cry is the worst thing you can do has never been around little kids, I used to babysit for kids who would throw a tantrum because I said they couldn't have cookies for dinner, I didn't feel bad about that one little bit. Little kids cry all the time. It's good for their lungs. I didn't say, "Kick them in the head until they cry."

So, maybe I'm totally weird here, I just wanted to see what you guys thought. I know the poll is totally unscientific, but I'm mystified by the results all the same.


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2002 06:55 am (UTC)
regarding the waitress issue...tipping culture is very different in germany. you get actually paid somewhat decently for waiting tables. tips still are nice, but they are extra. and especially in studenty places people rarely tip. just a thought.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 07:10 am (UTC)
good point, I guess I have to take that into consideration. you crazy europeans are always throwing these things off :)

But to put things in perspective, normal minimum wage here is like $5.15 an hour. I made $7 an hour at my last retail job, $12 an hour at my engineering internship. Minimum wage for waitresses/waiters is like $2.13 or so, I'd have to check. They really don't get anything for just being there.
Aug. 24th, 2002 01:57 pm (UTC)
when i looked for a job to subsidise my student loan last year, waitress jobs where between 5 and 6 bucks an hour...plus tips. that's average for this city...could be spectacular if the tips are good. but as i said...in studenty circles you rarely tip.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 07:21 am (UTC)
See, it depends upon the waitress. If the service is bad because things are held up in the kitchen, or if she's a little dippy, yeah, she'll still get the minimum percent tip. However, if the waitress is at all bitchy or rude for absolutely no reason, which has happened to me a handful of times, she deserves, and gets, absolutely nothing.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 07:29 am (UTC)
Well i picked talking on a cellphone, then i'd rank parking in a handicapped space, then not tipping waitresses. I went on the basis of the message sent out when people do those things.

Someone talking on a cellphone to someone else while they're having dinner with me, would suggest to me that they so little value me as a person, that they'd rather have a conversation with a different person in my company, even though i've made the effort to get dressed up and come out with them, and the person on the phone has done nothing better than press a button.

Someone parking in a handicapped spot is irritating and causes unnecessary physical pain to the handicapped person who drives up and finds there aren't any spaces and has to park somewhere else, but they're unlikely to take it personally, and can always wait and shout at the non-handicapped person who did it when they come back. (However what annoys me is when a handicapped person who's for real, but has a condition that isn't visible, merely causes pain while moving, gets bawled out because "you don't look disabled". This happens to my mother all the time, and i always give them an earful back again, but she just ignores them and keeps going. Odd woman, my mother.)

Waitressing is the same here, but if someone doesn't tip you, you can always flirt with the next table so they give you more. And if someone chooses not to tip, it's usually because you've spilled food on their lap or something; therefore if they didn't tip and didn't have a reason, they obviously must have been expecting to have things spilled on them, and one must take note of this for when they next visit :) i also dine out so rarely that it just doesn't come in as an issue.

The rental video is also a non-issue for me, because i don't have a VCR and generally don't watch TV unless lots of us are getting together at someone else's house, so i have no idea of how irritated i'd be if it happened to me.

I agree with you, Spacefem, on the little kids. Telling the truth is the one thing you can do that's most likely to make a kid cry: "Clouds aren't actually solid, they're made of little droplets of water, if you jumped on one you'd fall through." - waaahhh...etc. Why? What's the point? The truth is a good thing and the more of it that is told the better! It also puts anyone that hears it off having children of their own, ever, which can only be doing the universe a favour.

Spamming is last on the list then, i guess...however that doesn't mean that i don't think anyone who does it should be shot. Interesting. Maybe it's because it's more relevant to my everyday life. Hmm.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:10 am (UTC)
I have seen waitresses cry over not being tipped more times than I care to think of. I have done it myself. It's not the money, it's the principle of the fact that generally those tables treat you like utter shit and then stiff you. Maybe when you stiff waitresses it's because it's deserved, but every single person I knew while waitressing who got stiffed was an excellent server who was simply dealing with an utter asshole who refused to realize that waitresses are human beings with feelings just like the rest of us.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:20 am (UTC)
That's why i drip food over the ones who didn't tip the last time - they obviously aren't going to do it again, so i might as well get some job satisfaction out of their presence.
Although it does get you sacked if you aren't subtle enough about it.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:30 am (UTC)
exactly! see?

Whenever I go out with a guy, if he tips less than 15% or drives too fast, he's a jerk who isn't worth a second date. I've told tons of people this, it's so true. Shitty tippers are shitty people.

Of course, before this entry I never knew this was just an american thing, that's kinda weird. All these europeans are totally messing my poll up.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 03:35 pm (UTC)
Yes! Exactly! One of the biggest turn-offs is when I find out a new acquaintance is a shitty tipper. Bugs the hell out of me, and makes me feel like crap if I have to "supplement" his tip by sneaking some extra under the napkin or something. (I probably should have done it in front of him, but when I'm just getting to know someone, I'm not ballsy enough.) If we received good service and he tips less than 15%, chances are, I wouldn't go on a 2nd date.

Parking in a handicapped space also makes you a shitty person.

The rest of them I can deal with - they may be annoying, but none of them really crawl under my skin.

And on the making kids cry choice - that doesn't bother me *at all* Maybe I just have absolutely no heart towards kids b/c I don't want any right now, but seeing a kid cry doesn't tug on my heartstrings one bit.

Aug. 24th, 2002 04:56 am (UTC)
I hope that doesn't make you think all europeans are shitty people...
Aug. 24th, 2002 08:29 am (UTC)
Well, I've never been on a date with a european.

If I went on a date in europe and he didn't tip, I wouldn't mind (knowing what I know now about europe). If we were on a date here and he didn't tip, I might ask if he knew our custom of tipping at least 15%. If he didn't know, I can't hold that against him. If he did know and just doesn't care, then yes, I'm afraid I'd think he was a jerk.

If you came over and ate in an american restaurant, would you tip?
Aug. 24th, 2002 06:51 pm (UTC)
I would have tipped anyway. I always tip when abroad. Given what I know now, I'd probably tip even more.
Aug. 24th, 2002 04:54 am (UTC)
It depends a lot on the situation in norway.
For smaller pubs, bars and joints and so on, tipping is very infrequent and not part of culture, and you'll tip if you had outstanding customer service. But it goes both ways. Norwegians are quite different in attitude towards each other than americans or germans. We're very reserved, keep to ourselves, we're not very outgoing, and we don't complain. Waitress tipped the coffee cup? Embarassed silence, she may charge for a new cup and we'll pay, or she'll give us a new one for free and we might tip. She won't expect us to anymore than we'll expect her to give a new cup. Same in other shops and stores. We never _expect_ to be treated well, and the customer attendant never expect that we expect it. People don't usually open up to strangers, so our public transport tends to be either very quiet (because noone at the moment knows any of the others), or some talk because some know each other already.

I remember I sold Chrysler for a while here, and we'd have americans who live in norway and my papers said: "Treat your foreign, and especially american, customers as your girlfriend/boyfriend, because that is what they expect if they're about to buy a car from us", but how we treated norwegians was up to us, our mood, and whether the article in the magazine we were reading was more interesting than him at the moment. I don't like that attitude though, so in the little time I worked there I sold more cars than all my other collegues combined had done over several years. Mostly because they all pretended to be extremely busy when a customer came in so I stood there looking like the only free saleswoman. I didn't really know a lot about cars, but I still managed to sell them, mostly because it's norwegian attitude to not ask in the shop, but instead know what you want before you go there in the first place.

I know I'm exaggerating a little now, but not incredibly much. We're all somewhat indoctrinated with the "Jante Law", which is a set of 'life rules' that says we're absolutely unimportant relative to everyone else (although we have an almost american arrogance towards other countries, so it's a bit funny). And we do also give like almost a double digit % of our GBP as foreign aid.

If you go out to have a good time here however, you usually do tip, and it can be both who tip, or they decide together. It's less frequent with credit cards however because a lot of people aren't aware that it's usually possible to tip also with them. But I must admit I've never really given not tipping her much thought, and from those friends of mine who've worked as waitresses, they've usually remembered every time they've been tipped well, which tells me that they don't regularly expect it either.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 07:31 am (UTC)
Sorry, that was a bit long :(
Aug. 23rd, 2002 07:34 am (UTC)
that's okay, it made sense. and the thing about jumping on clouds made me laugh, that's so awesome.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 07:34 am (UTC)
You need a way for the people to list the things in order of worst first ...

And a couple pointers.

In the UK (where I live) .. waitresses are notoriously slow - and they are paid ok... so tipping is not a vitial part of their lives. My American girl friend explained the situation out there... so not tipping in America seems to be a worse crime than not tipping here. I'd rate this last (for the UK)

I dont rent videos, only DVD's .. and they don't need rewinding!! :) (So I'd rate this Joint Last)
Making kids cry is almost a cert. They are whiney little brats that cry when they dont get their own way. I hate kids, good job I'll never be a father! Actively being mean to kids is probably bad. I'd rate this 3rd.
Sending SPAM is a crime against netiquette ... but really, it's not life threatening. Anyone who rates SPAM above parking in a Disabled spot needs a visit from me... I'll "adjust" their sense or reality! :) . Rated 4
People that use Cell phones (we like to refer to them as Mobiles here in the UK) in restaurants are anoying as hell ... worse are the morons that use them in cinemas and theaters. I think the cinema or theater is partly to blame. They should line he walls with lead or something to stop the phone signals. Serious I think this is the second worse crime people commit.
Last would be parking in a disabled spot.

So there ya go. My view on the sins (that you described) of the world. :)
Aug. 23rd, 2002 07:42 am (UTC)
We're not notoriously slow, you're just notoriously impatient! I demand that you take that back! And it depends on whether you count £4 an hour to be "ok" - if you have to buy 2 new sets of school uniform, pay a babysitter and buy food for a whole family on it, i'd say it's very not ok.

And as a completely separate point, someone invented wall material that blocks mobile phone signals, but they're having issues with building with it because in a fire the firemen often use CB radios of pretty much the same frequency to send information to the crew who've gone into the buildings about how many people are inside and where, and that sort of thing.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 08:17 am (UTC)
Ahh ... so that's why they're are not using mobile blocking walls!

I'm not sure where you was a waitress but for the most part, service of any sort in the UK is lackluster compared to our american counterparts. £4 an hour is, (I believe), below minimum wage, so legal employment is guaranteed to pay more than that?

My sister is a single parent mum working as a Barmaid. She has the problem of being paid sod-all and raising a child (including uniforms and all that) and getting nothing from the state (because she has a permenant job) and she gets no tips.... thought provoking?
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:22 am (UTC)
Minimum wage is £3.60 AFAIK. And doesn't apply if you're under 18, which i have been until 9 months ago.
Aug. 24th, 2002 04:37 am (UTC)
That's way below minimum wage here too, which I believe is around NOK 80. McDonalds attendants earn 87.- NOK, which is considered very low. There's 7,8 NOK for USD $1.

Of course it depends on where you work, but for class resturants here it's around 120 and up + tip + pay for unconventional working hours etc, whereas cattika had NOK 100 for doing customer service for internet 24 hours a day, and up until recently she was hired workforce. AND she don't get ANY tip whatsoever, and back then she had lousy pay for unhealthy working hours (10%!!). Thank god that's of the past.
She almost dreamt of being a waitress and earn lots... But because of her handicap she can't.

I earn NOK 140/hour + unconventional working hours pay, or 100% bonus for night shift work, but I'm also a security guard, and I sometimes check peoples tickets on the central station, or throw out homeless people or drugged ones, or disarm people armed with knives, and there's sometimes some nasty episodes.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:05 am (UTC)
Not tip waitresses. Hah, I never get tipped and I contribute at least as much to society as they do. And they get more paid! According to reviews here, serving in resturants isn't a lowpaying job at all, and they easily earn more than I did last 2 years, and then tips comes on TOP of that.
*checks your profile* Maybe in Norway ... in which case waitstaff there are lucky sods. In the US, waiters are paid essentially nothing by the restaurant, we work entirely for tips, and while we make slightly more than a minimum-wage hourly job would pay, we work ten times as hard and deal with ten times as much crap from customers.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:10 am (UTC)
I guess it'd be interesting to analyze how men vs. women answered this poll. There's not an entirely easy way to do it, I guess I could have different polls for each... hrm!

And I don't rent DVDs because I don't have a DVD player :) But I'm working on that one.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 11:43 am (UTC)
I'm sorry...
...but I waitressed and bartended for three years, and not tipping, int he US is about the most ungracious, thoughtless thing you can do.

Sure, the restaurant is "supposed" to pay you minimum wage if you don't make it in tips they get around that quite easily. Suppose you only make $5 in tips one night, but three nights later you make $150, those nights are int he same week, so they tell you it even out, and they don't have to pay anything.

Let me tell you where the bitchy attitude comes from...it's from waiting on people who are rude, treat you like you're some sort of slave, run your ass off, and THEN have the guts to expect you to kiss up to them, for a measly dollar.

That's where the attitude comes in. People suck. I don't care how much people tell you to have a good attitude, that's fucking hard to do when you've been cussed at, walked on, and generally treated like you're lower than shit.
Aug. 24th, 2002 05:09 am (UTC)
Re: I'm sorry...
As a security guard I get death threatened, rape threatened, violence threatened, I get shoved, pushed, hit, sweared at, called names, insulted, once almost fainted after my head was shoved into a brick wall, I have to deal with drug addicts soaked in urin, have to forcefully push and pull and drag drunks out of public areas, have to call for ambulance when I find some poor soul sleeping in his own vomit. I have to be on alert for drug pushers and their customers.

I don't get any tip, I earn a little more than some of my collegues because I'm in a labour union and I've been working for many years, though not as guard. Some of my collegues earn 100 NOK an hour and for them it's even worse.
I have to deal with mean people 90% of the time. I once had a girl who told me she earns so little working for Burgerking that she can't afford the season ticket, yet she had entirely new clothes and brand new minidisc player. I don't think I've gotten my hamburger at Burgerking warm and properly made more than 1 out of 30 visits there.
And for all this I get a pat on my shoulder and told to keep smiling and be corteous to everyone.

I'm sorry if you earned less than NOK 50 an hour, and in your situation, I understand completely and would tip handsomely because you might earn enough with tips one day to have a little over half the day with what we consider the minimum legal wage. But that's not how it is here.

And if you ask me why I'm a security guard despite all this, my question likewise is why were you a waitress? ;)
Aug. 24th, 2002 06:25 am (UTC)
Re: I'm sorry...
Why I did it was simple. Try putting yourself through college here and see what options you have. If you have to support yourself, working as a clerk at a store or any of the other part time positions that allow you flexible hours, there's no way you can make enough money to even live off.

As a bartender/waitress, there's at least the possibility, if you run your ass off, that you'll make a little more money than you would stocking some store.
Aug. 24th, 2002 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: I'm sorry...
Reason I work as security guard is to make a living to pay rent and other expenses I have.
Aug. 24th, 2002 06:52 am (UTC)
Re: I'm sorry...
Little correction. I'm a runaway from home and needed a job that paid my expenses and debt.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 24th, 2002 06:27 am (UTC)
Re: I'm sorry...
I can honestly say that yes, I've had that happen, too. Before I had to quit my tech support job so that I could finish school as a music major, I did (obviously) tech support, from age 17, to 21, and now, that's what I do in NYC whilst I get ready to go to grad school.

And for $12 an hour, not sure that it's much better than waitressing, except the benefits are at least pretty good.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 08:05 am (UTC)
I have no problem with parking in a handicapped spot. I do it at least once a day. :)

I've got the little blue placard, though.

Maybe it depended on how people interpreted the questions. For instance, I assumed "park in a handicapped space" meant at all, not only for the able-bodied, and I assumed "make a little kid cry" meant just for the hell of it.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 08:15 am (UTC)
I was initially torn between making a kid cry and parking in a handicap zone then decided that sometimes you could do NOTHING and kids nowadays would cry. You absolutely have to do something to park in a handicapped zone - poorly indicated zones excluded.

I agree with your concepts on tipping wait-folk and would rank that my new #2 choice compared to the above about the kid - were the poll prioritized.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 08:48 am (UTC)
I would have to say that not tipping a waitress is BY FAR the worst. I am a waitress, and at $2.65 (that's the minimum US wage), I don't make enough money for groceries.

With making a kid cry, I assumed you meant "doing something to make a kid cry" like taking their toys or...I don't know. You'd have to MAKE the kid cry, thus that's the second.

Cell phone is third, I HATE that.

I'd put parking in a handicap space next. I go to Walmart sometimes, where there are like, 300 empty handicap spaces, and I park in the furthest one away from the door, and only when I can't find another space. Because it's inconsiderate of Walmart to HAVE all of those excess handicap spaces, in my opinion.

THEN rental videos, then spamming.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:01 am (UTC)
The law requires a certain number of handicapped spaces as a percentage of how much customer turnover they estimate the business has. So that is why Wal-Mart has so many handicapped spaces. Not their fault.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:13 am (UTC)
Not their fault, but I still hate Walmart. And there are almost always at LEAST 20 handicapped spaces open there.

Now, in New York, we have "Stork Spaces" (with other nicknames), spaces for pregnant women or women with small children...I think THAT is the dumbest thing...not the idea, but how many of them there are! Fortunately, there's no law like there is with handicap spaces, so I usually just park in the Stork ones if there are no regular spaces.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:16 am (UTC)
awe, I always thought the pregnant spaces were kinda nice. I mean really, it sucks to be pregnant and have to go places and do stuff.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 11:12 am (UTC)
well yeah, but what is the chance of twelve pregnant women shopping at walmart at the same time?

and why does that sound like such a redneck joke?
Aug. 23rd, 2002 08:54 am (UTC)

In order, I would pick:

1. Parking in a handicapped spot.... particularly if you're a physically-abled person. You can't tell me that you can't walk the 100 feet from the next available, non-handicapped parking spot to the store. I've known people to go to their doctors, have the doctors write a note that they qualify as handicapped, and these people get a blue placard so that they could park wherever they wanted and waltz to the store entrance. Give me a break.

2. Not tip waiters/waitresses... In Canada the wage isn't that bad but it is minimum wage and they supplement their income with tips. Most of them tend to be students or people who are decent, hard-working graduates who are looking for some experience to put on their resumes. I tip -- always according to how well they serve -- but I've never not tipped. These people have to deal with phenomenal assholes and they still have to make a living...

3. Running a website that sends SPAM email... This is VERY annoying and while it doesn't hurt me, it does fill up mailboxes and prevents legitimate mail from making it through... It's inconvenient, harassing, and unwarranted.

4. Talking on a cell phone while having dinner with someone... Well this isn't really applicable to me. I live in the Land of the Infinitely Polite. People I go for dinner with turn off their phones and pagers. When someone who was obviously a tourist answered his cell phone in a nice restaurant and ignored his companion for a good fifteen minutes, everyone was glaring at him. Finally, the hostess came up to him, waited until he noticed her, and very politely said, "Sir, you are ruining the dining experience of the entire restaurant. Please excuse yourself from the table and continue your conversation outside, or turn off your phone." Everyone cheered her.

5. Not rewinding VHS movies... I rent DVDs. But way back when I rented movies or take one of my own to watch, I get grumpy when I'm all ready for the movie with my popcorn and my blanket, and I have to wait for the damn thing to rewind.

6. Making a kid cry... I make kids cry all the time. Jesus, you'd think I was a monster or something.

Aug. 23rd, 2002 10:40 am (UTC)
Spam is the only one of those options that can negatively affect my life, thus it is the most horrible crime on your list.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 11:20 am (UTC)
But see, the whole point is that you can't always think about your life, we all have to give to the good of the world sometimes. So would you rather get a SPAM e-mail or have some guy not tip a waitress? You'll delete the SPAM in .003 seconds without a thought, while that waitress who already doesn't make much money will have $10 less to feed her kids with. It's a world negative energy karma issue.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 03:35 pm (UTC)
I think the waitressing thing really is dependent on where you live, though. In BC, minimum wage is $8, a lot of waitresses around here make far more comfortable livings than I do, so I can't really pretend I'm terribly bothered when they don't get tipped.

For some reason, this topic reminds me of Reservoir Dogs... Steve Buscemi was kind of an asshole in that movie;Pe
Aug. 24th, 2002 05:54 am (UTC)
You keep forgetting that seemingly everywhere but the USA, waitresses are considered too important to treat with $2/hour. ;)
Aug. 23rd, 2002 11:44 am (UTC)
I thought the spam site one ran a close second to making a kid cry. See, I'm the type of morbid person who writes a folklore paper on father-daughter incest fairytales, hence the first thing that came to mind when I read your poll was the cruelest thing possible. I've also seen moms hit their kids in public, and I think it's the most monstrous thing ever. I agree that tipping (in the U.S. at least) is a human decency issue as well, but not the sort of thing to scar you for life.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 12:27 pm (UTC)
At first I was going to pick the not making kids cry. But hey, in the long run, kids are remarkably resiliant, and they get over things pretty quickly.

I figured that the handicapped parking had a potential to be quite serious, although not tipping a waitress came a close second in terms of its impact. The rest are just annoyances, and not terribly serious.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 03:39 pm (UTC)
It depends what "things" are. Kids will get over finding out that there's no Santa Claus, or being slapped lightly in the street, but being KO'd is not-a-little harder. (Although technically i suppose that's not exactly making a kid cry as such. But it certainly makes the kid cry when it grows up.) I would say that kids are more resilient than it may first appear, but not remarkably so.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 12:37 pm (UTC)
I picked 'making little kids cry', because I interpreted it as 'mean-spiritedly making a kid cry'. Hell, I make my little brother cry all the time.

Next would be 'not tipping a waitress'. I used to BE a waitress, and I feel you.

Then 'parking in a handicapped spot'-- my mom's handicapped, and non-handicapped assholes are invariably parked in them-- and then 'running a spam site'. Not rewinding tapes is pretty obnoxious, but not THAT horrendous. Cell phone conversations during dinner are just annoying.
Aug. 23rd, 2002 03:45 pm (UTC)
I picked the kid crying for the same reason that everyone else who picked it did-I remembered being a kid and people made me cry, and I hated it.

But not tipping-that is bad.
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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