It’s been a slow week for petty annoyances… and while that’s technically a good thing because it tends to mean my blood pressure isn’t all over the map, it also doesn’t make for a great weekly spot. Despite being a pretty good week overall, there are a few things that I can’t let pass without mentioning.
1. Support services. Theoretically, office trash is supposed to be picked up three times a week. That happens probably 50% of the time. 40% of the time, someone shows up for it twice a week. Last week was one of those 10% moments when no one came by at all. I tote and haul my own trash at home, so I don’t have any philosophical issues with carrying it to the dumpster here at the office – it’s more so a function of a) not knowing where the trash actually goes once it leaves my cubicle, b) not having any of the baby-sized trash bags to replace the one I need to throw out, and c) we’re paying someone good money on a contract that calls for them to, you know, take the bloody trash out three times a week. It’s a small thing, I know, but I have a creeping suspicion that it’s just the surface-level indication that government writ large doesn’t have a clue what kind of quality service it’s getting for our money.
2. Favors. As a rule I try not to ask for favors. That’s mostly because I don’t want to end up then owing someone a favor down the line. If someone asks, though, and it’s not too off-putting, I’m generally open to helping them out. All I really ask is that you be clear about your request. For instance, if you say something like “Hey, can you pick me up a Coke when you go get your lunch” don’t act surprised when what I bring back is a Coke. You see, the thing is, I can’t read your mind. I have no earthly way of knowing that by “Coke” you mean Diet Coke. Honestly, I just don’t pay that kind of attention to people’s daily beverage choices, so I make the blithe assumption that you’re asking for what you actually want. If I asked someone to pick me up a cup of coffee, I’m not sure I’d be offended if they brought back a cup of regular black coffee instead of a vinti-vanilla-latte-extra-hot-with-a-shot. I would have failed to specify what I really wanted… and I damned sure wouldn’t have stood there expecting the person doing me the favor to cover the cost of what I asked them to bring me because they weren’t able to read my bloody effing mind and know what I asked for wasn’t what I wanted. I would have just said “thanks” and gone on about my day. From here on out, the answer is always “no.” Thanks for playing.
As a side note, this is the 53rd regular installment of What Annoys Jeff this Week. Hard as it is to believe, you’ve been listening to my weekly list of grips for a year now. I won’t say it’s actually been cathartic, but it sure is fun to take a little time once a week to call out stupid for what it is.