What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Coffee, black. I had blood work done this week and received instructions not to eat or drink anything prior to the appointment. Black coffee was excepted. I appreciate that I was allowed to get caffeinated and avoid the inevitable withdrawal headache, but honestly, even good black coffee is bad. I’m sorry, it just is. I mean I don’t want 10 times more cream in my go juice than coffee or anything, but I like it to come to a nice deep tan before pouring it down my gullet. I know there will be a chorus of “real coffee lovers drink it black,” well, you’re welcome to your bitter bean water, but I’m going to insist on something more civilized.

2. Hand wringing about corporate profits. “But companies are posting record profits,” they whine. Yes, they are…. and those companies are going to do things like invest in their infrastructure, identify growth opportunities, and return a big slice of that profit to their shareholders through increased value or directly by issuing dividends. If you follow the average news report you could be forgiven for thinking “shareholder” is just another word for the evil 1%. In reality, of course, shareholders reflect every single American who has a 401k, or an IRA, or a Health Savings Account, a 529 plan, or yes, even one of those old school union-backed pension plans. Big corporate profits are a good news story for the 55%+ of the population who have invested for their future. Sorry, but in a free market I’ll just never see businesses making a profit as anything but a good news story.

3. Anti-streaming. Look, if you’re going to have people schlep to the office and spend eight hours there doing work that they could be doing from the comfort and convenience of their own homes, the least you can do is unblock some music streaming options so we can make an honest effort at ignoring those inane conversations going on around us. Unless, of course, sitting around listening in on six conversations at once is the “organizational culture” it’s so important to preserve. I mean I know there are people who really dig being in the office, but I can’t for a moment imagine why. There’s not a single thing there that works better than its counterpart in my home office… myself included.

Blockage…

I realize that I’m using a work computer on a work network and I’m completely cool with there being limits on how those things can be used. I just think there should be a little more transparency about what the rules are and how they are applied. No internet porn. Got it. I’ll try to remember that it’s whitehouse.gov next time. No harm, no foul. But how about the BLOCKED/Humor category. I can’t get to The Oatmeal or The Onion, but I can get to Dilbert.com. Irony much? Why is it I can’t check the winning Powerball numbers (that site is BLOCKED/Gambling), but the guy next to me can spend half the afternoon selling stuff on eBay? I mean we’re both just trying to strike it rich, right? He’s just willing to put in a little more effort than I am.

Look, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be standards… I’m just saying that once again, you guys down in the network ops bunker are doing it all wrong. At least you’re consistent.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.