What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Twatwaffles. Here’s a fun fact – the more condescending your tone the more I will go out of my way to make even the easiest things difficult for you to do. If you insist on speaking to me in such a manner, I’ll smile happily at your jabs and then proceed to frustrate your efforts at every available opportunity. I can out-snark you on every imaginable level. Your powers are weak and pitiful compared to the untempered brunt of my sarcasm. You, my dear, clearly have no understanding of with whom you trifle. I will take great joy at your discomfiture, you hapless twatwaffle.

2. Self-driving cars. While conceptually interesting enough, I find the practical side of the idea to be something less desirable. If there’s anything I trust less than a human being behind the wheel it’s a computer programmed by a human behind the wheel. At least, at some point, one might hope that a human driver might as a last resort be expected to fall back on their instinct for self-preservation. I don’t have any such fleeting hope for a truly autonomous vehicle. It will do precisely what its programming tells it to do right up until it hits a buggy line of code and then does something completely different. If the computer on my desk at work is any indication, by the time we clog up our car’s computer with sufficient software to protect it from hackers, advertising bloatware, and the actual programming needed to perform mechanical and navigational operations, well, I expect to be about 17 minutes into my commute before the damned thing starts throwing off errors and just gives up and shuts itself off. I’m sure there is an enormous market for these fantastical autonomous cars, but I think I’d like to keep the 20th century simplicity of a steering wheel, a throttle, a brake, and a gear stick (clutch optional).

3. Falling out of the sky. I’m not sure if there are actually more planes falling out of the sky now than there were in the past or if we just hear more about them now than we use to. I’m sure there’s some handy website that keeps track of that information that’s only a Google search away, but really the actual numbers don’t matter as much as perception. It just seems like these contraptions are hurtling back towards earth like giant man-carrying lawn darts way more often than they should. This isn’t likely to stop me from boarding my next flight, but I’d be lying if I said a certainly unnerving series of “what if” thoughts won’t spend the entirety of that flight lurking around in the dark recesses of my mind.

Happy birthday: or Here’s your letter of depreciation…

My birthday is right around the corner and there’s no way I’d rather celebrate than by receiving a condescending form letter from the executive suite telling me how great an opportunity it is for me to be a part of the team. Seriously? I’m sure that someone at echelons above reality thought that this sounded like a good idea. A real morale booster for the Uberboss to “recognize” the line employees’ ability to stay alive and employed for another year while reminding them “how good they have it.” Yep. That’s the ticket!

When you combine the condescension with the truly monumental management failures we’ve see on a daily basis, it’s really more like a letter of depreciation than anything else. If you really want to congratulate me, how about a “59 minutes” and letting me head home early to celebrate my “big day” in the company of people who actually give a rat’s ass. That I’d appreciate.

But your letter? You can go ahead stuff that in your inbox.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.