It’s Monday. That would usually mean I spent the day happily tucked in to my home office with views of the woods and three fuzzy critters keeping me company. Those Mondays, telework Mondays, are something to be celebrated rather than serve as a source of existential dread.
Today, of course, was the existential dread kind of Monday. It’s the kind that required my presence in the 5×5 foot, half walled box I usually only spend four days of the week occupying. I was thrown off my normal Monday by a meeting at which my bodily presence was encouraged if not actually required.
The catch is, some time between signing off on Friday and arriving on Monday the meeting in question got cancelled… with the net result being I gave up a delightfully dreary telework Monday for absolute no reason at all. Not cool, man. Not cool at all.
Sure, I know this is one of those fancy first world problems that everyone enjoys, but since I, in fact, live in the first world, I’m not sure what other type of problems I could be expected to encounter on the regular. I’m not saying that anyone died or was maimed as a result of this series of unfortunate events. All I’m saying is that Monday sucks as a general rule and I missed out on an excellent opportunity to make Monday suck a little bit less.
Well, tonight you were schedule to get the post you should have gotten yesterday… But it seems “Comcast is experiencing technical difficulties that are impacting your cable television and high speed internet service.” Therefore, since I don’t feel like re-typing the damned things with my thumbs, you get another day of space filler. So in conclusion, Comcast sucks.
Yes, I know this is a first world problem… and since I live in the United States and not some remote herding camp in East Dirtbagistan, we’re just going to call them problems from now on. It’s one of the perks of living in the first world.
I feel about federal holidays like some women seem to feel about shoes; I love them and can never, never get enough. As much as I love President’s Day for being one of the days I can sit back with my feet up and enjoy not doing a damned thing. Nothing in life is free, of course, and that means taking the bad with the good. In this case, the bad is that President’s Day is the last holiday between now and the end of May. Call me crazy but the months just seem to go better when you have a impending long weekend to look forward to every few weeks. Having one 90-odd days off into the future doesn’t have the same motivational effect. No one has ever accused me of being a big fan of delayed gratification.
Sure, be happy you have a job, not everyone even gets federal holidays, blah, blah, blah. All of those things may be true, but the only thing I see stretching out in front of me between here and May 27th is dead space. Well, dead space and as-yet-unscheduled days of annual leave, but mostly dead space. And please, don’t get me started on how it’s possible that it’s the middle of February already. I’m pretty sure time has been set to march past at the double quick. First world problems, to be sure, but since I live in the first world, I just think of them as the regular kind of problems.
So it’s Thursday and by now you’re surely wondering what annoys Jeff this week. From a host of things, here are the three that made the final cut this time around:
1. Religious zealots. Every religion since the dawn of time has been based on what it’s followers (or creators) considered some kind of “revealed truth” about the universe and our place in it… and mostly, the central tenant of most major religions is the same: Try not to be a doucebag. The problem arises when people make an addendum to this basic philosophy and you end up with something more like: Don’t be a douchebag, unless the person you’re acting like a douchebag towards doesn’t subscribe to every particular detail of your system of beliefs. I’m not known as the most laid back guy in the world, but at the end of the day, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Jesus, Vishnu, Buddha, and Mohammed all seem to agree on that point. So yeah, don’t be a douchebag zealot, regardless of who hears your prayers.
2. First world problems. I don’t need a new iPhone. I definitely don’t need a $600 new iPhone. I’m not even particularly impressed with the incremental design improvements the leaks have shown this time around. And yet somehow despite those three pieces of evidence to the contrary, I really, really want to order the new iPhone when it’s launched next week. Not even my best mental gymnastics can manage to transform this from a “want” into a “need.” And lord knows I’ve tried. That a slightly lengthened form factor, a marginally larger screen, and a couple of as yet unknown new bells and whistles can cause me this much gnashing of teeth is an impressive tribute to the power of marketing… and a slightly disturbing testament to my priorities.
3. It’s not the end of the world. I’m constantly amazed at people’s misguided assessment of their importance in the grand scheme of things. Nothing makes me want to bang my head against the keyboard more than people who spend all day lost in a haze of everything they do being an emergency. Things worked just fine before we showed up and unless you’re actually the next Einstein of your field, they’re keep going along in more or less the same direction long after we’re all singing with the choir invisible. The sooner you come to grips with that fact, the less bothersome these nominal “emergencies” become.
When you die, who gets access to your email and other electronic information? An article yesterday on msn asked just that question and it really started me thinking. My immediate response was that I want the electronic innards of my pc fried upon confirmation of my untimely demise. There are lots of files that I would not necessarily want my then grief-stricken family to go wading into… from years worth of journal entries, to draft blog posts too harsh to see the light of day, to yes, you guessed it… internet pornography.
Of course the other reality is that with online banking, investing, managing credit cards, and electronic billing, much of the things that use to end up as paper files in someone’s desk drawer now litter files on our hard drives… when they exist at all. The issue is sort of a novelty now, but by the time our generation starts shuffling off in large numbers, it’s going to be an issue… So don’t say I didn’t warn you.