What Annoys Jeff this Week?

The One Network that Rules Them All. When I got back to the office on Monday my computer didn’t work. Well, it worked, but the network didn’t. After 30 hours we stretched a Ethernet cable halfway to Baltimore so I could at least check email, but so far the official response has been “we have a help ticket in.” If you want an employee to be productive it feels like the minimum they should do is make sure you have basic office equipment that works. But alas, that seems to be a bridge too far.

National security. Apparently the cell phone storage area at the office presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States. The solution to this was to move the unlocked cabinet that contains 20-30 personally owned cell phones at any given time out into an open hallway. Perhaps we have served national security, but it feels like all we’ve really done is encourage property theft in the process. Call me crazy, but leaving an $800 phone unsecured in a building where people steal pie from the fridge feels just a little bit stupid. Net result, instead of being able to check my phone periodically during the day when I’m on my way to to meetings or go take a whiz, I’ll now be adopting a smoker’s schedule and schlepping out to my car once an hour. If only there were an easier way to be compliant and not try to pretend your employees live in 1983. Sigh.

Blaming others for bad personal decisions. Two douchebags were cornered in a cheap motel room by the police earlier this week in my adopted home town. Then they decided that being on the run from felony charges in another state wasn’t the only bad decision they wanted to make. One after another they raised their very realistic looking BB guns and very quickly paid the price for that level of stupidity. There are a couple of lessons here: 1) If you’re planning on making a last stand, try to have something with a bit more kick than a kid’s toy and 2) If you’re wanted on a felony warrant and the tactical unit shows up, all of your options from that point forward are bad for you… but some are worse than others. Now to the people who say it should have been ended peacefully, that they should have starved them out, all I can say that the only people to blame for these deaths are the ones that ended up getting killed. They committed a violent crime, they fled the jurisdiction, and when the police caught up with them they threatened the officers. I’m sure they were someone’s son and daughter, after all someone loves even the most useless of human beings, but as for me, well, sometimes I think it’s nice when the gene pool cleans itself a bit.

It’s Darwinian…

In the case of the angry gorilla versus the ill disciplined four year old, I tend to side with the gorilla. I tend to fall on the side of the animals in most cases, except when it involves issues of the ones western civilization has proclaimed tasty when flame broiled.

The case at hand seems relatively straightforward. The youngster was repeatedly told by those who allegedly care for his well being that he was not going into the gorilla enclosure. He failed to follow those instructions and received the opening salvo of what would surely have been an epic beat down for his efforts. It’s a most pure example of action and consequence that we’re likely to see this week. It’s downright darwinian in its simplicity – except that we stepped in rather than letting the gene pool cleanse itself a bit.

But surely, someone will say, you value human life more than a gorilla’s? Yeah, except I generally don’t. From a purely numerical standpoint, there are only a few hundred thousand gorillas in existence versus the more than seven billion humans. The death of a human, while tragic to that individual and the immediate group of family and friends, simply doesn’t make that much difference to the world at large. The death of a single gorilla, because their population is so small, is orders of magnitude more important by contrast. Of course that analysis is only true when we’re willing to look at humans as just another animal wandering around in the wild.

There’s plenty of blame to go around – the kid for not doing what it’s allegedly responsible adult guardian told hime to do, the allegedly responsible adult guardian for doing whatever seemed more important than keeping their kid from taking a header into a gorilla enclosure, and the zoo for not making their enclosure more idiot proof than the greatest of village idiots. The only one in this scenario I don’t blame is the gorilla who was just doing what gorillas do and ended up getting killed because of this long string of failures on the part of the “more intelligent species” involved.