What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Rain. Not all rain is bad or evil. We need it and in some quantity recently. If it could hold off a bit on pouring it down during the mid-morning through late afternoon parts of the day, though, I would really appreciate it. As much as I still enjoy driving my big red Tundra, I’d really like to continue Jeeping topless during the only time of year when it’s really comfortable to do so. Yes, I know the drain plugs will take care of whatever standing water may be on the floorboards, but that’s an extreme measure I’d just rather not need to resort to unless it can’t be avoided.

2. Q&A. Live, unscripted question and answer periods with “the general public” should never be encouraged. For every reasonably well thought out question that’s asked, three more that are either completely off topic, so specific as to bore the other 300 people in the room to absolute tears, or utterly nonsensical and not formulated in any kind of structure known to the actual English language. In an open forum it’s just not worth the risk. The potential damage due to the extreme rolling of audience members’ eyes is a real and present threat.

3. Trusted professionals. Today, I’m left with a thought from John Wayne in his last role. He said, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” Now I may have missed the circus this morning, but let the word ring forth from this time and this place, that if any of you trusted professionals decides to to put your hands on me, you’d best have made up your mind that I’m the last thing you want to touch for a good long time because by all the gods, I will break every bone in your worthless hand.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Stop complaining about the heat. It’s summer in the Mid-Atlantic. It’s hot. If you don’t like hot weather, consider moving to Maine or volunteering for an expedition to the South Pole. Here in this part of the country, the weather can be pretty much relied on to be somewhere between warm and scorching in June, July, and August. Those months come around at more or less the same time every year which means temperatures in the 90s shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone.

2. Unrealistic expectations. I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t bend the knee at every opportunity. By nature, I’m an inquisitive person and when someone says something stupid I’m as apt to ask for their logic as I am to just accept it and move on. Occasionally you run into the kind of person who’s not use to being questioned or needing to explain himself. They tend to be the the most fun to play with because they turn a delightful shade of red when they realize you’re not going to hop to and dance to the tune they’ve called. It never fails to amaze me how much trouble everyone could avoid by having reasonable expectations to begin with rather than relying on bluster and the beliefe that everyone will do what they say “just because”.

3. Pretty much everything else. There’s a good chance I need to go to bed and get a good nights sleep, because it would be easier this week to write about what hasn’t annoyed me on some level. That, of course is much less interesting for all of us. Some might say I’ve even “in a mood,” though if we’re honest I’m mostly in a mood because people make me want to bludgeon myself around the head and neck with a blunt object. If tomorrow weren’t Friday and the weekend didn’t promise sweet, sweet quiet time, I’d probably be on the lookout for a nice bell tower or possibly a school book depository. Not really. That would require way more interaction that I’m really feeling up to.

The learning cliff…

Not every day can be stellar. I’m fine with that. At the moment, though, I’m frustrating the hell out of myself with the things I don’t know the answers to yet… Like who needs to review which documents, what office is responsible for some random project, the name of the go-to guy for some obscure and arcane piece of minutia. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to lose my institutional memory. I knew who those people were just by virtue of having been around for a long time. Today’s just one of those days that feels like falling off the learning cliff instead of running up the learning curve. I’ll feel a damned sight better when I’ve figured out the magic questions to ask in order to get the answers I need. In the meantime, I’ll keep my head down and powder dry. Frustrating as it is, I’ll take it any day over random chaos.