1. Unpredictability. Know what? I’m a creature of habit. I like it that way. I take great comfort that things are going to happen at a regular time, in their regular way, and go more or less like clockwork. Most of you have never experienced my Saturday routine, but if you’re a fan of the German railroads, you’d love it, because if nothing else, I keep life running on time. The foreseeable future, including my personal budget, work schedule, and general attitude is going to be highly unpredictable and mostly beyond my control. We spend our lives dancing to a tune someone else calls, but at least most of the time we have the illusion of charting our own course. These are unpredictable times and that annoys me to no end.
2. Market research. One of the great pains in the ass when it comes to electronic publishing has been doing the market research on the competition. This is especially true as I’ve started really digging through the “management and leadership” section at Amazon. As far as I can tell, everyone over there seems to think the secret to work can be distilled into “5 Rules” or “21 Steps” or be based on releasing your inner office ninja. Aside from Scott Adams and Dilbert, mine might actually be the only voice of sanity in this world gone mad.
3. Unknown callers. Look, if you’ve called the phone number that I’ve had since sometime in 2003, leave a message for someone named Christy regarding buying a new car, and I don’t call back, the solution isn’t to then call three times a day for the next two weeks. I know the simple solution is just to answer, take a few minutes, and explain that you’ve gotten something completely jacked up, but the more passive aggressive option is to go ahead and let you continue to waste time calling someone who will never, ever answer.