What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Joy theft. If I’m bluntly honest, I’ll tell you that I spend all day at work wanting to get home and lose myself in a book. By the time I’m home, dinner is made and cleaned up, and I’ve tended the creatures who share my roof, I’m so bleary eyed and tired that getting through a paragraph without my mind wandering is hard. Three nights out of five I can’t seem to focus on the words long enough for it to even be enjoyable. It’s just one more way that paying bills and being responsible conspire to suck all the real joy out of life.

2. Signals over the air. All I want to do in the few minutes between when I pull into the parking lot and when I have to be at my desk is get my morning Twitter update and find some funny, funny memes. Apparently that is too much to ask because for the last two weeks the parking lot has been a large dead zone. I don’t know if it’s my phone, Verizon, or just the Department of the Army trying to suck even a brief flicker of fun out of the surrounding air, but for whatever reason there’s nothing doing on my phone for those ten or fifteen minutes. If you think a few minutes of boredom and mindlessly staring out the windshield is enough to break my spirit and get me to my desk a few minutes earlier than I have to be there, well, it’s like you don’t know me at all.

3. Mushroom status. When grown in a farm setting, many mushrooms are simply left alone in a dark room and fed a steady diet of shit. I’m sure it happens in every organization of more than one person, but this great green machine of ours seems to have honed leaving people out of the loop to a fine art. It’s always exciting to come to the office and find an email from someone working in another organization letting you know that “your boss from high on Olympus said ‘X’ is going to happen.” It’s when you, as the person nominally responsible for “X,” have the exciting opportunity to let that individual know that no one in your own organization has bothered to tell you a fucking thing and thank them for the heads up before launching out on a paper chase to sus out how much time you may or may not have wasted depending on the veracity of your informant’s information.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. The dead zone. Although they swear it’s unintentional, the building where I work is essentially a giant Faraday cage. Outside in the parking lot, five solid bars of 3G coverage. Inside, at my desk, with my phone pressed against the glass, one bar of intermittent EDGE coverage. Sometimes. If all the atmospheric conditions are just right. I don’t want to sit at my desk playing Angry Birds all day, but it would at least be nice to know who called when the “you have a voicemail” alert manages to fight its way through to my phone. Mostly though, you just get to be surprised by the texts, emails, and voice messages that come rolling in whenever you happen to go outside. Maybe I should just set everything to roll over to my Google Voice account and really freak the IT security weenies out.

2. Forgetting the airbags. For the last two weeks, I’ve been mentally preparing myself to get the truck back on Friday. It’s not that the rental car is awful, but well, it’s not my truck and not being able to see anything further than the tail end of the car in front of me lacks a certain charm. I called Monday and everything was still on track for a Friday pickup. When I called to check in this afternoon, apparently there’s been a snag. A very sheepish office manager confessed that they had forgotten to include replacing my deployed airbags in the original repair estimate and had therefor not ordered them. I’m not a fancy big city auto body shop, but I think I would have noticed the big white deflated bits hanging out of the steering wheel and from under the dash. Maybe it’s just me though. The parts are ordered and the truck is allegedly back together now, so as soon as they get there hands on the airbags, we should be all set. As of a few hours ago, Tuesday is the new Friday.

3. Iran. Part of me is stunned and amazed that we’re going to fiddle around and wring our hands and wait just long enough for Iran to make their very own nuke. The other part of me then remembers that it’s a government operation and then all of me ceases to be surprised. Boy if you thought groups like the Taliban were dangerous before, just wait until their friends get the bomb. The world is going to change and while we had a chance to stop it or at least stand aside while someone else stopped it, we sat around fretting about convincing our enemies that stopping the madness was a good idea. A hundred years from now, the world is going to look back at this generation of “leaders” and collectively ask WTF, dude?