What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Wanting it bad. There’s an old saw when it comes to government work that says “If you want it bad, you’ll get it bad.” Put another way, if you want to shove something out the door fast, don’t be surprised when quality suffers. I’ll be the first to say that not every project needs to take months and years to come to fruition, but there are times when you’d be far better off and deliver a far more refined product if you’d just take a few extra days to put just a little bit of polish on the final effort… but if you demand a rush job, don’t be surprised when the result is one ugly-assed example of “good enough.”

2. FCC complainers. I didn’t see the Superbowl halftime show this year, but I did see clips of it. According to complaints received by the FCC it was “a x-rated display like you’d see at a strip club.” All I keep thinking is that the poor person who wrote that complaint couldn’t possible have ever been to a strip club or actually seen porn. I almost feel sorry for these puritanical douche canoes who are clearly too uptight about the human body to ever really enjoy any sexytime.

3. Lack of motivation. By Thursday whatever motivation I could manage to scrape together to kick off the week is well and truly spent. While I’m mostly focused on keeping my ducks more or less in line and getting across the Friday afternoon line of demarcation, there’s always someone rolling into the last third of the week with boundless energy, optimism, the desire to do great things. While I’m sure these people are well intentioned and may even be organizational rock stars, the only thing I really want to do with them is kick them directly in the junk. Because it’s Thursday and I’m expending every ounce of available energy to keep my eyes from rolling out of my skull. If I can put anything more than that on the table at this late stage of the week, it’s a bonus, but really shouldn’t in any way be expected.

Spectacle…

Since I don’t yet live in a cave sequestered from human contact, I switched over to the game in time to see the halftime show. Say what you’d like about Americans in general, but I have to admit we put on pointless spectacle better than any other group of people I know. Most other places on the planet seem content with having a sporting event, a concert, or a fireworks display at completely different times.. but not us, my fellow Americans. No, not us. We want it all crammed into one very telegenic package so we can consume it all at once.

I’m not at all sure if that makes me proud or fearful for the future of the republic.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

The hardest aspect of writing What Annoys Jeff this Week isn’t finding the three things that have agitated the shit out of me during the last seven days, it’s the culling through the multitude of life’s little indignities to arrive at the three that best sum up the week that was. As ever, it’s a precarious balancing act between my liberty to speak and my willingness to deal with the consequences of those words once they’ve left my brain and shown up on the internet. In that spirit, I proudly present you with the 110th installment of What Annoys Jeff this Week.

1. Failure to communicate. Nine times in ten I don’t mind when something I’ve bought and paid for is backordered. As long as I know it in advance or it’s communicated to me as quickly as possible after the order. What you shouldn’t do is wait for two weeks, fill the balance of the order, and only then let me know that the one widget I needed to make it all work is backordered indefinitely. Some people would probably shrug it off, but for me it’s a sure guarantee that I’ll repackage the whole thing, return it at your expense, and never conduct business with you again. When you fail to communicate with the customer, at least when that customer is me, everyone loses.

2. Being not quite sick. There’s a murky line somewhere between feeling well and being sick. I’ve found astride that line for the last two days. With an obnoxious cough, a turbulent stomach, and a general feeling of malaise, I’ve mostly crashed through the mid-week period feeling vaguely out of sorts and enjoying the attention span the Almighty gave to the average walnut. It’s not the recipe for doing great and wonderful things. In fact it’s most likely the recipe to make sure foolishness and asshattery lurk around every corner.

3. Anything to do with the Winter Olympics or the Super Bowl. So there rest of the world doesn’t respond with a visceral sigh when someone mentions either the Olympic Games or the Superbowl. I’m sure there are even those reading this now who are beside themselves with anticipation of the great and exciting things to come. As for me, my disinterest has been driven to a state of outright hostility by the sheer shove-it-down-your-throatedness of media coverage of both of these events. I’ll leave the rest of the world to their excitement. As for me, I’m not a bit interested in any of it… until the summer games… or the world women’s volleyball championship. Whichever comes first.

Complete lack of interest…

As I’m writing this, I am vaguely aware that the Super Bowl is being played in Florida… But I have to confess that I am suffering from a complete lack of interest. I tuned in for the halftime show mainly because I’ve always harbored a quiet appreciation for Springsteen, but other that I’ve been back in the office sorting through a stack of mail and (gasp) starting to organize my tax information for the accountant. So basically for this super Sunday, I’ve gone to PetSmart and the supermarket, picked up and disposed of a weeks’ worth of mail, made some very tasty spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner, and been working on a few odds and ends on the computer to round out the evening. That the “biggest game of the year” is on seems to have been barely a blip on my radar. Everyone else seems to be making a deal out of it… But I’m just not there. Is there some kind of switch that people throw to get motivated about this sort of thing?