I Do Not Like The Silence – Day #7

The assignment for day seven is “your pet hates.” So is this things I personally hate, like pet peeves? Or is this things that my cats and dogs dislike? For the sake of argument, and because no one really cares what my pets don’t like, I am going to go with the former. So today I will discuss a few of the things that I hate – or at least drive me nuts. As Mrs Cootchie Mama of cilantro fame knows, I should not say “hate”. So let’s just say these things really tick me off. (And boy, I am pretty good at getting ticked off.)

Remember The SilenceFirst is people who just don’t pay attention. You have hopefully seen, not been, the person in the grocery store checkout line who doesn’t realize they are ever going to have to pay. They stand in line wait their turn. When they finally make it up to the check out clerk they chat, and look around, and maybe talk on their cellphone. Then everything is rung up, bagged, and totaled. Now the clerk tells them the total. Wait! What? I have to pay? Astounding!! Let me know start digging through my travel kit sized purse for some form of payment. What the heck?! All that time they were in line they could have had their wallet in hand, they card out, or their check filled out all except for the total. Now we all get to wait in stunned silence while they catch up with life.  Bet they are the same folks who sit at the traffic light when it changes from red to green and just stare off into space – until finally the driver in the car behind them gets fed up enough to honk. Then they will look back, highly offended, wasting more time, and finally pull off as the light turns from green to yellow to red thereby insuring that only they, and maybe one other car, makes it through the light.

And yes folks I take medication for this stuff.

Secondly, and this is an occupational hazard, area the people who would rather interrupt the “computer guy” to ask a question instead of trying to do any self-help at all. Don’t know how to change the margin in Microsoft Word? Let’s not try the help screen or the manual or Google for an answer, let’s interrupt the guy who is working on a complex project to ask a basic question. I love the folks I support. I really do! But, sometimes I do have to wonder what they would do if I wasn’t there to hold their hand. “Michael, can you tell me what would happen if I press button?” Tell you what, press it and find out! I can bet that Apple or Microsoft or the Linux dudes didn’t put a “self destruct and unleash the zombie hordes button” right there on the main screen of your phone. Go ahead, push the button. If you don’t like what happens, don’t do that again, do something else. It really is that easy.  The greatest secret of computer work is that none of it is really that hard; we just know how to search for information well, and we are not afraid to take chances. That is how we learn. Some things, like graphics design and programming, take talent and training, but that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about “my email is hung up and won’t send messages” to which the response is, and will always be, “have you tried rebooting”?  Not that hard. I promise.

Ok, so both of those things are pet peeves. They annoy me, but they don’t quite make me beat my head on the wall. In fact watching some of the dumb (not stupid, just dumb) things people do amuses me if I am not in a bad mood already. Kind of like having your boss call you in because her wireless mouse won’t work and there must be something seriously wrong with the mouse or the computer – so you calmly reach over, put the batteries in the mouse on the correct direction and all is well. As I said before folks, this stuff isn’t that hard.

But now we will get to something that makes my chest hurt and my head throb. (Honestly, it does, and yes I have medication for that too. And I meditate!)

The most annoying thing to me, the thing that never fails to get to me, is something that a few people know well and will use against me. It is being ignored. And not the kind of being ignored you get when you walk into a party and no one talks to you or when you go to the lunch room and there is just silence when the people don’t all wave at you. No, I am referring to talking to someone directly and they simply don’t answer you. You ask them a direct question and they just pretend it never happened. Or, a more modern version, I send someone a text or an email and I know quite well that they got it. And they choose just not to answer. They decide that for whatever reason I and my communication are not important enough to be bothered with. The brush me aside. And trust me, they know that this eats away at me inside. On the flip-side however  if I ever ignore, or am even late responding to their communications then I am in trouble. I don’t know if it is a power play, a punishment, a conceit, or just a fun way to watch me spin. All I know is that it does indeed work to get me riled. And again, trust me, the folks who do the silence treatment to me know exactly what they are doing.

There you have it, my pet peeves and one huge caged animal peeve. You now know how to get me – how to make my blood pressure rise. Just remember that with knowledge comes power. And if you abuse your knowledge with your power, I am gonna make you pay for my meds.