I never said I was mature, okay?
Being slightly o.c.d. means that subconsciously, I understand that my mission in life is to organise the entire universe and everything in it. Due to this, and as you can imagine, I’m a big fan of lists. I make lists for everything. Not such a bad thing as I’m also a research junkie, so keeps all those reams of facts tidy and easy to access at a moment’s notice, but I digress…
In the midst of the past decades of research and in the course of regular life, I often run across things that are annoying or amusing, as we all do. So, of course, I have lists of these, too. I know–can you imagine living with me?
I never really planned on doing anything with this info, because what would be the point? Not really novel or script material, after all, so not like I could market it or anything. Despite the impracticality of the info, I’m usually compelled toward organising it to also keep it tidy and out of my head to leave me more free brain space.
Here’s a frightening peek into my brain
(a few things from the “Situation” list)
Looking up in time to witness some punk ricocheting off the just-closed subway doors
Toronto is a pretty big city with a half-decent transit system and I know I’ve mentioned before I’m a big fan of the subway system. If you don’t live in a big city you won’t get the full impact and you’ll have to take my word on the funny factor here. Maybe the best explanation I can give you is that in a big city where the majority of people are normal and not actively seeking to be a pain in the ass or get in your face, like anywhere when you get a large group of people all jammed into the same space, you’re bound to get a few lemons.
In this scenario, my reference to “punk” is not limited to any particular age or sex. These are the ones who are just too self-involved to follow common rules of politeness or behave like waiting for their turn is beyond them. Long after the door chimes sound, where anyone else would have already stepped back as the doors are closing, they elbow people out of the way on the platform without regard for human safety and sprint for it. These are the guys who, if they make it, will usually get stuck in the doors, then pry them off their body and break them, so the doors jam open causing the train to have to go out of service and make the rest of us have to offload right there and be late for wherever we’re going. When one of these Mensa candidates pings off the doors? I consider it instant karma at work.
When professional people use the word “synergy”
Okay, in all honesty, that one usually gets more of a scoff than a giggle. Why? I find that people who use this word in business environments lean toward platitudes, one-uppance, brain-washing and standing in line in the middle of the night for the latest gadget release they really don’t need. It’s annoying, no? I just don’t like it.
While I have various scenarios in my head involving this word, the one I scribbled down is during a business meeting. A well-dressed, forward-thinker was earnestly working to explain a new initiative with the obligatory Power Point presentation. You know, like that’s supposed to lend some sort of legitimacy to whatever drivel is being conveyed. Don’t get me started on Power Point… Anyway, so he’s up there being incredibly gung-ho and about as falsely earnest as the commune guy who holds the tray with the poisoned Kool-aid while I’m waiting for some concrete info that can actually be actioned or even a new slant on something I already knew. I was up for it. I’m thinking to myself “C’mon, man, impress me. Do it. Doooooo itttttttt.”.
At a particular culmination to an explanation, with an impish grin, he switches to the next slide that has nothing on it but “synergy” in giant font. Gesturing toward it with a flourish, he speaks the word with something approaching hushed religious reverence and as though this sums up his entire point. Really? That was it? Come on. Why not talk about the negative aspects of group cohesion and the risk management thereof and how we’re going to approach that in a concrete way. Don’t blow smoke up my ass with these buzz words. It just tells me you really have no plan. Thanks for wasting an hour out of my day I’ll never get back and subjecting me to another Power Point presentation. Sigh
When those same business professional-types use the term “going forward”
Favoured by people who suck at making decisions. Used by management-types who are trying not to give you a straight answer to your question about something happening in the “now”. Don’t talk me into the future, man. I have an above-average IQ and I already came up with that part to address this never happening again–that’s where you got that from, remember? Tell me what you want to do in this moment and quit dancing around it and make a decision. Not unless you want me to make that for you, which I’ll gladly do if you’re prepared to hand me your salary. Pick a fucking directive. Not much explanation needed here. It’s just irksome.
Jeez, I’m a cranky old bastard, aren’t I? Couple more years at the rate I’m going and I’ll be like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in Grumpy Old Men.
John Gustafson: “Moron!”
Max Goldman: “Putz!”