Friday, August 14, 2009


Why won’t people do what I want them to do? I can look at person and think to myself that I would not do that if I were them, and they do it anyway. They talk in ways that I don’t like, do things that are unhealthy or annoying. Some of my peeves:

The old couple with the Texas accents at the Houston airport opening Wendy’s salt packets with their teeth and dumping them on a hamburger for the husband of the pair to eat. He will surely die of a heart attack. Why do they do that?

People who do not know how to manage meetings. They have lots of interesting things to talk about – things that are interesting and pertinent only to them. They waste my time, and sometimes my project budgets, because the meeting schedule was not organized or facilitated to maximize the value of my participation. And so I sit there and squirm and think about how I would be managing the meeting to get a better outcome. I’m good at that stuff, but apparently other people are not. Why do they do that?

People who don’t believe in change. How can you buy the same tube of toothpaste every time you go to the store? Or stay at the same vacation home year after year? Republicans don’t believe in change and, frankly, I can’t understand why they exist. Change is critical, especially for those of use with short attention spans, but some people are so rigid. Why do they do that?

Couples that cover for one another. I know several married couples where one spouse covers for the faults of his or her partner. The husband tells bawdy jokes or talks about inappropriate things and his spouse says nothing and pretends that husband-dearest was just a little tired that evening. Or one person in a couple doesn’t take full responsibility for caring for the child, and the other member of the couple just says that perhaps someday things will change. Why do they do that?

People who stay in jobs forever. A job is fun for a couple of years and then begins to lose its luster, even if it’s a job you basically like. You end up doing them same things over and over again and attend dozens of meet and greets with new employees and they all leave and you’re still there trying to figure out what do to with the rest of your life. Why do they do that?

People who live in dull places and acknowledge it. I think San Francisco is a great place, and I don’t understand when people say negative things about their own cities. I don’t mean that I can’t complain about our insane politics, lousy Muni transit service, or high prices. If you’re going to live in a dull place, own in and be proud of it. If not move to a city you like. Not to pick on any cities in particular, but when I’ve been asked where I’m from by people who live in cities like Atlanta; Houston; Grand Rapids; Phoenix, Bakersfield; Lafayette, Indiana; or Columbus, to name a few, and I get the reply “Oh, wow. You’re so lucky. It’s so nice there,” I think to myself, “Oh wow, then why don’t you move there if you feel like you’re unlucky to live in a place that you feel is not so nice?” I just want to hear everyone say they love the city where they live. A lot. Why do they do that?

People who get overly stressed and panicky. There are plenty of things to make a person freak out. On nearly every corner there’s a car crossing through an intersection or a person running toward you. How can you really drive your car safely without running over small children? What’s up with flying – blasting through the air in a big metal tube? Being in Hawaii surrounded by thousands of miles of oceans in every direction? Being at the top of a very tall building? So many things exist to freak us out, but so few of them actually succeed. But some people are at the mercy of their irrational panic and fear. Why do they do that?

I have buried two of my faults in the list above, just so I don’t sounds too overly negative about everyone else. Anyone who knows me well would be able to guess them.

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