Sunday, August 19, 2012

The annoyance scale

On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being "I have to say something" and 5 being "eh, maybe I should just be amused," how would you rate the following?

1. Colleague who asks you all about a certain program (including whether such a program even existed at the university) in a meeting and, when you fill him in, stands up and gives a little speech about all the things that said program is doing--things you've just told him. Do you chime in, or not?

2. Colleague who loves to speak up a lot in meetings makes a few dramatic statements--not really incorrect, just incomplete-- about a committee on which you not only served but wrote part of the final report, and another colleague, knowing that you know much more about the committee than dramatic colleague, looks at you to see if you'll say something.  Do you speak up, or not?

3. Visit to a store that rhymes with Madio Mack to get an audio cord, during which the salesperson informs you that "these are mono. That means that you get only one channel of sound." Do you wrap the cord around his neck for being condescending, this being a feature of shopping at Madio Mack every single time I've ever gone there, or just let it go?

4. Do you also strangle the cashier, who repeatedly gives you a hard sell on an extended service contract for a $15 audio cord before he'll take your money and let you leave?

I chose 5 for each one, because 1 & 2 obviously needed the spotlight way more than I did and 3 & 4 reminded me why I should not shop at Madio Mack. So you see, these were lessons disguised as annoyances, and now I can look happily forward to the new school year.

Did you have any experiences this week in which you had to use the annoyance scale?


Comrade Physioprof said...

A service contract for a fucken cable?!?!?? Thatte's a new one!

undine said...

I know!. The cashier seemed hurt that I wouldn't fork over the extra $1.99 for the insurance on a cable. I used to buy those occasionally (not for cables) and quickly learned that the company always demanded the original receipt to do any service, so it's basically making a charitable contribution to the company. And I definitely don't want to encourage Madio Mack in its condescending ways.

CarlD said...

I am inspired by your evolved equanimity. Here are a couple of mine:

*Finally retired the comfy homemade exercise ball office chair because of all the empty-headed gee-whiz-that's-so-unconventional conversations it stuck me with. Promptly regaled with empty-headed gee-whiz-hey-where's-the-ball-chair conversations.

*"Here's the syllabus. I'll talk about it all you want anytime but today." "Hey, will we be doing a wiki this semester?"

*Gen Ed reform drama with colleagues. The liberal arts are under attack! I and accomplices propose a cluster plan along lines widely practiced nationwide that shaves units from the old cafeteria, replacing them with moderately interesting coherence. Told by condescending senior colleague that this idealism was charming but futile as no good thing could ever pass at our uni.

*Same discussion. Second senior colleague / admin and ardent defender of the liberal arts against barbarian hordes can't figure out what the metacognitive value of topical multidisciplinary clusters would be vs. loose tracks of disconnected classes. Apparently discounting Leonardo and hundreds of years of liberal arts tradition, demands proof for the "assertion" that there is pedagogical advantage in synthesis.

I realize these cases are not exactly analogous in form or substance, but I still think your scale applies.

undine said...

CarlD, these are great--especially "the liberal arts are under attack! We must do nothing!"

online diploma said...
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Z said...

OK, I felt ballistic on a guy at the IT help desk, didn´t get ballistic but sure did get cold.

I manage mailman lists for some departments and organizations and lost the instructions. There used to be a link to them in the messages but it has disappeared, and I could not find the instructions on the website. Could have bothered the director but decided to just ask helpdesk first.

Helpdesk said, please forward one of these messages without the link to the instructions. So I did.

Answer from helpdesk, condescending in tone: Dear Z, if you do not want to receive messages from this list you must contact the unit that sends them, not us, or else just block them.


undine said...

Z--And you didn't strangle someone? That's self-restraint. It would be easier to take if they didn't screw up the task AND THEN condescend to you about it.