Thursday, April 21, 2016

Basic Rules of Life Ignored by Supposedly Smart People

I'm not perfect.  Far from it.  If anyone wanted to follow me around for a couple hours, they could compile their own list of stupid things that I do.  I look forward to reading that on their blog someday.  Until then, here are some of my observations that drive me crazy.

If you're in a public place and spill something, clean it up!  Or at least tell someone about it.  Yes, it is probably someone's job to take care of those spills, but don't just walk away from it.  Someone spilled Cheerios on some stairs that don't get used very often in my office building.  They stayed there for days!  I know, I know, I could have said something.  But I still blame whoever spilled them.

Pick up after your dog!  Even though I'd really prefer that you not let your dog do any business on my grass, I recognize that they have to go somewhere.  So if they do end up leaving anything behind on my lawn, you need to pick it up.  And if it's your kids who take your dog for a walk, you don't get to blame it on them.  You're responsible for your kids too.  Scalawag.

If you see someone with their zipper down, food in their teeth, something hanging from their nose, etc., you have a moral obligation to tell them.  You really, really need to do this.  I am tired of always having to be the one to tell people.  It doesn't matter if it's your boss, an annoying co-worker, or the Pope.  If you've ever had someone discreetly let you know that you have a button undone, you're forever grateful to them.  If you come home at the end of a long day to find spinach in your teeth that's been there since lunch, you hate everyone you talked to that day.  Don't be that hated person.

Don't strike up a conversation in a public restroom.  Okay, so I might have issues, but I really don't want to talk to you or even make eye contact with you in the restroom.  It is not a pleasant place to be in, and nothing you have to say will be interesting to me in that environment.  I once worked in an office building where the restrooms were open to the public.  A man came in while I was at the urinal and asked me where he could turn in his resume.  "Well, I'm pretty sure it's not in here."

If you need something, ask politely.  Don't just declare your need.  It makes you sound needy.  As you may know, I work in Human Resources.  I regularly receive requests from employees to fill out forms or prepare letters for various things.  It amazes me how often I get emails that say something like, "Rob, I need a letter verifying my employment so I can establish residency."  I'm always tempted to just write back and say, "Okay, thanks for letting me know."  It's like when my kids say, "I'm hungry."  My response is usually a variation of, "Oh, that's interesting.  Thanks for telling me."

When using instant messengers at work, don't just say, "Hi," and wait for the other person to respond.  Tell them what you want.  The great thing about instant messaging is not having to engage in small talk.  Stop doing it wrong!

When leaving a voicemail message, give some useful information.  If all you say is, "Call me back as soon as you get this message," I will most likely ignore you.  Also, don't tell me what to do.  Also, don't call me when an email or text message will suffice.

Don't tell someone else to remind you of your commitments.  This one really baffles me.  If you say you're going to do something but are worried about forgetting, put it on your own calendar or set up your own reminder.  Don't try to defer accountability to someone else just because they are more reliable.  Organize your life!

These things literally drive me up the wall.  I could go on, but that's probably enough for now.  Feel free to add your own observations in the comments.


Kirk C. said...

Most of mine have to do with driving:

1. Merge at freeway speed. Don't expect to get into freeway traffic when you're going 40.
2. Know where you're going and give yourself enough time to change lanes to exit. Don't get angry with me when I won't let you in to exit in 100 ft.
3. Learn how to use a 4-way stop. If the person across from you goes, you go too! You don't have to wait for "your turn."
4. People use their brakes way too often on the freeway. There is an option of just taking your foot off the gas. It's not one or the other.

Jona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jona said...

Nice! But I disagree with you about emails. Emails are good if you need to send attachments, but no bueno for just simple communications. I don't want to have to check my email unless you told me you are sending me a form, or document or something. I like to hear your voice inflections when we communicate.

That brings me to a big pet peeve of mine. Return my call when I leave you a voicemail. Especially do this if your outgoing message promises that you will! Why bother to set up a voicemail if you aren't going to return your messages?! I imagine an evil woman cackling like Hillary Clinton while listening to my message and saying, "Ha ha! He thinks I'm going to respond to his message! I wonder how long he will wait until he calls again?"

Rob said...


Cardine said...

RSVP: it means to let them know if you're coming or if you're not coming. In other words, respond!

Also, stop being afraid of commitment, people! If someone asks you if you are going to do something or not, decide and then say yes or no! People can't plan events properly unless they know who will or won't be there. Your indecision or inability to communicate can cost other people money. Be respectful of those who plan activities or who are trying to plan activities. If you legitimately don't know if you will or won't be there, tell them.

KarenL said...

I agree with all of them! I'm guilty of 2. One I have a reason for. When using instant messenger (I don't at work, so I'm talking about text really), I say Hi and wait for them to respond. BUT this is only to those who regularly ignore my request, ie. my kids who if I text and say "Hey can you put away the clean dishes before I get home so I can cook your dinner in a clean kitchen?", I get nothing...and no clean kitchen when I get home. BUT if I say "Hi how's your day?" and they say immediately "I'm hungry what's there to eat around here", I can say "Eat cereal and while you're there please put away the clean dishes". HAHA I know they're home. I won't say what else I'm guilty of because I'm not organized and I might need you to remind me I confessed. But I will say that I always try to tell someone if they have something in their teeth. Just the other day at the gym I asked this large girl if I could take the size/price sticker of the back of her new leggings before she left the locker room. One day at work, near the copier, I actually had to tell a girl her shirt was inside out. She thanked me, and so did the guy sitting next to the comment to him was, if you didn't dare to tell her you could have told me!! Thanks Rob!