Friday, August 14, 2009

Two things that irritate me

There are many things that irritate me. Here are two I would like to focus on for the moment, though they don't necessarily have anything at all to do with my current life situation.

(1) The conflation of age and wealth. I have seen this from many sources over the years, and it smacks of two complementary shades of class privilege. I'm sure you've heard it, the assertion that maturity equates to fiscal stability, that a real grown-up has passed the "student" phase of life and can now support hirself. Sound familiar?

This both denigrates any poor adult, ignoring the possibility of existing as both mature and destitute, and assumes for "everyone" the luxury of having a student period of one's life in which money is in short supply but educational capital is being gained so it all balances out in the end. I can't stand this attitude. I am relatively poor, and will probably stay so even as I get older. I come from a fairly wealthy background, and I did/do have the luxury of trading in potential financial capital for educational, but I don't see it as something that I will then trade back for future financial prosperity. And I am far from the poorest adult in Los Angeles.

To return to a common refrain of mine, ride the bus. You'll see a lot of totally mature adults who still have to pinch pennies.

(2) Supervisors who are unwilling/unable to do the work of the people they supervise. I had a boss like this once in my library-worker days. She was (briefly) in charge of the entire library, but completely incapable of as simple a task as checking a book out to a patron. She didn't last long in that job, a fact for which I remain grateful, several years later.

This naked incompetence, however, pales in comparison to the boss who considers it beneath hir to do the work of hir underlings. You may have known such a boss. Ze sneers just a little at the things that you do all day. Ze thinks your work is probably not worth the time it takes to complete, but assigns it to you anyway to keep you busy. Ze is a foreman who never works a day on the assembly line, an executive chef who won't chop carrots, a bureaucrat so important ze can't possibly talk directly to someone who needs help with their insurance paperwork.

If you can't or you won't do it yourself, you have absolutely no right to tell anyone else how or when or even why to do it. Get your damn hands dirty. Work side by side with the people you direct and they will respect you a lot more.

I'm thinking of making a series out of posts about things that irritate me. There are so many. Stay tuned for (3) People who stand in the middle of the aisle at the front of the bus and (4) The constant smell of urine around Laurel Animal Hospital. That should do nicely for our next episode.


Leila said...

i felt moved to contribute some irritations of my own:

1. men and women who can't fucking deal when i am leading during a contra dance. a confident dancer is coming towards you to do the move being called. don't stand there and dither, or worse, shove that dancer where you think they belong, all because that dancer isn't the gender you are expecting.

2. hippie frat boys who say they are feminists and think they are my friends, spending an entire train ride talking about their fail-safe babe-attracting tactics, the awesomely dirty deeds they've done with said babes, and how much the babes worship them.

will others chime in?

Jason said...

1. People who spit on sidewalks. It's gross and disgusting.

2. People who talk unnecessarily loudly (either on the phone or to another person) when they're in a public setting.

3. People who talk on the phone while driving.

4. People who are mean to their pets.

5. Republicans (mostly)

6. People who voted yes on prop 8

7. Produce that goes rotten within days of buying it

8. Clothing stores that don't carry any sizes that fit me (Express, Nordstrom, H&M, Mng by Mango, etc.)

9. Drunk people who bump into you or don't respect your personal space when at a dance club

10. People who get to the front of the line at Starbucks (or any quick service restaurant) without having decided what they want to order.

Wow, in putting together that list, it strikes me that I get really irritated at people most of the time . . . wonder what that says about me.