Archive for October, 2009

Fifty – Fifty

Well, last time I got onto this (frankly already well-flogged) hobbyhorse, at least I managed to sound a very little optomistic. Unhappily, the last time round I was sober, and now I’m, er, not quite so sober.

There are good things going on for me, I must say, and the last weekend was a blinder, and went better than I expected it to, even the bit where I found myself spooling back ten years and tying a bunch of flowers to the nearest roadsign to the crossroads.

On the flip side, I’ve now been alive longer since my father got killed than I was before, which is, er, wierd. It hadn’t actually occured to me that that was the case until I happened to do the maths the other day, so it’s come as a bit of a surprise. I’m pretty sure I’m on the record as having said that I think hitting 42 & 43 will be a bit weird, the former because of matching, the latter because of surpassing, but I hadn’t spotted this “more than half” business sneaking up on me until the last minute, so I’m still a bit knocked sideways. Plus, of course, naturally inclined to be introspective.

To be honest, I’m not blogging so much out of a desire to say anything remotely interesting as a hope that I can spin out time until I’m a) sober enough to get some sleep, and b) less buzzing with thoughts, but I can’t say it’s working.

And I don’t really think this is a good post to be writing, so I shall stumble back onto the old coin-flip thing, and post only if this, er… 1733 George the 2nd ha’penny, apparently, which says a lot about the state of my finances that that should be the nearest coin to hand, comes up smudgy tails rather than weirdly unfamiliar heads.

Huh. Fairly unfamiliar tails too, now it cmes to it, and I’m rambling again. I need either to get less drunk at parties, or to start coping better with being one over the eight. Someone tell me which I should do, and I’ll see which sounds better in the morning.

O – and remember, kids: never blog drunk. You dunno what you might be typing. (Yeah, yeah, I’m deliberately not listening to myself. Sue me, I’m a part-time trainwreck. I have no idea how that would work.) Jebus, it’s gone one in the morning. This is what happens when I have no radio or company to give me timechecks, I fail to look at the clock. Nuts.

1800 hours of work? Nah, leave it for Dave.

Someone yesterday contrived to tell me something I never got told before: every 10 credits of study is supposed to equate to one hundred hours of actual study. Or, in other words, in the next twelve months they want me to put down 1,800 hours. Assuming I did it all at once, without stopping to play games, get paid, or drink coffee, or eat, or sleep, or look at pebbles, or see other people, that would be 75 straight days of work.

Hell’s teeth..

On the plus side, actually did some being sociable yesterday, which was fun. I tell you, there’s something very rewarding about sitting drunkenly in a pub and arguing about the relative merits of cataloguing, and whether it makes more sense to classify subdivisions with letters or symbols or numbers. (Also it makes a nice change to be able to do that sort of thing without everyone making snarky comments, I’m just saying…)

O, and because I like to spread aggravation around, here’s that stupid moralistic nonsense I was talking about and managed to dig out – note my emphasis in the first line:

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Really. Did it? It ended up with Everbody cross because Nobody did the job, did it? Did it bollocks. These are proper nouns you’re waving about here, you tossers, and you can’t go crying to mommy when you go and shoot yourself in the foot.

Note that this would have worked perfectly well if they just said “If a job needs doing, and you can do that job, why not do that job yourself, thus ensuring that the job will get done. That is good practice, that is”. O, wait, they can’t do that, can they? That wouldn’t be smart.

So let’s look again at this story about four people. But since most people don’t go around with names like “Everybody” and “Anybody” let’s do a bit of on-the-fly localisation, so we can be sure that we can all relate to these people – let’s make these hapless office drones people like us, so as to boost the impact of the message:

This is a story about four people named Amy, Barry, Claire and Dave.
There was an important job to be done and Amy was sure that Barry would do it.
Claire could have done it, but Dave did it.
Barry got angry about that, because it was Amy’s job.
Amy thought that Claire could do it, but Dave realized that Amy wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Amy blamed Barry when Dave did what Claire could have done.

What’s the problem? The job got done, didn’t it? The moral of the sad little contrivance isn’t “do your own dirty work” (a perfectly valid message, if only they’d thought to put it in) but “leave it to Dave”.

That’s not just the message if you change the names over, that’s the message all the time, because we’re not dealing with concepts like “nobody did the job,” we’re dealing with people: “Mr. David J. Nobody did the job, even though that annoyed old Miss Amy Everybody.”

Honestly, I fail to see how the people who come up with this stuff don’t realise that it makes no damn sense. You’d think they’d at least read it back to be sure it means what they hoped it would, even if they can’t be trusted with anything as complicated as communicating an idea to another human being.

…Ah, I’m probably being harsh. Let’s face it, the only way that kind of thing could get that badly screwed up is if they all left it to each other, and the unpaid intern had to lash it together on the way to the seminar.