vvvexation: (Default)
Lesson of the day:

When you attempt to buy stamps from a post-office vending machine, and it takes your money and you make your selection and it makes a whirring noise and says THANK YOU but nothing actually drops into the little tray, you may be tempted to thump on the machine in case the stamps got stuck halfway down or something.


Evidently, the USPS takes potential vending-machine vandalism very seriously. As an institution, that is; the individual employees don't seem to take it seriously at all, judging from the truly impressive job they did of ignoring the EARSPLITTING ELECTRONIC SHRIEKS on this occasion. Then again, perhaps that was simply due to their knowledge that it would stop in a few minutes. I, having no such knowledge, was slightly more distressed--plus I wanted my eight bucks back, which evidently required me to stand in line at the counter just to get anyone's attention, and then fill out a form that asked for such things as my nine-digit ZIP code (who the hell knows the last four digits off the top of their head?) and the six-digit serial number of the machine (I looked, and the machine didn't have one. It did have a "#19" on it, so I wrote that down along with the name of the post office branch and hoped for the best.)

If I don't get my refund I am gonna be very upset. I might even vandalize a stamp machine for real next time.
vvvexation: (Default)
A while ago, I stuck my head into one of those periodic community discussions of how and when one ought to reply to LJ comments, and found myself more annoyed than I'd expected. Now, I personally don't see the point of replying when one has nothing to say, but I understand that a lot of people feel differently. I'm fine with that; it's no skin off my nose if I occasionally interact with people whose commenting habits are different from mine--but apparently there are some folks out there who do think it's a problem, and this one in particular really touched a nerve with me:
[...] I think etiquette, in general, is being polite, and either you're brought up to be polite in all aspects of your life, which would include your activity online, or you're not. I see it as an extension of face to face etiquette. Someone is sitting at a computer reading what I've written, and is taking the time to 'talk' to me about what I've written. I think it's rude to ignore that person. So I reply. The only hard part, for me, is knowing when the conversation is over.

I do find that I take offense when I comment in other people's journals and they don't reply to me. I try to figure out what it will take to get them to reply, not always consciously. And if I consistently offer support or encouragement, or try to relate some commonality, and never get a reply, I will stop commenting, and if I don't care enough for the journal, in general, I drop it.

I think if we leave the comments enabled, it means we welcome them, and not to reply seems rude, to me, but that is because I was raised to be polite and responsive to people, to say 'please' and 'thank you', etc. It's just human kindness, and that extends to the world of the Interweb, and LJ.

Well, of course she's free to behave as she likes, but I still felt I had to say this:
One thing you seem to be overlooking is that "polite" is not a Boolean value. People are not raised to either be polite or not be polite; rather, they are raised with an infinite variety of ideas about which collections of behaviors are polite and which are not. Someone who doesn't have the exact same prescribed set of polite behaviors that you do is not necessarily lacking in "human kindness"--which in any case is a separate thing from politeness. (Would you call someone with poor table manners unkind?)

You seem, in fact, to have a circular definition of polite behavior: "I think behavior X is rude, but that's because I was raised to be polite"? No, you think behavior X is rude because you were raised to be polite and you were raised to think that behavior X is not polite. Someone else, however, might not have been raised to think that behavior X is rude, and yet might still have been raised to "be polite," by whatever means they define the term. To assume that anyone who does X must not have been raised right is to assume that the definition of politeness you grew up with is the only valid one.

I see far too many people living their lives on the basis of that assumption, and severely disliking otherwise very likable people as a result, and it frustrates me so much; if only people would listen to each other's reasoning, try harder to accept goodwill even when it isn't displayed with the "proper" sort of action, and most importantly be forthright about what kind of behavior they want from other people rather than expecting everyone to live up to their standards without having been told what those standards are! The problem with standards of politeness is that too many people don't realize their own standards aren't universal, and so just assume everyone who doesn't meet them isn't worth their time, rather than actually communicating with others and trying to figure out where their standards diverge and how their actions really should be interpreted.

Okay, so I'll admit there does have to be some more or less universal standard of acceptable behavior in order for any large number of people to get along at all. But the idea that politeness is an either/or thing and that someone who commits one particular breach of etiquette must be lacking in all social graces? Excuse me while I scream. Do some people ever comprehend the idea that their opinions are not objectively true?

(And yes, I have had much more unpleasant dealings with people like this in the past--why do you ask? Someday, when my fists unclench, I might even vent about them.)
vvvexation: (Default)
I really should not taunt the morons who occasionally message me on OKC. I really shouldn't.


But when they reach a certain level of idiocy, it's just so irresistible to do things in response like, say, pointing out how jealous they are or ought to be of my ability to get laid as compared to theirs. It almost makes up for the profound anger I feel on behalf of the entire human race whenever one of these jerkoffs, or any other jerkoff, equates "not interested in me" with "uptight." I'm not sure whether they really believe it or just say it because it's a handy excuse, and what's more, I'm not sure which is worse.

Further reasons why I'm going to hell: I experienced my first case of road rage yesterday, and in the process discovered that having a boyfriend in the car can be a drawback when he insists on shouting at the idiot before you get a chance to do so.
vvvexation: (Default)
A comment (and addendum) I posted elsewhere--fortunately not a propos of anything in my life at the moment, but I've been chewing on it for a while:

Dan Savage had some scathing things to say once to a disabled guy who wrote in complaining that he couldn't get chicks--mainly because, as Dan pointed out, he was only looking for "hot" chicks and didn't seem to have considered dating disabled women for a moment. I've since been convinced that what all those guys who complain that women won't date them because they're "too nice" really mean is that beautiful, bitchy women won't date them. Maybe if they actually went looking for nice girls--and bothered to include shy girls, plain girls, and nerdy girls in that pool--they'd have better luck finding a few who genuinely like nice guys.

(Okay, so I have known some genuinely nice guys who can't seem to get dates. In fact, that description fits a fair number of my closest friends. But you know what? Absolutely none of them, to my knowledge, have trouble getting dates because they're too nice. Some of them have self-confidence issues, and some of them are just nerds surrounded by too few nerd-loving women, but niceness is definitely not what holds them back.)
vvvexation: (Default)
Okay, I know it's supposedly polite to actively tell people you're not going to consider them for a job, rather than just appear not to have noticed that they sent you a resume. But did you really need to send me (and presumably most of your other applicants) a chunk of dead tree with your rejection on it when I know for a fact that not only did you have my email address and telephone number, but I almost certainly sent you my resume by email in the first damn place?
vvvexation: (yell)
I was having a surprisingly good day today--somehow I was feeling inexplicably chipper despite my usual back-to-school dread. I even did some spontaneous hopping and skipping in between classes, and during them I did a fairly good job of keeping my attention on the lecture. But my good mood all but evaporated on the bus ride home when I was reminded of one of the reasons I take such a dim view of most of humanity.

A young woman got on the bus in North Oakland with a small child in tow--kid couldn't've been more than three. I wasn't really paying attention to them until I heard the mother cry out "Look where you're going!" and whack the child over the head with a folder full of papers. I don't know if he'd stumbled in the aisle or if he'd failed to go where she was steering him, or what--he certainly didn't seem to be doing anything more unruly than putting one foot, albeit hesitantly, in front of the other--but after lifting him onto the seat next to me she demanded to know what was wrong with him and whether he had lost his mind.

"Great," I thought, "someone with completely unrealistic notions as to what level of cognitive functioning can be reasonably expected from a small child, who also likes to hit first and ask questions later." But I didn't react outwardly. I knew it'd be unwelcome, and hey, she used a portfolio, not a belt, right? Still didn't make me happy, but I didn't really have a case for its being capital-W wrong. So I relaxed my guard a little bit when she abandoned the interrogation (if the child had answered her questions at all, it was pretty darn quietly; I couldn't hear him say anything from about a foot and a half away), but kept an ear out as she proceeded to carry on a rather confrontational cell phone conversation with someone whose identity I couldn't make out. After a few minutes of her attention being thus directed elsewhere, the munchkin laid inquisitive hands on the folder and made to go through it. She responded to this with an angry yell and a hard smack to his hand.

I wish I could say I intervened with an impressive display of righteous anger at this point. Unfortunately, the most I could muster was a Look. In some sense, at least, it was a pretty effective Look; she appeared to have caught its meaning perfectly well and immediately wanted to know if I had "something to say." Here, my inability to come up with a sufficiently concise and emphatic explanation of What Was Wrong With Her combined with my innate cowardice to suppress any verbal response I might have made; instead I dropped eye contact and seethed for a few moments, but her next words, an assertion that she'd treat her child how she wanted and I'd better not look at her like that, sounded to me like a gauntlet I was juuuust capable of picking up, and I was already a little ashamed of myself for having let the first one lie. I therefore redirected my reproachful gaze to her face, but was saved from having to manage more than that by the intervention of an older woman across the aisle.

"We're all looking at you like that," she said, "not because you hit him but because of the way you hit him, because you're out of control." Well put, but to little avail; she got about the same response I had. She persisted firmly, maintaining that the child wouldn't continue to belong to his mother if his mother went on taking her frustrations out on him whenever she pleased, but was met with ever more strident "shut the fuck up"s. I finally found my voice after the third or fourth assertion that this was nobody's business but the mother's: "It'll be CPS's business if you keep this up." I was told to shut up too before she hit me as well; I responded calmly that I'd call the police if she did. She wasn't afraid of the police, she scoffed; I muttered "obviously not" and we both subsided resentfully. I almost wish she had tried to hit me; I'd have really liked an excuse to report her to some authority figure or other, but I hadn't actually observed her being abusive enough to warrant it. She got off at 12th Street without further confrontation, and will no doubt remain the pathetic human being she is now for the rest of her life, as she obviously won't tolerate the suggestion that her behavior could be improved.

Selfishness and entitlement, that's what it all boils down to. Are children small and relatively helpless people that you need to dedicate your life to taking care of, or are they possessions, over which you have sole authority because they are "yours"? Are their needs paramount, or do your desires come first and how dare theirs conflict with yours? I'm tempted to declare that anyone with the latter attitude, as a general rule, ought to be sterilized, but hell, that's probably not enough. I mean, my stepmom never had kids of her own and look how that turned out.
vvvexation: (yell)
Do we have humans living upstairs from us, or elephants? I swear, it was an order of magnitude less noisy around here when the place was being extensively remodeled before they moved in. Or maybe it's just that random thumping noises are more irritating than methodical tool-using noises because they stop more often and every time they stop you think they're done, only to be disappointed.

This is not helping my attempt to not develop into a world-class curmudgeon by the time I'm forty. Nor, of course, is it helping my paper-writing effort, but a lot of things aren't helping that.
vvvexation: (yell)
Pet peeve: people who want to be your fwend for absolutely no reason, or at least no stated reason, other than that they want fwends. Not because, y'know, you actually have anything in common with them or anything. Why would that matter? And if you aren't interested in talking to them you're obviously a snotty bitch, because just the fact that they're friendly should make you like them, right? If they'd bothered to, say, read your self-description, they'd know what you're like, and more importantly that your tastes are damn narrow--but of course they haven't because they don't care what you're like, just that you're vaguely cute er somethin, and that's all they figure you oughta give a shit about too. Either that or they have indeed RTFM and plowed ahead regardless. They just figure if they're nice enough you'll like them anyway, because of course you didn't mean it when you said or at least strongly implied that you preferred to spend your time with people who have a few brain cells.

Okay, so I realize there's this scattershot kinda mentality going on among certain members of the male persuasion, whereby if you hit on enough chicks at random, eventually one of them will say yes. What I don't understand is when this gets crossed with the mentality that it's cold and heartless to have *gasp* standards when it comes to whose acquaintance you want to invest energy in pursuing, with the result that some of 'em actually get offended when you tell them to bugger off for reasons they were supposed to have figured out before they even tried to talk to you.

I'm going to get some very predictable responses to this, I just know it.

Edit: I'm not referring here to anything LiveJournal-related. As I explain in my profile, I am perfectly fine with people LJ-friending me for any reason or no reason, just as long as they understand that this doesn't necessarily mean we're going to end up interacting much. The people who annoy me are the ones who do want me to make an active effort to interact with them (email, chat, and suchlike) and don't understand why I might not be inclined to do that.


vvvexation: (Default)

September 2012

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