May 28, 2011 6 Comments
May 27, 2011 6 Comments
It has come to my attention recently that some of you may not know you are boring. As a public service, I have developed a watch list to alert you. Upon engaging a co-worker in conversation, watch for these signals:
- Lack of eye contact – If I am not looking at you, it is a strong indicator I no longer want to you to exist in my personal space.
- Attempts to complete work tasks – I hate typing things into this spreadsheet, but I would rather do that than complete this conversation.
If you do happen to notice signals that you are indeed boring, do not panic. You might be able to improve your conversational skill by considering that:
- No one cares how smart you think you are. Prefacing the diatribe about the National Geographic special you saw last night with your distain for network television is not going to improve your discussion.
- No one cares care how important you think you are. Telling everyone how many National Geographic experts you are in contact with via email does absolutely nothing to make you interesting.
Often, the problem lies in your delivery rather than the content of your conversation. I consulted a panel of experts to develop some pointers (and by panel of experts, I mean my Twitter feed):
@haircuter urges you to look to your home and family life for warning signals. For example, if the only being willing to converse with you is your house cat, you could indeed be boring. Also, you should probably avoid spending inordinate amounts of time starting at potted plants. It makes them uncomfortable.
@Ellie159 advises you to avoid loud discussions regarding cruise ships outside any office window. It can be annoying, and also, no one is impressed with your cruise ship. Go talk about it somewhere else.
@SidMILB suggests the use of hand puppets, which I have to agree, can add depth to any number of topics.
@Debihen brought up an excellent point that Johnny Depp reading a phone book would never be boring. I tend to agree. While the content does seem rather dry, he is not using the conversation as an excuse to try to impress us with how smart, or important he thinks he is. However, the fact that we may already perceive him as smart and/or important, could be a little distracting. I am attempting to get Johnny Depp into my office to read a phone book, but he has thus far been unresponsive. Some people have no sense of scientific curiosity.
In the unlikely event that you found none of these suggestions helpful, there is one last resort: drinking. Drinking tends to make other people seem more interesting. Providing your co-workers with alcoholic beverages throughout the day could potentially increase your standing in the office and well as make you temporarily interesting. Some business establishments frown on employees drinking during office hours, particularly before noon. Therefore, you will need to choose your beverages carefully. Drinks that are socially acceptable for morning consumption include mimosas, screwdrivers, bloody marys, and whiskey in coffee.
Have fun and enjoy being interesting!
May 24, 2011 5 Comments
Don’t try to force the issue by lying about it either. I can tell if there is caffeine in my coffee because I am still cranky and irritated by your presence. I don’t appreciate the chicanery. Chicory, on the other hand… but I digress. I would never bring brownies into your home and tell you there is pot in them when there isn’t. Do me the same favor, please.
Next time anyone offers me decaf, I am going to tell them that the only decaffeinated beverage I consume is beer. I will even drink one at breakfast if I have to, just to prove my point.
May 22, 2011 8 Comments
May 22, 2011 1 Comment
Wouldn’t it be funny if these t-shirts were real and people were wearing them in an alternate universe? However, it would be an alternate universe where everyone has telekinetic abilities, and no arms.
May 19, 2011 9 Comments
Most people are going around these days fretting about their privacy, but I think we should take a closer look at how we can benefit from total intrusion. For example, how many times have you gotten stuck because Google has no link to crucial, personal information, like the name of that kid who lives across the street? Not the oldest one, but the younger one with the freckles. See… Google can’t help you with this. You are going to have to go over there and ask. Then, that kid’s dad is going to get ticked off because you can’t even remember his kid’s name. You were at the kid’s birthday party last week for Christ’s sake. It seems like you would remember the name. The name is part of the whole song. It was written right there on the cake. Maybe if you didn’t show up drunk because you think kid’s parties are loud and annoying, you might remember.
However, life does not have to be this complicated. If Google had taken a little more initiative when they took a picture of this guy’s house for their street finder, they would have knocked on the door and asked the kid’s name. Then you wouldn’t have to look like an asshole who doesn’t care about people.
Google could also be implemented to resolve difficult social situations. Let’s say you invited a friend to dinner. Let’s call him Bob and let’s say you asked him to bring over a bottle of wine. A bottle of wine is a completely reasonable request. However, there is a high possibility that Bob could arrive at your doorstep, late, angry, with no wine, and holding a rack of lamb. As perplexed as you are, you know asking any questions about this situation is going to lead to a long story. Rather than spend lots of time dealing with unresolved lamb issues, you would quickly Google “rack of lamb” and Bob’s name. Google would then reveal that Bob’s mom, who bought the rack of lamb, is his Bob’s dad’s second wife. Referencing Wikipedia, you find that Bob’s dad left his first wife to marry a much younger Tiffani who often buys expensive cuts of meat which she will have no idea how to prepare. You would have remembered this if you had less wine the last time Bob came over and told you his entire family history, but let’s face it, the wine is the only way you were able to sit through that conversation in the first place.
This t-shirt is the first step to an information revolution. We are on the cusp of a brave new world: one in which it is a lot easier to figure out the name of that guy at the office with the odd haircut who makes his own hot sauce.