Posted: May 27, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday’s blog was such a resounding success it seems the only way to celebrate is to write another one.

I’m at a three-day conference this week, all IT-related (that’s Information Technology for those of you scratching your heads), and much of it is boring.

The food is good though.  Not that Jenny Craig (the filthy-rich bitch) will allow anyone on her program to indulge themselves.  Not that I listen to the harpy, mind you – not when there’s some well-dressed chocolate just sitting there batting its romantic eyes at me in a clearly indulgent invitation.  It’s not the chocolate’s fault that I dove in, head first and salivating like the mangiest slop-jowled dog.  No, I had a choice.

I just made the wrong one.

Oh well.  There’s always tomorrow.   (Come to think of it, that’s what I said yesterday, after making a startlingly similar choice.)  But there’s *just* tomorrow.  After that it’s the weekend.

Years ago, I would have obediently sat through a large number of boring lectures, because it was the expected thing to do.  Looking at those past days with new eyes leaves me a little amazed, really.  How can anyone stand to waste time, spending those minutes accommodating predictable speeches?   Yet, in looking at one of the audience at one spectacularly death-enhancing lecture yesterday, it is clear that many people do.  You have to think that perhaps it’s expected of them, and that’s why they do it.

During that speech, I finally realized the speaker wasn’t going to get any better.  After the 150th time he uttered the word “um” as he tried in vain to find a word he was looking for “THE WORD IS BLACKBERRY, YOU STUMBLEBUM!!”, I finally had enough, and so I got up and left.

How refreshing, this freedom. Oh, there was still some residual feelings of guilt.  The younger guy would have stayed ’till the bitter end, enduring the torment of an ADD brain.  It was that same younger guy who put up with an awful lot of shit that no one should really stand for.

Accommodation and tolerance for boredom are for losers.

(Hmm.  Now there’s a broad-based statement.  Feel free to rip it apart if you like.)

I’ll concede that sometimes accommodation is merely a sign of respect.  Instead of getting up and leaving the conference, misplaced respect kept many delegate asses in their seats yesterday.  Accommodation also demands that you sit and listen to Aunt Mildred’s 945th retelling of her lumbago ordeal.

Intolerance for intolerable situations and people is a sign of respect for yourself.    Also known as “selfish”.  Whatever. One of my friends from Facebook put it so eloquently yesterday:   “life is short …. We are here for a blink. A BLINK! and we’re done.”    Way too short to put up with accommodating others in their self-indulgent behaviour.

Uh oh.  Potential irony alert.    If you’re indulging yourself by not accommodating others, that makes you self-indulgent.  Maybe.   Here’s the thing (which reminds me, in a different context entirely about ignorance and apathy):  I don’t know and I don’t care.

Sorry (he said, exercising his God-given Canadian right to apologize his face off), I didn’t mean for this to be a preachy blog.  But what the hell.  It’s on my mind and so now, maybe, if you’ve read this far, it’s on yours as well.

So, rather than sit through another humdrum speech, I took a decidedly anti-Canadian stance and avoided them altogether, just so that I could sit in my hotel room and write this blog.  Just before I head out into the unbelievably hot Ottawa sun, for a 10-block walk to the downtown section of the city.

Got my shades, and my iPhone music, and my awesome green shorts and running shoes and I’m outta here.

Hope your day is just as pleasing to you as mine will be, starting……..NOW.

  1. Wow, now that I’m on WordPress, commenting is different. I don’t have to enter my e-mail address or my link. I’m just… here. I like it!

    You said, “Intolerance for intolerable situations and people is a sign of respect for yourself.” I wholeheartedly agree. I may be jumping off into a tangent here, fair warning.

    I’ve spent most of my life disrespecting myself for the sake of showing others unmerited respect, and I can only say that I’m grateful for the circumstances that led me to a place where I actually show respect and consideration for myself.

    Not so long ago, I would have deemed being considerate to myself SELFISH, all caps. I proudly put other people first, endured the nearly unendurable for the sake of showing them respect, and then I’d eventually feel hurt or resentful because I wasn’t feeling any sense of reciprocity. Nobody was putting me first. How sad is that?! Unfortunately, I’d venture a guess that most considerate folks are stuck there, showing respect and not receiving it, wondering when the hell they’ll get their turn.

    Well, here’s the deal, our turn comes when we take it. Yep. I had to decide to put me first, to say “no” when it wanted or needed saying, and I had to realize that I am every bit as worthy of respect as the next girl or guy. Heck, the bible says we’re to love our neighbors AS ourselves. It doesn’t say OVER ourselves. We’re meant to respect ourselves and others, there’s no sin in that kind of selfishness. In fact, I’d venture to say that kind of selfishness is mentally healthy! It’s like whole-grain bread and organic produce for the soul. :)

    Of course, I’m talking about relationships here and not the guy at the podium. I mean, he can show a little self-respect and learn how to be a decent public speaker, push past the “um,” but it’s up to you and me to walk away from him when he fails to do that. Nobody is going to do it for us.

    I’m glad you’re leaping into your day and away from the humdrum and ho-hum. Run Wolf, run!


    • What a great comment! And I love when you go off on a tangent. I don’t think you did so here (or maybe you did but it’s so easy for my ADD brain to follow you that it doesn’t feel like you did).

      Seems to me our society in general needs to learn how to forgive ourselves, and to stop treating the word “selfish” as inherently evil. Sure, selfishness at the deliberate expense and hurt of others is evil. But that’s true of anything isn’t it? Including selflessness – like the selflessness that puts up with abusive situations so that we don’t cause the other guy problems. We think we’re being kind, but we’re being cruel, and we’re enabling them. Which means we’re enablilng evil, and therefore acting in an evil fashion ourselves.

      (Talk about tangents, huh?)

      Basic selfishness = survival. We start off crying for our food and to be changed, as babies. The ultimate in selfishness, but it enhances our life expectancy. The baby without the ability to express his selfish need is in mortal danger.

      For what it’s worth, I didn’t spend one moment of time attending any boring conferences during these two days of the three day conference so far, and don’ t plan to change anything tomorrow either. :) And the weather outside was amazing and beautiful. Even took pictures which I hope to upload to Facebook on the weekend.


  2. suzrocks says:

    Wow… I mean… wow. You just made me realize something. I haven’t practiced being selfish in all the right places. I live my life by the clock. I count down minutes to the moments I can enjoy, but when those moments come I waste them away measuring how much time I have to enjoy… does this make sense? Oh the times I have respectfully wasted by accommodating a situation insincerely simply to appear to be a good person… F THAT!!!! You’re so right? Life is short. No more of that nonsense! Wow… it’s like you just smacked me upside my head! But in so many ways… this blog was really enlightening. I mean, I am selfish… like when it comes to things like the best seat in the house or the biggest piece of cake at the party kind of thing, but when it comes to something as precious as time I give far too much of it. Damn… what took me so long to realize this? I love this blog!!!


    • F THAT is right!!! So glad this resonated with you Suz! It’s so liberating and it kind of makes me laugh when, when walking out the door I see others looking at me like I’m the rudest guy around. They just don’t see what I see. The guy being accommodated sure as hell doesn’t appreciate the torture his accommodating listens are suffering on his behalf. So, uh, why should we? :)

      Kind of makes you a little jealous of your time too once you start thinking about it. You want to hoard all you can for yourself.


  3. suzrocks says:

    where’s my comment? did I miss something??


    • I have no idea what happened. Your comments got stuck in the spam filter. I really hope WordPress has some sort of artificial intelligence and realized that once I identified your comments as NOT SPAM it now knows enough not to label them as such in the future.


  4. wordofabe says:

    Hmm…I see you have developed “the attitude”. It’s cool, I know all about it. In my case, I think that it has developed because of my self-employed status–for over ten years I have been my own boss, which means I usually don’t have to put up with anything “boring” if I don’t want to. (It also means that I put off dealing with gigantic stacks of paper until they become so outdated that I trash them.)

    There are those rare times in which I am obligated to attend a safety meeting or some such and I approach each one with determination to stifle my annoyance and put up with it. I think I’ve shaped my career around the maximum avoidance of BS as possible.

    You are heading in the right direction. Right towards the back door. :)


    • …..and outside, where it’s sunny and FAR more interesting than anything on the inside. :)

      Cool that this mirrors your own take on the tolerance of BS, Abe.

      It’s funny – once you go through that window of intolerance, you look back and wonder how you ever put up with all of that nonsense to begin with.


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