Dave Barry's Blog
Monday, November 15, 2004
Left Foot first?
Do you have a set habitual way to do certain things? You know there are better ways, but you still do it the same way you always have because maybe you think it is better, or you just are to lazy to change? Well I have a lot of those things. Being married, I am realizing how many things I have always done my way without questioning it. A couple relevant examples:
I always bought X brand sliced bread. Why? I have no idea, but if you asked me to pick a different type, I would probably stare at you with the same blank look I gave my wife a few weeks ago when she suggested a change. I think the exact thought running through my head as a response was “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………” (Although it was probably longer than that.)
If I need something from the grocery store I will go get it. That may mean I make 3 to 7 trips to the store in a week, but also means I don’t have to plan ahead.
So yesterday I needed something to make dinner, and I told my wife I was going to go get it from the store. She said well we have to get a bunch of other stuff too, so do you just want to go get it all right now. Well I had already planned on going just to get the 1 thing I needed, so I stuck to my plan. Off I went to get my 1 thing I needed for dinner.
So when I got home with my 1 thing, in a record amount of time, I was pretty happy with my decision to have gone, despite my wife’s suggestion that we get other stuff too. Well that was short lived. I had forgotten a different ingredient that was needed for my dinner. Had I taken my wife’s advice and looked through everything and made a list and gone to get everything at once, I would have had everything I needed, but no, I had to stick to my old habit, and now was faced with the need to go to the store again, within 15 minutes.
When someone comes up to you and says that there was a better way of doing something it is always easy to pass that off as hindsight and continue on your merry way, but when the realization slaps you in the face within 3 minutes of making that choice it is hard to ignore.
So what other things do I do in habit that I should consider alternatives to? . . . . . . . I always put my right shoe on first; I wonder what the advantages to the “left first” school of thought would be?
posted by Jason 3:29 PM |
Monday, November 08, 2004
In a recent trip to the grocery store, I had a very interesting experience that got me thinking. First I went to purchase some things and on my way out to the car, I got a call from my wife, and she needed me to go back in and pick up some soup that she needed to prepare dinner for the night. So I turned around and went back in to get the soup. $.98 for my entire purchase.
Picture this, I am standing in the express lane with A can of soup, and a dollar (In Oregon we have no sales tax). The nice lady behind the register takes my can of soup, and scans it. Then sets it on the counter behind her, and as far away from me as she can get it. Then she takes my dollar.
Now I hate pennies, and although that is a discussion for another time, I would have left the 2 pennies of change had I had the opportunity.
But she had set my soup so far away that I couldn’t really get to it in the position I was at, so I ended up getting my change. I said thank you and slid down the isle to better reach my soup, now I was kind of annoyed that the lady didn’t just hand my 1 can of soup back to me right away, but I was willing to let that slide with no further thought. Until her next move.
As far as I can tell, she was getting ready to help the next person in line, so she wanted to make sure that she had enough space on the counter behind her that she could stack the next person’s products in a clean space. Apparently I hadn’t moved quite fast enough removing my soup from her counter (Which I think was literally 3 seconds) that she felt it was in the way. So she moved it. I was already reaching for it, and she picked it up, and moved it about 5 feet down the counter and again as far from my side of the isle as she could get it, all without even so much as looking at me. So I slid down the isle and giving her an annoyed look (which she didn’t see) I picked up my 1 can of soup and left.
I know this story has gotten a little long and the payoff so far hasn’t really been worth it, but this whole issue got me thinking a little. Not so much about how rude the lady was for moving my soup, but more for how I had my little defined time of existence in her world as it related to her job. As soon as that time was over, I was erased from that world, no-longer to be paid attention to, or given extra brain cycles of consideration for. Not that I hold this against her personally, but more of a direction we as a whole of society are moving.
It wasn’t that she was trying to be rude to me, but more the fact that I no longer existed in her world of stimuli. On the other hand my soup did exist in the fact that it was in her way and preventing her from continuing on with her defined tasks. So she moved it, no-longer associating the soup to the purchaser, but dealing with the soup as a single point of focus.
Has the interaction of people deteriorated to the point of only interacting with people when they directly interfere with our pre-defined world of existence? Or has this always been the case and my perception has changed due to a change in lifestyle and/or age?
Have I become one of those old people that thinks of the “Glory Days” of my youth where everything was utopian, and today’s state of affairs is terrible, but in reality nothing has really changed but my mental projection of the world in which I reside?
posted by Jason 2:01 PM |
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Sorry to all of you who have been regularly visiting to see if I have made updates. My life became a little hectic for a while with getting married and all that sort of stuff. I almost decided to bag the whole blog thing a few times during my away time, but decided it wouldn’t hurt to continue to have a grave site on the web that was mine.
But now my life has calmed a bit and I would like to get back to writing here daily. I think doing so perked me up a bit, and I hope the comments make you laugh a few times too.
So welcome back to the site for all those still sticking around, I hope you enjoy the revised me (now that I am married, my view on things may have changed a bit.)
posted by Jason 3:06 PM |