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Thread: Am I The Only One Around Here That Gives A...

  1. #1
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere

    Am I The Only One Around Here That Gives A...

    Granted, I'm getting old. Granted, I'm picky about the way certain things are done. Granted, I'm on steroids, haven't been able to work in a long time, and am somewhat envious of people who can. But hear me out:

    Today I drove a Nissan we bought as a demo model in Nov to get some labs drawn. The Nissan is currently the subject of a lawsuit (one of hundreds, it turns out) that asserts graphics and features of a newer year model were used disingenuously to market and sell an older year model that did not have those features (mostly technical/user interface stuff).

    I'm three weeks late getting the labs drawn because the cardiology department at Stanford sent a DSA (donor specific antibody) kit to an old address after confirming with me twice that they had my new one. The reason they had to mail the kit is because no one bothered to tell me while I was there three weeks ago for a biopsy (nothing wrong, just establishing care and they want their own numbers) that the needed labs would not be drawn while I already had an IV for a procedure that cardiology ordered (and is standard procedure in 4 other major medical centers I've used over the last 10 years), necessitating me to have them drawn now that I'm back home, 2 hours away. The labs could not be drawn because the person who sent the tubes did not bother to label them correctly.

    I tried to rectify this on the new Google Pixel phone I just got because the previous one stopped holding a charge. I couldn't replace the battery because now Androids are like iPhones and the battery is built in. [This is worth an entire other thread re: Steve Job's culture of planned obsolescence being invited to kiss my ass crack, but I digress]. The couldn't call Stanford on this new phone. See, the in-call volume hasn't worked since it arrived a few days ago and I'm having it replaced. After the tech instructed me to put the phone in safe mode and have someone call to check the volume after a reboot. I actually had to explain to him that the phone can't make or receive calls in safe mode. The replacement is on the way, but Verizon decided to go ahead and shut off service, apparently a few moments before I attempted to make said phone call.

    I know the phone was working because 15 minutes earlier, I'd used it to call my pharma insurance to correct a mistake made in a drug I have to take to keep from dying. It should be extended release, but they sent the vanilla type, which will also cause me to die, so I used the phone to argue with someone who's not a doctor about the difference between the two. Clearly, he would know, being a receptionist, and I only being the person who, ya know, wants to not die and therefore knows some things about the medication.

    The phone not working, therefore unable to get the labs drawn, I picked up the lunch I'd ordered from the local taqueria place on the way back to discover once home that only three of the four entrees I'd ordered and paid for were present, and two were not correct. So returned to the taqueria place to discover that the debit card I'd used to pay for the order was not working (10 minutes later) so the taqueria could refund money for the missing item which they were now out of.

    In every one of these cases, I've had to intervene using knowledge I've acquired from simply being adjacent to these situations. I helped an attorney, a lab tech, a cardiology fellow, a pharmaceutical counselor, a senior support tech with the largest communication company on the planet, and a successful business owner figure out how to do their jobs. For zero dollars. I'm a musician.

    These are all first world problems (I guess. At least they're somewhat normal for me at times). Remember that Michael Douglas movie, Falling Down? Or more recently Nobody with Bob Oderkirk? Where the guy is perfectly fine, then seemingly out of nowhere, he just loses his shit and finds himself on the I-5 with a rocket launcher demanding a road worker explain why the construction never ends? Or pulling out a weapon in a McDonalds, not to hurt anyone, but because they won't serve him breakfast at 11:03?

    I guess the real question is, why is it so hard for individuals to just do their fucking jobs? It's not any one thing - it's the snowball effect of multiple people just literally not giving a shit. In an economy where they're lucky to even have a job after a pandemic. Hell, lucky to be healthy enough to work. If I could get a job right now cleaning cat crap out of shag carpet, I may not like it, but that would be the cleanest shag carpet you've ever eaten off of.

    This week the score is already musician - 5/ people with real jobs and degrees - 0.

    It's Monday.
    Last edited by fett; 26th Apr 2021 at 22:05.

  2. #2
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    What a comedy of errors. Not so funny when your life is in the balance but I understand. I've had to tell nearly every mechanic I've dealt with how to do their jobs. The last time our car started stuttering I told the guy it was either the air flow sensor or a vacuum hose. What does he replace? The alternator. WTF? How bad of a mechanic do you have to be to think it's the alternator? The battery would be dead and no damn way it would just stutter. To make things worse he charged me 800 dollars to install said part I did not need. 150 at most for the part and an hour labor equals 800 bucks? I don't think so. Particularly when it is still stuttering. I gave him 300 and made him replace the air flow sensor which it was. Then I find out my wife gave him the rest because he is married to my cousin. Lovely.

    The last time my truck went down on the road I bought an alternator (the gauges all went out and the engine dead in transit as they will when it actually IS the alternator) for 120 and borrowed a customers tools and in an hour was back on the road. 120 and a burn on my forearm because I didn't want to let it cool down. Mechanics ain't what they used to be.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    I guess the real question is, why is it so hard for individuals to just do their fucking jobs?
    ohmgfgod you dont even know how many times I felt that in the past year when running my little indie studio and working with multiple, uuh, "partners" on various things.

    tester: "there was a visual glitch"
    me: "ok show me the screenshot"
    tester: "I didn't take a screenshot"
    me: "my fucking god"

    or telling people to do X three times because they keep doing something different each time, all the while I keep repeating "just. do. fucking. x."

    it's like this with half the people I interact with in a "professional" manner

    It's why I cherish people who actually do their job. a person who does what they are told is worth gold.
    Last edited by Yakoob; 27th Apr 2021 at 02:10.

  4. #4
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    This is a constant aggravation. Sometimes it's individual incompetence but sometimes it is systemic, either procedural or functional.

    Cable TV: Last night I was trying to find a menu to change some series recording settings for a particular show. In the previous PVR operating system, this was one of several pull-down options under the recordings menu. In the new system, someone thought this was too obvious and hid the function, several layers deep in the channel guide. Assuming I was missing something obvious, I searched the online support which could not answer my question because the answer had been designed out of the operating system but they were not willing or able to explain this so I trudged on, assuming I was the problem.

    I opened a chat with a bot-tech on my phone. It flagged one key word and sent me a link to information I had already seen and rejected. So I asked for a person and they did the same. When I explained that I was looking for novel information they insisted that I be properly ID'd so they could access my account before they would help me. When I insisted that this was not necessary since I was not trying to alter my account, they essentially closed the chat. This happened twice so it's not just a lazy employee, it's a design feature to dissuade speaking with humans and (it seems) admitting fault.

    I once worked as a phone tech so I know that companies often hide their system design, hardware and policy errors this way, and that they punish workers who commiserate with customers for simply admitting that things suck. We had scripts for placing responsibility back on the customer. We couldn't even reveal to the US customers that we were foreign workers in a foreign land (Canada). For "security reasons" we could only reveal that we were "north of Seattle".

    I don't think this sort of pass-the-buckery is new, just improved and amplified.

  5. #5
    Fett, just curious, but why are you unable to work? I realize the answer seems obvious with your heart situation, but I would think there would be non-physical type jobs that would be OK.

    I don't have a magic answer to this thread's big question, but I can say that right now, working as a recruiter, there is a huge discrepancy between available jobs and available candidates in many sectors right now. As in, there just aren't enough available people out there to fill the demand. There's likely a lot of places out there understaffed and employees aren't on their A game these days because they're spread rather thin. Just a thought, maybe there's something to that, maybe not.

  6. #6
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Maybe I've too easily made my peace with all these people thinking with their hearts instead of their minds. Maybe slapping them with my deserved condescension in every word and gesture will never have any feasible effect beyond their obedient hateful smiles. This thought scares me. I too want some of those steroids to pump up my righteous old man anger. I could achieve so much if I wasn't bound to this $800 free swinging office chair by video games and the cool beer my wife serves me, probably just to keep me in this listless state.

  7. #7
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    Brethren - that's complicated. The main reason is that I'm immune-compromised, a bit more so than most post-patients. My immune system fought like a wild thing to reject the donor heart for about 2 years, so I spent a shit-ton of time bouncing around with meds trying to find the right cocktail, and it's been a delicate balancing act ever since. Physically, I could do pretty much anything I wanted to, I'm stronger than ever in terms of doing labor. But I have to have a pretty large modicum of control over my environment because the guy in the next cubicle or in the break room is going to just go ahead and come to work with the flu, or in the worse case, Covid - for which there's zero that can be done for me (my infectious disease team told me not to bother coming to the ED if I caught it, it would just waste a bed for someone they could actually save). I'm probably more paranoid about non-Covid bug-a-boos than most and I know some of it is psychological. One of the people I lived with on the ICU those months got transplanted, went home, died two weeks later because a home health nurse came to her house with strep throat. I've literally not been in pubic since last Feb. except to get my shingles vaccine (drive through), and my first Covid shot (2nd in two days). Besides that, my team loses their shit every time I bring up working. They don't want a scenario where I jettison my disability income for a job, then end up needing re-transplant in a few years because its hella hard to get back on once you're off (first time took 2 years and a lawyer - and I could have dropped dead at any moment). But mainly they're worried about me getting sick. I've tried to find some work online but no one's looking to pay for a teacher of ancient Mid-Eastern language and culture, much less Abrahamic theology. Regardless, prior to Covid I was out playing music at least part time. In those situations I was able to quickly establish "safe" places to play where I had some distance from crowds, and the people I played with were respectful of the situation, so no practicing if they were sick, and opposite sides of the stage at gigs if they were. It mostly worked, though I got pretty sick with a stomach thing once. I don't mind taking chances, it's just balancing my desire to work with respecting everything my family went through to keep me alive, so I tread lightly. I'm currently finishing a few credits to tack on so I can tutor English online. Trying desperately to monetize some of my writing, but it's gotten ridiculously harder since Covid with everyone trying to do the same. Covid was really bad timing as I was about two weeks from a situation that would have allowed me to diversify and gig full time. It'll come around again, and I'm coming up on 5 years now so I'm more stable then ever, just still not entirely safe because even people that know better don't often think about me catching every little thing. Not their fault, I just have to be more careful than most.

    Kolya, you're a bigger man than me. It's not that I have vitriol toward anyone specifically, it was just a cascade yesterday that pushed me beyond my patience. I can honestly say I didn't lose it with anyone, I just vent here..... And I get it. Everyone is tired and anxious and stressed because of....the world, right now. I'm an asshole to say it (so be it), but even at my most ill, I try to do the best I can if someone's depending on me, whether I'm getting paid or not. And who knows but every single person I encountered yesterday was having a worse time than me in those moments, but that would be a massive coincidence, yeah? I've spent too much time with people who would give anything to be able to work the McDonald's drive through or be a Wal-Mart greeter, so I have to check myself when I get frustrated with the people who don't know better. They don't have the same context. And some of it is more the shit manufacturing than the people who are just trying to get by.

  8. #8
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    What I wrote wasn't meant to mock you. I exaggerated my own experience, but not by much. I really get unreasonably angry at people who think with their hearts instead of their minds. (Which I'm sure I didn't used to.)
    Today my father with whom I only recently found a tentative connection through some short mails after decades of silence, well he writes to me to tell me that the chance of being hit by an asteroid is larger than of dying from Covid-19.
    I told him the numbers of Germans who died of Covid (82280) and asteroids (0) upon which he goes off into a random rant about brainwashing politicians and the media keeping citizens in fear and complacency etc etc.
    I say: You do realise I work for a newspaper publishing house, yes?
    I'll spare you the rest, because it made even less sense.

    You (and by "you" I mostly mean myself) have to understand 2 things here: First: My father is psychologically ill, he very rarely leaves his flat, lives of healthcare and occasionally sends me books about mysticism (which I never read but keep). Second: He means no harm. I'm sure he doesn't even want to fight with me. But thinking with his heart, by rallying against some imaginary oppression, gives him some tiny bit of agency, which he completely lacks in his life.

    It may make me angry that people like him exist, the things he says may offend me, but ultimately my life is much happier and economically better than his and my position is much more powerful. If I had the time and energy, I could demolish every nonsense he talks and try to take that bit of fake agency from him. I'd rather have some genuine communication with my father. But the bullshit I have to wade through for that.

  9. #9
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Another example: My neighbor's daughter is 10 years old and regularly comes over to play video games. She loves our cats and that led her to wanting to become a vet. Her mother (a teacher) encourages this choice. She also keeps her daughter away from modern technology as much as she can (no mobile phone, no computer etc.) because, like most white middle-class moms around here, she seeks for a her daughter a rural childhood ideal that was formed in the 1970s and 80s by Swedish childrens books ("BullerbŁ Kindheit").

    During a picnic I told them she should consider becoming a programmer. Her father is a programmer and I am too, she'd have a head-start. Female programmers are sought after like unicorns, she'd start with 40-50k and would only go up from there. And she could still do animal welfare projects and other world saving on the side, because programmers tend to have great work/life balance.

    Now I'm not suprised that a 10 year old would stubbornly reaffirm her choice to become a veterinarian. But her mom was also against it. (Her husband is a programmer!)

    As a parent of a daughter and as a woman, shouldn't you be interested in your daughter NOT picking a job that's prototypical for low wage women's work, based on exploited ideals and feelings? Shouldn't you see through this by now?
    When does it become a choice to think with your heart instead of your mind? How does this choice look like? Do you consciously weigh the fuzzy warm feeling of "follow your heart" with the foreseeable economic dependency? Are future chances to feel morally superior and victimised calculated into this choice?

    Some pretty dark thoughts. Angry old white man thoughts for sure. Excuse me while I actively remind myself of my privilge, the fact that none of this is any of my business and get a beer.

    I didn't use to think like that. I used to be full of ideals, a huge sense of justice and neverending sympathy for the underdogs of this world. Now I take a walk through the park by the immigrant quarter and think: "Okay, hundreds of people mingling out here and no one wears a mask. Figures." I see the reasons and connections: low income, missing language skills, lack of education, distrust in German authorities, yadda yadda. But it becomes harder and harder not to shrug and think: What a bunch of idiots. And I mean 95% of everyone. Not just middle class moms, not just anti-vaxxers, esoterics, homeopaths, conspiracists, not just the lineage of psychos I descend myself from.

  10. #10
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    So, do you still believe I was a bigger man than you, fett?
    Maybe this is just what getting older is. Either you never make it and perpetuate your youthful ideals until they're as flimsy as an old pair of blue jeans. Or you get lucky and become some sort of villain.

  11. #11
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    I guess I'd just like to believe there's someone out there that handles this better than me. I'm in the same situation with both of my parents and in-laws to the point that the relationships have become estranged. And not because I insist on them recanting their nonsense but because they've taken to treating me like trash for not jumping on the crazy train with them. I'm also losing faith in humanity on a meta-level and all these little things reinforce my desire to live on an island.

    And the saga continues: After switching (against my will, but by necessity) to Verizon three weeks ago, I'm now on my FOURTH new Google Pixel phone because the in-coming call volume can't be controlled - top volume all the time, and actually louder than if it were on speaker phone. My son has the same model and it works perfectly. I don't want a cell phone but I need one. Today, it's because I have to call a 3rd party company to get an external confirmation on the funds in my PNC bank account because PNC will not verify by fax or email, only snail mail. Which would be fine if the college my son was applying to hadn't neglected to send the Declaration of Finances form until last Friday for an admission packet that's due THIS Friday. Even then it wouldn't be a problem because according to Google we can just walk into any of the 10 branches within driving distance. And when I say branches, what I actually mean is "ATM MACHINES" because there are zero "branches" in CA, though they're listed as such on Google Maps.


    I just want to bite someone in the face. FUUUUUUUU>>>>>>

  12. #12
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    There is a guy here who described the same problem you seem to have with your Pixel phone. He fixed it by factory resetting the phone.

  13. #13
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    I guess the real question is, why is it so hard for individuals to just do their fucking jobs?
    I can help you visualise this real easy.

    Think about how stupid the average person is. Then consider that 50% of people are even stupider than that.

  14. #14
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    That's awesome. I was just coming back here to report that's exactly what I did. Thanks for looking it up tho.

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