Friday, February 5, 2010

Two Cents? No, Thank You. Silence is Golden

Do you know what I hate? I hate it when you do something wrong and feel bad and then someone just has to comment on it. For example....

Sally stumbles into 1st Period Band Class. She went to bed at 6:32 am, earning herself a whopping 26 minutes of sleep before she pulled on some sweatpants, threw on a sweatshirt over the shirt she slept in, and shoved her feet into her moccasins.
"Woahh," Sally's friend Susie says as her rather disoriented friend tries to attach the head joint of her flute to her swab. "Why were you up so late?"
"English paper and whap homework and anatomy." Sally yawns, frowning at her swab.
"Oh." Susie shakes her head. "Shouldn't have left it till the last minute. Why do you do this to yourself?"


That is EXACTLY what I am talking about. Has it ever occurred to you, Susie, that those same questions had been running through Sally's head alllll night? Because believe me they have. Sally knows that she shouldn't have left it off till the last minute, but that doesn't change the fact that she did. So what exactly do you think you're accomplishing by saying, "You should've done it earlier."??

It's like Sally's falling towards some dirt and Susie helpfully sticks some cement where Sally's gonna land. That was really great of you, Susie.

Whyy do people think this helps? Sally is already scolding herself, she is suffering the consequences, and there is nothing in the world that can change what she did. So what makes Susie think it is in anyway beneficial to Sally for her to point out that that paper was assigned a week ago and she could have made a schedule for herself and that would have been so much better and she would have gotten so much more sleep and now she's gonna be tired and dysfunctional all day?

Dear Susie,
Common Courtesy

Do they think that Sally thinks she did the right thing? That Sally is content with her choices right now? That Sally likes seeing double for the rest of the day? I think we all know what it's like to procrastinate something. Since we've all been there and done that (at the last minute at least) we all know that the very last thing we wish to hear is, "Well that was dumb. Why didn't you do it before you had only 12 hours?"

This, my friends, is the most ANNOYING thing someone could say. Just leave them alone. They are obviously reprimanded by their own body. They feel stupid for doing it, and you pitching in your most unwelcome two cents is, contrary to popular belief, nott gonna make them feel better.

There is another aspect of this that I will demonstrate via a story of something that happened to me two days ago.

Julie, Mom, and I went to NIH because Julie and I were healthy volunteers in a study. I did not have my ID with me, and to be honest the thought never occurred to me that I would need one. When I worked at NIH, of course I needed my badge, but after that badge expired and I didn't work there anymore my mother could always just say, yes she's Nicole and the friendly people at Admissions would smile and write me out a temporary guest sticker. So when I didn't have my driver's license with me as we pulled up and got out at the security check I had no worries. I walked in and smiled at the security people and walked through the metal detector. All was well until- "Do you have an ID?"

I blinked. "No."

The security lady sighed. "Why not?"

"It's in the other car. I keep it there 'cause that's the car I drive."

"And you don't have a school ID or anything?" asked a security man. All the security people now were looking at me with suspicion.

"No, seniors didn't get one this year." It was true. Because we didn't take yearbook pictures with the school (drape pictures were submitted digitally), seniors didn't get IDs this year.

"Your sister has one." Well thank you for pointing that out, Einstein. But my sister happens to be a sophomore, therefore she is not a senior and would have received a school ID. And bytheway, that was really helpful to our cause because, you know, now that you pointed out that my sister has an ID mine should magically appear in ID. How strange.

The security people kept repeating that Julie had her ID and that I should have a license and other useless things that did nothing to produce an ID or get me to my appointment and I kept growing more and more annoyed. Not that it isn't fun to just stand around and talk about how I don't have an ID and hear a million times over about how I should have brought one, but I can think of a couple things I would rather do. Like eat yellow snow. Or punch myself in the face.

Finally they called the lady we were going to see, and she confirmed who we were. They let us go with a stern warning that next time, I would need an ID.

This annoys me so much. It's like, you are being so helping talking about the problem and doing nothing to promote a solution. It's like you're walking around in circles when you really need to walk to the park. By the time you get dizzy and fall over, you could've walked to the park, but you spent all your energy doing something entirely useless and you are in the exact same place as you started, and no better off.

So a message to those people out there that think you are being helpful when you remind us procrastinators that we have made unwise decisions with our time management:: You are not helpful. Be quiet. Keep your thoughts to yourself. If they really need to get out, write it down somewhere but do NOT show it to me. Or you can go to one of your wiser friends and express your feelings while they nod and pretend this isn't a waste of their time. Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment