People who take themselves too seriously

It is a lovely afternoon. You are out at a bar with some of your friends and someone brings up a random topic of discussion. I say random because what I’m about to say relies very little on the topic of dicussion chosen. So, someone chooses a topic they’re passionate about and brings it into discussion.

Let’s say, for the sake of this post, that the topic is Dragon Ball Super and that the person is not a very big fan of it. Quite the contrary, the person thinks it’s very bad when compared to Dragon Ball Z, GT or the original Dragon Ball. I, as a fan of the series, beg to differ with the person’s opinion, but don’t insult him based on his views about DB Super. And the other person simply flips and gets mad because someone dared challenge his views and the other people at the table, me included, end up wishing we had Goku’s obliviousness and blissful ignorance for any and all human interactions.

I hate people who take themselves too seriously. I think it should top 3 in my medium sized list of thing that annoy me, but aside from number one, the other places change a lot, so let’s just say for the time being that I am annoyed with people who take themselves too seriously with regards to anything. You see it all the time, from your friends who want ALL the attention to be on them because they think they’re the only ones worthy of it to your smug ass coworker (or worse, team leader) who belives that just because he had a good day today means he’s the very best, like no one ever was before him or will be after him.

It’s even worse when said team leader starts adopting a tyrannical attitude towards the people they’re supposed to be leading, not beating. You’ve become a team leader, big whoop. It doesn’t give you the right to think you’re the be-all and end-all of team leaders or technical experts. There is always someone out there who will be better than you in some aspects, you know, aside from the ass-kissing one people like this usually use to become team leaders when their EQ and IQ are sorely lacking.

So people, seriously, stop believing yourselves to be the Alpha and the Omega of everything. You’re not, and the belief that you are makes you look like an arrogant little brat who cannot digest people not agreeing with you. You have a strong opinion about something? Good, no one says you can’t. You want to share it with others? Good, as long as it’s not political, for me anyway. If it’s political, I’ll just smile and wave until the neverending debate is over. But remember this. Once you share an opinion about something, there is a good chance that some people will disagree with it. It doesn’t make an opinion wrong, as opinions cannot be right or wrong. But when you’re in public, the reaction you have to a different opinion is the difference between a mature person or a childish person. Go ahead, flip that coin next time.

The silly animosity between HR people and IT people

There are quite a few legends going about on the Internet, especially on LinkedIn. People talk about the beings in these legends with high regards, as they are very very rare. Think of MewTwo levels of rare (or LR Broly, for those of you who know how real the struggle is). Or, if you’re boring, think of unicorns. What are these beings held on such a high pedestal you ask? Software developers and recruiters who have a mutual respect for one another.

While I don’t want to be rude and specific about what sort of measuring contest this is, I find the animosity between these two groups of people worthy of a few laughs, but in the end pointless. A while back there were some articles I’ve read on the-soon-to-be-Facebook-of-jobs social media network discussing why recruiters annoy software developers or testers and vice-versa. I won’t go to the length of positng links to the exact articles because they were in Romanian and because there are plenty more to choose from if you do a simple Google search (seriously, go ahead and type “recruiters are” in Google and check out the first suggestions Google gives you).

Why must there be animosity? I mean come on, I know recruiters can be annoying when they just can’t take no for an answer (I know, believe me, I know, I could field a Champions League team made of recruiters from the SAME company who contacted me in 3-4 months) but stop it with the name calling. The only thing you’ll succeed in doing is create a bad reputation for yourselves and other software people who actually know how to act but have to endure frowned looks up until the recruiter figures out that you are actually they’re a good person. And in the end, the fact that you constantly get job offers means you are GOOD at what you do. Use THAT as fuel to your ever groing ego.

And recruiters, seriously, read the damn CV before sending the job offer. I know that there are insane numbers which need to be reached (I have a friend who works in HR and I know of the insanity of certain objectives) but seriously, there are basic things that you can do which will not make you look like a fool and will not annoy the reciever of the offer, like NOT confusing Java with JavaScript, looking at the time elapsed between now and the last time the reciever ever used the technology you want to hire him for and knowing the required frameworks and technologies for the job you want to hire the person for. Once again, Google is your friend.

For the sake of some short periods of laughter I hope this animosity doesn’t go away any time soon, but seriously, people, grow up and start acting like the adults you claim to be because you’re either part of an amazing company and want to bring more people in or because you’re an IT graduate with years of experience behind your back.

Always check your facts…and sources

I have a love-hate relationship with the Internet, mostly because ever since most people have gained access to it, the amount of uninformed posts about just about any topic you can think of has sky-rocketed.

And while I don’t really have a problem with people expressing their opinions, I do have a problem when they label their opinions as facts. Let’s get one thing straight about opinions. They are not FACTS. A fact is something which can be proven by some scientific data. 2 + 2 will always equal 4, no matter how you put it. But your opinion on the matter, if 2+2=4 or not, does not change the fact that this is actually a fact, whether or not you believe it to be true or not.

And with the rise of Facebook and other social media platforms, the number of misinformed posts I need to filter has sky-rocketed, as mentioned before. And this is not because the posts contain radical new information which is proven to be true (rather, it’s the opposite), but it’s mostly because of some key words and phrases used to attract attention by stimulating certain emotions. And people can’t proactively react to these posts by trying to rationalize what they just read. And it leads to some really shady websites gaining traffic and, as a result, pumping out even more articles that serve no purpose other than to spread false information.

And once again, this is their right and I don’t really care because I don’t read those sites. So what is the point of this post? To convince you that, whenever you feel an article or piece of information is wrong, to CHECK THE SOURCES AND FACTS BEHIND IT. ALWAYS do that whenever you feel you are lead astray by what someone might tell you because there is a good chance that that person is wrong, on so many levels. I’ve seen people use blogs as news sources and distribute posts claiming this and that and when I looked over the post, it contained no quoted sources, no evidence to suggest that their point is true and funnily enough, when I did a simple Google search (the article suggested that some events were not covered by the news) I ran into several online articles (4 or 5, something like that) from reputable news sites discussing the exact event the guy in the blog post suggested was not covered by the press!

So seriously, always check your sources and the facts from online or offline talk when you feel they are misleading. Chances are they are and the person has no idea what he’s talking about. You want to know why I don’t talk about news or politics, aside from the fact I hate both of them? It’s because I may get it wrong, all so wrong on so many levels because in the heat of the moment I skipped through some important details and as a result, the post I’d make would become another one in the long list of uninformed posts people keep spreading. And I really don’t want to be that person.

Societal acceptance, smartphones and the fear of missing out

I was at lunch with my colleagues last week and I heard one or two of them say something along the lines of wanting a car that automatically breaks when you are under a certain speed. Nothing wrong with that so far, right? Well, the reason behind this baffled me. They said they wanted the car to be like this so that they can check their phones for news and emails while driving, because if the car breaks for itself, they can check their phones while also being safe in traffic…well, not really safe but safer.

I wanted ro rage at them so badly, but I calmed myself down. However, I couldn’t help but think about WHY people do this (the checking of mobile phones while driving). And in my opinion, at the very core of it, it has something to do with societal acceptance and the fear of missing out. According to Wikipedia, the fear of missing out syndrome (or FOMO, in short) is a syndrome characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing. Others of course can have many meanings, be it other colleagues, other friends or other politicians for people who can’t escape this obsession and constantly try to drag me into it.

Some of you may be thinking: “ok, I get the FOMO part, but what about societal acceptance?”. Well…when you’re constantly in the need of staying up to date with the latest developments in every freaking country around Mother Earth, I think you’re doing it for one of two reasons:

  1. You really have nothing better to do with your life than to be ultra connected to each and every event around the planet thinking it affects you that much
  2. You don’t want to look like an idiot in front of your colleagues because you don’t know the latest developments, either around the world or in the company you’re working for

To be fair, reason number 2 seems more likely in today’s social-media obsessed society. The constant need to check up on the latest events or latest updates from your friends or your company is not something to take lightly. Seriously, for your sake AND the sake of others…DO NOT CHECK YOUR F***ING MOBILE PHONE WHILE DRIVING!

I myself don’t really care about world events that much, I think I have stated that numerous times to the point where you might be annoyed, but it bears repeating, because I am tired of the current trend of being constantly connected and “informed” (whatever that means). And by tired I actually mean tired, the human brain can only take so much information before it goes into overdrive, hence why I’ve given up on watching news or reading articles about events that don’t affect me the same way people around me seem to think it may affect them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against smartphones or other devices that allow you to access the web at any given time but once again, for your sake AND the sake of others…DO NOT CHECK YOUR F***ING MOBILE PHONE WHILE DRIVING! See, being a complete idiot is not that hard, is it? You may think you’re missing out, but you’re not. The task in the e-mail your boss sent you will still be there when you reach your desk. The latest news about elections or votes in whatever country happens to be hosting them will still not affect you more if you read the articles half a second after they’re posted. So, once more with feeling, for your sake AND the sake of others…DO NOT CHECK YOUR F***ING MOBILE PHONE WHILE DRIVING!

Armchair experts

There is a medium sized list of things that annoy every living thing in me, and while nothing can ever top news and political discussions, armchair experts are up there in the top 5. An armchair expert is that annoying acquaintance you have that can’t stop going on and on about how things should be done in a domain and that if that person were in charge, things would go better.

You know these people, the ones that say “ugh, Guardioala is so over rated, put me in charge of that Barcelona team and I’d win trophies” or “ugh, put me in that Mercedes car and I would win just as many races as Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg”. Which is NOT the case. There is a perfectly valid reason for why Guardiola was winning every conceivable tropy and why Lewis was nearly untouchable in 2015 (and, on a side note, why Sebastian Vettel was nearly untouchable in 2013). They are the best at what they do and this is proven by the fact that their team mates at the time, with the SAME material, weren’t able to keep up with them. And while Pep didn’t really manage to win any significant trophies with any other team except Barcelona, look at the results the team has had since he left. With Pep, we’re talking 6 trophies in his first year, which translates into every possible trophy in a year. Barca hasn’t really been able to replicate that ever since.

You want to know why YOU aren’t managing Barca or driving for Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull? Because you are not good enough. You are not the best because you are not good enough, and giving you the best F1 car would not automatically make you world champion. It’s always funny that people like this don’t have the slightest clue about how hard it is to coach a football (soccer if you’re from North America) team or drive an F1 car. Do you think it’s easy to keep the likes of Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar happy? Or, for the Real armchair experts, do you think it’s so simple to keep Cristiano, Benzema and Bale happy? Just ask Rafa Benitez how that worked out for him. You know, the same guy who led Liverpool to one of the best (if not the best) recoveries in a Champions League final.

I went and drove a kart a few years back for the first time. Sure, it’s not an F1 car, but each and every F1 armchair expert should drive a kart once. And once the pain in every muscle starts to creep in from having to keep a 6.5 HP or 13 HP contraption on track while also going for a fast lap, maybe, just MAYBE you’ll realize how much effort it takes to drive an 800HP or more car on a track going 200+ km/h while also making sure you don’t lose grip and speed while turning AND make sure you don’t get passed by other cars going at the same speed. Maybe then you’ll realize that the likes of Maurizio Arrivabene, Niki Lauda and Christian Horner are NOT missing out on anything by having the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen as their drivers instead of you.

And as for political armchair experts, because Facebook is flooded with them (the Unfollow feature might have been the only one I have overused so much in the last months), I’m supposed to believe you know how to run a country when you don’t even know there’s more than one sports store in the city you’ve been living in for the past few years or decades? This isn’t made up, I’ve heard this story from a friend of mine who told me about some coworkers of his talking about going to a sports store and they didn’t even know there’s more than one of them in the city, when there are actually 3. Talk about doing your research, right? If you can’t even research shops, how in the world can I expect you to make me believe you have ANY clue about leadership? If you did, you’d probably be a leader. But you’re not a leader, unless getting the most likes on a stupid status in which you say how things should be done constitutes as you being a leader.

Opinions…and when to share them

Lately I’ve realised that I don’t really enjoy going out to lunch with my coworkers as much as I used to. Not that I don’t enjoy their company, they’re great coworkers, one of the best I’ve worked with. But I’ve noticed that people, much like celebrities, don’t really know when to shut their mouths. And this results in me getting frustrated and annoyed to the limit.

Whenever I am at a social gathering, be it a party, a lunch etc, I’ve noticed that some people are quite incapable of realising when NOT to share their opinions with regards to world events and the current breaking news that’s just being overly discussed and analyzed on TV, on the web, on social media etc. I don’t know about you, but whenever people start talking about news and politics while we’re out eating, I experience a combination of exasperation and annoyance, because, while in a bloody lunch break, I want to be able to RELAX AND UNWIND, not having the same damn news shoved down my throat instead of my food.

There was this post on 9gag a while back when someone posted a picture of disgusted and exasperated people looking at a camera with the caption “My friends’ faces when I try to bring up the latest breaking news at a party”. The original poster of that picture seemed proud of himself for being the party pooper. Of course, people in the comments section were against such behavior for precisely the main reasons people throw a party: to have fun, not to overly overanalyze and discuss things that you always hear and are almost inescapable.

Personally, I am sick of it. I am sick of all these people constantly trying to bring sh*t like this into discussion each and every time 3 or more people are in the same approximate area. I overheard one of my colleagues today say something like “well, we don’t know 10% of what exactly is going on”. So, you feel that there is more to every story, but you also feel the need to share a so called “informed” opinion on something you’ve read one article about and have about the same percentage of knowledge as the percentage of getting an SSR character on Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle? (believe me, getting an SSR on Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle is hard…and annoying) Please, can one of my less than 10 readers (much appreciated less than 10 readers, by the way) explain to me the logic behind this? Why do people feel the need to always have an opinion on world events? Why can’t things just be?

Seriously, I label this blog as “Opinions and drivel for your enjoyment”. I know about opinions. Everyone has the RIGHT to an opinion, I’m not saying you don’t. I’m saying, try some OTHER moments or times to share them? Like, I dunno, the endless stream of social media platforms you waste time on? And no, this is not me advocating you to post endless political stuff online, this is me choosing the lesser of two evils. I can appreciate you putting it there, because then I can hide the post if I don’t care about it, a feat way harder to do when I am out to lunch with you and several other people, since I can’t put a first-aid band on your mouth without getting at least a few frowns from said meal companions.

Workaholics

Nobody wishes they’d have worked more when their time is up. This is a fact stated by many people when asked what they regret about their life. NO ONE REGRETS having not worked more in their life. Shocking, I know.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well, as the title might suggest, I am going to talk about workaholics. What is a workaholic? A person who willingly, irresistibly etc works long and hard hours, even though no one asked that person to do it. You may have them at work, those people who come in at the same time you do and then almost refuse to leave until they are the last one standing, even though everyone around them has gone home or is telling them to leave. Let’s face it, work never ends, and your productivity goes down exponentially once you’re tired. And make no mistake, you DO get tired. You may not think you are, but your body and brain know.

I’ve always wondered why people do this. I mean, excluding the ones who have big debts, for whatever reasons, workaholics who actually have a stable financial situation or even moreso a FAMILY are just plain imbeciles. There is now sugar coating this, you’re a bloody idiot for wasting precious family time (or free time in general if you have no significant other) working for someone who I can guarantee doesn’t give two craps about you.

People have this belief that if you work hard and long, your boss will somehow hold you in high regards or will be there to support you when times get rough. You know what will happen if you get sick or have some other trouble? You think your boss will be there to support you in your time of need? Fat chance. The first thing he’ll want to know is the time you’ll be back and how much it will cost HIM (yes HIM, not YOU) to either replace you for a determined period of time or how much your medical bills are. Sure, he might SEEM he cares when he asks how you’re doing, but he doesn’t really care. He has a business to run, you’re just a cog in that business, so easily replaceable it hurts if you think about it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some companies where overtime (unpaid, of course) is actually encouraged and those companies can f**k right off. That is one of the worst behaviors I can see in a company and of course, the ACTUAL people responsible rarely pay the price. I am talking about the managers of course, the ones who should be able to allocate enough time for the project, including periods of holidays, downtime due to whatever technical reasons or unclear specs which force the teams to have to redo some work. More often than not though, in order to impress the client and get a “who’s a good boy? you’re a good boy” out of the them or the CEO, they are WAY too optimistic and come up with a deadline so unrealistic you may as well put it in Hogwarts and hope all unforseen events are automatically solved.

In the end, people need to realise the following: no one will care about your career once your time is up. Not even you. You think your offsprings will care about that time you helped a complete stranger achieve success, a success you only get crumbs from? Probably not, but they will always remember the day you skipped an important event in their life in order to put in that extra effort for said stranger.