Archive for the ‘Boredom’ Category

Service of Please Pass the Caffeine: Performing in Front of Nappers

Monday, July 1st, 2024

I was at a wonderful concert last week in an intimate setting. The soloist played a clarinet accompanied by an accomplished pianist.

Near me was an ancient person who immediately fell asleep. We were in the second row, almost in front of the clarinet player. Surely, he saw Mr. Sleepy.

Because of the fellow’s advanced age, the musician couldn’t have been insulted though it is distracting to see someone snoozing while you play your heart out—or deliver a speech.

I once had a boss who regularly fell asleep during presentations. My colleagues and I wouldn’t look at one another as we might have begun to giggle. A friend whose boss was known to imbibe at lunch and sleep through afternoon pitches scheduled all such meetings in the morning.

I imagine there are plenty of parishioners who snooze during boring–or even fascinating–sermons.

And watching someone text while you speak or perform must be unnerving.

Have you been confronted by a somnolent audience? Did you have a colleague or boss with tendencies to catnap?

Blog Service of Boring

Thursday, December 1st, 2022


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

I’m not sure why but I’ve developed a dislike of the word boring. When young I’d get bored but haven’t for decades.

Political pundits and morning show hosts whine about a politician being boring which is why, they drone on, he/she isn’t a good candidate. Vision, intelligence, ethics, spot-on decision-making take a back seat. Some once praised a recent president for being hilarious and when, in a recent speech he was no longer, they complained that he was not amusing, energetic and vibrant—in fact, he was boring. Kiss of death!

Must we always be amused? Have you met slick-mouthed people who can sell butter to a dairy who are useless doing their jobs? They drop more balls than beau mots. I have stories….

It helps if a teacher isn’t boring. But we don’t all agree about that. I remember one—Dr. Blackwood in college—who put others to sleep yet his words resonated with me.

In addition to deadlines, obligations and chores, there is so much entertainment at our fingertips from streaming services with all range of series and films and podcasts covering cooking and philosophy to politics and gardening as well as news shows that dissect every angle of the political and international landscape and thousands of digital games.

There are so many books to read or museums to visit or walks to take or languages to learn or trips to enjoy or recipes to master or friends to meet or dogs to walk or children to coach in addition to people to help—and of course, there is work or homework. So where is there time for boredom? Do you get bored?


Image by 14995841 from Pixabay 

Service of What Were They Thinking?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Case I. A middle aged postman delivers the office mail. Although there are seven businesses here, some with several employees, we get little USPS mail. Envelopes and junk mail are usually scrunched together by several thick, tight rubber bands. One of the pieces in this particular pack was a 9×12 envelope, with cardboard to keep the contents flat. To accommodate the mailman, it was folded along with the rest of the stuff and the contents were ruined.

Case II. As a result of my stolen wallet, [reported here on January 21 in “Service of Opportunity“], I received a letter from the fraud department of one of the credit card issuers. The bank’s missive asked me to sign and return the letter. I could do it only after changing the sentence in which I was asked to swear that I had never used the credit card. Well, I had used it–until it was stolen. So I amended the letter to say I had not used it “since it was stolen on January 17.”

The letter also listed as fraudulent a charge I’d approved when reporting the theft. [This meant my taking time to warn the recipient about the situation and to ask them to let me know if the money bounced.]

The letter did not list the online purchase I was told had been made after the card was stolen. I’ve just learned that nothing was stolen. The amount quoted as spent, by the clerk to whom I reported the stolen card, was my total expenditure of the previous month.

Lastly, it became a game for me to figure out where to return the signed form. The paper was plain–no letterhead–and the address elements were sprinkled here and there over the sheet.  No return envelope came with the query.

Case III. One of this blog’s readers, graphic designer Iris Bell, sent in this malfunction. A drugstore chain in New York, Duane Reade, has a new website as part of its redesign, she noted. She wrote that she was “just told by their Customer Service department that: ‘Unfortunately, our website is not Mac-compatible.'” And Iris concluded: “Amazing. I don’t know if their site works on smartphones.”

I wonder how many slipshod moves are made because of lack of training, thinking, caring or supervision or maybe plain stupidity or boredom? Shouldn’t folly be caught by a supervisor, or have all the supervisors been fired?

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