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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Mormons and Lumberyards

A few years ago, on a beautiful Friday afternoon, I was sitting on the front porch of my apartment with a friend. We were each lost in our own thoughts when he mused to me that I condescend to people.

"I what?!"
"You condescend to people. Well, to people who you think are stupider than you."
"I do not!"
"Yes you do."
"I do not!"
"Yes you do."
"I do not!"
"Yes you do."
"I do not!"
"Yes you do."
"I do not!"
"Yes you do."
"I do not!"
"Yes you do."
"I do not!"
"Yes, L&F, you do."
"Dang, I do?"
"Yes, you do."
"Dang."

After much thought, I realized that he was right. I most definitely didn't do it on purpose, and everyone who knows me knows that I'd never purposely talk down to people. 

Since then, I've worked on myself a lot to try and rid myself of that horrible trait.

I thought I had been successful.

Until this semester. 

I have a classmate who... well, read the story and draw your own conclusion.

The professor was giving us a Calculus question. He arbitrarily chose wooden fencing as the material he would use in the example. Then this happened:

Guy: "Where does the wood come from?"
Professor: "Huh? What does it matter? Say it came from the lumberyard."
Guy: "Mormons!"
Me: "What the...."
Rest of class: "Huh?"
Professor: "What do you mean?"
Guy: "Well, I saw something once where a Mormon said that he and his father both worked in lumberyards."
Class and Professor: "So?"
Guy: "Well, obviously, all Mormons who work work in lumberyards. Don't get me wrong, not only Mormons work in lumberyards, but all Mormons that work work in lumberyards."
Me: Bursts out crying in pain.
Rest of Class: "What the...."
Professor: Burst out laughing and grabs onto desk to support himself. 
Guy: "What?! It makes perfect sense."

Once the professor calmed down, the class stopped looking around in bewilderment and I stopped trying to throw myself out the nearby window, the professor tried (and failed miserably) to explain with a straight face where the guy had gone wrong. To this day, no one is quite sure if he understood.

This is but one anecdote of too many to count, and it would be far too traumatizing for me to try and recall.

It's this guy who I have to deal with multiple times a week, for hours at a time. 

This guy who has caused me to revert back to my old ways and condescend when forced to talk to him.

I tried, I tried so hard. I just can't deal with him. 

How bad is this, reading it from an unbiased perspective?

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Just 10"

So, I got an email from a friend about this new "Shidduch Initiative" that I think is very interesting. It isn't a new idea per se, but I think it's a good idea and going to sign up for it, just for the heckuvit.

"Meet 10 new singles of the opposite gender in real life every week." I'm always game for something like that. If nothing else, it's a good opportunity to do some much needed socializing.

I've been to one single's event. The idea was to meet other singles who all knew our hosts and think of someone we knew for them (while keeping an eye out for ourselves as well, of course, but that wasn't the main idea). I never saw the need for me to go to one, but never saw a reason not to go to one. So why not?

"Its really simple.You tell us a little about yourself and a basic sketch of what your looking for. When we get a group of ten guys and ten girls that are all in the same basic category we will throw an event hosted at someones house (in Brooklyn, for now). As the list of interested people grows we will notify you when there is a new group of  befitting 10 singles that are ready to meet and we will host another party. So long as there is a group of 10 new singles for you to meet we will notify you and host a intimate gathering if there is interest from everybody involved." 

For $10, why not? For 2 hours of fun you won't get a better deal than that.

"We believe that a major factor that makes the jewish orthodox dating scene so ineffective is that it takes too long to even meet someone for an initiail first meeting." Not a fan of this line, but eh, don't really care about the thought process behind the idea, just what the idea is. 

The only real criticism that I have is the options for the box I have to place myself in. I'm not Modern Orthodox, Semi Ultra Orthodox, Ultra Orthodox, Yeshivish or Chassidish. Of those options, I'm "Yeshivish" but I wouldn't consider myself yeshivish. I'll make a note of it to them.

You can sign up at justten.org. (I've really got do something about this link issue, huh?)

So, what are your thoughts on the idea? Would you go to such an event?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Not the Boss

There's a very good reason that I'm not the owner of the company I work for. I am one of the higher ups in the company, but not the boss and not the owner.

Thank heavens for that. Some of my clients are insane. They also can't acknowledge that they're insane (who would?). Being insane is a challenge that many people have to deal with- I'm just not very good at dealing with them.

Which is why when I got accused of something that was so utterly and completely not in the realm of sanity, I wrote an email.

I write a lot of emails. But this one happened to be, well, eviscerating. Among other insults, I compared this person's ability to write an email to the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial. (See here for the article in case you missed it.)

It was fun to write, but I had the presence of mind to share it with my boss and ask him if I could send it over.

He said no :-(

When he said no, he shared with me why he was saying no. Yes, this person deserves to read this email. Yes, this person made a huge mistake and then blamed it on me. And yes, this person is insane.

But, in his words, there's x amount of frustration and anger in this world. Let us end this small piece of it, that's in our lives, here and now.

Learning to say nothing is really really really really really really really difficult. I'm not there yet.

That's why it's nice to have a boss who has already learned how to say nothing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Left Out

I took some time today to comment on a bunch of blogs that I read, or attempt to read. (How do you all have time to write, read and comment?!)

But I felt so left out.

All of you have word verification on and I don't.

That's a blessing right? I'm lucky enough that I don't have underpaid slaves in third-world countries attempting to use my blog as their platform for SEO purposes. It's great.

I feel so left out that all of you (sadiiiissttssss!!) get away with doling out headaches to one another trying to interpret those ridiculously distorted characters. Yet here I am being all nice and gentle on your heads.

It's only fair that I repay the favor, no?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New York, Israel and Teenagers

For those of you who haven't figured it out (and if you have, what gave it away?!), I live in New York.

It's a great place for a single person working and in school to live; their is always Kosher food available somewhere. It is so incredibly convenient, I can't imagine living in a place while single that isn't New York.

At the same time, I can't see myself living in New York with kids. Specifically Brooklyn I suppose.

The same is true for Israel. While I would love to make Aliyah, the impossible challenge of raising kids becomes unimaginable to the point where I consider it completely preposterous. For me anyway. I know people who have done it, and I see them as miracle-workers.

True, at some point, anyone who has successfully raised their children to be healthy, religious, etc. is a miracle-worker, but I feel it's especially true when living in Israel or Brooklyn.

I'm not sure what it is about these places, but I feel, based on what I've seen and heard, that there is a disproportionate amount of teenagers who get messed up. I mean, unhealthy, irreligious, etc.

I was shmoozing with one of these kids who at one point attended a regular yeshiva in New York, and he was telling me that guys who were once friends of his are now in gangs on the streets killing each other- literally.

It's insanity. Is it the yeshivos and girls high schools? The black and white of it? The intransigence of the yeshiva system to adapt to how the metzius of living in America has changed?

I don't know, but the idea of raising kids in Brooklyn scares the bejeezus out of me. (Then again, the idea of raising kids at all scares the bejeezus out of me too :-) I was told that that's a good thing though!)

Why I'm thinking about this as a single guy at 3:25 am is beyond me, but it's what was on mind.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Disaster!!!!!!!!!!

I messed up, royally. I've been working for this company for close to a year and I have never made a mistake as enormous as this one.

I lost files from a meeting. A 3-hour meeting in which an absolute ton of information was communicated to me. What's worse is that I'm working on a ridiculously tight deadline and I really really really needed all of that information.

I have 6 days to finish this project, and it's nowhere near done. Which is normally not a problem. Thank God, I work quickly and manage fairly well when placed under an enormous amount of pressure. But that's assuming I have the information I need!!! And now I don't!!!!!

I suppose it says something about my competence that the worst thing that's ever happened is losing information from a meeting, but at the moment, I'm in so much trouble.

As I'm fond of doing when words don't do my feelings justice, I make up or use an onomatopoeia... Gack!!! (seems I'm "using" one this time 'round: Source)