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The Existential Compost

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2nd February 2005

The culture of NOW @ 14:55

Current Grassiness: calm calm
Current sounds: "Natures Way" by Spirit

This made me laugh

But in other news....

I've noticed an emerging culture in society. The culture of now. Have you noticed it? I'll elaborate incase you havent.

"I dont know what I want but I want it now"Sir Henry Sir Henry at Rawlinson End



Often, when dealing with people in my job, I will come across people that expect things yesterday. Often these people will be of high status, eg the vice chancellor, heads of department, the Pope though increasingly I have noticed this attitude growing in other representitives of society.

For Example

Lets say theres an outage on the network. There will be a plethora of people calling into the helpdesk demanding to know why they are affected and why they should have to wait as their status dictates that their work outweighs the network working better than it should. Same goes for people that seem shocked that they have to wait 24 hours before they can use their new account or increased disk space. Why should the administrative laws affect them? Why shouldnt they have things immeadiately? When you try to explain that this is just how the system works and that there is nothing that can be done the reply is normally along the lines of "Its not good enough!" or "Dont you know who I am?!" (the latter normally recieves the reply "Actually no, and even if I did it wouldnt make any difference!". Saying "I'm too busy to do that" is a sure way to end up in my bad books. With increasing frequency I am met with high status users (well people that think they are more important than others) trying to feed that line to me.

Example

User: I am really important. I have this really important thing that needs to be done. Because of this importance you will assist me now. I will tell you in great length what the background to my problem is whereas a simple "I cannot copy and paste" will do. Let me rabbit on abit longer about how important I am and then maybe that will impress on you how you must deal with my problem with a higher priority than anyone else. I dont care if the other phone is ringing off the hook because some student or secretary has wiped their hard drive you must deal with me first, Now, and I will not wait much longer. So tell me, using your chosen method of communication how you will fix this problem after all it is your fault that I am inept at computers.

stegzy: Ok so how are you copy and pasting normally.

User: I am really important. I dont know. You should know how I do this. You know! Yes I know you know. You are from the lower orders of administration and therefore have the power of telepathy. In fact you did it. YOU yes YOU! You broke into my locked office in gaseous form and interfered sexually with my mouse so now it wont work. Either that or you used telekenisis. But Im too important to know about such things as it being my fault because I dropped a 10 tonne brick on my desk or work out that its been unplugged by an ungrateful cleaner

stegzy Ok have you tried highlighting your text with the cursor or pressing control and a for select all then control and c for copy and control and v for paste?

User: WHAT?! IM FAR TOO BUSY TO BE PRESSING EXTRA KEYS!


Ok thats a slightly embellished account of a true event but you get the idea

Admittedly I too am part of this culture. I would be incenced if I asked for a burger from Kimos and it was given to me there and then instead of having to wait while its cooked. Impatience is key in this culture. We seem to have adjusted well to the fact that what ever we want we can get almost immediately when in the past we would probably have to wait. For example, when ordering something off the net I'll consider the next day delivery option (unless its more than 10% of the total cost of goods) because waiting two more days would be far too annoying, especially if it is electrical goods. I suppose because once you would go into a shop look at what you wanted, buy it, take it home (in most cases), gone are the days of "Please allow 30 days for postage and packing" for mail order goods. Even they tend to have a quick turn around period.

I think that because we are so comfortable with our "luxuries on tap" lifestyle the "I'm too busy to wait!" attitude is on the rise. Another example I can use to illustrate this is how I've been interupted 5 times writing this entry by staff too impatient to wait for the front desk chap to finish with his current "customer". Even though I was not on front desk I was called from the back room to deal with the queue of people itching for service as they "are too busy to be waiting". Post office queues are a prime example, you know when its pension day and the blue rinse brigade are on their day release from the retirement home and are finally able to talk to someone else other than their cat/shadow/pot plant/spatula (delete as applicable)? Well thats a good day to see agitated people in a rush. Thing is if they chilled out a bit their day would be so much better. Let the old bid take their time. Enjoy your time out from your office or busy life. Granted you might have deadlines and things but let them wait. Dont get stressed out and start swearing and cursing under your breath. That just makes you out to be some sort of fuckwit. Same goes for driving. Admittedly some people dont like to travel faster than 30mph on a motorway and seem adverse to using the slow lane but hey! They're in a rush too you know! Just let them get on with it. Beep them politely or over take them in the other lane.....thats what its there for. Dont drive up their arse agressively. It only harms you. Not them. I get impatient with slow drivers.....I know I should follow my own example but hey I'm writing this not you!

There is a place on this earth where this "NOW Culture" is out of control. That is London. Next time you go. Take time out and sit watching the people come and go (though make sure you are not in anyones way or you'll either get trampled on or taken and sacrificed to the Goat of Mendes (or the Goat of John Menzies).

Take time out.

Watch.

Relax. Chill dude. Watch how everyone is rushing about with a "Gotta get to the bottom of these stairs before anyone else and onto the platform before anyone else" head on. Fine! Get onto the platform. But I bet you'll just have a longer wait than me for the next train!

I've whinged about people NOT READING SIGNS and NOTICES. The reason I know in my heart of hearts is because they are in too much of a rush. They want the information NOW and the only way they will get the information NOW is by asking someone rather than taking their time to actually read something. BECAUSE READING TAKES FAR TOO MUCH TIME. But standing waiting in a queue for the person at the helpdesk or waiting to speak to someone on the phone rather than read your email doesnt really does it. Especially if you can see the queue snaking into the distance like the A57 from Glossop to Sheffield.

So lets reflect. I know you're thinking FOR GOD SAKE stegzy GET TO YOUR POINT but its coming now ok?

Lets reflect on the rushing about and the demands for things now rather than later. Choose a day....how about next Wednesday? Take your time on everything. Dont rush. Dont hurry. (But Dont daudle either) Take your time. Everyone else can wait. You and your health can not. (Though Im not saying like if you or some one you know is in urgent need of medical attention that you take your time getting them to A&E, for fuxache no! [that and I dont fancy facing litigation!!] ) Take your time. Let other people in a rush go first. Wait for things. If you have dead lines....fuck them....let them wait too....realisticly it will take them longer to find a replacement for you than it would to let you take your time....Sure some of you have to rush things as you have broadcast times and stuff but there are other ways....So next Wednesday, take your time for once. Watch and reflect on how futile rushing about is. If you get berated for being late tell them I said fuck off...maybe refer them to this post or simply smile and say "Hey...in 5 years time, who'll give a fuck about it?"

During this time think about the people in places like the Yorkshire dales, Wales, the Highlands of Scotland, strange yokel types from deepest darkest "Deliverance" areas, people who just sit on front porches all day, why do you think they look so serene and peaceful? Why do you think some of them have a better quality of life?? Its because they take their time....



But then thats probably just a load of old bollocks. Your views (even those from out of your window) are most welcome :-)
 
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From:badgerbadger
Date:2nd February 2005 06:58 (UTC)
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THAT was an awesome entry.


Now write me another one. NOW! :P
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From:stegzy
Date:2nd February 2005 07:28 (UTC)
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I have blisters on my fingers after typing that one! ;-) I might do a poll in a bit.....
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From:kyaathecatlord
Date:2nd February 2005 07:02 (UTC)
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Damn you, where's mah email?
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From:stegzy
Date:2nd February 2005 07:31 (UTC)
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As a wise old irish man once said to me....

"The best pint of Guiness comes to he who waits"...*

* to which I replied

"I'll have a bottle of pissy larger then, Im in a hurry mate"
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From:miltonic_satan
Date:2nd February 2005 07:21 (UTC)

reply to this post REPLY NOW!!!!!111!132

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I think that because we are so comfortable with our "luxuries on tap" lifestyle the "I'm too busy to wait!" attitude is on the rise.

I came to exactly the same conclusion while working in fast food. If people had to wait even three minutes, they would get upset. And how angry they would be if they had to wait 10! 10 minutes out of your measley day for a bit of food will NOT KILL YOU. There are people in the world who starve for WEEKS and THEY are still alive!

Also, I think it's caffeine. Everyone's so doped up on caffeine that they're hyperactive. *sips his coffee* Fuckers.
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From:stegzy
Date:2nd February 2005 07:27 (UTC)

Re: reply to this post REPLY NOW!!!!!111!132

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Yeah!!! Caffine Junky Fuckers!!

Indeed, I'd not thought really about the fast food side of things. I would be ever so miffed if my KFC Bargain Bucket (yes ALL FOR ME!!! MUHAAHAHAHAHAHA) was not in front of me within the 3 minutes of me ordering it but if I was in a top class resturant and only had to wait 3 minutes for something similar, lets say Breast of seasoned chicken on a bed of pommes de frits, I'd probably mumble something about my meal being shoved in a microwave and reheated instead of being freshly prepared. Its funny how the now culture works......
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From:brusse
Date:2nd February 2005 07:25 (UTC)
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There is a place on this earth where this "NOW Culture" is out of control. That is London. Next time you go. Take time out and sit watching the people come and go

London was great, but it did make me a bit dizzy.. I sat in the window of a café on Oxford Street and watched the mad rush. I've been working on getting out of the "NOW!", and into the "try to enjoy what I have now" instead. It isn't easy and society doesn't allways understand this. But it is worth it.

I live near our capitol and largest city, where the rush is...
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From:stegzy
Date:2nd February 2005 07:34 (UTC)
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I blame the Swiss...if they made jam instead of clocks other countries wouldnt try to keep up with their impecable time keeping....

Somehow I always imagined Oslo to be more laid back than London.....
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From:brusse
Date:2nd February 2005 07:41 (UTC)
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It's not as bad as London, but I'm in an area that's too preoccupied with attaining status symbols and shallow ownings at quickly as possible.
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From:storm1jet2
Date:2nd February 2005 07:26 (UTC)
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I love the way people think their problem is the most important EVER - I love trying to explain to some twat that the fact they have to make 2 extra clicks to make something work is NOT more important than the e-mail server which is down and affecting 150 users..... but they never get it.

I am taking time out now, having some tea and trying not to stress, exactly who will care in 5 years, not me!
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From:stegzy
Date:2nd February 2005 07:38 (UTC)
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Another example I could give is one where I had a user whinging about the half hour down time we had for some upgrades to the email system

User: But I've got to ask this equally really important person a question about something so important I'll explode if I dont send it NOW!

stegzy Have you tried telephoning them?

User: NO THATS NOT THE POINT! I NEED TO DO IT NOW!! WHO IS YOUR MANAGER? WHAT IS YOUR NAME?? etc etc
From:ex_stephmog743
Date:2nd February 2005 08:46 (UTC)

my view..

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From:stegzy
Date:2nd February 2005 08:48 (UTC)

Re: my view..

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Awwww :-) What a lovely kittie :-D
From:ex_stephmog743
Date:2nd February 2005 08:49 (UTC)

Re: my view..

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That's Mrs Audrey Whisker. She has been looking after me while I've been poorly sick.
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From:stegzy
Date:3rd February 2005 01:24 (UTC)

Re: my view..

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An excellent nurse no doubt. And fluffy too! :-D
From:ex_stephmog743
Date:3rd February 2005 01:38 (UTC)

Re: my view..

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She's got a leg in each corner and she goes mow.
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From:stegzy
Date:3rd February 2005 01:29 (UTC)
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One of the reasons I took my job in the first place was that I couldnt believe that there were people as crazy as Prof "Copy n Paste". Reading websites such as Techcomedy only reinforced that decision. Great idea, but think about the funniest joke you know, then imagine being told it 7 hours a day 5 days a week....then you'll probably have an idea of the overwhelming disappointment and dispair I feel with each passing day...;-)

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From:lotusmoppet
Date:2nd February 2005 12:05 (UTC)
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There will be a plethora of people calling into the helpdesk demanding to know why they are affected and why they should have to wait as their status dictates that their work outweighs the network working better than it should.

Ah, yes - the serious down side to working in academia...the supreme EGOS.

*pets*

Just remember there are people like us, too.
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From:stegzy
Date:3rd February 2005 01:30 (UTC)
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Normally I just laugh and let them think they have some authority. Then put their query or fault at the back of the queue....
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From:think4yrself
Date:2nd February 2005 15:31 (UTC)
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Very true, mate... I notice said NOW attitude in myself quite a lot as well. Like if it takes more than one second for a website to load. But I'm never rude to, say, people working at a helpdesk, even when I'm in a hurry, I swear. I've been raised much too well for that. :)
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From:stegzy
Date:3rd February 2005 01:33 (UTC)
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Swapping temporarily back to dial up from broadband is a quick way of appreciating the embracment of the NOW culture...more so if the dial up connection is slower than 28.8kbps

Mind you I swapped back to a Windows 3.1 pc the other week and was surprised at how fast it actually was!

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