Pet Peeves 2020

Last time I listed Pet Peeves was 7 years ago. I just compared lists (didn’t check first) and surprisingly they are completely different.

Shy Zoomers
When someone on the video conference doesn’t show their video. I can’t focus without seeing people’s faces. People shame me for asking them to show their video, which makes it worse.

Food Spoiling
When we have food in the refrigerator and it starts to rot, that freaks me out. I especially get nervous when there are leftovers and we cook new food. The leftovers are going to go bad!

Loose Wires
For some reason, I really don’t like exposed wires. I am constantly trying to coil or eliminate them. I have purchased lots of hardware just for this reason. Speaking of which, I should get a Bluetooth speaker instead of plugged in speakers. Less wires!

Poor Use of Language
Language is the worst way to communicate, except for the all the other ways. When someone says “Flush out the details” or uses a pronoun like “it” or “they” without explaining it. It’s hard enough to get your point across to many people in an organization. People should try to use language more effectively.

Walls of Text
Sometimes product management or engineering will deliver a giant confluence page or JIRA ticket or Google Doc/Slides and say “Read this and then ask me questions.” I feel this is deeply disrespectful of other people’s time. When I create a design spec of document, I spend time with people in small groups to walk them through it line by line. I don’t ask anyone to do “homework”. Why can’t this be the standard? Everyone reading text is a sure-fire method towards confusion. See previous pet peeve to understand why. Also, I hate walls of text because they aren’t summarized. People are terrible about synthesizing their ideas. Showing the verbose notes to people is not solid communication.

Human Resources Group Meetings
I know that HR exists to solve certain (usually Legal) problems. However, group meetings from HR to help with culture are usually lame. I know people in HR are doing their best, but when they call a meeting to talk about _________, I know that the next hour is going to be boring at best, and aggravating and demotivating at worst.

Silence
I really have a problem with silence. If I am in a meeting or even just with someone, I feel very uncomfortable sitting in silence. My brain can’t calm down and just be. I WANT to sit in stillness, but I just can’t do it. Is this a pet peeve or more of a human failing? I don’t know.

Why list pet peeves?

I find blogging to be therapeutic. Writing things down helps me understand myself better. Also, I look back frequently to see how I thought about things in the past. Lastly, I wish that other people would be more transparent and blogging is my little way of encouraging others to open up.

One reply on “Pet Peeves 2020”

I’m SO with you about food spoiling before I can get to it. When I eat leftovers I don’t take what I want, I take what is oldest.

And I also can’t stand silence but I think it’s because silence with other people is basically doing nothing. If I want to do nothing, I can do it by myself.

Also agree about proper use of language, but I don’t complain any more because it just makes me sound old. Which was ok when I wasn’t…..

Keep blogging,

mike

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