Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speed Limit Signs when You Are Stuck in Traffic

First of all, I hate traffic. I haven't written about that yet but I'm sure I will some day. But when you're stuck in traffic, there isn't anything worse than seeing a speed limit sign. It's like it's mocking you. "HA! HA! You could be going 65 but instead you're going 22. HA! HA!" :(

Monday, September 27, 2010

People Who Take the Elevator Up or Down One Floor

I hate people who take the elevator one floor. There are people I exempt from this, obviously, like really old people, anyone with a permanent or temporary disability, people carrying heavy things, people pushing carts or other wheeled objects, and in cases where the stairs are inaccessible or difficult to find. (You may laugh at the last case, but we have one building on campus where the elevators are front and center in the lobby but the stairs are in the wings and every time I try to find them I get lost, even though I have taken them down before. I honestly have no idea how to get to them from the first floor, so if I'm in that building and someone takes the elevator to the 2nd floor, even though that is the nutrition research floor, I don't think badly of them.)

But aside from those situations above, I get so annoyed when I'm trying to get to the 9th floor and someone gets in at 4 and presses the button for 5. I want to scream, "IT IS ONE FLOOR! It really isn't that difficult. Stop being so lazy and go up the stairs! That is why you are fat. Well, your laziness and what you ate for lunch. And I'd guess that you probably even waited longer for the elevator than it would have taken you to walk up the stairs." One time someone held the elevator door for me in my office building, and he said, "What floor?" When I said "9" he said "Oh, good. If you said '2' or '3' I was really going to regret holding the door for you." I wanted to high-five the man. Our secretary (who obviously had nothing to do with my previous post on bad secretaries) takes the elevator down one floor because of her "bad knees." I'm sure it has nothing to do with the 2 packs of cigarettes she smokes a day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

It's not fair! I found out about two deaths this weekend and they both made me really sad :( And angry at the universe!

Bad Secretaries

I'm not sure how you can be bad at being a secretary but let me assure you that it's possible. I'm not sure how it is difficult to answer phones, make photocopies, and check on supplies all day but some people find it tricky. Here are a few completely hypothetical examples. Imagine a secretary who did not know how to save documents on a computer (when asked "What folder are you trying to save it in?" the secretary might reply, "What's a folder?") or a secretary who tied up the phone line talking loudly to her doctor about her recurring poison ivy problem and the steroid cream she needs a refill on. Imagine a secretary who receives personal calls at the expense of business calls, spends 2 hours at lunch, and takes a cigarette break every 30 minutes but refuses to admit that is where she is going (you might be able to tell she is smoking by the smell when she returns or perhaps the leather cigarette case she leaves on her desk). Imagine a secretary who despite being shown 4 or 5 times can still not operate a simple scanner. Imagine a secretary who talks to herself all day long and hangs pictures of cats all over the office. These examples are, as I already stated, completely hypothetical, obviously, because what kind of person would I be if I took advantage of some real secretary's stupidity? A mean person. And I hate mean people.

PS- She might also clip her nails at work and cook smelly cheesy broccoli in the office microwave.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Something I Love: Other People Hating Stupid People on Bicycles

Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, publishes a blog called Running a Hospital. Mostly he writes about health care and things that are happening in and around BIDMC, but occasionally he posts cool pictures from a beach or other topics. A recent one that I really liked complains/warns about people who listen to music on their bicycles. I hate a lot of things, but one thing I definitely do not hate is when other people hate the same things I do! So here is his blog post about people wearing headphones while riding their bicycles.

Running a hospital: Please don't do this!:
An article by Melena Ryzik in today’s New York Times, “Turn on (MP3s), Tune In and Ride,” presents the concept of expanding the “communal understanding about the pleasures of navigating the urban landscape” by having a “group bike ride with a shared route and a common soundtrack. . . . Riders equipped with MP3 players set off from the same point, pushing “play” simultaneously.”

Regular readers know that I am a biking aficionado. I will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that a bike rider with earphones is oblivious to the sounds of the road and is a hazard to himself and to others. It is hard to imagine a more dangerous way to ride, except for riding blindfolded.

I have presented, in other posts, data on the dangers of driving while on a cellphone. The neurological issue behind that danger is that human beings are not really that good at multi-tasking. I am not contending that such is the issue here. The issue here is that you simply do not hear things in the ambient environment when you are wearing earplugs.

While biking, I have approached people on the road and have called out the expected, “On your left,” as I prepare to pass them. People listening to music do not hear me. Then, as I pass, many of them swerve from the surprise. When I see those earbuds, I give extra berth because I know they might swerve into me. But sometimes, they swerve towards the curb where there can be road grates or other hazards. I have passed couples riding and listening together, who have almost collided with each other as I passed them.

Ok, so my voice is not very loud, but I have also witnessed bike riders who do not hear approaching trucks and buses as they listen to their iPods.

I am not talking here of people who blast the music at high volumes, like the ones you can hear across the aisle in a subway car. I am talking about normal music volumes.

So, please ride your bike with both ears open. Listen to music in another setting.

Posted by Paul Levy at 8/20/2010 10:39:00 AM on "Running a Hospital"