Archives for category: rant

With the last couple of days of vacation after returning from our out-of-town trips, I decided to attack a couple of the more cluttered rooms in our small apartment, sorting through accumulated stuff to clear out as much as space as possible. (I’m fully aware that this is shaping up to be the most boring “what I did on my summer vacation” essays in history.)

Among the old papers to be filed away, I found a folder containing the offer letter for my first job out of college, along with a performance review from 1994. While the review was very positive overall, one particular section caught my eye, in which my uncannily astute manager Scott had this to say:

While Greg shows considerable maturity on the job, I am concerned that his lack of experience in pacing his efforts could lead to burnout. While it is a cliche to say that Greg’s weakness is how hard he works, it is the case. I would hate for Greg to lose his enthusiasm that is at the core of his strength. I don’t see this in him now, but I have seen the pattern before and Greg needs to acknowledge the potential for a problem. Greg needs to better pace himself and learn when and how to relax and leave the job behind.

When I showed this passage to Amy, her response was to slowly shake her head and sigh, “18 years later and you still haven’t learned.” I guess there are some deep-seated personality traits that never really change.

On the other hand, the following sentence of the review announces a salary increase to a figure that, after adjusting for the current exchange rate, is roughly 30% higher than my current salary. In other words, thanks to the miserable state of Spanish IT salaries, I’m now earning significantly less than I did in 1994. I guess some things do change, although not always for the better.

My pet peeve of the day: shoppers in front of me in the supermarket checkout line who don’t understand the basic concept behind the conveyor belt, and in particular the sensor at the front that makes it stop. At least once a week I end up behind a dour old lady who, for some reason, has a phobia of her groceries touching the metal strip at the end of the conveyor belt, and keeps inching them backward. At first it’s just enough to move them out of the line of sight of the sensor, but as it starts moving again, she keeps moving them further and further backward, until she’s desperately clutching her groceries as mine move inexorably forward. Then, without fail, she turns and glares at me, as if it was all part of my master plan to cut in front of her by shoving her things out of the way.

Come on, people…it’s 2010, can we please understand how basic machines work?