Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 263: Snarkless

I woke up today determined to go snark-free this week.

Being a wiseacre is kind of my thing, but sometimes it just gets old. I've been trained to believe the cynicism and skepticism are quite useful tools. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a healthy questioning of the status quo: if you're not probing ways to make things better, then you might as well be dirt-napping.

But we live in an age of unrelenting carping and smart-assery, and it's just exhausting.

Now, I don't encourage the pendulum swinging too far in the other direction. If I have to choose between living in Snarkville or Pleasantville, I'll take Snarkville. It's more realistic. (Snark-related: "A pessimist is an optimist with experience.") Some people want everything filtered through rose-colored glasses, and a pig in a bowtie is still a pig. Snark is often honest with a dose of sarcasm. I think it's dangerous to look at our world and expect things to get better merely by having a positive attitude. You can't wish away the crap.

Where snark wears out its welcome is when it's just bitching about a problem with no solution proffered. I learned a while back that it's perfectly acceptable to complain about a work process or life situation, provided you've got some modifications in mind. If you rant about something and walk away, you're a crank. If you rant about something and produce possible course corrections, you're a person of action.

I hate not having a job. Lately I've had vivid dreams that are all "problem scenarios" and the entire dream consists of some Sisyphian task that can't be solved. Last night, I was trying to fix a customer problem that involved his credit card number. The card just wouldn't work, no matter how I tried to enter the numbers, call support, etc. That was the dream... endless entry of card numbers, never succeeding. Earlier this week I was in a building (that reminded me of the David Glass Technology Center) that I couldn't find a way out of... just this massive, cold, monolith with no readily discernible points of ingress and egress. Another recent dream involved a lengthy plane ride, followed by a lengthy cab ride, followed by arriving at another giant industrial building just long enough to sign my name once, followed by exiting the building, hailing a cab, and returning to the airport to fly home.

A little stressful. But I'm working on solutions. You have to try and put yourself in positive-aura situations. And so I'm taking a little snark break this week.

I announced this earlier, and scalawag Zak responded: "Screw you." So fortunately I'll have snark just a click away if I need it.

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