March 24th, 2011

krazy koati

They're always in the mood for something to much

I am, by temperament, a rather patient, gentle person. Possibly too gentle; I know friends who've been irritated that I don't get more annoyed by some slight or other. Perhaps so, but after all, most minor inconveniences will pass, or prove to be not so burdensome. This isn't to say I never lose my temper, though I try to lose it only for good reason. Sometimes I fail.

Yesterday the first floor called up to say they were ordering out for lunch, which since it was a rainy, cool day, was fine by me. I put in an order and was ready from about noon for the call that lunch had arrived. It didn't come. Sometimes they're ten minutes late. Sometimes they're 20 minutes late. Sometimes a half-hour late. Forty minutes in I finally called downstairs to ask if there were any sign of lunch arriving. Oh, yes, it had long ago.

The lunch-organizer insisted that she had thought it strange I hadn't come for lunch but she had called me and I didn't answer so ... And I got snippy with her pointing out that, I was there, in my office, and I wasn't called. She insisted she had called, and one of the other first-floor people affirmed she'd seen the call. Well, I certainly wasn't choosing to go hungry for the giddy delight of it.

As I did step out a minute to use the bathroom it's possible I was called in that stretch and was missed. But I still feel justifiably irritated at this because, I mean, it's not like she couldn't tell whether I had picked up lunch. It was sitting on the table in front of her. I don't expect valet service, but, say, a call or e-mail fifteen minutes or a half-hour later to say, ``you know lunch did arrive?'' would seem within the realm of possibility to me.

Trivia: The first American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler Code, a 148-page document specifying standards of safety and construction for boilers, had a publication date of 1914 but was not formally approved until 1915. Source: Remaking The World: Adventures In Engineering, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers Of The American Automobile, Ralph Nader. It's one of those famous books I'd just never got around to reading, and reading it leaves me awestruck at my own naivete. Not at the auto makers blaming the crashes and injuries from their horrible designs on the driver --- I was prepared for that --- but by the mention that as of the mid-60s auto makers were still denying any link between automobile exhaust and smog. I mean, jeez, even Tobacco Institute scientists at that point were saying, hey, sit in a closed garage for two hours with the motor running and the case is pretty well proved. And why does anyone ever listen to anything Big Industry says in denying its pollution's effects, exactly?