February 13, 2005


I am a Pro-Crastinator. I gave up my amateur standing a long time ago. Back when I was an amateur crastinator, I would put things off for a few days at a time, eventually getting around to doing them. But I realized that I had reached professional status when I found myself making up things to do, just to not do them. I have even found myself getting some things done early so that I will have more time to put off what needed to be done. I have real dedication to the art.

However, when it comes to complaining, I have to admit that I am strictly a novice. While I can complain all day about things going wrong, I still retain the ability to put things in perspective. For example, while I may complain that the continuous overcast night skies have prevented me from catching a glimpse of Comet Machholz, I don’t complain about the temperature on clear nights. It’s still only February, so when the night sky is cloudless, the mercury is going south. That’s a fact of life. (Or thermodynamics, as the case may be…)

It’s the true grouch who can complain about anything. You know who I’m talking about. That first class, belly-aching, professional, complainer. And even better, they’re usually the people who try to blame you for whatever is bothering them. Just this morning, I had a rather nicely dressed elderly (she would probably scream at the use of the word “elderly”) woman stop into my family’s store for the PennySaver©.

A little background on the PennySaver©. The PennySaver© is sort of like a small town paper. Except that there is no news at all, just front-to-back ads and coupons. And a small want-ads section. So actually, it’s more like the advertising section of the regular paper. On the plus side, it’s free.

It has an official delivery time of 6PM Sunday evening, but usually gets dropped off Saturday night. But if the delivery guy has trouble, it’s not unusual to not get it till around noon on Sunday. It also has FREE home delivery to everyone who wants it. All you have to have is one of those little plastic PennySaver© tubes next to your mailbox.

Well, unfortunately for this lady, the latest edition hadn’t gotten to the store yet. Last weeks issue was still sitting on the rack, and somehow this was all my fault. She complained for what seemed like ten minutes (but was probably only about five) about how I should do more to make sure that the PennySaver© was there on time.

My only thoughts were that she was giving me an awful lot of credit for causing problems with a Free paper that I don’t deliver, don’t get paid to hand out, that could be delivered to her home, and that I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER. And it’s FREE! Did I mention that? The other customer in the store was apparently telepathic; right after the lady walked out the door, he commented, “Or, she could just put a tube up at home and get it delivered.”

Some people just can’t put anything in perspective.

That reminds me of an old joke:

There was a man who had two sons. The older son was an eternal optimist. To his father’s annoyance, he always seemed to find the bright side of everything. The younger son was an incorrigible pessimist. No matter what happened, he always found something to complain about.

One day, the man decided to do something about his son’s. He was going to cure them if it killed him. For the first son, he bought a ton of horse manure, and had it delivered to the son’s bedroom. For the second son, he purchased the finest Rolex watch ever made.

When the two sons got home, he presented the two “gifts.” The first son was overjoyed and dove right into the bedroom full of horse manure. The second son immediately started complaining about the gift.

The father asked him what was wrong with the watch, and the son went on and on about how his insurance would go up, and that now he wasn’t safe going into the city, and how now he had to learn how to use all of the watch’s many functions, and that he was worried that it might get dirty.

The father hung his head in disgust, he hadn’t changed anything with that son. Then he called in to the first son, who was busy digging through the manure. “What do you have to be so happy about? Your room is filled with manure.”

To which the son replied, “With all of this manure, there has to be a pony in here somewhere!”

See, it’s all a matter of perspective.

Posted by GEBIV at February 13, 2005 03:18 PM
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