They say confession is good for the soul and I’m currently hoping the same is true of page views.
So here it is:
I confess, if we’ve never met before, there’s a very good chance you haven’t even finished telling me your name before I’ve forgotten it. By the time we finish shaking hands, I’m thinking: “What was this dude’s name again?”
I’ve spent an entire lifetime feeling bad about my lack of attention, but I’m entering a new phase of my dwindling time here on Earth in which I’ve decided to blame others for my faults and I gotta say it’s working out pretty well.
If I don’t remember your name I’m blaming you for not being interesting enough.
If you tell me your name, followed by, “I sell life insurance” you got no shot. If you tell me your name followed by, “I’m the Ultimate Fighting Middleweight Champion” or “I just set a record for porn videos produced in a single week” I’ll probably ask for your name one more time and commit it to memory.
It’s up to you to hold my interest.
If you start telling me about your trip to the dentist, you lost me, I’m going on a mental vacation. If you say, “And then we decided to pick the next VP of Sales with a Philippine Stick Fighting tournament” I’m all ears.
And yes, that’s an actual thing and now that I think about it, a lot of corporate decisions should be made using that method:
You might lose an assistant manager or two, but what the fuck, we have way too many of those anyway and the employees down the totem pole would enjoy themselves immensely watching Bob from marketing, who has always been kind of a dick, get the shit beat out of him.
So if you’re thinking of improving your office atmosphere, I think you now have the answer.
Paying attention for others
Now that I’ve confessed I don’t really listen for myself, people who expect me to listen for them are obviously going to be disappointed.
I cannot have a phone conversation or visit with friends without getting a matrimonial grilling about the questions I should have asked, but didn’t.
I recently had a couple beers with some ex-baseball teammates and when I returned home was asked about their current jobs and if they were still married to the same women and what their kids were up to.
Which made me think: they have kids?
Just in case it hasn’t occurred to you previously, there are differences between men and women and most men are never going to come back with all the information women seem to require.
“Well, Timmy got married to that dental hygienist and they moved to Denver, but didn’t like the suburbs so they moved downtown into a condo and went through a rough patch so they saw a therapist and things seem to be better now although Timmy doesn’t like his job and wants to move up in the corporation so he’s currently studying Philippine stick fighting.”
OK, actually I would remember the shit about Philippine stick fighting and would also fly to Denver to see Timmy’s next job interview.
But that’s an exceptional case.
Most of the time I think if someone wants to know this stuff, then they ought to meet those people and bring along bamboo shoots to stick under their victim’s fingernails until they get all the information they require.
Not my job; don’t know, don’t care.
Now if you want to know about the time me and my baseball buddies were taking batting practice and someone fouled a ball off into the crowd and we all scattered and one of my teammates jumped up and said, “that almost hit me in the dick” and another teammate jumped up and said, “that almost hit me in the face” and we all laughed our asses off, I got you covered.
Where creativity comes from
I often get asked where I get my ideas and from whence my creativity springs (and I think I gotta about a 50-50 shot that I used “from whence” correctly and now I’m thinking maybe I didn’t need the “from” but I’ll throw it in for free, so don’t say I never did anything for you).
Well, since you asked: at least some of my ideas come to me when I’m standing there pretending to listen to you.
I’m guessing Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were much the same, so the odds are they were lousy at cocktail parties because they were mentally preoccupied with inventing the light bulb and iPhone.
Put it that way and you seem pretty selfish if you’d rather they remembered your name and the rest of us spent our life cursing the darkness and communicating by carrier pigeon which I seem to remember are extinct so we’d all really be shit out of luck.
Is that what you want?
Geez, the self-centeredness of some people. (See? This blaming-others-for-my-bullshit thing is working great, but if you decide to use it yourself, I expect royalties.)
So in conclusion, if you ever enjoyed one of my cartoons or anything I’ve written you should be glad I’m not paying attention. Because chances are those things were created for one simple reason…
You lost me.