Posted Apr 29, 2009
The time has come to admit I have become a Grumpy Old Man. I’m not sure exactly when it happened but I know what caused it: People. More specifically, people who make noises. I work in an office full of them. At any one time there are a good few of them that are suffering with colds and it seems they want us all to suffer along with them. The range of noises that emanate from these individuals would not seem out of place in the average farmyard. There is one gentleman whose regular porcine snorting seems to be designed to deliberately wind me up. When it first happened early one morning, my immediate assumption was that he had dozed off at his desk and as his head had begun to fall forward, he had snorted and woke himself up. But it continued with monotonous regularity. I think I finally realised he wasn’t asleep when he did it as he walked past my desk. The thing is this has now been going on for so long that I don’t think he actually has a cold; he’s just an ignorant pig.
There is another bloke who had just come back to work after time off sick, presumably with some sort of bronchial complaint. Now, this person is loud at the best of times but he seemed to want the entire office to know that he was having trouble clearing his throat. We all do it occasionally but most of us can manage it without sounding like a cat coughing up a fur ball.
Blowing of noses; it has to be done I guess, I do it myself from time to time and I’m sure it makes a certain amount of noise. It probably isn’t that pleasant to listen to but when I do it, it doesn’t shatter the glass in all the windows in the building. There is a chap that sits along from me and whenever he reaches for a tissue, my instinct is to clamp my hands over my ears lest I suffer permanent hearing damage. There must be health and safety issues here, surely? If noise of that magnitude came from something inorganic that we had to work with, we’d all be issued with ear defenders.
It’s not just sick people that annoy me either; the sound of people eating really irritates me. I used to work with this one person who really enjoyed his crisps. I assume this because the noises he made, smacking his chops as he crunched away with his mouth open sort of gave that impression. Were mine the only parents who encouraged their children to close their mouths when they’re eating? It would seem so because there are people not so far from me now whose constant shlup, shlupping as they chew their lunch really turns my stomach.
Another thing that really irritates me is the sound of people typing. Now as I work in Software Engineering, that means I am pretty much constantly irritated. Someone needs to invent a silent keyboard or at least encourage people to be a little less ham fisted when they’re typing. The pundits would have us believe that the age of the keyboard and mouse as the main interaction between human and machine is coming to an end. Well, it can’t come too quickly for me. Just as long as it is not replaced by voice recognition, if that were to happen, I think I would leave my ears uncovered the next time Nelly the Elephant reaches for his tissue. The ringing sound from my perforated eardrums would definitely be preferable.
Posted Aug 29, 2000
Just thought I'd try this from my wap phone... and waste ages typing on a keypad
Free Speech for the Dumb
Posted May 7, 2000
Been playing around with a speech recognition system today. The results were so astounding, I thought they should be recorded for posterity.
"Far back in the mists of ancient time, in a great to glorious days of the former black city empire, the life was wild, which, and, Hall, tax-free.
Might cease to wash it supplied their way between exotic sun seeking a visual reward among the furthest reaches of collective .
In those days spirits were brave, the state to hide, men were really meant, having a worthwhile women, and a scary creatures from our percent or eight, were real a very creatures from our percent or it. And more deadly to pay done no into areas, to ban mighty deeds, to bloody spitting fitting that no man had spared before and thus was the Empire 42."
Posted Mar 29, 2000
Feeling pretty good today. Earlier on, out of the blue, a woman who I'd never met before told me I look like Richard Gere. I was so surprised, I nearly tripped over her guide dog.
Posted Mar 5, 2000
I should really write something here more often. And my homepage introduction is in desperate need of an update. Well... maybe later.