Sometimes a request is made of me and the question is asked in such a way that I just don't know exactly how to respond

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/08/29 03:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/08/29/4622293.aspx


You know the drill, nothing technical.... 

Sometimes a request is made of me and the question is asked in such a way that I just don't know exactly how to respond....

Like when I got home today and my neighbor (who was outside in the porch, holding a cigarette like it was something semi-precious that she do not know quite what to do with) kind of held up the cigarette and asked if I had a light.

I thought back to the last time I had a cigarette (September 24, 1994) and that I honestly didn't remember the last time I had a lighter. I then corrected myself, I had those matches in my apartment still from the outage I mentioned before, though they were far enough away that I couldn't see scooting to my door, going inside, finding the matches, scooting back out to my neighbor, and giving them to her.

So I chickened out. I just kind of shrugged and told her "Sorry, I don't smoke any more" with what I hope was the right tone to indicate that I was, in fact, sorry.

Hopefully she is not a regular reader of this blog; if she sees this post then the jig is up, as it were. Sorry about that, I really just didn't see any reasonable logistics to make it happen....

And then there was earlier in the day, when one of the program managers I talk to from time to time (name omitted for what should become obvious reasons, presently) had an interesting request that I did not know quite what to do with.

The exact words: "...in the future, you should space out your interesting posts (by interesting, read relevant to me). If I'm having a hard time actually caring about the post I should be caring about because theres another more interesting post, its a valid point!"

I had literally no idea what to do with this one, and was essentially rendered speechless.

Truly anyone who found every post to be useful would scare the living hell out of me (since I find each post somewhat interesting, how I feel about myself should be obvious here!). But since I wouldn't expect anyone to find every post interesting, the notion of spacing out the interesting posts is a fascinating one to contemplate though very hard to actually deliver.

My response was something very respectful along the lines of "I'll do my best" though the eye roll that went along with it probably negates the sincerity of the words.

As does this post? :-)

Which of course leads to a meta question -- would a program manager who wanted interesting posts to be metered find a post about that request to be interesting?

Infuriating, sure. But interesting?

Sometimes a request is made of me and the question is asked in such a way that I just don't know exactly how to respond....

 

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Dave Dustin on 29 Aug 2007 4:37 AM:

Maybe you need to follow Raymond Chen's practice of one on-topic and one off-topic post per day.

That way you are forcing a limit upon yourself, and are mixing it up for the readers, who while sitting on the edge of their chairs for the next thrilling installment of "What happens when I cut-n-paste characters from this page I can't understand, and why?" also appreciate a bit of human interest as well...

That aside, keep up the blog.  The topics, while not 100% relevant to the work I'm doing, do trigger "warning sign"s with regards to how the data I'm working with is going to be corrupted in the future.

Rosyna on 29 Aug 2007 10:39 PM:

Well, you could post photos of roflcats (http://www.roflcats.com/) or Maps for US Americans (http://www.mapsforus.org/) every day...


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