Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sounds often heard at my client site

keyboard keys
email alerts
Puerto Rican Spanish
vibrating Blackberries
cackling laughter
the constant blow of forced air—sometimes hot, sometimes cold, always on
inane prattle
other people’s names directed at me
self-contradictory instructions
the clack of the laser printer
ear-grating accents
condescension
frustration
glad-handing
clichés of modern speech
microwave popcorn popping
grossly misused turns of phrase
less effective ideas
fingernail clipping
the badge reader beep
stillness
monotony

5 comments:

Nick said...

Is your client site the one they send you to to cover for that guy, and you end up sitting there all day? Yeah, noises sure become more noticable when you're bored.

Inane prattle- my least favorite noise.

JonnyF said...

I had to look up glad-handing.
When you say ear grating accents, do you mean the accents of people speaking English (e.g. Texans) or people speaking Spanish?
The ones I relate to the most are the cliches of modern speach and the grossly misused turns of phrase. If I made my own list, I would include "the Nextel walkie-talkie beep" and "half-baked ideas advertised as good ideas".

randy said...

Eh hem... Texans? Actually, I rarely hear a Texan accent (dialect, whatever you want to call it). Austin is not like other parts of Texas. The accents I mostly hear are Southern (Alabama type) and then those from other countries (Indian, Arab, Asian).

Cabeza said...

It is indeed the place that you mention, Nick. I’ve been working up here almost every day for the past three weeks or so. For the most part I stay pretty busy. But over the last several days there’s been a terrible lull that causes me angst, bitterness, and an acutely sharpened sense of hearing. When the cackling occurs, my newly sensitive, bat-like ears recoil in pain.

The annoying accents are being spoken in English. One of the PRs has a voice I have a hard time listening to, and he inflects random words strangely. And there’s a lady with a high and whiny southern accent that makes me want to have my hammers, anvils, and stirrups surgically removed.

"Half-baked ideas advertised as good ideas" is the same as “less effective ideas” on my list. As for the grossly misused turns of phrase, I’ll do a separate post about those at some point. Most of them come from one guy, and they’re hilarious.

JonnyF said...

The reason I made a distinction between "half baked ideas advertised as good ideas" and "less effective ideas" is that I think of the former as potentially good ideas, just still in embryo (not fully baked, if you will). These are ideas that might be good ideas once the details are worked out, but the people who like to talk about these ideas generally think of themselves above actually working out the details that would determine the goodness of the ideas. "Less effective ideas" I would think of as simply bad ideas, kind of like the way the old Missionary Guide used the term "less effective" as a euphemism for "bad".

Upon consultation with the dictionary, it appears I am misusing "half baked". Maybe not "grossly misusing", but misusing nonetheless. By the dictionary definition, my distinction has little merit.