I'm NOT Available

I was at this dinner yesterday. One of my friends that I had not seen for a while invited me. He had also invited another one of our mutual friends. So that’s 3 of us, and then there were 3 acquaintances of the original inviter who also showed up. I say acquaintances because I don’t think my friend would BE friends with people like them, and I say showed up because I like to think that my friend would not invite acquaintances like them

The three of us who were friends from our engineering college days displayed a startling number of common and, I hope you agree here, likeable behaviours.

One, we all came (arrived, you dirty minded troll) on time. We did not have to message the others 7 times or call for directions from across the street. Is it that fucking hard to find your way to a popular restaurant in an upscale hotel? I don’t think so. What is more likely is that they neither thought it important enough to look up the venue, nor leave on time.

Second, we did not look at our cellphones during dinner or drinks. I say cellphones because I think smartphones is a misnomer : the phones are not smart, and neither are most of their owners.

This is a pet peeve for me here, but I think if you are out to talk to somebody in person, that person should be more important that some piece of news that was sent passively for you. Are your real friends more important than the ones you have on facebook? Are those people connected to you on facebook really your friends? Do you know what these so called friends will do if you die? Send out a fucking message for somebody’s wall and add a frikkin bunch of screwy punctuation marks to symbolize the emotion they feel for a fraction of a second. Fuck the friend who won’t lend you money and to hell with the wall you can’t piss on, I always say.

And I don’t care what Rehman says, har ek friend zaroori nahin hota hae.
In fact, har ek friend, friend bhi nahin hota hae chootiye!

And replying to email? Really? Do you really have to answer your email as soon as it comes? You know who needs to do that? Insecure people. I’m sorry. I wish I could make up a joke here or something, but this is just not funny. Chill out on the email replies people. Unless you’re on the shitter, constipated, waiting for the turd to drop,  and you just pissed on whatever crap newspaper it is you carried into the loo with you, that email reply can wait.

And not just replies. People just look at their phones and READ email while there is a conversation going on. If the conversation at this table is so fucking boring, why don’t you take your interesting self to wherever it is the email message came from?

UNLESS you are expecting an email from a VC informing you of whether or not he is going to give you half a million bucks for your social media startup, checking for email every few minutes with the fervor of a monkey checking for lice on his brother's head is disrespectful and annoying.

And like I said, these are passive messages. These are messages that are sent out without an expectation of when you will read them. Unlike say a phone call, which could actually be a real living and breathing friend calling to ask you for money. Even with those, we have sunk into such a culture of availability (especially those of us who have had a cell phone from before college days), that people take your availability for granted.

Save yourselves before it is too late. Train your family and friends to respect the minimum time to response they should expect for every mode of communication. I’m not saying this is the minimum time that you will take. You will respond to all of them asap. But if you tell everybody that they should not expect a response - or at the very least that they should not get mad if they do not get a response by – the following times, then you will be free of the shackles of this availability expectation that we face…

Personal Invitation: On time (inside 10 minutes of stipulated time). Cancellations well in time with appropriate groveling attached

Email: 1 day turnaround. I'm writing  a post on just email, so more details there
Text Message/Phone Call: Call back inside of 4 hours
Second Txt/Phone: Immediate, but if you ONCE try me a second time for a stupid reason, all responses default back to 4 hours.
Facebook/Twitter/Myspace/Friendster/Orkut: Middle finger


As I walked out from a pitch so soporific that I thought I had died and gone to hell prematurely with a dissatisfying lack of flames, I realized that though much has already been said about the impact of powerpoint, I was just going to HAVE to add to the blather.

I feel for PowerPoint. I really do. It was not meant to be a tool for destruction, but in the hands of the inept and mind-numbingly unimaginative, it turns into a device for brain cell death. They don't call them bullets for nothing, I guess.

“Just because the spawn of Gates and Lucifer CAN rotate your text boxes on the way in doesn't mean you should ya fucking moron!!”, I wanted to yell. And I probably would have, if I hadn't been put to sleep with such astounding swiftness.

The guy spent 30 minutes telling a room full of managers and employees absolutely nothing. And for having no content, there was a startlingly humungous amount of text on his slides. And that’s where the rub is. All these people spewing mildly humorous venom at PowerPoint and Bill Gates need to realize that’s it’s not the PowerPoint to blame. It’s the idiot with the clicker in front of the screen.

If that moron who preparing to take your eye out with the laser pointer had something of import to say, you could have given him a thin stick and a pile of horse manure, and he would have made his point.

If that no good hack had any talent at communication, you could have given him a crayon and a coloring book and he would have shown you the world in Eastman Colour.

PowerPoint is just a magnifying glass that can make a passionate speaker look better, and a going-through-the-motions manager look worse than either of them really are.
So don't blame PowerPoint. Just walk out.