Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pet Peeves and burying the lede

Pet Peeve: It annoys me when people don't commit to an event, or back out with less than 24 hour notice. The first happens mostly with Facebook events, and the often-useless "Maybe" category. If you're trying to book space as a restaurant, and you have a half dozen "maybes," that's pretty useless information. And if you're trying to plan a party, and the maybes number in the dozens, getting the right number of refreshments is impossible. Generally, the only thing you can do is assume the maybes aren't coming, in which case they should have had the decency to decline in the first place. As for the other case, it crops up in the case where you send out a general "is everyone still in?" the day-of an event, and there's people who remember suddenly that, oh, there's something we're planning on doing that day of the event we've been talking about for weeks, so know we can't go. Sorry.

I know this is a subject that a) qualifies rather absolutely as "first world problems," since it requires people to have a large amount of free time to begin with; and b) is nearly impossible to discuss without coming off as passive aggressive, or defensive, or both. And Lord knows I've done my fair share of refusing to commit. Sometimes I do it because I don't want to hurt the feelings of the people involved, or I'm generally worried about the resulting social implications of rejecting an invitation without an excuse. But honestly, I'm not doing anyone any favors but myself. I'm avoiding commitment and holding up other people's plans for my own benefit. There are also, of course, genuine exceptions. Maybe the time comes around, and you're not feeling up to a night spent in the company of others; maybe there's a genuine emergency that came up; or maybe there's another event in the near future and you don't honestly know if you can make it or not. Again, these are all things I've done myself, on numerous occasions.But I try and make an effort to indicate exactly what my issues are when I can, so those that do want the event to go forward can work around me. Granted, it's a hard balance--there's a fine line between explaining why you can't attend and oversharing, and sometimes it genuinely IS better to just keep a question mark on the whole thing till you can get sorted out. But I like to think those that organize a given event appreciate knowing who they can count on to be there, and, (sometimes) why a person couldn't make it.

/Passive-aggressive rant over.

Oh wait. I'm also annoyed someone stole my bike yesterday. Probably should have talked about that instead. I may be projecting my upsetness on that front into other areas. Maybe.

Later Days.