Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Useless activities

An activity can be fun, good, necessary, bad, boring and more. We enjoy an activity or get through an activity because it usually has a purpose. But some activities are just plain useless. Specifically two useless activities have grown beyond being merely useless, they have grown into my pet peeves.

Waiting in line and looking for something lost. I can feel the frustration grow just writing the words!

I understand the purpose of a line. It will eventually get me closer to my goal. But the actual activity of standing in line is useless. It doesn't matter if I have all the time in the world, it is still a source of frustration. My husband tells me that it doesn't matter how frustrated I am, I will not get there any sooner. I find it less frustrating when he's not in line with me...

I might hate the activity, but I never cut in line, in fact, I hate when people do. However, there are some "grey-areas" that allow some wiggle room, if you ask me. One is when they open a new cash register. It is anarchy until a new line has formed. The order in which you joined the other lines has no significance at all. My husband vastly disagrees with me on this. So, I only get away with it when I shop alone or if I'm carrying our merchandise and the wallet.

You can find another "grey-area" at, e.g. amusement parks, where they sometimes have a holding area for the next group of passengers waiting for the ride. What used to be a line is morphed into a group and who knows who's first, second or last? In this situation I'm happy to adjust my position to a more beneficial one. I do have a limit on how big of an advancement I am allowed to make and I try very hard not to take it too far. As I said, I hate when people cut in in line.

The second useless activity is looking for something lost. It's great finding what ever you're looking for, but the time spent leading up to that moment is a total waste of time. This activity is a bit different from waiting in line because it has many layers of frustration.

Firstly, you only realize something is lost when you need it. So there's a time aspect to it. Often when you're looking for something you're in a hurry. Secondly, regardless of if you're in a hurry of not, it prevents you from continuing to do what you set out to do because you can't find the thing you need and until you find it you can't proceed or you need to abandone you initial plan. Thirdly and the most frustrating thing is that you're in the situation because you didn't manage to put the thing where you would easily find it. Unlike waiting in line, this useless activity is self-inflicted. I guess, if you have a family or a pet, you could blame them, but more often than not, it is all your fault.

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