I had occasion this evening to think about how I express respect for people. Here are two stories from my past on that subject.
- Date; Early 1990s or early Noughties
- Place; St. Louis International Airport
- The Story; I was standing in line waiting to board the airplane and glanced behind me. Immediately behind me was an actual pilot (It turns out he was THE pilot or the co-pilot, not just someone in company uniform hitching a ride). I gestured and offered that he move in front of me in line (And in my head I’m thinking WTF!? How is it that a pilot is standing in line with the passengers, that’s BS!). He declined. I stepped off to the side and said, “No sir, you first, please.” Thankfully he acquiesced. Things were once again correct in the world.
- Date; Late 1980s or early 1990s
- Place; 557 Stage Rd.; Auburn, AL 36830; RUR (Rossum’s Universal Robots) Group Suite #3
- The Story; I was sitting at their ‘conference table’ in conversation with Jim Buston (future assistant mayor and head ‘tech’ guru for the city of Auburn, and there is no one on this planet that Auburn could have in those positions that is more perfect than he is). Anyway, a guy walks in that everyone knows, including me, but he doesn’t recognize me. He was working in some capacity for the RUR group, currently or in the past, and is friends with everyone there. He shakes my hand and introduces himself to me by saying, “Hi, my name’s Andy LaMar.” I replied, “Hello Mr. LaMar.” And he said, “Please, call me Andy.” I said, “I can’t Mr. LaMar. You were my 7th grade social studies teacher, so [given (In an ironic twist, he demanded that everyone in his classes refer to everyone by Mr or Ms names)] I can’t.” I then explained who I was and his class ‘demands / etiquette’. And the extended story, almost three decades later (Auburn High School Class Reunion), I’m at my life long friend Rylan Herring’s house and I mention this interaction and Rylan says, “Andy LaMar? He’s my financial consultant / investment broker. Small world, War Eagle!
On a side note, the WordPress editor (TinyMCE, and the advanced version), is very unpredictable and frustrating and also a miracle. Basically, keep trying guys, you piss me off, but I know you’re making a great effort, thanks, and fork you!) is really distracting me. I can’t stand spell checkers and other ‘checker’ and software that detracts from writing and concentration and creativity, which is why when I want to write important stuff, I write in TextPad so I’m not distracted by BS distractions. So my proposal is a ‘Distraction Free’ setting that keeps software from irritating me like an unwelcome telephone salesman. And then there’s a wizard that let’s me review everything that needs attention and correction after I pour out my creative thoughts without the distraction of the really irritating (and occasionally helpful) software. Ying / Yang. Oh, and WordPress / TinyMCE, where is the function to right click on a word you are to stupid to know about so I can add it to the acceptable spelling list? MS Word does it, so that’s a real put down that MS can do something that you can’t… If the interface is going to preserve style when pasting text, then there should also be a way (just like MS Word) to paste ‘plain text’ and not preserve the previous style. Really?!? You include that functionality, but don’t think about a way to bypass it when desired. Woof!