Afternoon Inquisition

Afternoon Inquisition, 1.23

Anyone got exciting weekend plans?  I’m off to visit some family this weekend. I don’t know about you, but  I hate travelling but I love getting there so I put up with the flight delays, recycled air, body cavity searches by TSA and so on.  Which brings me to today’s Inquisition:

What activity or process do you hate, but you put up with it to get a benefit at the end?


Maria D'Souza grew up in different countries around the world, including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Kenya and it shows. She currently lives in the Bay Area and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

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  1. This is, really, one of the things I’m worst at in the world. There is VERY little that I can force myself to put up with for future benefit.

    The main example would be going to work, which I find odious and nigh on unbearable lately… but which I HAVE to do because eating is pretty nifty.

    As far as OPTIONAL things, though, perhaps taking the Greyhound home to visit my family on occasion. I can’t stand riding long-distance busses, and after that beheading in Canada I’ve added fear to the mix of discomfort and annoyance I normally feel.

  2. Job hunting.

    I am at all times mere seconds away from turning into the guy from Office Space (I’M GOOD WITH PEOPLE, DAMMIT.)

  3. @Gabrielbrawley:

    Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you can’t date.

    (And to my wife who stands a slight chance of reading this someday the last two posts were purely for humorous intent.)

  4. @davew: I know, we still have date night but it normally ends in begging. Oh, did you mean date someone else? Bad boy, go stand in the corner.

  5. Invoicing my clients. Doesn’t take an MBA to figure out this is not a good practice… :(

  6. Also, I LOVE going to the eye doctor … am I alone in this? It’s fun and interesting and last time, they took a picture of my retna and that was bad ass.

  7. @marilove: I don’t love the eye doctor but I loved my lasik surgery. I have the whole thing on video. I love the part where they pull my eyeball almost all of the way out of my skull.

  8. @skepticalhippie: You are so wrong, foreplay sets the mood for the rest of the evening. I try and make it last at least an hour, more if I can. Foreplay is soooo much fun.

  9. Gotta be exercise.

    I hate to exercise. HATE IT.

    The only reason to run anywhere is to get away from the Giant Squid (or Scientologist – reader’s choice) that’s chasing you.

    But it beats dropping dead of a coronary.

  10. @Gabrielbrawley: I used to like foreplay, then my wife informed me that walking up behind her while she’s at the computer and dick slapping her is not, infact, foreplay.
    …Though it is funny.

  11. (From the corner…)

    Visiting family. I don’t enjoy getting there or being there, but I do enjoy having them not hate me. Apparently seeing each other face to face every couple of years is considered mandatory according to some rule book which I seem to have misplaced my copy of.

  12. @skepticalhippie: Foreplay

    On a similar front you’d be surprised at the number of genuine, from the heart compliments I’ve given to my wife that have earned me a slap. There must be some sort of special way I am supposed to communicate that I like the way her dress fits.

  13. My half-assed career in the military reserves. I should probably work on getting promoted but I hate every aspect of my rate(job).

  14. Writing. I strongly suspect I am not the only writer out there who actually hates doing the necessary work. Unfortunately it’s the only bridge between the two good parts – getting a cool idea and having created something.

  15. @DocBrad: Here, here. I would say “law school,” but now that the economy has gone in the bin (and the bin’s gone in the truck, and the truck’s gotten creamed by a fuel tanker, and the wreckage has been hosed down with fire retardant foam, and the whole lot been scraped up and dropped on a garbage scow, and the scow’s been dragged out off the coast and sunk to make an artificial reef), law jobs are suddenly harder to find than effective homeopathic treatments. So now, I’m just putting up with it because I’m only a few months from graduating, and if I admit to myself how useless the whole sordid endeavor has been, I’m liable to wind up standing at the side of a very high bridge with a bottle of something strong and wearing an outfit that’s not at all meant for use as a flotation device.

    Okay, so I’m exaggerating, but it’s still quite frustrating.

  16. Let’s see.

    Doing the dishes. Absolutely hate it, but I love to cook and eat good food, so I have to do it.

    Dentist and doctor visits. I’m not a big fan of either.

    But I actually like the five hour train ride that takes me to my family, and I don’t mind the six hour bus trip either if I have to take that alternative.

  17. At the moment, working. I’d rather draw $20k or so annual interest on investments (after tax) and spend time doing things I like than giving up 40-60 hours of my life to make my current salary. Alas, I’m an investing ignoramus.

  18. Volunteering. It’s a lot of work, and most of the time I’m filthy dirty from picking up trash in a river or along a highway…

    … but when you get that first sincere, “Thank you,” it’s all worth it.

  19. @Oskar Kennedy (LBB): Just wait until you hit the full-time career working world. I have a lot of days sitting at my desk where I’m thinking, “I’m over $30K in hock for this? I could have done this job before I had my degree…” :-(
    Of course, I couldn’t have gotten this job without the degree, so I guess it’s a wash.
    Sort of.

    Driving long distances. I get bored too easily, though I have to admit that satellite radio helps…

    Doctor and dental visits are no big deal for me. I think of it as “necessary maintenance” on my chassis. Especially at my “mileage.”

    I do hate most exercising, because of my arthritis and aftereffects of my musculoskeletal injuries. About the only thing I could do is swim, but I can’t afford a gym membership and there are no public pools in my area. :-( At least I can still walk my pack of Shelties.

  20. @Golden_Girl: I do a lot of volunteering as the Director of an organization. Yeah, it’s tough to do sometimes.

    I think of it as payment on the ‘rent’ of living in a decent society, along with paying my fair share of taxes. There are things that society needs done and paid for – and few (spread over the population) are willing to get involved. So, thank you for getting your hands dirty with me and the rest of us, no matter what you are volunteering for. :-D

  21. I had braces as a kid. I’d go sit in a waiting room, make awkward small talk with the receptionist, be forced to listen to horrible, horrible soft rock that should have been outlawed under the Geneva convention and then willingly under go oral torture akin to ancient Japanese foot-binding practices with pain that would last for weeks on end while listening to a forty something man go on about his passionless but well, payed upper middle class affluent life while his hands where in my mouth; and to add finical insult to injury would then be expected to compensate the orthodontist with enough cash to purchase a small car. Cash that would NOT be used to purchase a small car when I finally passed my drivers test.

    But now I have a smile that makes the /b/tard girls (girl) melt.

    I got gypped.

  22. FINALLY, after a horribly long winter break with an excruciating American Cultures course for my core, I am going back to college. I am serious when I say I cannot wait to start Calc 3, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, History of Rock , and see my lovely significant other.

  23. Wow, completely missed the question. For some reason I thought the question was what are you’re plans for the weekend… Freudian slip there? I’d have to say traveling as well, but to close places. Like when I have to get in the car, drive 20 minutes to one place, the 20 minutes to another and the back home and do it again later. In my perfect world, I would walk out of my apartment complex, when I eventually live in one, and every store I ever needed will be across the street.

  24. Total misuse of “you’re.” My grammar skills are imploding. I have been writing a long paper on Ben Franklin for that DREADED American Cultures class…

  25. I’m going to Ohio to pack up my house and clean up after the movers and then sign the papers to sell. It will SUCK having to do all the work that’s coming up, but a few days later we’ll be moving into our brand new house here in Houston which will ROCK.

  26. Grading…especially grading horrible papers written by kids who were never taught how to write in high school because they were too busy being spoon fed answers to bullshit standardized tests.

  27. I work for a government contractor. The particular contract I’m responsible for is associated with firefighter tactical response training. That aspect of my job is pretty interesting and all the people I deal with on that end are a pleasure to interact with. However, most of my interactions with “Corporate” (the company I work for that gets these contracts) are frustrating. Managerial incompetence on several levels, hour long meetings that accomplish nothing, performance evaluations every 90 days, paperwork that no one bothers to read… fun stuff.

  28. My husband is 40 and is a PhD student. So I’m tolerating the student salary with the clear expectation that this will result in a 6 figure salary. I also have to put up with a yearly colonoscopy, but it’s better than getting cancer from ulcerative colitis. My husband’s jokes…no there is no benefit in the end there.

  29. I hate:
    -Passive aggressive corporate office culture
    -Eating sweets in limited quantities
    -Spending hours prepping for knitting project

    BUT these things are beneficial because:
    -I earn money to buy comics and yarn (and we don’t have to worry about losing our house)
    -I am 60 pounds lighter than I was 2 years ago
    -I decrease the risk of knitting something that looks like crap.

  30. @wet_bread: Grading…especially grading horrible papers written by kids who were never taught how to write in high school because they were too busy being spoon fed answers to bullshit standardized tests.

    Because some nit wit politician thinks that giving students various tests is a valid method of rating schools then deciding if the school gets any money. So the nit wit hires a bunch of bureaucrats to choose what’s going to be on those tests. Then the bureaucrats hand pick and ‘train’ some teachers to write the questions.
    The end result is usually a test that reads like a government manual and has about as much to do with the practical application of it’s subject as your neighbor’s cat has to do with the price of wheat in Ghana.
    I know it doesn’t fix your problem, but know that the teachers who taught those students the test don’t always do it voluntarily.

    And there is the process I hate.

  31. @QuestionAuthority: “I do hate most exercising, because of my arthritis and aftereffects of my musculoskeletal injuries. About the only thing I could do is swim, but I can’t afford a gym membership and there are no public pools in my area.”

    Where do you live that doesn’t have a Local Council owned Sports Centre? You can’t afford Gym Membership! That’s 66p a day where I live and the State-subsidised Public Sports Centre is less than that and FREE if you go during office hours or are over 50. Americans on TV always seem super fit, I thought Gym’s were pretty much free.

    @DNAmom: I wouldn’t hold my breath on the 6figure salary. I know PhD’s who flip burgers for a living, Sweep Roads and some of the poor b*stards even teach high school

  32. @russellsugden: “Americans on TV always seem super fit…” That’s what you get for believing TV. :-D Actually, the US citizenry has a serious obesity problem.

    I would have to pay at least $50/mo or $600/year (about GBP 36.32/mo or GBP 434.76/year at today’s rate on Google) for a single membership.

    I live in Charles Town, West Virginia, which is in a ‘low-tax’ state. (Look for the “Eastern Panhandle” of the state near Maryland.) That equals terrible or non-existant services in most cases. Our roads look like they are maintained by the Luftwaffe, our social services are almost non-existant and our schools are falling apart.

    Remember, for the last 30 years, the Reagan Revolution/Contract ON America was tax cuts and more tax cuts, especially for the well off. The rest of us were cut loose to sink or swim. Welcome to “Social Darwinism,” the only kind of Darwinism that conservative Republicans believe in. Ayn Rand’s philosophy has held sway here for a long time and the results are sobering.

    Smaller towns and cities get much less tax spending (from an increasingly smaller state and county budget) because they have proportionately fewer votes than the larger ones. That manes the pols don’t really care too much about us. Gyms in my area are privately-owned, and the county park system hibernates in the cold months. Gym memberships aren’t cheap here and to add insult to injury, many gyms are owned by chains that are well-known for shady business practices.

    I’ve lived in high-tax states like Wisconsin, and though I complained about the taxes, I never will again. I now understand what Justice Hugo Black meant when he said that “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”

    So yeah, I’m in favor of higher taxes. Nothing in life is free and government is NOT always the problem.

  33. Moving house. Last time I did it, it felt like three months in a labour camp.

    At least my work is better than that of quite a few people here (even if there are occasional weeks in the “what the hell am I doing here” category.)

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