THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: On Being Cautious (Overly?) - Part 1

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On Being Cautious (Overly?) - Part 1

As I move through my thirties, I'm discovering that I am an extremely (overly) cautious person in some ways. Mostly and especially as regards my physical safety. The fact of the matter is that I have decided one of my very long-term goals is to someday meet my great-grandchildren. On earth, not in heaven. So I try to be careful.

When driving, for example, I take -- to the considerable amazement (read, consternation) of friends and family -- what I have coined "safety cuts" to avoid what I consider unreasonably dangerous situations. No matter that it added two minutes to what is ordinarily a five minute drive, there was a spot on my previous commute where if I was driving home after dark I would drive a considerable distance through a residential neighborhood to avoid sitting still waiting for the left turn arrow on a county highway. My "safety cut" allowed me to go straight through the same intersection and also to cross that busy street when my light was the only one that was green.

When choosing entertainment and exercise, for example, I generally avoid sports that could lead to injurious collisions (e.g., basketball or football). And I guess to be honest I generally don't exercise, so that's a bad example.

I'm guided by that philosophy so succintly and accurately summarized by Christian Slater in True Romance (written by Quentin Tarentino): "Better to have [it] and not need it than to need it and not have it." In the case of the movie, "it" being a gun. In the case of my ├╝ber-cautious life, safety.

So that's the back story. Here's the latest example.

Every night, the crew that cleans our offices comes in and does its thing, collecting the day's refuse, dusting the furniture, and vacuuming the carpets. As is frequently the case, I was working late the other night, so I was here when the cleaning occurred (I'm often the last to leave the office; I'm also customarily the last to arrive in the morning, though, so like most things, it balances out).

The man who runs the vacuum and I have a "Hello, how are you?" sort of relationship. He seems like a pleasant fellow. He is extremely conscientious about his work. He's also vigorous and energetic and happy. Plus he wears a quite ample amount of a pleasant smelling cologne.

Anyway, this night was like each other night. He came into my office, I scooted my chair from left to right and lifted up my legs so he could vacuum under my desk. We exchanged pleasantries.

Then he went out to vacuum the rest of the offices. But unlike each other night, this time he stopped working a couple offices down. He turned off his vacuum cleaner. He took a call on his cell phone. And during the call he got very upset. At least I think he was very upset. I do not speak his primary language, so I don't know what he was saying. But he sounded infuriated. I became quite uncomfortable, since I was the only person in the office, the only person within earshot. It occurred to me (as a borderline paranoid person, see above) that he might have forgotten I was here because he was so upset. And that if he saw me again he might not be amused that I overheard his conversation (even though, of course, it was no fault of mine that I overheard him, he was the one doing the yelling).

So I climbed under my desk. And I kneeled there for about five minutes while he finished up his phone call and about another five minutes while he finished up his vacuuming and left. When I heard him shut the door and when I observed him turn out the lights, I came out and went back to work.

Putting the experience in the above-referenced philosophy, I decided it was better to hide under my desk and not need to than to need to hide under my desk and be sitting in my chair.

Photo Credits: here and here.


Blogger Complete Game said...

Did you think he was inclined to blow you away or something? I would think he'd be the one hiding.

I've sampled your hoops skills. Its probably for the best that you hung it up.

12:06 PM, May 31, 2006  
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"Lord, I have a problem!"
"What's the problem, Eve?"
"Lord, I know you've created me and have provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals and that hilarious comedy snake, but I'm just not happy."
"Why is that, Eve?" came the reply from above.
"Lord, I am lonely. And I'm sick to death of apples." "Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you."
"What's a 'man,' Lord?"
"This man will be a flawed creature, with aggressive tendencies, an enormous ego and an inability to empathize or listen to you properly, he'll basically give you a hard time. He'll be bigger, faster, and more muscular than you. He'll be really good at fighting and kicking a ball about and hunting fleet-footed ruminants, But, he'll be pretty good in the sack."
"I can put up with that," says Eve, with an ironically raised eyebrow.
"Yeah well, he's better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick. But, there is one condition."
"What's that, Lord?"
"You'll have to let him believe that I made him first."
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