Am I the only one who…

18 May

Do you ever feel like you are the only one in the world who lives by some of the things we used to think mattered?  I’m all for the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and government NON-intervention in our life, but lately I’ve noticed a trend where I feel like I am alone on the planet with unconventional – even radical – views.

Am I the only one who...Here’s a few examples of what I mean:

Am I the only one who…

Thinks texting shortcuts dumb us down? What is it about saving two letters that makes us think that it’s worth using shortcut words even though it confuses people? I just don’t get why we’d change great to gr8, you to u, your to ur, etc. OMG!

Thinks that good spelling is just common sense professionalism? I get lots of emails with shortcut text, misspelled words and poor grammar.  With spellcheck available with most mail programs, how hard can it be to spell check your work before sending.

Thinks that cellphone calls are not for public consumption? I’d like to know when the rules changed with cellphones that make it okay to use it as a pseudo microphone where everyone has to hear your business.

Still thinks it’s okay to let someone into my lane? I witness shoulder passing (“my time is more important than to wait in traffic with everyone else”), rude speedups (“you can’t come in my lane”), and just plain rudeness on the road.

Is tired of voice response systems (the menu systems that say “thank you for calling, press 1 for …”) where you can’t reach a real person? While I find offshore help desks frustrating when they don’t speak English, at least there is a real person somewhere at the end of the endless menus.

Thinks that if the voice system takes your keyed in information multiple times, the real person shouldn’t ask for it again. I get frustrated when an automated system asks for my Social Security number and account number and locates my account, then the real person asks for the same information as if you had never entered it.

Has turned into my mother because I find that most men my age want to date younger women, and senior citizens find me “hot”? I find that if I have to repeat what I say, wipe noses, or wait for a guy to adjust his equipment – their iPhone or a hearing aid – they are either too old or too young to date.  Oops, I forgot, welcome to Florida.

Thinks that there is a such thing as news without “spin”. I am tired of the slanted reporting and lies in the popular media and the internet. Perhaps I led a sheltered childhood, but I don’t remember questioning whether ever bit of news had a Republican or a Democratic or Socialist slant to it.  I want the facts without the rhetoric, and unfortunately Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on Comedy Central seem to come as close to it as we can get.

Thinks that you can be friends without benefits. I used to love going out with male friends who were decent.  By decent, I mean they didn’t visibly lust at the waitress, make lewd comments to me about women in our midst, and who were interested in being out and having good conversation.  I don’t know where one can find “friends” today who simply like to go out, enjoy your company, are courteous to others, and don’t try to manipulate you to bed.

Sees the value of exploring the world. I’ve given up on acquaintances whose entire weekend plans (every weekend) involve getting drunk at the local pub every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

Can’t seem to find the “social” in the social media. While I’m in technology and have attended social media workshops, I still can’t understand why strangers with nothing to sell would want to “friend me” on Facebook. If they don’t know me or anyone I know – I just don’t get it. I’m not in the numbers pursuit (also known as the ‘I have more friends than you do’ game) and I don’t understand the “relationship” building one can do with 4000+ friends you’ve never met. I prefer to meet people the old-fashioned way – in person.

Goes to networking events without dollar signs in my eyes. I go to networking events for the sheer joy of handing out a few business cards and meeting some like-minded people in my area.  It seems that networking events have evolved into either meat market pick up joints (e.g., the bar scene) or gathering spots for ravenous marketers hungry to sell you whatever they are hawking (and they don’ t care what you do for a living).

Thinks that the world is becoming less tolerant. I find that there is more expressed racism, sexism, and general intolerance today than ever before. In our ‘flattened’ world I would expect more tolerance and not less, yet I meet people daily who dislike anyone who doesn’t share their views of the world.  Is it just me or are we becoming more judgmental as a civilized society?

Yearns for a more simple time when people said thank you, opened a door, smiled when they didn’t know you, and were interested in you as more than a sale prospect (and not a Facebook friend).

As someone who prides myself as being more open and tolerant of people than when I grew up, I wonder how my views can be as isolated as I think they might be.

At this juncture in life, I question —  Am I the only one who…. thinks like I do?

Have a productive, happy week!


Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at or or visit for details.

4 Responses to “Am I the only one who…”

  1. Peter Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 4:03 am #


    You are not alone !!!

    Thank-you for making time to share these thoughts.
    I suppose as the parents of this generation, we need to take some responsibility but I think it is also a numbers problem. Too many people trying to live on the planet. Too many politicians and others who are supposedly empowered to provide solutions “kicking the can down the street” whilst satisfying their greed.

    As individuals all we can do is lead by example and look after the good guys.

    Try not to let them grind you down.


  2. Bill Ravensberg Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    I agree with Randy on this being a great post Carol.

    I can relate with every item … except for the one where I turn into my mother! 😉

    These things you have described so well seem to be everywhere. Even here in good, old Canada … unfortunately.

    I actually find driving easier in the USA than in Canada … imagine that! We have an awful lot of agressive, inconsiderate drivers out there and their only thought is … it’s all about me; nobody else matters.

    Again, what a great post!



  3. Steve C. Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Carol, Carol, Carol….. doesn’t this entire piece violate your being more tolerant paragraph? I agree with everything you are saying, but they are just things we have to put up with in today’s world. Although the one where you enter information on a phone and then have to repeat it does drive me up a wall. I don’t now where I fit into your scheme, but I am going to the Bon Jovi concert in Hershey tonight. Am I too young or too old trying to act too young???? LOLOL Just accept what is and life goes much easier…. Oh, and I need to talk to you when you have the time about our on-going (?) metrics conversation.


  4. Randy Rice Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    Wow, what a great post! (And I’m not just saying that.) It sounds like what I often think (except for the one about senior citizens finding me “hot”). 🙂

    I was talking with my mother on Saturday while performing parental tech support. I feel blessed and cursed by growing up in a small town in the 60’s. It was like Mayberry. Now I live in a world where innocent people are attacked every day.

    The sad part is that my kids and grandkids will never know that world where neighbors sat on the porch each night and talked. Where the barber shop had the best comic books and a free stick of gum. Where the gas station washed your windshield and checked your oil.

    “Common courtesy” isn’t very common anymore, but I do it anyway just to be odd.

    Thanks for the thoughts,



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