WEB COLUMN: Common ironies

I spend most of my days thinking about the little things that others probably do not pick up on. Call them common ironies or whatever they may be, they leave me perplexed and often unable to concentrate on what is really important.

It is pretty common that a lot of professors have written and published their own textbooks. Most likely the textbooks reflect the information the professor teaches in the classroom. I’ve had a bunch of professors who have put their textbooks, textbooks that they wrote and edited, on the required book list for the class. That’s fine, I can understand that. But I don’t understand why the professors then teach the book out of order?

You would think if they wrote the book they would have written it starting from chapter one with what they wanted to teach first and then what they wanted to teach second in chapter two and third in chapter three, progressing all the way to the end of the book. Instead I’ve had several professors who’ve written textbooks and taught the chapters out of order. The first week of class we would start at chapter seven, the second week at chapter three, the next week we would be on chapter one. Common ironies.

I had another professor who made it adamantly clear that she would not tolerate cell phones in class. She said if a cell phone rang she would publicly embarrass the student and would answer the phone call and embarrass the caller, too. One day in class her cell phone rang. How come one of the students did not get to embarrass her? Common ironies.

I have a cell phone. I turn it off in classes, meetings and for any event or gathering where it would be inappropriate. When I forget to turn it off and it goes off I shut it off right away and let my voicemail pick up. I don’t understand why when people forget to turn off their phones and they go off during a class or a meeting the person picks up the cell phone and tells the person calling they can’t talk right now because they are in class or a meeting and that they’ll call the person back. The person whose cell phone rang already disturbed the situation, why draw more attention to yourself? Better yet, what is the other person on the line getting from you picking up the phone to tell them you cannot talk verses having their call go right to voicemail? Common ironies.

Most hotels and some office buildings do not have 13th floors. The floor numbers go in sequence from 11, 12, 14 and 15, simply skipping labeling the 13th floor. There is some superstition that 13th floors are bad luck and evil, but who do they think they are fooling? Just because they skip the number 13 does not mean the 14th floor is really the 14th floor. It’s just the 13th floor being called the 14th floor. Common ironies.

I was at TGIFridays the other day at around 3 p.m. for lunch. There were a million tables open because it was an off hour to really go to lunch. I get frustrated waiting more than a few minutes for a hostess to come and put my name in the computer system, so I went ahead and put it in myself. It’s really a simple computerized entry system. Just as I finished putting in my information a hostess walked up and asked my friend and I if we were waiting to be seated. I told her `yes, Cindy, party of two.’ There were no other customers in the restaurant that could have remotely looked like they were waiting to be seated, and the women looked me straight in the face and said it would be a five to 10 minute wait. I asked how many parties there were ahead of my friend and I and the hostess said just one. Another Cindy party of two. Common ironies.

Almost every birthday greeting card revolves around the idea that it is okay that you are another year older or making fun of someone because they are getting older, basically making it impossible to ever buy a card for anyone under the age of 30. Then there are the cards that have some type of scene on the outside and on the inside they are blank.

I picked up a card the other day and on the outside was a picture of a scene from the Wizard of Oz. It was Dorothy talking to the Wicked Witch and drawn in the background was Dorothy’s house with the feet of the witch she crushed dangling out. There was some blurb about something on the front of the card, so I opened it waiting for the punch line on the inside. It was blank. The punch line is that I was about to pay $2.95 for a card that I didn’t like and didn’t understand just because I couldn’t find a better card and you can’t not get someone a birthday card. The perfect card in my opinion, one that reads on the outside; I went to the store and spent hours searching for the perfect card. On the inside; Isn’t it sad this was all I found. Common ironies.

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