I’m a pretty even-tempered person, most of the time – there are few things in life capable of really riling me, and indeed many of the everyday irritations that I see causing those around me to lose their composure I tend to breeze through, without succumbing to frustration and ire. The team with whom I spend a large part of my working life have frequently had occasion to tell me that I’m the least stressed person they work with, despite arguably having the most stressful role.
Most things that tend to turn those around me into gibbering wrecks I can handle with aplomb and without angst – travel delays; deadlines; conflicting instructions and priorities; disasters and screw-ups – there are few things capable of causing me to break a sweat… the result of much self-discipline, experience and a certain degree of being tested to my limits, on occasion. That’s not to say there aren’t some things that can sometimes get the better of me: technology that consistently fails to do what it’s supposed to can cause me to grit my teeth (video codecs are a particular bugbear), whilst threading needles and having to master small, fiddly things that constantly slip my fingers or fall to the floor can drive me just a little bit crazy.
There is however one thing that can routinely reduce me to a primal Neanderthal. It is, quite simply, the most annoying, irritating and soul destroying thing on the planet, as far as I’m concerned, and I bet you have no trouble with it, whatsoever.
What is this everyday horror capable of reducing me to a snarling demon? It is cling film.
This kitchen essential is, as far as I’m concerned, Beelzebub incarnate (albeit in a transparent, plasticky form), and given the opportunity, I’d happily suffocate the hapless creator of this blight upon humanity with copious amounts of their own creation… or at least I would, if only I could get the blasted stuff off the roll in one usable piece in the first place!
It sits there in that innocent looking box on the kitchen counter, imploring me with its little polyvinyl eyes to swaddle the remnants of last night’s supper in its tender embrace. Twenty minutes later – having succumbed to its allure – I’m stood, enshrouded in a mass of shredded plastic, sweating and cursing, blood dripping from my fingers as a result of the ‘easy-tear’ strip on the box, and once again the wrap has won, despite my every effort to subdue it. That filmy, thin sheet of caterer’s friend has become my mortal enemy – and I hate it with every fibre of my being!
Strange, how the simplest of things can reduce even the most capable of us to helpless fools; something that perhaps it’s worth bearing in mind as we travel our virtual journeys in SL. Those hopeless cases who cause us to raise our eyebrows and tut in irritation before being brusquely brushed off in our wake as we pass on by, might well be struggling with their own cling film moment. Just because something comes naturally to us in SL, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s that simple for everyone, and sometimes we can forget that the virtual learning curve can be incredibly steep, obfuscated and can leave even seasoned residents at a complete loss at times.
I occasionally find myself hanging around the official SL blogs, completely bemused by the banality of some of the queries that are posted by those users for whom sl has thrown a curve ball. Many of the questions – if I could bring myself to try – I could easily answer and resolve without any real effort, but instead I find myself sneering and imagining snarky comments I could post in reply. Then there are those wonderful, kind souls who do the complete opposite… those who guide and encourage and never seem to tire of pointing out the most obvious of mistaken assumptions and simple solutions. Y’know, I can’t help but feel a little ashamed when I compare their response to mine, and remember that I’m far from perfect myself, and there are simple, everyday tasks and situations that baffle and bemuse me, no matter how hard i try.
Life can be tricky, so can Second Life, and maybe that’s something we should try to bear in mind next time that feeling of superiority creeps over us?
I’m sticking with you
‘Cos I’m made out of glue
Anything that you might do
I’m gonna do too
The Velvet Underground – I’m Sticking With You