I feel impatient that there’s been no apparent movement on the vaccine front. The page still says “people aged 50 and over” no matter how often I reload it but there’s nothing I can do about that.
Having managed to open a new bank account, I had the strange and unhelpfully futuristic experience of closing my old one entirely through a text conversation with a chatbot. It was better than having to talk to a real person about something so mundane but still obviously worse than using a traditional UI with reassuring buttons to press.
With any luck we’re already past the peak of the misguided “conversational interfaces” trend so this’ll probably be the last time I have to watch an animated ellipsis in a speech bubble while I pretend someone else is typing a question about direct debits.
One of the best things about work at the moment is that I get to do a decent amount of mentoring and teaching. It was hard to make enough time for this kind of work at my last job but I find it incredibly rewarding so I’m happy that I’m doing more of it again.
I’m still learning so much about how to teach complex topics effectively. It’s a constant challenge to correctly balance preparation and spontaneity — I want to be ready with coherent answers to every possible question, but I also want us to genuinely improvise a solution together rather than go through the motions — and even now I sometimes make the wrong call about whether to actively help someone with a problem or step back and let them battle through it independently.
On top of that I’m sometimes tired or cranky or over-caffeinated, which presents the additional emotional challenge of preventing my own negativity from spilling over into another person’s work. I think working remotely makes this harder because everything is just that much less fun when you’re not in the room together, but I can feel myself getting better at it with practice. It helps that I work with smart and compassionate people who seem willing to forgive me when I drop the ball.
I slightly injured myself earlier in the month so I’d been taking a break, but I’ve recovered and have started exercising and plodding though Arrested Development again.
I realised this week that, while I do enjoy watching it, Arrested Development more or less isn’t funny and I don’t think I’d recommend it over an actually funny show like Community. A fair proportion of its jokes rely on punching down (e.g. Tobias is gay — that’s the joke — and the less said about the entire “Mr F” subplot the better) and the rest are straightforward callbacks, references or repetition without any real ideas behind them. The moments I enjoy most are the over-the-top performances or silly wordplay (“Bob Loblaw law blog” gave me my third lol) but they don’t happen often enough to make it reliably amusing.
I realise comedy’s subjective, but it’s odd that this show has attracted such a cult following without being that funny. On the other hand I suppose it did get cancelled after three seasons so I can’t be the first person to notice. I haven’t decided yet whether to stop at the end of season 3 or carry on into the Netflix revival; by all accounts it gets a lot worse, but part of me is curious to see what that would look like.
Four days of work remain until ten days of holiday. I like those odds.
Provincial human assumptions are once again valid.