Friday, July 29, 2005

Plant Your Flag

“I feel like I'm in a glass bottom boat in a sewer. Surrounded by poop, but clearly above it all.”
- Puke n' Snot


Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like this? I've been having one of those days for a few days now.

I try to be a patient person, but there are days where I get pushed to my limits with some folks. There is nothing more frustrating then to be in a discussion with people that truly seem to be clueless about whatever the topic is.

When I was in the Air Force there was a person several steps up my chain-of-command that obviously passed school by slipping through the cracks.

As you may or may not be aware, the Air Force is powered by regulations. Any intelligent person can read a regulation and understand the intent of that guidance. When you become a supervisor, it is very important to be able to have good comprehension so that you can make sound decisions based on your ability to read and process the information in the regulation.

The situation escapes me now of exactly what the problem was in the interpretation of this particular regulation on that day, but all I can remember is that the guy did not understand what he was reading. I'm not talking about a disagreement of a paragraph, but a truly clueless interpretation of what he was reading.

I enjoy discussions on all manner of topics. As a result, some of my recreational time is spent reading various blogs and websites. Luckily, there are many good ones out there that I have found where the author seems to have a clue on how to interpret the news, or whatever they are writing about. These are enjoyable to read and participate in.

I only wish our government could do this more on a regular basis. :)

Then there are sites and communities that I have to participate in that sometimes I really wish there were another way to get the needed information.

Unfortunately, the same medium that invites intelligent people also attracts people with a low I.Q. or severe personality disorders.

Most of the time I just bite my lip, do what needs to be done, then move along. Then, there are days where it would be wrong of me just to let something pass by.

At times in the Ar Force I have stood my ground for something I knew to be right, even as far as causing my commander to go red in the face and order me to do something that was against one of our regulations.

I don't dig in and face obstacles lightly. In every case I have stood my ground I did so because I knew it was the right thing to do. Many times it has been when multiple “yes-men” knew it was the right thing to do, but none of them had the fortitude to take the lead.

The result of what I like to think of as my strength, is that my superiors have praised me for my ability to get the job done and done correctly. They know that if they place their faith in me to take a job to the end it will be done and done well.

Why does this matter? Because the world is jam-packed with low-end people. Many of whom are bottom feeders trying to gather the most out of life while providing the least amount of effort.

Normally we can ignore these poor souls and go about our lives striving to make something of ourselves and for our own successes. Not all of the time, however, and then we must come face-to-face with these dregs and attempt to deal with them on some level of understanding that they can comprehend.

One of the sayings I use, which is normally whipped out in a fun manner, is “Don't cloud the issue with facts.” The sad thing is that some of these people think that this is their battle cry. They will argue until they're blue in the face over some issue that is clearly not based on any facts whatsoever.

Since the purpose of this article is not to make people angry, I'll save examples of these folks for another day.

Let me leave you with this advice. If you do nothing else in a discussion, try to understand what you are talking about, and bring up tangible points based on facts or even your perceptions. If they are you opinions and ideas, then own up to them and state them as such. Don't fall into the trap of spewing something that is untrue, unproven, or completely fabricated by you.

Plant your flag, rally around it, and stake your claim.

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