Monday, June 9, 2014

dscovering my peculiarity

I recently turned 59 years old, and I just learned something about myself.

I thought I was as conventional as button-down collars, khakis, and sneakers. I told people that if there were a cycling equivalent of a button-down collar, I would wear that.

I was wrong about myself.

It turns out, I'm unconventional, although not in very romantic ways. Here are some examples:

  1. I built my bike from parts, and do almost all my own wrenching. Who does that?
  2. I built my desktop computer from parts. It runs Linux Mint; and it has always run various kinds of Linux; it has never run Windows.
  3. But it also runs, under the WINE emulator, a Windows program that I use to keep track of my calendar and address book. I keep copies of that progrm on all of the computers I use frequently.
  4. On the other hand, the program I use to keep track of my finances is called Gnucash. It's natively a Linux program, but there;s a Windows version that I have on the Windows laptop.
  5. The data files for each of the programs (in 3 and 4) are on a hosting service, so I can get to the latest version of the data from anywhere.
  6. I drive a Prius. I generally leave the back seats folded so I can use the expanded storage area most of the time. Who does that?
  7. I wear monochromes at work, mostly grey, white, and black. Black pants, black loafers. In the winter, black or grey mock-turtlenecks; in the summer, black or grey polos; in-between, white button-down-collar shirts.
I've been warned from inviting non-Freewheelers to sign the Freewheeler sheet on my "D" rides, which are co-hosted by the New Brunswick Bike Exchange. When I couldn't copy-and-paste from the Freewheeler online newsletter, or read the .pdf on my cheapo Android phone, I found a way to copy the list on my Linux computer (no real "hacking"; one of my programs just did it), but I told a club representative about it, and there's been a minor ado about that.

I keep getting into trouble at my current job, and I've finally figured out why. There are certain ways in which my job expects uniformity, and that doesn't come naturally to me; I treat every case as the special instance. It just seems natural to do so. In all of my decisions at work, what I need to say to myself is something like, "Will this cause undue surprise and dismay to my administrators?"

I had no idea I was an outlier in such ways! There are probably others, as well. It's come to me that I am frequently upsetting the expectations of people, without intending to. I'm sorry that I do that, but I'm not sorry I try new stuff or do things other people don't do. My life is better (in most cases) because of the ways I do things, and, in general, others are not adversely affected.

When others are adversely affected, I will have to apologize and fix the particular situation. Or I'll have to move on.

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