Noise

I hate Noise!

It’s a developing trend I’ve been noticing in my communication with others, and my preference for communications from others. Is what your saying useful? If it’s not why are you bothering to say it in the first place. If what you say serves absolutely no purpose that either you nor the intended listener can immediately discern why are you bothering to open your mouth in the first place. I call this type of talk and communication (phone, e-mail, chat, instant messaging, etc.) noise. More and more I notice that when i get fatigued my tolerance wanes quickly for this type of useless chatter.

China, in my experience, is notoriously aggravating when it comes to noise. So many times I ask a simple question that can be answered in one or two sentences and in return I have to comb through two to three paragraphs of fluff to get to the meat of the matter. The language barrier is helpful when it comes to talking to some Chinese through mediums such as e-mail but if I dare approach them with my Chinese that is a horse of a different color indeed.

It’s funny because I used to be and still occasionally am a noise-maker. As I’ve gotten busier and my perspective on life has adapted in this new environment I’ve learned the uselessness of some of the things I used to bother talking about. There simply is not enough time or energy to go around to waste blabbing about things people don’t want to hear about. If I ask you how much your product is – just tell me how much the goddamn thing is. I don’t want to hear about minute details of your products quality, that your family has owned this shop for generations – that the shop down the street underselling you by 10-15% is no good. I don’t care if you think my Chinese is good or that you think it looks good on me. Shut up – just tell me what I need to know!!!

Ah that reminds me of another thing that really gets me going. I love Chinese people you can ask anyone that I know on a first name basis – but one bad habit that tends to push my buttons is their avoidance of saying “I don’t know” when they don’t have the slightest clue what your talking about, looking for, asking about, etc. You don’t know how many times I’ve walked in 3 or 4 different directions only to find out when I asked the next person that my destination was nowhere near where I was walking. I literally need to stress 2 or 3 times + “are you sure” to figure out if they actually know what they are talking about. I have to soften them up to the idea of saying “I’m sorry I don’t know.” I understand some of the why behind the habit – but my soft skill capacities are better spend on profitable endeavors… I guess its difficult to realize that by telling me false information due to inexperience is actually more aggravating and makes you look like a bigger asshole than telling me you have no idea. Maybe I’ll make a T-shirt about it – write it both in Chinese and English.

Anyway back to my Noise rant. I think this is a lesson that can be applied liberally pretty much everywhere. Get to the point – order your sentences to reflect their relative importance and keep all the useless fluff to yourself. Maybe I’m too hard – thinking too much like a company man than an accommodating human being, but really, who has enough time in life to examine the minute details and nuances behind every interaction and exchange of information. I think like a businessman. My time is precious and my mind is already full of other shit I have to deal with and when I take the time to ask you a question I am looking for the answer to the question so I can solve that problem and move onto the next. If you want to be successful you need to be useful – not loud, not overly informative, not well-spoken, nor attractive, not even accommodating and filled to the brim with soft skills – first and formost you need to be USEFUL. Nurture the mindset of solving people’s problems and you’ll have a lot less trouble getting ahead in life.

Anyway I need to get back to pumping out this worksheet for my Chinese corners this afternoon. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to eat properly – that way I can take the inevitable noise-storm of bs I’m going to run into as soon as I step outside in stride. -end rant-

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  • http://twitter.com/michelini michelini

    emails suck too!! Aiya….thank god i cant speak chinese so well…so i filter out the shop chatter by just using numbers