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How the hell...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Samr, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Samr

    Samr
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    I make a living through typing. 70 percent of my daily work consists of either writing, or editing, and in either case it must be accomplished accurately, and very quickly. I don't know how many words per minute, but I can type almost as fast as you can talk. And yet I only use my pointer and ring finger on my left hand, and my middle and ring finger on my right hand. Plus my left thumb for the space bar. I took typing classes as a kid, and I know which fingers go to which keys, but I just never picked it up.

    I also know a few people who can't swim (and no, they aren't all black). My mother is a fantastic business woman, yet she barely understands anything about computers. I have a sister who works with numbers all the time, and yet she can barely do simple math in her head.

    Focus: What mainstream skills have you/someone you know just not acquired? Why? How has this affected you/them? (Giving a woman an orgasm doesn't count.)

    Alt. Focus: What can you do very well that amazes you when others can't?
     
  2. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    FOCUS: I cannot drive a stick-shift car. God invented automatic transmissions so I wouldn't have to. But after the apocalypse when all that's left are reliable stick-shift cars, I'm walking.

    ALT FOCUS: Most of my work, and the work of people around me, consists of typing and using programs like Microsoft PowerPoint and Word. Most of the people I know can't do any of these things properly. About 10% of the people I work with have heard of "styles" and understand why you should use them. This includes the people that make our corporate report templates, whose job it is to basically do nothing BUT use these tools. It annoys the fuck out of me.
     
  3. D26

    D26
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    Alt. Focus: There have been exactly three times in my life that people have been impressed by what I thought were rather mundane (and fairly meaningless) skills.

    The first was in college. My friends were all video game geeks, and they bought the Mega Man Anthology. We were bored, and I ended up playing through most of the games back to back to back over a few hours. After I beat the first two (which I'd done about fifty times before), my friends were impressed at how good I was at the games and insisted that I keep playing. I think I used one continue, and that was in Mega Man 2 (fucking Dragon at the end of the first stage of Wiley's Castle). After playing through the first four, they insisted I keep going, but I got tired after the 6th and quit. They kept going on and on and on about how hard the Mega Man games were and how they had no idea how I was beating them so easily. Truth is I never found them all that difficult, and I was completely dumbfounded by them being so impressed. All you needed to know was the order to beat the bosses in, it really wasn't that hard.

    The second and third times were both at work. My old job, also, involved a lot of typing, none of which was in word or anything like that. I was a social worker, and had to document all of my interactions with clients. This involved typing up extensive notes. Not only were my notes longer and more detailed than others, but apparently I typed them up significantly faster. My boss would actually have me type stuff up because I apparently type so fast. The only finger I don't use when I type is the pinky finger on my right hand. Every other finger gets used, and it is just a skill I've acquired over time.

    Finally, again at work, they were consistently amazed by my ability to use functions in word and excel. I created a simple spreadsheet to keep track of hours and quotas and such, so I always knew where I stood and whether I should be working more or less. It was purely for myself, but a few buddies saw it and wanted a copy for themselves, to help them keep track. I did it because if I was way over, I could take some time off without feeling guilty, and if I was way under, I'd make it a point to spend more time at the school or do a few home visits. This was why I was always either right on, or slightly above/below our goals (one year I was at 99.8%, the next year at 101%, and the last two years I was at 100% exactly). Again, my bosses were astonished by this, to the point where the head of our program went out of her way to compliment me on it. It was a simple spreadsheet with a couple of addition and multiplication/division formulas for percentages, yet they treated me as if I were some magical computer genius that was on par with their hired IT guys.

    Seriously, I can type, know word and excel, and play video games. Only two of these skills are handy, and none of them are special at all. I still don't understand it.
     
  4. scootah

    scootah
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    Alt. Focus: What can you do very well that amazes you when others can't?

    I can type (at about 100 wpm with high accuracy) while and correct my occasional typos without looking back at the screen or keyboard (I usually do this while looking out the window, or while watching TV). Apparently this is some kind of crazy voodoo because people freak the fuck out about it. Working in IT at least I don't get that many people notice it - but when I'm on site at a customer's office or something - people seem to immediately believe I'm some kind of computer god. The fact I do incredible shit with their computers didn't sell them on me being awesome - but looking out the window while I type? holy fucking shit - he's some kind of robot! Also, giving a woman orgasms counts like a motherfucker.
     
  5. dubyu tee eff

    dubyu tee eff
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    Thinks he has a chance with Christina Hendricks...

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    Focus: I have never fucking managed to figure out how to fucking whistle. I've tried every damn method that people have suggested and it just doesn't happen. I don't get how everyone makes it looks so easy. I want to whistle so badly.
     
  6. Subito

    Subito
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    Experienced Idiot

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    This is completely useless, but I can spin my hands in front of me in opposite directions (one clockwise and one counter-clockwise so the circle is perpendicular to me.) This amazes people when they see it, but for some reason it's yet to get me hired or laid.

    Also, people that can't whistle or roll their r's should be bred out of the gene pool.
     
  7. lostalldoubt86

    lostalldoubt86
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    I have a friend who is 23 years-old and still can't figure out how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She grew up in Peru, where apparently they don't eat PB&J. About once a month she calls me from California to ask me what kind of jelly she likes, or how much peanut butter to use. She always ends up putting 5x as much jelly as peanut butter and the sandwich falls apart.
     
  8. Frank

    Frank
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    Focus: I can't draw to save my life, in high school I did a drawing of the statue of liberty that was so bad everyone who didn't know I did it thought it was done by the retarded kid, I'm not exaggerating. My friends to this day (over 10 years later) still give me shit about it.

    Directions, I have NO sense of direction, I sometimes use GPS to get around the town I grew up in.

    I'm in this boat too. I also can't blow bubbles with gum.

    Alt Focus: Basic math, I am constantly amazed by adults who can't figure out basic things like percentages and fractions, motherfucker they were drilling this shit in our heads for twelve years straight, how the hell did you drink that much education away? This isn't calculus or anything, this is basic third grade stuff you use in everyday life.
     
  9. lust4life

    lust4life
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    Focus: I can't drive a stick, either. My father never bought cars with a stick, so we never learned. The one or two times friends tried to teach me, their cars were compacts, and with a 34" inseam, my knee kept hitting the steering wheel every time I tried to press the clutch. I'm not very disappointed. Having to shift would interfere with my smoking, coffee-drinking, iPod-scrolling and cellphone usage (not really--I use a speakerphone and set my iPod playlist before driving off).

    Alt. Focus: The folks at the grocery stores who's job it is to bag the groceries, but have absolutely no concept of spatial relationships or weight distribution. This is especially true of the idiots at Costco where you have the option of having your items placed in boxes rather than bags. "No, the 10 lbs. bag of chicken breasts shouldn't go on top of the english muffins." I tell the packers to take a break and do it myself. It's common sense, not rocket science.

    Another is just listening. I am amazed at how many people I encounter who really don't listen. The really scary thing of it is how often I see this with healthcare professionals.
     
  10. ghettoastronaut

    ghettoastronaut
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    Cooking. A good number (but by no means all) of people I know are fucking incompetent at it. Some of them are amazed that I'm able to do it and ask in astonishment how I was able to learn to cook in the first place. For those of you wondering, it starts with looking at a recipe, buying ingredients, and combining them, instead of just buying the final product in the frozen food aisle of your grocery store.

    Also, why is it that once people get a PhD, they have trouble doing so much as loading a fucking powerpoint presentation on a computer?
     
  11. bewildered

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    Alt Focus:
    I was a bored young girl, so I taught myself to french braid my own hair by practicing on dolls, and then using mirrors to make sure I was doing the same thing to myself. By the time I was 8 I could perfectly french braid my hair in about 5 minutes without the use of mirrors. After I mastered a regular straight braid, I learned how to make all sorts of weird swirls, circles, and shapes to keep myself occupied. It's not really difficult. The hardest part is separating the hair and keeping the part you aren't using contained.
    By extension, I can do the same to others' hair, and either an inside or an outside braid.

    Yeah, I'm sure you men care about this but the 8 year old version of me was quite pleased with herself.

    Edit:
    I can also bake up a storm. Apparently, making beautiful loaves of bread is just not done anymore. I have a picture of myself presenting 2 braided loaves of honey bread on a cookie sheet and my future mother in law told my fiance that I probably just bought the bread and put them on the cookie sheet for show.
     
  12. Kampf Trinker

    Kampf Trinker
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    All the retards out there and you want to go after people who can't whistle? Really?

    Focus: I suck horribly at drawing, and it pisses me off. There's nothing I want to draw in particular, but I just want to be able to do it. I seriously haven't improved since the shit stains I slapped together when I was three. I guess I would be better at it if I actually practiced more. So it's my own fault for being lazy.

    Alt Focus: People who can't swim are fucking hilarious. Maybe it's because I grew up on a lake, but it comes as naturally to me as walking. Really, how hard is it? I had a friend I was trying to teach who was terrified of the deep end like he was still six years old. He'd go 2 feet away from the edge, flail around like an idiot for a few seconds and then quickly scurry back. The sheer terror in his eyes when he wasn't holding on to the edge for dear life still makes me laugh just thinking out it.
     
  13. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    Focus: I can't ride a bike. Well, technically, I know how, but I still can't. I was only taught two years ago, when I was nineteen, and when I was riding aimlessly around the parking lot I was able to do it just fine, but when I tried to do it on a trail I just failed absolutely miserably. I never learned because I knew I wouldn't like it, and then I did learn and I indeed didn't like it. So I just don't ride bikes, and this always shocks people. Sometimes I wish I did though nowadays, because it would be much easier, faster, and cheaper to get around the city on one usually.

    Alt Focus: Putting together an outfit and shopping. It didn't even occur to me how hard this is for some people, and how much anguish people get in over it, until I started working on an iPhone app that answers fashion and style questions. People are just...helpless, clueless, retarded....I could go on. Seriously, I can't believe some of the questions I get at work.
     
  14. xrayvision

    xrayvision
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    Some of us can't help it. I am colorblind and certain shades of greens and reds and any other color that might contain greens and reds don't look right or I cannot tell they don't match. I get the basic rules of pattern matching. But when it comes to color matching, its like I'm retarded. When people start using fancy names for colors, I get totally lost.
     
  15. shimmered

    shimmered
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    Food.
    The idea that people truly don't understand what they're putting in their bodies, and in what quantities and qualities, astounds me every day.
    The idea that I regularly have to argue against processed food and sugar is so far fetched in my mind but is a reality nonetheless. People who staunchly REFUSE to eat REAL FOOD amaze me. I do not understand anyone who can't cook, can't determine the quality of food they're eating. Even more, I don't understand why people would rather deprive themselves in cleanses and detoxes rather than simply eat real food and not eat sugars and starches.
     
  16. effinshenanigans

    effinshenanigans
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    Jesus...this. I can't add two fractions to save my life and the other day I attempted to multiply two two-digit numbers by hand and couldn't remember how to do it. I felt like a massive retard (I've since remembered that I forgot to add the "0" on the second line).

    Alt. Focus:
    All of my simple math skills were replaced by my ability to articulate just how abysmal my math skills truly are. That is to say, I write well--and it's a goddamn good thing that I do, or else I'd be working at Arby's.

    I'm not saying that everyone needs to be the next Pulizter prize winning author (or that I am anywhere near that myself), but even a basic grasp of getting thoughts onto paper seems to elude people. Above that (and building off of Frank's shit-you've-learned-since-you-were-five argument) spelling and grammar have been raped ragged, left in the gutter leaking semen and bleeding. It amazes me that some people have no idea how to use things like commas, and still spell words like "favor" f-a-v-e-r. Nice, you've got the phonics down, but the retardation is still taking over (sidenote: my 13 year old cousin actually spelled "course" c-o-o-r-s once in an e-mail. As in "Of coors I'm going to be a useless drain on the world when I grow up.")
     
  17. 8Track

    8Track
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    FOCUS: Remembering people's names. I am just horrible with names. I can remember faces, dates, and conversations easily, but I just can't remember names. I met my girlfriend's parents and didn't remember their names until about the 3rd time I met them. I have also met her cousins and other family at about 4 different functions and keep getting their names mixed up.

    In business I have to write people's names down. I pretend like I'm taking notes, but I'm actually writing their name down a few times so I can remember it.
     
  18. RCGT

    RCGT
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    Dawwww...

    FOCUS: I can't ride a bike. Nope, just never learned how to do it. And I guess I never really had to. I moved out of Connecticut when I was nine or ten, which was really the only "outdoorsy" part of my childhood, and I was always a huge nerd/bookworm as well.

    Along the same lines, I can't swim. Not for lack of trying, mind you - I was in swim classes basically from the ages of five to nine. You know how embarrassing it is when you're eight years old in a swim class full of preschoolers? Fucking very, that's how embarrassing. So when I moved, I stopped taking swim classes, which resulted ten years later in a couple of long scars up my ribcage and a bunch of scar tissue in my knee from a snorkeling accident in September. Basically I jumped into the Red Sea and immediately did my best to drown. Unfortunately I failed, and a giant wave dragged me over the top of a coral reef as if to call me a fuckwit in its own loving way.

    Fuck swimming.


    As far as typing goes, I used to be a hunt-and-peck-till-I-die kind of guy. Then in a fit of pique I switched my keyboard layout to Dvorak. (This was in my Linux-uber-alles open-source geek phase, when I would do things like this just to be non-conformist. Nowadays I have better things to do, and I want my computer to just work(tm). But I digress.)

    Dvorak was fucking painful to learn - I spent a week or two referring to a diagram of the keys every time I wanted to type something. But I eventually got over that period, and now I can type 90 WPM without looking at the keyboard, which comes in handy more often than you might think.


    ALT FOCUS: This isn't really a skill, but I'm naturally curious, so it's easy for me to know at least a little bit about a bunch of different things (Wikipedia surfing will do this to you). It still sometimes surprises me when I talk to people who have no idea about some pretty major topics.

    One particularly douchey example comes from my high-school history class. A girl who I didn't really talk to much asked me if, in Islam, Muhammad was the God and Allah was the prophet or the other way around. This basically broke my brain, and my gut response was to turn to her with a bewildered look and say, "Seriously?"

    This did not go over well.

    I like to think I'm more tolerant of these things nowadays, especially since my entire circle of hometown friends are a bunch of community college dropouts. They're actually pretty smart, considering.
     
  19. Politik

    Politik
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    I'm fucking rain man when it comes to boring topics that no one really cares about. This semester I wrote and memorized a 10 minute speech on the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 10 hours before it was due and set the curve in the class. Wanna hear about algae's effects on runaway warming or illegal immigrant minors in the US? Of course not. Although if I ever need to seduce one of those closet homo congressmen I'm ahead of the curve.

    If the boring nuances of policy and the spoken word are my strengths, anything with numbers is where I fail. Aside from ensuring I will never have a high paying job I am also god awful with birthdays. Turns out after dating a girl for three years they expect you to know their birthday but I can barely remember my own. Fuck.
     
  20. Omegaham

    Omegaham
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    Focus: Body language / sarcasm. I suck at it. Wanna fuck with me? Say something that is completely false and retarded in a serious voice and watch me twitch. I can't tell when someone is serious or joking, and I can't tell if someone is bored, interested, or somewhere in between. I'm also terrible at showing other people that I'm making a joke. I've been called out for being a complete douchebag (HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT) before I manage to get in "Dude, I was kidding. Chill out." As a result, I generally don't talk very much.

    Of course, when I do talk, it's always at ill-timed moments and I sound like a retard. Yeah, I don't know what's wrong with me. My friends all treat me like a retarded puppy.


    Anti-focus: Computers. I don't know everything about computers. However, I'm a few Google searches from finding out how to do anything, and I have enough basic knowledge to do whatever needs doing.

    People who stare vacantly at a computer and say "I dunno what to do" puzzle me. If I don't know how to do something, I immediately ask myself, "Okay, what should I do to find out how?" Next stop is Google, and if that doesn't help, a forum where experts can give a good answer is a last resort.

    I don't hate them, (how can you hate someone that doesn't have the same set of knowledge as you) but they do puzzle me because that mindset of "I don't know what to do, so I'm going to throw my hands up and give up" is foreign to me.