The Weekly Rant with Gary Patella

Thoughts and ideas on various grievances that are relevant to everyday life.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

You're Not That Cryptic!

With people being the way they are, it is not uncommon for many to talk about others behind their backs. Even the best of us sometimes succumbs to temptation and feels the need to make a statement about someone not present. And the comments are usually the type that would not be said to the subject's face. Some people engage in this behaviour more frequently than most while others, such as myself, strive to keep such comments to a minimum.

Now it wouldn't be fair to criticize others for talking behind peoples' backs. Although I don't like to, I have also been guilty of the same action on occasion. But there is a point at which it becomes too extreme. The question is, how do you know when talking about others becomes too excessive? It is very hard to pinpoint the exact cut-off. But if you have become so used to the behaviour that you can no longer wait until the person isn't present, you have a problem.

This occurs a lot more frequently than one would imagine, and it is extremely uncomfortable. Instead of waiting a little while, the person decides to speak in code about someone else present. This is really stupid, and it is not fair to everyone else. When every other person can crack your code, what makes you think that the subject of the joke can't decipher your language? That person understands what you are saying the same as everyone else. Now no one can laugh, even if the comment is funny, and everyone else feels bad that the person knows we are talking about him or her. Of course it is really only one person doing the talking. But since that one idiot decides to talk in a way that includes all but one person, it makes it seem as though all parties are involved.

There are many situations where this crops up. As an example, people may be gathered together and one person may have a toupee. At that point someone may say to me "Hey, check out the oupee tay." Really? Oupee tay is your code? Do you really think that no one else can figure that out? There are tons of other examples, but it is always the same basic story. The person uses some really easy-to-figure-out code in the hopes that no one but the intended recipients of the message can decipher it. Well I have a news flash: you're not that cryptic! Everyone knows what you are saying, including the guy wearing the oupee tay!

Here's some food for thought. If you don't have a code already worked out with someone, what makes you think that you can make one up on the spot and have only that person figure it out? It simply can't be done. If you think of something on the spot, either no one will figure it out or everyone will figure it out. Those are the only two options. So the next time you wish to talk about someone behind his or her back, don't do it in front of that person's face. I assure you, he or she will know exactly what you're saying. And you are making me extremely uncomfortable when you try to include me in your stupid code! Have some patience. Supposedly it's a virtue.

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