Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inconvenience and tornado warnings

Just a few minutes ago, the tornado warning siren went off. Living near the city golf course, I am well within earshot of the tornado warning siren tower that they have set up over there. It was a good thing that I heard it. I actually got up and hauled in the recycling bin before the rain and hail started coming down.

When I was a teenager living in Brush Colorado, I once got in trouble for watching a tornado form. It is not that I was putting my life in danger that got me yelled at; it was the fact that I was not home on time to babysit my brothers and sisters that got me into trouble.

Let me be clear.

The fact that I put my life in danger was a non-issue. My mother could care less that I might have been blown away to Kansas. What made her upset was that I inconvenienced her. I am not sure what my mother needed or wanted to go do that afternoon (I pretend that I have no idea), but I was damned for causing her inconvenience.

(My father never heard about this incident. He wouldn't have cared if he did. Dad used to drive around with us kids in the car chasing tornados and bad weather. Explains a lot about me, doesn't it?)

Thanks to my childhood (there are many other examples of this behavior), I am sensative to the fact that people get upset when you inconvenience them. It is not getting their order wrong that gets them yelling at you; it is the inconvenience.

Do you want to drive people away from your website? Make it inconvenient to use. You will drive them around in droves.

Of course, my childhood also instilled in me the idea that I am never to inconvenience anyone. I fight against this idea. My feud against one of my sisters rotates around us fighting about who should be inconvenienced for the sake of the other. (The extent of this inconvenience might be a blog post for another day.)

And I suspect that I am not the only one programmed to act this way. It would explain the number of pagans and wiccans unwilling to do certain forms of magic (see my zero sum game posting on my Golden Dawn blog). What we all need is a siren warning when we are inconveniencing ourselves, as well as one for inconveniencing others.

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