I like games... and tattoos. Yes, those.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Be Smart.

This is my "You're an idiot" face.

I'm often asked what I consider somewhat stupid questions. Among these are gems like:

1. Will you give me your games? (Or more correctly - wll u gv m ur gamz - no question mark).

2. Will you give me a job?

3. Are you unemployed now that The Verge is over?

and my favourite...

4. Why is your surname Tshabalala? 

Yes, I do think they're stupid questions. My apologies if you've ever asked me any of these, but really, meditate for a moment coherently on these words, and hopefully you'll see that they're lazy questions. You want someone to GIVE you the answer without expending any brain power to think through the answers logically.

Ok, except maybe question number one, the answer to that is just NO.

Anyway, lets clear a few things up.

1. No. I lend my games, much like my books, only to people I know. If I don't know you I'm not lending you anything.

2. No. You need to work hard and go out and get one yourself. That's what all the rest of us studied and worked hard for, and if I had to give you a job you simply wouldn't appreciate the work that goes into it. You can send me your CV with pleasure and I'll forward it on IF I think it's worthwhile (I'm not going to recommend someone I don't believe will do the job properly), or I'll direct you to an appropriate job site so you can see what's out there. I'll even put you in touch with someone who might be able to help you, but no, I won't give you a job.

3. Seriously? If you think that all I'm capable of doing is presenting then you obviously have never even bothered to read up on me at all. Most presenters are not simply presenters - we have a multitude of other talents. I was teaching at Wits University when I began presenting, worked at the production house who made The Verge (an awesome company called Don't Look Down), and am currently the On-Air Producer at MTV. No, I'm not unemployed.

and 4. Right. I'm white. For those people who have ever met me in person this is glaringly obvious as I am probably the palest person on the planet because I rarely go in the sun. This means that the only way my surname could ever be Tshabalala is if I was adopted, or married, or if for some weird reason I changed my name officially to Tshabalala.

I'm too old to have been adopted by a black family (if you know your history you'll know this was illegal under the Apartheid government), I would never change my name randomly to a Zulu surname (who does that?), so the only real way for me to have the surname Tshabalala is for me to be married - which I am. Oh, and no he's not the Bafana Bafana player, Tshabalala is a common surname, we're everywhere...

Anyway, this is not an entirely random vent about stuff - the point is more that before you go and ask someone what could be a potentially stupid question, stop and think to yourself, "Is this something I could logically figure out by myself?" and "Will the manner in which I ask it be considered offensive?" Because often the answer to both of THOSE questions is yes.

When you interact with people, try and be smart about it, even if they are people you know in real life. Don't be that n00b that everyone rolls their eyes at when you open your mouth. THINK about what you're saying and pass the thoughts through your brain before they come out of your mouth (or fingers if you're typing).

Be smart. Use your brain to the best of it's ability, because the fewer stupid questions you ask, the less you expect people to give you the answers and the more you think, the more you go out and discover the answers for yourself, the further you will get in life.

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