June 13, 2008

What I Learned This Week – Part Two

The cryptic style of my first WILTW post wasn’t really what I was going for.  At the very least, I can be happy that it put some content on this site, but useless content is not much better than no content whatsoever.  So WILTW will instead focus on whatever lessons I managed to take out of the events of this week.

And yet, somehow, life goes on.  This could have been the punchline to one of my favourite Calvin and Hobbes strips of all time, but the panel that follows is just as memorable.

And yet, somehow, life goes on.

I was reminded of this comic a few times by a colleague who is a fantastic complainer, finding fault in every little thing, be it the weather, the cafeteria food, or the width of the hallway.  I usually find this sort of extreme pessimism somewhat amusing, but it’s actually pretty sad.  As one friend liked to often repeat, “people are dying!” and we are complaining about the most immaterial things.  I often find myself guilty of complaining about minor things as well.

It’s often hard to keep that larger perspective, to sympathize with the sufferings of the rest of the world and appreciate how truly lucky we actually are.  Sometimes, it’s just too depressing, and instead of instilling a sense of gratitude, we simply feel helpless and annoyed.  Thus, taking some time to reflect on our own happiness is a worthy endeavour once in a while.

What is the value of tradition? Apparently, it’s $2.5 million dollars.  That is the price that the CBC was unwilling to pay for continued use of the famous Hockey Night in Canada theme.  CTV was rather shrewd in picking it up right away, effectively usurping forty years of tradition and history.  It will be interesting to see how things play out next season, if that song alone can draw people away from CBC and to the rival networks.

Unfortunately, the hilarious Colbert segment on the fiasco was pulled from YouTube. 


There are some professions that just wouldn’t suit me.  I’ve learned this week that the following professions would not suit me at all:

  • Bus / Taxi Driver: I tend to take wrong turns way too often.  Plus, I don’t even like driving.
  • Collections Agent: This is ironic because my first summer job was in Collections, and I was quite good at it.  But I can’t seem to bring myself to ask for things back after lending to others.
  • Hitman: I wouldn’t even know where to begin here.
  • Chef: Cereal doesn’t count.
  • Judge / Police Man / Lawyer: I think I’d give people way too many chances if they seemed nice.


Other topics on my mind these days will hopefully come soon in the form of a more structured, better written post.  Until then, have a great weekend!


  1. I'd be a terrible Collections Agent too! I remember during the Summer of 2003, I temped as a PA to the Manager of an Accounts dept. Once he asked me to call a client who owed the company money - I think it's called "chasing". Anyway, I was so nervous, it took me a good while to pluck up the courage to make the call! I hated the entire experience, and managed to worm my way out of doing it ever again. Chasing by fax I could handle; but never by phone. :/

  2. Assalaamu'alaykum wa rahmatuLlah

    Cryptic material keeps the mind sharp, but you make a very good point otherwise.

    Anyway, let me offer some useless comments to you..here goes:

    Taxi/Bus Driver: Maybe it's time you invest in a GPS (but don't trust her all the cuz she's bad in Ottawa). Unless your problem is deeper than that, in which case, you might just need a vacation.
    Collections agent: No comment.
    Hit man: Absolutely no comment (And trying not to wonder about how it came across your mind in the first place...)
    Chef: You're right, cereal does not count. But if you master toast, there might be hope.
    Judge/Police Man/Lawyer: Ooh,
    uhm...just be careful. I'll refrain from any further comments.

    And something useful, and a bit off topic, insha'Allah... a respected teacher was telling us how people want to be like donkeys with a carrot always dangling in front of their faces, i.e. always happy. We're not meant to be happy all the time, contentment is by far a more worthwhile goal, and Allah knows best. May Allah give us all contentment, ameen.

  3. It was wonderful what you said Farzeen about contentment. Reminded me of a quote by Mohandas Gandhi,
    "Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plan living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man's happiness really lies in contentment"

    And a great post :)
    Good working hours for a hit man when you think about it.

  4. iMuslim: Chasing by fax isn't really effective ... I was a decent collections agent, somehow getting people to pay up hundreds of dollars for silly magazines, before I got my friend fired accidentally, in turn causing five other employees to quit. So ... yeah, didn't leave there on the best terms. Maybe that's why I've become so ineffective now.

    Farzeen: I usually rent a GPS when I'm out of town. We became enamoured with "Daniel", the British English voice that guided us through Florida. At the end of our trip, he stopped saying "International Drive", instead saying "International Doctor", which was just hilarious. :)

    Regarding the hitman - I blame my X-Box 360.

    Chef: I can make toast. Actually, I can do much more than cereal, and have been surviving healthily on my own for the better part of the last eight years ... but in a pinch after a long day, nothing beats a bowl of cereal.

    And I agree - we're not meant to always be happy. But it's better than being miserable all the time.

    Sheroug: Welcome to my humble abode on the web! Nice Gandhi quote, it certainly reflects his various religious influences.

    I don't know what kind of hours a hit man works in this day and age. I suppose a good one only needs a few hours to do a job, and probably gets paid a few thousand for it.

  5. and i would make a lousy police man/judge/lawyer coz i'd be way to trigger happy in my convictions. any minor little offense, and i'll be all over the offender/victim! :) :)