by Brian Clarey



Wearing Crocs Can I be honest with you for a minute? You are starting to drive me a little nuts — not because of who you are. I love you, man! No, it’s because the little annoying things you do are starting to accumulate, and I’m getting to the point where I just can’t take it anymore. So I’m gonna give you a little unasked for advice, starting with this piece right here: Unless you are 5 years old, have a hopeless and incurable case of Flintstone feet or are currently on your knees weeding a garden, stop wearing Crocs. It’s over, dude. And honestly, it never really started.

Using Facebook to spread  inspirational messages

I know: You heard this quote or poem or amazing insight,  and you just had to pair it with a photograph of a waterfall or piece of retro line art and post it in your Facebook feed for all the word to see. Or, more commonly, you saw it on someone else’s Facebook feed and felt compelled to spread the message, implying that it was you who came up with this pearl or that it is indeed one of your guiding principles. You need to stop doing that. My Facebook feed is starting to look like a running list of Hallmark-card rejects. And frankly, I don’t look to Facebook for inspiration — it’s where I check to see which of my high school and college friends got fat. And would you please, for the love of God, stop talking about Farmville?

Misspelling things

If you are using a computer for your communications, which I know you are, you might notice that some of the words you type get this weird, squiggly red line underneath them. Yeah. That means you spelled something wrong and you need to fix it. Unless you are a top-selling hip-hop act, it makes you look like a mouthbreathing moron.

Living in a vacuum

Your life is not the end-all of human existence. There are others out there who do not have the same background, income or education levels as you, with viewpoints that, though they may differ from your own, are still perfectly valid.

Showing up late (or not at all)

I get it: You’re busy, what with the kids and the job and the lists and lists of things to do. But if we’re supposed to meet somewhere at a pre-arranged time, do me the courtesy of showing up or calling to tell me that you are unable to do so. I don’t care why — doesn’t really matter, does it? Just don’t leave me sitting alone in a coffee shop like a fool while you scramble to make an appointment you maybe shouldn’t have booked in the first place. I’m busy, too. If you’re running late and you haven’t called to tell me, you get 15 minutes and then I’m out of there. Scratch that. You get 10.

Spreading propaganda

Before you forward me an e-mail telling me that President Obama is instituting Sharia law in Washington, DC or that death squads will soon be here to clear the country of old people or that there’s a new computer virus out there that will straight-up make your computer explode, do me the courtesy of checking it out on or any other actual news source, please.

Not using your turn signals

Believe it or not, every single automobile has a device in it that alerts other drivers when you are about to make a turn, usually activated by a stick near the steering wheel. It’s advantageous for other drivers to know when you’re about to turn — they will be less likely to plow into your vehicle and interrupt your cell-phone call.

Overpromise and underdeliver

Your product is not going to change the world, let alone my life. Your band is not the next Rolling Stones. Your book will not empower me to make a million dollars this year from my own home. Dubious claims at being “the best” of anything — from a sandwich to a website — immediately set off my BS detector. If anything, you should underpromise and overdeliver. Let me be amazed, don’t try to con me into it.

Bouncing me to voicemail

I know what it means when the phone rings just a couple times and then voicemail kicks in. It means you’re blowing me off. Stop doing that.

Settling for mediocrity

There is a disease running rampant through our community that I call “Good Enough Disease.” It affects everything: restaurants, media, landscaping, city planning, ad campaigns, entrepreneurial enterprises, wardrobe choices, tattoos, architectural blueprints for performingarts centers… I could go on all day about this. I want you to stop accepting halfassed crap with a whimper, and I want you to start seeking out excellence in all its forms.