What is it Good for (hoo) Absolutely Nothing (say it again, now)

An old friend of mine, we'll call him "Suit Guy" because he wore a suit all the time and that's what pretty much everyone called him, had some very strong feelings about daylight savings' time. "Antiquated," he would say, "A productivity scam from a bygone era," and "Simply an excuse for greater government interference in our lives," and "A bane to IT professionals everywhere." His reasons for chagrining DST and the associated biannual transition were so myriad and so profound that I was forced to wonder about the specifics of his childhood.

While I admired his enthusiasm, I really couldn't give a shit about his cause. He had some strong arguments and he might have eventually brought me around if he'd been a bit more even handed. After the third or fourth time he launched into his anti-DST tirade in any given week, I'd refuse to spend time with him for at least a handful of days, so put off I was by his agitation over something I considered to be at the heavy end of trivial and I was hardly the only one who felt this way.

At work today, my boss complimented me (if you can call it that) on rarely putting up a fight

I said, "I'll tighten up the formatting on this, shrink the type so that it can fit on one page."

"The UPM likes the type and the font," she replied.

"Okay, however they want it."

She thought it very zen that I never push back on these kinds of things, that, even when it means more work for me, I never make a row over the little annoyances, at the sniping on formatting, at the vagaries of scheduling and rescheduling, at the the constantly omitted add-ons, at the mercurial habits of the Above-the-Line types.

Why would I, though?

I don't slide past these minor frustrations because I'm particularly zen but rather because I think the formatting of the daily prep schedule memo isn't something worth making a fuss over. There are a number of things that I think are very much worth making a fuss over, we just haven't gotten to those things yet.

"When something worth getting worked up over comes around, I'll pick that battle at that time." I told her. "Making a stink over things that are of no real consequence only makes it harder for me to win a real fight later."

This was a lesson that I had inadvertently learned from Suit Guy. His singular* conviction over something so inconsequential to everyone else ensured that he would lose almost any other argument. He had spent all his rhetorical capital and had so inured those around him to his ire that nothing else from him had any gravitas.*

Put another way, save your ammo and don't sweat the small stuff as long as the checks clear.

* He he was also an Esperanto enthusiast. He vocally advocated the adoption of that synthetic language as a global frankish tongue. Why peddling this fundamentally good, albeit impractical, idea took a back seat to spitting venom over DST has never been clear to me.

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