This is not an exhaustive list on the topic. In fact, it may be an inexhaustible topic. There are older lists of what I hate. So today’s post is merely my most recent list.

Which is notable because hatred is a process. Neurologists have proven that love and hate are closely related, and I have found it’s hard to hate a person unless I am also close to that person, and the same is true for a topic. In that vein, life is the process of expanding our love and our knowledge, and I suppose, our hate.

So here are some things that I have recently reached the point of thinking so much about that I feel qualified to hate them:

1. Sarcasm
The use of sarcasm is always inappropriate. Sarcasm reveals insecurity and cynicism — both things that make a person unlikable. Sarcasm is always negative in meaning, and the tone is always disparaging. On top of that, people who use sarcasm think they are being funny, but this is a poor man's humor; because comedy is about timing. You say it, then there's a beat, and then people laugh. With sarcasm, you say it, there's a beat when someone realizes you've said something you don't mean, and a beat to process what you did mean. The timing is off.

So comedians rarely use sarcasm because it's not funny. And top performers don't use sarcasm because it's mean.

2. Getting bids
If something is so important to you that you are spending enough time on it to collect bids, then you shouldn't get bids. Because if it's so important to you, give it to the person who will do the best job. And if you think you can swindle someone into “giving you a deal,” well, why do you think they're so good if they don't even get market price for their work?

If your project is important, find someone who has done it before, with someone who was great. And hire that person. You could get another bid, but the work would be different, right? And you should hire someone who does good work. And if everyone does the same work, then pricing can't be that varied — it's a commodity, priced the same across the board — so you don't need bids.

3. Maternity leave
It's not that I don't like the topic. I don't like that people think this is an area fraught with controversy. This is not a gray-area area. This is a right answer/wrong answer area.

Don't tell people you're pregnant if you're not showing. Hide the bump as long as possible. This is your right. And you have this explicit right because everyone knows that even though it's illegal, women are penalized when people hear they are pregnant. No one trusts they're coming back after the baby, so the project flow goes dry or gets boring.

Also, you do not need to know if you are coming back to work full time after the baby. Tell your employer you are. Change your mind later if you want. This is reasonable: no one could guess how they want to raise their kids until the kids are there.

Take paid maternity leave no matter what. It's your right. And the fastest way to post-partum depression is to take no time off to recuperate. (I know from my own experience.) So even if you quit when maternity leave is over, take paid leave. The US makes women earn maternity leave. You've earned it already. You don't need to work more after.

4. Pseudonyms
Here's what I read in Car and Driver magazine: The most popular name for upscale strippers to use is Lexus. Do you know what this tells you? Pseudonyms are for strippers.

If you're being your real self, doing things that bring you self-respect, why have a pseudonym? And if you don't want to claim what you are doing as your own work, ask yourself why you are doing it.

Here is a post about how using a pseudonym made my life a mess. And here's a post about pseudonyms undermine your career, which is ironic since people are usually thinking they need a pseudonym to save their career.

5. Lack of hate
My son came home from preschool and told me that using hate is against the rules. I told him that discerning people hate things, and I encouraged him to think of something he hates. (Bowser, a bad guy in Super Mario, for those who are curious.)

Recognizing that we each love and we each hate is part of the process of knowing ourselves. Talking about it is part of the process of letting other people know us as well.

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  1. Mark
    Mark says:

    Sarcasm tops my list too. Some of my married friends do the sarcasm thing with each other and I don’t think they realize how destructive it can be. After a while sarcasm has more than a bit of truth behind it.

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