I want to focus my remaining posts on the not-so-good aspects of my relationship with God, starting down here on Earth, with other people.

I used to appreciate it when people asked me for help. I used to appreciate it a lot! I loved teaching and trying to get people as interested in what I found interesting. That instinct, I am afraid, has been recently put under a lot of stress. I am finding that more and more often, people are coming to ask me for help as a substitute for basic problem solving.

“How do you do X?” I have to choke back my gut reaction to blurt out “header file.” Yes, I am the one who programmed that class and thus it is my responsibility to make it usable. That’s why I spent time creating a readable header file, complete with doxygen comments and parameter names longer than a single character, unlike you, may I add. It simply frustrates me how much work I put into letting people help themselves just to have it completely¬† ignored.

It frustrates me even more when I think about how the people currently asking for help purport to others that they don’t need it. It frustrates me when someone who has “significant experience in C and C++” according to their resume has to ask me how pointers work. I can no longer read a resume any more without wondering just how often someone blatantly lies in it. (I can sympathize with interviewers a lot more. Especially the ones who start off the interview with a very simple test, confirming that people really know the skills they claim
to have.)

But the thing that frustrates me the most, is that I am frustrated with them. Am I no longer the same person who would put aside a task immediately to teach someone the beauty of combinatorics? Why can’t I be the friendly guy who loved explaining how algorithms could improve someone’s thought? When did I change?

Or more importantly, can I get the person I was back?


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