Turning Negatives into Positives

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you deal with it.

Sometimes that means just staying positive, or keeping a sense of humor when things go wrong.  But occasionally it’s possible to flip things on their head and actually turn a negative into a positive.  Hard to imagine?  Here a couple of quick examples:

1. Shooting the cat.

When my wife brought home a cat I was quite happy…right up to the point when he started using the furniture as a scratching post.  The little bugger would happily saw away at the arm of the sofa while staring directly at me.  It didn’t matter how much I shouted and waved my arms, he wouldn’t stop until I stood up – at which point he would take off only to return only a few minutes later to taunt me again.

After about a week of this, he started his game again but this time found his fun cut short by a powerful jet of water to the neck.  Yes, the tide had turned – now I actually wanted him to attack the sofa so that I could use the super-soaker I had just purchased.  Sadly my fun was short-lived as he quickly realized he was out-gunned (literally) and the scratching stopped.  But, for a short time, I had a lot of fun turning this negative into a positive!

2. Junk mail revenge

Junk mail is a sad fact of life these days.  Each day our mail men and women break their backs delivering paper goods that go straight from our mailbox to the recycling. Clearly someone is buying things from this or they wouldn’t send it, but I find wading through the pile offers and begging letters to find the ‘real mail’ to be a little irritating.

Fortunately Scott Adams provided the answer in his book, The Dilbert Principal.  Some of these companies offer pre-paid envelopes in their junk.  Should you find one of these gold mines, there is an opportunity to release some of the negative energy by stuffing their envelope with your other junk mail, along with a note saying “Please throw this in the garbage for me”. You can then chuckle to yourself as you slip that into the outgoing mail in the full knowledge that the company will now have to pay postage on your junk. Another negative turned into a positive!

3. Spam purveyors of bloatware

A recent update of Adobe Reader installed not only the expected update, but also a copy of McAfee Security Scan Plus.  I never asked for this, and certainly didn’t want it.  If these companies actually believed you wanted their bloatware, they would not feel the need to hide the opt-out check box in obscure parts of the screen. I was very irritated by this and decided to vent to the customer complaints department of Adobe but, alas, their website doesn’t have any such link – perhaps shut down due to excessive call volume?

Instead I found the Facebook page for Adobe Systems and flagged them as spam. The Internet can be self-healing (Wikipedia is proof of that) so, perhaps, if enough people take this sort of action when a company installs unwanted software, they will get the message.  If nothing else, it gave me a little tingle of satisfaction and turned a negative into a positive!

So what are you waiting for?  Get out there and take control of your life – there’s fun to be had everywhere if you know where to look, so start looking!



Filed under Life - or something like it, Technology, The Human Condition

4 responses to “Turning Negatives into Positives

  1. I got a kick out of you shooting the cat, Barry, once I realized you were using water! Love the photo of the victim!


  2. Revenge can indeed be sweet. Opps I am sorry–Turning a negative into a positive is so much sweeter! Loved the spam can!

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