lundi 16 mai 2011

A proposal for a "boulette grading system"

As having a fair amount of experience and expertise on the subject, I have been advised a couple of time to create a grading system for "boulettes". I first should define what is a "boulette": a mistake that happens often to "boulets" (in the sense of scatter-brain people). It can be forgetting or loosing things of minor consequences, or more annoying things such as missing a flight. I would add it has to be laughable as well, but maybe that is only a personal interpretation. As such, it can encompass a large range of things, and a grading system should be a valuable one. Here is a first suggestion of scale: B-rating-cause/consequence. B is for Boulette, rating a number relative to the "quality" of the boulette, and cause/consequence is a letter indicating the natures of the cause and/or of the consequences:

i: for Inconvenience. That is when you forgot your work laptop at home, and have to bike 40 minutes to get it back.
m: for Money, i.e. when the boulette generates a loss of money. For example, when you buy new tickets because you missed your train.
o: when it deals with Others. These ones can reveal challenging to friendships!!!
l: for lost. This is often linked to Money and/or Inconvenience.
b: for broken. This is often linked Money and/or Inconvenience.
c: for Clumsiness. This can happen to everybody.

f: for Forgeting something you may need, such as a fixing kit for flat tyres.
r: for Repetition. This can add an extra grade to the global rating, please see the Annexe at the bottom of this post.

Many letters can be combined depending on the boulette. The global rating would look like this:

B0: No boulette. This is the grade when you were certain to forget something, but you didn't. In general, if you are a experienced boulet, you are quite proud of yourself when this happens.
B1: Minor boulettes, i.e. the ones you can solve easily by finding an alternative solution. For example, B1-if you forgot your spoon while camping in the mountain, and use a can top instead. These boulettes can even be seen as grateful, since they develop your ingenuity, or even your creativity. Boulettes can be good for you!
B2: These deals rarely with money or others, or for tiny things only. For example: B2-i could be when you forgot your mobile phone at work on Friday, and have to get it back in the evening because you need it for the weekend.
B3: Boulettes which can be slightly annoying. For example, B3-mi is for when you missed your train and have to buy new tickets at full price ("i" is because you will arrive delayed).
B4: Next level... Then it can be really annoying. They can deal with major Inconveniences, or a fair amount of Money, such as loosing your mobile phone with all numbers in it, B4-iml. Potential B5s can enter here, for example loosing your passport in the street of Otaki in New Zealand, but luckily brought back to the police by somebody a few days later.
B5: We enter now in the high level boulettes, and they are reserved to only a few persons who would still see the funny side of the boulette. Loosing your passport forbidding you to follow your girlfriend for holidays in Germany would enter that category at B5-ioml. (somebody should recognize himself there...). I know of one other good story of fishing-hook-deep-in-the-flesh-of-the-thumb which could have reached a solid grade B5, but maybe it was a too disagreeable experience to be enjoyable as a boulette?
B6: Here, we are the level of Boulet Bieth, Boulet-god for all of us. This can be achieved by himself only, and even only very rarely. The famous example is to quit his job&life in London in the aim of living with a girl who is living with her boyfriend, and hearing them making love all night long, through the walls... There, we have B6-im. Again, you have to take it well and laugh about it, otherwise it is a too disagreeable experience to be a boulette.

Considering the descroption of B6, I suggest the grading system should not be open-ended since anything worst would include really bad things I don't want to promote. B6 is very boarder-line already.

ANNEXE: about repetitive boulettes... Repetitive boulettes could get an extra mark if they are temporally not too spread out. The delay of prescription should be small for a B1, and very long (infinite?) for a B6... Maybe that would be the only way to reach a grade of B7? Repeating a grade B6 would be incredible, and would definitely add an extra dimension to a B6!

12 commentaires:

Travis a dit…

Fantastic. So what is the grading if you fall off your mountain bike into a cactus, and then once you have pulled all the thorns out of your leg you proceed to pull the bike through the cactus and get surprised when you have to walk the last 2 miles back to the car? (this wasn't me but I will need to place a grade on it for the blog post :-)

Romaric a dit…

I guess the fall was due to Clumsiness? As well, I added "f" in the post for Forgetting. Indeed, if you walked 2 miles, it is because you didn´t bring the kit to fix flat tyres, did you? Overall, this deserve an elegant B3-icf grade.

mustaghattack a dit…

I believe life can only be appreciated through a good B6 (I pity you, you poor B4 !). So I'm glad - and grateful - to make it to the high end of your scale ;)

Frontlawn a dit…

It looks like an excellent grading system. I guess the circumstance should affect the grade too? Like leaving behind 440 Euros at someones house when you leave the country would get a slightly higher grade if you left it in a bag of rubbish rather than just leaving it behind somewhere they would find it.

Romaric a dit…

@ Bruno: no worries mate, you completely deserve it! ;o)

@ Dion: hehe, I completely forgot about the 440euros I left in you rubbish bin. I agree with you, such "circumstances" should definitely add up one grade, considering the extra "challenge" it adds to fix the boulette. As such, the grade for the above mentionned boulette would be B5-imof. Again, no such grading systems should be rigid, and should stay open to interpretation and "feelings"!

Francis Stephens a dit…

I am inspired by post. Very happy to have managed such a high grade so quickly.

Although it may be a bit sensitive, please can someone describe the B6-w boulette. I add the w category for all boulette involving women. That sounds like a very good story.

Romaric a dit…

Francis, indeed, you don´t perform often, but when you do, you do it well! You are very talented in other words.

I guess women can be at the origin of some boulettes, so I guess a w could be added for Women as a cause (not in a pejorative meaning!)... thinking about it, maybe women can even be a consequence as well! :D

Saying this, this would be a bit macho I guess since men can be a cause of boulettes for women as well... Francis, I think we need to discuss the subject a bit! ;o)

Anonyme a dit…

A most enjoyable post, Romaric. Thanks. I have been LOL'ing at work for approximately 7 minutes now.

By the way, say that someone forgets the code to someone else's apartment and has to sit outside the door to the building at 4am waiting to be let in. Is this the boulet's fault, or something altogether different?
~ Jen

Etienne a dit…


maybe I should try...

Romaric a dit…

@ Jen: in your interesting example, the boulet is definitely the author and main responsible of the boulette, since he put himself is this situation by forgetting the code. I give it a grade B3-if, which might appear over-rated, but it is taking into consideration the late hour in the night, and the associated solitude.

Oli a dit…

I can hardly type 'cause my eyes are repeatedly filling with tears of laughter. I am so glad to have met you and Bruno, because otherwise I could not enjoy the post as much as I do.

How about changing the PIN of your brand new prepaid SIM card and forgetting it within the next hours, while throwing away the documents with the PUK?

And how is the rating affected due to repetition? I mean a boulette like the one above does not happen twice but there is a lot of variations on the PIN theme around my house in the imfw category... I am not giving any names!

Romaric a dit…

Oliver, thanks for th emost usefull comment. I agree, the grading system should be discussed in order to improve it, although it won't ever be perfect as any grading system!

More specifically, repetitive boulettes should get an extra mark if they are temporally not too spread. The delay of prescription should be small for a B1, and very long (infinite?) for a B6... Maybe that would be the only way to reach a grade of B7? Repeating a grade B6 would be incredible, and would definitely add an extra dimension!

Anyway, I added a letter r for Repetition.