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Go Suck an Egg

May 18, 2010

I am a single lady who lives in a cute, urban apartment, which I share with a black and white cat. I feed her the good cat food so that she lives long and prospers; I use the responsible cat litter so we don’t end up together in an iron lung from inhaling perfumed gravel dust. I have a cell phone and Internet service. A bicycle, some nice shoes (but not many, and none overly pricey), and three outfits I think are fancy enough to wear on evening dates. I host get-togethers and cook at home most evenings, and during warmer months, am known to whip up a sensational balcony brunch.

My expenses are modest, but the fact remains: it costs money to live alone and comfortably downtown, and the best way I’ve come up with to make ends meet is an office job. My boss is fond of pointing out, “Sometimes, when the gin no longer helps, you need to remind yourself that every other Thursday, there’s money in the bank.” She’s right: an office job brings regular income. It also brings bureaucracy and paperwork and processes and rules. And, it brings clients, and with those clients, complaints.

I conservatively estimate that I receive a few dozen emails, phone calls, letters and faxed inquiries per week, complaining that so-and-so wants their money now, faster, with fewer steps. That I suck. That goodness knows what I do all day but it surely isn’t “work”. That I had better smarten up and do what a client wants because he has lodged a formal complaint via his elected official. I like to imagine we use our democratically elected representatives for purposes more universally helpful and constructive than getting what we want for ourselves more quickly and efficiently. But, I suppose some people fully embrace the idea that government should serve the people, and that if one of those people wants a cheque today, then they are damn well entitled to receive it TODAY. And, if today comes and goes and no cheque appears, then thank goodness we don’t live in Cuba, right? Because you can call up your member of parliament and demand they intervene on your behalf with the office that ought to be sending you that money.

Shouting into the phone. Spelling in all-caps. Complaints escalated to managers because I “promised to give out the money in about four to six weeks and this morning it was already five-point-five weeks and the money is not here and why are you all so useless and lazy down there? At any rate you should be fired and your job given to someone who is smart and appreciates the value of hard work.”

And so on. Frequently much more irate, rude and ignorant than I have paraphrased herein. I would further estimate that this sort of thing represents eighty percent of how I spend my time at the office, every day, all week, for the past six years. The time has come to use the escape hatch, and those gears are grinding vigorously. That, however, is not my point today. My point is, I have mastered telling people they are a-holes without getting in hot water. And, I am not sure whether this skill is creepy, awesome, handy, dangerous. Survival skill or sign of intellectual decline? Wising up and taking a stand, or taking the bait?

For instance, the email response I sent this morning, when confronted about my so-called failure and shortcoming as a member of the Canadian workforce:

“On April 27th, your case was placed in queue with our administrative assistant for payment of shares. She handles files on a first-in/ first-out basis, with an average processing time of 4 weeks. The cheques will be sent to you by registered post which can add 5 – 10 business days to the delivery time, as Canada Post tracks the envelopes at each handling point along their own process.

With this in mind, you may anticipate receiving your payment within two or three weeks. We appreciate everyone’s desire to see a case resolved as quickly as possible, and we do our best to move the hundreds of estates we handle through our very small department of seven people. Accordingly, we are grateful for your patience.”

This is pretty much the figurative head-pat. The flashed smile and accompanying perky “you have a GREAT DAY!” you give a jerk who just shouted at you or cut you off or acted like a fucktard. This is the refusal to let someone off the hook without pointing out that they are an unreasonable arseface, couched in niceties so that I remain beyond reproach.

This is like using the words “workflow”, “dynamic”, “going forward”, “paradigm” and so on in a business context, without irony. And so, I am, not sure how I feel about this. About knowing I am really, really good at calling someone a fucking jerk without saying it aloud, in a way that gets me in trouble, and that hopefully, if nothing else, jabs a finger in the person’s eye and makes them feel about “this big”.

I’m not sure how I feel about being good at that. But, now and then, it feels good to tell someone to go suck eggs.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. foodandpassion permalink
    May 18, 2010 10:21 am

    Just don’t pull that shit on me missy! I have seen it before, and I know when it’s coming… And you should be very proud that you have this skill.

    • welltailored permalink*
      May 18, 2010 10:26 am

      Don’t worry, sweetheart. I’d just come right out and call you a fucktard.

      heh heh

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