Filed under: Work Bitching
In my capacity as a receptionist, I have the supreme joy of interacting with the public not only in person, but also via telephone. The following is a transcript of a conversation I had yesterday with a person trying to reach someone at my company.
Me: Good afternoon, thank you for calling “—–,” how may I help you?
Joe Q. Public: Um, hi there, um, hang on a second. Yeah, can you hold? Someone from your building called me and left me a message but I need to listen to the message and get the guy’s name.
At this point, he proceeds to listen to the voicemail that was left for him by someone from my company. I’m guessing he was using two phones to accomplish this, because I could hear the voicemail, but not well enough to make out what was being said on it.
Joe Q. Public: Okay, it’s Eric. I need to talk to Eric.
Me: What is the last name?
JQP: I don’t know. Just put me through to Eric.
Me: We have more than one Eric working for the company.
JQP: You do?
Apparently Eric is a unique enough name to qualify someone to go the one-moniker route, a la Shakira or Madonna.
Me: Yes. What department are you looking for you?
JQP: He’s a recruiter.
Me: There is no Eric in recruiting. I can transfer you to a recruiter though, and I’m sure he could assist you if your call is in reference to an open position.
JQP: How many Erics you got? Just read ‘em all off to me.
Me: Sir, we have quite a few Erics.
JQP: How many?
JQP: Oh, well, okay, let me listen to the whole message. I stopped listening after he said Eric. I’ll just call you back after I listen to the whole thing.
Filed under: Societal Botheration
You know what I’m not a fan of? When I’m sitting in the movie theater seat that I paid eleven bucks for, watching Rorschach display astonishing feats of bad-assery and kicking the ever living crap out of someone twice his size, and I hear a tiny, yet amazingly well projected voice say, “Uh-oh.” I am not so jaded that I can’t admit that hearing a little girl react with such utter innocence to the extreme brutality of The Watchmen was actually kind of cute. The first time. After about the third utterance, though, I was officially irritated, and I’m fairly certain I wasn’t the only audience member feeling that way.
Movies are expensive. We’re in a recession, my two hours of escapism don’t come cheap, and I want to be able to fully enjoy them. It’s a lot harder to get lost in the fictional world of the film when a chattering (or god forbid crying) child keeps tugging me back to bitter reality. More importantly, it’s one example of a larger problem, which is the collective mentality among many parents that the rest of the world should bear the burden of their decision to have children. Don’t think that I haven’t heard the common retort of the united obnoxious parent front: “When you have children, you’ll see how it is. It’s easy to say that you shouldn’t come to the movies if you can’t find a babysitter when you don’t have kids.” I find this rationalization unacceptable, because it’s both condescending and tantamount to saying that should I find myself procreating, I will lose all sense of consideration for those around me. I’m sure it can be difficult to find a babysitter and pay for her services in these trying economic times. I am not unsympathetic to this particular plight. It’s just that it’s not my fucking problem. It’s not my problem that you couldn’t get a babysitter, just like it’s no one’s problem but my own if I can’t attend a party because I have work that I need to finish to meet a deadline. You decided to be a parent, and certain sacrifices come with that decision. Deal with it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that if I decide to see Bolt or Monsters Vs. Aliens, the theater will be filled wtih small people who haven’t yet mastered the art of using their indoor voices. And I accept that, because when I go see a kids’ movie, I am entering their territory. If they could enter my territory and conform to its behavorial expectations, then I would say “the more the merrier” and welcome them with open arms. But they can’t, and they shouldn’t be expected to, because they’re kids. Most of them can’t even sit still through the entirety of a movie created specificaly for their demographic, much less a two hour-plus film that grapples with concepts they aren’t even aware exist. The burden of responsibility lies with the parents, so when I see a kid under five at The Watchmen, the only conclusion I can come to is that I’m witnessing an act of bad parenting.
The Watchmen is rated R, and wtih good reason. The violence is constant and filmed with the kind of loving attention to detail that is usually reserved for those documentaries that show the complete time-warped blooming process of a flower. A movie that features a character getting his hands hacked off with some kind of woodcutter and which features more penis than I’ve seen in my entire life is not a place for a child. (Seriously, there was more penis in this movie than in your average porno: http://www.hceklerspray.com/watchmen-utilises-blue-penis-power-to-top-weekend-box-office/200921910.php. I can only imagine the kind of lifetime trauma and bizarre predilections that much exposure to a blue penis could inflict on a child in her formative years.) If your child has yet to reach the age where he is able to maintain general control of himself in a public setting, then perhaps you should take the MPAA ratings guide to heart and act accordingly. If the wishes of fellow moviegoers hoping to have a pleasant experience doesn’t move you, then do it because you don’t want to stumble upon the knowledge 10 years down the road that your kid keeps a jar of blue body paint under the bed next to his stash of Playboys.
Filed under: Work Bitching
People at my office love to talk about each other, which I suspect is the case at most workplaces. Gossip makes the world go round, because when your boss is breathing down your throat and the woman in the cube next to you has been chattering all day long on personal calls while forgetting to speak in her indoor voice, sometimes a smoke break and a chat about the girl in accounting with a not-so-secret spanking fetish is the only way to preserve your sanity. I understand the inevitability of office gossip and the cathartic purpose it serves for people, and I have been known to partake in it myself. What sucks is finding out that what’s hot off the presses is an unflattering rumor about you.
It has come to my attention that the good word in the cubicles is that I am sleeping with the CEO. Now it should be noted that I am young, unmarried, and not hunch-backed, and there are startlingly few females in that bracket working in our building, so it’s not surprising for any one of us to be linked to a single male co-worker. If I breathe in the direction of an eligible male, I see the gossip-antennas go up around me. I accept this, and it doesn’t really bother me. Our CEO is a divorced father of two, and although his daughter is closer to my age than he is, he is a personable, intelligent, and fair man, whom I respect a great deal. Nonetheless, I am deeply insulted.
If I were the big boss’ mistress, would I still be transferring everybody’s phone calls, sorting their faxes, and giving them directions to the conference room where their weekly meeting is held? I don’t fucking think so. If I were banging the man upstairs then I would have him by the balls, and trust me, I would be making some serious demands. My discretion would have a price, and it would be high. The first order of business would be giving me a new position that fell higher on the company totem pole than indentured servant, because if I am sleeping my way to the top, shouldn’t I be somewhere even remotely in walking distance of it? Like, not at the bottom? It’s one thing to deem a girl capable of trading sexual favors for career advancement, but it’s a whole other thing to accuse her of being easy AND cheap. It hurts.