The Bitterness Blog

It Was Nice, If by Nice You Mean Mind-Numbingly Retarded
September 21, 2009, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Work Bitching

I like to think of myself as a pretty straight forward, doesn’t pull any punches kind of person.  I know I must be to some extent because it has gotten me into trouble before.  I don’t hide it well when I think someone is being stupid or obnoxious.  But I had a sort of epiphany the other day at work, which is that even though I probably bullshit less than 90% of the population, I still spout out a shit-ton of crap on an average work day.

Oops! There goes another one...

Oops! There goes another one...

I was invited to a meeting that I had no desire to attend between HR reps at my company and people from the other company in our building to discuss partnering on wellness initiatives.  If you’re wondering what the hell that means, let me explain:  it’s mostly a crock of shit, the intent of which is to be able to say that your company does wonderful things for its employees and the community at large when it reality, the wellness initiatives are pretty meaningless and done as cheaply as possible.  I was invited to the meeting but told that my presence was not required, but I was told in a way that clearly implied that I should WANT to attend.  Lie #1:  saying that I would just love to go to the meeting and discuss wellness initiatives.

In attendance was my new boss, who compared to my boss at my old job is pretty much Ghandi but who is pretty great even in comparison to less horrendously offensive people.  Our HR recruiter was there, and she is one of those people who is so cute and perky and nice and pleasant that I figure it has got to be an act.  If I had to place money on the employee most likely to suffer a complete break from reality and walk into the office one day armed with a machine gun, it would be this chick, not because she has shown even the slightest hint of bitterness, anger, or disgruntled-ness, but precisely because she hasn’t, and that shit’s not normal.  The other person from our company is a woman who has the proud distinction of being the first person at my  new job that I decided I don’t like.  She screwed up my 401 K  rollover papers and then tried to blame me for it.  She tried to send back a paper clip caddy she had me order for her because it didn’t meet her standards, and she has no concept of the fact that email is the primary means of communication in the office environment for a reason.  Don’t walk up to my desk and assume I’m going to drop what I’m doing to discuss your fucking paper clip caddy requirements with you. 

In attendance from the other company was a perfectly pleasant older lady who I won’t mention again because there is nothing else to say about her.  There was an annoyingly animated woman named C.G.  The fuck?  Who has the initials C.G. and actually goes by them?  There was a guy that was cool because he was not afraid to express feelings of dissatisfaction, a quality I greatly respect in people, and the other guy was a black man, and I’m a red head, and black men love red heads.  I’ts a scientific fact, so he gawked a little and I felt like less Quasimodo, and it was all good.

And then there was the head of their HR group, a woman notable in that she is quite possibly the ugliest non-deformed, non-costume-wearing person I have ever met.  She was so mesmerizingly ugly that I literally had to periodically check myself to see if I had been staring at her past the point of time that could be chalked up to appropriate conversational eye contact.  She was extremely obese, but weight was not the issue.  The issue was a combination of having the whole ugly tree collapse on her at birth and a truly hideous makeup application.  Her lipstick was fuschia.  It was blindingly bright and pink and not a flattering shade for her skin tone, and she had shellacked so much of that shit on that it was literally clumping on her lips.  She also wore an obscene amount of black eyeliner that had moved and smudged in ways I doubt was intentional.  My description really doesn’t do this woman justice.  You have to see her for yourself, but I hope for your sake you don’t because I’m fairly certain that I physically recoiled when I met her.

If level of ugliness could be expressed by a facial expression, this would be it.

If level of ugliness could be expressed by a facial expression, this would be it.

So the parts of the meeting that I was able to absorb in between gawking at the freakishly ugly woman consisted mostly of C.G. droning on about how wonderful their company is because they do things like sponsor a company Weight Watchers group.  The employees still have to pay the normal fees associated with joining Weight Watchers, but the support specialist comes to the office for the meetings and does the weigh-ins there.  I don’t know about you, but getting weighed in at the office in front of co-workers sounds eerily similar to my own personal version of hell, so I’m not really sure why employees are supposed to be excited about this.  The company also provides a basket of “healthy” snacks at the office.  The main thing they do that is noteworthy is sponsor poor families at Christmas, which is admirable and which I support so fully that I can’t even think of a realistic way to talk shit about it.

So during the time that C.G. blabbered about how wonderful and charitable their company is, I must have lied about 50 times in that I smiled and nodded like I gave a rat’s ass about any of this.  Then my boss spoke about stuff we do or want to start doing, like reduce our carbon footprint.  I’m not going to lie because blogging is truth; I don’t give a fuck about my carbon footprint.  The environment is one of those issues that I know I should care about and I accept that I’m a lesser person for not caring, but I just don’t because the way I figure it the really catastrophic results of not taking care of the environment will go down after I’m dead.  Also, the things I’m supposed to do to improve the situation are inconvenient and expensive.  I think it would be great if our company organized some volunteer events for various charitable causes, and I might even occasionally volunteer, but I am terrified of being roped into a planning committe.  The other comany had like, 10 committees.  Jesus does that sound painful. 

Looks bad.  I know.  And I still don't care.  Please don't rat me out to Leo DiCaprio.

Looks bad. I know. And I still don't care. Please don't rat me out to Leo DiCaprio.

The thing that really made my ears perk up was when my boss noted that we have two vending machines, and one contains nothing but healthy snacks.  That’s fine and dandy and choice is great, and I obviously don’t go anywhere the healthy vending machine.  But then she said that we are planning to convert the regular snack machine into a healthy snack machine also, and it was like I heard screeching sounds in my head.  Nothing makes me need a chocolate fix like 8 hours of forced interaction with my co-workers and the public at large.  DO NOT take away my chocolate.  All in all the meeting was boring and stupid and I lied some more at the end of it when I told the people from the other company that I enjoyed meeting them.


Later that day I was in the hallway on my way to the restroom, which is the only thing down that hallway so it was pretty obvious that was where I was going.  The lady from HR that fucked up my paperwork pops out of a door nearby and starts heading in the other direction, but then she sees me and calls out to  me, because at this point we’re like, 20 feet away from each other, and goes, “I thought that meeting was really interesting, didn’t you?”  I’m not sure why it’s necessary to stop me while I’m clearly on the way to the shitter to say this, and I generally avoid speaking to this woman as much as possible.  So I responded with, “It was nice.”  It was nice?  Jesus.  This was clearly not my finest moment of bullshitting but I had hit my quota of crap for the day already after that presposterous meeting.  So then she says something about how she hoped some of the suggestions actually came to fruition (but she used far less syllables) and I said, “I hope so too.”  Then I walked into the bathroom and before I realized I was speaking out loud, I said, “I might hope so if I gave a flying fuck, but actually I really don’t.”  Luckily no one else was there, because it was like my soul was unable to bullshit for even another sentence and lord knows what might have been unleashed if the wrong person walked in and tried to strike up a conversation.  Today I thought it would be fun to count how many work-lies I told, but then I decided the logistics are too complicated.  Would it count as a lie when I ask someone “how are  you” even though I don’t even remotely care?  Does body language expressing an emotion opposite to the one I feel count as lie?  The distinction between outright lying and bullshit courtesy is so very fine.  Plus, I don’t think I would get anything done at all today if I kept an accurate account of how full of shit I apparently am.


1 Comment so far
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In Harry G. Frankfurt’s essay “On Bullshit”, he defines a distinction between lies and bullshit. I’d say your “work-lies” are more bullshit but I doubt that helps you feel any better. All the same, I would definitely not say body language is a lie. Or maybe I’m just hoping it’s not.

If your company gets rid of the “good” vending machine, I suggest you start a black market.

Comment by Kevin

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