During my tenure at my previous job, the afternoon Fed Ex delivery man developed a crush on me. He’s a black man whose age I would place somewhere in the range of 37-45. He’s at least 10 years older than me but younger than my parents. His race will come into play later, so hold that thought.
My interest in this guy is somewhere in the range of -98 to zero. There is something about him that has always put me off. It might be that he declared his interest in me before we had an actual conversation. I appreciate it any time someone finds me attractive, really I do, but I would strongly prefer that any suitors try to make polite small talk before asking me out to determine if we have anything in common, or that I speak English, or that I’m not mute. One of the first times he delivered to my job he made one of those attempt-to-be-sly-your-boyfriend-is-a-lucky-man comments to see if I have a boyfriend. I didn’t lie, but I should have. From then on, he came on pretty strong. His persistence creeped me out and his frequent compliments started to feel a little lecherous. Luckily, I didn’t have to see him much because we had a shipping/receiving manager whose job it was to accept deliveries and I only did it when he was unavailable, which wasn’t too terribly often.
Fast forward to my new job, which you may recall is in the building next door to my old job, and as you might suspect, the same Fed Ex guy delivers here also, but here, I’m the person who signs for all the packages. Now I have to see this guy on a pretty much daily basis. Imagine my enthusiasm. I try to act busy when he comes, so except for the moment when I sign for the packages and say “thank you” my eyes are glued to my computer screen and my fingers are typing away. If you were thinking he would get the hint from my stand-offish behavior, you’d be like me: hopeful and dead fucking wrong.
So the other day he came in and despite the fact that it doesn’t seem to be properly conveying my disinterest, I stuck to my routine of pretending to have something important to do that precludes conversing with him. But at some point I have to take the thingy to sign from him and give it my John Hancock, and when I did so, he said:
“So what, do I need to get a diamond for you to make this thing we got going here official?”
Let me give you a minute to digest that.
After a few seconds of stunned silence on my part, I reattached my fingers to my keyboard and my eyes to the direction of NOT HIM and said, “Um, I’m not really a diamond kind of girl.” I realize in hindsight that this might not have been the best answer, but I honestly had no idea how to respond. The rest of the conversation went like this:
Fed Ex Guy: You like rubies better?
Me: Actually, I’m not really into jewelry. (Which is true. I almost never wear jewelry.)
FEG: You don’t need to be into jewelry to get married.
(A valid point. But last time I checked you DO need to be at least somewhat into the person you’re proposing to marry.)
Me: I’m not really a marriage type of person either. (That’s pretty much a complete lie. I would LOVE to get married. To the right person, obviously, and I’m becoming painfully aware that the likelihood of that happening is equivalent to about the exact numerical value as my interest in Fed Ex guy, but whatever. A girl can dream.)
FEG: Well there are people in DC fighting to be allowed to get married.
Me: Not only in DC, and by all means I think they should be able to, but that doesn’t mean I have to get married.
FEG: Really? You think they should be allowed to get married? (All shocked-like.)
Time out: Why do people who (barely) know me always assume I’m conservative? I became aware during the recent Presidential election that based on appearances, the general population assumes me to be a conservative Catholic Republican. Is it because I’m white? Because that’s not my fault.
Me: Of course I do. Why should gay people have any less rights than anyone else? What do I care who gets married, as long as it’s two consenting adults?
FEG: But what about the Bible?
Time out: What I most love about this response is how perfectly it illustrates the fact that the marriage debate even existing in the political realm at all is the very definition of a lack of separation between church and state.
Me: I’m an atheist, so I really don’t care what the Bible says.
FEG: I don’t know about a man and a man getting married.
Time out: Ever notice how most men, when displaying varying degrees of homophobia, always talk as if the only type of gay that exists is man-on-man gay? Woman-on-woman gay doesn’t seem to bother straight men so much, does it?
Me: I don’t see why two men should have any less right to get married than you or I.
FEG: Well the object of love is to reproduce, so it’s biology. A man and a man can’t make a baby.
Time out: There’s that man-on-man thing again. A woman and a woman can’t make a baby either last time I checked, but listen Buddy, if you think the object of love (and I think you meant to say “objective” but you’re a moron, so you didn’t) is to reproduce, then diamonds are the least of the obstacles in your path to marrying me.
Me: Well I don’t want to have children, and I generally disagree with the notion that the purpose of love is to reproduce. There’ s a biological imperative, but it’s a choice, and you can love with out reproducing. If that’s a requirement for marriage, then you’re saying that straight people who don’t want to have kids or who can’t have kids shouldn’t be allowed to get married either.
FEG: Well I never thought of it that way….wait, you don’t want to get married OR have kids?
No. Does that mean you’re not interested anymore (fingers crossed)?
Many things about this conversation amazed me, the first being that Fed Ex guy assumed I would share his view on gay marriage. I don’t assume people will share my views on things like that because I accepted a long time ago that 99% of people are stupid. But what really surprises me is when a member of an historically oppressed people is willing to oppress others. There was a time, and not very long ago, when black people didn’t have the same rights under the law as white people. Have you no empathy, Fed Ex man? I’m a woman; I’m an oppressed people. I figured being part of a minority group makes me more understanding of the plight of others. But perhaps my assumption that he would not support the oppression of others because of his race is as bad as people taking one look at my cracker ass and assuming I think Palin is the second coming.
Really though, this whole conversation had no effect on my interest in him because the deal was sealed a couple of weeks earlier when I ended up being stuck on the elevator with him. I was heading straight from work to the Caps game and I had a folded-up jersey in my hand and probably looked like I was in a rush, because he asked me if I was heading somewhere (which is dumb because clearly the elevator is not my final destination, but whatevs). I said I was going to the hockey game and his reply was, “Oh yeah, that’s the Nationals, right?”
Oh Fed Ex Guy. Clearly, ours is a love that can never be.
I dislike children. Let me clarify: by children, I mean all people under the age of 21, particularly if they are close enough to my person for me to see or hear them. I realize that I was a child once too, but I don’t hold that against myself. I didn’t know any better then. Now I do.
Like any person with an IQ above 10, I avoid things I don’t like as much as humanly possible. I don’t dance, so I don’t go to clubs. I don’t like Republicans, so I don’t attend NRA conventions. Likewise, I don’t frequent places where children are likely to be, which is why it really eats my ass when kids pop up in unexpected, inappropriate places, like R rated movies. Or fine dining establishments. Or work.
Yesterday this woman comes into the lobby with two toddlers in tow. I could hear those fuckers screaming before they even got off the elevator. My main problem with children is that they have no sense of common courtesy. This lack of manners includes mastery of indoor voices, knowing that staring is impolite, and respecting personal space. These were toddlers and therefore they can’t be expected to accept full responsibility for appropriate social interaction. I don’t blame them. I don’t dislike them any less for their lack of blame, but I don’t blame them.
The woman accompanying the kids must have been the nanny or something because she asked for a coworker of mine named Lucinda and announced to me that the hellions were Lucinda’s kids, as if I give a rat’s ass who they belong to. I called Lucinda and she didn’t answer (figures), so I sent her an email (marked urgent, and for the record, that is perhaps the most extremely appropriate urgent classification of an email EVER). I asked the nanny if Lucinda was expecting her and she said yes (which means either she lied, or Lucinda is officially on my hit list for not only inviting her children to work but not even being ready for their arrival). The nanny then asked me where Lucinda sits, which is possibly the dumbest question of all time because CLEARLY if I could get these brats out of my line of vision I would have done so yesterday, but Lucinda sits in a badge-access only area on a different floor. I’ll save visitors’ general assumption that it’s okay for them to roam about an office they don’t work in for another time.
The kids were probably in my lobby for 5 minutes but it was the longest, loudest 5 minutes of my life. FUCK those kids were loud, and they were consistently, non-stop loud. The nanny only managed to admonish them for their volume once and they were so loud that employees began to emerge from other areas to find out WTF was going on. I made sure to tell everyone exactly whose kids they were, and one employee responded by saying, “ahh, of course,” which indicates to me that this is not the first time that Lucinda’s kids have been loudly and proudly using our lobby as their afternoon playground. Eventually Lucinda sent up a woman named Sheila to escort the kids and nanny, and Sheila made a real show of cooing over the kids like they were newborn puppies, which they certainly are not, because newborn puppies know how to keep their damn traps shut.
I think Sheila’s oooing and awwwing over the kids irritated me even more than their presence, because people like Sheila are the reason people like Lucinda continue to think it’s okay to parade your kids around your place of business. People like Sheila condone that behavior by reinforcing the notion that your coworkers want nothing more than to babysit your kids and tell you afterward what beautiful geniuses they are.
I could go on and on about places you shouldn’t bring your children and why, but instead let me broadcast a little public service announcement for all you parents out there:
NOBODY BUT YOU CARES ABOUT YOUR KIDS. NOBODY. ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR COWORKERS.
Filed under: Societal Botheration
So I’m feeling conflicted about my monthly salon appointment. Once a month I get my eyebrows and eyelashes tinted, which sounds weird, but I’m a natural redhead, so my lashes and brows are literally transparent. They’re like the absence of color. In an effort to look less like an albino, I get my lashes dyed black and my brows dyed a dark reddish light brownish shade. It’s inexpensive and I’ve had the same lady, Lisa, for years. My dilema is that Lisa is sickly, gossipy, and full of drama.
Lisa is constantly coming down with major illnesses and being diagnosed with new serious chronic diseases, and as such, she has had to cancel on me quite a few times. You might think there is someone else at the spa that could easily take over for her when this happens, but the one time I used a different person, that woman dyed my eyebrows black and I looked like Groucho Marx. Lisa had to bleach them and then dye them again. So yeah. But even though she cancels sometimes, she is good about fitting me in as soon as she can, so I don’t mind that too much.
What I do mind is that Lisa is constantly broadcasting her various drama to me. Her sister owns the place, her mother, grandmother and aunt all work there as well, and from what I gather, Lisa is the black sheep of the family. There is non-stop bickering. Two months ago she told me she had quit and would call me with more info; I showed up for my next scheduled apppointment and she didn’t even mention it. But frankly, I don’t want to hear about her work drama, her health drama (I cared at first before I figured out she is a raging hypochondriac and probably has Munchausen syndrome), her feelings about MJ’s death, etc. I don’t care. And I think it should go without saying that it’s unprofessional for her to vent to a client about her issues at the job. I’ve been getting frustrated with the situation for awhile now, but I put up with it mainly because the spa is right by my house and the service I get is super cheap, so I appreciate that Lisa takes care of me and fits me in when needed even though I’m not a big money maker for her. But then I went to my last appointment…
I got there 5 minutes early. I checked in with Tricia, a receptionist that has been there for awhile. She took me back to the spa waiting area only to realize there were no seats there, which was irritating because the spa seating area has low lights and good magainzes and couches, and the main waiting area has none of those things and is right by the front door and front desk. But whatever. I can handle it for 5 minutes…
Except those five minutes turned into 20, which was 15 minutes past my scheduled appointment time. I ventured to the front desk to place a polite inquiry as to why the fuck I was still waiting, and Tricia was gone, replaced by some chick I had never seen before. I asked her what was up, she went to check, came back, and told me Lisa would be right with me. No further explanation, no apology for the wait.
Another 10 minutes passed and I decided that I was done with this bullshit. I told the new chick that I had to go because I had somewhere to be (true story, not just spoken for effect) and to please let Lisa know and ask her to call me to reschedule. The new chick made what was essentially the facial equivalent of a shrug. She very keenly conveyed her complete failure to give a crap. I asked if she knew what the problem was (was someone having a Groucho Marx emergency like I had had, because I could totally muster up some sympathy for that) and she repeated that Lisa would be right out. So I said, “Yeah, well, you told me that 10 minutes ago,” and right at that moment Lisa walked up with Tricia, laughing like they just came from Sex and the City style cocktails.
Lisa said she was sorry I had to wait a few minutes. A few minutes? 5 minutes might have qualified as a few minutes; even 10 minutes and I would have been on board. But my appointment started nearly 30 minutes late. I asked Lisa what was going on and mentioned that the new receptionist didn’t give me any explanation and came thisclose to asking me if I thought she gave a rat’s ass about my problem, and this led Lisa into a tirade about how awful this new girl is and how she sucks and part of the problem is that no one can respect her because she left her husband and two year old daughter for some new boy toy she just met. TMI much? I don’t a fuck. Then Lisa asked me to call after I left to complain about her so they could get the girl fired. I might have actually considered that, because you know how I feel about bad customer service, had Lisa not gone on to share the following:
1. She said the new girl told her when I arrived at 1:08pm and she told her to tell me it would be a few minutes. Um, except, I didn’t arrive at 1:08, I arrived at 12:55 (plus taking me back at 1:30 even had I arrived at 1:08 would still have been annoying). Lisa starts ranting about how this is typical of the new girl, not telling her when I actually arrived…except that the new girl wasn’t even there when I checked in. Tricia was, and I checked in with her, so we really can’t blame this particular failure to communicate on the new girl, now can we?
2. I asked Lisa what exactly held her up for so long. Are you ready for this? She told me that she and Tricia were discussing the problems with the new girl and how to get her fired. She said that even though she’s not a manager, she sometimes gets held up working on these managerial issues. Last time I checked, hardcore, extensive shit-talking was not a managerial function.
Filed under: Societal Botheration
I worked in restaurants for six years, so I get that being on the giving end of the hospitality industry sucks. People are rude, condescending, prone to outrageous demands, and just plain annoying. That being said, because of my years in the industry, I can’t help but notice and get peeved when service sucks. I’ll be the first person to point out that the food taking too long is the kitchen’s fault, so don’t blame the waiter, and don’t get mad at the host if you walk in on a Saturday evening at 7:30 without a reservation and she tells you there’s no tables available. Your lack of planning is no one’s fault but your own. Place blame where it actually belongs. Overall, I would say I’m pretty sympathetic to the plight of restaurant workers, but I also expect them to do their jobs correctly and be nice about it.
The other night I was out with a group of 3 girls at Rio Grande. It was a Saturday but we got there at 6 so it was getting crowded but it wasn’t crazy yet. I fully admit it took us FOREVER to decide what we wanted to order because we were chatting, and because in my experience, Lauren is a notorious slow-ass when it comes to choosing from menus (love ya!). We sent the waiter away more than once before we finally made our order. Annoying, I’m sure, but we tried to be sweet and apologetic about it.
From that point on, the waiter spiraled into the depths of major suckitude. He never brought the extra napkins I requested (which would have ultimately made his job easier because by ordering them, I was making a sincere effort NOT to leave behind a piggish mess for him to clean up when we left). It was an eternity before I got the water I asked for, and then he pretty much disappeared for a solid 40 minutes. Strike that. We saw him at tables nearby us many times, but it seemed he had made an executive decision that he was done with us. I overheard him having an extensive chat with a lady at the table behind me about the movie Julie and Julia, and he proclaimed that he had no idea there was a movie about Julia Childs out but he would have to see it since this lady said it was great. Please. Just like I had no idea that Kanye West acted like a jackass at the VMAS on Sunday (you know it’s true when Obama says it) because it’s not like that news is being constantly broadcast or anything, just like there weren’t 100 million commercials for Meryl Streep’s latest. Nothing wrong with being personable to try to increase your tip, but believable sincerity would be a better approach. Anyways, the food was good and the company was even better, but we had a movie to go to, so we asked for the check.
Since there were four of us we asked for the checks to be separated. I realize that conventional wisdom is that it’s terrible to ask a waiter to do that because separating the check is complicated and annoying, and that was probably true in 1954, but we live in 2009 and computers are amazingly helpful machines. I know from personal experience that it’s really not difficult to separate the checks, and if you’ve been doing your job correctly right from the start, you would have entered into the computer which person ordered what so that when it was delivered from the kitchen it was served correctly, so splitting the check from there is super easy. We did have two appetizers, but we clearly explained which bill to put them on. So to clarify, he says, “So you want me to split the check four ways?” Now, we didn’t all order the same thing and we had those two appetizers, so no, we didn’t want the check split four ways, we wanted seperate checks, as in, each person pays for what she ordered, plus one person was buying the appetizers. Seems simple enough, no? So we explained to him again what we wanted, and he says, “That’s actually exactly what I just said, so yeah, I’ll do that.” At this point, Lauren and I turned and looked at each other and made faces that looked something like this:
In case acting as if he were correcting his customers wasn’t enough to ruffle our feathers (see what I just did there?), let me just say that the intonation and emphasis he placed on the word “exactly” made his annoyance with us very clear. Perhaps when he said “split” the checks he meant what we meant by “separating,” but we wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. He didn’t have to be nasty about it, and from a semantics standpoint, we were right and he was wrong. To sum up: he sucked from a service standpoint, and now he was shamelessly emanating attitude. Then he took an eternity to actually bring out the checks, so long that two separate bathroom trips were made before his return and we became seriously concerned about missing our movie.
The thing is, he was only hurting himself. Some people just suck at waitressing but life has handed them that particular set of lemons. If they are honest and apologetic about their mistakes, most customers will be understanding and won’t stiff them on the tip. Giving attitude is not the way to go, especially when the patrons really haven’t been rude to you first. If you think we were annoying, complain about us after we leave. That’s what snarky coworkers and blogging are for.
You know who I don’t like? People who adopt inane, unlivable life philosophy catchphrases and actually purport to live by them. I went out on a date once that could only have been worse had it ended with criminal charges (which most likely would have been murder charges, against me, for ripping his throat out simply to get him to shut up). This particular date was multi-faceted in its nearly comical badness, beginning with the fact that he was 45 minutes late to pick me up from the metro stop. And it was raining. When I got into his car he told me that he hoped I wasn’t mad that he was late, he had been working from home and lost track of time, but that if I was mad, I would get over it.
I’m fairly certain that at one point two guys were hitting on my date and even though he doesn’t swing that way, he was such an attention whore that he ate that shit up with a spoon while I sat by twiddling my thumbs. At one point when we were walking up stairs he slapped my ass. He spent a solid hour telling me, from start to finish, the dramatic story of his ex-fiance and how she came to be his ex. He prodded me for information on my exes (which is a pretty weird first date manuever) and after I mentioned one who had a Hispanic first name, he started interrupting me every time I referred to that ex to say, “Pedro,” which was not my ex’s name. Nothing like a little racist humor to break the ice.
He lived in DC and I live about 45 minutes NOT in DC, so he kept buying me drinks even though I said I was good and reminded me roughly 100 times that I was welcome to stay at his place and shouldn’t even risk taking the metro to my car and then driving from there. You can’t blame a guy for trying to get some ass, but you can arguably blame him for being so obvious about his efforts to use alcohol and a missed metro train to do it. I kept saying I should really be heading home and he kept saying he had one more awesome place to take me to.
The last stop on the awesome train was a bar patronized soley by black patrons, and I am perhaps the whitest person alive. I don’t mean culturally white, although I’m pretty white in that respect too, but I mean I am literally nearly transperent, a la Nicole Kidman, so I have the kind of whiteness that stands out even to a crowd of white people. This guy was white too, and he claimed to frequent the bar, but when we walked in and were the only white people there, time ceased. I know it’s impossible to say this without sounding kind of racist, but I’m really not racist, I really do have friends of every color, exes of every color, etc. Still, we’re talking severly awkward moment here. I wouldn’t have blamed any patron of that bar for turning to his neighbor and being all, “You think these crackers got lost? DC tourists?”
As we stood awkwardly at the bar, he proceeded to tell me how beautiful my hair is and started stroking it, running his hand through the hair around my face. Then he said, “You look really uncomfortable that I’m touching you like this,” and proceeded TO CONTINUE DOING IT ANYWAYS.
The real clincher though was when he started on about his motorcycle and skydiving, then said, “People always think I’m crazy for being such a daredevil, but my philosophy is you have to live in the moment, so I don’ t worry about what might happen.”
This is not a viable life philosophy unless you’re Paris Hilton or you’ve been born into royalty, and even for Paris, living in the (let’s make a night vision tape of us fucking) moment has consequences. You know why living in the now doesn’t work? Let’s imagine my day today if I constantly lived in the moment. I would probably walk into the cute new intern’s office, lock the door, and fuck him on the desk. There’s a glass panel next to the door so everyone walking by would see what we were doing, you say? I say, even hotter. That’s assuming I even came to work today, which I wouldn’t have, because I would still be living in the moment of sleeping my ass in. I would have gone ahead and bought the $435 dress I covet from Nordstrom’s because I wanted it. Credit card bills, you say? Not in this moment, say I. Of course I could probably get away with living in the moment for 30 days tops before collections would be hunting my ass down and that intern would have sent the police to my door. I wouldn’t have any of my degrees because I usually would have chosen smoking pot, sleeping, or shopping over attending class. Or all 3.
Point being, no one can truly live in the moment because we have to do certain things like earn money or go to school or visit grandma even though she’s weird and her last tenuous grip on reality is her relationship with her cats. We do these things because we live in a society that requires them, and we do them so can we get to those special moments worth really living in. But those moments are not every moment of every day, and I hate people that talk about how they live in the now. It’s the kind of bullshit guys hoping to get laid spout to impress a girl by making her think he’s dangerous and exciting and worth boning. It’s crap. From a first date guy’s perspective though, waxing poetic about the value of living in the moment does make some sense. That jackass really believed his own hype, but touting the benefits of making thoughtless decisions with complete disregard for future consequences does seem a relatively sound strategy for a guy prowling for pussy.
Road rage has become kind of a jokey cliche, but I experience a mild form of it on a daily basis. At least 50% of drivers are total jackholes. Some are ignorant, some are 90 and unwilling to part with their last vestige of freedom, but the ones that really infuriate me are the people whose manner of driving conveys an aggressive sense of entitlement. These people must be aware that everyone on the road is trying to get some place. We don’t drive around aimlessly for shits and giggles, especially during rush hour. We are all trying to get to work, get home, whatever, but this brand of asswipe driver believes that his needs trump yours and everyone else’s. And he doesn’t mind letting you know it.
Case in point: I was driving home from work the other day, during rush hour, but it was one of those blessed days when traffic was actually moving. The only backups were in the exit lanes, but everywhere else traffic was clipping along. I was approaching an exit where a long line of cars had formed to get off, but it wasn’t my exit so I was whizzing by.
I was not in the exit lane, nor was I in the lane from which you can veer right to go onto the exit or stay straight. I was in the next lane over. Both the exit lane and the next lane over which also feeds into the exit were backed up, but hey, not my problem. I have drawn a helpful diagram:
I’m speeding by when all of a sudden the SUV in front of me drops her speed to like 15 miles an hour. I have to break suddenly and I’m all like, wtf is going on? Turns out the skank in the SUV needs to get off on that exit, but because she suffers from delusional entitlement syndrome, she was too good to get in line like everyone else and is now trying to cut into the line right at the exit. She slowed down in this attempt roughly 6 car lengths before the actual exit.
On principle, this is super obnoxious. Who the fuck is this woman? What makes her so important that she feels justified in bypassing all the regular folk patiently waiting their turn? Is she is in labor? Is she on fire?
Besides being obnoxious, this is dangerous. Since traffic was moving at regular speed in the non-exit lanes, practically coming to a stop so she could weasel her way to the head of the line forced me to drastically slow down my speed, and the person behind me to do so, and so on. All that sudden speed-dropping could easily result in an accident, and the likelihood of an accident increases if the cars she is attempting to cut off decide they are having none of that and try to block her bitch-ass (which is what I would do in that position, and have done many times). No matter how you look at it, skank made a bitch move and was wrong to do it.
So I beeped at her, as I am wont to do in these situations. I beep because I feel it’s necessary that jackass drivers suffer the consequences of their actions, whether that be the accident they will inevitably cause someday or the admittedly mild consequence of having another driver inform them through vehicular channels of communication that they are acting like douches. I beeped long and I beeped hard, because I don’t believe in those bullshit love-tap style beeps that timid people like my grandma use on the rare occasions when they muster up enough balls to refuse to silently put up with crap. I beeped at the SUV right at the moment when some poor sap either too afraid to protest or too preoccupied by his cell phone to notice left enough room for her to wedge her ginormous gas-guzzler into the lane, and so as I passed her and the beep was still echoing in the air, she turned full around in her seat (also dangerous, I should add) to give me a serious showcasing of crazyface.
I’m talking full on eyeball-bulging, forehead-vein-popping, tower-shooter crazyface. Without words, her face managed to say “no you di-int!” and “I am one batcrap crazy motherfucker” all at the same time. It was during my examination of her crazyface, followed by own subsequent “no you di-int!” (because seriously, you’re driving like a fuckwad but you want to look at ME like I’m out of line for beeping at you?) that I realized I know this woman.
Her name is Tamatha and I used to work with her, and she is one of those women who takes pride in being the kind of woman who pulls out a crazybitchface at a moment’s notice. She is very easily offended by the audacity of other people, like say, the audacity of her boss to expect her to actually work when she comes to work, or the audacity of me to expect her to bring her building-access badge to work on a daily basis because the building must comply with certain security standards so showing up with your badge is part of your responsibility as an employee.
(Side note: The last time I actually spoke to Tamatha was at my old job during my last week there, and she had forgotten her badge and thus had to come to the front desk and ask me for a temp. Whever I gave out temp badges I always said, “It just needs to be returned to me by 5:30 today,” because it did. When I said that to her that last time, she replied, “Yes, 5:30, I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me, heard it before,” all snippy-like. I wanted to say, “Well apparently I do need to tell you because you know you are expected to bring your badge to work, yet you failed to do so, and the fact that you are so very familiar with the spiel I give to badge-less idiots indicates you are a repeat offender, so the least you can do is not be snippy with me and have some shame you worthless cunt,” because it was my last week there and I really didn’t give a fuck anymore about even attempting to maintain the ruse of cordiality. But then it was my last week there and I really didn’t give a fuck anymore so I couldn’t muster up enough rage to even bother.)
So we’ve established that Tamatha is both an obnoxious co-worker AND an obnoxious driver (no surprise there). This would be just an amusing little anecdote to share with my friends who also used to work with her or (poor things) still do, except for one fun fact. When I quit that hellhole, I took a job with the company next door. Literally. Like, we share the same parking lot. Chances were that I would see Tamatha again someday. And I did. Two days later.
My friend Michelle (who also once worked with me and Tamatha) met me that Friday after work at my office. We were in the parking lot and another friend of ours was there talking to Tamatha. He and Tamatha said their goodbyes and then I spoke to him for a minute, during which time Tamatha started talking to Michelle. I didn’t know it until afterwards, but she actually said to Michelle, and this is a quote, “I need to talk to Miss THANG over there.” No really, she did.
I said goodbye to my buddy and walked over to Michelle and Tamatha/SUV skank, and the ensuing conversation went like this:
Tamaskank: Well hello. How are YOU? (But it wasn’t a friendly inquiry. It was very aggressive and the way she said it made me realize instantly that she was planning on discussing the traffic incident.)
Me: I’m great! How are YOU? (But it wasn’t a friendly inquiry. I was intentionally over-exuberant to the point of sarcasm.)
Tamabitch: You beeped at me on 66 the other day. (The tone was admonishing, like a mother reprimanding a child, plus a dash of feigned astonishment thrown in there for good measure, as if to say, “Why would anyone ever beep at me?”)
Me: Oh really? (I knew full well that I had, when I had, and why I had.) You must have been driving like an asshole.
Tamawhore: Excuse me, I was just trying to get off on my exit to go home…
Me: Oh right, right. I remember. You were the SUV that waited until the last possible moment to get into the exit lane you needed to be in because you didn’t want to wait in line like everybody else.
Tamahoe: I was trying to get over.
Me: But instead of getting into the lane where there was an actual opening, at the end of the line, you were cutting people off to bypass the line. Traffic in the other lanes was moving. It’s dangerous to drop your speed like that. You could have caused an accident.
Tamasshole: But you beeped at ME.
Me: I would have beeped at anyone driving like that. I would have beeped at my mother if she drove like that.
Tamadouche: Well, you should be careful. You never know, you could be beeping at a crazy person.
*I know I beeped at a crazy person because bitch, you are crazy for even attempting this conversation with me. Also, note how this is both a veiled threat AND an attempt to make it look like she is doing me a favor by warning me about this possibility. I have to give her credit where credit is due on that.
Me: You never know, the person you cut off could be crazy. The person driving behind you who has to slam on her brakes could be even crazier.
The best part of all this was when Michelle interjected. Michelle is quite possibly the least confrontational person I know. Shit like this makes her as uncomfortable as a whore in church. And yet, when I restated for Tamatha her actual actions instead of allowing her to get away with her explanation that completely left out the part where she was being a total dick, Michelle said, “If it was me behind you I would have done worse than beep at you.”
AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Priceless! How fucking great is Michelle right now?
But seriously, can you believe that shit? Did she honestly expect me to apologize for beeping at her? For serious? Just because you happen to be someone I know does not absolve you of the sin you committed. You drove like a douche, I treated you like one. How dare you try to confront me about it. I think she thought I would be timid and that she could scare me into apologizing because she’s such a ghetto bitch that I should cower before her. I find it insulting that she thought she could intimidate me. I am not that easily intimidated. Just because I’m not ghetto does not mean I’m not a bitch. I’m just an educated, classy bitch, and guess what Tamacunt? We’re the worst kind of bitch there is. Trust.
You know who I’m not a fan of? People that tell me to smile. Setting aside for a moment the fact that I’m seated at a central location and it’s my job to greet visitors all day, I can say with certainty that I am not the only person who frequently falls victim to this. You know the kind of person I’m talking about, the one who moseys on over to your cubical, peeks in over the top as you go about your daily business and says, in an annoyingly upbeat voice, “Smile!”
I’m not really clear as to what this person’s intentions are. I suppose it’s entirely possible that the perpetrator of this crime of irritation is geniunely hoping to brighten your day by suggesting that you smile, in which case, that person is at worst legitimately mentally challenged and at best a social retard. Even if we give this person the benefit of the doubt and assume him/her to be sincere, the statement “Smile” is an indictment AND a command, both of which are annoying. The clear implication is that you have an unappealing, sourpuss look on your face, which obviously doesn’t offend you because you don’t look at your own face all day long, but apparently you’re expected to adjust your countenance to the preference of others. I think that’s bullshit.
I also think the idea that you would be smiling whilst sitting alone and completing office tasks is bullshit. What are you, the Joker? It’s natural for a person to keep his face in a relaxed state, and that state of relaxation does not a smile include. Smiling works your facial muscles. You wouldn’t sit at your desk with your arm flexed Popeye-style all day long, because that would be stupid and it would hurt. The same principle applies to the face. This annoyance isn’t confined to the workplace–the “Smile!”-er has been known to strike at parties, bars, you name it. I think most “Smile!”-ers are just looking for something to say, a way to start a conversation, but as a general rule any conversation is going to go better if you don’t annoy the other person right off the bat.
Because the desk that I sit at all day is roughly 20 feet from the main entrance to the building, people walk past me constantly, and there seems to be a prevailing notion that every time someone sees me there should be a smile on my face. I smile and greet people in the morning and I tell them “Good night” on their way out. The same people often walk by me multiple times in one day, and it is rare that more than 2-3 minutes pass without someone walking by. I am not going to have a perma-grin on my face for 8 hours, nor am I going to greet someone anew each of the 7 times he walks within my eye line. And if I did have a big Chesire Cat smile on my face at all times without cause, people would think I was a half-wit. Or that I was being blatantly insincere and saracastic. I find most people would rather you be stupid than sarcastic, but either way, I’m not fucking doing it all damn day long.
I also have a sneaking suspicion that “Smile!”-ers prey on women and not men, and I think it’s the result of a sexist notion deeply ingrained in our society that women are expected to be cheery and perky and men are not. If a man is sitting at his desk working with a straight face, he is perceived to simply be occupied with serious, manly business. A woman without a smile, however, must be having a bad day, PMS-ing, or most likely, upset over a man. Smiling is also taken as a sign of polite submission, and lord knows women are expected to be submissive in the workplace.
Of course the double edge of that sword is that the women who are smiley and bubbly all the time are often perceived as being ditzy, and god forbid a woman is too friendly, because then she must be a slut. I also realize that you may have encountered female “Smile!”-ers in your life, and I would argue that they too are playing out sexist roles sublty kept in place by a patriarchal society, even though they probably don’t realize that themselves.
Okay, I’m done with the feminist rant, although I’m pretty sure there have been studies that totally back me up on this. I’m too lazy to find them though. You know us women, totally incompetent, just sitting around filing away at our fingernails. Okay, really, now I’m done. The moral of the story is, unless you have a camera in your hand and I’ve agreed to be in the picture, or you are gifting me with a large sum of money or Bradley Cooper, don’t tell me to smile.