Christmastime in the Emerald City

{May 2, 2008}   Let Me Tell You About My Mean Side

So I’ve found myself a little stuck with writing lately, only because I’ve been generally less pissed off thanks to my awesome boyfriend and my overall improved ability to not let the world’s jackassery spin me into a trauma that’s much less eloquent outside these virtual perameters. And unfortunately, it’s when I’m pissed off that I write my best. It gives me the outlet to be snappy, sharp-witted, and sarcastic in my observations; to provide helpful suggestions as to storage places within various bodily orifices for the idiodic ideas of the masses; in other words, the chance to be a bitch. 

On a day to day basis, I am actually very nice. Karma and such – I go out of my way to help friends and complete strangers where I can. Even when I call someone an asshole on the subway, it’s for the greater good. But there is a side of me that just really gets a kick out of being mean. Not to “people” really, because when I get pissed off enough, you’re no longer human, and I can be as mean as I want. This doesn’t work well in person though, because people cry and leak and stuff and then they’re human again and I feel like I’ve stepped on a starving African orphan. With AIDS. 

But if they don’t blubber and wail, or if they are distant somehow I’m GREAT. On the phone, for example, I can be as aggressive and mean as I wish I could be in real life. I had a super proud bitch moment a few weeks ago. Our internet went down and everyone was pissed. After an afternoon/evening of disarray, we figured out that a single phone number had been disconnected by mistake. The next morning it was my job to get on the phone with Bell (who we no longer use) and figure out what the hell happened. The fun part is that these people on the other end of the phone aren’t real to me, so I had an absolute blast. “No, we aren’t waiting for a tech, 4-6 hours is unacceptable. I don’t think you realize the severity of the situation or precisely how much it has cost my clients so far. I need to know why this line was cut, and I need to know immediately. No, that’s not good enough. Your employee number please? Listen, we’re going to get a MASSIVE bill for tech support, and I need to know who’s going to pay for it. Yes, I realize you are just doing your job, but so am I and I have 60 people breathing down my neck – you have one, me. Then put me through to someone who can.” One hour and five different phone monkeys later I was put through to someone who told me exactly who’s fault it was, and it was AWESOME. A fantastic feeling of accomplishment. Me, *I* figured out who’s fault it was. And it was an important person. Delicious.

Last weekend, my internet blipped for thirty seconds. Twenty minutes on the phone later, I was discounted up the ass. “I’m sorry but this is not at all what I plan to continue paying for. You’re automated menu has mentioned internet difficulties in my area since the minute I signed up. But I give you the benefit of the doubt and am left with unreliable service in return. Do you think I feel like a valued customer at the moment? No, I don’t. No, discounting me for the offline time is not acceptable. It doesn’t matter that I couldn’t get online for thirty seconds. It matters greatly that for several weeks, I have been unable to write an email, or transfer funds between my bank accounts (right, because I’ve got SO many with SO MUCH money in them) or go about any of the activities I pay for the convenience of having online access to without wondering if my internet will go down. Really? That’s what I’m paying for? One more thing to worry about? I want these charge reversed. Your name and employee number please” So the bill comes along with two months worth of phone charges, and only ONE month of internet charges. Because my internet went down for thirty seconds. I wasn’t even online at the time. If I hadn’t been in the room, I wouldn’t have noticed the little light blip off and then on again. SWEET. Next time they ask if they may know to whom they have the pleasure of speaking, those faceless little monkeys will be calling me Princess HottenTots.

Notice the absence of any swearing or personal attacks. These are ineffective measures in getting what you want, because they make you look desperate and flawed. I’m right, and perfect. The insects on the phone, they are not. And don’t give me shit for dehumanizing people, you all know you hate those headset wearing liars. They do lie, they hold out the serious discounts for the people who demand them. And if you are one of these people, well hey, I would probably hold the door for you out in the real world somewhere, but as soon as you adjust your little foam covered mouthpiece, your ass is MINE.

In real life, I sometimes get a rare chance to fuck with people legitimately. Because it’s not about being a bitch. I’m really an awfully nice person. But there’s that funny little side of me that needs to be let out once in a while, so if I’m given good reason to fuck around with someone, I’ll take it and laugh with glee. One of our very pleasant clients came up to my desk and said “I just got a call for someone asking for someone I used to work with. It’s a very unpleasant matter, and I don’t wish to speak with them. Is there any way to screen those calls out?” I said absolutely, it would be my pleasure, and proceeded to demonstrate: “Hello? No, I’m sorry but there’s nobody here by that name. No, you have a wrong number. I can’t imagine how you just spoke with him, there’s nobody here by that name. No, you weren’t just speaking with me. I can’t imagine what you dialed earlier, but you simply have a wrong number. No, you can’t. No. No. No. Well I hardly think your opinion of my personal character has any significance in the matter. Goodbye now.” He was quite pleased.

We’ve got someone in the office who likes me to screen people for her. She’s got me on instant messenger and will often send me instructions.

Client: “She’s here for an interview, I’m still trying to find an assisstant who isn’t a total retard. What does she seem like?”
Me: “Rather timid, really. You seem like you’re looking for someone aggressive. She seems frightened of me, and mispronounced your name.”
Client: “I don’t want her.”

“I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to reschedule your interview. She was called away a few moments ago, I just spoke to her on her cell phone. There’s no need to leave your resume, we’ll be in touch. Bye now.” Nothing personal. I don’t dislike you as a person. But you’re unnecessary, so you can continue being a pleasant individual elsewhere.

Client: “Thanks, you’re great. Can’t you be my assistant?”
Me: “I like realistic pay and benefits.”
Client: “Shit.”

The same client had someone show up a day or two ago. I greeted her very politely, asked who she was here to see, and then her name. I left a voicemail and within ten seconds received an instant message:

Client: “She had an appointment hours ago and didn’t show up. She’s been jerking me around and it’s wasting so much of my time and money. Get rid of her, feel free to be rude.”
Me: “Yes ma’am!”

Me: “Ma’am? Hi. Unfortunately, you missed your appointment this morning. So you won’t be able to speak with anybody. You’ll have to call and reschedule.”
Her: “But I just need to speak with her for five minutes.”
Me: “She’s unavailable. You were expected at 9:30 this morning, and it’s nearly noon.”
Her: “Yes, I was unable to come in. I just need a form. It’s very urgent, my court date is tomorrow.”
Me: “You should have called. She’s unavailable now, and won’t be available any time today.”
Her: “But my court date is tomorrow!”
Me: “Yeah, she’s STILL not available. You’ll have to call and reschedule.”
Her: “Okay, I will come tomorrow morning then.”
Me: “No. How do you know she’ll be here? You could drive all the way for nothing. Call and make an appointment, and show up on time.”
Her: “Can you make the appointment for me?”
Me: “No.”
Her: “Well then what time tomorrow she is here?”
Me: “I don’t know. Call to make an appointment with her.”
Her: “But my court date is tomorrow!”
Me: “Yes. It is. Call to reschedule. Thaaaank You!”

Saying thank you at the end of a sentence is a really good way to indicate that the conversation is over and the other party must now leave. And they can’t even say you were rude – they just didn’t like the answer you gave them.

Anyways, I’ve rambled enough. You see, the thing is, this sort of ability to see someone as not so much a human but more of a bundle of cells comes in very handy when you work for a corporation. Corporations are recognized legally as seperate entities – this being the benefit of incorporating. But if you look at a corporation as a seperate individual and run a few diagnostic tests, you’ll find that they are quite psychotic. Cold, emotionless, unable toform any lasting bonds. They will be super nice and bend over backwards for you as long as you have something they want, but the minute you bounce a cheque you’re dead to them. No love lost. Goodbye corporate luncheons, hello call to security the moment you step foot back in the door. As Talea put it so well “If I took my job personally, I’d be on the floor crying all day”. So it is really an asset to be able to detach yourself in this manner when you need to wring necks in order to find out who’s going to foot the mile high tech bill for pulling the plug on everyones life internet.

Outside of work, it’s considered a ‘problem’. A ‘symptom’ actually if you want to get up close and personal. It’s actually pretty nice that my job gives me an outlet for the dark side. But I figure I should probably work on other outlets as well. What if I don’t need to squeeze answers, discounts and apologies out of people? What if I start lashing out at people I like because I just haven’t gotten my bitch-fix lately? This is not good.

So I’ve decided on some new goals. For my very nice wish-I-could-fix-the-world side, I’d like to have my finances in good enough order by this approximate time next year so that I can buy one of those $100 lottery tickets that donates proceeds to childrens hospitals. And for my holy-shit-I-am-SO-good-at-bitching-people-out-and-secretly-really-LOOVVVE-it side, my goal is this:

I want to make a collections agent cry.

I know what you’re thinking, and it’s true: I would make an excellent collections agent. But I’ve been on the other end of that, and while I was never intimidated I know there are a ton of people who are just trying to make ends meet to feed their kids. So the morals of that don’t sit right with me. I want to use my evil for greater good. But I’ve already gotten rid of all the creditors in my life. So I need some Karma. If anyone has someone out there who owes them money, or who’s hassling them for money, let me know. Is the phone company threatening you? Is your internet bill astronomical? Well I can help, because I am good at being a bitch for constructive purposes.

It’s a new marketing campaign. Call me. Please.



The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Maytina says:

Brigitte not only brought a collections agent to tears, she got the boss to force the agent to write her a letter of apology. I told her she should frame it and put it up on the wall with all of Hal’s degrees.

If you ever change your mind about capitalism, let me know. Your affliction is something I had to develop over time, and it’s been of great use to me!

Josh says:

I’m going to sick you on people when we need a total bitch to straighten shit out, cause I really hate being a dick. But you’re a really big dick when you want to be. Wait,t hat means I love really big dick. Dammit, your post made me gay.

OMG I want your job!! I love getting paid for being mean to people. I like to be mean in a nice way, after I tell people they cant have what they want i then tell them to have a nice day to which they reply “I will because I’m going away from you”

Well I’ve never made a collections agent cry, but I did get one to hang up on me. 😈 That’s right, run home to your momma you little bitch. 😈

romi41 says:

“Even when I call someone an asshole on the subway, it’s for the greater good”….because I’ve met you and have gotten to know you, I know how entirely TRUE that is! Hahaha…and yo: I am not very good at bitching people out for deserved discounts, I may have to enlist your services…

@ purefnevyl: no kidding – it’s true even hear in the office, i really don’t have time to deal with everyones piddly little issues so unless you raise hell, you’re probably going to get ignored

@ maytina: that is an accomplishment indeed!!! i will congratulate her when i finally meet her! and yes, i’m completely capitalistic now that i’ve seen how the nicest person will lie to your face to save a few bucks. it’s just the cold hard truth 😦

@ le super sexy awesome boyfriend: you bet your ass you can sick me on people! telemarketers beware! shady telephone providers run for cover!

@ queenie: that is rad, you should totally start keeping score.

@ spiderman: collections agents aren’t people, they are the devil incarnate. feel free to threaten vigourously.

@ romi: actually, i must give talea even greater props on this one, she has inspired me to push asshole commuters and suck freebies out of any corporation that screws up in the slightest.

Maytina says:

I must tell a story now:

About a month ago, Dad was on his way down to the subway, when some douchebag came running through the crowd, elbowing people out of the way! Dad aligned himself through the crowd as he saw the elbower coming his way. He slipped his foot out ever so, and the douchebag went down like a bag of hammers and the entire 6pm crowd had to walk over him (and some on him). Ah, Dad, what can’t you teach us?

May, please tell your dad how much I heart him. Honestly, a more awesome character has yet to grace my presence in terms of kickassery upon those who deserve it so very, very much.

2lazydogs says:

I completely support your mean side. If I don’t have at least one bitchfest per day then someone is going to pay – which usually means a family member since I’m not terribly effective at being mean to perfect strangers. However, if a car-driving stranger catches me in the right moment – say, refusing to use the center lane for turning, making me wait too long in the drop off loop at school, etc – they are more than likely to get a middle finger or “Hey, asshole” outta me…and then my day is complete. Ahhhhh. (I’m really not a mean person…I AM mostly nice…but I’ve got to get that bitchiness out or it will overcome. Bwahahahaa!)

I’m still waiting for the opportunity to bitch out our phone company by telling them that I’m not about to stick my clients with a hefty tech bill just because one of their asshole lackeys set their coffee cup on the wrong goddamned button.

Josh says:

Uh, no you don’t understand woman. Telemarketers are MINE! I will go fucking Jimmy Hendrix experience psycho on a fucking telemarketer, but not on other people for some reason. I HATE telemarketers, but other people trying to fuck me over? Well I just hate phones. I can’t communicate on a phone very well. It freaks me out for some reason. I don’t even like talking to people I love who have good news for me if it’s on a phone. I guess that’s kind of dumb and crazy, but phones just freak me out for some reason.

Dude, I totally get the phone thing. I used to BE a telemarketer, you can imagine how harrowing that was for someone who hates the phone and also hates telemarketers! But okay, you can have dibs on people calling during dinner time to offer us a new roof. Ha, that’s actually how my stepmother answers the phone during dinner. “Hello? Yes, this is she. You better not be a telemarketer because I am in NO mood for a new roof.”

(P.S. I’m really glad you don’t like phones either because sometimes I come across as a jerk for not wanting to talk to anybody on the phone. I don’t think any of my family seem to grasp the concept that I don’t like calling or picking up the phone, not cause I don’t want to talk to them, but because I just don’t like the damn phone. So that’s awesome that neither of us are interested. Webcams are way better for us!)

Josh says:

I like webcams, i do fine with those, they’re like talking face to face. And I like emails and IM chats and all that. For some reason it’s just the disembodied voices that bother me.

I don’t like phones because I run out of things to talk about. People don’t naturally talk for that long uninterrupted. When we webcam or IM, there’s time to think about things to say or just stumble around all night looking at random websites. Phones suck.

kittymao says:

Dood, this was a great post. It’s actually nice to know that I ain’t alone in the world of “Sometimes-it-feels-GOOD-to-be-a-bitch” moods.
You do take the cake though.

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