In which I’m feeling bitchy, so I’m going to bitch.
1.) First of all, that rain? Isn’t just rain. There’s fucking snow in it. I know this because I just rode my bike to work in it, and now I’m cold and wet and my space heater died so I’m going to stay this way for an hour or so and it sucks.
2.) No matter how many times or ways I quit smoking, I fail. I’m generally pretty good at most of the things I try, but let me tell you: I suck at this. Research is showing I’ll probably need a support group to get this thing done. (And a move to an ashram where I would never be able to smoke. And someone to beat me if I broke down and tried. Ugh.)
3.) Because I can’t stop exposing my various mucous membranes to smoke and all its attendant immuno-suppressing toxins, I’m coming down with another. Goddamned. Cold.
4.) To stave off this impending cold, I had soup and juice for dinner and then slept 12 hours last night. I spent so much time resting I practically have bed sores. My bones hurt from lying down.
My throat hurts when I swallow anyway. (Yes, I destroyed and threw out my smokes. Again. I don’t even really know how I managed to come into possession of them; it just happened.)
5.) Forty to sixty percent of the people I talk to on the phone every day at work are selfish, mean, childish, and ignorant. They have no self-control. They insult my intelligence, they scream at me, they refuse to listen when they don’t like my answers, they want me to magically fix their settings over the phone with no effort on their part. They’re mean. They pitch fits like toddlers hearing the word no for the first time, and they expect me to listen like an adoring parent. Well, you know what? Fuck that. I don’t even think kids are cute, so I find that sort of ego in an adult absolutely appalling.
I think I’m developing customer service anxiety. I am becoming afraid to answer my phone or press ‘play’ on voice mails because I don’t want to get dumped on.
The rest of the people are nice enough, though. Or, if not nice, at least they act they way you expect adult human people to act: they try to work with you. They listen, even if it’s a little complicated or boring. Even if they get frustrated, they say so and continue to make an effort until the issue is solved. They ask questions. They ask you to repeat things if they’ve become lost. They can go three minutes without complaining, arguing, or gossiping.
You know: normal, grown-up people. I love them.
6.) I’m developing anxiety about Mondays, when eighty percent of my customers are assholes because the company is closed on Sunday and they can’t get support for one day and none of them have discovered how to use the vast, wonderful internet to look up shit they want to know. Which is, after all, essentially all I do for a goddamned living:
I haven’t even been employed for a year yet and already I need a vacation. I used to adore this kind of work! What happened to everybody? Is the world really this pinched and cruel and selfish, or is it just my customers?
7.) I have a large, painful blemish beneath my lip. You can see the damn thing from 40 paces.
I’m 43 years old; I should not have nasty zits like a high school kid. And not because I’m better than them, but because it isn’t fair that my hormones are giving me both 23-day cycles and fucked up acne.
8.) I hate search engine specialization.
Imagine this: a 91-year-old man can’t use a particular web site; gets a really weird error you’ve never heard of that doesn’t bring up any hits when you search it. You want him to try another browser, but he hasn’t got one. You want to walk him through downloading and installing, say, Chrome, the easiest goddamned browser in the world to install, but after half an hour you find you can’t.
Why? Because you can’t duplicate his search engine results from the string “download chrome” in Bing or whatever the fuck he’s using, so you can’t tell him which item on a page of items to click on, and it’s dangerous because he doesn’t know how to read you the URL so you don’t know if he’s installing real software or malware. God knows you can’t afford to say, “Well, I don’t know what you’re looking at, but sure, go ahead, install whatever it is that might be Firefox 8.0 or might be malicious malware,” because the last thing you want is his 60-something asshole lawyer son crawling through the VoIP tunnel to rip out your ovaries because “YOU TOLD HIM TO INSTALL A VIRUS!!!! HE SAID YOU DID!!!” because that’s the sort of shit that happens these days.
9.) I can’t. Talk. Any. Fucking. Slower. I am constitutionally unable to speak fewer than ten words a minute. Each time you interrupt me to scream, “Slow down! You talk too fast! I’m elderly!” when I’m already essentially parodying a sloth, it just makes me want to help you even less than I already do.
Your handicap isn’t age, it’s laziness. If you try, even a little, I swear I will get your problem solved. I swear to God. I’m really good that this.
I am the only person in my department; I do my best to accommodate everyone who wants my help, but you are not entitled to extraordinary treatment just because you think you are. I do not give a shit that you’re elderly or disabled. If you STFU, you may find it easier to listen. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
10.) I’ve been doing tech support for the better part of a dozen years. I do make mistakes, of course, but rarely. I’ve forgotten more about this shit than you’ll ever know. In the two minutes you’ve been ranting about how goddamned inconvenienced you’ve been by your first world problems, I’ve launched five windows and run multiple tests and know more about your situation than you do.
I know you think I’m an asshole because the world conspired to not give you your way, but in fact I’m very nice to anyone who shows signs of thinking about trying, and when I interrupt your bitch-fest it’s because I’m more interested in getting your problem solved and you off my phone than I am in your incessant, childish, stupid complaining.
Note that it doesn’t escape me that I myself am complaining right now, but the medium is different. I’m bitching on my web site, where exposure is optional, and not over the phone at a technician who just works there and can’t tell you to go fuck yourself like you deserve.
11.) Listen, lady: everybody gets spam. There’s no such thing as a zero-spam email address! My company deletes at least 50% of the mail that hits our border — it’s not like we’re not trying to protect you — but yes, you’ll still get junk mail! Everybody gets junk mail! Jesus H. fucking Christ, IT’S NOT PERSONAL.
The Internet is full of assholes and when you signed up for that free Fingerhut catalog they sold your goddamned address. What the hell do you think I can do about it? Just delete the stupid mail and move on with your day… or, hey, I know: cancel your fucking account already! According to my logs, I’ve been explaining to you through 14 email exchanges the hows and whys of spam, and still you persist in your belief that my company is fucking up because you get a few spam messages each day!
You want a spam-free email account? Build yourself a private network with nobody else on it.
12.) The grumpy old man routine is not even remotely charming. Seriously. Where did you ever get the idea you’re entitled to be such a raging prick?
13.) Guess what. I’m not only teching your problem, but I’m processing incoming tech and billing email, electronic payments, and live chats at the same time. I might also be testing mobile broadband devices, too. If I can pull all this off and be civil, why can’t you?