Bullets Over the South Side

Graham and Ian are competing in ALIVE Magazine’s Top Chef St. Louis thing on Sunday, and I think you should all show up and hang out.  Provided you vote for them, of course, which you totally will because we brainstormed in the Burger Lab (ahem, Ian and Shannon’s kitchen) last night and it is good.  Trust.  I made a couple of tiny suggestions (one will be used, the other fucking should be because I’m a marketing genius), so even if you don’t know Graham and Ian, you should be there because .6% of that burger was me, baby, ME!  And we can have some drinks on a Sunday together.

After the Burger Lab sessions, Graham dropped me off at my place.  Just as we approached my porch, we heard 10 quick gunshot bursts.  Gunshots are nothing new in my neighborhood, but it’s still a little bit scary and sad to hear them, especially so many at once.  Even though, as Graham said, “probably only three of those hit a target.”

The sounds on my street are normally bad hip hop and weird Korean translations of Bruce Springsteen records, so when I tweeted about hearing GWAR yesterday evening, I got a little excited.  Then I realized it was coming from the high school football game behind my house and had nothing to do with anyone who could have been involved in my little corner of Beirut.  Which is a shame.  Because I’d rather hear GWAR every single day than a 10-round clip on my block ever again.

People in general are pissing me off.

Maybe I’m just a slow learner, but even after working in customer service on-and-off for approximately 12 years, I am still shocked that any reasonable human being would dial a number and begin screaming at the complete stranger who picks up the phone.

I just…I just can’t understand the compulsion to be vicious to someone you don’t even know for no other reason than they’re not standing directly in front of you and are therefore incapable of smacking the freshness right out of your mouth.  Because that’s what I want to do to everyone who says something shitty immediately after I ask if I can help them.  How can I not?  Who does that kind of thing?

I’ve dialed angry before.  Recently, my bank canceled and re-issued by debit card without notifying me.  Since I was unaware, I took Graham to Modesto for his birthday.  The server returned to the table and informed me that my card would not go through.  Of course I had enough money in there because I am insane about saving, so I asked her to try and run it again.  Again, it was declined.  Thus began my panic attack/crazed drive around St. Louis while trying to call my bank/find a usable ATM/ decide how on earth I was supposed to deal with this situation while Graham sat in a restaurant alone on his birthday.  (It should be mentioned that the last time something like this happened, it was when my now ex-husband drained my checking account and began his very successful campaign to default on every loan in existence.  So clearly, nervous problems.)  After three of my calls were dropped while the reps were allegedly transferring me to other people, I transcended freaked out and morphed into I am a hellbeast and I will burn your house down.

BUT.  I did not yell at the person who answered the phone.  I quickly explained that I had been disconnected three previous times and was currently trying desperately to get cash while my boyfriend waited in a restaurant, and that this was the most embarrassing thing that had happened to me so far this year.  I then apologized in advance if my voice were to rise, and acknowledged that it most certainly sucked to have a job where you’re forced to apologize for stuff you didn’t even do.

I only yelled afterwards, and only because the person I ended up speaking to was totally useless and snotty and implied that all of this was my fault.  Also, in order to get cash I had to go to Schnuck’s and pay for a 12-pack of beer with a $40 check.  You know, like a classy person does.

My point is that I didn’t start out yelling for the following reasons:

1. I try not to be a dick, like, all the time.
2. I was aware that the person answering the phone was probably not the person who canceled and re-issued my debit card without telling me.
3. Treating someone poorly doesn’t usually motivate them to be nicer to you.
4. Treating someone poorly because you think their job is to be nice to you no matter what is very foolish, indeed.

It’s just a shitty thing to do to someone.  I’m saying it firsthand because it’s my job and I’m sick of being yelled at all day by people who think that having a phone excuses them from having manners.  I’m also saying it because people are pretty rude in general and that has to stop.

I’ve seen it in every job I’ve ever had.  Even when I don’t have to answer the phone!  When I was bartending, Phone Yellers became People Who Came Out To Have A Bad Time.  When I had an office with a door and a window and someone to answer the phones for me, Phone Yellers and People Who Came Out To Have A Bad Time became I Need To Speak With Your Supervisor.  Guess what, asshole?  I am the supervisor!

The thing is, everyone is basically just trying to do their job.  Mine and most other people’s job consist of having to provide some type of assistance to others.  Our jobs don’t consist of having to take your shit because you’re having a bad life.  So be respectful of the fact that we’re all doing this to make a living.  Our jobs aren’t indicative of a character flaw or karmic failing.  I don’t want to deal with you any more than you want to deal with me, so the sooner you accept that and act like a decent person, the better off we’re all going to be.

And quit shooting each other.  Obviously.


(cross-posted to ephemeraetc.blog-city.com.  Less than 20 days until I’m on WordPress for good!)

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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