Persons by any other name

I’ve been in the people business for a long, long time. As a person who has served other persons in shops and call centers, I’ve talked to all types of folks from every segment of society and after all this time, I have grown to kinda, sorta hate people. So many people out there are jackasses. Do you live in a midwestern suburb? After you unfolded two entire entire tables of merchandise, I probably sold you a shirt for your kid. Are you a former mid-nineties hipster? Dude, that was me selling you that Pearl Jam CD. (Remember when they had top ten hits? Remember when there were CDs?)  How about a greedy mother trying to get free toys for your bratty kid? Me again. In between those gigs I sold clothes in a boutique for no money or benefits and at another job, I got yelled at by smug plastic surgeons. As of late, I’ve had the pleasure of being yelled at by civil servants. I’ve got to be very careful here because I risk betraying confidentiality and possibility of losing my job or at the very least, being chewed out by my company’s CEO. So why am I risking writing about some of the jackasses who have yelled at me on a regular basis? Well, direct your eyes below:

I am a manager at this company for civil servants and was transferred a call to speak to a customer who wanted to complain. To set up, let me explain that the company I work for just recently changed it’s entire website, which required a change in the look of the site, the logins and passwords and such. Suffice it to say, the customer base was not very happy about the turn of events. Here is the blow-by-blow of the conversation:

Me: “This is Michelle, how may I help you?”

Jackass: Uh, yeah, about the new site.”

Me: “Yes sir?”

Jackass: “Well, on there you guys say I “should” change my password to have a number and a special character and all that nonsense.”

Me: “Yes sir, for security reasons, you must now have all those characters. It’s for your protection.”

Jackass: “Well when someone tells me I “should” do something, that does not mean I “should” do it. I don’t “have” to do anything somebody tells me I “should” do. Why do you have the word “should” on the site? Why not use the word “must”? If you keep “should” there, then that means I have options and don’t have to use all that character nonsense.”

Me: “Well, maybe the site could say: “have to” or “must,” but the fact remains that the site requires you to have the special characters.”

Jackass: “When someone tells me I “should” do something, that does not mean I “should” do it. Wouldn’t you say that’s right?”

Me: “Well sir, it’s a matter of semantics, but you still have to use all the characters.”

Jackass: “When someone tells me I “should” do something, that does not mean I “should” do it.”

Me: “Well sir, I will certainly pass your comments along, however, I cannot guarantee the wording will change.”

Jackass: “I’m a grown man and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.” It needs to be changed because when someone tells me I “should” do something, that does not mean I “should” do it.”

Me: “Like I said, I will pass your comments along. Thank you for calling and happy new year.”

Yes, that’s right, that jackass called on New Year’s Eve to complain about the word “should!” And come to find out, this was his second time calling and being a complete capital letters JACKASS! He must have had nothing better to do than to complain about something so inconsequential. In my many years in serving persons, I’ve got scores of People are Stupid Jackass stories. Like the time a mother called the toy company I worked for to lodge a complaint about the appalling toy we put on the market called “Little Nazis.” Now that is a great reason to call a company and complain. A Third Reich toy for children? Now, that’s bad. Call Ralph Nader! Call Tipper Gore! But, you see, the thing is, the toy was not Joseph Mengele’s Lil’ Doctor Kit, it was one of many little plush animals with knotted tails and/or ears. For instance, a pig would have a knot for a tail. They were adorable. And they were called “Little Knotties.” Mama Jackass couldn’t read. Good Lord!

Now back to my most recent jackass. Why did he keep repeating the same thing over and over? And why couldn’t he put that same energy into helping the homeless or volunteering at an old folks home instead of calling me? I just know this guy never wrote his congressperson about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan or never wrote complaining about the B.P. oil spill. This is the same mentality of the freaks that signed petitions and picketed outside Macy’s after the department store bought Marshall Field’s and changed the name to Macy’s. And this was during the height of the war in Iraq. See why I hate people?

Now before you do it, I’ll ask myself the million dollar question: “If you hate people so much, why do I continue to be a person who serves other persons?”  That’s a good question. Not to mention a difficult one to answer. And I’m not going to answer it. Not just yet, anyhow. Keep checking in for the answer, though, eventually, I might come up with one. Also, if you’re lucky I’ll tell you about the customer who threatened to sue if we didn’t send her every piece of merchandise in our catalog for free. God, I do hate people!

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