I am not the most courteous person in the world. I almost always remember to say “thank you,” but I’m terrible at “please.” I think I feel like it’s implied. And it is. But I guess I should say it anyway. Then of course, there are the more blatant no-no’s like, “Fuck you, buddy!” or “Hi, how are you? You’re getting fat.” Nana, I’m talking to you. (Because she says that, not because she’s fat.) And what I just did, calling out my Nana just because she has a fondness for keeping the family informed of their various states of heftiness? That was just rude. Seriously, who raised me?
But there are worse things.
I just got off the phone with customer service and there was this whole rigmarole about how am I, and the day is so nice, and he is so fucking pleased to have this wonderful flower filled opportunity to serve me; and it was horrible. And it only happens on the phone. No one pulls that shit in person, because they would be killed. I don’t need to be thanked for my question; I just need the fucking answer.
Seriously, please don’t be that nice to me. I know we’re not really friends, mostly because none of my friends would ever utter such nonsense without sarcasm being involved. I know you don’t really hope I have an amazing day. I don’t think you hope I have a bad day, I just don’t think you care one way or the other. Honestly, I would much rather you help me quickly than waste ten minutes of my life by gushing pleasantries which are not actually pleasant because they’re pissing me off. Because this is not a personal relationship.
That doesn’t mean that “please,” and “thank you,” and “have a nice day,” are not acceptable to me, they are. But that’s it. Just basic quick little courtesies, not time consuming, annoying, could not possibly be sincere kinds of courtesies. I don’t mean to be an asshole. But I only have so much time left. Quit stealing it from me. If you really want me to have a nice day you’ll help me and hang up. Ok, you can say goodbye and I will too.
And that’s another thing: reciprocity. When you say, “I’ve been so happy to assist you today, it’s made my whole life and I actually just came in my pants, is there anything else I can do for you because I’m greedy and I want a second orgasm,” not only do I have to sit through you saying it, I have to say, “Uh…Thanks you too,” or “me too,” or fucking something along the lines of “right back atcha.” And it’s not true. I did not just come in my pants, because I am annoyed.
I don’t blame you. I’m not bitching about you. And I know it’s not your fault. I know they make you say these things. Not your fault. In fact, you have my sympathy. As excruciating as it is for me to hear all this bullshit on the random occasions when I have to call the cable company, or the phone company, or eeeesh the bank, you have to say these things every day, over and over like you’re stuck in a time loop a la Buffy or Mulder without the awesomeness of being Buffy or Mulder. You must get to the point where you cringe every time you open your mouth. It’s shitty. It’s all bureaucracy. Stupid rules thought up by people who have no idea what it’s like in the trenches. So we all get screwed.
But it’s going to be ok. Because I’ve invented a code word. Whenever you hear me, or anyone else say the word, you’ll know that you’re dealing with one of us, with someone who doesn’t expect you to jump through flaming hoops of salutation, you’ll know that it’s ok to just cut to the chase of what you do, what you really do, and that we will appreciate you all the more for it. That word is, “hi.”
Show this to your bosses. Forward it to HR. Not the part about the code word; that’s only for the revolutionaries.