Idiot of the Week: Think Before You Reply (All)

quickmeme.com

quickmeme.com

A belated congratulations to Jen and Gabi for their stellar additions to the Idiot of the Week Blog Hop. I can’t seem to keep up with the demands of a weekly blog hop, so for now I am returning to the old-fashioned approach of complaining about idiots at my leisure.

The most recent idiots to catch my eye did so literally, by sending 13 emails within one minute of each other. Reply All strikes again. It is a great invention, but in the wrong hands, it can only spell disaster. I’m not talking about the accidental use of reply all, where you send that, “Can you believe this guy, what a jackass” email to your whole office. That’s hilarious. (Unless it happens to you, in which case it is a total gut punch.)

No, I’m talking about the nitwits who intentionally reply all for the dumbest and most irrelevant shit imaginable. Have some discretion, for the love of God! Just ask yourself, “Is there any reason whatsoever that I need to share this with my entire office, or is it really only applicable to one person?” It’s that simple.

In my office, if someone will be out sick, a manager will email the whole team with this information. But then every Tom, Dick, and Harry feels the need to reply all with their well wishes.
“Get better soon, Frank!”
“Drink lots of fluids!”
“Aww, no fun! Feel better!”

Why does this call for reply all? I’m not the one who is sick, so why do I need to know what Bob’s advice for Frank is? Why do I need to see if Tom wants Frank to get better or not? I don’t! Leave my inbox alone! It’s not like we all need to be updated on what advice has already been dispensed. Hmm, well, Bob already told Frank to drink water, so maybe I’ll suggest tea specifically, or I could remind him not to play outside in the cold…

I was starting to wonder if I was the only person in the world who understood how to use reply all correctly when something happened that restored my faith in humanity.

I received a mass email from a woman I did not know asking if the meeting was still on for today. I was about to reply to her (just her) to let her know she had the wrong person when someone beat me to it. And someone else. And someone else. Eventually people stopped explaining and would just say ‘ditto.’ I think she gets it by now! No need for us ALL to do a roll call and confirm that she included not a single correct email. She probably just typed in the wrong group name and is now realizing it. I doubt she hand-entered 30 emails for a phantom meeting we all had nothing to do with. Use your heads!

One minute and thirteen reply all emails later, I was ready to throw my computer out the window when the 14th reply all said, “There is no need to reply all.” Then a 15th person replied all, one of the higher ups, saying, “Everyone—please STOP replying to all. Just delete the message.” Based on the font size and color, I really took this last email to say, “You are all so fucking stupid it makes me want to die. Please, STOP replying all like a pack of raging morons, just delete the message and get on with your lives. UGH!”

I was so excited I wanted to run down to his office and scream and pull my hair like he was one of the Beatles.

American screaming Beatles fansI almost replied all saying, “THANK YOU! You are my hero!” but I thought that would undermine the point. So out of solidarity, I said nothing.

Then a 16th person replied all, with the final word on the issue. “Will there be donuts at this meeting?”

And there you have it. My palm was restored to my face, and my faith in humanity…

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Would You Pass the Pencil Pickup Test?

I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life long-term. And anyone who tries to help me always asks the same question, “Well, what are you passionate about?” Yeah… I can see why you’d ask that, but I just think the chances are really slim that my answer to that question is going to connect directly with a career. What are you really expecting me to say?

“Well, Sally, I’m really passionate at looking at the big picture, making a list of action items and deadlines to achieve that big picture, and tracking them in Microsoft Access.”

“Omg, that’s perfect, you should be a project manager!!!”

“On the other hand, I’ve also always had this nagging feeling that I want to prepare profit and loss monthly statements, analyze budgets and review them, and compile other financial information.”

“What a coincidence, that is literally what accountants do, you’d love it!”

If it were that obvious, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I’m not a total idiot. “Gosh, I’m so passionate about helping sick people, I just don’t know how to translate that into a career!”

The things I’m passionate about aren’t real jobs. For example, I’m passionate about telling it like it is with a hint of sarcasm and caustic bitchiness. So I’d be great for a job where I stand at the entrance of an office building and harangue people who come in to work dressed inappropriately.

“Elastic-waist jeans…on a Tuesday? Retire. Now. You have obviously stopped trying.”

“You, in the short skirt, come here. Pick up this pencil I just dropped…. And I just saw your ass, you fail the Pencil Pickup Test! Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 dollars. Just go back to the gentlemen’s club from whence you came.”

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The Pencil Pickup Test – I think you know who’s failing here

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“Hey, yeah you pal, in the skinny leg khakis and grandpa sweater. This is an office, not a Fall Out Boy sound check. I don’t want to know what your calves are shaped like, get out of here with that.”

“Hey girl, love that sweater you are wearing – is that a gun with bullets coming out of it? Super edgy. But hey, given the shootings that happen like…every week…maybe that’s not the most work appropriate outfit. Maybe you can go home, pull your head out of your ass, and make a less ridiculous wardrobe choice, mmkay?”

To my knowledge, this job doesn’t exist, but it isn’t a bad idea. I’ve seen some wildly inappropriate outfits at work, but not once have I seen a manager reprimand someone for them. Because that is a very uncomfortable talk for a boss to have. “Candy, now I don’t know much about women’s shoes, but I think what you’re wearing are literally called ‘stripper heels.’ I heard somewhere that only sex workers wear clear plastic heels that are six inches high. We sell insurance here, not our bodies, so I’m going to have to ask you to change.”

Whether it’s telling someone she is dressed like a slut, or giving negative performance reviews, or firing someone, nobody likes to deliver the hard news. But I will do it. I volunteer for this dirty work.

theyvolunteer.tumblr.com

theyvolunteer.tumblr.com

I could be an Efficient Feedback Delivery Specialist – aka blunt bad news bitch.

“Kathy, word on the street is you sleep at your desk all fucking day. I don’t know why in the world we’d pay you for that, so…you’re fired. Obviously. Okay, good talk, take care!”

“Tammy, your numbers are great, but nobody likes that you shout orders at them from down the hall and around the corner, so you’re getting a ‘Fails to Meet Expectations’ for Communication this year. For next year, try to be less of a lazy bitch.”

It would be awesome.

What is your dream job that may or may not exist?

Of All the Gin Joints, in All the Towns, in All the World…

…and you idiots chose to hang out in front of my bathroom.

It seems like every time I go use the bathroom at work, there is a group of men standing right in front of the restroom door, shooting the breeze. Why? Why is this ‘the place to be.’ Do you enjoy the ambiance? Can’t get enough of that refreshing public bathroom scent? Or maybe this is a great place to pick up women?

“So, do you come here often?”

“Yes, about four times a day, ever since I started drinking a liter of water before lunch.”

Can you please.go.stand.SOMEWHERE ELSE!? I don’t know why it bothers me so much. Even though using the bathroom is a perfectly normal and acceptable thing to do, I always feel slightly embarrassed and ‘caught in the act’ if I have to make eye contact with someone as I walk in or out. No matter how hard I try to look normal, my eyes just scream, “I was just sitting on the toilet and we both know it, awkward!” I always blush and have some kind of “Busted!” look on my face.

And it’s not just that these guys loiter around the door. They stand right in front of it, as if they are guarding it. Like they are going to ask me to “answer me these questions three” before they let me pass. So I always have to awkwardly cut through their conversation to get inside. You’d think that would be a wake up call. Like, “Oh, haha, wow I am standing right in front of the door to the women’s restroom, like a fucking creep, maybe I should move over a foot or two.” But no.

Another layer of discomfort is added to the situation if the same group of guys is standing there when you walk in and when you walk out. I feel like the meter is running on me. Like their conversation is going to time stamp my trip to the bathroom. “Wow, she was in there that whole time? When she went in we were talking about Syria and when she came out we were listing all the food trucks we’ve been to.” If you think I am being overly paranoid, you are wrong. If you think I flatter myself that anyone would notice how long I’ve been in the bathroom, think again. People notice. In my first week at a previous job, a male coworker pointed something out to me when a female coworker stepped out of the office. “See that, she is off to take her afternoon dump. 2:00 every day. You’ll see.” I learned two important things that day. 1. Don’t use the bathroom around 2:10 and 2. People notice everything.

Maybe it would help if I said something to these men. Not something like, “Excuse me.” No, something more aggressive and implicative like, “Do you often loiter outside women’s restrooms?” or “Is there anywhere else in this hallway you could stand so that I don’t have to request your permission to use the bathroom?” Or something else intended to humiliate and question their character. I know that would give me a good enough reason to stand somewhere else.

What do you think?


Idiot of the Week: Reason #341 Not to Go out in Public

People: one of the many reasons I don’t like going out in public. More specifically, people whose voices carry their moronic conversations over to my ears and make me want to perform a chopstick lobotomy. If I’m not part of your conversation, but can still hear every word of it, you are too loud. If I am responding to your rhetorical questions a table away, you are too loud. As fun as it is to make sarcastic commentary that you can’t hear because I know what an “inside voice” is, I would still prefer that you have your conversation and I have mine. I didn’t come out to a restaurant to be inundated with stupid from every table around me.

This weekend I was sitting a table away from a particularly loud-mouthed 20-something. She had just graduated college, so naturally she knew everything about everything. She was in the process of explaining the ways of the world to her mother and younger brother when she came upon the subject of the metro. The metro really isn’t that bad, she explained, but you do have to deal with the occasional creep who tries to hit on you, or worse, cop a feel on a crowded train. As an expert on the topic, she took a moment to explain to her mother and brother just how annoying it is to be hit on by strangers, because nobody really understands it quite as well as she does. “It’s not just that you are getting hit on,” she explained further, “it’s that it is always by these ‘gross’ people, like working class, blue-collar people, like people who are in a lower social class — I know that sounds bad,” she acknowledged, “but you know what I mean,” she defended.

You know what a good thing to do is when something sounds bad out loud? Don’t say it! Especially when your voice is a shout and 20 people are going to hear you. Or, even better, take a second to think about why it sounds bad (because there is probably a very good reason!) and then maybe think about what you really mean and rephrase your elitist, ignorant comment before it comes tumbling out of the loudspeaker that is your mouth.

Being in the ‘working class’ does not make you gross, nor does it make you a womanizer. Don’t stereotype every working class guy into your image of the construction worker who cat calls women as they pass. Working class men aren’t inmates in a men’s prison, starved of regular exposure to the female population. They have wives and girlfriends just like everyone else. They are not automatically interested in you because they perform manual labor. Grabbing a girl’s ass on the metro makes you gross. Leering down someone’s blouse makes you a creep. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing coveralls or an $800 suit.

Would she prefer that only CEOs and college professors ogle and grope her on the metro? Yes, that is so flattering and romantic! *Swoon* Who gives a shit what he does for a living – a creep is a creep! Here is an idea for you – repeat what you just said next time you are on the metro – you might get hit, but I promise you won’t get hit on. Problem solved!

Glad I got that off my chest! Now it’s your turn! Vent about the biggest idiot you encountered this week in a post, then share the link in the link-up below anytime between now and Sunday. Don’t forget to include this badge in the post! (Get the badge code on the Idiot of the Week tab). Check back at the end of the day on Monday to see who had the most likes!

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