Sunday, July 29, 2007

I didn't intend it in precisely that way, but once I'd said it, I realized I probably meant it

We had this big, fabulous event and Generations Hall Saturday evening.

I learned a new drink - Malibu and Diet Coke. I'm not a rum drinker, nor do I tend to drink soda. But this drink just tasted like vacation. Probably because it smells like Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion. So Tej gave me a taste of hers and it was delicious. And we had maybe more than a couple.

A group of us, including my boss, were sitting around towards the end of the reception. Tej and I were talking about meeting attendees, because we'd both worked registration for the meeting today. They assigned me, because they think I'm a great person to interact with the attendees, to work at the registration desk for today. Ugh. And when I tell anyone, ever, that I hate people, they don't believe me.

I mean, I don't hate everyone. Just people in general. And when I get stuck in a role that's not mine, and have to interact with a whole bunch of strangers all day long, I get tired and cranky and people loathe-y. Grr.

And one thing is, when you're doing something customer service oriented, some people - men in particular - will try to get you to do things they think are beneath them. Because why should they have to tear their perforated name badge and stick it in the badge holder? Or look up where they're going in the program? Or figure out when a particular session they want to attend takes place? Or tie their own shoes?

I mean, there are the people who might be lonely, or the guys who want to linger for a while, just to spend a little more time chatting. And so they put all their stuff together in front of you, and maybe make up a couple questions to ask you. And while it might be slightly annoying, you know it's well intentioned.

But some people are jerks. This one guy stood there and said, with mild annoyance that we have different badge holders every year. I joked that we're just testing their skills. To which he replied that his skills have never included badge assembly.

So Tej tore out his badge, stuffed it in the holder, and attached the lanyard. And handed it to him. And he was pleased. And I was irritated.

We were talking about it with my boss and several other people this evening. Who, thankfully, had had maybe more than a couple of whatever it was they were drinking as well.

I described Tej helping the man, and how some people are clearly bound and determined to get you to do whatever task they think they shouldn't have to deal with. (Which, if we were men, I am certain they'd not try to get us to do.)

I said there was no way I was going to put that badge together for him. And that I was surprised she did.

Tej said it was just easier. "I was like, oh, let me do it. It'll be a lot faster if I just go ahead and take care of it myself."

And I, (cringe) I said very loudly, "Yeah. You know his wife says that to him all the time."

Clap hand over mouth. Blush. Be glad that your boss thinks this is hilarious.

And then silently decide, yeah, probably.


  1. I tend to follow the same path as Tej... especially with work.

    I call it The Path of Least Headache... sort of like The Path of Least Resistance, but not quite. It often requires you to go out of your way and do extra work or other peoples work, but the mental suffering it saves you outweighs the labor.

    I need to come up with a better name for it, and then find someone to ghost write a book for me about it. I could give them the outline and examples... I figure it could be a good self help book. Then we could make a business version of it. We could have a whole series!

  2. My theory is that good funny trumps just about anything, including professionalism. People will often cut you slack if you're quick-witted, in the interest of entertainment. And you are clearly both quick-witted and entertaining (occasionally at the same time, even).

    Besides, people appreciate it when someone else says out loud what they're saying in their head anyway. And you know they were (or at least they should have been). So you get points for that as well.

  3. Too funny! The helpless guy is probably married to a worthog.

  4. You are so dead on with how people, men in particular, will act to people in customer service roles. As you know, I've worked many a conference and have observed this attitude that "I'm too important to do that" from attendees so many times I could scream.

    You're right on so many levels about that particular jerk's wife if he's lucky enough to have one. She's taking care of lots of things on her own because it's just easier than dealing with him.

    Who can blame her?

  5. That's what she said! Ah, hahahahah!

    "My skills have never included badge assembly."

    "Oh, then you failed. Bye, thanks for playing!"

  6. This was quite possibly, the best blog of the week. Your constant vigilance at saying snarky things about ubiquitously lame people astounds me. Brava, lisa, brava! you're my internet hero.

  7. I think, as a pretty girl working the registration desk, part of your duties are to humor the fat, bald, older guys so that when they return home to Detroit they can look at their wives and think "I can do better, I'm pretty sure that girl at the desk was flirting with me." Then when they get the courage to leave, they enter the dating pool, are sadly disappointed at how they misjudged their desirability and they return to their wives--but now more chastened and appreciative of what they have. You're like a marriage counselor/home wrecker.

  8. VVK - I think your and Tej's approach is the better one. But I just can't seem to manage it. If you strike me the right way and I like you, even if I've only known you for 30 seconds, I will bend over backwards for you. Similarly, if you piss me off immediately, I'll be totally polite to you but won't lift a finger beyond what I have to. It's a character flaw, this extreme reaction, I'm sure.

    WiB - Thank you. I think I do have slack in what I say because my boss and (some of) my coworkers think I'm hilarious. And I do say things nobody else would.

    HKW - Ha ha! I bet you're right!

    DCup - I know you know all too well. It's astounding the things people think they're too important for.

    Jordaan - I'd love to be able to say things like that. Thanks for playing. Bye!

    SL - Thank you! You rock!

    HIN - Argh! If I were a guy nobody would even jokingly expect this bullshit of me!


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