Thursday, September 7, 2006

National Feel The Love Day, September 7th

National Feel The Love Day

I have a few things to say about this day. Mostly because I am not feeling the love at work. I hope that this doesn't get me dooced, but, I am going to share a bit of my Wednesday with you.

I am the person that is called up to the front desk to deal with difficult people. I have some ability in this area... not so much in my personal life... but at work, avec les belligérents.

This Wednesday I had to deal with a Army Vet who was out of control, way over the top angry. All he had to do was sign his name on a piece of paper, and then take it to his wife for her to sign it, and then turn it in, and then we could run his paperwork. We could not run the paperwork without his written permission to do so. Even though he was verbally telling me and the whole world that he was giving me permission, if we don't have his signature, how are we going to prove that he one time said it was okay to dig into his deep dark past.

According to him, this request was more bullshit than he had to deal with in the seven years he served in the Army. I think that opinion was a whole bunch of bullshit, because I am sure that the Army had him sign papers all the time.

He was so mad that I would not budge on the paper signing thing, he let off a string of swears that were quite long and derogatory. I stopped him. Not because I was really offended by the words so much, as the tone and the intent. I told him that until he could behave like an adult he could step outside the office. The way he looked at me I thought that he was going to reach over the countertop to kill me. All over a piece of paper, and two signatures. But, you know what? I was just stubborn enough to be willing to die over it because he was being such an ass. I was not feeling the love for him.

Later this afternoon came back and asked the receptionist if he could talk to me and to my boss. He told my boss that I was one of the bravest people he had ever met. (Okay, so maybe he gets a twinge of love.) My boss was confused over this exchange because he had missed the morning shoutfest. That's okay, because if he had understood what had happened, I would have received lecture about my tendencies to not call in for backup when threatening situations happen.

Which leads in to the next man with felonious eyes. Mr. Angry Number Two has been coming in for weeks trying to get confidential information from the staff. I got called up to deal with his request today. I handed him brochures of other agencies where he could receive help, but firmly told him that he would no longer be receiving assistance from our agency. This started a twenty minute rage where he waved his hands around, pulling papers out of his backpack, manically searching for some sort of new information to appear out of the pack that would allow him to force me to do his will. It didn't work.

When I told him that he needed to leave, he began shouting about how he has been a Professional Stage Hand in California and Utah for OVER 30 YEARS and I have the worst stage presence of anyone he has ever seen. Ever. (I have to say that this can't be true, because I did not laugh when he said it. I didn't even crack a smile.)

When he said that he was very proud of the fact that he hadn't yet hit me... I realized that there was never going to be any love for this man. I called in the backup. The backup came and circled around me and they soon realized that he was not going to leave on his own.

I wasn't going to ask him to leave any more. I knew that if I asked him to do anything it would push him over the edge, so my tactic was to just say no, say no, say no, say no, and say no. Finally he got it when there were three people nodding their heads every time I said no.

After he left, my coworkers asked me if he hurt my feelings because he told me that I haven't got any stage presence.

Umm, no. And, still no love for him.

But, ten minutes later, while we were still standing around talking about the craziness of the day a woman with the spawn of Satan came in. This child immediately went to the heating/cooling system (stupid engineers who designed the controls at five-year-old-level!) and turned the heat up to 80 degrees and then proceeded to knock over our ficus plant and start stripping the branches of their leaves. All the while the mother ignored him.

I had had enough today, and I could not handle anymore. I told the woman that she needed to discipline that child. And now! Or she would be responsible for the damages the the very (not) expensive plant.

I was quite surprised at her mode of discipline. She righted the plant, turned off the heat, and took off her son's shoes and put them in her purse and she never said a word to him. He sat in his chair, right as rain, until she finished her paperwork. Weird. What the heck does taking shoes off mean? And why didn't she do it before he knocked over the ficus. But, I have to feel twinges of love at the uniqueness of her disciplinary skills. No shoes=good behavior. Who knew?

Sigh. Now that is off my chest. I really hope I am never asked to feel the love with any of those people ever again. And I don't think that I need to celebrate the date. That's it folks! Please, no love for Absent-minded Secretary on National Feel the Love Day!

Celebrate amongst yourselves.


Anonymous said...

How's bout I have lots of love for you and none for evil people?

Stupid evil people.

Erin aka- absent-minded secretary said...

I'm okay with that. Thanks for the love!

Christian said...

Sending out the love.

love love love love love love love love love love love love love love

Erin aka- absent-minded secretary said...

Edgy: Yea! I feel so loved today!

Briam: Nihilopodophobia. HAHAHAHAHA! That took me a second to get the nihil part.

I think that maybe your sister would have better insight about how to purposefully instill a phobia... not because she has experience, but because she studied that sort of thing...

Erin aka- absent-minded secretary said...

Briam, I think that we need to have an open forum to help you deal with your canopeneraphobia. Do you need to talk?

Erin aka- absent-minded secretary said...

Now, what if you could get your cans open with something other than a can opener... say a large ginsu knife?

Erin aka- absent-minded secretary said...

Well, I was assuming that you were phobic of the form of can opener, not the concept of can opener.

Which brings up lots of new issues. Are you phobic of the process of opening cans? Of what might be inside the cans (which it might be better to say you are afraid of canned goods rather than can openers), or is it sharp objects that can cut through metal?