Thursday, April 26, 2012

Twenty More Minutes

Here’s something else I’ve learned this month:

When someone fucks with you – assuming, to steal some legal terminology, you’re the “reasonable man” – your initial reaction, provided you don’t strike back right away, will be to seek out advice from rational people. You’ll explain your situation to these rational people, and most times, they’ll advise you to “handle things professionally.” This typically entails keeping your mouth shut, ignoring the problem, and getting your work done. By staying above the fray, at least in theory, you’re demonstrating far more by your actions than your words.

This advice, I can tell you from experience, is absolute shit.

You’re being fucked with. Someone is doing something to you that negatively affects your job and your life. You listen to your rational friends and do nothing. You keep quiet, you say nothing, and you simply go about your day in a professional manner like nothing’s wrong. This goes on for a while until you eventually get engrossed in something else and forget you’re being fucked with. You get used to cruising above it.

You know what this approach does? It gives the guy who’s fucking with you a several week head start. It also gives them the impression that you’re not going to do anything back – which, in turn, gives them license to be even more audacious in how they fuck with you. Seriously, if you fuck with someone, and the guy doesn’t do anything back – and you’re still at a point where you haven’t gotten his attention or anyone else’s – it’s human nature to want to escalate things until someone takes notice and you start getting your way. Of course, that’s not how grown men operate, but that’s not the group I’m referring to here, obviously.

My advice, after having this happen to me, is to go the opposite way. You can’t keep your mouth shut. I knew this perfectly well going into my most recent situation because I’ve been fucked with before – by people who are professionals at fucking with other people. When you’re dealing with amateurs, however, it’s very easy to feel a false sense of security and assume nothing’s going to come of it. Don’t fall into this trap, though, because it’ll drag you straight into their fucking morass of bullshit – especially with amateurs, because they get sloppy and go for broke after a while. They’re too stupid and impatient not to.

The lesson here? 

When someone fucks with you, particularly with regard to your money, you need to make it stop. Immediately, especially when you’re being fucked with by stupid, talentless people who don’t understand the consequences of what they’re doing.

And for people who fuck with other people? Fucking with your superiors then tattling on them when they complain about it only lets the world know for sure what it already suspected – that you really are a Grade A pussy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Twenty Minutes

Revenge is a bitch to sit and want. I’ve had to learn this the hard way over the past few years. Someone does something to you, you figure out what that something is – and the true extent of it – and then you want a piece of that someone, but you can’t have it because Johnny Law says you can’t. The frustration can rip your guts apart if you let it.

Twice, in recent years, I’ve wanted to get at someone very badly for something they’ve done to me – and twice, my hands have been tied. This is no good. I’ve had to sleep on this shit for many, many nights, but I’ve learned a few things.

When you’re in this position, the rational people around you will counsel restraint. Let it ride, they’ll say, because the guy who fucked you over will “get his in the end” – which sucks, because the denouement you’re looking for takes far too long, and you want to be the one who gives him “his.” You sit there at night and it churns around your fucking head, and all you really want is to be the guy who teaches the lesson, not the guy who has to constantly be learning them.

I’ve got a guy like that in my life right now. Something happened that I didn’t provoke, and I’m frustrated like a motherfucker. If this came to a fistfight, it would last all of about fifteen seconds. I’m trained and he’s not, and he doesn’t have the faintest notion of what that would be like for him – otherwise he likely wouldn’t have done this. It can’t happen that way, however, because it’s not how society solves its problems anywhere but in combat – and in nightclubs (see first five years of this blog for details).

I’m trying to learn how to do this the other way – the one that tells me to set the guy free to hang himself with his own rope. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and it’s been working. I’d hate to wake up and be this guy, that’s for sure. I’d hate to have no appreciable means of making a living. I’d hate to royally suck at doing something I love more than anything else in the world, with a piss-poor work ethic and no hope of ever getting better. I’d especially hate this last part if I happened to be delusional enough to actually believe I was any good at it.

It makes me sad for the guy sometimes, but then I remember why I’m thinking about it, and it makes me happy all over again to know my worst day on this planet is his wildest wet dream fantasy.

Yeah, dude. You suck massive cock at what you do to the point of being an embarrassment. Must be a nightmare to have hit your ceiling so early.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Twelve Minutes, Thirty Seconds

I miss being in funny environments – and having jobs where people are funny. I’m talking about really funny, and not the kind of bullshit funny you’ll find in offices, where you can’t say anything really funny because you have to watch every little thing you say. I’m still not used to that. Sometimes I say things, and people stare at me like they can’t believe I just said what I said. When people do this, they lose me. If this reaction is real, and what I’ve said is shocking to you, you’re not my kind of guy. If it’s fake, you’re an asshole. I used to think I was the problem. I don’t anymore. I’m really not that off-color. Compared to where I've been? Fuck. Come on.

Where I work, a lot of people think they’re funny. Some are, but most aren’t. This is hard for someone like me, having been around some sincerely funny people throughout my life. Until the past few years, I’ve never had to cluster around some guy’s cubicle to watch people do funny shit on YouTube, because I had funny shit, perpetuated by funny people, happening all around me. I’ve never had to live vicariously through someone else’s jokes. That so many people have to do this makes me very sad. It accounts for the success of movies like The Hangover, which are targeted at guys who’ve never seen anything funny before. I’ve been to multiple bachelor parties where funnier shit happened. I watched that movie – I haven’t seen the second one – with the same look on my face that I get when someone who’s not funny in my office tells me a story about a paper jam.

People in my office are about as funny as bone cancer.

I can’t do charity laughs, either. Humor isn’t Little League. Not everyone gets to crack a funny joke. If you suck, you suck, and if I sit there watching you clinically without breaking into hysterics, it’s your fault, not mine. This happens every day at work. People try, and fail, and then get offended when 1) I don’t laugh at their lame-ass attempts at humor, and 2) I fire back with something that actually makes people laugh, violating their sense of office decorum and fairness.

This probably makes me sound like an asshole, but I don’t care. These are not my people.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This is going to sound ridiculous to those of you who actually work for a living, but you’re getting ten minutes of “work” out of me with this post. It’s my version of rehab. I’m been monumentally undisciplined lately with regard to doing any writing outside of what I have to do for work, so the idea here is to sit down and get ten minutes of uninterrupted “pleasure writing” in the books. I’m forcing myself to do it.

When I sit down to write something, I typically have a dozen tabs set on my browser, and my phone is sitting on my desk to the left of my keyboard. I’ll type a couple of shitty sentences, get distracted, then look at something online, respond to some texts, and then check my email. This is absolute suicide when it comes to being productive, so my plan tonight is to work for ten solid minutes. Just ten – with no distractions, no phone, no email, no interruptions, and no bullshit. Just work.

Tomorrow, you’ll get twelve minutes, or maybe fifteen. Tuesday, I’ll try for twenty. At the seven minute mark of this deal, I went back to do some edits. I omitted one full paragraph of filler that I think I typed simply to keep typing. The copy itself made sense, but it wasn’t in the flow of what I’m trying to say here. I’m sorry this is such a shitty, boring post, but if I’m going to get back to doing anything interesting, I have to relearn how to get that done.

So there you go. Ten minutes got you 280 words, with one pass-through of editing. That wasn’t so bad.