Have you ever said that to someone?
You know what I mean – you’re watching someone get frustrated with a computer and they slam their hand down on the keyboard or randomly start pressing keys. You know they aren’t going to magically make it better and THEY know they aren’t going to somehow fix things, but dammit, they’re putting the smack-down on it anyways.
If anything, it’s going to make the computer problem worse and it’s going to make things harder and now there’s a bruised hand in the deal.
People are much the same way as computers. They have buttons. When pressed correctly, functions that are useful but may take a bit of processing to run but the outcome is favorable. Certain buttons cause a self-check. Some let you look closer at the files and drivers, and some show you programming that’s running in the background.
Profound, isn’t it?
It’s also very true that if you push a person’s buttons all at once (or overplay your hand, if you like poker terminology) then not only are you going to end up with the same ole malfunction, but you’re going to have a bruised hand… and if you hit it too hard, it’s not going to work anymore.
I have a few buttons. Quite a few. I don’t react well to having someone slam my buttons because they’re frustrated. For example…
1. Call me a drug addict
This one will create instant and intense feedback. You can accuse me of damn near anything and I’ll laugh it off. Truth is, I’ve never done an illegal drug in my life and neither has Shaun. Ever. I don’t mix meds, I don’t get high, and I absolutely don’t put anything in my body that will endanger the people around me.
Now, I don’t care if you smoke dope or do whatever. I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone. However, I do have children who were exposed to meth production and I’ve counseled many teens with drug problems. I’ve seen some really shitty stuff while growing up. One of my friends who lived near me had a step-dad who smoked and grew a lot of dope. One day she comes home from school to find the front of his face blown off – I heard the scream from my house. He was still alive, even after wedging a deer rifle up under his chin. I don’t feel too sorry for him – I feel really bad for HER.
This is not to say if you say “bitch, you must be high” in jest that I’m going to knock you down. I won’t. However, if you honestly accuse me of doing drugs, I will have some feedback for you.
2. Tell me I make things up or that it’s all in my head
I can tell the difference between fiction and reality. Promise.
I once had an entire set of people believing I was a boy, even though I had my gender in my profile and photos of myself online. I can tell stories but they’re mostly see-through and hardly ever serious.
In my other life (my not a fiction author persona) I’m a good analyst and give you the data without any massaging or glossing. Do you need a graph? OK. A diagram? Got it. Those facts aren’t changing just because they’re prettier.
And you better believe that if I’m paying YOU anything, I’m not telling you a lie. It just makes the job harder and makes it take longer. When I’M the client, I’m not looking for attention, for money, for fodder for my comedy act, or for whatever deal that we have to last any longer than it absolutely has to. I want it fixed, I want it over. I come prepared and I expect service and quality.
3. Assume that I’m an idiot and/or assume I assume you’re an idiot
Most of the terribly smart people I know could pass as hare-brained, stupid-ass derelicts. They do this on purpose so people won’t fuck with them like “quick, what’s 182 x 397?” Bitch, I don’t know. Go the fuck away – I’m trying to drink this latte and pretend I’m not trying to figure it out in my head.
This just means that I assume every random idiot I meet may just be the second coming of Albert Einstein. That dude looked a little crazy, too. If you’re an average, all-American stereotypical person, then good for you. I’m going to assume you do a good job at your chosen profession because you CHOOSE to. Doing a good job has not much to do with your IQ. It has a lot to do with your attitude and your dedication.
In return, I like for people to assume that I’m good at what I do and that I’m not an idiot (even if they can’t tell by looking.) I believe that I can know a little something about someone else’s profession and still not show disrespect to their skill or judgment. It’s like I can tell when the wheel on my car is a little wobbly and I can tell you “it seems like a problem with the front driver-side wheel.”
That doesn’t mean I’m saying “I know everything about front driver-side wheel problems and I think you should take a look at the bearings, because this doesn’t sound like a brake problem.” It also doesn’t mean that I expect you to just take my word for it and just disassemble it without driving it first. I’m not saying “I just need a grunt to do the dirty work.” I’m giving you my experience that I think is relevant, now it’s your turn to ask questions to discover information that you KNOW is relevant.
It furthermore doesn’t mean that because my profession line of your profile says “web related stuff” that I went to some Chevy-hater website and learned all I could about common fuck-ups. I didn’t just look this up on the internet – if I did research its so I can get a feel for what information to present to you from MY experience in a less than idiotic manner.
Why? Because I heard my dad say all the time I was growing up “and then she said it sounds like GRRRrrrrrRrrrSCRREEEEEAAAACH and then it felt like when the carnival ride is about to time out – you know how it gets real slow and exaggerated before it stops… then later it turned out she had a windshield wiper that didn’t work and a blown taillight.” I don’t want to be dinner-time conversation and I don’t need everyone in the general area to look at me like I’ve grown a green spike out of my ass.
4. Tell me that my facial expression is somehow disrespectful
Ok, you self-absorbed little shit, who are you to think my face has anything to do with YOU? Most of the time this happens, I’ve got a migraine and I’m making the “do you smell that? I think one of our kids just shat themselves” face. I don’t know it because my face feels like it’s full of sand and I’m attempting to be part of normal society.
I’m not wrinkling my nose up because you walked by and I hate people who <insert characteristic you’re overly sensitive about.> I don’t think you smell funny or that you have on stupid looking clothes or that you should rub some conditioner on your kids’ head. Actually, I would probably think those things if I had it in me to NOTICE you. If you were walking by and you happened to be 700 lbs in hot pink spandex, I may notice you out of the group of people in the area. I absolutely did not notice your ass who was 15 feet away from the 700 lb hot pink person but in the general line of site. I don’t care if you were dressed in head to toe Coach patterned anything and had bright yellow cabbage patch hair done up in pig-tails – I swear I didn’t see you.
When in pain, here’s the way things are noticed:
1. Anything in the epicenter of the pain. If I have pain in between my shoulders, I’m not wearing a bra because it would damn near kill me.
2. Anything that aggravates the pain. If I have a migraine and you walk by smelling like you just bathed in a vat of peach candle scent, then I will notice you and I will vacate the area and leave you to clean up the vomit.
3. Anything that is shoved into my face so that I’ll notice it. That’s because people who know me know that when I get the “do you smell that?” face on know that they need to dress up in bright orange and do the chicken dance to get me to pay attention to them.
… and they have to be yelling “CYNDI, did you see that cabbage-patch headed bitch back there?” Um, no, I didn’t. What? You want to take Alyssa to Babyland? Ok. Sounds good. “No, I don’t mean I want to drive to Clermont – I mean did you see that girl with the yellow pig-tails?” No… what? Someone did that?
So, for your holiday season, just remember to be nice to your keyboard. It doesn’t need your frustrated ass banging on it like cops on a screen door.