Petting My Peeves: Episode One

It’s my party, I can bitch if I want to.

I’ve decided that one of my favorite things is to complain about crap that annoys me, so I’m gonna start picking some of my pet peeves and whining about them here.  Please feel free to leave comments about your thoughts on the topic. Or, feel free to respond on Facebook at The Tangent Girl Volumes, link below!

https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

Episode One: Stuff people put into emails

Exhibit A: People who put the same meaningless platitude at the end of every one of their email

OMG. Seriously folks – email is already a hard enough medium to convey your actual tone/ meaning/ intentions. When you stick the same line in every email, verbatim, I am unlike to find any validity in the statement.

“I appreciate everything you do.”

“Thank you for your dedication to the team.”

“Thank you, have a wonderful day.”

These are not made up, they are real-life examples from my real-life life. They actually make me more irritated than leaving them out entirely because I feel like I am supposed to be grateful that you are thanking me, when in reality you just stuck this crap into your automatic signature. I’d like to tell you where to put your generic cut and paste appreciation, but I’ve gotten used to living in a house and having food to eat.

Exhibit B: People who do not write in complete sentences in their emails

Okay, I get it – brevity is NOT my specialty, and I am certain that annoys the hell out of people who read my emails. (But we’re not talking about them, so who cares what they think? If they want to complain about my run-on emails they can get their own blog). But seriously, sending an email where the subject is actually the first line of the email and/or then the body of the email isn’t even written in complete sentences / is full of unnecessary abbreviations is NOT concise, it’s just rude (and lazy).

“Subject: benefit form

is in G drive. after complete, email to Suzy. advise if any issues.”

 

“Subject: <blank>

Rescan and return.”

 

“Subject: Attendance needed

Re: new entry policy  – – Mtg tomorrow @ 1p, 1st flr CR . Mngrs or their reps should attend. RSVP COB. TY.”

 

Again, REAL examples (with names changed because in addition to a roof and sustenance, I also like having running water and lights.) I mean “TY”??? You can’t even freaking type out “THANK YOU”??? Your time is not that precious folks, and this is a work email not freaking Twitter.

 

Exhibit C: People who copy new (unnecessary) people into the email every time they reply, but email you privately to ask why you added someone who actually NEEDED to be on the email.

True Story:

  • I was sent a very terse email by an org leader about a project my group was affected by, but I was not in any way in charge of. I replied with the answer to their question, but also indicated that “Suzy Q” was the person organizing it so she might have more information than I did.
  • The leader then emailed back, copying in 3 additional people who I knew for a fact had nothing to do with the project and didn’t know anything more than I did, and called me out for “not knowing what was going on.” I replied again (after many deep breathes and a few squeezes of my stress ball) that I was sorry I didn’t have more information, but that I wasn’t a part of the planning group for the project. I indicated that I’d copied Suzy here to my reply, as she was leading the project and should be able to provide more information.
  • The leader replied, deleting Suzy Q from the email, but copying several other leaders that I work under, but who STILL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PROJECT, and indicated that they really needed to “follow up” and “investigate” this issue as it was ridiculous that he had not been informed previously (he had, by his own boss) and that I couldn’t supply the information he needed even though I was “working on” project.
  • The leader then emailed me separately and copied the Director of HR, indicating that I “had no right” to copy someone “from outside” in his email (they were from a different arm of our organization, you know, THE SAME ORGANIZATION?), and that the HR-D would be in touch with me to discuss my inappropriate actions.
I’m being Punk’D right now, right? Right?

(Note: I told my superior what was going on they told me exactly what that leader could do with himself and to let them know immediately if any such “conversation” occurred with HR. Funny enough though, HR never got in touch with me about these supposed ‘transgressions’. Shocking, huh?)

 

Exhibit D: People who put unnecessary emoticons in an email as a way of being passive aggressive.

Oh wait – I do that. >.<

My bad… :’-(

 

 

 

 

Walking Is Good For Your Health

Driving Miss Daisy

During our consulting business trips we’re driven everywhere, usually by drivers from the corporation we’re working for. This time we’ve also had a private driver for some of the trips because the company guy hasn’t always been available.

The fact that there have been multiple unrelated drivers is relevant because it proves that there is not just some random and vindictive chauffeur out to get me, no. The repeated assassination attempts upon me must either have been arranged by my Team, the corporation, or by the country itself.

Any of these is feasible, I am Evil after all.

How, you may ask, have they tried to make me swim with the fishes?

(Yes, we’re in a desert but this piece of desert is actually on the water so, yes, FISHES.)

Nope, nothing mysterious and sinister going on here… Just us fish.

Well, frankly, they haven’t been very creative because they’ve tried to do it the same way 3 times. …Okay, to be fair they did attempt to mix it up a bit on the last attempt, but I am not fooled.

The first time occurred getting into the giant white corporation SUV at the hotel on morning one. I had one foot on the running board and just as I lifted the other off the ground the guy started driving away. Much yelling and panic ensued and we only went about 3 feet before we stopped and I was left unharmed.

But this will not do. You don’t get paid until you complete the job.

So getting into the car at the hospital at the end of day one, HE DID IT AGAIN. (Really? Do you only have one tool in your bag of tricks? Or do you think I’m just so dimwitted and unworthy of any exciting and epic efforts that you figure this is all it should take to off me? I’m offended.)

Only this time, I was ready and was at least bodily in the car when we began moving swiftly forward. Ha! I’m on to you, bitches!

I thought that would be the end, perhaps I had broken their spirit. Little did I know they were apparently told my name was Sean Bean.

 

The NEXT day we have a driver from a completely independent company. Pick up at the hotel is fine, drop off and pick up at the satellite facility we were touring was fine, drop off at the main hospital gate to pick up our passes was fine. So at this point I thought “well clearly, it was the company driver who was out to get me all along!”

Until I tried to get back into the car. Yup, you guessed it… Only THIS time, in addition to lulling me into a false sense of security first, they also decided – “maybe the problem is we keep driving forward so as long as she doesn’t fall (and land underneath a wheel) she’ll survive. So THIS time – we’ll back up instead.” 

So there I was, one foot lifted off the ground in the process of being placed on the running board, hand firmly on the “Jesus handle,” as the SUV began moving backward, it’s large and heavy door quickly bearing down on me with no hope of my avoiding it.

More shouting and yelling and then an epic action hero-style move by moi to launch myself into the car and safety. (Well, “action hero move” if action heros have the grace of a one-legged flamingo with a broken ankle and tend to end up sprawled face first across a car seat with an abaya tangled around their feet – which are still dangling out the open SUV door.)

I am The Highlander!!!

Graceful or not I survived. Hooray me, you have failed evil assassins!!!

 

Wait. Crap… I still have to get in the car to the airport. Awww Mannnnnnnn….

Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Irony

If you’ve been following along you will already know that I am a pretty intense introvert. So small talk, or conversations in general, makes me extremely anxious.

But people assume that introverts are all shy and quiet. I mean obviously  – if we are uncomfortable talking to people and making small talk, then we certainly aren’t going to go out of our way to do so. That makes perfect sense and probably makes the lives of introverts with this trait that much easier. Kind of like the auditory version of resting bitch face.

But can I have the luck of being one of those people blessed with the no-talkie aspect of introvertism? (I’d like to point out that spell check tells me that is not a word but voice-to-text managed it just fine. I cry foul. You have revealed your true colors English language!!)

Of course not. I am one of those people for whom being introverted means that silence in the presence of other people makes me extremely anxious to the point of near nervous breakdown. Silence is a time where you can fill in the blanks of all the ways in which the person you are in the presence of is judging you, either because you’re not smart enough or interesting enough or pretty enough… or SOMETHING enough.

SO I BABBLE. I issue fourth sentences and information and non sequiturs at a pace which would astound NASCAR, and I cannot stop myself.

For the love of all that is good and holy in this world… JUST SHUT UP

I must fill the void. In my professional life this has earned me a reputation for being someone who “only cares about what I think,” because when someone says “So what do you guys think?” AND THEN NO ONE RESPONDS AND THE SECONDS OF SILENCE STRETCH OUT, I simply cannot take it. It’s not even like I feel like I have something to say or that I need to say, it’s that I feel like someone has to say SOMETHING. I’m working on over coming this, but even just thinking about it gives me a stomachache.

 

I guess the morale of the story is: be kind to your over-talkers. They may be dying inside.

Goodbye cruel world

 

Who Needs Thumb Screws or The Rack?

Faire  Maiden?

As part of celebrating my birthday, we went to the Rennfest this weekend. The night before, I was trying to decide what to wear, and I have this particular outfit…. it’s absolutely beautiful and was a huge, mind-numbingly expensive splurge several years back.  I can still technically wear it, but it doesn’t fit the way it did when I bought it. I lost a ton of weight a number of years ago, but two years of inactivity due to 2 major ankle surgeries and the normal return of appetite that can happen after you’ve had weight loss surgery, means I’ve put a chunk of the weight back on. I actually ended up not wearing the dress at all last year because I was self-conscious; but this year I made up my mind to rise above my insecurities and wear it.

The day of the fair dawned sunny and cool, and I was so happy and content – it’s one of my favorite places in the world.  And lo and behold, I got a few compliments on my dress within just the first hour or so. I was feeling proud of myself for having had the confidence to wear it, and feeling pretty.

Here There Be Dragons

Halfway through the day I noticed the dress had a tiny snag in it, so while the rest of the group grabbed our lunch, I went to the store where I’d purchased it to see if they could help.

First, they insisted I didn’t buy it there, but they “guess they could try and help me anyway”  (even though these dresses are very unique-looking and CLEARLY one of theirs.)

Then they said, “Oh, we just didn’t realize it was one of ours because you have it on backwards… like the other store that ‘ripped off’ our design does it.” As I only ever remembered wearing it the way I was, I said I thought this was how THEY had put it on me in the first place. They got really snarky about how that “never would have happened.” (Looking back at the photos turns out I was wrong, but I legitimately didn’t know that at the time.) 

After multiple more barbed comments about how they had “no idea why I would wear it that way in the first place,” they insisted on “putting it on right.” (Note that it can totally be worn either way, it’s just a question of whether you want the overdress laced in the front or the back.)

If this had been happening to someone else I was with, I’d have told the bitches in the store to go to hell and dragged my friend out of there, never to return. But I was too freaked out and paralyzed with mortification to refuse for myself. I just wanted to do whatever they said and GET OUT.  I’m already so uncomfortable in stores in general as it is, especially clothing stores, and this was starting to feel like the stuff of my anxiety-fueled nightmares.

BUT IT GOT WORSE.

 

The woman that ended up “helping” me wanted to turn the overdress around right there in the store, which basically required removing it, BUT THE UNDERDRESS IS COMPLETELY SEETHROUGH. When I balked at showing my lady bits to everyone at the festival, the woman seemed annoyed that I wanted to do it in the dressing room, like I was being some kind of bother. (You know, bothering them with turning the dress around that I didn’t even want to turn around because they insisted on turning the dress around that I wasn’t bothering them about turning around??)

THEN we discovered that with the weight I’d put on, the lacing wouldn’t close far enough to sufficiently cover my boobs if I laced it in the front (the overdress is solid from the waist down and while a sheer BACK is not problem, sheer boobies are a different story). So now I’m literally starting to hyperventilate from humiliation.

But why should it stop there? The whole time she’s re-lacing me (incorrectly by the way) back into the dress the way I’d come into the store:

“YOU bought this dress for yourself, are you SURE?” (No of course I’m not sure, maybe I stole it from someone in an Ambien-induced haze of amnesia)

“Why would you buy a dress that doesn’t fit?” and then little “uh-huh, sure, whatever” noises when I tried to stammer out how it used to fit. (Because doesn’t everyone drop FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS on a dress that doesn’t fit?)  

Then she looked at the size on the tag and was like, “Oh I guess this was the biggest one you could buy. So that’s why you were wearing it wrong because you couldn’t wear it the right way.” She just keeps chatting on and on about not understanding why I would wear it if it doesn’t look nice because I can’t wear it the right way.

Crispy Fried

I stumbled from the store shell-shocked and shaking. I’m sure I must have been pale as death. I arrived back where my group was waiting, and my husband took one look at me and was like “Oh my god, what’s wrong??” I burst into tears and sobbed hysterically. Needless to say the lunch I’d planned to eat basically got thrown in the trash (to be replaced by liquid fruit salad), and I spent the rest of the day utterly miserable. All I could think was that I KNEW I never should have worn that dress, that I’m horrible and fat and unattractive. I just wanted to go home and hide in a trash bag. Getting more random compliments later didn’t change this feeling at all.

The ACTUAL Point

The point of pouring out this horrible story is NOT to illicit “oh no that’s terrible” or “oh no you’re wonderful/ beautiful/ etc.” (seriously, just don’t).

The point is:

Why is the bad stuff so much easier to believe? Why does one bad experience have so more power over us than multiple good ones? Why is it that we assume that random people who provide positive vibes, unsolicited, and with no potential agenda or anything to gain fro doing so must be lying or exaggerating; but people who could potentially have personal agendas for saying bad stuff (e.g. feeling bitter if another vendor stole their designs) “must” be telling the truth? Why is it so much easier to be broken down instead of built up?

And why does KNOWING the answers to all these questions not help us feel any better?

 

Pitch Camp In The Air vs. Twilight Five Years Into the Woods

Your wait is over – I’M BACK!!!

(I’m sure the two of you who ever read this are sooooo relieved and excited.)

Yip and E

 

The trip was lovely but also had its “did that just happen??” moments because, well… ME. But for THAT whole story, you’ll have to wait for my book!

How delightfully cruel and cunning of me!

 

So the topic of TODAY’S entry is: Books

(Well, I mean books besides mine because we already talked about mine and I already told you I’m not going to tell you that story… so OTHER books. Not my book. Are we on the same page now?) … get it… page… Nevermind.

 

I purchased a bunch of books to bring to the beach with me.

Of course I had more than I could read, and when I had time to read more, I didn’t have them with me. (Note to self: STOP telling yourself that you’ll only be able to read this ‘one book’ on the plane so you might as well put the others in a checked bag and not make your carry-on heavy. YOU KNOW BETTER!!!!)

On the flight down I read Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire. Which was of course amazing. (Now THERE is a woman who could write 300 pages about a woman eating a turkey sandwich and how that is an analogy for divorce  – and have it be National Book Award worthy.) Then I took Wanderlush by David Robert out onto the beach with me… and essentially frightened the hell out of every vacationer (and my husband) who got within 30 feet of me by unexpectedly and LOUDLY breaking into uncontrollable laughter  – frequently, but without enough rhythm or consistency to allow anyone to prepare for my violent outbursts of hilarity (Hysteria, Hilarity… same thing, right?). I will never look at boxed wine or fish the same.

But the one that really got me was one I almost didn’t even buy – Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. I basically knew less than nothing about her, but heard the book was funny, and some interviews and whatnot I’ve seen with her have been funny so I figured, “what the hell, why not?” And guess what?

It turns out Anne Kendrick is my soulmate. My sister from another mister. She and I are destined to be BFFs forever!

(Yes, so forever I had to say it twice.)

Don’t believe me? Let me itemize the evidence:

  • She is constantly questioning everything/worrying about everything she does ever second of the day.  I am constantly questioning everything/worrying about everything I do ever second of the day.
  • She is weird. I am weird.
  • She is snarky and direct. I am snarky and direct.
  • She is not a morning person. I am not a morning person.
  • She is in her thirties. I am in my thirties. (Look at the date of this post! This is 100% true!!)
  • She hates leaving her house. I hate leaving my house.
  • She hates New Years Eve. I hate New Years Eve.
  • She hates green beer. I hate green beer.
  • She hates talking to strangers. I hate talking to strangers.
  • She loves bad language. I love bad language.
  • She loves Harry Potter. I love Harry Potter.
  • She loves mac-n-cheese. I love mac-n-cheese.
  • She was in plays in high school. I was in plays in high school. (shush, locale of the theater doesn’t matter!)
  • She was in choir. I was in choir. (again, hush it – doesn’t matter how WELL we sing respectively!)
AND drum roll please….
  • We are ALREADY only one degree of separation from each other! I have not only met and taken a class from one of the people listed in her book’s acknowledgement, I am going to be INTERVIEWING THAT PERSON for a (medical administration related, don’t get excited) Podcast in October!

So clearly – it’s written in the stars.

We will buy matching sweatpants and slippers for when I am obviously invited, and obviously attend, her totally awesome “Eff New Years Eve Harry Potter and Alcohol Sleepover” this year. I’ll try and get you an autographed toilet paper tube, but no promises. Anna and I are way too (not) cool for that.

 

Chillin with my Homie