Much Ado About Nothing

I'm going to start to answer random low-brow sociological questions in my weekly write-up about terribleness. It'll be my way of staying on target and hitting my point home without going way too far off the rails. I mean, there will still be tangents aplenty, but at least it'll increase the likelihood of there being a purpose injected into my mindless diatribes. Plus, it's about time I answered the obnoxious questions that my friends, family and email pepper me with. 

Why should it matter if I'm nice to someone that makes eight dollars an hour?

Because there's an easy way to get ahead in life. It's called being pleasant. Don't get me wrong, you definitely don't need to go out of your way to over-saturate those around you with mindless amounts of gut-wrenchingly fake geniality. No one needs your empty platitudes. We also don't need your terrible attitude either. There's a perfectly reasonable middle ground. It's situated right above telling me to go stick my dick in a light socket and right below enlightening me on how God loves me. I don't think I'm being all that picky here. Castrating me and blessing me leaves plenty of room for a pretty big middle ground.
Seriously, just try out my cordial code of conduct and I guarantee you'll see instant results. Want to get ahead at the work place? Just say good morning, please and thank you to every cubical slave that's within shouting distance. I think you'll be surprised at how many monitor fatigued, quasi-bleeding eyes will gaze up at you in wonderment and appreciation and return a similar token of kindness. What's that you say? You don't have an office job? That's okay. The same sort of kindhearted approach to life will benefit you whether you're the dude stuck manning the fry cooker at the big MCD, or whether you're wearing a cod piece and performing as the bottom strong man in Cirque du Soleil. Honestly, it's probably better you don't work an office job anyway. Who wants to work at a place that's severance package includes an empty 401K that you'll never live to see because the MSG in your company's food court will cause your heart to erupt like an active Krakatoa? That's if you're lucky enough to live that long, too. I know if I was stuck in a cubicle all day I'd be swinging from a window sill at the end of a Windsor Knot before the second pay period passed.
I'm not talking about saying sweet things to just the co-workers and bosses that you're fond of either. For maximum effectiveness, and in an attempt to achieve an impossibly beautiful utopic society, you should include everybody in this verbal love making process. I'm even talking about that sloth in co-worker's clothing that no one can stand. You know, that one guy that never stops talking about how electronic dance music isn't a genre of music, but how it's a way of life. These guys can also be identified by their hipster mustaches and their ability to weave the movie Blackfish into every conversation that has the words "zoo" or "aquarium" in it. Generally speaking, they're the breed of cat that really make you and your co-workers want to chug shots of butane and chase it with a flaming sword. Same goes for whoever your boss might be. Whether he's the brand of boss that just sits in his office all day playing Candy Crush, or whether he's the kind that bluntly accuses you of being illiterate in front of the rest of the staff (actually happened), just be nice. Same goes for the family members that you wish were aborted in their 52nd trimester. Ditto for the acquaintances that your girlfriend forces you to associate with that have the Joakim Noah man-bun haircut and only want to talk about the Premier Soccer League. But most importantly, just be nice to the people who serve you and are just doing their job. The baristas, waiters, hostesses, IT technicians, telemarketers and delivery drivers of the world aren't intentionally trying to throw you into a Caitlyn Jenner-type of midlife crisis. We're merely trying to make it through the massive disappointment that is our lives with money for rent and a little extra for a Netflix subscription that will help us escape the reality of our reefer smoking, minimum wage making existence. Plus, being pleasant to the bottom rung of the work world is highly beneficial. Not because being bright and sunshiny helps us, but because it makes us not want to destroy you and your misguided determination. I remember, one time we got a call for delivery that ended up failing spectacularly. By that I mean one of our drivers went to a house that was on the edge of our delivery area about six miles away (12 miles round trip). When the driver arrived on site they knocked, honked and called and no one ever answered the door. Naturally, this meant that the driver came back with the pizza and nothing else to show for his time but a half gallon less of 87 octane. Fast forward about an hour and you have the very same customer calling back and demanding to know where his food was at. As you can probably predict, he did the less than menschy move that every angry patron does; he demanded to talk to a manager.
On a side note, people, this tactic never works. For the most part, managers are the same age or younger than the staff member that was initially helping you. The only reason they're managers is because they're either blowing the GM or they have the uncanny ability to disparage the peons around them into being productive by channeling the hate that they have for the hell that is their life. That means us grunts desperately don't want to deal with what will inevitably be a pissed off GED-less grump that's on a perpetual PMS-like power trip. In other words, we'll be more than willing to work with you to avoid that unhelpful handoff of the phone that we definitely don't want to make . Also, you have to factor in that the bosses want to watch the bottom line in an effort to earn bonuses and store profit. Meanwhile, the grunts of the world could give a shit less about the loss of a single order. That means we'll sweeten the deal for you if you speak to us like we have a soul and like we're competent enough to correct your complaint. Just don't treat us like a heroin addicted hooker and we won't treat you like the 17th John that we've given a condom covered handjob to.

Anyway, our 23 year-old Asian manager took the complaint and tried to calm the man's obviously frayed nerves. I don't know what the man was saying, but it was obviously cold-hearted enough to strike the nerves of one of our best shift runners. Seeing the struggle, I opted to take the rest of the call. I have no authority, but unfortunately I have a sac and that means I'm obligated to stick up for the fairer sex regardless of hierarchical positioning. When I grabbed the line I calmly introduced myself and asked what the problem was. A deep southern drawl slowly said, "I ordered a pizza from you, where is at?" In a very collected tone I informed the man  that a driver had already delivered the order and that no one wound up being home. He then hit me with a, "I was feeding ma horses, so I didn't know you were here." First off, my bad. I'm sorry you ordered from us and we inconveniently showed up when we said we would. We should have known you'd be tending to your duties as a ranch hand instead of expecting the pizza order that you placed. Our bad. It was busy at the store at the time, so I calmly and coolly informed the man that we would have his pizza waiting for him at the store for him to pick up but that we couldn't spare sending out another driver. The man then shouted, "Listen here, son. You grab my pizza, get your ass in your car and bring me my fucking pizza." I just said, "I'm going to hang up now, sir. Have a good night." What else was he expecting as a response? Was he expecting me to say "Yessa, Massa. By the way, your order's been comped and we're sending out our Asian associate for a happy ending and a complimentary soapy." Because he should have expected a dial tone before the hate passed his lips. That kind of attitude almost always earned an empty line. Now, you know how things could have gone differently here? If he would have apologized for not being home and not reamed our Sushi loving shift runner. A simple request for a re-delivery followed by a few words acknowledging he made a mistake would have been all it would have taken. We honestly don't mind mending mistakes. Yours or ours. We simply want a civilized conversation. Don't take this out of context either. It's not like I need the customer to drop to their knees and plead at the altar of Wayne for a boon that may earn them their bacon flavored cheesy bread. Just a quick and honest, "Sorry about that. Any chance I could get my order re-delivered?" Boom. It's that easy. That's why it's surprising that only one in about ten complaints goes in that direction.

I'm not trying to force people to use fake courtesies as a way to extort people out of their orders either. Actually, I am. This is for the betterment of you and me. If you want Verizon to slash that overage charge that you racked up while re-watching the Youtube video about the baby squirrel being adopted by the mother cat, just add a "Please" or a "Is there any chance...?" to your phone call. Seriously, if you want that Denny's Grand Slam comped because your ham was so raw it scurried off your plate to look for truffles, just grind out that smile, choke out the words "thank you" and see the glory that is gratitude play out before your very eyes. We don't want to deal with you and you don't want to deal with us, so let's just power our way through the active bitch face that you're directing my way. Trust me when I say that if you do this, everyone's stay on this big beautiful blue ball of terra firma will be that much better for it.