"You know, nobody can make you have a bad day..." - Some dumbassPeople say this kind of thing all the time and they do so to illustrate that while you can't control what happens to you, you can control your reaction to it. Seriously, those people need to go harm themselves. Their intent might be good but their execution sucks. How do they consider themselves helping me deal with my anger because somebody did something shitty to me and they're pointing out that the real problem is my thought process? Those idiots would be much more useful (and safe) if they'd just recognize my bad mood and stay the hell away from me while I work through it. For example, here's how my day unfolded yesterday:
- Got up early because I planned to visit someone in the hospital. Naturally, I'm already pissed off. No mentally undamaged person is happy about getting up early or having to go to the hospital for any reason.
- Get to the hospital and ask for the room number. I'm told she's admitted but in a different building.
- I hike over to this other building and ask for her room number. The receptionist says, "you can find it on that display board" as she gestures to a video screen on the wall where colored sequences of numbers in a grid scroll slowly downward. "What the hell is that?", I ask. "I'm sorry, I don't speak Matrix." "Oh, you don't have her case number?" "No, I don't. Why and how would I have that?" "What about her dittybop?" "Huh?" "Her Dagobah?" I couldn't understand her saying 'date of birth' because sitting directly under the sign that said "NO CELL PHONES" was a woman watching hers ring loudly. She just stared at it as it rang and rang. Who does that? The Damned, that's who. Pick it up and talk or hit "ignore" but watching you sit there and stare at it while you decide what to do as it rings and rings and rings and rings is infuriating to those of us who aren't single-cell organisms. The receptionist said, "Ma'am, you can't use your cell phone in here" and she replied, "it's okay; I'm not talkin' on it." Eventually, it stopped ringing and that seemed to satisfy everyone. "No, I don't have her date of birth or her case number. I have her name. You sort people by birthdays and arbitrarily assigned sequences of numbers but not alphabetically?" "We have a lot of people here with similar names. It's easier. At any rate, we have no record of anybody with your friend's name." "You have no record of anyone with the last name of 'Davis'? How is that possible? Did you just open this hospital last week? What about the lady at the other building far, far away who looked it up right away and told me to come specifically here?" She smiled and said, "I don't know what to tell you, sir." There are few responses I hate more than that one. It's the pinnacle of unhelpfullness. When someone says "I don't know what to tell you", they're saying, quite literally, "I don't want to talk to you about your problem but I also don't care enough to gather the minimum amount of information it would take to shut you up." Now I'm really pissed off.
- "That's fine", I said. "The next thing that's going to happen is I'm getting ready to meet everybody here. Because I'm going to open every door in every building of this hospital until I find her. When I do, maybe I'll stop back by and give you her date of birth so you can update your display board, 'kay?" "If you do that, I will alert security." "That's fine. You do that and I will be one of those people who calls a TV station before they dial 911 when their house is on fire." This earned me a one-on-one with the receptionist's supervisor, a person who had more in-depth access to the hospital's records and who informed me that my friend had been discharged the night before. Let me state for the record that I am not intolerant of mistakes. 'Oh, you're looking for Davis? I thought you said Stankowicz'. That's a mistake. People are human and mistakes happen. It's when humans attempt to abdicate responsibility because of their reliance on some kind of inherently flawed system that I get intolerant. And angry.
- While waiting in a line of cars attempting to exit the hospital's parking garage, a panhandler approached me and didn't leave me alone until I threatened violence with a hockey stick. Granted, in my mood, that probably took less than eight seconds. But it seemed longer. The nature of the threat was insertion-based, not hitting. I would have regretted that; I really like that hockey stick.
- At work, I got a phone call from a friend seeking a$$i$tance because their water was turned off. While they were attending Prince concerts. Two of them. In Chicago. "But here's the (incorrect) account number. Call them at this (incorrect) phone number. Thanks!"
- Somebody from another department came looking for me but asked co-workers for "Chris" or "Mark". They informed him my name was Clark and I heard him reply, "Chris, Mark, Clark. Good enough, right?" That's not a good way to get my help when I'm in a great mood.
- A friend (different friend, up-to-date on their utilities) called looking for Lady Gaga tickets. I've helped this person purchase tickets before but apparently they've lost their mind since then because this is how that went down: "Hey, I want floor tickets in the $100 range. Seats on the side are okay too, as long as they're not too high." "Okay, well, I can't do anything until they go on sale tomorrow, I can't get floor tickets and all the lower level seats are over $200. The $100 seats are all in the upper level." "Floor isn't necessary, I just need $100 seats that aren't in the upper level. Put the best couple on hold for me, let me know the location and I'll get back to you." "All right, again, there are no $100 seats below the upper level. None. If you want to sit down low, it will cost more than $100 a seat. I'm running out of word combinations that might make this clear to you but we need to reach an understanding on this point immediately. The price of the seats and their locations are not negotiable. This isn't eBay. There is no 'Or Best Offer' option. Beyond that, the seats are 'on hold' in that they aren't on sale yet. When they become available for sale, everybody who works here who has friends that want tickets to that show will be diving into the same pool, so lengthy deliberations are not encouraged. Lastly, who are you and what have you done with my friend who would already know all of this since it's been this way forever and they've bought tickets lots of times previously?"