Friday, March 5, 2010

People Skills

Also titled: Sarcasm- It's Not Just A Breakfast Cereal

Now, I am sure most of you read the title and ask yourselves "What the hell does Mookie know about people skills?"

To that I say, intellectual knowledge and application of are two different ideas entirely. I know what people skills are and how they are supposedly, in theory anyways, to be applied in real life interactions. However, I have little use at this time for people skills, and my job requires little use for them, so I don't want to ruin my hard earned reputation for laziness and waste time on such needless efforts. I drive around, rattle some doors, and rarely have to talk to anyone while I work. And on the occasion that a client calls, I can make myself sound professional for 2 or 3 minutes. If some moron on the street feels the need to poke fun at my being a Rent-a-Cop, well, that's on him. That's usually the person who later on wil be so drunk he doesn't even realize how many times he's pissed in his own pants. I on the other hand made some money and provided for my family, so screw him (I edited the real word out that went through my brain).

People apply people skills often to keep the peace amongst each other, or in some cases to manipulate the behavior of those around them. To a degree, people skills and maintaining a sense of political correctness in our world have become intertwined. Its pretty much ludicrous how intertwined they can be at times. People open their yap a lot, and oftentimes say something or another that is going to offend somebody. In high school this can lead to a adulthood it leads to political grandstanding. Neither of which I have much time for these days. I'm too busy grooming my ego. Giving it a sponge bath, combing its hair, brushing its teeth, and dressing it properly for public venues takes up a lot of my time. Feeding time is always a lot easier, as we always go out for my ego's dinner. For those of you who read my drivel, we thank you. For those of you who actively avoid reading this drivel, sorry you're not here to see me thank you in writing for filling up my ego's realization of importance.

The way I was raised, was to be told how things were. Do this, don't do that. If I failed to adhere to the directives handed down from the Evil Duane, other adults, coaches, or other authority figures, I was given more than just an earful. And, if I cried in self pity about getting into trouble I was given yet another earful about knocking it off.

I was razzed by friends and those who weren't on a regular basis, and reciprocated on an equal or greater value. It forced a lot of us to grow some thicker skin. After all, you can't be seen as weak, especially as a boy, or it will only get worse. So pretty much any amount of nastiness sent my way rolls right off my back. (Unless its from my wife, in which case, its a penetrating laser beam of "I'm gonna $^&* you up now!" going right through my skull. Of course this invites me to defend myself the only way I know how....Spousal abuse. She needs a good beat down about once a week or so for getting out of line. If you're still reading this, please dial 911 and report a homicide, because she reads this too and the last line will result in my death. I live at....)

As such nastiness may roll off my back, depending on my mood and the person, I will either ignore it, or shoot my mouth off right back at them with an overly sarcastic tone. Once the exchange is over with, I'm pretty much over it and have already moved on with my life. If they are hurt by my words or tone of my voice, well, that's their problem. And to them I say, get over it, grow a thicker layer of skin and move on. To me, it has all become quite impersonal, and is merely situationally relevant. When I'm at work, and a coworker is being stupid I will not hesitate to say so, and i will not hide any disgust in my voice while talking with them. If it is a situation in which they have no experience, I will walk them through it without any angst towards them. However if it is something routine, and they start whining or bitching, well...Call me Mr Sarcastic Jackass, Esquire. Again, it is nothing personal against the person (unless it happens repeatedly and I determine the person is just a moron). I merely feel the need to get the venting out of the way, and hopefully my gripe will be enough motivation to not screw things up, if for no other reason than to avoid a bath by my acidic tongue. Basically the message is, you're an adult, buck up/sack up and do your job. I will not hesitate to pull anyone's Man Card, and publicly if necessary. But if I see this person at the shop or anywhere else, I can easily carry on a conversation like nothing ever happened. Unless of course, they are the aforementioned moron, in which case, watch what you say, I may throw it back in your face.

So I have this friend, we'll call him Mr A, who manages at a call center. He came in one day and asked the manager who had presided on duties about some certain shortfalls in reaching their numbers that occurred prior to his arrival. Pretty much an innocent question, just merely wondering in case the big bosses wants some answers when they get in. The other manager, we'll call him Mr D, made some explanation that sounded more like an excuse, given previous situations had occurred in not so great an atmosphere and performed immensely better than this current debacle. Well, Mr D, somehow got offended by the line of questioning from my friend, and tried to drag the big boss into the whole ordeal. He also proceeded to tell my friend, after not receiving a satisfactory answer from the big boss, to not talk with him unless it was business related. So I guess jovialness was now out of the question amongst work peers.

Now, without trying to defend Mr D, I can see how he might take things Mr A says the wrong way. He (Mr A)is a go-getter type and generally commands the respect of his employees, and makes quite clear what he expects of them. He is not one to pull punches, and can be rather intimidating at times to anyone with a less strong personality. (on a related previous note...if he gets that way with me, I'll beat him like I do my wife for getting out of line). While Mr A has a good grasp on people skills and how to use them, once in awhile when he gets going and doesn't take the time to think a statement through and how it might be perceived by the other person, he can quickly offend someone, but totally unintentionally. He merely puts things out there the way he sees things and how they need to be taken care of, solicited or not.

However, in this case, it appears that Mr D has a fragile ego, low self-esteem, or some kind of guilty conscience for failing to manage properly. I don't honestly know. But after having heard what was said, my advice to Mr D would be to reach down between his legs, grab his sack to reassure himself that he is a man, and get over it. If he finds there is no sack for him to grab, well he should rub some salve on his mangina and get over it. Hopefully he does this in a private manner, because to do it out in the open would just be a little weird, especially in a professional office environment. Anyways Mr D- Move on, and don't worry about a situation more than it needs to be worried about. And instead of acting like a child tattling to his babysitter that so and so was mean to him, man up and deal with your own mental issues.

Everyone gets so offended these days and takes everything so personally. To them I say, swallow your shallow false pride and get over yourselves. Inevitably most of what you worry about you can't do a damn thing about, and that which you can deal with, most of it doesn't matter in the big picture anyways. And if you find yourself in my cross hairs calling you a retard or questioning your sexual orientation, its a figure of speech...don't go barking up some special interest group's tree trying to make a big deal out of it.

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