Happy Tuesday, my Internet friends.
How’s your Tuesday going? Good? I hope so. I hope it’s going swimmingly. Mine sure is, with several buckets worth of water coming down from the kitchen ceiling at the office this morning.
Yeah, kind of like this
Oh, would you care to hear the tale? I bet you would.
Now for the sake of e-scrutiny, I need to be wary of identifying my workplace for fear of happenstance reading by a workly superior. Thusly, I can’t go too far into detail as to what it is I actually do. Suffice it to say that I work in a professional environment wherein it is our responsibility to make sure that people looooooove their offices, simply loooooove coming in to work every single day because our company makes running your business just that much easier. To put it bluntly, we keep your shit running so you can do your thing.
Naturally, this service isn’t free. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than muddling through all the details of an office by your newbie lonesome, but it isn’t free. Of course, people seem to forget that. And so the crux of my week-daily life is that I’m surrounded by people who are paying for my very presence, but aren’t exactly thrilled about it. I pretty much just come with the furniture and serve as a reminder that the luxury of appearing important comes with a monthly bill.
A good chunk of my job revolves around keeping the place quietly functioning. You know, the background. This means photocopying, faxing, scanning, printing, all things courier related, keeping everything ordered and stocked, booking boardrooms, about a million and one other non-specifics that change on a daily basis, and of course the full time job it is keeping the place up to the white-gloved scrutiny of the aforementioned powers that be. I get in trouble for dusty picture frames. This part of my job is fantastic, because I am anal retentive and get a thrill out of a completed list of things to do. However, we of course would have no reason to exist without the clients who need us so very, very much.
Ahhhhh, the other part of my job. The big part. The big, whiney, complainey part. Because they do complain. Ohhhhhh do they complain. If it’s a big complaint about money or whatever, it goes over my head. Someone else deals with that. I am nowhere near important enough and damn well wouldn’t want to be. But all the little piddly shit? That’s me. Is your internet being stupid? I’ll jiggle the wires until it works and make you think I have a clue as to what I’m doing. Do your phones sound like crap? I’ll yell at someone until they sound better. Did you forget your mothers birthday again? I can arrange that floral delivery and even call her to lie about it for you. Are you unhappy because we called someone in to replace the jack that you decided was slowing down your internet, and now its faster…but still not enough to run Word as fast as you’d like? (Yes, you read that clearly: some people think Word is controlled by the internet.) Or even better, are you befuddled by my inability to program your phones so that you don’t keep getting these ‘anonymous’ calls, being that you apparently live in the century before call display? Well then I’d be more than happy to stand there with a retarded grin on my face while you berate me for your own damn stupidity.
Yes, indeed, a disproportionate part of my job requires placating the masses, the Great Confused Unwashed who wander these hallways leaving smeared coffee handprints on the wall and kitchen cupboard doors flapping in the breeze. I’ve seen lollipops stuck to picture frames, shredded paper dumped on the floor *next* to the garbage can, and all manners of inconsiderate tomfoolery.
Today kind of took the cake though, I have to tell you.
So we have this water heater. It apparently lives in the ceiling. I couldn’t tell you why, but that’s where it is. Said water heater stopped working some time ago, and so we’ve endured weeks of complaining. I like to respond with the sympathetic head nod meant to imply “I’m so sorry I’m not a tradesperson capable of climbing in the rafters and welding leaks myself – please note the career wear meant to imply said inability despite my constant wriggling under your desks to fix all kinds of shit that shouldn’t be my problem. But please rest assured that I will take your strife very, very personally.”
Today was the day we had been scheduled to receive a new unit. Joyous occasion!
However, for whatever cause that should reasonably be expected, the installation did not go as smoothly as (not really) anticipated. These things never go perfectly, right? No biggie. Until of course the installation fellow wandered off for some time and someone at some point thereafter apparently came in to use the sink. That’s where it got ugly. To be fair, installation fellow should have put up a sign saying “don’t use the water yet”. But to be equally fair, there were plenty of displaced ceiling tiles, hanging pipes, and other assorted dangerous accoutrements that should have been a signal to even the least logical of the crowd that perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to venture into the kitchen. But venture they did, taps they turned, and out of the ceiling the water began to pour. Where installation fellow was for the ten minutes or so it took us to find him I still don’t know. What I do know was that our kitchen and any water-related appliances were SNAFU for most of the day.
Now, I can see this as an inconvenience. A pain in the ass even. What I can’t see is how having repairs done in a kitchen can turn into a launching pad for all sorts of huffing, puffing, and general jackassery. Here are my two favourite responses to being told “Sorry, we’ve got a bit of a situation here. We won’t be able to use the kitchen for the next little while.”
1. From too-thin client whisping down the hall with a dish of fruit and a packet of soluble-fibre oatmeal (as well as a look nothing short of absolutely despondent): “But…but where am I supposed to get boiling water for my oatmeal?”
I don’t know sweetheart. Ours is broken. Do you not see legs dangling from the ceiling? Pipes and wires and cables everywhere? Oh hang on, you need oatmeal. Let me just fire some boiling water out of my ass for you, because by this point I feel like I could. Are you kidding? I know it’s inconvenient, I really really do. I’d be pissed too. But I also know that it’s very obvious that nothing can be done about it at the moment. In fact, I know that it’s very obvious that the only thing that can be done about it is currently in the midst of being done. What I’m not sure of is what exactly you would like me to do. Oh, and I also know that there’s a foodcourt downstairs. Have at it. Or you could eat the FRUIT you’re carrying.
And on a totally unrelated note, do you eat your cigarettes? You can’t be 30, how do you sound like that? Also, you’re married. I get it. You can stop casually mentioning it three times in an unrelated conversation.
2. Weird little troll like guy, who seems quiet until the occasional passive-agressive outburst of assholery: “You know, if we can’t get coffee from the kitchen, you should be supplying it for us from the Starbucks downstairs.”
Wow. Just…wow. Really? If the pipes were to burst in my apartment, do you think I’d be hammering at the landlady to cough up vouchers for a spa to clean my self-entitled ass? No. I’d carry on my way, complaining loudly so that nobody attributed my dirty hair to a lack of hygiene or anything other than what boils down to a MINOR INCONVENIENCE!!!! That’s what I’d do! Just like you, upon realizing that the kitchen is under about an inch of water, should take your four fucking dollars and buy your own goddamn latte! Starbucks? Are you kidding me? Does the repair shop loan you a Lexus while your Ford is getting fixed? No. No they don’t. Especially not if you’re a jerk.
Here is your latte and I hope it hurts you in your sleep.
Has nobody in their right freaking mind ever heard the term Shit Happens? You know why they say that? Because SHIT HAPPENS. We wrinkle our noses at the smell, buy a fruity cup of java to make ourselves feel better, and move the hell ass onwards.
So! In conclusion, today’s lesson has been as follows:
The next time shit goes wrong anywhere at work, I’m just going to leave it. If there’s water streaming down from the floor above, I’m just going to let it fly. That’s right, you can all get your loafers soaked and wade around in your own self-serving crap.
But hey, at least you’ll have your coffee flavoured oatmeal or whatever the hell else you’d like me to pull out of my ass for you.