Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Please repeat that

At my last job in Chicago, one of my duties was to monitor a media station which was set up with computers and printers and yawn blah blah.  I never really had any problems with it besides the people who pissed and moaned because we had to charge for access to it and they thought they should be rewarded free internet service for such good behavior.

With the exception of one man who swept in there one slow day and proceeded to be the rudest guy ever.  You know how you can tell someone’s going to give you trouble before they even open their mouth?  Something in their body language just sets off all the alarms that there is an asshole approaching.  This guy was like a guided missile, and I braced for impact.

Firstly, he walked in with such speed it was like an “I-gotta-take-a-shit-right-now-or-there’s-going-to-be-an-emergency” pace.  I understand if a person’s in a rush to get something done, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that tearing through other people’s offices like a tornado is usually something that makes those people less excited to stop whatever it is they’re doing just so they can help you.

Next, he opened his mouth and some sounds came out.  I don’t know what they were, but they weren’t words, and they were spewed at such a high-speed it was like I wasn’t sure if they were meant for human ears.  So I did my very best to smile and say, “I’m sorry, can you say that again?”  And this was his first coherent response:

“I said I need to use the internet.  Do you have a problem with that?”

You guys.  If I had a supernatural talent for being able to spew explosive vomit at will, I’d only use my powers for good, obviously, and that would have been the best time to have done so.  Because these are the types of people I’ve encountered who have completely forgotten what it’s like to work a job that you’re already not that pleased to do and you know it’s getting you nowhere and the pay is just barely enough to keep you from death or worse and they have a heightened, false sense of superiority.  They don’t care if they’re rude to you or to their mothers.  They don’t tip well, if at all, at nice restaurants.  They don’t smile when someone is trying to be nice.  They don’t care to hear your opinion in a conversation at a party.  They give rage faces to parents with crying babies.  They are people with horrible manners who put everyone around them in shitty-ass moods, and I’m of the belief that when they do it to me it’s time to cut the shit or I will gladly cut it for them.

But there’s not much I could do in this situation, obviously, because that’s when these kinds of people know they can get away with it because the customer is always right or some other horseshit of an excuse they make with themselves to get out of feeling any sense of guilt.

So I quietly showed him the computers and informed him of the cost and would have been happy to let it be, because I was at that point so full of anger that my face was actually beginning to scowl uncontrollably.

But for some reason, this dickbag seemed to want to push me into a blind rage, because as he sat with his back to me, he posed another brilliant question to me with the poise and elegance of a rabies-infested boar:

“So can I print from this thing or do I have to pay for that too?”

I’m actually kind of happy his back was turned, because I’m pretty sure I became momentarily possessed by a demonic figure and I was seconds away from answering in tongues. But I composed myself, answered that yes, there was charge, told him how much it cost, and waited for the next gem of a response from him, which wasn’t far behind.

“Geez.  You people are something else.  Is there a charge if I press the enter key?”


And something in my brain burst.  Literally!  There was an audible *ploop!* and everything in my vision suddenly went orange.  And  the world got very quiet, because my brain had just blown up and was dripping out of my ears.  As an individual person, being referred to as “You people” implies that I’m the one in on some type of master conspiracy plot to make sure the world goes around wallowing in misery.  And an enter key joke?  Are you for real?  How goddam original, you human meconium stain.

So I waited.  I waited silently for something to happen- either for him to say something else wise and intelligent, or for my anger to spread to my extremities and poison my bloodstream and for me to die from septic shock.

And sure enough:

“Do you realize this is the most I’ve ever had to pay to use the internet?”

That did it.

And here’s how I responded:

I said nothing.  Because. Like I told you,  I was still waiting.

The guy sat there for about 10 seconds.  Then he says, “Do you?”

Still waiting.  Wait for it.

At this point, the man finally turned in his seat to face me and posed his final question of the day: “Did you hear me??”

And I looked over, feigning surprise, and answered:

“Hmm?  Oh, I’m sorry, sir, you may have noticed earlier, but I’m mostly deaf.”


There were no further questions or comments apart from a frozen face of shock and embarrassment and a hand-written note saying, “I’m truly sorry.”


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * MiaM says:

    I remember laughing so hard when this actually happened and I’m laughing just as hard reading about it again….I love you!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
    • I think if I had reiterated the story to anyone else there, they would have laughed and made me feel stupid for the fact that I had to deal with one unpleasant person while they dealt with creatures from the deep on a regular basis. Just another reason I think you were my saving entity while we were there.

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  2. * Sula says:

    You rock, Ashlin! Grace under pressure personified!!! :-))
    I, being not so dignified as yourself, would have shoved a pencil in his douche-bag ear and kicked his ass out of my office and into the street (in my dreams)….

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
    • See, that’s the problem I have. I never think to do these things IN THE MOMENT. It’s always one of those crummy afterthoughts, like a retort to some butthead political turd when you finally get an answer that would have totally slammed them. like…

      “Dang! Should’ve brought up tort reform. Totally shoulda said that! That woulda shown her.”

      “Dang! … Shoulda shanked him. Totally shoulda shanked’im! That woulda shown him.” 🙂 🙂

      I like that we share the same reaction fantasies, Sula-Soo.

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: