Thursday, July 1, 2010
I Hate Everything About You
This post's crabbiness is brought to you by the '90s wonder that is Ugly Kid Joe's, "Everything About You." Did you know their name spoofs another one of my bands'; Pretty Boy Floyd. Fun facts are fun.
The subject of my annoyance today is etiquette. No, I am not a 90 year old woman sipping tea with my pinky finger sticking out. Nor am I a finishing school graduate because, let's face it, if I were I wouldn't swear so much in these posts. But I have a bone to pick with certain people and I assure you, manners are not subject to just the elderly or the fussy.
Texting, Blackberry messaging, emailing, cell phones, actual phones, and even regular mail, are all there for us to keep in contact. Not to mention, we have instant messaging, skyping, and God forbid we use this last, desperate measure; actually talking to people. These sources are all there so that we can remain part of what we see as the "civilized" world all the time. You can access the Internet on planes now because of those certain individuals whose precious lives are too important for them to turn off their cellphones for even the duration of a flight. I have no problem with any of these (except, come on jackass businessman, just switch. It. Off. It's not hard and I have enough paranoia about flying and dying without your added wireless interference. Believe me, most of you are probably so uptight, no one really misses your absence anyway so just hit that button and give everyone, including the phone and me, some peace) especially since I'm so averse to talking to people, I'd rather contact them via writing via any of the above sources rather than actually call them.
But when you have access to these controls, you have a responsibility to the people you surround yourself with. What, I ask you, what is the point of having ten thousand ways of staying in contact when you can't even bother to do the oh-so-hard task of pressing a button to either pick up or reply? What's the point of getting the latest in obnoxiously multi-functioning hardware when you don't USE it for the basic, simple function it was made in the first place; contact. Okay, it's understandable if not everyone picks up on the first ring. I'm by no means a cell phone saint as I more often forget to take it with me when I go out than not. And yes, some people are considerate and put their phones on vibrate so maybe while trying to appease the general world around them, they don't hear it. Sometimes it's even better to have a small, unnoticeable vibration rather than a squawking, high-pitched version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme blasting until you finally find the phone, which will undoubtedly be in the last place you look; the pocket in bags which are designated for cell phones. However, guess what? Modern technology is so on top of their game, they have a solution for this! It's called the missed call. So even if you do, despite your best efforts, miss a certain someone getting in contact with you, there's evidence that it happened. This is where your responsibility comes into play. Return the call, you inconsiderate jerk.
My grandmother calls me fairly often when I'm in the States. Sometimes, since she has weird sleeping hours too, it comes pretty late and if I miss it, I don't call her back. Why? Because we have seven time zones between us and oh, I don't know maybe it would be better if she were sleeping at 5 am rather than fumbling around for a phone. But I call back the next day. I love my family and I am diligent about staying in touch with them. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Okay, some of us might be functioning on a different plane and not give a damn what the other is doing. That's their business but even then, if I call them or text them they owe it to me to write back. Yes they do, they owe me that much. It's the same with friends and work too. If someone goes out of their way to do something for you, because face it, contact is as much for you as for those who're trying to contact you, you owe it to them to speak up or provide something in return. This is how society works. These are just the simple, unspoken rules you should know and abide by and if you don't want to, well there's the door. Don't expect anyone to do anything for you when you cut yourself off, seal yourself from the world and from the simple human need to know how their loved ones are doing.
I think emails are the bane of my "work" life. So to speak, as I don't have much of one. Everything that I've had to do outside work for, either paying or non-paying, has been through email. I've had one in-person interview and about 4 over the phone and the rest have all been through emails. Which brings me to my current pickle. Emails are possibly the quickest, easiest, and laziest way you can contact someone. They're supposed to be a relief but noooo. Apparently, even that is too hard for the modern, working person. I've had to figure out, on my own, at least three times when people no longer needed my services when they just stopped emailing me. Hey, you know how you could've avoided all those politely professonal, and one actually concerned for the well-being of the party involved, emails? By WRITING BACK. Say no, say go away, hell, say fuck off we don't want you or like you. Too long? Too much effort? Write BYE as the subject heading and be done with it! There is no need to drag something out and play games with someone's mind and hopes (especially mine because I am a delicate flower) when you can spend literally 15 seconds or less to cut them off.
I admit, I have days when I don't want to talk to someone. Or see them. So I avoid things. But I don't let that go for more than a day or two as it is rude. I was raised better than that and I have trouble believing people older than I am weren't. Okay, so if you're my age or younger shame on your parents true, but shame on you too. It's common courtesy to return a call, to inquire how someone is, to check in with family, to answer a question. Couldn't you have figured that out without being taught manners and courtesy? I'm not asking you to get your elbows off the table or to open the car door for a lady, it's replying and using the many available methods you have at your disposal to simply hold up your end of the contact contract. You're human, you should know this. I'm not asking for a lot here, am I? It's not like I'm getting mad at my cat for not sending me a thank you card every time I get her food, I'm just requesting a place that's looking for work to reply back when I'm actually willing to provide them with what they requested. Do you even consider how unprofessional that makes you look?
Putting aside the business and professional side of this, what about the people you know? Friends and family? "I'm bad at staying in contact," just doesn't fly anymore. It's one thing if you don't want to do it. Fine. I accept that. I don't either. We don't have to, "stay in touch," and just see each other when we do. That's absolutely fine, some people or relationships, just function that way. My best friends and I see each other twice a year, at most and we talk to each other every few weeks or so. But hey, guess what? When I text them something that requires a response or vice versa, we follow through! Why? No, not because we're friends, it's SIMPLE HUMAN DECENCY TO BE POLITE AND TO RETURN A CALL OR A MESSAGE WHEN SOMEONE IS ACTIVELY SEEKING YOU OUT AND CAN'T REACH YOU. Your super-cool, does-everything phone means jackshit to me if you can't use it properly, in terms of replying to something or confirming something or just reassuring me that you're still alive.
I'm going to sit here and fume until you write back, certain place I've applied to. And if you don't within a week I will be going CAPS LOCK ON YOUR ASS. No, I won't but it's nice to dream.