At the Office: I Just Like to Complain

Listen, there aren’t really a lot of things that annoy me, but the things that do annoy me are so annoying that I am pretty much constantly annoyed.

In case you were unaware, I answer phone calls as part of my job all day every day. There are several things that peeps do on the phone that drive me completely bonkers.

Thing Number One: “How are you?” Look, when someone on the phone asks you how you are, they don’t actually want to know. I promise you that they do not care. They’re just trying to sound extra polite. Listen here, friend, I don’t have time to exchange meaningless polite noises with you. “How are you?” “I’m good, how are you?” “I’m good, thanks for asking.” WHY. WHY IS THIS A THING. It’s completely pointless! What does this accomplish other than wasting time? It’s also a complete lie. I’m almost never “good,” I’m usually tired or hungry or bored. Sometimes I might be excited or happy or in love. But I’m not gonna tell you that, am I? Because we both know that neither of us actually care. I just… don’t get it.

Thing Number Two: Please just say goodbye. It really annoys me when people say something like “have a good day” and then hang up directly after. That leaves me to say, “thanks, you too” to the dial tone. When you leave off the goodbye, I end up talking to nobody.

Thing Number Three: Please stop asking. I just get so tired of answering the same questions with the same thing day after day. Especially when someone already knows the answer. You call me nearly every day, you should know our mailing address by now. I try to be nice. These peeps are probably required to ask every time if we have a reference number when we have never had reference numbers. I literally told you that exact thing five minutes ago (this sounds like an exaggeration, but it is not).

That’s it. Those are all my phone complaints. I know, you thought there’d be at least several more items on the list. I could certainly rant about phones for ages, but these are things that have been particularly annoying to me lately. And those first two can apply to any phone call, so I figure those of you who don’t do phone calls all day still get what I mean.

I don’t mind if people ask me how I’m doing, but only if they really want to know and aren’t just trying to be extra nice or polite or whatever. I really don’t like empty conversation where people just say stuff because they feel like they have to say stuff. If we’re on the elevator together, I’m totally good with companionable silence. You don’t have to talk to me. It’s fine, really.

Of course, when peeps do talk to me on the elevator, I end up saying the same things about the weather or how happy I am that it’s almost Friday or how busy our department is or whatever. It’s like I only have four or five responses and I can’t come up with anything more meaningful. I’m usually busy thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner that night (if I’m going home) or what kind of fools I’m going to have to talk to that day (if I’m on my way to my desk).

If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that this is an introvert thing. We don’t like small talk, but prefer meaningful conversation. I don’t mind small talk, necessarily. It’s just kind of pointless. I am part of the problem because I engage in it just as much as anyone else. It’d be rude not to respond to peeps, you know? And what am I supposed to say other than, “I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday!” I kind of think busting out with something like, “I’ve been thinking a lot about reincarnation lately. I really believe that we keep coming back until we get it right. What do you think?” is a little bit too much for a two minute elevator ride.

In conclusion, I have problems. No, wait. In conclusion, small talk is awkward and I always wonder why I say the things that I say even when they are completely benign. My brain still manages to make me believe that I somehow screwed up when I said, “Wait, it’s Thursday? I really thought today was Wednesday hahaha!” (I don’t know if I ever actually said that, but you get the idea.)

Post Script: Remember when I complained about not being able to wear my badge on my pocket? Well, they changed the policy and now it’s allowed! Can I tell you how happy this makes me? SO happy.

Post Post Script: Yes, I’m trying to bring these At the Office posts back. What can I say, I spend a lot of time there.