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.

At The Office: Muzak

Okay, I know I was writing weekly office posts, but man, not enough happens for that to be a thing. So now they’re just random At The Office posts.

Everybody knows about muzak, right? It’s that weird pseudo jazz music that’s also called “elevator music”. The word comes from a company that was called Muzak whose name came to stand in for all such musical stylings. Except that they never actually made music for elevators. So perhaps that’s why I have NEVER heard music of ANY kind in ANY elevator EVER.

Maybe I’m just not in the right kind of elevator? What elevator do I need to ride to experience elevator music? I don’t know.

What I do know is where I have heard muzak, often and for long periods of time.

While I have occasionally heard it in retail stores, most of the places I find myself in these days play some kind of radio.

However, I recently encountered the more common location of muzak: being on hold.

The printer I always use at the office ran out of ink. Instead of putting more in ourselves, we have to call the printer people and have them send out an ink changing dude to do it for us. I can only assume this is because changing the ink in those printers is impossible without the correct training and/or tools.

So I called the number. And I got to listen to muzak. For twelve minutes.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the recorded lady voice didn’t keep coming on to say ALL REPRESENTATIVES ARE CURRENTLY BUSY PLEASE STAY ON THE LINE FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE REPRESENTATIVE. Every time the muzak cut out to deliver this message, I got excited because I thought someone was finally answering my call. It took at least five minutes of this message happening every thirty seconds for me to stop getting excited.

What I’d really like to know is whyyyyyy??

I don’t understand the reasoning behind the horror that is hold music (this is the only exception).

I think it’s some kind of creepy, subliminal reason. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that people buy more stuff when listening to music of some kind. Mostly I just want to hang up the phone to spare myself the continued agony.

Unfortunately, I had to stay on the line because we print stuff all day every day and we need that sweet sweet toner. (I don’t know why they call it toner instead of ink. It’s another thing I could Google if I cared at all. But I don’t. So I won’t.)

I think I’ll try to take the elevator as often as possible and maybe one day I’ll find one that plays muzak. However, if I go to my grave having never experienced elevator music, I will neither care nor be surprised.