April 16th, 2012

Rants from the Rat-Race: Mean What You Say

I’ve lost the ability to say what I really mean when asked. I don’t mean that in a whiny, hipster goofball, attention-fishing kind of way, but in menial, everyday greetings, I’ve found myself giving the same canned answers day in and day out. The perfunctory conversations where neither party really listens, but they both smile and nod on their way to the coffee pot or broom closet to do drugs.

“Mr. Jones, how are we this morning?”
“Great sir, thanks for asking.”


What I really want to say: “Well sir, I’m exhausted. I shouldn’t tell you that though, or you will assume that I went out and got hammered on a Sunday night and give an overdue promotion to someone else. Really, I just stayed up reading Game of Thrones, cleaning up a weird stain the dog made and snorting and gargling my way through a pollen attack, keeping my wife up until 3 a.m. The sleep that I did get was full of the dreams that one has after engaging in said activities, but intermingled with strange images spawned from work stress. I was attacked by a dog-headed dragon that spewed mucous instead of fire, and after fending it off for an hour it screamed at me to turn in an overdue expense report. To which I replied ‘Ok.’”

“But you asked how ‘we’ were doing, which is weird. We are not Venom. I am not a remora. You are not my cousin Harold, and I am not tapeworm. Although that would be a pretty good life. For the tapeworm, that is. You drive a car that doesn’t smell weird after it rains, and you go to your dental cleanings as scheduled instead of accusing the dentist of ‘running a racket’. I, on the other hand, tried to use a paper towel as a coffee filter this morning. Surely you can see the disparity here, and realize that asking such an open-ended question really brings this two-person class average down quite a bit. So, how are ‘we’ doing? I’d give us a C+ today. You may have received that private, manager’s bonus, but I still busted the curve by throwing my recycling in a neighbor’s trashcan. Thank you for asking.”

From now on, I’m just going to tell it like it is.

“Mr. Jones, how are we this morning?”
“Well” I’ll reply “you seem to be doing pretty well”.
“Me, on the other hand? Well, mama’s proud of her C student”.

— Tea Jones


Mel — Monday, April 16, 2012 9:50 pm

Wow, that was a very entertaining read! Thanks, Tea

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