Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pulling the Slacker Till THEY Strangle

I’m going to go on record with the opinion that slackers need to be tied up to the back of a Buick (ANY Buick) and dragged for hours until they promise to cut out the crappy non work ethic! It’s been a long, long, long time since I’ve been a slacker; so to make sure my observations of the current situation weren’t me just being obsessively oversensitive about my own work habits and bitterness (I’ve had a hard time lately with temp jobs full of people who aren’t lifting their end and getting HIRED on just the same….) I looked up the word slacker at, one of my favorite sites ever.

1.  a person who evades his or her duty or work; shirker.
2.  a person who evades military service.
3. an especially educated young person who is antimaterialistic, purposeless, apathetic, and usually works in a dead-end job.


The main reason I despise slackers (yes, despise and no, I’m not being dramatic….more on that later) is because they are generally surrounded by dozens of other people who aren’t, you know slacking. They don’t feel bad or wrong about being paid to do as little as possible. They don’t feel bad about letting other people pick up their part of the work load, while they stare into space or wonder aimlessly. And they KNOW what they are doing! And most annoying of all, they generally get away with it, because these people have the charm to ‘get by’. They don't care how tired you are or about the fact that they are getting away with schlepping around.

I’ve slacked. We’ve all slacked. We’ve all tried at some point in life, and generally more than many times, to get a lot of something for nothing. Think about the times in life where you were either getting paid money, or getting paid in goods for some task. You become distracted, either out of boredom or because you just wanted a moment. So, instead of clearing your mind and completing the task you are being paid for, you do something else that involves random nothingness. It happens!

People who slack on the daily are able to smooth talk their way into people’s graces. They’ve done it many times and are used to people just accepting the behavior. “He’s / She’s so nice!” They seem so interesting those first few weeks.  They are generally smart and warm. They are usually everyone’s friend! Often time, what ends up happening, is down the line, they just become “that guy / girl who doesn’t do much….” They last for years and often aren’t ‘talked to’ about their behavior, because that’s just the way it is…

However, as you mature, you start to realize that doing more and getting paid for it, feels…well… good. You worked hard for what you have and you’re proud. So, you stop slacking. However, there are people who don’t age that way. Part of becoming mature means you become less selfish, less self involved. There are people who remain slackers for life. We call them Losers. We find these people sad, embarrassing… What do we feel about young slackers? We think they're funny! Which ...they aren't.  Maybe we think young slackers are funny because we believe, “Oh, they’ll grow out of it…” But, we’ve seen that this doesn’t always happen. I love  babies and toddlers as much as the next sappy mommy wanna be, however, I don't want them slacking around with me at work while I break my butt and they take their time, intentionally wasting time and getting paid for it!

I despise slackers because I realize something every time I have to endure one. I realize that I don’t want to be on the receiving end of some slacker’s boredom trip! I don’t want to be the one who gets to board the airplane of some slacker pilot who naps in the cock pit. I don’t want to be the one who gets that one bad jar of spaghetti sauce, because some slacker ‘stepped away for a cigarette early, because they couldn’t hold out another minute for anyone’. I don’t want to be in the front seat, operating a car whose breaks slip, because the slacker tech was too busy surfing the net.  

The worst thing about slackers, they are equal opportunity. I despise slackers because there is danger that can be had. Now, the little dumpy job I do now is NOTHING (security wise) compared to the ones listed above, but the concept is transferable.  

The second worst thing about slackers is that, when you complain to another person, (even someone with some power) there is generally nothing they can do. Slackers just seem to be blessed with the option to slip through the cracks.Their selfish, ignorant behavior is appeased for much longer than it should be. (How many times have you heard that so and so, up in whatever department finally got the boot? You say to yourself and the person who told you, "Really....geez he / she was here for like eight years and did nothing! How did that happen?" It takes time to unload a slacker!

So, how do you combat the annoyance of dealing with a slacker? How do you avoid griping about them and get on with your work? How do you maybe get them to grow up? For once, I have no suggestions. Slackers are everywhere! All you can do is avoid ritualistically attempting to murder them. And, wish me luck!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mean Old Junk Yard Dog

I recently came to a conclusion. Mean people suck dirty pond water and I plan to avoid giving them any more of my time.

I was recently at Albertsons Grocery Store, in the bbq sauce section. The bbq sauce was on sale and so I was there staring at all the store had to offer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the manager staring at me. I looked over at him. I’ve seen him many times. I’ve been going to that store for almost ten years.

“Are you finding everything you need?” He asked cheerily.

“Yes, I am. Thank you,” I responded with equal ebullience. 

He walked away and I went back to contemplating all the things I could smother in bbq sauce for the least amount of money.

An older woman wondered by. Let’s call her Mean Old Junk Yard Dog.  I watched out of the corner of my eye as she first stared at a list in her hand and then at the shelf before her. (Yes, I use my peripheral vision quite a bit….You never know when you will be kidnapped. Staring out the corner of my eye gives me about three seconds warning. I’ve clocked it.)

Anyway, the manager asked her, “Can I help you find anything?” And she said…

“You don’t care what I what…”

I. Was. Floored….

Now, as per general, I’m usually surprised by what would seem to be common everyday things to other people. I’m surprised when I enjoy my dinner. I’m generally shocked when I am not tired at the end of a day, when I thought I would be. There are many ‘little’ things that bring me surprise. However, in this case, I was floored by the fact that someone would actually have the audacity to be such an off putting jerk in public, especially toward someone who was offering assistance! I was poised to say something rude and get myself arrested, when I heard the sound of little glass jars hitting the floor. A couple of people behind me had knocked over a relish and pickle display. Since I’m also easily distracted, I ended up not remembering to tell Mean Old Junk Yard Dog off!

When I got home, I found myself livid once I remembered Mean Old Junk Yard. It made me realize that this woman had gotten away with her horrible behavior and she would get away with it again, later… The question is why? Why did she think it was ‘ok’ to say something like that? I’ve concluded that it is because other people have allowed her to do so. People who are her friends and family have given her the opportunity to be this way. And the older she grows the worse it will get.

And don’t mistake blunt or direct with mean! Even tactlessness can’t compare. So, how can you tell the difference?

Well, for one, bluntness or directness usually develops out of an attempt to answer something (usually a question or idea) that is offered with a certain amount of openness. The bluntness or directness is usually an attempt by someone to be logical and forward. Sometimes this approach is appreciated by other people, because it’s refreshing and trustworthy. Direct or forward people make us all remember that holding back an opinion isn’t always a good thing. Directness can sometimes cause you to giggle, because it’s unexpected in a sometimes pleasant way. Direct and blunt are often off the cuff, spontaneous.

Meanness is often designed to hurt or cut.  Mean people who act on the instinct to say or do mean things, generally have a reservoir of meanness to express. You aren’t catching them off guard; they are catching you off guard! They wait for moments to dig into you… They are just filled with hatred inside.

Most mean people tend to feel and express negativeness about many people or things. This is because they are so dissatisfied with who they are, whatever they’ve become that they believe they can’t fix what’s in them, so they express their simmered vengeance on other people.

We all know at least one mean person. Sometimes we marry into their family, or we’ve been so called friends for years, or we work with them. What should you do if a mean person happens to sniper shoot you unexpectedly? The typical response we make to a Mean Old Junk Yard Dog is either silence or a pained expression. Anything you do that isn’t retaliatory is basically a gesture of “Please, walk all over me again!” Instead, turn the gun around! Your next Mean Old Junk Yard Dog conversation should end in smiles. For example:

                Mean Old Junk Yard Dog: (Full of piss and vinegar) Don’t tell me you are going to wear that old thing again…

                You: (Full of glee) Yep!

                MOJYD: I’ve always thought it was ugly…

                You: (With smiles that could dim the sun) Well, then it’s a pretty good thing you don’t have to wear it!

Feel free to use that whenever you want. And…You’re welcome!