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Dear Neighbor

Dear neighbor,

It was brought to my attention that you are a regular visitor to my page, so I figured that warranted your very own post.  I discovered that you enjoy reading my material after my young son notified me.  How did he know?  Well, it turns out you enjoy gossiping with your own young child about people you don’t know and things you don’t understand, telling your child Lord knows what about me.  Very mature of you to teach a child that talking poorly about people so openly, especially people you don’t know, is an acceptable thing to do.  And before you call me a hypocrite, this is my page where I get to say what I want, and the things here aren’t shared with my ten-year-old, because I’m a good parent.

It’s a bit confusing how you can dislike someone you’ve never bothered to speak to and who has never done anything to you.  We gave up waving and saying hello to you a few months after moving in because your phone and/or cigarettes always seemed to hold your attention better than the world around you.  Even though you ignored our attempts to be friendly, we still waved here and there.  I can only assume that the reason you decided to act like a bratty teenager was because of my personal nightmare neighbor who has nothing better to do than call the police on me for parking in my driveway, threaten me with physical violence, and then spread nonsense down the street to make herself look like a wounded princess.  It would make sense that two weak-minded people would band together though, so I can’t say that I’m surprised.

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I have never complained to you or elsewhere when your kids are screaming at each other at all hours, nor have I complained to you or elsewhere when your dog gets loose in surrounding yards.  I don’t “have it out” for people I live near, spending all my free time plotting ways to make their lives miserable.  You want to know why that fragile Princess is complaining about me?  Because she’s wrong, I am right, and she can’t stand it.  She hates being proved wrong.  She hates the fact that I enjoy my privacy and don’t want her kids using my yard and driveway as a playground, or bouncing balls off of my house.  She hates the fact that she failed as a pet owner and we weren’t afraid to call her on it (I mean, who leaves a dog out in the cold, freezing rain with the lights off? That’s just cruel).  She hates that I don’t buy her “charming victim” act like so many other people do.  She hates that her boyfriend’s “we were here first” argument is bullshit that I’m not standing for.  If complaining about me makes her feel better about her miserable existence, I say go for it.  And you too!

Should I feel honored that you come here to read my page day after day?  I’ve personally never been so curious about a stranger, especially one who lives in such close proximity that I could pop my head outside at any moment if I had a question, that I’ve hopped on Google to find them.  I’ve certainly never been so obsessed that I’ve found said stranger’s online information and then proceeded to spend hours upon hours reading through it.  And I’ve definitely been so crazed about that stranger that I’ve discussed them with my young child, teaching that child that being a petty gossiping fool is a good way to live life.  If you haven’t noticed, I enjoy keeping to myself.  It’s only when provoked, I have to come out of my cozy little world and set things straight.

I tried my best with that little Princess who thinks I’m the devil.  I let a lot of things slide, telling myself that it’s not worth bringing up and to let it go.  That was until Princess accused me of yelling at her kid, approaching me by saying “did we do something to offend you?” and refusing to listen to anything I had to say because her precious children would never lie when they are caught doing something wrong.  The other shoe dropped when Princess and her Knight in Shining Hoodie had their drunk party guests on my property, leaving cigarette butts and other trash in my yard.  Quite honestly, I should have called the police, considering how loud they were and how many new colorful words my son could hear through the closed window, but I let it go.  It was a learning experience; I learned that it was in my best interest to stop trying to be nice to someone who has zero respect for other people if they aren’t interested in kissing her entitled prissy ass.

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There are many differences between you and I, but one key difference is that I am minding my own business as best as I can.  I’m not seeking out people to annoy, I’m not teaching my children to be dicks to others, and I’m not posting petty nonsense on a neighborhood website.  I’m not the one allowing her children to bother other neighbors.  I’m not the one having loud parties.  I’m not the one littering my cigarette butts and beer bottles everywhere.  I’m not the one letting her dog bark outside unattended while I update my Facebook.  I’m not the one blocking mailboxes or parking in front of other people’s homes.  I’m not the one acting like a pathetic unpopular high school girl by spreading lies like a disease throughout the neighborhood in a sad attempt to make myself feel better.  I’m not the one obsessing over other people, staring at my phone or laptop for hours as I try to delve into their lives through whatever I can find online.  If you come into my personal space without permission, I take steps to remove you and then I go about my business.  Simple as that.

Thankfully, my child is wise enough to recognize stupidity when he sees it and isn’t about to buy into your crap.  Your decision to involve your child, and in effect involve mine, fortunately managed to slide right off of his back because he is smart enough to see how petty and childish your behavior is.  Getting a preteen to fight an imaginary battle for you?  Come on now.  Taking sides in an imaginary battle for the street?  Ridiculous.  I can only imagine how you must live the rest of your life if this is how you act towards someone you don’t even know.  Looking back, I’m grateful you never waved back to us or engaged us, because I would not be caught dead associating with someone on your level.  I prefer to stay out of the dirt.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope it encourages you to find a healthier hobby and get the fuck off of my website.  Perhaps you get a library card and find some good books to read?  Maybe take up crocheting?  Go on a nice long walk?  Find something better to do with your time than discuss my family and poison your child’s mind.  Mind your own damn business, because that’s what I’ve been doing and it works wonders.  You are barely a blip on my radar, and once I post this, you will again cease to exist in my world.  You are less than a gnat to me.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Neighbors don’t all have to be best friends, we just have to respect the laws and boundaries and personal space of others.  Stay out of my orbit and I stay out of yours.  Simple.  Oh, and next time you see your privileged princess friend, blow her a kiss for me, will you?

 

p.s. if you’re thinking of retaliating on the neighborhood page, think again.  The site is VERY clear on what constitutes harassment and I will not hesitate to report you and contact the proper authorities in order to shut you down. You want to have a say? Say it right here or grow a pair and come say it to my face. 

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Maturity Is…

While I was awkwardly navigating my way through my preteen and teenage years, I encountered my fair share of mean girls and then some.  I can still remember the day when I realized that girls were a cutthroat bunch.  My friend and neighbor, Mary, was having a party and I was invited along with nearly every other person in the neighborhood.  A few days before the party, I got a phone call from Mary.  She kept asking me what I thought of the new girl, Kelly.  I would say that I thought she was nice, Mary would push me to say something else, until I eventually agreed with Mary that Kelly might not be the nicest person ever.  All of a sudden, Mary revealed that she was Kelly.  She HAD to trick me because she KNEW I didn’t really like her!  I cried for a while, skipped the party, and dropped most of my female friends in favor of male friends.

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It was a childish thing to do, but my 11 or 12-year-old mind thought it was the worst thing that could have ever happened.  As I made my way through middle and high school, I was shown time and again that Kelly’s little trick was miles away from the worst thing I could expect to see or experience.  I was lucky enough to find a good group of friends who kept the backstabbing and shady behavior to a minimum, but the things I witnesses females to do each other was nothing short of disgusting.  High school was horrible, and college was only slightly better because it was so easy to avoid certain people and cliques.  I always felt confident though that leaving school behind would also mean that the cutthroat behavior would be left behind as well.

Call me naive if you will, but I assumed that truly becoming an adult would also mean that females would stop being so terrible to each other over tiny things, and often over nothing at all.  Little did I know that it seems to get worse with age.  I lost quite a few male friends (and by friends, I don’t mean “we used to date,” I mean strictly friends) because their significant others couldn’t handle them being friends with a somewhat attractive female, even though I wasn’t single, wasn’t flirting, and wasn’t any sort of threat.  I’ve been harassed at work by female authority figures who disliked me for reasons I’m still unsure of, but were clearly unrelated to my stellar job performance.  And recently, I’ve been dealing with a woman twenty years my senior stand around my desk and take thinly veiled shots at me over some he-said-she-said BS that has nothing to do with her at all.

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I’ve been free of Tubberpottimus for nearly a year and had hoped that the nonsense in the office would end with her retirement.  Silly me.  When one miserable sod leaves, there is always another to take her place.  A female that will act hateful towards another, later patting themselves on the back as they brag about how many notches they took their target down.  Smile at the wrong guy and you’ll be called a slut.  Say the wrong thing and you’ll be called a liar.  Forget the slightest detail and you’ll be called incompetent.  Hell, you can do everything right and still become a target just because some woman doesn’t approve of you in general.  Women will hate each other simply over wardrobe choices and hairstyles.

I am beyond tired of this behavior, especially when it comes from women who are much older than me and should have long outgrown the need to act like petty children.  I can’t stand coming to work and having to deal with a sad middle-aged woman who has nothing better to do than spout off with “oh, better be quiet; don’t want any rumors to start” literally every single time she is anywhere near me.  We’re all free to like and dislike who we please, but is it really necessary to be hateful and difficult, especially in schools and workplaces where we’re all somewhat held captive together for eight hours?

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My dream is to fully escape this mean girl world.  Work in a place where some chick isn’t trying to get me fired because I refuse to gossip with her or because I’m getting more attention than she.  Go to the store and not be glared at by someone who assumes I’m looking at her man when I’m merely trying to find the cereal.  Stop hearing the word slut thrown at any female who dares post a Facebook photo of herself at the beach.  I want to be able to have faith in my gender instead of swearing off female friends every couple of years because I simply can’t cope with the nonsense.

I am lucky enough to know some amazing women, but they are unfortunately the minority in a bitch-eat-bitch world where rules are out the window and it’s every broad for herself.  Last I heard, the Kelly from my youth was busy being a godawful person to everyone she came across, but even people who start as early as her can change.  Stop looking at all other women as competition.  Stop the jealousy.  Calm the hell down and quit being hateful.  These females who constantly target others are miserable people at their core, and it’s sad for them, but also sad for us who have to deal with their drama.  Everyone needs to take a deep breath and ask themselves if all this hate, all the plotting, and all the gossip is truly worth it.  Breathe in… breathe out… and ask yourself if your day is actually best spent on whether or not your coworker’s skirt is one inch too short for the office.

 

Shut Up, Jamie

I am a loud mouthed shit talker.  I’ll give you a moment to get over the shock and surprise….

I’m pretty active on this site and on Twitter, using both platforms as a way to express myself, to connect with friends, and to vent about whatever frustration is currently circling around my head like a vulture.  I tend to focus a lot on the people in my life, both the ones I keep by choice and the ones that float in and out by chance, circumstance, or simply because they don’t know when to quit.  Sometimes I take someone’s situation and comment on it (without bringing the person’s name into it), sometimes a friend will inspire a thought that I’ll go on about, and sometimes someone just ticks me off and I need to yell a bit.  Whatever the cause, the chances are that if we’re friends, I have or will write about you in some form or another.

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I do my best not to be specific.  If you are dead to me, I’ll probably throw the initial of your first name in there but I won’t out you specifically or link to your personal pages.  With the people who are still in my life, I find it best to leave it anonymous.  I had a friend recently inspire a blog and immediately know it was inspired by him, which was a bit strange for me.  I know these updates are thrown onto Twitter where anyone can click away and end up here, but I don’t think of my friends actually taking time out to read my nonsense.  I suppose that gives me a false sense of security to talk about whatever I want without consequence.

I do not get into things that are told to me in confidence, that seem personal, that seem private, or that aren’t any of my damn business.  If a friend confided in me that she cheated on her husband/boyfriend/girlfriend, that would not be something I’d put on here, anonymous or not.  (This is also not something that has happened since I was a teenager; my friends are pretty straightforward)  I also don’t post frivolous nonsense when it comes to my friends; if you wreck your car because you’re acting irresponsibly, I’m not going to blab about it on here and risk potentially embarrassing you (although I will probably pick on you in person).  I do my best to make sure that anything inspired by a friend is appropriate to stick on here or common enough that it’s something we all could deal with.

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Writing on here is therapeutic for me and I don’t think any topic should be off limits so long as I’m not being cruel or trying to start some silly internet war.  I can’t count the number of times I wanted to post a link to someone’s Twitter account or post screen shots with personal information so every visitor could see what I see and maybe understand a bit better.  I have stopped myself many times from adding so many specifics that it would be impossible not to know exactly who I was talking about.  And it wasn’t because I had any respect for these people, but because I didn’t want to be THAT person.  I didn’t want to get a bit of payback on a person by giving them exposure here; I try to instead vaguely vent and hope that they eventually just screw up and expose themselves.

Due to the fact that I vent so much, I sometimes find myself feeling guilty or afraid that I offended someone who wasn’t on my mind as my fingers were tapping on the keyboard.  What if I write about sloppy drunks and a friend, who I recently had drinks with, misunderstands and thinks I’m talking about the night out we had together?  What if s/he instantly becomes angry or upset with me, slowly withdrawing until our friendship is broken?  There are some instances where I post something and see a random friend vanish from my life for a bit.  My paranoid mind can’t shake the fact that my words here could potentially be the cause.

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I feel torn.  Do I stop writing in order to spare feelings that may not even be hurt or do I keep writing and learn to stop being so damn paranoid about everything?  I honestly don’t feel that I can accomplish either.  I need to get things off my chest, so quitting this is off the table.  As far as killing my paranoia, I’ve been trying that for years without any luck.  The lack of solution is the reason I’m writing this particular entry.  If my friends see anything, let them see this.  Let them know that I’m not directing my anger towards them, spreading their personal information around, or simply being a bitch.  Let them know that I wouldn’t joke with them in one place, then come here and bash their character.  Let them know that, much like movies and TV shows, any relation to anyone living or dead is often purely coincidental.

If you’re here, you’re probably also one of my Twitter buddies.  We likely text or email from time to time, see each other when we can, and those things are concrete signs that you matter to me.  If you matter, I respect you, which means I would not and will not cross any lines and sub-blog about you or your personal information.  If you suck as a person, we’re not friends, or you piss me off in Walmart, you are fair game.  But my friends are my friends and I like you guys too much to publicly bash you, regardless of whether or not your name has been brought into it or not.  Please help me with my paranoia and try to understand.  I’d tell you to eat a dick well before I write about you the way I write about Tubbs.

Karma

For almost three years now, I have been working about twenty feet away from who I consider to be the most vile person I have ever encountered in my 32 years on this planet.  Not-Paula Deen, AKA Tubberpottimus, AKA Tubbs is my middle-aged coworker who has been in a government job for nearly 38 years and is still a GS7.  Most people with those years have reached GS13 at least, but she would rather be lazy than better herself by advancing and furthering her education.  She is the worst gossip I have ever met or seen on one of those terrible television shows; she finds joy in the misery of others and is not above making something up when she can’t find dirt on a person she dislikes.  She is lazy, loves to eat and complain, whines about not having enough time for her job after spending hours online shopping and gossiping, and is very mean spirited.

Tubberpottimus has tried on multiple occasions to get me fired.  She went as far as to yell at me across the office one day (conveniently when both her supervisor and our branch chief were not present).  She has lied to me, tried to sabotage me, and claimed that work I did was her own doing.  She eats like she has been raised in a barn and pops and cracks her gum loudly, insisting that anyone annoyed by the noise is simply jealous.  She berates her own husband with her friends, treats him like a servant when he comes into the office, and often eats his lunch before he has a chance to retrieve it from our office’s fridge.  She is the worst.

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A few weeks ago, I heard the fantastic news that Tubbs would finally be retiring!  I nearly did a backflip; I enjoy my sometimes boring job and love the blissful days when not-Paula Deen is out sick or on vacation.  The thought of her never returning, leaving me free to work in peace, is heavenly.  Every day that passes gets me closer to seeing her walk out the door for the final time.  She gets lazier and louder with every passing work day, but I try to stay focused on the fact that it’s one more day down in what is becoming a short road to retirement.  But just when I begin to feel that she’s out of my hair, I get tasked with planning her retirement party.

Really?  Of all the people in this office, the person who she can’t stand (and who can’t stand her right back) is told to make the plans and get things moving?  The person who got called into the chief’s office to defend herself against Tubberpottimus’s accusations has to now make Tubbs’s last day a great one?  Why not ask one of her friends in the office; she talks behind their backs too but they seem to at least enjoy her company from time to time.  I want to see her fall off a cliff; clearly I am not the one to plan a damn party for her.  I’m not the one to buy her gifts.  I’m not the one who should be trusted to make her day special.  Do you know how hard it is for me not to be a smart ass and purchase cases of Slim Fast for her party?  Or fill her cube with Cheetos?  I am not right for this!

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Sigh.  Is it karma’s fault that this was placed in my hands, or am I possibly being tested?  Whatever the case may be, I am (reluctantly) taking this seriously and doing what I can.  I have put out word in our building’s newsletter that we will be holding an open house so her family, coworkers, and others in the building can wish her farewell.  I am organizing a pitch-in lunch for the same day.  I’ve coordinated with coworkers to have balloons brought in for her open house and to assist me with decorating.  I am making signs to direct everyone to her open house.  I have started collecting money for gifts and so far I have purchased a monogrammed retirement afghan, a personalized retirement plaque, various decorations for her desk, supplies to make a large signature mat to be framed for everyone to write their farewell wishes, and various beachy gifts to get her prepared for her trip to Florida soon after retirement.

I want to be doing absolutely none of this, but I’m putting the best I have into it because I don’t know another way to do things.  Part of me is going into this as if I’m planning a party for the rest of us.  Rather than thinking of this as a farewell party for Tubbs, I’m claiming it as a HELL YES, SHE’S OUT OF OUR LIVES party for myself and other people who don’t care for her.  It helps a bit, but it’s still a struggle for me to be putting so much time and effort into someone who treats me like shit and who already whined to people to get me to reschedule the open house and pitch-in because she decided she wanted her husband (also retiring) to come to it (he works in the building, so he’s always here).  I fully expect her to whine about the gifts, whine about the pitch-in, and whine about anything else I do just because that’s what she does.  I’m so annoyed.

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All I can hope is that everyone else sees that I’m putting a hell of a lot of effort into this, that I did my best, and that any complaint she may have is being raised out of spite and pure hatefulness.  This stupid retirement party is the last step along what has been a difficult road.  I’m glad to be closing this bloated chapter in my life and getting rid of Tubbs for good.  Less than a month to go before the thorn in my side is gone for good.  Not a moment too soon….

Livid

I dragged myself to work this morning against all odds after a night of little sleep and lots of tossing and turning.  My eyes burning, I dove into my work to try to get my daily tasks done as soon as possible so I could switch to autopilot and glide through the rest of the work day.  As the clock approached 10am, my husband gave me a much needed break from my office as we took off for our mid morning laps around the building.  We talked about an awkward situation in his office, the boy and the pup, and other easy topics that our tired brains could manage.  After three laps, I left him to return to my desk.  My butt hits the chair and I get two characters into my password when I hear “JAMIE!  Hey!  Jamie??!?”

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This being the second time in a two-hour span that my tubby coworker has screamed across the office at me in order to get my attention, I slowly turned around to see what she needed this time.  Rather than tell me what incredibly important thing it was that she needed assistance with (earlier it was whether or not my email worked) she glares at me, cocks her head, and says “What are you giving me a dirty look for, girl?”  My first instinct is to laugh, followed by a strong desire to tell her what a vile person I think she is.  Instead, I decide I value my job and I just turn right back around and continue unlocking my computer, slowly shaking my head as I do so.  My computer unlocks and Tubby exclaims “Oh, am I not allowed to talk to you or ask you questions without you giving me dirty looks?!?”

At this point, I want to tell her that NO, she is not allowed to yell across the office at me without getting a dirty look.  But I know my place in this office and I know that I am not as highly valued as a contractor as she is as a GS employee.  I slowly turn and say “Really?”  She snaps back with “Yeah, really!  I am old enough to be your mother!  You show some respect, girl!!”  Now, calling me a girl when I’m 31 and not the one screaming like an idiot across the office struck me as a bit funny, and I couldn’t help but crack a smile.  I then said to her “I’m not going to sit here and act like we’re in high school,” and turned back to my computer to get on with my day.  Apparently that was just as bad as telling her to piss off because she again yelled at me, saying “Oh, THAT is how you want to play it??!?”  Muttering something I could not understand, she stormed away.

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I shouldn’t be surprised that she decided to get loud with me with numerous witnesses around, but it did take me by surprise because her yelling at me while I don’t yell back doesn’t fit her plan of Get Jamie Fired very well.  This woman has complained to my boss about me, saying that I am mean and don’t do my job.  She is a tremendous gossip and I’ve heard her discussing my life on multiple occasions, usually making up nonsense because I’m a pretty private person in the office.  She slacks off constantly, spending more than half of her work day on personal business, online shopping, anything related to her daughter, and other things that she is not getting paid to do.  She treats her husband like garbage and eats his lunch along with hers half of the time.  She lies and takes credit for other people’s work.  She has also called my mother-in-law a bitch, and my mom-in-law is a freaking saint.  My tubby coworker is one of the most useless and disgusting human beings on the planet, but she still managed to surprise me by yelling like a moron.

My boss happens to be out of the office today, but she has already been calling him like a madwoman since her outburst, leaving me with no doubt in my mind that she plans to complain to him once he returns about me giving her dirty looks or whatever she’ll come up with by then.  It concerned me to the point where I considered getting out in front of her and contacting my boss via email regarding what had transpired.  In the time it took me to write an email about the events and send it to my husband, I realized how silly it would be for me to do so.  She is treating the workplace like a playground, but that doesn’t make it right and doesn’t mean I have to follow suit.  So since her display, I have been carrying on with my day as if she is invisible.  Loud, annoying, but invisible.

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At this moment, I am livid.  More at myself than at the useless pile of fat that is my coworker.  I’m irritated at myself for not chasing her down in the hallway, getting her alone, and letting her know in great detail what I wish upon her every time she cracks her gum at 8am, talks trash about people who don’t deserve it, lies on the phone about being busy so she can schedule mani-pedis, or otherwise behaves worse than a barn animal.  She not only opened the door for me to let loose, but she rolled out the red carpet and sent a limo.  I had my chance and I let it go.  Damn it.  For once I’m wishing this WAS high school.

Here’s where I need your help.  Obviously I’m not going to rage in her face, as much as I know she deserves it.  I’m not going to seek out revenge in some underhanded and sneaky way, even though I would feel 100% justified in doing so.  But what do I do, if anything?  The “oh, is that how you want to play it” remark makes me think that she interpreted my fictional dirty look as the beginning of some sort of war.  Is this a justifiable thing to think or am I being paranoid?  To be clear, I don’t care if her feelings are hurt, plus we’ve never been friends; I just care about how this may affect my job, if at all.  And yes, she IS the kind of person who will lie, cheat and steal in order to get what she wants.  So if you were in my shoes and thrown back onto the playground because a coworker wants to go postal, what do you do?

 

Room 101

To say that my husband and I listen to a lot of the Ricky Gervais podcasts would be a major understatement.  Generally in the mornings, we pop in a CD of one of the podcasts rather than try to find a radio station that is playing more music than commercials.  On one of the podcasts, the trio discussed Room 101, a place where the worst things in the world exist.  On the BBC television show by the same name, various celebrities are interviewed and asked what pet peeves of theirs they would stick into Room 101, causing them to cease to exist in our world.  Gervais questions Karl Pilkington on what he would put in this room, assuming that the big problems in the world (cancer, AIDS, famine, etc.) are already present in the room.

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It is a hilarious podcast, and I suggest that everyone hop on iTunes and download some of the free ones to give them a try, but it got me thinking about what I would stick into that room.  While Karl wanted to put in slugs and restless leg syndrome, Gervais was pushing for lazy parents and people who are thoughtless and arrogant enough to serve a stranger a meal prepared with their own breastmilk (don’t ask, just go download).  The following is my list of what needs to be banished to Room 101.

1.  Those with horrible table manners and/or eating habits.  It boggles my mind how many grown adults eat with their mouth open, try to hold a conversation with their mouth full of food, smack and lick their fingers, pop their gum, or eat chips like the goat in the latest Dorito commercial.  I do not, under any circumstances, want to listen to anyone chomping and crunching and slurping, especially not while I’m at work and unable to escape it.  I don’t want to go to a restaurant and sit next to a table that can’t manage to keep their mouths shut when there is food inside of it.  It’s gross and I banish all of these horrid people.

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2.  Poor public restroom behavior.  A public restroom stall is not a place for a business meeting, a spot for your lunch, a place to hold a phone call, or an area for you to do anything but use the toilet and be on your way.  A public restroom sink isn’t the place for you to floss your teeth, wash your dishes, or spread your toiletries everywhere and primp.  The restroom is not a place for you and your friends to have a wild conversation, gossiping loudly while standing in everyone’s way.  It is not a place you should abuse since you don’t have to clean it by leaving paper on the floor, having bad aim, or leaving mini crime scenes behind in the stalls.  I’m tired of being afraid to enter a public restroom, so I banish you all.

3.  Spiteful gossipers.  Everyone gossips a bit and that’s perfectly fine.  What is not acceptable is engaging in trash talk, speculating and inserting your own details and drama, and trying to tear people down in order to make yourself feel better, get attention, or whatever silly motive is present.  It’s one thing to discuss an employee who was just fired, but a whole other to start saying s/he deserved it, that you heard X, Y and Z about him/her, and so on.  If you don’t have anything better to do with your time and waste your life flapping your jaw in this way, you are banished to Room 101.

4.  Motorists who can’t give up their phone.  I take calls in the car once in a while if it’s important.  I have texted and tweeted at stop signs and traffic lights.  But I don’t ignore everything around me while checking Facebook, cutting people off and nearly causing an accident in the process.  I don’t have long conversations with one hand on the wheel while forgetting the speed limit, my turn signals, and other basic rules of the road.  Put your damn phone down for a minute and pay attention to what is going on before you sideswipe someone or run off the road!  If you can’t manage that, you are banished.

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5.  Lazy and disinterested parents.  There is a place and a time for your child to run around and be a kid.  Restaurants, malls, grocery stores, parking lots, gas stations, the workplace, movie theaters, bowling alleys, banks, laundromats, post offices and doctor’s offices do not qualify as any of those appropriate places.  Screaming children should be dealt with in public, not ignored in the hopes that they calm themselves down.  Employees of whatever location you are at are not babysitters and shouldn’t be treated as such.  Either pay attention to your kids or be banished to Room 101.

6.  Rude patrons/customers.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that someone who is tasked to serve you is allowed to be treated like a slave.  It’s so easy to say “please” instead of making demands, to be polite instead of acting like you’re king or queen of the world, and to have respect for the person who is assisting you.  It’s wrong in so many ways to treat employees like they are less than you, and equally as wrong to yell at the poor customer service representative about an issue they did not cause and that they are trying to help you with.  Be polite or be banished.

7.  Lazy pet owners.  My husband was walking our dog one night and stepped in a huge pile of dog poo that was lying right in the middle of the sidewalk.  There is a teenage boy a few doors down from us that never picks up after his pet, a family a few doors down on the other side who doesn’t pick up after their puppy, and countless other lazy people who don’t bother removing their pet’s mess from public areas.  It’s disgusting and vile and unnecessary.  No one enjoys picking up poo with a flimsy bag, but that’s part of owning a dog.  Pick up your pet’s waste or start packing for a trip to Room 101.

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8.  The foolish faith put into the wrong people in relationships.  This is the behavior, not necessarily the person.  It’s easy to get caught up in love and put blinders on to block out reality, but it’s absurd to ignore warning signs because your desire to be loved is stronger than your common sense.  If you see your friends abandoning you because of your significant other, ask yourself why instead of assuming that they’re busy or jealous and simply dismissing it.  If your significant other is always coming up with crazy stories to explain their behavior, question the validity of these tales.  This silly blind faith needs to be banished for good.

9.  Personal space invaders.  I have a bubble around me that 99.9% of people around me are not invited into.  I imagine most people feel similarly when it comes to strangers getting too close or making unwanted physical contact.  No line moves faster if you get right on top of the person standing in front of you.  No conversation moves along more smoothly if you’re right in the person’s face.  No employee wants you sitting on their desk while you ask a question.  Everyone deserves to have their personal space remain personal.  Respect it or go find your bed in Room 101.

10.  Attention whores.  They post photo after photo of their face from the exact same angle with comments like “OMG no makeup” in order to fish for compliments.  They bother every celebrity on Twitter by begging for retweets and follows.  They always have a story to top your own.  They brag about everything possible, even when they don’t have anything bragworthy to say.  They’ll crash your party or dinner, assuming you just forgot to invite them.  They are the center of their own universe and don’t understand why everyone doesn’t worship them the way they worship themselves.  Tone it down or you’re banished too.

 

What/who would you banish to Room 101?

My High Horse

I have been called a drama queen more than once in my life.  The thing is, I’ve never been called a drama queen for engaging in behavior that is characteristic of one.  True, I do take to Twitter and this site to vent my various frustrations, both big and small, but by no means is that making a mountain out of a molehill.  I’m no social media whore, so any dramatic outbursts that may occur are confined to 140 characters and a small audience.  While I do have an opinion on everything and everyone, I’m not a gossip and it’s not in my nature to waste my time talking about others and analyzing their lives and choices in a way that is spiteful, mean-spirited, or dramatic.  The bulk of my “gossip” is what you see here; vague commentary about people without ever calling anyone out or inviting any attack of any kind on a person or group of people.

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The actual drama in my life is pretty damn boring.  I stress about money, about my kid, about my job, and about other various bits of nonsense that everyone else deals with on a weekly basis.  I don’t sit around talking trash about the people in my life while thumbing through the latest issue of US Weekly and watching E! News.  I don’t share things that I’ve been told in confidence or even things that I assume the person would want kept private.  It boggles my mind why I would be called a drama queen or seen as a source of drama.  Until recently, that is.

I had an odd dream last night about someone who doesn’t feel that I’m worth talking to anymore, and as I emerged from my groggy state and hopped in the shower, it finally clicked.  Every single person who has ever called me a drama queen, both directly and indirectly, has been a person that has been offended when I’ve said something honest.  For example, I went on a mini-rant once about people who post spoilers for television shows on social media outlets, resulting in one of the worst people ever getting annoyed by my statement and reducing me to drama queen status.  I don’t feel that my actions fit the drama queen profile but because this person took my vague statement to EVERYONE who does it and made it into a personal attack, I was given the label.

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The other thing I’ve noticed is that the people who think it appropriate to give me this label are also people who fit the queen profile, both males and females.  They troll Facebook looking for old friends just to talk trash about them with current friends, they get into everyone’s business so they have something to discuss later, and they automatically assume everything is all about them.  Sticking me with the label is simply a way of them making themselves feel better about their poor decisions.  If I post a blog entry about how aggressive flirtation on social media is wrong when you’re not single and it angers someone, it’s easier for them to write me off as a drama queen instead of owning up to the fact that they fit the profile I described and they are doing something wrong.

I suppose I’ve just reached a point where things are finally clear to me.  I don’t need to feel bad or guilty about anything I’ve done or said.  I have never personally attacked anyone without being directly provoked and when I do attack, it’s certainly not out in the open so I can display it to everyone.  If someone doesn’t want to associate with me because I’m vocal about my disgust for people who constantly discuss their sex lives out in the open, so be it.  I am losing nothing of value from that separation and I do not need to feel remorse about expressing my honest opinion, especially when I had the decency to keep names and specifics out of it.  I cannot be responsible for anyone being blind to their own bad behavior or the bad behavior of their loved one.  I’m done feeling like I’m in the wrong.

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I’m not trying to climb on the highest horse around so I can look down on as many people as possible, I’m just at a new phase in my life.  I like to think I evolve more and more each day, and this is just one more tiny piece of my personal evolution.  I cannot be held responsibly for the opinions and behaviors of others, even when they are indirectly caused by something I said or wrote.  I refuse to bite my tongue out of fear of offending cheaters; I’m entitled to think it’s deplorable to cheat and I’m entitled to express it here, on Twitter, and in other appropriate settings.  I cannot censor myself just because a handful of people are going to think I’m being mean.

As long as things are said in the right ways and in the proper settings, there’s no reason for the speaker to feel bad about their statements and opinions.  Someone who simply disagrees should have enough maturity within them to say something to you if they feel strongly enough about it.  Those who feel guilty and become angry should direct that anger back at themselves, not at the speaker.  “Tracy is an attention seeking whore” and “There are way too many cleavage pics on my timeline; tone it down, ladies” are two very different statements.  Only one should cause you to feel that twinge of guilt and only one gives a specific person reason to call you out.  As long as I keep my statements in blanket form, I have nothing to feel bad about.  It’s a shame that certain people disappear, but can it really be called a loss if that makes me down one delusional, lying, selfish friend?

Not On My Watch

Today was set to be an easy day at work.  My work “BFF” has the entire day off, which means my work day will be free of gum popping, loud chip eating, awful gossiping, personal phone calls, and other various annoyances.  I didn’t wake up in the best mood, as I could have used five more hours of sleep, but I was motivated by the fact that today was guaranteed to be peaceful and quiet.  Even the rain was nice enough to let up when it was time for my husband and I to make the trek from the parking lot to the security line.  My husband left me at my office door with a smile on my face, and things were looking up.

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When I set my backpack down, I noticed a stack of papers next to my keyboard.  It was my “BFF’s” time card submission for this pay period, plus a correction she wanted made on the last pay period.  Her first slip up was failing to report a day of annual leave she had taken during this pay period, something I noticed because I adore every day she isn’t here and because I had a signed leave slip from her supervisor for the day she had been off.  It could have been an honest mistake though; sometimes people forget.  I highlighted the corrections she needed to make and returned the packet to her empty desk for her to correct when she’s back next week.

My second concern came with her correction request.  Our building closed on December 26th because of the snow.  If you were in the building when the closure was announced, you were able to receive administrative leave for the rest of the day rather than having to take annual, sick, or any other leave type for the time missed.  If you were en route, stayed home, or left work prior to the announcement, you HAD to use your own leave.  This was common knowledge around the entire building, plus official guidance was released stating such.  My “BFF” decided to ignore this.  She unlocked my desk (not sure where she got a key from, but I’m pretty angry about that), retrieved her time sheet, and “corrected” the annual leave given for that day to administrative leave.  For the entire day.  Something she knows she can’t do.

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Before you call me suspicious, let me just say that not only has my “BFF” pulled things like this with me numerous times in the last 2 and a half years, but she was eavesdropping on multiple conversations I had with people regarding the leave policy for the building closure, plus she was a part of a conversation I had about it with the time card guru of the office.  I also heard her immediate supervisor have a conversation about it with her, as he was one of the lucky few who came in that day and received administrative leave for the hours he couldn’t work.  This was just another one of her lame attempts to take advantage of me because I’m not a confrontational person and I do let her get away with certain non-work related things without a word (gossiping about me, calling me a bitch, etc.)

Due to a policy change a few months back, I don’t actually enter the time into the pay system anymore.  I’m set to take that role back, but until then, I simply collect the time card packets, check them for accuracy, and forward them along to our branch chief for review and final submission.  If they go to him incorrectly, it’s my ass on the line.  If an error passes him and he submits an incorrect packet, it’s both he and I who are going to be blamed.  I cannot and will not submit something I know is wrong.  I enjoy being employed too much to let that happen.  I returned the correction request to my “BFF’s” empty desk with a note, then forwarded an email to her, with her immediate supervisor CCd, with the official policy for the day in question.  I already know she’s going to be pissed on Monday when she finds it.

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You would think I’d find satisfaction in catching my “BFF” in a few lies and being able to keep her from pulling the wool over the eyes of those in charge, but I don’t feel happy about any of that.  The only thing I’m satisfied about is that my paperwork will be submitted with 100% accuracy as far as my records show.  I can’t stand the woman, but that has nothing to do with my job performance and what I choose to do as far as my work is concerned.  Sure, I could make it personal and nitpick at everything she submits, but I don’t.  I treat her the same exact way as I treat everyone else who turns documentation in to me.  If it’s wrong, it’s returned for correction.  She doesn’t get special treatment because I don’t like to talk to her, and she doesn’t get treated unfairly or worse because I don’t care for her.  I have no doubt that she’ll see the returned paperwork as a personal attack, but it’s anything but.

I’ve always heard people say “leave your drama at the door” when it comes to work.  Your personal nonsense can wait until you clock out for the day, and that includes issues you may have with the people you work with.  You don’t have to like your coworkers, but you do have to get along and refrain from acting like children.  You also need to be able to perform your duties without allowing your personal feelings to alter the manner in which you work.  This not only means not treating people you dislike poorly, but means not offering special treatment to those you consider friends.  When you’re at work, all coworkers must be treated as equals and most of your personal preferences and feelings must be put aside.

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Yes, I’m going to make my “BFF” angry and yes, it is going to cause her to become even more intolerable.  It would have been much easier for me to let it slide and allow her to get one by me, as that would keep her happy and off my back.  But at the end of the day, I have to leave this office knowing full well that I did my job properly and to the best of my ability.  I have to know that I was fair and followed every policy to the letter.  I must have no fear of being terminated over something I did or didn’t do.  My life may be made a living hell next week when she sees that I caught her errors, but I’d rather compromise my personal happiness at the office than compromise my entire job.

Tell Me Everything

I heard the news that Kim Kardashian is expecting a child with Kanye West in what seemed like record time.  Not being a fan of Kim or concerned with anything but Kanye’s music, I wasn’t reading gossip columns on entertainment sites or checking in on their Facebook pages.  I heard the news via Twitter from people mocking the fact that Kim is knocked up by another man before her divorce has been finalized.  I doubt the pregnancy test had even been disposed of when the news hit my ears.  While you could blame Twitter for the speed of the pregnancy getting from them to me, the true cause is the attention seeking couple who live their life like an open wound combined with the blood hungry paparazzi who devour juicy information like starving dogs.

Recently, a photographer was killed while attempting to catch a few shots of Justin Bieber.  The freelance photographer was killed by another driver as he crossed the highway to snap a photo of Bieber’s car which was pulled onto the side of the road by police for speeding.  Bieber, who wasn’t even in the car, expressed his regret for the preventable incident that would not have happened if not for the public’s insatiable appetite for celebrity gossip.  This is nothing new, as we learned years ago with Princess Diana and her tragic accident, but it’s also nothing that seems to be much of a concern to anyone.  All we are concerned with is having the most up to date information on our favorite famous faces.  It doesn’t matter who gets hurt so long as the details are readily available.

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I for one have had enough.  I’m beyond exhausted with the overwhelming amount of useless information I receive on a daily basis about famous people I don’t have any interest in, especially since I am in no way seeking this information out.  I cannot understand why people who have achieved fame are giving in to the public demand and not even trying to be secretive when it comes to their personal lives and I cannot understand why anyone would put their safety at risk for a photo or a comment from one of the famed who are trying to have a private moment.  Both sides are at fault here for giving into the public hunger for information, and those demanding this information should be ashamed of themselves for the mess they have created.

Discovering that you are expecting a child is a special time, but also a personal one.  It should not be advertised to the world before the family is even able to find out and process the information.  It should not be broadcast so loudly and so broadly that people have no choice in whether or not they hear the gritty details.  It should not be reported along with real news stories and should not dominate web sites that aren’t dedicated to entertainment and gossip.  It should not matter to the general public and should not have the power to make or break our day.  It should not carry the weight that it does and become a must-know fact that requires constant updating.  It should not be this important to us.

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The thing that gets me the most is that Kim is among that special category of celebrity who is famous for absolutely no good reason.  She’s not famous because she’s talented, she didn’t create something that changed the world, she didn’t save a life or overcome an obstacle, and she didn’t do anything worthwhile.  Kim made a sex tape, propelling her into the limelight, and now people are obsessed with her and her family.  Her video was the beginning of what unfortunately seems to be an endless fairy tale about all things Kim.  And because of this odd fascination with her, we have awful reality shows and a constant barrage of photos and gossip related to every single solitary move she or her family makes.  It’s disgusting.

Celebrity gossip is perfectly fine in moderation.  When it’s distributed and received in small doses, it’s perfectly healthy.  When it gets to the point where every move and word is documented and immediately reported on, it becomes a sickness.  This sickness infects not only those who receive the information, but those who put it out there; the celebrity themselves and the news outlet or lucky photographer.  More information equals more sickness, bringing us to our current state where nothing is sacred and privacy is an afterthought.

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The entertainment industry is composed of a simple supply and demand structure.  The public expresses their wants and the media outlets and celebrities must deliver.  If the public loses interest, as we see with many new television shows, the creation and the creators cease to exist.  If we simply tone down our rabid hunger for this useless information, the flow of information to us will slow down, with some of it fading away entirely.  I would hate to think that I live in a world surrounded by people who care more about Kanye’s sex life than they do the future of the country, their children’s education, or any of the numerous other issues that are infinitely more important than who has the best beach body.

Discussing the newly pregnant pair on my page is a bit counterproductive, I will admit, but I hope it was worth doing in order to get my point across properly.  It needs to be understood how stupid it is to be so invested in the lives of someone simply because they were in a movie we liked or because they are plastered on the covers of magazines.  We can do so much with our current social media network, so why waste our time on trivial things like “Kimye” (gag), Lindsay Lohan’s latest legal mess, or whether or not Jessica Simpson can fit in a size 2 pair of pants?  We don’t have to give up our interest, but we definitely need to put things into perspective and tone down the constant barrage of drivel.  Please.

Hashtag Subtweet

One of my favorite things about social media, blogging, and other areas of the internet where one can say virtually anything is the freedom it gives me to be uncensored and to air out my frustrations without running the risk of offending or harming anyone.  In theory anyway.  One of the bigger ways this is done by myself and many other people is by using the sometimes loved and often hated subtweet.  Let’s be honest; we all have at least one friend who tends to rub us the wrong way on a regular basis.  They can be frustrating and push you to the point where you have to say something.  Rather than confront them directly, a vague tweet can get that frustration out without offending the person.  Is it immature?  Sure, but it’s almost a guarantee that the person you’re referring to is hardly the picture of maturity themselves.  I also find it healthier to be a bit immature and calm as opposed to being 100% mature and 100% frustrated.

The thing about a subtweet is that it only has the power to offend you if you are either feeling guilty or actually are guilty of whatever behavior or characteristic is being referenced.  If someone posts a tweet about people who complain about their job and how sad they are, I’m likely going to feel a pang of guilt because I vent quite a bit about my job and my crazy coworkers.  If someone posts a tweet about being stuck up or being trashy, I feel nothing because it doesn’t apply to me.  I exploded last night over a handful of people posting about a character death on The Walking Dead (which I have yet to watch because Dexter is on at the same time, so it’s currently sitting on the DVR).  The only people it had the power to anger were those who let loose with show details in a careless manner.

If you are offended when I talk about dishonest people or shallow attention seekers, chances are you fit the description and are annoyed that it’s not going unnoticed.  If that is the case, why waste time being angry at me?  Perhaps your time is better spent looking in the mirror and trying to figure out what it is about your actions and personality that caused you to take my comment about liars as a personal attack.  The fact that you’re taking it personally is a clear sign that you’re aware of your fault(s).  I’m sorry that you’re frustrated about your transparency, but I’m not sorry for pointing out your flaw(s).  I’m not responsible for you feeling guilty about something, I’m not responsible for you instantly assuming you were the worthless person I was referring to, and I’m not responsible for you getting all kinds of cranky about it.

One interesting thing about subtweeting is how difficult it is to escape.  Even those who find it appalling, immature, and juvenile will do it now and then.  Whether they are complaining about habitual subtweeters or about something more specific, it’s almost a guarantee that somewhere on their timeline, you’ll find a vague complaint about a person or group of people that was posted out of frustration and with a little bit of hope that the right person would read it and take a hint.  It’s always funny to see a subtweet about how annoying and immature subtweeting is, but it goes to show you how easy it is to let one slip out of frustration.

I completely agree that it’s immature and can be very annoying.  It’s an obnoxious thing to do and doesn’t properly address any problem existing between the person making the statement and the person or people it affects.  That being said, it’s not a behavior I plan on stopping and it’s not one I will apologize for.  It’s incredibly therapeutic for me to be able to use Twitter as an outlet to vent about certain wastes of human life or about good people who sometimes do dumb things.  It also does not have the power to harm anyone unless they allow it to do so; I’m unaffected by someone’s comment about obnoxious people so long as I choose to ignore it or choose to decide that it does not apply to me.

One thing I find particularly hilarious is when I’ll make a comment about a less desirable personality trait with a certain person in mind and it ends up ticking off a completely different person that wasn’t even on my radar.  It happens more than it should, making me wonder why these people think they are always on my mind and are always the subject matter of my comments.  Do they really think they’re that important, or are they just feeling bad about their behavior and getting annoyed that what I say applies to them?  It’s even better when they first react, then go into “I don’t care” mode to try to play it off.  If you don’t care, why react at all?

A subtweet only has the power to hurt you if you give it permission to do so.  If you’re not cheating on your girlfriend, a comment about cheaters can’t hurt you and isn’t aimed at you.  If you’re not a drama queen, you have no reason to pay attention to tweets insulting people who are.  It’s embarrassingly simple.  By overreacting to subtweets, even if they are aimed at you, you’re only succeeding in drawing attention to yourself and giving everyone watching the impression that you are indeed guilty of the bad behavior referenced.

I’m not going to stop commenting on whoever I want to comment about, people in general aren’t going to stop subtweeting or posting cryptic things elsewhere, and we’re never going to find a way to stop getting offended over comments, regardless of whether or not they are directed at us.  The only sensible things to do are to either cut people out of your life, or when that isn’t possible, ignore them and honestly laugh off their nonsense.  Don’t post back “Oh, you’re so clever. #WhoCares” as it clearly shows you do care.  You have to stop caring and let their jabs fly over your head.  By not allowing them to affect you and by letting it breeze by you, you take away their power and you become the bigger person.

I’m not writing this from atop my high horse; I have engaged in petty subtweet wars and allowed comments from people to get under my skin.  I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of certain bad behaviors.  That said, I’m not currently steaming mad because some dumbass is complaining on Twitter about people with kids always being too busy to hang out.  Sure, it applies to me, but is it worth caring about?  Do I really want to associate with someone who thinks I’d be a better friend if I dump my kid off at any place possible so I can hit the town and get drunk?  The best decision is to make these types of people invisible.  And with this blog, I officially make the worst offender of the above behavior an invisible and voiceless being.  You won’t be missed.

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