Sometimes I think about my job, and how much I would love to go work at a bookstore or maybe even the Taco Bell I worked at just out of high school. Ok, maybe not the Taco Bell, but perhaps the bagel place. That was a pretty sweet gig- I went there, I sliced bagels and made sandwiches all day, made some lattes and stuff, then went home. The only bad part about that job was the way I came home reeking of garlic every day.
The bad part about my current job is that sometimes I have to ruin somebody's life. I hate that! Today I ruined someone's life over the phone (speakerphone!) and she yelled and screamed at me, as if it was my fault and as if yelling and screaming would get anything done. Newsflash, sister: yelling and screaming is at best a waste of time, at its worst it might make less-patient people even more unlikely to help you. Why don't people realize how incredibly counterproductive that kind of a response to bad news is?
The sad thing is that I really didn't want to ruin her life at all. I wanted her to be happy and un-ruined. When it became clear that I had to ruin her life, I would have been so happy if she had listened to what I had to say, took a deep breath, and said something along the lines of, "wow, I'm really frustrated and angry at this situation. What can I do to fix it?" Because then I could have told her the two approaches to fixing the situation that I had figured out with my boss, and she could have started working on them. Instead, she yelled and screamed and demanded my boss' boss' phone number before hanging up on us. And her life is still ruined.