Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Angry People

I have been an angry person---one of those people who got mad at sales people and spoke rudely and yelled and cussed (once, before I turned 20) over the phone to a customer service rep for Columbia House records. I'm embarrassed to think about my lack of class now, but it's true, I did it.

I have learned from my job that it gets people nowhere to act that way. I have learned that anger accomplishes nothing. I'm chagrined to learn it this way, this late in life, but I'm grateful for the lesson.

For instance, a man called me last week and asked to speak to a rep in another center, California. Now the man called at 10:59 pm, one minute before we closed down for the night. Plus, I have no way of calling a rep in another center and we didn't have anybody in our center that late who had that kind of authority plus that rep's center was also closed.

He yelled at me and lectured me and tried to bully me for quite awhile about that. Then he got even madder when I told him the credit that rep had made a mistake and he wasn't owed a $550 credit for text messaging. Now, his bill was two months late and he hadn't paid that much for text messaging in six months!

He started using the "f" word and taking God's name in vain. "You don't care if I can take care of my children! You're taking food out of my children's mouths!"

I finally called a manager, who backed me up in the decision not to give him the credit and very calmly refused to indulge the man's nonsense. Although, the guy, obviously a mysogynist, stopped yelling and cussing as soon as a man came on the line. He never got his way. His distrust of the world and hostility got him nowhere. I felt sad for his family.

Yesterday, a guy called in yelling from the start. He was concerned about the radiation and frequency in phones. I just couldn't take him seriously and I was totally calm with him. We couldn't help him, either. He's going to sue.

Both these men are angry at the world; they had no reason to be uncivil with me and they didn't help themselves with their anger. I know I'll be mad again and probably make a fool of myself again, but I'm pretty sure this is a lesson for a lifetime. Acting like an idiot is counter-productive.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In Defense of Kate Gosselin

Continuing my obsession with reality TV: I've recently started watching the Gosselins---first just to see what the hype was all about then getting caught up watching the train wreck their marriage has become.

At first I totally related to John---to his obvious desire to escape his marriage. When he gave those dirty looks behind her back, I knew exactly what he was thinking. I didn't condemn, in my heart, his infidelity. When you feel trapped and unappreciated and doomed in a marriage, it's easy to look elsewhere.

She treats him very badly. I mean, honestly, he should have smacked her back a few times. When she smacked Emeril in a recent show, boy, you could tell it was hard for Emeril not to smack her back. She has to quit that stuff.

And again obviously, she's gotten full of herself. She's cuter than she was and she's famous and she's taken with all the fame of her self. She's easy to dislike.

But...lately, I've begun to feel very sorry for her. One of the hardest things in life is to face yourself. Maybe the cameramen and producers and writers are editing things to make her look the villain, but she sure comes off the villainess in all this. She seems conceited and self-absorbed and mean and insensitive to her husband and her kids.

I imagine her watching the show, though, and coming to the realization that even the camera people don't care much for her....as she realizes what's been done to her reputation; admittedly she did a lot of it to herself. But that's going to be a hard realization.

And at the bottom of her heart, she has to come to realize that her efforts to support her family have boomeranged on her and she's lost herself. Maybe her marriage.

Tonight, we'll find out, I guess, if this couple has decided to divorce or work things out. Maybe they've banked enough to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, but still, Kate has embarked on this rather desperate endeavor to give her kids everything she never had which has erupted into something she couldn't have wanted and she has to be scared to death.

Because what if they don't have the money? She can still be a nurse, but Jon has no career, he won't be contributing to the family if they bust up and the show ends. She still has 8 kids and no apparent ability to live with less. Many families have that many kids and don't have to put them on TV to feed and clothe them, but they don't have all tne "things" either.

So, she screwed up. She pushed Jon, who doesn't seem to have much of a backbone or ambition, into this to support them and provide for the kids. I feel a bit of admiration for the way she's soldiered on in all this, despite the public censure, she keeps trying. More than I can say for Jon.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I love Kathy Griffin...and other guilty pleasures

I love Kathy Griffin; I'd be her best friend, if she'd let me. She cracks me up. I think she's honest and smart. She cusses a lot, but they bleep that out and I fast forward the descriptions of gay sex that pop up. I don't like her TV show as much as her stand up monologues. I tape them.

But I love reality TV, in general, and I read at the plot level, so I suppose it's the low life in me that I'm glued to a lot of reality shows.

I love--LOVE--Punk'd! I think Ashton Kutcher is an absolute hoot. I can do practical jokes on people like that because I'm so serious. I can't keep a straight face, but I can pull stuff on people and it's fun for a minute. Although my friend Dawn has never forgiven me for telling her our friend, Laurie, age 38, had Alzheimer's. She cried for days and refused to believe me when I told her I was just kidding. And then she hated me for lying. "Well," I said, "It's not a lie, it's a joke."

Someday my friends are going to get me for all those "jokes." I told Bill a lady in our ward was polygamous and he believed it for the longest time.

I love Cribs; of course, American Idol (Danny gokey started out my favorite, but something drew me to Adam, he's sort of so wonderful, he's Satanic); I like the first shows on Dancing With the Stars before they eliminate the morons.

Lately I'm into the Gosselins. I feel sorry for both of them, but more for the kids. Sarah has the same condition that Kate has and drs. have told her she'll have to use fertility drugs to get pregnant, so we might end up on TLC. It would be "parenting from the nuthouse" because Sarah pregnant with 6 kids would be that kind of situation and the rest of us would have to commit ourselves to get a rest.

I suppose that I'm going to have to repent of all this voyeurism, like I need to repent of drinking Coke, or the occasional R rated movie. Someday.....