Friday, April 10, 2009

Manners and Spanners

I cannot ABIDE poor manners. Yes, that seems strange coming from a person who swears almost uncontrollably and can only barely suppress her violent rage. I actually believe in good manners. I hold doors open for people. I give up my seat for old folk. I say "thank you" to shop assistants. I thank my staff at work when they do something I have asked, and acknowledge good work. My tolerance for impolite people is almost zero. And falling.

As previously mentioned, I am the section's unofficial IT go-to person. This means that I am the port of call for any niggling computer problem that my colleagues might have.

Sometimes my eagerness to help a colleague in distress overrides my hatred of blatant stupidity and poor manners. My normal acid tongue just doesn't manifest itself. Yesterday, for instance:

The office bore, a grey little chap, approaches me meekly:

"Govstooge, how do I send an email to the whole section?"

"Ok, Declan, open up a new email window. There, at the top left of the screen, where it says 'New'... now do you see the address book icon at the top? Click that. Do you have anything set up under groups? Yes... GROUPS... there at the top left... no... LEFT. There. You have it set up already. Now just select and the name of the group will appear in the email window. When you send, everyone will get it."

"What do I do next?"

"Write your email as normal..." I return to my desk, my unfinished sentence reverberating around my head "... do you expect me to do THAT for you as well?"

Not even so much as a "Thank you Govstooge." Next time he asks for my help I will say "THANK YOU GOVSTOOGE" as loud as I possibly can when I finish, so that everyone in our section, and the neighbouring sections and possibly the senior manager at the end of the corridor can hear it. Simple manners cost absolutely nothing, Declan.

Mind you, I get a chance to retaliate a few minutes later, when Declan sidles over to my desk once again.

"I was at the dentist the other day. He says I have to get a bit of work done..."


"Yeah, quite a lot actually."



Silence. The vein in my temple is starting to throb, though, and the only sound coming from me is my measured breathing, an attempt to restrain myself from doing something I might get sacked for.

Declan catches the eye of another CO who is just unfortunate enough to glance up from their work at this time and wanders over to his new audience to continue his story of pain at the dentist.

Yes, simple manners cost nothing, but sometimes, life is too short.

No comments: