I am a jerk

Given that I work in computers, and again that I work in the web industry, and again that I am the sole web guy at our company … I end up answering a lot of support emails and phone calls. It’s just the nature of the beast. I imagine it’s heaven to work in a company that is large enough that the programmers actually get to, you know, program. But I digress …

When it comes to grammar and language, I consider myself a little above average. I comma-splice like no one else, but otherwise I am very particular about what I say and how I say it. In general, not only do I say what I mean, but I also mean what I say. I’m not the type of person that gropes for words, nor am I the type that often (if ever) says "No, what I meant to say was …". I’m even one of those annoying people that types out complete, punctuated, grammatically correct and unabridged sentences for email and instant messaging.

Therefore, when I form complete sentences and use specific words, there’s probably a good reason for it. The jerk part comes around when I am compelled to point out when people ask me a question that I’ve already explicitly answered or when people assume that my choice of words was arbitrary. For example:

Person: Bob no longer works for the company and people are getting bounce message when they submit a trouble ticket.
Rick: Okay, I’ve removed Bob from the trouble ticket emailer.
Person: I still see Bob in the trouble ticket system. You screwed up.
Rick: As I said: I’ve removed Bob from the trouble ticket emailer.
Person: Oh.

Basically, I end up repeating myself. When I do it in person, I can’t help but slow down and repeat the exact words for effect. Yeah, like I said, I’m a jerk. It’s a compulsion and it’s one that I have yet to get under control.

[ But, seriously, I didn’t say "Fixed" or "Done" or just "Okay" — I was explicit about what I did. I presumed that we wouldn’t need to have a discussion about the merits of removing a user from a system where they have a ton of data associated with them, so I fixed the problem and explicitly said what I did to fix it. In this specific instance the poor guy was really nice and completely unexpecting the vitriolic smackdown that awaited him. Sigh. ]

Gah. I know, I know. I work in the wrong industry. If I expect that the people that I regularly interface with are going to start asking for what they actually want and not what they think they want … I know that I will be sorely disappointed.

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Rick Osborne

I am a web geek who has been doing this sort of thing entirely too long. I rant, I muse, I whine. That is, I am not at all atypical for my breed.