Back after a one-year hiatus it’s the Shouts From The Abyss 2012 Christmas Gift Giving Guide! I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath to see what’s at the top of my list so let’s dive right in. Is that okay with you, Sugarplum?
I promise it’ll be more fun than a black hole.
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Twitter is down today in an evil plot to deny you my pith.
It seems like only yesterday I was waxing poetic about the suckiness of their technology. Am I prescient or what?
It’s the curse of the guru. Yes, I’m taking credit.
My pith on Twitter will resume when their techs get back from break. Someone’s getting fired.
This is part of ongoing series. The schtick is that I read something in the news and then go batshit crazy about it. What can I say? It’s what I do. I’m a visioneer.
My life is now complete. I’ve lived to see what I humbly call the “Quotation of the Millennium.” My work here is done. It is time for me to go. Nanu nanu.
There have been billions and billions of puffs on the cigarettes and we have not heard of this happening before.
–Thomas Kilas, co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association
Mmm. Tobacco vapor. That sounds so good! It’s what’s for dinner. Have they figured out a way to make that into a breakfast cereal yet, I can’t help but wonder? One with natural and artificial flavors? I’m in need of the breakfast of champions!
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I’m taking a quick blog-break at work so this will be brief. When I saw this steaming pile of horse shit on my screen, I knew I just had to share.
Hey, asshole advertisers! I have a question. Where is that line in the sand you are not willing to cross in order to sacrifice my eyeballs in exchange for profits?
I guess images that have the remotest theoretical relevance to your pitch went the way of the dodo, eh? Now the game is played dead or alive, whatever it takes, no holds barred. Make the kill on those eyeballs using whatever force necessary. Those are the rules of engagement.
My fertile brain can’t help but wonder: What’s next? Images of white mice in microwaves exploding in a gory mess of blood and intestines from the inside out? That might be eye-catching, too.
How about a little movie of someone pulling down their pants, squatting, and taking a dump on an animation of dancing pink elephant? Whatever it takes, right?
Where, oh where, is that line in the sand? Do you have any limits?
Shame on you, WeatherBug.com (in this particular case) for sucking on the teat of these assholes. When the advertising gets too egregious, you leave the humble consumer little choice. I’m blocking your piece of shit website – forever. It’s not like I have limited choices for finding weather on the internets.
Oh yeah, and by the way, if you resort to deceptive and nefarious tactics like this simply to get my attention, how in the name of holy hell do you ever expect me to trust enough to do business with you? I wouldn’t trust you if my life depended on it. I can see you right now, all greasy and shit, in your bathrobe and in a cloud of smoke, sitting in your little boiler room in God-knows-what country lying to people on the phone all day long.
Yeah, I don’t think so.
Since I usually try to go in a direction other than what is expected, take that road less traveled, today I thought I would do the opposite. Rather than go for the unusual I’m going to do exactly what everyone expected. And that is what’s so tricky about it. I just went another level deep into the metegame. Suckers!
This is my “N” post for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. That makes this sort of a Holy day here in the Abyss. Henceforth, April 16th shall be known as our only official holyday.
This post will fail. Miserably. But the beauty of negativity is that I’m allowed the freedom to explore that failure. My ninja negativity philosophy is simple:
Not only is failure an option, it is inevitable.
There’s such a negative connotation swirling around the word “failure,” yet so many try to convince us that failure is a stepping stone to success. Hell, sticky notes were initially an accident. The dude was trying to invent something else and failed! But that sort of turnout is like winning the lotto. It is the stuff of legend. It is something that just doesn’t happen to the rest of us.
Even as the self-appointed “guru” on the topic, I still have so much to learn about negativity. I utterly lack the ability to grasp the true meanings or communicate much about the subject to anyone else. Yet it is precisely those failures make me perfectly suited for the job.
Let us start by considering an expression like this: “We take responsibilities for our successes and attribute failures to external causes.” (Miller & Rose, 1975.)
It’s a nice insight into the foibles of the human condition, eh? But I maintain that the exact opposite is true. We actively cause our failures because that is what we are wired to do. It is, deep down inside, what we want. Any success is usually just shit ass luck, and probably a mistake. (Intended for someone else.) Sometimes good shit will happen, even to the worst of us. During those trying times we need to shake it off, realize that’s not who we are, and continue to move forward with our failures as best we can. With focus you can get over your successes.
Since I’m so lacking in the mysteries of negativity, I thought instead I’d merely share some tips with you today. The first one is a little something I’ve learned that can help make you appear more negative than you really are. Don’t worry. Your time will still come, but at least you can look the part while still on the journey.
The tip is this little phrase:
I can’t stand __________! That’s the one thing I fucking hate the most!
This little phrase works wonders and will help make you appear more negative than you really are. Here’s a couple examples:
“I can’t stand people who overfill their bowls at the Mongolian BBQ! That’s the one thing I fucking hate the most!”
“I can’t stand Pottery Barn catalogs in my mailbox. That’s the one thing I fucking hate the most!”
Of course, if you use this phrase too often, you might get called on it. That is what happened to me. “Gee, Tom. It seems like everything is the ‘one’ thing you hate the most. That can’t always be true, can it? Hahaha!”
Luckily I was able to weasel out of that observation with my negativity intact. I can’t explain how I did it, but it worked. I guess that’s where the guru kicks in.
There is one tactic that works out well simply due to basic human nature. It is the universal desire to say “hello” in the form of a question. For example, “How are you?”
In my experience no one really wants the answer to that question. “How am I? Do you really wanna know? I’m slowly dying, I’m miserable, a failure, and I’m pissed off about it. That is how I am doing. Aren’t you glad you asked.”
Some people who know me well simply say, “morning,” as a method of greeting. Note: The word “good” is not part of that greeting. Otherwise they get another earful along the lines of, “What the fuck is so good about it?”
Another fantastic phrase for maintaining your appearance of negativity is: “This is the worst day of my life.”
The quintessential example of this phrase comes from the movie Office Space:
Peter Gibbons: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.
Dr. Swanson: What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Dr. Swanson: Wow, that’s messed up.
God, that movie is brilliant.
Use this phrase and use it often. When it comes to negativity you simply can’t go too far. There is no limit.
One last piece of advice before I close the broadcast for today. If you found the previous examples and tips too advanced, you’re in luck. I saved the best for last. Let’s call the closing of this post “Negativity for Beginners.” You are about to be rewarded for your perseverance. Only the few who read this whole steaming pile of poop will ever see this parting advice hidden at the bottom. It’s like fruit in a yogurt cup!
When all else fails (a joyous time), just remember to keep it simple. Stick to the basics and go with the time-honored classics. Rotate through these few phrases every chance you get and you’ll do just fine:
“We will fail.”
“This will never work.”
If you ever feel that negativity eludes you, just think back on your own personal life experiences for inspiration. If your life has been shitty, draw on that for the strength and power to go on. If you life has been great, remember that all good things must come to an end. Try to imagine how you will feel when everything invariably goes sideways. Remember, it is inevitable. That is your special place where you must go. Sadly, those of you with good lives will have the harder time getting there, but be strong. It can be done!
Time’s up. I gotta go. I’m about to subject myself to the worst thing that has ever happened to me and it’s going to suck. Bad. If I’m lucky, I won’t live through it, but the reality is the Universe won’t be satisfied with that, so I’ll be back here tomorrow. It’s time to go experience the worst day of my life. During which I will miserably fail.
This is my “N” post for the April 2011 “A to Z Blogging Challenge.”
Boss: “Look at that! We sold two of the XJ-21′s today!”
And they say interpersonal relationships don’t mean much any more. Ha!
You ever met anyone like this? Someone who wants you to hang on every word they say, especially about the excruciating minutia of their day, while they simultaneously take a verbal dump on you every time you speak?
Boss: “Tom, what do you think about adding the XJ-21′s to our web site?”
Me: “Actually, I’ve been working on a template that will…”
Boss: “Cause I think we could sell a few, if only they were up there. Know what I mean?”
Me: “Uh, yeah. Whatever.”
Perhaps the funniest aspect of all of this is how the boss never seems to notice when I’ve checked out of the conversation. I just shut my fuckin’ trap, stare off into space, turn my back on him and return to my computer. Whatever. Whatever!!!
Yep. Hilarious. It’s friggin’ a barrel of laughs to be minimized as a person and stomped on every fucking time you open your mouth. Let’s put on our thinking caps. Do you think there is any possible way treating people like that will have consequences? Think it will encourage them to be the most enthusiastic member of your team? To proactively go out and do things for you? To care about what you have to say when the shoe is on the other foot? Foster bitterness? Loathing? Spite?
Both of the examples above are typical at my job. At no point does anyone ever come back and say, “Eh? Your wife? In urgent care? What’s up with that?” Nope. In one ear and out the other and never to be thought of again, unless, of course, you’re dumb enough to make a second attempt. But I’m usually so fried there is little chance of that.
So yeah, like I alluded to in a recent post, my #1 overriding goal, my prime directive, my mission in life every single time I haul my sorry ass into work is clear and present and always on my mind as I try to go about my duties:
Don’t speak. Don’t attempt to engage enemies in conversation. Speaking only serves to embolden office combatants and facilitates the exchange of power from those who actually care to those who are fucking assholes.
It’s a very worthy goal. One I prostrate myself to continually all day long. I strive to keep it the foremost thing on my mind as I do my job. Even so, I’m only human, so failure is inevitable.
In some ways, it’s more important how you grapple with that failure than striving to meet the goal in the first place. After all, as something that can’t actually be achieved, a goal is little more than a mechanism to getting to your special place. And, at least for me, lovingly embracing failure with self-flagellation is the key.
At last! Only after sweet failure can you come face to face with the one and only persona that will never interrupt or fail to listen. That is, of course, your inner persona. A persona that will truly embrace your thoughts of failure. It’s a persona that’s always there for you.
“Your hubris is especially delicious when it rots.”
“What made you think they’d take interest in that?”
“Why don’t you just offer up your throat next time?”
“You make me sick.”
“Think those bastards give a shit?”
“Please, try that some more. I’m grabbing some popcorn. This will be good!”
Finally, conversations worth having! Even better they don’t have to involve other people who are nothing more than winking assholes.
In the end, the only one you can count on is yourself.
What’s the “take away” here? You have to dig deep to find the goodness, but it’s there. My old friend yin-yang still can be found if we know where to look. The lesson of duality is that if something is especially reaming me out then there must be something else to be learned, too. Right?
It’s like being eviscerated and having your bowels strewn about on the floor in front of you. In that situation you really have two choices. Bitch about the steam or take the opportunity to learn a little something for the future (albeit one that has only a few seconds left).
Instead of bitching about the steam, why not say, “Hey. Thanks for spilling out my entrails. Now I have the chance to practice the art of divination and, just maybe, I can glean my fortune.” Now that’s turning lemons into lemonade!
I guess the flow of a normal workday happens for a reason. It’s the natural order of things. It’s about the daily journey to the place you need to be. You can’t have one without the other. In that respect, I guess the role played by assholes is important after all.
December 23rd. Woot. Doing the lame “what I was posting a year ago” thing is a cheap way to milk out the start of a new post. Last year on the 23rd I blogged about some women who stole a child’s WalMart gift card and wrote about some really cool photography by a woman who has been featured in National Geographic magazine…
If Sarah Palin can do it, why can’t I? I’m going to invent my own words, too. I’ll start with this one:
stressure – A place where stress and pressure meet
LOLZ! RAWR! Mother Grizzly is in the house, yo.
So yeah, I was having another heart to heart with my new boss. We were talking about my fun-filled work days of balls to walls and hair on fire. Days that are so busy and hectic I don’t usually have time to take my breaks or even sit in a chair.
He was asking me about why I was letting the stress get to me.
“What would you do if you were an emergency room surgeon?,” he asked. “How would you handle the stress then, eh? They have a lot of stress!”
Wow. He really thought he had me there. So, so very clever.
I thought it over for a couple of nanoseconds and volleyed back with my rebuttal.
“Well, the first mother fucking thought that pops into my head is, oh, I don’t know. What? An emergency room surgeon? I’d probably be making what? Five million fucking dollars a year?!?!?”
I’m working on a new mathematical formula to explain this phenomenon. Think about it. Let us consider someone with a minimum wage job and no stress. Say it’s pumping gas at the local station. Now someone comes along and says, “Wanna get out of this dump? I’ll pay you $1 an hour more but I’ll literally blow your fucking head off with pressure and stress. Sound good?”
The point here is simple: I don’t want a level of stress equal to an “emergency room surgeon” while making damn near minimum wage. Seems simple, eh? Yet in my boss’s mind that level of stress in exchange for peanuts sounds perfectly reasonable.
The formula for this seems simple. If the situation you have to go through at work isn’t worth the level of pay, then you won’t give much a shit, will you?