How can you defy the bullshit factor? Are you resilient enough?
Usually writing in coffee shops inspires me to write most of my posts but this one was inspired by my not-so inspiring place of work. So today’s post? Bullshit and writing- oh, uh did the title give it away? SORRY! -Now that is what you would call a bullshit apology.
Urban Dictionary at urbandictionary.com defines the lovely word most use in their daily discourse as:
1) Noun. Stuff that is made up for the purpose of placating someone, or passing an exam, or getting elected to office. Most often false or ridiculous.
2) Verb. To generate bullshit.
3) Interjection. Accusing someone of bullshitting.
4) Adjective. Identifying or suspecting something as bullshit.
In all usages, the term can be shortened to “bull” or “BS”
1) My essay was complete bullshit.
2) Man, I gotta learn to bullshit properly if I want to pass this English exam.
3) “I was sick all last week!” “Bullshit!”
4) That is such a bullshit answer.
Don’t you just hate it when someone boldly goes where no other bullshitter has gone before? There is a fine line between sounding frighteningly stupid while bullshitting and sounding brilliantly persuasive when bullshitting. Today I think my boss crossed that line. He crossed over to the dark side and left most of the office staff in shambles just pleading for him to stop. Oh man, if walls could talk they’d be screaming “The madness, make it stop.” But he didn’t. It got worse too. He decided that it would be a good idea to take his verbal bull, put it on a silver platter, decorate it with garnishes and serve it to the public. He did the unthinkable. He emailed his corrosively constructed BS message to a bunch of people. His email went like this: I heard _____ has filed for bankruptcy and you’ve been thrown out on the street. If your house was on fire, what would you do? Would you let it burn or would you try to save it? I have an offer you can’t refuse. Contact me. I shit you not, those were his exact words. He proclaimed his message over the phone while I sat at my desk and lost count of how many times I had thrown up in my mouth. It was corny with a capital C and Bullshit with a super capital B. It was sort of like writing the corny love letter you don’t write to the one you love. It’s also the type of email you don’t write to people who don’t have control over the fact that they have just lost their position at their workplace. Yes, spewing detectable bullshit can make you look unprofessional (surprise, surprise). This self-inflating performance put on my boss was undeniably the mother-load of bullshit and it was enough to make me stand up and give him a standing ovation for the worst bullshitting I have ever heard. I don’t know where he came up with that stuff. I was compelled to email him a link which could teach him how to bullshit…accurately, but I wasn’t prepared to witness a grown man cry, so I didn’t. I really hope the people who receive that email have their bullshit detectors in high gear because you’d have to be naïve as hell to believe there was any sincerity or willingness to help without ulterior motives. I’m sure when those people receive the email it might have the same effect on them as this
Just some of the things he did wrong (well I don’t have all day):
1.His first impression sucked! He didn’t write a message suitable for the people who would be reading it. It seemed aggressive, insensitive and arrogant. Instead he should have chosen language where he would appear more genuine. He should have promised that a new relationship would be built based on the principle of trust and loyalty.
2.His email was overly dramatic. I’m almost sure the owner of the company doesn’t give out drama awards.
3. Rather than writing with conviction and confidence, he wrote with bullshit. He didn’t indicate to his readers what his offer would be and what he would do to make sure they were making the right decision to join our company. Instead he chose to use really stupid metaphors to get his point across.
4. His email was overtly pretentious. Instead, he should have demonstrated the opposite in his email. You can sound confident without sounding like Shooter McGavin.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a little harsh. Maybe I’m even being a little hypocritical. We’ve all been there. We’ve all succumb to writing bullshit for the mere satisfaction of completing the last page of a 10-page paper. I know I’ve done it. It’s what makes liberal arts majors so fantastic. We’ve transformed bullshitting and stretching the truth into an art. Even so, I hope I never have to throw away my dignity and succumb to writing something as horrific as that. I never ever want to give up my crown.
“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” -Madonna
A man dressed in a grey suit walks into my office today and says “This client of mine, she’s absolutely crazy.” I hear this about 20 times a day. Yes, 20 times and I’m not exaggerating the slightest bit. Yes, we all get it. You’re the normal one and they’re the crazy ones. We knowww (this is of course what I’m saying to my sarcastic self as my conscious is rolling her eyes and the real me is smiling). Most of the time I don’t hear a word they’re saying. I just see their lips moving. I occasionally chime in with an “uh huh” and a “mhmm.” Today was a different kind of day. It was a day where I would put away my uh huh’s and mhmm’s and save them for a rainy day. What I’m about to tell you may shock you, may make you leap out of your seat, it may even make you shout aloud “No way”. Alright, I’m being dramatic. Although it was a bit irritating to hear this come from a man who considers himself to be professional in a professional environment, I wasn’t at all surprised. I had the privilege of hearing this: “That’s not how a woman should be. A woman should be delicate, soft-spoken, you know…nice. I can’t stand women who act this way. It’s unpleasant and disgusting.” He. Didn’t. Just. Say. That. 5’8” of male chauvinism stood right in front of me. A real poster boy for female rights. Weren’t his choice of words to die for?
“A woman should be delicate, soft-spoken, and nice” -gets me every time, every damn time a man opens their mouth. So I stared at him blankly, batted my eyelashes and smiled big, real big. He looked at me and said, “You know what I mean?” So I replied in a delicate, soft-spoken voice and let the words elegantly roll off my tongue-“Why of course Mr. A. You’re absolutely right.” He couldn’t even tell I was mocking him. Kill em’ with kindness, I thought. Sometimes you just have to if it means getting through the 9:00-5:00. Unlike any other day, today I just couldn’t. I slowly unzipped myself and climbed out of the poised young lady suit I had been wearing and climbed into a strong, I will school your uneducated butt, suit. The suit I usually wear but am sometimes afraid to show off. I was going to reflect the type of woman my mother and father taught me to be. I swear, if I were a chameleon I’d be the talk of the animal kingdom because I turned into more colors than a bloody color wheel. The diva inside me was all like Oh no he didn’t. I couldn’t sit there and let him walk away unscathed. I would be committing a crime. It would be a complete disservice to women. Women in the corporate world constantly get hassled for being aggressive and are labeled as bitches for being strong and having an opinion. I know this because I have experienced this firsthand. I was astounded and bewildered (all at the same time) by his pride in sharing his opinion. It was as if he had just discovered the 8th wonder of the world. He was explaining this to me, a woman who is 24, university educated, and sure as hell ready to slam down any bullshit flying out of his privileged male mouth. So that’s what I did.
I told him that his views are what is so wrong with society. Of course it’s important to be polite and cordial but why is it a characteristic that women should maintain and carry. This is one of the many problems with society- we have male bimbos reinforcing stereotypes we are trying to break away from and thinking it’s okay to voice them. At least I can thank him for his honesty…and his stupidity. Looking back, I should have thanked him for being the example I will never teach my unborn sons to lead by. After all of that he says: “Oh you shouldn’t be so offended”. This was the equivalent to hearing nails on a chalkboard. Umm HELLO, earth to chauvinist, you’re talking to a woman. How could I not be offended? Well you know what they say- Rome wasn’t built in a day. At least I tried.