I’ve tried keeping my blog on the up-and-up with perspectives on the writing life and such (the such is supposed to be my breakfast-food-loving slant, but those posts have been in the making for a while). I’m trying to keep it light and positive, motivating fellow writers and encouraging others to find and harness their creative energies.
But in the past week, my patience has been tried. Really tried. I don’t know what brand of crack some people are smoking, but some of the things people have said and done to me in recent weeks have left me very irritated.
I try to be a very giving and supportive person. If someone asks me (nicely) to do something to help them out, within reason, I’m going to do whatever I can. I’m not one to hoard information or advice; if I come across something that would be of benefit to anyone in my network, I’m more than willing to share.
But there are those who have pushed me to limits beyond what a normal person can take. If you are a rude, arrogant, impetuous, demanding, ungrateful idiot with a bloated sense of entitlement, then stop reading now unless you want to get your feelings hurt. Click another tab on the menu bar, or the big ‘X’ at the top of the screen and have a nice day.
Now that they’re gone, I can tell you how I really feel.
I got a text message the other day from a college classmate with whom I had lost touch. They live in another town, and I’ve only seen them on rare occasion since we left college. So imagine my shock and annoyance upon receiving this seemingly random text message: “I’m looking for a job in the Chicago area. If you know of any jobs or leads in the area, hit me up.” That’s a WTF moment if I’ve ever seen one. Now don’t get me wrong, in this economic climate, desperate times call for desperate measures. But that does not preclude the need for basic communication etiquette. A simple “Hello” or “Hi” prefacing the message would have, perhaps, made me more open to responding. Instead…
A day before that went down, I got a phone call from an acquaintance. “What are you doing on say, next Tuesday?” I knew this was a setup. And I knew I not to make myself available. Usually I hear from this acquaintance when they have an emergency or an alleged dire need. I would much rather the person had started off the convo stating what they needed rather than trying to work me into a corner. Instead, they’ve established a pattern with me, and thus have set themselves up. Every good and working Caller ID is a gift from the Lord.
The other day, an email showed up in my inbox. But not just any email. It was an “Urgent, Call Me ASAP” email with an all-caps subject line. Obviously the sender didn’t trust that the word ‘urgent’ would ring true enough on its own merit and thought it needed to be shouted. I figured the person didn’t have seriously urgent life-or-death news, for if they did, they would have called me. And so I responded accordingly: “When you decide to tell me what is so urgent, then call me at 777-9311.” (Just kidding about the phone number. I couldn’t resist.) The person called to ask for my urgent assistance with their latest urgent pipe dream. (I should note here this person is notorious for their get-rich-quick schemes.) Now this person wants to write a book on “successful career planning during a recession”. I know what you’re thinking: “Duh, Kim. They asked you to help because you’re a writer.” True. Also, I have a 9-to-5 job…something the pipe-dreamer seems to be allergic to. I’m still trying to figure out how or why they’d feel qualified enough to write or co-write a book about the job market.
Which leads me to the last offender. Before I get to them, let me give you a little backstory. Years ago when I was laid off and looking for work, a dear friend of mine asked me to send her my resume. I presumed she was going to forward it on to colleagues and associates. A few hours later, she emailed me back and told me she revamped my resume. Revamped wasn’t even the word. She rewrote it and redesigned it in such a way that I was rendered speechless. I was humbled and grateful; my eyes welled with tears as I called her to thank her. Not only did she give my resume a total rehaul, she took the time to explain to me what she did and why. For her time and her energy, I thought it only fair to offer her payment for what she did. She refused and said, “You can pay me back by paying it forward. Use what I just showed you to help someone else.” I’ve been rewriting others’ resumes since then.
Fast forward a few years. A former colleague was out of work and reached out to me for job leads. Of course, I took a look at her resume, rewrote it and sent her some job listings, a few of which were affiliated with my job. What she did after that left me speechless. She called not to thank me, but to ask me if I had applied for those jobs for her. She didn’t ask if I had referred her resume to a recruiter; she wanted to know if I logged into the job application system and went through the process of applying for these jobs (plural) for her. Talk about unmitigated gall! What is with wrong with people?
Now my phone’s ringing. Again. And I don’t like what I’m seeing on the Caller ID. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.