Category Archives: Mind Crossers

For my psycho-analyst

Do you want to be right or do you want a solution?

I’ll probably consider renaming my blog ‘Something stupid I observed today’ as generally that is what inspires me and I feel as though I’ll have a magic-puddings worth of content.

***

Within the sphere of my working life, I talk to people when they’ve got a problem. I know times are good for my clients when I haven’t got a phone call in a week.

I read once (somewhere probably not scholarly) that people are six times as likely to tell you about something bad than about something good. Maybe it’s off the back end of being taught not to brag as a child. Maybe we are complaining to build rapport. I definitely make faster friendships over a ‘common enemy’ than a ‘common friend’.

We’re all surrounded by terrible drivers, in terrible weather, with neighbours that decided to mow the lawn at the crack of an inconvenient time. It’s a wonder we know how to smile at all!

Whatever the psychological reasoning, in all the roles I’ve practiced, in all industries I’ve endured, people will only call me when they’ve got a problem. You may notice at this point that I didn’t specifically say ‘with a problem they want me to fix’.

That’s because they don’t necessarily want it fixed.

Not really.

They sortof… Just… Want a friend.

I think it would a sound investment to have an automated response on my phone.

“You’ve reached Amy’s phone and I’m delighted to take your complaint today. Listen to the following selections carefully:

Press one if you would like a solution.

Press two if you need to vent.

Press three if its three thirty and you’ve wasted your day and you want to put off acknowledging it.”

I’m totally fine with it – though I wish we could call it what it was. How many times have you heard the phrase: ‘It’s just business’. That’s what people say when they want to be judged for their logic only and not the potentially emotionally deplorable, shady AF thing they’ve just had a part in. It’s just business. The unfortunate thing about business logic is that it comes out of the mouths of humans. The most illogical of creatures. So I take the ‘It’s just business’ with a grain of salt – because no one in business does business with purely business methods. Yep. I’m calling you all liars.

Allow me to give you an example. I had a client call me this year complaining to me about the quality of leads I provided him.

“The leads aren’t good. They’re all tyre kickers

TYRE KICKERS: this phrase stems from potential car buyers who kick the tyres to determine the working functionality of the car, but never end up buying.

When people say this to me, they mean: “they are time wasters”. What I see, much like literal tyre kickers of yore, is that: you have a potential customer in front of you – who definitely wants to buy a car –  but for some reason or another, your car is not up to scratch, OR, your sales skills are not up to scratch.

Awkward.

But is it just business if I say to them, “yeah I know when I’ve got some time to waste I go prank business owners. I definitely wouldn’t rather be watching Netflix and eating chicken wings – no I get my jollies kicking tyres.”

Just business though.

I later found out this particular client getting the tyre-kickers hadn’t called any of the leads, hadn’t even so much as looked at them. However he had just had his business development skills scornfully discredited by a colleague and it HURT HIS FEELIGS. Imagine that. Someone in business – a human wearing a business suit, hurt? Time to dial three and talk about how it’s already three thirty and you’ve wasted your day, your month, or even your year – aaaaand queue to break into song: I’ll be there for youuuuu!

The truth is, behind every venting monologue there is always something going on in the background that I don’t know about. Maybe a big deal just fell through, maybe they’ve found out the only have three years to live, maybe their kid just came home with a grade five algebraic homework question they couldn’t answer and now they are questioning their intelligence. I don’t know. Whatever the real problem is – I’m not going to find out. I’ll just hear about the cherry on top of the mountain of nonsense they’ve put up with that week.

And what the heck? – it’s just a cherry. Let’s chat it out.

Nine times out of ten by the time we get off the phone the weight is off their shoulders and quantifiably, nothing has changed. They just needed to vent

As some clever lady in my office says: “A problem shared is a problem halved”.

 

It’s me. The clever lady in my office is me.

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How to survive a breakup in 2016

If there is one thing I have learned in the first few weeks of singledom, it is that the standard ‘how to survive a breakup’ tips and tricks, just don’t fucking cut it anymore. You just cannot escape like the people in the 60’s who probably wrote the book on breakups. The world is shrinking and as a result, everything and everyone is a little bit closer. Like you, reader. I have likely never met you and look at me sitting on your lap or in your hand. Travel is easy, communication is immediate, and alcohol is expensive.

Short of sitting in your room facing the corner and slowly starving to death, you really can’t avoid the world until the end of your days. So time to re-write the book, Pride and Prejudice with Zombies style. How to Survive a breakup with Zombies.

Toss your dignity out the window.

Let’s be honest, you probably lost it in the mish-mash of breakup fights, dropping the washing machine on your toe during moving out, or accidentally losing their set of house keys down an elevator shaft.  So while your fresh out of dignity go do all the things you need to. Cry, eat, cry, eat, cry. Do all the things that irritated them in one night. Comment on the economic damage in super hero films, rearrange the fridge so that the cheese and ham are in the same compartment, light the smelly candle they hate. Eat Krispy Kreme’s for dinner and KFC potato and gravy for dessert. Do it on your own if you can so you don’t have so far to climb when you decide it is time to regain a little.

Cut

Not your wrists, and not their brakes. Where possible, delete them off Facebook and Instagram, delete their mother, delete their friends, and delete their favourite TV show off your hard drive. Unless it was your favourite first. You aren’t going to be able to delete them out of your life but give yourself the best chance at not being unpleasantly surprised by hourly reminders of stupid thing they liked and being tagged on Facebook, out having the time of their lives probably. You can claim everything back when you have your shit together again.

Spend a lot of time with your friends.

Separately. Friends who want to talk about it, friends who want to drink, friends who want to go to Ikea. Then put them on a rotation so you don’t irritate them with your depression. Because let’s face it – it’s going to last longer than you would like and everyone has a sympathy expiry date.

Develop an Obsession.

Because when you go home and there is a long empty night with you and your thoughts, you’re going to have a bad time. So get obsessed with something that you can’t wait to get back to when you’re at work. Something that’s going to keep you up till 3am when you have work at 9. Great if it’s exercise, realistic if it is TV shows, bad if it’s hard drugs.

Locate tossed dignity from outside the window

And depending on how liberally you took the first tip, this one may take a while.  You get on with your life. Maybe you exercise, maybe you just get a fake tan so you look skinnier. Set some goals and actually start them. If it helps, you can start to spite your ex, though you will only reach them if you do it for yourself.

 

I’ll let you know if it works.

The Bitchy Resting Face Phenomenon

Just before I start – this well researched and passive article has a sexism angle so if it upsets you to read about women being prejudiced against, I suggest you go read something else. Like the label on a protein bar.

***

Everyone has heard of the phenomenon known as ‘bitchy resting face’. I bet most of you know someone who has it, or perhaps you are peacefully reading my article with unintentional disgust because that’s just how your face is. I bet once a day someone will say one of the following:

What’s wrong?

Did you have a bad day at work?

Or the absolute worst….

Cheer up! Smile!

FIRST OF ALL. If you weren’t having a bad time, you are now. Some idiot has carelessly, indirectly told you that you look unhappy. Unhappy enough to warrant a comment from a stranger. Who’s the real bitch here? I don’t know how it is socially unacceptable to walk up to someone and tell them they’re ugly, but totally acceptable to walk up to them and inform that the expression on the ‘at peace’ face was making them uncomfortable enough to come up to you and ask you to change it.  I may look like a bitch however you are an actual bitch, to be perfectly candid.

Side note: I actually don’t suffer from bitchy resting face. I suffer from friendly resting face, which is a million times worse. Because while I look approachable. I really don’t want people approaching me. I would actually prefer fear to love. (I would make such a great villain).

I am writing this to every idiot who has gone up to a complete stranger and asked them to smile. You are especially worse if you said it to a girl behind the bar. I have literally heard someone say, “I’m only going to tip you if I see you smiling.” You sir. Are a dick.  Do I come to your office and shove my face in front of what is probably a stupid-drunk excel spreadsheet and say “why aren’t you smiling?” Yeah now it seems foolish. The day I walk around with a plastic-fantastic grin on my face, is that day you should actually make for the hills, because I’m about to go on a mass murder spree.  I’ll smile when I’m happy and not a moment before.

SECONDLY. Why is it that only females get this? Why do brooding males not get idiots asking them to smile? In fact, why do males get ‘brooding’ while females get ‘bitchy’? I’m sure this is present in nearly every workplace. The man gets the not-to-be-fucked-with, and the woman gets I’m-a-giant-bitch-and-therefore-unreasonable. Maybe next time you see a guy getting all frowny you should inform him he looks like a bit of a bitch, and maybe a smile wouldn’t hurt anyone. Let’s see how he reacts. Let’s see if he doesn’t reach a hand out and crush the nearest butterfly with absolute rage. God I could really use a butterfly right now.

6 Rebuttals of Insanity, OR, Why I am Not Going Crazy

When you work in an office, there are some things that people will say on a daily basis that sounds a little crazy.

How was your weekend?  I went to the – oh you’re not listening are you? Alright just tell me about yours.

Is that a new jacket? I wore this yesterday.

Ooooh pasta again? A moment on the lips forever on the hips.  Shut up Karen, go ‘enjoy’ your salad.

Then there’s what I call: The 3:30 snide remark. For me that remark is “Are you talking to yourself again?” <Insert some cliché about going crazy>. And maybe I am. Every time I walk into the office I feel like its groundhog day. That’s the one where he gets caught in a time loop right? Repeating the exact same day over and over. And no one else but you seems to be aware of it. My response is usually: “Ha ha ha, I am!”  (muttering quietly) “I’ll kill you one day.” I don’t know why most people insist on getting their medical knowledge of psychopathic’s from 1950’s stereotypes.  So maybe I do odd things at 3:30pm. Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe…there are 6 reasons.

1.Talking to yourself is the first sign you’re going crazy

Rebuttal: Talking to yourself is the first sign that you need an expert opinion but are surrounded by idiots people whom are not experts.

  1. Hearing Things

Rebuttal: Different from hearing voices because sometimes you hear people calling your name, or the phone ringing, or someone saying: “is that a new jacket”. Guess what it’s called an echo. A mental echo.

Side note: a mental echo is something I definitely made up, I have no actual knowledge of psychology.

  1. Staring into middle space

You know how in movies people pick up photographs of their family and descend into flashbacks? That doesn’t happen in real life. In real life if we want to think deeply about something, we don’t have to stare at anything and we can think. And do you know how hard it is to stare at nothing? It’s literally the space in between you and the thing that is away from you. It actually a talent so maybe you should be encouraging it.

  1. Deja Vu

You know what. I’m not telling you I’m experiencing Déjà vu because I am experiencing Déjà vu. I’m experiencing the same story or bullshit assignment that I received yesterday or last week, or sometime between the time we met and now. I am being passive aggressive. I’m holding back from aggressive aggressive.

  1. You can’t remember where you left things

I’m sorry, is it tied to my wrist!? Then chances are I can’t be 100% sure where it is. But I have a mental list of the top three places it will be. How about you go find your own stapler. Or the one you probably stole from my top drawer, or the shelf near the kettle, or the filing cabinet where I just was.

  1. Temporarily forgetting your name

*ring ring*

*pick up*

“Welcome to Worky-work-work, this is… Um. This is. Just give me a sec.” It happens to the best of us. And by the best of us – I mean me. God help me when 3:30pm comes around, I space. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who I am. You should consider yourself lucky that I remembered what the ringing sound meant. I’m as good as a trained monkey at this point. Why don’t you just call back tomorrow at 10am when I’m coffee-refreshed, or maybe at 5:30pm when I’ll watch the phone ring for a bit, before leaving the office skipping gaily.

Also, while doing some research, my room mate, Angostura (code name obvs) pointed out this article to me. Good for a read.

How to quit your job

In this life, we may occasionally find ourselves in a position that is wanting. Certain qualities that we believe, or have been led to believe are necessary to ultimate happiness and success. Maybe it is money or power. Maybe its fear-based respect, competency-based respect, benefits, location, proximity to adequate coffee, whatever. In the instance we discover a lacking of something we perceive as important for a ‘good job’ we almost simultaneously feel the need to move on. A change in the wind, if you will.

However you come about the desire to quit, however you come about the means to financially support yourself post-resigning, there is a moment of quiet reflection on how you should really go about it.

The following three modes of resignation are outlined below.

The: ‘I may need this reference/position again in a month’ quit

Otherwise known as, the respectful resign. This quit is only really ever done if you are remaining in the same industry, or you have a few reservations about moving into the new job.

How to do it.

  1. Apologise profusely.
  2. Make it clear you are only doing it because you are offered something greater than what you are currently receiving. Hard facts are your only option here. More benefits, better pay, closer to home, etc.
  3. Buy your own ‘going away’ cake and make sure its chocolate so that everyone likes it, and remembers you fondly.

Note: you will still be forgotten in a month.

The ‘Fuck this shit. I’m out’ quit

Otherwise known as, the breaking point. Maybe this has been a long time coming. Maybe it’s out of the blue. But some idiot has taken it too far and you need to get out, get anywhere, get all the way to the NYC.  Immediately.

How to do it:

  1. Walk into upper management office with current work pile. If your work is computer based – print off a few emails and spreadsheets for effect. This will substitute as a symbolic ‘work pile’.
  2. Set fire to paperwork and throw on desk, into the air, or hand to a passer-by.
  3. Walk out backwards giving him/her/them the finger. You will get a better effect if you can do this with both hands.

Note: falling or stumbling will ruin the entire show so if you are inherently clumsy, a strongly worded email will suffice.

The ‘I don’t like confrontation’ quit

You don’t want to work there anymore and you don’t want to talk about it. But they have your contact details so when you don’t show up to work on Monday they could call or get the police to stop by your house to make sure you haven’t had your face eaten off by the neighbour cats.

How to do it:

  1. Best done over the phone, email, or by telling your buddy at the office to pass along a pink or lime green post-it note to the boss when he/she is on lunch break or has gone home for the day.
  2. Create a ridiculous reason for leaving: you want to join the circus, you must eat-love-pray in India (or wherever), or you have been informed by your doctor that you are allergic to answering phones. This way your boss will think he/she is well rid of you because you’re clearly crazy.

Note: Make sure you don’t have anything you want to keep at your desk because craziness cannot be premeditated.

You’re missing the world… It’s pretty ordinary

If there is one thing that having no internet for a solid month has taught me, it’s that you feel mighty stupid writing blog posts and then saving them into a folder instead of sharing them with the world. I’m pretty much just writing a diary at the moment. Hopefully my internet will be connected soon and then I won’t feel like such a loser. Either that or I should go out and buy some smiley face stickers and doodle love hearts on my computer screen and really commit.

Dear Diary.

You are an inanimate object with no regards or knowledge to the fact that I am writing in you.

No wonder people don’t often do this.

A-wol. (That’s my hood name)

 

Calm down Amy, this is a diary – no room for street cred here.

See this is why you can’t have a diary. You know you’re just talking to yourself.

I’m out.

There is also a secondary teaching in having no internet and that is my having been forced to interact with the outside world. And by that I purely mean having coffee outside and glaring at everyone who walks past. I normally don’t notice people judging my short skirt if my nose is in my phone. I normally don’t have to watch people bicker in public when I can easily go to the comments section of any viral post to witness a decent (occasionally well-structured) argument. Does anyone else notice how bright it is out here? I think my skin is hyperventilating from the large amounts of Vitamin D it’s sucking up. I also think our O-zone layer is definitely thinning because I don’t remember it being so bright outside in my childhood.

What I’m trying to say is… What’s so wrong living through the rose coloured glass of a laptop screen?  The internet loves me more than the real world anyway!

I don’t like to think how much people become addicted to the internet and branding themselves to the world at large but it becomes glaringly obvious when you have to witness people doing the day to do day things. Instagram is filled with glammed girls and boys who look nothing like my friends Facebook is filled with these life events – look how in love we are, look how fancy vodka-lime-soda’s make me look, check out my selfie of the day that comes with the literary quote of a book I’ve clearly never read.

We got obsessed fast and accepted it like it was cute. Nope, this is the generation of narcissists – and while I may not be the selfie queen like some of my peers – I do essentially write a diary and put it on the internet like it’s everybody’s business. You tend to forget there is a whole world continuing on out there that isn’t going to change because another hundred people think you got cute since high school.

So I guess it doesn’t really matter if you participate in the world, because it’s only going to end up twisted in the archives for future generations. The official records for nearly everything is just a load of makeup and filters on an otherwise plain corporation.

I love this time for the sake of Netflix, literature, and really excellent red wine jus. But the state of social standing is a bit of a laugh. And we all know it. But we will still do it.

How to get things for free

Step 1: Stop trying to get things for free.

There is a certain expectation, a necessity, of getting the most you can for least you can. From a purely selfish point of view, I can understand that. Some of us aren’t made of money, and some people can afford to not have as much money. BUT! No matter how many people do half the amount of work as you and receive twice the amount of money doesn’t mean you are entitled to anyone else’s. They found a way to beat the excessively flawed system. Good on them.

This article isn’t going to be on ways that the world is unfair and how discrimination is still prevalent in our society. You already know that. And we do have human rights activists and feminists and every man and his dog working to smooth out the playing field – but the reality is – in this lifetime, we will not see equality and as bitter as it can make you, you have to find a way to not hate everyone, and continue leaving your house.

Scenario: I work in hospitality and every day I have to combat people trying to get things for free. A few months back a man attempted to get a 100% refund on food and beverage an entire month after the night in question. I can only assume his boss saw the tab and lost his shit. I guess you can see the logical jump that makes this my fault. Oh you can’t? Neither.

Unfortunately for me and most Australian’s in my position, this is the norm. I have one thing to say to you. I hate you all. I know for you this is that one night where your steak wasn’t cooked to your exact specifications, or you felt that your tequila sunrise didn’t have a standard measurement of alcohol, or you felt that it was too windy to put up the decorations you wanted. So you want a refund, and a $500 credit. You want a written apology from upper management. You want to leave a scathing review online because – that will show them.

Certain industries, such as hospitality, are looked down upon by people with ‘real jobs’. Some people believe that because they can do it themselves (by a bottle from the bottle shop and pour it, cook their own damn fettucine) that they are being ripped off by everyone who supplies it. Forgetting of course, that it is a business. A business that has rent and wages and electricity bills to pay for. And some whinging lady that says: “I can buy this for $40 in a bottle shop. Why are you charging me $100!”

Just. Shut up.

In creative writing at the very end of our three or four year degree we are informed that actually no-one will want to pay for your service. <insert clients name here> can write sentences, they are just too busy so they want you to do it. But they don’t want to pay you.

“Do it for experience.”

“At least you’re getting published”

“You have to do it for free while you’re getting started so you can build a reputation.”

No.

Do you think I pay my electricity bills that way? Can you imagine if I wrote to Origin, “thanks for providing me with three months of electricity. I can’t actually afford to pay you now, but if this works out for me, I may consider paying you next month.”

“Hey Coles, this is a great product. I’m going to eat it and tell all my friend about it, and seeing as I’m doing you a favour by marketing your product, I won’t be paying you for it.”

“Thanks for fixing my sink plumber, but I know that you would do it just for the experience.”

It sounds a lot more ridiculous now doesn’t it?

The way to start fixing the system isn’t to try scrounging money out of other businesses and people. It’s to be the fucking change you want to see in the world. Pay for things so that people will pay you for things.

JEEZ!