Panopticon

I think the biggest problem with customer service is that there are idiots who think that the cashier actually gives a shit when they ask you how your day is going. That’s not always the customer’s fault; there are cashiers out there who have convinced themselves that they give a shit about how your day is going. And they don’t. They’re lying to themselves. But my problem is that I’m not as good at faking it as everyone else is. I don’t have the energy to act as if I give a shit how your day is going. Over the past month, I’ve tried to relax a little bit, to be as casual as possible in my interactions with customers. That seems to have helped. I’ve butted heads with coworkers, customers, and management over the past month or two, and if I had to pinpoint any one thing that is causing our problems, it’s the persistent lie that the customers are the most important part of customer service. They really aren’t. The employees are the heart of it. The customers are just guests.

I have recently begun to dip my toe into the waters of online dating. Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot like real-life dating, in that most people have unrealistically high expectations for their future partner and mostly everyone ignores me. I’m charming, funny, handsome (you’ll have to take my word for that; I’m not posting a picture), and of course, modest, but I haven’t had much luck with it so far, which is to be expected. Nobody likes me in the real world, so why should they like me online? Neil Gaiman once said that in the arts, people tend to keep working because they meet two of three criteria: quality work, punctuality, and likeability. I have shown up to work late exactly once in almost ten months (figures that the one day I count on the bus being late is the one day it actually comes on time), am very precise and thorough in my work, and am disliked by almost everyone. Oh, most people would tell you they like me if you asked them, but those are the same people who ask you how your day is going and act like they give a shit. So there.

missing the pointI wrote a post a little over a year ago about my personality type. I took the MBTI and it told me I was an INFJ. I’m generally skeptical of anyone claiming that a simple test can tell you who you are (I took the Enneagram once and didn’t quite agree with it), but part of what I like about Myers-Briggs is that it doesn’t claim to do that. It’s a guideline, nothing more, nothing less. If you accept that people generally do fall into one of sixteen basic types, then knowing which one you are might help you understand why you are the way you are and how you can better relate to other people. It’s rare that I get this defensive of something that has nothing to do with Doctor Who, but this article fucking pissed me off. The MBTI is not a fucking horoscope. It’s not a goddamn Buzzfeed quiz. I don’t know how much actual evidence or research there is to back it up, but I don’t need any to see that the aforementioned article is no more than lazy clickbait. The MBTI has helped me feel like I fit better into the world, specifically because what it says about me is not entirely flattering. That gives me a little bit more strength, and it means that my feelings of not fitting in may not be just my imagination after all.

I’m at the age where people I know are starting to get married and settled down. Except what does “settle down” actually mean? It can’t just mean that you buy a house in the suburbs and get a boring office job, 2.5 kids, etc. I’ve said before that I have no interest in that life, but that does not make me inherently more interesting than the people who do. There are infinite ways to be unconventional. And you can’t define yourself simply by being an outsider. There is a line in Elementary (which is itself a paraphrase of a line from one of the stories) where Sherlock tells Watson, “You make an effort to appear conventional, but I know, Watson, that you share my love for all that is bizarre and outside the humdrum routine of ordinary life.” I’m not very good at appearing conventional. I think that’s why I’m not very popular. But there are people who are every bit as weird as I am who are just better at appearing “normal”. And there are folks who pretend to be cool and rebellious but are actually playing it really, really safe.

I’m looking for something to tie all of this together. I’ve just returned after a month off of blogging. I didn’t expect all of my shit to be sorted out when I came back, and it’s not. Who could have predicted that? I still have lots of opinions, though. I recently stopped listening to This American Life for a little while because it’s too white and privileged even for me. (I really did not find their turning that story of an undercover cop who ruins a straight-A student’s life into a musical very amusing. That bitch manipulates him into buying weed for her and somehow he’s the bad guy? God, I could just smack her. And she seems to think that’s somehow the same as catching a meth dealer.) I’m very, very slowly getting back into gaming—not just computer games, but jigsaw puzzles and other such intellectually stimulating things. I have a great many gifts, but I still haven’t found my Watson. And as is often the case, the only way that I can see that happening is if I first get the world to back the fuck off first. So before I say goodbye, let me just say that I have no idea why Hulu Plus has ads. I thought not having ads was the whole point of a premium service? Oh, well.

Actually, one more thing: Weird Al is aging remarkably well, isn’t he? Hasn’t lost his touch, either. He’s really more musically talented than he gets credit for. Oh, and this article reminds me of me. Good night, folks.

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