Did you know I have a day job? Believe it or not, selling books doesn’t pay the bills. Oh, it does if you’re John Grisham, Stephen King or Janet Evanovich. I’m sure their ends meet. In fact, I would be willing to wager their ends meet, circle back around and meet again.
But for most of us, there is a day job that doesn’t involve crashing verbs into nouns. I’m assuming you have a day job too, as you are not a Grisham, King, Evanovich, or member of the Royal Family. As such, I’m sure you have to deal with that menace that is always lurking about, waiting to ruin your day. Of course, I’m talking about “the public.”
The public can be very entitled, demanding, and unreasonable. It doesn’t matter what career you’ve chosen, there will eventually be encounters with the public. And they will vex you. When they do, I say vex them back.
Okay, don’t go and get yourself fired. I wouldn’t want that on my conscience and frankly, I have too many people living in my house as it is to offer you a room. But I do offer a service that might be helpful and therapeutic.
For example, one of my co-workers (we’ll call him Paul**) and I play this game whenever a member of “the public” becomes unruly on the phone or via email. Paul has to deal with the public more than me, so he gets some doozies.
Whenever one is particularly bad, he sends it to me and I write the kind of response back for him that everyone wishes they could say at that moment. He reads it, laughs, and then writes out something more professional to send to “the public.” It’s therapy that doesn’t get him fired.
Here is an actual example. Recently a member of the public was inconvenienced because of COVID-19 and they blamed us. So, they wrote a nasty email to Paul and asked why they in particular were put out. As if we created the virus in a lab and spread it to millions of people to hide the fact that our real intent was to make this specific person’s life worse.
Here was my response:
“We opened up an old fashioned phone book and had an unnamed marsupial pee on it. When it dried, the remaining stain was mostly on your name. From that moment on, we have conspired daily to vex you.”
This made Paul laugh and forget his frustration. Then he was able to write a more professional response back to “the public.”
The more I think about it, I should start a business doing this. For a fee, I could write the letter you want to send to the public (or your congress mammal) and couldn’t actually do yourself without losing your job. This could be a hit! I could make ends meet. Twice! Just like John Grisham!
Carry on, Citizens!
**Real name: Paul