Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sarcasm is the Lowest Form of Humor

I don't know who wrote or said that, but I can see why sarcasm bugs some people. That being said, I have found that I have been using it more lately, it bugs me a little. At work I seem to be more sarcastic than I normally am by a large margin. Maybe it is time to get a new job. Well, actually it is long past time--we need more money than what I can make as a shop monkey. I mean I like the shop, but I can tell I spend too much time there and that my heart is less in it than it should be. I still try and give just about everyone my best effort but there are little things that make me kind of make me realize that my attitude is changing for the worse.

Tonight was an example. A nice fellow came up to me and asked "How do I tell what size stem I need without my bike here?" He wasn't sure if his handlebar was oversized or not nor did he know what size steerer tube he had. It seems silly to have come in with no idea about what his bike had on it, but nevertheless, rather than ask a question about how old the bike was, the make and model, I just spouted off this totally lame remark, "Tarot Cards." Yeah, kind of immature and stupid. I did in a totally deadpan manner and he just stared at me for a second before I said I started asking the sort of questions I should have been asking without the sarcastic comment. I did try to go the extra mile with him from there because I felt a little ashamed that I would say something like that--it wasn't really even funny. Well maybe a little, but not much. I figured it out and he bought a stem and a bunch of other stuff that I tempted him with.

This sort of sarcastic/lame remark seems to happen about once per shift. Sometimes to employees and increasingly to customers. Sometimes it sort of surprises me. Usually the comment is the result of something odd or silly that the customer brings up.

Yesterday a totally whacky guy comes in needing advice. He finished an olympic distance triathlon last Sunday with a road bike that cost him less than $200 bucks, and it was even new when he bought it. Yeah, the bike is horrible, I actually can't believe they sell this crap at any department store even. He is proud that he has spent so little money on it. However, he wants some tools, Slime tubes, a seat pack, and some other stuff and is about ready to drop $130. Good for him, seriously. I respect him despite his whackiness, because the guy knows it is crap, but wants to ride it anyway and figures he will lose some more weight before buying something newer/better. Then as we head to the check out stand something odd happens. The guy is nearing 50 years old by the look of it, he is white and fairly clean-cut and wearing average joe type cloths. Other than the fact that he talks in a somewhat effiminate way he seems like an average guy for that age. But then he wants to fist bump with me like Howie Mandel on "Deal or No Deal" because he is "stoked" about the service I gave him. Yeah, he raised his fist in my direction wanting me to connect my fist with his fist. Yeah, I should have given him a fist somewhere and not where he wanted it either. But I was so taken off guard that I just went ahead and bumped fists with him. It made me uncomfortable. I am a guy that does not like physical contact with others that I don't know. Close talkers make me nervous, so actually skin to skin contact is a no-no. Shaking hands is fine, but for some reason a fist bump was too random to do with a stranger. It bugged.

As I am ringing him up, I ask him if he is a Team Performance member. "No" he says, but he "hopes that we consider him a part of the family, even though he is not on the 'Team'." I said "Sure, consider yourself the family bastard--we are glad to help you, just keep it to yourself." Yeah, I said that. Do you know what he did? He laughed loud enough that it startled the mechanics in the back. He thought it was great. This statement may seem like a risk when reading it here, but for some reason I knew he would roll with it. It was also my way of getting back at him for making me fist bump with him a couple of minutes earlier. Still a month or two ago I would not have said that statement. Maybe I am just feeling too comfortable with the job, but more likely I am bored.

I talked to the guy I interviewed with at a firm downtown this morning. A very nice phone call where I simply was pumping him for info on when I would hear back from them regarding possible employment. Next week the partners of the firm will meet and discuss this employment possibility. Please, please let me get this job before I go crazy working retail.


Brianero said...

Wow, what a jerk. I'm gonna teach you a lesson by fist bumping you repeatedly, all while snidely close talking.

Mr. Flynn said...

I am pretty good at making mountains out of mole hills, ain't I...I blame Circle P.