Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Go ahead. Pull my string.

Once upon a time, I had some energy to hold a grudge.  I would tell you "Oh, I never hold a grudge. Why bother?" But, in truth, I can reproduce half the inane conversations I've had in the past year verbatim, so I could certainly replay anything that really upset me.  Never trust a person who asks "Why bother?" about holding a grudge.  They're trying to lull you into a false sense of security so they can backhand later you with some old dirt. 

The fact is that now I'm just too tired to keep up a grudge for long.  I have a limited supply of energy in any given day, and, although it may seem like it's more than I should have, I still like to apportion it to my own liking.  I can ignore any amount of nonsense and trash talk that people direct to me.  I'm used to people getting angry with me.  It's an occupational hazard, and I chose this occupation intentionally.

So if you can manage to raise my ire for a period of longer than 15 minutes after you're gone from my office, you've accomplished something.  No one's going to give you a plaque for it or anything, but still an accomplishment.  This brings me to today's string puller.

Or, more precisely, the string-puller of 3 weeks ago. That's right.  Exactly 20 days ago I conducted one of the most annoying evaluations of my life.  The actual question-answer portion of the show lasted 25 minutes. That's normal. After that, in a typical evaluation, I anticipate 10 minutes of whining or arguing, 10 minutes to explain the instructions the next steps, and 5 minutes for signing stuff and stomping out of my office.  That leaves me 10 minutes for printing, copying, and smirking after the client is gone.  I'm good with time management that way.

On this particular occasion, 20 days ago, at 1:25pm I found myself faced with a client of unusually infuriating proportions.  She asked the same questions about why I made the decision I made often enough that I eventually stopped answering her and just stared at her.  She took laborious notes about everything I said for that last 35 minutes, and referred frequently to her father and her attorney.  She refused to sign the form indicating that she was refusing to comply with my instructions (it's a real thing), then reverted to asking those same questions again.  She went on in this manner until her allotted hour was over, and I actually got up and walked out of my office in order to get her to leave.

For no logical reason, at 1:25 this afternoon it occurred to me to check this client's record to find out whether she had ever come back to comply with the instructions I'd given her. There is a 20 day deadline to comply with the disposition, and although  I didn't really remember the exact date of the madness, serendipitously, I was right on time.

I reminded the person in charge of reporting non-compliance of the deadline which had expired, so that it would be reported to outside agencies in a timely manner.  I've never bothered to do that before.  Why now? I can only assume that my string is now on a 20 day time-release to allow for maximum vindictiveness.  I'm not proud of it, but there it is. Chatty Cathy on a tape delay. 

Again I say: Go ahead. Pull my string. See what happens next.  It could be fun.

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