I Am Not A Very Nice PersonAugust 4, 2008
About 8 years ago, my co-workers and I had a series of ongoing challenges at work, & I kept winning & winning, which is really unlikely because I’m not very good at anything, and many of the challenges involved throwing, which I’m catastrophically not good at. And yet win I did.
Maybe it’s my unfamiliarity with winning, or maybe it’s just because I am who I am, but I took it upon myself to chart the victories in an Excel spreadsheeet that I labeled Rouse Dominance Factor (RDF) and would conscientiously update & re-circulate to my defeated co-workers after each challenge. The X axis charted the date, and the Y axis reflected how far ahead of them I was in the arbitrary point system we made up to keep score. The invisible Z axis represented my tiny tiny amount of self-esteem.
I’d like to claim that the RDF spreadsheet was the most childish thing I ever did as an adult, but I think even the most casual reader of the jonsonblog would recognize that as false. For a while, when we had a pool table in the office, and I was the unquestioned pool badass, I would celebrate my victories by sending my co-workers Hallmark e-cards consoling them for their loss like this one.
But being a bad winner is actually just a microcosm of the RBF (Rouse Badness Factor). I say mean things all the time, and I’m not really sure why. I say them to people I like, and people I don’t, and I say them without thinking at some times and with a great deal of thinking at other times. In fact, if you’ve known me for a while and I’ve never said something mean about you directly to you, you really should be wondering what’s wrong with you by now. Seriously, weirdo.
But I’m trying to change. I’m not stupid enough to go cold turkey. I’m going to start by not saying mean things to people I like. Fuck those other people, they can wait their turn. Once I have a handle on the first part, I’m moving on to… well, let’s shoot for “not saying as many mean things about (and to) people I don’t like. I’m relatively sure I won’t live long enough to phase out saying unkind things completely, but a significant reduction sure as hell couldn’t hurt.
So if I become really really boring over the next year or two, we’ll have this little piece of self-improvement to thank.