Say What You Mean, or Say Nothing at All
I’m not the type of person who holds back my thoughts, obviously. That being said, I don’t run around spouting off opinions just for the sake of it. But if someone asks me for my opinion on something, if I choose to answer you can rest assured that my response is genuine. And although some of the things that I say at times may be considered mean or harsh, I pride myself on being the way I am, because what I say is always true.
I don’t think that people who sugarcoat their feelings are bad, I just can’t do that. I’m sure if I made an effort to be that way I could do it, but I think that being honest regardless of the outcome is a defining characteristic of mine. I always tell people to just be themselves, and if I can’t even be true to myself I would be a hypocrite.
There was one situation that arises in my head, where a friend of mine handled something in a completely different way than I would have, and I can see why. Even though I see why she did what she did, there’s no way I could do it myself. Who the people are in this story is not important, although I’m positive that my readers who know me can figure it out instantly. It’s just an example to show my feelings about being honest, not my feelings about the people involved.
As I’ve said before, I tend bar. I hate it, and most of that is due to the people whom I am forced to interact with. The lousy pay doesn’t help, but the part that wears me down mentally is dealing with morons and scumbags. The particular day in question featured a mixed bag of characters. I had a few friends of mine there, and a few people that I don’t care for as well.
A woman I know personally, but do not consider to be a friend of mine had been drinking at the bar before I had even shown up for work, and she looked stressed. Apparently she was looking for employment, and had given up for the day. I started work around 4 pm on that day, so she had probably been there for an hour minimum. When I arrived for work, she asked me not to tell her boyfriend, whom I know very well, that she was there drinking. Apparently she told him that she was still out searching for a job, so that she could stay at the bar and drink for a while longer, even though he was taking care of her son from a previous marriage. The answer I gave was my honest reaction, “I’m not going to call him and rat you out, if that’s what you’re afraid of. Just hope that he doesn’t ask me, because I’m not going to lie to him either.” It’s not the first time that I’ve told her these words either, but that story will have to wait.
Anyway, for the next couple of hours this girl was at the bar pounding drinks. Also, there was a man at the bar who hits on this chick constantly, often crossing the line with touching and such. Of course, the tradition of telling the bartender your problems commenced. This is one of the worst parts of the job; hearing the problems of a person that I couldn’t care less about. If it’s a friend or relative, I’m more than happy to listen and try to help. Someone like this, please don’t talk to me. I basically tuned her out, because if I chose to listen, I knew that she would get angry with my honest opinion.
From what I heard and remember, the main point of the story was that nobody would hire her, because the job market is not doing too great right now. Tell me about it, I’m bartending, even though I finally know what it is that I want to do for the rest of my life, and I’m getting nowhere with it. But if I’m driven by the need to support myself and my child, and someone is taking care of my child under the false pretense that I’m job hunting, I’d have no excuse for it, and I’d deserve no pity.
During the sob story, my phone rang, but it was a number that I didn’t recognize, so I didn’t answer. Less than a minute later, my boss’ phone rang, and he answered it. He walked away to where it was quiet enough to talk on the phone, then promptly came back, and handed the phone to the drunk chick. She asked, with a startled look on her face, “Who is it?” My boss answered, “You know who it is, and I’m not lying to him.” It was her boyfriend, and all I could think in my head during this was “Fuck yeah!”
The girl took the phone, and walked away with her hand on her forehead, like she was running a fever. She came back in a minute or two, handed my boss his phone back, then broke out in tears and ran to the restroom. Almost instinctively my female friend chased after her, following her into the restroom. They were gone for at least a half hour, and when they came back my friend was making suggestions as to where to apply for employment. My friend is just a nice person, but I really didn’t like the way this was handled.
I have nothing against helping someone who needs it, but only if they deserve your help. Someone who would rather drink beer when they are in need of employment is worthy of nobody’s help, except maybe AA. Even if it was a good friend of mine, if he or she was doing what this girl was doing, the only thing I would say is “I hope you’ve learned something” because that would be the most helpful comment possible in my mind.
First of all, if you’re drinking instead of job hunting, that’s a problem. Secondly, if you’re in a committed relationship, and your partner is watching your child while you’re drinking and being hit on, you’re not a great person. The fact that her boyfriend got pissed and made her cry means nothing. In my eyes, leaving her is a more appropriate response.
The fact that someone actually bought into this pity parade had me in a state of confusion and rage though. I wasn’t really angry at the person who’s natural response was to sympathize so much as I was angry at the person throwing the parade’s willingness to accept the pity without any hesitation. Seriously, if you’re like this fuck you! You’re an adult, and in this world you control your own fate.
I made my mistakes growing up, and I accept them. I’ll never stop trying to make something of myself, and I want no sympathy. The world is what you make of it, as cliche as it sounds. These people who constantly shoot themselves in the foot deserve what’s coming to them. And if you’re someone making questionable calls in life, you really don’t want to share it with me, because there’s a good chance that your forecast will call for a verbal shit storm. I say what I mean, or nothing at all.