How not to make an example

I don’t have kids. I am already dead set that I will never populate the Earth with any offspring. The discussion of why I won’t get married or have a litter of little Kirk’s running around isn’t important. I am sure I have talked at great lengths about why I won’t. I brought up the topic of kids because it serves a point to the topic I am about to discuss. Even if you don’t have kids, you can still make your point. You don’t even have to resort to using children in your plan to make a point, even if the point is unimportant and a pathetic attempt and trying to come off as superior than others. If you want to make a point about something, I suggest you don’t do anything stupid.

Parents make points to train their children to be better and to not misbehave. They’ll revoke privileges and threaten them with taking away their phone, car, or other things kids these days hold dear. They want what is best for their kids and want them to better themselves. Maybe taking away the car doesn’t work as planned. The parents may need to make a point and take drastic measures to finally get the kids to understand the important lessons that they instill in them. But if you’re not a parent and you’re not a teacher, then you might be someone else who is of some (or believes that they are) importance. Maybe you’re a bitter, middle-aged man with a sack full of crushed dreams.

I think we should play pretend and use our imaginations now. I’d say close your eyes but in doing that, you won’t be able to read the story and well, that will make all this pointless. Keep your eyes open but when you read this, use your imagination and start to envision everything that I am writing. Get comfortable.

Coffee Talk To MeYou stroll into work one morning. You have a smile on your face but it’s not real. Beneath that smile and the cheerfulness you’re beaming with, is an angry person. You’re not angry at the world or anything really. You’re just tired. You were up late watching movies. You planned a night with friends to watch scary movies but they weren’t scary. One movie was basically a gore fest. The other was okay but wasn’t scary. The other movie was ejected about fifteen minutes in. You wanted something scary and watching a movie that is classified as a ‘horror flick’ turns out to not be that but of a failed and lack luster attempt at a faux documentary. You stayed up too late and didn’t get much sleep. You have no one to blame but yourself but still, you’re angry and not the happy person you always are. You can almost pass off as a Debbie Downer with the sad look on your face.

You quickly rush over to get a cup of coffee. That will perk you up. That will make it all better and when you’re sipping that hot beverage, you can feel the pep returning to your step. You sit your coffee down. Surprisingly to you, another co-worker did your job for you. It wasn’t to show how lazy you are but possibly a kind gesture to return a favor for the time you scratch their back. With your job completed, you can start other projects and hopefully get a head start on the week ahead.

You are informed by another employee shortly later about a phone call they received from the bitter, middle-aged man with the sack full of crushed dreams. He is upset and demanding about needing something ASAP. You, being the great person you are, run quickly over to get him the object he desires. Before you can deliver it, you need to clear it off. You can’t send him it looking they way it does. The clutter on it serves no purpose to him and sending it over to him will send him into a rage that only a heartbroken teenager can display. You are on you way to deliver the package. You are sort of like Kevin Costner in The Postman. You are taking the oath of the USPS and no matter rain or snow, you will get this package, this object, delivered safe and sound to the middle-aged man with the sack full of crushed dreams.

He calls again. You don’t answer the call but the fellow that did your job for you, picks up the phone. You stand there with your hand grasping tightly to the object that he desires. You can walk over there but you don’t. You eavesdrop on the conversation not because you feel it’s important to the delivery of the package in a prompt and timely manner but because you feel that the middle-aged man with his sack of crushed dreams is acting like a tantrum throwing child. You watch the middle-aged man from a distance. You can see him staring at you. You can feel it too. You know he isn’t happy waiting for the Holy Grail like object for such a long time. The middle-aged man with the crushed dreams threatens you. Another empty threat kind of day. You will gleefully walk over to him to deliver it. You will be his savior. You hope that when the package is delivered, the middle-aged man will drop to his knees and kiss your dirty, food encrusted loafers.  You can deliver the package and succeed successfully where as Kevin Costner did not when he thought The Postman and Waterworld would be blockbuster movies.

You spot the middle-aged man peeking out from behind a wall. This is where he begins the act of being tough. This is where he wants you to feel bad and shed a single tear for not respecting him and his terroristic demands. Don’t screw with a middle-aged man with a sack full of crushed dreams. You’ll get the horns. He may have thought you didn’t see him but you caught him peeking at you. You know he waited for you to show up. You know he wasn’t going to leave this pettiness alone. No, he won’t. He will make his point. He will make sure that before you walk back to your area of work, you’ll do it with your head hanging low and a knot in your stomach.

You deliver the said package. He hurries over before you can leave without incident. It is as if he was waiting for you to show up. He didn’t and wasn’t going to kiss your food encrusted loafers. He, the man with the crushed dreams and the bare Facebook wall, wants  to show you how much of tool and Oscar worthy actor he is. He picks up a pan and tosses the items into the trash. He exclaims to you,

You didn’t think I was serious when I said 30 seconds?

You are shocked. You don’t know what to say. You don’t want to deal with his shenanigans.  You just want to deliver the package and get him off your back about how you took longer than 30 seconds to deliver something. But if you were to ask his wife, I am sure he has a problem with delivering packages in under 30 seconds.  I don’t want you to feel bad for what happened. There is no need to cry or defend yourself for his childish antics. He is just upset because life smacked the douche stick in his face. He is angry and still wants to rant about how you, your staff, and all those around you who cannot communicate about things. According to the middle-aged man with the sack full of crushed dreams, if you were able to communicate better, the item wouldn’t be in the trash and you wouldn’t have to deal with him and the bitterness he spews from his dull and empty existence.

Still the better actress

Still the better actress

You don’t want to but you do defend yourself. Still, he doesn’t care. He wanted to show you that he was serious and not to screw with him. It’s okay if you want to laugh about it. If I were in your shoes, I would laugh too. I would laugh hysterically and joke profusely about how pathetic his attempt at making a point failed. I guess he has all the right to be a tool. When you get your dreams crushed and you carrying them in a sack, you can be upset and bitter all you want…just don’t try to make a point when acting like so. Certain people will not tolerate it and certain people will hurry back to spread the word about the unsuccessful point you wanted to make about communication and follow through. But if I were to add my two cents into this totally fictitious example, I would tell the middle-aged man with the crushed dream to,

Eff off. Chill the fuck down and stop with the melodramatic outbursts. Susan Lucci can deliver a better, and more convincing performance than you.

I hope this fictional story puts things into perspective. If it doesn’t, then grab a bottle of ketchup and chug that crap down. According to some people, well one really, ketchup pwns over lasagna any day. Sad to think some people don’t like lasagna. Perhaps, we should have the middle-aged man with a sack full of crushed dreams make it known.

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I like food. I like the smell of cinnamon.

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