Boiling mad.

Hello friends and assorted readers.

In accordance with the updated covid protocols, the communal coffee machine and kettle have disappeared from work, leaving us to scramble for a new hot morning beverage source. My solution was to spend $40 on the largest insulated bottle I could find, 1.2L, to tote boiled water from home because I prefer to do all my teabagging at work.

On the left is a tall black flask decorated with a Krampus head sticker. Krampus has its long tongue out. In the middle is a double-walled stainless steel camp mug labelled LKVY and a sticker with an illustration of a tired cat drinking out of a mug. On the right is a nondescript espresso cup holding a discarded teabag.
My latest functionality requirements.

My desperation as a habitual tea drinker rivals that of coffee drinkers. At least I thought so until I found out that someone brought their camp stove so that they could heat some water for their Aeropresso in the loading bay. What did upper management think would happen? Or was this Bonnie Henry’s suggestion?

A poorly manipulated image showing Bonnie Henry "holding" a stainless steel electric kettle. The caption reads: "Flatten the curve: ditch the kettle."

Perhaps, instead of showing up for my shifts, I could rent an ice cream truck to park outside the building. Instead of ice cream, I’d sell boiled water.

I fantasize about these things happening because the alternative, which is dealing with the public–as a deaf person–in this masked-up world–is grim.

Too many hearing people think they’re being accommodating by pulling down their mask so that I can lipread them. It’s the other way around: they want me to accommodate them so they don’t have to write. For the most part, the public has been ok with communicating with me by paper and pen once they get over the initial shock.

It’s like writing a note to somebody, only they’re standing in front of you! It’s that simple!

Not for some. Every so often, I encounter someone who refuses. It’s too much work for them. TOO MUCH WORK! Yesterday, a customer nearly had a meltdown at the sight of my notepad until a fellow staffer swooped in to save them from reciprocating the effort to communicate. Sometimes I wish my colleagues would say something like, “Laura can help you: just write back. If that’s too much to handle, get out of here.” Or, they’ll start signing to the customer to give them a taste of their own medicine.

In this next fantasy, upon being signed to, the customer spins around in panic and spots another employee. Before they can voice their demand for assistance, the staffer recognizes their look of distress and signs, “Can I help you?” Stunned, the customer stumbles backwards and bumps into a person who reacts with a full-blown bitch face–an expression not considered excessive in deaf culture. The person then signs, “Excuse me!” Finally, the customer realizes: EVERYBODY IS SIGNING. After thousands of years of complaining about noise, the world had at last given up on the aural experience. Except for this one guy, and FUCK HIM.

Even though none of my colleagues have had the fortitude to stand up for me, I must admit that at that point, I’m already uninterested in helping the person and don’t want to deal with them anymore.

I know customer service is a part of my job, but I’m not letting go of my dignity. I understand when somebody is frustrated or upset about a situation, but I draw a line when they get personal. An alternative fantasy is: I find out where they live and throw fish into their vents.

Companies need to stop enabling these rude customers by rewarding them and apologizing for it too. They should be penalized. Be a dick, and you’ll lose your Petro Points. No more Air Miles either: instead, you’ll find yourself on the No Fly List. Your Canadian Tire money? Worthless! A Sephora Beauty Insider member? You’re now an outcast! Your Sub Club stamps? Void! (As they have been for everyone for years.)

To review my revenge ideas:

  • Sell boiled water as a side hustle.
  • Get everybody in the world to spontaneously give up on speaking in favour of sign language, except for that one guy.
  • Throw fish in vents.
  • Reprogram loyalty programs.

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