I've never written an open letter; I'm wondering if it might help me, sort of like free range venting.
YES: the fences have been knocked down: let slip the cattle of peevishness. I have a beef, and I'm going to let those cows (beef…cows…Aubrey, cut it out) run free, down an endless trail of annoyance:
"Dear Sir/Madam (or Madame, I have no way of knowing):
I am wondering if you are aware that whenever you call my place of business, you are interrupting me. Whether it be work, breakfast, lunch, a thick cup of coffee, looking at cute pictures or composing comments on VOX, please be aware that YOU ARE INTERRUPTING ME. How's this for irony: I answer the phones for the office, yet: I don't want to talk to you. If I answer with a sweet tone and a smiling voice, be guaranteed that I'm only achieving this zen-like state either by digging my fingernails inches deep into my wrist or by tossing down a handful of vicodin followed by a chaser of raw vodka. Yes, the only way I can stand you is if I am bloody, high or drunk.
I don't care about your business. I, in fact, hate you. When you call, the ringing of the phone scalds my eardrums and punctures my brainpan.
When I realize that you use the Bitch Voice on me, saving the Pleasant Voice for your connection, for the person you really want to speak with – well, that's when I want to kill you. I could be looking up your and your children's addresses even now. I can multi-task, you know.
There is no way that I could ever be glad to hear from you. Rest assured that you are speaking with a smoldering ashtray of anger and resentment.
So let me offer you a few pointers that it would behoove you to follow. Because I'm sure you realize by now that I have a gun and will certainly use it in an unfortunate way if you don't pay attention to these painfully simple regulations:
1. Do not ask me to repeat your message. I am not an idiot. And though your message is as about interesting to me as buying new brake pads, you had best consider it written down. You are at my mercy.
2. Do not ask me to look for the person you're calling after. This will lead to: cursing in the workplace; slammed phones; violence; blood; disapproval. If you are told that the person is not available, they are goddamn well unavailable. Or, they don't want to talk to you either. Deal with it and let your petty issues stew just a little bit longer.
3. Do not ask to be put on hold until that person is free. Because, guess what: I wasn't just aimlessly sitting at my desk waiting for you to call. I'm not there to service your phone call like a…call girl (Aubrey! Stop!). A business phone has several lines. I don't have the time to stare at your blinking light and wait for the person you're calling to hang up. Because the phone calls of two people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
4. Do not goof on me. Don't use pet names or wacky phrases. Don't add '-ster- to the person's name. Don't, to put it simply, waste my time.
5. Do not give me Dead Air. When I say that a person is unavailable, don't suddenly become silent as if I had just told you that I was The Grand Wizard. This does neither of us any good, especially as by now all I really want to do is set a burning cross on your lawn.
6. Do not be antagonistic. When a person is not available, if I'm in a good mood and the Blueberry Smirnoff is tasting especially smooth, I will helpfully ask if I could get someone else to help you. Answering 'No, you can't' is a bad move. It's rude – that sort of thing doesn't occur to you, does it?
7. Do not expect me to be friendly. I already don't like you (you've interrupted me, remember?), so why should I prolong what is already a painful encounter? I don't want to ask how you are, and I'm not particularly interested in how you spent your weekend. And I don't think you care to tell me, either! You called on business, didn't you?
Please remember that there are very few desperately important things in this world. And I would say that the odds are Stupendous that your little invasion of my time is not one of those very few things. So please remember to stop acting as if it is.
Thanking you in advance,
Yours sincerely, etc.
___ _______ ________ __________
Los Angeles, CA"