Sometimes people are assholes.

Having work in customer service for so long you’d think it would be hard to shock me, but it happens all the time. I’m constantly amazed at the way people will treat another human being in order to get what they want regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Or how we treat people for no reason.

Today I happened upon a tweet by The Province that was asking people in customer service to share their worst experiences as someone who works in customer service. I like when news sources crowd source their stories through social media, it gives everyone the option to participate and give their stories. Even if I’m not going to read the story that comes of it, I’m always happy to read the retweeted answers.

When The Province put out their tweet today I responded with the first two horrible customer service stories I had, in my brief 140 character tweet I simply said that I had once been called a dumbass and on another occasion a racist (in 2 different jobs) for enforcing company policy. I sent the tweet and didn’t think much of it, I checked my feed a bit later and noticed I had gotten a response. One was a retweet by The Province and another was this classy reply.

Image

Apparently this dude, Anthony Di’Amonte (aka DirtyBoss13), decided that I was deserving of his one and only tweet. He has been online since January and decided today was the day he would make his first tweet and it would be to me, someone he doesn’t know or follow, to be mean for no reason.

Did it hurt my feelings? No. The guy doesn’t even have the balls to put his own picture in his profile, which is the most pathetic type of person on social media to. He follows various hockey twitter accounts, like Don Cherry and the Canadiens. His first follow was Billy Talent and has only one follower.

So no, his sad little existence does not hurt my feelings.

After receiving that tweet I reported him for spam, which is basically just blocking him since they don’t shut down accounts unless there have been a few reports.

The only thing I felt was sad that people like this exist. People that need to take a minute out of their day to be an asshole to someone else all because of the anonymity they have online hiding behind a picture of a billiard ball. Or cartoon character. Or whatever.

I’m an adult, I can handle someone else and their stupid need to be an asshole to feel good about themselves. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a teenager nowadays, hopefully assholes like Anthony Di’Amonte (aka “DevilBoss13”) don’t pick on kids, but I’m kidding myself if I actually believed this.

The takeaway here? Go out and be nice to people. Speak nicely to whomever you deal with in customer service, even if they’re not telling you what you want to hear (they’re far more likely to give you what you want, even if it’s not everything). Go have meaningful and interesting conversations online, don’t abuse the medium that I love so much, instead contribute to something that could really impact someone.

And put your picture on your social media profile, don’t be a coward.

Most of all, don’t be an asshole.

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Nobody can be that excited

I really hate the exclamation point.

Actually, I don’t hate the exclamation point, but the people who use it way too much.

I see people on Twitter or Facebook overusing it way too much…

Me and my girls are going out for dinner!!! Then to see Pitch Perfect! I love Rebel Wilson!!!

I just had the most amazing glass of wine!!! I may be bad and have another glass!!! Don’t tell my boss!

I wish I was exaggerating.

No one can be that excited about movies or wine. Do people not read this to themselves and realize that the exclamation points are completely wrong?

The worst is on Twitter when someone would rather commit some other punctuation or spelling sin so they can make sure they have !!

OMG!! My boyfriend just came home & bought me roses!! Have the best boyfriend eva!!! I luv u so much Joe!! Girls keep ur hands off of him!!

The exclamation point has a time and place. To show strong feelings towards something, usually happiness and anger. It can also show shouting. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about it:

A sentence ending in an exclamation mark may be an exclamation (such as “Wow!”, “Boo!”), or an imperative (“Stop!”), or may indicate astonishment: “They were the footprints of a gigantic duck!” Exclamation marks are occasionally placed mid-sentence with a function similar to a comma, for dramatic effect, although this usage is obsolescent: “On the walk, oh! there was a frightful noise.”

Informally, exclamation marks may be repeated for additional emphasis (“That’s great!!!”), but this practice is generally considered unacceptable in formal prose.

There is no need to abuse the exclamation point!

(properly used exclamation point)

Twitter pet peeves

Of all the social networks, Twitter is my favorite. Like most other things, I do have some pet peeves with the site’s users. Here they are:

  • People who complain all the time. Everyone uses Twitter to complain from time to time, but if your timeline is filled only with complaints it’s time to re-evaluate your Twitter use.
  • Stick to the 140 character rule. You’re given a limited amount of space for a reason, try not to pull a Kanye and stick to that rule. If what you have to say spans more than 2 tweets then take it to Facebook or start a blog.
  • You can’t hide people’s tweets. Your only two options are to follow or unfollow. Sometimes I follow people I know but lose interest in their tweets (mainly for the problems outlined here) but I don’t want to insult them by unfollowing.
  • Hashtag misuse. Throwing them in the middle of your tweet as part of the sentence, using them too much, letting them take up half of your tweet… these things hurt people’s eyes. They should be the punchline to your joke or used categorize your tweet.
  • Bad spelling and grammar. I get the need to shorten words to make it short enough for the 140 limit but if you’re still way under the limit or just using the wrong form of their/there/they’re, to/too, your/you’re that’s just disrespectful to the English language. If you need help, check out my favorite infographic
  • Celebrities that retweet tweets from fans that simply say “PLS RETWEET!! It’s all I’ve ever wanted from you” or “Please retweet if you love your fans in Brasil” or various parents of kids that believe a retweet from a d-list celebrity will cure their kid’s cancer. If you’re a celeb and want to communicate with your fans that’s wonderful, I just wish you’d reply to them so it doesn’t clog my timeline.
  • Spam. There seems to be so much more of it lately.

Is there any Twitter pet peeves I’m missing here?

#AbuseIsHilarious

First up, a quick lesson in hashtags and trending topics. On Twitter a lot of the 140-character tweets are finished with a hashtag, with it’s # the hashtag will often be the punchline to your joke, a sarcastic add on or categorize and add a subject to your tweet so like-minded tweeters can find you too.

Sometimes hashtag games spring up, and become trending topics. For example right now a popular one is #dearyoungself in which someone will start their tweet with the hashtag and write a (sometimes) witty comment.

These trending topics are somewhat monitored by the powers that be at Twitter, #JustinBieber has been banned because it was trending for days on end. This can happen with a lot of pop culture references, like Twilight, Team Edward, etc. Just because they don’t need to be on our list of trending topics for days on end. Others will be banned because of their political or religious nature, over the weekend #fuckWashington was banned and in the past hashtags about marriage only being between man and woman were banned.

Over the weekend one offensive hashtag was allowed to trend for a considerable amount of time. #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend stayed up on the trending list for a few hours, if not a whole day. I didn’t click to read the posts but I’m sure they were exactly what you’d expect and probably done by the same naive idiots that come to Chris Brown’s defense whenever he does or tweet’s something stupid(daily).

So people can’t say #FuckWashington, even though from what I gather they’ve screwed up the whole economy but #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend is ok?

No, no it’s not.

1 in 4 women is a victim of abuse at some point in her life. 1 in 4. I will venture a guess that it’s much higher than that, since that’s just reported cases. I’d be so bold to say 3 in 4 and depending on whether you’re looking at just physical or also emotional and psychological, I’d almost say it’s at 4 in 4. It’s that serious.

It’s not just abuse by your boyfriend, it’s family, coworkers, friends, acquaintances, random people on the streets, etc. It’s prevalent everywhere.

But until people recognize what abuse is, then people aren’t going to realize that silly hashtag games, joking around about beating women or glorifying it in popular culture is offensive. Not just to us with uterus’s, but everyone.

What is abuse? Glad you asked, because you shouldn’t have to wait until it hits you across the face before you seek help. I wont even try to paraphrase, here’s some great information from Vancouver Coastal Health.

Types of Abuse
Physical
Any act(s) of violence or rough treatment causing injury or physical discomfort. more
Sexual
Any sexual behavior directed towards a person without his/her full knowledge and consent; i.e., sexual assault, sexual harassment, or use of pornography. more
Financial
The misuse of a person’s funds and assets; obtaining property and funds without his/her knowledge and full consent, or in the case of an elderly person who is not competent, not in his/her best interests. more
Psychological
Any act, including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. more
Other forms of abuse
Medication, Violation of civil and human rights, and Spiritual. more

Regarding Psychological Abuse:

Any act, including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.

This is sometimes called emotional abuse. Some researchers refer to it by formal terms such as “chronic verbal aggression”.

Psychological abuse can make the person feel “less of a person”. It diminishes the person’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. Abused people often find that psychological or emotional abuse is the most hurtful form of abuse. 

Psychological abuse includes behaviours such as:

  • Name calling,
  • Yelling,
  • Insulting the person,
  • Threatening the person or threatening to take away something that is important to them,
  • Imitating or mocking the person,
  • Swearing at them,
  • Ignoring,
  • Isolating the person,
  • Excluding them from meaningful events or activities.

Psychological abuse also happens when the adult is excluded from decision making when the person is capable and wants to be included (in other words, “making decisions for them”), and depriving them of their rights.

Justice Canada includes these as some examples of psychological abuse: (3)

  • Threatening to use violence
  • Threatening to abandon them
  • Intentionally frightening them
  • Making them fear that they will not receive the food or care they need
  • Lying to them
  • Failing to check allegations of abuse against them
  • Insulting, swearing, or name calling
  • Making derogative or slanderous statements about them to others
  • Socially isolating them, or failing to let them have visitors

The Vancouver Coastal has some great resources for recognizing abuse and helping friends or family who may be suffering. I also highly recommend this article from Glamour.com about their Tell Somebody campaign. The stats are from the US but it’s just as important in Canada.

Admittedly, helping a friend can be tricky because you don’t know what their reaction will be, but speaking from experience, it’s important even if the results are not what you hoped for.