Communication for Asshats

As I believe I promised a rant yesterday, I feel I must deliver.

If you are not an asshat, then it’s unlikely you need this guidance, but as there is so much asshattery in the world and so very few people believe themselves capable of asshattery, let alone with enough frequency to deserve the appellation, I recommend that you read on, just in case.

If you are entering foreign lands, it might behoove you to come prepared. If it’s a hot desert you plan to go to, a canteen or even camel back might be a plan, if it’s the arctic, wear a fucking jacket and you might even wish to consider some gloves, asshat.

Regardless of the weather or terrain, you might want to learn a bit of the language or culture, or at least learn to keep your mouth shut and eyes open so as to avoid offending the locals so much that you end up a sacrifice to their gods.

Asshats like you are especially pleasing sacrifices to the gods.

I am fairly certain that last little bit is the reason my parents felt so strongly that children should be seen and and not heard: kids who keep their mouths shut and ears open in adult company are more likely to learn something from their elders (and thereby avoid being dropped in the stew).

Because children are all little asshats, waiting to be trained out of that state (or not, if the parenting skills of those responsible for a little asshat are found wanting.)

These rules hold for places and situations not all that foreign to one’s culture. Unfamiliar situations such as being in court, trying to get a new job, dating, all carry a degree of risk where keeping your mouth shut, at least to a degree, might gain something for you, asshat.

As my agent once told me, the more you like someone or their work, the less effusive you should be about it when speaking to them. There are few places a conversation can go when a stranger walks up to another and starts the conversation with, “I love you and your work.”

The opposite also holds true. If one is a cross-burning racist asshat, one will rarely be best served by starting conversations with, “I hate you and your kind.”

Asshats who pull this kind of shit deserve whatever they get.

If you arrive late to whatever foreign place you find yourself, do not go on the attack. Do not think that just because you are concerned about whether you’ve fucked yourself, that others should give a rat’s ass about your self-inflcited doom or, for that matter, feel the need to bow down and sacrifice the least bit of their time for you to engage in any kind of asshattery.

If you are asking what you think is a reasonable question, ask yourself first, “Has this target, this person I wish to ask the question of, have they already answered this question and I was just so late/caught up in my own bullshit that I missed it?”

If the answer is yes, best not fucking ask the question, you asshat.

If the answer is no, then consider asking the question with genuine politeness.

For a moment I forgot I was writing this for true asshats, and almost didn’t explain it clearly: by genuine politeness, I mean speech that is not obsequious pandering to what you believe the questioned might want to hear, such as “Hey Boss, what’s up with my ____?”

The preceding fails the litmus test for politeness and, further, if the person is not your boss or a horse, now you’ve gone and labeled them as someone:

a) who is an animal that prefers hay


b) who should run the show, and is therefore somehow capable of fixing your malfunction.

Sorry, no one can do that but you, asshat.

So. Ask politely. Perhaps something along the lines of, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’m late, could you possibly tell me what to do?”

Then, and this is critically important, you fucking asshat: wait for the full answer. Wait longer than you think an old lady in need of hip replacement would take to cross a particularly wide street.

Now, when the answer begins, give it your full attention. You asked for that answer, and, while I know respect of any kind comes hard to asshats, you need to show some now. This is especially true of complex questions or ones that require a multi-part answer. Process each part of the answer as it is given, and do not respond until the speaker is done.

Do not give in to the instinct to believe your inner asshat, and that the person answering your very important question is as much an asshat as you are, and might either lie to you just to see you get worked up, or doesn’t know what they are talking about and failing to give you the very best answer.

This is especially true if that answer contains negative news for you, asshat. No one is willing to help an asshat who, when given bad news, decides to disrupt things further by engaging in further asshattery. Do not think that by getting louder, waxing tearful, pulling an angry face, or bemoaning the fact that you are being treated unfairly, that you are doing anything more than drawing further attention to your asshattery.

Do not repeat the question over and over again to different people hoping to find a better answer, it only proves you an asshat.

Oh, and if your friends have, in the past, proven themselves asshats, don’t bring them along. Anywhere. No matter how much they might whine and complain. Their asshattery can only drag you in and keep you treading the shit-filled water.

In short, try very hard not to be an infantile, whining child, you clueless asshat. Try damned hard to follow these rules, and perhaps you will go unidentified as such.

Still, I know it is sometimes very hard to avoid showing your asshattery. For my part, if you are being an asshat, but you’re sweating and gritting your teeth in attempt to restrain your natural inclination to such asshattery, I might take pity on you.

No promises, but I might.