You know how when you empty out your purse or bag or backpack or attaché case or whatnot, and there are all these surprises at the bottom, floating around down there with the tums crumbs? That’s what my email folders are like.
Email Crumbs — like Tums and bubblegum.
I went spelunking last month, and hidden amidst the garbage (all of which has been deleted) I have found some real gems. It’s tantamount to finding that pack of gum that disappeared a month ago, or a $1-bill you thought you’d already spent (yes, I said $1, because when you’re poor, $1 is very exciting!), or that missing pretty, blue Hot Wheels (my daughter hates Barbie).
Email Crumbs — motivation for writers.
How, you ask, can Email Crumbs be considered gems? Simple! When you are reading old emails from like five years ago, context is everything. I sometimes have to stretch my imagination to remember why I held on to a certain message for so long, filling in the blanks with faces I hardly recall, and stories that no longer hold any relevance to my life.
Email Crumbs inspire laughter at old jokes, enflame hurts long thought healed, and provide a cornucopia of ideas for new stories.
Or, in this case, blog posts.
I share with you now an example of Email Crumbs.
Email Crumbs — because I didn’t have anything else planned.
Back when I used to work outside the home, I had to run the merchandise sales portion of events sponsored by the company for which I was employed. Mostly I loved this job — it was the end of the semester and I got to see all the coaches at once — I got to meet the parents or exchange hugs with those I hadn’t seen in several months — I got to watch the students showcase what they had learned over the last twelve weeks.
It required public interaction, though, which isn’t always my favorite. Customer service is not my forte, although my boss would say differently, because I know how to put on a good show.
We all have stories of “that one customer” — the one who was rude or stupid or otherwise douche-tastic. Since I am a writer, I couldn’t wait to share my latest stories with my family and friends. Most of the time I received appreciative responses, but I’ll never forget “this one time” an acquaintance of mine set me straight.
Here is my original email story (AKA: Email Crumbs):
OMG… I have to vent…
There is this one “clever” dad who thinks he is just ***IT*** and I cannot stand him! He came up to buy a drink and I wanted to let him know there wasn’t a lot of choice, because I’m nice like that.
So I said, “There isn’t very much in the fridge right now.”
To which dude replied all haughty & snotty, “Well whose fault is THAT?”
I just grinned and kept my teeth glued together because I have dealt with this jack-wagon before, and he only gets worse if engaged. He gave me a handful of change.
I turned around to grab his drink of choice, and started to count the change before dropping it into the cashbox, but before I even had a chance to get past the first quarter he snapped,
“Just hold on, don’t be so grabby… you’re moving so fast you didn’t even notice I short-changed you!”
I kept my grin firmly in place, albeit stretched thin, and tried to assure him I was counting it out. He just kept on like I was some kind of an idiot.
“You’d have turned around to get more money but I’d have been GONE. Next time you’ll count your money BEFORE you get robbed.”
I put his stupid orange Gatorade on the counter (I mean, who even drinks that disgusting shiznat anyway???), without slamming it down, and told him in my sweetest, most syrupy tone of voice, “I hope your day gets better!”
Then I picked up some papers & walked purposefully to the back room. Did I need those papers back there? Nope. What I needed was a reason to walk away without smashing an axe over dude’s fat head.
I did it all for the cookie, the cookie.
And that was my email. Kind of cute, right? Nothing over the top, nothing controversial, nothing to get upset about. Most of my peeps wrote back something along the lines of, “You handled that quite well!”… or “If that happened to ME, I would have…” and something violent or rude followed.
But not everyone was so kind. One person sent me this:
Andi, I have asked before please stop sending me junk emails.
(*Bitch whose name shall not be mentioned, to protect her privacy. Just know, she’s an asshole.*)
Okay, in the spirit of honesty, I will reveal that prior to the whole FB, Twitter, chat room phenomenon, I was known to send out mass emails on a regular basis shouting how I feel about certain issues. Particularly political or religious ones. And when people asked me to quit that, I was slow to quit that.
That may, or may not, explain why I have so many Email Crumbs in my arsenal. Just being honest.
HOWEVER. When (*Bitchy Asshole*) asked me to stop sending her forwards, I stopped, immediately. This chick used to attend the same church as my sister, and plus I thought she was uber-cool, because she always had snappy comebacks and sarcastic witticisms that left me in awe. I wanted her to like me.
Some people just aren’t going to like me. I know, I know. I found it shocking, too. But it’s true. I am unable to please everyone. So this is what I wrote back.
Dear (*Bitchy Asshole*),
I’m sorry. I truly and sincerely didn’t understand what you meant by “junk”. The story I related in this email really happened to me, and I personally wrote it because I was very frustrated at the time.
I’m trying hard to work on focusing and channeling my anger into more productive, less antagonistic means. I believe I have respected your original request in that I no longer send you impersonal forwards.
However, I do have you on my list of friends with whom I like to speak, and to whom I can vent because we are like-minded. I like and respect you, and you seem like someone who “gets” me. Not many people do, so I hold you in high esteem.
I’m sorry I presented my situation in such a way as that it came across as irritating ”junk”. I will refrain from venting to you in the future.
If I do write a note to you personally, such as in this case, I’ll make sure to place a salutation such as “Dear (*Bitchy Asshole*)” at the heading, so you will know I’m truly addressing it to you and only you.
If my message is still perceived as “junk”, I will understand I summed you up incorrectly, and that we are not in fact friends, and I will stop writing to you altogether.
Have a nice day,
I decided I don’t need to stay in touch with Bitchy Assholes, so I removed her from my list. I’m embarrassed to recall that I didn’t think highly enough of myself during that juncture in life to avoid begging for friends. I assure you, it will NEVER happen again.