February 7, 2013

Practicing For The Script of "Taken 3"

A fellow Samurai posted the following on our internal message board the other day, wanting to know if any of us would be interested in helping out.  Knowing we're a bunch of creatives, and many of of fancy ourselves writers, his odds were good that someone would bite. 

" I am getting close to the number I need, just a few more pleeeaaasssee ? For this project, I will need a short letter from each person. I would like it to be threatening in nature, as this is a forensic questioned documents research project. Please send me a threatening letter, no less than 100 words long, directed at anything from an organization to the Lego you stepped on this morning to myself. The content WILL NOT be included in the research itself (unless I ask your permission further down the road), so do not hesitate to say something that would otherwise feel incriminating or inappropriate. This can be something you feel strongly about or a made-up offense, as long as it conveys some sort of dissatisfaction and need for revenge or vengeance. Fowl [sic] language is fine and I will not be researching the meaning or content of this letter, only the physical characteristics of the text (lexical density, to be exact). I will need 40 participants, so if you know anyone else that would be willing to participate, that would be great. Thanks!"

I'm for extra learning and lessons for the sheer joy of trying something new.  This project sounds like an interesting activity.  I looked at it as a way that could take me out of my comfort zone of writing more humorous commentary and try something I don’t like to do, be a mean girl.  So, I’m taking myself to school to help out with a class project.  Here goes.

First, I sat around for about an hour, trying to think of something to get copmpletely worked up over.  I didn't have much luck.  The best I could come up with was how the news is more a joke and water cooler gossip than news these days.  I didn't have much more than taunts for the idiots behind popularizing that.  So, I put the idea on hold for a few days.  I came across the perfect situation just yesterday.  I had worked with a customer that I just could not do anything for.  The short version of the story is that he had purchased a hard drive encryption package that we use in our bank environment to secure our mobile devices.  Because there was even the faintest whiff of our involvement, when he either forgot his password, locked the account, or had a hardware failure, he reached out to both us and the manufacturer to work together to get this resolved.  Now, because this was on his personal machine and not part of our corporate pool of devices, we have no ability to do anything more than politely saying "Oh man.  That sucks bro.".  Being frustrated that he's potentially lost all of his data and feeling that I was being unreasonably hard to work with by telling him there was nothing we could do, he decided to take his frustrations out on a post-call survey.  Across the board, he rated me 1 out of 5, which tanked my otherwise stellar record for the month.  My boss caught wind of this and we talked about the call.  In the end, she agreed I'd done nothing wrong, and he was just being a petty asshole in behaving how he did.  But, because he meant me to have that score, I had to keep it on my record.  And it would cost me. 

Every month, we get what I call "Time off for good behavior" based on our performance from the previous 30 days.  We can get up to 2.5 hours to be used all at once by the end of the month.  My survey score after his passive aggressive attempt to "teach me a lesson" cost me 30 minutes.  Seeing as how the time off is a gift anyway, I don't really feel slighted here.  So, good job?  I'm actually kinda flattered that I get to rent out space in the guy's head for free.  And based on the reaction, I'm thinking my room has a walking closet and a whirlpool tub.  Thanks man!

Anyway, without further ado, here's my homework.

To the overly self-important jackwagon who decided that leaving a post call survey rating me as a failure across the board, you are a spineless son of a bitch who just needs to get the last word.  I can't protect you from yourself and your own ignorance.  I don't have a magic wand, and am not able to kiss your non-booting laptop and make it better.  When I said there was nothing that we could do for you, and said it with a false smile on my face and concern I didn't feel in my voice, you tried to bully your way past me.  It may have worked before on other reps, but my teeth are sharp, my ground is firm, and my back is well protected.  

You must have known that your pathetic attempt at vengeance would get back to me.  And it did, just not in the form of a reprimand.  After hearing the complete story of your behavior and what our abilities to help you were (as in, none) my boss sided with me.  She agreed that I had done everything we could.  The only behavior I needed to change was to document more for later review.  I didn't do this because I was tired of renting out space to you for free in my head.  I wanted you gone.  My only other option was to laugh at you, and that's a dangerous tincture to sour my stomach.

So, I hope you got the satisfaction you needed out of your pathetic attempt to besmirch me.  (That means, talk shit about me in hopes my manager would believe you.)  Go take your need for power out on your Stepford wife as she spreads her legs and thinks about being in her happy place.  Because, that'll sure as fuck show me, some anonymous voice you'll never, ever meet.  And if you did, I'm pretty sure I could stare you down without having to say a word.  Spineless.  I look forward to speaking with you again, with veiled razors in my cheeks and opium words on my lips.  Kill them with kindness, indeed.

First off, this was harder than I thought.  I've spent so much time trying to find the bright side, and taking the tack of letting a person come to me with all the rope they'd need to hang themselves, I don't go on the attack much.  So, crossing that barrier isn't natural.  I had to work at the last paragraph, and even then it's a matter of lying in wait instead of search and destroy.  Truthfully, I'm not really even mad at this guy.  Sure, his one terrible survey cost me half an hour of "time off for good behavior" but I know it was out of spite, not because I did anything wrong.  I can't control other people, so I can either stew or let it go.  I don't know about you, but I don't want an ulcer, so off into the ether it went.

I think I'll have to make a second attempt and really put on my mean girl panties.  I'm going to have to make an effort to take his actions personally, to get offended at his ignorance, and pretend to want to teach him a lesson.  Hmmm.  Not the kind of personal development I'm normally in support of, but in this case, I think I'll make an exception.   I mean, it's for my "art", right?

If I ever lay hands on you, you son of a bitch, you better be right with your maker.  Your need for vengeance and to have the last word on a subject that I shouldn't have even been involved in cost me some extra time off.  Time off that I use to keep myself from unloading on sorry sacks of pus and sleaze like you.  You'd better think twice before you call again, insisting on my kissing your ass over an issue I can't even fucking change.  Do you call your power company when your mortgage company doesn't send you your mortgage statement?  No, you don't.  But, knowing you and your ability to be fucking oblivious to reality, you might.  You're better hope I never find myself with too many vacation days to use and a piece of rebar that makes my hands itch to brain you in a dark parking lot. That's the only kind of piece of your mind that's acceptable, the bits splattered all over my shoes.  I hope you rot from the inside out with third stage syphilis as your wife leaves you for the pool boy she caught it from.  Kill 'em with kindness, my clenched left fist.

Well, that’s a little more menacing, but still more an effort to belittle rather than threaten.  Apparently, I’m going to have to work even harder to reach “Taken” levels of threatening.  

I've got your number, you sanctimonious asshole.   I mean it, your literal number.  Give a girl your personal identification and take away a half an hour of her good behavior time and shit tends to hit the fan.  Your limp dicked attempt to get the last word about your ill-informed decision to buy software you didn't understand cost me an early out from work.  What you're forgetting it, I'm a geek.  And I'm a social geek.  I know people.  Grayhats.  People who enjoy doling out a little Internet Justice because it's Tuesday.  I've got your name.  I know where you work.  I can get your address, your cell phone number, the names of your kids and where they go to school.  And I can do it anonymously.  Give me time to get to know you.  Watch your patterns on the internet, and just when you've forgotten the anonymous voice you "totally taught a lesson to" , that's when I crawl into your mind like a psychological tapeworm.  I'll find you.  And I'll send "this guy I know" to mess with you, slouch around in dark corners, picking his teeth and grinning his meth-ruined smile at you.  I'll rob you of your smugness, siphon your reserves of safety under cover of night, and teach you to beg for the taste of crow.  I.  Will.  Ruin.  You.  Get under your skin till you're jumping around like Peter Pan's shadow and have learned to give up your petty, vindictive ways.  I'm waiting for you, with every blink of your modem's lights.  Waiting till you're cozy, and then I'll strike.  I hope, for your sake, you're not afraid of the dark.

Meh.  That last one was the hardest to write.  I don't know how to threaten someone physically, so I felt ridiculous trying to make it up.  I guess that's why it's called an exercise, it's practice at building your author muscles.  I think of all of these, I'm going to submit the second one.  It's the one that keeps my voice true, and still accomplishes the goal of being threatening.  And the lesson from all of this?  It's apparently really hard to get under my skin, at least enough to make me want to go on the offensive.  That's something to be happy about, if you ask me.


  1. bravo. You went way outside your character. That rocks.

    1. Aw. Thank you. I've not ever had formal schooling for composition (other than my advertising classes, but none of them were focused on copy, sad to say). it's a hobby, and one that I try to improve upon. It's nice to be noticed.


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