Thoughts From My Inner Jerk
I like to consider myself to be a pretty nice guy. I smile often, I give courtesy laughs to bad jokes, and I lend a helping hand when I can. Nice, right? Well, it is for the most part. The truth is that I have an inner jerk. He says stuff that I often don’t say out loud. Here are a couple examples:
I come in to work every morning and either tell people “good morning” or ask “How’s it going?”. Innocent enough, right? Well here’s the thing. When I say these things, I expect people to hit me with other equally general responses like, “I’m good. And you?”. To which I’d, in turn, reply with “I’m doing well also” even if I happen to be limping into the office after barely surviving a killer pit bull in the parking garage that ate my Achilles Tendon then threw it up on my car. My inner jerk shows up when people actually give a thoughtful response. Something like “I’m great! Thanks for asking! I woke up this morning, ate some oatmeal…” or “I could be better. My great uncle’s cousin’s brother’s nurse died of the plague over the weekend…” will bring out my inner jerk. Immediately, I’ll think, “Oh no… You’re going to give me a real answer. Now I’m stuck listening to your awful story that’s either going to bring down my morning because it’s so sad, or bring down my morning because I don’t want to hear your cheery, yet awful, story.” I asked about your day, but I don’t really want to hear about it… I apologize. My inner jerk is selfish like that… because he’s a jerk.
I’m an introvert, so I like being alone. I get recharged when I’m alone. Occasionally, I’ll eat lunch alone at work. I’ll go all the way to the back of the eating area, so I won’t be easily spotted. I don’t do this because I don’t want people to see me eating alone, but because I know if someone sees me and incorrectly assumes that I want company I will have to restrain my inner jerk. My coworker asks, “You eating alone? Do you mind if I sit with you?” I respond with, “Yes, I am. No, I don’t mind.”, but my inner jerk is screaming, “Yes, fool! I’m obviously eating alone. If I wanted to be sitting with other people, I’d sit with other people. Do you think that I’m such a friendless loser that I have no other choice but to sit by myself and enjoy my lunch sammich? Go away!”
I hope you can see now that you also have an inner jerk. We need to keep them joints at bay, because this is what happens when the inner jerk gets out. We like to call that dude the Crazy Negro… Don’t be crazy. Contain your inner jerk.
Until next time…