Words of Encouragement From Yours Truly

I was asked to send a friend some electronic encouragement last week. So I did.


I trust you are getting all settled in to your new place. Waiting for the housewarming party…

Word on the street is that some twat at work is bothering you. Here’s the deal sweetheart. People suck. No way around it. My favorite comedian, the late Bill Hicks, said this of the human race, “We’re a virus with shoes.” Probably not what you wanna read first thing in the morning…sorry about that. The upside here is that this person is ALWAYS gonna suck. You see normal people have moments of suckiness but we eventually move past it. It sorta comes and goes…with normal people.

It’s true, we suck to some people, that’s the hard truth no one ever tells us growing up. We’re taught to believe we can do anything, be anything and we’re taught to believe we aren’t assholes. The truth is, we are….sometimes. But people like this jack ass that is giving you grief…they’re always assholes. They’ll never be able to acknowledge it, accept it, let alone escape it.

Dr. Suess wrote a book about it:

Some people plod along in their life and achieve varying degrees of success (however one defines it) and never realize they suck. They’re clueless. Fortunately, these people are ultimately harmless. They’re like a declawed house cat. Sure, they may have a little bit of power, but at the end of the day, they’re pretty innocuous.

Of course there are some people who know they suck and just don’t care…those people are scary. Typically they’re sociopaths, politicians, mid-tier entertainment executives or B-list celebrities. You should attempt to steer clear of those people. They’ll fuck you…and not in any way you want.

Here’s what I can tell you about this person that I have never met. Likely it is her own insecurities that are manifesting themselves in the way she treats you. I suspect it has very little, if anything, to do with you. The truth is that there is nothing you will ever be able to do to have her overcome her shit so that she is less shitty towards you. You may be able to have moments where she is nominally less shitty but that is all they will ever be. Moments. Cherish them.

My advice to you would be to pity her. She sucks. She’ll always suck. She literally can’t help it. Try not to let her bring you down or make you angry. Letting someone like that have any influence on your emotions is pointless. That type of person has but one goal and that is to make you, and everyone around them, feel bad. I assure you, it has virtually nothing to do with you.

Maybe someday the American Medical Association will recognize what I call GSD (generalized suckiness disorder) and develop some sort of treatment plan. Until that happens, we are on our own and will have to use our own diagnostic and treatment guidelines.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you suck too. Not all the time and probably only a fraction of the time, but you do. To know that about yourself and accept it allows you to push past the grief this idiot is causing you because you can find solace in knowing she sucks ALL the time and you only suck a fraction of the time. It’s all about empathy.

Also,, don’t cry at work. Just don’t. That may seem like a flip statement, but I assure you it’s not. There is nothing wrong with crying. Nothing. I’ll cry watching “Two and a Half Men”, mainly because I can’t believe a show that crappy is still on the air and is still successful. Just. Don’t. Cry. At. Work. If you have to, go hide. Don’t let anyone see you. It’s an emotional response most people don’t know how to respond to privately and even less so publicly. And sadly, unless they’re tears of joy, they’re seen as weakness by far too many people. You also never know when a Gypsy might be lurking around to steal them (they’ll steal anything). It’s best to just avoid crying at work all together.

Keep in mind you’re not gonna be there forever. You’re still so young so this is just a stepping stone. Treat it as such. Work, make the connections you need to make to get to where you want to be. As you go on that journey, remember this person. It will allow you to recognize the signs when you see them again (and you will). It will remind you that you too can have moments of shittiness yourself. Mostly it will remind you to never ever treat someone the same way. Don’t ever be that person that does crap to someone because it was done to you. I can’t tell you how often I have heard “Well, that’s what happened to me.” It’s a pathetic attitude, it’s wrong and just perpetuates the cycle.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” said Ghandi.
It is that simple.

Above all else enjoy yourself and don’t let this person bring you down. She’s just not worth any energy you spend thinking about her. She sucks. She is always gonna suck. Don’t let her general suckiness disorder disrupt your goals, your skills or your desires.

Fuck her kid. She ain’t worth it.

Much love,

George Saunders gave the commencement address at Syracuse University this year.
I won’t spoil if for you, but it is worth reading.

We need more kindness.
We need more kind people and less sucky ones.