Hang around with the right people and you’ll find brilliant ideas everywhere. I say that because I posted last week about throwing up my hands about dealing with an evil, manipulative insurance company and how I simply lacked the energy or fortitude to do battle with them over small amounts of money. (I don’t like to publicly label myself as a defeatist wimp, but fair is fair.)
Anyway, my friend Jane Boursaw, who writes the very savvy, informative film and TV blog Film Gecko, commented with a swell idea. If it takes too much of your time and good vibes to deal with wretched companies, Jane reasoned, why not hire someone who’s good at it? Why not Hire an Asshole?
Now, I might be a total slug when it comes to dealing with big corporations, but — if I do say so myself — I know a great idea when it gets dumped in my lap or my comments section. Hire an Asshole — what a wonderful idea! Why wear yourself out, why grind and gnash your own teeth to nubs, when you can employ somebody who enjoys doing battle and is good at it? (“I don’t get tough, Mr. Gittes,” Faye Dunaway tells Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, her voice a purr. “My lawyer does.” I’ve always longed to say those words.)
But when, specifically, would you want to Hire an Asshole? I asked other blogging friends. As it turns out, they wanted to hire lots of assholes:
“Hmmm, so many options for needing an asshole in my life. Dealing with just about anyone in the medical profession or banking industry would be mine.” — Jane Boursaw, again
“DMV, insurance, INTERNET SERVICE!, insurance.” — food blogger
“Can you please rent me an asshole to go out and pull people out of their cars and beat them senseless when they cut into the front of a line on the highway exit, the line you’ve been (patiently?) waiting on for the last 20 minutes? Or how about renting me an asshole to sit on the telephone for a half-hour while I get switched from department to department on an automated phone call, finally get the extension I need, and then get disconnected? Oh, and I also need to rent an asshole to go out and give the dog shit back to the person who let their dog leave theirs all over my lawn.” — health blogger
“I need an eldercare asshole. Honestly, if one more eldercare ‘professional’ hands me the ‘Senior Blue Book’ as if it will magically solve all my eldercare issues or answer my specific eldercare questions, I may just implode. So, I would need an asshole to either A) take a blow torch to the famed ‘Senior Blue Book’ or B) rattle some cages until I got the help and answers I needed.” – Roxanne Hawn, pet blogger at Champion of My Heart
“I would like an asshole to shake down the people who send me all of the spam scams. I’ve gotten spam from the pretend UPS, IRS, various banks, various internet providers and so on this week. I think said asshole should organize a chain letter writing campaign so these spammers get a chain letter every day that tells them to forward it to 100 friends or a slow horrible death, early wrinkles, senility and dozens of other things will come their way. “ – relationships blogger
“I need one for the neighbors who kept putting their estate sale sign on my lawn, without asking. If they had asked I would have said yes, but they just plopped it on my lawn. These are the ‘neighbors’ (and I use the word lightly) who live across the street in a gated community all their own. We kept picking it up and putting on their grass across the street and they kept moving it back. Once the sale was over, they then hammered in a sign offering a vacant lot for sale down their little lane on my front lawn. I pulled that out and threw it on their grass across the street. I’ve never met these people, don’t even know their names.” — crafts and cooking blogger
“To deal with idiot cable TV providers, credit card companies who use an entirely different math system than the rest of us, and the lady in line behind me at the grocery store who moves into position while I’m still finishing my transaction.” — travel blogger
“I’d rent an asshole to be my collections agency.” — freelance writing blogger
Well! I think that’s been very helpful! In this terrible economy, it’s good to know there’s a booming job market for assholes, at least.
The funny thing is, at the last moment, I got an unsolicited email from another source. Here it is: “I’d like to hire an asshole to call a woman I sexually harassed in the workplace and suggest she apologize to me.” — anonymous U.S. Supreme Court justice
Interesting email, wouldn’t you say? It has the sound of a man who’s just about to get lucky.
(Copyright 2010 by Ruth Pennebaker)
Read one of my favorite posts about wondering how many decades I’ve loudly mispronounced a certain word
Haha! Loved the last bit. Sometimes it seems there are so many frustrations to cope with that it would be nice to turn all of the headaches over to someone else to deal with.
Ha! This idea still makes me giggle. Thanks for including my plea in the list.
Love all of these – especially the last one!
Just think. As a group, we could likely solve the unemployment crisis.
LOVE that last one! Mine: I need an asshole to tell the people who live upstairs that, if they must smoke on their fire escape, they must also pick up the butts they drop to the ground. And also to remind them that their kitchen is above my bedroom, so the 12AM hipster gatherings are getting tiresome.
Ruth – Thank you for bringing this groundbreaking idea out of the depths of my dark brain and into the light. May it grow and prosper.
I mentioned your post to my husband and he, without knowing anything more about it, said, “Great idea, but I don’t think there’s any assholes left. I think they’ve all been hired by the banking and insurance companies.”
Well as someone who has successfully done battle with insurance companies, phone companies, internet companies and one nightmare salesman at the furniture store, I’d like to offer up my services. Although, I prefer the term Agressive Bitch rather than Asshole (seems to have a nicer ring to it!).
There’s nothing better than celebrating those small victories (even if I’ve only saved like $30 on my tv service, I consider it to be a monumental win!) and if I could somehow make a career out of solving other people’s problems well then, it’s a double win!
(I do my best work over the phone but I’d be happy to add in-person interactions for an additional fee!) 🙂
Ha! We all have those days where it might be nice to have someone else step in to do a little problem solving. So Ruth, how come you’re not offering to coordinate these endless employment opportunities?
Hire an Asshole, or
HAA for short, is a
big bucks idea.
The Haiku Diaries
Oh Rachel – My idea’s been formed into a Haiku. I’m verklempt. Long Live The Haiku Diaries.
Who doesn’t have the occasional need for an asshole? This could be huge.
Wonderful! Now, it sounds like you have the outline for an incredibly successful business venture: 1-800-Hire-an-Asshole
Oh, I don’t think it is at all nice to think of such an employee as an asshole! For a couple of decades I have been telling people that if I only won the lottery I would hire somebody to follow me around to write letters to all the people who irritate me. Not just major irritants like insurance companies or the DMV, but (for example) to the employers of the young American woman who was rude to me when she took my coffee order; to the supermarket where I queued three times and each time got a different (stupid) excuse why I couldn’t get cash back; to my doctor who fired me because I no longer have an address, even though I haven’t called on her services for 6 years and the government pays her to have my name on her books…
But I never wanted an asshole! I want someone very well educated and perspicacious. Someone who understands my (natural) irritation who can write a cutting letter almost as well as I. Naturally I will pay well for such talent and dedication — when I win the lottery.
Love, love. I’m totally going to remember this next time I have trouble and try to channel my own inner a**hole.
Ruth, I think you’ve got the makings of a reality show here. Every week you could tune in to see someone get the asshole treatment they deserve. People would watch!
I feel a national franchise coming on;)
Love this idea, Ruth and Jane!! Where can I sign up? Seriously, though, there might actually be a market for something like this.
Actually if we could get somebody to shut down the computers of all who originate chain letters and other spam, that would be great. Also to interupt media broadcasting whenever they put out bull and call it information.
Thanks for the loud hoot I made upon reading this:
“The funny thing is, at the last moment, I got an unsolicited email from another source. Here it is: “I’d like to hire an asshole to call a woman I sexually harassed in the workplace and suggest she apologize to me.” — anonymous U.S. Supreme Court justice”
You are wonderful, Ruth.
I need to hire one of these!! To accompany me to the doc’s office and make noise when we have been waiting for more than half an hour with no apologies and no explanation, which sadly seems to be the norm. (And is part of the reason I rarely take my kids to the doctor.)
This was so entertaining! I loved the last example especially – you’re so clever.
May I venture to say that in days of yore, the work of an “hire-an-asshole” was routinely performed by a super-professional personal secretary. Such an employee (most often a she, back then) could tactfully fend off people you didn’t want to see, effectively handle phone calls, write firm letters and generally find results for any problem you might encounter, remember everyone’s birthday, was always well-groomed, made a helluva good cup of coffee and could read her boss’s mind. By way of thanks, she was kept on staff full time, paid above the going rate, got lunch hours long enough to prove useful to her, and fresh flowers were maintained on her desk.
Where is she, now? Freelancing. She has evolved into the “Aggressive Bitch” that another commenter spoke of.
For years I have thought that large corporations were taking advntage of the public by making it difficult to get any money refunded, equipment repaired, or wrong corrected. And, I believe that they do this on purpose because they know that most folks are just too busy to deal with the obstructionistic hassles they throw us. I think “Asshole” is an up and coming profession.
I would work for HAA in a heart beat. Will be looking at (started to put “into”) a branch office here.
Hubby Diaries, where were you when I was fighting with NYState unemployment for the good part of a month? You could have a really good side business going there.
Winston is dead on the money. During my previous incarnation as an “executive secretary,” aka dogsbody, I was known (with admiration I might add) as the company’s Resident Rottweiller, for my refusal to take shit from anybody. But I’m useless when it comes to protecting my own turf; I guess I had to be paid, to put my heart into it.
I don’t need to hire an asshole – I married one.