Or: the point where I realized that I'll be damned if I keep working at NBC.
I generally get along well with whoever I work with, but this drove me to the edge.
I was at work yesterday, ringing up a customer. Some of my coworkers were hanging around outside the cash office. Out of the corner of my eye I see something flitting across the bottom of my computer monitor. Turns out this girl I work with got a laser pointer for Christmas and is fooling around. Fine. I make a joke about her not being much of a sniper if she's 20 feet away in plain sight.
I thought that was the end of it, but she doesn't quit. Since I stopped paying attention to her, she shines it in my eyes.
It hurts. You're, y'know, not supposed to do that. There are warnings plastered all over the packaging on those things warning you to not even think about getting a laser beam anywhere near someone's eyes, and yet this girl's fucking with me. Thing is, I can't snap at her because I'm with a customer so my 'could you please stop that? It hurts,' makes me sound like a wuss. The fact that I wear glasses doesn't help - the damn things focus the beam straight into my eye.
'It burns?' she says. No, I'm covering my eyes and cringing a lot out of the sheer joy of the NBC Experience!
'Yes, it burns, and my glasses make it worse.'
'It don't burn,' she says, and (and this is the thing that made me want to rip my hair out) she points the laser into her eye and hits the trigger...and looks into the beam for a full 10 seconds.
'Yeah, it don't hurt.' Whereupon she resumes trying to shine the thing directly into my eyes.
You know what it takes to make me yell at somebody? I have this voice in the back of my head that I still can't shake, a voice that repeats 'don't yell; she hates that' over and over and over again. It's the thing that makes me good at fast-paced, high volume retail service. My fuse is a mile long and soaking wet. I don't yell, I don't fight. I'm sarcastic and abrasive, sure, in an extremely quiet way. The only time I raise my voice is in merryment. Ok, or self-deprecation, but that's all pointed at me.
My customer leaves, smiling, and once he's down the stairs and out of range, I lose it. 'Are you out of your fucking mind? What part of that hurts do you not understand? Knock it off, you fucking idiot.' She looked at me like I was insane and left.
How hard would it be to find a nice, quiet desk job, something where I get to sit in front of a computer, talking on AIM and spreadsheeting til I clock out at 5pm and get blitzed, some job with co-workers who are, if idiotic, at least not bullies. I've been dealing with this shit for years, is it really that much to ask for? Damn.