Monday, March 23, 2015

Be a Good Guy and Share How You Stay Entertained at Work

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge shutterstock_154308860.jpg
This blog post comes to you in two parts!

Part 1: Let's make desk jobs less boring
I spend a lot of time at my desk every week—At least 40 hours, many of which involve data entry and mindless copy and pasting. To prevent my brain from turning into chocolate pudding (yum, but not ideal for functionality), I'm always looking for things to stay entertained. And by "I'm always looking," I mean I'm officially tired of listening to the Amy Schumer station on Pandora. She's hilarious, but I think it's time we see other people. 

So, let's pool our resources: tell me what things you do to prevent pudding brain. Today, I'm listening to This American Life. 

Part 2: You're not a Good Guy
I used to work somewhere people were very comfortable asking for discounts. Some of my beautiful, more patient coworkers we're totally cool with that. "It's part of the job," I'd hear them say. But, as I like to tell people: They say patience is a virtue and I would not describe myself as virtuous. Maybe it was just time for me to get out of retail but I got irritated when people would come to my register and either automatically ask for a discount (Me: That'll be $8.64. Them: What, no discount?... Why? Why would there be a discount?) or try to convince me they had somehow earned a price reduction: "I shop here all the time!" "I've been a customer since the first store opened!" "What if I tell you a joke or make you awkwardly listen to me sing?*" Usually, if I would acquiesce, it was only because I was too done with the day to protest. 

This week's This American Life tells the story of Good Guys. In the first segment, the staff goes out and tries to save a few dollars by asking for a "Good Guy" discount—a method a coworker had some success with. 

Host Ira Glass likes the idea of asking for the discount—he says it shows moxie. I'm more on the side of Ben Calhoun, the guy telling the story of the discount. Calhoun thinks throwing the GG term around like that makes you not a Good Guy. It takes something away from actual good guys. It's, in a word, smarmy.

A quote from Calhoun in the story:
It's me saying, I'm a good guy, which I feel like it's the kind of thing of saying like, I'm so humble. The second part of it is you're saying, and the thing I'm going to do as a good guy is I'm going to ask you to do me a favor and cost yourself money. That's what a good guy I am. And I don't know. I find it to be not the behavior of a good guy.
I'm pretty sure asking for a "good guy" discount for no reason, 15 seconds after approaching a register puts you on par with those nice fellas from OK Cupid.

The other Good Guy stories are definitely worth a listen—there's a story about trying not to be creepy on the bus and another about trying to bring back the body of a young deep sea diver. Those people sound like good guys to me.

*Well, that one worked on me, in a way. They asked if they could sing to me for a discount and I told them I'd give them a discount if they did not sing. I didn't want to have to sit through that.

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