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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What I Was Thinking

Rated: LURB (for Language Unbecoming a Respectable Blog)

Many years ago, when I was much too young to have done so, I read Judy Blume's "Wifey." I loved the style of that book. As I recall, what the main character, Sandy, said was written in normal font, while what she was thinking was written in italics. That made a big impression on me; it is so practical. I think it is how I go through life ~ there's what I say, which is often kind and right and good, and fairly intelligent; and then there's the italicized part ~ my thoughts, which are often downright freaky! I daydream of someday writing a novel, using Judy Blume's "unspoken thoughts in italics" device, with a psychotherapist as the main character. There's what the shrink says, and then there's what the shrink thinks.

A few years ago, shortly after what was by far the single worst episode of my professional life, I answered the telephone at my office. I was in no mood to take no crap from nobody. (Yes, I'm aware of the triple negative; it was THAT bad of a time.) I was in a place of being very careful, very selective, in screening new clients; for my own well-being and for that of my clients.

There's a man on the phone. We'll call him Michael. He sounds poised and confident. My intuition picks up what my ears don't.

M: I am having a really tough time. I want to get back together with my wife. I wish I hadn't left her.

S: How did you decide to leave?

M: Our son is severely disabled, and it was really hard on me.

S: That does sound difficult; so you've been the primary caretaker for your son?

M: No, I hardly do anything with him. My wife does it all.

S: But it was really hard on YOU? Does your wife know you want to go back home?

M: Yes, but she won't take me back. Her whole family is against me.

S: Against you?

M: Yes, they've told her if she takes me back, they'll disown her.

S: They'll disown her if she takes her husband back? What the hell did you do? That sounds kind of extreme. Why do you think they're so against you?

M: It's because she and I have serious communication problems.


S: Her parents will disown her if she tries to repair the "communication problems" in her marriage? Sure, buddy. What did you do?

M: Yea, pretty much. They hate me.

S: Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. Do I care if this person hangs up on me? Would I really mind pissing him off and having him say nasty things about me? Not. one. bit. Look, Mike. Your in-laws aren't going to disown their daughter because you and she had some communication problems. How about you tell me what they would tell me if I asked them why they hate you?

M: Well, there was an occasion . . .

S: What occasion was that, Mike? This guy is creeping me out; he's not for me and I'm not for him...

M: I had started to think that my wife didn't find me sexually attractive . . .

S: silence

M: And I wanted the best for her . . . I wanted her to be with someone that she found attractive . . .

S: silence

M: So I talked her into having sex with this guy that we know, after I got her to admit that she thought he was attractive . . .

S: You talked your wife into having sex with another man.

M: Yea, she didn't want to do it. It took me months, but finally she agreed.

S: silence

M: Oh, and they let me watch. Well, that was my idea, too.

S: silence

M: Then it was like my wife hated me . . . and she told her family, and they all hate me, too . . .

S: Ya think? Mike, in my opinion, from what you've told me, you have some work to do on your own before you can turn your attention to repairing your marriage . . .

M: See, this is what I need. I need a woman who will stand up to me and tell me how it is . . . I need someone like you . . .

S: You have no idea how much I'd like to tell you how it is . . . Actually, Mike, in my opinion, you would do better at this point with a male therapist . . .

M: Oh no, I want you. I really want to understand women. You are intelligent and insightful, and I really want to dig deep into the darkest parts of your psyche, so I can understand women better.

S: 1) Ain't no way you're digging deep into ANY part of me, and B) You want to dig, allow me to refer you to Home Depot, where you can get yourself a freakin' shovel . . . I'm going to be very direct with you, Mike. If you think I am sharp, then you might choose to listen to me. You are not ready to understand women. You need to understand Mike. If you're going to go "digging deeply" anywhere, it should be inside yourself. I believe it will be less distracting for you to do that kind of work with a male therapist. I don't want to work with you, and if you think I'm going to inflict you on another woman, you're even crazier than you appear.

M: After I see a male therapist for a while, then could I maybe see you?

S: If you see pigs flying around outside my office, you come on in. You and your therapist can decide if and when you're ready to work with a female therapist. You may call me when that time comes, and if I'm not available to see you, I'll try to help you find someone who can. Now, here are some male therapists that I think could be of some help to you . . .


Then, more recently, another gentleman caller, Tony:

T: I'm not sure I really need counseling.

S: Dude, you called me. I didn't go out recruiting. You're not sure you need to be talking to me?

T: Well, I guess it would be a good idea. But it's not like I really need it.

S: It's not like I really need this, Tony. Shit or get off the pot. Sounds like you might want to think about it some more, Tony. You're welcome to give me a call again when you decide...

T: Do you do "Anger Management" counseling?

S: OK, here' s my out; the last thing I want to do is "anger management" with someone who is not sure he wants to manage his anger. Tony, there are people who are specifically trained in that field, who specialize in that. If that is what you expect will be the focus of your therapy, I'd like to refer you to someone who is very skilled in that field . . .

T: You don't work with anger? How can you be a therapist who doesn't work with anger?!

S: Tony, right now I'm just a therapist who doesn't work with YOU. Oh, I'm sorry; I wasn't being clear. I work with whatever emotions my clients bring with them; however, since you are specifically looking for Anger Management, I think you'd be better served by someone who specializes in that field. I have some colleagues who specialize . . .


S: Shyeah, right. I misunderstood you, Tony. I thought that was exactly what you asked me for. . .

T: The fucking judge said I need it. I say I don't! But I can't see my kids again until I get a piece of paper signed, saying that I've had ANGER MANAGEMENT THERAPY! Are you going to HELP ME OR NOT?!

S: Heh. Eh heh heh. That would be a "not." I want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly. You have been court ordered to get anger management therapy, in order to be allowed unsupervised visits with your children. Is that right?

T: Yes! Finally, you fucking listened to what I'm saying!

S: Indeed. Now you fucking listen to what I'm saying. And you disagree with the judge's recommendation. You are really not interested in getting help with managing your anger, because you don't believe you have a problem. What you really hope to find is a therapist who will sign a form saying that you've completed a course of therapy that, in fact, you haven't completed. You really just want that paper. Am I with you, now?

T: Yes! Will you help me or not?

S: The best help I can offer you is to give you an appropriate referral . . .

T: Someone told me you were a Christian! Hah! Some Christian you are, when your fellow man needs help, and you won't even reach out to a man in need! And you call yourself a Christian?

S: Oh, cheez whiz, here we go. The universal response to the professing Christian who's telling you something you don't want to hear... "AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN?!"
Tony, my faith is not relevant here, except that my faith, combined with my ethics, absolutely prevents me from accepting you as a client when I am strongly convinced that a referral would be more appropriate to your needs; and the same things also absolutely prevent me from signing a form claiming that you've received something that you have not received. I do not have what you're looking for, Tony.

T: Bitch! Christian bitch!

S: I'm so glad you don't need anger management therapy, Tony. You're welcome to call me again to get those referrals, when you're ready, Tony. I wish you well. Click. Wonder how much dog groomers make . . .


When do you have that big chasm between what you think and what you say?

51 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger zhoen said...

When I received a report on a Day Surgery patient who has had a knee scope into the recovery room. Pt is a 5 pack a day smoker. With Asthma.(smile) Morbid obesity. (Oh, grin) Migraines. (Uh, huh) Depression/anxiety (cover face, start quietly giggling.) Thankfully, anesthesiologist is saying "I know, I know...." What do I say to him when he is almost ready to go, and putting in his tongue piercings? This 30 something talks about being a kid forever. I smile and wish him a good recovery, and stifle my astonished howls of derision. 'Honey, you ain't makin' it. You are old right now. '

Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

You took a "Christian Bitch" punch in the mouth and handled it unbelievably. You're my heroine.

WWSD? Refer, refer, refer!

Blogger WILLIAM said...

What I say:I really liked the post.
What I think:(God I wish I could leave a really cool and thoughtful comment that would not sound so idiotic)

Blogger Mamaramma said...

I hope your job isn't usually as dangerous as it sounds in this post! Good for you for knowing when to not see a potential client. You are in life as you are in the blogworld: a rock star.

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

When do I have that gap between what I say and what I think?


Usually at work, or around my kids, or when I'm talking to my family. It's when I bridge that gap that I get into trouble.

The way my desk faces at work, coworkers can come up to my desk and see behind my computer. Most times, there are dust bunnies back there. Most times, I'm not interested/compelled to clean back there.

Last week, one of the VPs came up to my desk, looked behind my computer and said "Hm. Looks like someone needs to really clean behind their computer."

I kept typing, smiled a smile that didn't reach my eyes and said "I would be more than happy to get the cleaner and paper towels for you if it bothers you that much."

He walked away and hasn't spoken to me since. :)

- - - - - - -

Susie dear, you don't get paid nearly enough.

My friend is a massage therapist, and she has told me about a couple of the creepy people she has dealt with. I don't know how she handles it.

- - - - - - -
William -- I think that quite a lot myself. :)

Robyn -- WWSD?! Hee!

Blogger trisha said...

More!!! More, more, more.

I could read this all day.

Blogger Kitty said...

I do technical support over the telephone. Last Monday I wasn't running on all four cylinders and the coffee just wouldn't awake my inner beast. I answered the phone, a lady clearly stated that her telephone was broken - no dial tone anyway - and I asked her to open PCAnywhere (software package that allows me to control another person's computer). She just played along... she let me hop on board, do some maintenance on it, and I sweetly thanked her for her time and let her know her PC is now working up to speed. "Ya, but what about my phone?"

Blogger Susie said...

zhoenw does your tongue get sore from biting it?

robyn, you make me feel like I could be on The Contender! In this corner, the CHRISTIAN BITCH!

William, that was such a cool and thoughtful comment;)

mamaramma, most of the time I know. A few times I haven't, but with no terrible consequences, just "oopses." Thank God.

CK, way to get rid of a pesky VP! "All the time," is probably a pretty good plan. Sometimes clients will say, "I want to be able to say ANYTHING I THINK to my spouse (family, friends)." And I say, "PWAAHAAAHAAAHHAAAHAAAHAAA..." which is apparently not very therapeutic...;)

kitty, maybe she didn't have her coffee yet either? :o

Blogger Susie said...

oops, trisha, you snuck in there! Thank you! How sweet are you?! I think I need to get off the blog and spend more time in real life, to get me some more stories to put on my blog....AGGHH, vicious circle!

Blogger Squirl said...

God, I loved the stories. I'm not sure how much I can really put in here about what I think at work. Kitty is definitely not one of these that I mention below but there may be some others here who would recognise in a heartbeat who I was and who I was talking about.

But let me say that I've had mega-Customer Service-type training. So the times I've thought "Dumbass!" while sweetly smiling and showing someone AGAIN how to find something in the somputer that I've shown him/her 50 times before are hard to count.

And I didn't get a chance to comment yesterday but I loved the story. As a coordinationally-challenged person myself, I totally identified. :-)

Blogger Weetzie said...

I love this...I am always going to "think in italics" now! I have started reading your blog first thing every day and it is such a charge! Thank you so much for sharing...

Blogger dashababy said...

hahahha, that was so funny. I too have fantasized about the dog grooming job at times.
I did hair for many years. Early 1980s a lady called me up and asked me how much I charged for a blowjob and I know she truly meant "blowdry", but it was all I could do to keep it together and tell her "10 dollars".

Blogger Spurious Plum said...

Sweet Holy Crow, Susie! You should get medals for putting up with this crap.

My favorite is when I've asked patients how much alcohol they consume, and they tell me a negligible amount. Then when they get out of surgery they get the DT's, and their enabler wife sneaks booze into the hospital.

Where do these people come from?

Blogger Robin said...

I, too read 'Wifey', and liked that style of sort of internal conversation. Anyway, it is obvious after reading your post that I am absolutely NOT cut out for the type of work you do! I don't know if my filter is that thick! Your responses amazed me!!

Blogger Candace said...

This post is the reason I didn't continue on my path to a PhD in Psychology (not Psychaitry--I ain't THAT smart!). I am constitutionally incapable of holding back "advice" when people ask for it. If you're asking me what I think you should do, be prepared to hear my answer! :-)

I do hold back what I really think in social situations, though. It's difficult, but I do it. All the time, especially in my suburban environment. A lot of my neighbors piss me off on a regular basis, but because I have children who play with their children, I hold back. For the sake of the children!!

Blogger Nic said...

Oh Holy Moley, hon. Those are heeeelarious. In a v, v sad way. My chasm has come when dealing with my husband. We need counseling v, v badly and he has finally agreed to go b/c he is finally ready to go. But this happened when he was really being a dick and I was confronting him about some lie that I had caught him in, I got this whole thing going on:

Him: The reason why I had contact with her (the "other" woman who is but isn't) is b/c I had just moved out and had to finish cleaning up and she was there with her family repairing the shower in her bathroom.

Me: There is NO EXCUSE or REASON for you to have ANY contact with her after you moved out. I don't give a rats ASS about what you think you had to do. You could have chosen a time you knew that she wouldn't be there since she has another place of her own also. (Don't give me that shit, you stupid muthafucker, you're not ready to let go of her yet and I don't even know if I want to stay in this if you can't drop her like a hot potato and I refuse to put up with your crap any longer.). It's either her or me. You choose. Until then, don't talk to me unless it's about Emily. (our daughter).
Ok, no there's not a lot of anger there is there? But he's gotten a lot better in the past 3 months and has started to act like a husband to me. It's just the whole trust issue. We had a lot of problems, at 30 he started becoming "best buds" with a co-worker of his (an 18 yo), then started paying more attn to her than me and it got so bad that he was getting out of our bed to talk to her. I kicked him out (he claims he left, which emotionally and mentally he already had) and he moved in with her and lived with her for over a year until I told him I'd had it, there was nothing else to say, we might as well get lawyers. That shook him up big time and he freaked and moved out (is living with his parents right now) and is willing to do whatever to keep this marriage, including having a meeting with the other woman and me and telling her in front of me that there is nothing else between them and that he is choosing me and his marriage. He figured out that I was done farting around and meant it. The thing that's also hard and gives that disconnect is that I am a Christian and he is not.

Ok, so that was just a total dump, wasn't it? Sorry dear. I don't know if I could do your job without speaking my thoughts and calling a spade a spade. I think I would end up being sued by my patients for not being compassionate enough b/c I refused to buy the lies and B/S they tried to sell me. Of course, I realize that not everyone is like that, but the ones that are, I wouldn't put up with it. Bless you for the strength it takes to do your job.

Blogger Andrea said...

When my mom goes on another rant-fest about the kids she works with as a teacher's aide in an LD (learning disabilities) classroom:

Oh, so he's autistic, huh? And he drives you nuts? maybe that's why he acts the way he does, YOU THINK? How about a little compassion?

Mom, are you burned out? No? Then I seriously think you are in the wrong line of work.

You can't figure out why he has such a hard time spelling...do you think he's dyslexic? Oh, he is? Hmmm...???????

I truly can't figure out sometimes why she stays in this job, except that she's maybe too insecure and afraid she wouldn't find a better one (not that this one pays great or has any benefits, and she never even knows until school starts each year if she's going to even HAVE a job.)

Blogger laurenbove said...

I love the italics idea. I think we should just encorporate that one straight off.

I forgot about Wifey. I remember reading it as a too young lady as well. I also read Erica Jong way too early but...maybe not =)

You've got some funny stories. I can imagine there's more! I worked at what was then called a "mental hospital" as a college kid for extra curricular fortification. Whoa, was I not prepared for that mess!

I'd LOVE to be a therapist but alas, it's all too late for me. =(

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Susie, you know me well enough to know that, except in the company of intimates and bloggers, most of my thoughts are of the italicized variation.

I have to bite my lip at work all the time when I have ridiculous phone conversations with haughty bigwigs who couldn't find their ass with both hands and a blowtorch, but somehow the fact that they let their account be compromised because of a lousy password is my fault.

Whew, I feel better now. And if it makes you feel any better, I'll put makeup on one eye and you can try to poke it out.

Blogger Greenthumb said...

This is something I do a lot at the nursery. I don't know how many times customers come up to you and ask you for advice on their insect problem or fungus issues.

Customer: (pulls plant sample out of plastic bag) can you tell me what's wrong with this?

Me: Looks like you might have aphids and leaf minors.

customer: No, that can't be it, I sprayed them 4 weeks ago.

me: okay, then..deep breath...you're one of them well, here's an aphid and here are the tell tale marks of the leaf minor. You have to spray more than once, usually every 14 days.

customer: Well, so and so says (quotes well known local tv news garden guru)that you should only do such and such.

me: why the fuck are you wasting my time if you think local nut job knows everything? I'm sure that he also pointed out that you need to treat regularly to control the problem. What product are you using?

customer: Oh, it's such and such, so and so (nut job local know it all) said to use it.

Me: lady, if I had a dime for every one of you that came to me with his recommendation...that product is for control of Fungus, things like black spot and powdery mildew, it won't do anything for insect control.

Customer: No, he said that to use it to do such and such.

Me: Yes, and I work in the industry and deal daily with these issues and I haven't got a rats ass clue about any of this. Perhaps you were watching another episode and have them confused, let me take you over to the products and make sure we get you the correct treatments for your problem.

and so it goes over and over.

Blogger Jomama said...

wow, talking to those guys might have scared me. I might have gotten in trouble for hanging up on them.

I am so bad at speaking my mind. Part of the problem is that I hardly speak at all. It's also how I grew up. I used to always get into big trouble because of my mouth, so I just decided keep everything inside. Big mistake because now I keep everything bottled up and I bitch to people that will listen (internet :) instead of the people who need to hear it. Maybe I should make an appointment with you.

Blogger tinkamarink said...

I am constantly biting my tongue and then spilling all my snarky thoughts all over my husband each night. I think he's the only person on earth that realizes just how much of a bitch I can be. It's terrible!

Blogger Susie said...

squirl, I would probably be one of those "dumbasses!" I'm so computer-challenged. Will you do me a big favor? Will you please poke Bucky's eye out, I can't reach it from here... ;0

weetzie, isn't that cool, the italics thing? Really stuck with me. Every day I think, "well, that's it; I got no more stories..." You're welcome to hang out for as long as it lasts....

dashababymama, we wouldn't want that info (about your rates for a "blowjob") to get into the wrong hands! My aunt used to have a hair salon (actually, back in the day, it was a Beauty Shop) in the front of her home. My male cousins would hang out there sometimes to flirt with and torment the patrons. I remember my cousin answering the phone and yelling across the room to his brother, "Hey, Terry, Mabel wants to know if you can DO her tonight!" You've also reminded me of a good story I'm going to see if I can write. You always do that! You are an inspiration;)

Plum, would you believe, I have NO MEDALS? I can't quite grasp why people don't know how important it is to TELL THE TRUTH when undergoing a medical procedure...

robin, it's true, I guess I have gotten quite thick over the years;) Seriously, doing this for so long, I have learned to not take very much personally, and that I am not required to work with everyone who calls me.

misfit, "Dr. Phil" has become a rich man by "telling it like it is," or at least like he thinks it is, so there is a market there. I, too, bite my tongue to shreds when dealing with parents of my daughter's classmates, sometimes. Most recently, I did not say, "Now I see why your kid is such a whiner."

Aw, nic, thank you for the blessing, and I'm sorry you've had to go through all that. I have seen marriages get repaired after such things, so it is do-able, although very difficult. I hope you get a great therapist who won't take any crap. I have a list here by my blog-machine (new term for PC), now, of blogfriends to remember in prayer. You're on it now, girlfriend. I hope amazing things happen for you.

andrea, your mom sounds like a gift to those little folks and their parents:)

laurenbove, I've never worked in a mental hospital; I'll bet you've got stories from there. Now, wait just a minute, Missy, you can't play that "I'm too old card" here. Actually, the more life you've lived, the better therapist you can be. For my good friend's 50th birthday, I gave her a study system for the Medical College Admissions Test. My girl is going to become a psychiatrist by the time she's 60. I am counting on this, because I intend to need serious psychiatric meds right about the time she can prescribe for me...

Bucky, just make sure I don't have the blowtorch when I'm checking out your pretty eye!

greenie, that is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Ask my opinion so you can tell me it's wrong. But keep asking. It's enough to make you crazy;p

rina bee, I think EVERYONE who can should give themselves the gift of therapy. You make an interesting point about talking on the internet; I wonder if people's blogs sometimes keep them from addressing issues in their real lives, by allowing them to vent in this world... just wonder sometimes.

yea, tink, bitch at somebody else, why don't you? JK, he probably gets the best of your best too, though, right?

Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

Hey Susie,

Need a good laugh today? Go read this.

Blogger marybishop said...

I live half my life in my internal dialogue and usually refrain from saying what I really think unless I am confident the person really wants to know.

Lots of times people will ask you a question but they do not want a real answer.

Like: How are you today? (say fine or fuggetaboutit)

Was the chicken too salty? (say no)

How was that for you honey? ( say fireworks!)

And the biggest one of all -- Do I look fat in this dress? ( no, it's very flattering even if one can see your appendix scar because it's so damned tight.)

Blogger Random and Odd said...

OMG...I am so glad I don't do your job. I would be talking in italics ALL THE TIME.

and it would be MY luck that I would blurt out my italics!!

Anonymous lawbrat said...

I think its anonymous. All. The. Time.
Although, during Brennens birthday party, I said exactly what I thought to a neighbor parent. And it was good.

She didnt want her son getting wet with water balloons. They live 2 houses down. What, he cant go change? But, her perfect son wanted to squirt water in my 2 year old nephews face. Hmmm, I dont think so. I told her straight up: If he's getting other kids wet, and he's here doing it, he's free game for the other kids to get him wet.
She didnt like that too well, just gave me a dirty look. He stayed and got wet. There were over 10 kids here, with ater balloons. ALL OF THEM WERE WET. It was warm and sunny. They will dry.

Anonymous kalki said...

My life as a high school teacher was one huge chasm between what I thought and what I said. There are so many times when I just wanted to laugh at something inappropriate (because come on, it IS funny) or make an inappropriate comment. I was good at biting my tongue, but I admit to laughing ALL THE TIME at things other teachers would have frowned at. When you truly like your students, there's a fine line between relating to them and BEING them.

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

Susie-I remember that book. I think the only time I really do that is at work. You know, apologising instead of cussing. What I can't belive is that the guy pulled the Christian card. Now that is low.

Anonymous lawbrat said...

Oh my gosh. I said anonymous. I meant unanimous. :-)

Blogger Redhead Mommy said...

Well, before I had my son, I taught Middle School children. You can imagine what kind of chasm existed when I was constantly reminding myself that I was shaping young minds. And don't even get me started on the parents!

Blogger _Summer_ said...

Ahh, yes, the psychic disconnect between that which is spoken and that which is merely thought.

I know it well. Too well, sometimes. ;)

Great dialogue--tri-a-logue?--Susie. Now get busy with that novel already!

Blogger little sister said...

Those are hilarious. LMFAO @ "Christian Bitch"!

I'm a legal secretary. Thus, the chasm between what I think and what I say is impossible to measure. >:-)

Blogger Squirl said...

Susie, BTW, I don't deal with all the people from the company like Kitty does. The ones I work with are already in the IT department. They're supposed to be savvy enough to catch this stuff. When I did the kind of work that Kitty does I never felt that way. I always have a problem with arrogant support people.

Blogger kimmyk said...

If you could view the thoughts in my head they would look something like:

" $@&*%$#&((^&^%&$$&^*&(###&* "

for the most part I'm screaming expletives on th inside but giving that blank happy smile on the outside that says "I care..I swear I do".

Blogger Dang Cold.. said...

My poor poor Susie. Getting bullied by freaky deeky's calling her office. Judy Blume conjures up memories of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Super Fudge. Anyone remember Iggy's House? I did helpdesk support a few years ago and a sales rep lost his laptop at my company. It was returned to the head office two days later as it had the address on a note taped to the back saying "please return if found". I held on to it for two weeks and finally "sales rep" calls up IT to report that he lost it. "what was this guy doing for two weeks on company time without his laptop?" I thought to myself as I nixed his login password due to his termination an hour later.

Blogger Susie said...

robyn, thank you for that; very cute:)

MB, your comment calls to mind my ongoing efforts to teach LG about honesty, and when it's OK to "lie to be nice."

Kristine, I guess that's why they teach therapists to listen more than to talk; very easy to get in trouble when we open our mouths:)

lawbrat, we knew what you meant:) And you did the right thing; some things just have to be said.

kalki, sounds like you have a gift for teaching. It reminds me of one of the challenges of parenting -- some things LB says are wrong, but SO FUNNY!

kranki, you might be surprised how often people will play the Christian card. Apparently it works sometimes, or they wouldn't do it so often, but it doesn't work with me. To some people, it seems, "Christian" means "doormat," or "willing to work without being paid," or any number of other dysfunctional things:(

redhead mommy, I think middle school teachers are among the bravest people in the world! I used to work in a middle school; the kids were great, and the parents made them (and me!) crazy.

summer, I appreciate the encouragement, but I don't think I have it in me just yet. However, if I ever do, I think I'll have to dedicate it to my blogfriends, who are SO encouraging as I attempt to crank out this crap:) And I know you know about the italicization of thought; "in-laws," that's all I'm sayin' ;)

little sister, maybe I should change my blog identity to Christian Bitch!

squirl, I know you would never dis me for being a techno-dunce! You're not like that SNL "Company Computer Guy." I think I know what you mean -- having to help people who supposedly know more and earn more than you -- gets old sometimes; part of why I now work for myself. Did I say "squirl?" I meant Tom Ford.

kimmyk, your comment reminds me of a Happy Bunny shirt that I would like to get and wear to work someday, to see if anyone notices: "It's cute how you think I'm listening..."

dang cold, are you still saucy from last night? I have never read any of JB's kids' books; to me, she is a writer of sex and domestic desperation! I'll have to check out the kiddie ones with LG:)
drop charges

Blogger echrai said...

Geez, this post makes me want to send the link to your blog to my mother. She's about as unchristian as I am - but she was a social worker and MAN would she relate. Would she ever. Her latest is in the custody battle for my niece having to take parenting classes led by a psych grad student. The classes are geared towards single parents, definitely not grandparents.

Anyhow, my italics come with my job.

Caller: I need the title for this address.
Me: Wow, what a nice greeting. And how are you today? Certainly, may I ask your name and who you represent?
Caller: I'm so-and-so and I represent the buyer and frankly I'm disgusted by your company. You should have sent us this report long before now.
Me: I'm fine thank you, and how are you this lovely day? Actually, this report was sent to you two months ago on such and such date by so and so.
Caller: Well, you're obviously lying because I never received it. Fax it to 555-555-5555. *click*
Me: Okay, you fucking psychobitch, I'll send you your report AGAIN since you're so incompetent that you obviously lost it and then felt the need to compound your self-loathing by making baseless claims that I'm a liar. Goodbye? Okay, then.

Blogger No_Newz said...

I'm so glad you can laugh at this stuff and share it with us. As always funny story!
Lois Lane

Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

See my problem would be that most of the time, things that probably should be in italics, arent, they come right out of my mouth. At my old job, saying what you ment was important and if you werent in the mood to put up with anything, you didnt have to. You thought someone was a drunk asshole? You said, hey go away you drunk asshole.

I tend to always speak my mind regardless, its so rare for me to bottle stuff in, even though I should. It happens some times, but not too often.

I am not the right person to ask, Hey do these jeans make me look fat? Cause I will so not they dont, but they sure dont fit you do they?

I know I know, tact can be a good thing, I seem to need more of it.

Blogger Nicolette said...

Any time you deal with the public you have to find 102 different ways to say tactfully, "You're full of shit...get out of my face!"

Blogger whfropera said...

Maybe we all need the profanity dump: (see my post on Bucky's blog today)
Just press the button, and that evil thing you want to say goes on seven-second delay. ok, I'm on a roll, but I lost it on a somemone cause they were being far too "gimme gimmee" without wanting to do the "pay extra for extra request" exchange today.

Blogger Dawn said...

I've always wanted to ask this question to a therapist-but i dont know any so here it goes-honestly-How sick do you get from listenting to peoples shit all day long? Do you ever feel like telling people to stop whining? I have no idea how therapists do that all day everyday.How emotionally straining on you? How do you not take it home with you at night? Anyway, your blog rocks, and i'll be back to visit often. blog on......

Blogger Susie said...

uhoh, my reply to y'all got lost!

echrai, I feel your pain. At least I can choose to nicely let the jerks know that I don't want to talk to them; only because I'm my own boss. Big props to your mom for doing a very hard, but sounds like, very necessary job there.

Lois Lane, laughter is the best medicine; better than Prozac, Xanax, etc.; sometimes to be prescribed in combination with such things, but still, the best...

JR, I can imagine that "Go away you drunk asshole," would be a very useful sentence. On the other hand, say, "The jeans don't make you look fat, your ass does," see that would not be quite as useful. We must get these finer points down!

nicolette, you are so right. I especially like to say, "You have a point..." and to think, too bad it's on the top of your head.

whfropera, I haven't been able to get in there yet, it's just blank to me, but I'll keep trying...

me, thank you for the kind words. I guess I have a pretty high tolerance for whining...for a time...but mostly my clients aren't serious whiners, they're really people who want to actually change something in themselves or their lives. And you're right, therapists have to be careful not to cart crap home with them. Comes with experience, and having a healthy life outside of work, and BLOGGING!

Blogger Squirl said...

Ha, Susie, you outed me as Tom Ford but no one caught it. tee hee

Blogger spoonleg said...

Susie, you are the Judge Judy of the therapy world. I love it.

Blogger Cindy said...

Great post - I loved reading the 'inner Susie'!

I edit myself so much that sometimes it's hard to tell what the 'real me' would really say or think.

That's a scary thought. Hmm....

Blogger RitaPita said...

hey. just found your page via summers... have to say i love it. and this was the funniest thing I have read in ages. you poor soul! I think I may post somthing similer about crazy people at the health food store I worked at. Sure, not as entertaining, but people who shop at health food stores twide a day often need some sort of help.

Blogger Annejelynn said...

where did you get "LURB" ? is that your own wit at hand, you witty woman you, or did ya get that from somewhere?

Blogger Susie said...

ritapita, I would imagine there are a lot of crazies at the health food store. I've seen my clients in there many times -- and they've seen me;) Thanks for visiting me:)

annejelynn, LURB is all mine; I kinda like it, don't you? It can also be used as a term of affection, as in "I LURB you, Annejelynn":)

Blogger this.is.damon said...

I'm probably one of the most sarcastic people I know ... so the voices in my head usually have some very interesting things to say. You handled yourself well, because most times I can't make myself say anything at all when the voices of sarcasm persist. I grimace, almost to the point of breaking my teeth and say "uh huh", "cool", "I see", or "I have to go".


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