I’ve decided that going nuts at someone doing their job badly is an antidote to having a heart attack.
Averted episodes through the ritual abuse of traffic wardens, in particular, would be interesting to quantify.
We’re asked to believe that staff whose work involves asking for I.D you’ve forgotten have the right to work without the threat of violence.
But do they?
Couldn’t an internal workshop switch this? ‘Customers want to kill you merely in your uniform, not you per se.’
Anger is vital. It makes you feel alive, like something’s at stake. It’s an opportunity to win, to purge, to be heard. It neutralises the platitudes you dish out at Co-op. Boiler repair. Council tax. Relationship nappy contents. It’s expressive and dramatic and show-offy.
But it’s also wrong and out of control. It’s unreasonable and unaware and ugly. TED talk monks don’t do it. Nor do educated fleas.
Anger is base.
Necessary to bridge the gap between its sublime beauty and rank unacceptability is self-righteousness; street name, A Valid Reason. Imagine someone agreeing, ‘Damn right’ when you recount the flare-up, then work backwards from there.
It’s not going to be a person over whom you have power- an employee, a child, your partner (God forbid). It can’t be one who is blameless, or annoying.
It has to be where you’re indisputably right, news of which imparts a learning opportunity to the shoutee.
You’re expelling a growth moment in your bile, is what you’re doing.
Your target is someone acting in an official capacity and making a right royal omelette of it, channeling high-grade dickery through their unprofessionalism.
A mathematical equation should unfold: you’re paid to do a job; you’ve failed; I point out the difference. More accountability vigilantism than emotional incontinence.
But where can I find such a person? said no-one ever.
For how low the fruit hangs: the incompetents are all around, cowboy carpenter Jesuses cocking up on a loop.
Tradespeople, accountants, consultants. Shop workers, online retailers, National Trust helpers. Every single person you work with- especially at the top.
The golden arse at The Ambassadors Theatre who sold me puppet show tickets to musical theatre.
Collectively skulking off duty to tattoo ‘I had one job’ on their foreheads…only not getting it done because they’ve bungled the booking time.
(This is, in fact, the raison d’etre of Dry Cleaners. Not to launder our clothes, or even our money, but to cleanse our fury. Lord knows, the guys who nuked the pearls on my wedding outfit, then lost my duvet, now understand this model with exquisite certainty.)
Goons, all, here to give you your own personal work-out. Each heated exchange spirited point scoring, or sport for the stressed. Akin to the braying in the House of Commons, or Susanna Reid tweaking Piers Morgan.
A whole bunch of non-personal, transactional bants.
New York taxi drivers have got a degree in it- fuck you, they have!
The landscape has changed, let’s note.
There’s an industry out there working hard to ruin the game. Trying to short-circuit your wrath in queues, with their friendly tablets. Telling you they care on calls. They respond to your Twitter rants, send you desperate discount codes.
It’s completely impossible to get a rise out of Abel & Cole. They’d rather post you a cook-book and free lemons than let you lose the plot on their dime.
And now we’re all oracles and commentators, there’s ever more taking offence at those taking offence. Ricky Gervais is their patron saint. Never mind if Britain was built on Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells: to be censored is acid.
But- shhhh; as safeguarder to your cardiovascular health, miffedness moonlights as the gentler sibling.
On the spectrum of asserting your important importance on this plant, it is pure and low risk. You can never be wrong; you’re a victim; others are insensitive swines. Why, you’re virtually beholden to re-visit the violin backstory that birthed your justified whinge. ‘Some of us can’t have an apple a day. Some of us once blew up like a bullfrog downloading iTunes.’
The black sheep of catharsis? Road rage. The guerilla member. The loser addict son who turns up late to his father’s funeral.
Last week, I claimed a 50% share in an event that could have led to a post on shame or the criminal justice system, but instead felt ice cold great.
It involved hard breaking, sustained horn blasts, dramatic cross-road swerves (both) and a full dismount (him) with primal shouting, as I shot down a back alley, 3 x under-eights in the back wearing Father Dougal expressions.
It was visceral, from a deep place. Wordless and instinctive. Revenge, enacted without so much as a single hand gesture or raised eyebrow.
Afterwards, I felt healed. Babydriver fresh from a craniosacral session.
Go forth, you too, and displace your misery.
Petition your undersized gingerbread men for £1.95 at Kew Gardens. Take umbridge at marauding Facebook fools. Cut up twats in white BMWs.
Your life depends on it.