Some years ago my wife asked me for some advice to help her through a difficult situation at work. And the advice that I gave to her is still being used today.
She came to me for advice because I am held in high esteem, both at home and at work, for having a razor sharp wit, and a wicked sense of humour.
I must admit I do tend to see the funny side in everything, sometimes even I know when I have overstepped the mark, but when it's in your nature what can you do?
I really do steer clear of causing hurt or offence but some people just deserve their comeuppance.
Anyway to get back to my wife's story.
One day she phoned me up at work and I could tell from her voice she was very upset. Knowing that she would never phone me at work unless it was important I steeled myself for the worst.
· Had she had an accident?
· Had she got the sack or been made redundant?
· Was she stuck in a lift?
The Anti Rant Tool
Her manager was having a rant at her over a lack of certain information not included in his current report.
She had told me about this manager before; his super power was to always get the wrong end of the stick. This always made him rant first then apologise later when he had taken the time to let the explanation sink in.
In this particular episode the answer to his rant would have been very simple to explain, if only he would let my wife get a word into the one sided conversation.
He had sent my wife an email after receiving his last report, asking her to leave out the very information he now needed. But as this manager was the type to blame everyone else first for things that didn't go to his liking, he just ranted instead.
Lots of my wife's other colleagues have made complaints about this manager and his attitude, to his superiors and the trade union. They all came to no avail due to the fact that they were all golfing buddies, don't you just hate that.
So what my wife wanted was a way to anaesthetise her brain during his rants so that she did not take it to heart and get upset. Because at the moment it was very upsetting even though she knew he would come back at a later date to apologise to her. The damage was already done by then. he had already caused the upset.
Now this was where I had to think on the spot, in double time. An answer was needed to both give her a tool that would help her right now, plus be usable in any future encounters. Quick as a flash the answer formulated in my mind, I drew on some back ground information I was already contemplating about for other projects.
I have been studying Memes for a number of years now and I completely understand the driving power of the mighty meme. So I decided that a meme would be powerful enough to override her manager’s rants. Once planted in my wife's mind it would stick there until needed.
This was what I came up with, my "Anti Rant Tool (ART)
And it would have to be powerful, simple and memorable...PSM
So I said to my wife,
"Next time your manager has a go at you, all you have to do is imagine he is standing there in front of you with no trousers on. Imagine he his standing there in front of you wearing bright yellow poker dot old ladies bloomers."
With that image in her head she was able to counteract his rants very easily.
She said the first time she used it, it worked like a dream. Her manager started one of his regular rants but instead of her getting upset she instantly recalled the meme.
Instead of being overwhelmed by her manager’s rant, all she could see in her mind’s eye was a silly old man wearing a pair of old ladies yellow poker dot bloomers...job done.
This absolutely destroyed the power he had over her; she suffered no more upset from him from then on. In fact it now stops him dead in his tracks, where before she couldn't get a word in edge ways, he now has to stop and ask what she is smiling at. But of course she will never tell him her secret.
As with all good memes, it spread across the office as my wife confided the “Anti Rant Tool" to all her fellow sufferers.
The manager can often now be seen leaving the office muttering to him;
"What is wrong with these people?"