I recall many years ago when a woman called my office and was incredibly irate because she saw our number had come up on her caller ID and she wanted to know how we had gotten her number and what we wanted. I explained to her the nature of the work we did and that we may have been calling her if she had answered an employment ad (for which we scheduled interviews), or perhaps our records were wrong and we had a typo in our database. I asked for her name or her phone number so I could check our recent call list and remove her number if there was a match. She refused, and then kept insisting that we had done something illicit because her number is unlisted. After several minutes of this berating, I finally said, "You won't give me your number so I can check, and you say you didn't answer any employment ads recently, so I can only assume that we dialed a wrong number. This isn't a difficult concept." Okay, in retrospect that probably wasn't the best, and certainly not the kindest, way to resolve the situation. But it did get a spontaneous laugh from my coworker and my boss, so… gray area.
Okay, now it's your turn. Do you have a favorite phrase or other expression you've used to insult people (presumably people who are being antagonistic or otherwise abusive toward you)? Or, perhaps an insult you wouldn't use but you find rather funny?
A persistent accounts receivable clerk was trying to explain, in great detail, why my company owed his company money, when clearly we did not. My tactfulness being stretched to the limit, I finally said, "That is quite a piece of reasoning, sir. I am genuinely impressed. You must be an absolute contortionist, if you're able to dial a telephone with your thumb up your ass".
I worked in a cell phone provider call center as a supervisor. I got the escalated calls from people upset that we had disconnected service for non-payment. After being harangued for 15+ minutes, I tended to not really care what i said as long as my tone was polite & professional.
When accused of disconnecting service as a racist act, I had to explain we had no demographic info on file & no way to know her race, but a color was invoved. It was green & we had not seen enough of that from her.
Another woman went on a tangent, repeatedly call me a bitch then asked "do you know you're a bitch?" I told her yes, i was aware & had been aware for many years but that did not change the fact a payment was due.
No real point in becoming invested in someone else's drama.
Wow this is surprisingly hard. There are so many I like using: knucklehead, dumbass, putz, idiot, moron, anything that can be combined with fuck. As I'm writing this I also realize how often I swear as a sign of endearment. In fact it's very hard for me not to swear about every other time I open my mouth.
I have the opposite problem: I sometimes come off as insulting when I don't mean to. Because people are insecure and over-sensitive. "I don't know how I could explain this any differently." "I've been over this two times already..." "Which part is confusing to you?"--stuff like that.
I have never wanted to insult anyone, on purpose or otherwise. I'm not built that way.
When I was in my twenties, with few career-minded jobs in Keene, NH, I ended up working as a clerical worker for the home office of an insurance company. The other women in the Marketing Department were all in their retirement years. They were bored and liked to gossip about anyone or anything. I couldn't stand it one day and wanted to scream, however something came out of my mouth that surprised me. "My the cats have their claws out today." All I heard was silence. Left the job for working on my Graduate Degree in Special Education and teaching special needs kids.
My favourite insult is said solte voice, because you might nuke me....wait for it "You're an Amercan aren't you" Say this to someone up here in Teesdale Engaland and you're likely to get thrown out of the pub. Only joking we love you really. By the way my local pub is older than your country. LOL