Virtues Gone Wild

Someone told me today that I should be a bounty hunter and I’m fairly certain she meant it as a compliment. Actually, I’m certain she meant it as a compliment because she was referring to the way I’ve been relentlessly pursuing a company, let’s call them The Big Ugly, that has not a paid their bill for over a year now. Everyone in my company has tried to get The Big Ugly to give us the money they owe and the stubborn folks over at The Big Ugly have been really recalcitrant…until now.

Now, I’m onto them and probably won’t stop until they declare bankruptcy or hand me a big, fat, steaming check. My bosses love the fact that I’m doing the accounts receivable for the company now because I’m ruthless and persistent and not afraid to drive people to lunacy in order to get them to pay up.

For example, this other company, let’s call them Desperately Seeking Procrastination, has owed us a huge sum of money since December. All calls to the accounting department have gone unanswered, so what did I do? I called the CEO of the company and sweetly informed him of my little predicament. After that, I tell you the accounting department of Desperately Seeking Procrastination has never called anyone back with such vigor.

All this to say, I am relentless when I need something done and this has served me well professionally. This skill, or virtue (is perseverence considered a virtue?) can go very wrong in everyday life, though. I have a lot in common with Sweeney Todd in that, once I’ve decided that something is wrong, I simply cannot get my mind to stop focusing on it. Like a pitbull with rabies, my mind locks onto problems sometimes and I simply cannot shake them until they are resolved.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a problem with unresolved, well, anything.

It bugs me in movies when threads of the story go unresolved, I cannot tolerate leaving the house if Wes and I aren’t on good terms, and if someone wrongs me in some way it will bother me forever or until I a) Forget about it, or b) Resolve to stop thinking about it (which is akin to slipping your hand into the mouth of said lockjawed rabid pitbull and prying those slobbery teeth apart.)

I suppose the ultimate trick will be to figure out how to harness this quality when I need it and keep it dormant when I don’t. Much like Superman with his super melty-vision, I’m going to have to keep this quality under control or I’m certain I’ll end up driving everyone around me mad, myself included.

Do you have qualities that serve you well sometimes but aren’t meant for mass consumption?

4 thoughts on “Virtues Gone Wild

  1. I have no qualities that serve me well personally or in public life.

    However, re: perseverance…

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
    -Calvin Coolidge

    I also like the idea of going straight to the top. It’s amazing how often the big dog will respond where their little puppies won’t. And then those little pups find themselves spurred to action…

  2. -Dane, I think you probably have many qualities that serve you well in both personal and public life. Being able to rattle off movie quotes lightning-quick with Wes not the least of them.

    Thanks for the quote about perseverence, it made me smile. As I’ve said to Wes a million times, I have what it takes to solve everyone’s problems! ;)

    Oh man, do those little puppies scurry when the big dog is awake! It’s funny to watch the CEO’s take action, too, because they’re almost always annoyed about having to get involved in such silly matters and it makes the people in accounting very motivated to help me. A little irritability from the right person goes a long way…

  3. I’m pathologically sarcastic, but I think that the only person who thinks this serves me well professionally is me.

  4. -Hamburglar, I think pathological sarcasm would serve you very well were you a late-night talk show host or a writer of obituaries…

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