Righteous indignation


So, I had a thing come up at work. I received an extremely offensive email from an arrogant whippersnapper not even half my age. I had done a favor for this little punk and now he was complaining that the favor was not enough. Apparently he thought he could say whatever he wanted and get away with it simply by signing his email “warmly.” When I didn’t answer the first email, he proceeded to send me three more in quick succession, plus a text and phone call. On a Sunday afternoon.

I shared this with my boss of course. His reaction could not have been more gratifying. He was livid. He has a longer history with The Punk than I do, and apparently this behavior was typical. I think in the back of my mind I had a nagging worry that maybe I had screwed up, and maybe The Punk was right to complain. But Boss’s supportive response took care of that. I was 100% right! The Punk was 100% wrong! And this feeling of smug righteous indignation SWELLED up inside of me and damn, but It felt good!

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn’t stop thinking about this incident. I was awake for a good two hours, mentally composing emails and having imaginary phone conversations which prominently featured phrases like, “Listen buster…” and “…and don’t you forget it” and “you better think twice before you…” and “you don’t know who you’re dealing with” and so forth. My favorite was a whole paragraph which started with a warning that it is lowly administrators like me who hold the keys to his kingdom… Oh, I went on and on in my head, waxing eloquent in my self-righteous anger.

Here are the results, today.

  1. I sent him a brief email warning him to stop harassing me. He responded with an apology that was hilariously transparent in its attempt to recast the incident in a way that made him look good. I accepted the apology and we have moved on.
  2. I have a SPLITTING headache from lack of sleep.
  3. I feel like the world’s biggest jerk. I was awake half the night indulging in revenge fantasies. I am no better than him. Righteous indignation, it can be ugly.

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