On being the wrong kind of [expletive deleted]…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 12, 2010 in Randomness | Subscribe

First, my apologies to the regular readers here at law:/dev/null for the short entries over the last few days — I’ve been working mightily to get caught up in Civil Procedure and in Property, so that I can eventually catch up in Contracts :crack:

I promise you I truly do have posts drafted on things other than the random banalities of my life. Really!

Tonight’s just isn’t one of them :beatup:

Please also accept my apologies if you’re a vulgarity-averse reader who happened to stumble upon this entry. I actually curse far less on this blog than in real life,1 and it’s a tremendous effort to keep the language here PG-rated and still get a point across.

But apparently I’m an asshole.

That statement comes as a surprise to about -0- of you, which means I should preface the remainder of the post with a clarification ;)

At the risk of oversimplifying things a bit, in general there are two types of assholes:  (a) folks who act a certain way because it’s their job or demanded by the circumstances, and (b) those who act that way because they’re too self-absorbed to care about anyone else.

I readily concede that when it comes to just about anything even tangentially related to student government / higher education / politics / etc, I frequently occupy the first category. It’s why I don’t hesitate to ridicule campus op/eds or professional pundits, why I take pride in successfully making at least 2 grown men cry, and why I contemplate non-constructive criticism with a desert-sized volume of salt — my peers asked me to do a job, I take that job seriously, and those who don’t take their own jobs seriously (by writing illogical commentary, making unethical decisions, or spouting pointless vitriol) deserve to be called out, defeated, or ignored respectively.

So I stipulate to being a Type (a) asshole. And yes I’m proud of it ;)

But I strenuously try to avoid slipping into Type (b) asshole-ishness. Why? A good chunk of it is just my personality and upbringing; another is learning from the experience when I went overboard as a college freshman. Then there’s also a fairly large piece I attribute to abject terror that I’ll one day become one of those folks we all hear about, the type who eventually do well in life and then “forget” the people that helped them along the way.

To combat that last point, I fought my natural shyness and turned into a zealous people person. When I became Student Senate President — bringing with it a university-provided meal plan — I scheduled daily “Breakfasts/Dinners with the President” where any student, even ones I had never met, could send me an email and I’d take them to breakfast or dinner to talk about whatever issues they wanted to talk about.2 When I took over UNCASG, the Pickle Princess and I started a “Listening Tour” where we spent hours upon hours (upon hours) driving to every single institution in the UNC system multiple times apiece just to meet regular students and hear what they wanted out of the Association. Staying a people person is why I send thousands of text messages a month, hate the law school bubble, and get all weepy-eyed when people remember my birthday.

“Forget your vulgarity, TDot,” you may be saying. “Get to the @#$%ing point already!”

My point is apparently there are some people who just don’t talk to me because I try to be a people person :beatup:

é›…é›… was in the library studying tonight, and during a break she pulled up my Facebook page. A guy sitting next to her mentioned he knew me from a class we had in Spring ’08…

…but he never spoke to me because I was “the popular kid” :surprised:

That really bothers me for some reason, not least of which being that I spent most of my natural life as a social leper3 and had a serious chip on my shoulder when it came to the “popular kid[s]” growing up.

So to the guy in the library next to é›…é›… who had a class with me years ago where we never actually met, hopefully you’ll know someone who knows someone who knows someone who points you to this blog entry, and we can meet one day to talk about politics or Comp Sci or something.

And that applies to everyone else out there too! I’m not wealthy enough to be a celebrity or ethically-compromised enough to be a politician — I’d love to talk to you :)

I’m heading off to bed, have a great night folks! :D

  1. When I presided over the N.C. State Student Senate, some Senators actually brought down a big water cooler jug they had converted into a jar… and into which I was supposed to deposit a quarter every time I uttered a vulgar word during my reports or while presiding over the meeting. Rather than waste quarters (useful for parking meters) I just wrote a $50 check to cover me for the session :beatup: []
  2. The Dinner with the President program made for some interesting conversations, let me tell you. Especially when the people I met with often had IQs that were orders of magnitude higher than mine and I have -0- background at all whatsoever in their topic. []
  3. Even in SG — my colleagues can probably confirm it for you :beatup: []

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