Unsolicited compliments

suit banter

    If you’re not already watching suits, What are you doing? Stop reading this and go watch it! So the above conversation, from suits, kind of summaries how I feel about compliments. They awaken my defensive side.
    Take for example, today when someone told me he liked my top and that I should get up from my chair and spin around. When I refused, I was criticized for not knowing how to take a compliment. I should explain: This occurred at work; he is not one of my girls, he is not Tim Gunn neither is he a friend. If I had to describe our relationship, the words “office acquaintance” seems appropriate. He is also married and by his standards, he meant no harm because he is ‘cool like that’ with all the girls at work. I did a survey. He is not even “lukewarm like that” with anyone.
    To his credit, my top was kind of awesome and I was wearing the hell out of it. I also want to say that I believe that it is nice to give and receive compliments. However, compliments from some Nigerians have a way of seeming insincere or maybe I just hate the whole compliment/reciprocate dance because I am extremely bad at it. In all honesty my attempts at flattery are often cringe worthy.


    So the other day I stumbled across a coworker and his son in the IT department. I was in need of a little tech assistance.

    Me: Who is this fine boy, are you sure he is your son? He is really good looking, unlike you.
    Coworker gives me WTF face and awkward silence.
    My brain catches up: You do realize that you just accused this man’s wife of cheating on him.
    Me struggling to rectify the situation: Are you sure you and your wife did not kidnap him.
    Brain: How is suggesting that he and his wife are ugly kidnappers any better than calling his wife a cheater? Why am I even here? Now do exactly as I say. Fake a phone call and exit office in 3, 2, 1. . . . . Now trick someone else into calling the IT guy for help and avoid him for the foreseeable future.

    (Good times)

    If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, then flattery is the lowest form of persuasion. Therefore it is completely beneath me because I refuse to lie. To be clear, I tell the occasional necessary lie about uncompleted tasks being completed but I draw the line at saying something nice about a person’s looks, character or possession in order to boost their ego so that they feel encouraged to do their part of the work.
    Things also descend into chaos when I am expected to pay back a compliment.

    Unwritten office rule number 842: Compliments should be reciprocated, paying special attention to the person’s new (insert item) that their compliment was designed to draw your attention to.

    Ideally, in a reasonable world I would respond with:

    “Thank you, Oh my! Is that a new bag? It is absolutely beautiful.”

    before shoving off.

    But as shown above, my brain and I are not always simpatico. When faced with a compliment, things often begin with a drawn out “Yooooooooooou” on my end, as I begin to flail around helplessly. Before things get embarrassing ludicrous, I grab a colour, item of clothing, personal feature for dear life and run with it. Sometimes I succeed.

    Me: “Yoooooou really look good in pink.”

    Other times, not so much.

    Me: “Yoooooooou are standing in the doorway… people need to pass.”


    The moment anyone pays me a compliment, I hand them a pair of scissors and tell them to “cut the crap” and “cut to the chase”. I try and apply this to everyone, everywhere I go with a n above 70 per cent success rate.

    Market woman: sweet aunty, come do your hair
    Me: Too young to be your aunty.

    Bank Security: Mummy
    Me: I’m pretty sure I would have remembered carrying life for nine months.

    Weirdo on the street: Fine baby
    Me: I’m not fine, I’m beautiful and don’t we have to be the same species for me to be your baby.

    In all my years, such statements have never convinced me to get my hair done with said flatterer or manifested a tip for any security personnel.
    I make one exception and that is to the name ‘sister’ and only when used by people in my church. Church folk are like the heads of hydra, cut of one honorific, two grow in its place. Then you’re no longer sister so-and-so, you become aunty, saint, mama, chief Mrs, dame, priestess, bishop, Dr, reverend So-and-so when all you ever wanted was to be plain old so-and-so.
    So the next time you want something from me, ask. And if I refuse, offer me money or food. Note that these fine products will only buy my attention and not my compliance. If you want my agreement, be prepared to persuade me with logic.
    Good Day… and when in doubt watch suits.



2 thoughts on “Unsolicited compliments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s