Damage Control

I’m a redhead.  I’m an Aries.  Both of those lead people to believe I have a temper, but I don’t think I do.

And then, something makes me fly off the handle, and I realize just how much of a temper I have.

The thing is, most things I push to the side, bury, whatever, but then there’s one little thing that sets me off, and I’m a raging lunatic.  And I hate it.  The only control I exhibit is that I only give half the story – as in yesterday’s example.  I get my emotions out on paper (so to speak), but I’m cognizant enough to not say anything about anyone in particular – which I realize now may lead to confusion.

There is a certain group of people at work.  They treat everyone else like personal secretaries.  When they submit paperwork and something is missing, I question it.  They want me to fix it for them.  Or they want it to not mean anything.  (As in, “This clause in the contract states that we will name our first born child after them,” to which they might respond, “Oh, yeah, that’s nothing, it’s not important, it doesn’t mean anything,” to which I respond, “It’s a written legal binding contract, of course it matters,” to which they respond, “No, really, just pretend it’s not there.”)  When you ask them if they did their job, they respond that yes, they did, they told me to do it.  (As in, “The client would like to talk to you about the contract they signed with you,” to which they respond, “Can you call them to discuss it?”)  If they want a report done, they expect you to drop everything and do it right now, even though that other thing they asked you to work on is important, too, and must be done right away.  (“Which do you want done first, the report or the contract?”  Their response:  “I need them both back ASAP.  Can you do that within the hour?”)  When they know I’m calling yet again to get the information I’ve requested 3 times already, they manage to avoid my call and not call me back for three days, but if they call me needing something, they are upset if I don’t answer the phone on the first ring.  (“I’ve tried calling you three times within the last hour!”  My response: “Yes, I was on my lunch hour.”)  When it comes down to the wire, the only thing that motivates them is getting everything in by month end, so they can get paid – never mind that they had all month to get it in.  And then, of course, I have to work extra to get it done in time, now that they’ve left it to the last minute. 

I know I’m not the only one to deal with this – almost everyone in the business world deals with it.  I get that.  And most of the time I just sigh and accept it as being “just the way it is.”  But by not fighting it, I’m allowing it to happen, and thus, cannot complain about it.  So I put up a fight, and inevitably I lose the battle.  And it makes me not fight next time, or the next, or the next, because I will never win.  And then something pushes me over the edge and I lose it all over again.

Does this apply to other aspects of my life?  Yes, of course it does. 

I’m quite sure I’ve said this before, but one of the things I love the most about blogging is that it makes you realize you are not alone.  I know in the past I’ve stumbled across blogs written by strangers that have hit a mark with me, that speak to me, because they were going through the same things I was going through, and I was not alone.  I learned from them.  And I would like to hope that there’s someone out there who will feel the same about my blog.  That they will stumble across my last post and think, “Hey, wow, she’s right.  She’s probably a teacher just like me and has issues with her students respecting her.  I need to work harder to make them respect me, or else I deserve their disrespect.”  Or, “Huh, she must be a waitress like me, and her boss is an inconsiderate jerk – she feels just like I feel!” 

The storm has blown over.  Obviously, I’m calmer now – or maybe I’ve been beaten down again.  Whatever.  It doesn’t negate what I was feeling yesterday.  But I do realize that my temper is something I need to try to control.  Being a redhead does not excuse it.

Funny side note (funny-hmmm, not necessarily funny-ha-ha) – when I was younger, I was a shy, quiet blonde.  Over the years, my hair has turned red.  I’ve thought I had just become more outspoken and opinionated due to age, but maybe it really is because of my hair color.  Who knows.

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