Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Get away from me

This morning when I left to do my thing of meetings, planning and putting together some marketing material and goodie bags, I was planning a rather compassionate post about the ubiquitous beggars and the various attitudes towards begging in South Africa. But that will have to wait.

I need to vent.

Today I was reminded of how much I hate working with people.

And how I should never be put in a position that involves me giving my honest opinion. Because eventually someone will cry. Someone always does.

It's not that I (always) try to make people cry, it's something that simply happens. Oftentimes when I think I'm actually being pretty nice, and not even coming at them full force. Every once in a while I'll even do that 'criticizing by pointing out the good things first' tactic someone once told me to use as a buffer - to my personality - and ignore that little Scandinavian chick in my head that keeps saying: "This is not fokken high school. Pointless pats in the back belong in fokken high school. Don't fokken waste time. Just say what needs fokken changing and the working parts will be fokken implicit. For fok's sake."

Of course when she says it, being a Scand and all, it goes more like this: "Tää on ihan syvältä tää koko paska. Uusiks vaan koko homma. Mitä sitä jahkaileen. Mitä toi nyt tossa itkee? Voi helvetti," or like this: "For helvede. Det her ting sutter totalt. Det hele skal laves om. Hvad græder hun nu om? Fok."

The Scand in my head is a total bitch.

But she's mostly right.

And today I had to use up all of my energy to keep her silent. To everyone else than me. And without even completely succeeding in that, just the effort to constantly bite my tongue has exhausted me to no end. When I got back, I had to stop myself from SHOUTING at people on Twitter who had tweeted things while I was gone that I didn't agree with, or things that touched a nerve, or complain-y, negative, and inane things, or stupid things, or things I wasn't interested in, or, you know, things and shit, which pretty much summed up my entire Twitter-feed, and sent me to a tailspin that could only be cushioned with one of two things.

And since I couldn't be bothered to open wine, I made some coffee.

So what is it exactly that's gotten inside my head and by the feel of it laid a sizable number of eggs too?

Well. I guess it can be summed up with a little story of a minor detail I discovered about myself when I was taking psychology classes back in the day when I thought I might become a psychiatrist but then discovered that they weren't just going to give me the white coat and a cute little wild-haired patient of my own if I could confidently discuss the history of schizophrenia, but that I would have to take all manner of courses and classes that would involve complicated mathematics, and, well, that was the end of that.

But I did learn that I'm a man in a woman's body.

Not the kind who was born a male in a female's body, but the kind many of whose behavioral patterns are typical to those of males in what can be, in a very broad sweep, called western cultures.

I don't commiserate, I try to offer a solution, I don't make nice, I compete, I automatically challenge, I don't see disagreement as a disruptive element, I don't ask, I tell, I confront, and so on.

Ergo, according to many a theorist, I behave like a man.

Now whether that is just complete and utter psychobabble can and perhaps should be discussed at length (just not with me), especially taking into consideration how it seems that 'male' in this equation and many more like it seems to come across as the 'norm', and thus implicitly somehow as the better of the available possible categorizations, while simultaneously, me behaving in the way that I do, in this male-like way of the supposed norm, makes me a bitch. Especially in the company of other women.

So any which way, I'm screwed in the pleasantness department.

Which is exactly what happened today. And made me want to shake more than one pair of shoulders, drink a whole bottle of wine and then top it off with some amazing tequila, go hit some balls on the driving range, rip someone's head off (or actually, again, more than one), and just generally keep telling people to fokken shut up.

I didn't. I really did manage without a definite, relationship forever-altering blowout.

But I don't want to go back either.

I fokken hate working with people.

AAAAAAAAARGH!!! Now what's this guy so happy-go-singy about? 

So what's your take on this? Am I a bitch or just a man with a penchant for costume jewelry, and great Sauvignon Blancs? Or something completely different? What are you?


Fidgeting Gidget said...

I actually wish I could be more like you in the working world. I mean, bravo to you for keeping that Scandalous Scand quiet, but I tend to crumble or cry when people make me feel the way you were feeling. I wish I was more like a man sometimes in that respect. We have a woman or two where I work (and it's in a male-dominated field) and they really can hold their own. They are thought of as "bitches," quite often, but I think of them as having thick skins and that is the only way they've survived as long as they have. I respect them (and I respect you) for being able to be that way.

And I'm glad you didn't freak out on anyone on Twitter. :)

Damn RWP strike again.

Judearoo said...

I can see why you've ben hit with the 'man' title, that reaction is possibly more how a man would be said to react. But I dont think its that simple at all and Ive known the mannliest of men who react like fokkin drama queens to similar situations.

You're a fixer, not a whiner. Its enviable, run with it.

Esmerelda said...

Sigh. You've just blogged my blog. Although I am whiny and quite bitchy, I am part man as well. Esmerelda is a man, anyway. Lucy's sort of non-gendered and Ms. McGillicuddy is a pansy sissy girl. And they're all in my head. It makes for interesting inner-monologues.

I prefer fixing things, but it has to be on my terms. If I don't like your solution, well...I too turn to wine and tequila.

--r said...

unless i'm a complete space cadet (and i suppose that's possible), you've never come across as a bitch to me. of course, you may have simply been outshone by others at the time.

'Drea said...

I'm simultaneously amused and scared.

I admire frankness in people but there's a fine line between directness and callousness.

Also, I know that North Americans (generalization?) tend to be less blunt.

Personally, I veer towards diplomacy -- because I know that I am capable of object-throwing great anger.

Of course, there's the middle ground but that's unfamiliar territory to me.

Sara said...

If they think it makes you a bitch then screw 'em. Confidence and knowing what's what is not just for men and it's good to know you have it.

Saying it like it is without the hand holding would have made you an interesting psychiatrist. :)

An Open Heart said...

I hate that shit when you have to be nice because it's 'politically correct'....B.S...I worked in a male dominated industry, where the old boys run it....if I stood up and said this isn't working, they all called me a bitch...If I laid out a problem for them and gave them possible solutions, I was a bitch.....sugar coating is for people who haven't grown up yet.... seriously, in the real world, put on your big girl panties and deal.

I am known in my circle for telling it like it is, if you don't want to know what I think, then don't ask me......people still ask....I don't know why.

Seems this post hit close to home for me...whew.....


Myne Whitman said...

I don't think you're a man at all, or a bitch. You can just hold your own. What do they call men who can do that?

Myne Whitman said...

Remember to vote on my blog, the next chapter of the story is up.

You can buy the book here.

Ellie said...

Couldn't agree more. Gratuitous backpatting? Sign up for remedial math. Real life? Hm, yes, may involve compromise, PROBABLY NEEDS TO INCLUDE GETTING SHIT DONE. Funny, that.

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law used to always say Perception is Reality. And this bothered me. However, I've come to realize this is very true. Those people you speak of have a different version of reality than yours and that's what makes it so challenging. I have no answers. And I've worked with my share of lunatics over the years. But I have found that most people respond best to, and are empowered by, being validated. Not easy, I know, I know....

kristine said...

i want to know what happened! Frankly I have a hard time believeing you - I thought you were "quite pleasant, really?". I think I may have developed a reputation for split personality over the years - most of the time I come across quite sweet, but sometimes I cant bear all the crap, and can be quite the scando bitch - as in "OK, so what you are actally saying is that you have no idea?". I dont think people like it much when I do that.

Eidothia said...

I know exactly what you mean but do not have the choice of 'wont work with people'. Being in the corporate sector, I face this everyday - Men hate me for my balls! (Pun intended!) and women hate me for the lack of cleavage show!!(To getaway with things or get things done, choose any!) But having a good sense of humor and making an effort to be nice doesnt help. The dislike comes naturally tpo most. They just hate you for being good and making a point and telling them when they are wrong or when they are not doing it right. Its just not acceptable socially. But what the fuck, I am damn glad I dint have to shine any shoes to get where I am - It still works for us, you see! :)

julochka said...

you're a lot nicer than you give yourself credit for. and all of those man-traits are actually positive things (especially compete, compete is good).

and besides, you get along well with bitches. ;-)