Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Good Bad Interaction

Everyone has had this experience: you have a nasty altercation of some sort and half an hour later you think of all sorts of funny things you could have said. Or you stew in frustration over how you wimped out and took abuse from some idiot who you should have punched in the face because you didn't want to get in any trouble (or if you're at work: fired). Having a good bad interaction is a skill you can develop if you keep your wits about you and stay in the game, while also realizing what the risks are and not going overboard ( a la When Keeping It real Goes Wrong ). I have plenty of these sort of donnybrooks at my work place environs and am happy to share my life experience.

Recently, I had an unexpected encounter with an awful woman. It only lasted about 3 minutes and barely affected my morning, but it could have been much worse.

I was doing a delivery (I'm a delivery guy) at an apartment complex. As soon as I arrived, I noticed a woman glaring at me like I was a Nazi. I began unloading my parcels and this Insidious 2 ^ esque banshee woman came up to me and began demanding to know why I was "throwing the packages". I assured her that I wasn't throwing anything and that if any damage was done to the parcels they could easily be returned for a full refund. She wouldn't let it go and said that she was going to go get the building manager and inform him of my behavior. This, of course, makes NO SENSE because I don't work at the building!!

(Meanwhile, he's not even the building manager he's just a security guard. He doesn't manage anything except going to the strip clubs in Providence I know the guy he is my friend Jay.)

(Also note: There's a strong correlation between people who do shit like this and people who have no idea how the world works.)

As she stalks off I go "Hey lady" and drop the package that I'm holding from eye height to the ground. This further raises her dander, so much so that she calls me an asshole! Sure, I'm quasi harassing a woman who's my Mom's age, but this is America. You can't just shit on people and expect them to respect you because you were a teacher or something once.

I finally proceed to actually deliver the things and I see the her explaining her situation to an utterly baffled cleaning guy (?) who directs her to the security guard aka Jay, my good friend, behind me and we attempt to reel this puppy in. He winks at me and says "Sir, could you please be more careful with the packages in the future" and I assure him I will be. She's not buying my contriteness and she shouldn't, it's completely phony and I can't even keep a straight face but somehow it ends.

bad bad interaction

The irony is I was actually glad to receive the information that it appeared that I was being too rough with the packages. That could get me in trouble if someone who isn't completely nuts sees that and calls my actual boss instead of an illegal immigrant cleaning guy on me. I've modified my unloading techniques, particularly in more public areas. If I see her again I'll probably throw one at her fucking head though. What the hell is her problem? I found out later that she doesn't even live there! She's someone assistant or something.

Nassim Taleb (author of The Black Swan) "Nothing that can get you in trouble can get you in trouble".