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Nobody would dispute that I abhor confrontation. I go to great lengths to avoid it. I am a great peace keeper. So many people around me thrive on conflict and get really upset with me for my passive calmness. This past week has been all about conflict. On Friday Tom and I had the biggest fight in quite some time. We almost never argue and when we do it usually over something quite minor.

Tom had a rough day taking care of his dad. His day started with me moving a little too slow, so he was late. After spend 8 hours with his dad he came to pick me up from work. Of course several people cut him off on our way to the store. When we parked some crazy old woman who was in another row honked at us. Sorry crazy lady just because you were in the lot first doesn't mean you can have any space you see. Of course instead of just walking away and into the store Tom decides to argue with the crazy woman. Telling her she needs to be near a space and have a signal on to claim it. That is fine.

But Tom was furious with me. He was pissed that I had just walked towards the store and wasn't standing behind him trying to look big and tough to scare this old crazy lady. The whole rest of the way home was spent arguing about how I am too self absorbed to pay attention to others and how nobody has his back or very long periods of silence.

It was resolved quite quickly after we got home. I don't argue well in relationships, I am like a cornered rabbit. I just can't think and panic. I say things that are not completely accurate because I'm too involved and flustered to think fast enough. When we were in the car I was only making things worse so I decided to just shut up. After a few minutes at home I was still in silent mode when Tom came over and asked if I wanted to talk.

I started off stumbling in the conversation. I said something about being a punching bag, which as you can guess did not go over very well. But I eventually got out what I had meant to say. That I didn't mind being a punching bag for him, I knew he really didn't mean it, intent is far more important, Besides he's worth it. His face changed like he had been hit in the back of his head by an invisible frying pan. The next few minutes were spent with hugs.

< GEEK >
I don't think that my conflict with my boss is going to end the same way. Our backups failed over the weekend. This is very bad. I tried to put in a ticket with Veritas but we didn't really get a response that was useful in the slightest. I really didn't want to call and wait on hold for two hours just to have the tech tell me to try this and that (which I would have probably already tried) and have me call back after it doesn't work. Last time we had problems with our backups I spent at least 10 hours on the phone/hold and they never fixed the problem. I did. I the inferior Mac geek fixed a PC server problem. Not the guys who are supposed to know the systems.

I never made the call, instead I deduced the media sets had corrupted and wanted to make new ones. My boss said that the software shouldn't corrupt and I should call. This would be a waste of time since they would just tell me, "Oh, it looks like the media Set corrupted, you're gonna have to recreate them." So instead of calling I recreated the media sets and Viola, problem fixed right? As far as I'm concerned it is. But my boss is so mad about the crappy software he still wants me to call and have them explain to me how this could happen. He wants me to scream and yell and make them change their software.

There are two problems with this,

1. having a PC guy explain PC stuff to a Mac guy so he can then tell his PC boss is like playing the telephone game with people who don't speak the same language. Sure I can repeat things like "we don't have IIS running on the box" but do I really know what it means... Not really. I'm just not that interested in servers. I don't have time.

2.They don't care. They are just doing their job, which is listening to people bitch while they try to fix their systems. If I call to bitch but really don't care, it's just a waste of both of our times. Sure I could ask to speak to their supervisor and bitch to them and hear them say, "If it's working now, what's your problem?"

I'm sorry but if you are pissed about something maybe you should do the bitching yourself rather than send someone to do who just doesn't care. And yet he is still hounding me to call. If he keeps asking me and not listening to my reason, I'm just going to lie and say I called and they blew me off... My psychic friend Dion told me it would happen that way anyway. < /GEEK >


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2003 02:16 pm (UTC)
you rock, macboy.
Nov. 19th, 2003 04:22 pm (UTC)
i'm not very confrontational either. i have never had a "real" fight in any of my relationships (the longest being 3 months might have something to do with that). that does not mean i don't tell people when i'm upset. one of my strengths is that i have fairly good communication skills. if i'm feeling stepped on, i tell people and very rarely do i get so flustered in an emotional situation that i can't figure out what to say. i will admit, however, that i do avoid arguments... if i don't like someone, there's no chance that you'll catch me chatting with them... does any of that make sense? with regards to your boss, i'd be inclined to lie to him too. i agree that there's no point in you personally complaining about something you don't care about to someone who doesn't care that you're complaining...
Nov. 20th, 2003 10:34 pm (UTC)
Wow, what you said Re: my boss was exactly how I felt but wasn't quite able to word right.
Nov. 19th, 2003 10:51 pm (UTC)

It's funny; I'm not at all confrontational myself, but my initial, unfiltered reaction to the Tom thing is: "Gee, honey, I'm sorry that I'm not participating in the drama you chose to stir up with that old woman. I didn't realize you presumed that was included in my membership." Delivered with a smile, before ignoring the whole thing.

I can see myself reacting that way. Guess that's why I'm not with Tom, eh? (Maybe this means I'm a bit more confrontational than I perceive myself to be.)
Nov. 20th, 2003 10:39 pm (UTC)
I love your new user pic! there just something about a shaved head.. grrrr.
Nov. 21st, 2003 11:44 am (UTC)
I love this as an icon because the bright red background, along with the look that almost everyone told me was scary, is just so great for a kind of in-your-face or confrontation message. And it reduced well, so that you can still make out the intensity of my eyes, adding to the theme. And then there's the added bonus that lots of people reading my journal (and elsewhere) seem to like the shaved head look.

I have another entry to make about that part of my life. Originally I did it as an experiment, hated it, hated the huge amount of time spent on maintenance, but then... well, think about the one common denominator that most guys have, especially in their horndawg twenties. I kept it up (the look, and, well, yanno) for almost two months.

Who knows. I swore I'd never do that again, but someday I just might, perhaps with a nice handlebar mustache. Right now, though, I'm afraid it would make me look 80 years old. I look nothing like this right now, in my opinion. More like the one where I'm glaring over my shoulder.
Nov. 19th, 2003 11:09 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about the argument. Relationships are never easy things, especially when behavioral/communication conflicts flare up. I can see Tom's point from your brief overview... especially since I tend to be rather agressive and outspoken, easy to anger but still in need of support. I think that tends from insecurities at ones own actions... possibly feeling a need for your support or understanding disapproval of his anger which just lent itself to being angry -with you- out of a misdirected need (at least from a projective angle)

Having said that, on to a paradox of sympathies... While I tend to have an agressive side, I share your desire/habit of avoiding conflict when I can... it jumbles me up, throws all the calm, well thought out directions and responses into some fathomeless pit where it seems impossible to extract them and instead you wind up either silent, swimming in one thousand thoughts or moving on a reactionary basis which tends to leave you feeling deffensive and/or wind up saying/doing things that might not be constructive but help build up a sense of self-safety.

Again, probably just projecting. It sounds like, in the end, the hugs were worth it... that the rough surface was calmed enough to see the light through the fog ... and you deserve some applause for trying to push the conflict into an arena of understanding.

On the boss thing... I have nothing else to say aside from "you're right on..." He wants to bitch, let him... it's always an immense waste of time to do someone's arguing for them.
Nov. 20th, 2003 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Passivity
I agree with everything you said. No projection at all. It's good to know I'm not strange in my way of thinking. I am so different than many of my friends who much more readily jump at the chance for conflict.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )