Stamping Out Toxicity: just a rant, not instructional
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Folks, do NOT use passive-aggressive with me, because you will elicit an aggressive-aggressive response. Yes, it's been another one of those days, and I marvel at the shape of humanity today. It is no wonder that the world is such a mess, because nobody knows how to behave any more.
I can't even begin... lord have mercy...
Well, I guess some of you are probably wondering what I mean by "toxicity". This is behavior exhibited by yourself or others (this particular blog is about others) who are just trying to jack you up because they're jerks. I don't care about their "issues". I don't care about their bleedin' "stress." These are people who are just thoughtless jerks all the time who think that the rules do not apply to them, then get mad at you when you apply the rules to them anyway. You know, because you weren't handed that memo or you threw it in the trash or let the cat vomit on it or something.
For instance: I got an e-mail from a client who reckons herself a "friend" of mine, which apparently makes her entitled to special treatment. You know, like me rearranging my entire work schedule because she waited until the last minute to get something done. "But it's a recording session with a symphony!" she whined. "How long have you known about it?" I asked. "Well... can I still come on Sunday?" she asked. I have it in writing in BIG letters on my website and my shop Facebook fan page that I do not take appointments on Sundays. Period. I do not care if the pope needed his clarinet fixed for Sunday mass, I would tell him tough cookies. I don't care if the President of the United States needed his oboe worked on. I don't even care if Queen Elizabeth II "just needed some reeds." I. DO. NOT. CARE. Sunday is a day of rest, or at the very least, a day away from lunatics. I realize I'm married, but, you know...time away from other lunatics. Not MY lunatic.
Anyway, I told her no, but I could see her at 3:00 on Monday. Her response? "How about 1:30?" Dear readers, I do not consider myself to be the most literate person on earth, but by THUNDER, since when did 3pm actually mean 1:30?! I ASK YOU!!! I told her 3pm or nothing. Her response: "well, I can't make it, so I guess I'll be okay." You guess you'll be okay. You know, because it's your freakin' fault for not planning ahead, because it's not like symphonies spring recording sessions on you at the last minute. And it's not like it's LAST WEEK OF JULY and BAND CAMP starts tomorrow.
The wisest among you are sitting back, scratching your chin, and saying to yourselves "this isn't really about the schedule, is it." No, it's not. Not really. It's about an overall lack of responsibility and commitment. It's about her ABANDONING me in my time of need when my husband was sick and I e-mailed everybody I knew that I had been told he was dying and I didn't know what to do and I didn't have a cell phone and could somebody please help me, and NOBODY RESPONDED. NOBODY. NOT. A. SINGLE. SOLITARY. PEEP. Dozens of people, even my MOTHER. Nothing. She was one of those people I e-mailed. I had listened to her, comforted her while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan, comforted her when her ex was giving her grief, in addition to servicing her instruments, because I thought we were friends, and that's what friends do. And her response, six weeks later after my husband made it back home? "Oh. I thought you'd want to be left alone." As you can imagine, Mrs. Karlsson lost a lot of faith in a lot of people over those weeks. It is sad when you call on the people you thought were your friends, or at least cared about you, and nobody answers.
And since I'm ranting, I DID have one alleged friend who sat with me the day of the surgery. My husband's coworkers stepped it up and were there through the whole process, but they were there for HIM, not me. I'm fine with that. I am very grateful that they all stepped in to help, because I don't know what I would have done without them. The lady who sat with me through surgery was someone I thought was a friend as well. I found out recently what her motivation had been. See, my husband and I are atheists. Yeah, I said it. Go ahead and send me hate mail. Go ahead and unfriend me or ask me obnoxious questions. Prove my point. Her husband is a minister, and she thought if she was nice to me and my husband, and "reached out", she could help bring us in to the "fold." How do I know this? We went to their house for dinner a few months ago, and they cornered my husband and asked him to pray with them and to allow Jesus to enter his heart. I have never been so outraged, and my poor husband nearly had a panic attack. See, unlike in America, in Sweden it is considered very bad manners to beat someone over the head with your brand of religion unless they ask you to. So there. We have not spoken to them since, and they have not talked to us any more, either. I tried to talk to her about it, and arrange a time to discuss what the heck the deal was, but she always came up with some excuse to avoid meeting me or she'd back out at the last minute. So much for "friends".
But the wisest among you are STILL sitting and scratching your collective chins, thinking "but what was the trigger for all this? What caused this to bubble to the surface?"
I will give you two words that strike dread in the hearts of all who understand:
And that's all I have to say about that.