Performance Vs. Behaviour

A conversation with a phone salesperson:

“Have you not heard that our *insert said product* has won awards?”

“No.”

“What?! It’s in the newspaper, magazines and radio? We’re the best out there.”

“No.”

“Ma’am, do you not read the newspapers?!”

***

I’ve been thinking about angery lately. It has occurred to me that as of late, I’m rarely angry about the world. As a kid in uni, I used to get angry about a lot of things. I used to sit down, draft political blogs – and at one point, got noticed for my opinions – and then suddenly it all stopped.

It was not that my interest in politics that stopped – I still enjoy reading politics, but I would say that a chunk of my anger had mellowed down. I don’t do drafting angry blogs anymore, as I write it out, it feels petty and to a certain extent, I feel that it doesn’t serve any purpose.

Purpose is a great motivation of mine lately. I’m very busy, I’m always on the move. Being angry serves no purpose to me, it just drains me out and I get tired very quickly.

***

My sister, the great (almost) psychologist was sitting down and eating a very bizarre dish of onions, sausages, fried dried anchovies, and chilli.

“Does that even taste good?” I ask.

“Yeah, well, surprisingly,’ as she munches through the chopped sausages.

“Fine, wait, I need advise from you. Stop focusing on the sausages.”

Hani puts her fork and knife down. “Fine, fine, fine. What do you need?”

“To brainstorm. My client. You know what he’s like.”

“Oh, that stupid one.”

“Crazy one.”

“No, stupid. Don’t insult the insane.”

“Yes, yes. Whatever. See, the thing is, I don’t want to get angry at him – nor do I want to push my way around things. Being high and mighty does not work, being holier than thou never works. What I need is a way of getting him to work, getting what I want?”

Hani pauses from eating her sausages, onions, chillies and anchovies. Her forehead creases as she thinks.

“Don’t need psychology to do that. Just manipulation. Dude is probably insecure. Work with his insecurities. Praise him, compliment him,  – and just get what you want.”

***

Anger used to drive me. Anger doesn’t serve anyone. It’s good to angry about things, but it’s a mostly negative energy that serves to drain rather than propel. When one is so busy, positive energy is what you need. I’m not saying to sit around the campfire, hold hands and sing kumbaya and let the positive energy fill you up– I’m too cynical for that. What I need is now, the ability to acknowledge my anger, compartmentalize, and put it aside and do what I need to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not become uber-zen. People still irritate me all the time. Like the dude who parks right in front of my house even though I’m inside. A part of me wants to stomp outside and key his car. Or the crazy management who writes passive aggressive notices at my parent’s place. I feel like writing thousands of passive aggressive notes in response and stuffing it down the management’s post box.

Instead of reacting the way above , I stop to think. I sit back, pause and wonder, what would be the right response.

A few years back, as a response to the Evil Corporate Body, I used to be quite nice about things – but unfortunately, being nice sometimes is equated as being a pushover.

Nor do I want to go about my life being a nasty ass bitch. It works for some but it certainly does not work for me. Shouting and screaming, in the past two years, I’ve started to equate it to losing control. It’s impossible not to lose your cool, I fully admit, my voice tends to rise around Eizwan when I get irritated but I suppose it’s because I’m most vulnerable around him.

But I’m not going to sit down and take it in. When people say things, I pause to think. Do I let this slide? Do I voice out my displeasure and make things difficult for everyone? Do I give in and feel resentful? Do I shout and make myself feel miserable for losing control?

If I give in to my anger, I will regret it. If I don’t give in to my irritation, and release it somewhat – I will probably take out my anger on the door, the car, and kicking something.

Performance versus behaviour. I know what I want. I have to ignore the behaviour and just get the performance that I want.

When people irritate me, I keep my voice cool but firm in response. I no longer offer smiles to people as generously nor do I give in to what I feel are unreasonable requests.  I don’t raise my voice nor am I rude, but certainly, I’m not nice. The customer is not always right – you gotta find the best compromise to get the best for everyone.

***

“What? You don’t read the newspapers?” asked the lady on the phone incredulously.

A part of me wanted to shoot back saying, of course I read the papers. No one actually cares about the product, nor the company you were representing, you could be winning awards up the wazoo but which part of me actually cares? Nada. Zilch.

Instead.

“You’re not going to sell me anything by being insulting.” My voice was cool, and steady but I knew she could hear my displeasure.

“Oh, uh…okay. Uh…sorry.”

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