The other day Mr. wOw was lower than a snake. He was full of self-pity and regret and wondering (as Helen Lawson did in “Valley of the Dolls” — “what the hell happened?!”)
He was at work, and alas, his boss for whom he has been toiling nigh on thirty years, was feeling pretty crappy too. Mr. wOw’s boss also has regrets and bad days and wondering just what the hell happened. And his boss tends to be wildly impatient even in the best of times. So, these are not the best of times.
Usually, I can rise above it, make the best of it, make it better — you get more flies with honey, etc. After all, I don’t work in a Chilean mine or a Japanese nuclear plant.I have a wonderful boyfriend (the incredible Mr. B.) and a few cherished friends. I still have all my teeth (except for the wisdom teeth, and I was never sure why I even had wisdom teeth. I have not been very wise.) And my boss is an excellent egg, when not being hard-boiled by life and circumstance.
But on this day, so burdened by my own cares and woes — unable to pack them up — I decided to give as good as I was getting. It was just misery. My boss snapped and I snapped back. To and fro and this way and that. Neither of us addressed the issue, we both just continued being mean. It was my place, as the employee (and old friend to my boss) to end it. Put up, shut up – both, really! But I wouldn’t. I was wallowing in my regrets and resentments.
The day ended with curt goodbyes. I felt like shit. And not anymore because I was unhappy over what I had or hadn’t done in life, or how or why my boss figured into what were, after all, my own decisions. Nope. I felt really bad that I had behaved so badly. That I hadn’t taken into account it was an especially grueling day for my boss. That I hadn’t been kinder, more compassionate, more patient, more respectful. That I had not treated my boss just as I would want to be treated, if the circumstances were reversed.
I thought long and hard about my woeful performance. Sure, I’d done my job, and done it well that day, despite the tension. But I wasn’t proud. I’d lost the reins of a situation I could have put right early in the day. At the very least I could have controlled myself until I reached home, to unload on the hapless B. He has had almost thirty years of the same work tale from me — “I can’t go on, I can’t take it, I am losing my mind!” The usual stuff when one actually has to more or less punch in and be told what to do. That’s life. Though my job affords me many more compensations and pleasures than most.
I could have let it go. My boss is not the grudge-bearing type. We were on to another day. But I felt I ought to apologize. Just because I’d have liked an apology if I’d been on the other end my nasty ways that day. And so I did apologize.
I felt much better. My boss was grateful. Tomorrow could be hell again. (Today hasn’t been so great, to be honest.) But even at this point in life, I hope I’ve had a bit of a lesson in how to deal with people. Even when that people is my boss who is also a friend. It’s kinda crazy, my situation.
But in knowing that, I need to call on my better nature, such as it is.
Now I need to work on being nicer to B. He’s always very nice to me.