Monday, December 7, 2009

addie crocker with a side of road rage

I have a temper. I know, it's a surprise, especially for those of you who grew up with me.

A temper? Addie? NO! Also, doesn't she have a Puritanical sensibility about cursing and isn't she a total slob?

Like most tempers, mine has gotten me in trouble. As an adult, this has more serious repercussions than simply apologizing to whomever I've hurt - and my temper rarely kicks in about people I know. It's more to do with abstracts: companies, work situations, idiotic drivers.

For example, I used to have a Twitter account. It wasn't something I used often, and I considered it more a conceit than anything else. Facebook has replaced my face-to-face relationships with many of my friends, and Twitter just opened up virtual relationships with strangers. It takes plenty long for me to flip through the photos of the people I actually know on FB - like I need to squander digital time on faceless tweeters!

Back in the day, Rob used to deliver appliances for Vann's (he now sells those same appliances!), and while his hours were supposed to be 8-4, they were often 8-whenever-the-hell-they-finally-got-done-with-all-the-deliveries-they'd-been-scheduled. It made planning evenings difficult... but we tried anyway! On one memorable day, he'd assured me he'd probably be done by 5:00, given the number of deliveries they had, so I planned to be somewhere at 6:00 while he stayed at home with B and a friend's boy.

At 6:00, I texted him to ask where he was and learned that he and his driver were both furious because things had taken longer than they should have, and that someone at the store had added one more delivery that day... of a product they didn't have on the truck yet. They were on their way back to the store (a full hour later than they'd planned to be working) to pick up this product, then deliver it out to Four Corners or Belgrade or wherever, and Rob didn't think he'd be done until 8:00, completely blowing my plans to celebrate a friend's birthday. He was annoyed, I was disappointed... and then I was livid. I was mad at the salesman who'd promised same-day delivery, mad at the delivery-scheduling personnel who didn't know when to say no, mad at Vann's in general for robbing us of our RobRob and foiling my plans for world domination again.

Needing an outlet, I naturally turned to Facebook and Twitter and vented my frustration:
I am grateful for R's job, but when whoever schedules calls the truck at 6:00 and adds one more delivery to a full day (that they still have to PICK UP from the store, no less), I want to scream. No wonder all the other delivery guys are single. A family man can't do this job for very long because they make it IMPOSSIBLE. And when I scream? I want it to be in the face of whoever it is at Vann's that can't get their poop in a group before 6:00 pm, for crying out loud.
That's what was on FB, and I can't double-check what I wrote on Twitter because, the very next day, I looked at my post again and thought "Perhaps what I need is a smaller online presence," then promptly deleted my account. Truth be told, I was horrified that I'd unleashed my temper where more than just my indulgent friends could see it (hi, indulgent friends!).

A few days later, Rob's boss asked him if his wife had a Twitter account and casually mentioned that they have a guy keeping an eye out for mentions of Vann's there, to make sure they catch any customer service worries before they go nuts. Rob laughed nervously and told him about my dismay at my tweet and subsequent blitzing of the account, which made his boss laugh for real and assure him that he wasn't in trouble, but that perhaps I should be reminded that while FB and my blog are relatively private, Twitter is not. He then let Rob know they cared about the fact that he had a family and would continue to figure things out (get their poop in a group, so to speak) about his schedule.

I baked the boss a cake, which is one of my best "I blew it, and this is how sorry I am. Please eat this to assuage my guilt and make your waistline (and forgiving spirit) expand," tactics. He thought that was even funnier.

After a second temper tantrum (for something unrelated), I asked Rob for ideas on how to not let my anger rip my whole face off. We came up with a temper journal. I can pour out whatever venom I might otherwise type, and by the time I'm done writing, my ire will have cooled. I have about a 30-minute blind rage, after which I can be wry and funny and sarcastic about whatever happened without being so mean. Since I write more slowly than I type and a journal can be burned, I can put whatever my vicious little heart desires on the pages without threatening livelihoods, relationships, or my sanity once cooled off, because while eating humble pie has never killed anyone, I tend to choke on it.

And my planned evening was salvaged: the guy Rob worked with called in and firmly told the store they were done for the day. I got to the birthday dinner late, but still enjoyed a pint of porter and a dessert with friends. Now Rob's the one planning deliveries, but I'm happy to say that his experience doing the heavy lifting has him careful with his expectations of the delivery crew, and I am still welcome to visit him in the store, especially when I come bearing baked goods.


aubyn said...

There is a Glass business on 2nd ave. that uses it's billboard to tell us what he is angry about. Right now it says something like, "Its winter in Montana, no duh, if you don't like it move back."
I understand he is also nervous about Obama and wishes some employee's a happy birthday.

Grammie Perrine said...

Ahhh Humble Pie.. I like mine with a dollop of vanilla-flavoured whipped cream.

Unknown said...

Just a thought...but you could think of your journal for your emotions like David and the psalms...and try to end each with the vertical perspective to God -- I know I've been blessed by David's brutal honesty in those psalms, but the impact and hope is at the end, where he comes full circle in his recognition of God and His works....Blessings on your week,

Gailzee said...

Addie there are movers and shakers...and you just happen to come from a long line of is a gift, one that of course, has to be controlled but still a gift! You probably saved a dozen marriages at Vanns for the next set of delivery crews! I applaud the idea of the journal...unless you were seriously thinking of going into cake baking as a career!