The problem with the author-reader relationship is the implied authoritarian role. The writer as the expert, and the reader as the student. I will like to debunk this fallacy with this post that will journal a misdeed that happened today. I dished out a personal attack today, and I am not proud of it.
A threat and demand all in one
There are always two sides to a story, and this is my side. We rent out six tables in our office to another company in a co-working arrangement because we have a little too much space. Things were dandy and fine, even if their team pretend that everyone else does not exist. It does not bother me because I am always on my headphones, and I am located in a private office.
This morning, one peep from the said company was on the phone, and he was LOUD. Loud enough for me to hear him through my headphones, all the way from my private office. Admittedly, the door was open. So I went out to tell him to keep it down and go to the sofa area to talk on the phone.
A while later, his boss came into my office and beckoned for me to follow her out of my office. I felt like her staff. That feeling that precedes a berating -- I felt it all as she led the way out of the office. First, came the obligatory new year greeting with an awkward handshake. Then, she opened the conversation with:
My staff told me that you told him that he was too loud. But I asked around, and my team said the volume was fine. My business requires my team to make calls. And if calls are not allowed, that is a dealbreaker.
Goddamn girl, this is not how you start a conversation. That feels a threat and demand all in one. I will skip the meat of the argument but leave you with two tidbits.
- I said I am fine with phone calls. Just not loudly in a QUIET office.
- (As she grew increasingly agitated because I was not giving in to her demand to let her staff speak at any volume, I said:) Do you know why you are so annoyed? Because you are used to getting what you want and for once, you are not getting it.
Ouch. I should not have said that. I fucked up there, and I am not going to come up with an excuse for my shitty behavior, because I should not have done that.
An apology is in order
In the spirit of the new year and being a better person through daily introspection, I will apologize to the lady boss for my personal attack. I am not infallible, and I make mistakes. This is one of the many (interpersonal) mistakes I have committed in my career. And this time, I am penning it down in hopes of a permanent remedy.