Friday, April 14, 2006

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Three who?

Three Lankans

Today, I did some Bad Parenting. We were all "sitting down" to eat dinner, and little HannieC was overly excited, as she gets when The Daddy comes home. She kept poking at me poking at me. Now, I'm pretty well know for being a calm, patient guy. Just ask anybody. (Well, maybe not The Mrs.) Eventually, I tired of being poked. So I did one of those hyperbolic bluffs. I said, "The next part of your body you poke me with I'm going to cut off with this knife." I was holding a steak knife at the time, as I was cutting into my Tri-Tip roast that came in a bag from Trader Joe's.

HennieC is a pretty bright kid. In fact, we've gone through the trouble of spending $3000 to have her certified as a bright kid. So, I figure she's going to start poking me with her fork, and then I'll be able to grab the fork and fling it across the room, which will be quite cathartic for me and funny as all getout to MaxieC. But no. HannieC decideds to call my bluff. She comes in really slowly with her index finger extened downwards, and says, "poke," as she pokes the back of my hand. Then she pulls back and starts laughing. Har har har. Put one over on old pops there. Called his bluff. Har har har.

Well, this just cannot stand. So, I laid my right hand on my steak knife. (A very important detail in case there are any Democrats reading - if I don't pick it up, I'm not "brandishing".) With my left hand, I grabbed the hand with which she had poked me. Then I tsk tsked. I did not pull her hand towards me, but I did not let her pull her away. The she got all scared, and I said, "You better say you are sorry for poking me very quickly." She immediately appologized. I let go of her hand.

She spent the next 5 or so minutes crying, alternately in the lap of The Mrs. and in my lap. After about the first 30 seconds, it was all fake. Eventually, she demanded to know if I was kidding or not. This is much like someone who has just folded because you came over the top demanding to see your hand. There is simply no reason to show. So I said, "It's best you do not do it again, or you will find out."

I'm a regular Chris Moneymaker.

This whole time, though, I'm thinking to myself how I'm going to have to live through a lecture on parenting from The Mrs. If there's one thing she knows, it's every possible reason for my parenting to be wrong. It's like her gift. He special calling in life. You married guys know what I'm talking about. But it never came.

However, something else completely unexpected happened. About 20 minutes later, HannieC, The Mrs., and I are in the kitchen. HannieC is making a pest out of herself, as she always is. She's flailing her arms around in wild abandon and intentionally accidentally bumping in to people. Then The Mrs. utters those words that let me know I am doomed.
You better stop that. Do want Daddy to cut your arms off?

HannieC, however, knows I'm not going to cut her arms off, or anything else. She just used the episode as an excuse to throw a pity party for herself.

Tonight, I write this whilst sitting on my porch drinking a bottle of Cabernet and smoking a Partagas. See, yesterday was supposed to be Fat Camp, but Fat Camp seems to have lost its steam. AndyP has been sick, and he called at 9:00 to bail. TommyO is on sabbatical in Wisconsin. Dr. Adlerberg said, "I really would enjoy going out for a beers, but I'm tired," and Spanky had some kind of family dinner, despite his nearest family being something like 12000 miles away.

To his credit, Spanky called from Fremont (a half-hour north of here) at 10:23pm to say that he could go. But, by then I had settled in for the night. So I didn't get to go out and drink and stooge last night. The Mrs. kept telling me to go outside to drink and stooge by myself, but I didn't. I was depressed.

"Why?" You ask. How could someone with such a great life as I be depressed? Well, for one thing, I made someone cry at work yesterday. I didn't mean to. What I said was, "The only analysis that's ever been done, which you did yourself, says 'no impact.' So don't go throwing out '60% increase in burn-in time.' That's completely made-up."

And then she cried.

Damnit, there's no crying in taskforces! It's bad enough I have to go to 4 hours of frigging emergency taskforce meetings every single day. I can't deal with the crying, too. I go to work to escape the crying. Nobody's work is bullet-proof, mine included. But don't cry when I challenge you. I'm not such a Big Deal or anything that your career is over if I disagree. I'm no damned StinkyJ. The one and only perk of working for the illustrious I. Corp is that I'm allowed to be, in fact encouraged to be disagreeable. In fact, every damned year one of my development areas is to be more vocally disagreeable.

That probably comes as a shocker to The Mrs. who probably can't even begin to imagine what I'd be more like if I were more disagrreable. But she's never been part of the corporate world. But, there it is.

Anyways, when I got home, I felt bad. Mostly cuz I thought there was a decent enough chance she was right and that the 60% increase was real. But she didn't have any analysis to back it up. So I stewed a while.

This was the second person I have made cry during my almost 11 years at the I. Corp.

Oddly, whenI mentioned that to a longtime colleage tonight, he said, "No. It's the third. Remember that woman back in MHPG? You told me a story about her."


Nope. I never made her cry. What happened there was that she and I were working on the same block, and I was the one in charge of the block, so I was the one that determined what work she needed to do. But she did not technically work for me as in I was not her boss on paper. She worked for the same boss I did. At some point, she began to resent that I was not her boss and I was telling her what to do, so she called me into a conference room and told me, in effect, to go to hell. That she was going to ignore anything I told her and she was just going to do what her official boss told her.

So every morning, her official boss would call me up and ask me what this woman should work on today, and I would tell her. Then she would call up the woman that did not work for me and tell her what I said. It was inefficient, but it worked out in the end. She left the group after that project, thankfully.

Now, I don't want you all to get the impression that I'm some sort of evil misogynist that makes all the women I work with cry. I've worked with many women over the years, and only one has ever actually cried. It's really that I can be kind of direct (i.e., an a-hole) at times, and you need to be able to handle that, or you shouln't be working in a high pressure job. Fish or cut bait, as they say. Or stand on the dock pretending to fish while drinking beer.

Wow. While I've been writing this, I've had 7 hits to my blog. Must be people looking for the update. I better post.



We all have trouble in the workplace. I have been accused of showing favortism in dispatching. Of course I responded with "I don't show favortism - I dislike them all equally". Poor HannieC - what happened to your childraising theory of never showing violence towards the childrens? Threatening them with cutting off their arms is a little much. Instead of doing that , why don't you just poke her back over and over. Give her some of the treatment back that she gives out. See if she can get as good as she gives. crcqjbq

CJ said...

so you didn't go to fat camp last night and the depression of making someone cry caused you to not post? wow..

look on the bright side, you will have at least one example to backup that fact that you are vocally disagreeable this year.

ellie said...

May I suggest the book Men are from Mars Women are from Venus in the Workplace.

When men get angry they tend to yell. When women get angry they tend to cry. It doesn't make you a misogynist, just a curmudgeon.

brankyP said...

3 Lankans. That's flat out freaky funny.