I Bring Out the Worst In People

I was re-reading my entry about the college professor who, I feel, adamantly disliked me.  Actually, I know he disliked me.  I rarely imagine such stuff, and I’m not paranoid in the least.  This got me to thinking about another recent instance of my bringing out the worst in someone.

After school ended, I was signed up for a class at district office to learn about the adopted language arts curriculum.  I had been “using” it for two years without much success.  I wasn’t sure how to integrate this adopted curriculum with the standards set forth by our pacing calendar or the CST.  I was hoping to get some insight into the thought process that brought that together.

Needless to say, and long story short for the good predictors in the audience, that SO did not happen.  Adding to that, I managed to piss off (not annoy or irk or chafe, PISS OFF) the instructor.  Yes, I am a lightning rod for people’s unhappiness.  In this particular case, I went ahead and noted (I thought ironically) that I always managed to get the instructor who HATED the program.  Yes boys and girls, she was TEACHING the state sponsored class, but she doesn’t like ANYTHING about the program.  Sigh…  Apparently she didn’t like having this brought to her attention.  That, however, wasn’t enough to make her hate me.  Not yet.

No, that was when we were asked to read something.  So I read it, she asked a question as to the reading, then said almost immediately, “Moving on.”

To which point I said (without thinking), “How about some wait time?”

You could have heard A.PIN.DROP.  Laser eyes, puffing of the chest, and then the Grinchiest of smiles followed by the concession, “Of course! Do you need some time?”  F*CK!  One half of the room had the nerve to look at me as if I were an idiot, “You can’t process that fast?” their expressions read.  They sided against me, allowing her anger and dislike to dictate the culture of the training (the other half was with me.  I got pity from them.). From that point on, she made it a point to ask me to note the time and let her know when I was ready to move on.  She made sure to measure her voice in case she was heard from outside, but the look on her face made it clear that I was thwarting her process.

I’d love to say that this is an isolated incident.  It’s not.  I can literally see the moment in which I turn people to the dark side.  I wonder if by being so forthright and blunt people who normally consider themselves “nice” feel they are given permission to be nasty to me.  However, I have to say, being honest (to the point of bluntness) is not the same as being mean.  Pointing out flaws to a system or expecting better isn’t the same as holding processes hostage for the sake of grinding one’s axe.  And someone asking for what they need shouldn’t be grounds for punishment.

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