Ho Fookin’ Ho

Captain’s Log   5,944

I will admit it.  The winter holidays are NOT my favorite time of the year.  I find the demands of the museum (which are huge because of tourism) and personal obligations combine to bring me to the point of great angst at times.  I don’t think people understand that my work actually escalates during this season, and stress levels go sky high.  It’s not like regular jobs where people goof off most of the month.  I’m sure the same is true for people who work in hospitals.  The season of good cheer becomes an emotional and physical burden.

I should complain.  No, I should stop complaining.  I am grateful to have so many people who love me, but I never feel I do them any justice during this time of year because I spread myself way too thin.  Go here.  Go there.  Supply the gifts for this event.  Organize that event.  I cannot imagine how people with children cope.  But trust me, there are times I would gladly trade what I deal with for a house full of kids.

I got edgy yesterday.  I have a volatile staff person who was out of control and refusing to listen to me.  The issue was completely insignificant, but this staff member decided to start a world war with someone else who works for the museum.  It’s not the first time.  These two can battle over the slightest matters.

The more I tried to make my point to calm down and be reasonable, the more things escalated.  I finally had to resort to banging the table with great force to get the nonsense to stop.  I hit it with enough impact to knock the phone out of its cradle.  The shouting continued until I pulled rank and reminded this person about who is the boss – who signs the paychecks – who gets to make the rules around here – who has the last say in all matters.  I became the ogre boss.  Big time.  Angry angry ogre boss who was not about to let this person continue to abuse other people.  

Hindsight is 20/20.  I should have sent this person home for the day without pay.   Maybe a little public humiliation would have been a good thing.  My anger got in the way of good sense.  This incident was the icing on the cake for me.  I have tried everything to work the gentle side with this employee, and it is an exercise in frustration.  The big problem is the over-talking.  This person refuses to just shut up and let someone else talk until they are finished talking.  The person finds one statement or word and literally explodes while the other person is trying to make a point or explain something.  Attack attack attack.

My gentle approaches in the past have failed.  My angry approach yesterday brought tears and sadness.  I will admit I was glad to see those tears.  Is it awful of me to be glad I made someone cry?  

I think my next approach with this staffer bee will require attendance in a peaceful communication workshop.   It will be a requirement for keeping that job.  I am sick of the path of destruction caused when this person is upset.  Truly sick of it.  I am sick to death of trying to work around someone who says, “This is how I communicate” when that communication is so destructive to other people.  Especially now during the stressful holiday times.

I decorated last night.  That usually means one string of lights hung somewhere.  I treated myself to new lights at Home Depot this year.  $2.50 for so much holiday cheer.


Ho ho ho.  Ho ho ho.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

10 responses to “Ho Fookin’ Ho

  1. I hope that the rest of your holiday season is substantially less stressful.

  2. Joanie

    It’s funny how a time that’s supposed to be full of peace, love, thankfulness and joy has come to this point for a lot of us. We’ve all been there….someone says, “Oh before long Christmas will be here!!” and our response is “Oh, no!! Don’t even say that!” because it immediately stresses us out to even THINK about it. What FUN it was to be a kid and only look forward to the the Holidays!

  3. Patty O'

    Re: the Peaceful Communications Workshop – Make sure the staffer clearly understand that this is a LAST CHANCE. Most important! Also, I do appreciate and understand your feelings about the stresses of the season. Why and how? Simple: Retired Retailer, Gift Shop, Madness, Exhaustion. The tales are too long to tell. BUT…I loved the season because of the laughter, the beauty of my shop, the wonderful and unusual merchandise, and the happy customers walking out with all those gorgeous boxes with the big red bows an d big smiles. I stil love it; now I just don’t have to do all the WORK!

  4. Some people don’t understand why I don’t like the holiday season. I hate to see people trying to make up in two weeks what they should have been doing all year — and didn’t.

    I try to grit my teeth between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And you may forget I exist until next year. It’s only six weeks. It’s only six weeks. It’s only six weeks…

  5. Oh I know just what you mean. Being in the insurance claims field during the holidays was the worst. People who wanted their cars repaired and the body shops were overbooked and couldn’t get parts or the construction guys were trying to work around the winter weather was the worst. The clients were overwhelmed with planning for holiday meals and visitors and just wanted their lives to go back to normal. And we adjusters had to be nice and sympathetic and try to “fix it” all the time. The only good thing was being off on the holiday and possibly having vacation time left to take during the last crush of the year.
    I’m sorry you lost your temper and had to resort to becoming the BOSS. But, you know that some people just won’t shut up and listen to another. Some day you won’t have to deal with this any longer. Maybe then you will be able to enjoy the holidays yourself.

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