Thursday, February 2, 2012

The key to surviving relationships

Today, a rant. I was ticked off at a color separation shop owner yesterday. I got her text at 11:23 am asking me to re-send a file for negative outputs. She said the graphic image was truncated. My first thought on the "supposed" file problem was that it wasn't downloaded properly. I held back texting her with this initial assessment until I myself have double-checked what I sent.

Even though I was on my way out to attend a meeting at 1 pm, I had to go back inside the house, sit in front of my computer, boot it, log on to the internet and my email, download the file attachment and open the downloaded file. The image was whole, no cuts, not even a nick, no nothing, no problem. The file was okay. So, I forwarded her the same email with the same attachment and texted that I downloaded and rechecked the file and found nothing wrong with it and to please completely download the 33.3mb size.

She replied with, “Okay, I’ll try again.” Well and fine for me. I wasn’t even halfway out of our street, a lapse of about 2 minutes, when she texted back, “Is it possible for us to meet halfway and handing me a cd with the file. It’s taking long to download.” What the heck? So I answered back, “I’m out. I’ll be in a meeting the whole afternoon. I was able to download the file in 5 minutes and I’m not even using a high speed broadband connection. Can’t you do anything about it? I’m sure there are internet shops near you.” And then, she called. I rejected the call at once and texted, “I’m out.” And that was the start of my Tourette’s episode yesterday.

Of course, I did not spew curses and expletives at her. What I texted her was, “The situation will only be MY problem if the file is broken. IT IS NOT. Your internet connection is the problem. That’s YOUR problem, not mine. Find a way to download the file and solve your problem. It’s your work and business, not mine. “

To vent my anger, I exchanged texts with a friend who owns a printing press and also knows the person. This is the Tourette’s version, “Leche! Bwisit! Punyeta siya! Problema ko lang yan kung hindi maayos ang file. Nag-double check na nga ako para sa kanya kahit male-late na ako sa meeting tapos may gana pa magtext na mabagal downloading niya at kung pwede magmeet half way. Tanga sya? Leche! Gawan nya ng paraan na ma-download nya, no! Bwisit! Pasensya ka na ha at napaglabasan kita ng inis ko. Wala lang talaga akong pasensya sa mga tao na nagpapasa ng problema nila sa iba. Kung problema nya yung internet connection nya, bakit nya ipapasa sa maayos na file at sa akin? Problema ko ba yun? Trabaho nya yun ah! Negosyo ba talaga hanap niya?”

This is how civilized people go about it. We never confront other people, who are not our family, friends or lovers, with unrestrained emotion and outside the confines of logic. It is not right. We do it behind them. That was how we were taught, which makes sense because it keeps us from being at each other’s throats.

In the end, she was able to download the file properly by whatever means it took her, it does not really matter and I do not really care as long as she did it. Good for her. And the brilliance of this socially constructed formula in resolving interpersonal issues is that there were no cuts or nicks in our relationship at the end of the day.

I think the way to handle relationships in life is such. When an error is made between you and another person, whether significant to you or not, you find the cause and resolve the problem. Behind them, you rant and vent just to keep anger at bay. Then you face them squarely and you reason with them, you compromise with them, and then, if the odds are really against you, you compromise more.