02 September 2017

Not underground - voluntarily

I like going underground! And I like the people I tend to go underground with. But I don't like being shouted at. And unfortunately, I do get shouted at underground. A lot. And it's always David. And as long as he refrains from shouting I am quite fond of him. But he shouted at me at the beginning, and he shouts at me still. I am sure it has got more frequent; maybe he's stressed about his job? The more he shouts at me the more it hurts. It's like being punched in the same place again and again. The first one doesn't hurt too much, but it gets worse and worse. I tend to leave the shouting out of my trip reports but sometimes I include it, like here and here. And I haven't manage to do anything about it in general. There was one trip in which I addressed him after the shouting and said he hadn't made things better by his behaviour and that helped. But I had also twice addressed a particular kind of shouting (the kind in which he talks to me in acoustically unsuitable conditions, upon which I can't hear what he says, and he then gets angry with me for not responding to what he says as he had intended), and offered a suggestion as to how that could be avoided, and never got much more than an angry shrug in return. How to deal with this? It's scary to let your guard down and tell someone they cause you pain, if you know there is a 50/50 chance they'll only make it worse. But don't let your guard down and you're not getting anywhere.

One evening David sent out an email. Was anyone interested in a trip the next day? I mailed I was, but that I would have dinner with Jaco and Marjan at six so would have to be home by then. That didn't leave much time. David suggested a trip starting about an hour away, meeting there at 1PM. I figured I would have to leave at 4.30; by that time the trip would only have got started. I mailed I then wouldn't come. He then reacted a bit peeved; he figured 3.5 hours would be well long enough. But if I had any better ideas I should offer them. I found that rather aggressive but one knows me; I prefer to avoid confrontation. I suggested noon. No answer came. Then it was bedtime.

The next morning there still was no mail, so I emailed again, checking what the situation was. Noon or 1PM? He said nobody had responded to that suggestion so he considered it off. Eh, OK. That's me out, again, then. But then Don suddenly started mailing; he wanted a trip and he wanted is ASAP. Eh, OK, again. I figured that if David now still wanted me for this trip he had to ask; I would not volunteer. But he did mail. I agreed. But then when I had just packed my bag, I got another message. David mailed his patience was stretched so he didn't want to share cars. David with self-confessed diminished patience! And only Don to dilute his company! I bailed out there and then.

I spent the day studying for my Casualty Care exam instead. Not so spectacular but at least peaceful! And I knew I would go and see David the next day to see what the damage was.

When I came in he smiled like normal. It wasn't normal. I have never before bailed on an underground trip specifically to avoid him. We bickered a bit about who had said what and how, but then the phone rang. He had to answer. I left.

Later that day I came back, with a cheesecake offering of peace. He accepted it. I said in the meantime I had looked at his mails again and maybe they weren't as aggressive as they had seemed. But that still didn't solve the shouting issue! And I know he is barely aware of it; there was a period in which I really hoped that week would be the week he wouldn't shout at me. And it never was. Until one Thursday it was. Having something to do with me going off towards the entrance early, and being away from his company for well over an hour, but still. In the car on the way back I thanked him for it, but he was all puzzled. Him, shouting? He didn't know what I was talking about. And if you don't know you are doing it you're not going to stop! So now we have agreed that next time he shouts at me I tell him he's shouting at me. And then I hope it will stop. Stay tuned! I hope it works...

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