Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Out and Back

I was in a meeting at work when I lost my temper.

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows this: I rarely lose my temper. I occasionally get riled up, but a full on loss of temper is exceptionally rare. Here's why: when I get angry?

I scare myself. And everyone around me. And people in neighboring counties. As a result? I am careful not to lose my temper.


Dude, it happens.

So there I was. In a conference room. In a meeting. When something happened that I found unacceptable and I ... Well... Lost my shit.

Half of my brain envisioned ripping someone's face off with my fingernails and then feeding it to them (and yes, I know that's gross. And also: did I mention that I have a terrible temper?!).

The other half of my brain was somehow able to grasp that we would hate jail time and forced me to start to cry.

A word about crying in the workplace, if I may. Generally? It's a bad idea. Woooo bad. However, it is a much better idea than physically (or verbally) shredding someone to pieces, especially if that someone is senior to you. To be honest, I'd much rather be thought of as "the girl who cried that one time" than "that girl who went Samurai Samantha and went bowling with the heads of her enemies."

Because, duh.

So I started to cry and then I just got up and walked out of the meeting, leaving my pen, notes, and Diet Coke in there. I walked through the bullpen and into the bathroom, where I locked myself in a stall and cursed. I cursed the coworker who made me so flipping angry, circumstances, tear ducts, overtiredness, tempers, the Patriots losing to the Panthers, a sexist, misogynistic society, manufacturers of uncomfortable shoes, singers of shitty but catchy songs, full moons, Guy Fieri's voice in radio commercials, that annoying chick at Subway who's always a bitch, my bank account, the guy who doesn't empty my trash can at work, people who cut me off in traffic, and Jiffy Lube (which is a story for another day). In short, my temper went GLOBAL, y'all, and there in the bathroom stall I got it all out.

It took... Six minutes.

Here's the other thing about my temper: it passes quickly and then I'm done. Which can be super awkward if there's been some sort of verbal, er, massacre? Because then I'm all "lalala moooving onnnn" and my... Victims?... Are all "You yanked off my arms and beat me with them so now I hate you."


I checked my face (word to the waterproof mascara), and then walked back through the bullpen.

Let me tell you this: if it's awkward and terrible walking out of the middle of a meeting?

Walking back in? Like nothing happened?

Waaaaaaay worse.

But I had to. I had to prove to myself that I could. I had to prove to the person who made me so angry that I could do my job, even though he was ... Ummm... capable of poor word choices, imagery, and "advice." I had to prove to my boss that I could get my head right back in the game.

Plus, my Diet Coke was in there.

So I did. I waltzed back in, sat down, and rejoined the conversation as though I'd never left. 

The women (there were three) all gave me looks like, "Sister, you are a rock star."

The men (two) did this: one (not the one who made me mad) looked at me like, "we can fix this, don't worry." The other one looked at me like, "I have no idea what you'll do next and I am slightly alarmed."

I'm not proud of losing my temper. I'm not proud of crying.

But I am as proud as hell that I walked back into that room, because I belong there. 

And, you know, because I love Diet Coke.

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