Monday, Jan. 31, 2005 - 10:36 p.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.
Do not argue with angry black girls
Go back one to get to the issue of Educational Secretary Spelling and telling her what you think about axing PBS's "Postcards from Buster" cartoon.
Well, I am absolutely not good at making myself respected I tell you.
So, I went to talk to the upstairs tenant about the nasty note she wrote at the bottom of the note I wrote.
Dang, she must've been raised in my father's family. She knows all the tricks. When someone starts to say something, attack them for their manner. If they are angry, and try to say why, cut them off with "Don't come here angry at me". When someone says something, cut them off by repeating it loudly. "If we could have some communication.." "communication! let me tell you about communication, maybe if you would learn to blah blahb labhblaalkbld" ... "Ok, if we could have some communication.." "COMMUNICATION, this is the fifth time you start in on communication!!" (um, yeah, if I could finish a sentence...)
When someone says "I didn't like what you wrote" say that is their problem, you have the right to write whatever you please. When someone says "how would you like it if I wrote nasty notes to all the tenants everytime they lost something or wanted something" say "go ahead, that's your problem." If someone says "I don't appreciate you writing with this attitude", reply that they can't tell you what to say, and next time you'll get down on your knees and beg them what is the right thing to say.
And yes, she was angry... apparently because she was so nice to think in advance and since she'd known she'd be out of town on the start of the month, she didn't want to be late with her rent, so she made me two checks instead of one on Dec 1, and I went and lost it, AND accused her of not giving me a check. Well, sorry, I get all the checks I have and then I contact the people who are missing one. People give me checks three days late, or they give me two or three months at a time cuz LAST time they were late, then after four months still think they don't need to make a check etc.
I think I need to make a system where they get a receipt for their check. If they don't get a receipt, they can assume that I didn't get the check. If at least they were in the mail, I'd get it with the mail. But they can shove them into my mailbox which is full of flyers, or flyers get shoved in with them... Often in an unidentified envelope. Sigh.
Anyways, it turns out (and this is why I was trying to say something about Communication, which she kept cutting me off about and not letting me finish... I swear, even when I DID say what I had to say she thought I was saying *I* would do something, not asking her to do it. Yay for lack of communication. Sometimes when someone comes to your house and they are angry, just shutting your trap to listen to what they have to say might be a good way to start communication)... it turns out that what REALLY made her angry, was though I had called her and said I couldn't find the check... she replied "look for it" and I said "I haven't got the time"... I wrote her a note and placed it in front of the door.
The note said I believed her she had given the check but I had looked for hours and couldnt find it so I would be extremely appreciative if she would make me another one. And very very sorry for the mixup. I wrote it at 6 am after I'd stopped looking. And put it in front of her doorstep so if she were out or in she'd find it immediately in the morning, vs putting it in the mailbox where she wouldn't look for it until at least the evening when she came home.
Apparently when she left in the morning, a woman taking care of the apartment across the way was reading the note (which was folded and clearly said "to mary" (no that's not her name). And that that woman didn't need to know her business and that she was really really angry that despite having phoned her I left a note in front of the door.
That's what I mean by communication. Does not speaking to me (she says now she didn't speak to me, not you're welcome or "i want to speak with you later" or anything... just a scathing glare, when I said thankyou very much, is because she was in a rush. ummhuhmm) help me know she was angry about another woman reading the note?
Anyways it was a bit weird... she was like "I don't care what time of day it is, you talk with me directly, you phone me even if it is 4am or you come to my door, you don't leave notes. We talk things one on one."... uh yeah. It is BAD of me to leave a note, but GOOD of me as a landlord to ring tenants at 4am or knock on their door at 6am. I am expecting to get a happier tenant that way???
Does writing "It really PISSES me off that you lost the check, Find it and I don't care HOW LONG IT TAKES YOU" make me understand she is pissed off I wrote her a note that wasn't in an envelope?
Let's see. If you are pissed about one thing, telling them to search til eternity for something else is not going to change anything, nor correct the situation in the future. HIlarious. The way she dealt with it ... and she says she just scribbled down the first things that came to her mind, which was that she was pissed off... I could forever keep leaving messages on her front door. Yay.
So, I said, really, if you had even written down "please never again leave me a note in front of my door, someone else can read it", I might have learned something and understood. In the future I will always write notes and put them in the mailbox in an envelope"... Does she say thankyou? OR oh yeah, I guess that would have helped communication. No, she is all "oh right, I have to write what YOU want me to write. Well, I'm not you. You can be nice if you want but i am not nice. When I am pissed off I write that I am pissed off. I will write what I want. You are not my mother. You can't tell me what to do. And I was nice to you and made you a check in advance then a second check."
And yeah, then you glared, stopped talking to me, and wrote me a nasty note that ordered me around but didn't in any way communicate what actually made you angriest.
so, no I didn't get anywhere with saying I don't accept as her landlord that she not write bitch notes to me "this is me that is you". I said "well I dont' see that writing the first angry thing that pops into your mind helps human relations". Her response "that's right, you have great human relations and all mine are bad, that's right".
See, must've grown up in my Dad's family. Do you think it would be possible to concede ANTHING ANYWHERE?
So great. I know there are people in the world who can make themselves clear, that wouldn't accept someone having that attitude and writing notes like that, who could walk away from something like that feeling that they'd been heard, come to an agreement and felt respected. I certainly did not. I apologized for losing the check, I said I am sorry it made her angry about the letter (which after all said I couldn't find the check... so it's not like it even makes HER look bad), and that in the future I would leave messages in a sealed envelope.. which is my concession part. Basically her concession part was to say that if she wasn't nice she wouldve said "fuck you, you got the Jan 1 check in December, it's not my responsibility if you lost it. I was nice enough to write you another one. I will write or say whatever I damn well please when I'm angry".
I am no match for attitude.
... and yes I titled it "do not argue with angry black girls". Believe me. At least the ones I know. Between the attitude and previous training, they will squash you verbally and energetically every time. That is my take (though maybe it is racist to say?) as a liberal white girl, even one with a mouth.
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily