Yesterday was okay. An okay day can include a degree of frustration or draining interaction, and still make it into the okay category for me. Yesterday, it was work related. Every morning, I spend time in a meeting with my husband, working as a project manager. I’d almost rather go to the dentist than to the meetings. They can get heated, but the important thing is that they make a difference. I became involved because his work issues were creating dire financial issues. Slowly, we crawl up from the pit we were in when I decided that my involvement was a matter of survival.
He objects reasonably to any waste of time in the meetings. I object even more, and call these time sinks and energy drains. If I repeat something, or ask a question about what I just said, he’s likely to roll his eyes and use other body language, and condescending tones as he rolls in a criticism about my wasting time. At this point, I have to pull out the notes and present objective evidence of incidents and patterns, and logically show him WHY I repeat something or ask him about what I just said. His response is that yes, yes there are reasons, but that I’m wasting time to go over it.
Shake my head and drool.
I stand my ground and point out this this is crazy making. I’ve gotten pretty damn tough about this in my older age. (Pardon my French.) (Pardon me if you are French.) There are some areas that I just feel zero tolerance anymore. Zero.
Friday’s meeting included my asking for two small changes in the planning sheets that he updates for the meetings. There are some jobs that are basically fixed fees; in other words, there was a proposal based on estimated hours to complete it, and the client is given a set fee for that contract. Once in awhile, a job is immediately established as one that evolves, and a client agrees to pay whatever is required based upon the hours it takes to complete. I requested two things. First, that he’d stop leaving budgeted hours required blank and just plug in his best guess for hours Second, that he’d mark the estimated fee with something like an asterisk.
First he gave that look, the one where the passive aggressive stares either at your eyebrow or some unknown focal point. Then he went on and on, apparently confused about making ballpark estimates. He was getting angry, and I was astounded at how ridiculous his struggle was to just.please.do.it. At the point of raised voices, he said something about not seeing eye to eye and agreeing. That’s really the crux of it, isn’t it?
In the past, we’ve literally been in a car, he was driving, and as I’ve realized that I needed to stop at a certain place, I’ve said “Oh! Would you please turn right at this intersection ahead?”
Do you think he EVER did or would?
Oh no. The staring, puzzled look at nothing kicks in as he drives through the intersection, pondering the meaning of life and my request. By now, what would have been a quick, simple stop has grown into something requiring back-tracking and extra time. He wants to know whyyyyy I wanted him to turn. Wheeerrreeee did I want to go? Whhhaaaattt is my reason?
You know at this point I just want to scream fuggedaboutit.
Back to the meeting. I’ve asked him to turn right at the intersection because I’ve asked for ballpark estimates and to mark a certain category with an asterisk. He’s ranted about all the time it would take for him to do that.
I told him that project management is inefficient without that estimate. I reached forward, and in one second, I held down shift and hit the asterisk on my keyboard. I said “That takes a mere second. If you can’t see what’s wrong with all the time we’ve taken to address your issues with my requests, I don’t know how to explain it to you.”
From there we moved on with our respective days, and even pleasantly managed a trip that required an hour and a half drive each way to run errands together.
That is an okay day.