A couple of recent business projects/jobs have required enough time that I decided (happily) to forego the morning meetings for a few days. A few small, new ones rolled in, so it was back to business. Not long ago, we had a typical intense, time-sink ‘discussion’ (aka argument… aka a ‘fight’) on a change I wanted on the sheet for outstanding invoices. In this business, some projects don’t become 100% billable until they’re either through plan check, and for some it’s not until construction is completed. On the current sheet, he had a column marked Amount Owing, and even though it actually wasn’t paid 100% yet, he was leaving it at $0.00, because it was one of the jobs that needed to complete its journey through plan check or literally be finished in construction. I asked him to change that.
He stared, balked, and argued that it wasn’t ‘owed’ until it was through plan check or construction was finished. I get it, I understand that, and I explained that. Repeatedly. I said I still wanted one sheet that showed every project that had an outstanding balance remaining no matter when it was due. It went on and on ridiculously. My insanity meter started to exceed the safety zone, and at some point, I’d reached the crazed eyes and head exploding point. Finally, after responding to his semantics for the jillioneth time, he said he understood what I wanted, and would change it. He said he understood, and that he’d change it…
This morning he handed me an expanded invoice sheet, and had added in about twenty more entries, mostly jobs that have a probable possibility of needing upcoming extra services or corrections, which belong in an entirely different category for Potential Work, but NO CHANGE to show the outstanding amounts owed.
Gack!!! I initially kept my voice calm, but as soon as I began to hear his responses to my questions, as soon as I heard his tone, and saw the look in his eyes, I realized I’d entered The Insanity Zone. That’s when it happened. I just by-stepped the first part of the ladder and jumped to the Beeyotch Zone. No wonder they call passive aggressive men The B*tchmakers! I couldn’t stand to listen to the convoluted, slippery, selective information, accusations, sabotaging rationalizations, gaslighting, and freaking idiotic excuses again!
Brain –> asploded!
I cussed. I said sh*t twice, and d*mn once. In front of my daughter, no less. And of course now I feel like a sh*t for doing that.
I’m hanging this inglorious underwear out there, just in case there is some other poor soul who has experienced this temporary insanity and wondered not only Who am I?? but What happened?? Just so you know, you’re not alone.
Now he’s getting sarcastic, loud, and nasty. Buttons pushed. Passive aggressive mission accomplished. So there I am, saying Stop it, stop it now! And he’s winding up like a rattlesnake feeling vindicated to hiss, rattle, and bite in all his puffery indignation.
He seethed “I feel like resigning!”
I responded “Would you please?”
I finally come out of the reactive anger coma, and come back from it almost as quickly as I entered it. This is crazy. I don’t want to do it, so I by-stepped again, and said “I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s too much. I’d rather be poor and live in an apartment, and save my life. “
And I meant it. I mean it.
He came down from his usually drawn out dynamics so fast that my head spun again.
He was sorry.
He’d change it.
He loved me.
He didn’t want to give up.
He asked me not to give up.
Someone just shoot me now.