Wednesday, November 16, 2005

You Are Pissed, So Am I!

Now what is it that annoys me most? Someone dissing me off or dismissing a comment or view and not giving me a reason for it. You know, this happens especially when debating an issue with a colleague, friend, boss or even for that matter a parent. You have said something and you get this brush off like "you are talking rubbish" or "No! I don't accept that" or " You don't know what you are talking about" or "Doesn't work"!....

You then get this funny feeling that the tone used especailly attempts to emphasie a superiority over you. Like as if what you may have to say is subordinate to the stand taken by the other and because of the superiority you are stopped from countering with a retort.

Then of course you have the patronising kind of attitude that you get. Now whats that you might wonder. Wel, you know the kind where the other person offers a support for your position or stand even before you ask for it!...Well, a worse situation arises when he or she behaves offensively condescendingly towards you. Like he or she is trying to so obviously show that they have to "come down" to your "inferior level" to equalise a situation that might be stalking you or what ever.

What ever it is, dismissing, dissing, patronising or condescending are all very subtle ways of making you feel small and in gratitude to the opposition and yet there is a show of feigned friendship disguised to put you in a subordinated place and yet outwardly you are supposed to be equals or there is concensus in the debate. Except that the concensus is more about conceding to his or her position. And you are supposed to be happy about the whole episode.

Hey, I have been there. Except that maybe it is our culture that stops us from recognising what is happening. But we do concede to our leaders, our bosses, our parents, our elders. We do concede to even our equals, but to the other guy or gal who assumes the superior position, it is just because he or she assumes a given position. I used to hate it when this Singaporean "friend" used to try tell me about professional stuff that I had a qualification for whereas he had none and knew nothing of the law that applied to the situation. Despite me telling him, he tells me I was talking nonsense....that is probably because he had so many things stacked in his head against my credentials. I was firstly Malaysian, then I was Indian, then I was only a teacher. Whereas he was Singaporean, A Chinese and he was in the Corporate world. Therefore, anything to do with companies and the corporate world he must surely be right and I wrong. Lost in the argument at that point, my final appeal was, "o.k. don't believe me, contact any of your friends in Singapore who has the requsite qualifications and also doing the appropriate work to confirm your position before you act". He calls me back 20 minutes or so later to apologise.

Of course I am assuming a number of things there. It is not racist or anything, after all we had been friends for almost 40 years at that point. The point is that patronising ways, and dismissing someone's position without being able to articulate a justification has always been a convenient way to come out tops in a conflict situation. Of course if the other party is still not too happy about it, what may result could be violence or in more respectable society a suit.

Another one that has often been used against me, especially whan I am unhappy with the source of the problem or situation is "you are being emotional"! That immediately rubbishees your displeasure, your arguments and your position. Especially in business, they say that decision making should not involve any emotion. Now, what really constitutes emotion anyway? What is worse is we all know that passion gets more done at work than skill and knowledge. Yet, when its trasgressed, there is often an emotional response. And then you get that "emotion" used against you and you feel so dissed! Its a non-winner.

But honesly, I would want to harness emotion, especially at the work place. Its presence simply means that passion is also present. After all you would not be at the job if you did not have skill and knowledge in the first place.

I just cannot understand why for a long time emotion has been seen to be a bad thing in decision making or for that matter in the march forward through life. But now of course we got such stuff as Emotional Quotient and such. Ihave always thought that emotion is a good thing. In problematic situations especialy I have found emotion squeezing out solutions that in the first instance was not apparent.

And then of course you got all those communal situations, like for instance if you belong to a society or NGO or what ever cause it might be, you often hear of some leaders in there talking about loyalty, team spiritedness, supporting one another and so on to move forward an agenda. Personally, I think all these words are such bull shit employed to contain your mind and actions and behaviour. I know that I am not a team player and I don't expect my colleagues to be team players too. But I expect that we all have a common cause and goals that we will aspire to attain

Ah anyway, so much for letting go some of those things that get me pissed off easily...Maybe now that I got it down here, I might get rid of all this that I have inside me .....We'll see...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

After 9 months!

Wow, it has been such a long time since I put in the first post. What ever it is I seem inspired to place a second exactly 9 months later. Why? Hey, the last time I came here there was just a single comment. Now I see a whole lot more as well. And some not exactly complimentary either. Like as if I am going to lose sleep over it. But I guess ABM has inadvertently directed some commentators my way. Thank you buddy! Hope you've now relieved yourself of all that anger!

But I'll have to admit that I am not really committed to maintain this blog on a consistent basis or for that matter frequency is not exactly something I am going to commit to. One day I might say nice things about the weather and the next I might be nasty even if there has not been a change in the weather. So don't expect to predict how I am going to go with any issue or topic or what ever.

I guess most of you visitng here come through some of my postings elsewhere. No I don't really intend to generate any kind of interest in my point of view on my blog where I can rant and rave. I guess a more apt description would be ramble. But you see, I don't really trust myself to hold to any point of view for two long because I am the first to admit that no one really stands on firm foundations for long. My favourite explanation for this is "the pyramid has 4 sides. Which ever side you stand you see a completely different view. The further up you go the more of the horizon that you see. Your perspective changes on every step up. And when you finally reach the top you get a 360 degree view on a single turn. "

Life is like going up a pyramid. The higher up you go the greater your perspective and lesser is your concern for anything within arms length. Like if you were to stare close up into the mouth of a kitten it could really be scarry. Move away and its the most cute little kitten. (Still don't know how to put pictures here, to impact you with what I just said, so you got to bear with the rambling.) Responses are different and can be different depending on how near or how far you are standing from the point of reference. This is why, I suppose I tend usually to agree with most points of views as seen from the posters view. After all that is all that he sees and he is telling you as he sees it.

However, sometimes when we know better, it is how we deal with what we know to be a wrong view that may define us. What I hate most is responses that are dismissive. You know the kind when your boss or a colleague tells you what you've done or just said is rubbish and disses you for that? You are left with absolutely no room for defending yourself and that other chap stands ahead of you and scores one more against you. One of those times when a colleague did that to me I turned around and asked him, what special qualifications or experience or knowledge that he had that he could be dismissive of what I had just said. And then I told him I would accept his dismissal of what I had just said if he could explain himself and justify his position. He was stumpped. I pushed him despite trying to withdraw the earlier dismissal. Well, that was the last time he ever got the better of me by dissing me or what is worse is dismissing what I say.

I think everything that anyone says has validity within the context within which it is said. However, inappropriate it might be so long as it is within the context of a certain attitude or a certain disposition or a certain position that person has taken. Context in this case has also got to take into account the audience and not just the speaker or the writer. We all laugh most of the time listening to Bart Simpson. We know him. We know the context and we put ourselves into his audience and really it somehow seems all o.k. to listen to all his political incorrectness. Yet, when, lets say, I were to say it or write about it, walla, you can choose to take a certain position and view what I said in the most damning way and make a mountain out of a molehill.

So you see, it is not just the writer or the speaker. It can also be you, the reader or the listener. You could choose to ignore it. Or you could choose to look at it as something inappropriate said against you. Really, how you respond is a matter of how you choose to look at it. A lot of what happened over the petertan and xiaxue blogattle (battle of the blogs) was nothing but just that. A matter of chosing to look at it in a negative way and to allow that view to direct your actions.

If only one was to stop and look for a bit even if the posting had been offensive, the options open to the kind of response that would be appropriate would have been manifold. The nature of response in a way suggests what drives the respondant. Obviously there was hate and anger when this was not called for. Furthermore, Xiaxue has always been one whose views you could read and laugh at and be entertained or you could just dismiss as no more than a ranting as that is all that it appears for you to do. I would not totally dismiss Xiaxue as she provides a window to the mind of a 21 year old brat. And I would rather know what to expect long before my kids come of that age so that I shall never be too old for them.

As for Abettermalaysia, he was indeed disappointing. He has gone off the radar now. Some questions I asked have till now gone unanswered. Like why it is only what allegedly happened to him was so dastardly. He did not seem to care that he did not even know of the multitude of abuses that others have undergone. I guess he expected sympathy. But I also know that not many would stand by him all the way through the battle he was preparing himslef for. It is no point relying on all those cheering him on. I know for sure how good that is. And of course he had to also deffer to his parents and what was supposed to be good for him.

It was not like as if I was laughing at him. I guess I was pushing him to see what he was up against and if indeed he had the stomach for the road ahead. And of course as he seemed to be going ahead, it was only appropriate to show some cautious support. I guess that was wrong on my part. I should have stuck with my original stand requiring him to show that he knew of all the abuses that had preceded his and to show his own sympathy. anyway, tha tis all water under the bridge as one would say...there seems like Abettermalaysia is now no more anyway.

Hooray....I actually think I have got something there after 9 months....Maybe would have been better to let things go ah!