On Anger Management

I have a problem with anger management.

No, it’s not what you think. I don’t have a problem controlling my anger— it is actually the opposite. I rarely get angry, and when I do, I’m having trouble expressing it.

For instance, last night, I realized that I don’t have clothes.

Well, to be more specific, I ran out of clean clothes.

My clothes were delivered to the laundromat last Saturday and it was supposed to be ready for pick-up last Monday. I didn’t get to pick it up because the boyfriend and I went out on a date, so we just dropped by last night to get the said newly washed clothes.

Imagine our surprise when it turned out that they haven’t started with my clothes yet.

Yes, that’s right. One of the staff told us to just get the laundry the next day as they haven’t washed it yet. Four days have passed and no one bothered to wash my clothes.

A flurry of excuses was made:

They were undermanned.

There was a huge volume of clothes to wash.

They didn’t have our numbers so they weren’t able to inform us about the delay.

So on and so forth.

My boyfriend heard the discussion and went inside to confront the staff. He demanded them to explain what occurred. Another bunch of excuses were said, but none of his questions were answered.

I told him, let’s just leave. We won’t be able to do anything about it anyway. No matter how much we interrogate them, it doesn’t change the fact that my clothes are still unwashed. Even if he berates the woman until midnight, I still won’t have office clothes for the next day.

He refused. I walked out. Not in the dramatic sense though. I just couldn’t stand hearing someone shouting at another person. Regardless who was at fault, I really can’t handle witnessing conflict.

Perhaps working in a customer-centric environment enables me to empathize with these employees that are always the receiving end of complaints, insults, obscenities. There are limits for my empathy though. If it was really your fault, or you’re exhibiting such a brazen attitude, then I won’t feel any pity towards you.

Despite this, however, I still cannot force myself to shout at another person. It is against my nature to be mean to someone I barely know. Or someone, just someone. Period. Besides, I don’t think it will solve the problem. Especially if it’s an establishment that does not dwell too much in customer service. Most likely, they would just say sorry, then shrug it off. You won’t even know if they actually did something to punish the wrongdoer or enhance their service.

I received a sermon from my boyfriend. He chastised me for being so passive. I should not let anyone get away from something like that, he said. I should learn to stand up for myself.

Deep inside, I asked myself… Am I wrong for letting it slip away?

For one, like I said earlier, even if I’m capable of harassing that woman from the laundromat, it still wouldn’t change the fact that my clothes remain unwashed. For all I know, they might even tear my clothes into pieces if I bitched out on them. I try to avoid unnecessary stress because, well, it is unnecessary.

It’s not that I’m passive. I, too, have occasional bouts of passive-aggressiveness caused by mundane things. I just think that there’s no point in being angry right away. There’s nothing you can’t get with proper negotiation and showing respect that is due to any human being. If the other person steps out of line, then that’s the time that you can go Incredible Hulk on him/her.

I guess I’m just a little different, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

(Ohmigod, I can’t believe a case of missed laundry led to such a long reflection about my personality!)

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