Almost speaking my mind

Post length: 1,014 words, about 4 and a half minutes.

Following Microsoft’s announcement to cut 5,000 jobs a certain someone has flown into (yet another) panic.  Actually, it was just another thing which has made him get on the phone rather than engaging his own brain.

I finally said this to Dana the other day.  I got a lift back home with a friend early last week and as I was coming back into the house I saw Dana standing looking concerned on the phone.  I commented to my friend that she was probably on the phone to Tim.  She was, and I couldn’t help but overhear a bit of the conversation.

The actual subject matter is unimportant, but she was offering counselling and advice about something.  This seems to be all she ever does — he rings up with a problem and she tells him how to deal with it (or lots of different ideas of how to deal with it, all of which he rejects.  This is a well recognised psychological game, ‘Why don’t you — yes but’).  I don’t know what made me do it that day, but once she got off the phone I said “has he lost the ability to think for himself?”  She didn’t really appreciate that comment, but seemed to let it pass.

Tim’s moved into a new house now he’s back at work near Birmingham and they have a new internet connection which they were trying to get working.  He rang Dana for advice.  All of his questions, inevitably, got passed on to me and I did my best to help.  I spent about an hour trying to give advice on how they could get their router working but for one reason and another it didn’t work.  This would have been fine, and I wouldn’t have minded helping him out if it weren’t for the fact that he rang back about 5 minutes later to say he had rung one of his friends about it who had said it wasn’t going to work and Tim had, apparently, just immediately believed him.  This irritated me a little.  I know something about these things and had wasted my time trying to help but as soon as someone else had told him it wouldn’t work, but without even trying to work it out, he had just taken his word over mine.  Later on in the week, in a continued attempt to be helpful, I set up one of my spare routers so that Dana could take it to Tim’s house and they could just plug it in and it would work.  Once I had set it up I gave it to Dana and said “he just needs to plug the modem into the one which says WAN/Modem”, and she said “Why do you treat him like he’s an idiot?  He’s not stupid.”  I’m afraid that was just the kind of comment I didn’t need.  I told her how I was a little bit pissed off at his behaviour, not just over this but also over other things when he’s just expected people to do things.  She started off defending him, but soon changed to apologising for him.  She said she was aware of it and that’s why she’d told him to offer me money for the work I’ve done for him, but I explained that wasn’t the point – it’s more the fact he assumes people are going to be at his beck and call.

I spoke to my mum a few days later and told her this story.  She told me how someone at her work had recently broken up with his long term partner and how, in the lead up to it, whenever anyone had said anything about her he had jumped to her defence no matter what.  It’s interesting – I think the issue is that an attack on someone’s partner is often seen as an attack on the person themselves.  After all the other person is someone that person has chosen.  In a way you’re attacking their choice.

Funnily enough, last Friday night I got a phone call.  Tim was so very grateful for the router, he even offered to pay for it.  It must be the first time he’s ever gone out of his way to show gratitude like that.  Then, on Sunday night, he rang again.  This time he was apologising for Phil doing some more work on his website – he’d asked me to do various bits and pieces but Phil had done some of the things he’d asked me about (which is fine, I’m happy to do less work for no pay, I’d rather Phil did it!).  It amuses me, though, that Dana had obviously had a go at him.  It wouldn’t surprise me if she had told him to ring me about the router issue, and it’ll probably make a difference for a week or two, but then I have no doubt he’ll fall back into the same old habits.

To be honest I don’t think I said enough when I had a go at her about him.  What I really wanted to say was that what really pisses me off is the way he treats her – I can put up with the way he treats me, I’m pretty thick skinned – but what does annoy me is the way he treats her and the way she doesn’t seem to realise.  I just want her to see what’s going on.  I want her to see how he’s using her, either through intention or just through neediness, and how it isn’t fair to her *sigh*.

Tomorrow we’re all meeting up for a drink.  I always feel slightly on edge when Tim joins us and I never really enjoy it as much (I think I feel I can’t let my guard down), but I’ll do my best to have fun and let you know how it goes.

Posted on Saturday 24th January, 2009 at 3:39 am in People.
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