Or the alternate title:
Take Your Passive Aggressive Crap and Shove It Back Up Your Ass
I recently received an email entitled “Thank you.” (the period was his choice) with the following message:
Well I just wanted to send you a brief “thank you” for being such a wonderful friend. The photos will be coming down soon and I sincerely appreciate you and your support. It’s great to know I have a friend that cares so much.
Oh holy hell you did not just talk to me like that, did you!? This was not the first email of this kind I had received from him but the others I let slide. My response to this was:
I don’t understand why you continue to talk to me like this- condescending and passive aggressive. You have no idea what is going on in my life and it feels really hurtful when you talk to me this way. I had every intention of coming by to see your art and seeing as how the month is NOT YET OVER, this email and your tone is particularly uncalled for. I don’t appreciate it and it certainly doesn’t inspire me to run on over to see it. What the fuck with your attitude?
Of course, as passive aggressives are wont to do, he has not replied back to me. Oh no! That would require maturity and directness. There is no quicker way to make me furious than to be passive aggressive. Also? He still sends me group forwards. Why!? Because he is passive aggressive. If he was really so pissed, so done, so utterly disappointed in me, he’d stop all contact with me. Stop sending me stupid forwards! (Seriously, I shit you not, as I was typing this post he sent me another forward.)
In an effort to keep this story succinct here are the facts:
There is an intern volunteering 20 hours with us for school credit. We set up her schedule in 5 different programs within the agency. A few weeks into it, she needed to change every placement from afternoon shifts to morning shifts. I accommodated (somewhat begrudgingly but that’s only internally or when I vent to friends).
The other day she comes to me and says she would like to help out on two days rather than one day in a certain program thus leaving one of her placements in a lurch for coverage. I tell her, ok but you need to work that out with your current supervisors. She gives me a look- one where she stares up at the ceiling and off to the side which I took for an eye roll but apparently was more of “I will not cry” attempt- and then wanders off. Later I see her and I get a similar look. She is in college. She should grow up and deal with problems in her life. This does not bode well for the future of America.
Later I discover that she is in fact miserable in one placement and that is why she tried to switch. Did she tell me this? No. Did she in any way indicate that she was unhappy? Maybe if I read her body language and prodded her with prying questions. This is what annoys me. If you have a problem I cannot help you unless you tell me. I will not read your mind. I will not play twenty questions. I will not. So today I get the distinct pleasure of tracking her down and having a “talk” with her.
I know not everyone is comfortable with being direct but as a person who is and who prefers the direct approach and upfront honesty, this kind of crap really irritates me. What the fuck with passive aggressiveness?!
(Pardon me. I’ve been very feisty all week.)
**The intern and I had a little chat. She took it well and apologized for not telling me directly how she felt. She’s a newbie. She’s still learning. We’ll cut her some slack. I made her high five me when we were done.
**The other situation escalated and ended badly but we saw that coming, didn’t we?