WTF Friday. . .

Or the alternate title:

Take Your Passive Aggressive Crap and Shove It Back Up Your Ass

Example One-

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.)

Example Two-

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?


36 thoughts on “WTF Friday. . .

  1. I completely understand why you’d be pissed with the dripping with sarcasm email from your friend. Seriously, grow up.

    However, as direct (sometimes too direct) as I may be now, I was anything but in college. For me, it was experiences like my internships that allowed me to learn how to best communicate in a business setting. How to remove my emotions. Etc. It was these times that allowed me to grow (up).

  2. oh man, i’ve had it up to my armpits with passive aggresiveness. especially in the workplace, i mean, c’mon – how the hell am i supposed to know what you want from me UNLESS you tell me?

    here’s hoping your weekend is great.

  3. she deserves a nice ‘talking’ too and think you’re just the right person… i would so rather deal with someone that is direct and honest any day – just say what’s on your mind… don’t beat around the damn bush!

    hope it goes well – give us an update later! ;o)

  4. nilsa- ok, ok i will try to be gentle with her. for you.

    iamthediva- the weekend will be great- i won’t be at work! 😉

    jodi- update later, you got it.

    little miss mel- thanks friend!

  5. My favorite P.A. story of all time is when my former co-worker (the other HR Rep) who, by the way, sat in the cubicle ACROSS from me, sent me an EMAIL to please ask me to be more quiet on the phone because it was distracting her.
    Grow a pair and just ask me to my face, woman!!!

    Oh, and there was the roommate who would huff and puff and moan and drag the garbage through the apartment instead of just asking me to take it out. So you know what? I never took it out. After all, she didn’t ask. :p

  6. I have found that honesty is very hard for a lot of people which is why they resort to passive aggressive behavior.

    I hope this weekend is passive aggressive and drama free.

  7. I HATE passive-aggressive little condescending shits, too. I’m strictly of the ‘if you can’t talk it out, come out punching’ school. I’m a fourteen year old boy like that.

  8. I prefer direct because I have no patience with people who aren’t. I know I need to work on the patience thing, but really just get to the point!

  9. Unfortunately, 95% of the population is passive/aggressive.

    It’s rare to find someone one can be direct and to the point.

    Here’s to a better day and a great weekend!

  10. Holy crap. Emails like that infuriate me. “Hi, I’m an adult. Please talk to me like one, if you want me to treat you with any respect. Please don’t send me a pathetic snippy email and expect it to make me feel sorry for you. It’s not working.”

    And about the intern? Grow the fuck up. I worked throughout college and was always straightforward when I had an issue. God, young adults are so fucking lazy. I have two colleagues in my office (ages 29 and 30) who do nothing all the goddamn day while I work my ass off (except for right now, as I write this of course… hypocritically…). Why am I mature and they are not?

  11. I totally agree with the friend one: no excuse for that.

    As for the intern… I see your point, but I also get why she didn’t do it. Interns are often seen as “very replaceable,” and even though your actions thus far had proven you weren’t going to get rid of her because she had some issues, she may have still felt uncomfortable about it.

    Plus, I can see her believing that if she told you she had an issue with Jane Doe, you telling her she needed to work that out directly with Jane – which would have only made her more uncomfortable.

    Maybe after you talk to her she’ll realize that coming to you with the situation to begin with would have gotten BOTH of you what you wanted a lot sooner and she’ll in the future be more comfortable dealing with these problems 🙂

    (Which will of course make your life easier too.)

  12. This is a prime example of why I try not to make friends with people involved in what we’ll call “the arts”. Sure it sounds awesome to know someone who paints. dances, sings or is into theater; it sounds awesome until they ask me to go see their opening, or even worse their band (worst of all their improv group…improv = not my friend). While I’m a loyal and dependable friend I’m not supportive at all if it involves going somewhere. I’d sooner just give them the money for the tickets just to stay home.

  13. Is it a full moon? There seems to be so much crap and bad karma floating around this week. TGIF for sure!! If I wasn’t so full of a cold I’d raise a glass to the weekend. Will tea work?

  14. I read/saw something once that tried to define Passive aggressive. They stated something along the lines of, “It is passive aggressive if it DRIVES YOU CRAZY”


  15. I loathe passive aggressive people. My husband (who I do not loathe…just using him as an example since it is the most recent) does this quite a bit, where he never says he is upset, just keeps doing the passive aggressive stuff where I have to seemingly mind read to figure out what is going on. I’d much rather just have someone say what I have done to piss them off than to do that! At least then you can discuss and work things out!

    Speaking of…I had this dream the other night that I left a comment for you and I wrote it sort of in a goofy mood. In my dream you took it wrong and then started writing blog posts about how sucky I am with a few other bloggers. I stumbled onto them and was crushed because I thought we were friends and I thought if I said something that you might take the wrong way, you would question me before jumping to angry. That dream really upset me, which is why I’m sharing and I think it is interesting that you posted about the passive aggressive thing just a day after I had that horrible dream!

    TGIF? Have a great, relaxing weekend!

  16. I HATE passive agressive nonsense! It drives me positively batty. I say rock on with your feisty confrontational self, yo.

    I just recently lost a friend (or so it appears) who decided to ignore me for several weeks before I finally clued into the fact that she was ignoring me. I mean, seriously? How about just TELLING ME you are pissed at me instead of waiting for me to figure it out!!!?

  17. What I can’t figure out is what people get out of it? it just takes so much energy to invest in being passive aggressive. Maybe it’s a control issue – People don’t know how to be honest and ask for what they want so they think this is what will get them attention? Or maybe some people have a natural talent in just simply being an asshole. I don’t know. I just want everyone to GROW THE FUCK UP!!! Ahem. Have a great weekend!!! 😀

  18. If you have something to say, say it. Stop the pussy footing around and grow some.
    Let us know how it goes with the intern at work. She needs to learn now…not later.

  19. UGH! I HATE HATE HATE passive-aggressives! My inlaws and even my own father is PA. Hubby tried to be, until I explained to him I would simply flatten him rather than take up the PA gauntlet. He came around, imagine that.

    I’m direct. I have a problem with you, I will tell you. Not nasty, but I WILL tell you. I expect the same in return and I have so little respect for people who try PA crap to “get back” at me to express their feelings. If I have screwed up, why can’t you respect me enough to say so, so I can try to FIX IT ALREADY! Yeesh. (yeah, I’m witchy today too.)

    That friend doesn’t sound like a friend. That college intern sounds exactly like what I have been seeing at my school. *sigh*

  20. I’m sure I’ve been accused of being one of those people, but I hate it in others. Sorry you’ve had to deal with this. Not a true friend, it sounds like…

    Glad you spoke to the intern.

  21. I hate hate HATE passive-aggression. Probably because I deal with it so much… And the worst part? I can tell I am starting to learn the tricks of the trade and doing it myself, and I HATE that! (This is work-related, I’ve never caught myself doing it outside of that. And when I do catch myself, I stop. Because GAH! Did I mention I HATE it?!?!)

  22. If I ever write a passive aggressive email I want someone to (point it out, because I want to know HOW I did it, to avoid it later, and then) smack me across the forehead. If they aren’t in physical proximity they can yell, via email, “YOU’RE BEING JERK” just like Nicole Kidman does at Will Ferrell in “Bewitched.” I’m good with that.

    (Here’s to hoping next week is better, directly.) : )

  23. As someone struggling to overcome P/A tendencies, I really identified with your intern there. As P/As, we don’t always recognize the difference between confronting an issue and confronting the person with whom we have the issue. It feels like we’re picking a fight, not participating in active problem solving. You’re “one fieiry sassafrass,” so I too, might have felt awkward asking for another favor as a lowly intern.

  24. Good point. Once I got over my frustration with the situation, I gave that some thought and we ended up having a good conversation. Sometimes it is hard to identify with someone’s struggle when it simultaneously triggers you. My Dad was a numero uno P/A and it really sets me off when someone is like that around me. But that’s my stuff and I need to learn to deal with it better. Plus, I wasn’t always a fiery sassafrass. I used to be quite shy! 😉

  25. I think you should stick with the alternate title. Much more appropriate. But only if you are able to follow it up with action… like really shoving something up his ass. Then take pictures of that and send them to him.

  26. I got sucked into something that felt like a middle school dance drama that included passive-aggressive behavior, name calling, all kinds of crap.

    I thought, “I’m so not playing this game! I’m 46 years old and running out of estrogen people, don’t PUSH my buttons!”

  27. Just a thouht here… is is possible Passive Aggressive 1 just made a boo-boo, thought you’d attended, and was sincerely trying to be nice? Maybe you’re on a mailing list, as you say this person likes to do, of friends assumed to go to the show?

    Just a thought…

  28. The other situation escalated and ended badly but we saw that coming, didn’t we?

    Oh, that cracked me up for some reason. I mean, I’m sorry it turned out bad. But I appreciate your use of the first-person plural. It feels very inclusive 🙂

  29. oh yes, i know the passive aggressive type. my husband happens to be this way, naturally. i think it’s because he’s a lawyer. they like to say things without actually saying them, so they can later get out of saying anything altogether, with a line like: what? I didn’t say that! I did NOT say that, you’re putting words in my mouth!

    it’s awesome.

  30. Yeah, my mom is totally passive agressive and it drives me fucking crazy. she would send something just like your friend. Sorry to hear the situation went downhill from there:(

    As for the intern, I remember what it was like being in an adult office environment and it was pretty scary not realizing how direct you could be without worrying that you’d get fired. Sounds like it worked out, though!

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