I SAID, I'm NOT angry!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

As you know, I work for a large healthcare institution here in Cleveland and I manage a staff of 24. Two-thirds of them work in direct patient care and the rest are administrative support staff. The group is comprised of a variety of races, ethnicities and ages. Initially, what attracted me to the department was the longevity of most of the employees;a rarity in this day and age.

Like a family, the more time you spend together, the more you develop your own dynamic. I would like to say that we run like a well-oiled machine and most of the time, we do a pretty good job. However, like any family, ours can be a little, well, dysfunctional at times.

There are days when I feel like I spend more of my time telling people to play nice in the sandbox than manage them.

So when I saw a listing for an Anger Management workshop, I called the counselor who was presenting it and asked him if it was directed toward people with anger management problems or if I would benefit from having to deal with people who have anger management issues.

"Well, no one's ever really asked me that before but I supppose you would glean some helpful information about interacting with people who have anger issues."

"Great, sign me up!"

Since the class was on the other side of the campus, I made sure to allow myself time to get lost as I often do. You would think that after 3 years, I would have a pretty good idea of the lay of the land.

Not so.

Whenever I see people holding a piece of paper and staring up at the directional signs around the institution, it takes everything in me to not turn around and head in the other direction.

Inevitably, they'll ask me where a department is that I've never even heard of and I look like an idiot.

"Um, I think there's a visitor's desk at the end of this hallway. They can help you out."

As I'm walking away, I'm thinking to myself, "Or was it that hallway?"

This time I got to the class right on time and was ushered into a small conference room with a table that seated six people. I introduced myself to the facilitator, took a seat and started to review the materials in front of me. The class was to start at 10:00 and it was now 10:05.

"Okay, some people may be running a little late so let's go ahead and get started. I want to be sure to get you out on time."

I had to look down so he wouldn't see the "what the fu@#?" look on my face. Do you know how many people were in this class?

Well, let's see...counting me...that would be......ONE!

I expected him to say that since I didn't really need to be there that he would call me the next time a class was scheduled. So much for sitting back and not participating.

It actually turned out okay. For the FOUR WEEKS that it lasted.

I did pull some helpful information out and I was able to digress a little and talk about a few of the items on my list of "issues". He was actually quite impressed that I had come so far and turned out so "normal" given my upbringing and subsequent abusive relationship. I guess he also doesn't realize what a great actress I became!

I didn't have the heart to tell him about the strap-ons or switching teams or vampirism or swinger parties or cross-dressing boyfriends or eager beaver vibrators or smoking catnip.

He was proud of me. And it felt good!

Look....you work through your past, your way and I'll work through my past, my way.

And now I know that if I'm ever feeling the urge to lose my cool, I should:

**Stop and pet a dog (as opposed to kicking one)

**Blow bubbles (as opposed to blowing some S.O.B)

**Say hello to a stranger (as opposed to "Fu@# off" if they look at me wrong)

**Kiss my spouse (since I don't have one, for the record, kissing other people's spouses works too)

Anger management is fun!

What do you do to not lose your cool?


  1. I am pretty laid back. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. However when things start heading south I just walk away. I've learned not so nice things might come out of my mouth if I stay.

    Maybe Mel could have benefitted from that class.

  2. I find cleaning my gun helps put things into perspective.

  3. To not lose my cool? I'd have to stay in bed all day long and avoid people. I talk to my stuffed puppy (I'm on the road all the time, can't have a real dog, so I'm enjoying my relationship with my fake dog). I have to laugh it off though, otherwise I'll slip into a slur of cusses (french people are very colorful in their choices of words, very colorful indeed).
    p.s. swinging parties hunh? we'll have to "swap" stories, I still haven't come out yet though, I hate my past...

  4. 1. Look for the humor in EVERYTHING.
    2. Learn diaphragmatic breathing.
    3. Eat Xanax like they're M&M's.

  5. Laughter, the best medicine. It's a cliche, but it works.

  6. OMG...this post is HYSTERICAL!!!!

    I laughed at so many things, I don't which one to pick to highlight.

    "I didn't have the heart to tell him about the strap-ons or switching teams or vampirism or swinger parties or cross-dressing boyfriends or eager beaver vibrators or smoking catnip."

    Bwhahahahahahhahahahaha.....brilliant, girl!

    What do "I" do not to lose control?

    Actually, nothing.

    I LOSE control.



  7. @Cogitator,
    Suuuuuuure you don't.

    @Simply Suthern,
    You're right! Mel totally could have benefitted. There was plenty of room in the class.

    @Comet Girl,
    That's so funny!

    @Miss Nikki,
    A fake dog is better than no dog at all. Don't hate your past. Think of all the lessons you learned. Hey, they make great blog posts.

    Yes. Yes. And HELL yes.

    Amen. It's the only thing that's allowed me to live this long.

    Let it all out, baby!

  8. Nothing. I just seethe until I fall into angry sleep.

  9. Chrissy freaking funny.... I went to anger management a long time ago and it made me realized that I needed therapy so it really helped...anger management is fun your right.



  10. You smoked catnip too!?!? Wooo hooo! I'm not alone!

  11. He ran the entire seminar just for you?
    a. How cool is that! One on one training.
    b. How sad is that! That entire campus and only one person is going to come forward to think they might glean information on something that we could ALL use a little help with.
    c. Catnip? I knew all the rest, but catnip?


  12. How do I keep from losing my cool? I eat xanax like popcorn, follow it with Margarita chasers, and tweet drunk passive/aggressive tweets on Twitter.

    If that's not an option, I growl and snarl. A lot.

  13. Wow! A private anger-management session for 4 weeks? Not bad, sweetie! Hey, as long as you got something out of it,you're ahead of the game...unless you had to go during your lunch hour, then it blows.

    As for handling my cool? Depends on the situation. If it's driving, I'll think it's my next-door neighbor and I'll have to explain my insanity. That usually works.


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