Jump to content

Thoughts, Rants, and Musings


Jibralta
 Share

Recommended Posts

A couple of months ago, I signed up for a mentoring program. The program helps military people to transition into the civilian workforce. Soon after, I was paired with a gentleman who planned to retire from the Army in 2018, after a 20 year career. I will call him Bill, for the purposes of this post.

 

The mentoring program has some general guidelines. During our first conversation, Bill and I were supposed to determine whether our personalities meshed or not. Bill didn't have a formal education beyond high school, and he confessed that he was a little intimidated by all of these degrees that I have. But I reassured him that I am a normal human being, and after that our first conversation went smashingly well. We decided to do the program together. I hung up from that call feeling elated. I was really helping someone!

 

For the next few weeks, Bill and I stayed in fairly close contact: emailed and texted back and forth probably every other day. He emailed his resume for me to review. The format was fine but the information was too general. I had a colleague review the resume and the colleague provided a similar critique. I returned the resume and the comments to Bill with the recommendation that he elaborate much more on the items that he listed. Bill agreed, still enthusiastic. Our regular communication continued. He sent me some videos of his day to day activities on his base, and I sent him some photos of the construction site that I was working on.

 

Then Bill's enthusiasm seemed to wane. During our second phone call (the program suggests monthly check-ins), he sounded nervous and unsure to me. He said was feeling anxious about an upcoming class that he was going to take. He didn't know if he would do well. Knowing the class and what it entailed, I reassured him that he would do fine. Then I learned that he had been hoping to get feedback from me on one (or more?) of the videos that he'd sent me. I didn't realize this, and I felt bad. Was I was a bad mentor? He was so happy last month, and now this month his spirits were in the toilet. What if he felt so discouraged that he gave up on his dream career altogether? I resolved to be a better mentor and ask questions the next time he emailed me a video. F_ck it, I was going to ask questions about everything!

 

A few days later, I got a phone call from one of the program coordinators. I was like, "uh-oh, I'm getting fired (or Bill is breaking up with me)." But I didn't get fired or broken up with. The coordinator was just checking to see how things were going. I explained to her about how Bill seemed to be withdrawing a little. She said, "You need to remember that he is intimidated by all of your accomplishments." I was like, "I understand that. But I don't know how to un-intimidate him. How do I make him understand that I'm just like he is?" The coordinator was like, "Thanks for your time, we'll get back to you." I was like, "Thanks?"

 

Over the next few weeks, Bill and I exchanged some texts, and smattering of emails, but they were pretty brief and to the point. And there was no mention of his resume, which was one of his major goals. I started to feel like I crushed his soul with my critique of it. When the day came for our third phone call, he didn't answer....

 

So now I'm not sure what's going on.

 

But ANYHOO, the reason I am posting this here is because it reminds me a lot of online dating, when you meet the new person and you totally click, and you're both all Thelma-and-Louise about this New and Epic Relationship that you're both going to have, and then the dude jumps out of the car right as it's about to plunge off the cliff. And as he's getting ready to jump, you're sitting there thinking, "What is he doing? Is he jumping out of the car? Why would he do that? He's the one who said he wanted this!! Maybe he doesn't realize that we're going over the cliff now. 'Hey dude... This is the cliff, dude... Dude? Buddy? Are you really giving up?'" You know, all of the crazy/stupid ideas, hopes, doubts, and (finally) realizations that you have about people when you get involved with them before you actually know them.

 

I have to say, I enjoy the show a lot more from this remote vantage point, where my heart is not actually in the car with the person!

Edited by Jibralta
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But ANYHOO, the reason I am posting this here is because it reminds me a lot of online dating, when you meet the new person and you totally click, and you're both all Thelma-and-Louise about this New and Epic Relationship that you're both going to have, and then the dude jumps out of the car right as it's about to plunge off the cliff. And as he's getting ready to jump, you're sitting there thinking, "What is he doing? Is he jumping out of the car? Why would he do that? He's the one who said he wanted this!! Maybe he doesn't realize that we're going over the cliff now. 'Hey dude... This is the cliff, dude... Dude? Buddy? Are you really giving up?'" You know, all of the crazy/stupid ideas, hopes, doubts, and (finally) realizations that you have about people when you get involved with them before you actually know them.

 

I have to say, I enjoy the show a lot more from this remote vantage point, where my heart is not actually in the car with the person!

That was funny haha.

 

Although my take is different here.

 

The guy was scared of your qualifications, that's an inferiority complex. Secondly, your are a woman and most guys have a difficulty accepting that a woman can be more competent than they are. Especially uneducated guys or guys with low self esteem. If you think about it mentoring is patronizing in a way because you accept subconsciously that somebody is better than you.

 

As for the car and the cliff, well, if by cliff you mean the period when things are about to get serious then I am telling you that no man in this world wants to lose his "freedom". Why would he want that in the first place?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The guy was scared of your qualifications, that's an inferiority complex. Secondly, your are a woman and most guys have a difficulty accepting that a woman can be more competent than they are. Especially uneducated guys or guys with low self esteem.

 

I agree with you. This is probably more about Bill's inner dialog than anything else. In our last conversation, he said something about not wanting to accept certain jobs because they were 'beneath' him. I thought, "That's not a good mentality for someone going into a brand new field!"

 

And I do realize that there are some men who have a hard time accepting a woman who could possibly be more competent. I've seen it before, and I will see it again. I can't account for it, and I'll never be able to change it. It's just one of those things.

 

If you think about it mentoring is patronizing in a way because you accept subconsciously that somebody is better than you.

 

I'm not sure if "patronizing" is exactly the right word, but I think I understand what you are saying. Bill viewed the mentor/mentee relationship as better-than/worse-than arrangement: I am helping him, so I am better than him. But I joined a similar program when I first started my current job, and I didn't see my mentor as someone who was better than me. I saw him as someone who was interested in helping me to succeed. But I may have a different outlook on life than Bill.

 

As for the car and the cliff, well, if by cliff you mean the period when things are about to get serious then I am telling you that no man in this world wants to lose his "freedom". Why would he want that in the first place?

 

I don't think anyone wants to lose their freedom. It took about 35 years for me to find a relationship that didn't oppress me in some way!

 

But my analogy was more along the lines of what happens when hormones are doing the driving in a relationship--when you actually want a relationship. Hormones are liars!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if "patronizing" is exactly the right word, but I think I understand what you are saying. Bill viewed the mentor/mentee relationship as better-than/worse-than arrangement: I am helping him, so I am better than him. But I joined a similar program when I first started my current job, and I didn't see my mentor as someone who was better than me. I saw him as someone who was interested in helping me to succeed. But I may have a different outlook on life than Bill.

 

 

But my analogy was more along the lines of what happens when hormones are doing the driving in a relationship--when you actually want a relationship. Hormones are liars!

 

Yeah, patronizing is not exactly the right word but you got it. Thing is, males have way more ego than women. For a man, the act of asking for help is subliminally translated into “I am lesser than the other person”. How many male coworkers ask for help compared to female coworkers in your workplace? Why men don’t like therapists? You know, it’s difficult to grasp it if you are not a man. What insecurities are for women, ego is for men (same difference in the end though). This comes from a guy with a huge ego and believe me, asking for help sucks big time. Everything that hurts your ego sucks big big time.

 

Now, as you so accurately put it hormones are liars. Ego as well! That’s why letting go of ego is necessary for success. Controlling you instincts/emotions and thinking logically is the way to go. Of course it’s easier said than done as always!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of months ago, I signed up for a mentoring program. The program helps military people to transition into the civilian workforce. Soon after, I was paired with a gentleman who planned to retire from the Army in 2018, after a 20 year career. I will call him Bill, for the purposes of this post.

 

The mentoring program has some general guidelines. During our first conversation, Bill and I were supposed to determine whether our personalities meshed or not.

 

I'm curious, Jibralta, do you have experience in the military? I may be wrong, but it may be that this isn't about you and your degrees, but that perhaps he feels your experience doesn't relate to his, and he can't relate to you (which isn't really personal). Or he may be going through the roller coaster that comes with retirement and transition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm curious, Jibralta, do you have experience in the military? I may be wrong, but it may be that this isn't about you and your degrees, but that perhaps he feels your experience doesn't relate to his, and he can't relate to you (which isn't really personal). Or he may be going through the roller coaster that comes with retirement and transition.

 

Well, this is actually the crux of the issue that the mentoring program seeks to address: many former military people do feel alienated from the civilian world, and have a difficult time transitioning. So this program creates partnerships between civilians like me and military people like him to confront those very issues. So if that's the source of his current anxiety, this is a very good opportunity to address that problem.

 

He told me himself, at the very beginning of our first conversation, that he felt intimidated by my degrees. I didn't come up with that myself. Sooner or later, I'm sure he will be able to get past that issue. But maybe not with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My beloved little dog died today. My mom put her to sleep. She was quite old, I think nearly 17, but she was such a fighter that we held out as long as we could. Last October she got very sick. She contracted Giardiasis, which is a parasite that affects puppies and old dogs. She was so ill and lost so much weight that we though she would die. But she didn't. The poor thing could barely walk, and more than once my mom found her collapsed and passed out near her water bowl. She was like that for several months. During that time, if my mom had plans on weekend days, I'd go over and keep an eye on the dog. Then just as she was getting better, she got pancreatitis! Poor thing. She pulled through, but the ordeal aged her and a lot of her spark disappeared. But then it returned for a short while, right before my mom moved to Florida! When I got to her house, my dog practically bounded towards me (as much as she could!) and she even had the bitey little smile she always gave me, where she'd pretend to bite my face. I miss her. She was such a good girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really like my bosses. There are two of them. They're sort of like a dynamic duo. One guy is the muscle, the other is the brains. They're both really intelligent, actually. But one of them is like Superbrain.

 

I feel like they want me to succeed, and that is a nice feeling to have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My boyfriend is a bit of a micro-manager. Actually, his myers-briggs personality type is often described as a drill sergeant, parent, or guardian. He loves to establish rules and follow them. He approaches problems in a very regimented, linear way.

 

I myself walk the line between INTJ and INTP. I'm a generalist, a big-picture thinker, not particularly interested in rules. Also, my ADHD makes me a world class scatterbrain. I have good problem-solving skills, but I have a very poor linear thought-process. I don't have patience for tiny little details when there's a bigger problem to be solved. But I am prone to hyper-focusing on minutia once I start working on the problem.

 

We work pretty well together.

 

The only thing is, sometimes he overcompensates for my tendency to forget/lose things and that screws me up even more. For example, he'll grab my car keys and my wallet on our way out, because I inevitably forget them. But believe it or not, there is actually method to my madness and when I remember what I forgot and its not where it's supposed to be, it starts a whole nother thread in my brain and anything that was there before is now wiped out by this one pressing issue of where the f did my car keys go?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I created this thing for an art class in 1995. We were making ceiling tiles for the Ceramics room in my high school. I painted a 2'-0" x 4'-0" piece of matboard with some watercolors, then drew on it with magic marker. The idea was to cover the board with these intricate little designs, but I didn't really plan correctly. The detail was so minuscule that I became overwhelmed and gave up.

 

]

 

Here is a detail of the mushroom:

 

]

 

The teacher, Mr. Morris, was lenient and said, "I know that, even if you are 80, you will finish this." And he gave me an A or a B or whatever. Bottom line is, I didn't have to finish it, but I left with this vast sense of obligation and this stupid piece of cardboard has been sitting in my mom's basement ever since. It got damaged by flood water (you can see traces of that damage on the right side, most obviously in the top right corner where the ink got diluted), but even still, I wouldn't throw it out.

 

My mom moved, and now it's living with me in my tiny apartment. I kind of hate it. I resent the obligation, but also there's a creepy side of the story that I never told anyone about. Here it is: I visited my high school the year after I graduated. I saw Mr. Morris. He was always a bit of a heartthrob even though he was older. As I left, I went in to hug him and he kissed me on the mouth. I acted like nothing was wrong and left. But I felt absolutely filthy. I still feel horrified by it and am cringing as I write this.

 

Well, I don't know. The thing is here now. Maybe I should just finish the design and be done with it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a beautiful day to be home sick. I opened the blinds, threw the windows wide open, and let in the daylight and sounds. I wish I had a porch.

 

Now the daylight is dwindling and I'll have to turn on the lights pretty soon. I wish I could leave the windows and blinds open and have the lights on, but I don't want people peering in my windows!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, when I kiss my girlfriend on the cheek it is complete silent. I have no idea why it doesn’t make any sound, when we kiss or makeout there are the normal sounds but I feel embarrassed to kiss her on the cheek without it making a noise.

 

I'm posting this here because I don't want to derail this person's thread. But I had a similar concern when I was a little kid. Only, my concern was about clapping. I felt like my hands didn't make the same amount of noise that other people's hands made when they clapped.

 

I first noticed this at the circus. I was so small, and it was so dark. I was able to see the rings and the performances, but I don't remember them very well. What I do remember distinctly is people clapping. It was loud. And when people started clapping, other people clapped as well.

 

I didn't know where the clapping started, but I felt like I was supposed to contribute to it. I tried, but I couldn't hear the sound of my own hands. I thought my hands didn't make any noise at all. That made me want to hide!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to his friend Mark's house for a barbecue. It was a small gathering, four guys (Mark, Dave, and Don), three girls (Lisa, Eve, and me), and a slew of kids.

 

My boyfriend (Arnold) has been friends with these guys since before high school. I know them from high school, as well. I didn't know Eve, who is a relative of Lisa.

 

The only couples present were me and my boyfriend (Arnold), and Mark and Lisa. Don's wife had to prepare for a wedding, Dave's wife had to work, and I'm guessing Eve's husband was working as well.

 

The cool thing was watching Mark, Dave, and Don manage their respective children without the assistance of their wives. I knew these guys when we were all fck-ups in high school, and now they are all such good dads!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sometimes I see posts about how much women like "bad boys." But it seems like a lot of people think "bad boy" means a man who treats women badly.

 

I don't know why that is.

 

When I was a girl, I liked the boys who broke the rules, got into fights, got detention/oss/iss, etc. Actually, one of my longest relationships was with an ex-con who ended up going back to prison (after we broke up!).

 

Anyway, none of these guys ever treated me like sht. They treated me like gold. But they were bad, by most definitions.

 

Anyway, I think the prevailing belief about bad boys (i.e. "bad boy" means a man who treats women badly, and that women like it) is a load of garbage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...