Kat Gets Into An Altercation-With A Side Of Guacamole!
As far as personality types go, mine is of the low-drama, peace-loving, lets all get along mold. Throw in a dose of logical coolness and a love for people and you've got a Kat persona. However, one thing that ruffles my scruff is non-equitable behavior and humans singling out other humans in a group for public chastisement.
Also, if you have read any of my Ramblings With Ron posts, you might also be able to tell that I come from a line of people who are not afraid to dive into a fracas, I am just far more reserved about engaging in fisticuffs, be they mental or physical, than many of the members of my family.
That said, last night was our 4-H group's annual Quality Assurance Training. This training is for the kids who show their animals at the fair, and basically it is two hours of how to be an ethical animal producer. Our county's extension educator gives the class, and she is just wonderful. The kids are never bored.
We adults brought the fixins and put on a taco bar for the horde of mostly teenagers. Then we, as every year previous, sit in the back and chat in hushed tones so as to not disturb the class. Well, the class ended, as the speaker loudly announced that we were "done," and the grownups in attendance, me included, started speaking in a normal cadence. What happened next still has me scratching my head a bit. One of the mom's walked up, put her arm around me, and in a tone reserved for preschool teachers worldwide who teach younglings about proper volume control, said,
"You're being really loud, you need to quiet down."
My first thought was a bit of perplexed amusement, for no more than six feet from us was a man and a woman talking so loudly that my shusher had to actually raise her voice to chastise me. I looked at her and calmly stated, "The presenter is done with the class." She replied with, "Well you guys were just really loud, you were all I could hear."
Fair enough. Even though I knew that was codswallop. Now here's the thing, I have absolutely no issue with being corrected or even kicked when I am in the wrong. The problem is, because I am so amiable, I think I come across as the easy target sometimes and people tend to treat me like a kid. I haven't been a kid for a LONG time. That said, I have started making an effort to confront people who engage in behavior that I deem non equitable. The last thing any adult should ever do is single out and publicly chastise any adult or kid for a behavior that the whole group is engaging in. You are just asking for a fight, embarrassment, and the scoldee is not going to listen to a word you say anyway.
I deal with a quite a bit of irrational behavior working with the public, so with that and a bunch of training I have learned to take myself out of what I am feeling and analyze the situation. That's not to say that I don't want to go full scary Kat on people, and in fact, last night I might have engaged a little bit in that realm. I decided that what she did, while well intended, wasn't super cool and I wasn't going to let it fester unanswered, so I walked up to the mom and said, "You know, that was a little weird what you just did, especially since all the other adults were talking. I don't appreciate how you approached me in that situation and I would like you to clarify why you did it in that matter."
Apparently I am cold, rational, and mildly terrifying when I am angry, and I ashamed to admit that I reached that threshold last night. My delivery reduced that creature to a puddle of weeping tears. Her reaction made me feel bad and realize that she chose me because I was the easiest one to go to about what she perceived as a noisy situation. Here's the thing though, I am tired right now, I think the term is burned out, and I am tired of being a doormat and always sucking up and dealing with people's dysfunction at the expense of my personal well-being. That poor lady picked the wrong night to use Kat as a situation rectifying mechanism.
That said, I have known this lady for a long time, and I truly do hate upsetting people, so after a bit and everyone else left, I wandered over to her and apologized. I told her that she mattered to me and that my intention was never to hurt her, I just wanted to understand why she acted the way she did. This of course made her cry again, but not out of hurt or embarrassment, and I gave her a big hug, told her the situation was resolved and left in that moment, and went home.
As to whether there will be fall out from the moment, no one knows for certain. As most people well know, humans can hold onto things and let them fester into awkward situations and interactions. Me, I am truly done with the situation and I am glad that I stood up for myself for once instead of just letting someone treat me unjustly and laughing it off. We can't control other people, especially their attitudes. All we can control is our behavior, and I for one am happy for the direction that my growth is taking me, who says you can't teach an old Kat a new meow!