The Dark Side

Whoops,  she came out without an invitation and stayed around for five minutes or so: my dark personality.  I called the Westin Hotel in LA to ask for directions from LAX to the hotel.  My first call ended in my huffing and puffing because after 15 or so rings no one answered.  That’s right.  This is not some wee motel in the middle of no-where North Dakota, this is the Westin in downtown LA and no one answers!  Okay, so it was Sunday, but still.  I called again, this time a harried and short-tempered woman answered after 10 rinds.  It’s as if I interfered with her day by calling.  This so aggravates me.

I’m staying at the Westin – a client’s booking – for three nights this week and needed to confirm my reservations, get the directions,  plus request a refrigerator in the room.  The haughty, I-hate-my-job-right-now front desk clerk immediately transferred me to the ubiquitous reservation call center.  After another 10 rings I did confirm the reservation and then asked about the refrigerator.  The woman said, “Well, I’ll put in a request, but I don’t know if they’ll have one for you.”   Well, isn’t that a nifty we-appreciate-your-business attitude.?  My evil twin was oozing out of my personality pores.  Then I asked for directions.  She hemmed and hawed, then said, “I don’t really know that area.”  Now, this is a central Westin reservation desk and they don’t have … .  Moving on.

I once again called my favorite Westin-downtown-LA front desk clerk and asked for the fridge – “All rooms have a refrigerator.” (Don’t you think that central reservation needs that information?  I do!)  Then asked for directions.  “I’ll connect you to the concierge desk.”  “Hello,” said another woman.  I asked for directions and was forwarded to a fast-talking recorder.  I listened twice – that’s all they gave me  – and still get all of the directions.  (The name of some of the streets I can’t spell.) Now, my evil twin has not only decided to come out and play, she’s in full dress.

To be mature, I slammed down the phone.  I realize that’s going to help me get what I want.  I scream into the phone – no one’s on it.  That too is the mature reaction.  But, why is it that someone can’t just be there for us?  It’s a simple request.  I understand that to save money commercial businesses now feel that auto-responders and script-reading individuals in far-away places will suffice; help them help us.  Wrong; in my estimation.  I also know neither is going away. I realize that my frustration gives my evil twin the power to be a _______.  (Fill in the blank.)  Then of course the person on the other line gets just as angry at me and the whole conversation turns not only ugly, but also unproductive.

The “ugly” Dee, the “dark-side” Dee comes out mainly on the phone.  When I’m person-to-person I have more control because I can address body language and non-verbal.  When I go through airport security, “Ugly” so wants to scream and yell at some of these people who take away my toothpaste. It’s toothpaste!  But, I keep “Ugly” in check and tell her to calm down; I’m not in control of the situation, Mr/Miz TSA is and I can’t do anything about it. 

Have you ever been having a wonderful day and then someone calls you and you allow – yes “allow” – them to ruin your day?  Someone is rude to you or a frustrating situations causes you to switch your personality switch and all Hell breaks loose. Where does that other personality lurk?  I’m amazed at how my pleasant and reasonable personality can turn  180 degrees on a “hello” and then the unpleasant and unreasonable personality flourishes.  I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of the phone when she comes out.  It’s not that I’m completely ugly, but sometimes it’s close.  Why?

I know that frustration and bad decisions on my part cause me to create this creature from the dark.  She’s not pretty; I don’t like her. I’ve also seen your dark and ugly side, some for no apparent reason either.  I don’t think I have a temper, but then I find these auto-responders that give me heartburn and “customer service” center people whom I know consider me only a number, take over the information world.  It’s maddening to me.  I’m helpless in this kind of world and the sooner I get over myself and my frustrations and let the world run its course – give myself more power over my reactions – the better. I’ll be nicer as well.

Control. What situations are under our control and which ones are under someone else’s?  When I know that there is literally nothing I can about certain occurances – airplanes being late, traffic congestion, lines at the store, loud music at the gym, auto-responders, airport security, computer glitches, and on and on – I give into that “relax, there’s nothing you can do about it, let it go.”  Ah, the power of the mind and how we react to our life situations make all the difference; it’s our perspective. “Stay calm.”

“Ugly” is asleep and until she wakes up, I’m a more-than-wonderful person to be with.  When she gets up though…I don’t want to be around.  And you?  Ever have that dark side creep up on you and you wonder:  Where did that person come from?  We all have her/him.  Some just know how to keep her/him under lock and key!  I’m hoping to lock her up and throw away the key…where is that auto-responder?

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